Gold historically is both a store of value, meaning when you own gold it increases in value, and also a medium of exchange, meaning it has been used as “money” for thousands of years.
Most people store their value (aka “save”) using dollars. Except dollars are not a store of value. The real historical rate of inflation is about 5-6% per year, which means when I save in dollars I am actually losing 5-6% per year. Dollars also don’t have any sort of intrinsic value which means outside of the government legally forcing us to use them, nobody would actually want or care about dollars.
Here is a real example:
In 1967, for a man to buy a nice suit, it cost about $35.00 dollars.
1 oz of gold also cost about $35.00.
So 1 oz of gold could buy a suit.
Today, to buy a nice suit, it costs around $2,000 dollars.
1 oz of gold also costs about $2,000.
So 1 oz of gold could buy a suit….but $35.00 couldn’t.
That means if you saved $35.00 in actual dollars since 1967, you lost about 5,614% of your money.
If you bought gold in 1967, you’d have made about 5,614%.
It’s very likely that in another 50 years, if we keep doing what we did in the last 50 years, it will cost $112,000 dollars to buy a suit and an oz of gold will cost about the same.
The nail in the coffin for me?
The Federal Reserve Bank, the organization that creates the U.S. Dollar, has 79% of their reserves in gold. Not dollars. Not U.S. Treasuries. Not Crypto-Currency. Gold.
In other words, they sell dollars to us, but they would rather own gold themselves.
But I think the best answer to this question is to simply ask it to you.
Why don’t you own more gold?
If you want to, Click Here to purchase some today!
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
What’s The Difference Between an Employee and a Contractor?
An employee is someone who works for your business, and you pay them payroll and you pay payroll taxes on that money – about 10% employer payroll taxes on each employee. If you were to pay an employee a thousand dollars a month, you’re going to end up paying an extra hundred dollars a month in employer payroll taxes. You are also going to deduct the employee portion of the taxes from their paycheck, and you’re going to have to pay that to the IRS, so you want to make sure your records are really good so you know what to pay the IRS and any state agencies.
A contractor is someone whom you hire who is not an employee and who generally does something different than what your company produces, especially in California with its new laws.
If you had a window-washing company and you hired a window washer, you would want them to be an employee. If you have a window washing company and you hired someone to do marketing a few hours a week, that could be a contractor. You are not going to direct their schedule, and you are not going to tell them how to do their job. They are going to come in as an outside service or an outside business and figure out what you need for marketing and then deliver it on a schedule that you both agree with, but you are not telling them what to do or when.
When you pay a contractor, you are not paying any taxes on top of what you pay them. If you are paying a contractor a thousand dollars a month, you pay them a straight thousand dollars a month. At the end of the year, you would give them a 1099 reporting exactly what you paid them for your tax records and their tax records.
Don’t forget, 1099s are due by Jan 31st! Let us know if you need any help filing them.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Should I Have a Bookkeeper Look at My Books if I Do My Own Bookkeeping?
Yes, absolutely. One-hundred percent. If you do your own books because you are not ready to hire a bookkeeper or because you like doing bookkeeping, it is still a good idea to have another pair of eyes to review the books, because a good bookkeeper will look at your books from a tax perspective and make sure that everything in there is set up in a way for you to file your taxes easily. Or, depending on what else you need, you might want it set up in a certain way for the management of your company, and a good bookkeeper will be able to help you set that up that way and make sure your transactions are correctly booked and that your reconciliations are correct.
I would recommend at least quarterly reviews of your books. That way you have someone to ask if you have any questions about how to handle specific transactions such as how to enter the new loans, the PPP loan, the SBA loan. What do you do with that? How do you enter them? Do you enter the PPP as income – because it will be forgiven in the end?
You always want to have a person you can ask these questions to and to offer you another set of eyes. Sometimes, your CPA can be the other set of eyes, but CPA’s can charge $350 or $500 an hour, where a bookkeeper or a bookkeeping firm will charge a lot less, and can help as an intermediary or liaison between yourself and your CPA. I have had many clients who get an end-of-year questionnaire from their CPA but they don’t understand the questions. I end up being the translator between the CPA and the client, because I can speak both languages.
