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I just completed a refresher bookkeeping course made available via the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IBPC.) As a member of IBPC I am able to take advantage of these opportunities to keep up to date with the bookkeeping profession.

I chose to do the refresher bookkeeping course because standards can change over time. I originally did a Computerized Accounting course in 2008 and on taking this Basic Bookkeeping for Small Business course, I was happy to see that I came out with a %94 average. While things haven’t drastically changed within bookkeeping since the first time I took the course, I am ready for any future changes as the needs of small businesses continue to grow.

What I loved about this course is that it taught the manual labour of bookkeeping. This means not using a computer program and manually keeping track of purchases and expenses in an accounting book. The course covered this really well as well as tricks and tips on how to catch and fix easy to make transposition mistakes. The main idea behind the course is you take an example business, who starts with manual recordings, and take them to full accrual financial statements. What that means is, I learned how to take someone who only tracks their cash transactions and have their bookkeeping cleaned up and ready for tax time.

I hope to soon start another course on my way to obtaining my Distinguished Financial Advisor (DFA) designation. This designation by the Knowledge Bureau will certify me as a professional bookkeeper and will take several years to accomplish. Think of it somewhat as getting a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) designation for Accountants, but it isn’t exactly apples to apples. It will mean that I have the seal of approval of the Knowledge Bureau and be a part of a growing network of professional bookkeepers.

The next course will be Advanced Bookkeeping for Multiple Business. It will be an in depth look at how a bookkeeper uses Quickbooks or Sage. It will cover how a bookkeeper can use these programs to produce financial reports, among other tasks such as looking at keeping finances for several different types of businesses as each type of business needs its own set of accounts.

I hope to translate what I learn from this next course to use them with online accounting systems and programs such as Wave or Xero. While it’s good to know how to navigate Quickbooks or Sage, it will be even more crucial to understand how to use the latest accounting software that small businesses are adopting every day. With every course I take on my way to obtaining my DFA, I will adapt the lessons I learn to be of the most benefit to my clients.

Who should care about my professional development? YOU. The client. Anybody can say they are a bookkeeper, but not everybody will want to spend the money on training to be a better or certified bookkeeper. Being a bookkeeper means I get to help a variety of businesses and getting trained in their businesses means I can help them more efficiently, which is something I strive for every day.

What about you? How do you keep up to date with your professional development? How do you keep on top of your profession?

Top Three Tips for Having an Etsy Business

Etsy is an easy way to sell your handmade goods online, as we discussed in last week’s post. But as there are over one million sellers, it can be hard to make your first sale. You need time, patience and good old fashioned hard work to get that first sale. I know several people who struggled with this issue and I want to offer up my best three tips for having an Etsy business. It is what I learned while having my own Etsy shop, Petite Tuques, over the past five years.

These tips will help get you on the road to your first sale, as well as having an active Etsy business.

  • Good Photography

Product photography can make or break a sale. Having good photos is crucial and the good news is you don’t need a fancy camera to achieve good photographs of your wares. You can take photos with any digital camera you have. There are several secrets to getting your photos from ok to great.

The first is setting up your shot. You want to use natural, indirect light. Overcast skies can be blessing. If taking photos out of doors isn’t for you, use a lightbox, or make one yourself. Oh She Glows has a great tutorial on how to make and use a lightbox with household materials. Either way, you’ll want to have a consistent backdrop for all of your photos. White is best.

Think about the different angles your customers will want to see of your product. Also think through staging your photos. Show your product in use. If this makes you stressed, then it’s ok to leave it out. Just concentrate on having a consistent backdrop and well lit photos. You can always go back and add staged shots to your photo list later.

Another secret to having excellent product photography is editing. It is crucial to learn how to edit your photos after you’ve taken them. In the lightbox tutorial mentioned above, you can also see some before and after photos and the difference between an edited and unedited photo. Editing really takes your photos from drab to fab. There are a couple of free and low cost options for editing software, two that are relatively easy to learn. GIMP or Serif are both good options and GIMP is free.

  • Join a Team

Etsy has over 10,000 active teams. It helps to find a team that is local and active. It’s also beneficial to be choosy about which team(s) you join. I suggest limiting yourself to only two. Joining a team will help you build relationships and build a business support network of other likeminded Etsy sellers.

