HappyAR Blog

Information, research, tips, and musings about the ever-changing world of accounts receivables. We'll be frequently publishing content that's developed by our own experiences team as well as from external contributors. Have some thing to share related to AR, invoicing, FinTech, ERP integrations, or finance operations? Please write for us and get your ideas out to our community!

Pro Forma Invoice

Pro Forma Invoice

As a business owner or accountant, you need to understand the difference between a pro forma invoice and a full invoice. What Is a Pro Forma Invoice? A pro forma invoice can be viewed as a proposal to a customer

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What Is Corporate Finance?

What Is Corporate Finance?

The corporate finance department of a company oversees the capital structure of the business, including its funding and the actions that it takes to build overall value. Individuals who work in corporate finance perform analytical procedures and make recommendations to

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SAP Accounting- An Overview

SAP Accounting- An Overview

When deciding on a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. There are a number of them available, and the features they offer are different. In this article, we cover SAP

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Sage 50 Accounting Software- An Overview

Sage 50 Accounting Software- An Overview

Sage 50 Accounting Software (formerly known as Peachtree Accounting Software) is an accounting system designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. It is one of the few accounting systems available that is not based entirely on the cloud. If

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Stripe Invoicing - An Overview

Stripe Invoicing – An Overview

Stripe is a payments processing software used by small businesses and contractors to process payments easily. Commonly used in an eCommerce setting, it is one of the largest payment service providers and payment gateway providers. It allows payment in over

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Purchase Order Vs Invoice

Purchase Order Vs Invoice

As a small business owner, it is essential to understand the different terminologies in accounting and bookkeeping. Understanding the difference between a purchase order vs an invoice is integral to the procurement process and purchasing process.

What Is a Purchase Order?

purchase order

A purchase order is an official document that companies use to document the purchase of goods or services to be delivered at a later date. The use of a purchase order allows buyers to place orders with suppliers without making any payment.

The seller uses purchase orders to extend credit without risk since the purchase order is a legally binding agreement once goods or services are delivered. Once accepted by the vendor, the purchase order can be used in place of an official contract, especially if one does not exist between the buyer and seller.

A purchase order will be assigned its own PO number, which buyers and sellers can use to track the sale and delivery of goods and services. There are several purchase orders, but the most common are standard purchase orders and blanket purchase orders.

Standard purchase orders cover one-time purchases. Once the goods are delivered, the purchase order is closed. In contrast, a blanket purchase order can be used for ongoing deliveries of services or goods until a maximum is reached.

Larger organizations may require purchase requisition approval before issuing a purchase order. Typically, a department manager will create the order and send it to the purchasing department for approval. Once approved, a purchase order will be issued.

What Is an Invoice?

purchase order

An invoice is a legally binding document created after the delivery of goods or services. The invoice process begins once a company has accepted delivery, and a sales invoice is created with the assistance of the purchase order.

The sales invoice will contain an invoice number that sellers can use to track the payment. It will also include the purchase order number, order details, payment terms, a due date, and payment request.

In addition to the information regarding the sale, it will also contain the vendor's contact information, delivery date of the goods, and total amount due. Once payment is received by the vendor for the invoice, the invoice is closed.

The use of a purchase requisition, purchase order, and sales invoice are important parts of the purchase requisition process. During a year-end audit or review, billing departments will often examine these documents in detail.

Purchase Order vs Invoice- What Information Is in a Purchase Order?

purchase order

There are several different items contained within a valid purchase order. Information can include any (or all) of the below:

1. A Purchase Order Number

Oftentimes, buyers and sellers use the purchase order number to track the order and final delivery of the goods. It is typically pre-formatted by the purchaser. Purchase orders are usually issued in order with no gap unless a purchase order is nullified.

2. Vendor and Customer Contact Information

Contact information of both the buyer and seller will be listed within a purchase order. In addition, signatures of approved parties may be included. This can provide assurance between both parties that they agree to the terms of the purchase order.

3. Order Details

The details of the goods or services to be delivered are defined. This will include the type of goods and services and the number of goods. The cost of the order will also be indicated, either by quantity or in total. For example, the order may indicate that three items are to be delivered at $400 each. Thus, a total amount of $1,200 will be listed in the order details.

4. Delivery Date

The delivery date is commonly included in a purchase order. If the goods or services are delivered after the agreed-upon date, the purchase order may be canceled. However, if the buyer still accepts them, the purchase order will normally be held to be valid.

purchase order

5. Date of the Order

The date of the initial decision to purchase goods from the seller will be indicated on the purchase order.

6. Terms of Payment

The purchase order will generally have some legal language that defines when payment for delivered goods or services is required. Financial terms are usually negotiated between the buyer and seller and payment is normally required between 30 to 90 days after delivery.

7. Total Amount Due

The total amount due includes the base amount of the order. It will also include any shipping or delivery charges and sales tax.

8. Payment Schedule

payment schedule

Occasionally a buyer and seller may agree to a payment schedule rather than having the total amount due upon delivery of goods. This is especially true when a product or service is significantly expensive or when delivery is recurring over a period of time.

Purchase Order vs Invoice- What Information Is Included Within an Invoice?

An invoice will typically include much of the same information that is included within a purchase order. However, the key difference is that an invoice represents the first step in the payment process. It is an official document that is used to request payment.

invoice number

1. Invoice Number

Similar to the purchase order process, an invoice number will be generated by the seller. Normally invoice numbers follow a continuous numerical pattern, such as 10001, 10002, and 10003. This is done so that they may be easily tracked by the accounting department.

2. Vendor Contact Information

The contact information of the vendor will be listed on the invoice. Normally it is included at the top of the invoice. Invoice templates may list it at the left or right-hand side of an invoice.

3. Buyer Contact Information

The name and address of the buyer will be included in the invoice. This is for tracking purposes. It also ensures that the correct buyer is billed for the goods or services purchased.

4. Date Good or Service Was Delivered

The date of delivery of a good or service is included within an invoice. Buyers may compare the date contained within the sales invoice to ensure that it matches with their records.


5. Date of Invoice

Including the date of the invoice allows buyers and sellers to ensure that they are not accidentally billed twice for an invoice. Receiving a duplicate invoice with the same date is often a tip-off that the invoice may have accidentally billed twice.

6. Terms and Conditions of Payment

The sales invoice will set out the terms and conditions of payment. These commonly include the time that a buyer has to submit payment and how it must be paid. Sellers may accept payment via bank transfer, credit card, cash, or check.

7. Information Detailing the Goods or Services Delivered

Goods or services delivered are described within the invoice. If more than one good or service were sold, each would be listed individually within the invoice with a quantity number. The amount per individual item is also indicated.

8. Tax Rates and Shipping Costs

Any sales taxes or shipping costs incurred with the order will be separately listed within the invoice.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Procurement Process?

prons cons procurement

The procurement process can add a layer of financial protection for both buyers and sellers of goods. It is designed to set up clear expectations and ensure that both are protected during the sales process. Significant advantages of using purchase orders are indicated below:

1. Better Financial Management

Using a purchase order system allows sellers to track their inventory and better understand their cash flow from month to month. For example, a company that anticipates the sales of 200 goods in the following month has time to ensure that all goods are available for sale and that they have passed rigorous quality management checks.

On the purchasing side, companies can anticipate their monthly expenditures from month to month when using the purchase order system. They can accurately budget for expenses and make sure they have the cash flow available to cover them.

2. Ensure On-Time Delivery

When goods are ordered on an ad-hoc basis, they may not be delivered until after they are already needed. Having a purchase procurement process in place can go a long way to ensure that goods are available on a regular schedule, with no waiting in between.

3. Improved Accounts Payable Processes

An improved accounts payable process can greatly speed up the collection of funds. Since purchase orders can be used to establish payment terms and delivery dates, buyers should have already incorporated payment into their budgeting process. This can greatly assist in establishing faster payment collection times.

There are only a few disadvantages of using the purchase order procurement process. These include:

disadvantages purchase order

1. Additional Paperwork

For companies that don't have a large accounting or procurement staff, the use of purchase orders may result in a lot of additional paperwork. This can easily lead to lots of time spent that may be more useful in other areas.

2. Credit Cards Can Be Just As Effective

From a financial point of view, credit cards can be used in place of purchase orders with the same results. They allow a buyer to purchase goods or services with expected delivery and create an official document between vendor and customer. However, they may not work for companies with purchases that regularly exceed credit limits.

HappyAR is a seamless SaaS that quickly and easily boosts your accounts receivables work.

We save companies of all sizes thousands of dollars each year by optimizing the speed and efficiency of their collections methods. No more guessing if someone has received an invoice or trusting that it will be paid on time. This is a fully integrated solution that pays for itself over and over each month by preventing defaults and preserving client relationships.

