Mazuma Review: The EASIEST Way To Manage Your Business Finances

May 4, 2015

 

Three weeks ago was a sad week for entrepreneurs throughout America. It was Wednesday, tax filing day; and many of us had to go through the awful experience of writing a big, fat check to Uncle Sam.

Yayyy!

As we, temporarily, leave grim times behind us, I have a confession to make – I’m TERRIBLE at managing my finances.

04_27_Mazuma-USA-PinterestI do believe, however, that it’s extremely important to be on top of your business (and personal) finances.

In an attempt to improve my finances, I decided to take an accounting class from Lynda.com.

As a result, I understand accounting principles better than before.

But here’s the problem – I haven’t done ANYTHING about it.

This has lead me to a realization. If I’m to get on top of my business finances, I need help.

While I do know entrepreneurs who are extremely successful, do their own bookkeeping and accounting, I know that I am not that kind of person.

Working on financial details drain my energy in a way that makes me less productive.

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting

blog-statisticsBefore I continue with this story, I want to make sure you understand the difference between bookkeeping and accounting.

When it comes to managing your business, you need to keep track of your income and expenses.

Bookkeeping deals with keeping a record of every financial transaction that happens in your business. A bookkeeper will also prepare invoices and do payroll (depending on the complexity of the business).

Accounting is more of a high-level process. Accounting takes the work done by a bookkeeper and expands upon it through the preparation of financial statements, tax returns and often, accountants provide advice on financial matters.

In speaking with a number of entrepreneurs, and considering my “mini-budget” (I’d just left my job and steady income), I learned that it was more important to get an accountant. In the mean time, I would keep track of the daily transactions.

The accountant would then make sure that my bookkeeping was accurate and would also take care of filing taxes, which had become more complicated since leaving my job.

Finding an Accountant

AccountantSo I checked out two accountants and settled on one. I was excited because I was starting to take control of my finances.

I was going to do all of the bookkeeping, partially because of finances, but in part because I wanted a clear perspective of where I stood financially.

It went very well for the first two months (ok, maybe a month and a half), and then it all fell apart. I just wasn’t consistent, and it got very frustrating. My intentions were in the right place, but tracking all of those little details just wasn’t my strong suit.

Also, my accountant wasn’t living up to my expectations, so I decided to leave her in search of a better solution.

The Better Solution

After evaluating a number of online services that take care of bookkeeping and accounting, I stumbled onto Mazuma..

Here’s what they provide:

  • Bookkeeping for your business
  • Unlimited accounting support. If you have accounting questions, they provide answers
  • Preparation of taxes for filing.

Mazuma-USA

They charge $58 for sole proprietor (not officially registered as a business).

If you’re an LLC or Corporation, they charge $98/month. In addition to that, if you’re an official business that also needs someone to handle payroll, you can pay $138/month and receive the above-mentioned services PLUS payroll.

This seemed unreal to me. Even on the high end, $138 is the amount I would pay for just a bookkeeper.

I even tried another online bookkeeping service (Bench.co) which started at $135. It was great, but I still needed an accountant.

So I decided to give Mazuma a try. They have a 1-month free trial where you get to test out their services to see how it works.

The Process

mazuma-purple-envelope_mailWhen you sign up with Mazuma, they give you two options:

  1. They send you a purple pre-paid postage envelope in the mail and you send them financial statements for the month.
  2. You upload your statements to a file server.

Well, you know which option I went with – the file upload option. I sent them my Bank, Paypal and Stripe statements for December. A few days later, they sent me financial reports, which included my Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and a detailed Account Ledger.

Side note: This was my FIRST TIME having financial reports. I know – I’m that bad.

Since it was the first report they prepared for me, there were some items that weren’t categorized correctly.

They included instructions for me to provide feedback on the report. I asked them to correct categories. All in all, it was a pretty smooth transaction.

The Big T

money-computerYou know what I’m talking about – Taxes. Three weeks ago (April 15th to be exact), I sent a big fat check to the IRS.

While the mailing of the check was a bit painful, the tax preparation process was even more painful.
Since I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to financial matters (just ask my wife), the days leading up to April 15th were a tad stressful, especially since I was in Vegas at the time.

Here’s the beautiful part. Since Mazuma is doing my monthly reports this year (since I’m DEFINITELY keeping the service), they are also handling my tax preparation. They will calculate my estimated quarterly payments and provide all the support I need.

Come April 15th, 2016, there will be no additional sweat pouring from my forehead.

Any downsides?

Remember when I said that I’m really bad when it comes to financial matters? Well, I wasn’t lying.

With Mazuma, they take care of all the bookkeeping AND accounting. All I have to do is send them my statements once/month.

Evidently, I suck at doing that. I’m preparing to send them January, February, and March right now.

You still have to gather your statements and send them in. I guess you can consider that a downside, but maybe it’s more of a personal problem 😉

Bench-LogoSecondly, before signing up with Mazuma, I tried out Bench.co (as I mentioned earlier). It’s strictly a bookkeeping service.

