Sunday, April 20, 2014

Connecting LivePlan to Xero

JoAnne Catlin for LivePlan writes:  If you need help setting up the connection between Xero and LivePlan, please contact us, and we'll be happy to walk you through the process. You can reach us by email at help@paloalto.com or by phone at 888-498-6136 or +1 541 683 6162. 

The LivePlan Scoreboard is integrated with Xero, which makes it easy to import the actuals data from your Xero organization into the LivePlan Scoreboard. This means you won't have to enter your actual numbers into LivePlan manually, your results will stay continually updated, and you'll be able to quickly compare your actuals to your LivePlan forecast.

Getting set up with Xero

  1. If you don't have a Xero account yet, you'll need to sign up for one (there is a free trial option):

    try_xero.jpg
  2. Next, you'll need to set up a Xero organization for your business. For help doing this, refer to the Xero Business Help Center
  3. Once you have a Xero account and organization set up, you can connect LivePlan to Xero.

Connecting LivePlan to Xero:

  1. Log in to your LivePlan account.
  2. On the Scoreboard overview, click Connect to your accounting solution for automatic updates

    connect_to_account.jpg
  3. In the Choose a data source overlay, choose the Xero option, and then click Continue

    chooseXero.jpg
  4. If you have used manual entry to enter any data into the Scoreboard prior to connecting, an overlay will appear to warn you that the data will be discarded when you connect to Xero. Click Continue:

    cautionXero.jpg
  5. The next overlay outlines the steps you need to take to connect to Xero. Click Connect to Xero

    nowconnectXero.jpg
  6. In the Xero overlay that appears, enter the username and password for your Xero account, and then click Login:

    welcome_to_xero_overlay.jpg
  7. In the overlay that asks you to authorize LivePlan to connect to your Xero account, click Authorize:

    authorize_xero.jpg
  8. Once the connection is successful, the next step is to bring the data from Xero into the Scoreboard. Click OK, let's sync
    xerosuccess.jpg
  9. LivePlan will pull in your Xero data for the current year and up to three fiscal years in the past. You'll see the following overlay during this process:
    check_for_updates.jpg
  10. Once LivePlan and Xero are connected, the Xero mapping view will appear:
    xero_mapping_view.jpg

To disconnect from Xero:

Once you're connected to Xero, your Scoreboard will remain that way until you disconnect it from Xero. As long as the connection is intact, LivePlan will automatically sync the data between LivePlan and Xero on a nightly basis. 
If at some point you want to disconnect LivePlan from Xero, click the Disconnect from Xero link the bottom of either the Scoreboard overview or the mapping view:
disconnect_Xero.jpg
Posted on 8:26 AM | Categories:

Why don't Wealthfront or Betterment offer index funds based 401k plans for small businesses?

We came across a discussion where someone asked, "Why don't Wealthfront or Betterment offer index funds based 401k plans for small businesses?"
___________

Katherine from Betterment here. Thanks for your question about 401(k) plans; it's 

something we’re looking into. Offering our services in a 401(k) plan is a sensible idea. 

We believe Betterment is the next generation of the target date fund, found in the 

vast majority of employer-sponsored retirement plans. Right now we’re focused on 

growing what we believe is the most efficient individual investment service. To create 

a Betterment 401(k) option requires extensive operational and regulatory manpower - 

our resources are currently dedicated to making Betterment the best product it can be.

Please check back with us for updates as we continue to expand our product offering.

Thanks,

Katherine

 Katherine Buck.
-

Who is Betterment? 

