Ninja Tips – Backup

How often do you backup the files on your computer?  What about you bookkeeping data? With the recent emphasis on having everything in the cloud, so you can work anywhere, it’s still important to have a handle on your data. Storing your data in the cloud or with a company that specializes in data storage is perfectly fine, but what if something happens to your data storage company? What is the cloud isn’t accessible? It could happen. You should have a backup for your backup. Pick up an external hard drive or a USB. Having a place where you have complete control over your data will give you peace of mind.  It is also a clever idea to keep your back up in a different location than your regular work space.  There is nothing worse than the idea of losing all your company records.

 

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Ninja Tips – Preparing for Your First Meeting with Your Bookkeeper

So, you have hired a bookkeeper, now what?

Most likely they will want to meet with you at least once so they can get an idea about what your business is all about.  You will want to bring your expense receipts, copies of the invoices you have sent to your customers, your bank/credit card statements and any other information that pertains to the day to day activities of your business. If you aren’t sure, bring it along. It is better to have a document with you and not need it than not have it will you and need it.  Bring a list of your products/services. The more you bookkeeper knows about your business the better.

All my documents are in a paper bag, should I organize them before we meet?

That is entirely up to you. You might go through your receipts and make sure you indicate why you made the purchase. Did you take a client out to dinner?  Did you buy office supplies?  Did you buy a piece of equipment? Did you buy a part that will be billed to your customer? You get the idea. Write as much information as you feel is necessary. When you make a purchase for your business it is a good habit to write on the receipt as soon as you can.

If you feel that you do not have time or the patients to organize your documents before your first meeting, that’s okay. It may cost you a little more, because your bookkeeper will need to put everything in order. They may have to call you to clarify. These things take time, and you know what they say, “time is money”. Any organizing you do ahead of time will always be appreciated.

Should I buy my bookkeeper coffee?

It isn’t necessary, but if you do, you can write it off as a business expense!

 

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Ninja Tips – Organizing Your Filing System

An organized filing system is one of the keys to being efficient.  Here are some simple tips to streamline your filing system.

  • Use a filing cabinet or file box. Having files that you only occasionally use piled up on your desk can be a distraction. Use one drawer or box for revenue and another drawer or box for expenses. Your cabinet or box doesn’t have to be fancy, it just should work!
  • Use different colour file folders for the different aspects of your business. For example, green for client files, red for CRA correspondence, blue for utility bills, yellow for credit card statements. You get the idea. Make sure you can distinguish the difference between the different kinds of files in your system.
  • If your expenses are project based have a file for each project. If you take your documents to your bookkeeper to organize make sure you label them and separate them by project.

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Ninja Tips – Organizing your Home Office

Do you dread going into your home office because you can’t seem to get any work done? Productivity starts with having an organized work space. Here are some tips to get you started.

Decluttered your desk

Only have the things you use everyday. Other things can be stored until you need them. Have enough room for your computer to fit on your desk. If you’re like me, maybe you have two computers. Start with that and plan your space around them.

Have your phone handy. You don’t want to be hunting for the phone when a client calls.

Most likely you will need to write something down. Always have a good supply of writing implements at your disposal. Keep them in a holder of some kind. You don’t want to be hunting for something to write with when your clients are giving you important information.

Using a day planner of some kind is always a good idea. Have access to it so you don’t over book yourself.

Keep a notebook handy. You never know when you might need jot something down from a phone call or you have an ah-ha moment.

In/Out Box

Have and basket for things coming in and a basket for things going out. Don’t let your in basket get too full. Take a few minutes each day to do your filing, that way it won’t become overwhelming.

Office Cat/Dog/Rabbit/Bird

Pets can be a welcome addition to your home office, but they can be a distraction. Have a dedicated space or chair for your office mascot. When they decide that it is a good idea to walk around your desk, gently put them on the chair. Eventually they will get the idea that the chair is for them.

 

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