Returning to School - Complete Controller

These days going to college is not just for the young. Many adults over twenty-five choose to go back to school to either attend college for the first time or return to obtain a higher level degree. There are costs involved in returning to school that need to be considered.

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • A Computer
  • General Supplies Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Here are seven practical tips to reduce the costs of going back to school.

  1. Company Tuition Reimbursement

Many corporations promote from within the company. Often when moving to higher positions and management, a degree will be required, so many companies offer full or partial tuition reimbursement if an employee pursues a work-related degree. Some companies will provide some reimbursement of non-related degrees; the important thing is, ask!

  1. Grants and Scholarships

When applying to college during the admissions process, admissions specialists can help you determine grants and scholarships to apply for and give you valuable information on the process. There are also many smaller scholarships and grants you can apply for online. Also, check with the college financial aid office; grants and scholarships should be applied for every year you are in college. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  1. Community College

Many community colleges offer useful four-year degrees. Even if the degree you seek is specialized, community college is great for getting an associate’s degree and getting the basic required classes out of the way at a lower cost. If you will complete your degree at a state or private college, before beginning community college, ensure your credits will transfer.

  1. Free or Used Textbooks

Besides tuition, textbooks are one of the largest expenses when attending school. To keep textbooks and required reading costs at a minimum, there are a few options.

  • Check availability at the school or local library
  • Search for websites and apps that offer free ebook books and textbooks
  • Share costs with other students taking the same classes
  • Check with the school. Some have textbook and book exchange programs
  • Check used book sites and stores to get the books and textbooks at discounted prices
  • Search for sites or stores that rent books and textbooks Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


  1. Minimizing Computer Costs

Even if you already have a desktop computer, most college students opt for a laptop for school. Laptops have gained popularity due to portability and the ability to use in class for notes and recordings. There are ways to keep the costs of purchasing a laptop to a minimum.

  • Keep it basic; most lower-cost laptops will meet the needs of a student
  • Purchase a refurbished computer; they are often like new and come with limited warranties
  • Look for rebates, student discounts, or back to school sales
  • Shop at a pawn shop or second-hand electronics store


  1. Minimizing the Costs of Supplies

Other school supplies are needed for college students, such as pens, highlighters, notebooks, and other items specific to certain classes, i.e., scientific calculators. Many stores offer discounts to students. You can also look for sales and coupons, and some supplies can be bought used as students may only have needed them for a limited time.

  1. Taking Online Classes and CLEP Testing

Many accredited schools offer online courses. Because overhead is low to conduct these classes, they can be less costly for a student. The only drawback to going to college online is that it is more self-directed, and some students may need the structure of a classroom to excel. Many colleges not only offer online courses but also accept CLEP credits from CLEP testing. CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests allow students to test out of many of the courses needed to earn an associate’s degree. Each exam costs under $100, which is significantly less than a semester of school. Check with your school to see if they accept CLEP credits before taking the exams.


These seven cost-saving tips should help any student, young or not so young, keep the costs of returning to school to a manageable amount. If you are contemplating college, don’t let costs keep you from expanding your education.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Engineer using computer for maintenance equipment in thermal power plant factory
The millennial era has caused rapid changes in the manufacturing processes of almost all industries operating worldwide. In order to keep up with these changes and improve the custom assembly process, entrepreneurs have to spend huge amounts of money in order to stay updated with the ever-changing market and make sure that their product or service is the latest and greatest.

These are five effective ways through which you can optimize your manufacturing, while saving costs as well.

1. Taking the Production Process up a Notch

Entrepreneurs should look at their entire business as a whole and not limit their focus to the custom assembly line, manufacturing costs, or their products. This will enable entrepreneurs to focus on process optimization which is an important step in improving overall efficiency.

Consider even the slightest factors involved in your production process. Point out all of the characteristics, whether big or small, that affect your business in the bigger picture. Optimizing only one aspect of the business will cause other processes to deteriorate or slow down, which will increase your costs rather than cut down on costs.

An entrepreneur should ask themselves what effect will changing a single machine in the assembly line or replacing a production task would have on the entire business.

2. Enhancing/Improving your Workforce

Decisions related to the production of a business are mostly based upon the capacity-utilization approach. Rather, achieve lower labor costs and requirements by switching to a demand-calibrated approach. Workforce optimization will help you in cutting down overtime expenses. A hyper-productive team of employees can be established through a labor management system that includes:

a- Visibility of the current and future earnings of a company

b- Performance Accountability: The division of work among employees by the manager

c- Self-initiated incentive pay- Employees driving the work productivity

3-.Managing and Monitoring Energy Consumption

Optimizing your production process and a more efficient workforce will enable you to work at a slower pace that will cut down one of the biggest expenses in the custom assembly process, energy consumption.

Make decisions related to production based on the demands of the customer. This will not only increase the amount of customer satisfaction but also improve the production process by cutting down on excessive energy costs such as the electricity used in the manufacturing of your products. Focus on these areas to cut down the costs of energy used in the production process:

a- Installing lighting in your business premises that is energy efficient

b- Optimizing the air compressors and repairing leakages

c- Overhauling or repairing the HVAC systems that have grown old, which makes them use more electricity

d- Establishing a team that only works on managing energy costs

e- Rescheduling the usage of electric machinery that uses high amounts of electricity

f- Continuous assessment of energy

4. Lowering Costs of Regulatory Compliance

Once the production processes are being managed, the costs in the manufacturing of regulatory compliance should decrease. Alongside, the number of mistakes that might be made in the production process will decrease, reducing the costs of correcting the mistakes. Investing in technology will provide you the benefit of keeping your compliance up to date with the help of your automation technologies.

Effective training of your employees will enable your team to stay updated with any technologies that you introduce in the manufacturing process, reducing the cost of any damage that may be caused by the new machinery.

5. Consider the Carrying Costs of your Inventory

Storing inventories for longer periods of time can prove to be highly cost-effective. Consider the following points, if applicable, as a manufacturer:

a- Cost of storage

b- Maintenance of the inventory

c- Disposal of useless or worn out products in the inventory

Be careful that overproduction does not take place as it will lead to an increase in the costs of your production process. Furthermore, reduce your storage costs by disposing of useless products from your inventory. An effective way is to plan the production process in such a way that your operations respond directly to the customer’s demands. Within a short period of time, if you apply the above steps, your bookkeeping records will prove that these cost-cutting methods were effective in a huge way.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.