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Legal Deductions to Reduce the Tax Burden on Your Business in 2018

Taxes don’t have to be difficult! When the topic comes up among small business owners, many people automatically think about stressful paperwork and unreasonable fees. Do you feel overwhelmed when it is time to file your taxes? Then it means that you are doing things wrong. Instead of carrying the burden by yourself, it is better to hire an accounting professional to handle the details.

People often assume that taxes are complicated. But, your accounting team can help to simplify the process, making it easy to maximize your deductions so that you can minimize your tax burden. The right strategy is necessary to support your business goals and improve the results that are available for your company.

Whether you are in the early stages of starting a company or you are going through growing pains as the business expands, an accounting team can support your financials during this time. We can put together a solid tax strategy, so that you have complete financial information whenever it is time to make big decisions for your business.

It is important that you take control of your financial tracking and documentation. Then, use these details to leverage your deductions in a legal, effective way. This documentation will back up the tax paperwork that is filed, so that there aren’t any discrepancies if the IRS comes to do an audit.

At Easier Accounting, we understand the tax laws. As a result, we can help you know the best ways to leverage your tax filing, giving you legal options to manage your tax burden. These savings can add up over time, helping to boost the profitability of your company.

Here are some of the legal strategies that you might use to minimize tax burden:

Understand Possible Deductions and Track Your Spending

Look at every penny that you are spending which could be a related business expense. If you are spending money on services, equipment, or supplies that are used to help your business efforts, then those costs can be added to your list of expenses for the year.

One of the biggest mistakes made by small business owners is that they don’t track some of the small expenses that go into running their company. Whether you have a home-based business or a nearby office, it is easy to overlook some of the costs that come from your personal bank account. For example, taking a client out to lunch should be charged to the company, but it is easy to forget that expense and put the meal on your personal credit card instead.

Talk to your accounting team for a detailed list of things that can be written off. You can also find a list of potential write-offs on the IRS website. Each time you spend money on items for the company, make sure to document the spending and record the transaction in your accounting software. The data entry won’t be enough; you need to make sure to keep a copy of the receipt as well.

Even the smallest deductions can add up over time. If you saved receipts that averaged $5 per day, it could add up to $1,825 in deductions over a year! That money is better spent on business development. Or, put the savings into an untouched bank account for your emergency fund.

Use a Good Accounting Software

The most effective way to track your expenses is with a digital, cloud-based software. Gone are the days when hand-written ledgers were sufficient to run a company. Now, you need a software that will help with quarterly tax calculations, ongoing expenses, invoicing, payroll and more.

If you are behind the times and you haven’t implemented an intuitive software yet, then right now is a great opportunity to explore your options. Talk to our team to learn more about the recommendations that we suggest for your company and industry. We have experience working with a variety of small businesses in many different industries. This first-hand experience is a great way for us to offer suggestions that are based on first-hand results. We know what works, and we will always guide your company in the right way.

Be Creative with Employee Raises

Do you have employees who deserve a bonus because of outstanding performance? If your company is thriving, then it might be tempting to offer raises or bonuses for everyone. While these rewards can be a good way to say “Thank You,” you also need to consider the tax implications for yourself and your employees.

When the employee salary goes up, then you need to add in the additional expenses that are required for employment taxes and income taxes. On the other hand, certain types of benefits don’t need to be taxed. If you choose to host a company party, then employees won’t need to pay taxes on the bonus. Or, you might contribute more to the employee’s retirement fund or health insurance costs, helping to offset their out-of-pocket expenses without incurring the tax fees.

These creative bonuses will enable you to leverage the money that you are spending more effectively. Spend the cash on items that can be used as tax deductions, while minimizing the amount that you will need to spend on employment taxes.

Home Office and Business Expenses

It is common for small businesses to start in the guest room or garage of the owner’s home. In this situation, dedicate the space for business efforts. Then, you will have the option to write-off a portion of the costs of maintaining the household. The IRS requires that the area is devoted to your business, so you need to make sure that you aren’t using the room for both personal and business efforts.

Your accountant can help you with write-offs for the square footage that is used (as a percentage of your home), as well as the utilities that are related to maintaining the space. Don’t overlook other costs that might be incurred, such as cell phone use, internet costs, computers, office equipment, and more.

Many times, home-based businesses also have a greater need to spend time in the car for business purposes. Whether you are driving to the bank or going to meet a client for a consultation, make sure to track those miles. These expenses can help with the deductions that will minimize your tax burden when it is time to file your tax paperwork.

Put Together a Tax Plan with Your Accountant

Throughout the year, you need to be looking at anticipated profitability for the business, so that you know what to expect when it is time to file your taxes at the end of the year. If you aren’t tracking the numbers, then it increases the likelihood that you will face a few big surprises when it is time to file your taxes.

Lack of planning can lead to tax bills that are higher than you anticipated. Not only will it cause a strain on your cash flow. But, the tax costs could have been minimized if you leveraged the right deductions for the year. The only way to dial in these strategic deductions is by following a tax plan that was created by your accountant.

This strategy can be customized to match the needs of your company. You can evaluate the upcoming costs and anticipated income. Then, you can be strategic with the purchases of equipment and property to maximize the tax benefits that are available. Timing these purchases can help with the cash flow and tax burden on a year to year basis.

One strategy that you might consider is structuring the way the money is saved after it comes into your bank account. Instead of leaving the cash in the account to be spent on a whim, have a strategy that helps you save for upcoming taxes and potential expenses. You might have 10% that goes to savings, 30% for taxes and miscellaneous fees, and 10% that goes towards product development.

If you have the cash flow available, consider spending 10% on charitable giving. These funds can be used as tax write-offs for your company. Not only will you feel good about supporting your community, but the charitable gifts can also help to minimize your tax burden at the same time.

Talk to the Experts in the Industry

Is it time to improve your business tax strategy? Don’t leave money on the table by overlooking potential deductions that could be used for your tax filing. At Easier Accounting, we are dedicated to offering custom services to our clients. Talk to our team to learn more about how our packages can be catered to match your business needs.

Our team at Easier Accounting offers much more than just tax filing. We strive to support your business goals by providing financial insights and strategies that will help your company grow. We invite you to contact us to learn more about the ways that we can help your small business. We are always here to answer your questions and offer the support that you need: (888) 620-0770

Practical Tips to Simplify and Organize Your Tax Documentation

As a business owner or entrepreneur, there are a few things that you should be doing to maximize your tax deductions. You have the benefit of writing off expenses that are related to your work. But, you need to maintain the right documentation to back up your claims.

If you aren’t familiar with the accounting industry, then it can be overwhelming to know where to start with the financial tracking. Don’t overlook the importance of keeping up with the finances! It is easy to let these details fall to the backburner. Then, you will be facing a difficult situation in the future when you need to file your taxes.

What is a Legitimate Write-Off for Your Taxes

How much can you write off? It makes sense to maximize your write-offs so that you can reduce your tax burden for the year. But, keep in mind that these expenses will cut into the profitability of your business efforts. So, you shouldn’t be spending money just to save money on your taxes.

The best way to determine the legitimacy of your tax expenses is to hire an experienced accounting team to help with your finances. You can focus on your business efforts and lean on the understanding of a skilled accountant. Since the accountant has been working in the industry for many years, they will be able to offer the insight that you need to determine the legal write-offs that are available.

