Tax Season Organization

Tax season is coming and it’s time to get prepared! It makes things easier and alleviates any last-minute scrambles to get things together. Consider last year’s tax season – remember the documents you needed? How does it differ from this year’s? Are there any additional deductions? Start a business? Win some money? Everything plays a role in providing the right documentation that gets you in and out the door.

Here are a few tips:

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File accordingly

Have tax returns in their own space – using an accordion file or file cabinet. A folder for the upcoming tax season needs to have all tax forms in it. Referring back to your files from the previous year helps set it up correctly. Once the tax form is done, just slip a copy of the return into that folder and you’re done.

ID numbers

Social security numbers of every person on the return – it’s a must. Have a business? You’ll need the EIN number of that as well, especially if filing that return along with your personal one.

Receipts

Receipts quickly become chaotic. Using an app that will take a picture, scan, and file it according to sections you created saves time. Each receipt should have a category. Doing this throughout the year gives you an advantage. Just pull up the overview, print, and hand it to your accountant.

Charitable donations

It’s great to give back, but if you’re looking for a write-off, proving what you gave is key. Make note of the organization, what you gave, how much, and if you can obtain a letter, that’s even better.

Shredding

Figuring out what you need and don’t need ahead of time can save you headaches. What about those documents you don’t need? Tax and identity fraud are alive and well. Time to invest in a shredder. That helps you get rid of receipts that aren’t needed and other personal information. It’s also a great way to help you stay ahead of the game.

Filing codes

If you’ve ever experienced tax fraud, you know the IRS sends out a filing code before processing a return. Be proactive and request that code at the beginning of the year. You’ll thank yourself later.

Finding an accountant

If you’re used to filing your own taxes and circumstances have changed, find a good accountant before the end of the year. You’ll be able to get referrals and interview a few before making your final selection. Not having an accountant in place when you need one makes things a little sticky.

These are important considerations for getting organized and ready for tax season. Tax codes change every year. Don’t put yourself in a position to run into penalties. Staying organized throughout the year lessens anxiety and makes things easier. Putting things into perspective and prepping for tax time can keep a smile on your face. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your accountant’s office with everything you need? Follow these tips and you’ll have a brand new fan.

8 Bookkeeping Rules to Live By for Entrepreneurs and Independent Contractors

Have you finally decided to take the leap by starting your own business? Whether you are working as a contractor for other businesses or you are focused on getting a start-up off the ground, it is important that you are deliberate with the financial tracking and paperwork. These steps will set you up for success, increasing the likelihood that you will be able to stay in business for many years.

Living on Dreams, Preparing for the Future

Unfortunately, too often people start with big dreams. Then, they quickly run into problems because they weren’t willing to do the boring or difficult work, like tracking expenses, keeping up with tax payments, and saving for a rainy day.

Your big ideas will only last for so long until reality sets in. If you are going to put in the effort to start a company, then you need to be willing to take on the responsibility that comes with the American Dream. It is important that you make it a priority to keep up with accounting and bookkeeping business tasks so that you always have a clear picture about the profitably of your company.

The best thing that you can do is put together a system that will last into the future. These efforts will bring exponential benefits to your business. Not only will you rest assured to understand the financial health of your company, but you will also be preparing for future growth and expansion when you see a good opportunity.

Finding the Support that You Need

Don’t worry… you don’t have to navigate these things by yourself. The biggest mistake made by entrepreneurs or independent contractors is trying to juggle too many things at the same time. Even though you feel like you are bootstrapping to get the business off the ground, you can’t carry all the responsibility without support from others.

For example, it might be easy to think that you should handle all the invoicing and financial management in your free time. But, when does an entrepreneur have several hours to put into paperwork and transaction auditing? Your time is a valuable commodity, and you shouldn’t be spending your hours focusing on work that could be outsourced easily.

Plus, remember that you don’t have an educated background in accounting. Instead of trying to navigate the numbers and making mistakes along the way, you will be grateful that you hired the bookkeeping and accounting help that was needed to keep your company on track.

Benefits of Working as an Independent Contractor

If you must take on the bookkeeping and accounting responsibility, is it worth the effort to start a freelancing business? As you learn more about the benefits that are available from self-employment, it is easy to see why these additional responsibilities are worth their weight in gold.

These are some of the benefits that you can expect if you skip the traditional employment and choose to be an entrepreneur or independent contractor instead:

  • Manage your time, so you can choose the days and hours that you want to work
  • Shape your workload to focus on your strengths, rather than completing tasks because they are expected from your boss
  • Potential for higher income, especially when you are paid on a project basis instead of an hourly basis
  • You are your own boss, so you don’t have to report to anyone about your activities each day
  • Leverage tax breaks by writing off expenses that are related to running a business

Even though there are many benefits to self-employment, you will also experience a few disadvantages as well. For example, you don’t get employer-subsidized health insurance, paid time off, retirement matching, and other common employee benefits. Also, you will need to take on more tax and legal issues, but these things can be outsourced to a trusted team.

