Cloud-based Accounting Software for Small Business

Is accounting for your small business taking up too much time? Are you finding your books inaccurate or difficult to track? If so, it’s possible that you need an upgrade in your accounting software. A next generation, cloud-based accounting system has many advantages for the modern business.

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Superior Tracking for Income and Expenses

Small businesses often need to operate with extremely lean profit margins. Especially during the first few years or during delicate periods such as expansion. Without extremely accurate income and expenses tracking, a business won’t know how much profit it is truly making. This leads to poor decisions and difficulty adapting. Advanced accounting suites are able to provide for better tracking, through automatic error detection, imported transactions, and real-time updates.

When relying upon a bookkeeper, it is more common that a business will need to wait until the end of the month to find out more about their current accounting. This can be too late to notice trends or take advantage of them, especially in fast-paced market such as brick-and-mortar sales. Human error also accounts for many mistakes, largely eliminated through an accounting solution.

Improved Administrative Costs

Small business owners know that bookkeeping takes time. In fact, payroll alone can cut into administrative time significantly, requiring either that the business owner prioritize their accounting over revenue generating activities or hire an administrator. Modern bookkeeping solutions can conduct many tasks automatically, such as calculating payroll taxes and automatically paying bills through wire transfers.

Even small mistakes associated with accounting can be quite costly. Late payments lead to penalties and unhappy vendors at best — they can lead to substantial consequences, such as tax issues, at worst. Besides the price, this will cost you time, as a business owner often needs to do additional work in order to correct the problem.

Better Security and Regulatory Compliance

Businesses often struggle in terms of both appropriately securing their data and achieving regulatory compliance for their accounting. Which, is necessary not only for general business operations but also to procure loans and investors. Accounting suites will follow generally accepted accounting principles and also have updated compliance for many industries. Top of the line encryption and authentication standards keep you secure.

The advantages of a standardized accounting system include the ability to better recognize profits and the ability to produce income and expense statements that are readable by anyone within the financial industry. Without a standardized system it can be difficult for an organization to identify pain points.

Reduced Accounting-Related Expenses

Finally, an investment in a comprehensive accounting suite will save a business money on their accounting services. A solid accounting solution will often preclude the need for a book keeper and will make it easier for a company to file its regular payroll and tax returns. Managing both income and expenses will be faster and easier, leading to fewer mistakes and a limited time cost. Overall, accuracy and real-time reporting will improved while reducing accounting services.

Accessibility and Scalability

One of the principle hallmarks of a new age accounting system is a cloud-based platform. These platforms can be accessed from anywhere, making it easier for small business owners to check and modify their data from anywhere in the world. These platforms are also extremely scalable, letting a business grow without constraints and without costly upgrade and licensing fees. Altogether this creates an agile and mobile infrastructure perfect for a business trying to grow.

Ultimately an accounting suite saves any business a significant amount of money. Improving upon their operations and giving them more information with which to make informed decisions. There is some cost associated with upgrading to a next generation suite, but, you will reduce reliance on both internal and external accounting staff.

Tax Obstacles You Need to Avoid as a Business Owner

A lot goes into starting up your business. You need all your plans thoroughly checked and executed. It’s a lot of work and a lot of knowledge goes into a successful operation. Even if you are proficient in all of this, issues will present themselves.
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There are a lot of topics in your business you will need some outside help. Even once you’re up and running chances are pretty high that you will be seeking advisors to make sure you are moving in the right direction. This article will zero in on one of the pieces of the puzzle: Taxes.

One of the prime reasons for start-up failure is not understanding taxes. Unless your company provides tax preparation services, this can be a tricky area that could lead to demise. You need to know how and what to file for your business.

Your Entity

Are you running an LLC, Corporation or a Partnership? Are you a sole proprietor? There are specific issues with each of these you will need to know how to approach.

Sole Proprietors have no safety net between themselves and their creditors. The business owner holds entire responsibility if anything goes wrong.

