Gusto's New Plans

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Gusto's New Plans

We are excited to see Gusto’s newly released plans. The key differences in the two new plans will fill a need for many of our customers and allow them to use one platform to satisfy these requirements versus three. That saves a lot of time and headache.

Here’s a summary of the plan differences. You can find a more details listing on their pricing page.

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CORE

Not new here, but their core payroll services have been amazing, so nothing new is really needed. Some items have moved from their core service and are not included in Complete. Paid-Time Off is a useful feature that is now in the higher plan.

COMPLETE

The primary new feature in the Complete plan is the ability to add onboarding documents like an Offer Letter or your Employee Handbook. This was previously only available to companies with a large number of employees so it’s nice they are now allowing anyone willing to pay the Complete price to access this functionality.

Many customers previously used the free version of Zenefits to handle onboarding documentation so it’s nice to see Gusto has built this in, reducing the need for another application to learn and maintain.

Gusto seems to now be positioned to go toe-to-toe with Zenefits.

Here’s an example of the default Offer Letter editor. Quite easy to use and I am sure functionality will improve over time. Other documents, like NDAs or Employee Handbooks need to be submitted for someone on the Gusto team to insert linked fields. I am sure this will be improved soon so you can add any document yourself.

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CONCIERGE

One of the most common referral requests we receive at Basis 365 is for HR assistance. Although we handle payroll for many customers, we are not HR experts and recommend consulting with an expert on hiring, firing and other compliance inquiries.

We’re excited to see Gusto has built this into their plans. Since we’ll most likely recommend Complete for most of our customers, the price differential is only $110/month to have access to an HR team. That’s a drop in the bucket.

Although this seems to be a somewhat quite release from Gusto compared to when they started offering benefits, it’s a huge leap for our customers. Kudos to the Gusto team for constantly improving and rolling out solutions our customer’s need.

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TransferWise, for the Global Business

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TransferWise, for the Global Business

Small businesses don't always mean local businesses. We all know we live in a global economy. 

We are often asked by our customers what is best way to send money internationally. There isn't one answer that works for all situations, but the best solution we've found that covers most situations is TransferWise.  

TransferWise let's you setup a Borderless account that can then route money to any of their supported currencies. Pretty cool. Below is a visual from their website to help you see how it works.

You can send money from one TransferWise account to another, as in the example above, or from your TransferWise account directly to a bank using the usual accounting number / SWIFT codes.

The cost to transfer money using TransferWise is quite reasonable. You can experiment using this tool to see what fees you would incur.

The process to set up an account takes a few days and is quite easy to do. You may want to talk to your bank to see what options exist as a comparison but make sure you compare apples to apples and know what both sides will send/receive. 

Here's a little video that explains how some of the tricks of the trade work in the exchange business.

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Meet IntegraPay, the Killer Merchant Service Platform Fully Integrated with Xero

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Meet IntegraPay, the Killer Merchant Service Platform Fully Integrated with Xero

Most small businesses take payment from their customers via credit card. Any business should look to collect cash as fast as they can and credit cards are a great way to do that. The 3% is worth the time and effort it would take to collect outstanding invoices (see tip # 2 in our top 5 things to do now for your business). Business owners also benefit using credit cards that provide miles or cash back. It's a win-win.

The most common merchant service provider we see, by far, is Stripe. For recurring business that need to scale like eCommerce or SaaS, then Stripe is probably the best way to go.

Following the recurring revenue business model trend sen in other industries, service-based businesses are now implementing similar service offerings. Xero and other applications integrate with Stripe but that requires the customer to pay each month. The goal is to not have to wait.

IntegraPay has come up with the perfect solution, integrating directly with Xero!

IntegraPay does a some other cool things, but here are the top 3 reasons why we would recommend the solution. 

  1. Auto-debit - When you link a Xero invoice template with IntegraPay, IntegraPay will charge the card on file once it is sent. Not need to run it in Xero and then log into another system to ensure the charge runs. This is massive. 

