Posts

Small Business Owners – Don’t Believe These Business Tax Myths

Tax code can be complicated, so it’s easy to see how business tax myths spread among small business owners. You are carrying the responsibility of running your company, managing employees and working on product development. Tax regulations are not on your mind and often fall to the bottom of the priority list.

While it is important to focus on all aspects of your business, failing to keep up with the tax code can be disastrous for your company. If you run into issues with the IRS, then you will be facing fines, interest costs, and late fees. Additionally, poor bookkeeping and accounting practices can cost you a lot of money in potential business deductions.

Preparing for the Upcoming Tax Season

While April 15th is still two months away, right now is the time to get started on your tax preparation. Good bookkeeping should be happening year-round, to ensure that your reports are ready when it is time to file your paperwork.

The assistance of an experienced accountant can be invaluable in helping with accurate filing. Not only do you have a pro to guide your decisions, but an experienced accountant can minimize the risk of you getting caught in some of the most common business tax myths.

Business Tax Myths to Avoid

There is a lot of misinformation about tax loopholes, deductions, and write-offs that may or may not apply to small businesses. Just because you read someone’s advice online doesn’t mean that the information lines up with the guidelines set by the IRS. If you want to stay away from trouble with the IRS, then you need to be sure that you are thorough and accurate in your tax filing. Avoiding these common misconceptions will protect yourself and your business. Here are some of the most common business tax myths:

  • Myth #1 – Tax Filing is Optional: This myth might seem blatantly obvious to many people, but it’s surprising to see how many people mistakenly think that tax filing is an optional activity each year. There is a phrase in the instruction book for Form 1040 that uses the word “voluntary” in reference to the tax system, and some people have interpreted it to mean that individuals have no legal obligation to file taxes. The truth is that the voluntary portion is the individual’s responsibility for calculating the amount of taxes that are owed. Tax filing is legally required, and it’s up to you to ensure that your filing information is correct.
  • Myth #2 – All Start-Up Costs Should Be Immediately Deducted: The timing of your business deductions varies depending on the nature of your business and the types of purchases you are making. Certain costs should be deducted upfront, which means that you take the value of the write-off in the year the purchase was completed. But there are instances where is it more effective to take the tax benefits through depreciation, which means the write-off is calculated over a period of time. For example, costs for specific office equipment or machinery might fall into the category of Section 179 expensing. Also, you can deduct up to $5,000 of your organizational costs and $5,000 of the business start-up costs, and remaining costs might need to be amortized. The best solution is to talk to your accountant for personal recommendations to ensure optimal tax savings each year.
  • Myth #3 – I Don’t Have to Pay Taxes on Money Made Online: The internet has opened a whole new world for businesses, with a large portion of retail sales happening online. These numbers continue to grow each year. If you are doing business online, then it means that you haven’t filed a W4 with an employer – so no structure is in place to withhold taxes from your pay. But don’t assume that means you don’t have to pay taxes on the income! If you make $600 or more working as a contractor, then you must report that income to the IRS. You will be required to pay self-employment taxes, so make sure to set aside money every month to be prepared for the upcoming tax bill.
  • Myth #4 – Incorporating is the Best Way to Minimize Tax Burden: Remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution that works for all types of businesses. While there are undeniable benefits to incorporating, sometimes it makes sense for self-employed individuals to stick with a sole proprietor business setup. The truth is that incorporating too early could have a negative impact on your tax burden. For example, if you don’t make money for the first few years, then you bear the burden of minimum corporate tax payments and not enough income to pay the bill. Work with your accountant and business attorney to determine the right timing of incorporation for your small business.
  • Myth #5 – Home Office Deductions Increase the Risk of an Audit: Are you a small business owner who works from home? You might be nervous about maximizing the deductions for your home office because you are worried about the increasing risk of an audit. Years ago, a home office wasn’t as common as it is in our digital business world. At that point, it might have been true that a home-based business could potentially raise red flags for the IRS. But self-employment at home and remote employment are becoming so popular that home business write-offs are quite common. As long as your deductions are legitimate, there is no reason why you should be worried about increasing the risk of an audit. The most important thing you need to do is ensure that your workspace at home meets the regulations established by the IRS.
  • Myth #6 – Only Large Corporations are Audited: On the other hand, some small businesses assume that they don’t bring in enough profit to be audited by the IRS. The truth is that the amount of income you receive doesn’t have as much to do with the auditing process as other factors. Certain activities can send up red flags. Regardless of the amount of income you receive, it is essential to ensure that you have thorough, detailed business records to track all deductions and income. This paperwork should be kept on file for a few years so you can defend your tax filing if the IRS comes calling.
  • Myth #7 – “Audit Proof” Your Business by Overpaying on Your Taxes: There is no reason why you should send the IRS more many than what is owed. Some people assume that overpaying on their taxes means that they are protected against an audit. The truth is that the IRS doesn’t care if you pay what you owe or overpay, the excess will just be sent back to you in the form of a tax return. Their main concern is to ensure that you aren’t paying less than you owe. Your goal should be to pay what you owe as closely as possible, then all deductions need to be backed-up with solid recordkeeping.
  • Myth #8 – File an Extension if You Don’t Have Cash for the Tax Bill: Filing an extension is an option if you need more time to prepare your tax paperwork. But just because an extension is filed doesn’t mean that you are buying more time to pay your bill. This process extends the date for your filing only. It is still your responsibility to pay the money that is owed by the original due date. Failing to make a timely, accurate payment could result in additional costs for interest and penalties. If you need more time to pay taxes, then you might consider payment plans that can be arranged through the IRS. You will pay more money overall though because of the interest that is accrued on the overdue payment.
  • Myth #9 – My Accountant Holds the Responsibility if Tax Mistakes are Made: Hiring an accountant is an invaluable step for businesses of all sizes. It is important that you have someone to guide you through the tax rules and regulations. While your accountant can help you avoid common missteps in your tax filing, the ultimate responsibility still lies on you. It’s up to you to ensure that you are providing accurate numbers and information, then the accountant uses this information to prepare the tax paperwork. The quality of your tax filing is only as good as the financial details that are provided to your tax accountant.
  • Myth #10 – It’s Good to Get a Big Tax Refund: Whether you are a small business owner or an employee, it might feel like a relief to receive a big tax refund in April. Even though this check might feel like “free money,” it is important to remember that the money was yours in the first place. A big tax refund means that you overpaid on your taxes – you essentially gave the IRS a free loan. If you get a tax refund, then it means that you should talk to your accountant to adjust your withholdings or estimated payments going forward.