Bookkeeping Rules for Entrepreneurs or Independent Contractors

Whether you are already underway with your business efforts, or you are just getting started, there are a few bookkeeping rules that should be implemented into your financial system:

  • Rule #1 – Separate Personal and Business Finances: Even though you are fronting the money to get the business off the ground, you need to be careful about the way the money flows through your company. Set up a separate checking account and use a dedicated credit card for your business expenses. Some contractors find it helpful to have multiple business accounts so that they can manage overhead expenses, vendor payments, employee payroll, and more.
  • Rule #2 – Track All Expenses: Whether you are buying a new computer system or a cheap notebook, you need to keep track of every expense related to running your business. These expenses can be used as tax deductions, but you must provide the documentation showing the transaction. Keep a digital record of transactions throughout the month, and hold onto the receipts and invoices that you receive.
  • Rule #3 – Follow the Rules: Understand the laws and restrictions that impact your business activities, and make sure that you stay in compliance with these rules. For example, your accountant will provide information about quarterly tax payments, tax break strategies, and more. You should tap into their expertise and make sure that you are keeping your nose clean with the IRS.
  • Rule #4 – Keep a Backup of Your Financial Records: You never know when a hard drive will crash or paperwork will be lost. Even if you are careful about keeping records, it is a good idea to store backup information about your financial transactions. If the main records are lost, then you always have a copy as a reference in case there are questions about your business activities.
  • Rule #5 – Save for a Rainy Day: Business might be good right now, but it doesn’t mean that you can spend the money on unnecessary expenses. There is a real temptation to splurge on a new computer or office furniture when the money hits the bank account. But, you need to be prepared for future expenses, such as tax payments, payroll, inventory restocking, and more. Also, remember that many companies go through slow seasons at times. Even though you are enjoying the benefits of the busy season right now, you need to set aside some running money to keep the company going when things slow down in the future.
  • Rule #6 – Be Ready for Growth and New Opportunities: Creating a good bookkeeping system will ensure that you have the resources and systems in place to support future growth. If the right opportunity comes along, then you want to be ready to act so that you can expand your business. But, the only way to grow is to ensure that you have control over the finances at your current levels of business.
  • Rule #7 – Use a Cloud-Based Accounting Software: Ditch the paper ledger and spreadsheets. Instead of spending your time on manual accounting and bookkeeping calculations, leverage the benefits of a cloud-based accounting software. Not only will your accountant have access to the data in their office, but you can view reports and information from any location in the world. All you need is a good internet connection to check in on the financial health of your company.
  • Rule #8 – Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: You don’t need to re-invent the wheel by trying to figure it out from the ground up. Instead, there is a lot of benefit to talking to other people who have gone before you. Find a mentor in the industry to learn from their experiences. Also, be open to hiring contractors and outsourced services that can support your efforts.

Talk to the Experts about a Financial Plan for Your Business

One of the best things that you can do is to stay focused on your business growth and management, instead of wasting your time with busy work and numbers crunching. When you understand the value of your time, then you will see the benefit of bringing in an outsourced accounting and bookkeeping team to help.

These services will free up your day and reduce your stress because you don’t have to worry about tracking individual transactions or figuring out how to run payroll. Plus, the experienced advice is a great way to maximize your results and prepare for future growth. We want to help you implement the best financial systems, based on years of experience helping other people who experienced the same challenges as you. By specializing in small business accounting, we can optimize our services to help entrepreneurs and independent contractors.

There are many benefits of self-employment, and you can take advantage of these benefits by tapping into the experts who can support your efforts. Here at Easier Accounting, we know the best accounting methods to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Contact our team to learn more about the services that we offer. You can schedule a consultation to start the conversation, allowing us to cater these services to match your needs. We are here to help with all of the accounting and bookkeeping services that will support your business efforts: (888) 620-0770

3 Tips for Preparing a Budget for Your Business

Are you missing out on potential business profits because you don’t have a budgeting system in place? Budgeting seems like a tedious task, but it is essential to stay proactive with the financials of your company. Implementing a budget and sticking to the budget can make a difference in the long-term success of the business. Here are a few tips to help you prepare a budget plan:

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Add Up Income and Expenses

How much money are you bringing in each month? This number matters because it has a direct impact on the amount of money that is available to spend. Take a look at the top-line numbers to assess all of the cash that is coming into the company.

Next, take a tally of the monthly expenses to see where the money is going. Put together a list of recurring costs as well as one-time bills that you have paid over the past few months. It is essential that you account for every penny that is spent so that you know the total expenses for the business.

