Have you ever wondered what makes businesses and the people behind them successful? At Elevate, we help dozens of businesses every day, and can share some insight into what drives them to be successful. Many Elevate cloud-bookkeepers and managers were also business owners at one point in their lives.

It is clear that in order to be successful, organizations need to have a sound strategic plan. However, in an increasingly competitive market, there are more and more ways that companies can stand out from the pack. It is important for organizations to understand which of these tactics will benefit them most and which tactics will be best suited to their specific business.

Here's what you need to know. 

Get the Mystery Out of the Employee Trust

By drawing together all of your employees into one unit, you are empowering them with knowledge about how the business works, their responsibilities, and why decisions are made.

At the same time, as an organization there is one less head to make mistakes under and one less group for disgruntled employees to blame. By pushing all decisions through voting processes and giving all employees a stake in the business success you will be creating a better working environment.

Build Your Brand From Within

A strong brand can have a significant impact on company performance in many ways. The most obvious is the impact it has on the bottom line. A strong brand makes it easier for your company to attract customers, and is more likely to be associated in a positive manner with the quality of products or services that you offer.

A strong brand can also act as a social safety net. If an organization is well known, if may be more likely to be trusted by its customers. In turn, this trust may result in a boost in sales and a fall-off in complaints.

Branding should not just be about creating a logo that looks good, although that is important too! Come up with a creative slogan or tagline that sums up your company's vision and values. A slogan like "The Good Life" will be more impactful than "How to be Successful". Most importantly be authentic and create a brand that has meaning for your target audience.

Expose Your Employees to New Ideas and Concepts

A well-educated workforce is better equipped to perform at the highest levels, especially in the new and fast-paced job market. When we do not know how things work, then we have no choice but to rely on other people who have that knowledge. Although it may seem that this knowledge can only come from outside of the company, it is possible to share this information with the right people inside the company. The key is to expose employees to new ideas and take an active role in their growth.

By sharing knowledge with your employees, they will gain an understanding of how their daily job fits into the bigger picture. This might give them a better sense of purpose when performing their job, which can impact on performance in a positive way. It also gives your business the opportunity to attract, develop, and retain talent that has a higher level of skill and competency.

Keep Financial Score

In a business it's important to keep track of how you are doing and how everything adds up. It's easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are working on specific tasks or projects, so it's good practice to take a step back every now and then and think about what this means for the future.

Cash is king so always make sure you have cash flow. It is also important to watch your company's profits and losses and keep track of how the business is doing. This information will give you a sense of where your business is headed, which can be used to help make strategic decisions in the future.

Have a Budget and Stick to it

It can be tempting to spend as much money as possible on sales and marketing in order to bring in more new customers. If you are not careful this can increase your expenses far beyond your income, which will lead to cash flow problems.

Start planning your budget now and try to stick to what you have set aside for sales and marketing. If you are offering a special deal or promotion, it is important that you do so in accordance with this budget.

Keep the Balance Sheet Closely Held

When building your business finances, it can be tempting to set aside some money in the bank for emergencies or unforeseen things. However, this can lead to problems down the line if something unexpected happens and you haven't covered it off in your budget. It is important to keep an eye on cash flow so that you know exactly how much money is coming into your business.

If you tie your budget down to an exact number, it can become a little bit restrictive. Instead of having a specific number in mind when writing your budget, make a list of the things that need to be included in it. While you can't possibly allow for every expense that may come up, this is a good way to re-evaluate and update your budget as needed. By keeping all costs in line with the revenue of the business at any given time, you are much more likely to stay under control.

Set Goals/Targets/Objectives

There is no point in setting up goals unless you do something with them. The whole idea behind setting goals for your business is to help you decide where you want your business to go.

For example, if you want to increase the volume and value of sales over the coming year, then it's important to look at what led to this increase. Were there certain marketing strategies that worked well? Was it a larger amount of traffic coming through your website? Or was it just one particular product or service that did really well? By setting goals for your business, you can figure out what worked and then repeat this as a success model in future.

