Posts

A standard calculator on top of a bank statement.
Bank reconciliation predominantly refers to matching your records against the bank registers. A monthly reconciliation ensures that you are aware of any sporadic transactions, which may take place without your consent. The best way to reconcile the accounts is by going through each record individually and matching it with your bank statement. This ensures that you have not missed anything and everything has been accounted for. You may see minor differences in the ending balances due to certain outstanding checks or other reasons. Therefore, take them into consideration so that you do not see them as errors.

Why Bank Reconciliation is Important

Reconciling your bank accounts regularly keeps you out of trouble in many ways. You are able to identify the problems before it is too late as you are constantly monitoring cash flows. It is thought that business accounts do not have the same amount of protection that consumer accounts do. Therefore, you are advised to keep a close eye on these accounts yourself. Here are some reasons that may persuade you to consider reconciliation from time to time.

Catch Fraudulent Activities

One of the key purposes of reconciling your accounts is to catch potential frauds. If you have issued any checks that were legitimate, you need to ensure that they are used exactly as you thought they were to be used and that there are no duplications or alterations. If there has been unauthorized access to your account, you need to know before something really harms you.

Prevent Complications

The bank reconciliation process is also useful in identifying any potential hazards or problems in time. Sometimes, your cash flows are really down or you are having trouble recovering the accounts receivables. In such situations, reconciling everything can guide you in the right direction by identifying the problem source. Once the problem is identified, you can take measures to fix it and, along with that, fix your cash flows and receivables. It also helps you develop a bookkeeping system that is free of errors and more efficient.

Along with assisting you in identifying the balances in all of your accounts, bank reconciliation helps you to avoid bank fees due to insufficient funds and saves you from opening too many lines of credit when you don’t actually need them. You are able to keep track of outstanding checks and see if any payments by your customers have bounced.

When Should You Reconcile?

There is no fixed time to reconcile your bank accounts as you can do it anytime you want, depending on your preference. However, it is recommended to reconcile all of your accounts at least once a month so that you have an accurate picture of your current standing as a business or individual. Some high volume businesses even reconcile on a weekly basis as they are involved in many transactions daily and it can really pile up if they wait an entire month.

You can also use Positive Pay for bank reconciliation. This means that any payment in or out of your account has to be notified to them in advance. This helps save you from any fraudulent activities. 

How to Reconcile

It does not really matter whether you take a formal or informal approach to reconciliation as the main purpose is to match each transaction with your accounts balances. You will have to closely inspect your own records as well as the bank records and compare the balances at the end of a self-defined accounting period.

Your bookkeeping system is important in this regard because, if it’s properly managed, you will be able to match everything without much hindrance. However, bank reconciliation can turn into an arduous task if you do not have a well-maintained accounting system. Automating and integrating your accounting system with the bank can ease the whole process as you can have access to updated records at all times.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Stock index data analysis shown the success of promotional sale for discount shopping at the department store.
Effective cash flow management is one of the basic keys to success for every operating business worldwide. Efficient management of cash enables business personalities and entrepreneurs to utilize the incoming and outgoing flow of cash to the maximum benefit so that it can be used for the development of the business itself. Below are key tips that will allow you to manage the cash flow of your business, no matter how large or small your business is, regardless of the industry.

Do Not Enable your Clients to Set the Terms of Payment

If you allow your clients to manage their installment terms, it could be simply a question of time before their cash flow management issues turn into yours. Set strict installment terms, regardless of whether it implies losing a customer, particularly where credit is being expanded. Incorporate particular time spans for paying the money owed, late installment penalties, and conditions that may trigger legitimate activities into your installment terms. Great clients will respect your terms, leaving a positive impression.

Computerize your Charging Procedures

If it takes over a day to get a receipt into the hands of a client, you are squandering profitable time and assets. Considering you may have to wait up to 60 days for an installment (with net 30-day installment terms), you can’t stand to physically package your solicitations and send them once every week or once per month. Utilizing a mechanized charging procedure will not just decrease staff costs; it can quicken the change of receivables into money.

