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“I Gotsta Get Paid”

ZZ Top said it best and it continues to be a major theme in business.  If you provide goods and/or services, you need to be paid for them.

These days there are more ways to be paid beyond cash and checks.  Peer-to-peer payment apps and systems are taking over this space. What is available, and which one should you use?

First, let’s make a list.  Here are a few of the top systems out there:

  • ACH
  • CashApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • GooglePay
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Zelle

ACH or automated clearing house, is a network that coordinates electronic payments and automated money transfers. Use it to move money between banks. There may be a fee.

CashApp is just that: an app on your phone.  It is a service offered by credit card processor Square. It has a maximum transfer amount of US$7,500.

Facebook Messenger is new to the payment space and relies on its users having a Facebook profile. However, it may take up to five business days to receive payment.

Google Pay is popular because of the search engine and its accessibility.  Integrates well with Gmail but can take up to 24 hours to receive payment.

PayPal is the original payment system.  Once acquired and then sold by eBay, it allows for fee-free transfers (between PayPal accounts) to family members.  However, if you have a business account, expect fees up to 3.5%.

While owned by PayPal, Venmo is a separate platform.  It is best for reimbursing your friends after a shared dinner or as a way to get cash to someone quickly.  No fees if you can wait more than a day. But you can only send money via the app.

Offered by the big banks including Wells Fargo and Chase, Zelle is a way to send cash from account to account on the same day without a fee.  You can use either your desktop or smartphone.

Are you responsible for payables at your company or just want to be paid as an individual or contractor?  Consider one of these options. As with any service, product or offering, there is no one-size fits all: check out demos, read up and consider a trial before buying or downloading.

For more on how to manage your finances, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash (Nathan Dumlao and David Dvoracek, photographers)

 

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“We’re bonafide…”

Actually certified.  Quickbooks Certified, to be specific.

What does that mean? With Quickbooks becoming pretty much the standard accounting software for small- and medium-sized businesses, it pays to be trained in the methods and techniques of how to run and manage the software package.

Quickbooks really took accounting to the masses.  It is a software package (either as an application or Cloud based) that allows entrepreneurs and business owners become literate in accounting.  It helps them understand the importance of accounting in their day-to-day operations and ensures a level of expertise and compliance.

By being certified by Quickbooks (Intuit Corporation), it allows us to take the rudimentary financial information that our Quickbooks-using clients have collected and turn that into information that a business owner can use strategically.  Quickbooks collects and performs the payroll, payment and basic ledger functions that used to be done by hand or by older, more complex accounting methods, tools and software packages.

Being Quickbooks Certified means we can help make that data useful to you and demystify it for you to help you grow your business.

In other words, we speak small- and medium-sized business financials.  And we are certified in it.

Do you do your own accounting internally using Quickbooks?  Are you up to managing this process efficiently?  If not, you should consider outsourcing your accounting needs to a third-party provider.  TFO Solutions is just such a company.

For more on how to manage your finances, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

 

*photos courtesy of Unsplash

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Understanding HR Management

“Our people are our product.”

“Without our people, we are just another business.”

“Our people are our most important asset.”

If you’ve ever uttered any of these phrases, hopefully you really meant it.  The workers at any business really are critical to that business’ success.  And to really ensure that success, those workers and their needs must be managed,

Just like the product or service your company produces or offer, your human resource needs to be managed and watched over.  Productivity, efficiency and retention are at stake.

What comprises an effective human resources (HR) management program?

  • Compliance with federal and state employment laws.
  • Recruiting, hiring and onboarding.
  • Working with managers.
  • Developing talent strategically.
  • Creating, maintaining and enforcing policies.
  • Coordinating with payroll.

Do you have these systems in place?  Are you up to managing these processes?  If not, you should consider outsourcing your HR needs to a third-party provider.  TFO Solutions is just such a company.

For more on how to manage your human resource, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their financial strategy from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash

 

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“Excuse me, I Speak Banker…”

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner, is manage your finances and invest in your company and its future.  The key to that is having a working relationship with a banker. That relationship means you must learn to speak a new language.

Bankerease.  Ya gotta know their lingo.