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Remote Accounting Jobs

Remote Accounting Jobs

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies around the world have been forced to close their office doors and move their workforce online. Some businesses were better prepared for this than others and already established a culture that allowed for working from home at least some of the time. Others had to quickly adapt to working from home using meeting tools and other software designed to protect their data security.

As the pandemic has slowly begun to wind down, many companies (and their workers) question the need for a traditional office space. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in typical white-collar office positions that don't require regular customer contact.

Accounting is one of those professions, as accountants typically work behind the scenes in a business. Interaction is generally limited to team members also employed by the company. If you're wondering whether there is a potential for accountants to work remotely, you've come to the right place.

Can I Work Remotely as an Accountant?

Remote Accounting Jobs

More companies today are choosing to move their accounting team to a full-time work-from-home model. This decision is especially common in the technology and fintech space. Technologically advanced companies have embraced remote work tools such as video calls and access to centralized files on a private server or in the cloud.

A survey by Enterprise Technology Research found that the percentage of workers permanently working from home was expected to double in 2021. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working from home at least five days a month.

Basically, it has become quite common for accountants to find positions entirely established online. In fact, many companies are encouraging it to save on the cost of office space. They've also found that their employees are more motivated, productive, and happier when they are able to work from the comfort of their own homes.

How Much Do Remote Accountants Make?

Remote Accounting Jobs

A remote accountant's salary will vary based on their qualifications, education, experience, and location. In general, remote accountants can expect to make just as much as their office-oriented counterparts.

Below is a list of typical accounting salaries within the United States for various levels of accounting professionals:

  • Bookkeeper: $39,332
  • Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable Clerk: $51,665
  • Staff Accountant: $55,840
  • Tax Accountant: $65,171
  • Accounting Supervisor: $70,872
  • Senior Accountant: $74,162
  • Accounting Manager: $79,087
  • Assistant Controller: $82,832
  • Controller: $97,516
  • Chief Financial Officer: $131,417

All salaries indicated above were generated using Indeed.com's Career Explorer tool. Salaries can fluctuate tremendously depending on the company’s size, the intricacy of their accounting needs, and its location. Salaries are generally higher for those individuals working in large cities or Fortune 500 companies.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Become an Accountant?

Remote Accounting Jobs

Typically, well-qualified accountants begin their careers by obtaining a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance. During their time in school, they may seek an internship in their field to gain some experience before graduation.

After graduation, an accountant will generally begin their career in the accounting field as an entry-level accountant. As they gain experience, they may seek to further advance their path by obtaining a master's in business administration or a master's of science in accounting.

Once they have obtained the necessary experience and education, they can obtain a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license within their state.

Earning a Master's degree or CPA license will typically open many doors for individuals in the accounting field. They will be seen as true professionals and are often entitled to greater earning potential, better benefits and incentives, additional job opportunities, more job flexibility, and greater job stability.

Other common qualifications that an accountant earns include:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • Enrolled Agent (EA)

Obtaining any of the above certifications provides a wealth of remote accounting jobs in various accounting and finance fields.

What Are the Benefits of Remote Accounting Jobs?

Remote Accounting Jobs

There are a significant number of benefits to working remotely.

1. Freedom and Flexibility

Working remotely allows people to set up their own workspace and use it how they please. No bosses are popping into the office to check on their activities. Instead, they have the freedom to perform their tasks on their own terms (given that their assignments are fully completed).

In some cases, remote workers can work from locations away from the traditional office. If there is no traditional office (or only a small space), workers may be eligible to be hired from anywhere within the United States. This is a considerable benefit as it allows workers to maximize their income by living in cities with a lower cost of living if they are so inclined.

In addition, freedom and flexibility allow workers to tend to family or personal matters that may come up during the day. Instead of taking paid time off to attend an appointment with the electrician, they can tend to it during the regular workday at home.


2. Health and Happiness

Remote workers everywhere experience greater health and happiness than their in-office counterparts. There is a tremendous savings of time when working from home, as the daily work commute is off your schedule. The time savings can be significant for people who seek to spend more hours at the gym, cooking healthy meals, or spending time with their family.

Mental health can also improve with remote working, as there is less stress, and working in your own environment can be relaxing. Happy employees are productive and motivated, which leads to better quality work.

3. Better Work/Life Balance

The ability to work remotely gives employees a better work-life balance. Working away from the office can allow you to feel more in control of your life and give you more time to plan activities with your family.

You’re also able to take a break when you need one! In addition, office politics are less of a factor as remote workers tend to communicate through email or video calls.

How Do Online Accountants Work?

online accountant

An online accountant will perform all of the functions a traditional accountant based at an office does. Just because the job is at home does not mean the duties change. The only true difference is communication.

Companies that pursue a work-from-home strategy will generally need to modify their communication strategies to ensure that managers and employees stay in regular contact. This can be done through regular video meetings, online chats, and emails.

A remote accountant will perform regular accounting duties. These may include:

Financial Reporting

Financial reporting involves the preparation of financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Offices typically complete this phase quarterly or annually, but some do it monthly to support management needs.

Account Reconciliations

Account reconciliations are the hallmark of financial accounting. Whether you actually perform the reconciliation or review them, you will still be responsible for ensuring they are completed.

Journal Entries

Journal entries are an integral part of general ledger accounting. Journal entries will need to be booked monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Tax Returns

Another common accounting duty is the completion of regular tax returns. These can be done at home just as easily as in a traditional office.

How Many Years of Experience Do I Need to Become a Remote Accountant?


There are no set rules for work experience required to become a remote accountant. However, individuals with more experience and education will typically be more qualified for remote positions in accounting than those who don't have much.

In addition to the proper education and experience, it is helpful for remote accountants to be comfortable with technology tools. Companies working from home commonly use accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, Xero, and Intacct. In addition, you should have strong data entry and Microsoft Excel skills.

What Businesses Are More Likely to Hire Remote Accountants?

Any business can hire a remote accountant, from a huge Fortune 500 company to a startup. However, small businesses, technology companies, and Saas companies are more likely to have a remote workforce. This is due to a number of different factors, including cost savings and a desire for a more flexible employment force.

How Do I Find a Remote Accounting Job?

find jobs

You can find a remote accounting job through traditional job search engines, such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Indeed is one of the most well-known and successful job sources out there today. Statistics show the site is responsible for 65% of all hires from job sites. That statistic compares Indeed’s success to CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Monster, Glassdoor, and other job boards.

There are also specialized job search engines, such as FlexJobs, that list jobs that are 100% remote. When looking for a remote job, make sure to set up notifications for job postings that fit your current skill set well.

HappyAR is a seamless SaaS that quickly and easily boosts your accounts receivables work.

We save companies of all sizes thousands of dollars each year by optimizing the speed and efficiency of their collections methods. No more guessing if someone has received an invoice or trusting that it will be paid on time. This is a fully integrated solution that pays for itself over and over each month by preventing defaults and preserving client relationships.

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Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping Services

Small business owners typically have a lot of items on their plates. They must seek out new clients and opportunities, manage customer relationships, and ensure their staff performs the basic functions of the business well.

In addition to all of these tasks, they need to make sure that their finances are attended to. But most small business owners aren’t trained in accounting. That’s why many companies turn to skilled bookkeeping services for assistance.

What Does a Bookkeeping Service Do?


A bookkeeping service provides accounting services to companies that don’t have the in-house staff to manage their financial operations. These services can include managing accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial reporting. They may also provide payroll services and collaborate with tax planning professionals to ensure tax returns are provided accurately and on time.

Oftentimes, a three-pronged approach is necessary when you’re integrating your company with a bookkeeping service.

First, an appropriate accounting software program must be selected by your company. Oftentimes, a bookkeeping service will recommend specific programs that they are familiar with. Common programs are QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Zoho Books.

Each program has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some are more expensive than others or offer limited features.


A qualified bookkeeping service will analyze your accounting needs. They may consider specific aspects of your business, such as:

  • Yearly revenue
  • Number of transactions per month
  • Whether your business is centered in one country or has global customers
  • If you have transactions in a variety of currencies
  • How many invoices are issued per month
  • Amount of customers you have
  • Typical amount of expenses each month
  • Whether you hold inventory
  • Types of services or products you offer
  • How much you are able to spend on bookkeeping services

Each of these factors can be important when you determine the appropriate accounting software and the level of input you will need from your bookkeeping service provider each month.

Once your accounting software and level of service are established, your bookkeeper will input your accounting details into the program. This will include all of your current customer and vendor data, as well as account details and banking information.

Next, a chart of accounts will be created and customized reports can be designed to be appropriate for your company. A full-charge bookkeeper will be assigned to your account.

Your bookkeeper will record all transactions that occur within your company. They will note when new invoices are issued and when payments are due to vendors. These transactions will be noted in your general ledger.


If you have employees or independent contractors, the bookkeeper will ensure that they are paid on time. The bookkeeper will reconcile accounts each month and provide appropriate documentation.

