Common Business Tax Preparation Mistakes to Avoid

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So you are claiming your entire $5,000 family cruise vacation as a business expense because you passed out one business card to a person at the bar? It is these problems that can get you in hot water with the IRS as you will be staring down at an audit of all your financial records.

Filing your small business taxes accurately allows you to meet all local, state, and federal regulations while also ensuring you are getting all the reasonable tax deductions for your business. We have gathered a list of common tax preparation mistakes that small business owners can make.

Co-Mingling Business and Personal Bank Accounts

It is the top mistake that small business owners make. It usually happens when they are an independent contractor who normally placed their business income into their personal bank account yet the person is now considering becoming a larger business and hiring employees.

Unfortunately, they are still placing their sales profits into that same account. Once you take that step into small business ownership, you need to have a separate business account to make it easier to track all your business-related income and expenses. You should also have two separate bank accounts even when owning a home-based business.

Overlooking Business Deductions

There are numerous business deductions that a small business overlooks yet these expenses can significantly lower your taxable income. A person who has to drive to other business locations will normally take a mileage deduction. Yet there are also other tax deductible things related to using your car for business such as lease payments, parking fees, toll fees, insurance, gas and even the tires.

No matter if the deduction is small, they can add up to significantly lower your taxable income. You can even claim a percentage of your phone and Internet costs as a tax deductible expense in a home office.

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Claiming Higher Deduction Amounts Than Normal

It is easy to get carried away with the tax deductions. Most often the problem lies where you are claiming a full 100-percent tax deduction for an item where you can only claim a partial deduction.

Accounting services can help you by going over what actually qualifies as a business tax deduction and how much you can deduct from those expenses on your tax forms. Always keep in mind that constantly having the same expenses that aren’t normal for the type of business you operate can create red flags to the IRS.

Forgetting to Include Expenses for Starting Your Business

The moment you make your first sales transaction is normally the moment when you begin reporting your business taxes. Yet did you know that your startup expenses are also tax deductible?

During the period when your small business wasn’t in full operation, you acquired capital expenses when analyzing a business market segment that you wanted to delve into, training employees, advertising your business before the grand opening, and travel costs to locate suppliers and vendors. You can claim these expenses as deductions. Having accurate financial records and working with accounting services can allow you to figure out what startup deductions you can claim.

Recording Inaccurate Payroll Taxes

It only takes one misplaced period in your payroll tax filings to create mounds of audit paperwork and headaches from the IRS. It is essential to keep accurate reports of your taxes both as an employer when reporting business income and losses, as well as when collecting employee taxes and paying wages. If you are not an expert with either the accounting and tax aspect of your business, there are many accounting services and payroll software available that can assist you. Then you can be rest assured that your recordkeeping is as accurate as possible.

Avoiding these tax preparation mistakes will allow you to run your business optimally, receive the tax deductions for your business operations, and pay all required tax obligations. In addition, you will also be able to use the accurate income and expense reports to forecast future business growth so you can begin expanding your operations.

Working Capital and Cash Flow: Understanding Both Metrics to Meet Business Financial Expectations

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As a new small business owner, there are numerous tasks that now have to deal with on a daily basis. You have to make sure employees deliver the right services and products to customers. You also need accurate accounting services to manage business revenue, payroll, and expenses. So when people start throwing out new terms such as “working capital” and “cash flow,” you can start to become confused.

What is Working Capital and Cash Flow?

These two terms are not the same. Yet they do work together when it comes to letting you know about the current and future success or failure of your business.

Cash flow represents all the money that is flowing into and out from your business during a specified time frame. Cash flow can consist of accounts receivable, accounts payable, and inventory. So your sales transactions with customers, collection processes, invoices you have to pay to suppliers, office rent, loan payments and merchandise are considered cash flow.

Working capital refers to all the current assets as well as current liabilities in your small business. A current asset isn’t just the cash that you keep in your cash register. It also represents any assets such as equipment or inventory that can be converted into cash, which is called operating liquidity. Current liabilities are all expenses and debts that become due within a 12-month period.

What Can These Key Financial Metrics Tell You?

Both working capital and cash flow can give key indications regarding the financial health of your business now as well as in the future. By understanding both of these metrics, you can have a snapshot of how effectively your company is bringing in money and investing it back into your business operations.

