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

Questionnaire for Assessing Church Bookkeeping Needs and Preferences

Provided by Fiscal Foundations, LLC
[For questions, call Linda Logan, 612-387-8619]

Tracking member contributions
Each year a church tracks and reports total donations made by each member. Usually a letter or report is sent during the first half of January informing members of the amount of their donations they can claim on their tax return. The church may have a special church software for tracking and reporting these donations by donor. The database is probably complete with names, addresses, amounts, and dates of donations, and has reporting capability built in. If this kind of database is used, it may not be necessary to duplicate this detailed information in the QuickBooks®. Donation totals can be recorded on bank deposits by date, but need not be broken down by individual, therefore saving time on bookkeeping data entry.
1. Does the church have a separate donor database software application? YES ____ NO ____
2. Can that detail serve as backup/support data for the accounting data? YES ____ NO ____
3. Do you prefer to enter only totals of donations in QuickBooks® rather than detail by donor? YES ____ NO ____
4. If you prefer donor detail information to be entered into QuickBooks®, do you need Donor Contribution Reports printed out of QuickBooks® and sent to members? YES ____ NO ____

Church Annual Budget
Each year the church board and management prepare an annual budget. The budget can be recorded in QuickBooks®. To assist the planning process, QuickBooks® can create a new year’s budget based on the previous year’s numbers. That budget template can be exported to Excel and then modified for the new year’s needs. Knowing past income and spending patterns speeds up the planning process, keeps the budget realistic, and Excel is easy to use for creating what-if scenarios.
1. Does the church prepare annual budgets? YES ____ NO ____
2. Do you also need Department Budgets? YES ____ NO ____
You can set up budgets by class in QuickBooks®. “Class” would be the departments or funds that you would like a budget for. Once Department Budgets are set up, we use the same “Class” designations to track income and expenses, and can run Budget to Actual reports for the departments and for the whole church budget as well.
1. Would you like to regularly review Budget to Actual Reports? YES ____ NO ____
2. Would you like Budget to Actual Reports for:
a. Whole organization budget Monthly ____ Quarterly ____ Annual ____
b. Department budgets Monthly ____ Quarterly ____ Annual ____

Overall Organization Financial Reports
Each month, the board reviews the church financial reports: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement. These reports can be titled per the board’s preferences. Standard non-profit titles are:
• Statement of Financial Activity – This is the Income Statement or Profit and Loss Statement listing all revenue and expenses.
• Statement of Financial Position – This is the Balance Sheet showing assets, liabilities and equity accounts. Standard names for equity accounts are:
o Permanently Restricted Net Assets (usually investments that provide dividend income)
o Temporarily Restricted Net Assets (same as designated funds for specific usage)
o Unrestricted Net Assets (general operating funds)
• Cash Flow or Fund Balances Report – If “Class” tracking is set up in QuickBooks®, with classes being the funds, a report (spreadsheet) can easily be set up and maintained by pulling data from standard and customized QuickBooks® reports and plugging in the values to the spreadsheet showing:
Beginning Cash Balance Revenue Received Total Funds Available Expenses Paid Out Ending Balance

From QuickBooks®, you can print out an Income/Expense report by department/fund (class) and enter the totals right into the spreadsheet.
1. How often does the board/management review financial reports?
2. Which reports do you want to review?

3. How would you like the reports titled?

4. Would you also like accounts payable or receivable reports or any other reports?

Department/Fund Management Reports
1. Would you like to have Income & Expense reports for specific departments/funds? YES ____ No ____
2. List the departments/funds you track and for which you need reports. These will be listed on the Class List in QuickBooks® and provide the filter basis for sorting data into departments/funds.

Bookkeeping/QuickBooks® Customization Needs?
Here are the QuickBooks® consulting services we can provide to help you improve and maintain your bookkeeping records and procedures, and to meet your goals for accuracy and completeness of the data you’ll give to the board for periodic reviews and to your CPA for year-end reporting. This detailed reporting will help you make wise decisions to guide your organization. Check off the tasks you need help with.
_____ Review your QuickBooks® file and recommend needed revisions and customization to improve accuracy and efficiency. We can provide instructions for what to do or do some or all of it for you.
_____ Add Classes to your QuickBooks® Lists.
_____ Ensure the Chart of Accounts includes all accounts needed for your reports.
_____ Customize and memorize reports you want to review regularly.
_____ Customize the Icon Bar for ease of use and efficiency.
_____ Write QuickBooks®/bookkeeping procedures as needed to implement new data entry/report generation tasks.