The simplest way to avoid common business tax myths is by partnering with an experienced accountant who can guide your financial decisions throughout the year. Easier Accounting is here to help! Call us at (888) 620-0770

Will Santa Bring Your Business Bookkeeping and Accounting Services This Year?

As you are finishing up your holiday shopping for family and friends, have you considered putting together a wish list for your business? This time of year is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the things that you need and want. While you probably won’t have a jolly old man in a red suit show up in your office, you can take steps to get started on an important gift for yourself: investing in bookkeeping and accounting services.

Accounting Gift for Yourself

Christmas gifts don’t always have to fit in a box. And you don’t need to wait for other people to cover the things that are needed for yourself and your business. Consider giving yourself a personalized gift by hiring an accounting team to assist with your business finances in the New Year.

This gift is a great way to reduce your stress and improve overall results in 2020. Here are a few reasons why you deserve this gift of accounting services:

  • More Time: As a business owner, you have a to-do list that seems to never end. These tasks can be enjoyable, but sometimes it can be a challenge to keep up with all of the responsibilities that need to be addressed throughout the week. If you aren’t already using the services of an accounting and/or bookkeeper, then it means that your precious time is being wasted on busywork. Instead of dedicating your limited hours on data entry and tracking transactions, let the financial team handle these details so you can turn your attention to other important matters within the company. Not only will you have extra hours available for business work, but you can also free up more time to spend with your loved ones.
  • Lower Stress: How often do you feel stressed and concerned about the stack of invoices that needs to be addressed? You might have a hard time keeping up with the data entry or find it challenging to stay current with bills and invoices that need to be paid. As a result, these outstanding tasks are increasing your stress levels and taking up your precious energy. Hiring an accountant is one of the most effective ways that you can reduce your stress and feel more peaceful about your business progress.
  • Clear Financial Reports: A good accounting system will give you a clear picture of the current financial health of your company. Too often, entrepreneurs get behind on their financial data, which means that they are making important business decisions with limited information. An accounting team can help you stay current with the necessary reports, which means that you always have accurate data regarding your cash flow and overall financial health of your company.
  • Better Skills: High school or basic college-level math courses aren’t sufficient for the level of accounting that is needed to help your business thrive. If you don’t have formal training in the bookkeeping and accounting industry, then it is likely that you are overlooking important details by attempting a DIY financial system. As a result, you are probably missing out on possible tax deductions or strategies that can be used to improve your profit margins. An accountant can bring years of experience to the table, making it easy for you to tap into a proven system.
  • Prepare for the Future: If you don’t know the current financial health of your company, then you are missing out on growth opportunities. Reviewing the numbers and data can be important to identify the best areas of the business that need your attention. As you evaluate these reports, consider the areas where you are succeeding. This information can be used to help you maximize the systems that are working so that you can boost growth and success. At the same time, look for holes or weak points that need to be addressed. Finding the business systems that aren’t working optimally will help you patch up the gaps so you can avoid potential problems in the future.

Tips for Choosing the Right Provider

Now that you can see the benefits of accounting and bookkeeping services, it’s time to select the provider that is a good fit for your company. You can write Santa a letter and ask for a new accounting employee, but hiring another full-time employee might not be the best decision for your company. Consider the overhead costs that will need to be carried, as well as the time and effort that it takes to go through the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes. Plus, you will be left without support if the person quits in the future.

On the other hand, outsourced accounting offers a more stable way to leverage the accounting services that you need. You can hire a team that provides small business accounting services, with the peace of mind to know that you have multiple providers working on your project.

As you are selecting an accounting team, take time to evaluate your options. Have a conversation with the various providers you are considering. Not only do you need to look at the available accounting services, but you also need to be sure that the company culture is a good fit for your personality.

Our modern business world means that you can tap into the services offered from many locations. In the past, small businesses were limited to the services provided by accountants in their local area. Don’t limit yourself by only interviewing accounting firms in your city. Instead, look online to find a firm that has an excellent reputation. Outsourced accounting services can be both affordable and effective. Our team can provide full-service support for businesses across the nation due to online, cloud-based access to the accounting systems.

Access to Top Systems and Experts

One of the greatest benefits that comes from hiring an outsourced accounting team is that you can access some of the best experts in the industry, for a fraction of the price you would pay for an in-house employee. Your accountant can offer recommendations regarding the systems and practices that will work best for your company.

In the beginning, there might be a bit of a learning curve if you are changing accounting software programs. But it is worth the growing pains to ensure that you are prepared for whatever might come in the future. An effective financial system means that you will have a strong foundation that can support your business needs, regardless of the changes that might be coming up in the industry.

Prepare Your Business for Growth

Every entrepreneur wants to see their business grow and thrive. These opportunities are available, but only if you have the right systems in place to support business growth. Too often, businesses start to expand, but get stuck because they didn’t build in options for scalability. The financial reports can help you see when it is time to cut back or expand, without the hassle of sorting through piles of outstanding paperwork.

It is essential that you are staying current with all aspects of your financial system. As a result, you will have the information available if you decide to talk to potential investors in the future. Having an organized, structured accounting and bookkeeping system means that investors will be interested and willing to explore potential investment opportunities. Then, you will have access to the cash that is needed when it is time to expand inventory or invest in business development and marketing.

Even if you aren’t planning for major growth in the New Year, it is important that you are always prepared for whatever might come in the future. Creating a strong foundation right now means that you will be able to jump on potential business opportunities when they are available.

Personalized Bookkeeping Services for Your Business

You can be the “Santa” for your company by bringing good cheer through effective business systems. Hiring an accounting team might be the best investment that you will make all year! You deserve to have a solid financial system for your business, which is why it makes sense to leverage the services available from an experienced team you can trust.

Whether you are looking to create a new accounting system for your small business, or it is time to upgrade your current systems, be deliberate about choosing a team that can help. Hiring a general accountant might not be the right solution since they won’t be able to provide the specialty services you need. Instead, find an outsourced account that specializes in small business services.

Our team at Easier Accounting is always just a phone call away, available to assist with your small business goals. If you are ready to upgrade your accounting and bookkeeping systems in the New Year, then we invite you to contact us for a consultation about the available services. We will design a custom plan based on the unique needs of your company, making it easy to start fresh in 2020. Call today to learn more about the available services offered for small businesses: (888) 620-0770.