    You can use it on a one-off invoice but the power comes in setting Repeating invoices in Xero to Approve & Send. You've now automated that process on both sides. If you need to modify the recurring charges, you only need to edit the Invoice. 
     
  2. ACH Pulls - You now have the ability to pull the amounts due via an ACH pull. This cuts down what you were paying for credit card fees of around 3% to almost nothing. If the customer is OK with pulling the amounts, which makes sense for consistent, recurring charges, then that's the way to go. 
     
  3. Reconciliation - IntegraPay provides detailed instructions on how to setup Rules in Xero and account mappings so the system almost reconciles itself. Invoices are marked paid automatically. For customers who you do need to click a link to make payment, the functionality works just like Stripe so you're not losing anything by switching. 
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We're looking forward to seeing how else IntegraPay can automate our customer's cash collections.

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Managing a Remote Team Using Lattice

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Managing a Remote Team Using Lattice

As an outsourced accounting provider who lives in the cloud, our entire team are remote. We used video and chat tools to collaborate as a team like Zoom and Slack, but that wasn't a complete performance management experience for us and the team.

How do our activities tie to our company goals of customer satisfaction? How do we remember what kudos we've given via Slack or on video so we can include that feedback during our employee reviews.

Enter, Lattice

We see lots of apps, many of which look perfect at first glance and then fail to tick all of the boxes we need. Every once in a while we find one that just fits. 

When I reviewed what Lattice did I found it solved an issue I really didn't know we had. The signs were there, but we didn't know what we didn't know if that makes sense. 

Lattice performs 4 primary functions:

  1. Reviews
  2. Feedback
  3. Goals
  4. Check-ins

Annual reviews & Goals are common enough in HR employee management systems. We needed a solution there but were most excited about the Feedback and Check-ins features.

Feedback

We like to send the team kudos when a customer shares their experiences. Employees also share their thoughts on how other members of our team perform. We didn't have an easy way to capture that information in one place for all to see at the time, and later when you need to recall what a team member has done.

Lattice has a Gmail plug-in that allows us to enter feedback right from the email where we see the information to provide feedback about. 

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You also have the ability to enter the information directly in to Lattice. If you entered in your company values as we have in the system, you can tag feedback to your values. How awesome is that?

Check-ins

We have weekly 1:1 check-ins with our lead accountants that used to be handled with an email agenda that was discussed on video. It worked, but wasn't great.

Lattice lets us prepare the recurring agendas and let's the employee provide their answers in advance for us to review and discuss on the meeting. It keeps them all in one place so we can easily see what we discussed last week to make sure we're seeing progress. 

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Lattice is relatively new but has a great product already. I'd recommend it to any small business that needs a better way to manage their team. We are excited to see what they build in the future!

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4 Critical SaaS Metrics Your Software Biz Should Track Now

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4 Critical SaaS Metrics Your Software Biz Should Track Now

Fully understanding SaaS metrics is a complex undertaking. Before you take a deep dive into the great blogs from David Skok or ProfitWell, it’s best to think about where you are with your business.

It’s important to note that certain metrics are more relevant in certain stages of your product’s life cycle. You don’t need to become an expert overnight when your app is just going live or an MVP.

As an example, your MVP stage will measure things like feature engagement or signups. You won’t be looking at things like the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer or your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) at this point since you have no paying customers for any length of time.

Once you get some revenue traction, let’s say roughly $20,000 in recurring monthly revenue for close to 12 months, you’ll want to make sure everything is in place so you can track the following 4 key SaaS Metrics:

  1. MRR: Monthly Recurring Revenue
  2. Churn
  3. LTV: Lifetime Value
  4. CAC: Customer Acquisition Costs

Understand these inside and out before you dive into more metrics and variants. Make sure your website and accounting team are capable of tracking all of the necessary data points so everything is at your fingertips when it’s time to calculate the data. This will require collaboration between your development and accounting team.

