Protector of the Boobs, I mean Books

It’s amazing what all the changes your body goes through when you are pregnant and yet still changes in a completely different spectrum after you get to hold your bundle of joy!

So it was for me as well as many others who have gone before me!

Soon after I gave birth and started breastfeeding, it dawned on me that my little angel depended on my “utters” for vital nutrients and nourishment for survival! It was an eye opening moment but it really showed me the importance of taking care of myself and ensuring my body provides enough milk for a growing baby! She is precious so it’s essential to protect her lifeline. 

Now I know this is really off the wall but I just have to say it, but protecting my boobs, getting adequate sleep and nourishment brought to mind the importance of protecting your books!


Without adequate care of your books you really don’t have a business! Without knowing what you can take for write offs and what the law says about your particular business, you are missing out on tons of money and equally could be putting yourself into a financial bind as you might need to pay out several penalties.

Any successful business owner will tell you they know their number, it’s a vital part of knowing if and/or when to reinvest. When to take a risk. Where to invest and so many other things.

Money is the blood in your business, it’s your life support, your life-line. So even if you disdain the numbers, you need to hire someone trustworthy to help you with your books, don’t be intimidated by them. 

If you don’t have time to protect what’s important to you, then find someone who can support yours dreams and desire to be the protector of your books. It’s essential for growth. 

To your success,



Tips To Consider When Moving To Cloud Accounting

What is cloud accounting? How can you provide bookkeeping and accounting services in the cloud? Is cloud accounting for me?

These are important and pertinent questions you should be asking as a business owner, looking for great accounting and bookkeeping services when someone offer you cloud based accounting.

Originally, I started bookkeeping to help a dear friend get his books in order. With working in budgeting and accounting for years, I knew some of what was expected and I hated the fact that he was so stressed out about his paperwork. So I wanted to alleviate the pain, hence bookkeeping services.

However, my love for travel and with working in various states at any given time, I wanted to provide something more concrete for my clients. And I’m grateful the day I was introduced to Xero by a friend and I haven’t looked back since.

So today I want to share some quick tips for you to consider if you are one of the many organizations who are moving your bookkeeping services into the clouds.

  1. Do you have any special software integration needs? Some companies and municipalities use industry specific software and it’s important to understand the relationship between cloud and the firm software. In this situation, it’s important to be proactive for the benefit of the company.
  2. Do you require journal entries? If you do, then discussing how this is managed with the bookkeeper/accountant is vital. Are you still doing calculations on your part or do you expect the firm to pick up the slack? Whatever the choice, ensure the firm can satisfy your requirement before you embark on a long term relationship.
  3. Are your books up to date? Very few of my clients knew the status of their books when they started having me do their bookkeeping. Some business owners have no idea what it means to reconcile their accounts. Whatever the case, make sure to ask how this is handle by the company you are considering.
  4. Does your bank or credit care companies support a connection with the cloud software you are considering? Fortunately for my clients, Xero has been very helpful and supportive in providing options for all major banks across the US and they continue to engage more partners every day. However, that shouldn’t stop you from doing your homework which is reaching out to your bank or potential cloud accounting company to ensure to support your needs.
  5. Tax Time! How do you manage your taxes? Some cloud companies will offer tax services internally, which others will outsource your taxes completely. Still some first just choose to to be bothered with taxes. If you are looking for a one stop shop to take care of your entire package, then asking upfront from your cloud accountant will also be vital to your success.

Numbers can be a headache for most people. But for others like myself, it’s where we thrive and embrace serving others with excellence.

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To Your Success,



5 Simple Steps To Get Caught Up On Your Bookkeeping

You ever been to the grocery store, start piling in all the food that you wanted to pick up, only to get to the check registry and forgot that you left your purse or wallet in the car? Or worst yet, at home, laying on the counter right next to your driver’s license?

When the cashier asks how would you like to pay, you realize what just happened and at that moment, you wish you could beam that cash or credit card in your presence?

It’s that simple, but it wasn’t something that took priority at the moment, because you were speaking to a long time friend on the way out the door and it just slipped your mind. Can you relate? 

A backlog of bookkeeping, overdue tax payments and missing receipts behave just the same for small business owners.

