Contractor Corner

Bookkeeping For Air Conditioning Companies - 6 Quickbooks Tips To Make Your Life Easier
You got your air conditioning business up and running but are finding that tracking your income and expenses in a simple spreadsheet. Time for some better bookkeeping. Time for Quickbooks. It’s not as hard to use as you think and here are some great tips to make it easier.

1. First, learn some quick keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl-I Create invoice
Ctrl-E Edit transaction selected in register
Ctrl-F Find transaction
Ctrl-J Open Customer Center
Ctrl-M Memorize transaction or report
Ctrl-N New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
Ctrl-Q QuickReport on transaction or list item
Ctrl-T Open memorized transaction list
Ctrl-W Write new check
Ctrl (while opening) Start QuickBooks without a company file

2. Use The Quickbooks Setup Wizard and Clean It Up

Next, use the setup wizard to make using the program the best way for your company. After that, go into Preferences to clean it all up. There you can change things like default activities, one or multi window view, default annual interest rate, allow creating estimates, payroll and sales tax. There is a lot more you can add or remove to make it work perfectly for you.

3. Learn Right Click Menus

QuickBooks has a lot of right-click menus for easy access to items you need. Once set up, try it and see what shows up. For instance, in the Chart of Accounts, you can edit or delete an account, custom the columns, transfer funds, or get a QuickReport.

4. Your Chart of Accounts

That Chart of Accounts may end up having a lot extras you may not need. QuickBooks assigns income, expense and other accounts automatically, but that may include things you don’t need. Use the right-click to customize. Be careful about how you assign account types. It is critical in keeping your books accurate.

5. Use Your Classes

Be sure to turn on Classes in Preferences. It will help you better track profit and loss. Classes are how you categorizing elements of your business. When you enter a transaction, a Class drop-down box will appear; you can create your own Class, such as Marketing, or Advertising, or Parts or Systems. Then you’ll be able to run a Profit & Loss by Class report.

6. Back It Up!

Did you know that you can back QuickBooks up to the cloud or a removable data storage device? Choose either one in setup.

If you are excited about doing your Quickbooks great…if you would rather have someone else help with this, check out our Quickbooks for Contractors service!

Bookkeeping For Air Conditioning Companies – 6 Quickbooks Tips To Make Your Life Easier - Time for some better bookkeeping. Time for Quickbooks. It’s not as hard to use as you think and here are some great tips to make it easier.

The New Standard of a Virtual Answering Service For Your Contracting Business

Your contracting business is up and off the ground, but you’re working hard on projects and keep missing calls from clients and prospective clients. You could hire someone but that has it’s own set of issues. So what should you do? Hire a virtual answering service.

In the old days a virtual answering service was merely a take name, phone number and text you that info. Google voice can do that now you don’t have to pay if that is all you want.

The New “Answering Service”

We are so pleased that those days of taking messages and sending texts are gone. Now an “answering service” looks more like full blown customer. Services including call handling, scheduling on your software, dispatching and interacting with your technicians.

Benefits of Getting Outside Help

The first benefit from hiring an outside service is it keeps your costs down. Hiring an administrative assistant to work for you means paying a salary, payroll taxes, health insurance and other benefits that will eat into your fledgling business.

Hiring an outside service means that you aren’t responsible for those overhead costs.

These services also make you look much more professional. The person answering your phone is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. He or she makes your business look not only professional, but well-established and large enough to handle anything they need… even if you are only a one man shop.

Have you ever gotten annoyed or frustrated with a business because you can’t get a real person on the phone? Voicemail is always helpful, but interacting with a person can make a business seem much more responsive to your clients. The best part is that even if you’re away on vacation, on business or on a job site, you have a person answering your phones.

When looking for a virtual answering service, ask whether they specialize in particular types of businesses. Many do and hiring one that specializes in contracting will mean those answering your phones are even more helpful.

So don’t stress about making sure your phones are covered. Hire a virtual answering service, like Contractor In Charge, today!

Call (813) 438-3666 Nationwide

The New Standard Of A Virtual Answering Service For Your Contracting Business | In the old days a virtual answering service was merely a take name, phone number and text you that info. Google voice can do that now you don't have to pay if that is all you want.

Here’s Why You Need to Outsource Your Contractor Payroll

There aren’t enough hours in the day to successfully execute every aspect of business personally. If you’re struggling to make payroll each pay period, you’re missing out on valuable time you could be spending growing your business. Balancing all the internal operations of a business can be tricky, especially when it comes to payroll.

As your business grows, so will its payroll demands. The increasing payroll duties often lead business owners to seek other alternatives, like outsourcing. Typically, when an aspect of a business is outsourced, results aren’t always ideal. However, payroll outsourcing seems to be in a category all its own, and businesses that outsource their payroll department have a lot of benefits at their disposal.

