4 Reasons to Switch to Cloud Accounting Software

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For years, small business’ accounting software was a closed off system that gave information only privy to the accountants on the team. There was no easy way of seeing what cashflow looked like, which invoices were still outstanding and whether or not it was going to be a strong quarter.

Of course, the accountant could prepare daily reports for the business’ executive team, but there’s nothing better than being able to pull up your smartphone or tablet and see a quick, easy-to-read dashboard that shows you all of that information and more.

Here are some reasons why it’s time to switch to a cloud accounting platform in 2015.

Truly understand your cash flow

You should never be at a loss for words when someone on your team asks you what cashflow is looking like for the week. Cloud accounting software, such as Xero, can provide you that up-to-date information in real time. Xero’s dashboard, for instance, shows you how much money you have, where it’s being spent, who still owes you money and who you still owe money. Better yet, all of this can be accessed from the convenience of mobile applications.

Work on the go

Today’s modern-day business worker isn’t constantly in an office. In fact, many small businesses operate remotely. That’s why it’s important to use cloud accounting software that allows you to work wherever there’s an internet connection. You can reconcile your bank account from an app, and even snap photos of receipts that can be earmarked as expenses.

Total integration with everything you do

Software like Xero and even Quickbooks to a degree now, integrate with a slew of business-related apps. When you mash all of your apps into your accounting software, you can receive a more comprehensive overview of your business. If you use Expensify for your business’ expenses and don’t want to switch, it can communicate with Xero or other cloud accounting software, and show you exactly where the money is traveling.

Cloud can get you paid faster

Cloud accounting is just an overall faster process. You never have to worry about forgetting about collecting on an invoice because your dashboard — or any alerts you set up about overdue invoices — are blankly staring at you. You can set alerts on your mobile devices, or even collaborate with invoice-specific apps to send out email reminders to your clients. As a result, you’ll get paid faster and improve your cashflow.

The days of traditional accounting software are numbered. Expect more businesses to transition to cloud accounting in the very near future.

 

The World of a Freelance Writer

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Oh my goodness- that should be one of the best jobs in the world.

This is something you might hear quite often if you are a freelance writer. I certainly am not talking up this profession, but it is just how it is. Most of the freelance writers think they have one of the best jobs in the world.

Seemingly, a freelance career more so a freelance writer profession does sound pretty cool. You get paid to write on anything under the sun. More so, the pay is higher if you have enough experience under your belt on the topic you are asked to write on. You get to work with different clients from different parts of the world. You get to become your own boss, calling your own shots. You get to strike a good balance between work and life, better than you did at your last 9 to 5 job. You get to meet clients that never cease to amaze you, and you proudly get to call it your profession.

The whole universe thinks of freelance writing as something incredible.

Maybe not.

The reason being that, to put it shortly, the pay is not always handsome, there is not enough work coming in all the time, and there are thousands of freelance writers out there who are all set to do your job for I-can-absolutely-do-this-do-that- free.

That hurts.

What’s true?

Is this really that good a job as it is touted to be? Is it the best? Or is it ridiculously overrated?

Nevertheless, there is absolutely no dearth of interest in people to become a top-notch freelance writer, so I just thought I might give you a tinge of reality about this profession.

It is one of the best jobs in the world. Not quite.

Let us look at the good bits first.

  • As a freelance writer, you get to decide how much is too much. That’s cool. You also decide when you want to work. There is absolutely no trace of office politics involved, and there is no boss micromanaging you. Work from the cafe or go home, change into your underpants, lock yourself in your bedroom and start cranking them out at your own pace.
  • A freelance writing position with a reputed media outlet is good to all those who are looking to achieve work-life balance.
  • A freelance writer with better-paying gigs will be able to cut their work schedule down to say 25 to 30 hours per week, freeing up a lot of time for other important things in life.
  • A freelance career allows people to spend time on their hobbies, volunteering in between work assignments and other commitments.
  • More good things: You do get to pick the work you want to do. You can drop the copywriting work if it has become too redundant of late and focus more on magazine articles if that is where your interest lies. Further, if your hands are full and you think of turning much of the work away, you are free to choose what to work on and what to turn down.

But there is more to freelance writing than you think. Yes, there are a few downsides you need to understand.

  • There’s the pay- not all freelance writes make as much as they would like. The income is not always stable to fall back on. Word rates that publishing companies and media agencies pay freelance writers have not gone up, budgets are no more attractive, and more importantly, potential media outlets that used to offer work to freelance writers are shutting shops.
  • Secondly, things don’t happen at a fast pace. You may not land lucrative assignments from high-paying editorial agencies as soon as you become a freelance writer. In this field, one things lead to another so you have to be patient enough until things take off.