At the beginning of the year, you had every intention of getting your books up to date and keeping everything in order, but there’s nothing worse than reaching year end and realizing that your finances are scattered all over the globe. Literally, especially if you do most of your business online. 

So today I want to share a simple list of ways to manage your financial tasks so that next tax seasons you don’t have to grow another gray hair from scattered paperwork.

You could print these steps and keep them in a safe place, or if you operate mostly in the cloud, then be sure to download and save a copy. 

 Here we go:

1.        Separate Business expense from Personal expenses

2.        Collect all your receipts in one place- If Petra Bookkeeping does your books, we already have a simple easy to use system in place for you. 

3.        Collect W-9s, W-2s and 1099s

4.        Reconcile Your Accounts at least on a monthly basis (if you are too scared or too busy, hire it done) 

5.        Have an accountant or bookkeeper review your expenses for proper coding, this keeps money in your pocket. 


If you’d prefer to have us process that backlog of bookkeeping for you, then contact us to discuss how we may be better able to serve you.

To your success, 


Petra Bookkeeping Services assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained on this website. This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post.

1501x200- About- 31 Mar


Choosing the Right Bank For Your Buck!

Image going in your refrigerator to find a piece of cheese and digging through a bunch of crayons to get to the cheese. 

Crazy right? 

This is what happens when personal and business finances are commingled. 

One of the very first clients I ever worked with had both personal and professional expenses coming and going from the same account. 

Now granted, as a sole proprietor, you are not required to have a separate account. However, its a requirement if you are a partnership, LLC or any other type of organization. 

The problem that most small business owners don’t understand is that the numbers from your business account needs to line up and tell a story, an efficient story that will help you to become more successful in the future. 

If yours books are saying that you have a profit, when in actuality, you have a loss, then you are in for a big shock, because it won’t be long before your whole world come crashing down. The bottom line is that it’s important to separate your personal and business finances. 

So today I want to share a few tips with you on the important and the “how” for setting up your business bank account. 

First you need to find a bank that will accommodate your needs as a small business owner. Don’t be afraid to shop around there are several places to choose from. 

Every bank varies and some have hidden fees and perks that are worth the extra cost and security while others don’t. So check out the fine print. The worst thing is to end up with a bank with tons of hidden fees that ends up nickel and diming your account when you least expect it. So pay attention to the fee structure of the bank. 

Another huge factor to consider is location for your bank and how it affects the type of business you operate. In today’s fast pace society, almost everything has an app for “that” so you have several options for banks either locally or online. 

Stop and consider the structure of your business. Do you need face to face interaction? If so, then a local branch might work well for you. If not, then a bigger online branch might be able to cover your needs at just the right price.

Other Key Ingredients to Setting Up Your Business Bank Account

1. Business Checking Account– This is an essential part of running your business. Your business checking account is typically where all your sales get deposited and your bills get paid from. Since you are running a business, you end up having more transactions for this account, hence another reason to pay attention to the fee structure as each bank varies. 

2. A Business Credit Card– Similar to building your credit for your personal credit, having a business credit card will help build a credit for your business. Be careful though, to pay off the credit card by the end of every billing cycle to avoid. Another great benefit to having a business credit card, is that you can earn perks such as frequent flyer miles to use at a later date. 

3. A Business Savings Account– If you are a new business owner, don’t forget to save for emergencies and your inevitable friend, taxes. 

To keep make your life easier and to reduce the cost of sorting expenses and reduce your cost spent on accounting and bookkeeping, be sure to separate your business and personal finances.  

Found this article helpful? Leave a comment below on what was most helpful to you. 

To Your Success,


1501x200- About- 31 Mar


Video: How To File A Tax Extension

The deadline to file Individual and Partnership tax returns is arriving quickly. If you haven’t already filed your taxes and you don’t think you will have it done by April 15th, then drop everything you are working on right now and file an extension. 

For instructions on how to file for a tax extension visit the IRS’ website to download the extension form that’s applies to your business.

If you have any questions about filing for a tax extension, or you need help with your bookkeeping, leave a comment below. We would love to help you out.

