Shoeboxed Shenanigans: Code Camp Edition

Shoeboxed Shenanigans gives you a glimpse into fun(ny) happenings here at Shoeboxed HQ. In this edition, you’ll learn about our new coding classes for the office!

Shoeboxed Shenanigans is a weekly feature that gives you a glimpse into our lives here at Shoeboxed HQ. Each installment will share a story about our office, the people in it, or something fun we did to take a break from keeping the world organized. Even organized superheroes like us deserve a break every once in a while, right? Anyway, we’re not the most serious group of individuals so read on and enjoy!

Coding is Cool

Shoeboxed is built on a variety of complicated technologies that most people wouldn’t be able to decipher if their lives depended on it. For the most part, the marketing and sales teams here at Shoeboxed are included in that group as well. We didn’t study computer science in college or get our Bachelors degrees in engineering, after all. Most of us studied business or humanities or journalism. We may be relatively tech savvy, but the whole coding thing and making computers talk to one another is way over our heads.

That was the case at least until Shoeboxed Code Camp started two weeks ago.

The goal of Code Camp is to teach those of us who speak English for a living to essentially speak computer. That’s not to say that we need to be able to create the next Google or complete the next round of Shoeboxed web upgrades, but since we work at a tech startup, we should be able to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Enter Code Camp. Our first session involved an introduction by our very own CEO & CTO Taylor Mingos. He laid the groundwork for what we’d be learning in the class, as well as giving us a general overview to coding. After that we started learning at full speed!

From downloading coding programs like Git and typing lines into Terminal (a program that looks like my 90’s computer games came back to life), our brains are getting filled to the brim with new knowledge. Every Tuesday and Thursday our office is converted into a classroom, and developers sit side-by-side with the whole team to guide the way. We work together to expand our skillsets. It’s a win-win on both sides: our sales and marketing teams learn how to code, and the development team learns patience by teaching us newbies without flipping desks over in fits of frustration.

It’s also a welcome change from our normal day to day duties, a chance to step outside of talking to customers or tweeting. But the best part might be that the departmental lines are blurred when it comes to Code Camp. Twice a week we get to hang out with people we don’t get to on a daily basis and learn a thing or two about coding while we’re at it. Maybe one day we’ll be able to build a new product or even just handle technical customer issues without having to ask a developer. Well, a girl can dream.

Receipt Management 2.0 Has Arrived

We’re thrilled to announce a sneak peek of our new receipt tables, a better, faster and stronger way to manage your receipts using Shoeboxed. Welcome to Receipt Management 2.0.

When it comes to managing your receipts we want to make the process painless, enjoyable and — dare we say — magical. You’ve given us tons of helpful feedback over the years (thank you!), and we’re thrilled to show you what we’ve been working on.

Announcing a sneak peek of our brand spankin’ new receipt tables!

New Receipt TablesWhy you should be excited:

  • A more simple and streamlined way to view and manage your receipts
  • Two display formats to choose from – whichever strikes your fancy!
  • Looking for that one pesky receipt? Find it quickly with our new vendor and price range filters
  • This is just the beginning! In the coming weeks we’ll be adding additional features and functionality (and fixing any bugs), so stay tuned!

Our goal for 2014 is to deliver a #BetterFasterStronger Shoeboxed experience – saving you time and hassle when it comes to managing your receipts. This is the first of many new improvements to come this year, and we hope that this makes using Shoeboxed a little more productive and pleasant.

What are you waiting for?! Try them out now ->

Like what you see? Tweet us @Shoeboxed and don’t forget to include #BetterFasterStronger!

If you have any questions or feedback about the new receipt tables, please reach us 24/7 at help@team.shoeboxed.com.

Fire Your Accountant: How to use Virtual Accounting Programs to Finish Your Taxes Faster

While small business owners have a quite a few more things to think about compared with the average taxpayer, virtual accounting programs have made it easier than ever to fire your accountant for good.

Back in the day, accountants and tax professional wielded some sort of magical power: you gave them your receipts, held your breath, and a few weeks later they produced the completed 1040 that sealed your tax fate.

With the advent of the Internet and do-it-yourself technology, it’s now easier than ever to do your taxes yourself.

As a small business owner or a self-employed individual, you have a quite a few more things to think about compared with the average taxpayer. However, virtual accounting programs have made it easier than ever to fire your accountant for good. And if you’re tracking your receipts in Shoeboxed, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. Shoeboxed works with numerous online accounting platforms; check out our list of partners.

If you aren’t already using one of these tools for your small business, you’re missing out! Virtual accounting programs allow you to:

  • Track your spending throughout the year – No more digging through old filing cabinets looking for receipts and invoices. Applications like FreshBooks and GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping automatically track what you’ve spent and earned by analyzing your financial transactions. Each transaction is automatically assigned a tax category, making reporting at the end of the year a breeze.

  • Categorize your spending – Instead of analyzing your income and expenditures on a monthly basis, accounting software gives you a live snapshot of your spending for the entire year. Account totals are updated every day, giving you an accurate, up-to-the-minute snapshot of your small business’ financial health. Since every transaction is instantly assigned a tax category, you’ll save hours of time manually entering totals into spreadsheets.

  • Create one-click expense reports – When the end of the year arrives and it’s time to do your taxes, simply log in to your application and create one-click reports based on the criteria of your choosing.

You can generate a report based on what you paid certain contractors, or a report that includes revenue from a certain set of clients. It’s also easy to see how much you spent on vehicle maintenance, travel, education, technology expenses and other IRS-approved deduction categories.

  • Create and manage invoices – All of your invoices are stored in your accounting program, making it easier than ever to find what you need, when you need it. Instantly see how much a certain client paid you last year, or which invoices are still outstanding. You can also compare revenues generated with expenses, making it easy to see how your small business is doing overall.

  • Sync multiple accounts within a single platform – Accounting software can give you an accurate financial snapshot of your entire company through linked accounts. By syncing your software with your bank accounts, credit cards, and Paypal account, the reports you generate will be completely comprehensive and give you an accurate picture of your spending.

It’s easy to forget to calculate totals for accounts you rarely use. With linked accounts, your software will never forget to include out-of-the-ordinary payments and expenses.

  • Painlessly process payroll – As a small business owner, you’re not just responsible for your own taxes. You also have to deal with your employees’ taxes, as well as any independent contractors you may have hired throughout the year.

A virtual accounting program will not only process your payroll throughout the year, but give you the ability to see how much you’ve paid out, determine what portion of that is taxable, generate 1099 forms, and calculate how much you’ve paid in areas like employee health insurance.

Here are additional helpful tips if you’re self-employed or a small business owner.

Are you currently using a virtual accounting program? How do you like it?