In-House Payroll Wastes Time and Money

A recent survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA) found that about 40% of small businesses outsource their payroll department. The majority of those that did spent $500 or less a month on outsourcing services. That amount sounds steep at first, but let’s look at the amount of time they save. Enterprises that didn’t outsource payroll claimed to have spent six hours or more per month handling their own payroll. That’s about two work weeks per year just doing payroll! Furthermore, at an average cost of $36 per internal payroll employee, that’s more than $2,500 a year. Instead of spending that much money and dedicating that much time to internal payroll, it’s easy to see why many companies choose to outsource.

Payroll Duties Are Complex

Payroll is complicated. Aside from actually cutting the checks and handing them to your employees, there’s much, much more that goes on behind the scenes. Typically, when payroll is outsourced, the complicated tasks go along with it, like 401(K) management, employee benefits, federal and state tax considerations. No wonder companies with internal payroll spend nearly two weeks per year working on payroll!

And Internal Payroll Is Prone to Mistakes

More importantly, outsourcing actually increases compliancy and accuracy with payroll-related laws. Tax laws and codes change frequently, and many small business owners simply don’t have the time to keep up. In fact, Inc. suggests roughly one out of three business owners have been penalized by the IRS for a payroll mistake. Outsourced payroll greatly decreases this statistic. Payroll companies are typically experts in tax laws. Many offer some sort of financial liability protection as well, meaning you’re safe even if there’s a payroll error.

Is It Time to Outsource?

Outsourcing your payroll department can save you a significant amount of time and money in the long run – as well as the headache of accounting mistakes. But how do you know when it’s the right time to outsource? If your payroll needs change frequently, for example, or your employees work different hours every week or in different states, it may be time to consider outsourcing. Additionally, if your business is growing and you just don’t have the time to deal with complicated payroll tasks, outsourcing can recover the time you’ve lost.

Outsourced payroll services like Contractor in Charge can give you the time you need to focus on growing your business. Find out how to put your company “In Charge” – schedule a call with us to get a free quote!


Is Your Small Business Suffering From a Time Shortage?

The typical small business owner knows all too well that time is a vital, costly resource. This belief often leads to owners overworking themselves and employees with too much to accomplish during their 9-5. For many business owners, being “too busy” comes with the territory. In fact, many consider it a bragging point. In actuality, it’s a bad thing. Sure, you may be making more sales and profit in the short-term, but being too busy can have long-term negative effects on your business and health.

Working Longer Hours Doesn’t Increase Productivity

Recent studies have found that working more than 40 hours per week affects productivity – and not in a good way. The studies found that when workers hours were increased by 50%, their productivity was not proportionate. The expected outcome was that productivity would increase by 50% as well, but in fact, it only increased by 25%. That means workers were getting less work done with more time.

Working Less Is Actually Better for Business

Behavior analysts have thought for some time now that working too much is bad for you. It seems like common sense, but companies continue to push their employees to work long hours every day. But shorter hours actually make for happier employees, and happier employees make for better business.

You may have heard that Sweden recently elected to try out a six hour work day. While the final results won’t be released until 2016, the current effects look good. Nurses in an elderly home have been taking less sick time and feeling less stressed. A Toyota service center has had a six-hour workday in place for more than 10 years, and in that time, profits increased substantially.

Looking at the Work Week in a Different Light

Our society is heavily focused on workload. Business owners tend to respect employees that spend long hours working – and not necessarily the ones who offer the best performance. It’s just the way our working world has shaped us. Another study found that 39 of the participating managers favored employees who worked longer. They described them as “responsible and dependable.” But long hours don’t necessarily make a person dependable; finishing a project and achieving good results does. Small business owners and bosses should rethink how “success” is measured in the workplace.

Outsourcing Time-Consuming Tasks

Of course, that change is going to take a complete rewiring of thinking patterns. In the meantime, outsourcing extra tasks is one of the easiest and most effective ways to refocus your workforce. Whether you’re feeling pulled in too many directions yourself or your employees are clocking long hours, outsourcing is an effective way to offset a few time-consuming duties. There are plenty of daily tasks that are notorious “time-eaters.” From data entry to payroll, bookkeeping, and beyond, these things are easy to outsource without compromising quality.

Want to learn how you can save time and money? Find out how to put your company “In Charge” – schedule a call with us to get a free quote!


Why You Should Start Delegating Some of Your Workload

Small business owners naturally have trepidations about delegating workloads. You’ve built your enterprise from the ground up, so of course you feel wholly responsible for it. When your company is your life’s work, it’s hard to even imagine handing a fragment off to someone else. But trying to run an entire business alone isn’t brave or admirable; it’s a recipe for disaster. If you truly want to see your operation to succeed, there are some things you need to let others manage. It doesn’t have to be hard to let go, either.

