Why is Bookkeeping Important to a Business?

The absence of bookkeeping in a business is like a road without signs because you’re likely to arrive at a different place than intended. Any large business learned the value of financial records produced by bookkeepers is crucial for proper management.

Bookkeeping is essential to every business for both financial and legal reasons. Without record keeping, it is difficult to get a business loan, and impossible to do taxes. Even more importantly, without the information that bookkeeping provides, wise decision-making is tricky and can lead to disastrous conditions.

There is a close correlation of success with those that realized the importance of bookkeeping and those that did not. Those that thought bookkeeping was an unnecessary luxury judged the success of their business by the amount of money in their bank account. Their thinking was “If I have money, I must be doing well.” That assumption, all too often, caused them to always be in the “fire-fighting” mode of management. Unfortunately, a lack of a bookkeeping system would end disastrously for the owner, with mortgages on their home, and bill-collectors hassling them. It even led to bankruptcy too many times.

Certainly, bookkeeping does not guarantee success. Nor is it all that is needed. Yet it leads us to information that can help us make well-informed decisions. Allen Bostrom, in his book “In the Black”, states “You hear a lot about the importance of making decisions based on data. What I have learned is that decisions should be based on wisdom, not necessarily data alone.” He goes on by describing the Wisdom Pyramid which is a triangular shape with “Data” at the bottom and topped by “Wisdom”. In other words, data leads to information, information leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to wisdom.

In summary, the difference between achieving entrepreneurial dreams and disaster for a small business owner is often based on their appreciation or lack of appreciation for the information coming from a bookkeeping system.

Donna Parsons, A career worth pursing, and now she has a successful bookkeeping business

Donna Parsons started young and walked the path to become an accounting professional. Following a traditional path she attended school to receive her degrees and then employment. Soon the desire was intense enough to act and start her accounting business.

First she started with a few clients supplementing her income and then it was too much to resist so she quit and went full-time. Now she is “all in” and things are good.

Donna is both happy and busy.

Take a moment and hear her story and what insights she has to share.

Consider having your own successful accounting business:

Accounting Firm Business Model

Get the confidence to offer quality accounting services:

Accountant Certification Programs

Get the support you need to be in business for yourself but not by yourself:

Power Coaching & Training Program

Consider the success stories of so many others:

Success Stories

Why Bookkeeping Courses Lead to Great Work From Home Jobs

How a Bookkeeping Course Can Enable You to Work From Home

A professional bookkeeping career can be both lucrative and rewarding, especially if you take the time to investigate available bookkeeping courses online that could empower you to be your own boss and work from home. Every business in the United States, big or small, needs an accurate and detailed set of financial books. While many companies have in-house accounting teams, other businesses may outsource their bookkeeping to professional bookkeepers, many of whom work from home.

Whether you already work as a bookkeeper or want to start a new career, the right bookkeeping courses online can streamline your career path and help you build the accounting career you’ve always wanted. If working from home sounds like an attractive way to build your bookkeeping experience, consider how online bookkeeping courses can help.

 

Why You Should Consider Bookkeeping Courses Online

Establishing yourself as a professional bookkeeper and finding employment opportunities is more difficult than you might expect without the proper qualifications. Completing typical courses at a local school while maintaining your current job can be extremely challenging, especially if you have a family. Bookkeeping classes online can make it easier to obtain the qualifications for the type of job you want to have in the future; you can complete your coursework in a matter of weeks instead of months.

Online courses from Universal Accounting are streamlined and flexible enough to fit your current schedule, but robust enough to provide with the tools and guidance to build a professional bookkeeping business you can manage from the comfort of your home. The freedom and flexibility that come with working as a professional bookkeeper from home does mean more responsibility than you typically would have at a corporate accounting department or as an in-house bookkeeper for a local business. However, Universal Accounting offers a streamlined introduction to the tools and skills you need to manage your home bookkeeping practice effectively.

Time is another critical factor for many modern accounting professionals. Bookkeeping classes online from Universal Accounting offer you the ability to complete your Professional Bookkeeper certification in weeks instead of months, further streamlining your career path and making your services more attractive to potential clients.

 

Benefits of Working From Home

Modern technology has made telecommunication more feasible than ever before for professionals in various industries. This new trend of remote work not only allows employees to enjoy more flexibility in their day-to-day work, but also provides employers with a vastly larger pool of talented individuals who can work remotely. Bookkeeping is no different, and many professional bookkeepers are opting for working from home in lieu of traditional employment with a nine-to-five schedule.

