Sub-Contracting and Taxes – an Accountant Can Help!

3 Payroll Mistakes You’re Making That Could Drown Your Business

Posted by on Jan 20th, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Payroll Mistakes You’re Making That Could Drown Your Business

As a small business owner, you are a very busy running your own company. When a mistake occurs, it can cost you big time. In many cases, small businesses can’t afford mistakes—even if they are just small ones. Each and every dollar made needs to go to the growth of the business rather than repairing slip-ups. For that reason, it is important that you avoid costly mistakes that are often made throughout the payroll process. Here are three of them: Mistake #1: Not Properly Classifying Workers. There are more and more independent workers in today’s day and age. As a result, worker classification is becoming a problem for business owners. However, when it comes to classifying employees, there is a clear difference between an independent contractor and an employee, and it is an owner’s responsibility to know what the difference is. After all, this difference is going to have a large impact on how your payroll is processed. The IRS has information that can help you determine the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, if you need it. Mistake #2: Failing to Maintain Your Own Records. Whether you have a professional company taking care of your payroll or you are doing it yourself, it is imperative that you maintain your own set of records. If you aren’t sure whether something is important enough to hang onto, then you should hold onto it just to be safe. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to anything, but this is particularly true when it comes to your company’s finances. In terms of payroll, you should keep cancelled checks, time sheets, tax forms, proof of payments, etc. Mistake #3: Inputting Inaccurate Employee Information. Since you are going to be dealing with other people’s finances, it is crucial that you ensure you have all of their personal information correct. Otherwise, it could keep them from getting paid. Therefore, double- and even triple-check their information, including their name, address, date of birth, social security number, start/termination dates, hourly rate, overtime, etc. Inaccuracies with any of this information can cause huge headaches when it comes to payroll processing. There is ultimately no room for the aforementioned errors—or any error for that matter—when it comes to payroll and financial matters in the business world. To help ensure your business is in good shape financially, the best thing you can do is to hire a well-versed accounting firm like Herman & Cormany to take care of your payroll for...

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How Rolling Budgets Work For Small Businesses

Posted by on Dec 29th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Rolling Budgets Work For Small Businesses

Rolling budgets are an interesting option for small businesses to consider. Here are some things to note about this practice. What Is a Rolling Budget? A rolling budget is a continuously evolving budget that changes each month. It always includes the upcoming 12 months, no matter what month you’re currently in. Say it’s July. Your budget would include the time from this July to next June. Once July is over, you would drop it from your budget and add the following July onto the end of your budget. Is it Right For You? Rolling budgets have been especially helpful for new businesses who are just getting off the ground. When you have a limited pool of money to work with, it’s helpful for you to be able to always see what’s coming up in the next year. And since your finances can change rapidly, it’s helpful to have to revisit the budget each month to tack on new information. It helps you to have a very current view of your businesses, plan carefully for any challenges that you will face in upcoming months, and reevaluate the trajectory of your finances on a regular basis. It also helps you plan around anything that happens in the year. For example, if you have a great sale or your business takes a hit, you can incorporate that information quickly with a rolling budget. It may mean that you need to adjust the next several months in your budget. A rolling budget is right for your business if you have the ability to think about the upcoming 12 months, rather than fiscal years. It takes a bit of restrategizing if you have people on your team who are used to looking at one fiscal year at a time. How to Implement a Rolling Budget The best thing to do is hire a small business accounting firm to help you set up your rolling budget system. They can convert the tools that you currently have (such as reports and spreadsheet calculations) so that you can use them for your new rolling budget. They can also act as support to help train staff and answer any logistical or strategic questions that come up during the transition to a rolling budget. Adjusting to this unusual style of budget may take some time, but it’s a great way to make your business more adaptive in a competitive...

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FAQ About Hiring A CPA

Posted by on Nov 18th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FAQ About Hiring A CPA

Did you hire someone to handle the accounting for your business and it ended up being a disaster? It is a good idea to leave everything concerning your business finances in the hands of a professional that you can trust. You might want to consider the expertise of a certified public accountant (CPA). Take a look at this article for answers to questions that you might have concerning the services of a CPA. Can a CPA Help with Investment Planning? Investment planning is one of the things that a CPA has an expertise in. He or she will be able to help you manage your business finances in a way in which money is saved for investing. All you have to do is tell the accountant when you intend on making an investment, and he or she will come up with a plan to make it possible. For instance, you might be told to cut back on unnecessary business expenses, such as not investing in too many supplies. What Kind of Payroll Services Will Be Provided? A CPA will make sure that each of your employees is paid in a fair manner. Basically, the accountant will keep records of the exact hours that the employees put in during each work period. The records will help when it comes to preventing accidentally underpaying someone, and possibly getting sued. You will also benefit because there will be a lower risk of you overpaying employees and losing business profits. How Can a CPA Help During Income Tax Season? A CPA can make the process of filing your business taxes less stressful. He or she can actually handle all of the paperwork on your behalf so you can remain focused on other aspects of the business. The CPA will make sure that all of your business profits and losses are report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with accuracy. Even if your business happen to get picked for a random audit, the CPA will help you get through the process without stress. What Makes a CPA a Reliable Professional to Hire? The best thing about hiring a CPA is that you will know that he or she has actually obtained the proper training for the job. You will be working with an accountant that can be trusted, especially if you choose someone who has built a good track record. Speak to a CPA, like one from Carmines Robbins & Company PLC, about your business needs when you are ready for some...

