Tips To Effective Working Capital Management

By Marcus L Jimenez

Working capital is the available cash on hand for the day-to-day operations of your businesses. And this can be affected by numerous factors, which include internal mechanisms and external issues.
Another factor that will have a huge impact on your working capital is the unwarranted focus on the task of coming up with excellent sales results. Oftentimes, this has a negative effect on your working capital performance. When your business operations marked seasonality and the requirements of your working capital vary from one quarter to another, there will definitely be a great chance for your working capital performance to be affected negatively.

Indeed, proper capital management will ensure that you maintain enough liquid resources for your everyday business operations. Proper manage will involve attempting to achieve a balance between reducing insolvency risks and maximizing your asset’s return.

How To Manage Your Working Capital

Create proper cash flow projecting – This process must consider the market cycles, the loss of a valued client, the actions done by your competitors, and the impact of all unanticipated events to your business’ overall performance. Moreover, you must also consider the unexpected demands of your capital.

Craft contingency plans for unexpected events – Regardless of how profitable your business is, you must always ensure that you are well-prepared in case unexpected events arises. You need to hone your skills in efficiently managing any uncertainty by formulating risk management procedures. Remember though to establish these procedures based on the objective and realistic view of your working capital requirements.

Use your working capital in a corporate wide basis – This is regarded as among the most effective capital management strategies because this will help make sure that your business’ cash on hand are utilized in various functions. This can be performed by using such cash from one place to another. Making sure that different aspects are in place is a great way of efficiently implementing this tip. These will include efficient banking channels, excellent linkages between production and billing, effective internal systems, information access, and good treasury practices.

Manage disputes properly – This can free up cash that have been locked in due to certain disputes to clients. Customer service can also be improved with efficient dispute management procedures. Most importantly, your business efficiency is expected to improve since you can begin to minimize operating costs via this tip.

These tips will definitely help you in measuring the operational and financial efficiency of your business effectively.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Marcus_L_Jimenez/1865448
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We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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What Part Time CFO Services Can Do for Your Company

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By Ela Melich

Money can be considered the blood of a business. It enables all the departments to function to let the business survive. Money is needed to establish a business and gaining more of it is why a business is put up. Keeping track of the financial processes in a business is an essential and challenging task. Accuracy and promptness is needed. For your business, you can get part time CFO services.

A chief financial officer, or CFO, is responsible for facilitating the financial processes of a company. This may include financial risks, record-keeping, reporting, financial planning, and others. The officer may also be responsible for data analysis. Today, CFOs can function in the area of business strategizing. They can also be advisors to the CEOs. A chief financial officer plays a big role in the development of a company.

Every corporation, no matter the nature of their business, can greatly benefit from having a chief financial officer. A company can even get part time CFO services, so that at least someone is managing the finances for the meantime. Part time CFO services can help a company function properly while it looks for the right person to become the chief financial officer. These services are especially helpful for large corporations that need immediate assistance.

If your business is in need of a chief financial officer, but you have not yet found a qualified candidate yet, an interim or temporary CFO can help you. Interim officers from CFO services are experienced, so they do not need a long period to become familiar with the dynamics in your company. You may no longer need to do thorough training, which can be time-consuming. This is good if you urgently need a CFO.When you get CFO services, they make sure to place the best officer for your company, based on the nature and conditions of your business, and the capabilities of the CFO. These part time chief financial officers have experience in many industries. Among these industries are construction, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and food and beverages. CFO services can help companies that range from small to multinational.

Another benefit in getting a part time CFO for your company is that you may not be limited to a contract. You can work with a temporary officer while searching for a full time one. A company can also hire an interim CFO on a long-term basis, if that is what it needs. These CFOs can help improve the skills of your finance department. They can help business leaders come up with strategies and make critical decisions. With this, you have assistance in achieving your goals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ela_Melich/1225578

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Growing Your Business With A Virtual Part Time Controller / CFO

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Small and medium-sized businesses that are not in a position to hire a full-time Controller or CFO are often the companies that would benefit the most from the expertise of an experienced Controller or CFO.

In order for your business to be the best, you need to execute your financial strategy in a well-planned and effective manner. With a talented Accountant, Controller or CFO you can focus on critical areas of your business such as marketing, sales and customer satisfaction, while knowing that your long term planning and financial reporting are being handled by a seasoned professional.

Growing businesses often reach a point where they need professional financial and accounting advice, but can’t afford a full-time Accountant, Controller, or CFO.

We can take complete responsibility for the financial side of your business, or we can function purely as your part-time / virtual Controller or CFO; optionally, managing your existing accounting and bookkeeping staff. Every business and situation is different.

We can work with your accounting and bookkeeping staff, attorneys, bankers, insurance brokers and tax preparers at a fraction of the cost of a full time employee.