The accounting world will continue to grow and provide invaluable services to countless other industries, but the professionals working in the accounting industry will forge new career paths and develop new ways to work on their own terms. Remote work can be incredibly rewarding with the right training and guidance. If you to pursue a career in professional bookkeeping but do not relish the thought of a nine-to-five shift in an office setting, developing your own bookkeeping practice from home could be the ideal solution. Working from home as a professional bookkeeper offers several tangible benefits:

  • Flexibility in your workdays. You get to decide what days you work, how many hours each day you want to work, and when you want to take off. There’s no need to navigate paid time off rules or use up vacation time when you need a break; simply let your clients know when you’re available.
  • Freedom to be your own boss. Working in any type of corporate structure can feel oppressive at times, and micromanagement from supervisors can diminish enthusiasm and degrade the quality of any professional’s work. When you are your own boss, the responsibility of fulfilling your clients’ needs comes with the ability of completing your work on your own terms.
  • Easier work-life balance. Working from home is especially beneficial to young professionals with families and young children. You could potentially save thousands of dollars each year in childcare costs by working from home while caring for your kids.
  • Minimal overhead. All you need to run a successful bookkeeping practice out of your home office space, a comfortable place to meet with clients if you plan to have face-to-face meetings, and the ability to manage your own business finances and marketing. You won’t need to worry about interviewing, hiring, training, or payroll for additional staff until your business grows large enough to need them, and only if you want them.
  • Virtually unlimited potential to grow your practice. Do you prefer a small, easy-to-manage list of dedicated clients or do you dream of building a full-fledged accounting company of your own? Bookkeeping courses online can empower you to grow your business in almost any direction.

Flexibility and freedom are the biggest benefits to working from home in any field. Professional bookkeepers who complete the online classes available from Universal Accounting not only obtain the certifications they need to attract new business and serve their clients effectively, but also the tools necessary for attracting new clients, managing their operating expenses, and growing their practices.

 

Enhance Your Professional Bookkeeping Career With Online Courses

Universal Accounting offers a multi-module program aimed at providing students with Professional Bookkeeper certification and a full range of tools to empower them for the future. Working from home not only offers comfort and convenience for everyday work but can also become the groundwork for a successful and lucrative business in professional accounting services.

Whether you plan on building a comfortable side job for extra income or want to take your home bookkeeping business to the next level and grow your own accounting firm from the ground up, the online courses available from Universal Accounting provide you with the tools you will need for professional bookkeeping success.

Universal Accounting provides a streamlined Professional Bookkeeper course that provides you with the certification and training to attract and retain new business as well as guidance for marketing your business, managing your operating budget, and developing new techniques for handling customer issues. If you’re interested in a flexible and robust Professional Bookkeeper certification course you can take online, contact Universal Accounting today at (877) 833-7909 for more information.

How to Start a Tax Preparation Business

Your Guide for Starting a Home Tax Preparation Business

If you have any interest in a career as a tax preparation professional, it’s important to know that you aren’t stuck with the choice between working for a large accounting company or at a local branch of a nationwide tax preparation service. It’s possible to have a lucrative and fulfilling career as a work from home tax preparer if you have the right credentials and experience. Working from home offers tremendous freedom and flexibility. If you want to start a tax preparation practice out of your home, you should have some idea of what to expect.

 

Why Start a Tax Preparation Practice From Home?

Tax preparation is a field that offers job security. With compound annual industry growth and a consistent need for tax professionals nationwide, a certified tax preparer will never be out of work for long. While a tax preparation professional can likely find a job at one of the thousands of tax preparation services operating in the United States, many modern tax preparers are opting for opening their own home-based practices instead. In fact, out of the more than 80 million tax returns prepared each year, only about 23% go through tax preparation company franchises. The vast majority of Americans who file tax returns prefer to work with smaller tax preparation companies, most of which have less than ten employees.

To start a tax preparation business from your home, finding clients is your first priority. Even outside of tax return season, many home-based tax preparation professionals offer their clients a wide range of tax-related services, from managing their business taxes to navigating various tax-related issues through the Internal Revenue Service or state revenue departments. However, the availability of clients is just one of the reasons many modern tax professionals are choosing to work from home. This type of working arrangement offers several distinct benefits:

  • A work from home tax preparation professional can set his or her own schedule. Work as hard as you want, as often as you want, with as many clients as you want once you put in the necessary effort to attract a client base.
  • Working from home makes it much easier to manage work-life balance and handle family life. A tax professional working from home can provide in-home childcare and not have to worry about the expenses of daycare.
  • A work from home tax preparer has minimal overhead. To start a tax preparation business out of your home, you need to obtain the necessary software, office supplies, and technology to do your work, but you won’t need to worry about additional property expenses that would come with owning office space or payroll for employees.
  • You can grow in the future. If you want something more than just a side gig for extra income and dream of expanding your practice beyond a one-person operation, your experience working from home can empower you for your professional future.
  • Working from home remotely allows you to provide tax preparation services to clients outside your local area, offering even more opportunities to expand your practice in the future.
  • All you need when it comes to office space is room in your home to do your work efficiently and a clean, comfortable area to meet with clients in person.

Of all the incredible benefits of working from home, perhaps the best is a complete freedom and day-to-day flexibility that comes when you start a tax preparation practice in your home.

 

Get Your Home Tax Preparation Business Started the Right Way

Running your own tax preparation practice does come to the responsibility of finding your own clients, managing your own expenses, and truly being your own boss. You need to ensure you have adequate resources for handling your clients’ needs. This includes office equipment, communication technology, and the necessary software for handling each client’s individual tax-related issues.

