Sondra Love and Rhonda Rosand, CPA of New Business Directions, LLC took to the sky last week to attend the 8th annual Scaling New Heights 2016 conference at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort located on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

This year’s theme was “epic” designed as the epic conference to empower small business advisors to develop and sustain the epic practice that distinguishes itself and embraces the key differences that separate ProAdvisors around the good, the great and the “epic.”

Sessions
The four-day conference kicked off each morning with Power Breakfast Sessions followed by main stage presentations with keynote speakers such as Daymond John of Shark Tank, Joe Buissink of Canon Explorer of Light, and author Mike Michalowicz of Profit First. In between general session, attendees dispersed around the conference center into rooms where cutting edge training sessions were being held. Training sessions were broken down into 5-tracks for Practice and Professional Development, Practice Growth, In-Depth QuickBooks Training, ProAdvisor Certification Training and QB Integrated Apps.

If you were fortunate enough to attend, Rhonda Rosand, CPA taught a 100-minute informative training session titled Successful Implementations from Initial Contact through Ongoing Support on Sunday, May 22nd. As the evenings came around, networking sessions were held consisting of ICB Bookkeeper’s Symposium, the Woodard Network Social hosted within Atlantis’ stunning marine life exhibit, The Dig and of course, the infamous TSheets dance Party on TSheets Tuesday.


Sondra’s Take on Vendors
 In between training, I was able to visit the exhibit ballroom which held over 90 vendors, some of which were very familiar. I came across software I use everyday to make my work flow run smoothly and now I am able to put a face to the product. For example, SmartVault allows me to access files anywhere, anytime and from any device. I also have the capability to securely share files with clients and our team.

While at Scaling New Heights, I learned the importance of technology and how it relates to strengthening our firm and supporting our clients.

The advanced level training will allow us to continue to assist our clients in streamlining the process of making money and creating order out of chaos. We would like to thank all of the members of the Woodard Group for another successful event at Scaling New Heights and look forward to next years’ conference in Orlando, FL.

Rhonda

New Business Directions, LLC is pleased to announce the recognition of Rhonda Rosand, CPA as an Insightful Accountant Top 100 ProAdvisor for 2016. This will be Rosand’s third consecutive year receiving the award out of tens of thousands of ProAdvisors in the country.

Leading Top 100 ProAdvisors leverage the ProAdvisor Program to better serve their clients, grow their own business, deliver great client service, and increase their knowledge and understanding of the Intuit ecosystem.2016_top100-2016This years award ceremony will take place at the Scaling New Heights 2016 conference at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas.

Congratulations Rhonda!

  Say goodbye to Winter and hello Spring! The seasons are changing before our eyes and you’ve probably heard a few remarks about tax/mud season, upcoming Summer plans and of course everyone’s favorite thing to do; Spring cleaning. Okay, maybe it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to do but here is some helpful advice for Spring cleaning your QuickBooks file.

It’s not hard to see when your home needs a good cleaning but QuickBooks company file errors are harder to recognize so here are a few errors to watch for:

  • Performance problems
  • Inability to execute specific processes
  • Occasional program crashes
  • Missing data (accounts, names, dates)
  • Refusal to complete transactions
  • Mistakes in reports
Figure 1: If some transactions won’t go through or QuickBooks shuts down when you click on the save button, you may have a corrupted company file.
Be Proactive

One thing you can do on your own is to start practicing good preventive medicine to keep your QuickBooks company file healthy. Once a month or so, perhaps at the same time you reconcile your bank accounts, do a manual check of your major Lists.

Run the Account Listing report (Lists, Chart of Accounts, and Reports). Ask yourself: Are all of your bank accounts still active? Do you see accounts that you no longer use or which duplicate each other? You may be able to make them inactive or merge duplicates. Be very careful here. If there’s any doubt, leave them there. Do not try to fix the Chart of Accounts on your own. Let us help or speak with your tax preparer. Do not make accounts with balances inactive.

Figure 2: You might run this report periodically to see if it can be abbreviated.

If there are Customers and Vendors that have been off your radar for a long time, consider removing or making them inactive – once you’re sure your interaction with them is history. Same goes for Items and Jobs. Do not remove customer jobs with balances. Go through the other lists in this menu with a critical but conservative eye.
 

