A Lesson on Outsourcing a Bookkeeper

When we started the business, I admit that I did not pay attention to the bookkeeping side of the business. Given the intricacies and hassle of securing government permits and licenses, we chose to outsource this portion of our workload instead. It seemed the most logical thing to do. We cannot spend hours and hours of our days going to and from different government agencies when we could have spent that time on managing actual business operations and marketing.

A few months ago, I took time to look into the work of our bookkeeper/accountant and discovered anomalies from her end. I saw that she was unable to remit some of our required documents for BIR. She missed some deadlines, and worse we got severely penalized for it. Seeing the gaping loopholes in her work, I immediately dismissed her and looked for a new one.

While processing the transfer of our branch from one city to another, we were handed out a computation of our tax obligations from the City Treasurer. Lo and behold, the payables reached Php22,000! We need to pay this amount to properly close our business in this city. The fees were exorbitantly high all because our accountant/bookkeeper was remiss in doing her job.

It is a bitter lesson for us. Now, I take time to understand the paperwork needed to comply with all the government requirements. Though it can be such a pain to deal with different personalities at our government offices, I decided to take responsibility and thoroughly double check papers needed for the business. I even took time to process the business permits for our other branch myself so I can fully understand the process. I still have a bookkeeper who processes papers for me, but I make sure to closely monitor the progress of our transactions.

If you have a business and you want to outsource bookkeeping duties, here's my advice:

1) Make sure that the bookkeeper/accountant you hire is experienced and has good reviews from current clients.
We hired our former bookkeeper due to the recommendation of someone from my father-in-law's office. He knew her since they work in the same building, and he knew that she does bookkeeping on the side. However, he did not know the quality of work that she delivers to the clients. Make sure you do a background check by talking to her other clients.

2) Check if he/she is updated with current policies and trends.
These days, the BIR keeps on churning out new revenue regulations. Thus, make sure you are updated and check if your bookkeeper knows these as well. There are times when we are even the ones who update our bookkeeper because she didn't know updated policies. A good bookkeeper/accountant will be able to answer your questions on the changing policies and ensure that you comply as required.

3) Educate yourself with tax and accounting requirements.
Recently, I attended a seminar organized by a work-at-home mom on tax and accounting. It opened my eyes on the many (redundant) requirements of the government. It brings into perspective the amount of workload an accountant does. It made me realize that a business owner should always be on top of the government requirements for business. Sometimes, with all the workload that a bookkeeper is handling, you can easily be bumped off to accommodate more demanding clients. These days, I text or call my bookkeeper almost daily to ensure that they are still on track on submitting our requirements.

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How To Win Over Breastfeeding Challenges

I love breastfeeding. I think breastfeeding is one of the best gifts a mother can give to her child. That's why I felt compelled to organize a blog link party last month on why Breastfeeding is Love with fellow mommy bloggers.

I also admire women who advocate breastfeeding. One such woman is Teresa Dumadag, who has written a book called Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking. I love that she shares bible verses about breastfeeding, and how she continues to motivate women to pursue breastfeeding. Breastfeeding takes commitment, and it may sometimes be daunting to first time moms. It is important to seek counsel and support to make one's breastfeeding journey successful.

This March 29, Teresa is going to speak at an event called How To Win Over Breastfeeding Challenges at the Medela House in Quezon City.

Meet the beautiful author and get a signed copy of her book!

For more details on the event, click here to access the Facebook event. Register for the event here.

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48 Photos: 6/48 Colors

I've been remiss in blogging lately. With so many things I want to do on top of taking care of the baby and the household, I admit I have not been taking time to blog. It seems that my best shot at blogging is when my eldest daughter reminds me, "Mom, have you posted in 48 Photos for this week already?" I find it cute that she reads my blog.

For this week, the theme is colors. I initially wanted to take a shot of a set of colored Sharpies, but I lacked the colors so I scratched that. Then I decided to take a picture of the painting we have in our living room. This is my favorite among all. It's a painting of a man strumming a guitar by William Yu. I love it because it brightens up the white walls in our living room. It instantly gives life to the clean, white walls.

For other photos I've taken for the 48 Photos Challenge, click here.

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National Bookstore's Warehouse Sale in Alabang

Two days ago, we visited National Bookstore's Warehouse Sale in Alabang Town Center. There were lots of people, but good thing there was still room to browse through their selections.

The kids and I went home with these goodies:
Baby books for Kali. Selection was limited though so I had to grab what I see.
These sell for Php10-Php20 each.

Kuya got a book for chess.

Ate got Glee and a Disney book. She got a green notebook too.

I got my husband a diet cookbook and Europe's Top 10 Cities guide.

Business books for me.

Some quick tips to remember when you brave the crowd for National Bookstore's Warehouse Sale:

1) Don't expect to find something you're looking for in particular.
The books are grouped by their discounted selling price, so categories are mixed with one another. You need to be quick to browse through hundreds and hundreds of books.

2) Read fast.
You will see books you are not familiar with, so your purchase will depend on your quick 3 to 5-second read through the book's summary and highlights.

3) Split.
The kids and I went to several areas on our own so we can find the selections we want. This way, you can each take home books that interest you.

Total Bill: Php 407.50

It was definitely a great shopping buy!

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Breastfeeding Wear: Wrap-front Top + Tank Top

Breastfeeding Wear

I believe that a woman doesn't need to change her entire wardrobe to carry out breastfeeding in public. For the past 6 months that I've been exclusively breastfeeding, I only own one nursing dress and that's because I bought it from my online shop partner! Normally, I rummage through my closet to check what normal clothes I can mix and match to enable me to breastfeed in public when I'm out in Kali.

This post will be the first of a series featuring breastfeeding wear that comes from normal clothes. I hope this will give you, my mommy readers, ideas on what to wear when you bring your baby out with you. Enjoy!

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10 Bible Verses for the Startup Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is not an easy feat. It requires guts, persistence and a whole lot of faith. Here are ten bible verses to guide you in your entrepreneurship journey.

1. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Starting a business from scratch is tough. When you feel moments of weakness, read this verse and say it out loud. In Christ, you can do all things. Stick to your vision and continue to believe in it. There will be times when people or situations bring you down, but do not worry as Christ is with you.

2. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
God has placed a dream inside you to help you succeed in your business. Keep in mind that God's plans are always good, and He will always help you and protect you.

3. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
A lot of times we go about our own ways without asking God first. In everything that we do in business, it's best to ask from God as He is the source of everything.

4. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
God comes first in everything. Once we seek Him, everything else will follow.

5. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
Whether we are in business or in corporate, this verse will apply to us. God asks that we honor Him in what we do. When we give God glory, He will ensure our plans and our dreams will be achieved.

6. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
We are human, and we are imperfect. With God's grace, He helps us conquer our weaknesses.

7. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
Being in business should not just be about money. It should be about fulfilling God's plan for you. Once you focus on God, He will always provide you with what you need.

8. If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Always keep God on your side in your entrepreneurship journey, and you will see how God does wonders in it.

9. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Give glory to God with all the work that you do, and He will reward you for it.

10. All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
God blesses those who work hard. He wants us to use the talents He has given us to fulfill His plans for us. As a startup entrepreneur, continue to work hard and not let failures dampen your spirit. God will always come through.

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