Introducing Strategic Business Services (SBS)

Linda and I are thrilled to announce the introduction and roll-out of Fiscal Foundations Strategic Business Services (SBS).  This is a new division of Fiscal Foundations.  As you know, all of us at FF are committed to helping small businesses and non profit organizations succeed – and we do this by ensuring that our clients have accurate and timely accounting information.  SBS allows us to provide additional services that go beyond the scope of accounting consulting, bookkeeping and QuickBooks setup and training.

SBS includes the following:

·         Competitor product pricing and features research and analysis

·         Preparation for debt or equity capital raising

·         Sales and PowerPoint presentation coaching and analysis

·         Lead generation, sales process and revenue creation analysis and guidance

·         Company and product strategic positioning

Strategic Business Services will be led by Kelly Coughlin, MBA and CPA (see attached bio). Kelly is former CEO of a company of which he founded, sold and served as CEO for 12 years. He has over 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales, finance and accounting. Kelly has the unique ability to not only grasp and understand the big picture, but can convert any complicated business transaction to a journal entry.

We need your help in introducing  SBS and Kelly Coughlin.

Linda and I encourage you to contact Kelly at (612) 232-6640 directly with any questions, comments or thoughts. We are offering a free consultation to those who are interesting in exploring how Kelly can help your company leap to the next level.  And as always, please feel free to contact either Linda or me anytime.

MN Unemployment Audit – 1099 Independent Contractors

Just went thru another Minnesota Unemployment audit with a client. Ugh. No one wants to see the audit letter or the auditor. This auditor gave me hope by giving me explanations in plain language on how to treat 1099 independent contractors – no matter what the “contractor” is trying to convince you of. A true 1099 contractor will provide a W9 with their Federal ID tax information and a business name (not just their name and Social Security number). Armed with the W9 and a business name, you can feel confident…whoops…maybe not. Does this person/business use your place of employment to work, use your equipment, work your specific hours, works under your supervision? Then this is NOT an independent contractor, but an employee and you need to withhold tax and report earnings on a W2 and the end of the year. If this person is an independent contractor, then you will issue a 1099 form and no tax will be deducted from the amount paid.

Hope this helps you make a decision on your contractors and employees. Thanks to the tax man!

Sandy VonDeLinde

Receipt Printer can save time, money and space

Using QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise or POS provides you with the opportunity to use a receipt printer for the smaller professional looking receipts to hand to a customer upon receiving payment.

TIME:

This is a great option for the retailer to provide the customer with a professional receipt with all the details. It also makes providing the receipt a one step process into your accounting records. No more hand written receipts and the time spent entering the information at a later date into QuickBooks. Your inventory is current with every receipt.

MONEY:

Time and money are closely related…All employees will be using the same procedure and items list to provide a legible receipt. It will have a date, payment method and items purchased along with the correct taxable and non-taxable totals, making it much easier to balance out your daily sales as cash, checks or credit cards. Having consecutively numbered receipts reduces the opportunity for employee fraud and theft.

SPACE:

The receipt printer can be at your sales counter and measures 5 ½” x 8”. It will connect to the computer ringing the sales into your QuickBooks program. The printer does not need expensive ink cartridges since it uses thermal paper which can be purchased at your local office supply store.

DEMO:

I have set up the receipt printer for businesses who wanted the ease of receipts but were not ready to make the jump to the POS system. Now they have the smaller receipt, current inventory transactions recorded at the time of sale and no longer have to do “after the fact” sales entries into QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise. If you want your business to give off the air of success – print it out for your customers to take with – a professional looking receipt.

I can customize your sales receipts and have you up and running in less than a day!

Please call Sandy VonDeLinde at 612-245-8979 for more information.

Managing Trust Accounts with QuickBooks

For lawyers and real estate agents—
Managing Trust Accounts (Iolta Accounts) with QuickBooks®
Attorneys and real estate agents often hold client or third party funds in trust and are responsible for tracking the receipt and dispensation of these funds. The purpose is to safeguard these funds from loss. The monies belong to the clients/third parties and cannot be co-mingled with company funds. A separate bank account is set up to hold the funds. Careful record-keeping is required to demonstrate that no improprieties occur in the handling and managing of these funds. If such were to happen, penalties are severe even to the point of suspension of licenses or disbarment.
As many law firms and real estate agencies use QuickBooks® for bookkeeping, we’ve developed a Chart of Accounts and procedures for our clients to use to satisfy their bookkeeping needs for these accounts.
 

