Business News for March 2, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Streamline Expense Tracking & Make Better Business Decisions
  • Amazon Small Business Academy
  • Free Tool for Tracking Employees' Hours
  • QuickBooks Offer
  • gBeta Accelerator Go Global Initiative supports Wisconsin Business Interested in Exporting

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Managing Remote Teams
  • Series: Cultivate Your Teams’ Productivity in the Time of COVID
  • Communication & Delegation
  • Understanding Your Investment: Building Value in Your Business
Business News, Resources, and Best Practices
Streamline Expense Tracking, Make Better Business Decisions
Excerpted from the ASBDC blog
Most business owners do not go into business because they love finances and accounting. Yet keeping accurate records is an essential part of knowing whether your business is successful and anticipating concerns or trends as they arise.

Understanding the accounting cycle
In a nutshell, the accounting cycle begins when you make a financial transaction. Record the transaction using a journal entry and post it to the general ledger. Once all transactions are posted, generate a trial balance. You can then use the trial balance to produce financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

These statements help you determine the financial status of your business.
Let’s take a closer look at each step of the accounting cycle.

Step 1: Create the chart of accounts
The chart of accounts is a list of your business’s financial accounts. Balance sheet accounts, such as cash and accounts receivable, are listed first, followed by income statement accounts.

Income statement accounts are also known as expense accounts. They are typically listed toward the bottom of the chart of accounts. You should create expense accounts for each of your spending categories if you want to have more detailed expense reports.

Step 2: Post a journal entry
A journal is a record of each business transaction that occurs, listed in chronological order. Activity is posted using a journal entry.

Think of journal entries as expense trackers for your business. A debit entry increases expense accounts, and a credit entry reduces cash. To make analysis easier, each journal entry includes an explanation of the transaction. All journal entries post to the general ledger.

Step 3: Review the general ledger and trial balance
general ledger is a record of every posted transaction. It’s used to sort, store, and summarize a company’s financial transactions. The trial balance, which summarizes the general ledger, is a list of accounts used to post transactions and their current account balances. The trial balance provides a snapshot of the company’s current financial condition. For more detail, turn to the general ledger.

Step 4: Produce financial statements
The trial balance is used to generate financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Financial statements are produced at the end of each month and the accounting cycle starts over on the first day of the following month.

Amazon Small Business Academy
Free workshops from Amazon help small businesses learn tools
The Amazon Small Business Academy helps you learn about emerging digital strategies and brand building techniques through free, live events.
Amazon Pathways
In this fast-paced series, we will cover how selling online can become part of an overall business strategy, while learning about identifying the specific customer segment, and how to communicate brand messaging online. We'll discuss techniques for writing a compelling listing, processing an order, options for warehousing and shipping, managing customer service and returns, and how to learn from customer reviews. We'll explore optional tools available to help build awareness of the brand including advertising, deals, and coupons. You’ll also learn about pricing tools and expanding into additional customer groups such as business to business sales and international geographies.
Looking for a deep dive on just one topic?
Amazon webinars include Q&A sessions with experts from Amazon who will guide you from practical application to advanced techniques. You can learn new skills and hear best practices for selling successfully.
  • March 8: Global Selling
  • March 15: Amazon Live 
  • March 22: Seller Central Dashboard Overview
  • April 5: Keyword Optimization
  • April 12: Advertising 
  • April 19: Service Provider Network
  • April 26: IP Accelerator

Need a Tool for Tracking Employee Hours?
Free timesheet templates
QuickBooks' free timesheet templates collection provides free daily, weekly, and monthly timesheet templates to track employee hours, overtime, as well as vacation days. Included within the collection are templates to track construction, hospitality, and volunteer hours.

The daily, weekly, and monthly timesheet templates are printable, as well as optimized for Excel, so they do not require QuickBooks for use. The collection also includes a step-by-step guide on how to use the templates efficiently. 

Quickbooks Offer for SBDC Clients
QuickBooks is offering a one-month free trial for SBDC clients. Following the one-month trial, new QuickBooks Online customers can receive 50% off for 12 months.

gBETA Madison Startup Accelerator Spring 2021
Application Deadline: March 19, 2021
gBETA is a program of nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.

Participating Companies Receive:
  • Access to a community of entrepreneurs including their fellow cohort members, as well as gener8tor and gBETAalumni.
  • A formal relationship with at least 2-3 mentors with relevant expertise.
  • Introductions to the gener8tor network of successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and technologists.
  • Individualized coaching and mentorship from the gener8tor team. 

Upcoming SBDC Virtual Learning Opportunities
Managing Remote Teams
Starting next Monday - March 8, 2021
Supporting your remote employees means more than establishing the logistics. In this course, you'll learn how to:
  • Build strong one-on-one relationships and enhance community despite the physical distances.
  • Manage employee performance at a distance, including setting goals, collaborating, measuring results, and providing feedback virtually.
  • Approach problem-solving and decision-making in a virtual environment.
Communication & Delegation
Starts March 15, 2021
In this course, you will have the opportunity to take the DiSC assessment, which will help you better understand your own leadership style and gain insight into the priorities and abilities of other members of your team. By knowing how your team members process and prioritize information, you can better tap into their motivation, explain topics meaningfully, and become a more effective delegator.
Are You and Your Team Feeling "Pandemic Fine?"
Cultivate your resilience, motivation, and productivity with our series, starting March 8, 2021
If you or your team is looking for new tools to help you manage your team remotely, build your resilience, or increase your motivation, this series is for you. A few of the classes have free "mini" versions to help you learn some of the concepts, or pay for the full class to build on your knowledge with actionable tools!

SERIES INCLUDES all 3 courses for just $535 - that's 15% off!

Understanding Your Investment: Building Value in Your Business
Starts March 23
Valuing a company means looking at more than a single financial statement. Instead, valuation includes a number of both quantitative and qualitative measures that you can actively work to improve as you work both in and on your business.

This course will help you learn:
  • Whether your business is transferable or salable
  • Why every business has more than one value and what really matters when valuing a privately owned company
  • Business valuation approaches, methodologies and how discount rates are determined
  • Specific strategies to implement to increase the value of your business
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at or 608-263-2221 to request accommodations.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System. It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.