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Bookkeeping for Small Businesses

Who keeps the books for your business? You know the dreaded invoicing, receiving, payables, reconciling, filing, general ledgers, liabilities, budgets, and reports. Many small businesses do not have a dedicated accountant or financial manager to take care of these tasks, which means that, often times, the job falls to a business leader or owner.

Chances are, if you are an entrepreneur, you have some grasp of handling the books and have been doing some aspect of it while your business has been growing. As your business evolves, however, the job of balancing the books and taking care of the bills or payroll gets more complicated.

That’s why Enterprise Center is offering Business Owners and Startups a seminar entitled “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business.” Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9pm, from May 21 to June 6, you can learn the basic steps of setting up and keeping track of your money in a simple, accurate manner that works for you.  

Bookkeeping doesn’t need to be the dreaded chore that keeps your sheltered in your office well into the evening. There are some fantastic apps that can help keep you organized and are fairly intuitive to use. Our advice is to do a bit of research before you download any software, as each app offers something a little different. Your business’s unique needs can be met with one of them.


QuickBooks is a name that you probably recognize as it is one of the most popular small business accounting software programs out there. People love it because it has multiple tailored versions and top-of-the-line features. QuickBooks is meant for people who are not accounting experts. They put all the information in one, easy-to-use location.


Xero is great for businesses that are on-the-go and need something a little more mobile. Xero is a mobile app for accounting specifically geared for business leaders who need to do their bookkeeping remotely or while on the road. This is also great in case a client needs a quick update and you want to bring up the numbers on your phone. Xero has served over 1.2 million subscribers around the world.


FreshBooks is yet another top accounting software that specializes in small business accounting. That means that it is geared for your company in mind, not the larger corporations. Each of the three versions of FreshBooks: Lite, Plus, and Premium, is tailored toward the specific needs of small businesses within a wide range of sizes and structures.

Have questions about keeping the books for your company or need a change in the app that you are currently using? Check out our seminar “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business” and register today.


Increasing Cash Flow

Is your small business having problems with its finances – specifically with cash flow? Finding the answers to this common problem can be tough. Thankfully. there are some things that business leaders and owners can do to solve this issue and prevent it from recurring in the future. No matter your budget, there are always ways to increase your sales and grow your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started to increasing your cash flow:

  • Current Clients – Talk to your current clients who already know your business and have had positive experiences with you and your company. It’s much easier to upsell a client who already is familiar with your work, the quality of your product and services, and has already incorporated aspects of your services into their business.
  • Ask for Referrals – In addition to adding services or products for your current clients, ask them to provide you with client referrals. If you know that a client is satisfied and happy with your products, ask him or her for the names and contact information of other small business owners who might also benefit from working with you.
  • Re-evaluate your Pricing – When was the last time you looked at the pricing of your products or services? If your pricing is too affordable, you won’t be taken seriously. But if your pricing is too expensive, you will lose some business to competitors. Complete some careful research about the prices of your products as compared to competitors and how a price change may impact your business.
  • Create Incentives for Ontime Payments and penalties for late payments. Part of the problem with cash flow is the issue of clients paying late or missing payments. Create an incentive program for those who pay on-time or even early.
  • Re-evaluate your Assets. Is it time to look at underperforming services or products and pull them from your business? Consider what brings in the cash and what does not.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.


Best Small Business Accounting Apps

A large part of being a successful small business owner is managing the financial accounts including: invoices, billing, expense reports, financial reports and reconciliations. For many business owners this part of the job can be stressful and may cause you to want to ditch the confusing spreadsheets and financial reports in search of something better.

What you may be looking for is an easier way, with less headaches, in an easy-to-read, affordable format. That is where small business accounting apps come in to play.  While there are seemingly millions of accounting programs out there (just Google it,) there are some that the experts tend to recommend more than the others. Here are the top accounting apps that made the cut: 

  • FreshBooksOf all the accounting software we looked at this name kept coming up over and over again. FreshBooks wins for its ease of use, excellent customer service, and for offering all the features small businesses need to manage their finances on the go. FreshBooks allows you to quickly create professional-looking invoices and set up credit card payment support. Other features include repeat invoicing, estimation, and one-click snail mail sending.

  • QuickBooks Online is an accounting app with a walloping set of features presented in one of the simplest accounting interfaces ever.  Quick Books handles accounting, billing, and invoicing, all from the same spot. Its colorful, user-friendly interface is home to a powerful set of features. These include estimates invoicing, time tracking, accounts payable, reporting, inventory, contacts, sales, and tax.

  • Wave With more than two million users, Wave is one of the most successful online accounting services – and it’s completely free for accounting, invoicing and receipts, although if you want personal technical support you’ll need to pay for it.
  • Zoho – Zoho Books offers all the basic features microbusinesses need, as well as advanced tools that grow with your business. Furthermore, compared with other accounting software for really small businesses, Zoho Books has the best price for all of its capabilities.

Still confused about the specific accounting software you may need to stay organized and in the black?  Check out Accounting Software Reviews for a complete list of the top accounting apps used by small business owners. They break down the cost, features and can link you to free trials. 