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The Importance Of Getting The Right Help With Taxes

Posted by on Oct 14th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance Of Getting The Right Help With Taxes

If you are not comfortable preparing your own tax return, it is important that you get the proper help for your situation. You may be able to do the taxes with the help of an online tax company for free, or have a friend or family member help with the filing. However, there are also good reasons to pay a professional to complete the job for you, especially if you had new circumstances in your finances during the past year. Here are a few tips for determining who you should contact to get your taxes done. Family Member or Friend If you held one job, do not have any reason to itemize your deductions, and the person helping you with your taxes has the same financial make up as you, getting help in this manner may be safe and fine. This person can sit and explain how to file your own taxes in the future. While it is not going to cost you anything to do this, keep in mind that you will have to do any explaining yourself if you are audited for some reason. Free Online Website There are a number of online websites that will fill out and file your taxes for free. You simply answer the questions they ask and they input the data. In most cases they will ask the questions necessary to all the different financial situations. However, if you have your own business, need to itemize, or have income not found on a simple W-2, you may have to upgrade to a different service they offer that will cost you money. In addition, if you want a guarantee that the company will deal with an IRS audit for you, it will cost you money. Professional Tax Preparer Visiting a tax preparer is often a good choice. This person has a lot of experience and can answer any questions or concerns you may have. However, you need to be sure the preparer is an “enrolled agent.” This means he or she took tests given by the IRS to become a tax preparer. This person will be able to go with you to see an IRS agent if there is ever any trouble about the return. To maintain the credential, EAs are also required to take some type of class annually to keep up with any new tax laws. Accountant While any accountant can prepare taxes, not all of them have much experience doing so. In addition, if you need to file a business return, make sure he or she is a business tax preparer. One of the best benefits to using an accountant is that you can be given valuable information on ways to reduce your tax debt for the coming years. Not everyone can do taxes. There is no reason to be embarrassed. However, it is important to make sure you get the help you need. Not only will this give you a better return, or a smaller debt, it will also reduce the chance you will be audited. For more information, talk to a professional like Vlasac John M &...

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Changes To The American Opportunity Tax Credit In 2016

Posted by on Sep 14th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Changes To The American Opportunity Tax Credit In 2016

Many college students are eligible for one or more tax benefits based on costs paid for tuition and books. The American opportunity credit is generally acknowledged as the most valuable deduction for undergraduate education costs. Eligible students should be aware of a few legislative changes made to the American opportunity credit that affect tax returns in 2016 and beyond. The most obvious change is that the American opportunity credit (AOC) is now a permanent part of the tax code. Until legislation passed in late 2015 to extend it, the AOC was scheduled to revert back to its precursor called the hope credit. The tax benefit of the AOC remains the same, but certain requirements to claim the credit have been made more stringent. Form 1098-T The most important new requirement is that you must receive an IRS Form 1098-T from your college or university. Form 1098-T is a summary of educational costs incurred and paid. The form has been in use for years, but it was not an absolute requirement for claiming the AOC. There are a few exceptions, but you generally must have Form 1098-T to claim the AOC now. Form 1098-T is essentially an official receipt from your school and provides a breakdown of education expenses into various categories. It also summarizes where the funds came from to pay those expenses. Educational institutions will now be required to present the information in a more consistent format. Improved 1098-T format Due to the legislative change, you are likely to have less difficulty deciphering the difference between how much you were billed and how much you actually paid. The difference is important, because only expenses you pay out of pocket qualify for the AOC. Net education cost Grants and scholarships are typically tax-free, but they also affect the amount of your own funding that qualifies for the AOC. Your total out-of-pocket expense must be reduced by any income on which you did not pay tax. Only that net amount qualifies for the AOC. Also, don’t forget that school loans that you take out are the equivalent of current out-of-pocket costs, so the debt incurred is eligible for the AOC. The AOC is typically claimed on the tax return of the parent of an eligible student. However, the student can take the credit in some instances. A noteworthy aspect of the AOC is that up to $1,000 of it is refundable, meaning that you may receive as much as $1,000, even if there is no tax for it to offset. Contact an accountant or firm such as Johnson & Associates, CPAs, P.S. for more information about claiming the American opportunity...

