Author Archives: Shelly Verougstraete

Speeding up access to QuickBooks Online Reports in Excel

Time is money.  Every business owners knows that.  If you are a QuickBooks Online user, then you know when you download a report from QuickBooks Online to Excel using Chrome or Firefox, the resulting file name appears at the bottom of the browser window. The usual next step is to click the file name to open the report in Excel.

Slow down, my friend! I have a tip for you that will make this process much faster!

Going forward, you can make Chrome or Firefox open Excel files automatically for you.  The next time you download a report from QuickBooks Online to Excel, once the download is sitting at the bottom of your browser window, just click the arrow adjacent to the file name and select “Always Open Files of this Type”.  Mic drop.

Unfortunately, this feature is not available to users of Safari or Edge browsers.  You’ll have to open reports manually if you use the QuickBooks Online desktop app.  The app will prompt you to choose a name for your report, but you’ll need to manually open the report in Excel by navigating to the folder where the report was saved.

Retrieving lost QuickBooks Online Reports

Even if you choose to streamline your report process or not, you can still be subject to report suddenly vanishing.  So before you have a heart attack or take a hammer to your computer take a look at some tips on finding that vanishing report

Depending on which browser you use, there may be two different ways to retrieve that report:

  1. By displaying a list of recent downloads within your browser; or
  2. You can navigate to your Downloads folder from within Excel’s Open dialog box.

To view recent downloads within your browser:

Chrome: Press Ctrl-J or choose Downloads from the menu hidden beneath the 3-dot button in the upper right-hand corner of Chrome, as shown below.

Removing Automatic Downloads

Have a change of heart about Automatic Downloads and want to change back to Manual Downloads?  Super easy fix!

  1. Click the 3-dot button in the upper right hand corner of Chrome
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Scroll to the bottom of Settings
  4. Click Advanced
  5. Click the Clear button in the downloads. Sad news but this is an all or nothing feature, so if you’ve inadvertently set any file type to open automatically, you’ll have to disable all auto-open file types and then reenable the ones you wish to keep around

Proper bookkeeping and accounting are vital when it comes to the health and success of your business. There are more productive ways to spend your time than filing receipts, reconciling statements and processing payroll.

Tired of dealing with paperwork, updating your books, and downloading reports. This is where we come in! We can focus on the books and give you the monthly reports you want to see so you can focus on what you are best at, which is running and growing your business. We’ll even give you a free month! Sign up here.

Why hire and maintain a fully staffed accounting department, when you can skip the interviews, training, and financial burden? Partner with us and you will gain peace of mind knowing that two CPAs are doing their best to let you do your best!

The 411 on 1099 Rules for Business Owners

Many small business owners do not know the rules for 1099 preparation and in their struggles fail to submit them at all.  This can be a costly mistake!  The fines vary from $30 – $100, depending on how far past the deadline they are.  If the IRS finds that the business intentionally disregarded the filing requirement, the minimum fine is $250 per statement! As you can see, the fines can add up very quickly.

Here is the basic information all business owners should know about filing Form 1099:

Who is required to send a 1099?  You are required to send a 1099 to vendors and/or sub-contractors you paid more than $600 to during the year.  These include payments made by cash, check, wire transfer, electronic check, ACH, online bill pay (bank to bank only), or direct deposit.

Who are considered Vendors or Sub-Contractors?  This can be anyone or any business (Partnership, LLC, LP, or Estate) you paid for services that is not your employee

Are there exceptions?  Of course, there are exceptions.  It would not be tax law if there were no exceptions.  The list is pretty lengthy, and contact us for more information but, the most common are:

  • Vendors operating as S or C-Corporations
  • LLCs or Partnerships, ONLY if they are taxed as a S or C-Corporation
  • Sellers of merchandise, freight, storage, or similar items
  • Payments of rent to or through real estate agents

What about credit card payments and Paypal?  The IRS allows taxpayers to exclude payments made through credit card, debit card, gift card, or third party payment networks, like Paypal.

