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Archive for November 2014

Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Using QuickBooks

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Note: After this week, I will continue with tradition and have blogs with a Christmas theme for the next four weeks and will resume the normal schedule with a business topic on Monday December 29th.

For the last business topic of 2014 until December 29th, I will discuss common mistakes when people do their own bookkeeping using QuickBooks, the most popular small business software by far.

  1. Make a new account for every expense they pay. Ok, not every single one but the tendency is to create a new account for something that is a one-off expense and I would recommend finding an account that it best fits or take advantage of the account “ask my accountant”. That is why it exists – as a suspense account. When in doubt put it there and move on. It is easier to take care of everything you are unsure of at one time from one account rather than finding a new company truck purchase in office supplies or other various absurdities. It is useful to keep new account creation to a minimum or soon your income statement and chart of accounts is 3 pages long.
  2. Not matching dates of cash transactions (additions and subtractions) from your bank account to what you have in QuickBooks. You can use any date you want, but in the end it will be corrected to agree to what happened in the bank account to reconcile to the bank statement.  If you are writing a check in October it needs to have an October date.       Ideally, it should be the date that you create it but I will settle for any date within the month.
  3. Leaving check numbers blank when writing a check.  For example, if check number 1975 clears the bank and there is no check number 1975 in the QuickBooks check register that will slow down reconciling the bank account. Hopefully, the check amount is a unique one and I will be able to assume that the blank check number in the register for the same amount of check 1975 on the bank statement can be changed from blank to 1975 to reconcile the bank account.

These are just a few mistakes that I see and of the three I mentioned the first and third ones are an annoyance I can live with if I must. The second mistake is very aggravating and takes a lot of time to identify and correct.  Respecting the sanctity of the accounting process means respecting dates of transactions.

Have a great week following these three easy rules.

Written by pacelinebiz

November 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

Suffering For The Sake Of Quality

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I Will Eat This If I Must

I Will Eat This If I Must

The time from Halloween through the end of the year is a tough time for my waistline and I assume is for many Americans. Sampling ahead of time and finishing off the left over candy from Halloween begins the assault on good eating habits. It also coincides with the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder. This reduces my outdoor activities and riding my bike becomes a less frequent activity which adds to the likelihood of weight gain.

After the last Kit Kat and Milk Dud from Halloween is eaten; Thanksgiving is on the horizon – another food-centered  holiday.  Of course this cycle happens every year but I apparently can’t seem to learn from past mistakes. Pumpkin pie, turkey with gravy combined with stuffing AND mashed potatoes sound like a well-rounded meal – for the recently well-rounded me. Well-rounded like weebles. You remember weebles, they wobble but don’t fall down. Speaking of falling down, let’s not forget the occasional hot toddy or delicious wine to go with that meal which is even more calories to pack on the pounds.

After Thanksgiving is over, it is on to the company Christmas party and all the other Christmas parties held in December. Cookies are abundant as the production is ramped up for the big day. Sampling of the products is a duty I perform with a great amount of care. If I have to gain a few pounds in the name of quality control then so be it. After Christmas is over there is all the chocolates we received as gifts from friends, family and customers that we need to attend to. It would not be right if we did not polish these gifts off before the super bowl. It is a responsibility that I discharge with as much skillful care as I do the quality control testing of the Christmas cookies. When I am asked how the chocolate covered peanuts tasted I want to be able to tell the truth. It is an honorable trait like George Washington and his inability to tell a lie.

By mid January the reality of the holiday feasting has settled on me and my waistline and I spend the next two months correcting the damage I did to myself by working out and trying to shed a few pounds in time to get back outside on my bike. Then after 6 months of dutiful riding, we repeat the process. Apparently my memory does not last more than 6 months.  Maybe I can refer back to this blog every so often so I don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Have a great week suffering for the sake of quality control.

 

Written by pacelinebiz

November 17, 2014 at 8:01 am

Why Do You Keep Trying To Kick That Football Charlie Brown?

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Nothing Will Stop Me

Nothing Will Stop Me

In case you don’t know what I am talking about, let me give a brief summary. Charlie Brown, the comic strip character is repeatedly fooled by the Lucy Van Pelt character into believing she will hold the football while he attempts to kick it.  She never does and always pulls it away at the last-minute.

We can learn some things from Charlie Brown that we can apply to our businesses. Listed in the paragraphs below are a few reasons that we should consider.