7 Effective Business Strategies for Reducing Bookkeeping Costs

When you are running a business, it seems like the bills are always piling up and making it hard to maximize profitability. If you want to have extra cash on hand after the expenses are paid, then you need to be looking at options to reduce your spending and increase your income at the same time. Today, we are sharing tips that you can use to reduce bookkeeping costs, which will help your profitability goals.

Tip #1: Organize Your Finances

Staying organized is the foundation for financial success. If your receipts are scattered and you can’t keep up with the payments that are due, then you will be wasting time trying to find the right paperwork. Plus, missed payments result in late fees and interest charges, which increase the overall amount that is paid each month. There’s no question that good organization can save you both time and money.

When your bookkeeper is working on your transactions and financial reports, they can only work on the documents that are provided. It doesn’t matter if you have an in-house bookkeeper or outsourced bookkeeping services… you are paying more than necessary for their time if they are spending hours sorting through a mess of paperwork.

The key is to implement a system right now so that the bookkeeper is provided with all of the necessary information for each transaction. For example, if you buy something and receive a receipt, take 10 seconds to make a note on the receipt to document the purpose of the purchase. Invoices that are paid online should be noted with the date of payment and the method that was used for payment.

If you are looking for ways to cut bookkeeping costs, then talk to your bookkeeper about the way the information should be presented. As a financial expert, your bookkeeper will offer suggestions and advice that will streamline the workflow and allow the bookkeeper to maximize the time spent on the project. The goal is to have a system in place that provides the bookkeeper with the information necessary to keep your books up to date, which requires organization at every step.

Tip #2: Use Proven Computer Software

Leveraging technology can be an effective way to organize your finances and avoid unnecessary busy work. For example, a document management system can be used to keep track of your receipts so that you no longer need to keep a shoebox full of random paperwork. Simply snap a picture of the receipt, then store the image in a cloud-based folder. This file can be shared with your bookkeeper for tracking purposes.

One other benefit of a document management system is that you can always find your receipts if needed in the future. Sometimes, it can be helpful to refer back to transactions that happened in the past to compare costs or evaluate overall spending for the day. This information is just a click away and can be accessed online, without the need to dig through piles of paperwork in the filing cabinet.

An accounting software should also be used if you are looking for ways to reduce bookkeeping costs. For example, this cloud-based software system can pull in the transactions that move through your credit cards and bank accounts. You can create categories that automatically file recurring transactions. Your bookkeeper will spend time evaluating the transactions that are coming through and auditing the system to ensure that nothing is missing.

A good accounting program saves you money because you don’t have to pay for the hours of manpower required for manual data entry. Even though you will pay a fee for the software program, it is a fraction of the cost compared to the time and money required to calculate the financial reports by hand.

Tip #3: Separate Your Business and Personal Spending

Mixing business and personal spending complicates your financial tracking, making it difficult for the bookkeeper to sort through the transactions. One way you can save money on bookkeeping costs is by creating a separate account for your business transactions.

A clear-cut system to define business spending and personal spending will simplify the reconciliation of the accounts. Additionally, it takes less time to determine the right deductions that can be tallied when it is time to do your taxes each year.

Tip #4: Build in Options to Scale in the Future

Cutting corners on your bookkeeping systems might seem like an effective way to save money right now. But you shouldn’t overlook the potential costs that will be accrued if you need to change accounting systems to scale your business in the future.

For example, it might seem like a good idea to select the cheapest accounting and bookkeeping system that will cover the basic necessities for your financial reporting. Even though this software might cover your bases right now, you will be facing bigger issues in the future if the software can’t accommodate the future growth of your company.

As a result, spending a little bit more right now could save you the cost of transitioning bookkeeping systems in the future. Instead of attempting a DIY system, bring in a team of financial experts who can offer advice about the right system designed to support your business growth in the years to come.

Tip #5: Use Technology to Improve Accuracy

Every time a mistake is made on your tracking and accounting, it costs time and money to fix the error. Even though errors are unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to reduce the potential mistakes that happen with your bookkeeping and accounting systems.

One effective solution is to leverage technology for the calculations and report generation. You can skip manual calculations and have peace of mind knowing your numbers are accurate and clear. Choose a system that delivers both financial intelligence and greater efficiency for your business systems.

Tip #6: Control Costs by Eliminating Waste

How much money is wasted each month and year due to payments and transactions that slip through unnoticed? You can offset the costs of accounting and bookkeeping services by leveraging the team’s skill set to reduce waste and unnecessary financial burden.

For example, your bookkeeper might be able to offer advice about reducing overhead expenses and improving the collection of Accounts Receivable. As a result, your income will go up and you can cut out expenses that are no longer necessary for your business systems.

Not only will you have the option to reduce the amount of money that is spent, but these in-house changes can also affect employee productivity. Your employees will understand the importance of streamlining business systems and sticking to spending goals. So, the daily decisions of the employees will support your overall business efforts.

Tip #7: Hire Outsourced Bookkeepers and Accountants

There’s no question that you need bookkeeping and accounting services. Most business owners assume that the simplest way to bring these skills into the company is by hiring an employee. But you need to think about the fact that you aren’t only bringing on the burden of paying the person’s salary, but you also need to carry additional costs of having another employee in the office.

The fully loaded costs will add up over time! Here is a quick overview of some of the expenses you will pay for a full-time accountant or bookkeeper:

  • Salary or wage
  • Benefits
  • PTO
  • IT and equipment
  • Office space and utilities
  • Overtime pay

Many businesses are choosing to outsource accounting services to avoid the fully-loaded costs of bringing on another employee. Do the math, and you might be surprised to learn that it is easy to save thousands of dollars a month by hiring an outsourced accountant as an alternative to a full-time employee.

This method is not only more cost-effective, but many business owners also find it less stressful to tap into the expertise of an outsourced team. It feels good knowing that the service provider has relevant experience working on the financial reports for other small and medium-sized businesses. Outsourced accounting services means that you don’t have to worry about employee management or training. Instead, you can hand off the financial details with confidence knowing your accounting team is taking care of the necessary tasks to track your accounts and reports.

Questions about Reducing Bookkeeping Costs?

Are you enjoying the benefits of outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services? If you don’t have a good system in place, then right now is a good time to make the changes that are needed to boost your financial strategy.