In some cases, an individual who acts as a controller may be assigned to your account. They will act as the manager of the bookkeeper and review the transactions recorded in your ledger. Their responsibility is to ensure the accuracy of your books. They may also provide you with financial advice regarding the way that your business is managed.

Typically, controllers are responsible for financial reporting, which could include the preparation of a balance sheet, income statement, or statement of cash flows. A controller will typically be licensed as a certified public accountant (CPA).

The Role of Bookkeeping Services

Photographer: seb_ra | Copyright: seb_ra

As more individuals have started freelancing and opening small businesses, the need for bookkeeping services has significantly increased. Upwork estimates that the number of freelancers in the United States may increase by 10 million over the next year.

Currently, more than 57 million individuals within the United States perform some type of freelance activity. With all of these freelancers and small businesses comes the need for help with proper accounting.

Companies that don’t have the cash flow to accommodate their accounting in-house often opt for outsourced bookkeeping services. In some cases, business owners choose to seek out virtual bookkeeping services in lieu of traditional location-based providers.

With localized providers, company owners are able to regularly meet with their full-service bookkeeper as needed. They can also benefit from connections to local business tax advisory services that the bookkeeper may have.

A local bookkeeper may be more expensive than virtual service providers, but in-person services can be beneficial to clients who desire more personal communication.

But virtual bookkeeping services are on the rise, too. With this approach, business owners can discuss their finances via online meetings or calls. Typically, most of the communication occurs via email. Virtual services may operate in different time zones from the business itself. However, the providers work with companies to ensure that timely reporting occurs and any questions can be answered promptly.

Virtual bookkeeping services often assist many clients. They may offer a tiered cost structure according to the level of service that is required by their customers. Usually, a dedicated account manager will oversee the activities of the staff to ensure that monthly bookkeeping needs are met.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Bookkeeper?


A full-charge bookkeeping service helps companies to implement and maintain consistent financial processes. This strengthens the fiscal health of a company, which is especially important when you plan to scale your business in the near future.

Having appropriate financial controls in place can help to ensure that your company is protected from financial risks and potential obstacles down the road.

The benefits of a bookkeeper quickly become evident when they coordinate with you and your team. As financial reporting and analysis patterns are developed, a bookkeeper can share valuable insights into the performance of your business, including your workflows. This can lead to better decision-making for your leadership teams.

A bookkeeping team also works to reduce your overall expenses. They can alert you when specific expenses don’t positively impact your bottom line. They also ensure that your ledger is on track for tax filing purposes. This can help to prevent under- or over-reported income, which could potentially lead to fines or penalties if the event of an auto from the IRS.

In addition to reducing the risks your business might face, a good bookkeeping service can ensure that you have accurate, complete, and timely financial statements. This allows you to make quick decisions to reduce potential costs to your business.

Instead of devoting your time trying to perform accounting tasks all on your own, you will have an expert in place who can provide those services for you.

The best bookkeeping services save your business time and money. The processes and consistency that a well-qualified accounting team can introduce can greatly increase the longevity and efficiency of your business.

How to Choose a Bookkeeping Service


Selecting an appropriate bookkeeping service can be difficult, depending on the specific needs of your organization. Some businesses handle a lot of complicated transactions, while others have to communicate financial information with a large number of customers and vendors. These companies typically require a service that can be involved in financial tasks on a daily basis.

Other companies have low revenue, few customers, and no employees. They may just need assistance with recording a few transactions each month, along with the preparation of financial statements for the upcoming tax season or the end of the fiscal year. These companies may only need a few hours of assistance each month.

When you’re choosing a bookkeeping service, it’s important to have an understanding of what you need right now and what you might need in the future from a full-charge bookkeeper.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start your search for a qualified bookkeeper:

  • Are you seeking to scale your growth for the long-term?
  • Do you expect revenues to grow significantly in the next few years?
  • Will you be hiring employees or independent contractors soon?
  • Do you want to work with someone who is available locally?
  • Are you comfortable with working with an online bookkeeping service?
  • Do you want assistance with financial planning or forecasting?
  • Do you want a company that provides CFO services or tax preparation?
  • Is there a specific limit to how much you are willing to pay for a professional bookkeeper?
  • Do you operate using cash basis or accrual basis accounting?
  • Are your current financial records up to date and accurate?
  • Are you comfortable with outsourcing or do you want an in-house bookkeeper?
  • What are your monthly reporting needs? Do you expect monthly financial reports?

All of these questions will impact the type of accounting service that you should hire. Your answers will also impact the monthly fee that you can expect to pay, as some providers offer custom pricing designed especially for the needs of your business.

Evaluating the Cost of a Bookkeeping Service


The cost of hiring a bookkeeping service will vary depending upon the services you require, the qualifications of your bookkeeper, and whether you choose a local or virtual service.

While it’s difficult to provide an estimate for bookkeeping services, some of the industry averages are listed below:

  • Local bookkeeper at 5 to 10 hours per month — $150 to $250
  • Virtual bookkeeper at 5 to 10 hours per month — $100 to $200
  • Full-service local bookkeeper at 80 hours per month — $2,000 to $4,000
  • Full-service virtual bookkeeper at 80 hours per month — $1,500 – $3,500
  • Certified public accountant (CPA) at 20 hours per month — $1,000 – $3,000

Again, the price you can expect to pay for bookkeeping services can vary significantly, especially if you have a lot of add-on/additional services.

When you’re hiring a bookkeeper, it’s important to choose someone who has significant expertise in accounting, not just someone who is comfortable with data entry. True accounting requires a lot of judgment calls and a deep understanding of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In short, the job goes beyond simply calling customers when their invoices are overdue or checking the balance of bank accounts!

Understanding the Qualifications of Bookkeepers


Bookkeepers may have a range of qualifications. Typically, they start out by earning an accounting degree. This may be an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Next, they generally start to earn expertise by managing the books for a company. Some of this experience may be obtained while working for a small or medium-sized business. At that point, they may join a firm to provide bookkeeping services or start their own freelance business.

There are additional qualifications available to bookkeepers. These include:

National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)

To earn a certification with the NACPB, a bookkeeper must enroll in the program and complete several classes related to accounting management. Topics include accounting, payroll management, and bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks Online.

These courses will teach the bookkeeper how to reconcile a bank statement, understand business needs, and report monthly expenses.

Once classes are completed and an internship or experience as a bookkeeper has been obtained, the individual may apply for their certified public bookkeepers’ license.


American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)

The AIPB program is based on self-study materials and examinations. No formal education is required.


Bookkeepers who are interested in obtaining this certification will need to enroll in the program, purchase the books, and take a test. Once the test is passed, they will receive the qualification.

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification

The QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification is entirely free, but it is also quite helpful for bookkeepers who work mostly within QuickBooks Online. Once the certification is obtained, the bookkeeper will be able to show potential employers that they are well-versed in the software. This is beneficial for companies who want someone who is intimately familiar with the program.

Are Tax Prep Services Generally Included in Bookkeeping Plans?

Generally, a bookkeeper will not handle income tax returns for a company. This responsibility is usually performed by a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA). However, the CPA or EA will be reliant on the information provided to them by the dedicated bookkeeper.

Unless the company undergoes a yearly audit or review with an outside accounting firm, the bookkeeping service will be required to put their stamp of approval on financial records for the year. Managers for the bookkeeping service will examine the financial transactions for the year to ensure their accuracy. The overall responsibility for the accuracy of the financial records, however, will reside with the company’s owner.

tax prep

If the company does undergo a financial review or audit, the auditing firm will perform a set of specific procedures designed to investigate financial accuracy for the period. This can be especially helpful for companies that are seeking to expand or need funding.

Banks and investors want to know that a company’s books are in compliance with accounting rules before they agree to issue any funding.

Once the company’s financial records are proven to be accurate and up to date, the CPA or EA will review them before preparing the company’s yearly tax return. Thus, while the responsibility for tax services does not lie with the bookkeeper, they are responsible for accurate financial reporting.

Bookkeepers may file less rigorous types of tax returns related to sales or payroll. These types of tax returns are usually done on a quarterly basis. They may be created on the basis of revenue or actual salary payments to employees.

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Here Are Some Common Terms That Will Become More Familiar as You Start Using HappyAR for Your Company:

Here Are Some Common Terms That Will Become More Familiar as You Start Using HappyAR for Your Company:


If you’re trying out HappyAR, you’re a business that sends invoices for goods or services. Invoices are generated and sent by an accounting or invoicing platform that is connected to HappyAR. Details of the invoice – like amount, due date, recipient, and status – are shared with HappyAR to help with your collections workflow.


HappyAR Customer

If you are a B2B company, this is a client company that you do business with. If you are a B2C company, the customer could simply be the name of a person who purchases your goods or services.


