What is the best way to manage your own income and expenses?
If you are a small business owner or a freelancer, what do you think is the best way to manage your own expenses, invoicing without spending too much on it?
There are several inexpensive cloud-based programs that you can use to track non-business income, and the wages you pay yourself, and your own outflows. It's important to keep your personal spending and income *completely separate* from your business accounts. You should have a separate credit card just for business expenses, separate checking account, etc. Even if you are a sole prop. It's essential if you are an LLC, or else a mixing of personal and business assets could "pierce the corporate veil" and leave your personal assets unprotected.
You should try fetchflow. They offer full featured invoicing solution for free. It is OS independent as it is web based. You can create Unlimited PDF [Adobe PDF] branded invoices, estimates & PO's. There are many cool features like paypal integrated invoice payments,MS-Excel template based invoicing,Integrated stock & catalog invoicing etc.And many useful add-on,s are also available.
I always include a flat rate in my SOW as an option excluding travel costs. Mint.com does a good job with categorizing, budgeting and cash flows. If you need a way to track costs with client, I always send a quick note before billing for something even if it's in the SOW for approval in writing again. Streamlining your process will keep costs low. If you use PayPal you can always ask clients to pay the 3% surcharge so you don't get penalized for their method of payment. Hope that's what you were looking for, if not, please message me with more details.
I'd say getting acquainted with an easy-to-use small business accounting software is the best way to manage your own income and expenses. It's important to remember that the software should be intuitive. If you have little to no accounting education and/or experience, fancy accounting systems with all the bells and whistles don't do you much good.
Find something that does everything you need and nothing more. And when you have the opportunity to test the software on a free trial basis, take advantage. That way you'll know whether or not the software is worth it.
There are a lot of great resources available (some for free). Do not use a spreadsheet, do not hire a random bookkeeper. Options like Wave are both free, and easy to use. Then find a quality CPA to work with who specializes in start-ups. There are a number of issues specific to start-ups and venture funded companies which your trusted advisor must be familiar with. There is no time to early to develop this relationship. At Azran Financial, we focus heavily in the startup arena, and have the specialized expertise to navigate the accounting, tax, and financial situations which a typical start-up will encounter.
I use FreeAgent (Originally a UK based solution, now in the US).
* accounting reports (balance sheet, profit and loss et)c
* basic contact management
* corporation tax
* and much more
It is a superb solution and has reduced my admin time on invoicing, expenses, reconciling with my bank account from 3 days a month to less than one. I can see at a glance exactly what the financial performance of my busienss is, who owes me what, what I owe to other people, cashflow, profit and the like.
I definitely recommend it and it is well worth checking out. You can do so here: • http://www.freeagent.com/?referrer=2482u1 (that is an affiliate link that will get you 10% off of the normal price).
You can also try their 30 day trial for free.
You could try and use simple online invoicing software. There are many inexpensive ones in the market. It's also on Google Cloud so it is safe. I have heard that Handdy Invoices is pretty good and it's free.All the best
It's best to find a tax advisor - REGARDLESS of their title - that is experienced and trained in the solutions you need. The largest problem I've seen over the past 12 years is that the customer makes assumptions about the provider, and the provider assumes that a title or designation means they are 'specialists' in every area of taxation and bookkeeping. A loss-loss situation. E.G., in Canada, an accountant does NOT mean they are trained or experienced in personal tax issues. A tax preparer/consultant may or may not have ANY experience in corporate tax ins and outs. Unlike the medical profession that has pretty strict requirements and monitoring systems in place to minimize the abuses and protect the consumer, there are almost none in the tax/bookkeeping arena!
Dalton Green, Green Financial Services, www.greenfinancialonline.com
Create a spreadsheet or install accounting software to track your income and expenditures. Use any spreadsheet program with which you are familiar. Add column headings to your spreadsheet that match the types of expenses and income your business has. For accounting software, input the types of income and expenses in the appropriate fields or use the software's specific options to create income and expense categories. Common expenses include inventory, supplies, utilities, rent, renovations, payroll, taxes and advertisements. Income categories include direct income, recurring income, investment income, sales commission and partnerships
Sarah depending on how much volume you have - use a Credit Card for Expenses to keep record keeping simple and find a light edition of Quickbooks for your Accounting needs.... other than that connect with a CPA who understands your Financial Circumstances and can work within your specific needs. Most of ALL be as thorough as possible in record keeping and look for someone you can establish a rapport with on needs. As in medicine and all things you need to be comfortable to ask questions, receive answers and grow insight through Financials.
All the Best ,
I suggest a bookkeeper. I selected one that worked with my accountant and came recommended. Their work is excellent and they bill me only for what they do. That way, I can sit down with my accountant to plan cashflow, invoicing, and expense reduction.
Now that the company is larger, this is truly a magical relationship as the bookkeeper manages the accounts for all of my businesses and I use the same accountant, too.