Reliable PDF Conversion Tool

PDF-Converter-144x144Able2Extract Professional 11

Investintech.com Inc. , a Toronto based software company specializing in PDF technologies, has developed an excellent PDF converter known as Able2Extract Professional 11.  This easy-to-use software will convert PDF files to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and AutoCad.

Able2Extract PDF Converter

Able2Extract Professional 11 is the original and only PDF Converter available that converts PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and AutoCad. It enables you to get the most user control through advanced PDF selection, granular conversion options and an intuitive user interface. It completes PDF conversion tasks accurately and within minutes.  Able2Extract Professional 11 improves the way you work with PDF documents across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms

PDF-Converter-2-118x150Able2Extract lets you create highly secured PDF files with advanced encryption levels and security features. Millions of users have turned to Able2Extract for their conversion needs over the last decade.

The software is easy to use and converts files very quickly.  It’s affordable price is a fraction of the Adobe converters. I was most impressed with how well it converts files to other formats such as Publisher, as well as to Excel and Word.  I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a PDF converter.

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Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping servicesOur Bookkeeping Services

Having trouble keeping accurate accounting records? Don’t have enough time to do your own accounting? Our bookkeeping services can help you.


Our bookkeeping services include:

  • Data entry
  • General ledger maintenance
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Other account reconciliations
  • GST, RST, and HST reporting (Canada)
  • QuickBooks Online and Desktop
  • Monthly and annual financial statements

Our fees are competitive, and we provide quick turn-around.

We like to work with digital records which is easier on both you and us.

QuickBooks Online

Bookkeeping servicesWe specialize in online accounting software such as QuickBooks Online. This enables you to be involved with your daily transactions and allows you to review your data and financial statements online.

Because of cloud applications we are now capable of servicing clients anywhere in the world.

For more information contact us at 204-782-0483, or e-mail me at rutledge@mymts.net

Essential Elements of a Business Plan

Preparing A Business Plan

Essential Elements of A Business PlanNo two business plans are alike, and the format you decide to use for your business plan will depend on your circumstances. However, all business plans should be written in a concise, structured format.

The contents of your plan will vary according to the type of industry you are in, or whether you are a retail business, service, manufacturing, or wholesale. For example, a business plan for a manufacturing company will emphasize plant and production issues, while a business plan for a retail business will be primarily concerned with areas such as location and customer convenience.

The following is a general outline of the basic elements in most business plans. You may wish to exclude some of these areas if they do not apply to your business situation, or you may wish to add one or more of your own sections, however, most business plans will include the following elements:


1) Cover Page

Cover PageThe cover page should be kept as simple as possible and should include:

  • Your business name and the purpose of your report.
  • Complete address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address.
  • Contact person (including titles).
  • The date that the plan was completed.
  • If possible, put the cover page on company stationery, or provide any picture or graphic which displays your product or service. Use your imagination to attract the reader’s attention.

2) Table Of Contents
  • Table Of ContentsThe Table of Contents lists the subject areas covered in the Business Plan, and their page numbers.
  • It provides the reader with an overview of the contents of your business plan and directs the reader to specific areas that may be of interest.
  • A well organized Table of Contents gives the reader a favourable impression of the business plan.

 3) Executive Summary
  • Executive SummaryThe executive summary should focus on the following:
  • It should be two to three pages, and no more than five. If you can not describe your business in five pages or less, you may appear unorganized and unfocused.
  • The executive summary should be written properly, as it may be the only section that some readers will look at.
  • It gives the reader a quick overview of your business goals and purpose – where your business has come from, where it is at, and where it is going.
  • It must capture the attention of the reader, arouse interest, and accurately highlight, in two or three pages, what your business plan is all about.
  • The executive summary highlights the major points of your business plan.
    • The company’s mission
    • Its products or service
    • Its customers
    • The company’s unique selling advantage in relation to competitors
    • Future projections for major areas such as sales, costs and profitability
    • The resources required to start the business – inventory, equipment, property, working capital
  • If you are using your business plan to obtain financing, indicate the amount of funds you want to borrow, how these funds will be used, the repayment terms, and the benefits that these funds will realize.
  • The executive summary is designed to help you write the rest of your business plan. It can, therefore, be written first, as a general outline. Then, after the other sections have been written, you can go back and edit it until you are satisfied.
  • In many cases, it will be the executive summary that will sell your business plan, or if it is not done properly, turn the reader off.