Although these metrics are generally considered SaaS metrics, there are many service-based businesses, including us at Basis 365 Accounting, that have a monthly recurring revenue business model that tracks this data.

Let’s walk through what each of these metrics mean and how to calculate them. Here’s a link to a Google Sheet I created to generate these charts. Feel free to make a copy and play around with the numbers.

MRR

This is the primary driver for your business. Most of the metrics tap into this number. Simply put, this is the amount of monthly revenue you earned for that month for all recurring customers.

You want to exclude one off sales from this number (e.g. training services or setup charges). MRR should only track recurring revenue.

If you invoice customers/charge for more than one month at a time (e.g. pay a discounted amount up front for 12 months of access) then you have deferred revenue. To explain, if they pay you $12,000 for annual access starting in January, you won’t have $12,000 of revenue in January and $0 in the remaining months. Your accountants will record $1,000 of revenue per month over the course of the year.

Try not to only focus on this number as there can be a vanity element to top line revenue. The good thing is, as you can see in the above example, issues with your product tend to reflect negative changes to this number so as you see your MRR drop, everyone will be focused to find out why. However, if your MRR continues to grow, it doesn’t mean you’re doing so in a healthy, financial way. The metrics below will help you manage healthy growth.

Churn

Churn calculates what you’re losing out the back door. This number is critical to understand in a SaaS business. It’s impact on your future financial position will surprise you.

You’ll find Churn is the issue causing our MRR to drop in the example above.

Naturally, Churn should be kept a minimum. Your general target should be to keep it under 2%. If not, focus on this metric immediately. Negative Churn is even better but that requires more complex tracking using Cohorts which is beyond the scope of this blog.

Our sample isn’t looking great and our spike in April and June is even worse. Reviewing our MRR chart, you’ll see although we are adding customers, our Churn is causing our MRR to drop over time.

LTV

This measures how much profit you receive by delivering your software app to your customers, in dollars, based on the how long that customer will stay with you. You may need to have some customers approaching 12 months before you can start to measure LTV.

You need your accounting team to provide the Gross Profit %. SaaS companies should be someone near 80%.

You can see our churn in April and June impacted our LTV quite significantly.

Investors will expect you to know your LTV as a business owner.

CAC

LTV calculated your profit from a customer but there is an associated cost for you to have acquired those customers in the first place. If you keep $2,000 over the life of a customer but it costs you $1,000 to get then, is there enough cash left in the bank to keep the business growing? Maybe. Your outsourced accountants can help you determine the answer.  

In our sample data, our costs start out small and look reasonable enough. As we proceed into the year, we see it ramping up closer to a $600 average.

You need to spend money to gain new customers but you need to have a sustainable ROI. Your accountants need to track the appropriate costs so you can calculate your CAC on a timely basis.

BONUS: LTV / CAC

Bringing together what you earn from each customer and what it costs to acquire them, you calculate this metric to determine if you have a business model that’s working. Your target is to keep this number under 3.

Our sample data isn’t looking too good. It’s taking us too long to recover our customer acquisition costs over the life of our customers.

By examining our data, we improved in the summer with some higher MRR months or drops in CAC but the year ended with some issues.

Although our sample data looks a little erratic, we hope this exercise was kept simple enough for you to see the primary drivers for the core SaaS metrics. You’ll want to have a working knowledge of what they are and what actions you can take to improve them.

Keeping Churn down by having engaged, happy users is priority #1. They’ll stay customers longer and increase your overall LTV.

Apps that integration with Stripe or Braintree, which most of our SaaS customers use, can help calculate most of these metrics above. Working with your accountant will provide you with the remaining factors.

Ask your accountants to use a cloud-based accounting system, like Xero, that has an API you can plug in to help automate the process. If it takes hours to compile your metrics, they’ll most likely be set aside when everyone is busy and left untended.