Outside of Etsy it is helpful to find a coach, as mentioned in the previous post, to see how other people are running their business and how they cope with the realities of running a business. It is also helpful to find people who are running similar businesses. Don’t think of them as competition, think of them as a support network within your particular niche, where you can help each other out with similar questions or advice.

  • Be Patient

This is the most important tip. It can be hard to wait for that first sale, but you must be patient. Sales don’t happen out of the blue. You need to be active and do some outreach. Use your blog, other blogs and social media to talk to people and get your name out there.

Take the time to review your photos and listing descriptions. Make tweaks here and there and just continue to talk to people and drive them to your shop. It may feel disheartening to not have a sale, but don’t give up. Rethink, retool, review and fix one thing at a time.

In no time, you’ll have your first sale and many more after that.

For more tips and resources about having an Etsy business follow the Etsy Sellers Handbook.

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Image courtesy of blacksburgbelle.com

Are you looking to start a business? There are several things you should consider before you wade in. When I started Petite Tuques there were so many things I didn’t know that I wish someone would have told me. While everything worked out in the end it would have saved me a lot of time to have had a clear understanding of some of the key aspects of forming a business. So today I wanted to share with you the things I wish I had known before diving in with my Etsy shop, Petite Tuques.

Disclaimer: This is a general overview of things to consider when starting a business. Please do your own research, especially when it comes to the legal and governmental requirements of starting a business.

Choosing a Name

It’s important to choose a good name for your business. You will want something that you can grow with over time, and not something very specific like “baby hats.” A general name can encapsulate all of your current business and possible future business. Though at the same time you will want a name that is unique to you and capture your business vision.

Here are some great examples:

:: thesexyknitter – This is a very bold name!

:: Pixie Bell – This indicates the seller has unique style

:: Emily Jane Designs – This name allows for a wide range of business activity

You will also need to think about a website domain name as well as your social media names. Ideally, your chosen business name will be your domain name and your username across all social media sites. Consistency is key for name recognition. Domain names range from $10-20 per year.

Registering Your Business

If you’re just starting out and believe your gross sales will be under $30,000 in Canada, you don’t need to be registered for Goods and Service Tax (GST). But if you’re likely to grow, you will need to register for GST. In the U.S., you will need to register for a business license with your local municipality and it’s a good idea to get a federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) so you won’t have to use your social security number when conducting business. In either country, make sure you know and follow the requirements for registration, otherwise you could be facing serious fines.

Professional service businesses such as bookkeeping, accounting, consulting, and coaches should consider registering right away because it is more professional.

In terms of your business name, you don’t need to register your business name if you are using your legal name, otherwise you would need to register “My Name Consulting” in Canada (except for Quebec, where you don’t need to register “My Name Consulting.”) It’s similar in the U.S., where if you use a name that is not your legal name you will need to register a “DBA” or “Doing Business As.”

Where Will You Sell?

Next you’ll need to think through where you will sell your goods or services online. If you want to sell handmade items, you should consider Etsy because it’s easy to start up and is very common. Big Cartel is another option. It has the feel of a private online shop, but still easy to set up. Squarespace is becoming more popular because it is an all-in-one solution for a website, plus blog, plus shop. All you need is a domain name (optional) and you are set to go!

Remember the number one tip about your business name: try to have your business name as your Etsy shop name and not a random username that isn’t easy to remember. Be consistent.

Start a Blog

This is one of the best ways to communicate what your business is and what you are doing with it. It also helps start a dialogue with customers and can help build strong lasting relationships. Even if you don’t feel ready to blog, you should do it anyway. The rewards outweigh the risks.

You can start a blog on WordPress or Blogspot. And if you don’t have a domain name, you can still get a free blog with your business name on either of these services. Squarespace is also a great place to blog since it is an all-in-one solution and it has blog templates built into their service, but it costs money.

These are just some of the things I wish I had known before starting my business, especially the advice about finding a unique business name. It’s something you need to use everywhere. Your online shop, your website, your domain, your blog, and your social media pages.

And finally, make sure you research and understand the requirements from your government, as well as your tax obligations. It’s imperative you get this right, otherwise you’ll spend too much money having to fix it.

Thinking of starting a business? Contact me so I can help you set up your business bookkeeping.

