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5 Important Cybersecurity Tips

As your team of trusted advisors, one of our main objectives is to provide you with the knowledge and resources to help you achieve your goals. In today’s digital world, we understand that you are susceptible to cybercrime and identity theft daily.

We have compiled a few cybersecurity tips to help protect you against these threats:
  1. Understand that you are a target. It is a mistake to assume that you will not be targeted by a hacker or cyber-criminal. If you let your guard down, you put your personal and financial well-being at risk.
  2. Update your devices and their software. It is important to keep your computer and any additional internet-connected devices such as your smart phone or tablet updated. These updates are sent out because vulnerabilities have been found.
  3. Keep your passwords strong and do not reuse them across multiple sites. Ensure that the passwords you are using are unique and would not be easily identified.
  4. Think before you click (or open). Be careful when clicking links or opening attachments within an email. If something seems suspicious, it probably is. In order to check, hover your cursor over a link before clicking. When doing this, you are able to preview the link allows to ensure you will be directed to a safe site.
  5. Physically protect your devices. Take every precaution to prevent your computer from being used or stolen by unauthorized individuals. Laptops are easy targets for theft so it is important to store them in a secure and locked location when not in use.

As your team of trusted advisors, we want to encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect you and your business against cybercrime. To begin protecting yourself, be proactive and have a complete understanding of the cybersecurity tips in this post.

LBA Haynes Strand aims to alert the public on any scam or fraudulent attempt to steal identities or gain access to important financial information. To automatically receive updates like these, subscribe to our newsletter.

3 Ways Startups Benefit from Outsourced Accounting

The accounting function should be a main priority for startup businesses. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, about 80% of small businesses survive the first year. This seems like a high percentage considering the common belief is that most businesses fail within the first year. About half of those small businesses reach the five-year mark and only one in three makes it to 10 years. When starting a business, it is important to take advantage of every opportunity to help you become successful. By outsourcing your accounting, the financial portion of your business will be headed in the right direction from day one.

Correct Set-Up

If you start outsourcing your accounting from the beginning, you can feel confident knowing your business financials will be set up correctly. When you start by doing your own accounting, it becomes difficult and expensive to migrate your data to a firm later.

Save Time & Energy

As a new business owner, your time is valuable. You should focus your time and energy on ideas, employees, products, and services instead of finances. Having an expert on your side will help you make important decisions on what accounting software should be used and ensure you are complying with tax and accounting standards. In addition, your outsourced accounting team will guarantee that your books are maintained properly and provide you with support in case of an audit.

Team of Professionals

Hiring an in-house finance team is both expensive and time consuming. There are many factors that go into choosing how many employees to hire and what qualifications they should have. As a business owner, you would also be responsible for training and managing these employees. When you outsource your accounting, you avoid these costs and time spent on the hiring and training process. Outsourcing allows you to work with professionals who have years of industry experience and are able to provide valuable insight to help you make the best business decisions.

Want to learn more about the benefits of outsourced startup accounting? Click here to start the conversation about the future of your business with LBA Haynes Strand.

The Advantages of a Cloud-Based Accounting Firm

In this recent article by Journal of Accountancy, CEO John Bly explains how LBA Haynes Strand successfully transitioned to cloud-based technology. In today’s world it is necessary to be able to work remotely and have the same access as you would if you were in the office. Are you considering making the switch to the cloud? John shares three advantages our firm noticed after the transition.

Cost Savings – Switching to the cloud provided cost savings for our firm in 2009 because we were previously buying new servers every three to five years. Once on the cloud, we didn’t have to replace the servers any longer and were able to eliminate the outsourced IT department expense.

Increased Security – Cloud computing is actually more secure than having servers in-house. When we had servers in-house, someone could have broken into our office, taken our servers, and caused a lot of damage. With the cloud, our IT department can see any unusual logins and handle any issues immediately. We also don’t have to worry about the security of our laptops, since none of our employees have client data stored on laptops.