These legitimate deductions can include many expenses that have been incurred:

  • Computers, cell phones, and any other electronics required for business activities.
  • Travel expenses for meetings or client reach-out, including airfare, hotels, and a portion of your food and entertainment.
  • Vehicle reimbursements based on mileage, or you might deduct the expense of purchasing a car as well as the cost of gasoline and maintenance.
  • Wages and salaries paid to all employees and managers, including employment taxes, benefits, and any other related costs.
  • Invoices that were paid to contractors or freelancers. If a contractor is paid $600 or more in a given year, then you will need to use Form 1099-MISC to document the expenses.
  • Rental payments for office space, factories, storage units, storefronts, or any other facility that was used.
  • Utility costs, including electricity, gas, cell phone bills, internet, and phone services, and more.
  • Office supplies, which might include everything from printer paper to cleaning products.
  • Insurance or business fees, such as licensing costs, city work permits, or anything else that was paid to ensure that you could work legally.
  • Marketing and advertising expenses, which could include a wide range of expenses: website design, hosting accounts, Pay per Click ads, social media management, software subscriptions, and more.
  • Client or customer outreach costs, including the expenses for mailers, holiday gifts, newsletter services, customer appreciation days, and more.
  • Home office space can be used as a deduction as long as the home is regularly used for business activities. The space needs to be dedicated exclusively for Both direct costs and indirect costs can be calculated for this write-off, usually based on a percentage of the cost of the home.

This list is a general overview of the types of expenses that can be used as tax write-offs. Your accounting team can help you analyze your transactions to find the things that can be included as legitimate deductions for your line of business.

Why You Need to Keep Documentation

The tracking system that you use will provide the back-up that is needed for these business write-offs. If you don’t keep documentation for every transaction, then you might be facing a messy situation if you are audited in the future. You can hire a bookkeeper or accounting team to help with the busy work so that you don’t have to worry about the day-in-day-out tracking.

It is essential that you save copies of receipts and invoices that are related to your business efforts. When you choose to claim something as a deduction, then you always need to have a receipt to back up the expense. So, the best thing that you can do is organize a system right now which will make it easy to add documents to your file as needed.

Even though you have digital tracking of your expenses, you also need to show the paperwork for each transaction. A credit card statement won’t be enough documentation. During an audit, the IRS wants to see details about each transaction. For example, if you bought materials at a local office supply store, then the credit card transaction won’t show details of the purchase. You will need to provide the receipt to prove that the office supplies were purchased for business activities.

Organizing Your Business Records

One of the problems with documentation is that business owners feel like they are drowning in paperwork. Do you have stacks of invoices and shoe boxes of scattered receipts? It can be a mess to sort through all of the papers that come through your office.

The starting point for organization is to make sure that you have a good bookkeeping and accounting software to keep track of the transactions. Many times, these programs will automatically pull the transactions from the bank or credit card statement. Then, a copy of the receipt or document can be attached to that file.

As the transaction comes through into the accounting software, someone needs to categorize the transaction. Why was the money spent? Where should the totals go for that cost? Other tasks need to be done on a regular basis, such as reconciliation and audits to make sure that nothing is missed in the transactions.

A filing cabinet can be used to sort through the paperwork. Files should be created based on date and category, making it easy to find paperwork if it is needed. For example, you might have a section of the filing cabinet for building costs, where you keep copies of the office rental agreement, utility bills, cleaning services, and more.

If you don’t like the idea of keeping a filing cabinet full of paperwork, then you could implement a digital tracking system. All of the paperwork can be scanned into a digital folder, making it simple to keep track of the information without managing all of the paperwork. There are many great cloud-based filing systems that can be used. For example, you can take a picture of a receipt when the purchase is made. Then, an app can automatically save that picture in the right file folder of your choice.

When you are using any type of online system, make sure that you choose a secure service. Since you will be storing sensitive financial information, you need the peace of mind to make sure that your business details won’t be stolen. Hacking and online theft is a growing problem, so you need to use an encrypted system for your company.

Employee or Outsourced Accounting Services?

Part of this organization means that you have assigned the responsibility to the right person who needs to handle the job. Some business owners have employees that can manage these tasks. But, if you hand the responsibility to an employee, then you need to make sure that you have someone who is experienced in accounting and bookkeeping. Previous experience is essential so that important details aren’t overlooked.

Sometimes, a business owner will give these responsibilities to an entry-level secretary or someone in an administrative support position. While this employee might be familiar with the office setting, they don’t likely have the training and skill set that is required to keep up with the financial tracking. As a result, mistakes might be made which could impact your tax filing and the profitability of the company.

Employees can be an expensive way to manage your business finances. If you don’t have an employee who can oversee your transactions and financial reports, then you might consider the option to hire someone. But, you need to understand the overall costs that will be required if you bring on another employee. Not only will you need to pay the salary or hourly wage, but you also have the carry the burden of employment taxes, benefits, office space, and more.

Many business owners find that it is cheaper to hire an outsourced accounting team to help instead. You can reduce the costs of keeping up with the financial system. These outsourced services are much cheaper compared to hiring an employee. At the same time, you can tap into many years of experience in the accounting industry.

Outsourcing often increases the quality of the financial services that are provided, while reducing the costs at the same time. As a business owner, it is easy to see why it is a win-win situation to avoid hiring another employee and still have the expert financial consultation that is needed.

Do you need help organizing your tax write-offs? Our team is here to offer the assistance that you need! For more information about the services that can support your business efforts, you need to call Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770

Should You Hire a CFO for Your Small Business?

Most business owners know that the people who are hired will make-or-break the success of the company. If you bring in the right team members, then you will have a wide range of skills and expertise to handle every problem that may be encountered. Not only will you be able to avoid potential problems, but an experienced team will help with future growth and development. Whether you are hiring an entry-level employee or a CFO, you need to consider the way they will interact with your team.

It is a big decision to hire a new employee, especially if you only have a few people working for the company. So, don’t rush into the decision. Instead, look at the skill sets that are necessary and the way the person will fit in the company. Sometimes, it makes sense to hire a new employee. Other times, you might find it beneficial to outsource the tasks so that you can avoid the cost burden of another employee.

Overhead Costs of Hiring an Employee

If you are thinking about hiring another employee, then you need to evaluate the overall costs that will be added to your overhead expenses. Inexperienced employers only look at the hourly wage or salary of the employee when factoring the expenses. But, there are other cost burdens that need to be factored into the decision:

  • Salary: The wages for the employee is the base of the financial burdens that you need to bear. Look at the monthly and annual cost that will go towards that person’s paycheck.
  • Employment Taxes: Some taxes are withheld from the employee’s check. But, there are other employment taxes that need to be carried by the employer. Calculate the amount that you will be paying in taxes, worker’s compensation, and insurance.
  • Benefits: How much money will be needed for the benefits package that is offered? Most companies provide health insurance, life insurance, Paid Time Off (PTO), sick leave, and other benefits. These costs can add up over time.
  • Office Space: If you are hiring another employee, then you need to make sure that you have desk space available for them in the office. A small floorplan might make it difficult to add another person in the room.
  • Computer Equipment: Depending on the type of company that you have, you might need to provide a work computer, desk, or other equipment. If you are bringing in a financial employee, such as an accountant or CFO, then it is often necessary to provide a computer and cell phone.
  • Hiring and Administrative Costs: Also, consider the money that you will spend on job advertisements, onboarding, and training. Ongoing administrative costs are needed for payroll processing, management, and benefits administration.
  • Training Costs: Even if you find an employee that fits your desired profile, the person will need to be trained on your company practices and procedures. Not only will initial training be required, but ongoing education is often necessary to keep the person current in the industry.

Break-Even Point of Hiring an Employee

As you evaluate these costs, you need to consider the break-even point of hiring the employee. Yes, the person will be able to contribute to your team. But, will they be beneficial enough to generate the amount of cash that will pay for the expense of bringing on another employee? It’s usually worth the expense if they will bring in more profit than what you will be spending on the overhead costs. Otherwise, you might consider the option to outsource the accounting tasks instead.

Evaluating the expenses in advance will help you make the right decision for your company. There’s no doubt that you will benefit from the expertise. At the same time, you also need to ensure that you are making decisions that will add to the profitability of the company.