Top accounting trends to consider in 2017

When you have positive working capital, this phrase means that your small business is bringing in cash flow and current assets that can cover all business liabilities. If you have negative working capital, it means that your business cannot cover the current liabilities as you have more cash flow moving out of your business than what you are moving into it.

Now, just because your business has fantastic cash flow moving into your operations doesn’t mean that you have positive working capital. Your business may have incurred large, ongoing debts or you have invested significant amounts of money into the facilities where one slow sales season could see your business in financial trouble.

Managing Working Capital and Cash Flow

The best way to manage working capital and cash flow is to have accurate financial records throughout the life of your company so you can make the right financial decisions. You need to get back to your accounting basics and optimize your accounts receivable/accounts payable tasks so that you are invoicing your customers correctly and in a timely manner to further generate cash flow.

You also need to make smarter inventory management decisions. You want your small business to have the right amount of inventory to satisfy sales orders without sinking too much money into buying products that won’t move off the shelves fast enough.

Another thing to consider is how you are investing in your company. Are you purchasing equipment and products that are essential to operations and business growth or just throwing money away on the newest innovations that won’t have a significant impact on processes? Also, consider whether it is the right time to acquire debt from bank loans for business expansion, or if you are acquiring too much long-term debt that can make it difficult for your business to eventually repay.

Having accurate bookkeeping and financial records will always allow you to keep track of your working capital and cash flow for your small business. If you are worried about the financial health of your business, hiring outside accounting services can help you audit your financial records, spot mistakes, and offer advice on how to get your business back on track when you want to improve your working capital and cash flow management.

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Creating a Startup Business: 4 Ways to Get Startup Business Loans

Are you starting a business? Whether you plan to offer services or products, you will need money to get your entrepreneur dreams off the ground. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the money saved up in their personal checking accounts to place toward purchasing or leasing a storefront, buying equipment, hiring employees, buying inventory and getting the other necessary business resources.

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You will need to obtain small business startup loans to help you get your company up to running at full capacity. Here are 4 financing options to consider:

Traditional Loans

Many people first take the traditional route by seeking out a bank or credit union to provide them with a business or personal loan. Loan amounts can vary, and banks will have stringent loan conditions. You will typically have to provide a loan package that will include your business plan, financial documents, tax returns, financial projections and credit history. It can be difficult for a start-up to get a traditional loan if you don’t have any business history or strong credit score as banks have to decide if they want to take the risk on your products or services.

SBA Loans

Many business owners turn to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as a way to get financing to avoid the hurdles of getting a traditional loan. The SBA doesn’t directly offer the money out of their own pockets to business owners. Banks and other financial institutions offer the loans. What the SBA does offer is a guaranty program towards business startup loans in case your business fails. If you don’t pay back the loan, the lender can still recover their money through the SBA.

There are many different types of loans offered through the SBA, such as 7(a) loans, 504 loans and 7(m) microloans.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is a non-traditional way to obtain financing where you seek out an investor who will place money toward your startup business. You will make requests for small business startup loans on a P2P online platform as investors will pay a certain financial amount up until the full loan request amount is reached. So you may have multiple investors providing financing to your business. Then you will make small repayments to the P2P platform to pay off the loan.

Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Angel investors are individual investors who will provide funding to small businesses startups. The angel investor will usually be successful in a certain industry and will provide financing and mentoring for new businesses who are in the same market segment. Venture capitalists are larger firms and companies funding startup business loans. They are very selective as they seek out businesses that they are sure will reach success.

One of the similarities between an angel investor and a venture capitalist is that both seek out an equity stake in the business. They may cash out that stake once the small business is sold to a larger business or holds an initial public offering.

There are numerous traditional and non-traditional ways to seek out financing in addition to the options listed above. Determine the right loan for your startup business by deciding on the loan amount you need, what the money will be used for, and the type of loan terms you must agree to so you can get the financing.

Accounting Tips for Work-From-Home Business Owners

Whether you are working on a tax filing or you are putting together an ongoing bookkeeping system, it is important that you consult with an accounting professional for help with your business financials. Staying ahead of the reports and tracking will set your company up for success.

Many business owners have great ideas for their company, but they don’t have the business or financial training to put together a solid system. So, hiring a qualified accounting team can be a valuable way for you to overcome the hurdles of good financial management.