OUTSOURCING TO US

Outsourcing your Accounting, Controller or CFO services, to us, is a cost effective solution when the cost of a full time staff employee is not justified. We provide virtual, offsite, onsite, and part time on going Accountant, Controller and CFO Services to include:

•Accounting Systems and Controls
•Financial Statement Analysis and Reporting
•Strategic Planning and Advising
•Cost / Revenue Benefit Analysis
•Profitability Analysis by Service or Product Line
•Budget and Forecast Preparation and Monitoring
•Treasury / Cash Flow Management and Analysis
•Negotiations for Financing and Operations
•Reorganizations, Mergers and Acquisitions
•Develop and Analyze Business Plans
•Software Selection and Implementation
•Software Training and Support
•Inventory Management and Control
•Documentation of Policies and Procedures
•Business Start Up Guidance
•New Business Formation
•QuickBooks and Enterprise Training, Setup and Support
•Participating in the Strategic Planning Process
•Setting Financial and Organizational Goals
•Providing Financial Due Diligence Management
•Assistance in Obtaining Financing / Capital Planning
•Performance Management
•Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Management
•Monthly and Year End Closing Assistance
•Accountant Staff Evaluation, Training and Utilization
•Growth Development Strategies

Outsourcing to us will reduce and control your internal operating costs, allow you to gain access to extensive additional capabilities, and allow you to focus on managing your business.

We are seasoned professionals and have the experience, expertise, education and qualifications to be your part-time / virtual / on-going Controller or CFO.

ROLE OF THE VIRTUAL CONTROLLER / CFO

A Virtual Controller / CFO can provide management valuable financial oversight, advice and customized financial reports that provide real value to their business decision making. Business owners can focus their attention on growing their businesses and achieving their operational objectives.

The role of a virtual Controller / CFO extends beyond the handling, management and documentation of bank transactions, credit card statements, loans, liability and asset accounts, and payroll management to encompass trend analysis, responses to regulatory notices and deadlines, periodic reviews of accounting files and records and off site and onsite services.

The greatest advantage of hiring an external finance professional is that the business needs to pay only for the services received and can safely avoid the burdens of full time salary, paid holidays, additional perks and bonuses.

OUR APPROACH AND SOLUTION

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; the majority of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 45 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

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The Objectives of Cost Accounting

By Sheila Shanker

Cost accounting is used internally by many companies, especially manufacturing firms. The concepts regarding cost accounting are not mandated or regulated, and it’s up to each business to follow their own cost ideas. However, there are industry standards to guide firms in best practices and proven ideas to costing items, so that some form of standardization exists in cost accounting.

The main objectives of cost accounting are:

Identification of costs and profitability — ­­­­­­­­­ The identification of costs can be tricky, since a company may manufacture different types of items, using a variety of materials, labor and overhead. Computerized programs have helped a lot in this area because of their ability to accumulate large amounts of data and report on it. These systems may interface with time sheet programs, and regular financial accounting software, creating an effective “Enterprise Resource Planning” (ERP) setup, where information is identified and properly classified.

Once all costs are identified, the next step is to price the items properly for profitability. If an item cost $15 to manufacture, then the price should be more than $15 in order to generate profits.

Cost Control — When costs can be identified, they can be evaluated. Resources can be used more efficiently and effectively. For example, if a certain material was bought a few months ago and used on one manufacture run only, it’s possible that the leftovers can be used on another product.

Cost controls also involve identifying errors and problems in the manufacturing process, which could point to the need to get a new machine or to train employees better. Maybe a certain machine is using up too much power, and the usage of solar power may be an option to lower the overall costs of production.

Tool for management decisions — Managers use cost accounting reports to help them in making sound decisions for their employers. Computerized systems allow for managers to have detailed reports by simply pressing a button, facilitating good, prompt decisions. If a product becomes too expensive to manufacture for what it can be sold, the production process can be halted, minimizing losses for the company.

Cost accounting reports may include “what if” functions, which may provide managers with alternatives. For example, management may be considering producing a new widget. Based on the data on the system, what could be the costs of such a widget? Will it be worthwhile to build it? Cost accounting can be very flexible to help management in leading the company.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sheila_Shanker

We provide virtual and onsite Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

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Lean Set-Up in Manufacturing – Cost Saving Answers and Concepts

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By Victor Viser, Ph.D.

Where do we in manufacturing find the “edges” that make or break our profit margins? Where do we make the changes in process, the tweaking, that maximize returns on investments (ROI)? More often than not the edges that reach both output and quality goals are found in the efficiencies we make in the manufacturing technique. Today, in many job shops, make-to-order, or mixed mode manufacturers, those efficiencies in production are found in the elimination of waste-a technique commonly referred to as lean. In a lean system the manufacturer seeks maximized ROI by attempting to eliminate the waste of resources commonly found in physical production processes. In effect, the greatest and most fixed resource available to any manufacturer is that of time, and the control of time is something that we in manufacturing are always striving for.

In the performance assessment of any job or work center set-up, we first need to ask ourselves: Does the ROI justify the time, effort, and cost of leaning a particular process? For example, common sense will dictate that it’s not worth the expense of thousands of dollars to fix a process that will take a year or more to recover. Indeed, the ROI in manufacturing set-up improvement is directly related to the expected and/or actual use and output of the process. To truly lean a process, the improvement must be both significant in terms of time and productive in terms of output-a positive ROI. However, as any lean expert will point out, most set-ups can easily be reduced to ten minutes or less.

What, then, are the factors we must consider when looking to lean a set-up? First, as mentioned, volume of output is a key concept in assessing a set-up redevelopment. How many of a particular component do I expect to make in a year? Related is the notion of customer requirements-how often might this process be set-up during this same period? In short, how often will I run the part and in what quantities? It is only in the review of the answers to these questions that we begin to understand the importance of a particular process to our bottom line. With the awareness of value of a process in these terms, we can then begin to look at these cost in longitudinal terms; that is to say, our real costs for a particular set-up over time.