Sometimes, there are instances where you need to hire an employee that won’t be profitable on paper. For example, certain overhead tasks need to be addressed, and it is hard to measure the ROI of spending money on the expenses of that employee. If you are bringing in a sales rep, then you can measure their productivity by looking at the amount of business that they bring in the form of sales. On the other hand, it is hard to make the same measurement for an administrative employee, such as a secretary or assistant.

Should You Hire a CFO?

Small businesses often hire a few specialized employees, plus lower-level employees. Eventually, you will need to look at options to bring in management-level staff, such as a CFO, CMO, and more. These positions vary from one industry to the next. So, you need to consider the needs of your company before rushing into the decision.

There isn’t a hard rule that should be followed to determine when you need to hire a CFO. Some business owners want to know a sales quota or revenue level that needs to be reached in advance. But, you can’t plug in the business numbers to see if it is time to hire a CFO. Instead, you need to evaluate how the CFO will contribute to your company and whether you are prepared to carry the burden of the additional employee.

Here are a few signs that it might be time to hire a CFO:

  • Your abilities aren’t strong enough to match the financial requirements of managing the books for your company.
  • It is time to expand your company and grow to higher levels of success.
  • You are too busy, causing you to fall behind with financial tracking and reports.
  • It is hard to make important business decisions because you don’t have enough financial information to make informed decisions.
  • You are ready to bring someone in who will identify weaknesses in your business strategy, helping your company position for future growth.
  • Your business is struggling, and you want to turn things around before everything fails.
  • Financial strategy is lacking in your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual planning sessions.
  • You are thinking about bringing in investors or stepping into acquisition opportunities.
  • You don’t have professional accounting experience, so you don’t understand the laws for taxes and business management.

Even if you have experience in the financial industry, eventually the growth of the company will keep you spread too thin. As a business owner, you don’t need to do everything on your own! Instead, look for the best ways to utilize your time and expertise, while hiring others to fill in the gaps. Eventually, the growth of the company will exceed your experience, and you won’t have enough time to get it all done.

Keep in mind that some of these tasks can be handled by an outsourced accounting team. If you aren’t ready to bring on the expenses of a full-time CFO, then you might learn more about accounting services to see if you can save money without sacrificing the quality of services that are available for your company.

Don’t Overlook Lower Level Financial Tasks

Hiring a CFO won’t be the answer for some of the lower level financial tasks that need to be addressed. If you are having a hard time with bank reconciliation and data entry for invoices, then hiring a CFO won’t fix that problem. Instead, you need to start with basic financial services that are available from a bookkeeping team or small business accountant.

Most companies in the beginning stages only need these basic financial services. Our accounting team can help with tax preparation and the ongoing reporting and tracking that is required. Eventually, you might consider the option to hire a CFO if those services are still needed at a later date.

Professional accounting services are important to create a financial system that will set your company up for success. This step delays the need to hire a CFO or a full-time financial employee because you will have control over the tracking and invoices for the company. Be strategic with your plan so that you can manage expenses and plan for the future at the same time.

Benefits of Outsourcing

When you are ready to hire a CFO, you might consider outsourced CFO services as well. Many companies are seeing the benefits of outsourcing accounting and CFO services, helping to minimize the cost of hiring new employees. Compare the expenses of bringing on a full-time CFO with the cost of outsourcing the tasks that are needed, and you will see that you can probably save thousands of dollars every year with outsourced services.

If you are interested in learning more about outsourced financial services, then Easier Accounting is here to help. We offer a full range of outsourced accounting options, including payroll, ongoing financial management, tax filing, and more. Our goal is to cater your services to match the needs of your company.

Learn more about the ways that Easier Accounting can help your business. Call us for more information about the ways that we can help with your business growth. We are always here to answer your accounting questions: (888) 620-0770

6 Steps to Help You Get Started with Outsourced Accounting

Financial management in your business is arguably one of the most important responsibilities that will impact your future success. If you fail to keep up with accounting and financial tracking, then you could be facing cash flow problems and other avoidable issues. Unfortunately, too many small business owners are carrying so many responsibilities that they can’t keep up with the financial requirements of running the company. One option that you might consider is to look for outsourced accounting services.

Most business owners know that financial tracking and accounting is important. But, they just don’t have enough hours in the day to keep up with these tasks. When you determine that you need help with bookkeeping and accounting, then it might seem like a logical choice to hire another employee. Instead of rushing into the decision to bring on another employee, consider the benefits of outsourcing these tasks.

Not only will you find flexibility in the accounting packages that are offered, but you will also see that outsourced accounting is a great way to reduce overhead costs. Outsourcing is much more affordable compared to hiring another full-time employee! You don’t need to worry about office space or computer equipment. Plus, you can tap into the accountant’s expertise without paying a full-time salary every month.

If your workload is adding up and you can’t keep up with the ongoing demands of owning a company, then we invite you to talk to our team for more information. Here at Easier Accounting, we are always available to answer your questions and help you choose the right outsourcing solutions for your business.

Here are a few steps to help you get started with outsourced accounting:

Step #1: Be Clear about the Tasks You Want to Outsource

It can be hard to hire the right outsourcing team if you aren’t clear about the scope of work that you need help with. Instead of looking for a general outsourcer, find a team that offers specialized experience in the areas where you need the most help.

For example, instead of saying that you want to hire an accounting expert, put together a list of specific tasks that you need the outsourcer to do. For more business owners, accounting outsourcing often includes some of the time-consuming tasks that are difficult to manage:

  • Payroll
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts Payable/Receivable
  • Tax Preparation and Filing
  • Financial Reports
  • And More

Being clear about your goals will make it easier for you to find the right services that match the needs of your company.

As you are preparing this list, it is helpful to have information about the financial transactions and needs of your company. Your accounting team will likely ask for information regarding the number of transactions that move through your account each month, annual revenue, the number of clients that you have, and the number of employees that are on the payroll. Providing these details upfront can help you see if the outsourcing team can support your business needs.

Step #2: Find an Outsourcing Team with Experience

While it might be tempting to pass the busy work to a stay-at-home mom in your family, you might run into many issues because of the lack of experience and subpar workflow. The best solution is to find an experience outsourcing team that has many years of experience in the industry. Tapping into this expertise reduces the likelihood of problems so that you are prepared to set your business up for success.

One thing to consider is the size of your company and the experience that the accounting team offers for various types of companies. For example, if you are a small business owner or a start-up company, then make sure that your outsourced accounting team has helped with similar types of companies. This hands-on experience is an optimal way for you to avoid common problems that are encountered by business owners.

Step #3: Consider the Costs

One of the reasons why small business owners avoid outsourcing is because they are worried about the associated costs. If you are boot-strapping to get the business off the ground, does it make sense to spend money on outsourced services?

The truth is that outsourcing is usually more affordable than hiring a full-time employee. When you are working with outsourcers, then you can pay for the time that is used, rather than supporting the full paycheck and benefits for an employee.

Plus, you need to consider the opportunity costs of forgoing these services. For example, if you are managing your own tax filing and you don’t have a lot of accounting experience, then it is likely that you are missing out on important write-offs. These mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars in tax expenses over the years. Instead, it is better to let a team of professionals handle the details so that you have an optimal outcome for your tax filing.

You can set a monthly budget for outsourcing so that you know how much these services will impact your overhead costs. Then, look at the potential financial benefits that are possible in the future. Having a team of accounting professionals can be the best thing that you can do to improve your business cash flow and avoid common problems that are encountered by small business owners.

Step #4: Compare Your Options

Now that you have decided that outsourcing is right for your company, the next step is to compare the companies that offer the services that you need. Don’t limit yourself to your local area! Many accounting services and other types of outsourced services can be completed remotely. There is no reason to meet with the outsourcing team face-to-face.

