How to Take the Stress Out of Tax Time

tax-releax

As a business owner, the last thing you need are more tasks on your to do list. And yet, that’s exactly what tax time presents because as we all know “doing your taxes” isn’t just one task, it’s a bunch of little tasks that add up to a huge pain. If you’re a small business owner, a piece of you is probably already starting to dread that impending April 15th deadline. But here’s some good news: While eliminating all of your tax time stress probably isn’t possible, it is possible to mitigate some of it. Here are a few tips:

Start early. All the little tasks required for preparing your taxes aren’t going to get any easier or any fewer in number the longer you procrastinate. If you know you’re going to have to go on a search and find mission to gather all the paperwork you need, then start now. If your records are well kept via your own filing system or with the help of accounting software, go ahead and make sure you can easily find everything you’re going to need to turn over to your tax preparer. Starting early, when there’s no need to rush, will keep your stress to a minimum and reduce the chances of making a costly mistake.

Make the most of helpful tech.As an employer, there are a lot of tax forms you have to deal with for each of your employees. From W-2s to 1099s, filling out and managing all these forms can be a real headache. Thankfully, there is extremely helpful W-2 software available today to help you manage all these forms. In addition to making filing your employee information easier, much of the available software updates automatically in order to account for new tax requirements, such as the Affordable Care Act Tax Provision.

Hire a trusted tax professional.Filing your taxes is a tedious and unforgiving business. Even if you’re a math whiz interpreting the many forms you’ll need to fill out can be a challenge if you aren’t well-trained in tax prep. There is certainly no shame in hiring a professional to prepare your taxes for you. To find the right person for your business, ask some of your fellow business owners who they use, check out Yelp reviews, and always interview potential candidates. When you know you can trust and rely on your tax preparer, tax time becomes a little easier.

Set aside some time for relaxation.Tax time doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Sure, you might have a to spend a couple extra hours in your office here and there to make sure you’re all set for April 15th, but be sure to offset it with some “you” time. Get a massage. Go for a jog. Have a little dance party for one in your office. Regardless of the activity, do something you love to put tax time out of your mind for a bit.

Yes, tax time is stressful, but when you take the right steps early in the process, you can do a lot to reduce your stress load. April 15th may seem far away now, but it will be here before you know it. Start taking steps to get ready today so that you can be less stressed down the line.

Quote Software: The 21st Century is About Automation

Quote Software: The 21st Century is About Automation:

Our CloudBooks app has proven a key resource for so many companies and contractors who are trying to bring themselves into the 21st Century. Many companies still rely on pen and paper or one-off efforts to produce the innumerable invoices, time-sheets, payment and expense reports, and quotes which their businesses require to get and track jobs and make sure the company has been properly paid. Simply put, in the digital era the duplication of such efforts time and time again is an absolute waste of productive work time.

Take CloudBooks’ quote software, for example. Our app allows our users to create professional looking estimates in seconds and practically effortlessly.

Our software allows you to insert a client’s information by choosing them from an easy drop-down menu which will automatically populate the form with information such as their name and address; if a new client needs to be added, the form to do so is merely a click away. If the client is in a foreign country, you can also choose the currency you will be quoting them in via another drop-down menu.

Similarly, when it comes time to create a detailed list of the different estimated tasks, their costs, and any associated expenses you might expect to incur, CloudBooks is ready to make it easy: all previous entries are available from a drop-down menu so that you do not have to waste time looking up how much you charge for particular services or how much particular materials cost.

Once your estimates have been sent to your clients, however, it is important to be able to keep track of them — especially since many businesses send out numerous estimates each and every day. With CloudBooks there is no more shuffling around paper and hoping that you find the duplicate copy which you saved: not only is each estimate given its own tracking number, but even the status of each estimate is recorded so that you know if it has been sent or if it remains only a draft. Other sorting options that can aid in the rapid analysis of your estimates include the name of the clients’ companies, the date on which the estimate was created or sent, its value, and even what subject the estimate refers to (for businesses involved in multiple sectors or verticals). Even months and months later, you can find precisely what you quoted your client for.

Best of all, CloudBooks will can automatically include your company’s logo on the top of every quote for a professional touch, increasing the trust factor between you and your potential clients.

This is just one feature of our full CloudBooks app, but it is surely clear just how much time this can save when compared to a traditional pen and paper, filing-cabinet based system. That any business is wasting the time of its most valuable employees in the 21st Century by forcing them to shuffle paper and dig through old files just to glean one or two needed bits of information is an absolute travesty. When we set out to build CloudBooks it was precisely to help everyone — businesses big and small — make the most out of digital technologies so that they can stop messing around with administrative tasks and get back to their important work at hand.

If you would like to learn more about the other features of the CloudBooks app, including online invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, and custom company reports generation, please look at the tour page of our website. You are also welcome to contact us to learn more about just how much time and effort CloudBooks can save your company when it brings your business up to speed with the most current of technologies.