It is true that most shops underestimate real hard set-up costs, leading managers to include “soft costs” (e.g., the value of improved customer satisfaction, etc.) to justify the meager ROI in leaning a process. To truly validate the cost of a set-up, managers should engage a value stream analysis in which every step of the set-up is listed and measured in terms of time spent. Indeed, even the time (and cost) spent in breaking down the set-up on the backend must be included. This data is then compared against the average hours collected in the set-up performance information in the manufacturing database.

Of course, there are several more general steps you can take to help in ensure speedier set-ups-all common sense notions that are, surprisingly, overlooked by many manufacturers. In the world of lean we call it the “low hanging fruit”. For example, have a well organized fixture/tooling area. Always have a dedicated place for each fixture and make sure it is clearly identified. If at all possible, create multiple locations within the plant to store fixtures and store fixtures closest to where they are used.

Another great application is the use of shadow boards to place and store fixtures. Shadow boards provide a simple visual cue in the form of an outline or solid shape that quickly guide the set-up person to where a fixture should always go after breaking down. Some argue that this could be an expensive undertaking, creating dozens of shadow boards to store hundreds, sometimes thousands of fixtures. However, it certainly cannot be as expensive as having a $25 per hour person walking around for an hour looking for a $10 wrench ten times a week-week in and week out. Furthermore, while the set-up person is in search of the wrench the machine needing set-up is not producing parts.

Ultimately, the leaning of a set-up, a process, and even an entire work center involves the simple use of what is often the most basic of common sense observations. Plan and cost the set-up with realistic scenarios in mind. Remember, in leaning a set-up for a truly maximized ROI is to a large degree the controlling of that highly uncontrollable manufacturing resource-time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Victor_Viser,_Ph.D.

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We provide part-time offsite and onsite Manufacturing Cost, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

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Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-938-3608

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

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Microsoft Great Plains Authorized Real World Consultant.

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Why Should Property Managers Use QuickBooks Software?

QB online accountant

By Nicholas Storey

When it comes to being a property manager there are several beneficial tools that can assist you when it comes to your real estate accounting. One of the best tools you can use to save you money at tax time is using QuickBooks. This software helps in keeping track of finances and can make your job as a landlord much easier.

Save Time & Make it Simple

When it comes to accounting, QuickBooks will handle most of this automatically. It assists in saving time and things such as time consuming paperwork. You can simply run reports and any required information as it pertains to your rental properties. You will always have a good idea of where you stand as far as profits. With the QuickBooks program property managers are assured a stable and reliable product. Used by many businesses worldwide it can benefit property managers as well. Set up is simple and so is the maintenance. With this software you are able to share information with Excel, Word and Outlook. Easily you may e-mail and pay invoices. You can now accept credit cards from your tenants because with this feature no additional hardware is needed. It may take sometime in getting used to this new system but once you become familiar it becomes a breeze.

Setting Up With QuickBooks

Others who use QuickBooks to assist them in their rental properties will set up their tenants as a customer. They’re different properties are defined in classes and you are able to link assets to each class. You are able to charge the tenants for repairs, cleaning and other liabilities. Property managers also run into things such as prepaid rent, refunding of security deposits, bounced checks and such. With QuickBooks you can manage all of these factors.

Tax Time With QuickBooks

Gathering all this information into one system also makes taxes much easier. Property managers have deductions which include things such as repairs, mortgage interest, travel, employees and independent contractors, losses from theft, insurance, professional services and more. All of these can be entered into the QuickBooks system allowing property managers to take advantage and properly calculate their deductions.

Professionals & QuickBooks

With using the QuickBooks program professionals have a overall positive review of the software. This is because they can conveniently keep track of cash flow such as accounts receivable and accounts payable. They can customize various reports and use the system anyway as it pertains to their business. Overall, it makes running their business a lot smoother and can do the same for property managers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nicholas_Storey

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

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The Importance Of Budgeting And Forecasting For Start-Ups

small business year end

By Jo Ann Joy

What Are Budgets and Forecasts?

They are predictions of future income and expenses and cash flow. They also predict future performance with financial forecasts and projections and with financial models.

Why Budget and Forecast?

Budgets and forecasts provide a feasibility analysis. They can help develop a business model, review your key assumptions, and identify resource and capital needs. Budgets and forecasts can be used to find funding. They demonstrate the potential of your business to investors and lenders. Budgets and forecasts can also be used as a management tool. They can help you establish milestones and require accountability for accomplishing the milestones. They can help identify risks and show benchmarks. This will help the small business owner make the necessary adjustments to avoid the risks, to reach the milestones, and to measure up to benchmarks.

Why Are Forecast Important?

A forecast can establish measurements to guide management, to facilitate planning, and to facilitate goal-setting.

What Areas Do You Need to Forecast?

It is critical that you forecast your start-up costs so that you know how much it will cost to open your doors. You need to prepare estimated start-up financial statements and estimated short and long-term revenue forecasts. As part of your forecasts, you will review key concepts and issues that will make a difference in your company’s survival. You also need to forecast the resources you will need and set up a schedule for using and replenishing your resources.

Do Investors Want to See Forecasts?

Yes, your forecasts will show investors that you know your business, that you are likely to succeed, and that you will make wise use of their money. You must have at least a five-year forecast that shows significant profit by year five, significant net income by year two, and that investors will earn approximately 10% return on their investment.

Do Lenders Want to See Forecasts?

Yes, your forecasts will show lenders that you know your business and the you will be able to repay the loan. Be sure you forecast for the entire period of the loan and use conservative financial ratios, because the lenders will. Also, you will need to collateralize and personally guarantee the loan.

