The ‘Bottom Line’, ‘Numbers’, ‘Sales’ are some entities that are self-explanatory in any business. Especially when it comes to real estate, the number of properties sold successfully and an impressive sales record are enough to reflect the business. But, all of this is true if their is uncompromising accuracy, vigilance and standardisation in the numbers presented and their credibility. Which is where experienced accounting comes in the picture. Showing a promising real estate practice on the basis of inaccurate books can be a bane for your business and can tarnish your image in the industry as well as with your clients.
In this blog, we will talk about the common real estate accounting mistakes that your business needs to avoid in order to get through the tax season seamlessly. If you are cautious to dodge these commonly encountered errors, then not only will your books be accurate, they will also be dependable and actionable.
Mistake No 1: Realigning Funds Before the Transaction is Complete
This is a very common business error, if we may say with property and real estate accounting. The entrepreneurs are seen to be disbursing the funds before the deal is closed. This not only is a malpractice, but at the time of doing the books, is an additional wastage of time for your bookkeeper, as they need to go back and check the completion and the authentication of each transaction that you have made. In accounting terms, a transaction is considered revenue and can thus be acted upon only when the chain is complete, in real estate terms, it is when the keys are finally exchanged.
It is important for real estate entrepreneurs to keep this in mind at all times while confirming a transaction to be a revenue or before its disbursement. So that, your Accounts Payable are accurately aligned with your Accounts Receivable.
Other Blog – IRS Tax Relaxation Deadlines for Covid-19 (With State Regulations)
Mistake No. 2: Tracking Commissions Additionally From an Accounting Software
When your brokerage is tracking commission additionally and alternatively from the main accounting software that you are using, then you are backing up on age-old data entry to pay those commissions. Honestly speaking, this redundant data entry puts you at a greater risk, with your books being rampaged with human error and threats.
Ideally, using accounting software or any accounting technology is a matter to make things simpler and more convenient. Therefore, you need to have a commission management system in place that can seamlessly integrate with your accounting system and help make things more convenient for you.
Mistake No. 3: Insufficient Training of the Accounting Software
If you have an in-house or a local accountant, who you are presuming will be on track with the technological developments and has a proficiency in the accounting software of your choice, then you might be going far-fetched. The idea is that you need to have someone who is an expert and a thorough professional when it comes with dealing with your accounting tools so that bookkeeping is an easier and more convenient feat. If you take it into consideration, having someone who is not-well versed and trained in these tools, will not be able to optimize the efficiency of the same and might make errors. Therefore, it is essential to have someone who is trained and has a smooth knowledge of state-of-the-art accounting tools and technology, especially the ones preferred for use by your business.
Mistake No. 4: Not Taking Backups
This is a mistake that cannot be stressed-on enough. If you are an entrepreneur, then you need to know gone are the days, when people had stacks of paperwork in physical form, that they could go back to and tally whenever needed. This was not only time consuming, but took a lot of space and was adept with errors on all levels. With the coming in of the right accounting technology, you need to save time, effort and error. Taking backups of your data is ever-important so that you have securely kept all your essential financials readily available whenever needed. Real estate businesses are generally seen to lack in this imperative feat.
Real Estate is an exhaustive and a challenging field. You need to constantly be at your alert-best and on your toes. But the accounting part of it, need not be that dreadful if done the right way. Being on the right road of accuracy, having a dependable team that backs your efforts and avoiding these common accounting mistakes can help you keep up with your books and also get through the year-end stress-free. We hope this blog will help you highlight some common errors, and avoid them in your future accounting journey.
The financial tasks of a business are handled both by bookkeepers and accountants, yet, when we are required to outline the differences between the two, it generally is a hard one. The fact is, that their goals and ambitions for the business are the same, but the way they achieve them are different. In a simple sense, bookkeeping is primarily concerned with transactions while accounting deals with the insights that are drawn on the basis of the information obtained through bookkeeping.
