Viewing posts for the category Small business accounting

Apr

10 / 2014

Why accept credit cards?

Many business owners are finding themselves asking, "Should I accept credit cards?"  Whether your business is new and you're planning to accept credit cards when you're a little more established, or you've been in business for years and can't see why you'd go changing things now, sticking to traditional forms of payment is tempting for many. But there are three great reasons why you should consider accepting credit cards today.

Your customers will appreciate it

While your customers may be willing to pay by cash, check, or other traditional forms of payments, polls are increasingly showing that they want to pay by credit card. 

And why wouldn't they? As fewer and fewer people find themselves carrying cash, credit becomes an increasingly convenient way to pay. It provides your customers with security, reliability, and a monthly record of their transactions.

In a recent infographic published by Community Merchants USA, it was found that 28.7% of consumers said ease of use was the most important payment characteristic. Of customers 18-24, 69% said they'd only shop at a business that takes multiple forms of payment. Of customers 35-44, it was 58% - numbers that only seem to grow year over year.

Your business will grow

A recent article in Entrepreneur.com spells out the number one reason you should accept credit cards - it increases the probability, speed, and size of customer purchases. Accepting credit cards can also lower your risks, and increase the likelihood of impulse purchases being made. In fact, Forbes wrote that when people are given more payment options, they're more likely to not only make impulse purchases, but also join loyalty programs and spend more per purchase. 

It's easy!

With Payments by Wave, we've made it easier than ever to accept credit cards. There are never surprise fees or hidden fees, so you'll pay the same fee no matter what credit card you're processing. In fact, there are no setup fees or card storage fees, so not only is setup fast, but it's free! Your customers will be able to pay directly in the invoices you send, or you can accept payments on your mobile device with our iOS appLearn more, or sign up now!

Continue Reading

Feb

21 / 2014

U.S. tax deadline is March 17. Let’s keep your money in your hands!

How do you eliminate tax-time stress and keep the most money in your own pocket instead of the IRS’s? Call in a pro.

To make tax time as easy as possible, Wave has recruited U.S. tax experts from the Wave Pro Network, who have agreed to offer you a flat-rate tax return for your business. You'll get maximum deductions and a stress-free tax return, with no surprises on your cost.

tax return U.S. corporate

Schedule your free consultation and book your flat-rate tax return. A Wave Pro will be assigned to you, with the goals of:

  • maximizing your deductions
  • audit-proofing your return
  • saving you money
  • relieving tax-time stress

What's the end goal? Tax deadline with no stress and no surprises! Click to schedule a free consultation.

Continue Reading

Jan

3 / 2014

When is accounting not accounting? (And what is accounting anyway?)

Inigo knows accounting

If you look at online reviews lately, the term "accounting software" gets applied to anything capable of adding two numbers together. So expense trackers, invoicing applications and other lightweight software in the cloud get lumped in with real, double entry accounting applications like Wave. It drives me nuts.

But is that bad?

Actually, yes, it is. And not just because I like promoting Wave. When small business owners use a "lite" software tool to do their accounting, it can cost them money and hurt their business.

If you're running a business, you need to use a double entry accounting system. (What's double entry and how do you recognize it? See the end of this post.) The good news is that you don't even need to know what double entry is! The double entry work happens behind the scenes, and sets you up for better success, with more money in your pocket, without requiring any special work from you.

But don't take my word for it. I asked some independent small business accountants for their perspective on whether double entry accounting matters. Here are some of the reasons they gave:

Reason 1: Double entry accounting will minimize your income tax.

Deductions and proper reporting can make a huge difference to any business. “It matters for every small business, even little ones that sell things on Etsy,” says William Lopez, Partner at TropezCPA and Founder of AdvisorFi in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I tell them, ‘You use a computer to log onto Etsy? OK, that’s a fixed asset we need to depreciate to save you money'."

"For bigger businesses, I tell them about a client whose tax bill I chopped from $150,000 to $30,000 just by flipping the accounting method and utilizing the double entry side of things. Without double entry, I can’t do that.”

