Friday, June 15, 2018

[WATCH VIDEO] Only Spend Money on What Is Essential for Your Business

In this video from Entrepreneur Network partner Business Rockstars, Carol Koh Evans details her journey to becoming the current CFO and COO of Tradesy, a resale marketplace for luxury design fashion. Evans, who previously worked as banker and, later, within corporate strategy taking companies public, talks about her transition from the corporate world to the fashion startup. 

One of Evans's main jobs as CFO is managing cash flow. When determining the payoff between two areas that are both deserving of cash, she often thinks in terms of non-essential versus essential -- or if something is a vitamin or a painkiller. This metaphor is great way for Evans to whittle down the challenges of her job as a decision-maker in a growing company. 

Click play to hear more of Evans's story and advice. 



Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

5 Tips to Reduce Your Business Expenses to The Minimal

Setting up a business from scratch is a dream of every budding entrepreneur in the 21st century. What attracts most people to this lifestyle is the fact that you get to be your own boss, the work hours are as per you want, and most importantly, you know that whatever your firm earns or how much money the company makes, it’s because of your direct input.

However, where entrepreneurship has its benefits and golden points, it also has a few limitations. One such limitation, is financial limitation. Money matters, a lot, for firms of all shapes and sizes, there are no two ways about it. This means that if you don’t manage your business expenses and finances, poof, it won’t be long before there is no firm to manage.

The fact of the matter is, money isn’t necessarily only attached to the sales your firm notches in a month, it is also associated with how you handle it. The less money you spend on things that your business doesn’t need, the better your business operates in the long run. The more lavishly you spend the money, with no regards to the immediate and future needs of your firm, the more likely it is that you will tank your firm in the near future. In general, if you want to enjoy a decent reservoir of money, you have two options. You can either add to your sources of income or you can cut down on your expenses.

If you pick the former, it might seem like a great idea on paper. After all, you are thinking about adding to your business capacity, which means that you will probably enjoy more success in the future. However, this option involves a lot investment on your part. You cannot just add to your sources of income like you’re adding numbers, it’s a very lengthy and extensive process. On the other hand, reducing your expenses and cutting down on the money you spend on things that you or your company can do without, only requires patience and smart decision-making on your part.

If you’ve made up your mind that to have more cash on hand, you’re going to follow the latter option, we’re going to help you by giving you 5 tips on reducing your business expenses to the minimal.

#1. Think Outsourcing for your Business

If you need something done, you can either order your HR department to look for a potential candidate, call them for an interview, negotiate a monthly salary with them, then maybe train them for a bit, and then get the thing done.

OR you can NOT do all that, and just hire another small firm to carry out your specific task.

Which sounds simpler?

Furthermore, in case you’re still not persuaded by the argument, outsourcing a task to some other firm or person, results in saving up a lot of money and TIME. If you’re a small business that sells handcrafted shoes, you don’t have to hire an IT department to develop and manage a website for you so that you could reach potential clients. All you have to do is head over to freelancing websites, like Upwork or Fiverr, look for a quality freelancer, and hire them to do your job for a fraction of the money that you would pay to an IT department.

#2. Negotiate B2B deals like your life depends on it

It is common for a business to seek help from other businesses to carry out its tasks. Think about a small furniture business that needs a delivery truck service to deliver the goods to their clients. The delivery trucks aren’t part of the furniture company, but they still provide their service to the furniture company as part of a B2B deal.

These Business-to-Business deals are quite common in the current business climate, and many firms are benefiting from this concept. However, it is important to know how much you can afford to spend on these business expenses, because if you are paying more than you are earning, what’s the point, right?

In such a situation, it is a good idea to always send your best negotiator for these B2B deals. Negotiating with another small business, isn’t like negotiating with a multinational corporation. When you negotiate with another small business, you need to keep in mind that their needs and motives are as simple as yours. They also want their company to prosper, spend less, and earn more. Considering that, it is important to make sure that you propose a deal that is a win-win for both the firms.


