Export Opportunities For Small Businesses And Help For Getting Started

MEGAN TOTKA | January 17, 2019 | 110 views

Professional jugglers often start out by keeping three balls sailing through the air at once. Then they start adding balls. That’s not a bad picture of the current state of U.S. global trade negotiations. For a while it seemed like we were trying to cut new deals with every nation on earth. Fortunately, some of those have been settled more or less including Mexico and Canada by replacing NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) with USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), and a new deal with South Korea. The balls still in the air include Japan, the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom (UK), and the elephant in the room watching all of these negotiations is China. I won’t venture a guess as to where we currently stand with China on a trade deal—that’s above my pay grade.

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Bridgepoint Consulting

Bridgepoint Consulting, an Addison Group company, is a leading management consulting firm that offers a full suite of services and solutions to help companies navigate the complexities of growth and change. We work with the C-Suite—with a focus on finance, risk and technology leaders—to provide strategic resources and support critical business transitions.

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TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

How to Choose the Right Small Business Accounting Software?

Article | July 20, 2022

Introduction With increasing complexities in financial management and migration towards digital technologies for accounting operations, advanced accounting solutions are gaining massive traction across the small business sector. Accounting software assists small businesses in enhancing their financial performance by providing higher accuracy, optimized payroll, automated transaction tracking, centralizing financial records, and others. However, it is crucial for small businesses to integrate the right accounting software as per their requirements to get the most out of the solutions. Since the market is full of numerous accounting solutions with different capabilities, selecting the one that is most suitable for your business can be overwhelming. So what are the factors that a small business owner should consider before looking for an accounting solution? Let’s see below. Select the Right Accounting Software: The Top 5 Primary Factors to Consider for Small Businesses Types of Software With multiple types of accounting software available, such as system software, application software, cloud-based software, and others, small business owners can opt for solutions that suit their operations and working style. If the owners operate in an on-the-go style, cloud-based software is best for them. But if the owners prefer to work from a single location, then the system software is appropriate for them. Learning Curve Until and unless small business owners are aware of the ins and outs of accounting software, using the software may seem complicated. As the high complexity of the solutions can result in costly errors, these owners should make sure that the learning curve for operating the software is not too steep. Features List Before small business owners start reviewing various types of accounting software platforms, they should take the time to brush up on the basics. It is crucial for the owners to make sure that the accounting solution has all the functionalities and features they need, such as inventory management, multi-currency support, payment processing, expense tracking, and others. They should also consider the add-on features that the solution provider can offer. Software Cost Accounting software varies in cost, depending on the number of users it supports, its tools and features, and other factors. The more specialized the software is, the more expensive it gets. Small business owners should compare prices between various accounting software providers and understand the exact amount and the process by which they will be charged. For instance, some of the companies charge standard monthly fees, while others have a single upfront cost with additional charges for add-on services. They should also find out if there are any hidden charges associated with the setup, customer support, and cloud storage. Customer Support A huge part of a reliable accounting solution is customer service. This is because small business owners need quick solutions and answers if they get stuck or have any questions related to the software. They do not want to be bounced around from representative to representative when reaching out for support. Thus, the owners should look for accounting software that offers excellent customer support and service. While selecting the solution, they should research and read customer testimonials about the software’s customer support. Begin Your Accounting the Right Way Efficient accounting is a crucial part of financial management, which involves tracking critical business activities such as accounts receivable and payable, invoicing and billing, bank reconciliation, reporting, and tax compliance, among others. It can be difficult for small businesses to get everything right, yet good accounting is fundamental for the company's growth and success. Choosing the correct accounting software is a crucial first step when getting started with the discipline. To get the most out of your accounting software, it is essential for small businesses to carefully consider their requirements, check the availability of features as per the requirements, and then select the accounting software that provides the capabilities they require for the greatest accounting experience.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting the Industry Needs Today?