A variety of financial tracking and reporting aspects can be outsourced to our team, helping to free up your time so you can focus on business-building efforts. Common outsourced services include:

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable
  • Payroll Processing
  • Financial Reporting and Statements
  • Tax Calculations and Filings
  • Monthly Reconciliations
  • Credit Card and Bank Statement Audits

Our team of experts at Easier Accounting is here to assist with all of the bookkeeping and accounting services needed for your company. We specialize in small business accounting and would love to have a conversation with you about the options that are available: (888) 620-0770

How Your Company Will Benefit from Small Business Accounting Services

Do you get stressed when walking into your office because of the financial paperwork and mess of documents piled high on your desk? As a business owner, you are carrying a load of responsibilities to keep your company running and ensure a positive outcome for your business efforts. Often, some of the small tracking and organizational details can fall through the cracks, resulting in a situation where you are unable to keep up with ongoing responsibilities. One of the best things that you can do is engage an expert team that offers small business accounting services.

What is the current financial standing of your company? Can you run financial reports and review the information with confidence, knowing that all of the transactions are up-to-date? If you are having a hard time finding important documents and you don’t know the true cash position of your business, then the best thing that you can do is invest in small business accounting services. This support will make an incredible difference to help in creating a strong foundation for your company.

Here are a few benefits that you can expect that will be available when you engage the services of a trusted accounting team:

Setting Up the Right Software Solution

We live in a digital age, which means that incredible tools are available to improve your business efforts. No longer do business owners need to track transactions by hand and do the calculations on a ledger. Instead, a good software program can automate the busy work and give you a powerful tool that shows the financial details of your company.

Too often, business owners attempt a DIY approach with software implementation. They are trying to save money by implementing something that was found online. A Google search will uncover hundreds or even thousands of options that can be used for business tracking and financial management. But, which service is the right solution for the needs of your company?

Without professional experience in the industry, it can be hard to understand how these software programs will affect the financial health of your company. Instead, of making the mistake of putting time and effort to set up an ineffective system, the best thing that you can do is talk to an industry professional who can guide your decisions. A small business accountant will evaluate the needs of your company and offer recommendations that will optimize your efforts.

The right accounting software will make it easy to keep track of your bills and invoices. Ongoing tracking keeps your company organized and on track for future success. But it is essential that you find the right system that will work for you, which is why you shouldn’t make this decision without the support of someone who understands small business accounting.

Prepare for Tax Season

Taxes are an unavoidable part of managing a small business. You need to meet the legal requirements established by the IRS and state laws. Even though taxes might seem like a daunting aspect of managing a small business, a good bookkeeping system will make tax season a lot less scary. You will find that your stress levels go down when your company is organized and prepared for the tax burden that lies ahead.

As a small business owner, you shouldn’t spend your time trying to navigate tax laws and other requirements that affect your company. It can be hard enough to identify how tax laws affect your business efforts. Most business owners get a headache just thinking about the time and effort that it will take to read through the small print in the tax laws.

Instead of wasting your time trying to navigate this confusing industry by yourself, it’s worth the investment to enlist the help of an accountant that can offer guidance and recommendations. Hiring an accounting and bookkeeping service is truly an investment that will pay for itself in the future. These services will keep your finances on track so that you can leverage tax deductions and ensure that no details fall through the cracks.

The best solution is to hire an accounting service to handle the tax preparation required for your business. You don’t have to get caught in the paperwork and financial details. Instead, focus on other important tasks to keep your business running and allow your small business accounting services to do the hard work related to tax preparation.

Reduce Your Time Spent on Busy Work

Add up the hours that it will take to track transactions and reconcile your accounts, and you will likely spend hours each week on this busy work. You already have enough to worry about without the headache of sorting through transactions and paperwork! Time is valuable, especially when you are getting a new business off the ground. Instead of dedicating hours of your day to accounting tasks, it is better to outsource these services so that you can focus on other essential tasks that will affect the success of your business.

Engaging in small business accounting services can save you both time and money in several ways. For example, when a good accounting software is implemented, then you don’t have to spend time on manual tracking and calculations. Automation is a great way to minimize the amount of time required for these tasks.

Next, you can engage the services for ongoing accounting and bookkeeping support. Our team can oversee all of the details relating to your business efforts, including payroll processing, invoice tracking, reconciliations, and more.

You should be focusing your time on money-making tasks instead of getting caught in the busy work. Imagine how much your business can expand if your hours are focused on new business strategies and sales meetings instead of sorting through transactions and inaccurate financial reports. Do what you do best, and let the accounting pros take care of the rest.

Effective Cash Flow Management

It can be time consuming and stressful to figure out where customers have neglected their payments. A necessary part of keeping your company running is ensuring that you are current with the collection of accounts receivables. If you can’t keep up with it all, then it can be beneficial to hire the services of an accounting and bookkeeping team.

Implementing a good system means that you can get paid on time. As a result, you will have the cash available when it is needed. It is inevitable that you have bills that need to be paid in the future for overhead costs and business development. If you aren’t collecting on the money that is due, then you will run into cash flow issues.

Not only do you need to have money for the current expenses, but you also need to be thinking about the possibility of slow months in the future. Every industry ebbs and flows throughout the year. It is essential that you have a good cash system in place so you are prepared for any financial changes that might happen in the future. An emergency savings account means that you can keep the company running, even when the income slows down for a season.

Good cash flow practices also help you avoid any financial mistakes that could hurt your company. For example, if you need to lean on debt to keep the business running, then you will be facing expensive interest costs and potential late fees that can really add up. Staying on top of your payments with good cash flow management is a strategy that can save you thousands of dollars each year.

Lean on the Services of a Trusted Accounting Team

Full-service accounting support will make a difference in the success of your company. You can lean on the experience offered by our team and rest assured knowing that we are overseeing the important aspects related to your business finances.

It is nice to let go of the stress and worry about your company financials. Instead of spending your valuable time on tasks that are necessary for financial tracking, it is nice to lean on the services offered by a team that understands your needs.

Small business accounting services are critical to helping you avoid expensive mistakes that often happen when business owners attempt a DIY approach. A little bit of proactive work right now will go a long way to ensuring that you are prepared for anything that might come in the future. Plus, you can let go of the stress that comes with tax laws and understanding financial regulations on a federal and state level.

As you are getting your small business off the ground, it is good to know that you don’t have to carry the financial burden without support. Our team is here to help you with the accounting services that will be a good fit for your company. Reach out to us at Easier Accounting to learn more about the services that are offered and the benefits that are available for your company. We are here to help with any accounting support that is needed for your company: (888) 620-0770.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: Different Services for Your Business

How often have you heard the terms “accountant” and bookkeeper” used interchangeably? If you don’t know about the differences in the services, then it is easy to see how you might be confused about these professions.

Yes, both accountants and bookkeepers work with financial reports, organization, and tracking. In fact, the services offered by an accountant and bookkeeper often overlap. Some firms offer both bookkeeping and accounting services. But their purposes, focus, and skillsets vary depending on the person that you hire.