You also need to prepare your home to accommodate your business. This is easier for some than others, but ultimately you just need a quiet and comfortable workspace and a place to meet with clients if you plan to meet with them in person. You may also need to upgrade your tech; the right software, a newer computer, and a quality printer are crucial.

If you work with clients from your local area, you’re going to need the appropriate forms for filing local, state, and federal tax returns for them. You will also need to handle your own business expenses and tax obligations. To grow your tax preparation practice beyond a one-person operation, you can delegate these responsibilities to other employees. To become more financially stable, you may want to handle these tasks yourself.

Before you can start working from home as a tax preparer, you need to complete the necessary coursework to obtain your tax preparation certification. Depending on where you live and where you plan to practice, you’re going to need to navigate federal as well as state-level requirements. Having some professional guidance in this regard can be a tremendous asset and help you streamline the process of getting your work-from-home tax preparation business up and running. You may also need assistance completing your certification, and Universal Accounting can help.

 

Complete Required Coursework and Certification With Expert Assistance

When you first start working from home as a professional tax preparer, your first clients might be friends, family members, and neighbors, but you could quickly expand to helping other local business owners with their tax-related issues. Having the right certification is a necessity for opening such a business, but going a step further and learning how to truly take charge of your business can make working from home more efficient and rewarding.

Universal Accounting offers a wide range of courses designed to empower you as a business owner. Unlike other tax preparation courses, you can complete the Universal Accounting tax preparation course in a matter of weeks instead of months and hit the ground running with the tools you need to guide your tax preparation business into the future.

Whether you want to supplement your income by providing tax preparation services out of your home or grow into a larger business in the future, Universal Accounting offers the courses and tools you will need for success. Call us today at (877) 833-7909 for more information about our tax professional courses and how we can help you start working from home as a professional tax preparer.

Data Protection: How and Why to Secure Your Customers’ Sensitive Information

As technology becomes more enmeshed in our daily lives, cyberattacks are on the rise. Hackers stole hundreds of millions of Equifax login credentials after the credit reporting agency didn’t update its software. Meanwhile, Anthem recently paid a record $115 million settlement to current and former customers after hackers stole their names, Social Security numbers, and contact information. If you run a small business, it’s your ethical and legal responsibility to prevent data breaches like these. Keep reading for some best practices to protect your customers’ data and your profit margin.

What’s a Cyberattack?

To prevent a security breach, you must understand what they are and why they’re so destructive. Consumers and companies increasingly find themselves potential targets for cyberattacks, a type of online security breach. Cisco defines cyberattacks as “malicious” and “deliberate” efforts to “breach the information system of another individual or organization.” Criminals benefit from these attacks by seeking money, disrupting business, or destroying data.

Data Protection is Good for Business

Investing time and money into data protection is good for your business because:

  1. You’ll stay legal.

    In some situations, you may be legally obligated to secure your customers’ data. In New York, for example, certain businesses must follow the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation, requiring local companies to implement infrastructure protection from cybersecurity threats.

    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states have similar data security laws. Find your state’s regulations here. If you do business abroad, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with those countries’ laws. For instance, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the world’s strongest data protection law, dictates how businesses can handle European customer information.

  2. You’ll stay ethical.

    According to Inc.com, it’s up to businesses to “take the lead” when it comes to data protection. That includes having web developers encrypt sensitive data like credit card numbers, passwords, and Social Security numbers. Because hackers specifically target businesses that don’t have proper security measures in place, make sure your network is secure and updated, and promptly fix any security holes.

 

  1. You’ll stay profitable.

    These days, customers value transparent, trustworthy businesses — yet only 1 in 3 consumers trust businesses to do what’s right. By being upfront about the ways you’ll protect your customers’ valuable data, you’ll establish a sense of trust and reliability. However, Financial Post notes, “your words will hold no weight if your customer data falls into the wrong hands.” In addition to securing your network, train your employees on what to do in the event of a data breach. Practice makes perfect, and clearly communicated policies and procedures will help your company swiftly recover in the event of a data breach.

Protecting Your Customers and Your Business

Although there’s no foolproof way to prevent cyber threats, these precautions will help:

  • Multi-factor authentication. Rather than relying on usernames and passwords alone, add additional levels of security. Examples include combining passwords with fingerprint scans, retina scans, employee ID cards, or smartphone access.

  • Implement data loss protection. Adding data loss prevention (DLP) software ensures sensitive data isn’t exposed to internal or external threats by unauthorized users, and DLP ensures your meeting compliance requirements

  • Data encryption. By hiding sensitive data, such as passwords or credit card numbers, behind a complex passcode, you’ll help control who can access that information, even if someone steals it.

  • Policies and procedures. Train your employees on how to document, report, and fix cybersecurity threats. Depending upon your industry and location, you may also be legally required to report such events to local authorities.

  • Stay up-to-date. Make sure your network and website are running on the latest software versions. Hire developers and engineers to help plug any security holes before they become a problem.

Data protection isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s good for your customers, and for your bottom line. By having the right frameworks in place, you’ll prevent threats and recover from worst-case scenarios. By spending a little extra time and money, you’ll increase your profits, show people they can trust you, and have peace of mind knowing your data is protected.

By Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

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