Article | August 16, 2022

Introduction Every business owner wishes to become financially independent when starting a business. To achieve that, it is crucial for the owners to manage their finances in an efficient manner. When done wrong, financial management, which is supposed to make a company's budgeting processes more efficient, has led to the loss of funds in many cases. Without sound financial management, small businesses may struggle to meet their objectives and might even suffer losses that could push them into insolvency. Financial management assists businesses in maximizing their market share, minimizing capital expenditures, maintaining proper cash flow, and improving profits. Accounting software plays a significant role in proper financial management and has become a vital need for all businesses today. With a better understanding of the inefficiencies of manual bookkeeping and the increased chances of error in finance tracking, business owners are increasingly shifting from managing finances manually to leveraging innovative solutions, such as accounting software, to improve their financial management. Why Is Small Business Accounting Software a Need for the Industry Today? In the course of a typical day, there are numerous tasks and responsibilities that must be managed and accomplished by small businesses by the end of the day. From planning to managing finances and accounting, a small business owner's back is full of a plethora of day-to-day tasks. As a result, keeping track of every last detail is nearly impossible for them, especially in accounting, where keeping track of every transaction is critical for managing business operations. Accurate and reliable accounting management is critical for small businesses and start-ups to ensure stable cash flow. As accounting software helps small business owners keep track of every single transaction along with other benefits, such as managing business finances, understanding profitability, and preparing tax statements, among others, it is becoming a necessity for small business financial management. Here are some of the other reasons why small business accounting software is becoming a necessity in the industry. Overcoming Manual Records With the growing number of transactions in the small business sector, it is becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to track and record income and expense data. As accounting software assists these owners to overcome manual work by recording the data directly into the page in real time and keeping a daily update of all the transactions, it is increasingly being sought by small businesses. Ease in Maintaining Transaction Due to the increasing customer inclination towards the adoption of digital payment solutions, small businesses are encountering numerous obstacles in maintaining all transactions from different online portals. Accounting software helps businesses leverage the bank feed feature to connect credit card accounts and the business bank, thereby centralizing and maintaining all transactional data in one place. Preparation of Reports and Financial Statements Keeping track of all small and large transactions and preparing financial statements, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets, of these transactions manually is a tedious task and prone to errors. Accounting software automates the preparation of these financial statements and allows comparing transaction activity from prior months and years. As a result, it is increasingly gaining acceptance among small business owners. Increases Efficiency Accounting software allows small businesses to manage invoices and expenses, prepare for taxation, and keep tabs on all the financials, including payments, bad debts, upcoming dues, employee salaries, and others. Delegating all these financial management responsibilities to accounting software enables small business owners to focus on tasks that require their undivided attention, thereby boosting business efficiency. Bottom Line Regardless of the size of the business, every company strives to optimize its financial management, improve efficiencies, minimize costs, and simplify complex and tedious tasks. Accounting software can help small business owners achieve these objectives, along with eliminating time-consuming manual processes and redundancies, by automating accounting practices. Following this, the growing introduction of advanced cloud-based accounting software capable of providing real-time data access to business owners from anywhere at any time and on any device is expected to change the ways accounting is done in the small business industry in the coming years.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting Industry Needs Today?

Article | August 24, 2022

Introduction With numerous tasks and operations to take care of, from basic invoicing and billing to project management and tax calculations, small business owners find it a nerve-wracking challenge to keep track of all monetary transactions and manage accounts payable. In addition, the advent of digitization, the growing penetration of cloud-based solutions in the industry, and the introduction of cutting-edge accounting software, among others, are eliminating the extra use of paper, pens, files, and voluminous binders. Because of these small business financing trends, businesses and start-ups are increasingly inclined toward online financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, to handle their financial data. The small business accounting software assists them in examining their financial condition along with accurately recording businesses’ cash flow, generating reports, tracking transactions, monitoring account balances, billing customers, creating purchase orders, and much more. Owing to such compelling features, these small business financial management solutions are garnering massive popularity in the industry. Small Business Accounting Software: Emerging Financial Needs in the Industry Running a small business sometimes entails wearing several hats, such as sending emails, paying suppliers, invoicing, creating processes, and preparing financial reports. All these are essential tasks, along with the other small business operations, such as employee management and work management, among others. None of the additional responsibilities faced by small business owners are as crucial as accounting. Robust accounting processes are vital for keeping businesses in excellent financial condition and helping owners to make smarter decisions. Accounting software provides various features that can facilitate the smooth operation of the organization. From processing invoices to monitoring cash flow, here are the primary ways accounting software can assist owners to meet financial requirements for small businesses and promote growth. Automate Invoicing and Billing Due to the shortage of cash inflow, it is vital for small businesses to keep the cash flowing by billing clients and crediting customers on time. Accounting software assists small businesses in automating the billing process, enabling owners to create recurring invoices, send follow-up reminders, and accept digital payments directly from the invoices. It also assists in tracking all unpaid invoices and preventing accidental missing payments, thereby fending off potential losses. Expense Tracking A common accounting mistake that small businesses often make is failing to accurately track business costs and expenses, which causes a shortage of cash flow. The deployment of the right small business accounting software prevents this from happening and enables firms to keep track of all the spending and identify the source where the money is being spent. Efficient Inventory Management Proper inventory management is a crucial part of small businesses as they cannot stock products in large quantities due to the unavailability of a large amount of capital. Good inventory management is necessary to guarantee an adequate supply and deliver superior customer service. Accounting software aids small businesses in recording stock keeping unit (SKU) codes, monitoring goods, preparing reports, tracking products sold, and running reports on which items firms are doing well and which ones aren’t. Bank Reconciliation Small business accounting solutions simplify one of the most fundamental tasks of the company—bank reconciliation. It enables small business owners to access their bank statements directly from the accounting solutions, along with comparing bank statements, balancing debits and credits, and identifying any discrepancies at the end of each financial period. The Final Thought Maintaining correct financial records at all times is essential for the success of small businesses and start-ups. For maintaining proper accounts, these businesses need a system that overcomes the drawbacks of traditional accounting tools such as spreadsheets. With the introduction of novel accounting software integrated with artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies, these financial management solutions are paving the way for small businesses.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Small Business Financial Management: One-Stop Solution for Financial Hurdles