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If you own a business and you work out of your home, there are even more considerations that need to be looked at. Here are a few things to think about when you are working on accounting and bookkeeping for your small, home-based business:

Stay Consistent with Ongoing Tracking

Bookkeeping often falls to the backburner because there are many other “front office” responsibilities that are demanding your time. Do you often find that you are falling behind on regular bookkeeping tasks? It might not seem like a high priority to update your financial reports or categorize recent spending. But, these things are critical if you want to optimize your tax return at the end of each year.

Instead of letting your bookkeeping efforts fall to the backburner, you might consider the advantages of hiring a bookkeeping service to help. Outsourcing the busy work will free up your time to focus on other responsibilities. Additionally, you will be able to cut back on your work hours so that you can focus on your family instead of working away all the hours of your life.

Separate Business and Personal

Most people know that they need to have a separate bank account for their business, but they don’t put in the effort to setup another account. As a work-from-home business owner, you should never let your business and personal finances mix! It is important that you keep a clean separation so that you can easily distinguish business transactions from personal spending.

The best solution is to set up a separate bank account as well as a checking account, credit card, PayPal account, and any other financial accounts that might be needed for your company. Then, you can cut yourself a paycheck or a make a monthly withdrawal that is transferred to your personal bank account when it is time to get paid.

Another important separation is to have a dedicated workspace. Even if you are moving from the desk to the couch with your laptop, you still need to make sure that you have an area that is a dedicated office. If you choose to use a portion of your rent or mortgage as a tax deduction, then you need to ensure that you have a dedicated space for business purposes.

KISSO: Keep it Simple Starting Out

If you are just getting your business off the ground, make it a point to keep everything simple and easy to understand. Some people jump in and complicate things with the formation of a corporation or other decisions that make it harder to keep up with the financial details of your company.

As your business is getting off the ground, you might consider keeping it as a sole proprietorship until you hit a certain level of growth. Your accountant can provide personalized advice to help you identify the best time to transfer from a sole proprietorship to a corporation or other legal entity.

By keeping it simple in the beginning, you will be able to avoid the headache of certain tax paperwork, multiple filings, and other legal requirements for small business owners.

Invest in High-Quality Software

In the beginning, it might be easy to track your business expenses on a spreadsheet. But, you will need a better financial system as your company grows.

Plan ahead for this growth by choosing a high-quality accounting and bookkeeping software. Even if it seems like overkill right now, you will be glad that you thought ahead when your business expands. It can be a hassle to transition from a spreadsheet system to an accounting program, so you can reduce your future stress by getting it done right in the first place.

One drawback to a spreadsheet system or another form of manual accounting is that you might easily miss transactions or lose important paperwork. Tracking everything is imperative, and you need to make sure that you can back up any tax claims in case you are ever audited in the future. Using a high-quality system will ensure that you are keeping up with the details, helping to protect yourself if any questions arise from the IRS.

Plan for the Future

Small business owners often get narrow-minded in their thinking. It is easy to be caught up in the current situations that you are working on, and forget how your decisions today will impact the success of your company in the future.

Each time you make a big business decision or you are working with your accountant, make sure that you have your future business goals in mind. Think about the things that you would like to do with your company in the future, and make sure that your decisions coincide with the goals that you are working to achieve.

An experienced accounting team can be a valuable asset to help you reach your goals. Since your accountant has worked with many other small business owners in similar situations, their experience can guide you through the process and help you avoid common roadblocks.

You need to be considering your long-term business plan for 5, 10, and 20 years in the future. At the same time, also look at the details to determine how your company will fare in the next 1, 3, and 6 months. If there are seasonal fluctuations in your industry, then you need to make sure that you are managing your cash flow so that you have the resources that will be needed during the slower season.

Anticipate Major Expenses

How often do you feel that you are just getting ahead of the cash flow problems when another major expense pops up? If you aren’t expecting these big expenses, you might be running into issues that could have been prevented.

What types of expenses are we talking about? It depends on your industry. But, examples of big expenses that might catch you off guard include tax payments, buying computers, payroll, major events, machinery upgrades, travel costs, and more.

