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About Zane Stevens

Zane Stevens is the Director of Protea Financial. Protea provides services to take over the burdens and responsibilities of finding, managing, and training an accountant or bookkeeper for businesses and free up proprietors’ time, so they can focus on building their businesses.

What Are 1099s?

This blog post was originally published in December 2021, but we wanted to take the time to update and improve the information we offered. We recently updated it in November 2022. If you do any type of contract or freelance work for a company, that company may be...

Tasks Your Winery Bookkeeper Can Offer

Whether you are a new winery business owner, or you have been making wine for generations, when it comes to wine, you’re the expert. You know all about selecting the right barrel for aging and how to create a perfect label. When it comes to finances for your winery,...

Is It the Right Time to Sell Your Business?

Business owners often ask, “When is the right time to sell my business?”  The answer is some version of “A good time to sell is when there is a seller’s market, and the owner and the business are prepared”.  Simple enough, but there is a lot to unpack in this...

Best Practices for Avoiding Wire Fraud in Your Small Business

While it is the large businesses who make the news when there’s financial fraud, the greatest amount of wire fraud happens to small business owners. Recent research indicates that 78% of small businesses suffer some kind of wire fraud each year. In fact, all...

The Benefits of Using QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is the software-as-a-service (SaaS) or cloud version of QuickBooks, one of the most well-known accounting tools available to businesses. QuickBooks has been around since the early 80s, but the online version was launched in 2001. As one of the most...

Five Things Your Alcohol Compliance Lawyer Wants You to Know

As an attorney who specializes in alcohol licensing fire drills, I have a standing wish list of things I desire alcohol producers knew about their compliance. Grab cup of coffee or other beverage, sit down and have a read about five things your alcohol compliance...

Protea Conversations: Chelsea Kurnick

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced bookkeeping and accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time...

What Should I Be Doing Weekly For Bookkeeping Tasks For My Business?

Bookkeeping is a time-consuming skill, and not one you can neglect. In fact, over 40% of small businesses managers and owners say their bookkeeping tasks are often pushed into the background. This is understandable, because small business owners have so much on their...

Protea Conversations: Carter Welch

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced bookkeeping and accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking...

Best Bookkeeping Software for Small Business

Understanding profit and loss is important for any business, but it’s especially vital for small businesses with tight budgets. Spending too much can quickly put these small businesses in danger, while miscalculating profits can lead to overdrawn accounts. That’s why...

Protea Conversations: Andrea Christensen

Protea Conversations Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after...

Tips for Improving Your Accounts Receivable Process

Your accounts receivable is essentially a list of all the money your clients or customers owe you. While retailers typically receive payment for their goods when the customer purchases them, this isn’t always true. Companies that provide services often don’t receive...

Major Differences Between Cash and Accrual Accounting

One important thing a business owner has to do when setting up their business is determine how they are going to handle their accounting. Many people operate their business accounting like a checkbook, but that’s not always the best option. A checkbook typically...

Small Businesses, Sales Tax, and How One Mistake Could Close Your Business

All small businesses in the United States must collect and remit sales tax to the city and state in which they are doing business. Typically, this means you must file a monthly or quarterly sales tax form in the state you live in, but if you do business in multiple...

Protea Conversations: John Comfort

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced bookkeeping and accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking...

Ten Critical Factors in Getting Your Business Off to a Fresh Start in 2022 (Part 3 of 3)

Ten Critical Factors in Getting Your Business Off to a Fresh Start in 2022  Part 3 of 3 In part two, I wrote about the first five key factors to get your business off to a Fresh Start in 2022.  Those key factors were: 1) Vision; 2) Hard Review; 3) Focusing on...

Ten Critical Factors in Getting Your Business Off to a Fresh Start in 2022 (Part 2 of 3)

Recently, I wrote about “Resolutions”.  Why do many resolutions fail? Why do some succeed? I shared research that suggests that failed resolutions often come down to three factors: 1) Changing your consciousness, 2) Accountability, and 3) Overcoming your internal...

2022: Resolve to Give Your Business a Fresh Start to Begin the Year (Part 1 of 3)

The tradition of New Year’s Resolutions began over 4,000 years ago with the Babylonians, who made promises to begin their year.  If they kept to their word, they believed their gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the...

