Don’t Have a Budget? QuickBooks Online Can Help

Don’t Have a Budget? QuickBooks Online Can Help

The hardest part of creating a budget is getting started. QuickBooks Online provides tools that can jump-start the process.

You know you should have a budget. You’re aware that it can help you stay on track with your company’s income and expenses throughout the year. Maybe you’ve even tried to make one before, but you got discouraged by the mechanics or by the difficulty of estimating money in and out for the next 12 months.

June may not be the beginning of your fiscal year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a serious effort to start building a budget that can help you rein in expenses and set revenue goals.

Here’s a look at QuickBooks Online’s budgeting features.

Creating the Framework

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that your fiscal year is set correctly in QuickBooks Online. Click the gear icon in the upper right, then click Your Company | Account and Settings | Advanced. If the First month of fiscal year isn’t correct, click the pencil icon over to the right and change it. Then click Save and exit out of this window.

Click the gear icon again and select Budgeting, then click Add budget in the upper right.

Budget QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online asks you the questions that need to be answered before you start filling in your budget grid.

The first thing you’ll do is give your budget a descriptive name by entering it in the Name field. Next, open the drop-down list under Fiscal year and select the correct 12-month period. You can create your budget in one of three intervals: Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly. If you want to populate your budget with numbers from this year or last, make that selection in the Pre-fill data? field.

There’s one more option at the top of the Budgets Grid screen that’s not shown in the image above. You can Subdivide by Customer, Class, or Location. This can be useful if you want to view budget data specific to a subset of entries in each of those categories. You could, for example, choose three customers and view only their numbers in the grid individually, one at a time.

Providing Your Numbers

Once you’re satisfied with the selections you’ve made, click Create Budget in the lower right. The screen will refresh and display a grid that you can edit.

Let’s say you’re working on a budget for the second half of 2018. QuickBooks Online brought in your numbers for January-May. You see that the numbers don’t vary much from month to month on one specific line item, so you’re going to assume that they will continue to be true (unless you know something that will affect it after May). You could enter a rough average of the first five months in the JUN field.

Hover your cursor over the arrow to the side of that field, and this sentence appears in a small bubble: Click to copy the value across on the row. QuickBooks Online will then enter that number in the JUL through DEC fields.

Budget Monthly Numbers

QuickBooks Online can save you some time as you enter data in your budget grid fields.

When you’re done entering data in all of the fields relevant to your business, click Save in the lower right and close the window. Your budget will now show up in the list.

Tip: If you have multiple blank rows and don’t want them to be displayed, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your budget page. Click in the box in front of Hide blank rows to create a checkmark.

The Hard Part

QuickBooks Online simplifies the mechanics of creating a budget, but it’s up to you to supply the numbers. There’s lots of common-sense advice that experts offer for this process, like:
• Remember seasonal upswings and downswings.
• Make your goals as realistic as possible. You might want to create separate budgets for “needs” and “wants.”
• Track your expenses carefully for a period of time so you can estimate more confidently.
• Create reports regularly that compare your budget vs actuals.

QuickBooks Online can help you with that last piece of advice; it offers a report called Budget vs. Actuals. You’ll find it in the Business Overview group.

We can help, too. Once we understand a little more about your business structure and goals, we can take a look at your income and expense history and make some personalized recommendations. Connect with us soon, and we can start you on the path to a more focused financial future.

Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

If a company is operating without any strategic planning, then an imminent loss or slow progress can be anticipated. Strategic planning plays a pivotal role in the success of any business. It cannot be overlooked, neglected or considered less important at any cost – it is what defines the goal of a business.

Why is Strategic Planning so important?

You cannot go anywhere without knowing where exactly you want to go, right? In simple words, strategic planning defines “where” your business wants to go and what goals it has to accomplish. It does not necessarily mean that it will tell you the progress of a company. In other words, strategic planning is a roadmap for your company.

Fundamental Elements of Strategic Planning

When it comes to strategic planning, there is need of special emphasis on three critical elements: Values, Vision Statements, and Mission. These three are the fundamental elements of any strategic planning process.

Values: A culture of any organization is defined by the set of beliefs that are shared by everyone in an organization.
Vision Statement: The ideal or desired state of any organization is defined by a future-oriented vision statement.
Mission: It defines the true purpose of an organization/company, explains why it exists and what it aims to accomplish.

Tools for Strategic Planning

An assessment of external and internal factors is completed with the help of some major tools. These tools assist in formulating a result-oriented strategic planning. Here are some of the most common tools that are deployed by companies in the process of doing strategic planning:

SWOT ANALYSIS

An analysis method called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is used to determine the internal weaknesses and strengths along with external openings and threats that are faced by an enterprise.

  • Strengths: These are the resources and capabilities of any company that enables it to gain a competitive edge and in generating
  • Weaknesses: These are the shortcomings that limit the progress of any company and its ability to fully utilize its resources and capabilities.
  • Opportunities: These are the openings that can be utilized by an organization to gain an edge over its competitors.
  • Threats: These can come from any direction, e., organizations, competitors, individuals, regulatory bodies, etc.