#3. Reconsider your hiring policy

Your employees are the bread and butter of your business, the sooner you realize that the better. Having said that, it is quite crucial for you, as a business owner, to hire the best people for the job. Hiring someone who doesn’t deserve the job, will not only be bad ethically, but will be bad for your business as well. It is true that good talent doesn’t come cheap. But think of it like this. Won’t you be ok with spending a few extra bucks to hire the right talent, instead of hiring the wrong person and paying for their incompetence every single day?

#4. Embrace technology with open arms

As we’re living in the age of information, if you don’t embrace technology with open arms, you and your business will crash before you even get off the ground. Nowadays, you can use social media, state of the art technology, and the most modern technological advancements to your advantage and ensure that your business progresses like never before. One great advantage that using modern technology has, is that it allows you to considerably reduce your expenses by cutting down on the ineffective human element.

#5. Don’t work HARD, work SMART

The key to success is NOT in working hard, it is in working SMART. Make smart decisions that aren’t always so obvious, but not that hidden either. For instance, think about hiring interns, who are in need to experience, to carry out supporting tasks. WHY? Because interns are usually paid lesser than the industry standards, which means, you can get more done even when you spend less.

If you follow these steps now with determination and consistency, be sure to have a reasonable rate of reduction in your business expenses, thus increasing your savings and happiness.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Relationship Management: The Secret to Getting Paid on Time

According to research from Fundbox small businesses in the United States, are owed a whopping $825 billion in unpaid invoices. What the study doesn’t make clear however is how many businesses go unpaid due to poor relationship management with their customers.

Where’s My Money?

First, you’re not the only one not getting paid.

79% of business owners in another survey by FundBox say they’re unable to pay themselves because of overdue invoices. Further, 23% can’t hire new employees, 20% say they can’t spend money on new equipment, and 17% state they’re unable to build up inventory—all because of overdue payments.

But what if you had more control?

What if the reason you haven’t gotten paid is because you haven’t given the client the impression you’re worth being paid on time?

How Being Proactive With Relationship Management Will Get You Paid

It’s crazy, I know. The rule should be you do the work and you get paid.

As the business owner, however, you carry the responsibility of implementing relationship management strategies and forging solid relationships with clients where they’re happy to pay on time.

Relationship Management Strategy #1: Move Outside The Inbox

Pick up the phone for a conversation, schedule a video call, or meet in person. Show them you’re a real person whenever possible.

Email’s faster – I get it. But, when you trade face time for screen time, it’s much easier for clients to view you as an interchangeable service provider.

Setting up a weekly or bi-weekly video chat is the simplest relationship management tactic you can employ today that will go a long way in providing value and reminding your client why they picked you over the many other providers of the same service, often at a lower cost.

Taking the concept of moving outside the inbox a step further, find time for casual meetings in a restaurant, coffee shop, or pub. A change of scenery goes long way in adding depth to their perception of you, and remind them why you’re worth paying in full and on time.

Action Item:
  • Set up a recurring video or phone call with clients to get outside of the inbox.
  • Make a point to occasionally meet in informal settings to build rapport.


Relationship Management Strategy #2: Develop a Personal Relationship

It should go without saying, but people like doing business with people they enjoy spending time with – so find some shared interests.

Whether you’re both currently training for your first half marathon or you can commiserate over the challenges of staying home with a sick kid, giving your clients and customers a peek at who you are as a person—and not just a business owner—will solidify that bond.

While the goal of relationship management is to get paid faster and retain your customer, a more satisfying side-effect is forming a bond that transcends the typical client/vendor relationship and evolves into a friendship that extends long after the contract is over.

Action Item:
  • Set aside time in each interaction to learn about your client personally.
  • Randomly follow up on shared interests.

Relationship Management Strategy #3. Follow Up Consistently and Frequently.

How well can you build a meaningful relationship in one hour, once a month?

Consistent, frequent, meaningful contact over multiple channels – email, instant messenger, text or phone – demonstrate that you’re not just in it for the paycheck.

Even if you don’t have something to deliver at a specific point in time, use the time to check in with a brief update, pass along an article, or talk briefly about a shared interest.