The investors and lenders will want to see forecasts of your profit and loss and revenue. They will also want to see what drives income in your industry; for example, sales, distribution, advertising, internet search engines, referrals, location, price, or coupons or other discounts. You also must forecast the revenue cycle for your target customer. How much time will you need to start production, and how quickly will your product or service be accepted in the market?

What Other Forecasts Are Needed?

Another important forecast is the total personnel required to support your desired revenue. If your revenues result from sales, you should start with the desired revenue in year 5. From year 5 subtract 40% from each prior year. On the basis of your research, estimate the number of sales each sales person will make each year. From that you can calculate number of salespeople required.

After you make your forecasts, you should complete a sensitivity analysis by adjusting each major item estimated by 10% plus or minus. Examine the impact on revenues, profit, and cash needs. Remember that most operating expenses are roughly proportional to personnel headcount. These are your variable expenses such as salaries, benefits, employment taxes, furniture, computers, rent, supplies, utilities, training, travel, meals, training, and dues. Other non-variable expenses may or may not be proportional such as professional services, subcontractors, advertising, and trade shows.

Use your forecasts to compare yourself to others in your industry by such things as revenue per employee, revenue per salesperson, gross margin, expense categories as a percentage of revenues, financial ratios, and inventory control. It is critical that you know your industry’s benchmarks and metrics and that your business forecasts are within these benchmarks and metrics. You can find this information by researching your industry.

Should You Hire a Business Consultant to Prepare Your Forecasts and Research Your Industry?

Yes! Unless you have a very strong finance and accounting background, you cannot create financials that will be acceptable to investors and lenders. You cannot do an acceptable business plan with a spreadsheet, and it will be difficult for your to be objective in developing your business model. Also, you are the entrepreneur and your efforts are better spent building and developing your business which is what you do best.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jo_Ann_Joy

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

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The Importance of Manufacturing Costs – Cost-Plus Pricing

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By Martin Hahn.

Most people, whether beginners in the study of marketing or senior businessmen, when asked how prices are arrived at, will start from the cost of manufacture. The most common approach is ‘cost-plus’, or calculating the basic production cost and adding on a margin for profit.

Cost and profit margin may not be the sole keys to arriving at the ‘right’ price although they are important elements. At worst, if costs are not recovered, the firm cannot survive. Similarly, if a ‘reasonable’ profit is not obtained, in the long run again the firm cannot survive.

The cost-plus approach, therefore, contains some all-important elements and also has the merit, in principle, of simplicity. In practice, however, things are not so simple, because we need to know (a) what the cost is, and (b) what a reasonable profit is.

The problem with determining the cost is that usually cost per unit depends on the quantity being produced. This is because there are certain fixed costs – rent, rates, capital charges or rental on machinery and equipment, some wages and salaries – which are incurred whatever the level of production. As the quantity produced increases, the fixed cost per unit decreases. In addition, there are variable costs incurred as each unit is produced, for raw materials, power, and some wages. It is the total of fixed costs and variable costs divided by the number of units produced that gives us the total cost per unit.

This means that the cost of production is not the simple and immutable figure that it is sometimes assumed to be. Worse still, the number of units produced will depend on demand, and demand is influenced by price. So now we have the situation where we are trying to arrive at price with cost as the main determinant, yet cost is itself determined by price.

It must be remembered too that it is total cost we must work with (including marketing and distribution costs) not the simple ‘Factory gate’ cost of manufacture alone.

Source: http://en.articlesgratuits.com/the-importance-of-manufacturing-costs-%E2%80%93-cost-plus-pricing-id1569.php.

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We provide part-time offsite and onsite Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

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Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

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Why You Want to Partner With A Small Business Coach-Advisor

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By Sandy Graham

According to The National Federation of Independent Business [NFIB] Education Foundation, over the lifetime of any small business, 30 percent will lose money, 30 percent will break even, and just fewer than 40 percent will be profitable. The Small Business Administration [SBA] reports that 50 percent of all small business fail after their first year, 33 percent fail after two years, and nearly 60 percent fail after four years. Reasons for failure cited by the SBA include: limited vision, over expansion, poor capital structure, over spending, lack of reserve funds or too little Free Cash Flow, failure to adjust to market changes, underestimating competition, poor business execution, poor business location, failure to establish company goals, poor market segmentation and strategy, poor knowledge of the competition, no management systems, over dependence on specific individuals, and/or focusing on the technical aspects more than the strategic aspects of the business, and an inadequate business plan.

Developing and growing a small business enterprise, either from a new venture or as an existing one, is difficult in a bull market, where the economy is growing. The difficulty factor is there none the less. However, in a down economy, in a recession, where the risk of business failure is magnified several times, the difficulty factor is increased by a significant magnitude. Entrepreneurs and small business enterprises find themselves working in their business as opposed to working on their business. That is, when times are tough, the small business owner feels compelled to spend all his or her time on operations just trying to keep the boat afloat, while putting off where the boat may be going. It is particularly critical in a recessionary economic cycle to spend as much time as possible on the direction of your boat, as it is on operations. If the vision is lost or clouded, it won’t really matter how hard you try to keep things afloat, at some point you may well run aground because you were not watching where you were going. Having an extra pair of eyes to help stir your ship and keep you in the right direction is critical to not only maintaining your business, but helping you to grow it. And as the principal in your small business, this is where you want to position yourself; at the helm stirring your enterprise in the direction of your vision.