This is a person that works within a customer’s organization. In HappyAR, a lot of the contacts are in finance operations, like accounts payable, but could be a company owner or other types of roles. HappyAR distinguishes contacts by primary ones and secondary ones and each contact has unique information that you can edit.


A sequence is a customizable workflow that is used to follow up on outstanding invoices with customers. HappyAR includes standard sequences to use or modify and you can build your own. Sequences include communication attempts that are triggered by pre-set times and are paused or modified by different actions by your customers. So, for example, if your sequence specifies to send an email but to pause when the contact replies back, HappyAR will do this automatically so you don’t have to set reminders. Sequences are especially helpful when you manage a large volume of invoices or handle the AR function is only one part of your job.

Message Template

message template

HappyAR includes standard email messages templates to use or modify and you can build your own. Message templates can include merge fields with different contact and invoice information to help make each message unique to the recipient.


Not all invoices will be assigned to a sequence but those that follow a HappyAR workflow are called escalations. An escalation includes a customer, contact, invoice, messages, and a sequence. An escalation is unique to a single invoice.


HappyAR is unique in that we encourage our clients to invite as many users as possible without any additional costs. We believe that accounts receivables have a huge impact on other areas of a business including sales, marketing, client relations, operations, and certainly with C-Suite decision-makers. Our system allows for administrative users that are actually sending out invoices as well as read-only users that have select visibility and functionality.

Audit Trail

audit trail

All activity in an escalation is tracked in an audit trail which can be reported on for all of your escalations. Audit Trail activities include outbound messages, notifications of message opens, and more activities. The Audit Trail can be useful for other users to see the entire progress of an escalation or for rare cases when a collection needs to go to a third party.

Please visit us at HappyAR for more information.

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How to Use Upwork Resources to Test New Software/SAAS Product Functionality

How to Use Upwork Resources to Test New Software/SAAS Product Functionality

Our company, HappyAR, offers a SaaS product that helps companies get their outstanding invoices paid faster. We first designed and built the first wave of functionality based on our experience running professional services companies in the past. Like many other companies experience, most of our invoices were paid on time, but the ones that didn’t cost us resource time with redundant follow-up tasks negatively impacted our balance sheet delayed our ability to see more repeat business, and in rare cases damaged our relationship with clients. In steps Upwork.

While we were proud of the system that we built, we knew that it was designed to help us specifically but we weren’t convinced that the functionality was there to help many. Generating feedback, proposing ideas, and soliciting test data has been a part of this business that has saved us time and money by removing assumptions and creating a development process that builds what people will actually find value in. This overview outlines the steps we use on one channel, Upwork, to source testers and how we efficiently hire them for various projects without disrupting our current client base.

Identify the Testing Strategy and Design the Project for That Specifically


It’s perfectly acceptable to have a general “application testing” project to start with early on, but as things progress, it might save time and money to focus on specific testing objectives. These could be performance testing, automation testing, functional testing, scalability testing, API and integration testing, and even security testing.

Using Upwork, you will be able to source subject matter experts that represent your end user. They are not professional software testers, so expect feedback that may represent a typical user experience on your SaaS application. For this reason, functional testing might be the best type of test case with this method.

We included an example Upwork project description at the bottom of this article. Note that we include company and project information as the network of prospective testers is also a good example of prospective buyers. More eyes on our business is a good thing.

Set Narrow Parameters and Move Outwards


Our methodology for SaaS testing using subject matter experts is to focus on specific, high-value participants, and adjust parameters until we hit the number of testers we need. For example, we may strictly be looking to test compatibility with a different SaaS app that we have a new integration with. Our test plan will require people with very specific tools they use including the one that we’re doing the API testing on. We’re going to want to select experienced, highly rated people with language fluency that matches ours.

As feedback is received, we may determine that we need more data, so we’ll adjust these filter parameters to increase the number of testers and possibly open up to a lower-cost international group of freelancers.

Upgrade the Posting


The free posting is limited to around 15 invitations. It’s very important to create the post and invite filtered subject matter experts directly. This will allow you to proactively introduce your project to get new bids on the work.

Upgrading the posting costs around $30 and opens up the invitation volume quite a bit. Note that the Upwork system looks for SPAM accounts that are sending out a high volume of invitations. Since you’re not doing this, send the volume you need for validation and if the system temporarily pauses you, just explain in a note that you are hiring multiple freelancers.

Don’t be surprised or offended if people decline the invitation. They may be busy with other work, unfamiliar with relevant cloud computing tools, or simply not interested in providing software feedback.

Use Slack as a Communication Hub


We think Slack’s communication channels are far superior to what’s offered on Upwork. While it’s not ideal to use multiple web applications for one project, we rely on Upwork’s functionality specifically for sourcing testers and managing their project hours and payments.

For all communication and sharing of information, we’ll use a private Slack channel created with Slack Connect. This gives us the ability to invite external users to a private communication hub that we can control.

We’ve found that most testers are familiar with using Slack and providing are comfortable with providing an email address for an invitation.

Change the Hours


Upwork will set the default hours to 40 per week when you confirm the hire. Unless you are looking for full-time feedback in your testing methodology, that amount of hours will likely be excessive. We lower this number to 5 per week (the lowest amount) to protect ourselves. You can always increase if that number is close to being exceeded.

Cut Early


Like anything else in the world of hiring, people aren’t always what they appear to be. As technology developers, we’re no exception! The project can start and quickly turn out poorly with misunderstood expectations, bad feedback from a confused tester, or even a huge identified bug in your SaaS platform that needs to be addressed before they continue.

There’s no harm in pausing or terminating the engagement quickly and politely. You can always suggest that you will need their assistance in the future, which you very well may.

Leave a review that highlights the positive parts of their work and move on quickly.

Ask a Lot of Good Questions


Sure, you can and should ask your paying clients questions when appropriate, but keep in mind that they are paying you and have no obligation at all to help you develop a better company – even if they would benefit from that!

But with paid subject matter testers, now is a great time to ask a lot of questions. Receive real-time answers about their current workflow, pain points, how they perceive value, who make buying decisions, what alternatives they have tested, and really anything else that can guide your decisions outside of product development.

You’ll probably uncover a lot to keep in mind for marketing, sales, support, and even competitor analysis!

Try to Bury Your Biases


Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.

It’s easy to allow a bias to be a testing challenge that impacts your development of software as a service. When working on cloud testing, try to stay impartial to the final result and test with multiple people and variables. You may find that your opinion isn’t widely shared by members of the target market and the insight can be valuable.

Record and Implement the Ideas


There are many apps out there that help optimize the recording of future usability ideas. At HappyAR, we use Canny to summarize product ideas that are voted on by system users and us on the team. Weighted scores are used to determine the priority of the requests and there’s a good collaborative process for adding to base ideas, including mock-up and asking questions. We use this platform for quality assurance, data integration requests, new functionality ideas, and internal changes that are private.

Upwork Alternatives


You can find other sites for Freelancers using G2’s competitor list. Some of these will have plenty of subject matter experts. Another good option for subject matter experts is Clarity which we have used extensively in the past for software testing.

Upwork Post Example


Our team at HappyAR (www.happyar.com) is looking for bookkeepers to provide product feedback for our SaaS application.

We’re looking for 2-4 separate US-based bookkeepers that use either QuickBooks Online or Xero for sending invoices on behalf of clients. In addition to these platforms, you should also use either Gmail/GSuite or Outlook for your business email.

We will provide you with your own HappyAR account that will integrate to a demo or production invoicing platform for you to test. Our team will have a private Slack channel where you can send feedback and ask questions. You are welcome to send test invoices to our company while testing the system.

Your feedback will be very helpful for us to test new integrations. You’ll help identify issues that need to be addressed and functionality that you might like to see.

HappyAR is a cloud-based application that automates the invoice follow-up process. We help reduce the time spent chasing payments and give other members of your company visibility into the status of outstanding invoices.

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QuickBooks for Mac - An Overview

QuickBooks for Mac – An Overview

Intuit QuickBooks has become a major staple when it comes to accounting software. Mac users can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they have access to QuickBooks for Mac computers and other Apple devices.


Suppose that you’re not familiar with this software platform. In that case, we’ll give you a quick overview of QuickBooks and how it can help you manage your business finances, then explain how you can use QuickBooks on your Apple operating system.

Intuit QuickBooks is an accounting software platform that can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Invoicing customers
  • Generating purchase orders
  • Paying bills
  • Running payroll
  • Preparing taxes
  • Business bookkeeping

Plus, the online version of QuickBooks allows business owners to access their company’s information from literally anywhere in the world.

It’s easy to see how QuickBooks has become one of the most popular financial tools for today’s small businesses. Roughly 4 in 5 businesses use QuickBooks for their accounting and bookkeeping needs, representing 80% of the total market share.

The company itself has recently acquired a number of other digital services (such as Mailchimp), which make their software an attractive offering for those seeking to integrate their business tools with their financial software.