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Questions To Ask When Hiring An Accountant For Your Small Business

Posted by on Jul 25th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions To Ask When Hiring An Accountant For Your Small Business

When you run a small business, the difference between losing money and being profitable can be extremely minor. As such, it’s important to hire the right accountant to look after your books instead of attempt to do it on your own with accounting software. The more expenses that the account can write off on your behalf, for example, the more money you’ll end up keeping at the each of each business quarter. Given the importance of the accounting process, it’s valuable to hire the right person for the job. Get some recommendations from other small business owners that you trust and call some accountants to discuss your needs. During this conversation, be sure to ask these questions. How Much Have You Worked With Businesses The Size Of Mine? The term “small business” can be loosely applied to businesses of a variety of different sizes, from those with several employees and a physical store to those run by one individual out of his or her home. As such, it’s important that you can ascertain each accountant’s experience in helping businesses of your exact size. For example, accounting for a business with a staff will involve lots of payroll considerations; if you have people working for you, you’ll want an accountant who has helped other businesses in the same situation. How Can You Save Me Money? One of the main goals of hiring an accountant is to help you save money, so don’t be shy about asking this question during your initial conversations. While the account might not be able to provide complete answers until seeing your bookkeeping, he or she should have some ideas (based on experience with other clients) of how to write more things off, qualify for tax credits and, in general, save you money. It’s likely that the accountant will ask you some questions about your bookkeeping practices, so it’s a good idea to have some documents in front of you when you make this call and ask this question. Are You Comfortable With Being Audited? For any small business owner, being audited by the IRS is a real concern. It’s ideal to hire an accountant whose clients have been audited in the past — randomly, not because of any accounting wrongdoing — so that this professional will feel comfortable with the process. You don’t want to hire someone who hasn’t been audited, as he or she could be unfamiliar with the best ways to handle this challenging situation. Contact a business, such as Don Lamb CPA Inc P.S., for more...

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3 Signs That You Could Benefit From Hiring A Professional Accountant

Posted by on Jun 6th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That You Could Benefit From Hiring A Professional Accountant

As the owner of your own small business, you may have been able to successfully manage your own money thanks to software programs, such as Quickbooks, even with a lack of financial experience. However, there may come a time when this lack of experience hurts you, such as when your business really starts to grow. When this happens, it may be time to turn to an expert in accounting. Here are five signs that you should consider reaching out to a professional: 1. Your Business Is Growing at a Rapid Pace.  It’s a good thing when your business is growing because it means more profit. However, as the business grows, it means that you are going to be dealing with more customers, needing to bring in more employees, finding more vendors, filling out more paperwork, crunching more numbers, and more. In other words, it is a lot more work on your plate. It can quickly become impractical for you to manage everything on your own. An accountant can provide assistance by taking on some of these tasks for you. 2. Your Sales Are Increasing, But Your Profit Is Remaining Steady. If you have been seeing a steady increase in your sales, you would expect to see an increase in your profit. Instead, you’re not. Your profit isn’t increasing at all. You have looked over your books and can’t figure out what’s going on. A professional accountant can take an unbiased look at your expenses to determine what adjustments can be made to help give a boost to your profit margins so that you can finally get that profit increase that you have been hoping for. 3. You’re Not Creating Your Financial Statements Each Period. Financial statements are an integral part of the accounting cycle. Many small business owners, especially those who not familiar with the accounting process, may overlook these financial statements and not create them at the end of each accounting period. This is a mistake if you intend on pursuing investors or asking the bank for a loan for a business expansion, as they’ll want to see these financial reports. An accountant can help create these reports and ensure they contain all the data that they should from your books, are performed in the correct order, and are 100 percent accurate.  A professional accountant can be an invaluable ally to your company, especially if you don’t have a financial background yourself or if you have found yourself overwhelmed with company growth. If nothing else, consider reaching out to an accounting firm like Teri J Henderson, CPA, P.A. for a sit down meeting to discuss how they may be able to make your life...

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3 Ways An Accounting Business Consultant Can Help Your Construction Business

Posted by on Jul 29th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways An Accounting Business Consultant Can Help Your Construction Business