Find Ways to Reduce Costs

Once you have gathered information about income and expenses, now it is time to evaluate the way the money is spent. Go through the line items to determine if the costs are necessary. Find areas where you can decrease the costs or even eliminate the bill altogether. It is also a good idea to look for ways to quickly increase revenue, which will provide more cash flow to help you pay off debts or any other balances that need to be addressed.

Put together a plan for the amount of money that you will be spending on an ongoing basis. The best thing that you can do is put this schedule together and then continue tracking your spending each month to be sure that you are sticking to the plan.

Hire a Financial Professional to Help

There are many benefits to hiring an accountant to help with your budgeting goals. It is beneficial to get an outside perspective, especially from someone with a financial background. These accounting services can be invaluable to improve the long-term results that you can achieve.

At Easier Accounting, our goal is to help your small business by improving your financial systems. We know that it is important to implement a good business budget, and we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about financial advice for small business owners, as well as the other services that are available from our company: (888) 620-0770

How to Be a Better Business Owner

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders to help the company grow. Are you prepared for the future? Are you making the right decisions that are in the best interest of the company? Don’t let yourself feel the weight of some of these decisions, because there are situations when it makes sense to involve other professionals in the decision-making process.

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Common Mistake of Business Owners

If you are looking for ways to be a better business owner, then you need to consider the benefits of hiring professional contractors to help. One of the biggest mistakes by business owners is that they try to handle responsibility on their own without utilizing the help of a professional team. It is common for start-ups and small business owners to wear multiple hats throughout the day. They are trying to juggle the various tasks that are required to keep the business moving forward.

But, you don’t have to do it all on your own! In fact, it is possible that you might be hindering the growth of your company because you aren’t choosing to hire the right team to help.

How an Accounting Service will Help Your Company

When you are making important financial decisions, it is essential that you have a clear picture of the current and future financial health of the company. But, accounting mistakes can mess up the reporting and change the outlook, resulting in a situation where you are making decisions based on false information.

Most business owners don’t have professional accounting skills. They might try to handle the accounting tasks on their own, but it is likely that mistakes are made along the way. Instead of filling your day with boring accounting and bookkeeping tasks, it is better for you to focus on the other aspects of business management and let the professionals handle the finances for you.

The right team of accounting professionals will make it easier for you to manage the company in the best way. You don’t have to spend your time on bookkeeping and filing. Also, you will always have current financial information to help you make the right decisions for your company.

If you are ready to help your business grow, then right now is a great time to learn more about the accounting and bookkeeping services that are offered. For more information, call us at Easier Accounting! We specialize in accounting services for small businesses, and we are here to help: (888) 620-0770

How to Make the Best Financial Decisions for Your Small Business

It can be overwhelming to be a small business owner, especially when you need to make important financial decisions. Do you find it hard to be decisive, because you are unsure about the way the decision will impact the future of your company? Here are a few strategies that you can use to improve the decision making process:

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Understand the Facts

It is difficult to make a good decision if you don’t have all of the information. Learn more about the facts that will impact the situation, and make sure that you thoroughly understand these details. It is important that you have a good financial tracking system in place, because you will be able to easily run reports and look at the facts whenever you need to make a big or small decision.

Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Take a look at the past to understand how previous decisions impacted the company. Don’t stress if a mistake was made, because it is simply information to help you learn from the past. Observe the situation and commit to change the trajectory of the company so that you can avoid making the same mistake twice.

Look at All Options

Some business owners find themselves in the rut of always making the same decision, resulting in a situation where they have a hard time breaking through self-imposed barriers that may be in place. As you are considering the decision that you will be making, consider all of the options that are available. Just because the situation has been handled the same way in the past, doesn’t mean that you need to make the same decision again right now. By exploring other options, you might be able to increase the business success in the future.

Hire a Professional to Help

Let’s face it… if you don’t have a financial background, then it is likely that you don’t have the necessary experience to make the right decision for your company. Instead of making an amateur decision, consider hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper to help. The experience they add can be invaluable to help you crunch the numbers and understand the situation, making it easier for you to make the right decision.

If you are stressed about making the financial decisions for your company, then we invite you to contact us right away. At Easier Accounting, we offer all types of accounting and bookkeeping services, and we are here to help. Call our office at: (888) 620-0770

Productivity Hacks for Small Business Owners

Productivity matters, especially when you are running a small business. Many business owners find that they are torn between different responsibilities, and they have a hard time keeping up with all of the tasks that need to be completed. Here are a few tips to help you improve your productivity throughout the week:

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Hire a Bookkeeper

There is no sense in spending your time on tasks such as bookkeeping and invoicing. These things can be outsourced to an online bookkeeping company, which will free up your time so that you can focus on other important things instead. In fact, it is actually more cost-effective to outsource your financial management to a professional bookkeeping service instead of handling it in-house. It can be expensive to maintain the salary and benefits for an employee, so talk with a bookkeeper instead of hiring an employee to help.

