The Pros Of Free Checking Accountant

Good Accounting Practices for Nonprofits

As an accountant, it’s important to be on the top of your financial game. Understanding healthy nonprofit accounting practices, the best nonprofit accounting software to use, the latest rules and regulations, and protecting your organization’s financial data is key

Have Internal Policies and Controls

Fraud is a real concern for nonprofit organizations. In fact, 40% of NPO professionals say they put “some or minor effort into helping prevent fraud”, according to Abila’s 2016 Nonprofit Finance Study.

Assign Different Financial Practices to Different People

Similar to the above, you want to protect your organization from any type of possible fraud. An easy way to do that is to assign different financial tasks to different people. Why do this?

Use Accounting Software Designed for Nonprofits

Nonprofits have unique accounting challenges. And the best way to solve those challenges is to use nonprofit accounting software. Nonprofit accounting software can streamline, simplify, and strengthen your budgeting, forecasting, HR management, grant management, and fundraising. The software can also provide internal controls over your financial data, helping you secure and protect your information.

Create an Annual Operating Budget

Every organization needs a budget, whether you’re a nonprofit or for-profit. Each year you should create a realistic operating budget that you can adhere to as much as possible.

 

The Future of Accounting: Will it Still Exist

With the imminent rise of artificial intelligence, a wide variety of professions will be at risk of becoming obsolete within the next 20 years. With this in mind, many business owners and number crunchers alike are asking themselves, “what is the future of accounting?”

The robots are coming

Let’s be honest, accountants have a tough job earning the career respect they deserve. Few children admit to wanting to be an accountant when they grow up, while firefighter, teacher and astronaut remain at the top of the list. Even lawyers, who get similar flak, have an easier ride than the humble accountant, who tends to be pigeonholed and stereotyped as, (can I say it?) boring!

The forest AND the trees

Another thing I’ve learned through running a business is that I’m really not a details person. If you’re a type N on the Myers-Briggs scale like me (25% of the population), you often miss the details in favour of observing patterns and seeing the bigger picture. I need to work closely with people who do details well. Finding people with complementary abilities is crucial to building a successful team.

Accounting firms need to evolve to survive

One thing we know for sure is that technology is changing the future of accounting in business. Cloud accounting packages like Xero and QBO have made accounting software finally accessible from anywhere on any device. But they also present it in a way business owners can actually understand! Running Sage on a dusty computer in the corner of the office is now, for most, a thing of the past.

The role of the accountant is about giving business owners the peace of mind that they’re not making a horrible mistake somewhere and ending up with an unexpectedly large tax bill, fines, or even a prison sentence. Having an outside third party (human) perspective on how the books are being run is such a valuable asset that I can’t imagine that need will ever go away, no matter how automated things become.

 

Accountant Top Needed Skills

A well-crafted resume skills section, highlighting your relevant skills for an accountant position, will help your resume beat the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is the first step to getting your application noticed. Use the accountant top skills and proficiencies below to help you effectively write your resume.

Accountant top skills & proficiencies:

Accounting

Corporate finance

Attention to detail

Deadline-oriented

Reporting research results

Confidentiality

Time management

Data entry management

Basic math

Accuracy

Planning and organizing

Scheduling and monitoring

Communication skills

Problem analysis and problem-solving skills

Initiative

Teamwork

Active learning

Clerical knowledge

Proficiency with Microsoft Office

Professionalism

 

Excel skills wannabe accountants need to know

Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for accountants, and it is a key skill that any budding accountant should try to become familiar with. If you’re a newly qualified accountant, an accountancy student or are a business owner who wants a better handle on their finances, here are some of our top Excel tips for accounting and finance professionals.

VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP

VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP are two of the most useful Excel functions for accountants. These functions let you search a table of data and give all the appropriate information for an individual set of data based on only one part of it.

HLOOKUP

Another important excel formula for accountants and finance professionals is HLOOKUP. Taken directly from the Office site, here’s what the HLOOKUP formula does

Paste options that could prevent errors

This is a useful excel skill that everyone needs to know! Have you ever hit ‘paste’ and been left with a sheet full of errors? Try Paste > Special instead! You’ll be able to transpose data, copy data validation and more with paste options. Click the drop-down menu next to the paste button to see what options are available, or paste as special when you right click.

Learn keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are essential for anyone who uses Excel regularly. They improve efficiency by turning multiple-click processes into one easy button press (including the one above).

 

Big ambitions – starting your own practice

It may be just a dream when you are studying, but once you qualify you may seriously consider setting up on your own. Iwona Tokc-Wilde looks at what this entails

Despite the global economic turmoil of the last few years, the number of business start-ups has been rising steadily around the world, with some countries reporting record figures.

As business confidence around the world is now growing, both trends – the rise in business start-ups and the corresponding need for small accountancy and bookkeeping firms – are likely to continue, so this is a big opportunity for those nearing qualification.

Compliance is key

First of all, you must comply with all the rules and regulations required for opening and running an accountancy practice, including being fully licensed to take on this sort of work.

ACCA’s Global Practising Regulations 2003 require any member who is a principal in an accountancy practice to hold an ACCA practising certificate (students are not permitted to start and run a public practice), even if the member holds a local licence for the region in which they practise. ACCA’s definition of public practice work extends beyond audit and other regulated work, to incorporate all types of work generally associated with an accountancy practice, but excluding bookkeeping services.

How Payroll Service Could Help Your Company

Considerations to Make While Choosing A Payroll Service

Determining how to choose a payroll service for your business can be difficult. There are many payroll software providers and features from which you can choose.

