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5 QuickBooks Online Reports You Should Run Regularly

5 QuickBooks Online Reports You Should Run Regularly 

There are numerous QuickBooks Online reports that you should be consulting at regular intervals. But you need these five at least every week.

QuickBooks Online’s Dashboard, the first screen you see when you log in, provides an effective overview of your company’s finances. It contains at-a-glance information about your recent expenses, your sales, and the status of your invoices. It displays a simple Profit and Loss graph and a list of your account balances. Scroll down and click the See all activity button in the lower right and your Audit Log opens, a list of everything that’s been done on the site and by whom.

You can actually get a lot of work done from this page. Click the bar on the Invoices graph, for example, and a list view opens, allowing you access to individual transactions. Click Expenses to see the related Transaction Report. Below the list of account balances, you can Go to registers and connect new accounts. Read more

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The Most Common Accounting Mistakes Small Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them

Most small business owners are an expert in their field, but not necessarily in the accounting aspects of building a business. And, with this comes a few common mistakes. Yet, even simple small business accounting mistakes can prove to be financially limiting and costly down the road. With the help of an accounting professional, it is possible to overcome at least some of these mistakes. Take a look at some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

#1: Choosing the Right Accounting Software for My Business

You’ve purchased small business accounting software. You assume it will be ideally matched to your business and easy enough to jump into. It’s not. The problem is, each business requires a carefully selected and even customized accounting method. There are always risks related to regulatory compliance when the wrong accounting software is used or information is overlooked.

To resolve this, work with a professional that listens to your needs, learns about your business, and modifies your bookkeeping methods to meet your goals.

#2: Your Business Has Poor Organization and Recordkeeping

It’s quite common for small business owners to lack the time and skills to effectively manage small business recordkeeping and bookkeeping. There’s much to do and it takes time away from your business. And, there are dozens of apps and cloud accounting options present. Which do you use?

The good news is all of those options are a good thing. It means there are no longer excuses for not getting your business organized. With a bit of help, it is possible to set up a system that streamlines your business operations.

#3: Cash Flow Versus Profit-Loss Statement

Many small businesses are making money on paper, but they end up going under if their float to getting paid is too long. This is financially limiting and stunts your growth as well.

It’s important to understand how this impacts your business. Cash flow is a critical component of any business operation — it determines how much you end up borrowing and paying for, too. Learn the best methods for managing cash flow.

#4: Not Understanding Standard Accounting Procedures and Terminology

Many small business owners don’t understand key business accounting terms and procedures. What does setting up controls mean? What about bank reconciliation? What are your balance sheets and when are they updated? Profit and loss statements are filled with very specific terminology you need to get right.

It’s possible to learn these terms and methods on your own. There’s plenty of information available. However, it takes time to learn it all. More importantly, you may find applying specific procedures and tax laws to your business challenging. To overcome this, work with a tax professional you can depend on.

#5: The Small Business Budget

A budget provides financial insight. It offers guidance to you about where your business is right now and what your goals are. That’s because a budget — which many small business owners lack — creates key goals for your company to manage. Flying blind, on the other hand, is a common small business mistake.

Creating a budget takes some time and a good amount of dedication. Once it is in place, it can be modified each month to meet current needs. Software is available to help with this, but an accounting professional is also an option.

#6: Too Much DIY

To be frank, one of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is simply trying to save money by doing it themselves. Yes, it is true this will cut your accounting costs, but it also creates a scenario in which you have absolutely no control over “what you don’t know.” In other words, just because you can enter it doesn’t mean you should.

Working with a bookkeeping and accounting service capable of handling these tasks for you is the best option. In nearly every situation, these services will work to save you money, far overlapping any DIY savings you are creating.

#7: Lack of Tax Planning

Taxes are not something you should do just one time a year. Year-long tax planning for small businesses is necessary. It’s not just important to pay your taxes, but also to plan for them and plan for savings options.

If you lack a tax planning strategy, work to improve this by simply working with a tax professional. Create a plan for ways you can invest and cut your tax burden.

#8: Lack of Modernization

Are you still balancing your books using pen and paper? It is no longer considered ideal to do so. Yet, many small business owners see the investment in modernization and cloud accounting to be too costly.

In fact, moving to a digital accounting system is likely to save you time and money. It doesn’t have to be challenging to implement this system either.

#9: Not Realizing True Profit and Loss

You may have a profit and loss sheet, but you may not have a lot of insight into what each line means. More so, you may not know enough about methods for reducing costs or viewing profit potential.

The investment in an accounting service can alleviate this. We are happy to talk to you about methods to save you money or boost your profit margins with simple changes to your methods.

Most small business accounting mistakes come from a lack of insight into the industry. The good news is solutions are available to help you overcome nearly all of them.


Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goals at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust as their primary business and financial advisors.

