Going Beyond ERP With Expenzing

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) has been the cornerstone of several small, medium, and large sized businesses for many years now. ERP acts as the aggregator accounting platform of choice for companies, but some may agree that its flexibility is questionable.

Top 3 challenges with ERP:

  • High value purchases and expenses around IT, Marketing, HR Services, Legal Fees, Utilities, and Regular Expenses like Annual Maintenance Contracts are taking place outside the ERP system. There is limited or no control on branch or department level spends. Delegation of Authorization and Corporate Policies are challenged exposing the company to risk.
  • ERPs are not viably built for every employee of the organization to log on to it for requesting, approving, or fetching information. They are built for recording post-facto transactions and processing them for P&L. The cost alone for each licenced user would be run too high.
  • Purchases made outside the ERP amount to significant percentage of SG&A expenses and the time spent managing the purchases and payments is huge because of the number of transactions. Manual data entries are required to integrate with the ERP. These spends are managed with a homegrown system or spreadsheets or email or worse – paper receipts. The accounts and finance operation remains tactical at best.

Expenzing takes you further than conventional ERP

Expenzing is an expert in spend management that includes – expense management, travel expense management and procure to pay software, adding immense supremacy to the existing ERP system. We help you beyond your ERP limitations, with an automated system that brings your stakeholders on a singular platform.

  • Purchase Orders (POs) can be made in a few minutes – starting from deciding which supplier, to raising the PO online and sending that to the supplier.
  • Expenzing Invoice Management software offers tight control into the Invoice due diligence process. Our best in class Automated Due Diligence with Invoice Scrutinizer ensures you never lose money to wrong payments.
  • Expense Management Software enables approvers with email approvals knowing that Process Checklists have been checked before any invoice lands on their desk.
  • Get MIS reports, analysis on spend areas to improve or negotiate with vendors.

Regardless of the industry you are in – insurance, finance, projects, media, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing our financial control and expense management solutions help businesses save a lot of time and cost in managing their procurement, travel, and employee expenses better, and it compliments your existing ERP. To summarize, ERP is at the core of the business for many years now, but it requires the right augmentation, Expenzing provides just that adding great value to your business.

Shabbir is an industry veteran and Serial Entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. He started his career with HCL Technologies and ventured on the entrepreneurial journey shortly after 2 years.

Four Critical Financial Ratios

Most startups fail due to financial issues. Potential investors are keenly aware of this.

Just as the captain of a ship posts lookouts on deck for signs of danger, an entrepreneur should make use of several financial ratios to determine whether the business is about to run aground. These ratios exist to measure and judge the status quo, and we review some key ratios in this document.

Through the use of these instruments, suboptimal outcomes can be foreseen and perhaps avoided.

A Review of Assets and Liabilities

Balance sheets categorize a company’s assets as either a current asset or a long-term asset. Current assets are expected to provide a benefit to the business within the next year. Long-term assets provide a benefit for more than one year.

An example of a current asset might be a certificate of deposit with a maturity of six months. A long-term asset might be a machine that is expected to operate for many years.

A company typically has several assets aside from cash on its balance sheet. The company can invest its cash in financial instruments like money market accounts, certificates of deposit, or U.S. Treasury notes. Because these investments can be converted into money rapidly, general accounting practices consider these to be cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents are considered current assets.

Similarly, a company has current liabilities and long-term liabilities. Current liabilities are those that come due within the next year. Long-term liabilities are those that will be paid off over the course of many years.

Return on Assets

One common measure of a company is Return on Assets (ROA). Return on Assets helps the would-be investor glean insight into how profitably a business is using its assets.

If Company A shows a ROA of 9% while Company B demonstrates a 23% ROA, we see that Company B is getting much more return on its assets. The higher ROA could indicate a competitive advantage that makes Company B an attractive investment. Conversely, if you are the owner of Company A, you may do well to examine how your competition is producing more profit per dollar of assets.

The ROA formula is:

ROA = Net Income / Average Total Assets

Net income can be found readily in a company’s income statement. Average total assets are calculated by adding the value of total assets at the start of the year to the value of total assets at the end of the year. Divide that sum by two.

