Growing Better, Together, Through Inspiration and Intention

As small business owners, we have so much on our plate that we tend to forget about, or neglect, our purpose and our mission. At SBS Accounting & Advisors, our greatest joy comes from seeing you happy and successful.

I learned long ago that I could not do everything or be everywhere at once. I discovered I needed to develop an SBS team that not only has my purpose and mission in mind, but that also loves who we are and what we do, as well as you – our valued customers. After all, now more than a decade after launching SBS, I can truly say that we would not be here without your unwavering support and trust you’ve place in us. I am so grateful for this, and consider all of you, and my team, part of my extended family.

At SBS, our hope is that you reach this in your business as well. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s a continual effort, but it can help you find the inner peace you search for, and help elevate your business and your customer relationships.

In this article, I want to touch on some of the ways we’ve been able to create the harmony and drive it takes to find our greater purpose and carry out our mission – making sure you are happy and growing by delivering powerful solutions to your everyday needs.

Here’s our tips on how to grow better, together, through inspiration and intention, and know that we are always here to help you in any way, or just be a sounding board for anything you are thinking or feeling.

Let your staff be themselves. It’s tempting to think your way is always the best way, and your staff must act or handle things a certain way, but that’s a losing proposition. Instead, let your staff be themselves and let their personalities come through. Listen to what they have to say and let them have a voice. You can still offer your best guidance and direction, but they need to feel that they matter. Otherwise, they likely will grow resentful, and will be more likely to not carry out your message or remain in your business for the long haul.

Be willing to delegate. At first glance, delegating might imply that someone is too good to do less valuable work, when in reality, it’s a humble and wise act that either says “I’m not the best person to do all of these things” or “I can’t do everything at once.” Beyond that, it builds confidence in your team to accomplish something and be proud of their feat, while also helping your customers and your business.

Be grateful, humble and hungry. Stepping over someone is a big no no, ego is a turn off, and too little passion will halt growth and success. At the same time, too much passion is not always necessary. Just stay true to who you are and lead with humility – much like King Saul did in the Bible. He had an unassuming nature, but was still able to show leadership qualities by being himself.

As business owners, we must be the living embodiment of our business. Everything we do, say and feel outwardly should always have our best interests – and the best interests of others – in mind. So, be sure to be grateful for what you have, and the people in your life who support and help you. Also, be humble in your success and in life because no one likes someone who is arrogant and self-righteous. If you want inspiration from a humble leader who did great things, look at King David. He was the youngest of his siblings and often overlooked, but became one of the greatest leaders in the Bible.

And, be hungry! You must always strive to do better, do more and never settle – even if you achieve success and feel you’re on cloud nine. A successful business owner must always look forward, and be hungry enough to achieve continual growth in their business and in life.

Connect with your staff and your customers in an honest, authentic way. When your intention is to back your customers and staff  with as much transparency as possible, you create valuable connections for life. When you show how much you care about your team and your customers, it can establish a level of respect and likability that goes a very low way toward growth and prosperity. So, get to know your customers and your team, and reach out to let them know you are thinking about them. With your team, celebrate wins together and show some praise.

Deliver great customer service. As small business owners, we must always be present and always be looking for powerful solutions for our customers. When it comes to you, we aim to deliver powerful solutions to your everyday needs. Remember your business mission and work with your team to carry it out.

Tap into those who inspire you to be a better person and business leader. Who, or what, inspires you? These people and things will drive you in your business and your life. For me, it’s my customers, my family, my team and my faith.

Want to Put These Strategies into Motion, or Just Want to Talk? We are Here for You!

I hope that some, or all, of these tips resonate with you in some way. At SBS, we are big believers of doing everything together to fulfill our greater purpose and carry out our mission.

I hope that you are able to do the same and would love to discuss strategies and plans to make this happen. If you’re ready to get the ball rolling, or just want to talk, reach out to us today. We’d love to hear from you, and we will keep striving to help make your lives easier and help you grow personally and professionally.