For a free phone consultation and needs assessment, call :
Linda Logan, 612-387-8619
We can provide onsite help in the above areas or remote assistance anywhere.

St. Paul Pioneer Press Article – Fiscal Foundations is quoted.

St. Paul Pioneer Press Article - Fiscal Foundations Quoted

St. Paul Pioneer Press Article – Fiscal Foundations Quoted

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.

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.

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.

This is a great QuickBooks reference book…

What you should know about IT Support and QuickBooks

Our recommendations for common problems you may experience!

Illogical or erratic behavior in QuickBooks®

The good news about QuickBooks is that it is a very reliable software that rarely has technical problems which it cannot repair itself. If you experience any illogical or erratic behavior in your software, immediately click on the File menu – Utilities – Verify Data. If QuickBooks finds any problem in the data file, it will instruct you to rebuild the data. Again, click on the File menu – Utilities – Rebuild Data. It will ask you to back up your data. Then the rebuild will start automatically and fix the problem. I occasionally find this happens after I’ve made numerous changes to a major list, such as the Chart of Accounts or Items List, when reworking a QuickBooks file that was not set up correctly in the beginning.

File grows too large

You may experience performance problems if after years of being in business, your file approaches the maximum size the software is designed to handle. Periodically check the size of your file though Windows Explorer. QuickBooks Pro and Premier can handle a file up to 150-200 MB. If you’re experiencing problems and you’ve confirmed your file is approaching the size limit, the simplest solution is to upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions which has a maximum size of 1 GB or more. Enterprise Solutions is optimized for larger data files and network usage. Of course, it is more expensive than Pro or Premier, but has additional features appreciated by larger, more complex businesses. Enterprise Solutions supports up to 30 users and even handles complex manufacturing and distribution concerns. Your file will open right up in Enterprise Solutions and you can proceed with your work!

Another option that may buy you a little time is to condense your file, thus reducing its size, by removing detail from past years’ transactions. The procedure for doing this is:

* Back up your data file. Rename the original file to include the time frame of transactions included, i.e. Fiscal Foundations, LLC (2007-2010).qbw. All the past years’ transaction detail will remain available to you in this file.

* Restore the back-up file you just created, naming it with your company name, i.e. Fiscal Foundations, LLC.qbw. This is the file you will work in now. You’ll be able to find past year’s transactions in your old file, but we are going to remove the past years’ detail in this new file by condensing the data. The totals in your accounts will remain to be available for historical reports, but the details of individual transactions like checks, bills, invoices, and sales receipts will be deleted. Each month’s transactions will be converted into journal entries only recording the total of the transactions posted to each account.

* Click on the File menu – Utilities – Clean Up Company Data. Follow the instructions. It will also give you the option of removing unused list items.

* Recheck the size of your new file to see how much capacity you’ve gained.

My experience has been that only a small amount of capacity is gained through this file cleanup. I’m sure it depends on how many years of data you have in your file—the larger your file, the greater your gain.

Your computer crashes or is stolen, or your house/office is destroyed

Failure to back up routinely is one of the most painful and costly mistakes you can make. Clients often ask how often they should back up. My answer is another question, “How much data would you like to reenter or pay to have reentered?” My first recommendation is to make sure your general liability insurance covers data recovery. Have multiple backups including on a flash drive or external hard drive and an offsite backup as well. I recommend daily backups. Automatic offsite backups make your life simpler and your data secure. This service is inexpensive, particularly when compared to the costs of losing your data.

