Some numbers need reviewing on a daily basis, and one example of this is cash.  When cash is coming in from a number of places, it’s great to have a daily summary of what was collected.

It’s also great to make sure all the collections hit your bank account so you can feel confident that no errors were made along the way.  A daily cash reconciliation report will serve both needs very well.

A daily cash report will vary depending on the type of business you have, but it will look like a combination of a bank reconciliation and a sales report wrapped into one.

If you are managing your cash closely from day to day, then this report will help you stay sane.  You’ll need two very brief spreadsheets to get started.  The first one below is your daily sales from all sources.  Your accounting system may be able to generate this.

Today’s Sales
Cash$300.00
Checks$600.00
Total Bank Deposit$900.00
Mastercard Visa$400.00
American Express$200.00
Total Credit Card Due$600.00
PayPal$100.00

If your accounting system is up to date, all you’ll need to do is pull the cash balance and adjust for today’s activity.  The following day, you can double check your accuracy and adjust accordingly using the last two rows.

Daily Cash Report
Book Cash Balance$5,000.00
Deposit from Today’s Sales$900.00
Merchant Deposit$600.00
Less Checks Written Today($1,200.00)
$5,300.00
Expected Bank Balance Tomorrow$8,300.00
Actual Bank Balance$8,300.00
Explain any differences

If your accounting system is not updated in real time, you’ll need to start with the bank balance and correct it for uncleared transactions as well as list today’s activity.

Daily Cash Report
Bank Balance$5,000.00
Deposit from Today’s Sales$900.00
Merchant Deposit$600.00
Less Checks Written Today($1,200.00)
$5,300.00
Checks Still Outstanding($3,000.00)
Deposit from A/R Paid$5,000.00
Expected Bank Balance Tomorrow$8,300.00

 

Using these formats, you can easily extend them to cover the entire week.  This way, you’ll know what your cash balance will be from day to day.

If you see the value of this report for your business and would like help creating it, please reach out.

Have you ever been in a situation where there’s no internet and you needed it?  Or perhaps you’re at a hotel and don’t want to pay the extra $15 per day for wireless internet.  If so, you’re not alone, and luckily, there’s a gadget for just about everything.  This time, it’s a gadget you probably already have:  all you need to do is whip out your cell phone.

iPhone

Your cell phone can act as your wireless modem.  Plug the iPhone into your PC using your USB connection.  Go to Settings on your iPhone and one of your settings will be labeled Personal Hotspot.  Tap it and toggle it to “on.”  Set a password.

On your PC, view your wireless internet connections, and the name you’ve given your phone will show up.  Click to connect and enter the password you set on your phone.

Voila, internet!

Android

If you have an Android, tap More… and select Wireless and Networks, then Tethering and Portable Hotspot. Check Portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Tap Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings and you can edit the Wi-Fi network name, and choose a password.

On your PC, view your wireless internet connections, and the name you’ve given the Wi-Fi network will show up.  Click to connect and enter the password you set on your phone.

Fees

Ask your cell phone network provider if this hotspot feature is included in your package or is an extra charge.  You may also have to call then to enable this feature.

Once you’ve used this once, you’ll be hooked.  You now have a new internet access alternative anywhere you have cell phone coverage.

Sales tax laws are constantly changing, and sales tax audits have increased since states and local agencies have become creative about finding new ways to generate revenues.  If you haven’t made any changes in your sales tax procedures in a while, you are probably at risk.

Taxability

From state to state, the taxability of items varies.  For example, data processing services including web hosting and graphics are taxable in Texas but not California.  Because of these intricacies, it makes sense to consult an expert in this area.  Some states have been taxing certain services for many years now.

Nexus

The new buzzword in sales tax is “nexus,” which simply means presence.  If your business has a presence in a state, then certain items you sell could be taxable.  “Presence” is a little gray, but here are a few examples of some characteristics that the courts have decided prove nexus.

  • If you have employees or contractors working in a state, you are liable to collect and remit sales tax.  This can play havoc if you hire virtual or remote workers.  Even if they are part-time, you have nexus in that state.
  • If you outsource inventory fulfillment in any way (think Amazon sales), you have nexus in states where there is a physical warehouse that houses your products.
  • If you own business property in a state, you must file sales tax.
  • If you participate in trade shows or are a public speaker, you have nexus in states where the conferences are held.

The Risk

If you fail to collect taxes where you should, the risk is easy to calculate.  Take the potential taxable sales times the sales tax rate, and add any penalties.  The numbers get scary if you’ve been in business for several years.