14 Traits of Effective Church Leadership, Part 2

In part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed the first 7 traits of effective church leadership. Now, in part 2, we will discuss the other 7. See those leadership qualities below, and know that SBS Accounting & Advisors is here to help you with your church finances and grow.

Trait 8: Clarity in Direction

In business, clarity in direction comes from experience. As an individual, that might mean personal experience that can only come from having lived through these circumstances before. It also may mean seeking counsel from one who has.

In church finance, clarity in direction comes from God. It comes from seeking him in prayer and in His Word. It comes from seeking the council of other trusted believers who are doing the same, and then taking that clarity and presenting it to the local church body.

Trait 9: An Ability to Admit Mistakes

Often, the only way to achieve confidence and clarity is by making mistakes and learning from them. However, as a leader, the only way to remain in leadership is the ability to admit when a mistake has been made. Owning up to your own mistakes is an opportunity for personal growth, and to gain the confidence and trust in those around you.

When it comes to finances, admitting a mistake means that it can possibly be fixed before it’s too late. While you may think the IRS is waiting on you to make a mistake, surrounding yourself with layers of checks and balances will help protect you. Admitting you’ve made a mistake will restore confidence in you, and allow you to grow and learn from the mistake that you made.

Trait 10: Commitment to People

One path of success is the lone wolf, but that’s a dark and lonely road. Committing yourself to people can be painful and slow, but it also means that you will have someone to stand by you during the rough spots of life. Understand that loving someone will cost you something, but not loving anyone will cost you even more.

When it comes to finance, committing to people means following through on what you’ve said you will do. It means putting in the time and the effort, and sometimes the money. It means being willing to do what has to be done, in spite of yourself, for the betterment of those around you.

Trait 11: A Large and Ambitious Vision

You’ve probably heard the cliché, “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” While many of us may roll our eyes, the principle behind this has some truth to it. Having a large and ambitious vision gives us a long-term goal. This doesn’t mean you will ultimately achieve that goal, but if you start down that path with discipline and drive, chances are that you won’t land too far away from your original vision.

This same trait can be applied to finance. This starts with setting that large and ambitious vision, but then following through by setting up an attainable budget and sticking to it.

Trait 12: Self-Belief

A mark of a successful person is self-belief. More than confidence, self-belief is the ability to believe in yourself without the expertise to back it up. You may lack the confidence that comes from proving yourself time and time again, but you can at least believe that, with experience, you can be better than what you are – and what others may believe of you.

In finance, self-belief is the ability to not shut down under pressure. It is moving forward in the face of adversity, and choosing to learn and grow, even under the most dire of circumstances. In church, this self-belief can only come from trusting in the Lord and in His plan for you.

Trait 13: Problem-Solving Skills

Being an effective leader requires the skill of problem solving. It’s about the ability to look at a situation and come up with an effective means of getting from point A to point B. Some people seem to have this skill naturally, but the truth is that anyone can learn it. You must work on your mind, learn more and expand your horizons. Learn to think outside of the box.

In church finance, you need to be willing to look at a problem from every angle, and show a willingness to consider every option. It may mean closing some programs, or even laying someone off, but an effective leader must be willing to solve the problem and further the mission.

Trait 14: A Passion for What They Teach 

Finally, an effective leader must have a passion for what they teach. I’m sure we’ve all sat under the tutelage of someone who had to teach on a topic that they didn’t have a passion for, and I’m sure that it was as boring for you as it was for that teacher. Passion excites others. Not only does it help you put in the effort to share all that you know, but your passion has the ability to infect others and make them passionate, too.

When it comes to church finance, this means having a passion to share the biblical model for handing money. It’s about not just living by it in your own personal life and abiding by it in your church ministry, but also sharing this with your people. Have a passion for handling your money the way that God wants it to be handled;  it’s ultimately His money, after all.

Once you’ve understood and applied all of these traits of effective church leadership, there still might come a circumstance where you need help and really just want to speak to an expert.