Occasionally, a file will be damaged but not destroyed. This happened to one of my clients a few years ago. As a QuickBooksTM ProAdvisor, I was able to recover most of the lists. Of particular concern and value were the Chart of Accounts, Customer List, and Items List. This company produced and sold hundreds of stationery items to stores all over the United States. Reentering all this data would have cost thousands of dollars and virtually have paralyzed their business for weeks. This company had implemented the routine backup procedures I had recommended years before, but had been sold to new owners just a year before the computer crash. The new owner had not continued the backup procedure. The saving grace was that we had just sent the first year’s financial reports off to the CPA for tax preparation. So even though I was not able to recover any transaction data, we at least had a beginning Balance Sheet for the year. With the recovered lists and a paper trail of the last few month’s transactions, recovery time was short and the backup procedure was reinstated.

Your QuickBooks file needs to be available to 2-30 users on a network

ProAdvisors are QuickBooksTM experts, but not necessarily IT consultants. We collaborate with IT consultants to make sure networks are set up and secured properly, and QuickBooks is configured on the network with individual User ID’s, passwords, and appropriate permissions to facilitate work being done and your financial security assured.

A virus infects your computer or network

Protection against viruses invading your computer or network is critically important. We’re all on the internet every day. The risk is real. What’s more important to protect than your financial data? Your QuickBooks file may contain your passwords, bank account information, employee and vendor social security numbers, and key information about your products, customers and business performance. That’s information you don’t want in the hands of crooks or competitors. Keyloggers are extremely dangerous invader in that they can record your every keystroke you make including passwords to your bank accounts and accounting files. Call a professional immediately if your computer system is compromised! We have a great referral for you! Call That Girl!, owned by Lisa Hendrickson, is a wonderful resource for us for hosting our off-site backup and protecting our client and company data. Their IT professionals work remotely so your location is not a limiting factor.

If you are experiencing any of these situations, call us for help! We can assist you remotely, virtually anywhere, and onsite in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, or in the Denton and Dallas/Fort Worth areas in Texas.

For any of these IT issues:
* Virus removals

* Online back up

* General troubleshooting, printers, networking, file sharing

* Outlook support

* Server support

* Pretty much everything!


Call That Girl

Call That Girl


Call That Girl!
Twin Cities: 952-681-7969
Rochester: 507-923-4042
Winona: 507-474-7272

Schedule a Free QuickBooks Workshop for Your Clients or Members

Banks, Payroll Services, CPA Firms, Chambers of Commerce, Professional Organizations, Meetup Groups, Networking Groups, other small business service providers…



SCORE QuickBooks Workshop
SCORE QuickBooks Workshop




Fiscal Foundations is committed to helping small businesses build a firm fiscal foundation for success. We not only believe, we KNOW small business is the heart of our American economy and democracy, employing 58% of the workforce and producing 40% of the gross national product. Entrepreneurs are men and women of courage, commitment, ingenuity and initiative. They don’t sit back waiting for politicians or others to create their destinies or solve their problems. They know that making dreams happen is not the result of magic, but of putting their ideas, perseverance and resources on the line to bring their vision into reality. Small business is most likely to be the hero when it comes to getting the economy back on its feet and creating the job security we all so desperately need. Our company is committed to supporting that effort by providing the tools, training and services for setting up and maintaining the accounting systems that support small businesses in managing and growing their companies. Accounting is the “language of business”. The bottom line is—to succeed in business, you MUST understand accounting—thus our mission!

We offer three ways of helping:

1. Training, set up and customized bookkeeping services to client companies –

  • New company set up with QuickBooks
  • One-on-one or staff training in QuickBooks
  • Training in small business accounting
  • Customized bookkeeping support
  • On-call remote or on-site support for QuickBooks problems/questions

2. On line training programs (in development) – ADD YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO OUR LIST to receive announcements of our complete online curriculum for small business accounting coming soon!

3. Our QuickBooks ProAdvisors volunteer their time to offer FREE QUICKBOOKS WORKSHOPS (TEXAS) through our own group,  and on behalf of other organizations and groups. In Minnesota, the meetup group address is


AIMS OF THE WORKSHOP (Vary with topic and length of session)

  • To reinforce how understanding accounting and setting up a good accounting system is critically important to small business success.
  • To give small business owners (and nonprofit managers) a preview of how QuickBooks works and demonstrate its completeness of features to address all their accounting needs, and its user friendliness even for non-accountants.
  • To acquaint business owners with areas of special concern and requirements, i.e. payroll tax deposit/reporting requirements/deadlines; sales tax reporting/paying (optional by state); year-end closing/readying books for CPA/tax preparation; 1099 preparation for subcontractors. Demonstrate how QuickBooks handles this tracking, report preparation, and reminders for deadlines.