High-Impact Marketing: Brings Awareness To Your Business

The approach that you take during a marketing campaign will have a significant impact on both sales and costs. If you're spending money on ads and promotions, then it is important that they are effective, especially when it comes to driving traffic to your website. There are a number of different ways to do this, including video campaigns, TV ads, social media campaigns and more.

When you incorporate these techniques into your marketing strategy over time, you can see the results in better sales and less cost for your business. By creating a successful advertising campaign with high impact for your customers, you are helping them find the kind of products or services they need and helping them achieve their big objectives through your company's support.

Wearing many hats comes naturally to some, but to most it means being diligent, purposeful, and consistent. While it may feel like your role in the business is to be at its head, it's important to remember that you work within a team of people.

If you keep these things in mind when planning out your goals for the future, you will be able to put your company on the path to success.

If you feel that some of the pieces mentioned above could be worthwhile to explore together, please reach out to us . We'd be glad to be of assistance.

Please feel free to share the content found on this blog, post freely and with attribution, if it can help you and others to grow your business.

Local bookkeepers are typically recommended because of their proximity, as they are in the same city and can come to your office or home for a meeting. That being said, the advent of remote bookkeeping and cloud-based services has made it easier than ever to work with professionals online. For businesses, this means greater security as there is no sensitive information on their local machine.

Have no fear; you can work remotely with the best cloud-bookkeepers online without feeling apprehensive or risk-averse! Here are 9 reasons for working securely online with a professional Elevate cloud-bookkeeper:

#1 - Work remotely with your favorite cloud-bookkeeper

If you're looking for a local bookkeeper, it's worth considering that the distance between you and the bookkeeper may not matter at all. There are bookkeepers that work remotely, and while there may be a few more steps involved, with proper procedures you can work with your favorite bookkeeper without leaving the comfort of your own home or office, and still be more secure than working with someone local.

#2 - Work with a cloud-bookkeeper for peace of mind

There are no secrets safe on your local machine! A cloud-based service means that there is an added layer of security to protect all personal data on the cloud. The data is protected in several ways - encrypted at all times (on every step of the way), expertly managed and backed up daily. You don't have to worry about losing data if your computer is stolen or damaged, because most cloud-bookkeepers will have you covered in a heartbeat.

#3 - Get a remote bookkeeper to work with you as your partner to provide solutions

Some small business owners are extremely overwhelmed with the amount of work they need to get done each day. A local bookkeeping & tax professional can be a great asset but they're typically working with other clients as well, so adding more pressure or stress is certainly not what you want. Instead, find yourself a bookkeeper & tax professional who can support and help you grow your business. A cloud-bookkeeper is different than a bookkeeper near you - they are committed to working with you as a partner, to provide you with all the solutions you need to help your business grow.

#4 - Use a secure online payment system for peace of mind

There are several secure payment gateways that provide a safe and secure way to pay for services. Many small business owners who choose an online bookkeeper usually use such a system, so it's worth checking out if you're getting started, too!

#5 - Keep records in the cloud for digital audit trails back up as well as ease of access from anywhere any time

Digital records are easier to access and maintain while backed up in the cloud. Cloud-bookkeepers provide not only cloud-based bookkeeping, but are also extremely knowledgeable and experienced staff when it comes to being able to quickly assist clients with any issues or needs they may have with digitizing all of their source documents, records, and company & employee files. And for businesses who do not have a full time staff, this serves as an added benefit.

#6 - Select your cloud bookkeeper based on the services they offer

Most cloud-bookkeepers will offer services such as a secure payment gateways, remote access programs, online payroll with dedicated employee portals, advisory services using state-of-the-art reporting tools, as well as support other small business owners in growth through blogs and other resources.

#7 - Create a comprehensive budget that keeps you accountable

A cloud-bookkeeper will provide you with the tools and services you need to be able to create a budget, so you have no reason to not adhere to it. Cloud-based bookkeeping software is extremely easy to use and will keep you organized and in compliance with all of the most up-to-date accounting requirements, giving you a comprehensive record of all income and expenses in real-time.

