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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January 13th, 2011

Our New Events Calendar

Great news! We are pleased to announce that we’ve updated our events calendar to make it easier to use and easier to find the events that interest you most.  We used your feedback to make some major improvements.

First, take a look at our revamped events calendar page, now enabled with many helpful features. It’s wonderfully customizable – want to find a craft program for your teen within the next month? Or a great book discussion at your local branch? Simply select the date range and use the branch, age group and category check boxes to customize your results. The search feature is also easy to use. If you’re looking for a certain program, just select the date range and search a keyword for instant results.  FYI: When you land on the page, it automatically show events happening at all branches in the next 7 days.

Next, check out the cool slide shows on the homepage, teens, parents, adults and small business pages.  These slide shows highlight exciting upcoming events, giving you a quick overview of what’s going on. You can click any slide to get more information.

Finally, scroll to the bottom of any page and you’ll find convenient links to our Facebook and Twitter pages. Join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates on our classes and programs, as well as other interesting info for library lovers.

Thanks again for your helpful feedback, as well as your patience while we made the improvements. Stay tuned for more great changes!

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