Services from a Bookkeeper

The term “bookkeeping” is used in reference to services that are rendered for organizing, storing, recording, and retrieving financial information. Usually, a bookkeeper is involved in the ongoing transactions that are moving through your bank account. This person oversees a portion of the accounting process, usually focused on the classification and recording of the daily transactions such as bill payments, payroll, sales, and more.

The purpose of hiring a bookkeeper is to maintain the organization and accuracy required to ensure correct information on financial reports. A bookkeeper spends their time working on record keeping. They don’t spend as much time on analytics or financial strategy.

Keep in mind that a bookkeeper isn’t required to have a four-year degree. As a result, bookkeepers usually have less education compared to accountants.

Services from an Accountant

The accountant uses the information that was compiled and organized by the bookkeeper. Often, accountants are involved in tax strategy, tax filing, financial reviews, auditing and more. Accounting services take it a step beyond bookkeeping services by analyzing the reports, reviewing the information, identifying trends, and interpreting the information. When the data is turned into reportable information, then you can use the details as you are making big decisions for your company.

Accountants are required to complete a four-year degree as well as extensive training and certifications. These requirements ensure that your accountant understands the financial laws, strategies, and other steps that need to be taken to care for your business finances.

Different Stages of Financial Management

As you can see, the services that come from a bookkeeping team and accounting team go hand-in-hand. Even though their services are different, these professionals often work in tandem. The combination of a strong accountant with a detail-oriented bookkeeper is essential to bring clarity to your business finances.

If you need someone to help with the day-to-day processes, then you will likely benefit from the support of a bookkeeper. On the other hand, if you are looking for support with the bigger picture and tax strategy, then you should turn to an accountant for support.

When it comes to the daily and weekly financial management, a bookkeeper can support with a range of tasks:

  • Tracking transactions moving in and out of the financial accounts
  • Managing and logging transactions to ensure accuracy on the reports
  • Evaluating payments, sales, receipts, and purchases
  • Calculating payroll and processing payments for employees
  • Overseeing invoices and payments for contracted workers and suppliers
  • Monitoring accounts receivable to ensure cash flow throughout the month
  • Completing monthly financial closing and bank account audits as needed
  • Using bookkeeping and accounting software to ensure accuracy

Keep in mind that the bookkeeper’s activities and tasks vary depending on the size of your company and the transactions that are moving through the account each day and week. When many transactions are coming through each day, then you might need bookkeeping services throughout the week. But some small businesses don’t need the services of a full-time bookkeeper, so it often makes sense to hire an outsourced bookkeeper instead. Typically, the services of the bookkeeper will expand as the business grows.

As you look over the bookkeeping tasks, you can see that they provide the foundation needed to support your business financial health. Then, the accountant steps in to use the data generated by the bookkeeping activities. Accounting services often include:

  • Tax analysis and strategy to minimize payments to the IRS
  • Completion and filing of income tax returns
  • Answering questions and helping business owners understand the applicable financial regulations
  • Financial statement analysis and business strategy support

Do You Need an Accountant or Bookkeeper?

How do you know who to hire when you need financial support for your company? It is important to distinguish the services so that you can choose the level of expertise required for your business.

While a bookkeeper is a cheaper solution, they don’t offer the financial expertise that comes from a small business accountant. In most cases, business owners find it beneficial to engage the services of both a bookkeeper and accountant, with the bookkeeper working on daily transactions and the accountant offering periodic advice.

Don’t overlook the benefits of a financial team that can provide both bookkeeping and accounting services. It can be beneficial to keep all of these tasks with the same team, ensuring optimal communication and the best strategy when everyone is working together.

How to Tell When You Need Financial Support for Your Company

Is it time for you to hire a bookkeeper or accountant? It might feel like a challenge to determine the right timing in bringing in a financial professional. But, as a business owner, remember one important tip: it’s never too early to bring in accounting and bookkeeping professionals.

Even if you are just getting your startup off the ground, you have the opportunity to work with an experienced team. This professional advice can help you create the right financial foundation and set your company up for success in the future. Business owners who hire accountants and bookkeepers in the early stages of growth rarely regret the decision.

Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced Accountant

It probably doesn’t make sense for your small business to hire a full-time accountant. Bringing on another in-house employee raises your overhead expenses and puts added financial strain on your cash flow. Instead of hiring an employee, consider the benefits of using outsourced accounting services.

The main benefit of outsourcing this part of your business is that you can save both time and money. You don’t have to spend your hours crunching the numbers and trying to make sense of the financial reports. Instead, your attention can turn back to business-building activities because you have the peace of mind in knowing that your accounting and bookkeeping team is taking care of the tracking and analysis.

Plus, these services are essential to help you save money. Even though you will have a bill to pay for outsourced accounting services, you will likely find that you save more money overall. Here are a few financial reasons why you shouldn’t delay the services of an experienced financial team:

  • Improve Tax Strategy: One of the most frustrating aspects of owning a company is seeing how much money goes out the door when it’s time to pay the IRS. Taxes can cut away at your profit margins and make it hard to manage cash flow. An accounting team can evaluate your business and finances, then find the right strategies to minimize the tax burden that needs to be paid each year. These savings can add up to thousands of dollars… often more than you paid for the accounting services.
  • Reduce Error: Consistent tracking and bookkeeping help you avoid common errors that could affect your business. For example, if you don’t have a good system in place to keep track of invoices, then you might overlook payments that should have been made by your clients or employees.
  • Avoid Fraud: Keeping an eye on the financial transactions is essential so that you can avoid fraud and theft in your business? Regular audits, reviews, and analysis will help to uncover anywhere that money might be slipping through the cracks. Even though you should be able to trust your team, you should still have systems in place in case something happens.
  • Increased Revenue: When you spend more of your time on business development and marketing, then it increases the chances that your revenue will go up. As the business owner, you shouldn’t be focusing your efforts on the busy work that can be completed by a bookkeeper or accountant. Your time is valuable, which means that you should be spending your hours on activities that will bring in more money for your company.

At Easier Accounting, we know how important it is that you have a good financial team to support your business goals. We’ve been serving small business owners for many years, offering the best financial services available in the industry. Our goal is to not only ensure your satisfaction, but we go above and beyond to provide unbeatable solutions that will support the growth of your company.

If you have questions about accounting and bookkeeping services, then it is time to contact our company today. We have a team of experienced financial professionals who are ready to create a custom plan based on your needs. Easier Accounting is always here to help. You can call us during regular business hours to learn about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770.