The SWOT analysis can be used to set goals, objectives, priorities, action plans, and measuring performances.

PEST or PESTEL ANALYSIS

An analysis method called PEST (political, economic, social, technology) is a micro framework that is deployed for the purpose of expanding the SWOT analysis of a company. PEST comprises of regulatory and political issues, social norms and behaviors, economic factors, technological developments, and demographics.

With PEST analysis, a company can assess its progress, weaknesses, plus points, and take advantage of its resources. When everything is fully sorted out, the process of strategic planning becomes simpler.

All in all, it is fair to say that strategic planning is crucial for any company. One cannot deny the importance of financial strategy as well.  A financial strategy is developed after a comprehensive strategic planning is complete. Just ensure that you describe the vision, fundamental values, and mission of your company and plan for future contingencies. By evaluating your weakness, strengths, opportunities, and threats, you can develop an impeccable result-oriented strategic plan for your business.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Gift Cards

How To Generate More Sales

The National Gift Card annual 2017 Gift Card Data states plastic gift card redemption doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

When it comes to accomplishing the goals, one of the most integral parts is financial planning.  It is planning that determines the future of a company – the better planning is, the more are the opportunities to succeed.

Companies deploy two types of planning; Strategic and financial planning. The principle of strategic planning is to assign a direction for the development/goal of your company.  To have a successful organization, you must be proficient in the way that you can terminate the major areas of inefficiency. With the help of financial planning, you can secure the future of your company and make its revenue to swell up. Financial planning not only enables you to meet your company’s needs but also assists you in devising a strategy for your business.

What is Financial Planning and how does it help?

Financial planning is the process of dealing/managing your accounts in a proper way that you can achieve your business goals without facing any/minimal loss. Financial planning assists in comparing various scenarios and enables a comprehensive understanding of the process of how revenues are generated and how cash is expended in the business. Eventually, it becomes an essential factor in determining the areas in which the company needs to improve.

Financial planning consists of 4 main points

  1. Prioritizing Expenditures
  2. Investment plan
  3. Taking debt or loan
  4. Savings

How is Financial Planning done?

There are 6 steps that play a pivotal role in financial planning.

  • Establishing the goal
  • Collecting data
  • Comprehensive data analysis
  • Developing a plan
  • Executing the plan
  • Complete monitoring of the plan

All these points, if followed correctly, lead to an impeccable financial plan for a company, and they all play an essential part in organizing a business. Without financial planning, a business cannot run profitably. It is because financial planning helps in comprehending the economics of a business by analyzing financial reports and collecting data periodically. This also means that financial planning assists in managing accounts and future investments if needed to be done. The statistics that are recorded enable a company to compute economic ratios such as having the status of some profit margin and yielding arranged investment. Statistic provides helpful information about a company’s liquidity, profitability, debt, operating performance, cash flow and investment evaluation.

The bottom line is that strategic and financial planning is always entangled in a business and they work together in a recurring way. Any change to your budget requires a reassessment of the existing strategy in place. Sometimes budget changes are significant enough that you have to change what you are doing administratively. If you want to change your strategy, you must first confirm that you have the means to do so or how you will get it. The company with strong financial hold performs efficiently in the long run and delivers as per the vision and the mission. A company with stable financial records enjoys stability in every department. Employees, investors, and clients are more likely to stay with the company which has a strong financial setup. Therefore, it can be said without a single doubt that financial planning helps a lot with your strategy for your business.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Gift Cards

How To Generate More Sales

The National Gift Card annual 2017 Gift Card Data states plastic gift card redemption doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Taking Your Company Paperless

Going paperless has been the way of the future in business over the past decade. People might have scoffed at the idea a few generations ago, but millennials and those who conduct business with them demand innovative solutions not only for the environment but also to cut down on the mundane drudgery of work place repetition.

And with the way things have been moving, people no longer feel like cogs in a wheel but rather integral team players with technological know how. So if your business has not moved completely digital yet, the following are just a few of the many reasons why you should be going paperless.

Boost in Efficiency

People don’t want to be doing the same task at work all day. With paper processes, the middle man is always the employee, who faithfully sits by the phone filling out papers for a client. Or the employee is busy digging in the company store room for files.

Logging onto the computer, whether for cloud accounting or client information, is leaps and bounds easier than putting people on hold or telling them that you will phone them back. You can be on the same page as the client in minutes rather than days by having their digital information at one’s fingertips on CRM. The same goes for talking between departments. It is much more efficient to send emails back and forth delineating the various degrees of urgency than to try to play telephone tag with employees in varied departments. Time is at a premium, so when a person can log on or fire off an email, time is saved from chasing down files and individuals that may not be easy to find.