A Risky Utility

One of the reasons QuickBooks files get corrupt is simply because they grow too big. That’s either a sign of your company’s success or of a lack of periodic maintenance. QuickBooks does contain some built-in tools to be run occasionally to minimize your file size. QuickBooks contains a Condense Data utility that can do this automatically. But just because QuickBooks offers this tool doesn’t mean that you should use it on your own.

The program’s documentation for this utility contains a list of warnings and preparation steps a mile long. We recommend that you do not use this tool. Same goes for Verify Data and Rebuild Data in the Utilities menu. If you lose a significant amount of company data, you can also lose your company file. It’s happened to numerous businesses.

Figure 3:  Yes, QuickBooks allows you to use this tool on your own. But if you really want to preserve the integrity of  your data, let us help.

The best thing you can do if you notice problems like this cropping up in QuickBooks – especially if you’re experiencing multiple ones – is to contact us. We understand the file structure of QuickBooks company data, and we have access to tools that you don’t. We can analyze your file and take steps to correct the problem(s).

The Alternatives

Your copy of QuickBooks may be misbehaving because it’s unable to handle the depth and complexity of your company. It may be time to upgrade. If you’re using QuickBooks Pro, consider a move up to Premier. And if Premier isn’t cutting it anymore, consider QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.

There’s cost involved, of course, but you may already be losing money by losing time because of your version’s limitations. All editions of QuickBooks look and work similarly, so your learning curve will be minimal.

Also, try to minimize the number of open windows that are active in QuickBooks. That will improve your performance. And what about your hardware? Is it getting a little long in the tooth? At least consider adding memory, but PCs are cheap these days. If you’re having problems with many of your applications, it may be time for a hardware upgrade.

We Are Here for You

We’ve suggested many times that you should contact us for help with your spring cleanup. While that may seem self-serving, remember that it takes us a lot less time and money to take preventive steps with your QuickBooks company file than to troubleshoot a broken one.

Now open those windows and doors, go outside and enjoy the upcoming Spring weather!

    On November 2nd– 4th, Intuit will be hosting the 2nd annual QuickBooks Connect Conference in San Jose. The conference brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, small business owners, accounting professionals and developers under one roof.

There are three different tracks on the agenda as follows:

Accountant – QuickBooks Connect will help your firm get future ready by challenging you to go further, think differently, and embrace the cloud to properly value the services you provide, grow your firm, and better support your clients. *

Small Business – Whether you’re a company of one or one hundred, come to make your business dream a reality: network with fellow small business owners, entrepreneurs, self employed individuals, startup founders, and Venture Capital leaders to receive personalized advice on maximizing your success. *

Developer – Engage Intuit Developer experts to speed your QuickBooks app integration and successful launch to the QuickBooks ecosystem. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet and network with other developers, accountants and small business owners. *

The mission is to connect, learn and grow throughout a dynamic agenda of main stage and intimate sessions. Key speakers include Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Alba, Brian Lee and Robert Herjavec. Sessions topics include: Here to There: The Accountant’s Journey toward Professional Greatness, Work/Life Harmony, 10 Barriers to Service Excellence and How to Overcome Them, and Cash is King: Tips to Increase Your Cash Flow Today. There will also be speed  mentoring sessions and an entire series of QuickBooks Online training topics.

Rhonda Rosand states, “This will be my second year attending the Intuit conference and I look forward to seeing many familiar faces at the event and I invite you to join me in California for this spectacular training opportunity.”

* – content is taken directly from the QuickBooks Connect Website

 

As we move into the fall season and the final quarter of the year, it’s a perfect time to commit to a project in your business that will help you reach the year’s end in better shape.  Here are five ideas: 

1.      Back-to-School Time
If payroll expenses are one of the higher costs in your business, then it makes sense to boost your team’s productivity and maybe also your own.   Fall is back-to-school time anyway, so it’s a natural time of the year to take on a course, read a business book, or hire an organizer to help you get more from your workspace.

If you spend a lot of time doing email, consider taking a course on Microsoft Outlook® or even Windows; learning a few new keystrokes could save you tons of time.  If you need more time, look for a book or course on time management.  Look for classes at your local community college or adult education center.

2.      A Garage Sale for Your Business
Do you have inventory in your business?  If so, take a look at which items are slower-moving and clear them out in a big sale. We can help you figure out what’s moving slowly, and you might even save on taxes too.

