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SMB Accounting

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Control Cash Flow To Capitalize On Eco...

Quincy Miller, EVP Head of Business and Commercial Enterprise Banking Sales,
RBS Citizens Financial Group, Provides Tips on How Small Businesses Can Better Manage Cash Flow

Did you know small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms and employ 49.4 percent of private sector payrolls[1]? As we celebrate National Small Business Week, it’s worth recognizing that small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, form an integral part of communities and are often a barometer of local and, on a larger scale, national economies. With this in mind, it’s important that these vital small businesses not only sustain themselves but also drive growth by implementing best practices for cash-flow management.

Since 2008, many business owners have faced an uphill battle, with uncertainty on all sides making many companies reluctant to invest. Today, five years after the recession started, an increasing number of small businesses are seeing the green shoots of growth and talking to their bankers about opportunities to start investing again in their growth. As a result, U.S. banks increased their lending to smaller companies four percent from last year to this January, indicative of economic recovery[2].

Recently, the Small Business Association (SBA) has supported this trend by speeding up the time frame to get financing on projects, adding more collateral flexibility and bringing an end to the “personal resources” test that made it difficult for business owners who had accumulated personal savings to receive SBA loans. The SBA also administers a Congressional grant, which provides funding to SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses – including expert tips on how to manage cash-flow.

These changes are a step in the right direction to help small business owners receive the funding they need not only to survive but to flourish. Providing cash management tools that help owners get the maximum value out of their dollar as they transact with customers and suppliers is also vital.

This last piece – a strategic approach to managing cash flow – is one of the subtler but more important takeaways from the downturn for many small businesses. More and more companies have come to realize that their banks can do more for them than simply lend money. Banks can help owners avoid leaving cash on the table that otherwise could be reinvested in their businesses.

With National Small Business Week providing an opportunity for business owners to reflect on opportunities to enhance their businesses, here are four key actions a business owner can take to help improve cash flow:

1. Consider remote deposits

Remote deposits allow a business owner to deposit a check into an account from a remote location without having to physically deliver a check to the bank. Before remote checking, banks had to exchange physical checks – which often took a long time. Now they can send digital images of a check to another bank to accelerate the payment process. For those new to remote deposits, this is a fantastic way small business owners can cut down on paperwork, disruption and maintain a free flow of capital.

2. Review your payroll process

Getting this right is crucial to your cash flow. Just as importantly, getting it wrong could impact your legal duties as an employer and affect the morale of your employees. Irrespective of your size, a structured payroll system not only streamlines your ability to maintain a regular and measured flow out of the firm but it also helps protect you from incurring fines from the IRS. The SBA has put together 10 steps to help employers set up a structured payroll system.

3. Manage incoming and outgoing payments

It may seem obvious but you would be surprised at the number of businesses who don’t keep track of incoming and outgoing payments. You really don’t want to wake up one morning to a huge bill you had simply forgotten about, or complete a job but forget to get paid for it. It might sound simple but keeping track of all anticipated incomings and outgoings can avoid surprises.

4. Open a business credit card

You shouldn’t mix your personal expenses with business expenses or rely on your personal credit to qualify for business financing. If you need to grow and invest, the last thing you want is your personal credit holding you back. Keep it simple, keep it separate and don’t put your expansion plans in jeopardy. Opening a business credit card helps you to build credit for your business.

As owners and hopeful entrepreneurs look to National Small Business Week as an opportunity to learn more about managing their businesses, we are excited to spend this time talking to our customers and helping with their businesses. With that in mind, we congratulate small businesses across the country on the progress they are driving, and commend them on their great contributions to the recovering economy.

[1]http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf [2]http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/usa-economy-paynet-idUSL1N0LX2MK20140303

Quincy Miller is EVP Head of Business and Commercial Enterprise Banking Sales at RBS Citizens Financial Group.


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Free Taxpayer Software for SMBs


Free Software Available at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile for Taxpayers Making $58,000 or Less; Basic E-Filing & Online Extensions Available to All 

By Kate Morgan

As you know, American taxpayers now have less than two weeks to complete and file their taxes with the IRS. Through a partnership with the IRS and Free File Alliance, taxpayers can use free, brand-name tax software available at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile. Through the Free File program, all taxpayers can e-file their federal tax returns or extensions at no cost.

April 15 is less than two weeks away, and Free File is the perfect solution for Americans who are crunched for time,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. “Also, anyone can use Free File to submit an extension from their computer – giving themselves an extra six months to prepare and file a federal tax return, and taxpayers  making $58,000 or less can access brand-name software to prepare and e-file their tax return in minutes. Just visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to find the tax software option that’s right for you.”

There, users can access free software from Free File Alliance member companies. Taxpayers with higher incomes may choose to use Free File Fillable Forms, which allow taxpayers who are familiar with tax law and need no preparation assistance to complete and e-file their federal tax returns or extensions.

Free File has saved taxpayers an estimated $1.2 billion in preparation and filing costs since the program began in 2003. Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers have consistently reported that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.

About the Free File Alliance

The Free File Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of 14 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of Americans free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software. About 40 million returns have been filed through IRS Free File since its inception. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.


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New Service instantly finds your SMB's...

It's important for some SMB owners to know what their business is worth. Knowing your business' value helps you plan better. For example: how much insurance should you buy? A detailed valuation report might also make it easier to get a loan.

Here's an new idea, BizEquity. BizEquity has created an instant valuation system that helps SMBs create and compare financial metrics with the industry. Right now the service is free if you don't buy their more detailed report.

The Service creates a 17-page, valuation report from your data via a series of questions on their website: https://www.bizequity.com

Option B: Purchase for $365.00 a 22-page report that compares your SMB business to SMBs in their respective markets, industries and/or geo-locations. 

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a report about the value of your SMB?

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a report about the value of your SMB? For those of us who know our business, our industry, what businesses are selling for in our industry, our industry business default rate, etc, then you don't need the service.

But if you need insurance or a loan and have no clue how to value your business then this might be a good service to try. Get the free report first. Then if you like what you read and you want to read more, spend $365.

BizEquity was founded in 2011. They have over fifty patents for its algorithmic, cloud-based engine valuation system. They claim that they are at the forefront of democratizing financial knowledge for entrepreneurs, small and emerging business owners.  It also provides insurance, banking, and wealth management advisors a powerful tool to help them better serve their clients

About BizEquity:

BizEquity is the creator of Valuation as a Service (VaaS™), the industry’s first cloud-based patented online business valuation platform and service. VaaS answers the most important question for every business owner — “What is my business worth?” — by delivering valuable big data intelligence on a company’s performance and valuation information in real time. BizEquity is headquartered in Wayne, Pa., with satellite offices in Singapore, San Paulo, Brazil and London. BizEquity has valued more than 13 million businesses and is recognized as the global online leader in business valuations.


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