How to Organize Expense Reports for Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Expense Reports|How to Organize Expense Reports for Your BusinessDid you know that 5% of small business owners get audited each year? While the likelihood of your business getting audited by the IRS is low, it’s still important to keep your business expenses organized. Not only does that protect you on the off-chance you do get audited, but it helps you avoid paying more taxes.

Expense reports are a great way to track how much you and your employees spend. You want to have receipts and documentation to support all deductions you take at tax time.

This guide will discuss how you can track expenses and avoid tax-related headaches.

What Is an Expense Report Used For?

An expense report lists all costs related to running a company. Certain purchases are needed to run a business, such as:

  • Traveling for an event or conference
  • Entertaining and hosting clients
  • Driving your car for work
  • Meals, parking, gas, and hotel costs related to work
  • Supplies and hardware

Many of these costs are deductible when you file your business taxes. However, they need to be documented and organized.

Employees also use expense reports to get reimbursed by their employers. If an employee pays for something out of their pocket, you’ll want to verify that they paid what they’re claiming.

What’s Included in Expense Reports?

Whether you use paper or software to do your expense reports, they need to include a few things. These details include:

  • Date: The date the expense was incurred
  • Cost: The total amount for the expense, including taxes and tip
  • Description: A description of what the expense was
  • Category: What type of expense it was, such as a plane ticket or meal

You can require other details on your expense reports depending upon your needs. Noting what client the expense was for will help you stay even more organized.

Keep Your Receipts

Filling and organizing your receipts is essential to creating expense reports. Your receipts provide physical proof of the deductions your business claims on its taxes.
However, keeping around piles of receipts can take up a lot of room. You also run the risk of losing important documents.

Many programs use AI-based receipt capture to organize expenses. You can take a picture of your receipt with your smartphone. The image then gets uploaded and stored in your expense report system.

Use an Expense Report Platform

A software program is a great way to create an expense report without sifting through a ton of paperwork. For example, Bento for Business uses virtual cards so employees can track their expenses.

Employers can set daily limits for how much their employees spend. Employees can snap photos of their receipts and upload them into the system. Bento for Business then matches the transactions with the receipts, making the expense report process seamless and fast.

Save Time and Money With a Reliable Expense Report System

It’s important to stay organized with your business’s expense reports. Avoid stress around tax time and have the proof for all of your deductions with comprehensive expense reports.

Check out one of our other articles to improve your business’s practices.

Why Your Business Will Benefit from Hiring an Accounting Firm

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Team Building Tips|Team Building Tips and Tricks for ManagersIf you are running a business, then chances are you constantly have a number of different things on your mind, one of which is likely going to worry about how you can keep up with your growth upon expansion. If you currently find yourself querying such a thing, then there are resources you can look at and learn from, but the fact is, the answer that is best for you will be different to what is best for other businesses. One reasonably universal step forward, though, is to hire an accounting firm.

As you grow, so too do the number of people you pay, your income and your overall outgoings, and with that, so too will your tax obligations change. Keeping up with these is very hard to do while running the rest of your business, hence why an accounting firm is an important asset. This article will dive into a bit more detail about why having such a firm on your side is useful.

Are You Looking to Buy an Accounting Firm?

Of course, it may be that you already know the value of an accounting firm and are currently looking out for one. If this is the case, then it is recommended that you head over to Poe Group Advisors, which buys and sells accounting firms. These will be able to listen to you and understand what your business does before making suitable recommendations.

The Benefits

So, what are the benefits of such a purchase?

You Will Save Yourself Time

It is recommended that different elements of your business are outsourced to other people because if you get too bogged down in the likes of legal, technology and, in this instance, accounting, you aren’t going to have any time to actually run your business. You want to be working on what it is that makes you unique and can generate income, not piling through pages upon pages of accounting in order to get to grips with the process and what you owe.

You Will Be Paying Employees in the Best Way

A good business is nothing without good employees and as such, it is important that you are paying them a fair wage, on time and in a way that benefits you and them equally. An accounting firm is going to be a lot more versed in working out the best way that you can pay your employees, as it is not always as simple as just handing over a paycheck. There are some complications that can present themselves along the way and as such, you will need an accountant to pre-empt these and pay your employees accordingly. The most common methods are either by salary or dividend.