Debt Ratio

The more debt a business assumes, the more likely the business will be unable to pay that debt. The debt ratio shows the percentage of assets that are financed with liabilities. The debt ratio formula is:

Debt Ratio = Total Liabilities / Total Assets

In spring 2017, Exxon Mobile had a debt ratio of 49% (162,989.00/330,314.00). The other 51% is financed by the stockholders of the company. By comparison, BP has a debt ratio of 64%. If an economic downturn occurs and fewer sales occur, which of these companies is more likely to default on their debts?

Current Ratio

More immediate are the current liabilities a company has: obligations that must be paid within the next year. The current ratio gives investors insight into the company’s ability to pay its near-term liabilities. To do this, we employ the following formula:

Current Ratio = Total Current Assets / Total Current Liabilities

The higher the ratio, the stronger the financial state. Using the outlet hardwood flooring company Lumber Liquidators, we get a current ratio for 8.86. This ratio reveals that for every $1.00 of current debt Lumber Liquidators must pay off in the next year, it has $8.86 on-hand!

On the other hand, at the time of this writing American Airlines has a current ratio of 0.76, which means the business has only seventy-six cents for every dollar of debt it must pay off in the next year. One business clearly struggles more than the other to pay its bills.

The Acid-Test Ratio (i.e. Quick Ratio)

The acid-test ratio is a more refined version of the current ratio. The total current assets used in the current ratio are not always readily convertible into cash (should the company need to pay off debt rapidly). Significantly, inventory is excluded when using the acid-test. The formula is:

Acid-Test = Cash & Equivalents + Market. Securities + Accts. Receivable / Total Current Liabilities

When we reexamine Lumber Liquidators with the acid-test ratio, we get a value of 0.22 – a much weaker showing than its current ratio. There are several interesting implications here. Lumber Liquidators is a company whose current value comes primarily from its inventory. It has relatively little cash on hand. The shrewd investor can take this information and try to envision situations in which an inventory-heavy company might suffer and then estimate how likely those episodes might occur.

Four Major Reasons to Hire a Corporate Accounting Consultant for a Small Business

Entrepreneurs put in blood, sweat, tears and money when they decide to take the plunge and start a new business. They inevitably gain and sharpen new skills that they have been forced to pick up along the way. They are the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and, sometimes, the Chief Janitorial Officer.

But, one thing is clear: if they want to grow their companies, the days of doing the accounts on their own should end. If they did not already hire a corporate accounting service before the business officially launched, they should consider hiring one to bring a necessary expertise for improving a company’s growth prospects. Here are four reasons why they should engage corporate accounting services.

1. It’s Not Just About the Finances

It might be easy to assume that a corporate accounting expert will solely be involved with the finances of a company. However, they can offer much more. Because there are different legal structures to different businesses-from limited companies to proprietors-this type of accountant can explain and help implement the correct legal business structure. If an entrepreneur can speak to one before the launch of their company, deciphering the best structure for their business could easily save them time and money in the future.

2. Grow Their Business

A corporate accountant can help guide business owners with financial decisions based on the long-term goals of their companies. Knowing that their companies are financially sound will improve the prospects of achieving their business’ fullest potential.

3. Follow the Law

A big part of running a business involves ensuring it is compliant with the laws of the land. From paying taxes to completing the required legal and compliance documents for any business, an accountant can be the perfect liaison between a company and the law. Other things they can do include preparing annual statements of accounts, maintaining records of administrative personnel, handling payrolls and ensuring employee tax codes are in compliance.

4. Time Is Money

At some point, an owner will want to delegate all the financial work to this type of accountant so they can spend more time focusing on the execution and operation of the company. Spending more time growing the business rather than focusing on the financial and legal sides of the company will ultimately make the business more efficient.

If owners are still wary about spending money on a corporate accountant, they should know that it is not necessary to hire one as a full-time employee. They can retain one on a weekly or monthly basis to go over their books as needed. They can also hire one when major decisions or company goals are being put in place. Either way, the benefits of such a move will be tenfold for any business owner.

Five Accounting Services You Should Leave to A Pro

When we talk about accounting services, you’d be pretty surprised at the varied amount of answers you’ll get from everyone. With so many financial backgrounds at work at any given time, it’s no wonder that pegging down a solid notion of what accounting services entail can be difficult. The fact is that there is more to these specialized services than you’d expect. What’s more, these services may affect you in either a personal or professional manner.

