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QuickBooks 2013 For Dummies by Stephen L. Nelson, MBA, CPA

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A Budgeting Secret You Won’t Learn in College

I also have a secret tip for you. (I’m going to write very quietly now so that no one else hears. . . .)

tip.eps Here’s the secret tip: Go to the library and ask for the Robert Morris & Associates Survey, the Risk Management Association (or RMA) Reference, the Dun & Bradstreet Annual Financial Statement Survey, and any similar references of business financial statistics. After you get these references, find a nice, quiet corner of the library and look up how other businesses like yours (that is, businesses that are the same size, sell the same stuff or services, and have the same gross and net profits) spend money.

These references are really cool. For example, Robert Morris & Associates surveys bank lending officers, creates a summary of the information that these bankers receive from their customers, and publishes the results. You can look up, for example, what percentage of sales the average tavern spends on beer and peanuts.

Plan to spend an hour or so at the library. Getting used to the way that the Robert Morris & Associates report displays information takes a while. The taverns page doesn’t actually have a line for beer and peanuts, for example. Instead, you see some vague accounting term like cost of goods sold.

remember.eps Make a few notes so that ...

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