If you are a small business owner and are wondering, “how exactly are the two different?” and what is the right choice for your business, then you have come to the right place! In this blog we will outline all the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper and how each benefits and adds to your business.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping as a Financial task in a business, records the daily transactions that occur in a business in a standardised and regularised manner. It forms the base for any other financial function of an organization. Their tasks include:
- Recording Financial Transactions
- Assessing the Debits and Credits of a business
- Generating invoices and handling a business’ receivable funds
- Maintaining the General Ledger
- Organizing and administering payroll
Out of all the tasks mentioned above, maintaining the general ledger is of the prime importance. This is where all the transactions are recorded. How dynamic and complex an organization’s bookkeeping is, is primarily dependent on the size and stage of operations that business has.
What is Accounting?
This is the advanced financial task that works on the information and insights provided by a bookkeeper. This information is then used to draw future budgets and forecasts and other such financial models. Some of the tasks that are primarily typical to accounting include:
- Reconciling and entries that are mistakenly omitted.
- Financial Preparation statements, records and reports.
- Analyzing operational costs
- Completing, preparing and filing tax returns
- Draw the financial blueprint of a business.
It is an accountant that draws the key financial indicators of a business and determines an analysis of the cash flow.
Therefore, it is an accountant that takes the information in the General Ledger provided by the bookkeeper and takes it forward to the larger insights drawn through those recordings. Where bookkeeping ends, accounting begins.
Accountant vs Bookkeeper
The work of an accountant and a bookkeeper are often seen to be overlapping. In fact, some can say that bookkeeping is a sub-task of accounting only. The only difference is that bookkeeping is a financial operation that needs to be undertaken on a daily basis and is regularized. Therefore, it is imperative to do it in its regularized manner. Only, when this is done accurately, can an accountant work on the information provided by the bookkeeper.
Records the financial transactions that occur in the business.
Work on the financial transactions recorded to provide broader insights.
Recording the debits and credits of a business.
Curates the financial statements, records and reports.
Generates invoices, sends them ahead and tracks payments.
Prepares taxes and files them.
Maintains the general ledger.
Uses the general ledger to prepare financial analysis and strategy to support the business.
Administering Tax strategies
Determines where a business is standing.
Determines where a business is headed to.
Financial record keeping in a business
Financial forecasting and overall financial administration of a business.
What Do You Need For Your Business?
Now comes the burning question. What do you need for your business? An accountant or a bookkeeper? Before you ask yourself that, try assessing answers to the following questions:
- What industry is your business in?
- How large are your operations?
- How many employees does your company currently have?
- What is your business’ goal?
Why these questions are necessary is to make you understand where your business is currently standing and where it is headed to in the future. Now, the fact of the matter is that a bookkeeper and an accountant are co-dependent and cannot exist without one another. Additionally, it is always a perk to have a team that can handle both. Not only does it help save costs, but it also leads to better accuracy, more coordination and an overall synchronization of timely deliveries and compliances.
Another lucrative option that businesses have these days, is the option to seamlessly integrate the tasks of an accountant and a bookkeeper, by outsourcing these activities to a bookkeeping service provider. What your business thus gets, is:
- A team of expert bookkeepers and accountants.
- Someone who can handle both administrative tasks like payroll and financial tasks like taxing effectively.
- Increased cost and time savings.
- Savings on overhead and operational costs.
- State-of-the-art accounting technology and tools.
Now is the time to get better control of your business’ financials by outsourcing it and gaining the expertise of industry leaders. No matter the stage and size of your business, it is never too late to have the professional support of ace bookkeepers and accountants on your side.
Bookkeeping can be an intimidating and a time consuming task for a majority of entrepreneurs, it is majorly for this reason that it is pushed behind on the task sheet, and that is when the problems begin to creep in. Another important factor is that as your business grows, your bookkeeping needs have to be more organized, streamlined and updated. With expansion comes the need to spend more time handling the core operations of your business, and less time on administration and financial logistics. This is where the need to outsource your business’ bookkeeping issues and accounting needs come into the picture.
There are various Bookkeeping issues that can be solved just by outsourcing it to the right Bookkeeping Service providers. Here are the key issues of any business’ bookkeeping, that can be solved by outsourcing it:
Bookkeeping Issues Solved by Outsourcing Experts:
Making the Tax Filing Process Easier:
Filing taxes is one of the most intricate and challenging tasks in a business’ financial calendar. Being tax compliant is ever important. Outsourcing Bookkeeping tasks helps you prepare accurate statements and reports as well as being timely and scheduled with its submission. These experts know detailed tax laws and regulations be it on the federal or the state level and help you gain the maximum benefits and savings during the tax season. Not to miss, you also get to be free of the stress that the tax season brings with itself.
