Nicole and I met at a networking event more than a year ago. The first thing I noticed about her was her incredible attitude; we laughed our tails off for most of the event and became fast friends. After getting to know her more,I realized that she isn't your typical attorney. She spends time educating and engaging her clients. When she isn't busy working directly with clients, she is leading educational seminars and bringing her sound advice to a captive audience.
I have recommended several of our own clients to work with her and all say the same thing- She is fantastic! If you are looking for someone to assist with end of life planning or business law, she is your gal. What does a "day in the life" look like for you?
Every day is different but typically I meet with new clients or existing clients to answer their questions about the Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney or my business clients about setting up LLC’s, Corporations and much needed contracts. After meeting with clients, I go back to my desk and draft and prepare the documents needed by my clients. I do not have a paralegal or assistant prepare the documents—I do this all myself.What is your superhero ability and why?
I am a super listener. I think too many attorneys want to do all the talking and tell their clients what they need. I feel that in order to give great legal advice and help my clients to the fullest I have to listen carefully to what they are saying.What do you love about running your business?
I have the freedom to work with the clients and professionals that I like. I can also spend more individualized time with each of my clients. Of course, running my own business allows me to make my own schedule which is great for me but also for my clients because I can accommodate most anyone’s schedule.Bragging Rights: What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that I am an attorney—but not a stereotypical attorney!
Instead I am easy going, friendly, fun, open-minded, and caring. I want my clients to feel comfortable with me!Any specials, deals, coupons, etc that you would like to extend to our readers?
$100 of any legal servicesContact Info:
Nicole L. Pavlik, PLCnicolep@forakislaw.com
346 E. Palm Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85004
When Billie Grace walked into my office, I knew I wanted to have her as a client. She came in smiling and laughed during our entire one hour consultation. She truly loves what she does and will win you over in a heartbeat. She is a professional through and through and takes incredible pride in her work. We are excited to see her business grow and are with her every step of the way.
One look at her van will show you that she means business. She has the phrases , "Good Things to All", "Be Happy", "Practice Kindness Every Day", and "Never Give Up" emblazoned on the side. While some people might mouth these words, she shouts them from the rooftops. She is, in a word, a rockstar.
Name of Business
Billie's Handyman Services LLC
PO Box 36474
Phoenix, AZ 85067
(602) 465-3721What does a "day in the life" look like for you?
I awaken to a beautiful poodle mutt mix “Bennie” and we go for a walk! Then the phone starts ringing and it’s off to the races! We are on Angie’s List
and this brings in a steady number of new clients plus my repeat clients from the last decade. My day is full-mostly happy clients, every once in awhile a sour apple slips in, but for the most part I experience happy people to work for and my associates and I have a good time each day. What is your superhero ability and why?
Flexibility and the ease of going with the flow. In my line of work all kinds of things can happen each day and flexibility and staying calm when things are not going as planned is important. What do you love about running your business?
My days are usually long and physically demanding—a lot of hard work! I look back over the last 28 years and see where I have come from and have witnessed my human development into a confident business owner. That’s what I love most; the growth and its continued development within me and that which will come into being over the next 20 years. Say YES to your DREAMS!Bragging Rights: What are you most proud of?
Clean Lines Painting! A good paint job is okay but an excellent paint job is the best!
It has taken me some years to master my skill of painting; example—white ceiling and dark color walls- when I am finished that ceiling and wall line is as precise as the edge of 11 x 8 paper. How has outsourcing your accounting helped your business?
It has given me time and peace of mind! I am a handyman not a bookkeeper! I wish I had found Accountingprose
a lot sooner. It was one of my smarter decisions! Any specials, deals, coupons, etc that you would like to extend to our readers?
15% off Labor Only if you respond to this ad in 90 days of posting. Additional information, notes, etc
Billie's Handyman Services is not just your ordinary handyman company, we believe that quality service starts the moment "YOU" call us and it never finishes. We believe that winning your loyalty is a continual process that’s takes 110% of quality craftsmanship and service. With today’s market and so many handyman companies to choose from, it is always our belief in our “Best Care Policies" that our clients always experience a win-win when doing business with Billie’s Handyman Services LLC.