Article | September 23, 2022

Introduction Managing finances is crucial for organizations, especially small businesses, to create a stable financial future in which the business is less likely to fail. Small businesses and start-up companies have to face numerous challenges and even bear losses at their introductory stage due to the difficulties in maintaining proper cash flow. According to a study, around 61% of small business owners say that they face challenges in handling consistent and steady cash flow. Many start-ups undertake operational business activities after obtaining loans from different financial institutions due to insufficient cash flow and capital. Hence, to keep small business operations running smoothly, they need to optimize the inflow and outflow of cash and financial management. Small business financial management assists these start-up companies in reducing financial costs, facilitating the availability of investment, and planning, organizing, directing, and controlling financial activities. With competition intensifying in the sector, the need for financial management is becoming even more critical for small businesses. Why Are Financial Management Solutions Becoming Imperative for Small Businesses? Running a small business is not an easy task. Even if you have a great idea and a large number of people longing for your product or service, the financial difficulties of operating a small business can quickly escalate and hamper the business. A plethora of expected and unexpected issues, such as overhead costs, rising interest or inflation rates, impending tax deadlines, remediating damage from a natural disaster, and many more, can create insurmountable obstacles for small business owners. Whether it is insufficient cash flow or a lack of accurate monthly reconciliation reports, many small business finance-related issues can be avoided with the proper management of finance and reporting. What are the other small business money management challenges that financial management solutions can assist to overcome? Let's see: Poor cash flow management Managing a budget Planning future expenses Controlling debt Inconsistent cash flow Tips for Effective Small Business Financial Management Small businesses today are highly fragile due to excessive competition in the industry. Hence, start-ups and new companies have to invest a significant amount of money in order to keep their business fully functional and running. Right from accumulating funds to allocating and spending them, it is crucial for small business owners to have a transparent view of their financial position and business undertakings to engage in planning for efficient utilization of available resources. Effective financial management not only assists in managing small businesses' finance and rotating the cash invested in the business, but it also assists in analyzing revenue generation, formulating suitable financial strategies, and calculating adequate returns, among others. It is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of businesses, irrespective of their size. With an increasing need for managing huge funds, continuous transactions, daily cash flow, payrolls, and others, it is becoming even more critical for small businesses and start-ups to manage their finances effectively. Here are some of the vital tips that can help small businesses analyze and manage their finance effectively: Prioritize business financial planning Create a budget and stick to it Analyze cash flow Keep business and personal finances separate Focus on expenditures but also ROI Monitor spending Opt for a financial solution or service Final Thoughts With the fast-changing financial requirements of small businesses and the emergence of novel small business financing trends, entrepreneurs are emphasizing streamlining and managing their financial chores. To overcome a growing number of financial obstacles, leading financial solution developers are aiming at integrating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics in novel small business financial management solutions. This is anticipated to create a strong demand for innovative financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, across the industry in the forthcoming years.

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Spotlight

Bridgepoint Consulting

Bridgepoint Consulting, an Addison Group company, is a leading management consulting firm that offers a full suite of services and solutions to help companies navigate the complexities of growth and change. We work with the C-Suite—with a focus on finance, risk and technology leaders—to provide strategic resources and support critical business transitions.

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