Scale Your Bookkeeping Effectively:
Business’ are dynamic in nature and are ever-evolving with time. Therefore your operations also need to be of the type where they adapt to the changing times and keep scaling. Outsourcing bookkeeping can help with these scalability needs. It helps you transition seamlessly into enterprise-level systems by updating the software infrastructure, daily tasks and consequent reporting that can help you in your expansion. Get ahead in your business, with outsourcing your bookkeeping operations to experienced professionals who can handle your business at every stage and status of operations.
It is very well known that if you are running a business, there is never enough time to do everything effectively. Therefore, finding strategies to maximize the time at hand is more important than ever. Bookkeeping, as said before, is one of the most common tasks that is sidelined at the time of delegating time for an entrepreneur. But, this leads to future issues and confusions. Therefore, by outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks to the right professionals can help you take off an average of 4 hours every week, to delegate to the core operations of your business like sales, production, marketing, etc. With more time at hand, and less points to stress about you will always be ahead of your schedule while running your business.
Access to Key Information:
With outsourced bookkeepers, you do not have to swim through pages and pages of unending financial data to do your business, instead these experts give you comprehensive reports, actionable financials and accurate financial statements that can help you with the key indicators that are of importance to your business, they organize it into blocks of the most relevant information that is essential for you to run your business effectively. This helps you make better sense of where your business is currently standing and where it is headed to in the future.
Gain Access to Updated Financials:
The most important factor to be kept in consideration while bookkeeping is to have books that are updated, accurate and error-free. Additionally, there are new advances in the bookkeeping industry, accounting software and regulations. Being abreast with them all, is a challenge in itself. By outsourcing your bookkeeping operations to experts, you get updated, accurate and relevant financial information that helps your business keep up with the times better. Not just that, you are able to be a step ahead with state-of-the art accounting technology and tools that help you gain better control over your bookkeeping and accounting operations.
Outsourcing Bookkeeping is the way ahead in the financial market. Running a business is becoming a strenuous and all-inclusive job that requires an entrepreneurs complete dedication 24×7 365 days a year. Therefore, having a team that makes running your business easier and adds the necessary value base to all that you do is key to the success of your business and increasing your financial health multifold.
The base purpose of being a part of any transaction of goods and Services, or as we call it, doing ‘business’ is to be paid for it. Any transaction is considered complete and worth to be added in a business’ revenue, only when there is a final transaction of payment made. Now it is easy to go on any word processor, draft an invoicing and send it to the concerned party to wait for the payment. Or, you can always use an invoice generator and fast track the whole process.
In this blog we will tell you the best free Invoicing Software there are in the market, that you can avail and make your payment gateway easier. But before that it is important to know what are the key features that you need to look for in these software.
Some of the factors that you should keep in consideration before going ahead with a free software that aids you with invoicing are:
- You should be able to generate unlimited invoices without having to upgrade to a premium plan and pay a fee later.
- It should be simple, intuitive and fast. The learning curve needed to get a hang of the software should be minimum.
- And the most important thing in today’s day and age, is that it should be open to accepting online payments easily! Be it credit card payments, bank transfers or wire transfers.
Best Free Invoicing Software for Business in the Year 2020:
Payment and Paypal are almost synonymous at least for millennial. This is true because it has been on and dominating the business of free invoicing software for almost 20 years now. It has a lot of recognition, credibility and the added advantage of a fully functional mobile app, that can help you with invoicing on the go! There is a dedicated tab on paypal just for invoicing where you can see the paid and the unpaid invoices easily. The customers who you send the invoices to, will also receive it on their paypal accounts, where they have the liberty to make the payments through any mode of their choice.
This online invoice generator will make your life so much more easier. Be it from generating the bills to finally collecting the payment, Shopify makes the process increasingly easy. There is always additional credibility that it already has by being one of the greatest e-commerce platforms in the world, their custom invoice generator is of a premium standard and can do away with all your invoicing woes.
