There are many small business financial success tips out there. One that you should definitely consider is to start your accounting and bookkeeping as soon as you start your business.

Keep Your Expenses Logged

Starting up a small business comes with all kinds of costs. You may need a license, permits, or other registration. You also need to get your inventory, property, and websites set up.

As you are buying these essential business items, make sure they are being logged. When it comes to tax time you will be glad you did. Imagine if you forgot to account for a $1,000 fee that you incurred. Your taxes could be drastically different.

Profit Margin

Bookkeeping can help you keep track of your overall profit or lack thereof. It is one of the bare basics of business to make sure you are doing everything you can to turn a profit. Imagine if you forgot about an expense. You could think that you were making profit even if you were not. This could result in you wasting an endless amount of money.

If you are keeping good books, you can strategize. You can see which weeks you are making the most money. You can then try to determine what you did differently during those weeks. If you notice a pattern, you could keep it going and get the most profit possible.

Feel free to contact us for more small business financial success tips. Running a business can seem like a scary thing given all the tasks you need to complete. Having some advice can help get you going in the right direction to succeed.

If you haven’t already heard our big announcement, ProPay is now able to sync with QuickBooks, allowing business owners to more easily track and process credit card payments. This awesome new connection will allow you to process payments directly from QuickBooks, sync all other payments to QuickBooks automatically, and use batch processing for multiple payments at once within Quickbooks.

In partnership with the team that implementing this sync, TransaX, we have hosted a webinar that explains these exciting new features, and gives a demo of how they work. If you missed it, or you would like to see it again, we have embedded the recording of the webinar here. Enjoy!

In the past year, hackers have stolen approximately $1 billion from banks in the United States, Russia, Germany, China and Ukraine, among others. More than 100 banks in 30 different countries lost money in a hacking scheme that used malware downloaded from Russia.

The hackers gained access to the banks’ internal systems through a phishing scheme targeting bank employees. According to the Chicago Tribune, they used a tactic called “spear phishing,” in which targeted individuals receive authentic appearing emails. Some of the bank employees who received these emails clicked on email attachments, subsequently infecting their computers with malware.

Through this malware, called Carbanak, the hackers studied the employees’ actions at work.  They subsequently mimicked them in order to withdraw money. Two of the techniques they used were reprogramming ATMs to spill cash at different intervals and locations, whereupon “mules” collected it, and infiltrating customer accounts to artificially inflate balances and then withdraw the money immediately thereafter.

The hackers stuck to a limit of $10 million per bank, so that the activity was less obvious and, therefore, harder to detect. At this point, the hackers are still continuing to operate.

Unfortunately, the malware used, according to cyber security experts, points to an increased sophistication in the level of attacks. One expert refers to it as “leapfrogging” from previous hacking operations. Standard cyber security protocol instructs employees (and private individuals) to beware of unsolicited email. In addition, recipients should never open unrequested email attachments, and never click on links in emails unless the email is from a trusted source.

As hackers become increasingly proficient at targeting institutions, employees become one of the last lines of defense in protecting consumer accounts as well as financial information. As such, knowledge of cyber security basics is essential.

For more information on cyber security tips for your organization, contact us.

Protecting yourself from hidden fees from payment processors is a necessary aspect of business to consider. These tips will help you to have a better understanding of what to look for in fees and how to find the best processor.

Variety of Hidden Fees

There are many types of fees that can be hidden in payment processing. In general, many payment processors have a flat fee per transaction, and a percentage of the money transacted also taken as a fee. However, many payment processors try to be sly and tack on extra fees. Make sure the value of the transaction does not matter for fees. It is also important to make sure the fees listed do not have a volume requirement. Some payment processors require a certain amount of money transacted every month.

Ask the Hard Questions

This part is difficult but necessary. Make sure you are reading the documentation that comes along with signing up for any payment processor. You want to make sure that they are an adequate fit for your business. If you see something that looks weird in the agreement, you could have stumbled on a hidden fee, and it is definitely worth discussing with the company.

Trust Your Instincts

If a payment processor looks good on the outside, and perhaps offers their services for free, they could be hiding something. All businesses need to make money so you need to figure out where their money is coming from and how it impacts you.

Feel free to contact us about your payment processing and the hidden fees associated with them.

Fraud prevention has the potential to be one of the most cost-effective investments your company makes. To calculate your ROI, however, you need to understand the opportunity cost associated with fraud prevention.

A recent Yahoo Finance article reports on how much UK businesses lost due to fraud. Here are two of the most important figures:

- The average amount of money lost was $4,000

- 1% of SMBs lost more than $15,500

The article also explains that all businesses, whether small or large, can be impacted by fraud. We often say that small businesses are at a greater risk of fraud since hackers know they don’t have sufficient resources to invest in fraud prevention. Hacking small businesses isn’t as fruitful as hacking banks, but it’s easier to infiltrate unprotected technology systems that small businesses often use.

A cost-effective way to practice fraud prevention and protect your business is to use encrypted state-of-the art payment processors. These add an additional layer of security when your clients pay with credit cards. Moreover, you get to track payments in case someone tries to scam your business. The important thing is that you choose a payment processor which fits your company’s needs. There are tons of payment processors out there, and they all vary in terms of features and functions.

We recommend taking your time and researching a few payment processors until you’re completely satisfied with one. Feel free to reach out to if you have any questions about technical specifications.

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