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Introducing Flip Text!

Flipping houses isn’t for the faint of heart.  There are some things that are just out of your control.  But now, with Flip Text, you can have better control over your repair budgets.  Our bookkeeping clients simply need to send us an email to reibooksonline@gmail.com with the address, repair budget, and phone number (to receive texts.)

We track repair expenses by property. When you reach certain milestones – 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% – of your repair budget, we’ll send a text. So you will always know where you stand and help yourself stay on budget.

Flip Text only tracks repair expenses. To see all expenses incurred for a house, see your bottom line report on your shared drive.

This is just one more way are helping you track your business and numbers. There is no additional charge for Flip Text. Normal data rates may apply.

Remember, we love bookkeeping. You don’t.

REI

Why Your Bookkeeping Should Be In The Cloud

Everything is kept in the cloud these days – music, pictures, files – and bookkeeping. While there is still some reporting that Quickbooks desktop has that Quickbooks online doesn’t, for most businesses, it’s time to move to the cloud. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. It’s where all the cool kids hang out. Quickbooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks, there are several online accounting systems now. When is the last time you saw a new desktop accounting software come out? All the companies are moving online and that’s where they are putting their resources for updates and new ideas.
  2. Updates, updates, updates. Just this year, Quickbooks online has improved receipt management, made site navigation easier, and added time tracking options.  Quickbooks is constantly adding new reports and other tools to the online product.  And when they come out, they’re there – instantly. You don’t have to download an update or pay any more.
  3. No backups required. With a desktop version, you need to create a backup and take it offsite. With online programs, your data is constantly backed up, securely in the cloud. What if you had a fire in your office while you were at lunch. You would have to use yesterday’s back up and miss an entire half day of business in your books.  The security of these online programs is world-class. Someone steals your laptop? They still can’t access your books without knowing your user id and password. Of course, you could also log in and quickly change passwords if you ever thought your information was compromised.
  4. Mobile Access – Most online bookkeeping programs have mobile apps. You can snap a picture of your receipt, jot down the expense category and send that receipt directly to your account where it will match up when the expense comes through your bank feed.  Also, you can invoice customers directly from your phone, access reports, and much more. Have everything you need for your business on your smartphone.
  5. Multiple workers – it’s far easier for multiple employees and partners to be in your books with online bookkeeping. With some desktop versions, multiple people cannot be in the books at the same time.
  6. With the cloud, you can access your books from anywhere. So, when your bookkeeper makes an entry, you can see it immediately while you are traveling for business (or vacation, I took one of those once.) Anyway, if your office is in Detroit and you are traveling in Houston, with an internet connection you can see your financials.
  7. Professional access. Bookkeepers and accountants can access your books remotely. This gives you the opportunity to work with the best people for your needs and situation, even if they are on the other side of the country. Your bookkeeper can work on your books every day, whether it’s for hours or just a few minutes, keeping you up to date. For tax time, your accountant can log in and pull the reports and data needed to complete your taxes without remoting into your desktop and without visiting your office.
  8. Online systems have many plug-in apps that can be integrated into your online account. There are apps for commission reports, mileage tracking, timesheets, etc. You can pick the app or apps that can help your business. And there are new apps every day.

Also, your information will be kept in the cloud for any possible audits down the road.  Talk to your bookkeeper or accountant today about moving your books to the cloud.

REI Books, LLC is an online bookkeeping service specially designed for real estate investors.  This piece is for information only and should not be considered financial or accounting advice.  You should seek professional, financial advice for your specific situation and business.

It’s never too early to prepare for next year’s taxes

So, a few weeks ago, you either finally filed your taxes or filed for an extension. Even though the sting is fresh, now is the best time to start preparing for next year’s taxes. Here are some things to start thinking about now.

  1. Look at your bookkeeping. Proper bookkeeping should tell you quickly how your business is doing. What are my current sales? How much am I spending on marketing? Office expenses? Etc. If you have to dig too deeply to know the answers, a change may be in order.

There are many systems, from hiring a bookkeeper (like us) to doing it on your own through Quickbooks, Xero, or spreadsheets. Depending on your business, you may even use a simple hand written ledger. Whatever system you use, use it. Keep it up to date and accurate. Now is a great time to evaluate your system. Did your bookkeeping help or hinder filing your taxes?

  1. Get a handle on receipts. If you spent any time sorting through a box of receipts while preparing your taxes, you wasted time. Keep track of your receipts all year. If you use bookkeeping software or an online system, most let you scan and attach the receipt to the expense. The Quickbooks mobile app is perfect for this if you use QB online. You can also use a service like Shoeboxed where you mail in your receipts and they will scan them for you, creating an electronic file. The simplest method is a filing system. Create files for expense categories and keep the receipts in them. Write on the back of the receipt what it was for so you don’t forget.

The IRS says to keep receipts for three years from the date you filed or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Depending on the nature of your return, you may want to keep for seven years, just to be safe.  The IRS accepts scanned (PDF) receipts as proper documentation in case of an audit.

  1. Track your mileage. With so many mobile apps that track mileage, there is no excuse not to keep track. Apps like aCar, Trip Cubby, TraveLog, MileIQ all help you keep track of your mileage. No more pieces of paper or paper logs. Let the technology work for you. Most of the new apps also make it easy to distinguish between business and personal mileage.

 

  1. Review other financial documents. As a real estate investor, you have more than just receipts. There are also settlement statements, EMD checks, rental agreements, loan notes, etc. Now is the time to review these. Which loans will be paid off this year vs. next?  Which properties do you intend to sell? Which ones will you keep? I suggest keeping all documents together by property, making it easy for your bookkeeper and accountant to keep track.

 

  1. Consider a financial team. If you don’t have one, get a good CPA and bookkeeper. For most investors, the time saved letting professionals handle your books and taxes is well worth the amount that is charged. Interview CPAs and bookkeepers now, before the end of the year rush. Make sure your CPA and bookkeeper understand real estate and the inherent complexities of being an investor.

Tax time isn’t fun. But preparing now and having an organized approach, can make it less daunting. Whatever you do, Don’t Do Your Books On April 14TH!

– REI Books

REI Books, LLC is an online bookkeeping service specially designed for real estate investors.  This piece is for information only and should not be considered financial or accounting advice.  You should seek professional, financial advice for your specific situation and business.