Limiting your choices to the local area will decrease the options that are available. Instead, focus on the services that you need and don’t worry about the location of the outsourcing team. The only consideration is to ensure that you choose an accounting company in the United States so that the team is familiar with the local laws regulating tax filings.

As you are comparing companies in the industry, look at the reputation of the various outsourcing teams. Online reviews and business information can give insight into the company so that you choose a team that you can trust. Since you will be handing over financial details, you need to make sure that you hire a reputable outsourcer that will use discretion with your business information.

Step #5: Schedule an Interview to Learn More

Most outsourcers will offer a complimentary consultation so that you can learn more about the services that are available. Narrow your choices down to your top two or three accounting services. Then, schedule appointments to talk to each team so that you can learn more about these companies.

This conversation will give insight into the customer service that you can expect. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions to ensure that the services are a good fit for your business.

Step #6: Maintain Regular Communication

Now that you have a reputable outsourcing team to help with your business, it might be tempting to let them handle all of the financial details. But, you need to stay informed about the financial trends in your company. Regular meetings are important so that you can stay current with cash flow, anticipated sales, profits, and more. Your accounting team will handle the mundane busy work, and then provide the reports that are needed so that you are always up-to-date about the health of your company.

Ongoing communication is important for tax filings, payroll processing, invoicing, and more. Set a system and make sure that you stay consistent with the things that need to be addressed in the future. A good accounting team will keep you updated about the work that is being done. Make sure that your team is always available to answer your questions should the need arise.

It is common for financial questions to come up throughout the year. Your accounting team can be a valuable resource so that you can get professional advice about your company. Instead of waiting to talk to your accountant when tax season rolls around, consider the benefits of maintaining communication throughout the year.

Learn about Outsourced Accounting

Do you love the idea of hiring an outsourcing team to help with the accounting needs of your company? Then right now is a great time to schedule a consultation with our team here at Easier Accounting. We will gladly discuss your needs and help you identify the services that are a good fit for your business.

We have many years of experience in the accounting industry. Our specialty is focused on small businesses and entrepreneurs. We know the common concerns that come up for people who are getting started with new business efforts, and our goal is to help you avoid these problems.

Are you ready to learn more? The experts at Easier Accounting are always here to help! We know that outsourcing can be a powerful way for you to leverage future business results. So, we will work hard to support your financial goals and business efforts. Call for more information: (888) 620-0770

4th Quarter Financial Goals to Finish the Year Strong

4th quarter has arrived, which means that it is a great opportunity to assess your current business success. Are you on track to finish the year strong? Regardless of the financial success that you have experienced so far this year, there are a few things that you can do to wrap up 2017 and ensure that you are ready to make 2018 the best year yet. Our accounting team is looking for ways to support our clients in these efforts.

Here are a few things that you need to consider, so that 4th quarter doesn’t get side-tracked by the holiday season:

Leverage Your Busy Season

If you are in the retail business, then you are probably ramping up for a busy holiday season. It is common for retail sales to go up during this time of year because consumers are buying gifts for Christmas and other holidays that fall at the end of the year.

Not only do you need to make sure that your inventory is stocked, but you also need to be sure that you have the manpower to support the anticipated surge in sales. Failing to have the cash flow to support these efforts could result in missed opportunities for Christmas shopping.

One of the best things that you can do is talk to your accountant right now to assess your business financials. Look at your current inventory and your anticipated sales volume. Then, place orders right now so that you are ready for the busy November and December months. Don’t delay ordering the product, because you don’t want to be stuck without a product to sell when customers are looking for the products that you have to offer.

There is a reason why businesses often refer to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday.” This day is often the time when the annual sales go into the black. So, the rest of the sales for the year are just gravy to fatten your profits. Using the right marketing and promotion techniques can help you leverage your results even more.

Even if you don’t sell retail products, there are ways that you can use the holiday season to boost your business efforts. For example, some service-based businesses offer Black Friday sales with discounts on the services that are available. Get creative and look for ways that you can encourage your customers to make a purchase while they are in a buying mood.

Preparing for Tax Season

When taxes are filed in the spring, our accounting team will be working with the numbers from 2017. So, right now is a great time to make financial changes if they are needed. An accounting meeting at the beginning of 4th quarter is essential to ensure that you are on-track for optimal results on your next tax filing.

For example, if you can see that the profits are coming in higher than previous years, then you might consider the option to purchase equipment needed for the office. These write-offs can help you manage your tax burden so that the results are favorable to match what you need. But, you need to know the details before the year ends, so that you can make these purchases within the calendar year.

You can’t make these decisions based on current bank account balances. Instead, it is important to review Profit and Loss reports and anticipated expenses with your accounting team. These details will help you get a clear picture of the current financial health of your company. Then, you can make adjustments or changes as needed to set your business up for financial success in the future.

Don’t Go on Auto-Pilot

4th quarter can be challenging because it is a fun time of year. Some business owners buckle down to optimize their results. But, other people take time off because of the holiday season. While it is important to spend time with your family during this busy time of year, you shouldn’t let your business goals fall to the back-burner.

Don’t rationalize the idea that you will pick up your goals when the New Year starts. If you want long-term success, then you need to be willing to buckle down to get it done throughout the year. Instead of assuming that the holiday season is a time when you should relax and take a break from the business efforts, look for ways that you can maintain continuous efforts to achieve your business goals. Find a balance between work and personal life, allowing you to enjoy the holidays without making your business suffer.

Change Your Business Perspective

Staying aware of the financial health of your company is an important strategy to help you prepare for future growth in your company. It is essential that you spend time each quarter looking at the successes and failures of the previous quarter. Identify the things that are working, and look for ways to eliminate systems that are dragging down your profit margins.

Shining light on these trends and patterns makes it possible for you to change the negative habits so that you can eliminate the bad things before the year comes to an end. You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Instead, you need to keep your focus on the goals that you have for the future, then find ways to implement business systems that will make it possible for you to reach those goals.

In a Rut? Set New Goals for 4th Quarter

If you are a business owner who is repeating the same things over and over while expecting new results, then right now is the time that you need to make a change. Don’t let your company stay in a rut for 4th quarter goals! Instead, assess your current goals and efforts to see if any changes need to be made.

The New Year is approaching, and it will be here sooner than you know it. The work that you put in within the last few months of the year will set the tone for how your business will start in the New Year. Instead of repeating common failures, you can eliminate these bad habits to ensure that you are positioned for massive growth in 2018.

Here are a few questions that you can ask as you are evaluating your goals and success:

  • Are you on track to reach your target sales numbers for the year? If not, why?
  • What are the best activities that are bringing in more sales and revenue?
  • Where are the categories that are cutting into your profits?
  • Do you have an effective accounting system in place to show current financial reports?
  • What is working? What isn’t working?
  • Is your marketing plan bringing in the customers that you anticipated?
  • How can you leverage the holiday season to boost your sales?

Be honest with your answers so that you can see the areas where you are succeeding and failing. If you are coming up short in any area of your business, then it can be helpful to bring in an expert for advice. For example, if you are unsure about your bookkeeping and financial reports, then it is essential that you hire an expert accounting team to assist with this aspect of your business.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals

Now that you are ready to make the 4th quarter the best quarter of the year, you are probably excited about setting goals for the last few months. While it is good to set goals, make sure that you are realistic about the goals that you are striving to achieve.

Business coaches often talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym means that your goals should be:

  • Specific: Lay out the details of your goals so that you have a clear measurement to see when you reach the goal. For example, set a specific dollar amount in sales that you want to achieve before the end of the year.
  • Measurable: Generic, unmeasurable goals make it hard to see if you achieved the results that you desired. Instead of saying that your goal is to increase sales, set a goal to boost sales by 2% compared to the previous quarter.
  • Attainable: Choose a goal that is attainable within a three-month It is good to reach for the stars, but don’t shoot so high that you face failure.
  • Realistic: Also, think about realistic changes that can be made in your company. For example, it might not be realistic to design and manufacture a new product line in this short period of time. But, you could have details laid out so that you are ready for the new manufacturing by the beginning of the year.
  • Timely: A three-month goal is a great timeframe. It gives you enough time to work on the goal, without making the deadline so far out that it will get kicked down the road.