How do I gather all of this information?  Clark Sclater, LC recommends as a best practice that each company require every person and company to complete form W-9 BEFORE you pay them.  Using this as a normal business practice will give you all the information (like the vendor’s mailing information, Tax ID number, and whether they are a corporation or not) you need to fill out the 1099 in the next year.  You can download a W-9 from here.

“Awesome, I have all my information together! I’m going to the IRS’ website to print off a bunch of forms.”  Hold up.  You cannot do that!  The form is “pre-printed’ in triplicate by the IRS.  This means you have to order the Forms from the IRS, pick them up at an IRS service center, or grab them before they disappear from your local Post Office or Office Supply Store.  Also, to save you time and hassle, Clark Sclater, LC can handle all of your 1099 needs!

When are 1099s due?  You should issue and mail out all 1099s by January 31stof each year.

Cool.  I’ve completed and mailed out all my 1099s!  Time to relax.  Whoa! You are not done yet.  As a business, you have to let the IRS know.  You have to send a copy of all your 1099s as well as a 1096 (which is essentially a “Cover Letter” Form) to the IRS by January 31st.  Note: This is a change from previous years requirement of the end of February

Do I need to file electronically?  If you have over 250 forms to file, you MUST file electronically. If you fail to do so without the approved waiver, you will be subject to a fine up to $100 per return over 250 allowed via paper filling.

 

In conclusion, please do not ignore 1099s.  It is much easier to get the information you need during the year than at the beginning of the year.  You will also save money in possible fines.  Most CPAs and accountants have an affordable option to assist in the filing and can be a huge resource to you!  Be careful trusting websites just to save a few bucks.  It can cost you big time if you miss the smallest little thing.

If there is any good news in this post, Clark Sclater, LC can provide this service smoothly and inexpensively!  If you need support or have questions, please Contact Us.

Six common myths with outsourcing your bookkeeping needs

Outsourcing of bookkeeping and other professional needs are gaining a foothold among today’s small business owners.  Whether you have been thinking about outsourcing your accounting needs for a while or considering it for the first time, you may be reluctant to take the leap; especially where your finances are concerned.  There are many myths in regards to outsourced bookkeeping services.  We will attempt to shine a light on some of the most common myths about outsourcing in order to show how incorrect they are and how Clark Sclater is here to help!

 

  1. Loss of control

No small business owner wants to entertain the idea of losing control of their business, and this particular outsourcing misconception preys on one of the small business owner’s biggest fears. The fact is that rather than losing command of your enterprise, offloading your bookkeeping to Clark Sclater will actually give you a much better handle on your company’s goals and overall financial position. By allowing you to make better business decisions, regular access to timely and accurate accounting information will keep you firmly in the driver’s seat of your cherished business.

 

  1. Lack of affordability

When it comes to running a business, time is money! Rather than looking at outsourced bookkeeping services as just another recurring expense, remember that the time and energy you’ll save by letting someone else take care of your books is likely to pay significant dividends elsewhere. You’re in business because you’re good at something. Unless that something happens to be bookkeeping, you’ll get far more bang for your buck when you spend more of your valuable time doing what you do best.  We love accounting so you don’t have to!

 

  1. Security concerns

Because of the confidential nature of a company’s accounts, it’s only natural for business owners to worry about the security of their financial information when they share their books with an outside accounting company. Especially when the information is stored on the cloud with companies like Sync.com. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that no data is technically 100% safe – whether it’s online, offline, or jotted down in a notebook. The security measures employed by Clark Sclater are based on the most up-to-date technology available, and the bottom line is that you’re as likely to experience a security breach within your own home or office environment, as you are when doing business with us.