Gaps happen and goals aren’t always met on-time, However, don’t set the precident that it is acceptable to go weeks without communication or results. If that’s ok with you, your client has every right to assume it’s ok for them—regardless of the payment terms.

Action Item:
  • Make a point to minimize large gaps in communication
  • Schedule a regular meeting and establish check-in frequency from the outset of the relationship.

Relationship Management Strategy #4: Be Gracious and Thoughtful in Your Automated Interactions

If you’ve been working with a client for a while, or have been sending your invoices automatically, it’s easy to forget how much language counts.

An often forgotten element of relationship management is auditing all of your automated communications.

Even if all of your email interactions and regular phone conversations are friendly, curt default messages saying “Payment is due within 30 days” or “Thanks for being a customer!” can feel inconsistent and off-putting.

Take the time to evaluate all of your default messaging and inject more of your personality into it, so it doesn’t feel like a robotic exchange of goods and services for money.

Action Item:
  • Consider how you would respond were the transaction taking place in person and with cash
  • Evaluate your existing automated messaging and figure out how you can make it a little more human.

Relationship Management Strategy #5. Remember Birthdays, Holidays, and Milestones

It never hurts to express gratitude by sending something special for a client’s birthday, during the holidays, or after a major milestone.

Gifts should be tailored to their personal interests, but maintain a level of professionalism. In this list of client gift ideas on CNBC for example, there are personalized pen sets, stylish wine sets, terrariums, and more.

If your client has a gift policy that prohibits receiving gifts, a card with a thoughtful message works just as well.

Action Item:
  • Mark important dates and milestones in your calendar so you remember to recognize those with a gift or note.
  • Select tasteful gifts that reflect their personality in a thoughtful way

It’s Time to Collect What You’ve Earned

You don’t want your invoices to collect dust—nobody can blame you. However, while managing your client relationships will improve your chances of getting paid on time, there’s so much more to it than that.

Making relationships a priority will improve your reputation, increase referrals and recommendations.

Yes, getting what you’re owed is a definite perk. But, gaining a new sense of connection and friendship with the people your business serves? Well, it’s tough to put a price on that.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How Smart Leaders Sabotage Their Own Time Management

Being good at time management has very little to do with intelligence. In fact, some of the sharpest leaders I know really struggle to use their time effectively. In many cases, they get into their own heads, overthinking things rather than developing the simple yet effective habits that good time management requires.

Let me show you what I mean. Here are just a few examples of how even the shrewdest leaders can sabotage their own time management efforts.

Where Time Management Goes Off the Rails

They master the art of procrastination. Maybe this sounds familiar to you: You have a big project due, and map out how you can get it all finished in the days to come—spending some time on it tomorrow, a little more time the following day, wrapping it all up the night before it’s due. But this leaves you doing nothing today, and as complications inevitably arise, you find yourself in a panic. Don’t let yourself become too skilled at putting things off for tomorrow!

They don’t have healthy morning routines. Think you’re smart for rolling into work at the crack of dawn to get things accomplished? Well, that’s not necessarily the case—certainly not if you’re skipping breakfast, exercise, and a little quiet time to ground yourself for the new day’s challenges.

They don’t schedule time for themselves. Sometimes good time management means scheduling everything—including time for you. If your calendar doesn’t block off time to go to the gym or eat dinner with your family, it may not be as complete or as well-balanced as you’d like to think.

They think they can multitask. You can’t do it. Nobody can. Studies confirm again and again: Your brain can’t handle multiple things at once; all it does is switch between tasks in a way that leaves you weary and your work sloppy.

They rush. When you’re really smart and really good at your job, it can be tempting to rush through things without taking time to think things through or check your quality—and this results in errors you have to fix. In other words, it actually costs you more time in the long run.

These are just some of the ways in which smart leaders can mess up their own time management.


Image Source: FunkyFocus / Pixabay

Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

How To Dramatically Improve Your Company Finances

In order to thrive in the competitive world of business, it is vital that you have a strong hold on your finances. Otherwise, you could be at risk of running your business into the ground and failing to keep up with your industry peers. Regardless of your existing profits, there is always room for improvement. The right mindset could help you to save an enormous amount of money, whilst bringing in an impressive number of sales. If you are eager to find out more, you will need to pay close attention to the following six steps.