You Will Get Access to Pieces of Accounting Software

There is a lot of good accounting software out there that can make inputting numbers and keeping on top of everything a lot easier. By hiring an accounting firm, you are going to get access to this software and also be able to work with someone who knows how to properly use it.

The Pros & Cons Of Developing Your Own Business Software

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Business Software|The Pros & Cons Of Developing Your Own Business SoftwareNo matter what business you run, you will use various software products throughout the day. These could include HR software, accounting software, marketing software, and so on. Some of these things you will use every single day, and form a key role in how your business operates. As a result, you might start to wonder if it’s beneficial to develop your own software. After all, you know what your business needs to do, so doesn’t it make sense for you to develop your own custom software product?

In some cases, this can be a genius idea. In others…not so much. How do you know if this is the right approach for you? It starts by understanding the main pros and cons of developing your own business software:

Pro: Software created for you, by you

In theory, your own software will be perfect for your business. There will be no irrelevant features; everything is built for you and your daily operations. As such, you don’t waste money on software products that might provide you with some of the features you need, along with a host of things you never use. This means a lot of businesses end up paying for multiple software products as Product A provides some of the features they need, then Product B might provide the rest. If you develop your own software, you can eliminate the need for multiple platforms, making it so much easier for everyone in your business.

This would mean you only need to learn how to use one software program, which helps you when training your employees. As mentioned already, you also don’t waste any money on programs with features that are never going to be used.

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Con: An expensive process

Software development is not cheap at all. The entire process can set you back thousands of dollars very easily. After all, you have to pay for a lot of different things. For one, who is going to develop your software? If you want it all done in-house, this means creating a load of software development and software QA jobs for people to apply for. Your new hires will need to be paid, so you’re forking out a lot of money on an ongoing salary. The other option is to outsource, but this will also cost a fair bit of money – not to mention the fact you may need to keep paying for support after the app has been developed.

For a business that already has a series of outgoings and expenses, is this a wise idea? On reflection, you might realize that it is way more cost-effective to pay for software that’s already been made.

Pro: Can sell your software

As a counter to the argument about costs, you could sell your software to other businesses. Much like you pay a fee to use someone else’s software, other companies can do the same to you. This could be a genius idea if you develop software and are in a very niche industry where there aren’t many other options available. Fellow businesses might recognize that your software does everything they need to do, so it makes more sense for them to pay for yours.

The only caveat to this is that, if you develop custom software that’s meant for your business, will it be relevant to other businesses? There is a chance that it could be, but if it isn’t then you won’t really be able to sell this product.

Con: It’s a risk

Custom software development can be a big risk. If things don’t go according to plan, you’re left with an expensive software product that doesn’t do its job. A lot of businesses have ended up reverting back to their old software because the custom one ended up being rubbish.

The only way to avoid this is by being patient throughout the development process. Don’t rush things, be clear on what you want your software to do, and test it thoroughly! Ensure that you test your software to iron out any bugs and make it work perfectly for you and your employees. This’ll mean that, when it’s ready to launch, it should be perfect.

On both sides of the argument, there are some pretty strong arguments. It really depends on the type of business you run, and the software you need to use. If you run a business that uses a lot of generic software, it probably isn’t wise to develop your own as there are already great products out there that work for you. If you have a niche business and find that you’re struggling to use multiple products every day, custom software could be a good shout.

Best Ways To Enhance Your Clients Reports

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Client Reports|Best Ways To Enhance Your Clients ReportsEnsuring that your client gets the best quality service from you is a must, regardless of the amount that they are paying you per month. So why not better the experience with a tailored report. To help you out, we will be providing you with a few simple ways that you can enhance your client reports with ease.

Know What Your Client Wants

When you are looking to enhance your client reports, it is important to make sure that you are meeting the needs of your client. By having open communication with you and your clients, you can begin to customise the reports for your clients and ensure that they have all the data that they need all saved within a template to benefit to you in the long term.