This, of course, is why there are some matters that are best left to the professionals. They not only have the background and experience, but they also know what to do if there is a bit of a snag. Here are five accounting services that, in the long-run, may be best left to the accounting pros:

1. Business Plan – You may think that as you start your business, you alone will have all the right answers. This, unfortunately, is a bit narrow in scope. A trusted accountant can help you really make a business plan that best outlines your goals for both the short & long-term.

2. Succession Planning – At the other end of your business life, the right accountant can help you put together a plan for who will be taking over your business & how this transition will best reflect you initial long-term plans.

3. Estate Planning – No one likes to think about how things will go when they die, but it is important to make sure all of the necessary items (i.e., funeral costs, paid debts) are resolved. A solid accounting pro can help guide you in terms of settling your estate the way you see fit.

4. Retirement Planning – When you’re in the midst of making your business be the best & trying to raise a family at the same time, it can be pretty tough to keep track of what will await you when you decide to retire. It’s not only key to have a productive conversation with your significant other, but it’s also important to get a financial professional in the midst to help get you sorted out at the end of your working life.

5. Filing Taxes – Filing your taxes can include the following: non-profit tax compliance, estate tax compliance, and general preparation of federal, state, and local taxes. If you look at the first two, it makes sense that getting a pro involved would be best simply because you are starting to deal with a lot of ins and outs that not only get complicated, but they can cost you a lot of money. The last item may ruffle some feathers because there are a lot of people who do their own taxes & have no problems. The thing is that an experienced tax preparer/accounting pro can help streamline the process, find any & all available money still on the table, and can help you look forward in terms of planning ahead.

Don’t assume that you can handle all accounting services because you’re pretty good with math. By building a relationship with a trusted accounting firm, you can give yourself peace of mind & be privy to beneficial financial planning, save yourself the complexity that comes as your taxes become more involved, and you have a financial partner for life.

Why Accountants Are Necessary for the Economic Advancement of Businesses

Once a business reaches a certain revenue threshold, extra financial assistance becomes vital. Contrary to what some may believe, accountants are responsible for much more than keeping track of income. These professionals can help improve business efficiency, keep track of tax obligations and examine the accuracy of statements. Having a grip on each of these areas can be the very thing that ensures that a company continues to thrive.

Offer Cost Reduction Assistance

Accountants can help businesses become more efficient by assisting them with cost reduction. They can analyze budgets and spending habits, much like financial advisors. They can also make suggestions on whether or not certain costs can either be reduced or eliminated.

For example, a clothing store may be spending an excessive amount of money in advertising a certain product. The bookkeeper can look through the financial statements and compare the amount of money being made from the product and the amount of money being used to market it. They may find that this form of marketing is taking an economic toll on the company. In this case, they may suggest that the money should be used differently or that the advertising plan should be significantly adjusted.

Provide Much-Needed Tax Help

Accountants can also help businesses keep track of their tax obligations. This is extremely beneficial to the well-being of a company, as ongoing tax issues can significantly damage a company’s viability. Financial analysts can assume the responsibility of properly calculating tax obligations, along with disbursing payments promptly.

Having accurate statements is essential. In fact, this is probably one of the most important services these professionals can provide. Keeping accurate records can help pinpoint internal illegal activities and costly mistakes before they get out of hand.

Corporate abuse of finances can leave a business in a financial mess and jeopardize or ruin its reputation. Consider the 2001 Enron scandal. According to CNN.com, Enron was once number seven on the Fortune 500 list, raking in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. It was later found that several executives, including the company’s CEO, were involved in a major fraud and embezzlement scheme. To this day, the company has not recovered and is now defunct.

Keep Financial Errors to a Minimum

Financial errors can also jeopardize a business. For instance, a new company that has been experiencing consistent financial growth decides that they want to purchase a new facility. However, after making the purchase, it is discovered that there was a significant error in their asset value calculations. Now, they are stuck with a mortgage on a facility and a much smaller safety net.

How to Make Your Business Financially Fit

Steve is a successful business owner who takes his business very seriously. He focuses on growing his business and has several employees. People love his products and services and are sharing them with others. What Steve is struggling with is making his business financially fit. It seems like his business is always tight, and he is barely making it each month. Sound familiar?