 3.      Celebrate Your Results
Take a checkpoint to see how your revenue and income are running compared to last year at this time.  Is it time for a celebration, or is it time to hunker down and bring in some more sales before winter?  With one more quarter to go, you have time to make any strategy corrections you need to at this time.  Let us know if we can pull a report that shows your year-on-year financial comparison.

4.      Get Ready for Year’s End
Avoid the time pressure of year’s end by getting ready early.  Review your balance sheet to make sure your account balances are correct for all transactions entered to date.  You will be ahead of the game by getting the bulk of the year reviewed and out of the way early.

Also make sure you have the required documentation you need from vendors and customers.  One example is contract labor that you will need to issue a 1099 for; make sure you have a W-9 on file for them.  If we can help you get ready for year-end, let us know.

5.      Margin Mastery
If your business has multiple products and services, there may be some that are far more profitable than others.  Breaking these numbers out to calculate your profit margins or contribution margins by product or service line can help you see the areas that are adding the most income to your bottom line. Correspondingly, you can determine if you have any items that are losing money; knowing will help you take the right action in your business. Refresh your financials this fall with your favorite idea of these five, or come up with your own fall project to rejuvenate your business.

If you need cash fast, there’s nothing like having a sale to increase your bank account quickly. Here are ten excuses you can use to tell your customers you’re having a sale.

1.    It’s Your Birthday (or Your Business’s Birthday)

We all feel generous on our birthday, so why not have a sale on your special day. You can even tie to discount amount to your day of birth. For example, if you were born on the 14th, then you can offer customers 14% off.

Similarly, you can hold an anniversary sale on your business’s anniversary date. It’s a good way to let customers know how long you’ve been in business.

2.     Your Partner Is on Vacation

If you have a business partner, you can use the excuse, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” You can pretend that your partner knows nothing about the sale, but has left you in charge and you’re going to have this sale. The customers will enjoy the reason and feel like they are getting away with something fun.

3.     Holidays

Most stores have holiday sales, and you can too. There are so many unusual holidays that you can tap into just in case the holidays are at an inconvenient time. Here’s a website that will give you a list of special days, weeks, and holidays: http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/

4.    The Full Moon

Why not? It might be the best sale you’ve ever had. The next full moon is June 2, 2015, and July has a blue moon (when two full moons occur in one month) on July 31, 2015.

5.     Small Business Saturday

November 28, 2015 is Small Business Saturday. It’s one day after Black Friday and the Saturday before Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is relatively new, but has been gaining momentum in the past few years.

6.      Tax Holidays 

In some states the sales tax authority provides exemptions for a few days on selected categories of items. For example, in August, Texas allows one weekend where sales tax does not have to be paid or collected on school supplies. You may not even have to mark down your items to generate a crowd for sales tax holidays. Unfortunately, this does not apply here in New Hampshire. For more information, here’s a Wikipedia page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_holiday

7.     Old Inventory Items or Overstock Condition

A great reason to have a sale is when you have old inventory items you need to clear out. Similarly, if you’re overstocked on certain items, a sale will help them move.

8.     Your Kid’s College Tuition Is Due

You can have a lot of fun by advertising that you simply need to make your tuition payments. Customers will get a smile out of helping you out and relating to a familiar need.

9.     The Stock Market

If the stock market goes up or down, you can have a sale based on its performance.

10.  Seasonal Dates

 

Dates such as the first day of summer, Spring Equinox, or even April 15th, tax day (in the U.S.) can be potential sales days for your business. Think about seasonal dates related to your industry.

 

Try these ten ideas to get your sale noticed.

The Mount Washington Valley Economic Council will be hosting a three-part QuickBooks® Boot Camp series, led by Rhonda Rosand, CPA:

Session #1: Introduction to QuickBooks® Products –  What’s Right for Me? 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 – 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Whether you are keeping the books for your own business or for others, you need to be using the right tools. We will cover a multitude of options under the Intuit umbrella.

    • Desktop Pro and Premier
    • Enterprise Solutions and Point of Sale 
    • Desktop Hosted and Online Solutions 
    • Payroll – Full Service, Basic, Enhanced, and Assisted 
    • Third Party Applications 

Session #2: QuickBooks® Navigation Workflow and Basic Set Up

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Learn how to navigate your way around the Quickbooks Desktop and online versions, how to begin setting up your own company file and avoid some of the common pitfalls.