Disaster Recovery

There’s no telling when a disaster might strike; maybe a flood, theft or a fire breakout could easily cripple your company. What will happen to the documents that are paper-based? Most probably, you will lose them because you don’t have a backup, or if you do have copies, wouldn’t they be likely stored in the same premises too? Going paperless can help avoid this problem. Once you store everything on the cloud, you will not have to worry about the data that you lost in the paper forms because they will all be available on the cloud and you can access them at any time.

Creative Solutions

Digital apps and programs like QuickBooks are often designed to integrate together. This is a virtual dream, literally, when it comes to helping the departments to coordinate. Without such products, people are stuck doing the same processes with paper over and over. The rewriting and photocopying of such pages can really only go so far.

To go digital, one needs to be savvy with employing people in the know-how. These teams can help to train others on processes as well as put them in place. But once paperless systems have been implemented, very few employers will regret the transition. It shows up on the bottom line quite apparently over the years as well.

Need help getting your company to paperless?  Contact STAC Bizness because we can help with establishing your company’s accounting, payroll, and human resource operations in a paperless world.  Join our newsletter for more free tips for running your business.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get more free tax tips

Better Budgeting Using QuickBooks Online Plus

Better Budgeting Using QuickBooks Online Plus

Everyone groans when budget time rolls around. QuickBooks Online Plus offers tools that simplify the process.

Budget. The word evokes a sense of dread in most small business managers’ minds. Large corporations have entire teams of accountants that work on this critical element of financial planning. You, on the other hand, must go it alone – or with the help of other staff if your company is big enough.

Why is this chore so difficult? Several reasons. The biggest stumbling block is probably the sense of uncertainty. How do you know what your income and expenses will be for the coming year?

QuickBooks Online Plus can’t tell you how to plan the next year in terms of numbers, but its tools can make the mechanics of building a budget easier.

Your Fiscal Year Start

Finding the start of your fiscal year in QuickBooks Online Plus

Do you know exactly when your fiscal year starts? You’ll need this information before you can get started on your budget. Click the gear icon in the upper right next to your company name, and then select Account and Settings | Advanced. The first entry here tells you what the First month of fiscal year is.

Creating a Framework

To get started building your budget, click the gear icon again and select Tools | Budgeting. Click New Budget to open the mini-interview wizard (if it didn’t open automatically). QuickBooks Online Plus creates what are called Profit and Loss Budgets. This kind of budget tracks the numbers in your income and expense accounts.

There are three ways to create one, as you’ll see when you click Next on the first page of the interview. You can:

  • Work from historical amounts by copying last year’s data into the spreadsheet,
  • Start from scratch, or
  • Copy data from an existing budget.

You can choose from these three options to create your budget in QuickBooks Online Plus.

Click in the button in front of No amounts. Create budget from scratch, and then click Next. QuickBooks Online Plus’s budgets consist of a table divided into months (columns) and accounts (rows). You can break this down into even greater detail by subdividing your budget and tracking accounts separated by Territories, Classes, or Customers if this kind of information is important to you. For now, click the button in front of Don’t subdivide.

When you click Next, you’ll be asked to select the fiscal year for your budget. Click the down arrow to the right of Select fiscal year and choose the appropriate year. Type an easy-to-remember name for your budget in the box below and click Finish. The mini-interview will close, and your budget spreadsheet will open.

Entering the Numbers

QuickBooks Online Plus defaults to a monthly view when you first open it, but you can change this at any time to Quarter or Year by clicking the arrow in the field next to View by in the upper right corner.

If you had copied income and expense data from the previous year, or from an existing budget, those numbers would appear in the corresponding cells and could be changed to create a new budget. You opted to start from scratch, so the table is empty. You can just start entering individual numbers – not within the spreadsheet cells themselves, though.

Look down to the bottom left corner of the screen. If you’ve highlighted Discounts given, for example, by clicking on that label in the spreadsheet column, you’ll see a line directly below that last row that reads Edit – Discounts given.

This area is where you’ll do your actual data entry. If the drop-down list to the right of Enter by is set to Month, you’ll see 12 boxes below labeled with the months of the year. If you anticipate that every month will contain a different figure, enter the numbers in the correct boxes and click Save & Next. QuickBooks Online Plus will copy your numbers into the actual budget spreadsheet.

If the number will remain the same for each month, you can enter it in the Jan box and click Copy Across, then Save & Next (click this button after every row change). Your cells for that account will be automatically populated.

Entering quarterly budget data

If you think more in terms of quarterly income and expenses, you can highlight the correct account and select Quarter from the drop-down box next to Enter by (see above image). Fill in your quarterly totals, and QuickBooks Online Plus will divide those evenly between each set of three-month periods. The result would look like this:

QuickBooks Online Plus can divide quarterly totals into monthly budget numbers.

And of course, if you select Enter by: Year, you’ll only enter one number that QuickBooks Online Plus will divide evenly into 12 months.

When you’re done with your budget, click Finish.

This is a lot of information to absorb all at once, and we imagine you may have some questions on budget projections and on the actual mechanics of creating a budget using QuickBooks Online Plus. As always, we’re happy to hear from you. Call us at (844) 424-9637.