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Hi. My name is Terry, and I'm the President of Quicksilver Accounting & Consulting,  Wilmington NC.

I created this blog to offer little hints, ideas, strategies and sometimes just silly excerpts from life to help other entrepreneurs gain insight.

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Written in Wilmington, NC

Thursday
May212015

Embracing the cloud- do or die

Many accounting firms really don't want to embrace the cloud.  Its easier to ignore the change, and keep doing what they have always done.  I believe that is the wrong approach, and will cost them clients down the road.

When I started Quicksilver Business Solutions the very first criteria was it had to be virtual. I wanted the option to work anywhere in the world on any giving day (pretty demanding for back in 2007).  Recently, I was in the Oceania Cruises Barista Bar at 6am watching them cruise between two huge mountains on our way to Montenegro, all while sipping an espresso and working on my laptop updating a clients QuickBooks Online file.   I had certainly reached my goal.  And I think many clients feel the same way...

To that end, I recently spent a few months taking the five part test to become an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and just  attained that level.   As an expert in this area, I am with a very small percentage that have attained this level, and even smaller for those who, like me, have received their Advanced Desktop Certification as well.  These certifications are important for me to be at the top of my game and get the best discounts for my clients as well.

I look forward to helping my clients find the software that make sense for their business, and making their life easier by connecting their live QBO file to banking, credit cards, paypal, and all the various apps that might help them become free to move around as I do.  We live in a mobile world, and accounting professionals should be making the best strides to accommodate our entrepreneurs.

 

 

Thursday
Jan082015

"Profit- It's not an event. It's a habit"

This line comes straight from the book Profit First I'm reading and placing in my arsenal of tools, written by Michael Michalowicz.

I have seen companies continually claw for cash to keep the snowball rolling in their company.  No one wants to hear that the model they created isn't working. Then one day- they are out of 'work'. I couldn't maintain that stress level. 

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of courage.  Not only do you have to start something that your not sure anyone will buy into, and put up the money to do it,  but it takes even more courage to accept the fact that your company isn't working and really change it.   I've heard all the reasons its just going to another month, quarter, year.   I totally agree with Mike,   if you don't have the capacity to pull out even a small amount of profit each month (after owner payroll), you have a problem with the mechanics of the business and its time to cut expenses.

The reverse of that is to know your company is doing well, but not pull out the profit because its not needed anywhere else, just leaving it there 'in case', but that never comes.    I suppose my own circumstances would fall there.    Since reading this book I have done the Instant Accessment (you can find that online at MikeMichalowic.com)  and increased my percentages being pulled to other accounts.   I already had online accounts that were harder to access than your everyday operating account, like he suggests.   I like his premise that these should be totally separate, and never should the money go back to the company once it is out. 

Unfortunately, I don't agree with the many 'buckets' he would have you make (all separate banking accounts). I think that area could use a shave, specially in the advanced version.   What I really like is  some of the suggestions made on how to change your thinking and make Profit the first thing on your mind (the habit);  not the after thought of your efforts (an occasional event).   Its interesting that the expenses have to fit to the profit,  not that the profit is being taken after whatever expenses are paid.   What a great premise!

I look forward to using these ideas all year long.  My travel fund thanks you Mike!

 

Friday
Dec122014

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking

I just ended a 6 week program with NAN Institute (National Advisors Network) with Joe Woodard,  where we had instruction and interaction in NAN's very first course on leadership and bringing your company  to the next level.  While in the course, they reviewed our websites, blogs, books, articles, etc.  Our website won kudos, but one of the suggestions was I should write in my blog more... and they certainly are right!  So for 2015 I'm committing to doing just that!

I'm starting today by recommending a book I am reading now called Profit First.  I have read so many business books, I was getting bored with the same old story on a different page, but I really am enjoying this.   Its fresh, and is how I believe all companies should view their business.   The author, Mike Michalowicz,  has hit upon a great idea, something all too many owners never consider.  I just love books with resources you can access as well.

I would like to invite you to join me in  reading it, and to take the instant assessment he offers in the book. 

