dluxSolutions Success Plan

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A little bit of well-loved data can go a long way in advancing your business.

If you treat ‘em right, your business numbers – all those invoices and bank statements and receipts – they’ll talk to you.  They’ll give you lots of useful and important advice – but first, you have to translate them.

Start with Consistent Data

First things first, stop using spreadsheets and get yourself a QuickBooks subscription (AND talk to me before you do – I can offer a wholesale rate and save you on the listed retail rate).  

In the beginning, QuickBooks is just an empty processor – but once you start feeding it consistent data over a span of several months, patterns and averages will start to emerge.

Just make sure that you update it at least once a month – unless you take the time to feed it the data it needs, the software simply can’t produce the info you need to make decisions in your business.  And the longer you go without updating it, the more likely you are to lose receipts, forget important items, and miscategorize unusual transactions.  

And if you feel like you need help with that level of consistency, just reach out.

Turn Data into Reports

As an accounting and bookkeeping professional, I LOVE the financial reports that softwares like QuickBooks create, but I know that the reports are only truly useful if the data gets entered correctly.  It’s way more than just entering your Staples receipts as “Office Supplies”.

Are personal expenses mixed in with business expenses?  Is there non-operating revenue lumped in with the operating revenue?  Those questions matter if you’re trying to get useful information from your reports – you’re trying to create a set of data ONLY about your business efforts.

Once you do that, you can turn all those receipts and bank statements into truly useful financial reports, like a Profit and Loss Report, that will be helpful for the future of your business.

Turn Reports into Plans

This is where the magic happens, where your carefully organized data starts to become the information you need for future plans and growth.

Are you trying to figure out which successful goods you sell that you should double-down on, or which less-than-lucrative services you should retire?  Maybe you need to find a category to cut expenses to increase your profit margin? You’ve now got a well-oiled data machine that will tell you all of that.

Not only that, but now you have an important baseline for collaborating with other professionals who can help you with your business planning.  

Having good habits for this stuff will keep your investors confident, your lenders at ease, and your tax preparers happy. And – bonus – consistently tracking your operating revenue is good for your company’s stock prices {think BIG GOALS}, too.Was this helpful? You can find even more in-depth information like this, and more, in the new Dlux Solutions online course.  Click here to learn more.

Operating vs Non-Operating Income

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I love being able to pull useful business advice from financial records and reports.

However, the trick to getting good reports is making sure that the data is organized correctly. One recurring problem I see that muddies the waters is a lack of division between operating revenue and non-operating revenue.

Let’s take a quick second to clarify what revenue is and isn’t:

  • It’s the number on the tip-top of your P+L report
  • It doesn’t factor in your expenses
  • And it’s not the same thing as profit (Profit = Revenue – Expenses)

Essentially, “revenue” is the word we use for talking about all the money coming in the door.

But it isn’t as simple as “just” client payments.

From there, revenue gets broken down into two types: the operating and the non-operating (or “other”) type.

Operating revenue comes from the regular money-making activities of your business; and non-operating revenue is pretty much the opposite – money that came from irregular or infrequent activities that aren’t core to your business. (Can you see how that might matter for future business strategies?)

Pretty straight-forward, but just for abundant clarity, here’s a few examples of both:

Operating revenue:

  • Sales of goods and/or services 
  • 3rd parties Licensing or Hosting
  • Interest earned on loans issued, late fees charged

Non-operating (“other”) revenue:

  • Interest earned by your bank account
  • Interest earned on company investments
  • Lawsuit proceeds
  • Rent revenue (if you aren’t a landlord)
  • Sale of an asset (like a building)

Maybe you look at your reports and your third quarter revenue was off the charts. You may start to get excited, trying to figure out how to replicate that success – until you realize that was the month you finally sold the old company building. It was an anomaly that had nothing to do with your day-to-day business activities.

Keeping non-operating revenue separate from your operating revenue is vital for strategic forecasting – if you want to make smart predictions and changes on your sales strategy for next year, you need to make sure you only factor in the money that comes from your operating revenue.