“Best Care Policies" Customer Service, Quality and Fair Pricing are key principal in how we handle our company business.
Currently we accept checks or cash; credit cards and payment plans are accepted now on a project by project basis.
Billie's Handyman Services offers a wide variety of services; Carpentry, Drywall, Electrical, Painting, Plumbing, Remodeling, Design @ 5-K, and Resale Ready!
Good Things to Everyone!
By Donald Smith
Let’s talk about risk.
We’re all comfortable with at least some degree of risk in our lives. We leave our homes in the morning, risking traffic delays and unplanned encounters with other vehicles. We continue to drive our cars long after the warranty has expired. We may risk damage to our furniture or other property due to the actions of children and pets. It’s theoretically possible to eliminate any risk that can be identified, but most of the time it’s neither feasible nor desirable to do so.
If we are in business, we have other risks, and some of them have the potential to really mess up our lives – not just economically. There is the risk that our investment and effort won’t pay off, and we’ll lose money. There’s the risk that a customer will default on his or her obligation. There’s the risk that an employee will act against our interests, or get in an accident, or get sick and not be able to complete an assignment. A supplier could fail to deliver important components on time, and we lose a customer because we can’t meet a deadline. Assumptions underlying one of our estimates may be faulty, and we could be forced to complete the project at a loss. Or worse than all of the above, our bookkeeper could fail to pay our payroll taxes, and the IRS could come in and shut us down.
Dealing with risk is largely a matter of understanding our tolerance, and evaluating the costs of mitigation against the likelihood and severity of a possible adverse event. We purchase automobile insurance so we don’t lose our assets if we somehow negligently cause an accident. We carry insurance on our homes so we won’t be left destitute if there is a fire. We pay for antivirus protection and online backups for our computers, because the likelihood of a data loss from hardware failure or malicious software is significant, and the impact of that data loss would be severe.
When running a small business, there is a bundle of risks associated with accounting and bookkeeping that can be mitigated at a low cost compared to the losses that could otherwise occur. This bundle includes the following related items:
1. The risk of faulty or untimely information, which can result in lost opportunities, inefficient spending, or tax penalties.
2. The risk of material misstatements in financial reporting (including tax returns), resulting in penalties or defaulting on loan covenants.
3. The risk of undetected error or fraud, resulting in a loss of assets.
Accountants tend to focus on internal control to minimize these risks. Internal control refers to the systems, procedures, and environmental factors that serve to ensure that financial information is timely and reliable, and that employees are doing their jobs rather than acting in their own interests. One key element of internal control over accounting is segregation of responsibilities, so that no single employee has the ability to divert assets, or cover up fraud, and that the work of one employee provides a natural check on the work of another. The classic formulation is that authority to authorize a transaction should be separated from recordkeeping for that transaction, which is further separated from custody of the assets involved, and yet again from the responsibility for verifying or reconciling the assets to the accounting records. This separation of duties is less important when one or more of the functions are performed by an owner of the business, but other than an owner, no single individual should handle more than one of these functions. The person that buys things should not prepare vendor payments, and that person should not be able to sign checks. A fourth person should reconcile the bank account and verify the balance in the accounts payable ledger.
When your business reaches the stage where you need someone in the office full time, the temptation is to make that person a combination office manager/bookkeeper, and give them responsibility for both record keeping and reconciliation of accounts. Sometimes they even has access to a signature stamp, and can prepare and send out vendor payments (or payroll checks) as needed in the owner’s absence. No matter how trusted this individual is, this is an invitation for fraud, as well as a breeding ground for sloppy accounting and the errors that inevitably spring forth in such an environment.