Make the most of your online platform

In this digital age, it is important that you are making the most of your online platform. This is a fantastic way for you to engage with a modern audience and to widen the impact of your business. If you are determined to secure success, simply setting up a website and waiting for sales is not enough. Instead, you need to adopt a proactive approach. You can achieve this by finding out how to generate leads online. Doing your research will improve your chances of seeing a return on the investment you have made in your online platform. It will also have an incredibly positive effect on your company profits.

Streamline your workforce

Another great way for you to dramatically improve your company finances is to streamline your workforce. As your business grows, you might be tempted to take on employee after employee.

However, in order to keep your costs low, you need to think carefully about every pay packet you are handing out. You need to find out if there are any areas of your operation where you could merge two different roles into one. You should also think about hiring virtual employees or encouraging some of your staff members to work from home. 

This is the perfect opportunity for you to cut down on the amount of money that you are spending on your company wages. It is also a great way for you to embrace a modern way of doing business, instead of getting left behind.

Re-evaluate your choice of premises

Once you have restructured your workforce, it is time to re-evaluate your choice of premises. If you have a smaller onsite team, you should consider moving to a smaller space. 

This could be the ideal chance for you to relocate to a more expensive area that will help your business to establish an impressive reputation. Even if you can’t afford to purchase or rent out an entire building, you could always share your office space with another organization. 

This is a great way for you to benefit from pooled resources and reduced expenses. Alternatively, if the majority of your operation is run online, you should think about managing your business from home. Then, you could check in with your employees during monthly meetings, Skype calls, and video chats.

Embrace an eco-friendly attitude

If you are unable to move away from some kind of company premises, don’t worry, there are still plenty of great opportunities for you to save money. For instance, you could embrace an eco-friendly attitude and use this to cut down on your monthly bills. Investing in solar panels, effective insulation, and LED lightbulbs could make a big difference. 

You should also think about your company waste, and endeavor to cut down on your use of paper. Another idea is to install smart technology in your company offices. Again this is an expensive investment. 

However, in the long-term, this could be a great way for you to take control of your devices. Not only will these changes help to improve your finances, but they could also become a major part of your marketing strategy. 

It has been shown that modern consumers react well to ethical brands. Just imagine how impressive it will be to claim that your company has cut down on its waste and taken great strides towards generating its own energy.

Just remember, when it comes to standing out in a crowded market; every little helps!

Automate your operation

Next, you should consider automating your operation. This is a fantastic way for you to save money, time, and effort. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to improve staff morale. Instead of asking your workers to carry out the same repetitive tasks day in day out, embracing automation will allow your team to get on with the more complicated aspects of their role. 

In addition to this, automation could help to speed up your operation so that you are able to provide a better level of service. For instance, if you run an online store, an automated confirmation email will allow your clients to stay on top of their orders. Or, an automated initial response to complaints, could prevent your clients from becoming frustrated and turning away to your competitors.


Hire an accountant

The final step is to hire an accountant for your business. This is a great way for you to confront your finances head on, instead of burying your head in the sand. If you are currently struggling with debt, a professional advisor will assist you in getting your company back on track. 

However, even if your finances are relatively healthy, you could still benefit from having an effective accountant on board.

They will help you to prepare for your taxes and to avoid costly mistakes. They could also assist you in establishing an impressive investment portfolio that will make the most of your available funds.

Instead of leaving your money to sit in the bank, you could be using it to generate more earnings for your business. Whether you decide to invest in the stock market, the property market, or a smaller organization, seeking out financial advice is sure to help you on your way. Furthermore, effectively managing your money could support your plans for expansion. If you need to secure financial backing for your entrepreneurial endeavors, you will be a lot more likely to do so if you can show that you are good with money.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Key Tips For Managing Your Finances More Effectively

Juggling money is a tough game, and it’s not easy to keep a handle on day-to-day expenses. If your paycheck is quickly getting eaten up, not long after it lands in your account, then you may want to make some variations. Doing so will help you reach your financial goals sooner.

