QuickBooks Pro and Premier as Software-as-a-Service

While the market has clearly demonstrated the value and benefit of application hosting services, the lack of protections, consistency and support make it a venture fraught with peril for many. The volume of "grey market" activity and instances of license piracy have undoubtedly increased dramatically, as the cost of service delivery is high and the margins for the service provider are narrow. Manipulating the cost of service by leveraging the application licensing is sometimes the only way some service providers can create profitability in their offerings. But with the prior lack of oversight in terms of service pricing, licensing, quality assurance, or service orientation, it had become the "wild west" for service providers, and the perceived value of the service declined while the number of and variety of deliveries increased.

The answer to the problem, or at least as it exists around the Intuit QuickBooks products, is in the new ability for InsynQ to provide subscription access to QuickBooks Pro and Premier licenses when they are hosted. Customers no longer need worry about purchasing their QuickBooks software before engaging with the hosting company, and can avoid the annual cost of upgrading their application software. With the QuickBooks license delivered under a subscription program, customers are able to work with the most current version of the software, and know that their systems are protected and their data is secure. As an Intuit-authorized QuickBooks Hosting provider, InsynQ can supply, manage, and maintain hosted QuickBooks implementations for businesses of virtually any size and type - all with an Intuit-supported license.

QuickBooks And The Cloud

Businesses are now able to take broad advantage of Web-based application services and the features they can deliver without compromise to their choice of accounting and financial management system. Extending access to operational, sales, service, and other users within the enterprise has become a simple and seamless operation. For example, a business that needs to extend it's QuickBooks Enterprise system to accommodate multiple inventory or warehouse locations can do so easily by simply plugging in the Warehouse Management ES solution. This solution, actually developed and delivered by AccuCode, is a SaaS (software as a service) application which not only provides functionality for multiple warehouse management, but is designed as an anytime, anywhere application to allow those multiple locations to access the system when they need to.

Consider how beneficial it would be to businesses who elect to take advantage of the Web for them to be able to run their QuickBooks (feature-rich desktop QuickBooks) in an anytime, anywhere sort of environment, as well. With InsynQ's hosting services for QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise, organizations are able to have their QuickBooks financial applications managed, protected, secured, and made available to users all the time and from any location. The hosting service also supports many integrations and extensions for QuickBooks - for both desktop and Web-based applications and services. And, with InsynQ's ability to provide authorized subscription licensing for both QuickBooks and Microsoft Office, a business can have a complete, outsourced IT solution and pay only monthly service fees to get it. No upfront expense of purchasing software. No installation or system management to worry about. The QuickBooks financials, as well as the solutions it connects to, are connected in the cloud.

Managing Client Relationships in a Down Economy

The working model for demanding clients is On Demand

From Wikipedia: "On-Demand refers to a service or feature which addresses the user's need for instant gratification and immediacy of use. In most cases the value proposition for an on-demand service is wrapped up in the fact that the user or consumer of the service avoids a significant up-front financial investment and instead participates in a "pay as you go" plan - a model which makes on-demand services frequently more affordable for users.

Today's technology solutions allow you to have this type of flexibility and "instant gratification", while delivering the reliability, security and performance your business and your clients' businesses demand. By using technology to improve how you, your team members, and your clients work together, you can introduce new efficiencies into your existing business model. By using technology to your strategic advantage, you can change the way you do business and build new and more value into your services.

If you haven't yet involved your practice with online and Internet-based application services, you should move now to find out how they can streamline your existing processes, or even transform your practice into a firm which is ready to offer the type of "on demand" services and solutions business owners are looking for. The market has created the demand. Will you be ready to meet it?

Online Collaboration with QuickBooks Pro

You are the trusted advisor

The accounting professional has always been seen as a business advisor - a trusted partner that understands the conditions that impact business performance. This advisor not only reports on the business performance, but may make recommendations or judgments on certain situations or processes that are key to the business model. Leveraging your direct participation in your clients' financial systems can be a very successful component of practice building - mining out other opportunities that may exist in current client engagements.