This is what we hear from many business owners. They want to grow and be successful, but they are missing some tools to assist them in staying profitable. Here are four tools you can implement into your business to be financially fit.

1. Know Your Overhead Cost – It is easy to know what the cost is of each product or service you sell, but many business owners fail to include their overhead cost when figuring their numbers.

Profitable businesses know what their profit is on each product or service after their overhead cost is included. Overhead costs often include, administrative expenses like office supplies. Other expenses may also include marketing and advertising, employee related, facilities and equipment, vehicle related expenses, insurance, and tax related expenses.

Companies should know the percentage of breakdown related to each product sold, each procedure or job performed, or each service that is provided.

This allows the business owner to price their products and services at the right price. If the overhead cost is not included, it can cause the business to lose money on each sale that they are making.

2. Manage Your Cash Flow Regularly – Cash flow is so important for a financially fit business. If a company does not have a good eye on their cash flow, it can cause them to struggle every month.

Knowing what money you have coming in, and what money you have going out each week and each month will help you to know what you need to bring in each week to manage the bills that are going out.

It will also assist you with meeting goals like buying that piece of equipment that will make you more profitable or investing the money to increase overall profitability. Look at a statement of cash flows; a statement of cash flows will show you what money is coming in and what money is going out each month.

3. Pay Attention to Your Numbers Each Month -Waiting until the end of the year to get your bookkeeping in place for your tax accountant can be a very costly mistake. A financially fit business pays very close attention to how the business is doing on a weekly and monthly basis.

They know how much they need to make each week in order to be a profitable business. They also look at their financials each month to see what they need to do in order to improve the next month overall performance.

If a company fails to do this, they have no way of making important business decisions because they don’t know where they are at. Not know where your business is at will cause your business to fail. If a business isn’t growing, they are dying.

4. Know Your Financial Ratios – Many business owners don’t know what business ratios they need to track in order to be profitable. Knowing the right ratios can help a business owner know what decisions they need to make to move their business in the right direction.

As an example, one of the ratios that a business needs to track is the current ratio. This ratio will help them track how healthy their business is. A healthy business will have at least a 2 to 1 ratio, so $2 in assets for every $1 in liabilities. If the business is carrying inventory, it is important to have a 4 to 1 ratio.

To determine the current ratio, take the current assets and divide them by current liabilities (Current Assets/Current Liabilities.) Once you have the current ratio, it can be tracked each month to determine if your company is moving in a good direction or if you need to make some changes in your business to move it in the right direction.

Implementing these tools into a business can make a huge difference on how profitable a business is. A small hinge on a gate can help a large gate swing back and forth, just as a small step in the right direction can make a huge impact on a business.

If you are not sure where to start, contact Professional Accounting Services at 801-756-8886 and we can assist you with making your business profitable.

The Secret Behind Tally’s Success Over The Years

Today, for any business to function successfully it needs a perfect accounting software. The reason is, only good accounting software can take your business to the next level along with helping you to keep your business records safe and up to date. Tally leads the list of the best accounting software available in the market with most of the businesses today preferring Tally as their primary accounting tool. It’s very easy to understand and powerful tool, which supports all types of businesses and accounting operations.

There are many reasons for Tally software to flourish through the years; however, one of the important factors is that the organization always remained alert to changes in both IT infrastructure and tax laws. While it gained a huge user base quite quickly, the company took an important step in between by deafening its prices so as to gain market share and dissuade users from pirated copies. Today, the company carries out business in more than 100 countries and powers more than 9 lakh businesses globally. Let’s look out for some more reasons for the company’s phenomenal success.

Great reliability

With the feature of high data reliability, Tally enables you to recover data any time you need. It’s one of the most dynamic accounting tools that store your data in the database without losing any information during a power failure as well as system shutdown.

Data Security

There are all types of information grouping that happens in case of other accounting tools, which doesn’t happy in Tally as it ensures 100% data security. Your data is thoroughly protected by this powerful accounting tool from all the probable external interferences that might alter or destroy your data, if permitted.

Easy Maintenance

One of the key benefits of this software is its easy maintenance. This feature makes it one of the best accounting software in the market. The software’s earlier versions were not that user friendly and thus you always required a service person’s help for its maintenance. However, the recent version is so simple that you can even run and maintain the software without any help from a service expert.