Computerize your Accumulations

For private companies, accumulations can overpower their assets and put a genuine pleat on their income. Computerize your receivables framework so that it can give an everyday report of the bookkeeping records arranged by age and sum owed. This won’t just empower you to predict potential income issues, it will enable your accountant or bookkeeper to center around remarkable records arranged by need. 

 Acknowledge Electronic Installments

With the accessibility of moderate electronic installment forms through a bank, for example, credit cards and Electronic Funds Transfers, there is no motivation behind why a business can’t quicken their money receipts while limiting buoy. Advanced installment alternatives cannot just streamline the receivables procedure; they can likewise give more noteworthy insurance against extortion.

Put your Money to Work

In the computerized millennial age, money does not provide any benefit without moving. In the past, organizations collected their overabundance money and raced to the bank to make a deposit. Today, your money can move consequently from your business financial records to an interest-bearing record every night. These robotized “clear” frameworks decide how much surplus money can be cleared, leaving what’s required for the following day’s installments. Getting your abundance money to work can add several dollars to your income every month.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Level Up concept as a progress symbol for business success or personal growth aspiration as a cliff and a tree shaped as an arrow with 3D illustration elements.

Managing Business Finances

Business finance is a very crucial term in corporate finance and accounting that encompasses a wide range of disciplines and business activities regarding management of money and other valuable financial assets. It teaches us about effective management and utilization of financial resources, investing strategies, accounting methodologies, and effective debt management. In short, it defines the fate of the business and long-term growth and profitability of any company.

Significance

In order to survive in an extremely competitive environment, businesses need to maintain their financial resources effectively or else pack their bags and go home. In the demanding era we live in, business finances works just like oxygen for survival, stability, strength, consistency, and growth. In short, money keeps your business running and your employees working to attain business goals and objectives.

However, the influx of money needs to be assured at the hour of need or your business may face a financial crisis which may eventually lead to overall business failure. Some of the most common ways in which a business can be financed or money can be raised include business loans, private loans (family or friends), mortgage loans, crowdfunding, etc.

Critical To Business Success

Entrepreneurs or business adventurists around the globe face a lot of difficulties in generating business finances for their unique business ideas. But, even those who manage to generate desired finances often strive to maintain or manage their money—perhaps due to the lack of financial knowledge or management of money related skills. They may have scarce resources but hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper seems to be a smart choice. This allows them to concentrate on core affairs of the business while their bookkeepers take care of the rest (money related matters). Looking at the sensitivity of the matter, it is indispensable in managing business finances effectively for maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage.

5 Crucial tips to Keep your Business Finances In Order

Get Yourself Ready For the Tough Job Ahead

In order to survive in a volatile economy, you need to come up with new and effective ways to get things right—the very first time. No one is a born genius, it’s your motivation, inspiration and result-oriented approach that encourages you to learn the art of the game before taking on challenges head-on. For managing the finances of a business, you need to educate yourself and get ready for the tough accounting job ahead, as financial recording is no easy feat. The entire fate of a company is dependent on financial recording and analysis—the better they are, the higher the results. This makes it clear that the management and bookkeeping of business finances requires accounting knowledge, skills and, hence, a complete accounting know-how for keeping finances in order and perfectly streamlined.

Keep Your Personal and Private Finances Separate

For developing more command and control over your personal and business finances, you need to deal with them separately in order to avoid confusion. The outflow of cash has to be managed well for keeping a proper track of your business transactions. This will not only help where your money is going but also helps when submitting tax returns at the end of the term. Small businesses often find themselves strangled in sorting between business and private finances as they lack awareness, accounting knowledge, experience, and expertise in dealing with money related issues. By sorting this out, you will have the exact status of your money.

Choose a Suitable Accounting Software

All salutations to superior accounting tools and techniques that have made things a lot easier than traditional and manual ways of recording business transactions. If you haven’t yet moved to cloud technology for maintaining a real-time track of your money and resources, we suggest you do it right away. Today, you have a myriad of options to choose from, however, integrating the right accounting software or technology is crucial.