Is QuickBooks Desktop Compatible with a Mac?


Apple products are rapidly making inroads in the business world. Naturally, the Apple iPhone has enabled companies to implement mobile technologies, but Mac computers are also becoming more common in the business community.

One survey revealed that Mac computers are in use at 55% of companies, which can potentially raise compatibility issues between the Mac operating system and Microsoft programs such as Excel.

Thankfully, Intuit not only offers a Mac version of all its products, but the Mac version has a few features not found in its Windows counterpart.

System Requirements for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

To install QuickBooks Desktop on your Mac computer, you’ll need to ensure that you meet the following system requirements:

  • MacOS 10.14 (Mohave) or newer version
  • Intel processor Core 2 Duo or higher
  • Multi-user server: Intel Core 2 Duo or higher to run a server
  • 2 GB RAM minimum (4 GB RAM recommended)
  • 250 MB of disk space

Additionally, you’ll likely want a Mac-compatible printer to print items such as invoices, checks, deposits, purchase orders, and other common documents.

To print checks, you’ll also need Intuit Checks, though this is not required to run the core QuickBooks program.

It’s also recommended that you register your product, as this will give you access to updates and additional features that can be used with the program.

System Requirements for QuickBooks Online for Mac

QB mac compatibility

QuickBooks Online users have a slightly different set of system requirements, including:

  • MacOS X El Capitan 10.11 (or newer)
  • An internet connection of at least 1.5 Mbps
  • For Apple mobile devices: iOS 11.1 or newer
  • For Android mobile devices: Nougat 7.1.1 or newer

As with the QuickBooks Desktop Mac Version, you’ll also need a compatible printer for generating paper copies of any and all business documents, though this is also not needed to run the core program.

Differences Between Mac and Windows Versions

mac vs windows

Mac users can experience a few extra layers of functionality when using the Mac version of Intuit QuickBooks, features that aren’t available from the Microsoft Windows version of the same product.

These features include:

  • Automatic reminders in iCalender
  • Menu bar notifications
  • Automatically sync contacts through the address book of your Mac operating system

These features can also make it easier for iPhone users to integrate their accounting data and conduct business from their mobile devices.

New Features for Desktop Version in 2022


QuickBooks Mac Plus is currently offering new features in its latest version. These features include:

  • Unlimited customer support
  • Improved bank feeds
  • Receipt management
  • Automatically send statements
  • Better communication tools

These features make it easier for desktop users to track inventory and manage their finances, all available through an annual software subscription.

The Cost of QuickBooks for Mac

cost of QB

The Cost of QuickBooks for Mac will depend on whether you need the desktop or online version of the product and will also vary based on the number of users.

Cost of QuickBooks Desktop Mac Plus

The desktop version of Intuit QuickBooks is now known as QuickBooks Mac Plus. The 2022 version of the product is currently available on a subscription basis from the company, the price depending on the number of users.

  • One user: $349.99/year
  • Two users: $549.99/year
  • Three users: $749.99/year

These subscriptions do offer some online services, such as data recovery and receipt categorization, which makes it easier to keep track of your business expenses and manage your company data.

Cost of QuickBooks Online for Mac


QuickBooks Online users have to choose between four distinct plans. Business owners will have to match the plan to their particular business needs, though only the Plus plan will allow users to pay bills, track inventory, and track the profitability of their project.

  • Simple Start: $25.00/mo
  • Essentials: $50.00/mo
  • Plus: $80.00/mo
  • Advanced: $180.00/mo

Users can receive a 50% discount on all plans for the first three months after sign-up, after which they will be billed at the above prices.

However, to add payroll features, users will have to pay an additional monthly fee:

  • Payroll Core: $45/mo + $4 per employee per month
  • Payroll Premium: $75/mo + $8 per employee per month
  • Payroll Elite: $125/mo + $10 per employee per month

These plans vary based on the features offered, and the higher plans offer same-day direct deposit, expert review, and tax penalty protection.

Can I Download QuickBooks from the App Store?

app store

QuickBooks offers several different mobile apps, all of which are available from the Apple App Store. Some of these mobile apps are specifically dedicated to managing financial data, though other apps are used for other business-related purposes.

For example, users can download a QuickBooks time-tracking app that can integrate with other software features to record billable hours and report this data on timesheets and invoices.

Other apps can be used for recording mileage, which can then be used with QuickBooks Online to maintain clear records of travel expenses and more.

Finally, QuickBooks Desktop users can rely on a downloadable receipt scanner that can be used to store sales receipts and other expenses and maintain this data for later tax and reporting purposes.

Alternatives to QuickBooks for Mac

It’s hard to argue with the track record offered by Intuit QuickBooks, but that doesn’t mean that the program is without its detractors.

First of all, QuickBooks Online can be costly to implement, and the tiered pricing plan might be a bit confusing for small business owners who might prefer to mix and match services without investing in a higher plan.

QuickBooks Desktop might be an alternative, but with a maximum of three user licenses, this can be restrictive for companies with multiple business partners or financial employees. If you need technical support, you have unlimited access for 30 days, after which you’ll need to purchase a support plan.

Understandably, this leads many business owners to look for alternatives to QuickBooks for their Mac computers. Without going into a lot of detail for each company, Mac users may wish to consider the following QuickBooks competitors:

  • Xero: Great small business accounting software that can scale with your business
  • Zoho Books: Provides freelancer accounting tools and integrates with other Zoho tools
  • FreshBooks: Offers invoicing software and eCommerce features
  • Quicken: Useful for those who manage rental properties
  • Wave: Free accounting software for small business professionals
  • Sage 100 Contractor: Excellent software designed for construction companies

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the great features offered by HappyAR. Our innovative tools provide you with an invoicing solution that’s easy to implement and helps you get paid faster. Check us out here.

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I’m Going to Contribute to 100 HARO Journalist Requests in a Quarter to Measure My Results: Part 1 of 2

I’m Going to Contribute to 100 HARO Journalist Requests in a Quarter to Measure My Results: Part 1 of 2

What I'm Planning on Doing and Why?

I’ve been receiving HARO emails (Business and Finance requests) for a few months now. They hit my inbox three times a day and usually contain around twenty or so subjects to look through. While the majority of requests are about issues that I’m not qualified to share my opinion on, I will generally see one to three per day where I feel like I can make a valuable contribution.


I'm currently growing a company called HappyAR. It's a SaaS product that helps make the invoice collection process faster and easier. Our goal is to help other companies by providing seamless workflows, better team visibility, and protection against people not paying on time.

This is my first software company. Prior to this, I helped launch a video production company, staffing firm, demand generation company, and a few other smaller projects and spin-offs. I have experience in angel investing and commercial real estate, and prior to starting my own companies, I worked in a variety of industries and helped advise for-profit and non-profit companies. My LinkedIn profile has a good summary of my background.


Based on my experience and the volume of HARO requests I believe I qualify to contribute to, I think I'll be able to submit 100 responses in the first quarter of 2022 so that I can summarize my results in Q2.

Why HARO? 

I'd like to generate more organic web traffic and exposure for HappyAR as we grow it. I'd like for this work to generate high-quality backlinks from reputable outlets. I'd really like for the outreach to result in long-term relationships with journalists that I can stay in touch with. Last, but certainly not least, I want to see if this effort is a viable marketing opportunity for HappyAR and if we can measure the results based on the number of new clients we're able to tie back into the work.

And at the end of this, I'll provide all of the results and methodology for anyone to review and critique.


What is HARO?

HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, connects journalists and bloggers with relevant expert sources to meet journalists’ demanding deadlines and enable brands to tell their stories.


HARO distributes more than 50,000 journalist queries from highly respected media outlets each year. Its straightforward pitching process allows sources to find topics related to their expertise, industry, or experience while allowing journalists and bloggers to spend more time writing and less time sourcing. HARO reaches more than 1 million sources and 75,000 journalists and bloggers

This service is part of Cision: a leading global provider of earned media software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals.


Setting up Resources for HARO


Here's the process I'm going to follow this quarter.

  1. I created a /HARO page on our website and will include this direct link in my responses.
  2. I'm going to add more resources on that page to make the journalists' jobs easier. I will include my social media links, quick bio, a photo of me, permission to use and edit my copy as they need, company blurbs, and contact information. This should save me a lot of time since I won't have to repeat the work over and over.
  3. I'm going to create a general template where I can simply add my actual content each time before sending it. I'll include the request information in the subject line so that it's easy to identify by the recipient.
  4. When responding to an inquiry, I'm going to make sure to send a thoughtful response.
  5. At the same time, I need to give them something that they can literally cut and paste into their article and make their job as easy as possible.
  6. After sending, I will try to connect with the writer on LinkedIn and send a note saying that I'm available for additional help.