At SBS Accounting and Advisors, we would love to speak with you and discuss how we can help you and your church serve God and use his finances legally. We want to be there for you and aid you, as you walk through the legality of the financial system, with the goal of serving God and spreading the work of his ministry.

If this interests you, please reach out to us.

A Trio of QuickBooks Online Features to Bolster Your Business

For any business owner, getting the right tools and support you need is key to keeping things running smoothly, staying in compliance and planning for long-term growth.

With Intuit constantly coming up with new and improved features inside QuickBooks Online (QBO) to meet the needs of small businesses – along with our knowledge and expertise at SBS Accounting & Advisors to implement, and strategize around, these features – you will get transformational solutions to your everyday needs.

The latest trio of QBO enhancements helps you take control of your cash flow to survive and grow, process those previously pesky receipts in a snap, and sure-up one payroll area to keep you in compliance.

Here is more about these features, which SBS can integrate into your business to take you to the next level.

Feature #1: Take Control of Your Cash Flow in the Cash Flow Center

By now, you’ve probably heard me discuss the importance of cash flow. It’s so important that we have made it the backbone of our new advisory services division, with cash flow management being one of the top tools.

Why is it so important? Simply put, you cannot survive or grow without it. You need cash flow coming in to both stabilize your business and strategize for success – something we specialize in helping you with at SBS.

The recent improvements in QBO’s cash flow center help us in this mission. Now, you’ll have one place to see your complete cash flow picture – money owed, loans, all your invoices to pay or collect, your past due or upcoming bills, payroll situation, and more. All of this will give you get better control of your cash flow situation, and help us help you.

Feature #2: Receipt Capture … in a Snap!

The days of fumbling through your glove compartment or file drawer for those pesky receipts are long gone. With the proper technology, it’s all digital and seamless.

Enter the QuickBooks mobile app. As business owners, you’re on the go a lot, not to mention all of your other tasks in life. Now, you can easily organize your receipts in a snap by taking a photo of all your receipts in real time from anywhere. This makes capturing and matching receipts a breeze come tax time!

Feature #3: Stay in Compliance and on Top of Payroll With Automated Overtime Tips

You know how important it is to meet the rules and regulations regarding payroll. On top of that, it’s common to make messy payroll mistakes.

Thanks to automated overtime recommendations inside QBO Payroll, you’ll stay in compliance and get notified of potential errors you made when entering overtime information.

For example, it’s a common mistake to enter the wrong number of overtime hours worked when running payroll. With this tool, you can be confident that the hours worked by your team are accurately categorized and in compliance with the rules and regulations of federal and/or state laws.

Ready to Put These Features into Your Business or Have any Questions? Let us Know!

I hope that some, or all, of these new or improved features resonate with you in some way, as we know how much of an impact they can have on your business.

If you’re ready to implement them into your business, or have any questions, contact us today. We would love to hear from you, and we will keep striving to bolster your business through powerful solutions and strategies.

(Images courtesy of Intuit QuickBooks)

14 Traits of Effective Church Leadership, Part 1

Pastors and church administrators, do you ever wonder if you’re being an effective leader when it comes to your church’s finances?

You might think, “I’ve trained to be an effective leader of the church body, but when it comes to finances, sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed; what can I do?”

Well, here’s a question: What’s the difference between effective and ineffective, church leadership? The traits and characteristics of the leader, of course!

At SBS Accounting and Advisors, we understand that being a truly effective leader at your church can include things that you didn’t necessarily expect. When it comes to church finances, we want to help.

As we discuss these 14 traits of effective church leadership, we must first understand that leadership at a church isn’t just about being a good preacher, but also being a good administrator. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when looking for solutions to key issues, especially when you weren’t trained on, or planning to solve, complex financial problems.

Trait 1: Transparency

Transparency is key to being an effective leader because it shows those around you that you desire to be honest with them. While transparency opens your life up to others, and shows your weaknesses and flaws, it also displays your strengths, and builds trust and confidence with others.

