Types of Accounting: An Overview For Designers

Accounting is used for quantitative information of finances. But what is the accounting process and what's best for your design practice? Read on to find out.

Nor every company has an accounts department that looks after the accounting details of the company but accounting is important. An accounting department is the backbone of every business. It records all the business transactions and keeps a track of the incomes and expenses of the business. The business depends on these incomes for its profits and should know all the expenses that are incurred to keep it going. They also determine the correct financial position and financial standing of the business. All this makes the recording of transactions important. For the systematic and accurate recording of the transactions, accounting is important. For accurate accounting of transactions, an accounting process is essential. Let us understand the accounting process in detail.

The accountant should know the accounting process well so that there is no confusion in recording the transactions. Following the correct accounting process is mandatory as per accounting ethics and it also helps to understand and communicate the financial operations of your design firm. The following paragraphs are devoted to complete understanding of the accounting process.

Accounting Process Definition

The purpose of accounting is recording all the transactions honestly and accurately in the books of accounts. The accounting process is the method followed by the accountants to record the transactions. The accounting process can be defined as "the process that begins when the transaction takes place and ends when the transaction is recorded in the books of accounts". It is a series of procedures that are used to analyze and record the business transactions for a particular period of time.

The Accounting Process

The accounting process, also known as the accounting cycle process, includes the below mentioned steps. In order to follow these steps, you will need to know all the accounting principles and concepts well.

•The first step involves identifying the transaction and finding the source documents of the transaction.

•Analyze which accounts is the transaction affecting and what is the amount of the transaction.

•Record the entry into the journal as a credit or debit, according to its nature.

•Transfer the journal entries into the appropriate accounts in the ledger.

•A trial balance is then created which sees to it that the debit amount equals the credit amounts.

•Correct the discrepancies in the trail balance and balance the debit side with the credit side.

•Make adjusting entries in order to record the accrued and deferred amounts.

•Next, prepare the adjusted trial balance on the basis of the deferred amounts.

•Prepare the financial statements like the income statements, the balance sheet, retained earnings statements and finally the cash flow statements.

•Close the temporary accounts like revenues, expenses, gains, etc. by closing journal entries. These accounts are transferred to the income summary account and later posted into the capital accounts.

•Prepare the final trial balance on the basis of the closing journal entries.

There can be a slight alteration to the above accounting process flow. The financial statements can be made before the adjusting entries. Also, some companies add another step after the final trial balance. This step is called as reversing entries step. Reversing entries is done if an accrual or deferral entry was recorded earlier and needs to be adjusted to avoid a double entry. It is recorded on the first day of a new recording period. All the accountants follow the same accounting process sequence, except for the reversing entries. That is an optional step which may or may not be followed.

By Deeptee A

Successful Marketing Campaigns for Interior Designers

Successful marketing campaigns leave behind a legacy and brand establishment of the product in the hearts and minds of consumers. Marketing geniuses and advertising gurus have every now and then stated the crucial role of marketing campaigns in establishing the identity of a product and eventually making it a brand! For turning a product into a brand, successful marketing campaigns are of utmost importance. Be it Apple's iconic "Get a Mac" advertising campaign or its iPhone launch, they're undoubtedly one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever, not to forget Nike's "Just Do it" or "Think Small" of Volkswagen. Successful marketing strategies make the product stand in the elite class of legendary products and they're remembered for decades. For successful marketing campaigns, marketing teams have to focus on some crucial parameters. Let us know more about them.

Elements of a Successful Marketing Campaign

The importance of marketing is not a hidden fact for any firm. Instead, every firm is so much aware about it that the level of competition has become intense and challenging. Successful marketing campaigns and successful marketing techniques make a world of difference for every company. The main elements of successful marketing campaigns are as follows.

Hit the Bull's Eye

The hallmark of every successful marketing campaign is to create a niche market, a target audience that has to be reached through effective usage of marketing tools. As a part of your campaign, you've to ensure that you influence those customers who are in your domain of target audience. Now to zero in on the target audience, you've to carry out extensive market research. Neglecting this crucial parameter will deviate you from launching your product successfully.