Let’s say your annual revenues are $5 million.  You didn’t realize that your Texas sales were taxable, and this amounts to 10% or $500K.  Your tax liability is $41,250 per year.  If you have been doing it wrong for five years, well, you can add it up.  Add penalties on top, and it’s not a small amount.  It can wipe out your entire year’s profit.

Sales tax liability becomes more important if you plan to sell your business.  A traditional valuation will always include a sales tax risk analysis.  Even if you don’t plan to sell, the odds of you getting audited or a disgruntled employee blowing the whistle can be too much to risk.

If you want help calculating your risk or assessing nexus or taxability for your business, reach out and we can help.

Unfortunately, spam is an inevitable part of today’s digital world.  The bad news is if you have your spam settings set too tightly, you will lose good emails.  If you receive new prospects via email, you may miss out on good clients and revenue.  If you have your settings too loose, you have to take up extra time to wade through the spam emails.

Here are some tips and facts that can help you control it.

Anti-virus software

Desktop-based (not cloud-based) anti-virus software is a must anyway, and most have an anti-spam component that can be activated to mark spam and move it to a junk folder in your Outlook or email software.  You can then periodically review and delete the items in the junk folder.

Web hosting software

Many website hosting packages come with SpamAssassin which you can set up via your website’s control panel.  You can choose whether to delete the spam and you can set the level of deletion which is based on an email scoring system as to how spammy it is.   Your webmster can help you set this up.

Third-party email

About half of all businesses have gone to third-party email solutions such as Google mail, Rackspace, Office 365, and many others.  Many of these have built-in spam protection on their servers.

Gmail, which is free, is also very popular and filters the spam automatically.  You can set up your gmail account so that it sends from your business email.

Challenge and response software

Some business owners have gone to a challenge and response software such as SpamArrest.  All emails coming in require validation via a captcha (those boxes that have you prove you’re a person and not a robot by entering letters and numbers) on the sender’s part.

Old email addresses

Older email addresses are subject to more spam than newer ones.  Also, if you use common emails such as info@yourdomain.com, you probably get more spam than most.  Start over every 3-5 years with new emails.  It is worth the time.

Too many email addresses

Spam will come in to all the email addresses you use, so if you have two email addresses, you may get twice as much spam.  Keep the number of email addresses you use to an absolute minimum.

Scrapers

Avoid placing your email address on your website or in public forums where it can be “scraped” by robots that will place your email on lists without your permission.  Even so-called reputable companies employ scrapers; it’s more common than we’d like to think.

Also, some of the more aggressive websites will capture your domain and/or email address from cookies, so beware.  With Google Chrome, you can browse “incognito,” and we recommend you do that.

If you’re challenged with spam, try one or more of these ideas to save time.

Wow, can you believe that 2015 is half over already?  Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark, it’s time to see if we’re on track for our 2015 goals.  To do that, we need to see if we’ve met our mid-year milestones.

Managing By Milestones

A milestone, in project management terms, is simply a point along a project timeline.  It’s marked so that project managers recognize when that portion of the project has been completed.  We can use milestones to see how we’re faring toward financial goals as well.

Assuming our business is not seasonal, we should have earned half of our target revenues for 2015 as of the June 30, 2015 income statement.  If we’re falling short, we can recognize that and perhaps add some promotions or sales to spike revenues so that we can correct the shortfall before the year has ended.  If we’re ahead of the game, we can see what is working so well and make sure to replicate it.

Either way, with milestones, we can be more proactive in reaching or surpassing our goals.

By the Numbers

Some of the numbers you may want to set milestones for include:

  • Revenue to date
  • Expenses
  • Profit to date
  • Debt paid down or debt taken on
  • Assets acquired or sold
  • Number of employees added or lost or both
  • Number of clients added or lost or both
  • Accounts receivable aging

Project Performance

Milestones don’t have to be numeric.  You can also use them to determine if you’re on track with internal projects.  Perhaps for 2015, your goal was to replace 5 PCs and convert your shopping cart software.   You can set milestones to monitor specific phases of these projects or just monitor when you start and complete them.

Mid-Year Milestone Report

Document your accomplishments in a mid-year milestones report.  It feels good to write them down, plus you’ll have a history of how much you accomplished as well as what worked.

The report can include the milestones as well as a narrative explaining the performance to date.  If you’d like our help creating this report, please feel free to contact us.

Accounting for milestones can help you become more proactive toward reaching your business goals.  Plus, it’s great to see how far you’ve come since the beginning of the year.