Keep it simple, understand these basic metrics, and automate the computations to help manage your growing SaaS business. You’ll attract investors if they see you truly understand what is driving your business.

 

 

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Five Things to Do Now to Drastically Improve Your Service Business

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Five Things to Do Now to Drastically Improve Your Service Business

Service-based businesses (e.g. agencies, marketing, consultants) are unique in that our “product” is often intangible or knowledge-based. Projects lengths can be unpredictable and the end-product can go through many iterations. As a result, it’s hard to tell how much money you really made from one project to another.

Businesses start with a very small team and a handful of projects so it’s easy to tell who’s doing what, which customers still owe you, and what projects you made money on. As the business approaches $1mm in revenue, it becomes much harder to determine those things without data.

We see all kinds of manual, spreadsheet-based processes that seemed easy enough for in the beginning but is breaking at scale. It’s time for a change.

This is when most of our customers start looking for a solution. We modernize their accounting applications and we help them implement the software applications they’ll need to operate their business more effectively.

Here are the top 5 tips we’ve learned over the years that will have the biggest financial impact on your business:

  1. Invoice quicker – the sooner you can get the invoices out the door, the sooner you will be paid. A manual process where you are gathering information from various sources and inputting invoice line items into your accounting application will delay getting that cash in the door and lead to errors. We have seen some businesses take 3 weeks to get invoices out which means they are floating the cash for payroll for close to 2 months.

    You should have an integrated system where the team tracks their time and project costs in one place and have that system generate invoices automatically and generate the data you need to run payroll.

    If you can switch from billing after you’ve performed the work to charging up front or progress billing, even better. Your goal is to get cash in the door as fast as you can without sacrificing your relationship the customer. Don’t be afraid to try new things. All too often, we’ve seen a business starved for cash when their largest customer delays payment.
     
  2. Collect faster – once your invoices are sent, make sure you collect that cash as fast as you can. Don’t let cash sit in your accounts receivable. You never know what position your customer will be in 30 days or 60 days from when you sent that invoice.

    Monitor your accounts receivable by reviewing your AR Aging report weekly. Have a clear plan for each invoice you see listed rather than just hoping it will get paid and clear itself off your aging.

    Can you collect credit cards payments up front instead of waiting for a check? That 3% fee may be a net gain if you consider the effort it takes to hunt customers down (that’s not fun for anyone).

    If they must use checks, what if you offered a 2% discount if they pay within 10 days? Could that work?
     
  3. Maximize profit – don’t focus on top line revenue. The vanity matric for many is sales. Some businesses can sell themselves out of business if they aren’t profitable enough. How profitable do you need to be to build a healthy business.

    At a minimum, separate your labor and expenses related to delivering your service from your non-project related costs like Rent or Marketing. This will give you a high level Gross Margin which tells you how much money you make on all projects.

    Even better, utilize software to calculate profitability at the project level. Do you do different types of projects? Which projects or more profitable that others? Should you focus your team’s time doing other things?
     
  4. Track staff performance – which team members are more profitable than the others. Do you have the data to see trends in your staff’s performance? Are employees in the same role yielding different billable hours?

    What billable targets do you need to hit to obtain the growth or profitability you want for your business?
     
  5. Reduce write-downs – are you throwing money away? It’s all too easy for a project manager to feel the invoice will be too high for the customer and write it down. If these are not tracked, you may never know how much money your team is billing for but never collecting. Track this amount and investigate why the time is unbillable. Do your projects managers need a little more backbone? Are we doing things out of scope? Does the team need more training to get work done right the first time?

A fluid relationship between operations and accounting is key to collecting cash fast. Use the right tools that integrate with each other so you have the data you need at your fingertips to execute the suggestions above.