Hire a Professional Bookkeeper

You may have a basic level of accounting knowledge and experience in keeping transaction records which may not actually be enough for your business. In order to effectively manage each and every thing related to your business finances, you must consider hiring a qualified and reputable bookkeeper. This will not only help you solve financial discrepancies but will also help you save a lot of money in the end.

Make a Budgeting Plan

By creating a budgeting plan, you will get things aligned and more organized than ever. Business budgeting is a necessary evil, which means that no matter how far you run away from it, you still have to create it. This allows you to know the business expenses and see whether they need to be cut if they are exceeding the limit or need to be financed with more money.

Conclusion

It is true that a lot of business owners do not keep records of their business finances or, even if they do, they are most often in a disorganized or cluttered form. In order to establish 100% command and control over your business, you need to manage your finances and cash flow carefully. It is better to hire a qualified bookkeeper for achieving intended outcomes and pave your way to business success.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Happy newlywed couple with a piggybank and money bundles isolated on white background
Marriage opens up the doors to a new life. Sure, maybe money and finances aren’t the most romantic topics you want to bring to the dinner table.  However, it shouldn’t be avoided. Let’s be honest. One of life’s biggest expenses is a wedding which bounds a couple together and lifelong commitments are made.

Couples who trust their spouses or partners with money matters typically feel more secure and financially content with gratitude. On the contrary, issues and arguments about money matters harms many relationships. In fact, most couples fight about finances twice as much as they quarrel about their sex life. Issues related to money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Almost 60% of divorces were finalized due to financial arguments between couples, hence, making financial arguments the primary indicator of divorces. In the long run, it’s better to plan ahead and put your heads together when it comes to money and finances.

1. Be Clear About Your Assets and Liabilities

Couples should opt for bookkeeping their assets and liabilities and controlling their expenditures as soon as they plan to marry each other. The beautiful journey of love and romance thereby puts you in a new financial life. Therefore, it’s obligatory to be aware of the upcoming financial dilemma in your life. The complications of possessions, properties and debts can brutally damage a relationship. So, be clear about all sources of income and earnings, spending habits, financial goals, and budgets with each other. Being honest about finances enhances a couple’s trust. Clarification of such finances also prevents a great deal of shame and fear in the future.

2. Share Your Family History

In many ways, your family background and upbringing demonstrates how you will handle your new financial life upon marriage. Therefore, couples should discuss their family history of finances beforehand; how they spend their allowances, the money etiquette they have learned from their parents, their budgeting priorities and spending habits. The more you know about each other and your preferences, the better understanding you will have regarding personal and financial matters that ultimately help strengthen the trust among one another.

3. Joint vs Separate Accounts

Some couples prefer having open, joint accounts and pooling all of their earnings into that account, while others prefer to keep their income discrete. However, it’s better if couples set up a joint account for shared expenses such as groceries, utilities, house rent or home mortgage payments, and children’s education. And, if you prefer, you can keep the extra money separate for your own expenditures or saving purposes. Again, the more open and honest you are, the more successful your relationship will be.

4. Be Flexible in Sharing Expenses

When it comes to sharing family expenses, a couple has to be flexible with their new financial life and onward. This is because one spouse may be earning much lower than the other and, by distributing equal expenses, you will be seen as equals in the relationship. Financial stress can spoil a relationship. It’s best if it’s a shared burden rather than one person struggling to get by.

5. Sensible Sharing of Expenses Via Joint Account

When one spouse has a habit of overspending money on frivolous purchases, it can cause conflict in your new life together. To ease such tension in a marriage, decide on a monthly figure that each partner can spend freely at their own discretion, without being questioned about the expenses. Simply agree to consult each other on significant transactions in order to avoid further stress. For such a case, $154 is an ideal amount that most couples agree upon to spend without informing one another.  Anything over that amount should be discussed before purchasing.

6. Take An Early Look At Each Other’s Taxes

When a couple has similar earnings, one might owe more tax in comparison to the other at the start of  their marriage. The opposite can happen when one earns much lower than the other. Therefore, sort out tax issues and update your W-2 withholding forms as soon as possible.  