Successful athletes typically hire a coach to help them achieve success. Certainly this is the case in professional golf. It is the case in the world of professional cycling. And it is the case in professional team sports, such as baseball. For the entrepreneur and small business enterprise, having a coach, advisor, on the sidelines as well as in the game, to provide critical objective guidance to help them attain their business objectives can be the difference in achieving real success. As a small business enterprise, you want to be in the category of a ‘small business growth’ company, positioned for IPO, acquisition, merger or growing into a medium-sized company. A Business Coach and Advisor will work with you to help avoid becoming an SBA or NFIB Education Foundation statistic on their list of small business failures. From time to time we all need outside guidance, counsel, mentoring and advice. A Business Coach/Advisor will actually help you to become a success story. The benefits of partnering with a Business Coach/Advisory far outweigh the costs. Five critical benefits of partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor include, but are not limited, to the following:

1. Accountability. A Business Coach /Advisor will help you to maintain focus on driving your business forward, and helping you to work through the temptation to work in your business and not on your business. A good Business Coach/Advisor will insist on holding you accountable for achieving your goals and objectives, and work with you to delegate operation tasks that need to be performed by key personal, and guiding you towards providing the strategic vision your business needs to grow. Your Business Coach, acting in an Advisory capacity will work with you to develop or refine strategic short- and long term goals and then hold you accountable to achieve them. You want your coach to be tough, yet personable having the capacity to understand your business and where it is you want to take it. There job is to help you formulate that and to get you positioned to attain it.

2. Formulating Strategic Goals, Ideas, Objectives. A Business Coach/Advisor will work with you to develop and refine your goals, ideas and objectives. A combination of coaching and advising is necessary here, and your Coach has the acquired expertise and experience to work through these with you and knows how to adapt them to your business.

3. Contributing Business Growth Strategies. A good Business Coach/Advisory will have the ability to share and communicate their experience and expertise in developing business growth strategies. Remember, no one has all the answers. No one. Not a coach or a business executive. Sharing ideas are critical. Thinking out of the box is essential. So, when you’ve just “run out of ideas” on how to market and sell your products and services, your Coach will work with you, as a partner, to develop and then implement the business growth strategy or strategies that are specific to your company and market to meet your growth objectives. To be most effective, weekly communication with your Coach will keep you on track.

4. Resources. When it is needed, your Business Coach/Advisor will provide referrals to contacts or resources for your business, such as expansion capital, legal and accounting services, social media marketing, technologies, and other resources that are relevant to helping you meet your goals and objectives. My view here is that it is incumbent on a business coach and advisory to have a teaming or partnering viewpoint, and it is essential for them to do so for the benefit of you, the small business owner.

5. Objectivity. A Business Coach/Advisor provides you with the necessary objectivity to see your business as it really is. This is essential for an honest assessment of where your business is in its life cycle. When you get used to the same processes and procedures, tasks, basic routine, you lose the ability to see your business with the same objective clarity that you once did. Your Business Coach provides you with a double perspective; looking into your business from the customer perspective, and looking out at the customer from your perspective. And then provide you with feedback about what works, what doesn’t and what your options are. To be effective, weekly communication with your Coach will keep you on track.

Partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor should be on a retainer basis for three to nine months, preferably six months. It will normally take a good Business Coach/Advisor two months, sixty days, at least to become fully knowledgeable about your business, its practices, your strengths, weakness, your vision, and your objectives. Then another month to begin working with you to arrive at your business objectives. While three months is the minimum time needed for a good Business Coach/Advisor to begin making a difference under a single retainer agreement, nine months is the maximum under a single retainer agreement, where six months is the optimal. During a six month retainer, a Business Coach/Advisor should be able to meet all goals and place in to practice the critical elements that a small business needs to attain strategic objectives. Typically, once a small business has partnered with a Business Coach/Advisor, they retain them continuously, or as needed.

In today’s troubled economic climate, the use of a Business Coach/Advisor makes strong financial sense. While you might feel you can go it alone, the resulting cost may far outweigh what it would be had you partnered with a Business Coach/Advisor when needed. It’s sort of like the old TV commercial about changing your oil, you can either do it now at the cost of an oil change, or wait until your engine blows and pay the cost then. Waiting will certainly cost you infinitely more. If you are facing a limited vision, over expansion, poor capital structure, over spending, lack of reserve funds or too little Free Cash Flow, failure to adjust to market changes, underestimating competition, poor business execution, poor business location, failure to establish company goals, poor market segmentation and strategy, poor knowledge of the competition, no management systems, over dependence on specific individuals, focusing on the technical aspects more than the strategic aspects of the business, or simply need help in growing your business, then partnering with a Business Coach/Advisor makes good financial sense.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sandy_Graham

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Business Consulting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

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Business Consultant – A Wise Investment

Four businesspeople in boardroom talking

By  

Your Business Can Profit From a Business Consultant

If you are just starting a business, one of the wisest investments you can make is to hire a business consultant. They can help with anything from management to productivity. Everyone who opens a business wants it to be successful. Even the best businessman can have issues occur that is beyond their control. A business consultant helps keep everything running smoothly.

Perhaps your business has been open for years, but you just recently started having issues with your employees. Maybe they have trouble getting along, or there are continuous disagreements. A business consultant can come in and instruct them on communicating effectively. When a company has employees who communicate with each other, duties can be carried out without issues.