We’re big fans of automation and streamlined processes. Lose the manual spreadsheets and old tools and consider things like: Xero, Gusto, WorkflowMax, Harvest, or Accelo. Take control of your business and know what drives your numbers so you can reach your goals.

You don’t have to go it alone, reach out to us and let us help.

 

 

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R&D Tax Credit Changes In Effect

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R&D Tax Credit Changes In Effect

Good news for many small businesses. Changes to the R&D Tax Credit rules allow businesses to apply the credit against their Social Security payroll tax liability.

Here’s a quick run down on what to look out for. Overall, check in with your accountants and make sure your tax preparer properly claimed this benefit on your 2016 tax return!

  • Q2 2017 is the first eligible quarter to apply the credit against. If you are using Gusto, you need to input the credit amount by July 15, 2017!
  • Your company must not have generated revenue prior to 2012.
  • Your 2016 revenue must be less than $5 million.
  • You must perform qualified R&D activities that are technical in nature, experimental with uncertain outcomes, and with a purpose of improving a product or process.

The maximum benefit for an eligible company is $250,000 per year. More information can be found on the IRS website.

The above is a quick summary of the tax credit but as you would expect with any law, there are more complicated calculations and thresholds to determine the actual credit amount. Contact your accountant, bookkeeper or tax professional to see if your company qualifies.

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Why Xero is our Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Software Application

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Why Xero is our Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Software Application

We are asked “why we chose Xero for our customers’ outsourced accounting and bookkeeping” almost daily. In fact, we made a decision when we founded Basis 365 back in 2012 to utilize Xero as the core accounting platform for all of our customers.

Our decision surprised and confounded our accounting peers. They’d never heard of Xero and wondered why we didn’t just use the accounting application everyone else uses … Quickbooks. I must admit, we were a little hesitant in our decision. Could Xero handle full accrual accounting for multi-million dollar businesses? The answer, of course, is an absolute yes! We’re a 100% Xero shop and have never looked back.

We thought it would be useful to business owners for us to document some of our favorite features and benefits of Xero. We’ve polled our accounting team, who live in Xero every day, and our implementation specialist, who helps establish accounting workflows which often times requires integration between multiple online applications (e.g. Bill.com, Gusto, WorkflowMax, Harvest, FUTRLI, Spotlight Reporting and Dear Inventory). We hope this will help others feel comfortable in selecting Xero as their accounting software application.

Here’s a list of many of the features or benefits our team has found with Xero:

  • Ease of Use – The UI is pleasing to look at and easy to figure out. For non-accountants, that’s key. Do you want to have to figure out how to use a complicated accounting application or intuitively jump in and start processing your transactions. For our team of accountants, getting up to speed is super quick. Most have never used Xero but have experience with SAP, Oracle or Quickbooks. Everyone comments immediately how easy and fast Xero is to use.
  • Bank account and credit card feeds – Xero will automatically feed in account activity directly into the accounting system so you don’t have to manually create transactions for all your income and expenses. That’s huge! Only online applications tend to have this feature.
  • Auto-populating and rules – Not only will the activity feed in, Xero will remember how you coded transactions in the past and auto-populate the fields to save you time. Getting even more advanced, you can setup simple and complex rules to code transactions based on conditions. Amazing!
  • Support – Although Xero has a simple interface, something will come up where you need help. Xero has a responsive email support team which is critical for any SaaS company. Their help database is also quite extensive and, more importantly, useful. Most SaaS companies help systems rarely ever have what I need. Xero’s help system answers most of our questions before having to even reach out to their support team.
  • Integrations and Add-Ons - The Xero Marketplace has a massive amount of software applications that integrate with Xero. This is one of the primary reasons we choose Xero as our core accounting platform. No matter what a customer throws at us for their business needs, we can find an application that gets us most, if not all, of the way there to an automated solution. This speeds up our reporting capabilities and reduces the chance of error from our accounting team
  • Find & Recode – One of the most amazing features is the one you hope you don’t need to use. This tool allows you to mass edit transactions and keeps a history of what you changed, allowing you to undo it. Well thought out by the development team.
  • Save Receipts – Xero files allows you to attach receipts to transactions so you can refer back to the detail when you need to. Paperless is the way to go!
  • Xero is Mobile mobile apps for on-the-go accounting allows you to keep things organized no matter where you are.
  • Lots of Reports – Data isn’t of much use to your business if you can’t slice and dice it as needed. Xero has a ton of reports which you can customize and export to Excel, Google Sheets or PDF. Income by Contact or Expense by Contact are some of the unsung heroes in the reports section. The Cash Summary is another great one. Be sure to dig around to find what works best for you.