 

 

 

For more general business help, I recommend following these great coaches:

Laura Roeder : Learn how to market yourself with Social Brilliant

Blackburg Belle: Learn how to run a successful blog with her 6-week course: Six Weeks to a More Passion-Filled and Profitable Business Starts January 25, 2015!

Tara Gentile: Learn how to grow your business in Kick Start Labs

Mayi Carles: Her Life Is Messy Bootcamp will help you to organize life and business.

Copyblogger: Learn how to write copy for your website

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As a professional bookkeeper, catering to those in the handmade community, I already offer a range of helpful services. Though the majority of these are service based, I focus on areas where small businesses seem to need the most help. This includes; a review of bookkeeping systems, guidance on accounting system organization and system cleanup, help with receipt wrangling via Recipe Bank, monthly account reconciliation, and various other bookkeeping tasks. These services help my clients run professional businesses and keep track of their cash flow.

I also created an e-book because I found that business owners were having trouble getting around Wave accounting software, and getting their Etsy shop and Paypal synced. It’s a good resource for setting up a business in Wave and helps clients solve their most pressing issue with the program.

The book covers:

- Signing up to Wave Accounting

- Connecting your Etsy account

- Connecting your Paypal account

- Understanding the Transaction screen

- Understanding the Income Statement

This e-book is a stepping stone to working with me, and best of all is FREE. I offer it through my email newsletter subscribers.

But I want to expand my offerings to further help my clients and help you in the process. I want to create and offer more digital products to help expand my list of services and reach a new client base. Producing more digital products would be a great supplement to my current offerings.

In the near future, I will be looking into providing several mini trainings and e-books that would cover the basic principles of bookkeeping.  I’ve learned throughout the years that small business owners need the most help with bookkeeping. These trainings and e-books would be plain spoken, easy to understand and not take up a lot of your time, because you’ve got a business to run!

Would you like to understand debits and credits, get the hang of balance sheets, and easily see how much   your business is worth, and how much money you have on hand? How about accounting software tutorials? How about moving from spreadsheets to the Cloud? This is just the tip of the iceberg. I know theses topics will help my clients and you become more proficient in bookkeeping.

Is there anything else you would like to learn about small business finances? Let me know. In the meantime, I’ll be watching April’s broadcast of Create Digital Products While You Sleep. Join me!

If you can’t wait to get started, you can contact me today to see if I’m a good fit for your bookkeeping needs.

Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.

LS_BLOGPOSTIMAGE-1Image courtesy of blacksburgbelle.com

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the next step and hire a bookkeeper to help organize your business finances and get your bookkeeping systems in place. Now what?

With so many bookkeepers out there, how do you go about evaluating them and hire a bookkeeper best suited to you and your business? All it takes is a bit of research and to ask the right questions.

The internet is a treasure trove of possibilities and a great place to start looking. You may also want to ask around to your friends and friendly businesses for recommendations. Once you have a handful of possibilities for bookkeepers, keep the following in mind when evaluating them for the job:

  • Specialized Experience

Look for a bookkeeper with specific experience in your line of work. If they’ve worked with clients similar to you, your bookkeeper will be more keen to know what you and your business need to function financially. She will be better able to understand your particular needs and how best to help you.

  • Memberships and Certifications

Bookkeepers with memberships in an association is a great indicator of a good bookkeeper. By keeping membership in professional associations, the bookkeeper is bound to stay up to date with the latest in the bookkeeping field, which is a benefit to you. The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers are good ones to look out for.

Check to see if they have any certifications in accounting software such as Xero, Wave or Quickbooks. This indicates training and a good knowledge base of these software systems. This is also a good indication that she will be able help you with your chosen accounting system.

  • Professionalism

This one may seem obvious, but it’s a good reminder. Does she have an overall professional demeanor? Is her website current and up to date? See how long she has been a bookkeeper. Are you ok with that experience? Look for client testimonials and/or ask for references from clients similar to you. Also make sure her rates are in the range of what a reputable bookkeeper would charge. This range is over $30 an hour.

  • Ask The Right Questions

Talk to her about the tasks involved in bookkeeping. Will she be responsible for entering invoices and payments? Will she create excel files for sales on third-party sites like Etsy? Will she be responsible for entering bills, or use a service like Receipt Bank? Make sure you understand your responsibilities as well as hers.

