Most people find it difficult to distinguish between book-keeping and accounting when considering the differences between the two processes. Although their objectives are similar, bookkeepers and accountants assist your company at distinct phases of the financial cycle.

To make a short story shorter, bookkeeping is administrative and involves records whileaccounting uses bookkeeper data to provide businesses and households the analytical data about financial health.

Bookkeepers versus Accountants

We’ll go over the functional distinctions between bookkeeping and accounting in this guide, along with the variations in the responsibilities of bookkeepers and accountants.

  • The Essence of Book-Keeping: Book-keeping is more administrative in nature and involves precisely documenting financial transactions. Bookkeepers are also all about recording your finances while accountants figure out if you’re spending more than you earn.
  • The Essence of Accounting: Accounting is more analytical and uses book-keeping data to provide you with strategic insights into the financial health of your company.Businesses tend to hire accountants to see if they’re in a good and financially healthy place.
  • Recording and Keeping Tabs: The process of consistently recording daily transactions is known as book-keeping, and it is essential to obtaining the financial data required to manage a profitable business.
  • General Ledger Upkeep: Keeping up a general ledger is one of book-keeping’s primary duties. A bookkeeper uses the general ledger—a simple document—to enter or “post” the amounts from sales and expense receipts.
  • Record-Taking vs. Financial Models: Bookkeepers keep track of financial transactions, record credits and debits, and create invoices or receipts. Meanwhile, accounting is a high-level process that creates financial models using financial data gathered by the bookkeeper.
  • Shouldn’t The Owner Handle Records? Startups and small businesses tend to double as their own bookkeepers to save costs or they simply can’t afford such services. However, it pays to have book-keeping services for medium-sized to big businesses who could afford them.
  • Historical Accounts and Financial Statements: The professional bookkeeper is also responsible for preparing your financial statement that includes the balance sheet, cash flow statement, and income statement as well as balancing historical records, ledgers, and subsidiaries.

The book-keeping process is primarily transactional, whereas the accounting process is more subjective and analytical. They’re responsible for interpreting the gathered data to gauge the spending habits or profitability of companies.

To Sum Everything Up

Although the two may appear to be fairly similar at first, there are a few key distinctions. The main goals of book-keeping are to organize and record financial data. Accounting is the process of analyzing and presenting that book-keeping data to investors and business owners.

A book-keeping system’s complexity is frequently influenced by the size of the company and the volume of daily, weekly, and monthly transactions. Your company must keep a ledger of all sales and purchases, and some transactions require supporting documentation.

it’s a big fact that the HR departments play a big role in shaping a business or company workplace. Yet, the question arises – does every business truly need an HR department? Learn about the need for a human resources department, especially in terms of business sizes and models.

The Role of HR in Modern Businesses

First of all, HR professionals don’t just hire and fire as most people shallowly know. They are highly important in strategic planning, employee development, and compliance with labor laws. Other than that, they also tend to foster a positive work culture. This positions the said department as some sort of a “bridge” between management and the workforce.

Size Matters: The Business Scale and HR Needs

  • Small Businesses and the HR Function

In small businesses, the need for a dedicated HR department can be debatable. For one, HR duties might just be managed by the business owner or staff member. The intimacy of small teams allows for more direct handling of HR-related matters. For that, it can already lessen the need for a specialized department to do so.

  • Scaling Up: The Growing Need for HR

As businesses grow, operations and workforce diversity increase. In this case, having an HR department or outsourcing HR functions is highly needed. A dedicated team or service can manage various tasks related to human resources – from adhering to labor laws to addressing the needs of the workforce.

Some Alternatives to HR Departments

  • Outsourcing HR Functions

Outsourcing allows companies to benefit from expert HR services – all without maintaining an in-house department. Outsourced HR can be beneficial for medium-sized businesses that still lack the needed resources for a full-fledged HR department.

  • Technology and HR Management

Popular HR software solutions can effectively automate many routine HR tasks. These include common tasks such as payroll processing, benefits administration, and even recruitment and onboarding. By using this type of technology, companies and businesses can maintain more systematic operations while still addressing the most needed HR needs.

  • The Argument for Flexibility

In the end, the growing nature of work is often highlighted by today’s trends. These include the now-popular remote work and the gig economy. This calls for a reevaluation of the usual business functions including HR. For that, flexibility becomes more of a need as businesses have a hard time managing teams and adapting to market changes.

For that matter, the role of HR may be less about conforming to a rigid structure of the workplace. It is actually more about applying HR functions in every part of the said workplace – which can be done in a way that suits the business’s needs and goals perfectly.

A startup business is a major investment. The previous statement is also an understatement. You will sacrifice a lot or at least spend a lot of capital to get your business off the ground, and more often than not, startups end up failing or going bankrupt due to the competition.

The Absolute Necessities When Starting Your Own Business

Here are the things you need when starting a business.