What to Look for in Billing Software for Your Company

Achieving a healthy cash flow can be the determining factor that can make or break a business. Billing software helps business owners quickly submit invoices to clients and customers, and enables them to see faster returns that can help promote a positive cash flow. The company that invests in efficient billing software can experience greater overall efficiency and see better results faster.

Selecting the right billing software has the potential to affect greater accuracy in billing the exact hours spent working on specific projects. It is important to choose a software that can indicate where and how one spends his or her time, and demonstrates efficiency in monetizing this time.

It can be difficult to track the expenses that are incurred while working on projects for clients. It is not uncommon for a portion of these expenses to fall through the cracks when the time comes to invoice clients, or to be billed incorrectly to the wrong clients. The best billing software will help companies track project expenses in real-time and make certain those expenses are not passed on to the wrong clients.

Companies that utilize subscription services can run into difficulties when attempting to implement electronic billing and invoicing. These tasks can require a higher level of administration than other types of billing services. Therefore, for these companies, it is important to find billing software that supports the specific types of services that are billed on a recurring, scheduled basis. A software that also supports discounts, free trials, renewals, refunds and one-off transactions is also a good choice.

Small billing errors can lead to sizeable problems later on. The best billing software will be able to easily put together costs and quotes automatically, and will also be able to generate invoices from the data retrieved. This function will reduce or eliminate the need for a middle person to produce quotes, which, in turn, reduces chances for costly human error. Paying special attention to this component when considering the purchase of billing software can save valuable time, which saves money for the business.

Larger companies often have complex, disconnected billing systems. By connecting these systems into one easily accessible, cohesive system, administration and individual processes can be reduced significantly. Depending on the software used, this connection can help businesses save time and money all the way from the initial quote through collecting payments for services.

Business relationships are strengthened when clients have questions about the company’s billing process that can be quickly and thoroughly answered. By selecting the right billing software, the company’s billing information can be easily accessible, which enables the clients’ questions to receive fast and accurate responses. A strong feature of appropriate billing software is its ability to make customer care easier, while providing the right answers as they are needed.

Customers and clients appreciate straightforward, simple reports that are all-encompassing and that integrate all pertinent information in an easy-to-read format. On the business side of things, the right billing software enables the company to identify their most profitable clients, monitor purchasing patterns and to project cash-flows. For these purposes, it is best to select a billing software that can generate automated reports. This also serves to remove manual administrative tasks from the process, which can cut costs and improve profitability.

CloudBooks is a highly recommended billing software that generates detailed reports for every phase of the billing process from payment collection to profit & loss reports. If are are considering implementing billing software into your business practices, or are seeking new software that does a better job, please contact us to schedule and appointment for a consultation.

Features of Online Invoicing Software that are Lifesavers for Your Business

Sending out invoices and monitoring which have been paid is such a hassle. Not to mention, if you make a mistake or lose track of an invoice, your business loses money. Online invoicing software is the solution to this old business problem. It allows you to automate invoices entirely online, so you can say “goodbye” to the paperwork that gives you a headache. Here is an overview of the typical features and benefits you will enjoy in online invoicing software:

#1 Cost Reduction and Speedy Payments

Online invoicing software reduces business costs and speeds up payments. You save time and money by handling your invoices with this software because you don’t have to go through the hassle of creating and mailing the paperwork every month. No paperwork means less clutter in your office and fewer documents to shred. You don’t have to wait for customers to receive the mail and send payment either. Customers can immediately pay you online.

#2 Easier Tax Filing

Another great feature of online invoicing software is easier tax filing. The software automatically applies tax codes to invoiced items, making your life easier. Your accountant will be able to access this information easily as well. If there are any errors, your accountant has the ability to correct it within the software.

#3 Professional Templates that Reflect Your Branding

Many online invoicing software provide a variety of custom templates, so you can reflect your branding in invoices. This allows you to remain consistent and professional. You can also adjust the template for specific clients when necessary. For example, you may need to set credit limits for a particular customer. Or you may need to adjust it based on the client’s currency, region, or language.

#4 Notes and Reminders for Clients

Sometimes you need to jot down notes about a client in regard to payment. Doing this by hand takes more time and can become lost. Online invoicing software allows you to set notes and reminders for clients, which is more convenient than keeping track of it by hand or in another document. You’ll have all the necessary information conveniently located in one safe place online in the cloud.

#5 Multiple Ways of Getting Paid

You can accept a plethora of payment methods with online invoicing software, such as PayPal, bank transfers, and credit cards. With online invoicing software, customer payments are automatically logged for you, so that you save time and improve accuracy. You can quickly view which payments you’re waiting on with the software as well, which saves you the time of manually searching for a missing payment.