Goal Setting Strategies for Small Businesses

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, then it means that you are probably a goal-oriented person. People who are willing to step out of the typical career paths are looking to create a different lifestyle and new opportunities. It can be both exciting and scary to step into new territory and try something different. The upside potential is incredible if you set the right goals. Consider these goal setting strategies if you are looking for ways to improve your business results.

Manageable Growth for Future Success

While everyone wants to be an overnight success, uncontrolled growth could be the factor that brings your company down. You need to be sure that you have the inventory, customer support, and business resources available to manage all of the orders that come in. So, it is important that you aim for manageable growth to ensure that you can sustain it in the future.

For example, instead of setting a goal to double your clients, consider setting incremental goals that can be achieved over a period of time. You might start by aiming to increase your client list by 10% at a time. These incremental steps can move you in the right direction over time, until you reach the ultimate goal in the future.

Don’t sink your company by moving too fast. Instead, be realistic about the services that can be provided for your customers, and aim to move that incrementally so that you can achieve the results that are desired.

Lean on the Experience and Recommendations of Others

It is easy to be narrow-focused on the problems at hand. But, don’t make the mistake of overlooking resources that might be available to help with your business growth. Tapping into outside knowledge and resources can help you avoid some of the roadblocks that come up along the way. You can skip the problems that were encountered by your mentors, putting you on the fast track to achieving higher levels of success.

There are a few key areas of your business where you might consider services and support from others. For example, it can be helpful to bring in an accounting team to assist with the finance strategy. These services will allow you to focus on the daily responsibilities so that you don’t have to spend your time crunching numbers every day. Talk to your accounting team about the goals that should be in place, helping you identify goals that are realistic and manageable.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Business

One common acronym used in reference to goal setting is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Using this strategy can help you stay focused on the things that matter. Here are the things that you should be considering when you are setting goals:

  • Specific: Setting a general goal can make it hard to identify when the goal has been achieved. Instead of setting a goal to “boost company profits” include detailed numbers that you would like to hit. For example, you might set a goal to increase monthly sales by 10% by the end of the year. When you are specific about your goal, there is a greater chance that it will be achieved compared to a general goal. Answer six important questions to get specific: Who, What, When, Where, Which, Why?
  • Measurable: It is important that you have detailed criteria in place to measure your progress. How do you know if you are going to hit your goal if you can’t track the progress that you are making along the way? A few easy questions can help you identify the measurement of your goal, such as: How many, How much, or how do I know when the goal has been met?
  • Achievable: Find the goals that are most important to your success, but make sure that there are ways to make those goals become a reality. You can achieve almost anything that you set your mind to. But, it can be helpful to focus on incremental goals if the bigger goals seem too far away. Setting goals beyond your reach could be setting you up for failure. Dream big, but also do a reality check to make sure that you can eventually reach the level you are striving to achieve.
  • Relevant: Make sure that your goal aligns with your company mission. Not only do you need to consider your current progress, but you should also evaluate the current business climate and conditions you are facing. Set goals that will have an impact on the way the company will grow, while being in touch with the realities of the market that you are experiencing.
  • Timely: Finally, you need to have a deadline that you are aiming for. These goals won’t be accomplished if you don’t tie a timeframe to the process of setting the goal. For best results, it is a good idea to keep the timeframe within a few months, giving you time to see progress. When that goal is achieved, then you can set the next goal to help you make the incremental steps that are needed in the future.

It is incredible to see the possibilities that are available when you are deliberate with the way you are setting goals. Instead of randomly choosing goals for your company, take the time that is needed to identify the steps that will work in your favor in the future.

Trusting Your Knowledge and Experience

While it is important to be deliberate in the way you are setting your goals based on data and achievable results in the future, there is also a time when you should trust your instinct in the way you are growing your company. You’ve already come a long way to take the steps needed to build a business. Recognize the progress that has been made and look for ways that you can trust yourself and the possibilities that are available for the future.

For example, you might have a feel for the way the business flows throughout the year. During slow season, it might make sense to work on system improvements, such as improving the accounting and bookkeeping system or working on business development. On the other hand, it could be good to set sales goals when you are in the busy seasons of the year.

Examples of Business Goals

Do you need help identifying goals that might be helpful for your business success? Here are a few options that you might consider:

  • More Revenue: Increasing revenue is often the first goal that business owners think about when they are looking to improve their results. You can set revenue goals, or look at other numbers that affect revenue, such as sales, prices, and more. Talk to your accounting team to identify the areas of potential for boosting your revenue.
  • Reduce Costs: While you are increasing your income, it is also helpful to decrease expenses at the same time. If you don’t control your costs, then you will have a hard time maintaining profitability. Review your expenses and find ways that you can cut the recurring expenses to improve profit margins.
  • Manage Debt Load: When you are carrying large amounts of debt, then it means that your cash flow is likely being taken up in monthly payments and interest costs. Set goals to reduce your debt or pay it off completely. These goals will have a lasting impact on your business success since your cash will be freed up for other investments and business development options.
  • Improve Cash Flow: It can be stressful if you are checking the bank account throughout the month to make sure that you have enough money to pay the bills that are coming through. If you are always coming up short with the money that is needed to pay your bills, then it means that you should set goals to improve your cash flow. Create a goal to have an emergency reserve of cash so that you don’t come up short every month.

These are just a few examples of goals that can be used to improve your business success. But, the best goals are those that will have the greatest impact on your results. It is important that you evaluate your company. Look at the historical trends and possibilities for the future. Then, find the areas where you can change your habits and results to create better opportunities to help your company grow.

Talk to an Experienced Accounting Team

Do you have questions about goal setting strategies or other methods that can be used to improve your business finances? Right now is a great time to talk to an industry expert to learn more about the way accounting services can support your goals. If you are interested in learning more, then we invite you to call our experienced team at Easier Accounting. We offer services for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This focus gives us the experience and applied knowledge that ensures optimal results for your company. Call today to learn more about the services that are available We’re here to help: (888) 620-0770

Bookkeeping and Accounting Services: An Overview of the Available Services

“Hiring an accountant” can be a general term that seems overwhelming for some business owners. You know that you need bookkeeping and accounting services. But, are you worried that you are going to overpay for services that aren’t necessary for your company? Before you rush into the decision, it is important that you learn about your options. Then you can find the right accounting services to match the needs of your business.