You still need to track the non-operating revenue (of course), but keeping it separate will really increase the accuracy and helpfulness of the rest of your financial reports.

Was this helpful? You can find even more in-depth information like this, and more, in the FREE Dlux Solutions Community. Click here to learn more.

Quick Bookkeeping Wins for the Entrepreneur

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Hey there! If you’re like most entrepreneurs I talk to then you’ve probably been avoiding your books for a lot of reasons. Maybe it scares you. Maybe you’re unsure of what to do when you check those books out. I get it. It can be a scary place to start when you have no clue what to do or what you’ll find so let’s dive in on how to tackle the books in a way that isn’t scary or overwhelming.

1.    Keep the finances separate

I feel like this is a no-brainer but keep your business finances and personal finances separate. “But Amanda, I pay myself from the business, riddle me that.” You should be setting aside 30% for taxes and 20% for business expenses. Feel free to pay yourself the other 50% if you’re a solopreneur. Now the numbers change if you have employees but generally the fresh, solopreneur can start here.

2.    Start with a system

You need a system in place. I cannot stress this enough. A lot of entrepreneurs just hand in bank statements but that’s not really helpful. The IRS cannot see what you purchased at Staples if you use a bank statement. Having a handy system will help you track all the expenses and what you actually purchased. This is great way to prevent an audit.

3.    Categorize all the things

You need to categorize the purchases and the incoming cash flow. Tracking credit card fees, types of services you sell and more will help you make better financial decisions in your business. You can see what sells, what is eating up your costs and more! This also helps when it comes to deduction time. Did the lunch bill come as a client lunch, personal lunch or an employee lunch? Determining what the money was spent on will help you save big time at tax time.

4.    Make it a habit.

Get into the habit of getting personal with your books. The more you know, the more empowered you feel. The more empowered you feel with the finances, the more the business can grow. It’s a win overall. Set aside time weekly or monthly to flesh out the books. I do not recommend doing it quarterly as that’s a ton of work to go through and you’ll overwhelm yourself. Block a day on the calendar and only work on the finances that day. Come tax time, you’ll be thankful you did.

If the idea of managing your books is overwhelming and still a little terrifying, we need to talk. dlux Solutions offers both training and done-for-you services when it comes to your books. You’ll never feel afraid of your books again. Book a consult with us today to discuss how we may be able to help you thrive.

the bookkeepers

Up Close and Personal with Amanda Davis of dlux Solutions!

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*Originally featured on

Yesterday, we shared with you what’s next for Amanda and her company, dlux Solutions. Today, we want to wrap up the week sharing with you what Amanda enjoys doing outside of work.

When she’s not creating new nerdy challenges for herself, Amanda likes to spend time outdoors with her partner, Brandon, and his nine-year-old daughter, “the most incredibly sarcastic child I’ve ever known.” When they are able to get away from domestic duties, they like to spend time fishing on the river or hunting. “I don’t shoot, but I like the walk-alongs and enjoying the sport with others.” Amanda does like to bow hunt, though she hasn’t been able to do much of that yet this year since she’s finishing up her degree.

Amanda also enjoys visiting her family in Nebraska, and is looking forward to spending a whole ten days together this December.

If you’re interested in calling on her services, don’t be surprised for a meeting in the local park or in her own backyard with her goats, chickens and ducks.

Wouldn’t you like to meet Amanda? We don’t blame you. Click here to connect with her!


the bookkeepers des moines

What’s Up Next for Amanda Davis and dlux Solutions?

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*Originally featured on

Yesterday, we shared with you what makes Amanda Davis of dlux Solutions unique in the marketplace. Today, we’re going to let you know what she’s planning to do next!

With her website currently undergoing a makeover, Amanda is working on ways to improve client communication through streamlining her automation processes. “If I have to spend more time on the entry side of the business, then I’m not spending time creating personalized services for my customers.” She’s not rushing the rollout for these features, though, in order to make sure that they’re implemented correctly and thoroughly for her clients. Things like payroll services are too detailed to execute halfway, and Amanda is intentionally taking the time to ensure that these new on-demand features are totally streamlined before opening them up to her customers.