Year End Wrap Up

Another year is coming to a close. While many of us hoped that 2021 would be a better year than 2020, things did not quite go that way. Though things did improve and there was some light, it was still a very difficult year highlighted by the continuing pandemic, a...

Protea Conversations: Diana Maier

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

CALIFORNIA – NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS in 2022

2022 will provide no exception to the ever-shifting nature of California employment law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed many new laws affecting California employers in 2022. Some of the new laws of particular importance are listed below. The effective date of each new...

Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber-attacks …and Developing a Stronger Approach to Cybersecurity in 2022

In a recent study by the Small Business Association (SBA), 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyber-attack – malicious emails, attacks and phishing campaigns to name just a few. And business owners have good reason to be concerned....

A Thankful Message from Protea Financial Director Zane Stevens

November is a month to reflect and be grateful for all the good we have in our lives. While we may be thankful for things throughout the year, we don’t always vocalize those thanks. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, though, and I want to put my personal thanks into words. I...

What is a W-2?

One vital task every business owner must do annually is generate and submit W-2 forms to their employees, the IRS, and other entities. These forms are important because without them, employees cannot complete their tax returns. However, while some parts of the form...

Protea Conversations: Rae Paulson

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

Advantages of a Virtual Bookkeeper Over a Physical Bookkeeper

If you recognize that your business has reached the point of needing a bookkeeper, you have two options: you can hire a local bookkeeper you can meet with in person, or you can hire a virtual bookkeeper. While outsourcing your bookkeeping to a virtual contractor is a...

The Benefits of Hiring a Bookkeeper with QuickBooks Experience

Bookkeeping is not a new science. Historical records indicate bookkeeping existed as early as 6000 B.C. Ancient Babylonian kingdoms recorded inventory from crops. Bookkeepers in Greek and Roman societies counted and noted agricultural crops, as well as payments to...

Protea Conversations: Wilder Clements

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

Options If You Want To Move Away From Paper Checks

Researchers have noticed a shift in the last two or three years in the business check writing habits of managers and owners. While the number of people using other forms of payment besides checks has been increasing, the number of businesses relying on paper checks as...

What is Gross Margin and Why is it Important?

As a business owner, you understand how important bookkeeping is. The information a professional bookkeeper can provide will allow you to make informed decisions about your business. One piece of information your bookkeeper can provide is your company’s current gross...

What Makes Wine Accounting Complicated?

You may have only been drinking wine made in the United States for a few years, but people have been making wine in this country for nearly 500 years. American wine was an undervalued industry for decades, and it has only been in the last 50 years that people have...

Protea Conversations: Yuko Tsuchida

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

Cut Your Winery’s Operating Costs with a Winery Bookkeeper

Operating a winery is a challenging job. It requires an in-depth knowledge of many aspects of growing produce. You need to understand your plants, keep your soil healthy, watch for signs of infection or pests, and know when your plants are ready to harvest. Then you...

Starting with a Budget Can Help New Wineries Succeed

Starting your own winery may be a dream, but you must understand, with that dream comes expenses. Many who enjoy a glass of wine have thought about what it would be like to start their own winery. Starting any business is a challenge, and this is especially true in...

Don’t Let Accounting Problems Sour Your Wines: Avoiding Common Accounting Issues

Wineries need to pay attention to every detail when it comes to accounting. You need to keep an accurate record of the total amount of wine made during the year. Even a simple mistake can cost money and time. There are two mechanisms that ultimately decide whether you...

Accounting Tips to Improve Your Knowledge

At Protea, our mission is to help as many people as possible have a better understanding of accounting and hopefully understand the value good information adds to the success of their business. Better accounting for everyone! With this in mind, for the last 3 months I...

How Can Bill.Com Reduce Your Processing Time?

Staying ahead of the times in a constantly evolving world is not always easy. For both small businesses and major companies, processing times are crucial for their long-term success. The general rule of thumb is that the faster your processing is, the more efficient...