Running a construction business can be a great way to earn a living, but it also requires good accounting skills. If you are having trouble with the bookkeeping and management of the money you earn, it might be time to hire a business consultant that specializes in accounting. Here are three ways this could help you improve the way your bookkeeping is handled. 1. Learn Your Accounting Program If your company has not yet started using a computerized accounting program, an accounting consultant will help you set one up. The consultant will also teach you how to use it properly so you can get the most out of it. Accounting programs are vital for all types of businesses, including construction companies. Here are three benefits you will get from this: Reports – When you input all your financial information, you will be able to print reports to see where your company stands, and to see how well your company is doing. Budgets – Accounting programs can also help you set up budgets, which is helpful because you will have more control over the bills you must pay. Taxes – Accounting programs also make it easier to understand and pay the taxes your company owes. You must have a good accounting program if you are running a construction company. 2. Find Ways To Cut Costs An accounting consultant can also help you eliminate wasteful spending from your company. To do this, the consultant will need to thoroughly investigate and evaluate your income and expenses. After this is complete, the consultant might find numerous ways for your company to save money. Saving money on expenses will increase the profits your company makes. 3. Help You With Forecasting If your main objective is to make your company grow and become larger, a consultant can help you do this through forecasting. Forecasting is a process similar to budgeting, but it can be much more than budgeting. With professional help, you might be able to create a plan to make your company grow, and the plan might involve: Investing more in your marketing efforts Cutting costs so that profits can increase Learning which types of projects are the most profitable for your company These are just a few ways accounting consultants can help, but there are so many other ways too. If your business is not making enough money, or if you are having trouble keeping your accounting tasks completed and organized, you may want to hire a business consulting firm for...

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4 Accounting Tips to Help Any Start-Up Thrive

Posted by on Jul 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Accounting Tips to Help Any Start-Up Thrive

Planning to start a new start-up business? Make things easier on yourself by paying attention to these four vital accounting tips to help grow your business and avoid problems. Open a Bank Account One of the big early mistakes many entrepreneurs make is to mix personal and business expenses. Doing so makes it harder to track the company’s real financial progress, reap tax benefits and prepare documents for loans or potential investors. Fix this problem by opening a basic business checking account with the smallest fees you can find. Then make a regular habit of paying for any and all business expenses using the business account. If you must contribute money to the business, do so using a proper deposit and writing business checks rather than just handing over personal money for business purchases. Track Expenses from the Start In the early days of any new business, money will flow out quickly as you purchase assets, sign contracts, hire employees and court potential clients. For this reason, it’s important to start tracking all expenses as soon as possible before they get lost or forgotten. Work with any employees or partners to make sure they understand the importance of keeping records of all outgoing money as well.   Hire an Accountant A start-up business may seem too small to justify hiring an actual accountant at the beginning, but doing so may save time, money and headaches later. Meeting with a professional can help you avoid costly mistakes setting up the business meet tax or licensing deadlines create an accounting system ensure you track expenses and receive payments from all clients. Ask others in your specific industry for recommendations of an industry-experienced accountant for the best insider tips and suggestions. Use Accounting Software When consulting with your accountant, discuss how you plan to keep your books. Most start-ups can be run from a notebook and ledger books at the beginning, but you’re likely to quickly outgrow this method. A better way to use your time is to start with basic accounting software right from the start, thus avoiding the need to backtrack or recreate earlier transactions in the computer once you’ve outgrown pen-and-paper methods. It may require a little more time and diligence to set things up correctly for your start-up, but take the time to do it right. Once your business gets running and then growing, the last thing you will want to do (or have the time to do) is to retrace your steps to fix problems you could have solved earlier. For assistance, talk to a professional like J H Williams And Co...

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3 Deductions Might Not Have Known You Can Claim On Your Taxes

Posted by on Jun 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Deductions Might Not Have Known You Can Claim On Your Taxes

Many people dread tax season. This may be for a variety of reasons, they might be worried that they will have to pay in taxes, they might have not kept their records organized, or they are just dreading the amount of work it will take to file their taxes. However, tax season is not something to dread and if you know what you are doing, you can hopefully come out on top. Here are some deductions that you might not have known you could take that can help to improve your situation with taxes. 1. Relocation Costs If you have to move for a job, school or anything that wasn’t pleasure you should be able to deduct those expenses from your taxes. The cost of renting a moving truck, the gas it took to travel, hotels, food and so forth could all be written off. In order to write off these expenses you will have to be able to prove that the move was for professional purposes and that you have documentation of all the money spent. This should be pretty simple, just keep the receipts from each thing and that will help to prove the costs if your move is brought into question. 2. Health Expenses So many people fail to deduct their health expenses each year. You can deduct your health care premiums as well as any money that you put toward health care procedures. For example, if you and your spouse paid for infertility treatment you should be able to deduct that, as well as many other things. Make sure you keep track of all of the money that you spent on health care. 3. Education Expenses Education is a great way to save money on your taxes. If you, your spouse, or child is in college and you are paying for it, you can deduct the amount of money you paid in tuition and expenses. In addition, there are some credits that you can take that will help to increase your tax refund. It should be mentioned that some of these credits can only be taken for a few years, so if you are unclear if you can take a credit or deduction, talk to a qualified tax preparer. They will let you know if you still qualify based on your situation. These are just a couple of the many deductions that you can take. In order to get the best deal possible, make sure you talk to an accountant (such as Hy Appelbaum CPA) about all the deductions available to...

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