When and How I’ll Measure Results

measure results

I'm going to make this a Q1 initiative and will be writing and posting my results in Q2, probably in May. By that time I hope that some of the 100 contributions I will have made will have resulted in quality backlinks.

I'll share all of that information along with an estimate of the value of the project versus other uses of time. What I'm hoping is to give other business owners an idea of the value of this type of work, for either DIY or to source it out to a writer that can communicate your ideas faster and easier.

  • I'll track my time, share those stats, and comment on if I think the effort was worth it for me.
  • I'll try to provide a link to all of the requests and responses I sent. I'll likely post these on our website.
  • I'll share my opinion on if HARO Advanced ($49/mo.) is worth it or not.
  • I'll probably write out some best practices I learned and may create a short video highlighting some of these if they are valuable.

Hopefully, you'll see my name quoted in The New York Times this quarter.

new york times

Wish me luck!

Matt Kendrall

Founder – HappyAR // Call or text me: 850.HAPPYAR

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Why a Master’s in Accounting Degree Is Worth It

Why a Master’s in Accounting Degree Is Worth It

How much money do you want to make, and how much schooling do you want to go through? We're asking the difficult question upfront because going through a Master's in Accounting program will take time, effort, energy, and money.

Even with financial aid and finding the most affordable Master's in Accounting degree program available, there will still be out-of-pocket costs or student loans to pay back.

However, higher education exists for a purpose. If you're interested in seeking a master's degree, you already know that employers are interested in hiring the most qualified candidates to fill positions.

Achieving a Master's in Accounting, going through a MAcc program to become a Master of Accountancy, getting a Master of Professional Accountancy or Accounting, or an MBA in Accounting could be the prerequisite to stepping into the accounting career you want.

What Are The Benefits of a Master's in Accounting Degree?

master's degree

The first, most obvious answer is money. In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for an accountant is $74,000 per year. As for the top ten percent of accountants, the average salary is $120,000.

You can expect higher salaries in more prestigious accounting firms, but more expensive credentials such as a graduate degree and extensive experience can also be expected. Yes, you can skip the higher degree and work in accounts receivable, but the chances are that if you're reading this, you have loftier aspirations.

Another important result of taking on a master's degree program is connections. Remember that the college is invested in your future for their own sake; it's in their best interests that your degree turns into a high-paying job.

Students can take advantage of career services and find on-campus networking opportunities through professors and other students, whether through a mentoring role or an avenue for finding job opportunities. Class sizes will be smaller, as is the nature of graduate education courses. This allows for more intimate connections and attention from professors.

Graduate programs also prepare students for the level of work they'll be performing in the working world. As graduate students are working toward their degrees, they'll have to hone their communication skills, decision-making skills, time management abilities, and complete relevant coursework.

If they want to enter full-time, top-level accounting positions, accounting graduates will need to be familiar with the workload. To get into a degree program, you will need:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • A GMAT exam score
  • Relevant work experience
  • A recommendation letter
  • A personal statement

Just like any application, having these is no guarantee of acceptance. Some grit and determination will be your other essential ingredients as you apply. The degree program you choose will prepare you for the stress you will experience when dealing with businesses, customers, and their money.

What Are the Essential Courses?

master's degree

Not only will students learn auditing and financial accounting, but leadership skills are also emphasized.

Because top-tier accountants will most likely be expected to lead teams rather than work in isolation, many courses will be teaching accounting students how to take the ideas, concepts, and skills they've learned and translate them into orchestrating groups of employees to accomplish corporate goals.

Some important courses that will appear in MAcc programs are:

  • Accounting practice and regulation
  • Corporate governance
  • Financial reporting
  • Advanced management accounting
  • Research methods in accounting

There are also many electives that could make candidates more appealing. Higher math courses, business, marketing, and other classes that may not be essential for completing the degree program can nevertheless make candidates more attractive to potential employers.

Employers may also want to see that you've worked in an internship or part-time in relevant positions.

What Are Some Master's Degree Options?

master's degree

The accounting profession offers a great variety of concentrations depending on the students' career goals:

Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting:

This degree teaches business principles for those interested in more business-focused positions, such as managerial accounting jobs, entrepreneurship opportunities, business consultant, financial manager, and other critical roles regarding a company's position in the marketplace.

Because accounting and business are so tied, it's possible to attend a school of business that equally emphasizes accounting.

Master of Professional Accountancy:

Think of this option as a more "hands-on" type of learning, being more practice-based than theory-based. Courses handle internal auditing, taxation, and fraud examination. Students can pursue jobs such as public accounting, fraud, taxes, and forensic accounting.

Master's in Accounting:

Also known as Master of Accountancy, this concentration takes the broad view of accounting. Students who graduate with this degree can go on to take the exam to become a CPA. This education prepares students for careers in forensic accounting, management accounting, or government accounting.

Any of these specializations put graduates on a better footing to reach higher incomes. They are by no means a guarantee of being hired, but coupling a graduate degree with professional development training can be the edge a candidate needs to stand out among other potential hires.

What is the Master of Science in Accounting?

master's degree

It's very similar to the Master’s in Accounting or Master of Accountancy. It covers the broad view of the accounting field students need and prepares graduates to take on roles such as forensic accountant, budget analyst, and staff accountant.

Is There a Difference Between a Master's and an MBA?

master's degree

Because a Master's of Business Administration is so often initialized as MBA, it's easy to forget that it's still a Master's degree in accounting, though it contains as much of a business education as an accounting education. Still, there are some essential differences between an MBA in Accounting and a Master's in Accounting:

Skills: Students in the MBA in Accounting program will focus more on leadership, financial decision-making, and risk management. Master's in Accounting focuses on organization, IT and information systems, communication, and technical financial skills. Both prepare students for the CPA exam.

Courses: MBA in Accounting offers classes on taxes and business strategy, business analysis, and financial accounting. Master's in Accounting has courses on financial accounting, financial instruments, and federal taxation.

Careers: The MBA in Accounting prepares students to become management analysts, financial managers, chief operating officers (COOs), and business consultants. Master's in Accounting graduates are best equipped to become forensic accountants, auditors, public accountants, and management accountants.

Both programs take the same length of time, usually 1 to 2 years. You can generally find either program at a college of business. If you're considering a specific graduate school, ensure they have the appropriate courses for your chosen degree path.

Is an Online Masters of Accounting Program Worthwhile?

online degree

Just because a Masters of Accounting program is online does not mean it requires any less of its students. Typically, such programs last from 1 to 2 years and require 30 to 45 credits.

If a student has an unrelated undergraduate degree, there may be prerequisite courses they need to complete. They may also need to complete the GRE or GMAT exams, have achieved a minimum GPA, and/or have relevant work experience.

Thankfully, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education doesn't have the same stigma as it used to. As long as students put in the work and can prove their education imparted the appropriate skillset, employers will not be put off by an online degree.

However, some students thrive in classrooms but don't have the ability to self-motivate when learning from home. If you're considering taking an online degree program, assess whether you will be able to make the most of it. Also, networking will be more difficult because of the relative lack of classroom contact.

Can't I Just Take the CPA Exam Without a Degree?

CPA exam

It's true; it is possible for someone to become a certified public accountant (CPA) without graduating from a Master of Accounting program. Understand that it may not be the easier path you wish it to be.

Also, most states do require candidates to at least have a bachelor's degree or other undergraduate degrees to take the exam. If you live in Maine, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Georgia, or Alaska, you can take the exam without that prerequisite.

These states aren't completely lax in their requirements, however. Their educational requirements include:

Maine: 15 credit hours of accounting courses and 4,000 hours of relevant CPA supervised work.

Hawaii: 18 credit hours of courses in accounting as well as accounting experience.

Massachusetts: 21 credit hours of accounting courses, along with rules regarding which classes count towards those credits.

Georgia: 20 credit hours of accounting, 18 hours of which must be upper-level classes.

Alaska: 15 credit hours of accounting classes and one year of work experience.

Candidates can take the exam in a different state from the one in which they are becoming certified. If you're unsure about your state's regulations, request info from relevant parties in state government and accounting firms in your area. Remember that achieving CPA licensure is required to practice as a CPA no matter where you go.

Should I Choose a Program with AACSB Accreditation?


AACSB stands for Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and it's an organization composed of international educators, businessmen, and students and is overseen by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

As to whether you require an MBA in Accounting program with AACSB accreditation, that's entirely dependent on your goals.

If you desire a top position in a prestigious company or accounting firm, then seek a program with AACSB accreditation and pay attention to the program's rankings. The higher your aspirations, the higher the requirements.

However, if you're not planning on practicing in a large city or are entering a less competitive field of accounting, then accreditation may not matter for your career trajectory. The education you receive will be far more important.

We hope you have found this breakdown helpful. HappyAR is focused on working with businesses to improve their AR collections. A big part of this is partnering w/ various accountants and AR professionals to help them improve their collections on behalf of their clients. Check us out here.