Limited Liability Companies (or LLCs) need 3 or more members to be recognized accordingly. The IRS will view a single member LLC as Sole Proprietorship. Two member LLCs the IRS sees as partnerships.

Corporations must file returns separate for the business and keep their own bank accounts.

Estimated Taxes

Estimated Taxes can be exceptionally tricky to figure out. A tax preparation service takes great care in evaluating these quarterly taxes to make sure you stay in good standing with the IRS. If you attempt and fail to meet expectations, you will encounter penalties.

Inadequate Payment of Estimated Taxes

The estimated tax penalty is one of the most common issues small businesses experience. This penalty is a pitfall easily avoided by using a professional tax preparation service.

Schedule C

Schedule C remains a prime area for IRS audits. Your profits and losses need to have consistency against others in your industry. The “Profit and Loss From Business” form lists all of your companies ingoing and outgoing cash. Keep extensive, thorough records of all money going in and out of your business. In the case of an audit, this documentation will help keep you out of harm’s way.

Self-Employment Taxes

Estimated taxes do not only concern income. Self-employed individuals also need to take things like Social Security and Medicare taxes into consideration. Employees have the advantage of splitting these costs with their employers. When you are self-employed, these taxes all fall into your lap. Make sure you take these costs into consideration when estimating your quarterly taxes.

These are only some of the most popular tax mistakes small businesses make that an honest and transparent tax preparation service can help you avoid. If you aren’t confidently staying within compliance with the IRS, you could pay dearly for those mistakes.

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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.

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Pros and Cons of Doing Your Own Accounting

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A cross-road most companies come to eventually is whether to do their own books or to hire a professional. This post will help you decide which route is best for your situation. Accounting mishaps can be costly, so it pays to make an informed decision.

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Should you handle your accounting?

Many small business owners, especially those with an aptitude for figures and a good understanding of basic accounting practices, start out doing their business accounts. When a company has just started up, money is tight, it can make sense to prepare your accounts.

Do have the necessary accounting tools? Do you understand the different aspects of business taxes? Corporation tax is far from simple, you may not be claiming certain types of expenses that could reduce your tax bill.

Convenience, time and knowledge are the primary things that should come to mind when thinking of doing your taxes and accounting. You should have sound knowledge of your books, have the time, and it must be convenient for you. Accounting and tax preparation are very long and tedious processes.

Should you hire a pro?

Hiring a pro is a good idea you need the knowledge, accounting tools, and experience a professional accountant brings to the table.

Navigating through all the complex tax rules and regulations requires knowledge and skill most people just do not possess. A good accountant will ask you the correct questions and dig into all your finances to get and a good overall picture of how your finances.

Additionally, an accountant should be able to give you good advice on the state of your finances and might even help you better it. For some people using an accountant to save time and avoid a headache. But one thing to keep in mind is that not every accountant is a good one, and accidents have a chance of happening if you don’t pick someone with a good track record.

Be sure to keep asking your accountant questions on what he is doing to avoid any errors that he might make with your info. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for what is reported on your tax returns.

Overlooked Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced Accounting Team

It can be a challenge to decide if you should hire an outsourcer or employee to help with the accounting needs of your company. If you want to improve financial systems and set your company up for future success, then you need to be sure that you have the right financial professional to help.

As you compare the options, you will see that an outsourced accountant is often the best choice. These are a few of the benefits you will enjoy when you hire an outsourced team to help with accounting for your company:

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1. Working with a Team

Hiring an employee means that you will have a single individual handling your business financials. On the other hand, an outsourced accounting team can give you access to multiple accounting professionals. The combined experience is much more powerful than one person.

2. Efficiency of Workflow

Some small business owners make the mistake of trying to handle many different tasks on their own. If you are juggling different responsibilities throughout the day, then it likely means that you are wearing yourself thin. Hire an outsourcing team to handle some of the work, which in turn will allow you to improve your workflow and efficiency during the day.