Internet Access

The reason for Tally ERP 9 software being the most flexible accounting software available in the market is this feature that it imbibes. Internet facility is not provided by all accounting software, however Tally does it. This lets you move all types of your offline data through SMTP, HTTPS, FTP and HTTP.

Options for Multiple Language

This is another feature for the Tally software to be quite popular. This feature has allowed Tally to become an universal accounting software and several businesses prefer this software to carry out their accounting operations.

Low Cost

Tally is quite cheap when compared with other accounting and ERP software in the market, which makes its extremely affordable for small businesses and thus is widely used globally.

Tally has been the cornerstone behind the success of most of the companies globally that use it. It’s effectiveness, robust network and low cost nature can be the reason behind its success over the years.

Riyaz Tamboli is a Director at Antraweb Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a leading provider of Tally ERP 9 Software and support. Antraweb is a Master Tally Solutions’ partner with over 20 years of experience in providing Tally services including integration, customization, providing mobile apps, add-ons and more. His knowledge and experience has been instrumental in developing customized solutions for various businesses. Organizations can benefit from implementing Tally ERP 9 for their business and can download it from website.

Fast and Easy Tips for Hiring a Good Accountant

Looking for fast and easy tips for hiring a good accountant for your business or individual finances? There are many experts that you need in your life to ensure that things run smoothly. From your doctor to your dentist, each professional you hire is there to provide their expertise and solve your problems. In each case, it’s important that the staff you select are a good match for your personality and your requirements.

A good accountant is no different. They are worth their weight in gold, ultimately assisting you in maximizing your income and minimizing those taxes. So what are you waiting for? Here are my top tips to ensuring you hire the best accountant for your needs.

Fast and easy tips for hiring a good accountant

Knowing what you want is by far and away the best tip there is. What exactly are you hoping to get from your accountant? Do you need them to prepare your taxes or sort out your financials? Understanding your needs is the first step in sourcing a good accountant.

Ask the right questions

Not every accountant will be the ideal candidate for you. Therefore, prepare a list of questions to get to the bottom of exactly what they are offering to avoid any surprises. Do they provide monthly bookkeeping as well as business taxes? What exactly can you expect to pay for their services?

Get a referral from a personal contact

Like a good hairdresser, finding a professional that ‘gets’ you can be a challenge. Ask around and see if there is an accountant that somebody near and dear to you recommends. Find out what they like about them. Ask them what services they are given and at what price.

Double check their qualifications and experience

Don’t be swayed by the promise of a large check following your tax return submission. Always confirm their qualifications and experience thoroughly. If in doubt, ask them for a reference so you can verify they are as good as they say they are.

Understand what they need from you

Make sure you know what is expected of you up front. Can you do everything that is required from your perspective? Do you need to visit their office and supply them with physical paperwork, or will electronic copies sent through email be suitable? Does the way they operate meet your expectations?

Gauge their availability

Accountants may not be known for their customer service skills, but it is still an important and real aspect of their job. If you don’t hear from them for days, perhaps they are not the one for you. You need to know that you can get a hold of them when you need them the most.

Consider whether you need a specialized service

Not everyone has the same accounting requirements, and there are many situations which require a specialist’s touch. Ask them specifically whether they have the experience to help you. Do their regular services cover your requirements? Or do you need to pay over and above to get the assistance you need?

Undertaking the legwork before you hire is vital to a successful match. There is no shortcut when it comes to hiring a good accountant, so make sure you do your homework before you sign on the dotted line.

What’s Your Net Effective Rate?

Have you ever experienced frustration trying to figure out exactly what you are paying for the “privilege” of accepting plastic in your business? There seems to be so many miscellaneous fees on Merchant statements and it keeps getting more complicated. It really shouldn’t be that way, but, unfortunately, it is often done by design. So, what’s the answer to simplifying your analysis? It’s called the NET EFFECTIVE RATE.

So, let’s break it down and here’s as simple as it can be. Grab one of your statements, and take a look at the total “FEES” you paid for the month. Now divide that by the total volume of sales utilizing plastic. Voila… you have your NET EFFECTIVE RATE. This will give you the total percentage that it has cost you for the month to accept credit and debit cards. So why is this important?

