Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto


I hopped on Facebook the other day and saw this query, posed by bookkeeper extraordinaire Julie DeLong:

Julie: “Pondering the deep questions this evening: why does QB Online always try to name my Taco Bell purchases “AT&T”?”

Alex: “Because it wants you to write it off as business expenses! If you get audited just tell the IRS it told you so!!!;)))”

Imagine trying to explain to an Auditor why your phone bill smells like hot sauce! As I laughed about it, and about Alex’s response; I realized the problem we face as we advance as a society is Artificial Intelligence can only be as smart as its creators-the human race. I haven’t met a person yet who is entirely mistake free, so we find “glitches” in the programs we write. Glitches that can cause serious problems if we let them continue; like telling the IRS that Taco Bell is indeed your phone company. I don’t think they’ll buy it.

What’s the solution? Fortunately, in this case, it’s as simple as actually spending some time reconciling your accounts. *cue the bookkeepers* That’s what we’re here for. The convenience of having your accounts tied to your bookkeeping software does not eliminate the need for a “second pair of eyes” to make sure everything is put in its correct place. It just makes it more convenient.

Here at Backyard Bookkeeper, we stay on top of the newest bookkeeping software development and are excited for whatever is next. Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto. Thank you for making our job easier, but not irrelevant.

Small Business Failure Rates: An Optimist’s View


This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Center!

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/psychology-of-success/small-business-failure-rates-an-optimists-view

The internet is full of depressing statistics about the failure rates of small businesses. But I’d like to offer an alternative view, one based on my real-life experience in the real world, which is considerably more hopeful than those stats would lead you to believe.

As a bookkeeper, I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse array of entrepreneurs and their various projects. I’ve seen a few of them fail, but by and large, the vast majority of them have been successful. So I’m always puzzled when I see headlines like “5 Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail,” and I wonder about their sources and the way their statistics were gathered.

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Expert Tips: How to Deal With the IRS


This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Help Center!

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/taxes/expert-tips-how-to-deal-with-the-irs

The Internal Revenue Service: a name that strikes fear into the hearts of taxpayers and business owners everywhere. If you’ve had to deal with them recently, chances are it wasn’t a very good experience. But fear not, below are a few suggestions that may ease your pain the next time the IRS comes calling.

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A New Year’s Resolution for All Entrepreneurs: “2018 Will Be the Year I Get on Top of My Finances”


I always look forward to the start of a new year. It’s exciting to think of new possibilities and set new goals; it gives me new energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead. I usually have at least one resolution that looks something like this: “This year will be the year I finally get around to [insert something I have been procrastinating on for a long time].”

I know I’m not alone in this, because every single January, I get at least a few calls and emails from people who have resolved to finally deal with their backlog of undone bookkeeping and are asking for help. Some business owners begin panicking when they are only a few months behind in doing their books, but I have worked with clients who had literally done no record-keeping whatsoever for six or more years.

If this sounds like you, don’t stress. No matter how far behind you are, 2018 can be the year that you finally catch up, get your taxes filed and fix all those problems you’ve been avoiding.

I’d like to offer four practical suggestions for any entrepreneur who has made a New Year’s resolution to improve their business finances, catch up on undone bookkeeping or deal with unresolved issues.

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The Fine Print of Our Contracts


I wanted to provide a few details about the contracts we sign with our clients, and the reasons behind the way we set up our relationships.

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Behind on your payroll taxes? Keep reading…


A common trap that business owners fall into when cash flow is tight is not paying their payroll taxes. Most bills we pay are directly linked to something we need on a regular business–utility bills, for instance, or a subscription to online advertising. If we don’t pay it, we stop receiving the service or lose access to the product. It’s a little harder to see the connection when it comes to payroll taxes, especially when it may take the IRS months or even years to notice that you haven’t paid.

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