It’s Time to Let Go Symptom 1: You’re Spending Too Much Time on Tedious Tasks

Do you want to spend more time running your business and less time doing administrative tasks? Many business owners get into their respective careers because they started a company doing something they love. But as their enterprises grow, owners find themselves doing less of what they love and more of the tedious tasks it takes to keep a business running. However, these can be delegated effectively, giving you more time to get back to what you love doing.

It’s Time to Let Go Symptom 2: Your Quality of Life (or Work) Is Suffering

Spreading yourself too thin is detrimental to your personal health and business. When you overwork yourself and spend long hours at the office or take extra work home, you start spending less time on other things. This could mean less family or personal time. It can also make your customer service and other aspects of your business suffer. When you do too many things at once, you dedicate less attention to each of them. If you notice your record-keeping habits are starting to suffer or your family is repeatedly asking for more attention, it’s definitely time to delegate a portion of your workload.

How to Delegate Without “Losing Control”

So you’ve finally made the decision to delegate some of your workload, but now you’re wondering how to do it effectively. Thankfully, it’s not a difficult thing to learn. Follow these basic guidelines:

  • Analyze your needs based on your skills. Is bookkeeping difficult for you? That should be the area you let a specialist handle.
  • Examine the options you have for delegating a specific task. Is it something you can outsource, or do you need to hire an in-house employee? What fits your budget?
  • Work with the other party to come up with a plan. The plan should include what specific tasks will be delegated, your business goals, and metrics for measuring progress.

Once a position is delegated, keep communication lines open at all times. It will help you feel more comfortable and make the process run smoothly. For example, weekly meetings or conferences are an excellent way to ensure you’re reaching your business goals together. Over time, you’ll build trust in one another and feel comfortable delegating other tasks in the future. Then you can take back your work day and return to what really matters.

Contractor in Charge handles a variety of easily-delegated tasks, like bookkeeping, payroll, scheduling, and more. Find out how to put your company “In Charge” – schedule a call with us to get a free quote!


Is Your Business’s Financial Data Accurate?

For small business owners unfamiliar with accounting, it can be difficult to judge how well their accountant or administrative assistant is gathering data. It’s easy to be intimidated by the task or to see it as unnecessary to a business’s growth.

Accurate financial data serves two main purposes. The main and most obvious one is to keep your business out of the red. But the second (often overlooked) purpose is to leverage that data to make important financial decisions, like purchases, budget cuts, and securing loans. This is where the accuracy of your financial data is imperative. Many entrepreneurs consider ensuring pinpoint accuracy an unnecessary task, but it can significantly affect your business.

What Good Financial Records Do for Your Business

A basic recordkeeping system will track the flow of revenue through your business, including how much you’re spending, how much you’re making, and if you face any potential dangers in the future. This information, if kept accurately, can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Tracking debts, creditors, and expenses to keep you up to date on payments
  • Applying for loans and other type of funding
  • Saving time and money on accounting and other finance-related tasks
  • Accurately calculating and paying your taxes while finding credits and tax breaks
  • Ensuring compliance with payroll laws and tax codes
  • Finding discrepancies or inefficiencies within the business that are costing you money; for example, irresponsible purchasing decisions

Clearly, using financial data for these kinds of information can save your business a great deal of time and money and help you make future decisions. Taking the time now to measure and improve the accuracy of your financial data will give you a substantial ROI.

Bookkeeping 101: Learning the Basics

Good bookkeeping starts with a strong foundation of basic habits. At its bare minimum, your financial analysis should tell you:

  • How much money is lost or made in a given fiscal period
  • If your business model is financially sound and will continue to be
  • What potential problems you may face in the short and long term

Acquiring this information can be done with a few simple bookkeeping tasks. On a daily/weekly basis, you should be recording transactions in a spreadsheet or bookkeeping software. This includes billing customers, paying vendors, and other cash flow.

You should also be documenting and storing receipts for expenses on a regular basis. Expenses should be broken up into vendor and business expenses and overhead expenses, like payroll. Lastly, you need a system in place for reviewing and tracking unpaid bills. These very basic tasks set the foundation for good bookkeeping habits.

Growing Bookkeeping Tasks Alongside Your Business

As your business grows, bookkeeping will naturally become more time-consuming and complex. Ensuring accuracy will become more difficult, but also more important. At this stage, many small businesses choose to use a bookkeeping service. Most help companies keep accurate records, but they also help entrepreneurs leverage that information. For many business owners, it’s worth the investment to know their financial records are safe, accurate, and easily accessed when important financial decisions need to be made.

Contractor in Charge offers a wealth of bookkeeping and accounting services that make your work life easier. Find out how to put your company “In Charge” – schedule a call with us to get a free quote!