So in summary – I highly recommend having a bookkeeper review your books.
Please let me know if you would like a free consultation or if you need a bookkeeping review.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Do Bookkeepers File Taxes?
Some bookkeepers file taxes. Some bookkeeping firms file taxes. On my team, I have a certified tax preparer who can do personal tax filings, LLC tax filings, and S-Corp tax filings. He will not do C-Corp tax filings. If you have a variety of different and complicated tax situations, we refer you to a CPA. We know several amazing CPAs with whom we have worked.
Some bookkeepers don’t file taxes at all. Each bookkeeping firm or bookkeeper you meet will have their own preferences and ways they set up their operation. Some won’t do payroll; others do only payroll. You have to ask each what they do. If you want something all-inclusive, you need to make sure you ask that question upfront.
Please let me know if you have any questions or of there is anything we can do to help you.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Do I Need to Own QuickBooks?
QuickBooks Online is a subscription service. If you start with the most inexpensive one, QuickBooks Simple Start, it costs about $25 a month. You own your information for as long as you continue paying the subscription fee. If you ever stop paying the subscription fee, you have a year to download your information and get it off of QuickBooks Online; after that, your data disappears. You don’t want to let it disappear!
If you purchased QuickBooks Desktop, you bought a computer program that goes on your computer and you own it. However, these programs become antiquated and don’t work after a few years, so QuickBooks Online is the way to go. Buy a subscription, and with QuickBooks Online, once you pay, your bookkeeper can have free access, too. They won’t have to send you a copy of the file that you have to import again, like QuickBooks Desktop. It’s just that simple.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Would I Save Money By Hiring a Bookkeeper?
I believe that you would. A bookkeeper is going to be able to get things done a lot faster and more accurately than you would be able to do it yourself. Just in the same way that you wouldn’t go pull out your own tooth, you would go to a dentist – generally, you want to use a professional when it comes to your money and your business.
A professional will get it done accurately and quickly – faster than you probably will.
In QuickBooks, everything can be fixed if entered incorrectly, but it takes about three times as long to fix something as it does to do it right in the first place. So if you start doing your books and you mess them all up and you know they’re all messed up, and you hire a bookkeeper to fix them, instead of hiring one earlier, it will take them at least three times as long, and cost you at least three times as much, as if you hired them to begin with.
Another thing about hiring remote bookkeepers … if you have a bookkeeper that comes to your office, is an employee, even a part-time employee, you pay them for staff meetings, water-cooler chatter, time waiting for computers to turn on and off, walking over to your office, and asking you questions. On the other hand, if you hire a remote bookkeeper, you’re not paying for any of that. You’re going to have your communication and maybe a meeting, but, in general, they log into your file and do your bookkeeping, and that is all you pay for.
Bookkeepers are busy and often have many clients. Clients sometimes ask me after I quote them an estimate, “Well, what if it takes you less time? Are you going to charge me less?” My answer is, “Absolutely. I’m not trying to make money by charging people more time. I have lots of clients to work for, and I’m always getting more clients. I want to get the work done, and I want to get my bookkeepers to get the work done as fast as possible so they can get on to the next client.”
You save money that way. The bookkeeper isn’t sitting in your office for eight hours, and you’re also not paying payroll taxes, you’re not paying benefits – just paying a bookkeeper to log into QuickBooks, do the bookkeeping, do the payroll, pay your bills, and do whatever it is you need them to do.
Sometimes bookkeepers will charge flat rates, sometimes hourly, but, for the most part, you’re going to save money.
You are also going to save money on taxes because a bookkeeper will know what is tax-deductible and what isn’t. I can’t guarantee this, but you’re less likely to get audited because the books will be clean and make sense, and therefore the taxes will be clean and make sense. If the bookkeeper sees that something doesn’t make sense … for instance, you deposited a check – this has happened to me, you deposited a check for $8,000, and the bank entered it as $8. You’ve now lost $7,992 that you might not have noticed. Depending on how much money you have running through your company, you might not notice for a while. But your bookkeeper would notice right away because it wouldn’t reconcile. (You entered it in as a certain amount and the bank shows it as a different amount.) The bookkeeper will let you know, you’ll call the bank and get it sorted out right away.