When there isn’t enough work to justify multiple administrative employees in the office (which is needed for separation of duties), often the most cost-effective way to minimize the accounting-related risks is to outsource some of the accounting workload. With an outside service handling the higher level functions, you can have your office manager focused on operations and customer service, while the outside folks review the office manager’s data entry work, reconcile the accounts, and make sure all the legal requirements are met. Outsourcing bookkeeping and payroll functions allows you to limit the level of access your office manager has to sensitive financial information, and lowers the specialized skill level in accounting that individual needs to have in order to function. It is a waste of resources to have a professional accountant answering the telephone, and it is an enormous risk to have an administrative employee in the office, communicating regularly with all your employees, customers, and vendors, who is at the same time working with sensitive payroll and other financial information.
Outsourcing payroll and bookkeeping functions can help minimize your financial risk, and maximize the cost-effectiveness of your office staff. Ready to outsource? Give us a call.
We are happy to help.
We are proud to call Ken Clark our client. Not only is he a kick ass Realtor, he is also a really wonderful person. He is instrumental in creating community by running an amazing networking event (check it out
) and has taken his love for Arizona one step further by running for Legislature in LD 24 in 2014. His kick off party is on 10/08 and you are invited. Check it out.
Name of Business
Ken Clark, Realtor
What does a "day in the life" look like for you?
I am at my desk at 07:30 looking over listings to see what is available for my clients. After that, I'm on the phone with my team member, Michelle, to talk about what we have on the docket for the day. From there on, its a whirlwind of activity: showings, presentations and marketing. Its always different.
What is your superhero ability and why? I seem to have an ability to pick the neighborhoods that are "on the way up". Its not much a superhero ability. I would not do well against The Joker with that one.
What do you love about running your business?
The people, the houses and the variety. I love all my clients, but I really love helping first time home buyers get the right start in life.
Bragging Rights: What are you most proud of?I started as an agent in 2008, when the market was crashing. I did it on purpose. I felt that if I could learn the business when times were tough, I'd do much better later. By 2012 I was one of the top 10% HomeSmart agents in the state.
How has outsourcing your accounting helped your business?Immensely. It meant I did not have to stress about the numbers. I could pay myself a regular amount at regular intervals and focus more on my clients.Any specials, deals, coupons, etc that you would like to extend to our readers?
You may have seen the following phrase on my email signature or in the Clark Report: "You refer, I donate. Call me today to find out how I can support your favorite charity. I appreciate your referrals!"
This is my attempt to focus positive attention on those charities that you care about, and which do so much good work here in Phoenix.
Here is how it works. If you send me a referral for a home sale or purchase, and that transaction closes, I will make a personal donation to the charity of your choice. I will post on my blog and on Facebook that your referral was instrumental in making that donation happen.It is as simple as that.
I always appreciate your referrals, so let's do some good work together!
Call me at 602-456-9388
or email me at email@example.com://www.getyourphx.com/support-a-charity/
Your business has grown to the point where you can't take care of everything yourself any longer, and your spouse or significant other already has a job. You need to hire someone to handle some of the workload - but what part of the workload, and what kind of "someone" do you need? Which of the cases below describes your dilemma?
1. You need time to focus on your current top priorities, but your phone won't stop ringing and your email inbox is overflowing, and you can't afford for your customers to feel neglected.
2. You're so busy managing the current workload that you don't have time to go out and get the next job, so when the projects currently underway wind down, so will your income.
3. You're making money. You charge everything to a credit card or two, pay the bills when they arrive, and there's money left over to transfer to your personal account when you need it. You're not sure how much you've made, but you're definitely doing better than breaking even. You put the bank statements, credit card statements, and receipts in a file box and plan on dropping the box off with your CPA sometime between January 1 and April 15. The tax preparation bill last year was atrocious, but what can you do?
4. Cash is tight. You're working 60 hours a week, and can't seem to get ahead. You're
certain you should be making more money, but either your customers aren't paying, or your expenses are higher than they should be - and you're too busy making ends meet to figure it out.
Do one of those four scenarios describe your situation? If so, there are some strategic staffing moves you should consider.
