General Ledger Accounting – Keeping Track of Your Business Information

If you are in business, you have data-it’s just a simple fact. It’s what you DO with that data that can greatly affect your business success. Do you throw all of your invoices and receipts into a drawer? Or worse yet, do you not even keep that information at all? Doing either of these leaves you in the dark about your business finances, which can quickly end in the demise of your business. This is why general ledger accounting was created. General ledger accounting is a system whereby, in a double entry accounting system, each transaction is posted using debits and credits. The purpose of general ledger accounting is to know where you stand financially, so you won’t have to guess about your financial position, and you can make better decisions.

To record, in the formal sense of accounting, means to make an accounting entry in a journal or in a ledger. What has previously handled in a paper journal is now typically handled by a computerized accounting system. The analysis of business transactions in the form of old-fashioned journal entries is still important; it is merely handled in a different (and more efficient) method as technology has grown over the years: with a computer and software.

Each transaction must somehow be recorded so that people may be able to refer back to the details of that transaction. The ‘journal’ serves as a diary where each transaction is recorded. The next step is to take the same transactions and record them into the ledgers. Journal transactions are recorded chronologically as units. The ledger is organized into as many different accounts as needed to accumulate the pieces posted from the journal, and are classified according to significant financial elements.

Once a general ledger accounting system is set up and in use, it provides extremely useful information to the business owner, allowing him or her to base future decisions on solid financial information.

Promotional Mugs Are a Delightful Way to Share Business Information

With custom promotional mugs, you have a low cost but highly effective way to be able to reach out to people. Getting information out there about what you offer, how people can contact you, and building your brand are all key to longevity. You want your business to continue to grow and to be profitable. Not only right now, but may decades into the future.

Not all of your advertising dollars need to be focused on pushing products or services you offer. Some of them, such as custom promotional mugs, offer a wonderful way to thank customers and even business contacts for their relationship with you. This is a product most will use so it doesn’t get thrown in a drawer and forgotten.

Make sure you pay for very well made custom promotional mugs though. They should be durable with a lid that fits very good. If the product isn’t quality made, people aren’t going to be happy to use it. The goal is to make it something that is convenient for them and they will reach for it time and time again. Each time they do, they see your business information.

Grab them with Information

The lettering should be large enough they don’t have to get squinty trying to read it. The colors should be reflective of your company logo and other details. This is important so the person using it makes that visual connections to your business when they see it. Keep in mind, the product should be able to hold up well with the lettering too.

If it washes off when you clean the custom promotional mugs or when you put them in the dishwasher, it defeats the purpose. When the flaking starts, the quality of appearance starts to be compromised. This can cause some users to toss it out rather than to continue using it. Even if they do continue using it, the message you share is hindered.

Maximize the Space

You have plenty of space to complete your layout on custom promotional mugs. With that in mind, add a logo and your quotes for the business. Add your phone number, address, and website. To help build trust, add when your business started too if it has been a few years. This will show them you aren’t a flash in the pan business, but rather one that is here to stay!

Pick your Provider

You want custom promotional mugs that look great, hold up over time, and serve your marketing message with information. Share all of this with the provider you plan to work with and see what they can come up with for you. Find a provider who doesn’t charge anything to consult with them and share what they can offer to you. Find out what the price will be per unit.

Often, they will offer you tremendous savings if you buy a larger amount. This reduces the per unit cost so you save money. This is the type of promo item you can give away any time of the year and for any reason. They aren’t going to be out of style any time soon either so there is no reason not to buy in bulk and save. You don’t need tons of space to store them either!

Find out about the quality of the work the provider does before you talk to them about doing work for you. The last thing you need is to be embarrassed by the quality of what they deliver. It is an extension of your business, and it needs to show you care about quality on every level.

Protect Your Business Information – Prevent Document Deterioration, Misuse and Loss With EDM

Security concerns are in the news a lot lately. The government has issued public alerts against terrorist activity. Military experts are debating how to maximize armed forces’ safety amid intensified conflict in Afghanistan. Medical experts are producing vaccine to combat Swine Flu. Each issue focuses on the need to ensure public safety. Yet most businesses – including agencies that rely on timely, accurate information to make decisions about public safety – overlook a serious risk that jeopardizes their effectiveness and ability to survive. The threat? Inadequate document security.