#8 - Get your bookkeeping online before or after your fiscal year-ends

Bookkeeping software is known for its user-friendliness and simple design, and since it can be accessed from anywhere, even if you begin working with a cloud-bookkeeper right before or after the end of the year you will still be able to take advantage of that.

#9 - Understand the value of outsourcing

Hiring a professional bookkeeper can be intimidating for some small business owners and entrepreneurs, and most business owners do not have the time or budget to bring on a full time bookkeeper. No matter how tired you are of doing your own bookkeeping or how much you think that you can handle it yourself, bookkeeping is not something that should be left to chance. As long as you consider a few of the above points, then starting to work with your cloud-bookkeeper may just be the best decision you ever made.

Whether you are a business owner, partner or board member of a small business, bookkeeping & taxes can be daunting and confusing. You may not know where to begin, or you may be concerned about the details. Fortunately, your cloud-bookkeeper can help by providing tax planning services and/or reviewing your past year's taxes to ensure that you are on the right track. Your bookkeeper will also provide his or her expertise in preparing and filing the necessary tax reports required by all tax authorities. Want real-time data & information? Entrust your business to an Elevate Cloud-Bookkeeper -

"One-on-one personal service, a fresh approach to accounting solutions—no gimmicks, no pressure, just great service and great results. That’s Elevate by Welch", says Sean Duffy, CPA, CMA, and Senior Manager at Elevate by Welch, a cloud-bookkeeping service that supports small business owners with their bookkeeping & tax needs.

“Anita is a fantastic professional to our fast-growing cloud-bookkeeping service,” says Sean Duffy. “She is very professional, knowledgeable and has an eye for detail. I highly recommend Anita as a bookkeeper for any business.”

Anita will be available to assist you with all your accounting needs from an accounting point of view as well as with QuickBooks Online.

Anita and her team of Cloud-Bookkeepers provide many types of services for small business owners including financial planning, taxes and payroll services, sales strategies, as well as cloud-based bookkeeping and cash flow forecasting reports/tools for your business growth.

It’s no secret that the future of business is changing. What might not be as well known is how quickly new technologies and regulations in Canada are impacting accounting and bookkeeping services. Accountants and bookkeepers need to be on the cutting edge of innovation to keep up with these changes, but many don’t know where to start.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Dext — a leading accounting solutions provider — to examine how creativity can lead to innovation in the accounting and bookkeeping space. For this four-part series, Kevin Durham from Dext talked to Sean Duffy, Senior Manager at Elevate by Welch, about his mission to bring innovation into the mainstream of accounting services.

The discussion centered around innovation, changing business models, technology and how to position yourself for success in the future. Sean Duffy discussed how technology is not only changing how businesses operate but also changing the workplace as we know it.

Part 1: What Does Innovation Mean to Canadian Accounting and Bookkeepers? Click HERE to read

Part 2: How do you lead Innovation at an Organization? TO BE RELEASED SHORTLY

Part 3: Defining Success in Innovation. TO BE RELEASED SHORTLY

Caroline Proulx, Onboarding Manager at Elevate by Welch , is a compassionate leader and is always eager to support her community. With the aim to support both families in need as well as local businesses, Caroline organized the Meals that Heal campaign with Naturally Vero, a local vegan café and food delivery service.

Caroline says she has always wanted to get involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. “I knew about the Meals that Heal program from when I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto many years ago,” Caroline tells us. “Many families are required to travel in order for their children to receive medical care and this can be very stressful, emotionally and financially.”

The National Capital Children’s Oncology Care Inc. Manoir Ronald McDonald House Ottawa has opened its doors to sick children and their families since 1984. They are dedicated to providing a warm, safe, affordable and compassionate environment for families of seriously ill children receiving medical services.

Elevate by Welch’s Meals that Heal program helps relieve families from a stressful night of cooking. Having a sick child can be extremely draining, and the Meals that Heal program takes away the worry of having to create a healthy home-cooked meal for the whole family. Meals that Heal allows members of the community to support these families. RMHC – Ottawa normally opens up their kitchen to the volunteers to prepare a dinner or brunch for up to 30 people. However, there were some changes required due to the pandemic.