#6 Integration with Other Business Functions

Some online invoicing software provides integration with other business functions to further streamline your work. Which business functions are integrated varies from software to software. Choose the one that best suits your needs. For example, our online invoicing software offers project management and time tracking tools. If it makes sense for your business, then it may be the better choice in invoicing software for you.

Conclusion

Not having an efficient system in place for sending and managing invoices is a major reason some small businesses experience cash flow problems. Online invoicing software makes your life easier in many ways, including eliminating a good chunk of paperwork, improving organization of your invoices, and increasing the speed at which you are paid. You will have more time and money to spend on more interesting aspects of your business than invoicing. Our online invoicing software, CloudBooks, offers all of the above benefits to help you stay on top of your business’s earning and spending.

Contact us for more information on how CloudBooks can help your business save time and money while automating your invoices.

A Freelancer’s Journey to Finding a Workable Billing Software Solution

A Freelancer’s Journey to Finding a Workable Billing Software Solution :

What started out as a side income for Mandy about three years ago, eventually became a full-time career. This career consisted of her writing as a freelance writer. She wrote at times as a ghostwriter and sometimes under her own name, but after awhile her lack of business and accounting skills became a roadblock to her success. This is Mandy’s journey to finding a workable billing software solution for her new freelance career.

Freelance Writer Doesn’t Equal Business and Tech Savvy
In the beginning, Mandy worked through broker sites creating content for clients, which was easier for her because the billing and accounting part was already taken care of. After some success there, she began to branch out to freelance job boards and forums. This is where she found a few personal clients who liked her writing on certain topics. At first, billing was easy enough to manage through PayPal, but when work picked up she began to get overwhelmed with the holistic business aspects of her budding career.

See, just because Mandy was a great writer and could satisfy her clients in that department, she really wasn’t business or tech savvy. After six months of branching out on her own and gaining a few of her own personal clients, she began to understand her freelance writing work resembled a business.

In fact, she realized her freelancing writing efforts had become a full-time business. Yet, Mandy was becoming disorganized with billing, invoicing, time-tracking, deadlines, expenses, and overall organization. She was beginning to think she would have to scale down, or simply go back to a broker site.

Mandy Found a Solution
Although Mandy wasn’t the most tech savvy or business minded person, she put forth the effort to find a workable billing, invoicing, and time-tracking solution. After sifting through complicated solutions, which were basically overkill for her situation, she found CloudBooks.

CloudBooks was a comprehensive billing, invoicing, and time-tracking SaaS solution. The simplicity and 30-day free trial offer attracted her to signing up and using it. Right away she realized this was the exact solution she needed to organize every aspect of her promising freelance career.

How CloudBooks Transformed Mandy’s Career
Mandy never thought she’d have a career as a freelance writer, and even with the success she was having for a few years: the business and tech aspect seemed out of her ability to manage. She thought she was simply going to be limited to a mere elementary type of business persona, rather than a fully functional business with a successful brand.

Finding CloudBooks began to change her mind-set around these thoughts of limitation. Her few personal customers responded very well to her professional estimates and invoices, and the time and expense tracking features of CloudBooks began to give her clarity around all aspects of her daily work. She began to become so organized that she was able to take on many more clients and make more money.

CloudBooks transformed Mandy’s mindset and business ability, and through the easy-to-use tools: she was able to organize and manage her freelance career in a professional and successful manner. She expanded her abilities to take payments, track expenses for taxes, track invoices and estimates, and meet deadlines. The best part is she had a central place to access all these tools, while before she was using her memory and sticky tabs!

A Bright Future Began for Mandy
Putting the puzzle pieces together for a successful career as a freelance writer was a slow process at first, but was accelerated when Mandy found CloudBooks. By not having to spend so much time and effort on keeping track of the business aspects of her career, she was able to create a portfolio and a website. After some time she built a successful brand, and was able to even hire a crew of 5 freelance writers to help satisfy her customers’ needs.

CloudBooks remained the solution she used, helping her to comprehensively organize her employees and customers with simplicity and clarity. Through the insightful expense and time-tracking reports, she was able to manage employee productivity and the business’s profitability. And through the organized billing, invoicing, and estimates, she was able to keep track of deadlines and payments due.

Summary

Mandy went from a part-time freelance writer working for content broker sites, to a freelance agency employing five writers and satisfying dozens of clients and hundreds of orders every month. A big part of her successful journey was finding CloudBooks, which gave her the tools, insights, and ability to turn her talents as a writer into a viable business.

CloudBooks is a great billing and invoicing solution for small businesses of all sorts. It’s designed in a way to take the complications out of the billing process, and to give businesses the tools they need to comprehensively manage the vital aspects of their businesses.

By using this innovative SaaS solution, freelancers like Mandy can find the efficient tools they need to upgrade their businesses, satisfy their customers, and use their time more productively. If interested in knowing more or to start your free trial, please contact us today.