You see, there are several components to the fees you are charged. There is the Interchange Rate (paid directly to the card issuing entity… and this is the biggest chunk of your fees) and there is the Discount Rate (what the acquiring bank, your provider, is charging) and then there are all kinds of “other” fees. Some processors spell them all out in individual line items. Some, on the other hand, lump a bunch of fees into a “Monthly Maintenance”, “Service Fee” or “whatever they want to call it” fee. Many of these miscellaneous fees, are what is referred to as “pass-through” fees and there is not really much of anything you can do with them. Your merchant services provider is simply “passing on” fees that they are being charged. When these are listed as an individual line item, you can, and should, question them. If you don’t see many line items of “other fees” you should probably be concerned. That’s when you will often have a bunch of these fees lumped into a “monthly fee” of some sort.

The bottom line in this discussion is simply this… look at your statements thoroughly and question anything and everything you don’t understand. It has been my experience over two decades in this industry, that, unfortunately, a great number of merchants never try to decipher their statements. They feel it is too complicated and is just, simply, another cost of doing business and there are other things more important. Please don’t be one of those merchants. Credit/Debit card processing costs are probably the third most expensive cost center in your business, preceded only by rent and employee costs.This idea of the Net Effective Rate gives you a good, somewhat simple, tool with which to compare one provider with another.

I pray your business is prospering and that my articles have been enlightening for you. Keep moving forward… we live in the greatest country on the planet with opportunities abound.

All You Need to Know

Seeing that there was a need for better management and integration of high-power applications; Microsoft has launched a new version of the operating system. It is Windows 8.1 and is both designed for the casual users and business professionals. Those who are using Windows 8 can avail the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 OS from the Windows App Store.

Features of Windows 8.1 Operating System

1. Boot To desktop & Start Button

The start button and the booth to desktop features are new and were not available previously. A user can right click on the start button and make use of different options within it. A long menu is displayed on the screen through which he can get access Task Manager, Control Manager, Device Manager, Search, CMD prompt and many others as well.

2. Innovative Snap View

One of the truly handy and innovative features is the Snap View. In Windows 8, a user could only run one or two applications side by side due to the limited size of the resolution screen. But in Windows 8.1, the screen resolution has increased to 2560 x 1440 pixels, so four applications can be viewed simultaneously.

3. Updated and New Default Applications

Improvements have been made in applications like Xbox Music, Skype and Photos and Mail. If we look at the X-box feature, then we will see that it has been redesigned to suit the choices of the user relative to music. The choices include Radio, Collection and Store. In fact a person can filter songs by artist’s name, album and title, and then sort it by date, genre, alpha and artist too.

As far as Photos are concerned, a user can edit photos. He can apply Instagram filters, adjust light and contrast settings, and do cropping as well. On the other side, through the Mail application a user can drag and drop emails between the folders respectively. Lastly, the Skype application displays a notification at the top of the lock screen whenever an instant message or an incoming call is coming up. This enables the user to answer without logging into the desktop or laptop. Moreover, a person can send images or files and that Skype will snap to a side window if a link is opened through it.

4. Bing Applications and New Windows Explorer

Different applications have been introduced within Bing and they include Maps, Travel, Weather, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, News, Sports and Finance. The Bing Finance enables a user to add and monitor his portfolio holdings. The utility features include a newly designed Calculator application, XPS, Calendar, Reader for PDF, TIFF files, Sound Recorder and Scan as well. The Alarm application can be used either as a stopwatch or a timer too.

The Windows Explorer has got a new layout and a person can use multiple tabs and, that these tiles scroll besides the bottom and near to the address bar for easy access. The browser supports WebGL as well.

5. Newly Designed Windows Store

In the newly designed Windows Store, a user will notice one big featured application that alters between many application choices. Then in the ‘Picks for You’ feature, on rolling or swiping to the right displays large thumbnails for Top paid and Top Free sections and PopularNow and New applications respectively. The best part is that a person does not need to go through many categories but he can invoke his preferred categories by swiping from the top or bottom to reveal the application bar.

The single application page has been remodeled for better usage. A user can view a three panel view consisting of description of the application on the left, application screenshots in the middle and the reviews or ratings on the right.