Reason 2: You have a business loan. Or you might want one some day.

"Without real double entry accounting, you might not be able to get a loan in the first place,” says Anna Abbruzzese, president of Actium Consulting Inc. in Toronto, Ontario. “Lenders want to see a balance sheet,” and you can only get a balance sheet with double entry.

Think of the stuff you need in order to get a personal loan or mortgage: The bank wants to know your assets like cars, property, investments and so on. Same goes for your business loan. A balance sheet will provide the right info. An expense tracker or income/invoice tool will not.

Once you have the loan, you need to track it properly, too, and you can't do that without double entry. “Invoicing applications might track your income and expenses. However, a loan isn't income,” says Maggie Geiser, an accounting and bookkeeping advisor in Vancouver, British Columbia. “The interest that you pay on that loan is an expense, but the principal you pay is not. How do you track that without proper double entry?”

Reason 3: You want to be awesome.

“Research shows those who use full double entry accounting are more confident and have a better understanding of what they need and what they can do to make their business more of a success,” says Abbruzzese.

Reason 4: You want your business to grow.

“If you think your business is going to grow at all, and you want to develop good business habits,” Geiser says, “double entry is absolutely the way to go because it will discipline you and get you looking at the reports you ought to be looking at.”

Reason 5: Business decisions matter to you.

You can’t make accurate decisions without having a complete financial picture,” says Andrew Wall, CPA, CMA, a partner at Wall & Associates in Toronto. “And without double entry accounting and without a balance sheet, you don’t know the financial position of the company.”

Lopez adds, “Within the balance sheet I derive a lot of intelligence, like: How efficient is your company? Are you even aware that it takes you 40 days to get paid from an invoice?” 

Especially with small businesses where things are changing — and changing rapidly — people need to be able to make informed decisions quickly and accurately,” Wall concludes.

 

There's more, of course. Anna Abbruzzese told me, "We would never work with a single entry accounting system. Ever.” But ask your own accountant and form your own opinions. 

 

When is it OK to not use double entry?

There used to be 3 good reasons to avoid old-school double entry accounting software:

  1. It was too hard to use.
  2. It was too expensive.
  3. It took too much time.

That's no longer the case, especially with Wave. So today, in the same time and with the same effort it would take you to do it wrong with "lite" software, you can do it right with a double entry accounting system in the cloud.

"Lite" software may have its purpose — some of it is pretty great at its intended purpose, like invoicing or expense tracking. But don't confuse it with accounting, or you could wind up paying for it, now and down the road.  

 

How do I know if my software is real accounting or "lite" accounting?

Here's what you need to look for, or ask for:

  • Simply asking if something is double entry is usually enough. A real double entry application will tell you that's how they crunch your numbers. 
  • If the software doesn't give you a Balance Sheet, or only has a work-around solution to get you close to a Balance Sheet, then it's not real double entry. A Balance Sheet is a critical report that any accountant will need to save you money. And as you get more experienced, you'll be able to learn from it, too.
  • A proper accounting application allows you to create Journal Entries or Journal Transactions. This is the old-school way of entering info into an accounting application, and it illustrates what double entry means. In each Journal Transaction there are two offsetting entries. It allows you to track where money came from and where it went, and a whole lot more. If your software doesn't allow you to use Journal Entries/Transactions, it's not real accounting.

If the software you're considering covers these 3 bases, you're probably looking at a real, double entry accounting application. Of course, Wave offers all these features and then some.

As I mention above, the great news is that you don't actually need to know what's happening under the hood of a double entry system. What's important is that it is a double entry system, and that those powerful tools and reports are available for you and/or your accountant when you need them.

So next time you see someone say "accounting software" when what they mean is "expense tracking" or "invoicing tool," please join me in sending them the graphic at the top of this post! You can get it any time from http://bit.ly/REALaccounting .