  • SCORE (Dallas, Minneapolis, St. Paul)
  • Texas Business Centers – Denton, TX
  • Women Venture – St. Paul, MN
  • Minnesota Coaches Association – Twin Cities, Minnesota
  • Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota, Inc. – Upper Midwest
  • SBA Resource Fair – Minneapolis, MN
  • Science Museum of Minnesota’s Computer Education Center – St Paul, MN
  • Messerli & Schadow PLLP (CPA Firm) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Women in Small Business Fair – Minneapolis, MN
  • Private Bank Minnesota – QuickBooks for Nonprofits, Minneapolis, MN
  • ADP – Minneapolis, MN
  • Press Gold Group (Payroll Services) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Insperity (a Houston company formerly known as Administaff) – Minneapolis, MN
  • Intelligent Office – Denver, CO
  • Roper Insurance & Financial Services – Denver, CO
  • Saint Paul College – St. Paul, MN
  • African Economic Development Solutions – St. Paul, MN


  • 2 Hours (have done up to 3 hours)


  • Informal, conversational style inviting participation and questions
  • PowerPoint Slides as introduction and conclusion
  • Live QuickBooks Demo with customized sample database if audience represents single industry
  • Question and Answer session
  • Recommendations for resources available to small businesses


  • QuickBooks 101 – Managing and Growing Your Business with QuickBooks
  • What You Need To Know To Start a New Business!
  • Payroll Made Easy
  • QuickBooks – An Essential Tool for Small Business Success
  • Wrap It Up! – Closing Your Books at Year-End
  • Collecting the Money You’re Owed – Effectively Managing Your Accounts Receivable
  • Keeping It Simple and Achieving Results! – QuickBooks and Business Planning
  • Managing Your Coaching Business with QuickBooks
  • Know Your Numbers! – Understanding Your Financial Reports
  • Managing Your Automotive Service Business with QuickBooks


  • Workshop Sponsor (That’s you!) provides room, handouts if desired, and refreshments. We provide complete presentation, handout masters for photocopying, slide projector, screen. (We can use Sponsor’s projector and screen if room is designed for audio visual presentations)


  • You send special invitations to your clients
  • You publicize in any media you have available
  • We publish the event on our website calendar and on our website (unless a private workshop)
  • We promote through social media including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (unless a private workshop)\


  • Dallas and surrounding area
  • Minneapolis St Paul and surrounding area
  • Western Wisconsin

We also welcome opportunities to participate in webinars and telenars. Our clients often ask us for referrals to other small business service providers. We enjoy opportunities to develop cross-referral relationships that can benefit all our clients and further serve to support the small business community. 

How QuickBooks Supports the One Page Business Plan

-Take your business to the next level

By Linda Logan, President, Fiscal Foundations, LLC

Our mission at Fiscal Foundations is to improve the success and success rate of small businesses everywhere. We’re a small business too, and that is our personal mission too—to constantly improve our business and our success. Why? Small business is at the heart of our economy and democracy. In the western world, it’s the mechanism for achieving our dreams. It can be a way out of poverty for creative, industrious people in third world nations. Success builds the confidence and courage to improve lives economically, socially and politically. Personally, I find building a business a fascinating, creative exercise. Athletes are always striving to stretch the bounds of what they can achieve. Artists work to perfect the expression of their visions on canvas or other media. I see building a business as a little of both.

Our work is focused on accounting because as Charlie Munger once said, “You have to know accounting. It’s the language of practical business life.” So many entrepreneurs fail because they don’t know how to set up and maintain their accounting systems, and how to use their financial data to make the decisions needed to grow their businesses to achieve their dreams. There’s nothing more rewarding in our work than watching our clients gain the expertise needed to take charge of their financial planning and growth. However, I still see businesses grow to the point where owners get by, managing to make an average living, but not really fulfilling the dreams that originally inspired them. They often seem stuck at this point and unable to see a way forward. Consequently, many give up and quit at this point. We can’t settle for that! So the question is, what’s the next step and what can help us get there?

