By Bonnie Biafore | Sunday, June 22, 2014
Say you discover a transaction that was recorded using the wrong QuickBooks feature. For example, you wrote a check in the QuickBooks’ Write Checks window to pay a bill and sent the payment off to the vendor. Now, it’s a month later and you see the vendor’s bill in QuickBooks: its status is unpaid and overdue. (Because you used the Write Checks window to write a check to the vendor, QuickBooks thinks the bill hasn’t been paid.) Even worse, you’ve already reconciled the check you wrote during your last bank account reconciliation. Fixing this error is as easy as 1-2-3:
By Rudolph Rosenberg | Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Explore this course at lynda.com.
Does every employee contribute to the business performance of the company? Or is it really just sales and marketing people who do? These are questions I get asked time and again and the answer to both is pretty straightforward: When it comes to business performance, everyone is contributing, whether consciously or not.
Of course, sales and marketing folks participate in a very obvious way by taking action every day to increase sales, but sales is just one of many ways to contribute to a company’s performance. Finance people, for example, contribute by making sure money is not squandered and can be used to get more salespeople in front of more customers to increase sales indirectly. Customer service personnel ensure that customers are happy and have good reason not to use the service of a competing company—therefore indirectly securing future sales with existing customers.
By Rudolph Rosenberg | Monday, December 09, 2013
It’s the discussion that never gets old: How to find good investment opportunities. If you look online or speak to a financial advisor, you’ll likely hear about the most common and popular investment options. They all follow the same pattern of low return for low levels of risks and increasing returns with increasing risks. But there’s one risk-free investment opportunity that yields double-digit return—and most of us already have access to it. It’s repaying your own debt. Do you want to take a second to read that last sentence again? That’s right, you heard me, repaying debt is one of the best investment opportunities out there, if not the best.
Not losing money is like making money
How can repaying debt be an investment? Well, not losing money is actually the same as making money. In both cases, you end up with more money at your disposal than if you’d done nothing. For debt repayment, it’s all about the interest rate; the higher it is, the more money you lose, which in turn makes paying down your debt an even better investment opportunity. I’ll save you the math on it, but repaying a 15 percent credit card debt will save you the same amount as you’d earn with a 12 percent return-on-investment (ROI) opportunity—and those types of opportunities don’t come by often.
By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, August 14, 2013
One of the most important responsibilities as a freelancer is tracking your business expenses. Deducting expenses from your income can result in a huge savings, and in Running a Design Business: Freelancing, Petrula Vrontikis offers expense tips that are relevant for any kind of freelance business—not just design.
Personal versus business expenses
The smartest way to track expenses is to keep personal expenses and business expenses separate. Have separate checking accounts and separate credit cards so you can easily track, categorize, and recap your business expenses.
By Jess Stratton | Monday, April 22, 2013
This week’s Monday Productivity Pointers is about Kickstarter. Everybody’s talking about Kickstarter after the Veronica Mars TV show raised a whopping $5 million of funding to create a full-length feature movie—not from Hollywood execs or sponsors, but from fans and private backers like you and me.
Kickstarter is a crowdsourced fundraising site for projects: You can seek funding for your own project, and also contribute as a financial backer to someone else’s project that you think is a great idea and that you’d like to see come to fruition.
My first video will walk you through creating a Kickstarter project step-by-step, including determining how much funding you’ll need, creating rewards, and stating your project’s risks.
By Bonnie Bills | Tuesday, April 27, 2010
If you’re still muttering to yourself about the drama that accompanied filing your business taxes, it isn’t too late to streamline the process for 2010. Personal finance expert and lynda.com author Bonnie Biafore has this advice:
“Before you forget, jot down the information you were missing, the reports you needed but didn’t have, and the journal entries your accountant had you record again this year,” says Biafore. “Then, log in to your QuickBooks company file. Set up accounts to track all your income and expenses the way you report it on your tax return. Customize some reports to match your accountant’s requests. And memorize last year’s journal entries so you can reuse them next time around.”
If you don’t already use QuickBooks, Bonnie’s QuickBooks Pro 2010 Essential Training gets you up to speed in setting up your books, running reports, and managing your company files. If you do use QuickBooks, this course offers great advice for getting the most out of all the core features in the latest version.
P.S. If you’re a spreadsheet addict who does all your financial planning and tracking in Excel, lynda.com has courses for Excel users at all levels. Use Numbers? We’ve got that covered. Google Docs spreadsheets? That, too.
By Bonnie Bills | Thursday, April 15, 2010
My name is Bonnie Bills, and I’m Associate Program Director for lynda.com’s business channel. We’re on a mission to offer more courses that will help our members succeed in business, whether your business is a one-person operation or a large enterprise, whatever your field, your title, your skill level, or your operating system.
I’d like to share a bit about our plans here, and I invite you to share your ideas in the comments:
By Megan O. Read | Friday, November 20, 2009
When Curt Frye started working with lynda.com, we were all very excited about the slew of new and much needed Microsoft Excel courses he was planning for us. With the state of the economy, and more people doing their own finances, as well as tightening their belts nearly to the point of of asphyxiation, it is becoming more critical for the general public to understand their finances, even on a very basic level.
In the November 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review, The Forethought column “Teach Workers About the Perils of Debt.” states:
“It’s widely known that many consumers have poor numeracy–they can’t figure out percentages or do other elementary calculations–and have barely a rudimentary grasp of economics. In our research, we looked deeper, studying consumers’ ‘debt literacy,’ the ability to understand how interest rates work and make simple decisions about borrowing. We found it to be strikingly low.”
Curt's aim in creating a course on financial analysis was to teach skills required to analyze debt. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, image #3154423
“My aim in creating Excel 2007: Financial Analysis was to teach the skills required to analyze debt,” said Curt Frye of his first lynda.com course. “I’m hoping that it helps subscribers better understand some critical skills that not everyone is taught at home or in school.”
Curt is currently working on a new book, as well as new lynda.com courses. For a full list of his training, visit his author page.
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