We created a high-level page about our Xero experience. We’ve spent a lot of time with the Xero team over these years to provide feedback and find out what’s coming next. They’re at the forefront of machine learning and AI research to automate even more for their customers. We look forward to what’s to come.

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Tips & Tricks to Working Remotely

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Tips & Tricks to Working Remotely

"Woohoo, I get to work from home!"

Home-based offices are becoming the norm (unless you work at Yahoo!®), but like with anything else in life, there needs to be a balance.

I’ve worked in the traditional professional services and corporate office environment and was fortunate enough to work for a company that transitioned a large portion of its workforce to work from home. I was able to manage a team of over 30 professionals who lived all over the country for over 10+ years. Some of my team excelled in this environment and I’ve seen some fail. I even fell into some of the bad habits as well.

Our current team at Basis 365 works out of their home offices, most of them for the first time in their professional career. We like to spend a little time instructing them on what works well so that they enjoy the benefits while still delivering an exceptional product for our customers.

Things to Love

Overall, I believe it provides major benefits to a company and to your employees. So let’s start out talking about some of the benefits of working from home, for the employee and a business.

  • No commute

    Less driving risk, less money on gas, less emissions, and most of all … no road rage! More time with the family and your hobbies.
     
  • Less distraction

    No game of round robin distraction where someone swings by your office to chat, you’re now distracted and grab a coffee and go distract someone else. It’s an endless cycle.
     

  • Tax deduction

    There are many rules to comply with but if you have a dedicated office space you have the opportunity to write off a portion of your mortgage/rent, utilities, etc. used to run your business or work from home.

  • Access to talent

    As a business owner, a distributed workforce allows you to find talent you would not otherwise have access to if you are stuck within driving distance of an office. Cost of living is different from state to state and many people are willing to trade off in order to have a better work-life balance.  

  • Lower overhead

    Business owners should have some cash freed up from the lack of traditional overhead expenditures needed to sustain an office. That capital can be reinvested in the business and help you grow.

Things to Watch Out For

With many benefits to choose from, there are temptations. Things that lead to bad habits and can creep up on you over time or take hold right away. These things all require discipline to overcome. The danger is to underestimate these issues. The most happy and successful remote workers have discipline, hands down!

  • Attendance

    Business owners and managers will have a fear that you are not really working. Don’t let them justify that fear by getting to your workspace late or cutting out hours and delivering just enough work to get by. This is the #1 area of concern for your company and should be for you as well.

  • Loneliness

    Humans are social creatures. Being in a quiet room for 8 hours, alone, can be torture. You’ll need human interaction.

  • Attire

    It’s easy to roll out of bed, grab a coffee and check your email. That rolls into a conference call and now it’s lunch. You realize you’re still in your pajamas.

  • Family

    It’s almost impossible for family members and children understand you are working and to keep boundaries. Enforce this at all costs.

  • Costs

    As a business owner, although you no longer have much of the overhead an office-based business would have, if you are taking advantage of talent in various states you will need to set up shop in those states. This legal and tax compliance requirement can be a bit of a challenge as each state is different. This commonly creates accounting requirements to track revenue by state in your accounting application to ease in meeting compliance filings. It can also trigger sales tax nexus in states you didn’t have before.