When employees cannot seem to get along, one of the main things that suffer is the productivity. If a company fails to produce, customers are lost and when customers are lost, money is lost. Customer service is another important key factor in a business being profitable. A business consultant can come in, assess the employees and make sure that they are giving the highest level of customer service.

Business consultants wear hats of many colors. They perform a variety of duties that are beneficial to the company. When a company first opens up, one of the main things they focus on is advertising. Oftentimes, the owner of the business does not have the time to do this effectively. A business consultant can be hired to handle all the aspects of advertising. They can do research on the area, the businesses in that area and look closely at the demographics.

The business consultant can be viewed as a company’s right hand man. With so many things that are involved with running a business, one person cannot possibly handle everything. That is why it is wise to seek the help from a consultant, to ensure that no area of the company is being neglected. Typically, a company can set up a consultation with a business consulting firm and find out exactly which type of consultant they need. Once this is established, the consultant and owner discuss the time frame it would take to perform the tasks and how much it costs.

Some people may think that hiring a business consultant is expensive. The truth is, not hiring one could be more costly in the long run. Money can be lost quickly in a business, but with a business consultant on board, this can be prevented. For example, if the company gets their products from a vendor, the consultant can make sure that the vending company is charging a fair price. They can make sure that the company is getting exactly what they pay for.

When you decide that you want to use a business there are a few things you want to find out before you hire them. You want to make sure that they have the same goals and expectations set for the company as you do. You need to ask them questions and take note of their answers. If they do not seem to be motivated in helping you achieve the goals you have set, chances are they aren’t going to go the extra mile. When you are asking questions, put them in real life situations. Pay attention to their answers and see how they would handle things. You need someone you can trust and depend on to help you get your company to the top.

Business consultants are meant to be problem solvers. The main goal when hiring a business consultant is to make sure that they can carry out this task. If your company is having problems, and you aren’t quite sure to address them, you many need their help. A business owner views their company from a personal level, mainly because it is an investment, their baby so to speak. Sometimes they can envision how they want things to run, they just aren’t sure how to get there. A consultant can take a step back, assess the company from all sides and find out where the troubled areas are. When you know exactly where the root of the problem is, it can be better addressed. If a person views an issue but has a difficult time figuring out how to approach it, sometimes it takes another person’s view. This view can be that of a business consultant. The advantage to that is, when they find the problem, they will know how to address it, and it gets solved.

A business consultant can be very beneficial to any company. Even if the business owner thinks they have everything under control, chances are they do not. It is better to handle an issue when it first occurs rather than waiting it out. A business consultant can do just that!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roger_Bryan

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Business Consulting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

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When To Opt For QuickBooks Online Solutions?

QB online accountant

By Liza Welch

When it comes to small and medium scale business enterprises, the deciding factor for the Accountant is not whether to go for QuickBooks accounting solutions. In fact, the dilemma is about deciding which installation solution to opt for. The options available for the deployment of QuickBooks are mainly on-site and off-site cloud based hosting. Hosting solutions are further sub-divided into first-party cloud solution and third-party cloud solution. Apparently, third-party QuickBooks online solutions seem to be quite a feasible option.

What is the process of QuickBooks installation and usage with cloud service providers? The hosted QuickBooks provider is an external service provider that manages huge capacity servers to host a number of applications. There is nothing that the user requires at his end except for an updated PC and an internet connection. The major benefits associated with the use of QuickBooks online solutions are:

Multi-user environment: When deploying QuickBooks on a single computer, only one user can access it at a time. The benefit of a hosted solution is that your copy of QuickBooks along with your license will be installed on a remote server. This software becomes platform-independent once it is hosted. This allows the users to access their QuickBooks accounts from anywhere all over the world. When considering a premise-bounded solution, the user has to manage a server for maintaining multiple user access which is infeasible when there are just 3 or 5 users. QuickBooks hosting allows any number of user accounts to be set up and maintained remotely thereby minimizing investment while maximizing efficiency and association.

Seamlessly integrated functionality: Many times, the newbie users feel that the hosted solutions lack some functionality. Perhaps this confusion is because the users feel that the hosted QuickBooks solution is different from the regular desktop version. The truth is that the users can have any version hosted on the servers of the hosting providers. These versions generally include QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Pro. So, the users can have all-time access to any feature that they want without having to set up any hardware at their office.

Complete data backup facility: One of the major benefits of using QuickBooks online solutions for SMBs is the complete backup of data. In case of any natural calamity or disaster, your data can be secured. Most of the service providers back up data at the end of each day and replicate this backed up data at various locations. This ensures that harm to a server at a single location does not hamper the data being backed up at another server.

Hassle-free access from anywhere: While opting for QuickBooks hosting solutions, the major benefit for the users is that they can travel anywhere and still stay connected with their accounts and billing information. All they need to do is to login from their account and manage all the functionality over the hosted QuickBooks platform. Moreover, if you have accountants or finance related people working from their homes, they can easily get connected without any hassles. This also saves the expense of maintaining an on-premise accounting department.