Whether this is your first time looking for payroll software or you want to switch software programs, you need to know what to consider. Knowing what to look for in a payroll service can help you make a good purchase.

We want you to make an excellent payroll service choice the first time. That’s why we created affordable payroll software that is easy to use. But, we also want you to make superior business decisions, which is why we created a guide about how to choose a payroll service

A few of the points you can learn about in this guide include types of payroll software, software costs, and software security.

In each of the 10 sections, we provide you with a list of questions to ask yourself. The questions are helpful tools to assist you in thinking about your needs and what type of software will work best for your business.

The Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Provider

Let’s be honest—most payroll companies seem like they’re doing the same thing. That’s why it’s SUPER overwhelming to figure out which company to go with. Beyond looking at the basic features and price tag, what else makes a payroll service stand out?

Over the years, I’ve helped many small business owners weigh the pros and cons of providers to find their perfect payroll software. In my years of research, I’ve looked at A LOT of providers and seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. After reviewing nearly every provider out there, I’ve learned that a few things can make or break your payroll experience.

Easy to use

Some payroll platforms look like they haven’t been updated since 2004. Think small, barely readable text, menus nested within menus, and the saddest, drabbiest grey you’ve ever seen.

Made for small business owners

Some payroll companies are geared towards accountants, and the language within the platform reflects that. Jargon. Technical language. Words you’ve never heard before. After your first payroll run, you can feel so overwhelmed that you never want to do it again.

Grows with your business

Any time you invest in financial software, choose the option that will grow with your business. This means looking for the features you need right now and the features you’ll need one, three, and five years down the road (even if you’re not there yet)

Choosing a Payroll System: Factors to Help You Decide

If you’ve decided you want to use software to run your business’s payroll, you might worry about the difficulty of choosing a payroll system. To weed through the many services out there, you need to know what to look for.

Choosing a Payroll System

Using payroll software can save you time and money so you can focus on growing your business.

Online vs. desktop software

There are two types of software to choose from before you compare payroll services: online and desktop software. What you choose depends on the type of business you have, your lifestyle, and your personal preference.

Online software: Online software, or cloud payroll software, means you can access payroll anytime and anywhere. All you need is internet access to run payroll, which is beneficial if you are constantly on the go. With online software, you can access your payroll records from more than one device. Log in to a computer at your business or your mobile device at home.

Desktop software: For desktop software, you will download the software program onto your computer. You can only run payroll on the computer that has the software. You do not need internet access to run payroll with this option. 

How to Choose a Payroll Service for Your Business

There are a lot of options available when choosing a payroll service. You may be researching everything from payroll software to bookkeepers. When selecting a provider, consider the size of your business and the complexity of payroll operations. In our list, we explain the different types of payroll services available, so you can make the right decision for your business.

Learn What Different Payroll Providers Do

To make the best choice for payroll, you’ll need first to understand the different types of payroll outsourcing services that are out there. This list defines payroll software, bookkeepers, PEOs, and local payroll services.

Payroll Software

Payroll software are systems that you can use to help manage your payroll or some aspects of it—paychecks and payroll taxes (payments and filing). There are both online options and those you can install on your PC; please note, many employers today prefer online providers for the convenience and ability to access it from anywhere. Some of the more quality software has a team of professionals who will assist you with setup, compliance questions, and one-off issues

Bookkeepers

Bookkeepers are the obvious choice for some employers when they already have one keeping their financial records in order. The important thing to consider is the bookkeeper’s level of payroll knowledge. Some are experts in compliance and stay abreast of federal and state laws governing how employees and taxes should be paid; they may offer a guarantee to cover any penalties that arise. Others are more accustomed to the financial side of payroll, calculations, payments, and maintaining records; these bookkeepers can ensure your employees are paid but may run into some legal snags along the way.

Professional Employment Organizations

Professional employment organizations (PEO) are companies that partner with you on employing your workers. While you manage day-to-day operations, the PEO handles payments, taxes, deductions, and makes sure you don’t break any payroll laws.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Service for your Company

Every company has to pay their employees. Sometimes the most experienced business owners can find themselves spending a large amount of time trying to process payroll monthly. Outsourcing this function to a payroll provider can be very beneficial and help reduce costs. However, finding the right one, can be challenging.

Checklist: Before choosing a payroll provider, you will want to make a checklist of what your company needs. This will help you prepare questions to ask a provider once you start researching your options. Some questions to ask yourself are: Do you need a payroll provider that can process multi-state payroll and handle different state taxes? How many employees will they be processing payroll for? Do you need additional HR services such as benefits, onboarding, etc.? It is important to be open to other options. They may offer a service you didn’t know you could benefit from.

Ask a lot of questions: It is important to ask a lot of questions when researching a payroll provider. You will want to essentially interview them to make sure they are the best fit for your company. Review your checklist and make sure you are asking questions that cover all of your company’s needs. Make sure to ask questions that touch on the provider’s pricing, software capabilities, taxes, reports, customization, etc.

Consider the Benefits: Using a payroll provider can help you in many ways.

Reduce Cost/Risk: By being the employer of record, the payroll provider will reduce your company’s risk.

Offload Duties: The payroll provider can assist with the onboarding process, benefits and payroll processing. Offloading these functions will allow your HR team to focus on other functions & projects that are important to your organization.

Regulation Changes: Payroll providers stay up to date with changes in government regulations and will avoid any cost/penalties.

Payroll Knowledge Risk: If you have one person doing your payroll and they end up leaving, this could cause a lot of risk. Using a payroll provider, you will not have to worry about that burden.