In some cases, your clients will want to process their own bookkeeping in-house. Rather than taking a hands- off approach to these clients, engage them by providing training or consulting services to support their in-house bookkeeping.

If your firm provides real-time guidance and reviews, the quality of the financial information is far better and requires less work to adjust and report. Ultimately, saving your client time and money will reward your practice with more opportunity to engage the client in other efforts.

Protecting Yourself Against Data Theft

3. Stupid is as Stupid Does. And Stupid seems to be doing more than his fair share lately. Data theft is the classic crime of opportunity. "It was just laying there, so I took it." Or "The web site was unsecured" or "The safe was left open" or -one that I recently was asked about- "I left the box of records in the back seat, and someone borrowed my car." I love consulting, but dang, please make it harder for me, will ya? No more post-it notes with passwords conveniently stuck to the monitor, or so cleverly stuck under the keyboard. No more backup tapes on a shelf behind your desk, or stacked on top of the server. No more shared passwords for the entire office. Once again, if you don't know about this stuff contract someone who does. It is so very much cheaper and less stressful to spend a few bucks and a few hours hardening your system and providing a few hours of common sense training for your crew than it is to learn about your data disclosure from the guy with good hair and too many teeth holding the mike and standing sideways in your lobby so his cameraman can get a good shot.

Power to the People

Equine Accounting: Employee vs. Independent Contractor. Who's Who?

An independent contractor (IC) is someone who provides services to others, outside the context of employment. Examples of possible ICs to an equine business would be a contractor and an attorney. An employee is a person who provides services to a company on a regular basis in exchange for compensation and does not provide these services as part of an independent business. Examples of possible employees to an equine business would be your office manager and daily barn help.
Why is this information important to you? In recent years, the IRS has focused considerable attention on this issue. Classifying a worker as an IC avoids the payroll tax liability and reporting responsibility of having an employee. But misclassification of employees as independent contractors can cause the IRS to levy penalties and interest which could significantly affect your company.
The IRS considers three general categories - behavioral controls, financial controls, and the relationship of the parties.
Behavioral control exists when the company who has hired the worker has the right to control and direct the worker. The company does not have to actually control and direct the worker – only have the right to do so. Behavioral control includes the type and degree of instruction, any training provided and the type of evaluation performed.
Employee IC
Instruction Detailed General
Training Provided Worker uses own methods
Evaluation Ongoing Only end result evaluated
Financial control is measured by the degree of significant investment in the work, unreimbursed expenses, availability of services to the general marketplace and the opportunity for profit or loss. More financial control is usually indicative of an independent contractor.
Relationship of the parties covers factors such as whether the worker receives benefits, the existence of a written contract, permanence of the relationship, and whether the worker provides services which are a key activity of the business.
You may request a determination by the IRS as to the status of a worker by submitting Form SS 8 to the IRS. Be aware that the worker themselves may also file if they feel improperly classified as ICs and are held responsible for payment of employment taxes and denied benefits. The IRS will investigate the claim and you may be held responsible for all employment taxes as well as significant penalties and interest.
What is your responsibility as someone who hires an IC? If you anticipate that your annual payments to this vendor will meet or exceed $600, before commencement of work, you should obtain a signed W-9 Form. At the end of the year, you are responsible to complete a 1099 Misc Form for each unincorporated vendor meeting the $600 or more threshold. Submit a copy to the vendor by Jan 31 of the following year and a copy to the IRS by Feb 28.
If you determine the worker to be an employee, you are responsible for withholding and submitting to the IRS income and FICA taxes and paying unemployment taxes. You must also submit periodic reports regarding these withholdings and payments to the IRS. There is a lot of record-keeping involved and if you are not familiar with this process, it would probably be in your best interest to outsource the payroll. QuickBooks offers several affordable payroll solutions.
Prepare now for several proposed changes to 1099 reporting which include
Payments to corporations would now require a 1099 form when they exceed the $600 limit.
IC would be subject to withholding if they do not provide a valid Tax Identification Number.

IRS Publications 1779 and 15A on IC/Employee classification provide more detailed information on this issue and can be found at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=ul9id6cab.0.0.tnz777cab.0&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.irs.gov%2F&id=preview.