Look ahead to see if you can identify any specific expenses that are on the horizon over the next few months. Then, talk to your accounting team to be sure that you are managing your cash flow in a way to support these expenses as needed. These major expenses are often unavoidable, but you can avoid the stress by preparing with appropriate budgeting and a back-up reserve of cash.

Track Your Deposits

Your business account might have a variety of deposits coming in, such as income, loans, or even a cash infusion from your personal savings account. Make sure that you track these expenses to avoid paying taxes on money that isn’t income.

At the end of the year, it is common to include all deposited funds in the income totals. If some of the transactions weren’t actual income deposits, then you can exclude those numbers from the tax calculations. But, the only way to know this information is to stay consistent with your tracking throughout the year. If you mistakenly count a non-income transaction as income, then you will be paying taxes on money that has already been taxed in the past.

Stay Ahead of Tax Deadlines

Everyone knows that their taxes need to be filed by April 15th each year, but many people have a hard time keeping up with other tax deadlines that are due throughout the year. Most small business owners need to send quarterly tax payments, and there might be other deposits for employee withholdings and more.

It can be a challenge to keep up with everything that you need to know. That’s why the simplest solution is to hire an experienced accounting team to handle these details for you. These outsourcing services will ensure that you never miss a deadline, helping you to avoid headaches, penalties, and fees.

Talk to the Experts at Easier Accounting

Are you ready for more information about how you can improve the financial outlook for your small business? It is essential to have an experienced accounting team available to help you.

Here at Easier Accounting, we specialize in small business financial services. We have many years of experience in this industry, and we would love to apply that experience to help your company. Instead of only offering basic tax filing once a year, we provide a fully-supportive accounting team that is available to you all year long.

Learn about how these services will help you prepare for future growth in your company! We will gladly customize our accounting services to meet your needs. You are welcome to contact us anytime to learn more about how our services can help your business: (888) 620-0770

How Much Should You Pay in Estimated Taxes Each Quarter?

Do taxes make your head spin? Many people are overwhelmed at the idea of filing their taxes each year. It can be a surprise to new small business owners to find out that they need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year. If you don’t know a lot about accounting or tax law, it is essential that you have a trusted accounting team to offer advice and help you manage your tax obligations and deadlines every year.

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Here at Easier Accounting, our goal is to alleviate your stress about accounting and taxes. We know that you are carrying a lot of responsibility in the management of your company. We will gladly handle the financial arithmetic to free up your time. As a result, you can focus on business development, client relationships, and employee management—instead of worrying about expense accounts and accounting ledgers.

Estimated taxes are an important part of your financial strategy, to help you avoid unnecessary fees. Here is some information to help you understand more about what you need to do for estimated tax payments:

Withholdings vs. Estimated Tax Payments

As an employee, taxes are withheld from each paycheck, and the employer sends that money to the IRS. This process makes it possible for each individual to pay their taxes as they go, and often they get a tax refund when they file at the end of the year. Many employees know that taxes are taken out of their checks, but they don’t realize what happens behind the scenes to send that money to the IRS.

If you are self-employed, then taxes aren’t automatically withheld from your paycheck. You can expect that you will likely need to pay taxes at the end of the year. Many self-employed people need to make estimated payments throughout the year. Then, the final tax preparation calculation will determine the remaining balance, and you will either need to pay the difference, or you will receive a tax refund.

Should You Be Paying Estimated Taxes?

Estimated taxes are based on your individual situation, so the best thing that you can do is talk to an experienced tax accountant to see if you need to make these payments. Successful self-employment usually requires estimated taxes to be made. These tax payments might also be necessary if you receive other income that didn’t have withholding, including alimony, gains from the sale of assets or stocks, dividends, or interest income.

For individuals, partners, sole proprietors, and S corporation shareholders, the rule is that estimated tax payments need to be made if you are expecting to owe $1,000 or more in taxes for the year. Corporations are required to make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe $500 or more in taxes for the year.

The rule is that you need to pay taxes as you go. So, if you receive any income that doesn’t have withholdings, then it is likely that you will need to make payments on that money.

There are several requirements that need to be met to determine if estimated tax payments are needed. Your accountant will evaluate your situation and then make recommendations about the amount of money that you should be sending to the IRS each quarter.

What Happens if You Miss Estimated Tax Payments?