With a decade of experience in finance and as a CFA charterholder, Betterment CEO Jon sought an investment service that would deliver the best possible results and save him time and money. A service to build wealth, yes, but more importantly give him the peace of mind and the time to pursue his career and enjoy other things in life.
But every product he found was time-consuming and thoughtless. Whatever technical innovation he found seemed to benefit traders, but left his professional peers and sophisticated investors no better off than they were two decades ago.
Jon saw an opportunity to make investment management better through the thoughtful application of technology, which could optimize any portfolio, whether $10,000 or $10 million. He assembled an expert team of engineers, quants, and designers, and together they re-imagined what an investing product should be: efficient, accessible, and delightful.
At Betterment, we are creating a world where investing better is accessible to everyone. We have built a financial utility that provides the obvious, smart answer to "What should I do with my money?"
Posted on 8:26 AM | Categories:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

10 Critical Things to Look for in a Small Business Bookkeeper

Young Entrepreneur Council for Business Insider writes:  If you run a business and are looking for a bookkeeping solution, it’s important to start by understanding the who, what, when, where and how of your ideal scenario. (What is ideal for you may not be ideal for a different business type.)

Below, I’ve outlined 10 of the most important areas to consider when comparing bookkeepers so that you will be able to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Experience

Experience comes in many shapes and sizes. You may think that if you have a small business, the experience you need from a bookkeeper can be “small” as well. There is nothing further from the truth. You need as much experience as you can afford, because great bookkeeping and accounting is instrumental in growing your business and maximizing your profits.

Experience does not always equal good fit, either. Someone who has worked for 20 years as a part-time bookkeeper for a landscaping company, although “experienced,” may not have the depth and breadth you need for an early stage startup company. When you start looking for your solution, make sure you create a wish list of level, depth, and type of experience you need.

Education

The person that is doing your bookkeeping should have had some level of formal business and accounting education. A business degree by itself does not qualify someone to be a great bookkeeper. Make sure the education level of your solution matches the needs of your business — today and in the future.

A great bookkeeper is always going to be thinking 10 steps ahead, helping you prevent problems rather than just helping you solve them. Someone who has a formal accounting education will understand policy, procedure, strategy, tactics and ethics. The educated bookkeeper is going to want to grow with you and your business. This desire will keep them sharp, focused, and looking ahead to help your business become a financial success.

Oversight

You are probably not an accountant yourself and you may not have the resources, knowledge, or desire to oversee and check the work being done by your current bookkeeping solution. You may have a CPA, but paying them for oversight can be costly. You must take oversight into consideration.

Oversight has various levels. If you employ a bookkeeper that does not have formal education or training, your need for oversight will be high. Conversely, if your solution has lots of specific experience and education, oversight will be simpler and less costly.
Working with a bookkeeping service that has built-in oversight is a great way to get the function for a fraction of the cost. Whatever you decide, at the end of the day, you are responsible for the condition and accuracy of your books.

Banking Technology

In the 21st century, being able to conduct commerce over the Internet is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. Working with your bank and other third-party companies to pay bills and receive payments is crucial to remaining competitive and strong. Being able to access your financial data online from anywhere is now a key aspect of running a business. Make sure your bookkeeping and accounting solution is capable of conducting your business online in a safe and secure manner 24/7.

Software and Systems

Are you still writing checks to pay vendors, employees and others? A great 21st-century bookkeeping and accounting solution has the ability to conduct a majority of your financial business electronically. We have been able to do individual parts of this for some time; the problem has been that these “time-saving” technologies have not been tied together.
Fortunately, there are now a few bookkeeping and accounting solutions today that have been able to glue most of this together, creating a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective means of keeping your books virtually. QuickBooks and Bill.com, in conjunction with online banking systems, now allow for a smooth flow of information and funds from a single point of access, anywhere and anytime, to name one example.

If you are not already set up with systems that work for you, make sure that your bookkeeper can assist you in setting up or transferring your documents.

Accounting Policies and Procedures

You already have accounting policies and procedures in place, whether you know it or not, but they are probably not yet where they need to be. Policies and procedures are the guidelines you establish on how bookkeeping and accounting get done in your business — how items get posted, when bills are paid, when you close the monthly books, who reviews what and when, and so forth.

It is extremely important that no matter what bookkeeping solution you choose, you set up at least simple guidelines. If you are a nonprofit or if you have certain types of government loans, you may have to adhere to policies and procedures specific to loans, grants, and fundraising. Your bookkeeping solution should be able to guide and direct you in establishing policies and procedures and should be savvy enough to adhere to any guidelines.