Which QuickBook version is right for you?

quickbooks_zps1b309b5fNot sure which QuickBook Version is right for you and your business?  There are some subtle differences and not-so-subtle differences that come into play with each version of QuickBooks.  Deciding which one is best for the needs of your company may not be as easy as finding the most affordable one.  Instead it may be finding the right one for your current business situation.  Before purchasing QuickBooks let’s examine the key points of each version and how it may or may not be a good fit for your company’s bookkeeping needs.

Some questions that may help you decide on which version might be best for you would include:

  • What kind of shop are you?   Mac or Windows?  This may make an easy decision to go with with the system with which you are most accustomed.
  • Do you need remote access or only work in the office?
  • Do you need a version that is industry specific or will standard features suffice?
  • Do you have many raw materials or numerous components to your inventory tracking that requires specialized features?

After considering these questions, you are ready to look at the main features of each version of QuickBooks.

  • QuickBooks for Mac – This is a different software package than all of the others.  All of the other versions of QuickBooks (not the Online version of course) run on Windows. QuickBooks Mac is built to use the user interface framework of a Mac, so the way you access different modules and sections of the software is very Mac-centric.
  • QuickBooks Online – For small businesses that rely on travel and do most of their business on-the-go, this is a great version for you.  This online service, along with being easily accessed remotely, has secure data back up of files.  There are five versions of online QuickBooks:  Online Simple Start
    Online Essentials
    Online Plus
    Online Essentials with Payroll
    Online Plus with Payroll
  • QuickBooks Pro – This is one of the more popular versions of QuickBooks.  It is reasonably priced and is known as the workhouse edition of QuickBooks. It contains all of the strong features any small business will need to track their company’s finances and when upgraded it allows up to three users to all access the same company file congruently.Some of the main features include: Track bills, expenses, and print checks.
    Track sales and customer accounts.
    Manage payroll.
    Create estimates, invoices, and reports.
    Accept credit cards (with a service).
    Batch invoicing.
    Track time and expenses for a specific client.
  • QuickBooks Premier – QuickBooks Premier offers features specific to your industry and offers increase inventory controls which you might need. If you deal with many raw materials or components to building a product which you then sell to end users, you may want to look at QuickBooks Premier.  QuickBooks Premier has all of the QuickBooks Pro features and adds a few of its own: Create a business plan
    Track balance sheet by class
    Forecast sales and expenses
    Industry specific reporting



QuickBook Tips for Novices

quickbooks_zps1b309b5fQuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit.  Small business owners can manage payroll, inventory and sales through this multifaceted software. Finances such as: monitoring expenses, creating invoices, tracking orders, keeping track of vendors/customers/employees and inventory becomes fairly simple with this program.  If you have just bought or downloaded QuickBooks and are a novice at accounting software, you may need some tips for getting started in the right direction.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Tips and Tricks pages on the internet.  It can get a bit overwhelming.  Here are some of the best pieces of advice we have found after analyzing many “How-To” sites.

  • Take a mental business inventory – Before starting to use QuickBooks write down all the things you will need such as payroll, vendor lists,  and invoices.  Having a good idea of the scope of your needs will help you when it comes time to start inputting your information.  Once you have determined the basic needs and volume of your business bookkeeping, then choose your QuickBooks program. (In our next blog we will be discussing the varied options and different QuickBook versions from which to choose.)
  • Learn how to use QuickBooks – QuickBooks has an excellent “interview” process for setting up a new company when you first start your software. There are also QuickBook tutorials and video lessons that you may want to partake in before you begin the program.  Even if you are fairly comfortable with bookkeeping, you may want to follow one of these lessons just to be sure you are setting up your company page, vendor pages, and employees pages correctly.  YouTube and Google have many to choose from including help for beginners all the way up to expert tips.  For quick and common questions as you are using QuickBooks, try using the Help Feature on the menu bar.  For more complicated problems you may want to contact a QuickBooks professional.
  • Learn the shortcuts – Every program has shortcuts that can make bookkeeping so much easier.  Here is a quick list of some favorites. Ctrl-I     Create invoice
    Ctrl-E     Edit transaction selected in register
    Ctrl-F     Find transaction
    Ctrl-J     Open Customer Center
    Ctrl-M     Memorize transaction or report
    Ctrl-N     New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
    Ctrl-Q     QuickReport on transaction or list item
    Ctrl-T     Open memorized transaction list
    Ctrl-W     Write new check
  • Customize the Tool Bar and Right Click options – While QuickBooks comes with a default icon bar at the top of the screen, users can add, remove, or modify the icons to better suit work needs. In addition, QuickBooks makes extensive use of right-click menus everywhere in the program. Try right clicking instead of heading right for the toolbar icons and menus.
  • Use “Classes” and Exporting Tools – When you’re working with Preferences, make sure Classes is turned on (Edit | Preferences | Accounting | Company Preferences | Use class tracking). Additionally, Classes are your own way of categorizing elements of a business. Exporting  QuickBooks’ reports are highly customizable, but they don’t have Excel’s power to manipulate and format data and to run what-if scenarios. Users can easily export QuickBooks reports to Excel.

QuickBooks can be such a time saver and get your business finances organized, but you will need to take the time to learn the ins and outs of the software in order to use it efficiently. Here are some quick Resources to get you started.

25 Tips on Using QuickBooks Effectively

BrightHub – Learning QuickBooks