Isler Northwest

(503) 224-5321

1300 SW 5th Avenue
Suite 2900
Portland, Oregon 97201

isler, business advisors, portland

Choosing Your Accounting Method Under New Tax Laws

Businesses today must take a closer look at their accounting methods. Since the passage of new tax laws, with changes to thresholds for choosing accounting methods, all companies need to take an inward look at their current accounting methods to determine if they are the most beneficial permissible method applicable. It is important to work closely with accounting professionals here — making changes as well as decisions on how accounting methods need to be updated. Read more

Why It Might be Time for Your Small Business to Migrate to Cloud Accounting

isler northwest, accountants, portland

Cloud accounting is a big idea that brings with it a lot of lofty implications, but if you had to distill all of that down to its bare essentials it would probably look at lot like this:

Right now, if you want to manage the financial side of your small business, you probably have to be in your office to do so. You have to be sitting in front of a very specific computer, because that’s where you installed your accounting solution in the first place. If you’re at home and you need to send an invoice or if you’re out in the field and just collected a payment, you have to wait until you get back to the office to actually reconcile that information.  Read more

isler northwest, portland

Nexpanding: The Ever-Evolving Shape of Nexus Rules

Article by Roger Russell | Found on Accounting Today

Nexus — the minimum amount of contact between a taxpayer and a state that allows the state to tax the business on its activities — is under attack by the states as they seek to broaden its reach in order to increase their taxing revenue.

States are challenging the traditional physical-presence standard as a basis for collecting tax from companies doing business in the state. While they previously collected taxes from companies having a physical presence in their state, they are now adopting a broader economic-nexus standard requiring businesses to pay taxes when they have earned revenue within a state above a certain sales dollar threshold.

At the heart of the issue are general nexus concepts, as different taxes have different nexus rules, and the different states have their own nexus rules. Read more

New Tax Rules for 2017

By Robert Trinz | Article Featured on AccountingToday

The new year promises to be an challenging one for tax practitioners, as President-elect Trump and Congressional Republicans have promised to enact a significant tax reform package in 2017. However, even if there is no new law, practitioners still will have to cope with a number of tax changes that go into effect for the first time this year or apply for the first time for tax returns filed this year.

This article is a roundup of these tax changes, other than indexing changes and changes created by Congress’s failure (as of now), to enact an extenders package to revive tax provisions that expired at the end of 2016. (You can see an abridged list of the new items here.) Read more

Year-end tax tips for charitable giving this holiday season

Article by Jeff Brown | Featured on CNBC.com

For most people, giving to charity is simply a matter of goodwill and generosity. But there are tax benefits, and they can be significant. Knowing how to get a tax deduction can allow you to give even more.

But you’ve got to follow the rules. And as with so many tax matters, common sense is not good enough.

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FASB Proposal Takes Aim at Immaterial Fair Value Disclosures

FASB Proposal Takes Aim at Immaterial Fair Value Disclosures

Article by Ken Tysiac | Featured on Journal of Accountancy

FASB is proposing new accounting standards designed to improve the effectiveness of disclosure requirements on fair value measurements by enabling preparers to omit immaterial information.

The board is seeking comments by Feb. 29 on Proposed Accounting Standards Update, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework—Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement.

The proposed amendments, released Thursday, are part of FASB’s disclosure framework project, which seeks to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in the notes to financial statements by requiring clear communication of information that is most important to financial statement users.

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Non-Profit Financial Reporting Headed for a Change

Article by Larry Smith & Ken Euwema | Featured on Journal of Accountancy 

As a part of the response to the call for increased transparency and accountability among not-for-profit entities (NFPs), FASB has taken on a project to improve the existing NFP financial reporting model. The goal is to improve the usefulness of NFP financial statements by providing better information about an NFP’s liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows to the primary users of financial statements, governing boards, donors, grantors, creditors, and other stakeholders of NFPs.

The fundamental reporting model for NFPs has existed for over 20 years. During that time, NFP organizations have developed different methods of reporting their operating results in a way that conveys the connection between financial choices and mission execution because existing GAAP does not prescribe a specific way of reporting operating performance. Additionally, changes in endowment laws together with the existing framework for reporting restricted and unrestricted net assets, and the lack of required information about the liquidity of an organization, have contributed to the confusion in determining whether an NFP is in sound or poor financial condition.

On April 22, FASB issued an exposure draft, Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) and Health Care Entities (Topic 954): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities. In reaction to feedback from NFP constituents, primarily FASB’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC), FASB is proposing fundamental changes to both the presentation and disclosures in financial statements of not-for-profit organizations. This article explains the basic requirements of the proposal and the reasons for the proposed changes, and it describes the planned activities of the board and its staff to assess whether stakeholders believe the benefits of the proposal through improved financial reporting of NFPs justify the costs to implement it.

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