7. Pay Off Debt Together

Although your new financial life comes with more responsibility, one cannot automatically owe their spouse’s debt right from the start of their marriage. Even then, what he or she owes will still affect your family budget and life choices. Therefore, aim to tackle such debt together simply as a team and make reducing debt your first priority. In the case that there are multiple loans, begin with the obligation carrying the highest interest rate first in order to reduce the overall interest you both pay.

8. Team Up To Save

It is much less expensive to maintain household finances as a couple rather than living separately. Paying less on rent or mortgage is just one of many smart ways a couple can opt for saving more. Car insurers, home mortgage companies, and facilities like gyms and clubs usually offer better deals at reasonable costs when you sign up together. In addition, there is no need to have multiple Amazon or Netflix accounts when you have already started your new financial life, the first chapter of your marriage.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Women holding shopping bags and texting. Young woman holding colored shopping bags texting. sale, shopping, tourism and happy people concept
Money can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially if you are an impulse buyer. All those who fall prey to impulse purchases can relate to the dilemma of figuring out what to spend and what to save. Impulse buying is frequent among individuals who are looking to satisfy their wants beyond just basic needs. Segregating the two and identifying when to spend on luxuries has become important in order to survive recent times when money is continuously losing value. Here, a few basic tips regarding what to spend and what to save as part of your routine personal bookkeeping process will be identified.

1. Set Priorities

The first and foremost step is to set your priorities right. Here, priorities refer to choosing what you need over what you’d be interested in buying for the sake of luxury spending. For instance, a top priority could be spending money on basic needs such as food and clothing. Remember, food and clothing can fall into the categories of either basic and luxury. Moreover, it is always a good idea to pay your bills first and then decide on your expenditures for the month. Here is a systematic way to go about doing it: pay your bills, spend on basic needs, spend on what you can’t live without, keep some money away for savings, and whatever you are left with can then be used for luxury spending of any sort. Make sure to follow this order religiously and you will not run out of cash as and when required.

2. Keep an Emergency Fund

Another tip regarding what to spend and what to save has to do with keeping money aside as savings, every single month. It is essential to keep an emergency fund where you can stack up all of your savings for times when you do actually run out of cash. This fund is something you may fall back on in times of a job loss, insufficient cash to fulfill basic needs, medical conditions where you need to purchase the necessary medications, and also during the last few days of the month when essentially every one of us is out of cash for that special take-out extra pepperoni pizza on a cheat day.

3. Don’t Listen to your Impulse

Conquer the struggle of what to spend and what to save by avoiding impulse buying. We often tend to pick up items while grocery shopping that are too fancy and inviting or, in other cases, we are just attracted to it purely because of a promotion going onto it. The overwhelming excitement of a product wears off eventually and then you see no point in making such a purchase. Hence, it is better to stick only to the items on the grocery list and not deviate from them, unless necessary. Caution! Necessary here doesn’t equate your impulse.

4. Be Resourceful

Here, you are being asked to save a little and how so? Let’s identify a few ways how you may be able to save a few bucks from your routine expenditures.

  • Try to use discounts and loyalty cards in avenues that offer similar options.
  • Buy your monthly/weekly snacks when you plan your routine grocery visit. Do not buy snacks every day.
  • Once every 3 months, plan a garage sale. You can get rid of those impulse buys this way.
  • Try to opt for generic but healthy items rather than overspending on brands. 
  • If you want books, use the nearest library rather than buying them.
  • Use the internet for essentials such as watching movies, listening to music and binge-watching your favorite series rather than going out and spending a lot on entertainment.

5. Make a Budget and Follow it

Lastly, another useful tip has to do with drawing up a realistic budget and sticking to it. A budget will enable you to list your monthly expenses and income. Simultaneously, you may also draw up a list of your needs and wants. Once the allocation is complete on each of the needed items, you will have an estimate of how much money you are left with to satisfy your wants. However, this extra money must not be entirely spent on that particular want, a portion of it must go into the emergency fund and savings under all circumstances.

Conclusion

These five tips can help you through the struggle of what to spend and what to save without much hassle. Stick to these and you are good to go!