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8 Reasons Why We Think That Visibility Into Sales Commissions Is Important for Growing Companies

8 Reasons Why We Think That Visibility Into Sales Commissions Is Important for Growing Companies

Commissions are a tested and proven motivator for sales teams and are commonly used. They can be in the form of salary plus commission or as the exclusive way for a rep to make money. Commission payments are often scaled based on performance metrics that extend beyond closing a deal such as profit margin, time to close, and as part of a time-based sales quota.

Outside of being a motivator for reps, commission plans give companies important leverage to make lower-risk sales team hires when part or all of a compensation structure is performance-based. If a variable pay rep underperforms, guaranteed base salary may be considered wasted but not as bad as it would be for a salary-only employee that didn’t perform in bringing in new business.

There are some great sales compensation strategy solutions on the market that help companies structure compensation programs and give reps additional visibility. We like Spiff and Xactly – two of the better know solutions out there.

Spiff has some great insights on commission structures that are worth sharing:

  • $800 billion will be spent on sales commissions in the US alone this year.
  • 10% is the typical percentage of a company’s total budget that is spent on commissions.
  • 90% of companies still use spreadsheets to calculate commission rates.

This leads us to believe that commissions are a very big part of business goals for growing companies, but those same companies don’t often spend to optimize the systems that give reps and sales managers that visibility.

Even though we provide a SaaS solution that automates the account receivables process, we still address the same concerns that companies like Spiff try to solve. Our platform enables admins to invite unlimited users and we encourage both sales management and sales reps to have view-only seats. Why? Because we know that visibility into commissions is important for sales performance at growing companies and we have provided eight reasons for that below:

1. Visibility into commissions increases motivation long after the sale is done but well before a payout.

Sales Commissions

There’s often an interesting time period between when a rep rings the bell on a new deal and when commission money hits the paycheck. Both events are rewarding and motivating for sales behavior. Closing a new customer is the culmination of a sales cycle and the ultimate indicator that a salesperson is doing their job.

But the time between ringing the bell and being able to spend the earned money is long and often dark. Production delays, churns, client problems, slow invoices, and poor follow-up on outstanding invoices can extend that time. Giving both management and people in sales roles the ability to look into the status of invoices can help shed some light and keep motivation high for making new sales.

2. Automation tools will increase productivity for both reps and the finance team

Sales Commissions

Optimizing your commissions with sales incentive software and an accounts receivable automation solution like HappyAR will rapidly reduce the time that finance team members spend on repetitive tasks. They will also benefit sales team members by removing different, but equally low-value tasks like calculating commission amounts and tracking invoice due dates and allow them to focus on closing deals.

3. Increased visibility helps reduce questions and builds credibility for the company

Sales Commissions

Your company's goals should include wanting your sales force to sell and your finance team to run that operation well. Consistently fielding questions about invoice payments is a time killer that could also damage relationships between departments. Avoid this by providing seamless visibility into the outstanding invoices that impact the people that will receive payments from them.

Sales reps and management may also grow suspect of finance and company management in some cases. We’ve heard horror stories of company owners being accused of deliberately holding back invoices for commissions that were based on day's sales outstanding. Not a great vibe to have within any company culture and completely preventable with structured and secured visibility.

4. Sales commission visibility helps improve finance accuracy

Sales Commissions

Mistakes do happen. Sales reps will often have the inside scoop on what was sold, contract value and pricing,  and the terms and conditions around these deals. If an invoice is sent out with a mistake, one of the first people that could help spot it is a sales rep with visibility. This will allow you to quickly make adjustments and resend before a client has a negative reaction.

5. You can hire high-performing reps with this innovative reason to work at your company

high-performing reps

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire and retain top-performing sales reps and sales leaders in this competitive market. In your job posting and during the interview process, let candidates know that your sales organization provides advanced visibility into outstanding commission payouts and explain how. This type of innovation is a clear sign that you care about On-target earnings (OTE), solid incentive places, retention and it ultimately may help attract the top sales talent you need to grow.

6. You give your team the ability to plan their lives better

team plan

Sales compensation plans can have a serious impact on when a member of your team is able to access the money that they earned. Having more visibility and knowing where an invoice is sitting can help with short-term financial planning and can reduce the stress that comes with being unaware.

7. The sales team becomes part of the support team

sales team

Account receivable team members often find themselves in a position where a second voice would really help things along. Often, the best person for this is the original sales rep who solidified the relationship in the first place. Both the AR and salesperson are motivated by the payment and often it just takes giving them the visibility and including them on the follow-up. The invoice gets paid faster, the commission is released quicker, and the sales rep’s value on the team goes up.

8. You improve client relations and repeat business opportunities

client relations

Increasing communication with clients throughout the AR collections process helps strengthen relationships, not weaken them. Clients feel like expectations and directions are clearly communicated with them and you prevent major problems that come with past due amounts. For sales reps, knowing that your clients are happy and on top of a pending payment may give you a great opportunity to reach out to discuss repeat business opportunities that continue the lucrative cycle that get reps paid more and companies growing.

With HappyAR. you can automate workflows, integrate with common accounting software, and gain insight into your customers with in-depth data collection. HappyAR streamlines your invoice follow-up tasks per day and helps you get paid faster.

If you're currently following up on invoices yourself, it's time to stop relying on human memory to check whether customers have paid yet. Past due invoices hinder your cash flow, and you shouldn't be expected to have to remember to check your payments constantly.

To sweeten the deal even further, there's no contract to sign; you're with HappyAR month to month, and you have no long-term commitment to stick with us.

If you're ready to have easier invoicing collections, we're ready to make it happen for you. Contact HappyAR today!

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The Importance of Using Bookkeeping Services

The Importance of Using Bookkeeping Services

As a business owner, you know that the IRS likes financial reports to be tidy, accurate, and up to date. You also understand that preparing financial records for tax filing doesn’t happen on its own, accounting software doesn’t input financial data by itself, cash flow is always important to monitor, and that you should be using business bank accounts. However, running a small business is more interesting when it’s possible to ignore all those pesky financial concerns and focus on the products or services you’re passionate about. Nevertheless, your books still need a professional touch. Enter the world of bookkeeping services.

What Are Bookkeeping Services?

The Importance of Bookkeeping Earnestly

Let’s start with what a bookkeeper does. A bookkeeper records the financial transactions of a business. They create and maintain financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, as well as accounts payable and accounts receivable. They may also have other duties, such as:

  • Reconciling bank accounts and credit card accounts
  • Making and sending invoices to customers
  • Paying bills
  • Data entry
  • Preparing for audits, usually by assisting Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)
  • Handling payroll services
  • Waste and inventory management

Small business owners wanting to ensure compliance with their tax preparation will only need basic bookkeeping. But as businesses grow and operations become more complex, professional bookkeeping needs will size up accordingly. Simple compliance is no longer sufficient if a company moves from cash basis accounting to accrual basis accounting.

What Are My Bookkeeping Options?

The Importance of Bookkeeping Earnestly

Accurate bookkeeping is an essential part of running a business; that much is certain. There is a wide range of possible methods to ensure compliant business accounting and proper tax planning which we outline here:

Do It Yourself

If you’re a small business owner who is the entirety of your small business, you probably don’t need a bookkeeper or bookkeeping service.

You could purchase the lowest tier of QuickBooks Online to track revenue and document bank statements, as well as rely on a CPA for your tax prep come tax season if that’s even necessary. Filling out a 1040 for personal income taxes is done by individuals every year with little to no help.

Part-Time Bookkeeping

If your business is a small startup that’s trying to minimize monthly expenses, but you have bigger aspirations, you may want the help of a part-time bookkeeper rather than a full-time in-house bookkeeper.

Of course, the cost per hour of a part-time bookkeeper depends on the market size. You may pay as little as $20 per hour in a small town but easily triple that in a large city.

Part-time bookkeepers are an excellent option if you take care of some of your own accounting services or employ a dedicated accountant. They can supplement at busy times, such as when you’re tabulating year-end business taxes or if you have a few days set aside for monthly bookkeeping.

Hiring a professional, even for short periods, is preferable to handing the responsibility to existing staff with no bookkeeping training. Not only will the duties distract them from their regular job, but they are also more prone to errors.

If you want your tax returns to be above board in the eyes of the IRS, hire the professional. Because this is their specialty, they’ll be able to make intuitive decisions that would require a day of research for untrained employees.

Full-Time Bookkeeping

As businesses grow, they may find hiring a dedicated bookkeeper to be a necessary step. This approach is, of course, a more expensive option, with in-house bookkeeper salaries ranging from $35,000 in a low population, rural town to $70,000 and beyond in a place like New York City.

Day-to-day paperwork and documentation should be sufficiently high to merit the need for a dedicated bookkeeper. They’ll create a chart of accounts and maintain it, handle timesheets and payroll, and process monthly financial statements.