Reliability – We’ve lost power about 15 to 20 times and a couple of times it was out for two to three days. If our servers were in-house, no one would have been able to work. However, for 10 years we’ve been cloud-based and in secure underground facilities that rarely lose power. We have 99% uptime. If we lose our power at the office, it’s no big deal, as everyone has the ability to work from home. The data centers are facilities specifically designed to keep servers up and running and able to recover quickly from any problems.

You should no longer receive delayed responses or hear that your auditor or accountant is unable to properly do the work you need until they return to the office. Accounting firms that operate in the cloud offer you streamlined responses to all your accounting questions. LBA Haynes Strand is proud to be a cloud based firm and offers the best service possible to our clients.

To learn more about how we can support you and share in the benefits of cloud-based technology, contact us!

3 Benefits of Hiring a CPA Firm for Your Accounting Needs

A CPA Firm can offer flexible, scalable, bookkeeping solutions to businesses and institutions of every size. Growing your business and sustaining the success of your organization is likely your overall goal. In order to achieve this, business owners must make sure that they have a strong, reliable accounting function in place.

As the leader, you should spend your time finding ways to increase the overall value of your business. If you find yourself crunching the numbers of everyday finances, a CPA firm’s accounting services could be invaluable to getting both you and your business back on the right path to success.

What are the benefits to hiring a CPA Firm for your accounting?
1. The Offering Of A Full Suite of Accounting Services

One benefit to hiring a CPA firm for your accounting function is the full suite of fully customizable services to fit your needs. You may have people in your accounting department, but what happens when they have limited knowledge or experience?  Hiring a CPA Firm gives you access to a full team of accountants and professionals that have that knowledge and experience.

What services are included?
  • AP management
  • AR management
  • Budget development
  • Business plans and forecasting support
  • Chart of accounts clean-up
  • Consulting services
  • Credit card processing
  • Deposit management
  • Expense reimbursements
  • Financial Statement preparation and analysis
  • General ledger review
  • Monthly or Quarterly meetings to review
  • Payroll management
  • QuickBooks support
  • Sales and use tax reporting
  • Year end 1099s
2. Hiring a CPA Firm For Your Accounting Saves You Time and Money

Your accounting department shouldn’t require a babysitter. You might think it’s your duty as the business owner, to manage workflow, or you might just be intent on keeping a close eye on your company’s finances. Is this really the best use of your time as the leader of your business? What you should be doing is checking in to each of your departments, ensuring smooth sailing, and then getting back to running your business as a whole. Hiring a CPA Firm allows you to do this by taking all accounting issues off your hands. You will be relieved from the day-to-day oversight of your company’s finances. Your available time increases, and you feel confident in taking that time to tackle other business issues.

Look at the budget and resources you currently have allocated towards your in-house accounting department and compare it against the investment of hiring an independent CPA firm. When examining these costs, remember to factor in all the extra costs of other salary factors, including employee benefits and payroll taxes. We are confident that you will be surprised at the price difference and the overall cost savings that hiring an independent CPA firm will provide your business.

3. Hiring A CPA Firm For Your Accounting Puts You In Control

If you are a business owner, there is no doubt that you have control over your business – but are things being managed according to your guidelines and vision? Are the financial policies and procedures your company requires being put into place? You may not have a tremendous amount of accounting knowledge, but you certainly have ideas on how you would like to see reports compiled and presented.

A good CPA firm will abide by these ideas. A good CPA firm will take your business plans and reporting preferences and arrange them into an easy to read, comprehensive format. For example, if you are not 100% in tune with 100% of your expenditures, a CPA firm might recommend a weekly, monthly, or quarterly cash flow analysis based on your needs.

The fact that you may not be an accounting expert should not prevent you from creating policies around your finances and a CPA firm can help you put those policies in act and strengthen them.

Leading your business means guiding the business to a brighter future. You should be focused on the overall picture, not busying yourself with daily duties throughout your departments. Even if your accounting department is performing adequately, as a leader, it is your responsibility to turn “adequate” into “effective” if you want to achieve sustainable business success. A CPA Firm’s accounting services ensure this effectiveness, and give you the time and tools you need to lead your business forward.

Want to learn more about the benefits that a CPA Firm’s accounting service can provide for your business? Contact us today to begin your conversation about your financial future with an experienced accountant at LBA Haynes Strand.