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Computers and Expense Reporting


Expense Reporting Software

Think you can get by with paper copies of expense reports forever? Wrong. Paper has its place, but eventually you’ll need to upgrade.

Expense Reporting Software vs. Online Programs

Most expense report software packages are pricey – some charge up-front fees, while others charge on a month-to-month basis, but there’s always a charge. Quickbooks, however, offers a free accounting program for small businesses. There’s no software to install, just use the program and store your company invoices and reports in the cloud.

Whichever you choose, make sure that you know what you’re getting into, and make sure that the company has the level of support that you’ll need to get used to filing your reports with a new system.

Filed under New Posts, Tips
Apr 3, 2011

Consolidate Small Business Debt


If you’ve run up a considerable about of high-interest debt on company credit cards, or you’ve got several small business loans, consider applying for the Small Business Administration’s loan consolidation program. There are lots of benefits, and no real drawbacks, as long as your current debt is in good standing.

Get Money for Loans from the Government

Why consolidate your business debt?

You can realize a number of benefits by consolidating your company’s loans and other debt, including start-up loans, equipment financing and even business credit cards.

  • Lower interest
  • Lower payments
  • Reduced principal
  • Time saved

Keep this in mind:

If you’re going through the SBA, your loans must be in good standing. The U.S. government won’t back or guarantee a loan that’s used to pay off delinquent loans. Check with the Small Business Administration to find out if you qualify for the consolidation program today!

Filed under New Posts, Tips
Mar 31, 2011

Save Money with Free Printable Timesheets


Save your timesheets in a binder for continuity

Tired of shelling out cash for timecards that are just going to end up in a bundle in your storage closet? Why not print off some timesheet templates instead?

Free Timekeeping Templates

Print off several timesheets on a single page, and print your pages double-sided to save even more paper. Have your employees track one week on the first side, and the next week on the second side. Just update the hours in your pay journal or bookkeeping program on Friday, and return the sheet to your employee on Monday. Ready to get started? Here’s more info and a free timesheet template.

Mar 29, 2011

Small Business Administration: Rock Stars On Tour?


Don't Miss the SBA's Jobs Act Tour

The SBA, or small business administration, is a well-known organization that extends a welcome helping hand to small business owners on a local level. Nearly every town has an SBA office, with counselors ready and willing to help you out as you navigate the shark-filled waters of business ownership. So what’s the SBA Rock Star tour all about?

HR5279 AKA the Jobs Act

HR5279, also known as the Small Business Jobs Act, was signed into law in 2010 by President Obama. It has created new programs and changed laws, creating opportunities such as the STEP program for small businesses around the country.

What is the STEP program?

The State Trade and Export Promotion program (STEP) was created to encourage exports among small businesses. HR5279 authorizes the SBA to provide grant funds to states, for distribution to small businesses who need funding to begin or expand export operations.

Going to the SBA Jobs Tour

The SBA has put together a tour to go around the country, explaining the ins and outs of HR5279 and the STEP program. Check out the schedule here: SBA Jobs Tour.

Filed under New Posts, Organizing, Tips
Mar 26, 2011

Don’t just say, “You’re Fired!” Use Letter of Termination Templates


No one wants to get fired by phone - be professional, and use a termination letter.

When it’s time to let an employee go, how do you give him the news? A quiet conference? A Good-Bye luncheon? A pink-slip on his desk? You’re better off providing him with a clear letter outlining the reason for his dismissal.

Dismissal for Cause

Terminating someone for cause: When you’re firing someone because he is chronically under-performing in his position, make sure that you’ve documented his performance issues before you let him go. Issue written warnings, and have him sign the warning each time. Let him know how many warnings he will receive before he is fired.

Layoff Notices

A nice farewell letter, explaining that his position will no longer be funded by the company, is a better way to communicate with an employee when you’re forced to let him go due to budgeting issues.

Whatever the situation, don’t forget to document, document, document!

For sample warnings, and a letter of termination for cause and layoff notices, read Employee Termination Forms.

Filed under New Posts, Templates, Tips
Mar 24, 2011

Business Mileage Rates Mean Big Tax Deductions!


Track your work-related mileage for a tax deduction

If you keep track of all the miles you drive for work, you can deduct them at the astonishing rate of 51 cents per mile. (2011 mileage rates) What does this mean? You’d better start keeping track of the miles you drive for your job!

Today’s tip: Keep a mileage journal in your car or truck. Every time you drive to the store to pick up office supplies, or to the warehouse to look at a new widget model, write down your starting odometer reading before you leave, along with a note including the date, time and a brief description of the trip. When you get back to work, write down your new odometer reading.

If you want to save yourself some work at the end of the year, total your miles on a weekly and monthly basis. Otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of adding when it’s tax-time. Either way, however, your mileage journal is a great way to provide documentation of your business-related driving expenses, and keep track of how much money to deduct from your taxes at the end of the year.

Filed under New Posts, Tips
Mar 23, 2011

Getting Organized


Organize Your Files to Save Time

If you run a small business, organization is critical to your success. It’s time to get organized!

From a well-designed office layout to a comprehensive file system, you’ll profit from following the maxim, “Everything has a place, and everything in its place” – if your files are in order, you’ll never have any trouble finding what you need, even at a moment’s notice. Also, you won’t have to wonder which customers are behind on payments, or whether you forgot to pay that company credit card bill again.

Mar 20, 2011