So as you can see there are so many ways that you can save money by hiring a bookkeeper.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you would like a free consultation.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Should I Hire a Bookkeeper or Do It Myself?
I always think that a business owner’s time is worth thousands of dollars an hour in potential income. Now, this, of course, depends on where you are with your company. If you just started your company yesterday, you might not be ready to hire a bookkeeper. You do need to do some bookkeeping if there is any money coming in and going out, but you could learn how to do it yourself temporarily and just have someone come in quarterly or annually to review all your transactions and make sure all is correct for your tax returns.
Once you are making enough money, it is worth the expense for you to pay a bookkeeper, so absolutely get a bookkeeper because in the same way you would not try to pull out your own teeth – you would go to the dentist – you want a professional to handle your bookkeeping.
You’re always going to be sacrificing either time or money.
If you are a new business and you have not gotten to the point where you are making a lot of money, yet, you are going to have to sacrifice some time and do some basic bookkeeping yourself. If you are at a point where it is more beneficial for you to pay some money to have someone do the books for you, then absolutely pay the money. As you start delegating, you will be able to make more money. A bookkeeper, a good bookkeeper, is going to be able to do it faster than you can, and do it right, saving you money.
I have had so many clients ask me, “Well, how long will this take you?” I told them, “Oh, I don’t know, two-three hours a month.” It was taking them much longer, 10 -15 hours a month. And they were ripping out their hair trying to figure out how to handle one transaction, making it take them take even longer.
You get so much peace of mind by hiring a professional to do your bookkeeping for you. If you cannot hire them to do it for you, hire them to review it for you. You will end up saving time and money.
As a business owner, you started your company because you wanted to do what your business does. If you are an artist, you started the company because you wanted to create art. If you are an actor, you started the company because you wanted to act. If you are a carpenter, you started your company because you wanted to work with wood. If you are a marketing professional, or creative in marketing, you started a company because that’s what you wanted to do. Right?
Then, suddenly, you walked into your office and there was a pile of paperwork from the IRS that you had to fill out, which you could not understand. You are stressed out and frustrated and you do not know who to ask for help. Googling, you can get five different answers on the first Google page alone. You are not sure which is the right one, which one applies to your situation. And you know the local CPA charges a thousand dollars a minute so you’re not sure what to do…. Sound familiar?
You are going to want to hire a bookkeeper, even if only to help you with the things that you don’t understand. You can pay them as a consultant at first, even if just to review your work. But again, you are not going to run into any of this until you start making money. The most important things are production and selling your product or selling your service. Once you start making some money, you are going to want to have a person that you can ask what to do, even if you have to pay them a little bit of money.
Personally, I offer free consultations and answer many questions in that first call. I try to solve at least one pain point in the first free consultation, so they know what they should be doing and what they can do next.
So, to address the question again, hiring a bookkeeper can be done gradiently, depending on what you need them to do, but it is always good to have a person that you can ask questions of so you can do what you wanted to do when you started your business.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like a free consultation!
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
What’s The Best Software for Bookkeeping?
I might be a little biased because I’m QuickBooks ProAdvisor certified, but I think that QuickBooks Online is the best software for bookkeeping. While, I “grew up” using QuickBooks Desktop, and can use QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online pretty much with my eyes closed, I strongly prefer QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks Desktop for many reasons.
As a bookkeeper, you can easily see all your clients books in QuickBooks Online. As a business owner, you can look at your books whenever you want, and there is even a QuickBooks Online app that enables you to make an invoice on-site, or pay a bill from your phone. With QuickBooks Online you can connect all your bank accounts and credit cards and it will download the transactions automatically into the banking section of QuickBooks Online which is a holding area. You simply go in there and categorize the transactions. If you have a small company and not a lot of time to do your bookkeeping yourself, if you connect the bank accounts and credit cards that you want to track and, later, go back a few months all the information is there without doing hours of data entry that you would have to do in QuickBooks Desktop or other software.
Of course, there are more bookkeeping software platforms, such as Xero, Freshbooks, and others. I’ve used quite a few of them, but I still prefer all of the functionality offered by QuickBooks Online. The customer service, integrations, and apps that work with QuickBooks Online are so user friendly that I recommend it over the others.