“Covid-19 did interfere with how the Meals that Heal program was intended to work,” explains Caroline. “Prior to Covid-19 restrictions, a group would cook the meals for the families in the RMHC kitchen. Due to the restrictions we could only drop off the meals and we were not able to interact with the families.”

Caroline contacted an Ottawa-Gatineau business community stalwart - Veronique Daoust – chef and owner of Naturally Vero, with the hopes of collaborating on this community-driven campaign. Naturally Vero has been a business leader in the Ottawa-Gatineau community for a number of years.

“It seemed like a perfect fit: to be able to partner up with a business leader who crafts wholesome meals that fill the heart as well as the stomach,” says Sean Duffy, Senior Manager at Elevate by Welch.  

Together, Caroline and Veronique wanted to do something to give back to the community during the holiday season.  They wanted to create a meal that was healthy and also comforting for the families staying at the RMHC – Ottawa; it was important to provide a nutritious meal to the exhausted families. “My personal story and the stories of countless families that benefitted from RMHOTT and the staff – inspired Naturally Vero to craft something special,” adds Caroline.

December 30th, 2020 was a cold, quiet winter day. The team at Naturally Vero organized the meal prep at their café located in Chelsea, Quebec. Veronique and Caroline were thrilled to personally deliver the meals to RMHC, despite not having the opportunity to meet and interact with the families at RMHC due to COVID-19 restrictions. The menu for the evening was created specifically for the families at RMHC and the theme was health and comfort. The starter was a Butternut Squash & Sage soup. The main course was a Vegetable Lasagna served with Maple Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables and a Spinach Pear Salad. Naturally Vero also included a bright yellow lunch box for every meal.

Pictured above: Butternut Squash & Sage soup, main course of Vegetable Lasagna served with Maple Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables, and a Spinach Pear Salad.

Elevate by Welch and Naturally Vero intend to continue running this campaign each quarter. “We want to be a presence and an expectation for the families that are staying at RMHOTT – and help to lift some spirits along the way,” says Veronique.

If you want to get involved with helping RMHC Ottawa, visit their website and check out the Get Involved page. They have a number of ways you can help. Once the Covid-19 restrictions lift, Caroline and Veronique will need the help of some volunteers to assist in making dinner for the families at RMHC - Ottawa.  

If you want to know more about how you can help, please reach out at cproulx@welchllp.com

In the business world it’s not unusual for entrepreneurs and owners to manage their own business bookkeeping and accounting. The reasons for doing so are relatively simple. Many business owners believe the DIY approach saves them money, or that it keeps them closer to the business and therefore more informed.

This isn’t necessarily true. And, as we move into a second year of business overshadowed by COVID-19, handling your business bookkeeping in-house may actually cost you money and further separate you from your work. Even medium and large-sized companies with dedicated administrative and accounting personnel may want to consider bringing in a little extra help.

Here’s why you should consider hiring a cloud-based bookkeeper in 2021.

You might miss out on government subsidies and credits

To anyone who’s tried to decipher the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website this year, we salute you. The reality is that navigating the ins and outs of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), along with the various loans and tax credits available, has been a challenge for many businesses—to say the least!

The job of professional bookkeepers and accountants is to stay current so that they can apply their knowledge to elevate your business. As we head into 2021, a year of uncertainty but also of recovery, there will undoubtedly be further policy adjustments made to bolster the economy. A qualified bookkeeper with a leave-no-stone-unturned mentality can evaluate your operations and identify which subsidies and tax credits are relevant to your business. They can also flag new opportunities as they arise, enabling you to act quickly and proactively.


You might claim something your business doesn’t qualify for

Even if you’re financially savvy (or have a member of staff who is) chances are you aren’t dedicating 100% of your time to tracking shifts in government assistance and tax policy. At best, this means you could be missing out on subsidies, tax credits, or other forms of assistance that could help your business. At worst, you may be receiving assistance that you will have to pay back down the road.

Bookkeepers who are CPA certified, or who work closely with CPA-certified accountants, can help that you’re colouring within the lines and have the necessary documentation to prove it. And regardless of how many times a policy shifts, a bookkeeper truly worth their salt will help

you to track, organize, and maintain the documentation required to ensure that your business is and remains CRA compliant.