She’s also developing a collaborative service with Stephanie Majeran, tax consultant and spreadsheet extraordinaire behind WellRun Results, LLC. “Using both of our services in tandem allows for a fluid conversation between the two sides, and reports are understood across the board.” The upcoming tax season will allow the two to compare notes on what their collective clientele is looking for, as well as identify some common problems so they can work on finding solutions. The pair have an event coming up on December 11th at Gravitate in Valley Junction, where they will explain the benefits of their services more in depth.

Last but not least, Amanda is preparing to graduate with her associate’s degree in accounting next month! She is looking forward to being able to bring new insight and experience to her business, as well as spending more time with her family.

Wouldn’t you like to meet Amanda? We don’t blame you. Click here to connect with her!


the bookkeepers des moines

What Makes Amanda Davis’s Approach Unique in the Marketplace?

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*Originally featured on

Yesterday, we shared with you why Amanda Davis of dlux Solutions is so passionate about her work. Today, we want to talk about what makes her approach unique in the marketplace.

Having personal relationships with her clients is a key cornerstone of dlux Solutions, and the vast majority of her clients would agree that Amanda’s efforts to develop those relationships are a key reason they stick with her. “I try to treat everyone like a sibling,” she says. Recognizing that everyone has struggles and that mistakes are a part of life, she’s able to express an I’ve-been-there-too feeling of empathy and trust with her clients.

Education is another key component to demystifying big, scary world of accounting. As Amanda says, it’s “definitely not your boring, basic books.” She uses creativity to help her clients understand the ins and outs of bookkeeping, and to show them why it truly matters to their bottom line. “Nine times out of ten, people leave their tax accountant with more questions than answers,” and usually not a burning desire to seek out the answers to those questions, either. But if you leave a meeting with Amanda with more questions, she says, she’s not doing her job. “To me, that makes my services a waste of time for you. You should be able to grasp and understand the process.” Her responsiveness to texts, calls, and emails are a big plus to her clients as well.

“When people come to me with concerns like, ‘I have a giant box of receipts and I don’t know what to do with it,’ or they are looking to have their hand held through the process, they can be confident that I will get things right and get them back on track.”

Wouldn’t you like to meet Amanda? We don’t blame you. Click here to connect with her!


our bookkeepers

Introducing Amanda Davis of dlux Solutions!

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*Originally featured on

Over the past few months, we’ve been showcasing our clients at Modern Muse Consulting with a series of blog posts. We think this is a great way not only to highlight the great work they’re doing, but also to connect you with them, too! Last week, we featured Lucy Wendel of Catnip Creative Content. This week, we’re featuring Amanda Davis of dlux Solutions.

Amanda didn’t exactly set out to start her own bookkeeping business. “I got into it haphazardly,” she says. Knowing people always view budget planning as tedious and annoying, she created her own personal budget and fine-tuned the process, to be streamlined and simple to follow. As a self-proclaimed lover of “nerdy challenges,” she found herself enthusiastic by how rigorously she could manage her finances. (Her partner, Brandon, was less enthusiastic, but still finds the benefits from the lack of stress!) She has perfected her process for their own lives, and by making notes and finding tricks to pass down to other people (who would eventually become) her clients. Believe it or not, that started fifteen years ago, and Amanda says she hasn’t even looked at her bank account in ten years. “I don’t even think about it,” she says. “The stress that comes with thinking about when bills are due and how much money you have coming in has completely diminished.”

This kind of budgeting and intentional preparation is what she coaches her clients through. She helps them separate their needs from their wants and uses some simple math to break down a monthly budget and find ways to strategize a little spending money out of it, too. “Think of it like a child’s allowance,” she laughs. “Keeping a certain amount in your account and not having to think about it is a huge stress reliever.”

Wouldn’t you like to meet Amanda? We don’t blame you. Click here to connect with her!