Ask how she communicates with her clients. How does she handle emergencies or mistakes? A good bookkeeper will outline how she corresponds with clients and will outline strategies that will help you fix mistakes and how she deals with emergencies situations.

  • A Word of Caution

As a small business owner, you should be wary of people claiming to be professional bookkeepers but are not actually legitimate bookkeepers. If you’ve done your due diligence above, you should easily be able to rule out anyone who isn’t legit.

If their rates are low, it is a sign of a beginner or an untrained bookkeeper. Again, most bookkeepers who are confident and reputable, will have rates above $30 an hour.
By reviewing each of your potential bookkeepers with the information listed above, you should easily be able to narrow down your options and select the best bookkeeper for you.

Contact me today to see if I am a good fit for your business. I specialize in creative businesses that use Xero accounting software and I would love to help you out!

Yarn-and-Bookphoto by April/blacksburgbelle.com

Whenever I go look at bookkeeping websites, I wonder about the person behind the screen. Is she real? Does she really care about her clients? If I send a message will I receive one back?

I want to assure you that I AM real. And I DO care for my clients. And I DO reply to emails. Today I’m sharing a look behind my business, as part of the coolest blog tag started by April of Blacksburg Belle.

  • Question 1: What’s your two to three sentence bio? (You know, ‘what the heck’ do you do?)

Lisa Savage is the bookkeeper for Creative folks. Having experience from her own creative businesses, she now gives advice to new and old Creatives so that they can make money doing what they love.

  • Question 2: What’s your favorite part of your job?

At the end of a cycle, whether it’s monthly or yearly, I love seeing everything reconciled. I have a great sigh of relief and satisfaction that everything makes sense.

  • Question 3: What’s your least favorite part of your job?

I dislike the marketing and website upkeep- even though I have ton of help for that, I don’t look forward to it.

  • Question 4: What are the top three tools you use the most in your work?

My PC, Receipt Bank, Xero

  • Question 5: What business goal would you love to reach before the end of the year?

I’m having my website fixed up, and that should be done before the end of the year.

  • Question 6: Who are three creatives that inspire you?

April Bowles, Mayi Carles, Kris (with a K)

  • Question 7: What do you listen to (if anything) while you work?

I have a playlist on youtube.. songs from Adele, Pink, Avril Lavigne etc.

  • Question 8: Morning person or night owl?

Night owl. I’m the last to bed and the last to get up. (on weekends- I have kids to care for during the week, and I let Daddy take care of the weekends. It’s only fair)

  • Question 9: How many employees do you have and what are the main things they do for you?

None, but I do have contractors working with me, for website and administration duties.

  • Question 10: What’s your favorite social media platform?

OMHG community.

  • Question 11: What’s your least favorite social media platform?

Twitter.

  • Question 12: What works best when it comes to marketing your business?

I’m not actually sure. My website has been good to me so far, but I have a ways to go before coming to any conclusions.

  • Question 13: What’s one thing about your business that your blog readers probably don’t know?

I am very sociable. (that word looks weird to me). I like talking to people, and answering questions they may have.

  • Question 14: If your business were a fashion accessory, what would it be?

Since I make fashion accessories, I’ll tell you my favorite. Mittens. Lonnnnnggggg mittens that go to the elbow.

  • Question 15: What’s your top tip for someone who wants to do something similar to you for a career?

Experience is everything. If you want to start bookkeeping for a creative business, start a creative business. It’s the easiest business to start- easy because Etsy has made it easy for someone to open an online shop- and get the experience of keeping your own books going.

Here are a few twitter followers that may like to do this:

@ginapalha

@AnnymayEco 

@2sistersstring

@AllysonKnits

This blog post is a part of the ‘Behind the Scenes of My Business’ Blog Tag started by April of Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing the behind the scenes stuff of our businesses. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out this post right here.

(Disclaimer: It’s totally cool to NOT participate if I tagged you and you either: don’t want to do it or don’t have the time. You won’t totally crush my feelings.)

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If you’re like most small businesses, cash flow is tight and if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to think you need to do all the administrative work yourself. This line of reasoning is especially true if you’re from the handmade community. The urge to DIY can be so strong, it wipes any notion of extra help from your mind. Because hiring a bookkeeper is an expense you think you don’t have.