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

Man uses a paper fortune teller to make multiple decisions for his own portfolio, allocating assets and diversifying in a portfolio to minimize risk for optimal profits. Financial investment concept.
The straight path towards financial stability begins with you developing a budget and paying off high-interest debt along with sustaining emergency funds. Even when you set aside money from your monthly paycheck to go into a savings account which is going to earn interest, nevertheless, a piece of the monetary puzzle is still going to be missing. Real money is made when you invest it, however, the complexity can be highly intimidating. The following 6 tips for beginners can help you invest your money correctly and wisely.

1.  Set Specific Goals

If you want to make money in the long term, it is important that you set specific goals for yourself. For beginners, it is important that you think about the bigger picture rather than just making fast cash. For this purpose, it is important that you think about the volatile industries such as the stock market.

2.  Invest in a Financial Advisor

Even with huge resources like Google’s search engine and Amazon’s digital library, you might need extra coaching. Monetary advisors are not simply a superfluous expense. They may be able to help you in differentiating a sound investment option from simply a fad and they can give you personalized advice as well. Financial strategists, which are recommended, are avoiding TV for their stock market advice as most television critics offer only short-term information.

3.  Keep Costs Low

Even when you only have a small amount of money to begin with, there are numerous small investments which can build into a significant payoff. Whenever you are new to the field of investing, you should avoid spending large sums of money, even if it is available to you. When you keep your costs lows, you will have more funds later when you want to invest in a bigger opportunity.

4.  Diversify Your Portfolio

Investment portfolios may include real estate stocks as well. Along with this, mutual funds and retirement accounts are included as well. Every industry has its own beats which actually means that you are supposed to thoroughly investigate the housing markets and stock prices before you actually dip your toe in the water.  

5.  Do In-Depth Research

It is an understatement when we say that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to investments. Nevertheless, the complex financial jargon can sometimes be very overwhelming and complex. Therefore, it is important that you conduct in-depth research before deciding to invest somewhere. This research can make or break your investment, not to mention your bank account. Most of the time, investments lead to loss only because the investor had not really paid attention to completing their research.

6.  Consider Automation

There are numerous types of investments that can be done with automatic contributions. For instance, a 401(k) plan or even an IRA is a great way to investment your money. Low-cost finds are considered to be the best for automatic deposits.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Stack of multicolored credit cards close-up
Every business owner knows that there are a lot of aspects of running a company that can get really hectic. For example, bookkeeping can become a really demanding task. Another serious chore in running a business is keeping track of expenses which is why many choose to use a credit card to conduct company transactions as month-end statements make it much easier to track expenditure.

Business-oriented credit cards are offered by a lot of companies in the market. However, business owners often avoid going for such a card, thinking that it may compromise a lot of benefits that are offered on cards for personal use.

Therefore, should entrepreneurs stick to using their personal cards or should they make a move to business credit cards to make purchases for their company?

Using Personal Credit Cards for Business Purchases

Yes, indeed, it is possible to use a personal credit card for business transactions and it even has some benefits. One of the most important reasons for using a personal card is the CARD act of 2009. The act simply prevents credit card providers from charging high fees and increasing interest rates that personal cards are subject to. Business credit cards do not enjoy these protections. The second reason relates to the rewards and benefits offered for using a personal credit card. There is almost always an incentive program to encourage the use of personal cards.

Business cards, on the other hand, do not offer as many benefits as personal cards. There might be some offers intended to attract businesses such as the ability to purchase office supplies at a discounted rate, however, it might still not be a lot.

You need to do some research to check and see what benefits suit your business and choose a credit card based upon those benefits, be it a personal or business card.

Don’t Count Out Business Credit Cards

Although the prospects of choosing a personal credit card sound desirable, you should not dismiss the possibility of getting a business card. There are certainly a lot of advantages associated with getting a business card. The additional services offered with a lot of business cards might be just what your company needs.

A common example is a business handing out credit cards to its employees. This need is facilitated by most credit card providers who provide multiple cards that are associated with a single account. Personal credit cards, on the other hand, are for individuals and therefore do not offer these services.

