BPO (“business process outsourcing”) for Startups

For startups outsourcing isn’t really new. As a public accountant I have embraced the concept of outsourcing. Most businesses of any size in North America outsource at least some of their tax and financial reporting functions to local or international CPA firms. And many startups outsource their bookkeeping to local, independent bookkeepers or bookkeeping firms. […]

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Key Events in the Financial Life of a Startup

Challenges Faced When Designing Financial Systems for Startups startups change and evolve quickly an overly complex system either won’t get used or won’t be used effectively lack of skilled staff to operate a system conflicting priorities Key Events in the Life of a Startup that Effect Information Needs begin to develop a minimum viable product […]

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Why Accounting Software May Not Work for your Startup

Today’s small business accounting software was modeled after systems first developed in the 1970s and 1980s for fairly expensive mini-computers. The cost of these systems – and the people required to run them – had the effect of rationing their use to larger, small or medium-sized businesses (“SMEs”). A company needed to be a certain […]

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What Makes Financial Accounting Complex?

There are at least 3 processes involved: keeping and storing records recording and compiling transactions financial reporting from a startup’s perspective, accounting software is very badly designed – because the focus is on financial reporting instead of the first 2 processes – and startups are more interested in tax compliance than financial reporting. If you […]

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What a Simple Cash-basis Journal Might Look Like

Example of a simple cash-basis journal [office src=”https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=DED5DA8C9025C21D&resid=DED5DA8C9025C21D%211797&authkey=AFYVov5tPK8q1sk&em=2&wdAllowInteractivity=False&wdHideGridlines=True&wdHideHeaders=True&wdDownloadButton=True” width=”700″ height=”346″] The data here was downloaded directly from the bank. With a little formatting the accountant or bookkeeper can quickly develop a useful spreadsheet that can search and filter transactions, calculate totals and generally serve as a useful record for the company. With some knowledge of […]

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Know Your Compliance Quotient (“CQ”)

Understanding who you are – and being honest with yourself about your characteristic strengths and weaknesses – is important in life and in business. Over the years I’ve worked with entrepreneurs who were extremely well organized and self-disciplined, and who maintained fastidious records. I’ve also had clients with very high turnover in the accounting department, […]

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Records Retention in Canada

Books and records retention periods in Canada are prescribed in Section 230 and Regulation 5800 of the income Tax Act. Generally the limits are set at 6 years after the end of the taxation year to which they relate. For corporations that are dissolved, the requirement extends to 2 years after dissolution. For a more […]

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The Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM)

You’d probably be surprised to learn that there is an international certifying organization of and for professional records and information managers http://www.icrm.org/about/ – clearly they work in the shadows at very large governmental and multinational organizations. Otherwise we’d have bumped into them more often. For small companies the records management functions are typically outsourced to lawyers, accountants, […]

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Paper As A Secure Medium For Mission-Critical Records

Technology changes quickly – in some ways it changes too quickly. Relying on a single layer of technology for critical information is VERY RISKY. Some business records are simply too important for companies to rely exclusively on proprietary backup systems. Inconvenient as they are for sharing and manipulating, paper records can be an important backstop […]

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Open Source File Formats

Storing files electronically requires that software is available to read the electronic file. One of the problems with accounting software for example, is that publishers continuously update the file formats – presumably to force users to upgrade. For the most part however, there are utilities available to export data to one or more of the […]

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