Data Entry, Reporting and Reconciling

Bookkeeping is not just about entering numbers into the ledger. It is a thoughtful understanding of the business at hand, managing the day to day input of information, outflow and inflow of cash, and much more.

Having accurate financials at your fingertips allows you to react quickly and deftly to situations as they arise. For example, let’s say you have a vehicle or machine that your business depends on, and it unexpectedly dies on you. Unless you have a large pile of cash, you are going to have to borrow money to replace that equipment. You can spend days or weeks trying to catch up the bookkeeping to satisfy the bank or lending institution — or you can just print out up-to-date financials. But those days or weeks could mean the difference between success and failure of your business.

Keeping on top of the data entry, reconciling and reporting also means you head into tax season armed with every expense, depreciation, and deduction you can possibly file, saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your tax bill.

Bottom line? Your bookkeeping solution should provide you with the reports and regular updates you need to make good decisions every day of the week.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow, or lack of it, can make or break any business.
All too often, a small business will sacrifice positive cash flow to meet short-term crisis needs and may never recover. This is one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail. A great bookkeeper will be able to understand your financial needs from day-to-day and month-to-month, help to keep you honest, and keep you walking in financial reality. Even though it is up to the business owner to set the guidelines of what gets paid and when, your accountant should be able to foresee problems and help you make wise financial decisions. Understanding the ramifications of your possible actions is half the battle.

Tax Preparation and Planning

It’s January 15th and you suddenly realize that tax season is here. You call your bookkeeper in a panic, asking him or her to make time to get all the bookkeeping finished and the reports ready for your tax person.

If you had a great bookkeeping solution, December would have already been closed out and year-end reporting would be the push of a button away. You would not have to worry about mistakes, missing expenses because you were in a hurry, or risking an audit.
A great bookkeeping solution will warn you about red flags that might arise in terms of unforeseen tax burdens. When your business is growing, you may not be taking into account that you will be paying higher taxes and/or heading into a new tax bracket. Your bookkeeping solution should be able to see that far ahead and help you plan wisely so that you are ready to meet growing pains and keep the finances under control.

Credit Management and Strategy

Lines of credit are a double-edged sword. If you use credit cards, you should be aware of the risks and costs of maintaining high balances and the ramifications of not paying those balances down. Sometimes, Line of Credit balances must be paid down to zero, depending on the terms of the bank agreement, and are not really revolving lines of credit.
With either instrument, the business must exercise planning, discipline, and consistency to prevent serious business-threatening situations from arising. A good bookkeeping and cash management strategy will ensure that the credit lines remain a priority and don’t get you into trouble. Once you have screwed up your credit rating, it may difficult or impossible to recover.

Enrico Palmerino, a graduate of Babson College, is a serial entrepreneur recognized by Inc., Bloomberg Businessweek, CNN, and USA Today. He was a co-founder founder of ThinkLite, an international lighting company ranked #46 in Inc's 500 Fastest Growing Companies, and is currently Managing Director at SmartBooks, an outsourced bookkeeping & accounting company providing small and midsize companies with a virtual finance department that is better, faster, and more affordable.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

When choosing the right accounting software there will be a number of key accounting processes you will want to take into consideration. Three of the most important of which are billing and invoicing, expense management and bank reconciliation needs.
However, not all accounting software solutions are capable of covering all three of these processes properly. That is why we have identified 5 popular applications that do a good job on all them.
But before looking at these, let´s consider what accounting software can do to make these processes more efficient.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/accounting-software-meet-three-key-needs-0840360#dJds5akPYEx7ZZ8w.99
When choosing the right accounting software there will be a number of key accounting processes you will want to take into consideration. Three of the most important of which are billing and invoicing, expense management and bank reconciliation needs.
However, not all accounting software solutions are capable of covering all three of these processes properly. That is why we have identified 5 popular applications that do a good job on all them.
But before looking at these, let´s consider what accounting software can do to make these processes more efficient.