3. Focused Expertise

A reputable accounting firm can offer invaluable experience, especially when they have been working with many other companies that are similar to yours. It is much better to hire a seasoned professional instead of trying to save money by bringing in a low-salary employee fresh out of college.

4. Proven Systems

There’s no reason to re-invent the wheel! An experienced accountant can make recommendations about the financial systems that should be used for your company. Investing in the right systems can make a big difference to help you have access to the best financial reports. These details will make it easier for you to make the right decisions throughout the year.

5. Scale for the Future

As a business owner, you are likely focused on the tasks that will help your company grow. To scale the company, you need to make sure that you have the right financial systems in place. An outsourced accounting team can offer the support that you need to prepare for the future.

Here at Easier Accounting, we are here to assist with the financial needs of your small business. We offer expert accounting services that can be catered to match your individual needs. Call us right away for more information about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770

Strategic Financial Planning for Your Business

Are you taking a strategic approach with the financial plan for your company? Sometimes business owners’ make the mistake of focusing only on the short-term financial outlook for their company. If you want to experience long-term success, then you need to be sure that you have a strategic plan in place.

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Proactive Financial Planning

One reason that business owners are sometimes short-sighted about their financial plan is that they are in “fire control” mode, trying to keep up with the urgent tasks. The only thing that they can think about is the current situation and the bills that are due right away… or bills that might even be overdue at this point.

While it is important to take care of these immediate needs, it is even more important to make sure that a solid plan is in place for the future. Without the right plan, you will find yourself in a situation where you have a hard time getting ahead of the curve. It might even feel like you will never get ahead because you can’t see a way out of the mess.

Take some time to look at the current needs and your financial goals, and find a way that you can adjust your strategy to prepare for the future. You might be able to identify non-essential costs that can be cut to save money and also look for ways to boost revenue so that you can improve cash flow.

Call an Accountant to Help

If you are ready to take a proactive approach to your financial business plan, then you need to be sure that you have a financial expert available to help. Accounting services can be beneficial to relieve some of your stress. An accountant will focus on these essential financial tasks so that you can spend your time working on other important tasks within the company.

Additionally, an accountant will have the experience to know how the situation should be handled. They have helped other small businesses dig out of similar messes, so they know the strategies that can be used to help you move forward and plan for the future. This advice can be invaluable to help you set up your business for the long-term success that you desire.

Are you interested in learning more about how your company will benefit from small business accounting services? Contact us at Easier Accounting for more information about the many services that are available for your company: (888) 620-0770

Why You Need to Worry about Business Taxes in July

July isn’t tax season, so why do you need to think about your tax strategy during this time of year? It is common for business owners to make the mistake of ignoring their taxes until tax season rolls around. At that point, it is too late to change tax strategy to minimize tax burden. So, if you want to maximize cash flow and take advantage of all of the deductions that are available, then you need to be sure that you are looking at your tax strategy throughout the year.

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Tax Strategy All Year Long

The way your business is structured and the decisions that you make throughout the year can impact the amount of taxes that you will pay when it is tax season. If you want to improve your tax return, then it is essential that you are working with a small business accountant all year long.

When you understand more about your tax strategy, then you can adjust your ongoing financial decisions to be sure that they match up with your long-term goals for the company. Even small decisions can have a bigger impact long term because these small decisions can add up over time.

Leveraging Deductions that are Available

An experienced accountant will have a thorough knowledge of tax law, helping you to understand more about the types of write-offs that can be used for your company. It is inevitable that you will have ongoing expenses and costs to keep the business running, and these costs can be used as write-offs and deductions to reduce tax liability.

In some situations, it might make sense for you to invest in equipment and software at certain times. For example, your accountant might make the suggestion to purchase these items before the end of the year to increase spending a little more for this year.