If you fail to make the estimated tax payments that are required, you can expect to pay up later on. Not only will you have a big tax bill to pay when your tax returns are filed, but there is also a possibility that you might need to pay the penalty.

It is essential that you work with your accountant to calculate the correct amounts for your estimated tax payments. Whether your taxes are withheld, or you are making estimated payments, there is a penalty that could be charged if you have underpaid. This underpayment penalty can be avoided by using accounting software that will track your financial details and estimate the amount that you will need to pay in taxes.

How much should you be sending for your estimated tax payments? If you want to avoid an underpayment penalty, the safest option is to pay “100% of your previous year’s taxes.” This rule falls under the safe harbor requirement that is written into the tax law. If you satisfy this test, then you won’t have a penalty for underpayment, regardless of how much you owe on your tax return.

Do I Need to Make Estimated Payments on a Smaller Income?

What if your income went down this year? If you are expecting your overall income to be less this year compared to last year, you might consider paying 90% of the estimated tax bill. But, it is important that you work with your accountant to calculate this number so that you don’t drop below the 90% mark. In situations where you pay less than 90% of what you owe, you could end up with an underpayment penalty.

When your income goes down, your accountant can look at the numbers to determine the amount that you should be paying each quarter. If you prefer, you can choose to pay the full estimated amount, but you are essentially loaning your money to the IRS until you get a tax return after filing at the end of the year.

Who is Exempt from Estimated Taxes?

Do you meet all of the following three requirements? If so, then you may not need to pay estimated taxes:

  • You had no tax liability in the prior year
  • Your prior tax year covered a 12-month period
  • You were a resident or citizen of the United States for the entire year

If you did not have to file an income tax return last year and you met all three of the requirements above, then you likely will not need to pay estimated taxes.

If you own a small business and you are receiving separate wages or salaries at the same time, then you might be able to cover the estimated taxes through your paycheck withholdings. Talk to your accountant to figure out the right amount that should be withheld. Then, ask your employer to increase the withholdings on each check. You will need to fill out a new W-4 and enter the additional amount that you would like withheld.

Calculating Estimated Taxes

The easiest solution to calculate estimated tax payments is to have an accountant handle the details for you. It can be a complicated calculation if you aren’t familiar with the rules associated with figuring income, expenses, and tax law. This calculation is based on your expected gross income, taxable income, deductions, credits, and taxes for the year.

Many times, it makes sense to use the previous year as a starting point for the calculations. Your federal tax return can be a guide. From there, you can use the worksheet on Form 1040-ES to figure out the new estimated payments that should be made. These calculations should be adjusted if you estimate that your income this year will be higher or lower when compared to last year.

When Do Tax Payments Need to Be Sent?

Estimated tax payments have specific deadlines that need to be met. Your accountant will provide these dates to you, and you will need to make sure that the check is mailed and postmarked by the deadline. Keep in mind that you might need to pay the penalty if you don’t have adequate funds to pay the taxes by the due date, even if you will be receiving a refund at the end of the year.

The simplest way to make a federal tax payment is by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). All federal tax expenses can be paid online using this system. You are required to send the payments on a quarterly basis, but you can choose to send payments more frequently if it is easier for you.

For example, some small business owners choose to send these payments on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. If you choose these frequent payments, make sure that the totals add up at the end of the quarter. When you use the EFTPS system, you will have a record of all of the payments that were sent to ensure that you met the total quarterly requirements. You can choose to pay directly from your bank account online, or you might also use a credit card or debit card. When a card is used, transaction fees will be added to the total amount that is paid.

Other payment options include a same-day wire, money order, check, or electronic funds withdrawal that are completed during e-filing. If needed, you can also make a cash payment at designated retail partners listed on the IRS website.

Easier Accounting: Your Trusted Business Accounting Team

Here at Easier Accounting, we work hard to make sure that you are staying current with all of the tax deadlines throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more about the services that we offer, we invite you to contact us anytime. We would be glad to provide our accounting expertise to help you your company grow. Call us for more information: (888) 620-0770

Day-To-Day Accounting Tips For Small Businesses

Accounting is an important function in any business. The right accounting processes and practices are critical to the smooth running of any company, no matter its size. In this blog post, we are going to focus on important accounting tips that small businesses can’t afford to ignore

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Stay on top of your payments

With a small business you can keep track of your day-to-day finances by keeping an eye on your bank account. However, when you need to qualify why big purchases were made, it’s important to have accurate records of purchases and any cash that is reimbursed to employees. By keeping a close eye on your cash flow, you will never be in a position where you don’t have enough funds to cover your costs. It’s also a good practice to uphold even when your business starts to grow, and you no longer have to worry about meeting your running costs.