Billing and Invoicing

Chasing overdue payments can be tedious and time consuming, software that can track unpaid invoices and set up automatic payment reminders allows you to better utilise your time with other tasks.
Furthermore, the improved tracking of invoices means an increased likelihood of getting paid faster and less likelihood of losing track of money that’s owed to you.
Creating invoices is another great capability of accounting software, automatically calculating sales tax and discounts along with generating recurring invoices. Invoices can also be customized and branded to improve professionalism and can be exported, emailed and printed.
Most applications also handle multiple payment options, allowing you to record payments made both online and offline and notifying you when payments are made.

Expense Management

Keeping on top of continuously piling bills and various outgoings can be a challenge. This is where expense management tools in accounting software can help.
These tools allow for the better organization, categorization and overview of both billable and non-billable expenses. They can also streamline the reimbursement process of employee expenses.
Automatic recording of expenses leads to enhanced accuracy and efficiency, saving you time and hassle. This also reduces the room for error and enables you to keep a closer eye on your spending at all times.
By providing detailed reports on expenses, accounting applications can provide valuable insights into ways to reduce expenses and keep track of expenses that are tax deductible.

Bank Reconciliation

Accuracy is one of the key factors that must be ensured when preparing bank reconciliation statements and accounting software can be essential in helping with this. Bank reconciliation tools help to speed up the entire process from start to finish, saving a huge amount of time.
These applications allow you to detect discrepancies more easily, avoid errors, and keep on top of company cash flow. They also give clearer and neater overviews of transactions. This increased visibility allows for the easier detection of missed entries.
With features such as automatic bank feeds, bank statement imports and automatic categorization of transactions such as PayPal and credit card, the process is made significantly less complex.

5 Popular Accounting Software That Make These Processes More Efficient

Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Netsuite logo
Netsuite is a unified business management suite offering a range of accounting and financial services among their multifaceted product list. Services this software provider offers include expense management, recurring revenue and revenue recognition management, order and billing management, tax management as well as the ability to easily integrate with all their other products.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image zoho books logo
Zoho Books offer a range of accounting services including invoicing, expense tracking and automated banking, along with generating profit and loss reports, balance sheets and cash flow statements. You can access all your accounting data from anywhere using various devices. You can also share and track all your financial reports with your accountant online.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Intaact 2
Intacct is a financial management and accounting application that offer multiple capabilities. Along with the aforementioned features, Intaact also offers revenue management, multi-currency management, general ledger and accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, along with sales tax management, project accounting and advanced, streamlined cash management.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image quickbooks
Quickbooks is an accounting solution for small to medium sized businesses. Among their services is the ability to accept payments, scan receipts, track sales and expenses, pay employees and easily share information with accountants. Quickbooks bookkeeping software also offers reconciliation of accounts payable and receivable, audit trails, balance sheets and reporting.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Xero
Xero is accounting software geared towards small businesses. Key features include the sharing of business figures with your accountant, automatic bank feeds with the ability to connect bank accounts, along with online payment, payroll, fixed assets, purchase orders, financial reporting and multi-currency tools.
You can compare these applications further on the GetApp market place.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/accounting-software-meet-three-key-needs-0840360#dJds5akPYEx7ZZ8w.99
When choosing the right accounting software there will be a number of key accounting processes you will want to take into consideration. Three of the most important of which are billing and invoicing, expense management and bank reconciliation needs.
However, not all accounting software solutions are capable of covering all three of these processes properly. That is why we have identified 5 popular applications that do a good job on all them.
But before looking at these, let´s consider what accounting software can do to make these processes more efficient.