  • Research Isn’t Just for Scientists! Learning how to start your own business involves in-depth market research. Without prior knowledge like that, you’ll be spending your money doing trial and error on what works and what doesn’t. It can be quite the expensive lesson.
  • Get Investors for Your Startup: It’s probably best to get investors that you strictly have a business partnership with so that every decision is done in a strictly business sort of deal. Many friendships have ended and families have become broken due to cut-throat world of running a company.
  • Craft a Business Plan: Your business plan should involve having a product to sell, knowing how to market it to your clientele, and building up your brand enough to get a following of customers who’ll serve as your foundational consumer base.
  • Know Thy Competitors as You Know Thyself: Just as Sun Tzu advised, you should know your “enemies” or direct competitors as you know yourself. This way, you can know your limits and their limits. Know what you can or can’t get away with them. Find what’s lacking from them and fill that untapped need.
  • Believe in Your Product: Some businessmen wish to ride fads and get-rich-quick schemes instead of investing their time and effort into a product they believe in. Having the confidence of a working product will make marketing it a breeze.
  • Marketing can Make or Break a Product: Even worthwhile products can be ruined by bad marketing (although no amount of marketing can save a bad product in the long term). Learn what your product can offer your customer so that it can sell itself to them.
  • Demographics and Sustainability: Even if you’re being backed by a billionaire father, your business will not grow beyond being a pet project of a trust-fund baby with cash to burn  until you realize what your demographics are and how to best sell them your product and/or services. At the very least, find a sustainable niche market.

Building Solid Foundations for Your Startup Company

To ensure you’re stepping in the right direction so that you can avoid having things go awry from the start or down the line, you need to build the foundations of a solid startup business. To run a successful business also requires adaptability.

A profit-and-loss or profit and loss statement helps inform you, the business owner, and your business’s stakeholders how healthy or underperforming your business is, which might require course correction or maintaining the current course towards profitability.

You can use accounting programs like Peachtree and QuickBooks to make it relatively easy to do things like produce a profit-and-loss statement for your company. They can specifically generate the statement for you. Just provide the pertinent info.

Profit-and-Loss Statement 101

If you wish to create a profit and loss statement for your business using an Excel spreadsheet or by hand, do the following. You’ll see it’s so easy an elementary student can calculate it.

  • Track Your Operating Revenue: Accurately and regularly record all payments received in regards to your sales of goods and services, including incoming revenue, for posterity. Don’t miss out on one sale and keep your books honest.
  • Record Cost of Sales: Cost of sales or goods sold refers to fluctuating expenditures, such as raw materials and inventory instead of fixed costs like leases and payroll. This can also include income tax.
  • Calculate Gross Profit: Get the total revenue for the month and subtract the cost of sales from it to calculate gross profit for the month. Add the months to get gross profits for the quarter and the year.
  • Determine Your Overhead: By overhead, we mean expenses like insurance, utility expenses, equipment rentals, advertising costs, lease payments, and  other fixed expenses (as opposed to cost of sales).
  • Sum Up Your Operating Income: As for your operating income, just get your gross profit (for the month, quarter, or year) from your overhead or fixed expenses. Yes, you need to calculate sales first before subtracting utility expenditures.
  • Consider Other Expenses and Income: Think about things like income not directly related to the offerings of your business, such as company investments paying dividends. As for expenses, this includes tax payments from pre-tax income, finance charges, or loan interest.
  • Get Your Net Profit: Calculate your net profit by taking account of everything above then subtract your other income and expenses from your operating income. No, your extra income shouldn’t be included in the net profit when gauging your business’s standalone stability.

Verdict

It’s easy to make profit-and-loss statements. It only involves basic arithmetic. The complexity of calculating it will depend on how many individual elements like operating revenue, cost of sales, overhead, and so forth are accurately recorded.

Some apps can even automate the entire process, while small business owners can calculate it from scratch using Excel or similar bookkeeping programs when in a pinch. It gives you amazing insight on company health and sustainability of your business.

Small business owners often find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities, and filing their business taxes can feel like a daunting task. However, there are online tax filing software options available that can help save both time and money.

These software platforms cater to small business owners, providing them with the tools and resources they need to complete the tax filing process online. With these user-friendly solutions, there’s no need to hire an accountant or a tax expert. 

The best software options are designed to streamline the tax filing process, making it accessible and manageable for start-ups and small businesses.

  • TurboTax

While TurboTax may come with a higher cost compared to other tax filing software, it is renowned for providing excellent user experience. Its user-friendly interface offers a step-by-step guide that is so easy to comprehend.

Additionally, TurboTax goes the extra mile by providing on-demand consultations with certified public accountants or tax experts. This ensures access to professional help as the need arises. Furthermore, TurboTax provides free audit support, giving small business owners peace of mind in case they receive an IRS or any tax notice that requires further attention.

  • H & R Block

It comes both in free and paid versions. The free version is limited to simple tax return transactions only. Although the H&R Block Premium version is pretty costly, its accessibility is impressive. Aside from laptop, it can also be accessed via a smartphone.

One of the standout features of H&R Block is its unlimited chat and live support, ensuring that users get the assistance they need. It also guarantees 100% accuracy in its calculations. Boasting its extensive physical presence with over 11,000 locations, H&R Block gives business owners the option to speak with a tax expert in person to discuss complex tax transactions and address whatever tax queries they have at hand. But it is worth mentioning that such in-person meeting requests may cost extra charge.