However, their bookkeeping system is phenomenal. You log into their platform, connect your financial accounts, and your done. They take care of ALL the bookkeeping, and you don’t even have to worry about sending in statements.

You can see all of your reports in your account. It’s pretty much a hands-off process. However, the price starts at $135/month and can climb to $365 and beyond, depending on your income level.

The downside of a service like Bench.co is that you still have to find an accountant. Mazuma doesn’t have a platform like Bench, but as long as you can get your statements to them, they take care of EVERYTHING else.

In Conclusion

ApproveYou just can’t beat $58/month of quality bookkeeping and accounting. If you’re anything like me and want to make sure that you’re handling your financial matters well, I recommend you check out Mazuma.

Sign up for a FREE 1 Month Trial

It’s less than you would pay elsewhere, and they do what they do very well.

IMPORTANT (for me): When you sign up, be sure to mention my name (Leslie Samuel) in the comments section. That way I get credit for referring you 🙂

Your Turn

How are you handling your business finances? Do you have a bookkeeper or an accountant? Or are you handling it all yourself? I’m curious. Let me know in the comments below.

Infographic

Mazuma-USA-Review_Infographic

 

Related Posts

18 Comments

  • LOVE Mazuma! So happy you tried and like them!
    Taxes were virtually painless for me and I have it on my calendar for the 1st of the month to upload my past months’ statements so I don’t get behind.

  • Raven says:

    Something that is even easier that I have used for about 6 years now (and tell everyone about!):

    1. Once you are incorporated, get an EIN (google how, very easy).

    2. Create a business account where ALL of your income is deposited. (choose your fav bank or other financial institution)

    3. Go to ADP.COM and set up an acct. (I am not sure whether you have to talk to anyone on the phone or not to do this. Doesn’t matter -everyone there is SUPER nice and helpful!) (Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!)

    4. Set yourself up as a W-2 Employee of your organization.

    a. Once you have everything set up, just log in each week and decide how much to pay yourself. You will be paying yourself from your BUSINESS acct TO your PERSONAL acct.

    b. PAY yourself. (You may need to be walked through the process by ADP one time).

    1. ADP automatically sends ALL of your taxes to the appropriate place.. this includes, state, unemployment, federal.. everything! (You NEVER have to worry about this again!)

    2. ADP also has retirement options and many things for you to choose from if you want additional benefits for yourself as an employee.

    3. ADP is a LOT less expensive than a CPA. (Believe me, I know!!)

    I do NOT work for ADP, but I love how easy everything is with them.. and their customer service has been a 10 for the last 6 years. (10 = Maximum wonderful!)

    I hope this helps!!! 🙂

  • Nate says:

    Processed used since 1992: Excel spreadsheet with labels tied to all of my expenses and income; monthly file folders (every receipt goes into the pertinent folder after each activity); Quarterly or Annual Folder purge of non-business related events; Quarterly or Annual Folder business-related income and expenses roll-up; Quarterly or Annual entry of business related income and expenses into the Excel Spreadsheet; Intuit’s Turbo Tax (was Quicken before); and, in Dec-Mar go through the annual pain of writing the checks or cashing one.

    Rationale: The 1040 Form Signature block holds me accountable for accuracy, correctness, etc. So, I maintain control of my process. Each year, I also pay Intuit $59 for their audit protection, which came in handy for the 2009 and 2010 taxes. While I had to pay due to making a mistake with some forms in the software, they were there to assist me with the IRS.

    • It’s awesome to have people like you who know how to do all that stuff and actually does it. I understand it, but would rather focus my time on building my business. Glad it works for you though. That’s awesome.

  • Jeff says:

    Thanks so much, this has been a really difficult area for me too!

  • Kristen says:

    Wonderful article Leslie! Bookkeeping and accounting are usually things that are way in the back of my mind 😉 Mazuma sounds wonderful! Although I am currently just starting out and not quite ready for a third party to handle those needs, I am much more motivated to start an excel spreadsheet to keep things in order! I will jot down this company and your name so when the time comes I am ready! 🙂

  • grahame says:

    I paid less than $4 and had my name, de-registered from IRS forever. Even if I win the lottery tomorrow, I dont ever have to pay a brass penny, a dime or a cent. Want to know why and how! Had to tell someone.

  • I do have an accountant who is bookkeeper also, but the problem is still having to invoice and pay providers myself.

    If your accounts in the US are difficult, I invite you to come to Spain and get lost on a myriad of useless paperwork. 😉

    I use two Spanish platforms to invoice and have control on accounts: http://www.facturadirecta.com and http://wwwmygestion.com.

  • Jerry says:

    Wonderful article Leslie! Book keeping and accounting are usually things that are way in the back of my mind Mazuma sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing

  • Johnny Ermias says:

    Good arguments, but what about SlickPie (small business) or QBO (big companies) online accounting software? They are the best options in the market these days anyway.

  • >
    30 Shares
    Share2
    Tweet8
    Pin20
    Share