Billing and Invoicing

Chasing overdue payments can be tedious and time consuming, software that can track unpaid invoices and set up automatic payment reminders allows you to better utilise your time with other tasks.
Furthermore, the improved tracking of invoices means an increased likelihood of getting paid faster and less likelihood of losing track of money that’s owed to you.
Creating invoices is another great capability of accounting software, automatically calculating sales tax and discounts along with generating recurring invoices. Invoices can also be customized and branded to improve professionalism and can be exported, emailed and printed.
Most applications also handle multiple payment options, allowing you to record payments made both online and offline and notifying you when payments are made.

Expense Management

Keeping on top of continuously piling bills and various outgoings can be a challenge. This is where expense management tools in accounting software can help.
These tools allow for the better organization, categorization and overview of both billable and non-billable expenses. They can also streamline the reimbursement process of employee expenses.
Automatic recording of expenses leads to enhanced accuracy and efficiency, saving you time and hassle. This also reduces the room for error and enables you to keep a closer eye on your spending at all times.
By providing detailed reports on expenses, accounting applications can provide valuable insights into ways to reduce expenses and keep track of expenses that are tax deductible.

Bank Reconciliation

Accuracy is one of the key factors that must be ensured when preparing bank reconciliation statements and accounting software can be essential in helping with this. Bank reconciliation tools help to speed up the entire process from start to finish, saving a huge amount of time.
These applications allow you to detect discrepancies more easily, avoid errors, and keep on top of company cash flow. They also give clearer and neater overviews of transactions. This increased visibility allows for the easier detection of missed entries.
With features such as automatic bank feeds, bank statement imports and automatic categorization of transactions such as PayPal and credit card, the process is made significantly less complex.

5 Popular Accounting Software That Make These Processes More Efficient

Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Netsuite logo
Netsuite is a unified business management suite offering a range of accounting and financial services among their multifaceted product list. Services this software provider offers include expense management, recurring revenue and revenue recognition management, order and billing management, tax management as well as the ability to easily integrate with all their other products.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image zoho books logo
Zoho Books offer a range of accounting services including invoicing, expense tracking and automated banking, along with generating profit and loss reports, balance sheets and cash flow statements. You can access all your accounting data from anywhere using various devices. You can also share and track all your financial reports with your accountant online.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Intaact 2
Intacct is a financial management and accounting application that offer multiple capabilities. Along with the aforementioned features, Intaact also offers revenue management, multi-currency management, general ledger and accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, along with sales tax management, project accounting and advanced, streamlined cash management.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image quickbooks
Quickbooks is an accounting solution for small to medium sized businesses. Among their services is the ability to accept payments, scan receipts, track sales and expenses, pay employees and easily share information with accountants. Quickbooks bookkeeping software also offers reconciliation of accounts payable and receivable, audit trails, balance sheets and reporting.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Xero
Xero is accounting software geared towards small businesses. Key features include the sharing of business figures with your accountant, automatic bank feeds with the ability to connect bank accounts, along with online payment, payroll, fixed assets, purchase orders, financial reporting and multi-currency tools.
You can compare these applications further on the GetApp market place.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/accounting-software-meet-three-key-needs-0840360#dJds5akPYEx7ZZ8w.99
When choosing the right accounting software there will be a number of key accounting processes you will want to take into consideration. Three of the most important of which are billing and invoicing, expense management and bank reconciliation needs.
However, not all accounting software solutions are capable of covering all three of these processes properly. That is why we have identified 5 popular applications that do a good job on all them.
But before looking at these, let´s consider what accounting software can do to make these processes more efficient.

Billing and Invoicing

Chasing overdue payments can be tedious and time consuming, software that can track unpaid invoices and set up automatic payment reminders allows you to better utilise your time with other tasks.
Furthermore, the improved tracking of invoices means an increased likelihood of getting paid faster and less likelihood of losing track of money that’s owed to you.
Creating invoices is another great capability of accounting software, automatically calculating sales tax and discounts along with generating recurring invoices. Invoices can also be customized and branded to improve professionalism and can be exported, emailed and printed.
Most applications also handle multiple payment options, allowing you to record payments made both online and offline and notifying you when payments are made.

