January 25th, 2011

QuickBooks for Small Business Owners

The importance of math has been preached to us our whole life.  But like many of you, I remember sitting in my 12th grade trigonometry class thinking, when am I ever going to use this?  Although I can honestly say knowledge of the unit circle has escaped me, the importance of math is something my teachers were right about, and I see it clearly every day in my job.

As the Small Business Librarian at the Cecil County Public Library, I guide patrons through the process of starting a business.  Part of that process includes writing a business plan.  A business plan is a road map; it ensures that all the necessary research has been done and that a business can be successful.  Part of the business plan includes a section of financial outlooks, and – you guessed it – these financial outlooks require math skills!  Although I try to make it as easy as possible to understand a 12-month profit and loss projection, or how to calculate a break-even analysis, many people cringe at the idea of a calculation or formula.  As Daniel Sitarz clearly states in Small Business Accounting Simplified, “Maintaining a set of clear and understandable financial records is perhaps the single most important factor that separates successful businesses from those that fail.”  So what is a business owner to do?  There is an easy solution for the non-accountant, and that solution is the financial software for small business, QuickBooks.  This software allows you to invoice customers, pay your bills, generate sophisticated financial reports and graphs (like a break-even analysis), and more.

If getting your business finances in order is a top priority, then you should consider attending the library’s free program, QuickBooks Methods and Practices: Invoicing Your Customers, Monday, January 31 at 6:30pm.  This program is geared toward small business owners who want to learn how QuickBooks can help invoice customers and keep track of cash flow.  The program is presented by Certified Public Accountant and Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor Dawn Rowles.  Call 410-996-5600 ext. 481 to reserve your spot.

If you need a book to guide you through QuickBooks, the library is here to help!

- QuickBooks 2010 QuickSteps: Finance Software for Small Business by Thomas E. Barich

- QuickBooks 2010: The Official Guide by Leslie Capachietti

- Running QuickBooks in Nonprofits by Kathy Ivens

- Small Business Accounting Simplified by Daniel Sitarz

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November 3rd, 2010

The Many Ways to Connect to Your Local Library

Whether you’ve seen the new movie “The Social Network,” you have crops you need to tend on Farmville, or you actively hunt for what’s trending on Twitter, all of us are aware of the new social media craze.  The library is embracing this trend by launching a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and Text A Librarian service with the hopes of connecting with more of you.  We hope to make it as convenient as possible for you to access the wealth of information and resources the library provides – plus it’s fun!

You can find the Library’s new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CecilCountyPublicLibrary.  We will post information about exciting upcoming library programs, interesting book recommendations, and ask for your feedback and input.  Are vampires so last season?  Can’t wait to put your hands on the latest memoir?  What do you think will be the next trend in books and films?  We want to know!  We’d love to get your feedback on this and other library related topics, so don’t forget that we’ll be just one click of the ‘Like’ button away!

Are you interested in another way to connect with the library online?  Try following our tweets at www.twitter.com/ccpltweets. We’ll be tweeting about our great programs, book recommendations and library news.  Our feed will include a Book of the Day, helpful web resources, small business information and more.  If you haven’t started tweeting yet, be sure to sign up for an account at www.Twitter.com and follow the Cecil County Public Library. We don’t think you can have too much of the library, but be warned:  tweeting is addictive.

For those who rely on their cell phones, we’re now just a text away. You can get fast, reliable info by composing a text to 66746 and starting a reference question with the keyword CCPL411.  Do you have an event outside and you’re not sure if it’s going to get rained out?  Try texting our librarians for the latest weather forecast.  Are you at the grocery store and forgot that list of ingredients?  Try texting the library to find out what was in that special recipe.

If you need that little bit of extra help to start a Facebook page or Twitter Account, be sure to check out these great books at your local Cecil County Public Library branch:

Facebook: The Missing Manual by Emily Vander Veer

Facebook for Dummies by Carolyn Abram

Facebook and Twitter for Seniors for Dummies by Marsha Collier

Twitter for Dummies by Laura Fitton, Michael E. Gruen and Leslie Poston

Twitter: Tips, Tricks, & Tweets by Paul McFedries

There are so many ways to reach out to the library.  So let us know, what’s your favorite new way to reach the library?  Facebook, Twitter, or texting?

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