June 29th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
I often have to answer the question of why you should move to an online accounting system.
There are very simple reasons, but in the end, you’re actually looking at cost effectiveness from a small business owner’s point of view, that alone could be one of your key decisions in going with an online system. Obviously, there is also the disaster recovery, data backups and all of the good things that come with an online accounting package.
From our perspective, it’s actually easier to manage from a customer relations perspective. There isn’t the problem of asking what “version” you’re on, since what you see would be what the support personnel sees. The entire production system is always available to support without having to ask you for version numbers, training the support personnel on all the versions, and determining when to retire support for an offline version. In fact, it’s a tremendous win-win since it allows both parties to concentrate on solving the problem at hand instead of futzing with the details of versioning and inter-version discrepancies.
From an accountant perspective, it’s also better off because you can review the business without limiting the business owner from operations. One of the worst functionalities of offline locking is that the business owner is thrown into a constraint that is limited by their accountant. No longer is that an issue, due to the fact that the accountant can work concurrently with their client.
All-in-all, from our operations view and customer’s, it makes it an absolutely easy choice to make. Savings in both money and time should be the top two considerations of any business. And that’s exactly what we offer.
June 24th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
One of the things that I notice while working with clients over mediums such as Twitter is that there are a lot of small businesses that outsource their administrative work to virtual assistants (VAs). Most of these VAs tout their ability to use many types of mainstream accounting products but what I never did understand was why there was such a small push for cloud based products.
Web based accounting actually performs their duties at a low-cost and provides an easier way of managing bookkeeping. There are accounting solutions out there that allow multiple company support and ways to keep all of the bookkeeping in order when it comes to tracking multiple businesses. It also makes it a lot easier to accomodate the VAs since much of their data is virtual. But in the end, here’s the key point on why your VA should be using a cloud format for your accounting needs instead of an offline one:
Do you trust your VA enough to secure your business’ financial data?
A VA that uses offline accounting products does not necessarily understand how to secure and protect your financial data. Do they backup your books? Is it stored on the same drive or a separate drive. How often is this process done? Is it encrypted or out in the open? A cloud based service however, needs to take security into account and provide your business with as much redundancy as possible. Most services not only transfer your data via SSL, but also provide redundancy on the backend. Your data should be on hot-swap RAIDs and probably also have a cold backup solution.
Don’t get me wrong. Nothing wrong with VAs, nor if they use offline products. But the real question as a business owner is if you want them to work on your data without some guarantees of backing up your financials. And a web based accounting can provide all of that for you, and your VA without fail.
June 22nd, 2009 by Ben Hwang
Every business has to start somewhere.
What’s interesting is that with all of the doom and gloom news of layoffs by large conglomerates, there actually is a silver lining in this dark cloud. And that’s the creation of many small businesses. While skilled individuals are getting beaten down and told that they’re not part of some corporate family anymore, they have to drag themselves out of that depression. If not just to put food on the table for their own families.
It’s more risk, but also a necessary economic move. People cannot just depend on the government nor can they just disappear because they have no jobs. So with that comes the creation of consultancies and other small businesses. And by law in the United States, every business must account for their financials. Be it through small business accounting or other means.
So if your life has been affected by a layoff, it’s okay to stop and fuss over it for a little while. But pick yourself up and look around. Perhaps it’s time for you to seek out owning your own business.
June 15th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
I’ve noticed something that is of interest to probably most small business owners. And that’s where you don’t get much of the one-stop shop anymore. Starting back in the 1990s, there were many tools on the Internet that tried to be the all-in-one from web design portals to content systems. By and by, you found that tools started to go back to a single use-single function point of view.
Which don’t get me wrong, that’s a great thing. But having owned several small businesses, I can say that the outside of open-source where you couldn’t complain about the price, those that you paid for were mediocre at best. The reasoning was that while the function that it served was perhaps the best in its field, the subscription models added up. As you pushed your business growth, you add more and more products together and thereby making it less affordable to run your business due to a subscription for this, and a subscription for that, for all of them to interact together.
Fortunately, we heard that call too. Why should a business look at their accounting broken up into pieces? Financials should be kept under one roof and provided for in one arena. And that’s what we strive to do for our small business clientele. Don’t forget that I definitely have felt your pains. It’s not easy and you have to count every single penny to make your business fly. So let us be your one stop shop and help you soar.
Photo Credit: (sylvar)
June 8th, 2009 by Ben Hwang
Most SMBs are usually just looking to get off the ground.
Bank account? Check.
But as you get started, and even as you move forward, you’ll want to cut a few of the corners to help make your dream of owning a business come true. And that’s where optimizing your workflow can become crucial. Anywhere that you don’t have to spend much time in learning the ins and outs of the tools but can use right out of the gate can help increase your efficiency. And increased efficiency means that you’ll be able to do more work, and hopefully bring in more cash.
In that sense, you have to pick the right tools. And with small business accounting, you can’t afford to go wrong. Don’t forget that you’re the one that’s running the business and you don’t have the luxury of sitting down in a class trying to figure out how to make your software work for you. As professionals, that’s what we’re here to do and to help with while you’re running your business. The goals are to maximize your time so you can concentrate on what you care about most: how to make your business more profitable.
And we’re here to help push that dream forward.