Expense Management

Keeping on top of continuously piling bills and various outgoings can be a challenge. This is where expense management tools in accounting software can help.
These tools allow for the better organization, categorization and overview of both billable and non-billable expenses. They can also streamline the reimbursement process of employee expenses.
Automatic recording of expenses leads to enhanced accuracy and efficiency, saving you time and hassle. This also reduces the room for error and enables you to keep a closer eye on your spending at all times.
By providing detailed reports on expenses, accounting applications can provide valuable insights into ways to reduce expenses and keep track of expenses that are tax deductible.

Bank Reconciliation

Accuracy is one of the key factors that must be ensured when preparing bank reconciliation statements and accounting software can be essential in helping with this. Bank reconciliation tools help to speed up the entire process from start to finish, saving a huge amount of time.
These applications allow you to detect discrepancies more easily, avoid errors, and keep on top of company cash flow. They also give clearer and neater overviews of transactions. This increased visibility allows for the easier detection of missed entries.
With features such as automatic bank feeds, bank statement imports and automatic categorization of transactions such as PayPal and credit card, the process is made significantly less complex.

5 Popular Accounting Software That Make These Processes More Efficient

Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Netsuite logo
Netsuite is a unified business management suite offering a range of accounting and financial services among their multifaceted product list. Services this software provider offers include expense management, recurring revenue and revenue recognition management, order and billing management, tax management as well as the ability to easily integrate with all their other products.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image zoho books logo
Zoho Books offer a range of accounting services including invoicing, expense tracking and automated banking, along with generating profit and loss reports, balance sheets and cash flow statements. You can access all your accounting data from anywhere using various devices. You can also share and track all your financial reports with your accountant online.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Intaact 2
Intacct is a financial management and accounting application that offer multiple capabilities. Along with the aforementioned features, Intaact also offers revenue management, multi-currency management, general ledger and accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, along with sales tax management, project accounting and advanced, streamlined cash management.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image quickbooks
Quickbooks is an accounting solution for small to medium sized businesses. Among their services is the ability to accept payments, scan receipts, track sales and expenses, pay employees and easily share information with accountants. Quickbooks bookkeeping software also offers reconciliation of accounts payable and receivable, audit trails, balance sheets and reporting.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Xero
Xero is accounting software geared towards small businesses. Key features include the sharing of business figures with your accountant, automatic bank feeds with the ability to connect bank accounts, along with online payment, payroll, fixed assets, purchase orders, financial reporting and multi-currency tools.
You can compare these applications further on the GetApp market place.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/accounting-software-meet-three-key-needs-0840360#dJds5akPYEx7ZZ8w.99
When choosing the right accounting software there will be a number of key accounting processes you will want to take into consideration. Three of the most important of which are billing and invoicing, expense management and bank reconciliation needs.
However, not all accounting software solutions are capable of covering all three of these processes properly. That is why we have identified 5 popular applications that do a good job on all them.
But before looking at these, let´s consider what accounting software can do to make these processes more efficient.

Billing and Invoicing

Chasing overdue payments can be tedious and time consuming, software that can track unpaid invoices and set up automatic payment reminders allows you to better utilise your time with other tasks.
Furthermore, the improved tracking of invoices means an increased likelihood of getting paid faster and less likelihood of losing track of money that’s owed to you.
Creating invoices is another great capability of accounting software, automatically calculating sales tax and discounts along with generating recurring invoices. Invoices can also be customized and branded to improve professionalism and can be exported, emailed and printed.
Most applications also handle multiple payment options, allowing you to record payments made both online and offline and notifying you when payments are made.

Expense Management

Keeping on top of continuously piling bills and various outgoings can be a challenge. This is where expense management tools in accounting software can help.
These tools allow for the better organization, categorization and overview of both billable and non-billable expenses. They can also streamline the reimbursement process of employee expenses.
Automatic recording of expenses leads to enhanced accuracy and efficiency, saving you time and hassle. This also reduces the room for error and enables you to keep a closer eye on your spending at all times.
By providing detailed reports on expenses, accounting applications can provide valuable insights into ways to reduce expenses and keep track of expenses that are tax deductible.