Tips for Success

I hope the dangers don’t scare anyone away. Many businesses are going this way and for most entrepreneurs, it’s a must. Here are some suggestions to mitigate those risks and come out on the positive side of working remotely and managing distributed teams.  

  • Deliver on time and be responsive

    Overcome the fear of your manager that you’re not working by delivering on-time, every time. Stay in contact with your team at the start, middle and end of your day. If you are late on projects, don’t respond timely to an IM, and don’t answer a colleague’s phone call during work hours on a regular basis then they will assume you are not working as you should. Are you?

  • Build team interactions

    As uncomfortable as it may be for many, use webcams as much as possible. I’m still working on this one :) It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why but it’s hard to build a collaborative team without seeing faces and expressions. People open up when they’re live. They’ll also dress up too.

    Take it to the next level by improving the visual as most people will be poorly lit and staring down. You won’t like how you look and you’ll look unhappy. Don’t have any back lighting and use windows or a lamp to brighten your face. Try to have it hit your face at a slight angle versus head on.

  • Separation

    Separate your work space that you can enter and leave. Physical boundaries are the best, like a specific room you only use for work that has a door and a window. Set boundaries for you and family. Mentally clock in and clock out. Shower when you’d normally shower and dress like you would if you were in an office.

    The first issue people run into is that they feel like they are at work 24/7. If your boss IMs you after you “clock out” because they are on a different time zone, don’t answer. Make sure you do get to it first thing in the morning though. If you’re the boss, don’t expect your team to answer either. Set an emergency protocol for something that is truly urgent and use that sparingly.

  • Get out

    Go out to eat lunch or take your lunch out of the house. Fight loneliness by working a couple hours at a coffee shop. Find a nearby coworking space that let’s you work in open areas like WeWork or Real Office Centers. My cofounder and I have an office to meet face to face but we are only there 3 days a week to mix things up.

    When you’re at home, and if you’re like me and can’t work in complete silence, use white noise apps like Noisli or watch movies that you’ve already seen 10 times (do not watch a new movie or channels that play commercials).

  • Take Breaks

    My biggest regret is having sat at my desk for hours on end, for years, with my feet up on the desk sitting at an angle. My tailbone will never forgive me. I would just sit and work, nonstop. That’s not good for your body or your mind. With less distractions than we had in office life you need to remember to take breaks.

    Use a pomodoro type app like Tomato Timer to set periods of focus. Then take a small break and do a quick set of push-ups, air squats or burpees. Take your dog for a 5 minute walk. Get some sun!

  • Work in the cloud

    You’ll need to be in the cloud and paperless to make this work. I spent over 10 years helping CPA firms go paperless and many of them didn’t go willingly. If an industry known for doing things the way they’ve always done it can do it, so can you.

Conclusion

I love the freedom working remotely brings. I can literally work from anywhere in the world … assuming they have internet :) We have wonderful employees that’d we would never have met if we had to hire locally. We’re are able to offer our team the flexibility they need to raise a family or travel while not letting their accounting knowledge go to waste. It’s a win-win.

Remember to mix things up, be professional, and never sacrifice delivering a quality product.

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My Contract Bookkeeper Didn’t Show Up Today. Help!

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My Contract Bookkeeper Didn’t Show Up Today. Help!

 
Bookkeeper Seeking Permanent Part Time or Project Work

Full-charge bookkeeper and Office Manager with 25+ years of experience seeking project-based work or a part-time position. I am a QuickBooks (TM) ProAdvisor certified in QuickBooks Desktop and Online versions. Advanced A/P, A/R background. Ability to accurately process a high volume of vendor invoices.

- University of Phoenix - Bachelor’s of Science in Management (2003)
- Saddleback College - Associates of Arts in Interior Design (1998)
— Example applicant profile
 

When it comes to accounting, the typical small business narrative is this: The business owner has outgrown the ability for them to handle the books themselves and needs help. They launch their browser, go to a website like Craigslist.org and post the job. The type of responses they see will be similar to the above (fictitious) applicant resume excerpt.