 

  1. Trust concerns

While there’s a tendency to believe that no one could possibly care as much about your business as you do, remember that the same applies to the professionals who provide your outsourced assistance. We are just like you, and we are just as concerned with maintaining the highest level of client service possible, as you are. At the same time, the naturally objective approach we have taken means that we far more likely to spot any unusual business activity within your firm, and that they’ll be better equipped to suggest more effective ways of running your financial affairs.

 

  1. Time management concerns

We are in business to relieve you of the brunt of your bookkeeping work, freeing up both you and your employees’ time. Clark Sclater utilizes outside bookkeeping services, like QuickBooks Online, that operates electronically. We take advantage of cloud-based solutions, like Sync.com and Slack channels, to quickly and conveniently store and exchange financial data and other relevant information between us and you. Today’s technology makes it easy for even the least tech-savvy among us to outsource with confidence. And by eliminating the need for regular in-house staff, outsourcing your bookkeeping offers complete flexibility, letting you make use of such services as they’re needed.

 

  1. Do-it-Yourself Software

There is no denying that QuickBooks and other software packages are a great bookkeeping tool. However, just because you use the program, doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to get the most out of it.  Many small business owners fail to use their accounting programs to their full potential, and those who do are probably far more of their time keeping the books than they should be. The more business growth you experience, the more complex your finances are likely to become. Rather than trying to guess at what you’re doing, consider relying on experts who have both the time and the advanced skills necessary to keep your finances in order.

Proper bookkeeping and accounting are vital when it comes to the health and success of your business. There are more productive ways to spend your time than filing receipts, reconciling statements and processing payroll. This is where we come in! We can focus on the books so you can focus on what you are best at, which is running and growing your business. We’ll even give you a free month! Sign up here.

By using cloud-based technology, we have created streamlined accounting processes.Technology is always changing so we are constantly reviewing new technologies and application for our client’s success.

Why hire and maintain a fully staffed accounting department, when you can skip the interviews, training, and financial burden? Partner with us and you will gain peace of mind knowing that two CPAs are doing their best to let you do your best!

Is cloud accounting beneficial to my business?

Cloud accounting and cloud-based services have become popular recently.  Businesses of all sizes can benefit from switching from the traditional accounting software to cloud based accounting software.

There are many problems with traditional accounting software.  Some examples include:

  • Financial data is not up to date.
  • The software typically works on one computer. If data needs to be moved, it is not secure or reliable, i.e. USB Drive
  • Only one person has access. Key people cannot access financial or customer information when needed.
  • It can become costly and time consuming to keep up with data backups and upgrades to the software.

Here are just a few ways cloud accounting can benefit your business:

Easy access

Cloud based accounting systems give their users instant, easy access to their financial information.  QuickBooks Online is available anywhere you have an internet connection, on any device and presents data in ways that is easy to digest.

Security

The security of your business’s financial information is extremely important.  This may be a surprise but cloud servers, like Intuit’s server, is more secure that business-based services.  All of your financial information is backed up every day.  No need to worry about your information being destroyed by accident or malicious intent.  QuickBooks Online also an Audit Trail Report.  This report keep track of who is doing what on your system.

Efficiency

Instead of having your bookkeeper or accountant on site going over your books, all parties can access the information via a secure log in and discuss in real time.  QuickBooks can integrate with all of your financial accounts, where time savings is huge.

Set Up

Setting up or transferring your information is easy to do.  No need for that IT team as software does not need to be installed or configured.   QuickBooks Online is hosted remotely which means you do not have to worry about time-consuming downloads or updates.

Cost effective

QuickBooks Online can be a more cost-effective option than buying and installing your own accounting software package.  The cost of setting up is minimal and the monthly service charge would be an overhead expense instead of a capital cost.

Learn About Partnering with Clark Sclater, LC

Full Service CPA Bookkeeping
Partnering with a professional to assist you with the initial set-up and ongoing bookkeeping is recommended. The Certified Public Accountants at Clark Sclater, LC offer these services for only $99-$299 a month including the software. Not only do we strive to provide maximum value to our clients, we will even give you the First Month Free!