  • Navigation and Workflow
  • Common Pitfalls
  • Basic Set Up

Session #3: QuickBooks® Reports and Customizing Forms and Templates

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Learn how to customize forms and templates and create Quickbooks reports that are useful management tools for your business. Understand the difference between profits and cash.

  • Customize forms and templates
  • Revenue Planning
  • Quickbooks Reports
  • Cash Flow Management

Courses are $35.00 and are held from 8:30am-11am at:

Granite State College
53 Technology Lane
Conway, NH 03818
To register, call Holly at (603) 447-6622, or email her at holly@mwvec.com.

Many Retail stores sell inventory on consignment. It’s important to keep track and to know how much inventory you have in stock, who it belongs to and where it’s all located.

Let’s start our discussion of Accounting for Consignments in QuickBooks with a few basic definitions.

  • Consignment – the act of consigning, which is placing any materials in the hands of another.
  • Consigned Inventory – the goods shipped by the Consignor to the Consignee.
  • Consignor – the owner of the inventory – the person who hands over the goods to be sold.
  • Consignee – the seller of someone else’s goods – the person who receives the goods to sell.

There are two sides to the consignment equation – Consignor and Consignee. In this article, we will discuss the situation from the viewpoint of the Consignor. Note: We will also assume that you are using QuickBooks Premier and not Pro or Enterprise.

As the Consignor, you own the inventory – it’s your asset and your responsibility and if the product is damaged, it’s your loss. You are the party at risk and have an insurable asset. You’ve consigned it, or handed it over, to someone else who has agreed to sell it on your behalf in exchange for a pre-determined fee or percentage as well as reimbursable out-of-pocket expenses.

In QuickBooks, it’s as simple as creating a separate section in your Item List for Consigned Inventory and listing each Item as a Sub-Item with an identifier (Cons) that categorizes it as consigned. These are still Inventory Parts and are mapped to the same Cost of Goods Sold, Income and Inventory accounts as your other Inventory Items. Note: You may wish to create a separate Inventory Asset account for your Consigned Inventory, however this is optional.

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To transfer the Items from your Regular Inventory to Consigned Inventory, it’s an Inventory Adjustment for Quantity only – the value of your inventory does not change, only the location of the Items for sale. Adjust Inventory/Quantity On Hand is located under the Vendor Menu.

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In addition to creating an Inventory Adjustment, you will need to create a Sales Order to the Consignee for the Consigned Inventory. Create Sales Order is located under the Customer Menu. This is a non-posting entry in QuickBooks and will show the Inventory as committed to the Consignee and not available for sale to others on an Inventory Stock Status Report.

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As you receive reports of Sales of your Consigned Inventory from the Consignee, or better yet, as you conduct a physical inventory of your Consigned goods at the Retail location, you will create an Invoice in QuickBooks from the Sales Order to the Consignee to bill for your pre-determined percentage of the sale, less reimbursable expenses.

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These are the steps to account for Consignments from the perspective of the Consignor.

There are many more steps involved in accounting for Consignments from the angle of the Consignee. We’ll cover these in a later edition of our newsletter – stay tuned.

As always, if you have any questions on any of the procedures for recording Consignments in QuickBooks, please contact us. We’re happy to help.

If youre new to QuickBooks Point of Sale, get ready to expand your vocabulary.

When you first start using QuickBooks, even if you’ve been doing manual  accounting for your business, there’s a learning curve. You recognize some things, like check blanks and invoice forms, but you have to take on an unfamiliar workflow, deal with new words and phrases, and learn more about double-entry accounting concepts than you perhaps knew before.

The same is true as a novice QuickBooks Point of Sale user. Whether you’re opening your first retail location or you’ve been selling auto parts or craft supplies or bakery goods for a decade, there will undoubtedly be some new terminology for you to learn.

Here’s a sampling of some of this new lingo that comes with the territory. You may look at the definition of a word or phrase and still be confused, but that’s where we come in. Seasoned shopkeeper or first-time seller, you will likely need our help when you first start using this complex piece of software.