Why You Need Financial Professionals

Financial professionals play an important role in business management. Not only do bookkeepers and accountants help with the ongoing transactions and organization of the books. But, these experts can offer insights that are essential for tax strategy, cash flow management, payroll and more.

Some business owners assume that the best way to save money is by taking a DIY approach with bookkeeping and accounting. But, the truth is that this strategy might cost you more money in the long run. If you don’t have experience in the financial industry, then there is a high probability that mistakes will be made along the way. Then, you could be facing expensive costs to correct the problems in the future.

Also, consider the opportunity cost of the time that you are spending on financial activities. Instead of focusing your efforts on business tasks, such as finding new clients or forming new relationships in the industry, you are spending your time with your head in the books trying to sort through the numbers. If accounting isn’t your strength, then it means that you are burning daylight hours on tasks where you don’t shine. At the same time, you are giving up opportunities to spend time on business activities that could result in real growth for your company.

In the same way, you visit a dentist when you have a cavity or an attorney when you need legal advice, you shouldn’t hesitate to outsource your accounting needs to an experienced team. This strategy frees up the time that is available for your business activities during the week. Plus, you can rest assured to know that you aren’t overlooking important details that need to be addressed in your financial strategy.

Bookkeeping and Accounting Services: What Do You Need?

It is important that you understand your options so that you can determine the services that are needed. There’s no reason to be paying for payroll services if you don’t have any employees! Often, there are options to choose individual services as needed. Or, you might be able to save money by packaging the essential bookkeeping and accounting services together.

In fact, these packaged services can simplify the process and improve the results that are available for your company. You don’t need to worry about working with a bookkeeping team and a separate accounting team. Instead, you can lean on the experience offered by a team that provides the full coverage that is required.

Here is an overview of some of the ways that your company might benefit from bookkeeping and accounting services:

  • Fixing Messy Books: If you’ve procrastinated the decision to bring on an experienced accounting team, then it is likely that there are mistakes with your books. Before the full systems can be put in place, it is essential to start by cleaning up the mess so that you have a clean slate to work with. This process often includes sorting through the transactions, completing audits on the previous months, determining current balances, identifying upcoming expenses, and then putting a complete system together that shows a full financial picture.
  • Tax Strategy: Taxes are unavoidable as a business owner. But, you don’t need to be scared of the potential bills in the future. With the right strategy, you can minimize the amount that is due and maximize the benefits that are available for your company. A good accounting team will help you design a tax strategy that is used throughout the year. You need to be working with your accountant on an ongoing basis, instead of only calling when it is time for the annual filing. Tax strategy can be used for your personal income tax as well as business deductions that can impact your tax burden each year.
  • Ongoing Audits: Auditing might seem like an unnecessary burden, but this proactive step is essential to ensure that nothing is slipping through the cracks. Regular audits ensure that details aren’t overlooked, such as tax write-offs and income that is received. It is also important to watch for potential mistakes that could be impacting the financial reports and cash flow. At the same time, your bookkeeping and accounting team might identify potential issues that indicate the risk of fraud in your company. Having a third-party auditor adds a layer of protection so that you can avoid internal theft and fraud.
  • Bank Reconciliations: In addition to the audits, monthly reconciliations are also important. For example, if a transaction is overlooked in your accounting system, then it means that the accounting program might show a different balance than what is actually in the bank account. Reconciliations ensure that accounts and records match across the board, giving you the peace of mind to know that everything agrees. If an error is identified, then the system can be corrected to avoid that problem from happening again in the future.
  • Cashflow Planning: Just because you have money in the bank right now, doesn’t mean that you will have the cash flow for the future expenses that are coming up. Cashflow can be a tricky aspect of owning a business. If you don’t have a good system for cash flow management, then it is possible that your lack of cash could sink the company. Work with your bookkeeper and accountant to create a system that evaluates current balances, incoming expenses, as well as future expenses. These reports will provide a clear financial picture that can be used when you are facing large decisions that will impact your company.
  • Payroll Processing: Timely payments for your employees are essential to maintain a healthy company culture and ensure employee satisfaction. It can be a challenge for a business owner to keep up with the payroll schedule. This process requires quite a bit of time and effort to ensure that everything is accurate before payments are remitted. Outsourcing payroll process means that you have an experienced team overlooking everything from payroll calculations to payroll taxes and direct deposits.
  • Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable: At the same time, you also need to consider the payments that need to be sent out to contractors, utility companies, your landlord, and more. What are the balances that need to be paid this month? Are there any outstanding invoices that need to be collected from your clients? These details are important so that you have the cash flow coming in, and at the same time you are keeping up with the obligations that need to be covered to keep your company in business.
  • Record Management: Certain records need to be maintained to ensure that you have documentation for everything that is happening in your company. Each transaction needs to be recorded so that you can back up tax write-offs if there are questions from the IRS. Failure to maintain this documentation means that you could be facing the headache of audits and expensive tax penalties and fees in the future. Your financial team can help with the organization of your records so that you can avoid these issues.
  • Reporting: It is important that you have an accurate understanding regarding the financial health of your company. Your accounting and bookkeeping team can provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. This information will help you see where the most profitability is coming in, giving you insight and information that can be used to improve your business efforts going forward. If you don’t have these numbers, then it means that it is a “shot in the dark” every time you make an important decision that affects the financial well-being of your company. Analyze the numbers, look for trends, and rely on these reports so that you can optimize your systems and improve profit margins.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can take advantage of the services that are offered by a bookkeeping and accounting team. A small monthly fee for these services can have a significant impact on the success of your company. If you want to set your business up for future growth, then it is essential that you have the right systems in place. Hiring an experienced accounting team is one of the best decisions that you can make to help your company grow.

One thing that needs to be considered is the experience that is offered by the team that you are hiring. At Easier Accounting, we specialize in small business services. By focusing our scope of services, we can optimize the results that are available for your company. If you are an entrepreneur, you are working on a start-up, or you own a small business, then we encourage you to contact us any time to learn more about the way that we can support your business efforts. We are always here to help: (888) 620-0770

9 Common Scams Targeted at Small Businesses

Everyone needs to be cautious about potential scams… unfortunately, scammers are always finding new ways to exploit businesses and individuals. There are often warnings about scammers that target individuals and families, especially senior citizens. But, there isn’t a lot of conversation about scams that target business owners. Just because it isn’t often discussed, doesn’t mean that your business isn’t at risk of being scammed.

In fact, business accounting scams are becoming more common. Not only are these scams annoying, but they could be threatening the financial security of your company. If you fall into a trap that is set by a scammer, then you will not only lose out on the money. But, it is likely that you will need to dedicate many hours of time to clean up the mess.

