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Finance Charges: How to Handle Your Charge Accounts

When customers don't pay their invoices, it can create a cash flow issue for your business. But beyond that, it can keep you from growing your business with the money that is owed. For this reason, some companies add a finance charge or late fee to overdue accounts. Often, the use of finance charges can spur late-paying customers to pay their accounts on time, improving your company's bottom line. But how do you implement those charges and what should they cover? Here are some ideas to help get you started. Early Payment Discounts: If you have issues with a number of customers who habitually pay late, consider adding a discount for early payment, such as within 10 days of the invoice date. T

How do you perform an audit on your business?

Audit. Though the word can conjure up visions of impatient IRS officials and huge tax bills, audits actually cover a much wider range of financial tools for your company. Performing an audit on your business can help ensure that you have the most accurate possible financial picture of your business. This allows you to make more informed decisions to improve your company's bottom line. But how do you perform one? We thought you'd never ask. Check how financial information is passed to accounting. How are incoming bills handled so that you can ensure that everything is paid in a timely manner? See how records are being kept. Documentation should be kept until at least the end of the accounting

8 Vital Financial Tips for New Businesses

When it comes to new businesses, there are a wide range of business finance concerns that need to be addressed. Fortunately, with the number of entrepreneurs that have gone through the process, you can benefit from their experience through these financial tips. Here's a quick look at several business finance tips that can help keep your new company operating successfully. Business budget: Setting up a reasonable budget helps you keep your expenses down in case your income projections don't do as well as expected. Obtaining financing: Take the time to check your personal credit reports to ensure any issues are cleared up if possible. This will help you get a better interest rate on any busine

An Introduction to the Accounting Cycle

When you're working with business finances, you'll probably hear the term accounting cycle from time to time. But what is it exactly and what are the steps involved in the cycle? Here's a quick overview to help you get started. The accounting cycle starts when you record a transaction and comes to an end when it's recorded on your company's financial statements. The steps that you go through help your company's accounting records remain accurate. The cycle was originally used when paper records required a high degree of accuracy to ensure the records remained accurate. The cycle can be any length of time. But what are the steps in the cycle? Here's a quick look at the process. A transaction

Checking the Financial Weather: Why Forecasting Income is Important

One of the primary aspects of business that can cause owners the most grief is cash flow. Determining what the expected income of a business will be is one of the most difficult forecasts to predict. However, building a forecast of your business' expected income can help you manage your cash flow in a way that grows your company. Here are some details on why forecasting income for your business is an important part of cash flow management. Before you can secure investors for your business, you'll need income forecasts to build their confidence in your enterprise. In its simplest form, an income forecast simply looks at what the projected income from your business will be over a particular pe

8 Ways to Improve Your Odds of Success as an Entrepreneur

When you're starting a business, you want to be a successful entrepreneur. But what can you do to improve the odds of success? We've taken some of the best advice and habits of successful entrepreneurs and created an easy list for you to consider when making decisions for starting a business. Involve others in your decision process If you cut yourself off from information and experience available from other professionals in your business, you're going to make mistakes by missing the guidance they can provide. Find balance To improve the odds of your business succeeding, you need to take care of yourself, have some downtime and turn off the "starting a business" push for a few hours every day

IRS Scams: A Few Common Threads to Avoid Financial Losses

With tax time just around the corner, it's more important than ever to be aware of potential IRS scams that can not only rob you of any potential tax refund, but quite possibly other financial resources as well. Here's a quick look at what you should look for when you're contacted by someone claiming to represent the IRS. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon today for an individual or business to receive a contact from someone claiming to be from the IRS. This contact can be by phone, mail, email or even social media. However, it's important to note that the IRS won't contact taxpayers using email, text messaging or social media due to the inherent security issues. Nor does the IRS demand immedi

Audit Time? Learn How to Get Through Quickly and Effectively

There are few experiences as nerve-wracking as receiving a notice for an IRS audit. Everyone has heard any number of horror stories about audits that ended up costing a fortune. Here's a quick look at what you should do to prepare for a tax audit to make sure you can get through the process with as little concern and time as possible. First, take a few minutes to determine exactly what records the financial audit covers. You're not required to provide additional documentation than that which is required for review. Keep your replies and the information you provide brief and to the point. Take the time to organize copies of the original documents so that they are easy to access during the aud

An Introduction to Business Concepts: Financial Statements

As a new business owner or one that has recently begun to develop a better accounting system, financial statements can seem like a foreign language. However, these statements can give you a wide range of information about the financial health of your business. Here's a quick look at different financial statements and how they can benefit your business. Here's a quick look at the most common financial statements that you'll work with for your business: Balance Sheet: The balance sheet is one of the most important documents prepared to reflect your company's financial status. It provides a view of the company's assets, liabilities and equity at a particular point in time. It gives you a quick

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