Through marketing research, the marketing teams gather data, understand the psyche of consumers that is an inevitable part for achieving organizational goals. Marketing stalwarts acknowledge the importance of marketing research and so it forms the base of marketing campaigns. Marketing research also helps a firm to maximize its sales, enabling to make profits and thrive in the market. Read more about the basics steps of marketing research process.

Divide and Conquer

The social, economical and geographical patterns of a region significantly impact the consumers buying capabilities. Marketing is today a broad spectrum and inhomogeneous. One strategy may not work for varied family income levels, age, gender and lifestyles. Here arises the role of marketing mix strategy that you have to use at par excellence. The four P's of marketing viz. Product, Price, Place and Promotion form the four dimensions of marketing mix strategies.

Right Timing is Critical

Entering the market at the right time and with well-planned strategy is very important. This makes it mandatory for you to have a well-documented marketing plan as to when will you enter the market. Launching of your product must be in style, that is to say, enough to attract the eyes of consumers. The more creative you're in the usage of marketing promotion methods, better will be your chances of success. Being innovative with your marketing promotion ideas will help you to meet your objective of making your customers aware about your product and its qualities.

Successful marketing campaigns are a result of excellent marketing plan and boundless creativity. Catchy phrases and slogans give your product an image and their jingles become popular among the masses. Successful marketing campaigns give an identity to your product and help it to reap rich dividends. With proper planning and implementation, successful marketing campaigns are always achievable and every marketing team mobilizes its effort to succeed in a grand style.

By Kundan Pandey

Grants for Small Business Expansion

Photography by Leonard Ini
All businesses need money, more so  small businesses. A small business owner may need capital to invest in new assets. He may need money to pay the security amount while filing for tenders. Likewise, small business financing may be required for various other things, such as investing in office interiors or paying the taxes and salaries or to buy new equipment for extending the business operations. Lack of funds, many a times, makes it almost impossible for small businesses to grow. To make up for this lack of funds, the government, from time to time, provides various grants for small business expansion.

Grants for Small Business Expansion : How to Find

Grants and loan for small business expansion are two completely different things. While loan amounts need to be paid back with some interest to the lender, grant money for small business expansion, does not need to be repaid.

In order to find grants for small business owners, you need to look at the CFDA i.e. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This contains thousands of options for getting government grants. There are various categories of grants, for example, there are grants for women starting a small business, then there are grants for minority businesses and some meant only for rural businesses. You will need to look for the government grant that you are eligible for and which suits your business purpose.

Some agencies may provide grants only for specific purposes such as providing training for your employees or for giving out tax exemptions or for buying business equipment, so if any of such grants suits your business goal, you may apply for these too. The business newspapers and magazines usually offer details of any new grants that the government might come up with for small business, so keeping a track of these will help you to find new small business opportunities vis a vis grants.

Another place to look for small business start up grants is your local Small Business Association (SBA) office. They provide the right guidance to small business owners with regards to what businesses to set up and how to get grants for starting a small business. Sometimes, they themselves may provide financial assistance to businesses.

 Grants for Small Business Expansion : How to Apply

Once you have met the eligibility criteria and found a suitable government grant that suits your business purpose, the next step is to apply for the same by filling an application form. You may hire the services of a professional to fill the application form accurately as the content and the information in the application form will finally determine whether you get the grant approval or not. If however, you are filling the application form yourself, make sure that you submit a complete application form as an incomplete one will give a very bad impression. Meeting the small business grant officer personally and knowing about their criteria for grant approval will help you fill the application form in a better way.

The business plan that you submit should specifically bring forth your understanding of the business you are in. In the business plan, mention how expanding your business will help not only your employees but the society in general. Also, stay in touch with the grant officer by making contact with him from time to time, to improve your prospects of an early approval.

If you look at the current scenario with regards to the grants for small business expansion, the federal government actually offers no direct grants. There are however, some programs by the government, through which grants for research and development activities that a small business might carry out are provided by the SBA. Then there are indirect grants in the form of small business loan guarantees as well as subsidized loans, wherein you get loans at reduced rate of interest from the bank as the government pays some part of your loan. Or if you default on your loan payment, the government pays the bank on your behalf. As you can see, there are opportunities galore for small business funding and grants, you just have to make an effort to find the one that is most suitable for your business goals. All the best!

By Aastha Dogra