Manage Your Communication

Do you find that you are constantly interrupted throughout the day? It can be hard to get anything done if you have text messages, phone calls, and emails coming through all day long. Instead of responding to each of these messages as they come in, you might consider managing your communication so that you can have some productive time. For example, it is beneficial to put your phone on “airplane mode” so that you can’t be reached for an hour. During that time, see how much you can get accomplished when you aren’t being interrupted every few minutes.

Schedule Meetings in Advance

Instead of constantly rushing from one meeting to the next, look for ways that you can improve your meeting schedule to stay efficient with your time. As an example, it is important that you meet with your small business bookkeeper on a consistent basis to keep up with the financial details. You might choose to schedule a standing meeting once a month, and ask the bookkeeper to send the financial reports in advance so that you can read through the numbers at your convenience.

At Easier Accounting, we know that you have a lot of responsibilities when you are running a small business. We want to help by offering our bookkeeping and accounting services, which are beneficial to decrease your workload. For more information about the ways that bookkeeping can reduce your stress and improve the results of your company, we invite you to contact our team any time. We are here to answer your questions and help with anything that you need: (888) 620-0770

Why You Need a Professional Accountant to Help with Your Business Tax Preparation

As a small business owner, it is essential that you keep up with all of the tax requirements for your company. Are you putting in the time and work that is necessary to keep up with your financial goals? There are a variety of tax rules and payments that need to be considered, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done:

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  • Quarterly tax payments
  • Payroll taxes
  • 1099 forms
  • W2 forms
  • Annual tax preparation
  • And more!

It seems like the list is never-ending, and there is always another form or payment that you need to remember.

Let the Professionals Handle Everything for You

Instead of worrying about your tax forms and preparation, it is better to focus on what you do best: managing and expanding your business. It can be a burden to carve time out in your schedule in order to get your tax stuff done, which is why you should consider a professional bookkeeper and/or accountant to help.

You will be amazed to see how easy it is to outsource your bookkeeping and accounting tasks, which frees up your time so that you can focus on other responsibilities within your business. These services include monthly bookkeeping and tax consulting, and you can also choose other services such as audit support and tax preparation.

January Tax Forms are Due Soon

Don’t forget that you need to have your 1099 forms and W2 forms sent out to employees and contractors before January 31st. If you don’t have time to get these forms done before the end of the month, then right now might be the perfect time to get started with bookkeeping and business accounting services.

Remember, you need to be planning ahead for your business tax preparation and your personal income tax preparation. It can be a stressful time to plan everything that you need, but this stress can be reduced with monthly bookkeeping services and the ongoing support from a financial professional.

If you are ready to take your business to higher levels of success in 2016, then you need to make sure that you have the right financial system in place. These services can be customized to meet your individual needs, including cash flow management, invoicing, payment management, payroll, tax preparation, and more. For more information about the bookkeeping and accounting services that can support your financial goals, then we invite you to contact us at Easier Accounting.

Call us today at: (888) 620-0770

New Year Bookkeeping Resolutions to Improve Business Finances in 2016

Now that 2016 is in full swing, it is the perfect time to consider your business goals for the year. Have you set resolutions to help your business grow and expand this year? Good financial tracking is essential for proper management of the cash flow throughout the year. If you are ready to make your business more profitable than ever, then you should set these resolutions:

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Use the Right Financial Tracking System

Getting the right financial tracking system in place is the foundation to bookkeeping success. If you don’t already have a good computer software in place, then you should talk with your small business bookkeeper about the best system that will meet the needs of your business.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Do you know how much you are spending in business expenses every month? Make sure that you have a solid budget, and stick with your spending plan throughout the year. As a result, you will be more effective at managing cash flow, which can have a direct impact on the long-term success of your company.

Keep Business and Personal Spending Separate

Everyone knows that they are supposed to keep business and personal spending separate, but there are many situations where these finances get mixed together. Make it a point to use separate accounts for your spending, and you will find that it is much easier to use exclusive credit cards and checking accounts for business expenses.

Stay Ahead of Weekly Financial Tracking

It is hard to catch up on months of financial transactions, especially because you can forget the details as time goes by. Instead of procrastinating financial tracking, make sure that you keep up with the weekly transactions to keep things simple. If you don’t have time for these tasks throughout the week, then one of the best things that you can do is hire a business bookkeeper to help with the ongoing financial management.

Hire a Bookkeeper to Help

If you aren’t already taking advantage of the bookkeeping services that are available, then right now is the best time to get started! Here at Easier Bookkeeping, we offer a variety of full service bookkeeping options to make it easy for you to manage your business finances. If you are ready to maximize your business success in 2016, then we invite you to contact us right away for more information about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770

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