A freelance writer that I know stumbled onto a website called thepensters where many contributors were needed. Though she wanted to pursue a freelance career, she had no experience to show. However, she figured an English major should have no trouble stringing two sentences together. She did not get as many gigs as she’d have liked to, but after some shaky weeks, she started to take home a decent income as a freelance writer. Another freelance writer started out at thepensters picking up the odd contract of freelance academic writing on top of his regular 9-to-5 job at a copywriting agency, and there’s no looking back. He says he enjoys being able to do what he wants to do, and it is certainly useful to not to have to commit to anything. A surge in demand for writing talent and broadband ubiquity have actually colluded well to make freelance career a very feasible option for such writers.

Ask any freelance veteran about their freelance career they would say it is not perfect. A freelance writer job is not the best in the world. However, even with all those negative points, for someone who loves to write and loves to be their own commander-in-chief, this is a pretty good job.

Sadly, such jobs do not come along easily.

Investment Tips For Beginners

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Venturing out into the world of investment can be quite a frightening thing: if you are a complete beginner, you will not even know how to start, what to look for, and how to save yourself from disaster. The stakes might be quite high: if you choose the wrong stock to invest in, you might end up with even less money then you started out with, a second mortgage may reside in your imminent future, and in today’s market you never know what else might hit you. Having the right information is key, which is why you should read up on the subject of investing, the stock market, and finances in general, before you even start contemplating your desired investment goals. While this may take up a lot of your time, if you do not wish to consult an expert, you will have to ensure that you know exactly where you are placing your money, and how secure it is.

How to start?

First of all, you will need to gain control over the money you already own and you ought to keep it that way. Do not rush into it, take your time, stay attentive and keep your eyes wide open in order not to miss any opportunities. When it comes to investing, it is really important to seize the right moment. Knowing when the right moment is may be more difficult, and the only advice to give is to make sure you are comfortable with the investment you are about to make. If it does not feel right, for any reason, you can always find another stock option. Superstition plays a somewhat dubious role for many investors, so don’t worry if you have spells of uncertainty too – it’s completely natural.

Even before you start investing, everything could seem a bit overwhelming and difficult, but you only need time to get the hang of things. Do not lose hope and keep your head up at all times, no matter what the situation may look like. Of course, it is essential not to put all your eggs in one basket, so never invest everything you have in a single hopeful project. No matter how promising it may look, it is always better to play safe. You should always keep some money and probably invest in a few projects. Also, right at the start, you need to know that there will surely be ups and downs, so prepare yourself for facing them and do not let them dampen your enthusiasm.

Where to start?

If you are wondering where to start, it is for the best that you aim for something you are familiar with, so that you cannot be easily tricked and led astray by ignorance. Should you want to invest in a company, make sure that it is one that looks secure. You should choose a company whose services you already use on a daily basis or a company you are certain is trustworthy. For instance, you could go for McDonalds’ or Apple’s stocks. Make sure you are up-to-date with the company’s website, read about them in the daily news, and browse the Internet for as much information you can find. Also bear in mind that not everything you read is true, so use your own judgment to evaluate your investment options. That is probably the safest route to take, when you are only just starting out. However, it is crucial to diversify and not invest everything in a single company, since it is way too risky and you do not want to take any risks in the beginning. You might gain a lot, but you could lose much more, as well. Remember, you are not gambling, there are casinos for that. You also may not earn tons of money, but your income will steadily increase, which is what you have hopefully been aiming at.

Another great idea is to invest in the often profitable penny stock market, because it is highly likely that your starting budget is fairly low. If you are not yet familiar with the penny stock market, this infographic will help you learn the basis of how it works, so you can dive into this option as well. Before investing, it is advised to always talk to someone who is acquainted with or well informed on the subject and this should to be a person whom you absolutely trust. Otherwise, you will have to do some research on your own, because the people who are into investments get really sensitive when you mention the topic to them and there is a great chance they will not say anything you can benefit from or can even mislead you on purpose. Weigh every advice you receive and make sure to double-check all your facts.

All of this should be enough for a good, sturdy start, but everything else is completely up to you and your skills. Even if you feel like you lack the required skills, do not despair, no one really knows enough about investing before they seriously dig into it. So, it is extremely important to learn as much as you can, gather information along the way and, by all means, control your emotions, because let’s face it, feeling down will get you nowhere. Last, but not least, you need to set long-term goals and as long as you are getting closer to them, even if this may seem incredibly slow or inefficient, you should be on your way to being satisfied with your results.