Invoice regularly and accurately

One of the most important accounting tips to remember is that invoicing is the lifeblood of any business. Clients will only pay when they receive an invoice. Invoices are not just payment prompts, they are also an accurate record of the work performed by your business. They are important records of your transactions and as such should always be accurate.

Check on the health of your business

Regularly scheduling profit and loss statements help to keep track of how your business is performing. They give you an overview of all the areas of your business and can indicate areas where more attention is needed or highlight under-performing sectors that could become bigger issues in the future.

Keep track of your taxes

One of the most sensible accounting tips and a common practice in the accounting industry is deducting taxes at the time of sale or when the payroll is generated. If this is not done promptly, it opens up a wider margin for error. It can also place you in the position where you are liable for a large tax lump sum at the end of the tax year, which could jeopardize your business’s cash flow.

Ensure you receive receipts

If your business contributes or makes donations to nonprofit organizations or charities, you could be eligible for a tax deduction. Ensure you receive a valid receipt for every contribution you make, otherwise you might not enjoy the tax write-off.

Consider online accounting services

If you have a small business, it may not make sense to retain the services of a full-time or even part-time accountant. One of the best accounting tips is to consider using online accounting services. All you then have to do as a business owner is log on to access all your digital accounting records. Other benefits include:

  • Time-saving: Using online accounting services frees you up to focus on more important business and financial matters, knowing that your accounting is being taken care of by a team of professionals.
  • Skilled expertise: Online accounting services give you all the expertise of having a highly skilled and knowledgeable accounting team always available, without you having to pay for it 24/7.
  • Top systems: Online accounting services give you access to the top tools in the industry. By using their services, you are essentially investing in their tools and knowledge without having the huge expense of having to buy them for yourself (or do the work yourself).
  • Extra security: Online cloud-based systems create nightly backups and keep track of your records and books, offering you completely encrypted, password-protected security.
  • Complete scalability: With online accounting, you can choose to expand or cut back your services whenever you want – ensuring you always have the financial services you need to achieve your goals.

Companies like Easier Accounting offer flexible online accounting services that businesses of all sizes can use to improve productivity and enjoy significant cost and time-saving advantages. We offer flexible plans that cover services including monthly bookkeeping, audit support, business tax preparation, annual tax planning and payroll.

For more information about the top trends affecting the business and finance world in 2017, download our guide:

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The Future Of Accounting As A Profession

The accounting profession is evolving rapidly. Accountants today have skills and resources that accountants three to five years ago only dreamed of. With technology and software solutions evolving so rapidly, the future of accounting may be very different from the reality we see today. In this blog post, we are going to explore what the accounting industry will look like in a few years time.

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Cloud accounting is the future of accounting

The cloud offers the accounting industry a new way of doing business. No longer are accountants desk-bound, reliant on on-site software, data, and solutions. Instead, all application functions are performed off-site and businesses are no longer responsible for installing and updating their software. New research carried out by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reported that 74% of businesses feel like cloud computing has given them a competitive advantage allowing them to “capitalize on opportunities more quickly than competitors” Cloud accounting offers accountants significant advantages including:

  • On-demand service: Financial reporting can now take place in real time, allowing accountants to immediately respond to clients’ demands and requests.
  • Increased collaboration: Cloud technology has enhanced collaboration between accountants and their clients in ways that were previously unheard of. Not only can accountants access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, but cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps allow them to make updates in real-time, giving everyone full visibility of their collaborations.

The growth of business advisory services

Clients are demanding more from their accountants. Gone are the days when accountants simply update ledgers and submit tax returns. Now accountants are expected to offer business advisory services. The aim of these services is to position accountants as trusted advisers and help grow stronger professional relationships with their clients. These types of services can range from forecasting services to financial management services to succession planning services and are where the future of accounting lies.