Protea Conversations: Carolyn Sweeney

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

Taking Care of Business: Hiring the Right Accounting Bookkeeping Service

In this fast-paced world, keeping track of your company’s finances is a 24/7 job. That important balance between paying attention to the business aspects and the people aspect can easily get lost in the mix. Hiring the right staff will bridge the gap and make it...

Tips To Avoid A Cash Crunch: 3 Ideas For Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is an important element of any small business. To effectively manage your cash flow, you need to be aware of all the aspects that can affect it and how they impact your business. The best way to achieve this is by understanding what might cause fluctuations...

De-Risking a Business to Drive Enterprise Value

As an appraiser of every type and size business, my experience and training has helped me develop several key defaults to value, the biggest of which is as follows;   Value is driven by three key inputs; risk, growth and cash flows   In other online forums...

Accounting Software: Control Your Finances With Confidence and Ease

An accounting software system is a valuable tool for any business. It allows for more accurate record keeping, which in turn means less work and lower risk of mistakes. It enables you to automate labor-intensive accounting tasks and accelerates tax preparation. There...

Get a Full Picture of Your Business with Accrual Accounting

The cash basis of accounting is the method of recording revenue when cash is received and recording expenses when cash has been paid out. This method is easy and enables the business to legally manipulate taxable income. Paying less in taxes is as easy as spending...

Outsourcing Accounting Services: Increase Your Bottom Line

Outsourcing accounting services is a great way to save time, money, and your sanity. It can be difficult for many business owners to find the time or expertise necessary to keep up with all the paperwork that comes from running a successful company. We will examine...

Protea Conversations: Tracey Welch

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

Property Insurance in the Wine Industry

As things begin to open back up with COVID-19 getting more under control, we find that it is “fire season” in Wine Country.  With fire season front and center, we find ourselves saying that “it’s not if there is another fire in our area, it’s when will the fire occur...

How to understand your balance sheet: A beginner’s guide

A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides an overview of the company's assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. It is important to know what each one means in order to understand how well you're doing. It can be difficult to understand...

Protea Conversations: Alicia Cronbach

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

Your Account Reconciliation is Now a Fun Activity

You may think reconciling your books is a tedious process, but it doesn't have to be. In this blog post we'll go over the steps needed to prepare a reconciliation and how you can streamline the process so that it's as painless as possible.   What is a general...

QuickBooks Beginner Mistakes You Must Avoid

If you’re familiar with QuickBooks Online, you know how spectacular it is in maintaining financial records for small and medium businesses. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual looking for reliable bookmaking software, QuickBooks is a great option....

Winery Adaptation

How smaller, independent wineries can sell more wine in a hypercompetitive marketplace   State of Industry – Lots of winners but many “silent” losers   It’s amazing how the world can change in a year! Even before the COVID-19 pandemic made its global impact,...

Financial Forecasting 101

If you’re a business owner or been thinking about opening up a new venture, the thought of improving its performance must have crossed your mind. And that’s where financial forecasting comes into play.  It’s simply the process of looking into the future of your...

Protea Conversations – Rachel Martin

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

5 Financial Reports You Should be Running

There’s an assortment of financial reports involved in business accounting and bookkeeping. Each one contains the information you need to form an accurate and holistic view of your company’s financial health. There are five reports you should be running on a...

Protea Conversations: April Gargiulo

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

7 thoughts for 7 years

In the month of March we as a company, Protea Financial, are celebrating seven years of guiding small businesses with high quality and cost-effective accounting. This is truly a surreal moment for us here at Protea Financial, as we celebrate our success. What started...

The Basics of Financial Statements

A key aspect and skill in managing a company is the ability to understand financial statements. Because we operate in a competitive business environment, it is important to be able to identify a company’s financial position/health, business trends and risks at an...

Protea Conversations: Destiny Burns

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the work force after taking time off to start a...

5 Key Elements Influencing the Accounting and Finance Hiring Environment in 2021

  In my first 19 years of recruiting Accounting and Finance Talent, the number 1 job benefit Professionals wanted was the flexibility to work from home- at least partially.  This was always desired more than it was available.  Employers cited security, teamwork,...