Take A Look At Your Lifestyle

To budget and save money, it really comes down to discipline. That’s why you should take a hard look at your lifestyle to identify any poor spending habits. If you’re out partying all night or upgrading your phone every second month, then you may want to try and refocus your priorities.

Spend Less Than You Make

It sounds too simple really but spending less than you’re earning is crucial to managing your finances. The problem is many people try and live beyond their means and are always spending just a little more than they afford.

Often a person will get a raise or move to a more financially rewarding position, however, instead of saving more, they simply increase their spending. Doing so puts them right back at step one again.

It’s crucial to have discipline to meet your financial goals.

Use An App To Track Expenditure

If you simply can’t work out where all your money is going then consider tracking each purchase on your smartphone. There are a ton of apps that can help you with this. Every time you pull out your wallet to pay, simply pull out your phone as well, to log the transaction.

Cut Back On Money Drains

If you have any major money leeches in your life, then you may want to make a change. For example, a new car may be glamorous and exciting, but it can put a heavy load on your weekly expenses. There is the cost of repaying the loan (plus the interest on the load), not to forget insurance, registration, maintenance, fuel, and anything else that goes with it. Then by the time the car is paid off, it is only worth a fraction of the purchase price.

A similar situation can be had for other items such as new furniture or appliances.

If you can, try and choose a second-hand option rather than a new one.

Invest Extra Cash

If you do manage to scurry away some funds, then try not to leave them sitting in a savings account. The interest earned may only be enough to keep up with inflation and won’t be providing much financial benefit. Consider more powerful investment options, such as term deposits, bonds, and managed funds.

If you do plan to jump into the world of investing, then it pays to keep up to date with the latest financial and business news. You can do so by visiting the Wall Street Hedge.

Just remember, it’s best to consult with a professional if you’re unfamiliar with the different investment options.



By keeping track of your expenses and even making some lifestyle changes you can hopefully gain greater control over your money. So, consider if these key tips could be of benefit to you. By putting some of them into practice, you will be able to make your hard-earned cash go a lot further.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

5 signs you need to clean up your finances

Many people have yet to face reality when it comes to their finances. If you're in that camp, consider this your firm, but friendly, wake-up call.

If any of the following signs apply to you, it's time to rethink your approach to spending and managing money — before you dig yourself into a permanent hole.

1. You're living paycheck to paycheck

If you're currently living paycheck to paycheck, it's time to cut back on at least one major expense to buy yourself some wiggle room for the unexpected. Maybe that means downsizing to a smaller home, or going from a two-car household to sharing a car with your partner. Either way, the key is to take your resulting savings and stick that money directly into the bank.

You also might consider getting a side hustle to build some emergency reserves. At a minimum, you should have enough money in the bank to cover a three-month period of unemployment. Now, if you're starting with $0, that won't happen overnight, but if you're willing to work a second gig that puts, say, an extra $500 a month in your pocket, you might get there within a couple of years.

2. You're not saving for retirement

If you're one of the many US households that have nothing saved for retirement, then it's time to start prioritizing your future before you lose out on critical years of growth. Ideally, you should be saving 15% or more of your income for your golden years, but if you're used to saving nothing, you're not going to go from 0% to 15% right away.

What you can do, however, is pledge to set aside $50 a month from this point onward and increase that number as your salary goes up. Keep in mind that if your employer sponsors a 401(k) plan and offers a match, contributing enough to get that free money will work wonders for your nest egg, as well.

3. You're carrying credit card debt

Most of us are familiar with debt — we finance our homes by taking out mortgages and pay for college with loans. But while the aforementioned types of debt are almost a universal necessity, credit card debt is a completely different story. Simply put, credit card debt is the worst kind to have, and the longer you carry it, the more money you end up losing to interest. If you're saddled with credit card debt, it's time to rethink your habit of whipping out that plastic and consider moving to a cash-only system until your balance is whittled down.

4. You have no idea what your credit report looks like

About half of adult Americans haven't checked their credit report in the last six months, according to a recent survey. A large number of credit reports contain errors that could bring down your score and make it costlier to borrow money for things like a home or a vehicle.

