The Weekly Recap: Accounting Solutions Grow Up, REAL SMB Expenses and the New Executive Plan

Forget to check the Shoeboxed blog this week? No need to fret! Here is a quick review of what you missed:

1. Are you a baby, procrastinator or underachiever? We didn’t think so. Regardless, you might find some helpful hints in Accounting Solutions for Babies, Procrastinators, and Underachievers.

2. Are you interested in more document scans, faster turnaround time and unlimited access to the folks at 1800Accountant? Check out our all new Executive Plan!

3. Choose the right accounting solutions for your next business with Top 3 Accounting Solutions for Small Business Rockstars.

4. Did you know that utility costs for SMBs doubled in the first half of 2012? Check out our infographic for the details on this statistic, as well as lots of other great insights into How Small Business Owners are Really Spending Their Money.

5.  The Bubonic Plague wiped out almost half of Europe’s population in the 14th century. You should avoid these Accounting Solutions Pitfalls like the plague!

Stay organized this weekend,

The Shoeboxed Team

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting Solutions

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting Solutions

Thanks to Jurassic Park, the Velociraptor has earned the reputation of being the stealthiest and smartest killer to grace the cretaceous period. With similar speed and agility, Wave Accounting slipped into the accounting systems jungle in 2010 and has been busy devouring the competition since. So, without further delay, here is the third installment of our accounting solutions series.

Before we scare anyone, rest assured that Wave only shows its claws when it comes to the competition (Velociraptors actually had feathers – please see below). For it’s countless users, Wave is a free, one-stop shop accounting solution that has quickly become one of the fastest growing accounting systems in the world.

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting SolutionsSimilar to the pack hunter mentality of Velociraptors, Wave Accounting has gathered a horde of affiliates and partners to help it overwhelm the competition. These partnerships allow Wave to provide its product completely free of charge through offering partner promotions for its users inside the app. Unless you’re a Wave competitor, this strategy is a win/win!

Being the nimble up and coming accounting solution, here is what you can expect from Wave:

Wave Accounting Strengths:

  • Completely free, always
  • Built for small business owners to be very user-friendly (Smart Interface)
  • Minimizes manual entry
  • Integrations with your bank/credit cards for automatic expense tracking (with de-duplication features to keep transactions from being logged twice)

Wave Accounting Weaknesses:

  • No Payroll in the U.S. until late 2012 (Only available in Canada currently)
  • Unobtrusive advertisements, but ads nonetheless
  • Some users have issues with foreign bank integrations and bank feeds

Wave Accounting: The Velociraptor of Accounting SolutionsIn fairness, we learned during our research that the Velociraptor was actually about three feet tall and covered in feathers (okay, it’s not as ferocious as the Spielberg version). That said, this dinosaur was one of the deadliest and shrewdest prehistoric animals. We warn you not to overlook Wave just because it looks like a little guy in the accounting world. Doing so could land you in a dangerous position.

Wave Accounting is probably best for business owners who are:

  • Small businesses and microbusinesses
  • Mompreneurs and WAHMs
  • Photographers, freelancers, independent entrepreneurs
  • Individuals

If you’re ready to take a bite out of the effort you put into accounting for your small business, try Wave Accounting. It’s always free, so imagine a permanent free trial. Then you can tell your clients you’ve got a Velociraptor on your side!

Is Wave your preferred accounting solution? If so, tell us what you think!

What Every Business Can Learn from Justin Bieber


Let me confess, I’ve never been infected with “Bieber fever” let alone been a “Belieber.” However, having recently watched his documentary, Never Say Never, I’ve come to realize how much startups and small business owners can learn from this under-aged, pop hearthrob.  Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and even Charlie Sheen are all masters of marketing themselves and their own personal brands. What’s their recipe for success? Of course luck is a crucial factor, but they all adhere to some underlying principles that we entrepreneurs and business owners should pay attention to.

1) Know Your Audience and Connect

Just like any startup, Bieber started from scratch: no industry connections, no millions of dollars in capital at his disposal, not even U.S. citizenship (he’s actually Canadian).  Yet, he was determined to prove himself and worked his little tail off to get noticed by people that could help rocket his career (think of Usher as his venture capitalist). Bieber found his audience, catered to their wants and built their support. His success largely came from his use of social media – one of the cheapest and most effective ways a startup can build brand awareness and engage with customers. Social media gives a voice to anyone who has something to say, and allows those who successfully market themselves to gain more buzz within the community. The beauty of using social media as an entrepreneur is the lack of filter; there are no layers of management permission that one might come across in a well established company. With over ten million followers on Twitter, “the Beebz” keeps his fans engaged by constantly updating them and maintaining very close, sometimes even one-on-one, contact.

2) Customers Come First

Before every show, Bieber’s team has a tradition where they go out on the streets to give away leftover tickets to unsuspecting fans. During the show, they select random audience members sitting hundreds of rows back, and invite them down to the VIP section by the stage. His team even picks a random girl from the crowd to come onstage to be serenaded by Justin during a certain song. Little gestures like these show J.B.’s fans that they’re appreciated, without incurring high costs along the way. Lady Gaga has also been known to order pizza and donuts for her fans while they camp out in line for her concert tickets. Whether it’s excelling in customer service or revving up a better product, remember that your customers are your lifeline and the reason you exist – not to mention your greatest marketing asset.

3) Focus on What Makes You…You

For Bieber, the big buzz on his pre-fame Youtube videos caught the attention of his first manager. Once you’ve pinpointed what makes your business unique, run with it! Market it like crazy. Taking risks and always stepping outside the box are essential to make yourself stand out. After all, no one ever got attention by being timid and passively waiting for someone to notice them. Case in point: Charlie Sheen. Remember to always keep your core values and long term goals in mind, as they’re the heart of your business.