Thank You From Protea Financial: This Is Just the Beginning

This is truly a surreal moment for us here at Protea Financial as we celebrate our seventh year in business. What started out as a mere extension of a business has since morphed and grown into something much bigger - the dream of better accounting for everyone. The...

Protea Conversations: Nastassia Lopez

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

Accrual Accounting vs. Cash Accounting – What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between these two is the timing of when transactions get recorded.

Why You Should Hire a Bookkeeper

Running a successful winery requires you to manage numerous departments—production, processing, sales, and administration, to name a few. Often bookkeeping and accounting are some of the first areas neglected when there's not enough of you to go around. When you find...

Small Producers Tax Credits for Everyone!

‘Small Producers Tax Credits for Everyone!’ (Said in my best globally famous talk show host voice.) So you’ve heard that the Craft Beverage Modernization Act was made permanent. And you operate a winery or you support operational reporting for a winery.  Now what?...

Protea Conversations: Suzanne Briel

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality out-sourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

How to Calculate the Cost of Making Wine

To run a profitable winery, it is vital to understand how much profit you are making per bottle of wine sold. You will need to be able to determine and understand what you can sell your wine for and how much that wine costs to produce. While the market will dictate...

Financial Forecasting and Cash Flow Planning

While extremely rewarding, getting a winery up and running can be very difficult to do. Not only does it require a large amount of capital and resources to start with, but you also won’t even start selling wine until a few years down the line. It’s a large investment...

The Property Insurance Marketplace for Wineries

The state of the Property insurance market for wineries is experiencing some severe difficulties and there is no relief in sight for the foreseeable future.  We are experiencing what the insurance industry calls a Hard Insurance Market.  It is hard to get to coverage...

Businesses Need to Do These Four Things Before 2021

Many of us are looking forward to putting 2020 behind us and welcoming in a new year. The idea of a fresh start is refreshing and business owners are looking to prepare their businesses for 2021 and beyond. Looking back on 2020 and acknowledging what worked and didn't...

How to Grow Your Business Through Accounting Outsourcing

Outsourcing routine tasks is an easy way to simplify and grow your business. Accounting, customer service, and marketing are easy places to start when it comes to outsourcing. None of these tasks are unique to your business but all are necessary for a successful...

Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business – Why Bookkeeping Matters

Few of us like to think about bookkeeping and accounting. Without it though, you’ll find yourself in the dark about how your winery is performing. Bookkeeping is the backbone of all businesses. To know what’s happening at the most basic financial level, you’ll need to...

2022 Thankful Message from Protea Financial

Another year is nearly over, and what an eventful year it has been. We have all been through a lot of ups and down over the last few years, and 2022 was no different. Thankfully, some aspects of life are starting to feel a bit more normal, and we were able to make...

How to Track Your Business Expenses: A Simple Guide for You and Your Business

As the owner of your own business, you're going to be spending a lot of your time and money on it. You need to keep track of all these expenses to accurately report them when you file your taxes at the end of the year. You can deduct many expenses related to running...

Tips to Make Your Month-End Close Processes Easier

Month-end processes are often a source of stress for finance teams. Many organizations find month-end processes challenging, which is why it is important to put processes in place early and consistently. If that sounds like your month end, you’re not alone – many...

What is a W-9 and What You Should Know About It

A W-9 is an IRS (or Internal Revenue Service) form used to collect the correct tax identification number from all third parties that the business pays during the year. You will usually be required to fill one out if you become an independent contractor, a vendor, or...

Protea Conversations: Tony Wilson

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

Harvest: What Information Your Accountant Needs

Inventory is arguably the most complex accounting function for wineries, starting with harvest. Harvest is the most exciting and demanding time for wineries, requiring a lot of information to be communicated back to your accountant. Still, luckily some information can...

The Best Small Business Software Considerations: Work Simply, Manage Efficiently

Are you looking for the best small business software? Look no further! This guide details some of the top-rated software options available for various tasks and how they can help you work more efficiently. From email management to time tracking, these programs are...

Protea Conversations: Marian Mejia

Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price.  Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a...

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e: info@proteafinancial.com
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Why Protea:

Protea’s goal is to provide, at costs below the market average, timely, accurate, and high-quality financial information on which a business can act.

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