Tracking Sales Tax for Your Small Businesses or Freelance Business

Sales tax report.

If you’re a freelancer or run a small business, you need a reliable method of tracking sales tax you charge to customers and pay to vendors (if taxes you pay are recoverable in your jurisdiction). Accuracy is important because you’ll have to remit taxes to tax authorities. Using spreadsheets is one way of tracking sales tax, but that can be a headache. As we’ve mentioned before in many posts, spreadsheets are inefficient and they are often not connected to a full-fledged small business accounting system. While you can use spreadsheets, because taxes are charged when you create invoices and pay bills, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about transferring the taxes charged to a tax tracking spreadsheet? Doing so would save a lot of time. Read more

5 Things You Can Do Now to Increase Home Office Productivity

5 things you can do now to increase home office productivity

If you are a freelancer or home-based business owner, home office productivity is a challenge. It’s likely that you came to freelancing from an office job and when you were daydreaming of freelancing, you may not have considered the productivity benefits of working for someone else. You worked to a schedule, were organized and accountable, because you had to be. The biggest rewards of working from home may be freedom and independence, but those enticements also have a downside: disorganization and haphazard productivity. One thing I’ve learned in my freelancing career is that you need discipline. Home office productivity, and, some might even say your business’s success, depend on discipline. Read more

Time-Saving Small Business Accounting Software Features You Should Use

Accounting software features save time
We’d all like to spend more time doing what we love and less time with tasks that consume time. This is true of anyone and especially true for small business owners who have many demands competing for their limited time and attention. If you run a micro-business or are a freelancer, your time is valuable. Anything you can do to reclaim some of your time is a plus. When we created Flare Cloud Accounting, we wanted to streamline and automate tasks that typically take a lot of time. Today, we’ll focus on automated accounting software features that can really help free up your schedule. Read more

A Simple Business Budget is the Best Kind of Budget

On this blog, we’ve often stressed how important budgeting is for small businesses, and a simple business budget is probably the best because it will be used. This seemingly obvious statement is true of other many tools, whether in your garden shed or computer. If you are a small business owner or freelancer, you probably have a collection of “tools”. These may include spreadsheets, accounting software, time management apps, document management, and project management. While small business owners love software that increases efficiency, they’ll find themselves returning to some more frequently than others. Soon enough, the seldom-used tools are forgotten and you wind up with a small collection of “go-to” business aids. These are often the simplest and easiest to use. Read more

When Micro-Businesses or Freelancers Should Hire an Accountant

When to hire an accountant

Micro-business owners and freelancers often do their own bookkeeping, but knowing when to hire an accountant can prevent financial problems and heartache in the future.

From managing their business finances to marketing, freelancers and small business owners like to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. Usually, they do so out of necessity, particularly when starting a business. They may not have the financial resources to hire an accountant or financial advisor. When starting out, or if their business is small or a one-person operation, the do-it-yourself route makes sense. The side-benefit of DIY is the experience and education gained. There are times, however, when hiring an accountant or financial advisor makes sense, too. Read more

Freelance Success and Financial Knowledge. What Successful Freelancers Know About Business Finances

Freelance success
One personal trait that successful freelancers have in common is attention to detail. They pay attention to all aspects of their business, including finances. While it may seem obvious, ignoring finances or having only cursory knowledge can mean the difference between success and failure.

You don’t need a degree in finance to understand some very basic things about your freelance business’s finances. You need to care, and, you should care. Some freelancers believe that because they can count the number of monthly clients they have on two hands, know them all by name, and “have a sense” of what they earn or spend monthly, that this is enough. That casual attitude will work for awhile, but in the long run, it’s very dangerous and could lead to financial calamity. Read more

Bookkeeping for Freelancers. The Real Value for Your Business

Bookkeeping software for freelancers

If you are like many freelancers, you probably don’t think that much about managing business finances and you may regard bookkeeping for freelancers as a necessary, but sometimes painful part of doing business. Beyond creating invoices and perhaps tracking expenses, freelancers may not understand the real value of using a bookkeeping application. It’s much more than bookkeeping.

What if I told you that doing your own bookkeeping could save you time, reduce the taxes you pay and increase profit? You might change your mind, then, because there’s something in it for you – above and beyond bookkeeping. Read more

7 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Small Business Accounting Software

Flare accounting software for small business on desktop, laptop and tablet

Choosing accounting software is often a matter of fit, flexibility and features. These “3Fs” may be different for each business owner, but one thing is for certain, it takes a little homework to find an accounting application that ticks the boxes for all three. As the following seven questions before you buy small business accounting software. Read more

How to Be a Successful Freelancer – Rough Guide to Survival in the Self-Employment Wilderness

How to be a successful freelancer
How to be a successful freelancer is a question asked by most people when they consider leaving their day job for self-employment. When you were first considering your freelancing career, you may have dreamt of the freedom of setting your own hours, working from home or your own small office, charting the course of your business, being your own boss. These are some of the main reasons one-time “cogs in the wheel” become freelancers. It’s a good life if you can make it work then keep making it work. The key to success is knowing how to survive. Read more

Get the Most from Your Small Business Accounting Software

Person using small business accounting software

If you are considering using or have already signed up for online small business accounting software, getting to know the application and its features will ensure you aren’t missing its real benefits. While you may have purchased an accounting application so you can easily do you own bookkeeping and invoicing, the real power is the insight accounting apps provide. Read more