CHART OF ACCOUNTS
Because the trust funds cannot be comingled with company funds, open a separate bank account and list it separately in the Chart of Accounts, i.e. Client Trust Account. This is a bank account that will be reconciled each month. An immediately realized problem is that this bank account may hold funds from a large number of clients/third parties. How do you track each party’s funds and know their individual balances at any given time? You may be required to give an accounting of the fund transactions for a given client at any time. We recommend setting up a subaccount of the Client Trust Account for each separate client.

 Chart of Accounts
 Acct No               Account                              Type          Balance
1000        Checking – Operating Funds         Bank         12,300.00
1010        Savings Account                            Bank         25,000.00
1100        Client Trust Account                       Bank         55,000.00
                1105        Andersen, Robert           Bank         10,000.00
                1110        Cardian Corporation       Bank         25,000.00
                1160        Logan, John                    Bank          7,010.00
                1190        Wilkins, Mary & Ralph     Bank        12,990.00
 

Because these monies cannot be comingled with company funds, there must be a liability account to offset the asset account (Client Trust Account). Name that account “Client Trust Liability” and set up matching subaccounts that correspond to the subaccounts under Client Trust Account.

Chart of Accounts
 Acct No           Account                                                    Type              Balance
1000               Checking – Operating Funds                    Bank            12,300.00
1010               Savings Account                                       Bank            25,000.00
1100               Client Trust Account                                 Bank            55,000.00
                        1105               Andersen, Robert              Bank             10,000.00
                        1110               Cardian Corporation         Bank             25,000.00
                        1160              Logan, John                        Bank              7,010.00
                        1190              Wilkins, Mary & Ralph       Bank            12,990.00
2000             Accounts Payable                                        Liab               -7500.00*
2100             Client Trust Liability                                   Liab              -55,000.00*
                      2105             Andersen, Robert                  Liab               -10,000.00*
                       2110             Cardian Corporation             Liab              -25,000.00*
                       2160             Logan, John                            Liab               -7,010.00*
                       2190             Wilkins, Mary & Ralph         Liab                -12,990.00*

*The minus signs on the liability accounts are just there to remind you that liabilities are credits while assets are debits, so on the Balance Sheet, they will zero out. In your QuickBooks® Chart of Accounts, none of these accounts will actually have a minus sign in front of the balances.

The balances in the Client Trust Liability accounts must always match the balances in the Client Trust accounts. If not, find and correct the transaction(s). Once you understand what the transactions are, you’ll know how to fix them.

SAMPLE TRANSACTIONS
1. You receive a $5000 check from Robert Andersen to be deposited into the trust account. Record a bank deposit into Client Trust subaccount 1105 Andersen, Robert, crediting Client Trust Liability subaccount 2105 Andersen, Robert.
2. You invoice a client for your services and withdraw funds from the Trust account to pay the invoice.

Your invoice will record the following transaction: Debit Credit
Accounts Receivable 1000.00
Legal Services 1000.00

Receive a customer payment:
Undeposited Funds 1000.00
Accounts Receivable 1000.00

Record a bank deposit entering the following debits and credits:
Checking – Operating Funds 1000.00
Undeposited Funds 1000.00
Client Trust Liability:Andersen, Robert 1000.00
Client Trust Account:Andersen, Robert 1000.00

3. Client receives a judgment for $8500 against him that must be paid to John Smith. Pay the judgment out of the trust account with a check payable to John Smith:

Client Trust Liability:Andersen, Robert 8500.00
Client Trust Account:Andersen, Robert 8500.00

4. Now that the case is closed, return the remaining $500 in the trust account to the client:

Client Trust Liability:Andersen, Robert 500.00
Client Trust Account:Andersen, Robert 500.00

Notice that every transaction in or out of the bank account, Client Trust Account:(Subaccount,) has a corresponding debit or credit to the Client Trust Liability:(Subaccount), so that the balances in these accounts always equal each another, one as a debit and one as a credit.