The need for a mixture of skills

The clients of today are millennial customers. Millennials make up the biggest buying force in the world and have $200 billion in annual buying power in the US alone. Millennials want to be part of conversations with businesses and 53% of them believe companies should offer more ways to share their opinions online in the future. They spend an average of 25 hours per week online and they’re looking for content-driven media from websites to blogs to social media. As the marketplace becomes more competitive, accountants need to differentiate themselves and provide compelling content to attract and engage millennial customers. Forward thinking accounting companies are embracing inbound market skills in order to do this and turning to social media and the online space to generate greater business exposure.

Using technology to attract the younger generation

In order to attract the younger generation of professionals, accountants need to embrace the latest mobile technology and software solutions. The future of the accounting industry is mobile and accounting firms need to accommodate this if they want to move with the times and embrace the growing trend of off-site working. Mobile accounting solutions give accountants the freedom to work away from the office and respond to client requests immediately. Instantly available real-time data guarantees accurate financial reporting and ensures multi-company transactions take place more efficiently.

Accounting firms that use the latest technology solutions will not only attract a forward-thinking workforce but will also attract customers who are equally drawn to the efficiencies that mobile technology brings. Accounting firms that have their own firm-branded app will attract mobile smartphone users who will make up 80% of the world’s population by 2021. People are already spending 86% of mobile time on mobile apps and this is only expected to increase going forward. Banks are already embracing this trend and seeing a “dramatic increase” in the number of people using mobile apps to do their banking and fewer people using the computer or coming into branches.

Companies like Easier Accounting are already tapping into the future of accounting and putting the very latest business trends and accounting solutions into practice. The result is a range of flexible online accounting services that help businesses improve productivity and enjoy significant cost and time-saving advantages.

For more information about the top trends affecting the business and finance world in 2017, download our guide:

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Top Accounting And Business Trends Making An Impact In 2017

The world of accounting and business finance is changing rapidly in response to technology. Streamlined processes and digital accounting solutions have moved today’s businesses far beyond the realms of manual ledgers and reporting. In its place are far more efficient, productive way of doing business. In this blog post, we are going to focus on the key business trends driving success in 2017.

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Financial Strategy: The Top Reasons Why Businesses Sink Or Swim

If a business does not have the right financial strategy in place, its performance is seriously compromised. Financial strategy is the foundation on which a business is built; if this foundation has cracks, it can be the difference between a business thriving or failing.

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My Business Books are a Mess! How to Get Back on Track

Every small business owner starts out with the best of intentions, but heavy responsibilities and busy schedules often cause important tasks to fall to the backburner. Do you feel like you are drowning in paperwork and emails that need your attention? If you are unable to keep up with everything, then you need to make sure that you find the right business professionals to help.

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Big Business Mistake: Procrastinating Bookkeeping and Accounting

One area that is often neglected is the financial tracking of a company. You might be paying a monthly or annual fee for a high-quality accounting software program. But, that system isn’t effective unless you are using it right.

The most common reason these tasks are procrastinated is that there are other responsibilities that are more demanding of your time. You only have so many hours in a day, which means that the highest priority tasks will take over your focus. If you are dealing with product management and immediate customer service needs, then the data entry and busy work will naturally fall to the backburner.

But, failing to keep up with these important tasks is a big mistake! Letting your financial tracking slip can cause compounding problems in the future. Without detailed information about the financial health of your company, you won’t be able to make informed decisions for your company.

These are a few signs that it might be time for you to hire a small business accounting team to help:

  • Your monthly reconciliations aren’t happening
  • You have a big folder or box of unsorted receipts that need to be entered and filed
  • You never know the exact standing of your bank accounts
  • You have a hard time paying bills because of cash flow issues
  • You are scrambling at tax time to prepare all of the necessary information for tax filing
  • You have a backlog of data entry for expenses and income received
  • You don’t bother running financial reports because you know the numbers will be off

Can you relate to any of these issues? If these things apply to your current situation, then it is time for you to be proactive in hiring an experienced accounting team to help!

Where to Start: Reclaiming Control of Your Accounting System

You can spend a few hours sorting through paperwork and line items, but your progress will be limited if you aren’t tapping into the experience of an accounting professional. Without an accounting background, you won’t have the knowledge to effectively implement a system that is built to last.