Are you assessing your 4th quarter goals? We invite you to contact our team here at Easier Accounting for help! We will review your financial details and help you see the best ways to set your company up for success in the future. Call to learn more about the accounting and bookkeeping services that we offer: (888) 620-0770

What Should I Consider When Choosing an Accounting Software?

Have you experienced the overwhelming feeling of trying to manage the finances for your small business? Business accounting and bookkeeping are much more than just collecting money from customers and depositing it into your bank account. There are many important factors that you need to consider to ensure that you are protecting the financial health of your company.

One of the foundational decisions that you need to make is regarding the type of software that you will use to track the financial information. Here are a few things to consider when making this decision:

Why Manual Accounting Practices are Outdated

Before the invention of computers and the internet, most business owners kept a ledger to track transactions and cash flow. This information was recorded by hand and reconciled manually as needed.

These practices are ancient in our modern, digital world. If you are still recording transactions by hand, then it means that you need to get with the times and implement a software program. Even basic Excel spreadsheets aren’t sufficient to track your information with accuracy.

Manual accounting practices and data entry increase the risk of error, which can have a long-term impact on the financial future of your company. It is essential to ensure that the information is correct so that you always have accurate details about your business finances.

Think about the Future When Choosing Accounting and Bookkeeping Software

You are focused on the current needs of the company, but don’t overlook the way the software will be able to manage future growth and development. The chances are that you will find multiple programs that will meet your current needs. Just because your current requirements are met, doesn’t mean that you will have the accounting power needed for the future of your company.

If you are planning to go through the effort of implementing a new software program, then it makes sense that you should choose something that is designed to last. It will be frustrating to get a few years down the road and find out that you need to make the transition to a different software system. So, get it done right by choosing a program that will accommodate future needs.

The main reason that business owners are driven to use the wrong software is that they want to save money on the costs. Even though there are other software programs that seem to be effective for your current needs, it won’t be worth the savings if you encounter big problems in the future. Upgrading to a new software program will be the last thing you want to deal with when your business is booming, and you are expanding to accommodate the growth of the company.

Support for the Software and Your Business Efforts

The only way the software will be useful is if you have good support for implementation and ongoing transaction management. So, make sure that you choose a company that offers continuous support for the source code. New versions will be released as the industry needs to change, helping you to stay up-to-date at all times without the painful experience of moving to a new software program.

In addition to the support from the software company, it also helps to have support from an accounting team. For example, our team here at Easier Accounting can help with the implementation of your new software program. At the same time, we will provide the ongoing services that you need to improve the results that are available from the software.

We know the nuances of working with an accounting software. We will combine our experience with the power of the software program to offer the best options for your company.

Consider the Security of the Software

One reason you need to choose a software with a good reputation is to ensure the security of your financial information. Encryption and digital security measures need to be in place to reduce the risk of hackers.

Not only do you need safe information sharing from your bank to the accounting software, but you also need to be sure that your outsourced accounting team is using the best security practices in the industry. When you choose Easier Accounting, you can rest easy to know that we are always proactive to protect your information and reduce the risk of threat or fraud to your company.

Desktop or Online Accounting Software Programs?

Upgrade to a software system that allows remote access from anywhere in the world. Limiting the software program to your computer or laptop increases the risk of losing the information if the hardware fails. For example, if the computer is damaged or stolen, then you will lose all of your financial records.

Plus, you won’t be able to take advantage of outsourced accounting services if you aren’t using a cloud-based software program. The internet will allow you to bring in the skills that will optimize your team and improve the future success of your company.

Another benefit of online accounting is that you can access the information when you are away from the office. If you are on a business trip and you need to make a big decision that impacts the financial future of your company, then you can quickly pull up the reports to see a real-time picture of your financial situation. Your accounting team will also be available to offer tax planning advice and other information that needs to be taken into consideration.

Can I Restrict Access for Certain Users?

If multiple people will be accessing your accounting software, then it sometimes makes sense to restrict the information that can be viewed. You don’t need to provide full access to everyone who will be using the system. For example, you might provide data entry access to some people, while a few select people have access to full reports and the overall financial picture of the company.

What Accounting Software Features Will You Use?

One problem that you might encounter is buying a robust accounting system that offers many features that will never be used. If you have a small business without a lot of complexity, then it might make sense to keep things simple with a less-complicated software program. Investing in a robust financial system that includes features you don’t need will result in higher costs that are not justified for your business model.

As a business owner without accounting experience, it can be hard to know which software programs will match the current and future needs of your company. So, the best thing that you can do is consult with an experienced accounting team to learn more about their recommendations. Here at Easier Accounting, we will gladly discuss your current accounting system and help you see the benefits of choosing a software program to match the needs of your company.

Are Outsourced Accounting Services Right for You?

At Easier Accounting, we are here to help you make the transition to a new accounting software that will help your company grow. We have many years of experience in the accounting industry, and our goal is to ensure that you have the right system to support your ongoing needs.

Not only will we help you move to an accounting software that will be right for your business, but we also offer the continuous support that you need. These services are designed to create the best financial future that will set you up for success.

We understand the nuances of small business accounting. So, we are always here to offer advice and help you miss some of the common roadblocks that are encountered along the way. As you learn more about us, you will see that we offer a full range of accounting and bookkeeping services that can be catered to match your needs.

If you have questions about small business accounting, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team. We are always here to answer your questions and help you learn more about the benefits that are available for your company. We offer the financial support that you are looking for so that you can focus on the other responsibilities that are required for business growth and ongoing management.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Accounting Systems?

Whether you are looking to upgrade your current accounting practices or you need to implement a brand new program, we are here to help. We can provide support for start-ups as well as seasoned small businesses. Our specialties are focused on small business accounting and services for entrepreneurs. You can choose from a variety of ongoing accounting packages, as well as one-time accounting services as needed. We are always here to cater your services to match your requirements.

Are you ready to learn more? Then you need to talk to the experts here at Easier Accounting. You will see that we are leading the industry by offering top-notch accounting services for small business. Talk to us today to see how we can help with the growth of your company: (888) 620-0770

Warning: Cash in the Bank Doesn’t Mean that Your Business is Profitable

Having cash in the bank is essential to manage ongoing expenses and business transactions. But, sometimes the bank account balance can create a false sense of security for business owners. If you are evaluating whether your company is profitable, then you need to consider much more than just the amount of money that is in your account.

Here at Easier Accounting, we are working hard to help our clients make wise decisions based on the true financial picture for the company. Our team can help you look at the bigger picture so that you can understand the real profitability of your company.

Changes in Your Cash Position

There are many things that can influence your bank account balance. In fact, it is common for businesses to have large fluctuations in their cash position throughout the month. When a large deposit comes in from a big contract, then the balance increases for a little while. But, you need to remember that the money is often already spoken for… it needs to be used for payroll, taxes, overhead expenses, inventory replenishment, and more.

Money in the bank doesn’t show the whole picture of the payments that will be due. It is essential that you maintain the balance that is needed so that those payments will clear when they come through.

Watch the bank balances throughout the month, and you will see the natural fluctuations that occur due to normal business activities. Understanding these trends can help you prepare for the future. It is also important that you work closely with your accounting team to evaluate your profit and loss statement and other reports.

Making Wise Financial Decisions

One of the common problems of having a lot of cash in the bank is that business owners mistakenly think that they can increase their spending. Landing a large contract can create a false sense of security, and sometimes people go out and spend money that is needed for essential overhead expenses.