To Your Success



5 Tax Saving Tips for Small Business Owners

Owning and operating a small business is not easy. There are several things to consider such as time commitment, getting clients, consistency, the list goes on.

This is why as a small business owner tax time can be such an important time of the year. There are a lot of tax breaks out there to help a small business succeed but aren’t advertised. So today, I’m going to give you a few tips and tricks that can help you out during tax season. 

File Your Taxes On Time: This first tip seems like a no brainer but it’s often a very over looked thing. Sometimes people get busy and forget that there is a “hard” deadline for yearly income taxes. If you don’t pay on time, the late fees that are associated with this can be substantial and add up the longer you put it off.  Nothing is worse than having to pay late fees that eat up into any type of rebates that can help your business. Unseen circumstances make it that you will have to file late? Apply for an exception to help you out – the IRS may only do this once for you but use it wisely.

Section 179 Deduction: To run your business you use equipment – computers, software, storage facilities, or even a company vehicle. Heck, if you have livestock they can be listed a equipment too. Did you know that you could deduct the use of your equipment from your taxes? The IRS allows up to $500,000 dollars of items used as equipment in your business in deductions. However, this means that any item you are deducting has to be used 50% of the time with your small business. This is a substantial deduction that can be used to help your company grow.

Have Lunch Meetings: This may seem like an odd one but lunch meetings count as a business expense which 50% of the expenses can be deducted at the end of the year. Have to talk to your employees about the new color of pillows you are getting into stock? Take them to Taco Bell and save the receipts. You just had yourself a business lunch meeting. 

Don’t Use Air miles To Travel: Traveling for business is an expense you can recoup at the end of the year. Save your reward miles for personal vacations to your favorite destination, and cold hard cash for those boring conferences you have to attend. You can always get something back during tax time for that cold hard business cash, but nothing in return for the sun burn you got while swimming with the dolphins using your reward miles.

Hire Your Children: Have kids? Do you pay these kids allowances? Do you have a small business that has odd jobs that need to be done? Why not stop paying your children allowances and instead pay them a salary to do those odd jobs around your business? Not only do you hire a worker you can ground without getting in trouble with the authorities but also you can now deduct the cost of their salary at the end of the year as an employee.  Now your kids can stop being a festering sinkhole you just throw your hard earned money into.

With these five tax saving tips, this next tax season will potentially help you get that cool boat you’ve always wanted. Or,  you know, be responsibly reinvested into your business.

To Your Success,


1501x200- About- 31 Mar


How To Read A Financial Report: Profit & Loss Statement

How To Read A Financial Report: Profit & Loss Statement

Profit and Loss statement? I don’t have one of those.

True story!

I worked with a client who was so terrified of numbers that they didn’t know what a profit and loss or balance sheet statement was.

Yes, they are still in business and are actually thriving! They provide great products and services and it’s been an honor to partner with them.

The fact still remains, that though you are in business, not everyone knows what they are looking for and that’s completely normal, bookkeeping is not everyone’s specialty.

So today, I want to shed a little light on what will help you manage and understand some of the key points of a profit & loss statement.

Profit & Loss Statement

Also known as the income statement, the profit and loss statement is one of the most important financial report for any business owner. This is simply because it gives a brief snapshot of any given period that you desire to take a closer look at. One of the beauty about using accounting software like Xero.

The two things you are paying attention to on your income statement is the revenue and expenses.

Depending on the layout of the statement, revenue is located in the upper portion of the income statement and provides highlights the multiple streams of income which can be collectively referred to at Total Revenue.

Next is the expense portion, generally located at the bottom of the report and shows all the operating expenses. These expenses put together are collectively called Total Operating Expenses. 

Total Revenue minus Total Operating Expense = Net Profit (or loss, all depends) 

The net profit (loss) speaks volumes in and off itself.


Because if you have a net loss, then that means the business is either not generating enough money, or your operating expenses are through the roof.

On the other hand, if the net profit is a positive figure, then that means your business is generating an ample amount of revenue  to cover operating expenses and provide a profit for the owner.

Make it a priority to always have a net profit.

Found this article helpful? Read more about the Balance Sheet and how it affects your company in our next post.

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