If you're clueless about your credit report's contents, obtain a free copy and study it carefully. And if you spot a mistake, take steps to correct it before it does further damage.

5. You don't have a budget in place

Most Americans don't follow a budget, even though it's probably the easiest and most effective money-management tool out there. Without a budget, you'll have a hard time seeing where your money is going and where you have room to cut corners, so take an hour out of your day and create one immediately.

If you list your monthly expenses and find that they exceed your income, you'll know you're in trouble — but without that budget, you may not realize the extent to which you're overspending.

Maintaining poor financial habits is a good way to dash your dreams of ever feeling secure in your lifetime. If your finances need some attention, stop what you're doing and carve out the time to get back on track. You'll be thankful you did in the long run.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Is Your Record Keeping System Wasting Time (And Money)?

Bills, Invoices, Purchase Orders, Receipts, Contracts… the amount of paperwork a business generates adds up quickly. Without a well-organized system for record keeping, it can be paralyzing, with detrimental effects to getting paid on time, tracking accounts payable, and reducing your tax liability during tax season.

The questions you may ask yourself around record keeping are multi-faceted:

  • Who is responsible for keeping the records for your business?
  • What happens when you need retrieve a vital record like a contract or tax paperwork?
  • Where do you store your physical records?
  • When do you process your paperwork?
  • Why am I even doing this anyways?
  • How do you keep track of inbound and outbound paperwork?
  • What percentage of my documents need to be secure?

But, perhaps the most important question you have to ask yourself is, “How much time does managing documents take away from actually running my business?

Yes, How You Organize Your Records Can Waste Valuable Time

One common problem doctors face right now is that for every hour spent with patients requires two hours focused on record keeping.

While that example may seem like an outlier, given the compliance issues specific to medical professionals, another study by Deloitte found that in retail banks, moving their document management system to the cloud reduced operational costs in processing alone by as much as 25%. There was also an average reduction in record keeping management costs between 60-70%.

These associated costs include:

  • Employee salaries
  • Physical storage
  • Physical space
  • Relevant record keeping training
  • And more

Anecdotally, it’s not uncommon to hear of contractors or landscapers spending entire afternoons driving to their client’s houses to collect invoices, then spending time manually inputting payments into their accounting software.

This is time that could be spent with family, working on developing their business, or simply focusing on relaxation.

When looking at it through this lens, the problem seems apparent, unfortunately, many business owners aren’t aware, and write it off as “business as usual.”

There is a More Efficient Way for Organizing Documents

Fortunately, there is a better way; the cloud.

The cloud provides many benefits, but for the sake of brevity, let’s focus on three:

  • Efficiency
  • Mobility
  • Security

With free tools like Adobe Scan, you can quickly and easily use your smartphone camera to convert your documents to a PDF and have them automatically uploaded to the cloud.

The Biggest Challenges Around Managing Records

When it comes to accounts payable, you likely receive your bills in a variety of formats; a paper invoice here, a digital purchase order there, not to mention operational expenses such as internet, rent, electricity and so on.

This combination of digital and paper formats leave you with a handful of choices.

  1. Do you print bills, dedicate space, and use a physical filing system?
  2. Do you scan and store everything on a local computer or external hard drive?
  3. Do you move all of your documents into the cloud?

Let’s look at these options a little more closely.

1. The Risk and Cost of Paper File Storage

With physical storage, you have the benefit of having many years of well-established filing systems available to use, but the sorting and arrangement of files, no matter how good your record keeping system is, still takes up a considerable amount of time.

Using a paper filing system also means you need to dedicate space to storing your files. Also, since all paper files eventually need to be stored in the same physical space, if your business requires consistent travel, you risk losing or damaging paper files while in transit.

Also, as your business grows, so does the paperwork. Your file cabinet footprint, archive storage, and expenses related to hiring a filing clerk are all things you’ll need to contend with. Because of all this, paper storage can be cumbersome for any small business owner to manage on their own.

Consider this job description for a file clerk to see what the typical job responsibilities are.