For example, just because there is a sizable balance in the account, doesn’t mean that you can spend thousands of dollars on new computer equipment. If that money is needed for tax payments, then you might be dealing with a hard situation when the taxes are due. Talk to your accountant before you rush out to spend money on office furniture, company parties, and other things that aren’t essential.

Once you understand the anticipated expenses and you can see the way the cash will flow throughout the month, then you can start making decisions about larger expenses.

The Two-Way Flow of Money

As a business owner, it is exciting to see the money coming in, and it can sometimes be stressful to see the expenses that need to be paid. It takes money to earn money! Investing in great employees, high-quality inventory, and other important expenses will create a situation where you can increase your revenue and maximize profits. As money flows in, it will also flow out.

So, you shouldn’t be opposed to spending money. Instead, you need to plan to be sure that the money will be available when it is needed. Cashflow is an essential part of business management. If the cash isn’t available, then you could be facing big problems in the future. Eventually, cash flow problems could lead to the demise of your company. It’s not about what you make… it’s about what you keep!

A good accounting team will look ahead at anticipated expenses to ensure that you are prepared for the future. This financial guidance can be a valuable way to set your company up for future success.

How Profitable is Your Company?

Landing a big client or having a successful sale will boost the balance in your account. Then, you also need to consider the other side of the cash flow: the money that needs to be spent on essential costs for you to stay in business. You can’t count every penny that comes into the account as profit.

Profitability happens when the outflow of money is less than the amount of money that is coming in. Regular bookkeeping practices can track these transactions, helping you compare the money that is coming and going. These financial services will balance both sides of the story, and the difference will show a clear picture of the profitability of your company.

Without regular financial tracking and evaluation, it is impossible to have a full understanding of the success of your business. These ongoing bookkeeping and accounting tasks are essential so that you can see if your efforts are paying off.

Simple Steps to Boost Profitability

If you talk to your accountant and find out that your business isn’t as profitable as you want, then you might consider the benefit of making changes to boost profitability. Here are a few effective strategies to help:

  • Reach Out to Past Customers: Your old customer files are the source of gold that you need to boost revenue. These people have shown interested in the products and services that you offer. So, you can get a good ROI with your marketing budget by reactivating people who have purchased in the past. Send an email or a postcard to invite people to come back. Consider offering a promotion or discount to get people in the door again.
  • Take a Hard Look at Expenses: The money that you are spending could be bleeding the company dry if the expenses are unnecessary. Take time to evaluate every transaction to see if it is essential to keep your business going. If possible, decrease the amount of money that you are spending each month to maximize the money that stays in the bank.
  • Raise Your Prices: Look at the per-unit cost to see if your prices are covering the necessary expenses. Once you factor in overhead costs, production expenses, and more, then you might see that your prices are too low. A small increase in pricing could help to cover the gap and boost the profitability of each sale. But, there is a limit to how much you can increase the pricing of your products and services. Research your competitors to see what the market can bear.
  • Understand Net Profit: Talk to your accounting team to know the amount of money that is needed to support the business every month. This figure is the essential gross revenue to ensure that you aren’t going into debt. Then, look at the incremental effort that is needed to boost net profit.
  • Be Deliberate with Financial Decisions: Too often, business owners rush into a financial decision without evaluating the overall picture. Even if you are busy or you are on a tight timeframe, it is essential that you take a moment to understand the financial health of your company. These financial decisions are the incremental factors that influence future growth and stability within your business.
  • Build an Emergency Cash Account: If an emergency happens, do you have the cash available to pay for the expenses? Instead of pulling out the credit cards, it is helpful to have a backup account with emergency funds. This strategy helps you avoid debt so that you can minimize unnecessary interest costs.

What Should You Do if the Business isn’t Profitable?

There are some tough decisions that need to be made if your company isn’t profitable. Instead of jumping to conclusions that you need to close the doors, look at other options that could rejuvenate your company success.

The most important thing that you can do is ensure that you have the support of experienced financial professionals. You shouldn’t be making these big decisions without leaning on someone who understands the nuances of business growth and development.

If there are possibilities to pull the company out of a tailspin and make it profitable, then you need to look at options to generate cash to carry you through. Evaluate the numbers to see if the Return on Investment is a bigger opportunity compared to taking on the expense of debt.

Instead of giving up equity in the company, consider taking a loan. This decision might be the right answer so that you can prevent a loss of sales and solidify future growth of the company. You need to evaluate the cost of interest, the payments that need to be met, and other associated expenses to see if the investment will pay off in the future. Sometimes, a calculated investment can go a long way to turn the company around.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Small Business Accountant

Do you have more questions about the financial health of your company? Our team is always available to help with anything that you need! We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about the best options to help your company grow.

Easier Accounting is here for you! We are experienced in all types of small business accounting services, and we would love to see how our services can complement the growth of your company. Call to learn more: (888) 620-0770

Bookkeeping 101: The Ultimate Guide to Help Small Business Owners with Financial Tracking

What emotion do you feel when you hear the word “bookkeeping?” Many small business owners cringe in frustration and anxiety, knowing that their bookkeeping system needs a little TLC. Whether you are having problems with your current system or you haven’t put in the effort to implement a bookkeeping system, right now is a great time to get started.

A few small steps can go a long way to help you take control of your business finances. You need to make sure that you have a good bookkeeping plan in place so that you always have a clear picture of the financial health of your company. For many small business owners, bookkeeping isn’t a priority. But, these tasks can be the make-it-or-break-it factors that will influence the future success of your company.

Are You in Over Your Head?

It is common for small business owners to feel like they are in over their heads with bookkeeping. Often, the strategy is to start with a DIY bookkeeping approach. Then, you likely ran into problems because the accounts didn’t balance or you couldn’t find the time to work on the books.

Some business owners put in the effort to hire a secretary or lower level employee to manage the financial details. This solution might work in some ways, but it is common for you to face errors and discrepancies if that person doesn’t have professional training in accounting. An internal employee handling the books will work until they quit or you must fire them, then you will be facing a gap in your financial management once again.

Instead of looking the other way because the books are too overwhelming, it is essential that you talk to an experienced team for help with a solid bookkeeping system. A little bit of work right now can go a long way to ensure that you are prepared for future growth and product development.

Step #1: Get Clear on Your Goals

The best way to start any system is to know WHY you want to make these changes. If you don’t understand the motivation behind a financial system, then it will be difficult to find the desire to spend the time and money on this effort. Understanding your business goals will help you identify the tools that will boost your success.

Most business owners will agree that their goal is focused on the future expansion and growth of the company. But, this growth isn’t possible if you don’t have the cash flow to support things as they are changing. So, you need to be sure that you create a financial picture that can expand to accommodate the size of the company that you are developing.

Step #2: Talk to the Pros

Once you identify your goals, the next step is to hire a professional who can offer personalized advice to set you up for success. If you bring in an employee, then you need to be sure that the person has hands-on experience with business accounting and bookkeeping. The problem is that hiring another employee can be an expensive choice that drains your bank account. An entry-level employee won’t have the experience to manage the books properly. But, it can cost quite a bit of money to bring in an educated professional.

Instead, consider the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting tasks. This solution will give you the skills that are needed to improve your business finances, without the excessive costs. Not only can you skip overhead costs related to office space, equipment, and benefits, but you can also pay a smaller amount since you don’t need full-time work.

Outsourced bookkeeping and accounting is a great solution to reduce your workload. You can focus your efforts on the tasks that will help with company growth while letting the professional handle the busy work and financial details.

Consider hiring an accounting team that specializes in small business services. Having previous experience working with other companies that are similar in size to your business is a critical factor. By understanding the laws, nuances, and accounting practices for small businesses, your accounting team will be able to implement a system that is already proven in other circumstances.