What to opt for? If yours is a small or medium scale business enterprise in the starting stage of business, a hosted solution would be the best choice. This solution is however not suitable for the large business enterprises that have massive capacity servers set up at their business premises. These enterprises generally have a technical team for the maintenance of these servers and thus, the management can be handed over to them. In the case of small businesses, this would account to extra cost and effort which can be saved through hosting.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Liza_Welch

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

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QuickBooks Hosting: Using QuickBooks From Anywhere and Anytime

QB online accountant

By Brian M Taylor

QuickBooks Hosting is a term that involves two parties; first is the QuickBooks Professionals like Accountants and Bookkeepers and second is the cloud computing technologies providers. In the early age, QuickBooks online was giving a solution to those professionals who wanted to run it from different locations while travelling mostly, but as it is not coming with all features, it could not fulfill the expectations of QuickBooks professionals. QuickBooks hosting was not very popular in starting, but as the cloud computing was getting so much of hits and publicity, the users started to try QuickBooks hosting practices with technology providers. Now a days, it would be hard to say that if someone is not aware of QuickBooks hosting practice. Thousands of Accountants and Bookkeepers along with Tax professionals are running their QuickBooks and other applications with QuickBooks hosting providers. Putting critical data and information to third party service provider is always concerned but you can select service providers those have been given the certificate of SAS70 and SSAE for software hosting and cloud computing.

Prepare a checklist if you would like to host your QuickBooks:

1. Company credentials: QuickBooks hosting needs adequate knowledge and experience so if a company has like 2-4 years of experience in hosting practices, this will be a good sign to go ahead with that company.

2. Server Location: Because this is your data, it would be always better to keep your data in your country. There must be a solid proof to show that data being hosted in USA or Canada.

3. SAS70 or SSAE certification: You may see a lot of hosting providers if you go for a search on Google or Bing or Yahoo. But you must get a valid proof if the service provider you chose is a SAS70 or SSAE certified.

4. Customer reference: If I am using IPhone, i must know all the pros and cons of this. You should believe that customer never lies. Ask your QuickBooks hosting provider to give a few references and then you can talk to them to know how they have been dealt by the hosting provider.

So, after choosing your perfect hosting provider, you can get multiple benefits of QuickBooks Hosting. You can make a comparison chart which can help you decide a reliable and most affordable service provider. The benefits are:

1. Cut your huge IT upfront cost: If you are setting up QuickBooks Hosting in your office, there will be a huge cost to manage IT staffs, backups, maintenance and security. So once you decided to go with QuickBooks hosting, you can save your upfront cost and a small price can give you all benefits.

2. Multi User Access System: Suppose you need to get access to your file from a client computer, or your client want to access the same file or your subordinate want to do the bookkeeping from his home, there are certain circumstances that demands QuickBooks application and data to be available all the time and they have access to the same file simultaneously. This is only possible with QuickBooks hosting. Moreover, you can start chat messenger within QuickBooks to guide or instruct one another in real-time.

3. Seamless access to other files and application: What if you are running QuickBooks, ATX, Drake, Microsoft Office on a single server and managing everything remotely just like you are working in a virtual office. You can export to an excel file, make a PDF of an invoice or attaching your logo to the QuickBooks invoice.

4. Universal Printing: You may have connected to your local printer, network printer, or PDF printer but if you get the facility to use all of your printers on remote server for QuickBooks, this would be one of the major benefits of QuickBooks Hosting. You can print any report, sheet, pay orders, invoices directly to your local printer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brian_M_Taylor

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

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How To Make Your Website Work For You

By Blake H Alexander

Many people use websites and the Internet to buy and sell goods. The majority of the people who do so are businesses both large and small but there are a good number of people who do so as a means to make additional income. In most cases, websites are capable of doing most of the work involved in vending items. Learning how to make a website and properly creating and designing a website optimized specifically for vending items will ensure that your website works for you. Your properly designed website can function with little to no interaction needed from you other than to fulfill and ship the orders that are placed on the website.

The first important aspect to consider is having a means to present the products to the potential customer. The beauty of websites is there are different methods to present the products to the potential buyer. Typically, products will be featured with a picture of the product along with a brief text description of the product. The use of video can enhance how a visitor views the product as it expands the ability to present a product in a three dimensional format as opposed to two dimensional photographs. Choosing the best way to feature your products is important so you can grab the potential buyer’s attention.

The next important aspect to consider is having a means for people to purchase and pay for the product or the products they are interested in. When creating and designing a website, you may choose to pay for ecommerce features that will allow you to take all forms of payment. If you are on a budget and do not want to have to pay for ecommerce features, you can opt to take payment by PayPal which is a very popular way for people to make payments via the Internet. In either case, once a person places an order and makes payment, an invoice is generated that you can use to fulfill the order.

Products being vended on a website do not have to be physical products that have to be sent to the customer. Your product could be in electronic format such as an eBook or other type of media. Once the buyer makes their purchase decision and makes payment, the website can be configured to automatically send an email to the customer. The automatically generated email can provide specific instructions on how to obtain the product by download. The download can also be offered through the website in a hidden page that can only be accessed once the order is placed and the paid for.

Learning how to make a website work for you can allow you to make money with little to no interaction with the website once it is created, designed and published to the Internet. When creating your website, you have the option to have a professional web designer create it for you optimized to vend your products. If you are on a budget, you can create the website yourself using web publishing software.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Blake_H_Alexander

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

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Choosing the QuickBooks Payroll Option Best for You

By Monica Muir

Payroll is one of those aspects of business that many are reluctant to change, but it’s worth evaluating from time to time and this is a good time of year to do it. If you decide to make a change, you have time to be up and running with your new payroll system by the first of the year (or sooner if you want).