1. If you're living in Scenario #1, you need a traffic cop - or, what used to be called a secretary. A secretary works closely with you, learning your business, your personality,
and your preferences, so s/he can anticipate both your needs and your reactions, and knows when to interrupt and when to take a message. Secretaries gather information, present it to you for your decisions at convenient times, and then carry out your instructions; allowing you to focus on your current priorities while everything else is being taken care of in the background. A good secretary can double your productivity at half your salary, so you should give serious consideration to making this your first staffing move.
2. In many industries, if you're not focusing on getting new business, you're at most a few months from bankruptcy. You need someone to focus on servicing your current customers, freeing you to go after new business. The skill set required will vary with the nature of your business. If you're in real estate, you may need a junior agent or licensed assistant. If you sell a product over the Internet, you need a customer service
representative with access to all the relevant information. This person will be dealing with your customers on a daily basis, so you will need to ensure s/he has professional knowledge, adequate tools, exemplary communication skills, and unfailing integrity.
3. Congratulations - you're apparently winning at the small business game. You know you need help to deal with the expanding workload, and you're pretty sure you can afford to hire someone. You might already have someone you're paying as an independent contractor handling some of the overflow, and you're getting a vaguely uneasy feeling that you might be in trouble come tax time. If this describes you, you need a bookkeeping service like Miley Cyrus needs adult supervision. You might need a
secretary, or a CSR, as well, but having someone working in the background to get your financial records organized and make sure you're in compliance with the maze of payroll, employment, sales tax, and other regulatory burdens will save you a lot of time, money, and grief down the road.
4. If you're identifying with the overworked and underpaid entrepreneur, you need a little more than just a bookkeeping service. You need someone to go through your financial records, make sure you're billing (and getting paid) for your work, and hopefully identify some ways to improve your company's financial performance. Perhaps a company that specializes in small business accounting, with diverse experience, and a staff accountant with an MBA would be helpful.
Need help getting out from under a pile of papers and back to doing the things you love? Give us a call,
we can help set you free.
By Donald Smith
If there’s one thing small business accountants and bookkeepers dread above all others, it’s January. The flurry of activity required to keep up with day-to-day operations while getting W-2s and 1099s ready to send out, and year-end financial statements…let’s just say it’s never too early to get ready for year end.
From many years of experience in the trenches, I’ve come to the conclusion that small businesses should give themselves a break, and start working on year end once summer vacation is over. Labor Day is coming up, and on the Tuesday after, I’ll begin getting my clients ready for the fun fest that is coming in January. In case you’d like to follow along, and save yourself a big headache (and a possibly a nastygram from the IRS), here’s what I plan on doing:
1. I’ll begin with a review of the list of vendors and other payees, and make sure I have Tax ID numbers (EIN or SSN) for each person or entity that has been paid for services
(not goods or materials), and the payees are flagged for 1099 reporting.
2. I always double check to make sure the landlord(s) and attorney(s) are flagged for 1099s, and TINs are on file.
3. For service providers without TINs on file, request a TIN using Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number). I used to make a spreadsheet with vendor names and addresses, and merge it with Word form letter – but now I just email a request and attach the W-9 form. I still use the spreadsheet to track the request, the response, and the update to the file. Payees (other than landlords and attorneys) who are corporations are generally exempt from 1099 reporting, so I eliminate those with Corp. or Inc. in their name. LLCs and partnerships get 1099s (for services, not goods), so I make sure I have TINs and their vendor records are flagged appropriately.
4. As I receive the completed W-9 forms via email, fax, or owl post, I update my tracking spreadsheet and the vendor record, and file the W-9. I’ll reply acknowledging receipt of an emailed W-9.
5. On October 1, I’ll check and see what TIN’s I’m still missing, and send a follow-up message. If the payee has a balance, I might suggest that I can’t release payment without their 1099.
6. On November 1, I’ll check again, and hopefully I’ll have all the TINs. If not, I’ll send a third request, and print all three emails and attach them to the vendor record, so when I get a letter from the IRS down the road, I’ll have a defense. I’ll also submit the TINs to the IRS for verification, to avoid unpleasant surprises next year.