4) Company Profile

Company ProfileIn this section you will overview your business, and the environment in which it will be operating. You should include:

  • A general description of your company.
  • Its goals and objectives, and the strategies you are using to reach them.
  • Significant factors which will affect the success of your business.
  • The environment and the competitive structure in which the business will be operating.

This section should be described in a format that will allow the information in the rest of your plan to fit in.

The information contained in this section can be discussed in two categories (1) The business, and (2) The industry and environment

The Business – Briefly describe the basic facts about your business, including:

  • Background
    • Details about when and how the business will be started.
    • Type of company (ie. legal status), incorporation date (if incorporated).
    • Founders, key personal, owners of the business, with ownership percentages.
    • Key products or services.
    • Achievements to date.
  • Company strategy
    • The company’s market opportunity and how you will take advantage of this opportunity.
    • The company’s potential for growth and improvement.
    • Address the firm’s opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, and factors threatening its success.
  • Future plans and goals
    • The company’s goals and how it plans to reach these goals.

The Industry and Environment – Describe the basic facts about your industry, and the environment in which you will be operating, including:

  • Industry characteristics.
  • Major players in the industry, including your competition, their strengths and weaknesses, and how you will be able to compete against them.
  • Industry trends and future outlook.

5) Market Analysis and Strategy

MarketingIn this section you must convince the reader that you understand your market and are able to identify and deal with problems resulting from market constraints or competition within your market.

The primary purpose of preparing market goals and strategies is to maximize overall sales and revenues. A secondary purpose is to achieve maximum productivity from sales, promotion, and distribution activities.

  • Analyzing the Market

Before you define your market strategy, you must first do a market analysis. The purpose of market analysis is to research the following questions:

  • What is your main product or service?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Who are your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?

Once you have a complete understanding of these, you can develop your marketing strategy, and prepare your sales forecasts.

  • Developing a Market Strategy

The purpose of preparing a marketing plan is to determine the best way to sell your product or service to your customers, given the competition and other factors in the market place. Your marketing plan should describe how you will position your product or service in terms of what the buyer needs and wants.

Your marketing plan should be written as your plan of action. It should describe who will do it, what will be done, why, where, when, and how. It should also indicate how much the actions will cost.

  • Sales Forecasting

Sales forecasting is usually done at the same time as the marketing plan, since they are inter-dependent.


6) Management Analysis

ManagementThe purpose of this section is to describe your management team and your key employees. The idea is to convince the reader that you and your staff have what it takes to reach your goals and objectives.

If you are starting a large business with several departments, you should include an organization chart in your business plan. This chart should identify positions, lines of authority and communication channels in your business.

Write a brief description of each member of your management team, possibly supported by resumes that you could attach as an appendix to your plan. For each, include a description of their:

  • Personal background and status
  • Employment history
  • Industry experience
  • Financial experience
  • Small business experience
  • Management experience
  • Education
  • Community involvement
  • Motivation level
  • Health and energy

In many cases, you will be the owner and manager of your business, thus you will be describing your own background and experience.

If you feel that you are weak in any area, indicate how you will compensate for this – either by employing staff or engaging consultants who can provide assistance.


7) Operations

OperationsThe purpose of this section is to:

  • Describe your business operations, including how you are going to produce your product and deliver it to your customers.
  • Arrive at estimates for all major costs and expenses.

The amount of detail required in your operating plan will depend on your type of business:

  • Retailer or Wholesaler – Your operations plan will concentrate on how you will buy and sell your products. It will identify your suppliers and describe how your store will operate.
  • Service Business – The operations plan should describe how your business will function and how it will provide good customer service while maintaining adequate controls over costs.
  • Manufacturer – Your operations plan will concentrate on your production process. It will describe how you will manufacture your product and on how you will deliver your product to your customers. Financial Projections

8) Financial Projections

Financial ProjectionsYour financial projections should include:

  • Balance Sheet – prepared annually for the next three years.
  • Income Statement – prepared on a monthly basis for at least the first year of operations, and quarterly or annually for the next two years.
  • Cash Flow Statement – prepared on a monthly basis for the first year of operations, and quarterly or annually for the next two years.