So you sign yourself up for what looks like the easiest software and make half-hearted attempts to keep track of expenses. Perhaps you keep your receipts in a shoebox. Or forget to keep them at all. Maybe you check in on your software once or twice a year. Everything looks like its working?  Maybe you don’t even look.

Then comes tax time when you have to really look at your accounts and records. Surprise! It’s a mess. Maybe the software stopped working. Maybe there’s double entries you have to fix. Perhaps you find lots of expenses miscategorized. You’re not sure how much money you made or what expenses you can claim.

That’s time and money out the window you weren’t expecting to spend to clean up the mess.

Here’s how hiring a bookkeeper will save you from this headache and save you money to boot!

1. Help Set up a System

A bookkeeper will help find the right accounting software for you. Be it desktop or app, a bookkeeper will train you on how to use it and when and how to input your account information, expenses and invoices. If you’re a small business you don’t need the biggest or most powerful system; you need one suited to your individual needs and a bookkeeper will do just that.

A bookkeeper will also train you on how and where to save your receipts. One way to organize your receipts is to use Receipt Bank. This app allows you to quickly take a picture of your receipt and it helps track your expenses.

By having an accounting system in place and the knowledge on how to use it, you’ll be better prepared to keep track of your incoming and outgoing money.

2. Prepared at Tax Time

Imagine tax time as a stress free time. If you’ve set up that system with your bookkeeper, it can be. A bookkeeper can help keep you organized and on track with your accounting system throughout the year, so this dream can be a reality.

Instead of scrambling for lost receipts and unpaid invoices, a bookkeeper will have helped you reconcile your accounts, (where you match your bank statements to your transactions), and remind you of your unpaid invoices and help ensure that there are no unaccounted expenses.

This is beneficial for quarterly or annual sales tax filing, as well as income taxes. Your nicely organized files can simply be downloaded and sent to your tax preparer, stress free.

3. Saves you Time

Time is money. If you keep on top of your accounting system and do a little bit throughout the year, it adds up to big time savings. For you and for your bookkeeper. If you don’t, disaster can happen.

After vacation one year, I came back to a client’s year end, where you reconcile accounts for the year. I quickly learned that their files weren’t up to date. I spent a month to get the work done. Not only did it cost the client more because of the extra time I had to put in, but it was super stressful for the both of us.

Hiring a bookkeeper to help you set up a system and working with them throughout the year to keep your files organized helps save you money in the long run.

It may seem like a big expense, but it will be an even bigger expense to hire one during the busy seasons to tidy up a big accounting mess.

Free Bookkeeping Assessment

Worried you may be losing money because of your accounting set up? Not sure if your system is running properly? Let me review it. I’d like to offer you a free assessment of your current accounting systems.

Contact me today for your FREE assessment

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Image courtesy of smarnad, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week I read on Blacksburg Belle about sharing this post and I thought it would be a good idea. I’ve been working behind the scenes, and not really paying attention to my blog. All that is going to change, starting with this post!

 

Question 1: How tall are you?

4″11 technically. I tell people I’m 5 Feet.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

I’ve recently started playing flute again, after 14 years.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Having to go through hoops just to make a comment on a blog.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?

Cutting of toe nails/finger nails beside my open drink.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

I go through stages of favorite songs.. right now it’s Say Something sung by Pentatonix

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?

Pixie Bell I love the designs

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

I will watch Hemlock Grove on Netflix.

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

Anything chocolate. I will go so far and eat Nutella on toast.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

1 dog, Sasha, who we adopted from my brother-in-law due to “problems” with the dog barking. She doesn’t bark, the “problem” is the neighbor.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite fiction book?

The Stand by Steven King, which I first read when I was a young girl.

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

Ummm.. I don’t wear makeup. I’ll sometimes put on the stuff that makes your face nice and smooth.

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

Context: I was part of concert to help raise funds for a church to replace some stain-glass windows.

So I was sitting in the audience, waiting for my turn, and after the song ended, I said “psst! Bill!” thinking it was his turn to announce the next song. He quietly pointed to the big screen and I saw we were still on the group songs. I felt like an idiot, and I know I flushed.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If it was healthy, I would drink Pepsi.

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

Little Mermaid

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Band Geek all the way.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Probably New Zealand. It looks nice  there.