Bank Reconciliation

Accuracy is one of the key factors that must be ensured when preparing bank reconciliation statements and accounting software can be essential in helping with this. Bank reconciliation tools help to speed up the entire process from start to finish, saving a huge amount of time.
These applications allow you to detect discrepancies more easily, avoid errors, and keep on top of company cash flow. They also give clearer and neater overviews of transactions. This increased visibility allows for the easier detection of missed entries.
With features such as automatic bank feeds, bank statement imports and automatic categorization of transactions such as PayPal and credit card, the process is made significantly less complex.

5 Popular Accounting Software That Make These Processes More Efficient

Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Netsuite logo
Netsuite is a unified business management suite offering a range of accounting and financial services among their multifaceted product list. Services this software provider offers include expense management, recurring revenue and revenue recognition management, order and billing management, tax management as well as the ability to easily integrate with all their other products.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image zoho books logo
Zoho Books offer a range of accounting services including invoicing, expense tracking and automated banking, along with generating profit and loss reports, balance sheets and cash flow statements. You can access all your accounting data from anywhere using various devices. You can also share and track all your financial reports with your accountant online.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Intaact 2
Intacct is a financial management and accounting application that offer multiple capabilities. Along with the aforementioned features, Intaact also offers revenue management, multi-currency management, general ledger and accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, along with sales tax management, project accounting and advanced, streamlined cash management.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image quickbooks
Quickbooks is an accounting solution for small to medium sized businesses. Among their services is the ability to accept payments, scan receipts, track sales and expenses, pay employees and easily share information with accountants. Quickbooks bookkeeping software also offers reconciliation of accounts payable and receivable, audit trails, balance sheets and reporting.
Accounting Software to Meet Three Key Needs image Xero
Xero is accounting software geared towards small businesses. Key features include the sharing of business figures with your accountant, automatic bank feeds with the ability to connect bank accounts, along with online payment, payroll, fixed assets, purchase orders, financial reporting and multi-currency tools.
You can compare these applications further on the GetApp market place.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/accounting-software-meet-three-key-needs-0840360#dJds5akPYEx7ZZ8w.99
Posted on 9:36 AM | Categories:

Early Retirement Tax strategy

Recycles dryer sheets

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 182
ER Tax strategy

So, I got out of the rat race at 52 last summer.
Best move I ever made.
Am now looking at long term options in the Tax arena.

To find out the best moves tax wise, would you ask a CFP or Tax person?

Am thinking about doing a 72t now with my $475k IRA to pull a 
smaller amount out ($20k) every year to avoid large chunk distributions down the road. Am thinking I should access the 
money now while staying in a lower tax bracket.
Before SS (62), , and a $400k lump sum or $2200 mo. annuity retirement fund @ (59 1/2) will be available
Plan to let the $120k Roth sit for old age....

What would you do at 53?
Thanks!
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Old Yesterday, 11:37 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,200
I think you are better to read, learn and do it yourself.
Unless the IRA is your only source of living expenses, I think a better way to accelerate that deferred income in your IRA to your low tax rate years between now and when SS and pensions start is to simply do annual Roth conversions. It is more flexible than a 72t because you can do as little or as much as you want each year and if you accidentally overdo it you can even recharacterize it and reverse it.