By Thanksgiving, I’ll be finished with the year-end preparations, and I can focus on holiday parties, shopping, and making food I shouldn’t be eating. When January rolls around, I’ll print a 1099 review report, “unflag” anyone that doesn’t need a 1099 (under $600), order the paper forms and envelopes, and go about other business. I won’t be scrambling to locate a TIN, or spending hours reviewing all the records to make sure I’ve got everything I need. My clients shouldn’t be receiving any notices from the IRS, and I won’t be working 70 hour weeks in January and February. Can you say the same?Resources:
Download W9: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdfW9 Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-pdf/iw9.pdf
By Donald Smith
As any small business owner can testify, once you’ve grown your business to the point where you need help outside your immediate family, your headaches increase exponentially. Once you have employees, you have a lot more to worry about. There are legal requirements that can trip you up, at both the state and Federal levels. Taxes are the biggest and most visible issue, and payroll tax mistakes have caused too many bankruptcies to count. After payroll taxes, there is the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates (among other things) overtime pay for hourly workers. The “among other things” in the FLSA could fill volumes, and I will probably write about them in more detail as time goes by, but I’m going to spend the rest of this post talking about the little details of Arizona employment law that can be bothersome, annoying, and occasionally expensive.
Arizona is a very employer-friendly state, compared to others. Ask any small business owner that operates in California where they’d prefer to be, and they’ll tell you that,other than the weather, they’d much rather be in Arizona. Compared to some of the bluer states, complying with Arizona employment law is simple and inexpensive. Last April, the Arizona legislature made some changes to our employment laws that made it even easier for small businesses to meet their obligations, by loosening a couple of deadlines that many employers found difficult to meet.
As a small business employer in Arizona, here are the main things you need to worry about from the state:
1. State withholding and unemployment insurance taxes. The application process is easy, and the reporting requirements aren’t overly burdensome, but the penalties for not meeting filing and payment deadlines can get expensive.
2. Verify eligibility for employment using e-Verify. Arizona requires employers in the state to participate in this otherwise optional Federal program. The administrative requirements are rather burdensome, and there are deadlines and rules to be observed. e-Verify requires a case to be initiated within three days of an employee starting work.
3. New hire reporting. National efforts in support of child support enforcement have caused each state to initiate new hire reporting procedures, so child support enforcement agencies can send out withholding orders immediately, and custodial parents can get their money faster. New hires must be reported to the state within 20 days of starting work.
4. Timely payment requirements. State law requires the following:
a. Regular, scheduled paydays, at least twice per month, no more than 16 days apart (you can pay weekly, biweekly, or semi-monthly).
b. Scheduled pay dates no more than seven calendar days from the end of the pay period, on days when the banks are open and employees can access their funds. Until last year, the deadline was five calendar days, and many employer’s didn’t meet it.
c. Payment of all amounts due to any involuntarily terminated employee (including accrued vacation pay) within seven calendar days, or the next scheduled payday (whichever comes first). This deadline used to be three working days, and it was missed quite often.
Failure to meet a payment deadline can expose you to legal liability. An employee that isn’t paid on time has the right to sue in small claims court, and recover damages (meaning, pay him on time, or pay him three times - your choice). If you miss payday, and your employee incurs bank charges for insufficient funds due to automatic debits, or late charges on a mortgage, or gets evicted....damages can mount up fairly quickly. You expect your employees to show up for work on time, and pay attention to their responsibilities. You owe them the same consideration, and if you make a mistake, you need to correct it immediately. Just because your employee is to afraid of losing his or her job to take you to court, doesn’t mean it’s not costing you in lost productivity, disloyalty, and loss of your professional reputation.
5. Worker’s compensation insurance coverage. If you have employees, and don’t have worker’s compensation insurance, get it covered. It doesn’t matter how un-hazardous you think your business is, accidents happen, and you really don’t want the consequences if one happens to one of your employees when you’re not covered. Do you have any idea how much a broken hip costs, and how much you’re going to be paying for the next couple of decades if an employee is permanently disabled on the job?
The recordkeeping requirements associated with Federal and state employment laws are significant, and if your business isn’t large enough to warrant a full time human resources and payroll specialist, it’s probably worth your time and energy to consider outside help in meeting those obligations. Accountingprose can help, and can add value to your business in the process.