Businesses need secure access to accurate information to make smart decisions. Usually information is scattered: on paper (subject to deterioration, misfiling, security breaches, and loss); trapped in the minds of executives, managers and workers (subject to unintentional alteration and selective memory); and stored in electronic documents and software applications (subject to inconsistent rules, conflicting policies, and difficult to lock down). A recent 2009 AIIM report entitled Electronic Records Management – Still Playing Catch-up with Paper shows 60% of managers surveyed couldn’t be confident their records hadn’t been altered, deleted, or inappropriately accessed if they were challenged. More than 70% had no provisions for long-term electronic record archival; 31% had twenty or more content repositories that could be usefully linked (and presumably weren’t, complicating access and security). Many respondents described their electronic records as unmanaged; most lacked email management policies. It doesn’t take an expert to uncover a foul brew of document security concerns. Ignoring document security invites trouble.

Set clear policies Document security has two sides: human and technological. Management has the onerous job of weighing rules and regulations against operational needs and determining acceptable risks versus those that jeopardize their business objectives. Identifying unacceptable risk is a precursor to creating governance policy.

Communicate policies frequently – in writing Rules are futile unless they’re communicated – frequently, understandably, and in writing. Understanding what constitutes risk, acceptable behavior, and the penalties for disobedience dramatically reduces employee blunders. Convey your rules and reasoning clearly. Document your communications. You’ll reduce company risk by demonstrating intent to comply.

Well-laid plans, smart hiring decisions, and regular communications minimize risk, but they don’t guarantee document security. Where 100% document control is hindered by human limitations, web-based electronic document management (EDM) excels – governing, observing, and tracking file use, 24/7.

Emulate policies electronically Everyone hears about planned security breaches. Yet typically, compromised document security is unintentional:

People view sensitive information while searching for unrelated information. Employees inadvertently destroy original files without noticing copies or imported documents are faulty or illegible. New employees don’t know the rules and handle documents improperly. Temporarily removed or inappropriately stored documents can’t be located on demand for audits, subpoenas, or processing. Workers delete documents deemed worthless, learning afterward that retention rules changed or they were mistaken. EDM ensures security from the moment of capture, preserving file integrity throughout the business lifecycle and providing a central repository for stored information. Readability and integrity are verified upon capture. Digital storage eliminates deterioration, misfiling, or loss. Files are readable, properly stored, and secure. Customizable security determines who can retrieve, view, edit, annotate, manage, move, or delete files. Administrators can set rules for data use and walk away, knowing employees can access whatever they need.

Remove temptation and filing mistakes Companies are increasingly subject to strict regulations governing information use. EDM enforces your governance policies, letting you:

Restrict file access by creating pre-defined searches to retrieve files staff need. Restrict document viewing to specific personnel by job role and document type. Associate individual editing and annotation rights to pre-specified users and file types. Ensure only authorized persons can delete batches, files, and/or pages of documents. Assure consistent indexing Employee logic varies for document classification and search. EDM enables standardization, making filing consistent and search 100% successful.

Assign documents to batches during scanning or importing. Index documents by document type, customer ID number, and other unique identifiers. Associate related documents for a comprehensive view of information. Validate the integrity and accuracy of scanned and imported files through automated validation; request alerts when documents require intervention. Digital capture gives you control over your content.

Prevent document alteration Document alteration poses huge security risks, especially in the face of litigation and audits. ECM allays fears of inappropriately altered documents. You can:

Restrict document annotation and alteration rights to pre-designated persons. Ensure file alteration and editing rights reflect current policies. Store business-critical emails as unalterable documents. Avert inappropriate file deletion Missing and lost documents typically comprise 7.5% to 11% of all document requests, with workers spending anywhere from 20-50% of their time looking for information. MIA documents cost time and money to recreate; if they’re needed for an audit, subpoena, or industry mandate and not found, penalties can accrue.