Another advantage associated with business cards is the ability to spend more than one could on personal credit cards. This is useful, especially for companies that have a lot of monthly expenses which they need to put on their card.

Suggestions for success

Now that you know both sides of the story, it is recommended that you take a close look at the structure of your business’ expenses. Once you’ve assessed the needs of your business, you will be able to come to the conclusion as to which card (business or personal) is a better choice for being used in the operations of your company. Once you do get the card you want to use for business, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Don’t mix business and personal cards as it can lead to an extremely messy bookkeeping.
  • Use the tools provided by your credit card company to keep track of your business’ expenditure. This is the main reason businesses go for credit cards. It is recommended that you don’t ignore this suggestion.
  • Build healthy credit habits. These include paying the credit card bills when they are due and also paying them in full. Remember that you are using a credit card to keep track of your expenses and that it should be your priority to avoid interest payments, keeping a good credit score.

Conclusion

It is always a desirable option to use a credit card to keep track of business expenses. When choosing a card you will use in your business’ operations, it is always a wise decision to look around for what is offered and at what price. It is also necessary to have healthy credit habits in order to make full use of the card without incurring unnecessary liabilities.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Happy couple using laptop in the kitchen
Finances play a critical and fundamental role in predicting how happy and successful your marriage will be. Lack of financial resources is one of the leading causes of stress in relationships. On the other hand, married couples who trust their spouse with financial issues most often feel more secure with less arguments and more fulfilling intimacy.

However, such level of trust and confidence is usually rare among newly married couples. Although you may know a lot about your spouse-to-be, there may still be huge gaps in your conception about his/her finances. Here are nine money tips you must utilize in order to live a happy and financially stable married life.

1. Have Open Conversation Related to Monetary Matters

Remember intimacy and confidence regarding financial matters begins with better communication. Therefore, you must begin conversations with your spouse on your personal and financial goals. Be fair and open when sharing your current resources as soon as you are married or, better yet, share them with your better half before getting married.

2. Define Shared Goals

Talk about your mutually shared goals with your spouse such as buying a home, having children, seeing them graduating from a renowned school or college, family health and life insurance, and retirement plans. Although financial planning may not be as romantic as other topics may be, you will have peace of mind in the long run if you share mutual financial goals.

3. Create a Budget

Budgeting is essential to achieve your personal and family goals, just as bookkeeping is crucial to managing your book of accounts. Most money tips explained so far revolve around budgeting. It helps us achieve financial balance between our expenditures and our savings within our means, preventing us from getting into a debt burden. A newly married couple’s family budget expenditure categories include Groceries, Entertainment, Dining Out, Shopping, Traveling, and more.

4. Track Your Budget

Making a budget is easy but that is not enough. Married couples needs to maintain their lifestyles strictly on their pre-calculated budget. They must track their expenditure and saving patterns, changes in their earnings and other financial matters and see where adjustments are needed to improve their budget. There are many great smartphone apps designed to manage personal finances such as Mint, an app that can automatically generate a personalized budget based on your income, expenses and other relevant financial activities. It also ensures easy budget tracking and improves your financial outlook by providing money tips and essential acumen.  

5. Build an Emergency Fund

If you are not a couple who keeps an emergency fund set aside for rainy days, wait no longer and start to build an emergency fund for use on a urgent basis. It is one of the most important money tips for married couples which should be your top priority if you want a stable monetary life. An emergency fund is typically money that is proactively set aside and helps you when an unexpected costly event strikes. Such events include and are not limited to loss of a job, a major home repair, family illness, or any natural disaster. Consequently, it aims to save about six month’s worth of your family expenses as an emergency fund.

6. Have Weekly Money Meetings

Having weekly money meetings with your spouse is one of the most powerful money tips to stay on track with your budget as well as achieving financial goals. This ultimately strengthens the level of mutual trust and communication in your marriage. During meetings, newly married couples should discuss what their budget looks like in the current month, how they are doing with their financial goals, if they have any upcoming bills, and anything else regarding money. Also, setting aside some time to communicate financial matters helps the married couple stop worrying about money as they know their matters will be dealt with promptly.

