February 25, 2019

Even when your business has been around for a while, how far you will go is determined, in part, on how courageous you are. On any given day, things will happen that can shake your courage. Your personal life takes an unexpected bad turn. Situations arise with employees, vendors, and customers that have to be dealt with. As an entrepreneur, you can’t shirk your duties, and it is courage that allows you to deal with these situations and move on. Like gasoline to a car, it is courage that ignites you to get going. As the leader of your business, what do you do to fill up your “tank” of courage?

This is the second half of my interview with Dr. Petra McGuire. If you missed Part 1, you can read that at this link. Here in Part 2, we’ll demystify the process of selecting and getting started with a therapist.

A: How do we find a good fit? What does that look like from the client side and what does that look like from your side?

P: It’s important for lots of professional services that you might enter into, but especially with a therapist you need to find some who you can trust and talk to openly. People say, I want to be comfortable with my therapist. But I would suggest to you that you want to be comfortable in your discomfort. Change is uncomfortable, so expect to be a little uncomfortable in therapy where you’ll be chal...

December 27, 2018

By Andrew Jordan with Petra McGuire PhD

On paper it looks like everything is going great, but you have a nagging feeling that something is not quite right. I sat down with Dr. Petra McGuire, a local psychologist, and talked with her about mental well-being.

A: First question to jump us in here would be that you’ve talked about counseling as sort of preventative maintenance. Tell me more about what you mean by that.

P: I think people tend to think of counseling as “I have a problem that I need to fix, so I think I’ll go to therapy, and I’ll fix it.” A lot of people show up that way; it’s like things have to get bad enough for there to be a reason. That’s a helpful use of therapy, but another great use of therapy is where, “I fe...

September 19, 2018

I learned something fascinating this week on one of my favorite podcasts—Tides of History (if you love history like I do, I’d highly recommend it). Growing up, I always assumed that when Gutenberginvented the movable-type printing press that he became very wealthy from that invention. After all, what he created is consistently rated one of the most important inventions of all time. Instead, shortly after printing his famous and beautiful Gutenberg Bibles, his business partner seized his assets, including his revolutionary printing press, to pay Gutenberg's debts and kicked him out. It appears that Gutenberg eventually got back into printing, but he was never a major player and certainly didn’t make a fortune from his i...

September 5, 2018

Not using Undeposited Funds Correctly

If you are like most businesses, you deposit more than one check at a time. The way QuickBooks handles this is with a special account called Undeposited Funds, which I think of as the drawer in your desk where you put checks until you deposit them. It might be that you make a deposit every day, but even then, throughout the day, when checks or cash comes in from customers, you put them in your drawer until you make that deposit. Some people make the mistake of receiving customer payments and telling QuickBooks that each customer payment went straight to the bank instead of going to Undeposited Funds. Then, when they go to reconcile their bank account, they have to waste a lot of time mat...

August 13, 2018

This is something that a lot of businesses want to do (I’ll trade my Accounting services for your Legal services, for example).

The IRS is very clear that bartering or trading goods or services creates taxable income. Basically, the IRS views a trade as though you actually sold your goods or services, then turned around and bought the goods or services from the other business. You are also required to c

ount services you bought using trade in your 1099 totals. In other words, not recording barter transactions could subject you to fines and penalties from the IRS.

These instructions are specifically for QuickBooks, but can be applied to most accounting software even though some of the terms might be a little different.

  1. Recor...

August 2, 2018

Not Periodically Cleaning up Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable

The Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Aging Reports in QuickBooks make it easy to track who owes you and what you owe your vendors. They also show you how old the balances are with each customer or vendor. One handy tip is that you can customize these aging reports to show the results in a different format. For example, if your bank requires you to subtract Accounts Receivable that are older than 180 days, you can change the “Days per aging period” from the default of 30 to 60 and now the report shows a column for “181 and over.” The three things to look for on these reports are:

  • Do these amounts actually look right?

  • Does anything have a neg...

July 5, 2018

I get asked fairly often how being a Fractional Chief Financial Officer (CFO) works. Having been the full-time CFO of an organization, I have seen firsthand how a Fractional CFO is sometimes better than a full-time one. Compared to a Traditional CFO, a Fractional CFO can give better advice, be more flexible, and cost less. 

Being able to give better advice comes from the nature of the work relationship. When 100% of a CFO’s income depends on keeping the business owner happy, there’s a strong incentive for them to pull their punches and not be completely candid about something they know will upset their boss. Because a Fractional CFO has many clients, it’s much easier for them to be completely honest even about things that ar...

June 28, 2018

Not Reconciling Completely by Leaving Old Outstanding Items

Most people reconcile their bank accounts and credit cards in QuickBooks, and for good reason: It’s fast, easy, and important. Monthly reconciliations make sure not only that you didn’t forget to record any checks, deposits, ACHs, or credit card transactions but also that you don’t have duplicate transactions. People often stop when they get to a zero balance in their reconciliation, but they don’t do critical final step: making sure there are no old uncleared items.

Checks should clear within 90 days of when they were written. If one hasn’t, you need to look into it further to make sure it’s not a duplicate. Details on how to do this are in our Growth Plan’s detaile...

June 4, 2018

I used a Small Business Administration loan to start Jordan CPA Services from the ground up, so I was surprised recently when someone told me that they couldn’t get an SBA loan because “they are only for businesses with three years of financials showing a profit each year.” So, I went to the bank that helped me get my SBA loan and learned some interesting things about these loans. Archie McDonald at Guaranty Bank has spent eight years helping businesses with SBA loans.

Let’s jump in with a little bit of background. The Small Business Administration has a loan program designed to help businesses get the funding they need. The SBA loan program works by partnering with local banks to guarantee part of the loan to make the loan...

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