Whether you are planning to create tax, simple or business invoices, online invoices has you covered. In fact, it is so organized that you do not even need to make any modifications from your end. It can support mobile devices to give you added flexibility and it also has a very convenient preview button that helps you assess the invoices before you send it to the clients.
If you are looking for a combination of convenience and efficiency then Billdu is your go-to option. It brings in enormous ease into the process of generating invoices. There are many forms of billing included in this software. Some of them are
- Budget estimating
- Expense reporting
- Alternative forms of invoicing
There are three products that form different intensities and user bases of Billdu; these are, Billdu Online, Billdu Mobile and Billdu Page.
Zoho is already known in the accounting business for its accounting software and wider efficiency. Because of their expertise in the business, they have now come to spread their wings wider and work in more niche fields in accounting. Their invoicing system is one such presentation. You can create invoices easily be it whatever your requirements are. From freelancers, to SMEs, Zoho’s invoicing system has something to offer to everyone.
As an accounting platform, Wave is known widely already. It is made keeping in mind small business owners and freelancers. You can track your outgoing expenses, create subsequent reports and connect your bank details as well. There are unlimited capabilities that you can get out of this software for all your invoicing needs. Be it unlimited customers, invoices, or expenses, it can handle everything.
If you are a freelancer and want to create invoices that are readily available then Invoiced is the right choice for you. With every invoice, you can create additional terms and conditions or notes that need to go with the bill. You can use the software to either send it via email, or download and directly send it.
As a freelancer, if you need to create an invoice generator that is fast and convenient then Invoiced Home is your option. It is a beginner-friendly option where you can make invoices easily where there are templates and personalizing options. You can add logos and make it fancy. Make things uncomplicated in your billing process with invoice home.
The Invoice Machine
Again, a great deal for freelancers and businesses who want it easy. Generate invoices, manage their organization and send those invoices as well. This although is not necessarily a software as it works directly on the web browser.
If you are looking for a premium option, then this is the way to go. Invoice Ninja has a free version as well, where there are 4 pre-assigned templates. Well, it doesn’t just end there, it also has 30+ payment gateway options and it practically accepts all of the client preferences possible under the sun. Although, if you upgrade to the premium version, you will get ten more of these templates as well as removal of the software limitations.
The Way Forward
The best way to run a business is when your logistics are not just practical, but efficient and operational. Having automated invoice processing, that is not just free, but time saving and prompt is the best way to make sure that your business transactions get the accurate and active closures it deserves. To add to that, when you have consecutive reporting, and the ability to please your customers instat\ntly by incorporating multiple payment gateways, there is nothing to stop you!
We hope that this blog helped you zero down on the best choice for your free invoicing software that can make your invoice generation stronger, accurate and faster. With seamless billing, your business can touch new heights of efficiency.
In the wake of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States has conferred an additional $310 billion funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was almost running out of funds in April. The importance of PPP is ever-important in these times of economic uncertainty as PPP is one of the few opportunities that small businesses have to obtain forgivable loans to sustain employees on the Payroll.
But, there are so many questions that are yet to be answered and cleared for entrepreneurs, especially in the light of the forgivable nature of the PPP loans.
Another burning issue here is the grey area, where many public companies confessed to having taken the PPP loan which was truly meant for small businesses with employees less than 500.
To contain such malpractices, the federal government has come out with the briefing that the authorities will audit any company that levies for loans more than $ 2 Million.
This blog will provide answers to all the commonly asked questions and queries related to the PPP loan and how it can benefit your business.
Question 1: What costs are eligible for forgiveness under the PPP?
Answer: The actual forgivable part of the PPP is dependent on certain factors. These are based on the payments made and the costs incurred during the COVID-19. These are the costs that are eligible for forgiveness in the PPP loans:
- Salary and wages or other similar payroll compensations.
- Payments that have been made in the light of sick leaves.
- Allowance for separation.
- Payments made for group health care benefits, including insurance premiums.
- Retirement benefits
- State or federal payroll taxes
- Please note that cash compensations that exceed $100,000 are exempted from this excuse. Additionally, the employer’s share of the federal payroll taxes is also exempted from being forgiven under the PPP.