Business growth is great for business, but poses challenges. It’s great to see when business owners come to the realization that they need help. The problem lies with the default solution for most business owners when they try to hire an accountant.

Amazing, part-time accountants aren’t easy to find. You need to find someone who can work the small number of hours you need, be reliable, be a quick learner, and have the right level of education.

As your business continues to grow, the hours may need to increase. The complexity of the work may increase. These are all changes in your needs that may no longer fit the part-time accountant’s abilities.

On top of the business’s changing needs, it’s quite common for people looking for part-time work to have restrictive schedules that may impact their ability to step up when your business needs it or suddenly need full-time work and take a job giving you little or no notice. Is two-weeks’ notice ever enough time to find a solid replacement and get them up to speed?

Challenges our customers have faced using contract bookkeepers:

  • No Show – this is the most common pain point. The contractor just stopped showing up and never even called the owner to say they’re not coming in.
  • Can’t Keep Up – the limited number of hours make it challenging to stay caught up on the daily tasks and providing timely monthly financials. The business owner is flying blind as they have not seen a set of financials for many months.
  • Outgrowing – the business owner isn’t really getting any insight out of their numbers. They know accountants should be able to provide guidance and their bookkeeper isn’t able to. In order to continue growing, a higher level of capability is needed to start budgeting, ensure the financials are full-accrual, and measure the right performance metrics.

There are obviously exceptions to the norm. The question is: Do you want to have to spend the time and energy continually replacing part-time help? Will you be able to identify a qualified accountant that can help you grow?

The Basis 365 Difference

Basis 365 was created to offer a qualified, reliable and scalable solution to growing businesses so they can successfully navigate from $1 million - $20 million in revenue.

Many of our customers were thrilled to discover outsourced accounting even existed.  They have already been burned by a part-time bookkeeper leaving them high and dry or unable to help them grow and didn’t want to have to go through that again.

Here are some of the top reasons why our customers choose to us:

Qualified

Our teams come with a formal education in accounting including previous work experience in corporate or public accounting. We instill a focus of constant improvement and consistency in our delivery with all employees. Our teams work with many customers exposing them to more experience than you’d get at one company alone. With access to our company’s entire pool of knowledge, we are able to provide a much different experience than hiring a single, part-time worker.   

Although many of our customers are small businesses, their accounting can get complex quite fast. We pride ourselves on our ability to handle all sorts of accrual accounting scenarios that your typical bookkeeper would not be able to identify, let alone develop effective procedures around.

Reliable

This is what we do. We’ve established processes that work great for small but rapidly growing businesses and utilize the most streamlined, cloud-based solutions available. We are working away, day-by-day so your accounting information is always as up-to-date as possible. We pride ourselves on a quick response time and consistency in delivering your monthly financial statements. If someone is out on vacation, the other team member can step in to assist.

Scalable

Working with Basis 365 provides your business with an accounting team. That’s a powerful advantage over bringing on a single part-timer. It’s easy for us to ramp a team up or down depending on customer needs, including adding on valued-added services such as budgeting or performance reporting.

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Sales Tax Settings Tips from SimekScott

Sales Tax Settings Tips from SimekScott

Our preferred sales tax partner, SimekScott, posted this relevant piece about the risks of incorrect settings in Amazon Seller Central.

Many of our eCommerce customers utilize the Amazon Seller Central platform. Sales tax, at a high level can seem simple but it goes deeper and noncompliance can be expensive.

Check out some common errors they see when consulting businesses in this post on Taxify's blog.

We recommend consulting with a sales tax expert regardless of what you sell to ensure you do not trigger unexpected taxes. Internet-based sales tax law is changing as we speak as noted in this CNN article. Check in regularly to make sure your compliant.