EDM ensures documents aren’t deleted until they’re scheduled to be migrated or destroyed. By limiting user rights, you ensure against accidental and intentional purging. Automated retention assures document migration, purging, and deletion follow your rules. Regulatory changes? No problem: EDM grasps new instructions immediately, adhering to governance directives.

Adjust rules as hierarchies change Between a quarter and a third of employees change jobs or positions annually. Promoted employees suddenly need access to additional information. Demoted workers lose rights to access particular documents. Some are fired or leave, creating concerns they may take information with them, and new problems arise as knowledge must be transferred to new hires.

EDM tackles these issues with ease:

Users and feature rights are pre-designated electronically, making appropriate files accessible immediately to new employees. Administrators make documents instantly inaccessible to departing employees by deleting user rights and features, eliminating the risk of inappropriate file use. Rules and rights are easily reconfigured, ensuring new employees can access repositories and files they need without the risk of stumbling on sensitive information or overlooking policies for document access and use. Lock down email Email management eludes many managers. Critical communications about customers, partners, third-party vendors, staff, products plans, licensing information and more often are trapped in email Inboxes, inadequately archived and difficult to find.

By managing business email within EDM, you can:

Index and archive critical emails as documents of record. Restrict access to email content, while disclosing contents to authorized persons. Regulate printing, migration, and deletion of stored emails to specific users. Avoid disaster The topic of avoiding business disasters drew attention this year when the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) recommended that companies limit how many executives can travel simultaneously on the same corporate or commercial plane. Experts recognized that a single calamity involving the loss of multiple top-tier executives constituted unacceptable risk, as it could destroy a company and result in considerable job loss. The same is true with the loss of your business-critical documents.

Document preservation is the left hand to the right hand of document security. Careful planning, quality EDM, and appropriate professional services ensure you have:

Effective backups and fault-tolerant, redundant systems that ensure you stay connected to your information. A disaster recovery plan that outlines the hierarchy of document importance to ensure business continuity and accelerate document recovery. Uninterrupted access to your business-critical information if a disaster prevents staff from working onsite. Physical data recovery in case a real disaster strikes or your system is shut down. Forge ahead If your company makes the headlines, don’t let it be because of a security breach or shutdown. Creating a document management strategy and investing in EDM means your past, present, and future documents will be in the right hands, whenever and wherever they’re needed. By leaving the arduous task of document management to EDM, you’ll have more time to focus on taking your business to the next level. Good luck!

Online Home Business Information Overload

When starting an internet online business it seems there is just so much information to digest. For most people this becomes overwhelming and causes them to believe they will never be able to get started in the online business.

The “experts” do not help. It seems that once you start looking at internet businesses your email inbox is filled to bursting point everyday. Usually these emails are offering a “one time only” special secret which will make you a fortune.

This makes it very difficult to remain focused on what you want to achieve. Because you are constantly distracted by the latest “unique previously unreleased” method of making your fortune with an online business. So let us look at some structured methods you need to apply before you get going.

First and probably most obvious is what product you will sell. This is normally referred to as your Niche. You need to spend some time on this and you need to understand your product inside out. If you don’t really believe in your product you will not convince anyone to buy it.

Will you sell digital products (reports, books, training videos etc.) or will you sell store type products (this can include anything you like) Will you hold inventory (stock) or will you use a dropship supplier. Dropshipping is where the supplier sends the product directly to your client on your behalf. This means you do not require holding any inventory.

Or you could choose to become an affiliate. An affiliate simply put, is a salesperson who sells products for other companies. Once a sale is completed the affiliate gets a commission. The commission can be substantial 50-70% is common.

If you are just starting out the affiliate route is probably the easiest. Being an affiliate means you do not even need a website and can get started straight away. It is a good way to get the money coming in whilst you develop your long term business strategy. You just simply send clients directly to the landing page of your affiliate company and once they buy you get paid.

To make money long term and to build a business with some value, you will need to eventually have your own website. You want to capture the details of your clients. You can use this information in the future to promote other products and make extra sales.

This information should be enough to get you thinking in the right direction. In my next article I will cover: GETTING TRAFFIC, GETTING SALES, OUTSOURCING, RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS DAY TO DAY.