Step #3: Figure Out a System that Matches Your Preferences

Now that you have an experienced team to help with your financial tasks, the next step is to put together a system that will set you up for success. Your bookkeeping and accounting team can help you compare different types of financial software programs. These tools are essential to manage the numbers and give you access to important financial reports.

It is common for small businesses to use cloud-based software problems. These solutions will allow you to see the details from anywhere in the world. Often, there are smartphone apps that can make it easy to manage transactions and invoices on the go.

Additionally, a cloud-based software will give the outsourced bookkeeping team the ability to access information from any location. So, you don’t have to worry about having the bookkeepers in your office. They will take care of the busy work such as payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash flow, reconciliations, audits, and more.

Remember that every business is different. So, it makes sense that you should have someone who can design a program to meet the needs of your company. Consider the services that are necessary, and then talk to your accounting and bookkeeping team about the way they can help.

Step #4: Maintain Consistency with Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Annual Tasks

Once you have a great bookkeeping system in place, it can be a breeze to stick to the system. But, you need to make sure that you are proactive to keep up with the ongoing tasks that build up to future success. Slacking on the paperwork and invoices can lead to a domino effect that creates a bigger mess.

Ongoing maintenance and care are the reasons why many people need the help of an experienced accounting team. As a business owner, you are already juggling too many responsibilities to keep up with the paperwork and transactions. Instead, let a team of experts manage the daily flow of transactions so that you can focus on other responsibilities.

Common tasks that need to be maintained include tracking expenses, filing tax paperwork, sending invoices, and cutting paychecks. These tasks will influence the cash flow for your company. For example, failing to keep up with tax payments and paperwork could result in fines and interest accrual later. Also, you need to be sure that you have money in the bank when these payments are due. An experienced accounting team can offer the services that you need so that you keep up with these important tasks.

Step #5: Re-Evaluate and Change if Needed

If you already have an accounting system in place, why should you re-evaluate your practices? It is essential to make sure that the system is still meeting the needs of your company. Even if things seem to be working, you won’t know the ways that you can optimize your finances unless you are working with an accounting professional.

Ongoing evaluations can be focused on reconciliations, system optimization, and preparing for future growth. The goal is to be proactive to prepare for the future, instead of reactively working through problems as they arise. By looking forward to seeing how things might play out, you can increase the likelihood that your business can grow and expand in a healthy way.

These steps can also help you see if something isn’t working well. There might be small nuances in your system that are hindering the growth of your company. In these situations, changes can be used to overcome the issues and help you prepare for the future.

So, you need to make sure that you have the support of an experienced accounting team throughout the year. Assistance with the setup of a good system is just the first step to help you achieve the business success that you desire. Choose an accounting team that will offer the ongoing support that is necessary to propel your small business forward!

Schedule a Consultation with the Experts

Here at Easier Accounting, we are working hard to provide the full range of financial services that are necessary for your small business. If you are looking for help with bookkeeping and accounting, then we are here to answer your questions and offer the assistance that you need! You are welcome to talk to our team to learn more about the ways that we can offer support for your company.

Our team is dedicated to your success. We understand the steps that need to be followed to create the best financial system for you. We will gladly schedule a time to talk to you about your accounting needs so that we can identify the services that will match your preferences.

If you are interested in learning more about how your business will benefit from these services, then we invite you to contact us today. At Easier Accounting, we are always available to help! Call (888) 620-0770

Factors to Consider if You Need a Small Business Loan

Are you preparing to launch a start-up? Or do you need some extra money to help with the cash flow of your existing company? There are many reasons why business owners and entrepreneurs might be thinking about applying for a business loan. Before you run to the bank to open a line of credit, it is important that you talk to your accounting team to learn more about financial strategies that can be used in this situation.

Cash Flow for Business Operations

It is important to be sure that you have the cash flow to maintain daily operations for the company, which often means that you need to front the cash to pay for inventory and other expenses. But, you need to be careful to ensure that you have enough money to carry the company until the receivables come in.

If you know the numbers, then the risk is minimal to front this money. So, you should maintain close communication with your accountant to ensure that you can pay off the loan when the extra cash is available.

But, mistakes can be made and cause your company to be strapped in debt. These debt payments could make it harder to keep up with cash flow, eventually leading to the demise of the business.

Making Debt Useful to Grow Your Business

There is nothing wrong with using debt to grow your company. You just need to be sure that you are working with experienced financial professionals to ensure the long-term success of your strategy. Once these funds are secured, then you can use the money to boost inventory or focus on business development. Eventually, the risk could pay off with a big return on your investment.

There is no doubt that it takes money to earn money. Some business owners have a reserve of cash that can be used to get the company off the ground. Other times, it might be necessary to find angel investors or to get the financing that is needed from a lender.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Don’t expect to walk into a bank and have easy access to money for a business loan. You need to do your homework and make sure that you are prepared when you meet with the lender. This meeting is essential to help you secure the funding that is needed. But, it can be a challenge for some people to get the approvals that are necessary for a loan or line of credit.

Securing a business loan is even harder if you haven’t been in business for many years or you don’t have the assets to use as collateral. The lender wants to see that there is a fallback option if you default on the loan. They are looking at the risk of lending the money to you.

Here are a few things that you can do to win over the lender and secure the loan that you need:

  • Provide the Lender What They Want: The lender will provide the money, with the caveat that it will be paid back in full with interest. The biggest worry is that you will be unable to pay back the loan. So, the lender will assess your personal financial history, to see if you have a good credit score and track record. Additionally, they will request information about the business plan and the anticipated outcomes as you work through the anticipated challenges of owning a small business. You need to be prepared with details and documents that will show why you can succeed when other businesses in the same industry have failed.
  • Provide the Paperwork: Don’t show up to your meeting empty-handed. Most lenders will be looking for specific documents, and they might even provide a list of requested information in advance. For example, you should bring business tax returns, profit and loss reports, proof of sales, your business plan, bank statements, or anything else that will help to show the financial picture of your company.
  • Choose the Right Lender: Instead of walking into a random bank down the street, do your homework to find a lender with a good reputation. If possible, it is best to find a financial institution that often works with small businesses and entrepreneurs. What types of loans does the lender typically offer? Do they have a good reputation among their customers? Choosing the right company can increase the likelihood that you can secure the money that you need.
  • Build Business Credit: If you are applying for a personal loan, then the lender will run your credit score to determine the risk of lending to you. In the same way, banks want to know more about your business credit score. They will look at assets and credit history to see if you have built a strong financial reputation for the company. Without this credit history, it can be hard to get approval for the loan. The best way that you can build your business credit is by securing smaller lines of credit through suppliers or investors. Then, you can strengthen your credit rating and buy assets that can be used to back up the loan money.

If you have questions about the process of getting a business loan, it can be helpful to talk to your small business accountant for advice and information. You accountant can help you prepare the documentation that is needed. Sometimes, they can even provide recommendations about good lenders to work with.

Choosing a Bank for a Small Business Loan

As mentioned above, choosing the right lender is a critical step to help you secure the loan that you need. By selecting a reputable lender, you can rest assured to know that you won’t get burned by the loan. Find someone who can offer fair interest rates and reasonable payback terms.

The most important factor is to make sure that you choose a bank that is friendly to small businesses. Here are a few options that you might consider:

  • Local Banks: Applying for a loan with a large corporate bank means that you might get lost in the shuffle. Instead, look for small financial companies that often work with local businesses. There is a Small Business Lending Fund that can be used by community banks to fund loans for small companies.
  • Talk to Other Small Businesses: Do you know any other small business owners in the area? Often, start-ups and entrepreneurs are well-connected with other people in the same situation. Ask your network to find out where they secured financing, and they will likely provide referrals for you to use.
  • Small Business Administration Secured Loans: Consider the option to apply for loans that are secured by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the United States. These lenders will be listed as either preferred or certified by the SBA. The loan doesn’t come directly from the SBA. Instead, the lenders can secure financing through the SBA to provide loans for small businesses.