Question 17: PC or Mac?

PC.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

A back rub after hubby got home from work.

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

Patrick Stewart. Love him and Star Trek.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

Jessika Hepburn. I look up to her and am afraid to be in her presence because she’s a successful blogger + writer. I do hope she sees this, and I hope she doesn’t!  I am a shy person by nature.

 

Now here’s a list of people I want to see answer these same questions:

1. Nicole of Mercentile 519 We’ve been online buddies, pen pal buddies, and who knows, maybe we’ll meet one day.

2. Lucinda of Mont Tricot. She’s my local yarn shop owner. She’s fun and we have fun knitting together. She’ also taught me a lot.

3. Jessika of Oh My Handmade. She’s the genius behind a great community, but I’d like to know more about her (after all she’s my secret best friend).

4. Eric of That Bookkeeper. Eric was one of the few bookkeepersI contacted at the beginning of my career. He’s helped me along the way, and I can’t thank him enough.

5. YOU! I hope that you’ll come back with your blog post so that I can get to know the people who read my posts ;)

 

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Back before internet, people used to collect little slips of paper called receipts and organize them (or not) into a shoebox. Eventually one shoebox became many..

Forward to internet days, we had our receipts sent to our email, print them and organize them into shoeboxes.

Forward to NOW, we receive our receipts to our email and then we forward them to the cloud.

I love the cloud. I send everything there that I don’t want to lose.

I’m also happy to say that Receipt Bank is one of the top services for cataloging expenses and invoices. What’s even better than that, I am a Receipt Bank partner! I can now offer Receipt Bank to my clients, which in effect, saves you money.

I’m offering the multi-user account for $18, whereas a regular user would pay $25.

Saves time too- sending receipts to Receipt Bank is simple, just forward your email to Receipt Bank via a specialty address. When you have a good bookkeeper on your side, (like me), the entrepreneur part ends and the bookkeeper begins, taking care of your precious info and exporting it to your online accounting software. That allows you to do what you do best: create.

Get 15 days trial, when you sign up today, and receive an introductory price of $15/month (Regular Price $18/month)

Receipt Bank Early Bird Loading...

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I bet you didn’t know that you could connect your woo commerce site to Xero.

I have an online retail site, Knits and Notions, and I wondered how I could make orders import themselves to Xero. After searching WooThemes, turns out they have a plugin XERO to install for $79.

I, of course, read up on the docs to know how to set it up, but I didn’t anticipate the lack of clarity in the instructions. Unless you are a coder and deal with old-school Command Prompt, get ready for a headache!

So I decided to give my own little tips on how to make it easier to install. Here goes!

Step 1: Get OpenSSL

For windows: http://www.slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

For Mac: OpenSSL comes with Mac OS X

Step 2: Using OpenSSL

This is where I will differ from the Woo Doc, and the Xero Blog

A) Find your CMD – start menu – search “cmd” – right click it – Run As Administrator.

B) The default directory is or is similar to c:\windows\system32 and what you want is c:\, which is the root directory. To change it, type cd c:\ AFTER the prompt, so visually you’ll see c:\windows\system32>cd c:\

Note: cd means Change Directory

Now you should be seeing c:\> (all code to be entered is in BOLD)

c) You need to find where you saved the OpenSSL and type in the exact file folder where the keys are in (bin)

c:\cd openssl-win32\bin

openSSL

D) Now enter in the code:

c:\openssl-win32\bin>openssl genrsa -out privatekey.pem 1024

PrivateKey

E) Enter the next code:

c:\openssl-win32\bin>openssl req -newkey rsa:1024 -x509 -key privatekey.pem -out publickey.cer -days 1825

PublicKey

If it worked, there will be 7 fields to type in about your business. Fill them in, and you should be able to see a new file in your BIN folder, and it should be called Security Certificate.

Congrats, you now have a Security Certificate. I don’t know how to open it yet, or even if I need to.

I think the rest of the instructions are pretty good to follow, so I won’t get into the rest. There were a lot of people experiencing the same error code, “unable to write to random state” and I believe it is because I wasn’t in Administrator mode.

The first thing to try is Run As Administrator, instead of going into the BIN folder and using the OPENSSL cmd.

I hope this helps! At least this post will serve as a reminder of my efforts!

 

 

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