Instead of wasting your time trying to reinvent the wheel, why not hire someone who knows what they are doing? Their experience can bring a system that will be transformative for your small business. It is much more effective to implement a proven accounting system, rather than trying to build it from scratch.

So, the first place to start is by hiring an accounting team to help with your business. Here at Easier Accounting, we focus specifically on small business accounting services. We have worked with many clients, giving us the hands-on experience to know what works. So, we can make suggestions about the best solutions to get your company back on track again.

Employee vs. Outsourced Accountant

Now that you know that you need to hire someone to help, does it make sense to hire an employee or to choose outsourced accounting services? If you aren’t familiar with outsourcing, then you might be tempted to go with what you know and hire an employee. But, you need to understand the financial burden that you could be facing with a full-time employee. Outsourced accounting can help you save money and maximize the experience of your new team at the same time.

Most accounting software programs are cloud-based systems. So, you are no longer limited by geographical location. Regardless of your business location, you can work with an accounting team located anywhere in the world. Without the barrier of in-office support, you can choose the team that is the perfect fit for your company.

Dedicating Time and Resources to Get Back on Track

Once you have hired an outsourced accounting team, you will need to spend a little time to provide the necessary information for your company. Your accountant will request details about your bank accounts, credit cards, transactions, and more. This information needs to be sorted into an organized system, and your new accountant won’t be able to get it done without your help.

So, make it a point to spend a little time gathering the requested information. After you have handed off the details, then you can focus on other responsibilities within your company.

Prioritize Your Business Financials

Going forward, it is essential that you make bookkeeping and accounting a big priority for your small business. Failing to hold these tasks as priorities means that you could quickly fall behind again and end up in the same mess in the future.

Most business owners have too much to do, making it difficult for them to prioritize financial tracking on their own. So, the best solution is to have ongoing accounting and bookkeeping services that can help you stay current at all times. These experts will make it possible for you to always have accurate financial information without the need for you to find time for the busy work on your own schedule.

Having the right maintenance system in place is essential for the long-term success of your company. It is important that your books are maintained on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. If you have a lot of transactions moving through, then you might need to manage your accounting system on a daily basis. Once the system is in place, then these ongoing services will be easier to manage going forward, helping you to avoid falling behind on the books again.

Why are these tasks so important to the success if your company? Cash flow is critical to keep your business running so that you can stay ahead of payroll, expenses, and other requirements. Without a good accounting system, you won’t know the current cash flow of your company. As a result, you might be facing big issues in the future!

Expanding Business Success with Accounting Services

Not only will an experienced accounting team help you clean up your books and offer ongoing services, but you can also tap into their experience to expand the success of your company in the future. You will begin to see the value in consistent accounting management, helping you to make better decisions based on the financial projects for your company.

A financial forecast can be worth its weight in gold. By staying ahead of the bookkeeping busy work, you can move from “reactive” mode to being “proactive” to help your business grow. Messy books will put you in a situation where you are always working to put out the fires that come up. On the other hand, an organized accounting system will help you proactively plan for the future. When the current financial details are handled, then you can focus your efforts on the forward movement of your company.

How much of a financial forecast do you need? The requirements change depending on your individual situation. These reports will allow you to identify potential cash flow pitfalls in the future. At the same time, you can also make adjustments that will fast-track the success of your business. A solid accounting team can help you reach your goals and plan for big investments that will be needed in the future.

Easier Accounting: The Best Accounting Team for Your Small Business

Here at Easier Accounting, our team works hard to stay ahead of the trends in the industry. We specialize in small business accounting services, giving you access to the financial experience that you need to help your business succeed.

We are more than just a basic team of number crunchers. Instead, we are looking for ways that will support the growth of your company, offering advice and suggestions along the way. Our goal is to design an effective system that is catered to your individual needs. Then, we can implement ongoing accounting services that will keep you ahead of the financial stress related to owning a small business.

Instead of spending your valuable time on bookkeeping and accounting busy work, consider the benefits of the services that we offer. We will gladly offer that support that you need so that you can focus on growing your business without the stress of daily busy work. Our full-service accounting and bookkeeping team is a great solution to help you get back on track and stay ahead of the financial management for your small business.

Whether you are behind on your books or you are ready to improve the financial success of your company, we are here to help! Contact us at Easier Accounting for more information about the services that are available for you: (888) 620-0770