Comparing Your Options

Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to one financial company. Instead, it can be beneficial to apply for several loans so that you can compare your options. There are many lenders willing to provide the money that you need, and it can be to your benefit to compare the offerings so that you can find the best terms for your needs.

Be selective about the loans that you choose because you need to be sure that the financing will support the long-term results for your business. If the repayment terms are too difficult to meet, then you might consider looking for other options that are available.

Using the Money Wisely

Once the loan has been approved and you have secured the money that you need, work with your accountant to make sure that the money is used in the right way. Too often, business owners spend the loan money too quickly on things that won’t necessarily contribute to the future growth of the company. Then, they are stuck with the same revenue and higher bills that need to be paid each month.

Your accountant and other financial professionals can help you assess the anticipated Return on Investment for the money that you will be spending. Be selective to dedicate the money to business activities that will help to boost your revenue, providing the cash flow that you need to pay back the loan.

Are you looking for financial advice catered to the needs of your company? Then you need to talk to our team here at Easier Accounting. We specialize in small business accounting, and our goal is to provide the financial strategies that will help your business grow. We can cater your accounting services to match the needs of your company.

We are always happy to answer your questions and help with anything that you need. Call us to learn more about the ways that we can help your small business. We will gladly schedule an appointment to discuss the services that we offer: (888) 620-0770

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Payroll Service

Whether you have two employees or two hundred employees, it is important to have a solid payroll system to ensure timely payments to your staff. Many business owners agree that it can be a burden to keep up with payroll processing, but it is a necessary part of owning a business.

If you are overwhelmed with keeping up with your business payroll, then you might consider the benefits of hiring a bookkeeping or accounting service to assist. Outsourcing these tasks can relieve your stress and help you focus on the other essential tasks that need to be addressed.

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Hire an Employee or Outsource Payroll?

Hiring an in-house bookkeeper or accountant might be a good solution if you need support with payroll processing. But, you need to look at the overall costs of hiring an employee to see if it is worth the cost. Not only will you need to pay their salary, but there are other expenses such as benefits, office space, training, onboarding, and more. It is essential that you look at all of these hidden costs before deciding to bring another employee into your company.

An easy way to skip these extra costs is by hiring an outsourced payroll service. This solution allows you to hand off the burden of processing payroll, while still keeping your costs low. Payroll outsourcing is one of the best ways that you can free up your schedule and improve your business financial systems at the same time.

Automating Your Payroll Processing

Payroll processing is not only time-consuming, but it can also be costly to keep up with everything. When it is time to cut the paychecks, it is much more than just calculating the number of hours worked by each employee. Not only do you need to calculate the gross payment, but you also need to keep up with the current payroll taxes and withholdings. Then, these payments need to be sent to the government along with the appropriate reporting forms.

Additionally, there are quarterly and annual taxes that need to be considered, as well as the management of benefits withholdings and more. It can be a full-time job to keep up with the financial details for your payroll system!

As a business owner, there is no reason for you to spend your valuable time on this busy work. Hiring a payroll outsourcing team can allow you to transition to a full-service, cloud-based system that frees up your time to focus on other aspects of business management. You can sleep easy at night knowing that payroll is done and you don’t have to worry about the data entry and tedious work.

Instead of viewing payroll services as a “luxury,” it is time to switch your thinking and see that a reliable payroll management service could save your company thousands of dollars.

Questions to Ask Your Payroll Provider

When you make the decision to hire a payroll provider, you need to ask a few questions to ensure that the services match the needs of your company. Here are a few questions that can help you choose a provider for your needs:

  • What services are included in my accounting package? Most accountants will offer a specific scope of services included in a monthly plan. The best solution is to find an accounting team that will handle the payroll processing and the tax preparation as well. These two services go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense to hire someone to help with both. Payroll processing should include tasks such as payroll tax calculations, automated new hire reporting, deductions for benefits, tracking paid time off, and as-needed adjustments for reimbursements, bonuses, commissions, garnishments, and more.
  • How will the employee payments be sent? Make sure that direct deposit is available, as well as a check option if needed. Most employees prefer direct deposit, although some people want to pick up a printed check.
  • Is it a cloud-based system? Even though you are hiring an accounting team to manage the responsibility for payroll processing, you still need the option to see the reports and transaction details. A cloud-based system will give you access to oversee the details. But, make sure that the system uses the latest encryption technology to ensure the safety of the information. Also, the account information should be secured with firewalls and two-step authentication.
  • How much will I pay per month? Factor in costs for the cloud-based software as well as the accounting services. Make sure that you understand the payment breakdown based on the size of your company. Some accounting services charge a flat fee for the entire company, while others charge a fee for each employee. Compare these costs to the expenses of hiring a full-time accountant, and you will see that it is more affordable to outsource payroll processing.
  • How do I get started? Find out the best way to setup the system and start moving forward. During your initial conversation, you should discuss your current payroll system to find the best way to make the transition to the new system. An experienced accounting team will be able to offer the support that you need to make it as easy as possible.
  • Will all payroll taxes be handled? The simplest solution for payroll outsourcing is to hire a full-service accounting team. Make sure that the payroll service will include required forms such as W-2’s and 1099’s at the beginning of each year. Also, ask about practices that are in place to manage compliance for federal and state taxes, including payments and forms that need to be submitted throughout the year.
  • Can I see what the check stub will look like? Asking for an example of the check stub will allow you to see what your employees will receive. Make sure that the important details are included, such as deductions, taxes, paid time off, and more.
  • What is the policy for payroll changes? The hope is that all applicable information will be updated in the system before payroll is processed. But, you need to understand the policy if changes need to be made. If mistakes occur on an employee timecard, will you be able to update the system before the checks are cut? Be clear on the timeline to ensure that all employees and managers met these deadlines for each payroll cycle.
  • What are the customer support services that are offered? If you have a question about payroll or tax payments, then you deserve to have an experienced accounting team to answer your questions. Ask the payroll provider about customer service and preferred methods of communication. It is essential that you always have a reliable point of contact to call if you need help with anything for your business finances.
  • How much experience do you have in the industry? Research the accounting company to learn more about the experience of the team. Not only do you want to be sure that the company is reputable, but you should also consider the applicable experience in the payroll industry. Find an accounting team that has experience working with other companies that are similar to your business. This hands-on experience is essential to ensure that you are getting the best services that are available.

Most accounting teams will offer an initial consultation so that you can see if their services are a good fit for what you need. This consultation is a great opportunity to ask these questions so that you can learn more about the company and make sure that you are hiring the right team.

Getting Started with a Payroll Service

You will be amazed to see the many benefits that are available when you choose to outsource your payroll processing. This service is one of the best ways that you can optimize your business finances, free up your time, and improve the accuracy of the paychecks that are being distributed.

High-quality payroll processing helps to avoid costly mistakes that could add up every month. For example, if you miscalculate payroll taxes or deductions, then it could be costing your company thousands of dollars. The investment in a payroll service can ensure that you aren’t missing these important details that could be costing you money.

As a business owner, there is no reason that you should be carrying the responsibility of payroll processing. Right now is a great opportunity to outsource this task so that you can spend more time on business development and other management activities.

Are you ready to learn more about how your company will benefit from payroll processing and other accounting services? Then, you need to schedule an appointment with us at Easier Accounting. We want to make it as easy as possible to improve your business finances. So, we will gladly discuss your situation and find the right services to meet your needs.

If you have any questions or you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to call us for a consultation. We are here to help with anything that you need! Contact Easier Accounting for the best small business payroll processing service available: (888) 620-0770