There are different prices for different levels of Quickbooks Online. If you’re a brand-new company, you would want to sign up for QuickBooks Simple Start.
Quickbooks has an ugly stepchild called QuickBooks Self-Employed that I dislike immensely, as most Bookkeepers do. I would not recommend that option unless you have a side hustle and you are selling things on Etsy and only need to know if the expenses are business or personal. That is about all you can do with Self-Employed, and I would take that one off the table and just start with QuickBooks Simple Start, the least expensive one at about $25 a month.
If you have a company making millions of dollars a year, you’re going to want QuickBooks Online Advanced because you have more transaction types that you need to track.
There are also different versions in between, as well as Payroll, which you can get separately. There are many different functions that integrate with Quickbooks Online.
I’m a QuickBooks Online nerd, guru, hanger-onner. I love it.
Let me know if you need any help with your Quickbooks or switching to Quickbooks Online!
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
What Should I Look For When Hiring a Bookkeeper?
I personally have been doing bookkeeping for over 15 years. There are certain things that I would look for and that I do look for when hiring bookkeepers to work for me. I want them to know what they’re talking about. Sometimes bookkeepers say they know what they’re talking about when they actually do not. I would want to make sure that they know how to do basic bookkeeping and that they have some experience doing bookkeeping for your industry and type of company.
Recently, there has been a trend of people who want to be bookkeepers just taking a class and going out and getting their first client, and learning how to actually do bookkeeping on that client’s books. This gets me lots of clean-up clients but is probably pretty uncomfortable if you are that first client. I would never go to a doctor who just finished learning how to perform surgery but hadn’t actually interned or practiced under supervision yet. Same goes for a bookkeeper. A new bookkeeper should practice under an employer or mentor until they are experienced enough to go out on their own.
You really want to make sure you find someone who has experience and preferably experience in your industry. If they are not very experienced, ask them if they have a mentor. Do they have someone to whom they can ask questions if they get stuck?
I train bookkeepers. I hire people who don’t know bookkeeping sometimes. I train them from scratch and they do great after a little while, because I know how to train bookkeepers. But if I was hiring a new bookkeeper who was going to work for somebody else, those are the questions I would ask. And I would also check if they are insured, because they should be. I would ask them if they’re certified in the software they use. There is no actual college degree for bookkeeping, but, for instance, I am QuickBooks ProAdvisor certified. It is important to ask if they really know their software.
Other questions come into play: Are they a freelance bookkeeper who may or may not still be doing bookkeeping next year? Or are you contacting a company where, even if that specific bookkeeper isn’t going to be bookkeeping next year, the company will find somebody to replace them and smoothly transition? Those are all good things to know.
Did they start doing bookkeeping yesterday? Not to say that you couldn’t hire someone who started a brand-new business, but you might not pay them the same amount as someone with a lot of experience. You may have to train them yourself – so it’s important to decide if you are knowledgeable enough to do so.
Every company has specific procedures and idiosyncrasies applicable only to that company, which you will have to explain to your bookkeeper, you can’t expect a bookkeeper to come in and know everything about your company and exactly what the payments to every vendor is for – they’re going to have categorization questions. BUT they should be able to go into your books and generally know what to do and handle everything that comes up.
A good bookkeeper will be able to go into your books and tell you exactly what needs to be done to bring them up to date and fully accurate.
Accurate bookkeeping will save you money on taxes.
Let me know if you have any questions about your bookkeeping, or if you would like a complimentary basic bookkeeping review.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Which Financial Reports Should I Look At As A Business Owner?
The reports that I would recommend looking at, and the main report that you’re going to want to use on a day-to-day basis is a Profit and Loss statement (P&L). A Profit and Loss statement, once your bookkeeping is up to date, is going to show you all the money that came in, where it came in from and what you spent it on. That’s going to enable you to do financial planning. You can see how much income is left after expenses. You can see how much profit there is. You can see what you can potentially pay yourself, or how much is left to invest.