The bookkeeper will also manage quarterly taxes and withholding, providing a level of tax services necessary to prevent (or assist in) an audit.

Outsourced Bookkeeping

Not every business needs bookkeeping done on-premises. Many choose to outsource to an online bookkeeping service. This approach could be taken as a stopgap measure while a company seeks to hire a full-time bookkeeper or as a permanent solution.

The benefit of online or virtual bookkeeping services is that businesses can get custom pricing or add-on services depending on their requirements.

One benefit of online bookkeeping is that pricing is not location-dependent, unlike hiring a bookkeeper to work at your location. Outsourced bookkeeping monthly fees can range anywhere from about $500 to nearly $3,000. The cost is related to the complexity of your needs and the number of your transactions.

Advantages of Outsourced Bookkeeping

Full-service virtual bookkeeping has its advantages over in-house bookkeepers, even if it seems strange that they wouldn’t be in the company’s building.

No Onboarding: You, as the small business owner, don’t have to handle onboarding a new employee.

Automatic Financial Document Importing: All your bank and credit card statements, invoices and receipts, payroll, and other financial information is automatically placed into your accounting software and sorted.

Bill and Income Tracking: Handling of accounts payable and accounts receivable is covered, as well as ensuring proper documentation of both.

Month and Year-End Financial Statements: Following and optimizing cash flow, balance sheet, and income statement is taken care of.

Increased Communication: Because you’re relying on service with a team rather than an individual, you will have wider support and assistance outside of normal business hours.

Location and Time: Where you are in the world is no longer important. Your team can connect with your accounting software remotely and handle problems at any time.

Custom Pricing: If you don’t need all of the services a provider offers, you can scale down to a more affordable package that just provides the basics.

What Impacts the Price of Outsourced Bookkeeping?

The Importance of Bookkeeping Earnestly

We briefly touched on some price factors, but let’s dig into them a little deeper. The cost of outsourcing your bookkeeping to a virtual or online bookkeeping service is dependent upon:

  • How much of the service is human, AI, or both
  • Volume of transactions
  • Financial report frequency
  • Cash vs. accrual basis accounting
  • Add-on services such as inventory management
  • How many financial accounts you use
  • Whether you need round-the-clock real-time support

Your outsourced bookkeeper may also provide the option of a mobile app to cover basic needs as well as allow document scanning and importing.

Which Type of Bookkeeping Does My Company Need?

Which Type of Bookkeeping Does My Company Need?

This determination can be a tough decision, but the biggest factors are:

  • Your budget
  • How complicated your documentation needs to be
  • If you have any pre-existing issues that need solving
  • The robustness of your IT infrastructure

Budget is always a concern but is particularly crucial for a startup or small business with limited capital. Keep in mind that if you’re concerned about the expense, the cost of an IRS audit or penalty could be far worse. You may need basic bookkeeping services to at least remain compliant.

If your transactions, documentation, and tax preparation are sufficiently complex, you will need higher levels of bookkeeping service. You want to avoid overwhelming your bookkeeping service or staff because that’s a quick way to find your company’s financial documents in disarray.

You may need a bookkeeper to sort out the financial statements and other documents that you haven’t been recording properly or that were mismanaged by a previous bookkeeper. In this case, having a bookkeeper on the premises at least initially may be wise.

The Top Outsourced Bookkeeping Services


If you’re going to outsource your bookkeeping, there are plenty of options with excellent reputations. This summary is not a comprehensive list, but any of the following is at least a solid starting point as you compare prices and services.

Merritt Bookkeeping

Merritt Bookkeeping is one of the most affordable QuickBooks professional bookkeepers. They issue 1099s, do automatic bank statement retrieval, and have fixed pricing at $190 per month.

They also provide their own user interface in case you or your team have difficulty navigating QuickBooks. Merritt prides itself on its high ratings on Google and Yelp, as well.

QuickBooks Live

If you want to go right to the source, QuickBooks also offers bookkeeping services with QuickBooks Live. They pair you with a bookkeeper and offer plenty of human and software support. You can collaborate with your bookkeeper via video calls when needed, and of course, everything is done in QuickBooks, which is the industry standard.

Bookkeeper 360

If you’re looking for flexibility with your services, this is one of the selling points of Bookkeeper 360. They handle cash basis or accrual basis accounting and work weekly, monthly, or on whatever timetable you set.

You can select add-on services like tax prep, payroll, and even HR. Their mobile app can run real-time metrics and provide cash management. If you’re a Xero user instead of QuickBooks, Bookkeeper 360 is a great option.


If you need tax services and CFO services in addition to bookkeeping, Bookkeeper.com offers them at no cost with your bookkeeping package. They use QuickBooks and offer cash and accrual basis accounting. Should you need it, Bookkeeper.com also has financial planning and investment services.


If you’re looking for a service that focuses on the tech side, Bench may be for you. Their apps work on most major devices and are compatible with both Apple and Android products. They also offer a free trial and scalable plans for large and small businesses.


Focusing on startups and small businesses, inDinero customizes its plans to fit just about any budget. Their CFO services can help you formulate a solid business strategy, as well. The mobile app allows users to review and approve transactions remotely. They’ll provide an account manager to work with you directly, and they work through QuickBooks.


Another excellent choice for Xero users, Pilot provides Xero migration and full support. You can choose CFO, accounts receivable, and accounts payable services, and discounts are available. Pilot can accommodate businesses of just about any size, so if you’re a larger company, they may work perfectly for you.


Will I Need Business Advisory Services, Too?

While your bookkeeper is concerned largely with the present, a business advisor (who could double as a bookkeeper) is concerned with the future. As your business grows more complex, so will your bookkeeping needs and revenue scaling.

You’ll need expert forecasting, growth strategies, market assessment, coaching, and analysis. A business advisor can create a roadmap for you to follow as your small business startup finds its footing.

The business advisor can also identify problem areas with your bookkeeping. They may make changes to your documentation procedures and data storage and could restructure your IT infrastructure to improve the functionality of accounting software.

Do I Need a QuickBooks Pro Advisor?


If you’re just starting a business and purchased QuickBooks, it can be confusing to navigate. Having a QuickBooks Pro Advisor can help make sense of this complicated program. If you end up using an outsourced bookkeeper but still need to go into QuickBooks yourself, it makes sense to have someone in person show you the ins and outs.

A QuickBooks Pro Advisor is usually a CPA who took the appropriate course and completed the test to become certified in using QuickBooks. Certifications exist for different versions of the software, including QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Accountant, etc.

QuickBooks Pro Advisors can assist you in choosing the appropriate software settings for your company and setting up the documentation process.

If you want to learn QuickBooks, it’s a good idea to hire a QuickBooks Pro Advisor. The software has a steep learning curve, and rather than feel your way through it, it’s preferable to get an expert to guide you. QuickBooks is a powerful tool as long as you know how to use it.

Do I Need CFO Services?


A bookkeeper and a CFO are usually not the same person. The CFO oversees the bookkeeping staff, whether you hire an on-site CFO or outsource to a CFO service.

While the bookkeeper is responsible for the day-to-day documentation and preparation, the CFO is more like a director, creating the conditions whereby the bookkeeper can do their job effectively.

When you have a CFO on board, they’ll ensure your accounting software is up to date and compatible with the rest of your system. They’ll also make sure your accounting software is the right one for your business.

CFO duties somewhat overlap with business advisory services because they’ll help you create a budget by developing financial projections and strategies. They create the financial package that reflects a true picture of the health of your company.

You may find you need CFO services, or you may find that they’re unnecessary, but another benefit of the CFO is that you don’t have to have as much hands-on oversight regarding your bookkeepers. If relieving yourself of that burden is appealing, you may want to consider CFO services.

Can’t Bookkeeping Be Done Entirely By Software?

bookkeeping software

No. There still needs to be some human element. Even if you do your bookkeeping on your own with Xero or QuickBooks, it’s a lot of work making sure every document is in its place and ready for tax prep or an audit. There’s a reason that bookkeeping is done by dedicated bookkeepers, whether part-time, full-time, or online.

Even the most sophisticated accounting software is only a useful tool in the hands of a skilled professional. Your financial documents and statements still need to be prepared, and invoices and receipts scanned and stored. As automated as modern software is, you need a professional to set up any automated features

Thanks for reading! To learn more about HappyAR see below:

HappyAR is a seamless SaaS that quickly and easily boosts your accounts receivables work. We save companies of all sizes thousands of dollars each year by optimizing the speed and efficiency of their collections methods. No more guessing if someone has received an invoice or trusting that it will be paid on time. This is a fully integrated solution that pays for itself over and over each month by preventing defaults and preserving client relationships.

HappyAR is an ever-evolving toolkit that helps optimize your invoice collections process and our solution starts at $0/month and scales up based on your invoice volume. Visit us at www.happyar.com to learn more.

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