Question 2: What costs are not eligible for forgiveness under the PPP?
Answer: Although the PPP loan is a breath of fresh air for businesses who are trying hard to genuinely retain their employees, there are still certain costs that are exempt from being forgiven under the PPP loan. These are:
- Payments made to independent contractors.
- Under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, there are qualified sick leaves and parental leave wages. These, therefore, are exempt from the forgiveness under the PPP.
- If we take February 15, 2020, as the benchmark date; then any interest payments on personal property, rent payments under agreements in existence, and utility payments like electricity bills, etc. are also not permitted for forgiveness under the PPP loan.
You May Also Read – 10 Ways Your Bookkeeper Can Help You Through Covid-19
Question 3: What are the limitations of loan forgiveness?
Answer: There certainly are limits to forgiveness in the PPP loans. The first is that not more than 25% of the loan forgiveness can be linked to non-payroll costs. Additionally, proceeds directed towards advance up to $10,000 on Economic Injury Disaster Loan will also be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount.
There are two formulas to determine the forgiveness amount in the loan deduction. The FTE Method and the reduction in wages.
The loan forgiveness amount is subject to reduction by multiplying it by the following fraction. These are as follows: (This is known as the FTE method)
- The numerator of which is the average number of FTE employees per month employed by the borrower during the covered period.
- The denomination of which, as elected by the borrower is:
- The average number of FTE employees per month (from Feb 15, 2019, to June 30, 2019)
- The average number of FTE employees per month (Jan 1, 2020, to Feb 29, 2020)
The second is the reduction of wages method. This method is applicable as follows:
- Identify employees who did not receive the salary at an annualized rate of more than $ 100,000 for a single day in 2019.
- Compare each covered employee’s wages during the period to his/her salary during the first quarter of 2020.
- For an employee who is covered, the salary is reduced by more than 25%, then you need to apply the following formula:
- Multiply the first-quarter wages by .75
- Subtract the result from the covered period wages
- The aggregated dollar amount will reduce the loan forgiveness amount.
Question 4: What are the documents that you need to apply for forgiveness?
Answer: To receive the loan forgiveness, you need to comprehensively submit accurate copies of the following documents, complete and updated:
- Documentation to verify the number of FTE employees on the payroll. This also includes the payroll tax filings.
- Canceled checks, payment receipts, and transcripts of accounts verifying payments of mortgages, rent and utility payments.
- You also need to submit an authentication certificate from a representative of the business that certifies that the information and documents submitted are accurate and the amount that is requested for forgiveness, will help retain employees.
- In addition to these, the SBA can also ask you to submit additional documents to solidify and authenticate your case.
Question 5: Are large businesses with adequate sources of liquidity qualify for a PPP loan?
Answer: No, the essence of PPP loans was to help small businesses, retain employees, and sail through these financially crunching times of COVID-19 smoothly. If larger businesses, who have enough sources of liquidity take this PPP loan, then the small businesses will be crushed under undue competition. Hence, as per the federal laws, for any business that takes up a loan above $ 2 Million dollars, will have to undergo a complete audit.
What Does Your Business Need?
The essential element in COVID-19 is to sail through with as little damage as possible. With the PPP loan and the secure ability to seek forgiveness on the loan is a boon in these times. You need to seek spaces where you can seek the maximum benefits and forgiveness on the PPP loans. We hope that your essential queries were answered and cleared through this blog. For any additional query and query on the PPP loans and how it affects your business, please click here.
Organizing and streamlining your business operations and logistics is the ultimate goal of every business. Outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting tasks are one such way to efficiently run your business. The financial professionals assist you in handling your financial records and finance-related concerns. These industry experts are a team of highly accredited and trained professionals. They help you in running your business better by taking away these tasks off your hand so that you can get more time to run your business and generate better profits.
There are various advantages of outsourcing your bookkeeping activities, like saving overhead employment charges and additional costs. These hard to pass up advantages have made businesses largely take the plunge.
But, then there are some businesses that still are not completely sold on the idea of giving the reins of their financial operations in the hands of a third party.
Charting out a complete list of the pros and cons of outsourcing bookkeeping operations of a business can help you make the decision better.