I just printed it out, and will take it this coming week.  I'll get back to you on how I did, and what insightful ideas it leads to and get back to you on the finer points soon.   

Saturday
Feb222014

The Staple Queen resides here...

This was the year I decided those boxes and boxes of paper records in the attic finally had to go.   People who have been born in the digital age won't understand, but back when we first moved to North Carolina in 1998, everything came to you by mail and you keep all of it for 'tax purposes'.

Eleven boxes of 'stuff' came out.   It took over three weekends of unstapling a million pieces of paper and two people working at it.  Yes, I know the shredder says it can take staples,  but since it was new and I didn't want to burn it out on the first hour ... well what can I say. 

As Miss 'organizer extraordinare', everything was saved in neat little piles stapled by month, quarter or year.  Every bank statement was reconciled and of course had the printed summary sheet...  Every sales receipt was stapled to its credit card statement.  Every tax return from ten years ago was there.  Do I need to go on.

It did lead down memory lane.  I found the statements to the money market where we saved over 20 years and how it was depleted in under a year for my daughters wedding.  A truly wonderful day and great son-in-law was added to our family.

My sons records from high school for winning Technology Awards, many times over.  Car insurance bills when he was 18 (maybe just to remind how expensive a young male can be).  Early tax returns for each of them as well.  

I did keep a very small pile for both of them so they could reminisce with me.   For my husband, his maintenance receipts of his beloved 'red car' that we sold several years ago brought back memories...goodbye all car records, my own as well.    As for me, my college loans that were paid off years ago,  veterinary bills for cats that had long passed and were missed, travel receipts to far away places. Gone, Gone and gone.

And of course the years and years of paper stuff that were now being shredded in every opportunity- so far six huge bags and going.   Never again.  Hey, did you know you are suppose to oil your shredder? Found that out after about three bags worth...out came the vegetable oil - the recommended item.

About six months ago I found the 'double sided' print feature on my cheapo printer.  That has saved many trees and no need to staple anymore.   Mostly all the bills are now coming digitally, and I don't bother to print them- I know I can find them later.   Everything is on 'auto' pilot- if I can sign up to stop paper- I'm right there now.      I am happy to give up my title, give up the paper mounds and stick to one binder I use per year that has all the absolutely necessary info.  

Bye Bye storage cartons. I'm filling each of you with items for goodwill and out the door you go.

Ok.. back to the pile of shredding. I'm on a role now and looking in every draw for possiblle sources that can be eaten up and spit out as lovely little colorful shred of paper.    Maybe you will follow my lead?

Sunday
Oct202013

Visiting Author and Publisher, James J. Kaufman

When Jim first wrote The Collectibles, we were the very first book club he attended. Since my company had been working with him to start up his publishing firm, I had made the suggestion for him to meet with us and he accepted graciously. We were to  be his first audience he could hone his skill as new author.  Having been a lawyer and judge his natural instincts for speaking just gave way to a great evening.   

The memories of this first encounter made an impression on him, so when he heard that we were having a reunion sparked by his writing the second book in his trilogy, The Concealers,  he was eager to come join us again.  Of course, we requested his lovely wife Patty come along as well, as I was serving tea and scones and we wanted her to enjoy the day.

It was wonderful to discuss the actual makings of a book, from thought process, writing process, publishing and marketing.  We really got a very insightful view on what it takes to bring a book to press and how many people are involved.  Authors are truly entrepreneurs, of a different sort.

We spoke of how the characters from book one flowed into The Concealers, but also how the new main character developed as well.    It was a great book club, and I wanted to share our thoughts-  that this new book is a wonderful continuation of the story and James has done a great job in bringing it to life. What is very apparent to us, is if you know Mr. Kaufman personally you know that these characters are mixed with life experiences he has had which brings them much depth.

From the business prospective, having worked with Jim from the very beginning to bring his company, DownStream Publishing, to life and seeing how its all taken off is one of the things I love most about being an accountant, advisor, confidante and friend too.

These books can be found on Amazon.com