Your bookkeeping may need to pivot as much as your business has

Plenty of businesses have pivoted their operations this year. Consider an example. Let’s say you’re a brick and mortal retail operation. You’re popular, but being too small to compete with the likes of Amazon you’ve shied away from e-commerce in the past. The pandemic pushed you to launch a 100% contactless online purchase and delivery option in order to stay in business—and it’s working. So much that you plan to maintain an e-commerce platform indefinitely. We couldn’t be happier for you! But if you’ve been brick and mortar for a long time, chances are your old bookkeeping system just isn’t going to cut it in 2021.

You need integrated and automated systems that track, cost, and synchronize sales across your in-store and online inventory, not to mention an online payment system that syncs seamlessly with a top-notch bookkeeping/accounting software. And the latter ideally needs to automate sales orders, invoices, receipts, etc. Have you even taken a look at your new expenses evaluated the old ones, and examined your claims potential? It’s a lot, we know, but a bookkeeper well-versed in cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting can help you establish the right infrastructure to support your newly evolved business.


You need a better budget and financial forecast

None of us were prepared for the impacts of COVID-19, but the experience of the pandemic has presented an opportunity for business owners (aided by their bookkeeper and accountant!) to create a better plan for tomorrow. Your bookkeeper can help you to establish an operating budget that accounts for the payback of loans, the eventual cut-off of government subsidies, the replenishment of reserve savings, and much, much more.

Moreover that tidy, up-to-date, detailed, and accurate ledger your bookkeeper maintains will make it far easier for an accountant to offer you the high-level financial advice and performance data you need to make informed business decisions. Your bookkeeper can also help you to develop tools and tracking systems that tabulate everything from day-to-day transactions to the relative value and profitability of your products and services (useful when evaluating which COVID pivots to keep over the long term).


You don’t need the stress—your time is better spent elsewhere

Administration, bookkeeping, and accounting inevitably take up far more time than most business owners anticipate (as much as one day a week or more). We have no doubt that you’re capable of wearing many hats (and masterfully, we might add), but the hat you wear best is not a green eyeshade. Whether you’re managing the ledger alone or assisting an in-house bookkeeper or accountant, you must come to accept this truth:

In 2021, your time will be better spent growing your business and exploring the new opportunities and potential that COVID pivots and a post-COVID era provide. The creative inspirations, networking connections, and strides in business development you can make will far outweight the cost of paying a bookkeeper to handle the nitty gritty.

For you, reconciling accounts and issuing payroll is an added stressor, and if you fall behind, well, let’s just say your staff don’t need the stress either. A qualified bookkeeper can support you and your staff by ensuring that the ship runs smoothly. They can help existing administrative staff who may be out of their depth when it comes to keeping up with COVID-related policy changes. They can also help streamline and even automate processes like payroll to ensure that all employee benefits and subsidies are properly accounted for and that your obligations are met.


The new world is digital, and your bookkeeping can be too

COVID-19 work-from-home edicts were easy to adapt to for those of us who’d already been working in cloud-based accounting (or any cloud-based, digitally nomadic industry). But for those businesses whose operations, record-keeping, and administrative interactions were largely conducted in person or on paper, it was a substantial obstacle to overcome.

If you got your digital feet proverbially wet in 2020 - It’s time for the canon ball! Cloud-based accounting apps and software make it possible for you to outsource your business bookkeeping to skilled bookkeeping and accounting professionals. Moreover, a well-designed and fully integrated digital financial bookkeeping and accounting infrastructure gives you 24/7 access to the most up-to-date and accurate financial data on your business. And that data is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Never before have business owners had so much information at their fingertips. It’s time to take advantage. The services of many outsourced, cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting firms, like Elevate by Welch LLP, allow you to customize the level of service and input you require, enabling you to seamlessly integrate cloud bookkeeping and cloud accounting solutions into your business.

If you would like to learn more about how cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting services can help elevate your business in 2021, contact Sean at sduffy@elevatebywelchllp.com

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