Pros of Outsourcing Bookkeeping for Your Business:
More than one-third of businesses, outsource their accounting operations to professionals and more are predicted to do so in the year 2020. Here are some of the advantages that your business can benefit from, by outsourcing your bookkeeping activities.
When you outsource your business financials to a professional team of bookkeepers, you are able to save on overhead charges of hiring an in-house team. Add to that, you are able to reduce costs on additional office space, rent, employment taxes, and the opportunity costs coming with them. Outsourcing bookkeeping tasks helps you save on 79% of salaries. You also get to majorly save on time spent on undertaking bookkeeping tasks. Averagely, a businessman spends 4 hours every week on bookkeeping tasks. When you outsource this, you can use the time saved on taking care of other aspects of your business.
Get Experts and Their Valuable Knowledge on Your Team:
With industry experts and leading professionals on your side, you will get error-free, accurate, and compliant filings. They are not just your bookkeepers, but your team of financial advisors who help you maximize your savings and enhance your financial health. They help you gain the maximum tax benefits by strategizing your finances right from the start and help you make benefitting decisions for your business.
When you outsource your accounting to professionals, they make sure that you are tax compliant, a step ahead with your financial planning, and maintain an error-free record of your receivables and payables. When your financial health is in the hand of professionals, you can rest assured about your business’ profitability and success. After all, the beginning of any successful enterprise is always in the efficiency of how well its blueprint is laid down!
With outsourced bookkeepers, you greatly reduce the potential mishandling of your books, sudden frauds and get better control over your finances. By taking it out of the hands of an in-house team and giving it to professionals, your books are updated, error-free, and out of the hands of potential security threats. They make sure that your books are balanced and all the dealings are done in a transparent manner. So that you continue to be the key decision-maker of your business.
Allocate Resources for Further Expansion:
The time and money you save on bookkeeping activities can be used to take care of the expansion and efficient running of your operations. Every mid and small-sized business needs to have a dynamic schedule and efficient logistics to be able to become better with time. By outsourcing your bookkeeping activities to professionals, you can use the time saved to enhance your business.
Looking for Financials Preparation Services?
Cons of Outsourcing Bookkeeping For Your Business:
Loss of absolute Control:
Some businesses believe that it is easier to communicate and work with an internal bookkeeping and accounting team, vis-a-vis the one that is outsourced. They believe that one loses control over how their accounting operations are handled. Although it might seem a plausible scenario, the truth is, any such reservation can be easily dealt with and sorted, with proper initial dialogue and contractual agreements. In reality, an outsourced bookkeeper is available to you 24×7 and works in the time and schedule that deems suitable to your business.
Hidden and Add-On Costing:
For some enterprises, outsourcing bookkeeping may sound like a cash-saving alternative to an in-house bookkeeper. But chances are that there are hidden charges and covert costing to added services. Again, what seems like a potential scenario, is in reality far from reality. The highlight of outsourcing bookkeeping is that you are able to pay only for the services that you avail for. Add to that these transparent plans are bound by contractual terms of business and thus, are not modifiable easily. So you will never be surprised with an unexpected bill and inflated rates of services, ever!
Questionable Security Standards:
The idea of outsourcing your valuable financials and business’ books over the internet to a third-party is a major fear for many organizations. But, the reality is that outsourced accounting and bookkeeping firms use the highest standards of cybersecurity, protection, and encryption to safeguard you and your business from any potential threat. In fact, even internally, your books are only handled and accessed by individuals you accept to and agree for. All your records are stored on the cloud so that you have uninterrupted access to everything. As a matter of fact, there is far better security for your books and financial records with outsourced bookkeeping as opposed to in-house.
Outsourcing Bookkeeping Pros and Cons – Running a business is a dynamic activity, Every logistic and style of running a successful enterprise changes with time. But, what doesn’t change is the need to continuously evolve and include healthy changes to make your business better and in-line with the changing times. Outsourcing your bookkeeping activities is one such domain. With the lesser time involved in taking care of your books, ensuring their accuracy you can use your resources intelligently and plan your future better. With a team of thorough professionals, solid bookkeeping ethic, and complete tax compliance, you can be assured of the right team on your side!