He has determination in the belief that regardless of Lucy’s actions he will be able to get that ball in the air. He believes he can overcome.  He knows what Lucy has done in the past but he believes in himself more than he does in the adversary.  How many times are you willing to get off the ground after an adversary beats you?  Charlie hasn’t stopped yet – why should you?  Is your biggest adversary your own doubts?

He has a positive view of people. Maybe he keeps trying to teach Lucy a lesson.  Perhaps she will realize that he is not stupid or gullible but that she is the one that needs to change?  A good leader should believe in his people and be willing to go all out to transform them despite the cost.  He may make Lucy the next team leader after seeing what he has done.  Perhaps she can pass this leadership lesson off to her younger brother Linus and jump-start his success?  

He can see the big picture. Maybe he will never teach the lesson to Lucy but maybe he will be able to show his sister Sally or Peppermint Patty the lesson of his determination as they watch from afar.  Seeing the big picture is a great trait to have as a business owner. Never get myopic vision when wading through the details of your business.

These are just a few things to consider when looking at the drama that unfold every time Charlie Brown lines up to kick the ball. I am sure if you think a bit you can draw some inspiration from him as well.

Have a great week overcoming the “Lucy” in your life.

November 3rd Since 1900

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On this date in history...

On this date in history…

Check out the full list of events on November 3rd in history here.

 I have cherry-picked picked a handful of items that caught my attention after 1900 and will add a snarky comment to some of them as I see fit. 

  • 1900       1st US automobile show opens at Madison Square Garden 

                             (It must have been a blast with all 3 cars that existed. They were still calling it a horseless carriage.)

  • 1911       Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
  • 1913       The USA introduces an income tax.

                            (Shortly thereafter the IRS was created – the law of unintended consequences.)

  • 1917       1st class US mail now costs 3 cents per ounce

                            (If annual inflation was about 2.95% over those 97 years a stamp should cost 49 cents – and does!)

  • 1926       Ty Cobb resigns as Detroit Tigers manager
  • 1930       Bank of Italy becomes Bank of America

                            (I would like to know the full story behind this one.)

  • 1931       1st commercially produced synthetic rubber manufactured
  • 1934       Although Lou Gehrig wins Triple Crown, Mickey Cochrane wins AL MVP

                             (I bet Lou was asking; “Gee whiz, what’s a guy got to do to win the MVP?”)

  • 1937       Maurice Archambaud bicycles world record for distance in one hour (45.796 km)

                             (The dude was flying. That is over 28 miles an hour and he was on a clunker that weighed 50 pounds and had square wheels.  They were using performance enhancing drugs even back them.  He was hopped up on espresso.)

  • 1942       Despite Ted Williams winning Triple Crown, Yanks Joe Gordon wins AL MVP

                             (I guess Ted Williams was in good company for getting snubbed – see Lou Gehrig above.)

  • 1952       Clarence Birdseye markets frozen peas
  • 1953       1st live color coast-to-coast telecast (NYC)
  • 1955       Alabama woman bruised by a meteor

                            (BRUISED? That was one tough woman.  If you drop a pencil off a 3 story building doesn’t it have enough force to plow through 100 feet of concrete?  This came from a Klingon moon or something and she just shook it off and rubbed dirt on it.)

  • 1956       “Wizard of Oz” 1st televised (CBS-TV)
  • 1960       Pittsburgh Pirates’ Vern Law wins Cy Young Award
  • 1968       NY Jet Jim Turner kicks 6 field goals to beat Buffalo 25-21

                            (Pardon me, but 6 field goals adds up to only 18 points so I think he had some help people.)

  • 1971       “Play Misty For Me” premieres

                             (I only include this in the faint hopes you will think I know something besides sports.)

  • 1975       Good Morning America premieres on ABC 
  • 1978       1st broadcast of “Diff’rent strokes” on NBC TV
  • 1980       Ianford Wilsons “5th of July,” premieres in NYC

                              (See, more “culture.”)

  • 1983       Jesse Jackson launches his 1st campaign for presidency (D)

                             (I actually saw him give a campaign speech in 1984 at the University of Pittsburgh. I was skeptical he could beat out that juggernaut of Fritz Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.)

  • 1987       Oakland 1st baseman Mark McGwire wins AL Rookie of Year

                             (Back then steroids were good for you!)

  • 1989       Lou Piniella is named manager of the Reds, replacing banned Pete Rose
  • 1992       Bill Clinton (D) wins US presidential election over President Bush (R)
  • 1997       Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is 6th unanimous AL Rookie of Year

Have a great week making some history of your own. I promise I will keep the snark to a minimum.

Written by pacelinebiz

November 3, 2014 at 8:01 am