Describe every entry in detail in the Memo fields of the transactions. If required to report the activity of the trust account(s), customize, memorize and print a Customer Transaction Detail report formatted per this example:

Robert Andersen Trust Account Ledger

Type Date Num Name Memo Clr Debit Credit Balance
Client Trust Account
Andersen, Robert
Deposit 01/02/2012 Client check #1000 deposited into Trust account  10,000.00 10,000.00
Deposit 01/31/2012 3457 Andersen, Robert Paid Legal Fees for representation in court Smith vs Andersen  1,000.00 9,000.00
Check 02/18/2012 3458 John Smith Paid court awarded settle to John Smith Case #49776  8,500.00 500.00
Check 02/18/2012 3459 Andersen, Robert Return remainder of trust funds to client  500.00 0.00
Total Andersen, Robert 10,000.00 10,000.00 0.00
Total Client Trust Account 10,000.00 10,000.00 0.00
Client Trust Liability
Andersen, Robert
Deposit 01/02/2012 1000 Andersen, Robert Client check #1000 deposited into Trust account 10,000.00 -10,000.00
Deposit 01/31/2012 3457 Andersen, Robert Paid Legal Fees for representation in court Smith vs Andersen 1,000.00 -9,000.00
Check 02/18/2012 3458 John Smith Paid court awarded settle to John Smith Case #49776 8,500.00 -500.00
Check 02/18/2012 3459 Andersen, Robert Return remainder of trust funds to client 500.00 0.00
Total Andersen, Robert 10,000.00 10,000.00 0.00
Total Client Trust Liability 10,000.00 10,000.00 0.00
TOTAL 20,000.00 20,000.00 0.00

Once a client’s trust account is closed, make the corresponding subaccounts inactive. This will prevent clutter in your Chart of Accounts. By purposeful design of the Chart of Accounts, carefully positioning accounts and subaccounts, you can make use of a “collapsed” Balance Sheet or “expanded” Balance Sheet. An “expanded” Balance Sheet, showing all the individuals’ trust accounts is good for verifying that trust and trust liability accounts have matching totals. A “collapsed” Balance Sheet would not list the individual trust accounts. There would only be a total balance for the Client Trust Account and the Client Trust Liability account. This form of Balance Sheet is more suitable for partners or lenders reviewing the firm’s financials.

How to start your new business with QuickBooks®

QuickBooks® is the most valuable tool you’ll purchase to help you build a successful business. As a business owner, you must know how your business is performing on a daily business. Managing cash flow is the major challenge of a new business; and QuickBooks® will help you stay on top of it and make smart decisions to keep you in business and grow sensibly.

For a very small investment, you’ll have a very robust accounting system that can handle all your business needs. Managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, reconciling bank and credit card statements, managing inventory, paying employees and handling payroll tax deposits and reporting, tracking and paying sales tax correctly, job costing, managing programs and funds if you’re a nonprofit, using a Point of Sale system, manufacturing products, or managing field services – QuickBooks® can do it all!

QuickBooks® was designed for the non-accountant. It’s easy to learn and use and there are local experts to help you set up, learn and maintain your accounting system and bookkeeping. While this is absolutely true, we do recommend that you call on a QuickBooks® ProAdvisor right at the beginning to help you:

 

  • Select the right version of QuickBooks® software for your business or nonprofit
  • Customize your Chart of Accounts to ensure your financial reports give you the information you need
  • Set up sales tax tracking. Mistakes in this setup will be costly. It must be set up correctly, and then it will be easy to report and pay your taxes on time. No penalties or interest!
  • Set up payroll accounts, payroll items, and employee records. This is another area in which you cannot afford mistakes. The secret to success is proper setup by someone who understands the applicable taxes, the rules for paying and reporting taxes, the tax implications of various benefit programs, how to handle child support and other garnishments, and who can train you to process your payroll or suggest how best to handle it.
  • Set up inventory items, assemblies, builds, or group items if applicable to your business.
  • Customize QuickBooks® preferences and Icon Bar to your efficiency. (Accounting is critically important, but it doesn’t produce sales; so while you must do it, it shouldn’t take more time than necessary.
  • Customize reports for maximum information about your business and one-click accessibility
  • Show you how to enter all your transactions correctly.

With this personalized support, your new business will be off and running toward success! AND you’ll feel in control of your business and free of the stress that comes from the worry and uncertainty. Whenever you encounter a problem or have a question, your ProAdvisor will be familiar with your business and can provide you quick answers or onsite help if you need it!

As soon as you’ve decided to start your new business, call us at 651-324-2273. Jen will answer your questions or connect you with a ProAdvisor from our staff who can! NO CHARGE FOR THIS CALL! We’ll help you make the right choices!