7. Share Expenses

From household purchases like food and groceries to home buying, married couples can qualify for lower charges on bank transactions and retirement accounts and avail mortgages with easy terms upon combining their earnings and savings. In fact, account management fees fall below one percent annually for couples with combined accounts of $250K-$500K and can be a maximum of two percent for smaller accounts.

8. Save For Retirement

Even if you are not married, you must make sure that you are financially secure for the long haul. Consequently, you should start saving for retirement right away. If your employer offers a 401k plan, then put in the maximum amount possible to benefit from any company matching. The compounding interest will grow your retirement fund. Thus, avoid being delayed.

9. Pay off Debt as soon as possible

Debt can render damaging impacts on any person. It can affect married couples more significantly as the two individuals rely on each other and are responsible for paying for their expenditures. Thus, start eradicating your debt as soon as possible.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Protecting Assets From Domino Effect. Stop Loss Concept For Stock Exchange Market.
A lot of business owners have misconceptions regarding the law concerning the relationship between the proprietorship and the owner. Because of that, they usually go for expensive plans for protection of their assets. These plans don’t usually work out in the end. Furthermore, some people avoid these plans hoping that their venture won’t face any kind of lawsuit or accident.

It is essential for one to protect their personal assets from the threats that might be posed by the liabilities of a business.

Below is a guide on a few ways to ensure that, if something goes wrong with your business, your assets are safe from the horrors of being seized or confiscated.

The Entity of Your Business

Many businesspersons set up a sole proprietorship when starting out with their business. However, this option is not the safest one when we are talking in regards to protection of personal assets. This is because, being a sole proprietorship, the owner and the business are considered the same entity and both kinds of assets (work related and personal) come under the same category, exposing your own wealth to the threat of a lawsuit. In that case, your firm isn’t able to pay off its liabilities on its own and you’ll have to pay for them yourself out of your own pocket.

In order to set up the business as an entity, which is separate from the owner, it must be registered as a limited liability company or a corporation. You can even go for a two-layer protection, such as having the assets under an LLC and operations under the name of a corporation. Such mixture of multiple entities make it difficult for any kind of lawsuit to affect you personally.

Segregate Work and Personal Finances

You may think that only setting up your business as a separate entity will not provide adequate protection of your personal wealth. You can start this by separating financial documents, operating the company with checkbooks and other documents issued in the company’s name. All property and assets registered in the name of your company will strengthen the protection.

You need to make sure that you follow all regulations that corporations and limited liability companies are required to follow, paying the proper fees and maintaining all documents as demanded by the regulations. If all documentation is properly insured, the business will be saved from a lot of hassle in recreating documents when it comes to a lawsuit. It will also save you, as an owner, from being personally liable for what may have caused the lawsuit.

Take all Possible Precautions to Prevent Lawsuits

This won’t only keep lawsuits away from you but will also help a lot if you ever face one. This also means that you can’t sit back and relax if you’ve registered your business as a separate entity and have ensured the protection of your assets through separating them from the business entirely. You still need to take measures, such as putting up signs where there are safety hazards and ensuring that the quality of your product isn’t questionable and doesn’t violate any set standards required by the law. If you operate with negligence, the lawsuit can attack your personal assets.

Asset Protection vs. Insurance

There are multiple “asset protection” companies that advise methods to avoid insurance by hiding your personal wealth. You shouldn’t fall into such schemes because it is essential for your business to have proper insurance. They help take the bullet shot by creditors and suing individuals and can usually handle incidents in which the safety of assets (business or personal) is under threat.

However, it is integral that you get the correct policy, the kind of which varies with each and every specification. You can even have separate insurance companies provide protection for the entity and the assets of your business. You can get a review of your company from the insurance agent in order to know what the right policies for your business might be. It might sound confusing at first but once you get to know the basics, you’ll be able to streamline your insurance policy to suit each and every need of your business.