The advantage of working with an experienced tax accountant is that you will have the peace of mind to know that they are familiar with the tax laws. You don’t have to waste your time learning about how tax laws impact your company. Let the professional handle these details for you, so that you can focus on the management tasks that are needed to help your business grow.

Here at Easier Accounting, we offer a wide range of accounting services to help your company. Contact our experienced team today to learn more about the services that are available. We are here to help! (888) 620-0770

What Type of Accountant do you need for Your Small Business?

Starting a small business can be hard, especially if you are a first-time business owner. As you are getting started, it is essential that you consider the professional services that can make the process easier. Since you don’t have experience with finances or accounting, you will see that there are many benefits to hiring a professional accountant to help.

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Accounting Experience Matters

Instead of hiring the first accountant that comes your way, take a moment to consider the types of services that you will need. Identifying the services for your company will make it easier for you to find an accountant with the right skill set to match.

For example, a new graduate without experience working for an accounting firm might not be the best choice if you want to be aggressive with your tax strategies. Instead, it is better to hire someone who has been in the industry for a while, so that they can use their experience to help you get the best outcome for your company.

Another reason that experience matters is that of the small nuances in tax law. An accountant with experience in the small business industry will have more related knowledge than an accountant who previously worked for a large corporation. Experience matters, so it is best to find someone who knows how to help in the right way.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant

Do you need an accountant, or would bookkeeping services be enough? It is common for a small business owner to hire a bookkeeper, only to find that they were in need of full accounting services. There are many advantages to hiring an outsourcing company that can handle both the bookkeeping and the accounting services, such as tax preparation and filing.

By keeping these services with the same outsourcer, there will be more consistency for the year. The bookkeeping maintenance during the year can help you be better prepared for tax time. You will see that there are fewer surprises with your tax filing when you have someone who is helping throughout the year.

Here at Easier Accounting, we can help with all of the financial needs of your company. We know how to help you maximize cash flow and prepare for the future, and we invite you to contact us right away. Together, we will find the best plan to provide the services that will be best for your company. Call us today for more information: (888) 620-0770

Accounting Tips: How Often Should You Pay Your Employees?

When you are setting up your payroll system, it is important to consider the pay period structure and how often checks are distributed. There are a variety of ways that you can plan for paycheck distribution, and this schedule will help to set the expectation so that employees know when they will be paid.

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Payroll Frequency Options

Most companies will pay their employees on a bi-weekly basis or a semi-monthly basis. Bi-weekly means that the paychecks are distributed every two weeks, such as every-other Friday. Semi-monthly means that the paychecks come on two specific days each month, such as on the 15th and the 30th.

In some situations, there are companies that will pay more or less frequently. Some companies find it best to distribute earnings once a month, while other groups like to pay on a weekly basis. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, especially since there are pros and cons to all of these options.

What is the Best Frequency?

The frequency of your payroll system depends on the individual needs of your employees. The best thing that you can do is talk with an experienced bookkeeper or accounting team to get their professional recommendations.

Even though it is tempting to reduce the frequency of payroll processing by only cutting checks once a month, you need to consider that this type of system probably won’t work for some of your employees who need access to the money right away. Frequent paydays are beneficial to quickly reward the employees for their work, keeping positive reinforcement in place in order to increase job satisfaction.

Setting Up Your Payroll System

One of the most important aspects about setting up your payroll system is to ensure that you are clear with expectations, so that employees know when they will be receiving their paycheck. By sharing details about payday, each employee will be able to plan their personal budget accordingly.

Also, it is essential that you have an effective computer system in place to track the hours and process the paychecks. Most small business owners don’t have the time or experience needed to handle these tasks correctly, so you should consider the benefits of hiring a small business bookkeeper to help.

If you need assistance with payroll processing or any other type of bookkeeping or accounting services, then we invite you to contact us right away. Here at Easier Accounting, our goal is to help you simplify and optimize the financial systems within your company. Contact us today for more information: (888) 620-0770