  1. Address Verification Service (AVS): In transactions where a credit or debit card is not physically present, AVS adds an extra layer of security
  2. Assembly: Multiple products pre-assembled in a unit
  3. Average Unit Cost: The average (not actual) cost of the items on hand in your inventory
  4. Chargeback: A credit card charge disputed by a customer
  5. Class: A categorization method used in creating reports; for example, run Profit and Loss reports by store
  6. Committed Quantities: The number of inventory items that have been included on active customer orders
  7. Financial Exchange: QuickBooks POS tool that helps you share data with QuickBooks
    Figure 1: QuickBooks Point of Sale’s Financial Exchange establishes an ongoing connection to QuickBooks for data-sharing.
  8. Merchant Service Center: An Intuit website dedicated to helping you manage your merchant account
  9. Non-Inventory Item: An item for which you do not keep track of on-hand quantities, like shipping or delivery fees
  10. Payout: Funds taken from the cash drawer for any of a number of reasons, like a bank deposit, office party, or to make a necessary purchase
  11. Physical Inventory (PI): The process of tallying the number of items physically present in inventory; used to correct quantities recorded in QuickBooks
  12. Price Level: Price charged for items that differs from the regular price; can define up to four additional reduced prices in QuickBooks POS (employee cost, promotions, etc.)
  13. Quick Add Item: Process by which you can quickly create a new inventory item while completing a transaction with a customer; doesn’t require as much immediate detail
  14. Quick Find: Found on the QuickBooks POS Navigator; functions as a search tool for locating customers, items, receipts, etc.
    Figure 2: You can enter a search word or phrase in the Quick Find box at the top of the Navigator page.
  15. Quick Pick: A user-defined group of selected items that can be easily accessed during checkout
  16. Quick Zoom: Lets you “drill down”on a line or value within a report; can see the origin of the selected item
  17. Remote Store: Refers to every store other than Headquarters in a multi-store QuickBooks POS configuration
  18. Simple View: An abbreviated version of a sales receipt that may be viewed via touchscreens and virtual keyboards
  19. Split-Payment Sale: A transaction that is completed using two or more payment methods
  20. Store Exchange: Data shared between Headquarters and remote stores via:
    • Desktop email
    • Web-based email
    • Removable media, or
    • Network file exchange
  21. Transfer Slip: Documents transfer of merchandise between stores
  22. X-Out Shift Report: Available throughout the sales day, monitors recent sales activity
  23. Z-Out Drawer Count: End-of-shift or end-of-day cash drawer reconciliation
  24. Z-Out Store Close Report: End-of-day sales and cash flow summary; assists in readying a bank deposit

You can see that there are a lot of new terms to understand when you begin  managing your retail transactions using QuickBooks Point of Sale. We can help further your knowledge by putting those words and phrases in context, so you can see where they fit in your workflow.

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and then returned, finding that they have stocked your room with everything you asked for the last time you were here? Your special allergenic pillow was already waiting for you, you were asked if you would like a dinner reservation made just like you always do the first night, and there were even extra hangars because you always need extra hangars. None of this would be possible for the hotel if it didn’t have a CRM, customer relationship management, system in place.

Would your clients be impressed if you remembered all of the details about your last conversation, their last purchase, or their preferences? If so, your business might benefit from a CRM system.

Businesses that have more than 30 or so clients may benefit from a system that allows you and your employees to enter detailed information about each client interaction that they have. It can work for both current and future clients, i.e., prospects. A CRM is basically a great big customer database at its core. It contains master file information on a customer or client, such as name, company, address, contact info, and custom fields. It is also transaction-driven in that you can log activity such as calls, meetings, proposal dates, and more.

A good CRM system is also integrated with your other internal systems, such as your accounting or POS system or both. In some CRM systems, you can see invoice and payment history, so that when a client calls in, you can also peek to see whether they owe you money or what goods they ordered that they may be calling about.

There are literally hundreds of CRM systems to choose from. The gold standard for large companies is SalesForce.com; however, some small businesses use it as well. SugarCRM is the largest open source CRM, meaning its programming code is available to the public. ZohoCRM is one of the largest small business CRMs and offers a suite of products for small businesses. And Act! is also very popular and plays well with social media.

     

Before choosing a CRM, decide what you want it to do and how you will be using it. One of the most important aspects of profiting from a CRM is to make sure it gets used, and that takes some habit-changing from you and your staff. Once you have your requirements, you can evaluate the software options available, and choose the one that works best for you.

When your clients start talking about how great your service is and how much attention you pay to the details they care about, you’ll know your CRM is paying off for you.