Ensure That All Key Data Is Reported On

In addition to making sure that the report you are generating a report that has everything that they require, it is important to make sure that you are ensuring that all the key data is reported on. By using accounting software to help you with this, you can ensure that all data is monitored with ease. Whether this is a report for your own business or a report for a client, having all this information available to you, will make generating the report much easier. Whether you decide to use all the data or you only select parts of it, the information some help you over time.

Avoid Jargon That Could Confuse Clients

When you have inputted all the data into your client reports it is then time to make sure that you avoid as much jargon as possible. By using language that is easy to read, you can ensure that they are happy with the report that they are getting and are able to understand. By minimalizing the amount of jargon that is present in the report, you can ensure that your client can easily digest the information that is being given to them throughout the contents of the report.

Write A Report That Showcases Your Companies Personal Style

When you are looking to write a report it is important to include your companies own personal style within there as well. Whether you are adding your own branding to the corner of each slide or you are adding a colour theme, there are several ways that you can begin to generate a report that showcases your company as well as theirs in a professional manner. These templates can also be used for pitches and several other important documentation to showcase your business in the best possible light with every single piece of official documentation that you send out.

With this in mind, there are several options out there for you to choose from when you are looking to enhance your client reports. Which of these tips and tricks will you be using to enhance not only your internal reports but client reports moving forward.

5 Brilliant Ways to Streamline Your Business Processes

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Streamline Your Business|5 Brilliant Ways to Streamline Your Business ProcessesStreamlining a business process means simplifying it. Usually, you can achieve this goal if you remove unnecessary or complicated steps. The introduction of modern IT platforms has made it easy for businesses to thrive.

With streamlined processes and workflows, your business enjoys numerous benefits. Some of these advantages include increased cost efficiency, improved productivity, better communication, low risk, and effective time management.

Here is how you can streamline your business processes for guaranteed growth.

Assess and Rank Existing Process

The first step towards achieving streamlined business processes is assessing the current ones to determine which areas require significant changes. List the functions in your company using simple terms and identify the benefits and the staff involved at each level.

Ranking the processes gives you an overview of the significance of each level of the workflow. You might discover that you have so many interrelated but unnecessary processes. Such information should give you an idea of which tasks to streamline first depending on priority.

Reduce the Paperwork

The amount of paperwork in your organization can tell whether you have simplified business processes or not. Assessing the paper flow is a critical step towards streamlining your business operations. When paperwork piles up, you might experience unwarranted lead times in most of the units.

Reduce the paperwork by removing unnecessary processes. Ask about information added or removed from the paperwork at each stage to establish if it is necessary. Usually, whereas some information – whether taken or removed from the paperwork – is essential, your business can do with lesser copies and a shortened process.

Consider Automating Repetitive Tasks

Repetitive tasks are time-consuming. How do you tell that you have such jobs in your business? Watch out for tasks you perform regularly, and establish if you use several systems to accomplish a single task.

Your goal here is to establish the possibility of saving time by consolidating the repetitive tasks so that you can perform them with a few clicks. For instance, with the best accounting software , you save time when invoicing and sending payment reminders and recurring invoices. Automating repetitive tasks frees up your staff and makes them more productive.

Have an Effective Technology Plan

Technology matters a lot in business nowadays. Updating your available hardware could be all you need to boost the productivity of your employees. You can achieve this by implementing a long-term technology plan based on your business goals and objectives.

The plan should help you determine which aspects will need a few updates to achieve the set business objectives.

Empower the Employees

Setting up the necessary measures to streamline your business processes could be ineffective if you do not have the right team. So, before thinking about how to market yourself effectively or improve productivity on a given level, focus on growing an empowered team.

Usually, the staff you have in your business have complete knowledge of your organization’s processes, so empowering them could help achieve the set business goals.

Whereas it may be difficult to achieve perfection in workflows and processes, adjusting and refining a few aspects can help you position your business at a strong point of success. Therefore, start with a few elements and monitor their impact on your business’s overall performance.