The other report to be aware of and look at is the balance sheet. That’s going to show you what is in your various bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and any assets that you have; also, any equity that you have in your business. If you’ve paid yourself distributions, that will appear on the Balance Sheet. If you contributed financially to your company, that will be on the Balance Sheet.
If you are also sending invoices from your bookkeeping software, there is a report called an Accounts Receivable report. That is a summary view or a detailed view that is vital to review. It gives you a thumbnail view of everything owed to you and when it’s due. Another similar report for bills that you owe is the Accounts Payable report, which shows you in a thumbnail view exactly what you owe and when it’s due. Those are two useful reports for financial planning and management.
If you haven’t looked at those reports recently, I recommend you do so. And if you need your bookkeeping caught up so you can see updated reports, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Can I Hire A Bookkeeper Remotely?
Absolutely. And that is recommended. I am all about efficiency, simplicity, and saving the rain forest… When you hire someone remotely these days, you can have Zoom meetings, phone calls, Skype calls, and Google Meetings – anything you want – to feel like you know the other person, and they don’t have to drive across town to your office and sit there to do the bookkeeping. Today, bookkeepers show you how to send everything remotely and where to submit your paperwork to their secure portals. And there’s always email and many other ways that make things simple to do remotely, as well as more beneficial and desirable for both business owners and Bookkeeping Firms to work together.
The future is here.
Right now, especially with COVID-19, nobody wants to go to offices, and often can’t even if they wanted to. If you can work from home, like most Bookkeepers can, that is the way to go. They can get it done faster and better than they could from your office and as an added benefit, there are no charged travel times.
Let me know if you have any questions about remote bookkeeping!
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
How do I get forgiveness on the PPP loan?
Recently, the PPP loans have been kind of “a big deal”, and have been one of the main questions asked of me, and I’ve been researching constantly. I have been in bookkeeping groups and accounting groups, and, honestly, the scene changes every single day.
Originally, in order to get the PPP loan, you calculated two and a half months or 10 weeks worth of payroll, you gave that information to the lender, and the lender lent you money based on that. You had eight weeks to spend it, and you had to spend 75% of it on payroll and 25% on a rent or mortgage, or utilities, in order to get it forgiven (a grant, not a loan).
Most businesses, however, were not going to be able to spend that money fast enough on those items in order to be able to get the debt forgiven, so a new bill was approved. Now, businesses have much longer to spend the funds: 24 weeks. And only 60% has to be spent on payroll, and 40% on rent, mortgage, or utilities. A welcome change for many companies.
There are other rules on the PPP loan today. You have to track the loan in the same way as when you initially applied for the loan, which was that employees with a salary over one hundred thousand a year, you had to use one-hundred thousand. You take that salary, divide it by 52 weeks for the year to find out what the weekly amount is. That is the only part of the salary for that person that is going to be forgiven. And employer payroll taxes are not forgiven as part of the PPP loan.
Several other points:
You must maintain the number of employees on your payroll. (There are some exemptions to this, such as employees not wishing to be rehired, or if an employee was fired for cause.)
You must maintain at least 75% of the total salary.
You have 10 months after the covered period to apply for forgiveness, but you can apply as soon as the funds are spent or the covered period is over. We are still waiting for the banks and legislators to finalize the forgiveness application form.
QuickBooks Online offers a simple free report if you use QuickBooks Online Payroll, which calculates how much is forgivable. If you don’t have QuickBooks Online, some payroll systems have a great report, some don’t, but you could ask your bookkeeper to create a spreadsheet to show that data so you can see how much you’ve spent that is forgivable as part of the PPP loan.
Given the right setup, when we get information from the banks and the forms to fill out to apply for the loan forgiveness, we will have all our records straight so those forms can be promptly and correctly completed and submitted.
As of right now, banks are lobbying to streamline the process and get blanket forgiveness, instead of having so many rules, as yet, not approved as of yet – but tomorrow could bring something new.
[Note: Much more data exists on this subject, feel free to email me any specific questions]
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
Why is bookkeeping important?
Bookkeeping is important because you really can’t manage a company without tracking your finances. If you didn’t know how much money was coming in or going out, you would never be able to make smart financial decisions. You also would never know how much to pay the IRS, who could take money from your bank account, (also called putting a lien on your account). They actually will do that. They’ll just estimate how much money you earned, and take the money.