When it comes to finances, transparency is so important. Transparent finances are honest finances. This means allowing your church to ask questions and to be heard about their concerns. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change what you’re doing, but by opening up your books and processes for review, you are heading off a misunderstanding before it even occurs.

Trait 2: Honesty

Transparency is more than just honesty, but honesty is also more than just transparency. Honesty is telling the truth when a question is asked. When you choose to be a transparent person, questions will arise, and an honest person will tell the truth when they are asked the hard questions.

When it comes to finances, honesty is a philosophy. It is a way in which you conduct yourself and run your finances. It isn’t just answering hard questions, but also acting in an honest way before the questions can even be asked.

Trait 3: Innovative Thinking

Innovation has been a hallmark of successful people for generations. Innovation grows societies and builds companies. When it comes to church, we tend to avoid innovation for fear of breaking tradition, but innovation doesn’t necessarily mean tearing down the old landmarks and breaking away from the old paths. Just as the car was an innovation long ago when the horse and buggy were the norm, technology has innovated the way in which we communicate.

When it comes to finances, the same thought process can apply. There are truths to handling your money in a proper way, and old ways of doing so that shouldn’t necessarily be changed. But, the tools of finance have changed, and you should, too. Modern finance is quicker and relieves stress by offering transparency in ways previously unavailable without digging through paper pages of a ledger, or figuring out handwritten double-entry accounting. Innovative thinking can save you time, energy and money.

Trait 4: Understanding and Compassion

Understanding and compassion are two of the most notable traits of a Christian, and yet it seems that we often forget to apply it to our daily lives. We can have understanding and compassion for the big things, but when it comes to the small moments on the day-to-day journey, we often let our flesh win out, and tend to deal with people and circumstances selfishly.

The same is true of our finances. It’s okay to embrace being compassionate for others, but we must also be willing to do what’s right in the moment and let God take care of us afterwards. Be willing to share God’s money with his people and those he loves.

Trait 5: A “Get it Done” Attitude

A driven person can be described as a person with a “get it done” attitude – someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to achieve the desired goal. This attitude has helped many be successful in business and in life. It is the drive that moves forward to success.

When it comes to finance, a “get it done” attitude is one that is willing to “put the money where its mouth is.” As a church, this might mean being willing to pay for the next step in growth, or giving money to support a cause locally or foreign. Whatever it may be, driven finances are willing to do what needs to be done.

Trait 6: An Ability to Put Yourself in Another’s Shoes

Sometimes, the hardest part about having compassion for someone is not being able to understand what it’s like to be them. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is an important quality to being an effective church leader. This is the ability to look at someone and understand where they are, how they got there, and why they have made their decisions.

In finance, realizing what the situation is for someone else will allow you the opportunity to have compassion for others and help them out, without the guilt of giving away money to what may seem like a lost cause. Being willing to see why someone is the way they are will help you love them in spite of their flaws.

Trait 7: Confidence

Confidence is the key to success. A lack of confidence will lead to an unwillingness to act. Confidence gives us courage to walk into an unknown situation and handle ourselves in an appropriate manner. It is a principle that is hard-learned, but well worth the effort.

In finance, confidence is what allows a person to put money in a stock or spend money on a big-ticket item. In church, confidence in the Lord is what allows us to step out in faith and act. It’s what gives us the courage to start that next program or build the new building. It’s what drives us to give money to the needy despite the electric bill this month or to kneel in prayer. Confidence comes from faith that has been proven by God.

Once you’ve understood and applied all of these traits of effective church leadership, there still might come a circumstance where you need help and really just want to speak to an expert.

At SBS Accounting and Advisors, we would love to speak with you and discuss how we can help you and your church serve God and use his finances legally. We want to be there for you and aid you, as you walk through the legality of the financial system, with the goal of serving God and spreading the work of his ministry.

If this interests you, please reach out to us. And, stay tuned for part 2 of this series.