It all starts with the first questions they ask you:

  1. Can you pay?
  2. Will you pay?
  3. What if you don’t pay?

Sure, their goal, is to grant you a loan and then service it.  But a big part of that is making sure you pay it back.

So, what else in is their vocabulary?  Here are a few terms you might hear in your conversations with a banker with whom you are doing business:

  • Credit
  • Debit
  • Debt
  • Standing order
  • Credit limit
  • EBITDA
  • Balance sheet

The whole point here is this: like any other business relationship, the key word is relationship.  You have to be able to communicate and communicate well.  Your banker needs to see you and know you beyond the balance sheet and tax returns.  You need to give them confidence that you know what are doing and that you have confidence in your business.

For more on being prepared for that banking conversation, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their finances from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash and Paramount Pictures

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Let’s Consider the Humble Invoice

Ever since the first one was carved into a clay tablet thousands of years ago, collecting for one’s services has involved an itemization of services, terms and prices.

The invoice was born. And remains with us, in some form, to this day.

Sure, we’ve all created and issued an invoice at some point in our business lives.  Probably still doing them.  Or, if you’re smart, have passed on this task to someone who can focus on it full time.

Beyond wanting to collect the cash for your services, what is the value of an invoice?

  • It is a record of the transaction between you and your client.
  • They are a critical element of accounting and internal controls and audits.
  • Their creation allows for approval by the responsible manager.
  • They outline the details of terms, unit cost, shipping, handling and anything else you agreed to with your customer.

Now that we know what it is, let’s ask the next question: what’s your process?

Remember invoices go both ways—they aren’t just issued by you, you have to pay the invoices (bills) from your suppliers.  And that takes a process.  An invoice is usually the heart of your accounts receivable (A/R) and accounts payable (A/P) processes. It starts when you receive (or issue) an invoice and finishes when payment has been made and recorded.

The most important elements of an invoicing system are:

  • Data input and verification. This includes everything from product and service information, prices and quantities as well as customer information.
  • Billing codes. This will help you track and categorize products and services.
  • Payment tracking. How much is due when and from who.
  • These are sensitive data that must be kept safe.

Invoices and invoicing are all about cash flow.  Get a handle on that, and you will be able to build and manage your business successfully.

For more on invoicing, call or write to us.  TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their finances from the back office to the boardroom.

*photos courtesy of Unsplash

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Navigating (the) Amazon

It’s been said “it’s a jungle out there.” And the fact that we have a business entity named “Amazon” somehow fits right in when it comes to commerce in today’s world.

Are you one of those doing business with Amazon? Or wanting to do business with Amazon? Selling on Amazon is not only might be a viable option for selling your goods but, in this day and age, almost a necessity.

How do I decide whether to take the plunge and sell on Amazon?

Firstly, it is encouraged by Amazon itself. They have a subscription portal with testimonials and all you need to get started on the website.  However, as with any business decision, consider a few things before you sign on the (digital) dotted line:

  • Consider that it is but one channel of distribution. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
  • Does your product fit with Amazon? That is, while Amazon is looking for variety in its offering, does your product really fit being sold through this channel?
  • Understand your inventory. Do you have the inventory to keep up with their demand? That is, can your supply chain keep pace with Amazon’s?
  • Have a profit goal. Like with any other venture, there is a learning curve and with it a curve to profitability.
  • Be clear on the cost of doing business. Like any other channel, there is a cost of doing business (it isn’t free). Know and understand all of the costs and how they fit with your total cost model.
  • Know the risks. What’s at stake in doing business on Amazon?
  • Do you have the time to manage this channel?

After you’ve gathered all of these data, then you will be in a better position to decide if Amazon is for you.  And once you take the plunge, consider the time and effort it will take to monitor this (now important) channel of distribution.  Like anything else in your supply chain, you need to monitor it.

If you would like to learn more about doing business on Amazon from an accounting strategy perspective, give us a call or write to us. TFO Solutions is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business owners with their finances from the back office to the boardroom.

 

*photos courtesy of Unsplash; Amazon logo and references are trademarked items of Amazon, Inc.

 

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