Financial Projections Template – Only $9.99

SSI02-150x150I am pleased to offer my financial projections template at the low price of $9.99. This excel spreadsheet will enable you to complete three years of financial projections for your business by following 6 simple steps.

This financial projections template will provide you with an annual projected balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement for three years of operations.

Template-View-1-150x150

Template-View-2-150x150

 

View Sample

 

 

To purchase, click below. Please note that once your payment has been accepted, you should click the “Return to rutledge@mts.net” link to be directed to where you can obtain the template.




I hope you enjoy this template, and I would appreciate your comments.

Please e-mail me at rutledge@mymts.net, or leave a comment below, if you would like further assistance in preparing your financial projections.

History of Double Entry Bookkeeping

History of Double Entry BookkeepingDouble Entry Bookkeeping – All Entries Are Recorded Twice

Double entry bookkeeping is a system of recording transactions where each entry is recorded twice, as a debit and a credit.  Debits are on the left and usually show where the money in the transaction went. Credits are on the right, and usually show where the money came from. This system was originally developed to reduce mistakes. At the end of the day, debits have to equal credits, otherwise something is wrong.

The early Italians have been credited with developing double entry bookkeeping. The earliest known evidence of this came in 1211 from a Florence banker. From this time double entry bookkeeping continued to grow throughout Italian businesses, notably in Florence, Genoa, and Venice.

History of Double Entry Bookkeeping

However, it was not until 1494, two years after Columbus sailed to America, that the principles of double entry bookkeeping were put into print. Luca Paciola, a monk from Venice and friend of Leonardo da Vinci, published a book on mathematics. The book was called “Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita” (Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion). This book, written as a guide to existing mathematical knowledge, covered five topics. One of the topics was bookkeeping, for which there was 36 short chapters. History has credited this book as being the official beginning of double entry bookkeeping.

However Paciolo never claimed to be the inventor of double entry bookkeeping as the first known book about the subject was written by Benedetto Cotrugli in 1458.  This book, however, was not published until 1573. Paciolo, was familiar with the 1458 transcript and always credited Cotrugli as being the inventor of the double entry method.

The basic principles of double entry bookkeeping that were developed by the Italians during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries have generally remained unchanged to this day.

Understanding Financial Statements

office-2Importance of Financial Statements?

Most businesses must file financial statements to satisfy lenders and to file annual tax returns. However, an understanding of financial statements also provides business owners with the ability to determine the financial state of their business and how it is performing, Financial statements are a valuable management tool. They provide a “picture” of your business and reflect its financial performance. This information can be used to enhance the quality and timing of business decisions.

Balance Sheet vs Income Statement

The two basic components of financial statements are the balance sheet and the income statement, or statement of earnings.

The balance sheet is often described as a “picture of your business taken at a specific point in time.” It shows:

  • What you own (assets),
  • What you owe (liabilities), and
  • The resulting net worth of your business (equity).

The balance sheet should always be balanced. This means that assets should equal liabilities plus equity.

The income statement summarizes the income and expenses of your business or operations over a period of time. Unlike the balance sheet, which is a picture at a specific point in time, the income statement tells you what has happened over a period of time.

pricingThe balance sheet and income statement are related to each other. The income, or loss, shown on the income statement is reflected on the balance sheet as an increase, or decrease, in equity. The balance sheet will still be in balance as the income or loss will be offset by an increase or decrease in assets and in liabilities.

Key Elements of Financial Statements

  • Assets – Items that have future value to the business, such as cash, inventory, accounts receivable, property and equipment, and goodwill.
  • Current assets – Those assets that are expected to be converted to cash within the next year, such as accounts receivables and inventory.
  • Liabilities – Obligations of the business such as accounts payable and loans.
  • Current liabilities – Liabilities that must be paid within a year. These usually include accounts payable, taxes payable, and short-term loans.
  • Long term debt – Debt that will be repaid over more than one year, such as bank loans, mortgages, and lease arrangements.
  • Working capital – The amount of current assets minus current liabilities. This shows a company’s ability to pay its current liabilities.
  • Gross profit – Sales less the direct cost of producing those sales, or cost of sales. The gross profit should be in line with industry standards. Most well run companies will have adequate and consistent gross profit percentages over many periods,
  • Net income – Sales less all expenses of the business.
  • Cash flow – Incoming cash less outgoing cash, over a set period of time.