  • 0FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA is offered free, but there is still a state filing fee to be paid. For those seeking additional features, a Deluxe or paid version of the software offers assistance from live support in the event of IRS audits. With its comprehensive offerings and commitment to customer satisfaction, FreeTaxUSA stands out as a reliable and cost-effective option for managing your tax filing needs. 

  • TaxSlayer

Affordability is what makes TaxSlayer the choice of many small business owners. Unlike others, it entails lower state filing fees and comes with a cheaper premium plan. Troubled with complicated business taxes transactions? Consider getting an upgrade at a cost lower than other tax filing software mentioned above. The premium version of the software gives out one-on-one support from real tax experts. Lastly, it promises a 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantee for penalties caused by platform errors.

For a business, proper inventory control is vital in maximizing profit and cash flow. Getting an idea of saleable products and those that are hardly flying off the shelves helps a business owner or manager decide which to repurchase in more quantity. It is to ensure wise investment of the available capital. 

If you are a business owner who wants to get rid of all the guesswork by using inventory control tools, here are the benefits that you can expect from doing so. 

Proper inventory control…

  • Helps in making data-driven business decisions 

Real-time data on sales and stocks can you gauge which products generate profit, and which ones are less saleable. When it comes to making business decisions, never rely on assumptions. Presumptions can lead to more serious problems. 

Nowadays, there are many trusted inventory management software that you can take advantage of. These technological business resources let you see your business’ stock level, and help you predict the potential to sell and earn a profit. By meticulously looking into the existing data, you’ll know whether or not you have enough resources to sustain not just the demands of your customers, but also the business operations as well. 

  • Saves you time

Good inventory control software enables you to better manage your supply based on your customers’ needs and preferences. Save yourself from the unnecessary re-purchases of products that do not give you the business advantage. 

  • Promotes customer satisfaction

A huge part of business success is making customers satisfied. The right level of stock fulfills their demands. The more orders you fulfill, the greater your chance of building trust and a good reputation among these customers. 

Failure to have items on hand pushes them away from your business. Also, it gives with enough reason to choose somewhere else. To get rid of this scenario, invest in an inventory management tool that works. Don’t let your competitors be on top of the game.  

  • Ensures the positive cash flow and the right balance of stocks 

You may run out of your cash for future investments and deals if you overstock. Under-stocking, on the other hand, won’t help your bottom line any better. You’ll lose sales and profit if you run out of products too. 

  • Manage cost

Proper inventory control ensures just the right amount of stock your warehouse space can accommodate. You need not pay off extra storage costs in case of extra stocks. The core idea is, to have the right amount of stocks.  

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accountant who has met state-licensing requirements to earn their designation. This title is equal to the chartered accountant. In the U.S., it’s a license to provide accounting services to the public, hence the term.

Long story short, the CPA is the next level to being an accountant while a regular accountant is a step below the CPA in terms of skills, responsibilities, and experience.

CPAs versus Non-CPA Accountants

CPAs are tax code experts while accountants are at best legally allowed to prepare tax returns. Although they may uphold certain ethical standards, accountants without a CPA license are not regarded as fiduciaries to their clients.

  • Fiduciary Obligation: A person or entity with the legal capacity to act on behalf of others is known as a fiduciary. These could consist of board members, financial advisors, and bankers. It is widely accepted that the CPA has the legal obligation and power to act in his client’s best interests.
  • The CPA is an Accounting Specialist: An accountant with a CPA license is an accountant with better credentials. It’s like the difference between a general practitioner doctor versus a specialist doctor, like a surgeon or an oncologist. A CPA is a tax code specialist
  • Tax Returns and Audit Representation: CPAs can sign tax returns and represent clients to deal with an IRS audit while non-CPA or regular accountants couldn’t. Then again, even though accountants may not possess the same level of expertise in tax codes as a CPA, they are legally permitted to prepare tax returns.
  • CPAs Come with a Code of Ethics and Conduct: The following are the five categories that make up the Code of Ethics of a CPA: Accountability, the interest of the public, honesty or integrity, independence and objectivity, and due diligence.
  • Non-CPA Proficiency: A diverse skillset is essential for accountants to thrive in any type of corporate setting. They must make sure they are equipped to handle financial data management, advice and analysis, reporting compliance, and financial report preparation after earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • AICPA is the CPA Governing Body: Regular accountants aren’t subject to any particular code of ethics because they are not governed by any particular body. However, because they are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the typical CPA is bound by stringent ethical guidelines and professional standards.

The Essentials of CPAs over Accountants

Various skills are required to succeed as an accountant. Even more so as a CPA. A certified public accountant is better educated and has more experience in the accounting field since they’re accounting specialists.

After getting a bachelor’s degree, the non-CPA accountant needs to also learn financial report preparation, reporting compliance, financial advice and analysis, and financial data management to boot. However, unlike non-CPA accountants, CPAs are able to sign tax returns and represent clients before the IRS in the event of an audit.