I was excited to read The One Page Business PlanTM by Jim Horan and Tamara Monosoff. Business plans always sound like a good idea, but the idea of the spending hours writing a 50 page plan that will sit on the shelf is less than inspiring. What is inspiring is putting words to your vision, articulating what you are building; defining your mission, why your business exists, what difference you want your work to make; laying out your objectives, what results you want to achieve and measure; then, planning the strategies you’ll implement to make it happen; and finally, listing the steps, the tasks you’ll take to make it happen. To accomplish anything, you have to break it down to a series of actions to be taken, one step at a time. The One Page Business PlanTM offers a format that we all can work with, one page. Think of it as the business plan on Twitter! You can apply it to a one person business or a large company with multiple locations, divisions or departments. It helps you produce a plan that becomes a living part of the organization, develops consensus among the management team, builds accountability into the system, and helps you, the business owner steer the business to your ultimate destination.

There are several versions of this book. The one I am personally recommending is The One Page Business Plan for Women in Business, published in paperback version, January, 2010. While the examples of plans are from women-owned businesses, men will find it just as useful and valuable. It is the newest version. I tend to believe, as authors, we seek to improve upon all our previous work, and this is the one we are personally using in our work.
Here are some of our recommended books on the subject:

Reading a book is great, but there are times when we need some hands-on help. Local consultants are available to help you implement The One Page Business PlanTM in your company. We are working with J. Michael Cavitt of Cavitt Associates, If you’re in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you can learn more about this planning process by attending one of our free workshops: Business Plans, Projections & Budgets – Keeping it Simple & Achieving Results! co-facilitated by myself and J. Michael Cavitt. See to see upcoming dates. We also show you how to record and monitor progress against your plan using QuickBooksTM. Budgets and projections can be documented in QuickBooksTM and you can regularly review Budget to Actual reports. QuickBooksTM is the most commonly used accounting software program in small businesses because it is inexpensive, easy to learn and use, and performs all the accounting functions needed by your business. Another of its strengths is its reporting. There are over 150 standard reports built in and many more can be customized to help you measure your results in achieving the objectives you identify in your plan.


It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
— Benjamin Franklin

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
—Alan Lakein

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.
— Earl Nightingale

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
— George S. Patton

Developing the plan is actually laying out the sequence of events that have to occur for you to achieve your goal.
— George L. Morrisey

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.
— Napoleon Hill

Year-end Close Checklist for QuickBooks eBook

Tis the Season – Tax Season, that is!  How to close your Books for year-end and be ready for your CPA and taxes.

Every year, full knowing all the steps to year-end closing, our staff goes out to clients armed with a 4 page checklist of all the steps that need to be done. The list is complete and in order. That way we forget nothing and our client’s books are done accurately and completely. They meet all their tax deadlines and avoid penalties. They follow their CPA’s instructions to reduce their tax liability and their taxes are done on time!

Wouldn’t you love to have your taxes done in January, so you can get on with building your business in the New Year. It’s time to get on with the recovery and growth of 2011! Budgets, cash flow projections, plans, developing new products and services, new sales & marketing activity, better accounts receivable management. It’s producing results that you want to spend your time on.

OK, so here it is. We’ve taken our 4 page checklist, a proven solution year after year, and we put it into an ebook with complete instructions. Following this guide could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. We’ve had clients who called us too late and ended up paying anywhere from $10,000 – $40,000 in tax penalties, no kidding. That can put you out of business very quickly!

The good news is we’re not going to charge you hundreds of dollars or even tens of dollars. We’ll send you our ebook, aptly named ‘Tis the Season, Tax Season That Is, for $9.97. And if you have any questions, you can call or email us, or contact a contract bookkeeper in your local area. This list is also perfect for contract bookkeepers to use as well, so if you know any, please tell them about this ebook. It will help all their clients too.

Just click on the products tab on the main navigation bar and order this simple, inexpensive, easy to use solution to your year-end woes!

We’d also love to have you email us about your experience using the list! We’re always incorporating new suggestions to make our products and services more useful to you!