I'm currently converting amounts as needed to the top of the 15% tax bracket. My federal tax on last year's Roth conversions was about 5% as I recall which I consider to be a deal given my marginal rate when I deferred that income was 25% or more.
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Old Yesterday, 11:45 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 182
Thanks, I had no idea a Roth conversion could be done at such a low rate. 5% sounds like a deal.
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Old Yesterday, 11:48 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 14,802
Do you need the money? If not, how about Roth conversions?
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Old Yesterday, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thanks, I had no idea a Roth conversion could be done at such a low rate. 5% sounds like a deal.
Sketch out your 2014 tax return in TurboTax or Taxcaster or some similar tool assuming no 72t or Roth conversions. Then add Roth conversions until you get to the top of your current tax bracket or the 15% tax bracket. Take the change in tax divided by the Roth conversion amount and you'll see your effective tax rate on the conversion.
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Old Yesterday, 02:05 PM   #6
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No, I do not need the money now. Just thinking ahead. Plus with a Roth, if I did need some cash in the next 7 yrs. its easier to access penalty free than a IRA I seem to recall. You can access contributions but not gains after 3 years or something like that. And yes, I do not plan on ever going over the 15% bracket ever again. Got killed last year with the 1 yr's severance check on top of 7 months working ....... So this looks like a better way to go. I was in shock they tax a severance like a bonus rather than retirement $$. 45% as I recall........ Ouch! Then I thought I would be getting a lot back at the end of the year. No dice, it put me firmly into the 33% tax bracket. And there was nothing I could do about it except max out my 2013 401k + catch up contributions before I left. I did feel semi bright for doing that though. It was just tough seeing 60k go out the window when I was to venture off unemployed...
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Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM   #7
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You probably didn't have any control over the timing of your severance, but those are the reasons that I ended work in December, but stayed on payroll "on vacation" for the following January and February. It allowed me to take all my pay and defer it and max out my 401k.

If I had instead quit in December and received a check for my unused vacation the taxes on it would have been painful because I had already maxed out my 401k for the year.
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Old Yesterday, 02:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Sketch out your 2014 tax return in TurboTax or Taxcaster or some similar tool assuming no 72t or Roth conversions. Then add Roth conversions until you get to the top of your current tax bracket or the 15% tax bracket. Take the change in tax divided by the Roth conversion amount and you'll see your effective tax rate on the conversion.
This is a fantastic idea. Learn something new everyday on this site. I'd actually heard of doing this but the light bulb didn't turn on until I read your post just now, makes perfect sense now
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Old Yesterday, 02:53 PM   #9
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"You probably didn't have any control over the timing of your severance"
Nope, no real control on the timing. .......... I made it thru the 1st and 2nd voluntary and non voluntary cuts.
(They call them wave's now) Sounds so nice....... I took off on the 3rd voluntary wave.
I could have stayed as I took a "voluntary package". Then 50 % got the same thing but non voluntary the next month...I will call that the outside clean up set.
Again I might have made that cut and still been there as 10% are still there and are said to get the same deal. (But you cant say when, I was told it could be 6 months or 6 years) But after 30 yrs I did get the 80% medical and a years pay. That was good enough for me. Did loose a years sick pay by not using it for 30 yrs. If I was 55 I would have got 20% of it. That was my goal. But again, it seemed like a good idea to walk out on my own terms rather than possibly being showed the door.
If I could have had a choice, it would have been last Jan. as It would have saved me about 30k in Tax's. But that's just how it goes. No regrets or complaints. The folks that stayed are miserable....... Like being on death row IMO. I was just happy to walk out with my dignity and their cash.
That I used to pay off a 4 bedroom rental. $2k / mo. It may not have been the best plan ever, but it works for me.


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Old Today, 06:39 AM   #10
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Retired at 51 in 2012 and DW last year in May. Our 2013 AGI was $85 K of which $20K was earned income about 10K in Dividends and interest the balance was Long Term capital gains. Fed tax bill $352 and we did not itemize. We took the gains this year because or Earned Income and dividends was low enough to have ZERO capital gains tax and we did not have a subsidized HCA plan . Going forward we need to watch AGI due to HCA Health Policy that is subsidized. Our plan is to roll over IRA to Roth to amount that maximizes HCA Subsidy and minimizes income tax. My estimate is we will roll from IRA to Roth around 29K per year. We have this year a fully funded HSA savings account which is tax deductible as our health policy is HSA compatible. Be sure to look at Health Insurance cost subsidy if buying from The new Govt marketplace as part of your strategy.
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