  • Maintain, organize and index all case files for attorney; file correspondence, pleadings and other documentation in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Find and retrieve information from files in response to request from authorized users.
  • Print Emails and files in appropriate folders.
  • Create new entries and sub files as needed.
  • Keep records of materials field or removed, using log books or computers.
  • Modify and improve filing systems, or implement new filing systems.
  • Perform periodic inspections of materials or files in order to ensure correct placement, legibility, and proper condition.
  • Place materials into storage receptacles, such as file cabinets, boxes, bins or drawers, according to classification and identification information.
  • Scan ir read incoming materials in order to determine how and where they should be classified or filed.
  • Purge and box closed files to be sent to storage according to file maintenance guidelines and/or legal requirements.
  • Perform general office duties such as typing and operating office machines. *Perform related job duties as required.

According to, the average file clerk is paid is between $19,345 – $35,471/ year. Relying on a paper filing system means the costs of hiring multiple file clerks will only grow alongside your business.

There are also a few other considerations too: What will you do when you move offices? How do you guarantee your paper storage is safe and secure? What about the unfortunate event of a flood, fire, or other natural disaster?

Depending on how far back your records go, you risk of losing these files forever.

With Adobe Document Cloud, you can scan, store, and secure files quickly and permanently, without the hassle that comes with physical storage.

2. Why Storing Files Locally on Your Computer and External Hard Drive Isn’t As Modern As You’d Think.

Storing files locally on your computer or on external hard drives certainly feels like a more modern approach to file management, and it’s what many business owners do today.

Digital files minimizes the issues around file cabinet footprint, and saves considerable time through the filing and file retrieval process (if you don’t mind spending the time standing at a scanner, scanning in your paper files that is.)

It’s a step in the right direction. Storing files on external hard drives greatly reduces the portability and archival issues inherent with a paper record keeping system. And it’s certainly faster to attach important documents in an email than it would be to hire a courier.

But is local digital file storage any less risky than a paper filing system? Not really.

Consider, with a paper record keeping system it would take a flood or fire to damage your files.

With local computer storage all it takes is a glass of water spilling on your laptop or a power surge, and you risk losing everything.

This of course can be mitigated when you’re backing your files on external hard drive, but then, you have to consider the theft risk that comes with consolidating all of your files.

3. Why Adobe Document Cloud is The Best Option For Record Keeping

It’s understandable if you’re hesitant about moving to “the cloud,” since it’s only become mainstream within the last decade, and there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding it.

All the cloud really is however is a series of secure file servers maintained by large corporations that allow you to upload and edit your documents on the go.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works with Adobe Document Cloud:

  1. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (Free Trial available) to create a PDF.
  2. Upload your files to Adobe Document Cloud secure servers.
  3. Manage and sort your files online.
  4. Send secure files, ask for signatures, and keep your business moving.

That’s really it.

With Adobe Document Cloud, you can access and edit your documents from your computer, smartphone or tablet, making it easy to run your business wherever you are.

If file security is a concern, you can rest easy knowing that Adobe Document Cloud is compliant with the most rigorous security standards.

Here are just a few examples of the security standards Adobe follows:

For a full list of security compliances, click here.

Not only are your files secure, but it’s also extremely simple to collect electronic signatures on the go and convert your physical documents into PDFs

With tools like Adobe Scan, you only need to take a picture from your smartphone, and thanks to built-in optical character recognition the paper file is automatically converted to PDF. This means you can easily search, highlight, comment, and edit text from any device.

The best part is, if you’re concerned about keeping physical or local copies of your files, you still can, resting easy knowing you’ll always have a backup in the event something goes wrong.

Convenience and efficiency are the main reasons why the State of Hawaii, The Academy of Art, REA Group, and so many others rely on Adobe Document Cloud.

Ready to Stop Wasting Time Organizing Files?

As an Intuit customer, you can get Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for as low as $11.99/month.

If you have any additional questions, check out Adobe Document Cloud Frequently Asked Questions or send us an email at

Your time is valuable. Reclaim it, and start focusing on the things that will drive the most growth both personally and professionally.


Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to assist them with financial management and creating organized systems and procedures. She specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.

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