Does the task of managing your small business's finances make sense for you or are you getting it backward?
Keeping track of income, receipts, invoices, payments, and balance sheets can be extremely time consuming. All of these tasks are super helpful, but is this where you should be spending your time?
Here's an example of something that I found super time consuming. Imagine the time it took to learn how to do this...
What are the "backward" things in your business that keep moving you off track? What's bogging you down and keeping you from doing what you love and what you're really good at? For some people it may be managing finances, shopping insurance, banking, researching legal matters, or graphic design. Are these tasks tedious, time consuming, and things you don't love doing? Have you considered outsourcing these things to help keep you from going backward?
As entrepreneurs and small business owners you have a straightforward plan.
Small business superheroes like Accountingprose can help keep you from getting it backward. Backward isn't helpful, even if it was pretty impressive in the video.
Let us help you get back on track and back to doing what you are most passionate about.
We get requests from clients from time to time asking about software or SAAS applications that will work alongside Quickbooks with no extra work. We have recommended Bill.com
in the past because they are super great and actually help our clients get the information they need and get the job done faster.
This week, we had a client ask us a simple question...
Is there a way to integrate our Quickbooks company file with our customer data in Salesforce.com?
This question, of course, led us down the rabbit hole. I knew the initial answer was yes
, but it caused so many other questions to pop up.
- How does the sync work?
- Does it cost extra to get the products to work together?
- Do we need a special version of Salesforce to make everything work?
Why the heck would you want to do all of this? Well, if you connect your CRM and your Accounting Software you can:
- See open balances and credit limits from within Salesforce- This means your sales people can guide the conversation with useful information. Does the customer have past due balances? Are they way over their limit? This is good info to have when discussing shipping additional inventory.
- View sales histories for each prospect or customer- Your sales people can see if this a new client or an existing client, which will allow them to target their sales call. Maybe you offer a reorder incentive for existing clients with a 3+ month gap in ordering. Again, you can have this information at your fingertips.
- Track every customer touch point.- My number one pet peeve is when a salesperson doesn't remember our last conversation. You can easily pull up your last discussion and improve the sales experience for everyone involved.
- Enter data once and it's automatically updated in both Salesforce and QuickBooks- No more redundancy. That is a no brainer.
We spent a little time talking with Aimee of Sputnik Moment
and she helped us understand how everyone works together.
It turns out, using Salesforce with Quickbooks is super easy and doesn't require a masters degree to make it work. The order of operations is pretty much:
- Sign up for Salesforce
- Follow the step by step instructions to integrate the two systems
- Bam! You are in business.
Our hosting provider, Right Networks, doesn't give a hoot if you connect the two and won't charge any additional fees for the sync to occur. This is especially good news, because other CRM syncs do cost money.
If you get stuck with the integration, you also have a slew of consultants available to make everything line up. Since we share a coworking space with stellar Salesforce Consultants
, we can get you set up super fast and back to doing what you do best. Making it rain!
I had a boss/mentor when I was in my early twenties who ran a top notch mortgage company. Of all the business owners I have met over the years, he had to be the sharpest. He ran a tight ship, with a great, dedicated staff and never seemed to make a misstep. I learned a lot about running a business and being in business from him. One of his favorite lines, when we brought new people on, was, "Here we grow again." I always thought that little quip was filled with cheese and whenever he said it, we all groaned.
Now, as a business owner, I can see why he said it. Bringing new people on board is exciting. It is something to be overjoyed about and sharing this news with the world is really fun. It means that your business has been successful enough to support another person's livelihood and that people trust your work enough to a) keep coming back and b) refer their friends. I am excited to bring our newest hire, Brandon Gordon, on because he truly loves working with people. Spending a day brainstorming ways to make our clients cheer is awesome and I am looking forward to working with him in the days/weeks/months to come.
So, when you are in the office, say "Hi!" to Brandon
. He ain't half bad! You can also reach out to him via phone or email
. He is here to serve You.