Conclusion

If you really want to protect your personal assets from the liabilities at the workplace, you can start by applying what is mentioned in this guide. It is recommended that you consult a licensed attorney with relevant experience. Once you’re done following the outlined steps, the risk to your personal wealth will be minimal and you can operate your business with peace of mind.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

Close-up of a bankruptcy petition
When hearing the word bankruptcy, the first thing that crosses our mind is that it represents failure and shame. However, for many people around the world, bankruptcy is the path that can lead them out of a financial crisis. In conclusion, it isn’t for failures, it is for the people who realize and accept that, in order to be successful, they must start over.

There are a lot of things that can lead one into bankruptcy. Unexpected crises such as medical emergencies, loss of employment or a hefty loss in business can all cause irreversible damages to a person’s finances. Moreover, the average American is burdened by so many debts and expenses that it can get extremely difficult for them to sustain themselves financially. Speaking in terms of numbers, the average credit card debt for an American is around $15,800, student loans can amount to $24,000 on average, and mortgage debt can be a liability of at least a $100,000. The burden of repaying these, coupled with other expenses such as insurance premiums, vehicle loan payments and the basic costs of living, can cripple people if they are hit by a crisis which has a substantial impact on either their income or expenses.

Bankruptcy is considered, by many, to be somewhat of an extreme measure. However, by looking into the specifics, dynamics and the workings of bankruptcy, any individual can figure out if it will be a good decision to declare bankruptcy for the sake of their financial future.

Who is Bankruptcy for?

As said before, bankruptcy is an extreme decision. However, it can be a positive option for people who are unable to pay their debts despite the fact that they are minimizing their expenses. But, there are some things that you need to try before considering filing for bankruptcy. Your first efforts should be put towards renegotiating your debt. This can be done through credit counseling or a debt reduction program. Renegotiating might damage your credit score, but filing a bankruptcy means not being able to take out any kind of loan for several years. You should try to get the best results out of a renegotiating attempt if you plan on taking out a loan later on. In the case that you still must choose bankruptcy, you should adapt to living with your current income and, after becoming eligible for loans again, avoid making decisions that could land you in a financial crisis all over again.

What is Bankruptcy?

In simple terms, bankruptcy is like flicking the switch of your debt history off and then back on. It resets your consumer debts such as those associated with your credit card, vehicle, mortgage, etc.

Filing for bankruptcy means cutting off the relations with your creditors so that they won’t pursue you for payments and you won’t be able to get new debts from them (at least for some amount of time).

It is a misconception that bankruptcy ruins your reputation. It might hurt your chances of getting loans and credit, but that is all. It is basically a personal decision that enables you to restructure and renew your financial situation for the sake of yourself and your family.

Bankruptcy does not mean Losing Everything

It is widely (and wrongly) believed that bankruptcy leads to the loss of all assets. However, contrary to this, many assets that you own are protected by bankruptcy laws within the bankruptcy court. The assets include furnishings, retirement saving accounts, basic homes and vehicles (inexpensive ones). The specifics vary state to state and at the federal level, so you should check the laws in your state or area to have better information about what is protected.

On the federal level, retirement accounts are protected to a limit of $1,171,650. Other things that are protected include your 401(k) account, pension, disability, IRA and Social Security benefits. This is the reason why many lawyers recommend against borrowing from a protected account for the repayment of debt.

Benefits and Costs of Bankruptcy

There are many things that you need to compare in order to be sure that declaration of bankruptcy is feasible.
First, you should know that, on average, filing bankruptcy costs $2,500. In order for it to be feasible, the debt relief you get by filing bankruptcy should amount to more than $2,500.

Second, if student loans are your primary form of debt, then bankruptcy won’t have much of an effect because it isn’t possible to dismiss student debt in bankruptcy. The possibility of student loans being discharged is only present in a limited number of circumstances.

If your primary debts are unsecured such as credit card debt, medical debt, etc., then it might be easier for you to remove these via bankruptcy.

Conclusion

Bankruptcy can be difficult, both emotionally and because of the fact that it might damage your financial portfolio, hindering your ability to easily get loans in the future. However, it can be a tool for many to break free from loans that might be limiting and even posing a danger to the financial future of their family. If used wisely and strategically, it can help you start over and avoid any kind of mistakes you made in the first place.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.