QuickBooks Online Cloud Accounting

DPP_0027-300x200Manage Your Business From Anywhere with QuickBooks Online

Great News – Quickbooks is now offering QuickBooks Online cloud accounting software and services.

By allowing you to enter date online from any device, entering transactions is now more convenient and makes it easier to keep your accounting up-to-date.  QuickBooks Online frees you up to focus on growing your business. With all your financial information in one place, you’ll have a better understanding of your business and can view your financial position from anywhere.

cropped-cropped-IMG_0315a1-221x300QuickBooks Online enables you to:

  • Store all your financial information together in one place
  • Connect your accounting date directly with your accountant
  • Work seamlessly from anywhere, on any device
  • Avoid costly upgrades
  • Always work from the latest software version
  • Keep data safe and secure

You can even store copies of your invoices with each transaction.

As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, I can help you obtain the QuickBooks online software package that is best for you at up to 50% off the listed price.  For more information, contact me at 204-782-0483, or email me at rutledge@mymts.net.

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Balance Sheet vs Income Statement

Balance Sheet vs Income StatementThe two major components of financial statements are the balance sheet and the income statement.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet shows a company’s financial position at a set point in time, usually at a year end or month end. It lists the company’s assets, or what it owns, and its liabilities, or what it owes. Next it shows the difference between assets and liabilities, which represents the company’s net worth, or equity.

The Balance Sheet is always in balance, thus its name.  Assets equals Liabilities plus Equity. The assets are shown on the left side of the balance sheet, or at the top. The liabilities and equity will be shown on the bottom, or on the right.

Income Statement

The income statement reflects how a company has performed over a period of time, such as a month or year. It usually shows a company’s sales and expenses over that period of time, and the resulting profit or loss.

Balance Sheet vs Income StatementIt is important to understand the balance sheet shows a company’s financial position at a set point in time, while the income statement shows a company’s performance over a set period of time. The income statement usually shows performance over a period such as a year, or month. The balance sheet shows a “snap shot” of it’s financial position exactly at the year-end or month-end.

Accounting is a “double-entry” system, which means that every accounting entry has two sides to it, a debit and a credit. For example, when a company makes a sale, it not only has the sale (or credit), but it also will have an increase in an asset such as cash or accounts receivable (the debit). Conversely, when a company records an expense (the debit), it will also have a decrease in cash or an increase in accounts payable, which is the credit side of the entry.

Cloud Accounting

Cloud AccountingWhat Is Cloud Accounting?

One of the latest trends in small business accounting is the use of cloud accounting packages rather than in-house software programs. The main feature of cloud accounting is that your accounting software and data are hosted by a remote server, as opposed to being stored on your in-house computer. Your accounting software and data are stored online, in the cloud, and you enter or review your transactions online. Data that you enter is processed by the online software which provides the various financial statements and reports which you can view and save to your computer.

Cloud AccountingThere are several cloud accounting providers to choose from.  You simply sign up through the internet, make the necessary payment, and establish an account with a password.  You can then log in, set up your accounting, and start making your transactions.  Many of these providers have Apps for your phone and tablet which allow you to make transactions with these devices.  Want to record your business lunch expense?  You can do this with your phone while still in the restaurant.

Advantages to cloud accounting:
  • Updates are eliminated. Your accounting package is always kept up-to-date by your service provider, which eliminates the continuous software updates required with in-house software. There is nothing to install and backups are done for you.
  • Your accounting package is more accessible by employees and by your accountant.  Rather than being kept on one computer in your office, your accounting is readily available to whomever you wish.
  • Cloud accounting allows you to make entries from any computer or device that is hooked up to the internet, rather than from one computer in your office.  You can keep your accounting up-to-date while traveling, or from home, even during vacation if you wish.
  • Your data is more secure. Even though there is some fear of online storage, your accounting is much more secure in the cloud than it would be if it were stored on one computer in your office, where it can crash, be stolen, or damaged.  Most cloud providers have very sophisticated backup procedures for their clients.
  • In most cases, cloud accounting will be less costly than hosting and maintaining software and data in-house.

Please contact me if you would like more information about Cloud Accounting.

To purchase useful accounting books and educational software applications, visit my Book Store and Software Store.