Your version of QuickBooks will determine what options you have within the Intuit line. There are payroll products that function in the PC desktop version of QuickBooks only and those you can do online, which you can use in the desktop or online versions of QuickBooks.

Then decide –

• Do you want to actually create the paychecks yourself or report only hours? Here are a few factors to consider:

o How much time will it take?
o Complexity of your payroll (e.g. benefits, wage garnishments)
o Frequency of staff turnover
o Your comfort level with payroll

• If you create the paychecks, do you want to handle the tax payments and filings?

o If you decide you want to outsource the tax filings, you can outsource to Intuit or an accountant or bookkeeper.

• If you are thinking of outsourcing, how easy will it be to integrate your payroll data with your QuickBooks and at what cost?

• Your budget may also factor in. BUT keep in mind that when you do payroll in-house, you are paying, too, and payroll can be time-consuming, especially if you use timesheets and/or do job costing. I’ve had clients decide it was more cost efficient to outsource at least part of payroll.

• Do you need to do job costing? The PC versions of payroll are the best for this. If you outsource, then you’ll need a work-around for decent cost numbers.

So here’s a run-down of the Intuit payroll products:

1. Outsource your payroll completely
Intuit Full Service Payroll. You simply enter the hours for each employee online and Intuit takes it from there. You can easily import into the Online QuickBooks or the PC versions. If you need job costing, though, this will have the same limitations as outsourcing to other payroll companies. But if you don’t need job costing, I would take a close look at this option. It’s simple, convenient and very reasonably priced. Pricing is a flat monthly fee – not contingent on the number of pay periods you have per month! To compare to outsourcing to other payroll companies, here’s an article that discusses factors that often affect payroll fees.

2. Outsource the tax filings (deposits and reports).
QuickBooks Assisted Payroll. You create the paychecks (must have a PC version of QuickBooks) and Intuit takes responsibility for filing payroll taxes and reporting, guarantees accuracy or Intuit pays penalties. If you need job costing, this is my preferred choice. You get the detail you need for job costing, but you let an experienced company handle the tax filings. My clients who have Assisted, love it. One of my clients was sorry she didn’t sign up sooner since she missed some tax payments resulting in penalties and interest.

QuickBooks Basic Payroll. You create the paychecks (need the PC version of QuickBooks) but will need to manually fill out the forms and mail the deposits. I don’t recommend this option unless you have an accountant or professional bookkeeper doing the filing for you.

Intuit Online Payroll – You create the paychecks (you can even use your iPad or Smartphone), but will need to manually fill out the forms and mail the deposits. I don’t recommend this option unless you have an accountant or professional bookkeeper doing the filing for you. If you need job costing, this is not a good option for you, but if you don’t, then many like the flexibility and access.

3. Completely In-house
QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll. You do it all – create the paychecks and handle all the tax filings; you can even e-file directly from within QuickBooks. I have many clients who use this. You need the PC version of QuickBooks.

Intuit Online Payroll Plus – You do it all – create the paychecks and handle all the tax filings. You can even do payroll from your iPad or Smartphone. You can e-file directly from within Online QuickBooks. Not the best option if you need job costing, but if you don’t, then many like the flexibility and access.

If you don’t need job costing, I would give serious thought to outsourcing at least part of the process. Payroll companies are more efficient and keep up with the payroll tax laws. And what I like about the Intuit payroll products is the integration – at no extra cost.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Monica_Muir

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Ask us for help.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-938-3608

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

The Issue of Job Order Vs Process Costing in Managerial Accounting of a Small Business

By Thyra de los Reyes

A primary role for cost accounting is to know the cost of products or services in a small business. Like the other methods utilized: average and specific identification or first-in, first-out; last-in, there are different ways needed to value the inventory as well as calculate the product cost for a manufacturing or service setting. One is the financial analysis. Another would be the product inventory report. Whereas, the first-out method is utilized to know inventory valuation and cost of products sold.

Both job order and process costing are the two vital cost systems in accounting. In particular, a job order costing system is utilized by manufacturing businesses that make small quantities or sets of identifiable products or services. What constitutes a “job” from an accounting standpoint? This can be categorized by the steps of its production cycle: planned for but not yet started, manufacture in process, and completed.

Another primary product costing system is the process costing system. It is utilized by manufacturing companies that is able to produce large quantities of homogeneous products like bricks, gasoline, detergent and breakfast cereal. Using these in a situation, the output will be homogeneous. Hence, for a certain time, one unit of output cannot be readily identified with specific input costs, so that there is possible cost flow assumption. This allows accountants from companies to assign costs to products, even if there is no research on actual physical flow of units.

Upon comparing the said two factors in business analysis, the continuous flow of units and the indistinguishable units are seen. Which one is better? The process costing allows a more complicated method. While job order costing is just right for companies endowing products or services that are only produced in limited quantities according to consumer demands and specifications. In contrast, process costing allows an accumulation and assign of costs to the products in manufacture. This costing method is the choice by makers like candle crafters, candy products, bricks, gasoline, paper, and food products as well as a lot more.

Another point to consider is that a job cost sheet is not needed for process costing, because its main tasks are geared on the departments. Instead, a production report is utilized. It is a summary of number of products moving through a department in occasions, and it also allows a computation of unit costs. Moreover, this report can show what costs were exhausted by the department and what disposition was done on these costs. The department production report is a vital document in a process costing system.

The flow of costs in manufacturing accounts is practically the same for both systems.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Thyra_de_los_Reyes

 

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

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Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

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