Continue Reading

Mar

12 / 2013

Accounting for Photographers: Tax touch-ups

 

This post is written by Josh Zwig, CA and member of the Wave Pro Network. 

Smile! Pursuing your passion in photography and starting a business can be a truly rewarding experience. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned paparazzi,  here are 3 tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your return:

Time your equipment purchases

For tax purposes, equipment purchases such as cameras, lenses, lights, etc. are considered fixed assets. Unlike an expense where the full amount is deducted immediately from your income, fixed assets are depreciated over time. The thing is, it doesn’t matter when in the year you purchase the equipment – whether you buy it in January or December, you’ll still get to deduct the same full-year depreciation expense. 

Record your travel

If you’re shooting clients all over the city, the travel costs can add up. But keeping track of each and every gas, insurance, and maintenance receipt can be a real headache. To keep things simple, the CRA and IRS have a standard mileage rate that you can use to calculate your total travel costs. Just take your total kilometres/miles driven for business, multiply it by the rate and you’ve got your travel expense. 

Track your home expenses

When you’re not behind a camera, chances are you’re in front of a laptop touching up the photos from the shoot.  If you’re doing some work from home, you’re entitled to deduct a percentage of your home expenses. The percentage is generally based on the total area your workspace occupies in your home. Roughly 10% of total home expenses is a reasonable estimate but it may be larger if you use your home as a studio as well. 

 

Looking for more information on how to run your photography business?

Check out our free guide: Acocunting 101 for Photographers

Continue Reading

Dec

15 / 2012

Introducing the new Wave

Today, it's my pleasure to officially introduce the brand-new, totally awesome, comprehensive and easy to use Wave!

We've built tons of great new tools and features, and made it even easier to find what you want, when you want it. Here's just a taste of what you'll see in the new Wave:

One totally unified system

Trying to manage your finances by having multiple websites open at the same is bound to lead to mistakes, and remembering which password and email you used for each site is a pain.

At the new waveapps.com (replacing the old waveaccounting.com and wavepayroll.com), you have everything you need, all in one place. Whether you want to run payroll, gain insights into your investments, generate a balance sheet or invoice a customer, you can do it all with one login.

Invoicing & payments

We've made it easier to customize and edit invoices to fit you perfectly. Whether you want to customize the invoice title or the payment date, it's easy to make your invoices work the way you want them to.

You can now also create quotes or estimates, and convert them later on to invoices — a feature many of you told us you needed to run your business better. 

Accept credit cards!

One of our hottest new features: Your customers can pay the invoices you send by credit card, right in Wave! Your invoice status automatically updates, and you get paid faster. Organized books and faster payments. Way to be, you organizational superhero, you.

 

Managing your transactions is easier than ever

We've done a lot to ensure you're spending less time doing your books than ever before. With 30+ million transactions under our belt, we've built a smart auto-categorization engine that categorizes most of your transactions for you — all you have to do is verify that it did its work correctly. Not only that but it learns your preferences and saves you more and more work each time you log in. 

There are two other significant features you can now take advantage of without leaving the main Transactions screen: You can edit transactions right in-line, and you can easily attach vendor or customer information to transactions in the same environment.

Personal finance

You're not just a small business owner. You're a person, with personal bills to pay and a life to live. (And for a lot of our customers, there's just a thin line between personal and business finances, anyway. Sound familiar?)

That's why we completely reinvented Wave's personal finance tools. We've made budgeting absolutely painless: It's quick to get started, and your budgets update automatically as the month goes by. Wave can track your discount brokerage account, your individual stock holdings, assets like home or car, and debts like mortgage or loans — and then tell you your net worth

Here's a comprehensive list of features and improvements you'll see in the new Wave. 

Or take a tour with Wave's co-founder, Kirk, and check out what's new:

 

There's more to come!

We'll be doubling our pace of innovation in the new year, to bring you more great tools to help you run your business better. Like all the improvements we released today, everything we do starts with feedback from customers just like you, so thanks for that. We hope you'll love the new Wave as much as we do!

Continue Reading