You want to be able to do financial planning. You want to know how much you can afford to pay an employee, whether you can afford to hire a new employee.
The alternative is a mess, a confusing, time consuming, problematic mess unless you keep good records and use them to manage your company.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping started when monks kept records in books a long time ago. Every time money came in, they entered the income in one account book, and in another account book, they wrote from which account it came out of.
Hence, the name “Book keeping”.
Nowadays we don’t have to write it down in books, we can just show in our bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, that money came in or went out from a bank account, and what it was used for. That is why double-entry bookkeeping is called that – each transaction had to go into two books.
The main purpose is to track all expenses and income and every financial transaction. Then, at the end of each year, you have it all organized for your tax reporting.
These days Bookkeeping also includes other entries, depending on the level of service desired.
You can enroll in a payroll service; enroll in AP service where your Bookkeeper tracks or even pays the company bills; the Bookkeeper can send out invoices to your clients; help with tax compliance, such as 1099s, local business taxes, and sales tax.
Pretty much anything that you would do in your company that has to do with financial matters for your company can come under bookkeeping services.
Why Hire a Quickbooks Bookkeeper for Your Business?
How Hiring a Bookkeeper Helps Small Business Owners Make More Money
In small business ownership, especially in the first couple years, we get so wrapped up in reducing expenses and trying to do it all ourselves, we get into a mindset where we see any expense as a hindrance to the business. To the degree that we do this, we actually hinder ourselves in growing our business as fast as we envisioned when we first began.
Achieving More in Business With a Quickbooks Pro Bookkeeper
A smart lesson any business owner can learn is the importance of hiring expert talent to take care of certain areas of their business. When business owners do this, they free up their own time to focus on the business itself. Now they have time to focus on the initial thrill and the actual activities that got them excited about starting their business in the first place.
The beautiful thing about business ownership in the United States is that there is no limit to one’s potential for success. There is no ceiling to the money that can be made, the growth a business can experience, and the success a business owner can experience. However, the business will not do this on its own. Business owners need to have time and an ability to focus their time on forward progress and growth for the business. When business owners have to spend their time keeping the books, doing their taxes, balancing accounts, paying bills, calculating revenue and expenses, etc. they are losing valuable time that they could be spending on growing their business.
Many business owners started their companies because they liked the concept of doing something they loved. They didn’t start a business to do paperwork and keep the books. Their time is worth countless dollars in untapped potential when they aren’t allowed to utilize that potential in pursuing the actual business itself. Business owners waste their valuable time when they try to do their bookkeeping on their own.
Expert Bookkeepers Improve a Business’s Income, They Don’t Decrease It
When a savvy business owner hires an expert bookkeeper, they unleash a true, professional wizard of finances on their business. This results in two, great phenomena for one’s business:
- For one, a bookkeeper can put a business’s finances in perfect order. They’ll find ways to cut expenses and they can locate when certain business expenses are being overpaid for. They’ll work fiscal miracles to save money and to organize a business’s accounts. They understand state and federal tax codes and can save business owners the time of needing to go back and make changes after CPA review. Bookkeepers can, in just a moment’s glance, analyze a business’s accounts and understand which areas need the most work and which areas have the most potential for improvement in fiscal cleanliness.
- Another way that bookkeepers increase the top end of a business is they free up a business owner’s time significantly. When a business owner hires a bookkeeper, they lift a significant workload and time constraint off of their own shoulders and pass it on to the expert. This frees business owners up to expand and grow their businesses. That increases the top revenue line, and before you know it the bookkeeper expense paid for itself in increased revenue.
Solvency Now Bookkeeping is a Quickbooks Certified Firm You Can Count On
Solvency Now is focused on solvency, on helping a business to create greater income than its expenses. Solvency Now is a firm dedicated to management of financial records, including accounting management, and stellar business financials – we prefer to be your CPA’s nest friend, saving them time and saving you time and money. With over twelve years of experience and diversified work in dozens of fields, Solvency Now can help you focus on growing your business. Our mission is your expansion through financial organization and excellence. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your books, and an exact quote to help you achieve your goals.