Be careful about the management of your company so that you can avoid these potential issues! The best solution is to learn the strategies that need to be used to protect your company. Proactive management of your business is the best solution so that you can avoid some of the most common scams in the industry.

Here are a few common scams that you might encounter and tips to avoid them:

1. Fake Invoices

Truckloads of paperwork can move through the office each month, making it simple to slip in an extra invoice that seems unassuming and harmless. There are scammers out there who send invoices to local companies, with the hope that the invoice will be paid without any questions.

If the business owner is too busy to review the details of every invoice, then it is possible that a check will be sent for the fake invoice. These invoices might show line items for equipment or office supplies or services that are related to your industry. Sometimes, these fake invoices are requesting money for annual renewal or membership.

Avoid this issue by hiring an experienced accounting team to oversee the invoices and payments. Your accountant will watch for potential issues that might indicate the risk of a fake invoice. Good accounting services is an important step to protect your company.

2. False IRS Inquiry

Whether you receive a phone call or email from the IRS, a red flag should go up that something is not right. Usually, these inquiries are threatening and time-sensitive, making people think that they are being audited or in trouble from the IRS.

If the IRS needs to contact you, then they will always send an official letter in the mail. Any time there is a question about communication from the IRS, the best thing that you can do is talk to your accountant for assistance.

Your accounting team will be able to tell if it is a scam or if action needs to be taken with the IRS. In most situations, the request is coming from a scammer who is trying to get access to your personal information. Never send details such as bank account information or your social security number.

3. Robotic Phone Calls

How often do you receive a phone call with a recorded message on the other line? Robocalls are increasing in frequency, and these machines can even leave a message if you don’t answer the phone.

Often, the system finds your business phone number online. Then, you receive automated calls in an attempt to gather information or trick you into sending money. These autodialers are cheap and easy to use, making it nearly impossible to avoid the calls. Most individuals and businesses receive these spam calls on a regular basis.

4. Online Marketing or Directory Placement Scams

Business owners know that they need to create an online presence for their company, which is why so many people fall into traps of paying for fake services or over-inflated prices for marketing. For example, a scammer might contact your company and offer a service that is designed to update your business information in online directories.

Even if the business owner doesn’t agree to the services, the conversation might be recorded. Then, the company will be billed for services that they didn’t agree to. The phone call records can be doctored and used as “evidence,” with a threat from the scammer that they will take legal action if they don’t receive the payment. More often than not, the victim company will send the payment to avoid legal problems.

5. Customer Complaint Letters

One recent scam preys on a business owner’s fear of a bad online reputation. Fake emails are sent impersonating the Better Business Bureau. The letter claims that a customer complaint has been filed and the business owner needs to take action to protect their reputation.

Even though the email might seem legitimate, clicking on the link can lead to a download of malware. If the scammer can get access to your computer, then it means that they are trying to find sensitive information such as bank accounts or customer details.

6. Overpayments from a Customer

With this form of fraud, the scammer shows interest in high-ticket products or services that you are selling. The person requests to send a check for payment, intentionally writing the check for an amount that is higher than the price of the product.

Then, the scammer will request a wire transfer to refund the payment difference. The business owner will send a direct deposit or wire transfer. But, the check will bounce later, resulting in a loss of the money that was wired.

If you encounter this situation, then it is best to hold onto the product and request a new payment from the customer for the amount that is due. Also, be sure that you are cautious in gathering as much information as possible when processing digital transactions: full name, telephone number, address, etc.

7. Business Opportunity Scams

Whether someone approaches you with a pyramid scheme or they are offering a “blue sky” opportunity, it is possible that the scammer is trying to take advantage of your entrepreneurial mindset. Too often, business owners are approached by other people, even friends and family, offering a money-making service or investment opportunities. The person tries to convince you to spend money to join the program, but the promised results never come through.

Usually, these business opportunities are packaged in quick-start systems. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is something that you should avoid.

8. Time Sensitive Emails

Everyone knows that it is a scam if they get an email from a Nigerian prince who wants to send money. But, did you know that other time-sensitive emails could be potentially dangerous to your company? If a scammer gets access to your email address, then they could send business requests or fake inquiries.

The email could be as simple as an offer to help with search engine rankings, or as complex as a proposal for a business opportunity. The goal of the scammer is to gain more information about you or your company that can be exploited or sold for money.

Any time you receive an email from someone that you don’t know, use caution about what you do with the email. Never, ever click on the link provided in the email or open any attachments. If you suspect that the email might be legitimate, then it is best to research the company through search engine inquiries rather than clicking on the provided links.

Even if the link in the email looks legit, it is possible that the scammer could use the click as a way to access your email account. Or, you might be following a seemingly harmless link to a page that places a virus or malware on your computer or phone.

9. Unusual Emails from Friends or Business Associates

While we are on the subject of email scamming, it is important to note that you could receive a scam email from someone that you know. If their account is hacked or they accidentally had malware downloaded on their computer, then it is possible that their email account could be used to send spam messages to your email account.

Often, the email will seem harmless, with a subject line that sounds personal. For example, the email subject line might say “What do you think about this idea?” or “You might like this.” Don’t click on the link in the email! Most likely, it will lead to the risk of your identity being stolen or adware that is downloaded on your computer.

When you receive an email from someone that you know, compare the subject line and content with communication that you’ve received in the past from that person. If anything seems unusual or different, then use caution before clicking on the link. It might be worth a phone call to ensure that the email came from a legitimate source.

Protecting Your Business

As a business owner, you need to enlist the help of industry professionals who can reduce the risk for your business. A good accounting team can help you avoid some of the common scams that target small businesses. If you need a reputable accounting and bookkeeping service, then you need to talk to us at Easier Accounting. We are here to help: (888) 620-0770

Tax Season is Over… But Don’t Get Lazy with Tax Planning

Are you breathing a little easier to know that you made it through the business tax season in 2018? Many business owners feel the stress and pressure during the first few months of the year due to tax paperwork that needs to be distributed and filed. Plus, the income tax payments and quarterly payments can add up during this time of year. Now that you have made it through tax season, don’t let your guard down by neglecting tax planning for the rest of the year.

Working with Your Accounting Team All Year Long

Your accountant helped you get through tax season, and you should continue leaning on the support of the accounting team for financial systems and decisions that need to be made in the future. Accounting services are more than just filing tax paperwork as needed. As a business owner, you have a depth of information and support that is available to ensure the forward progress of your company.

How often should you talk to your accountant? It depends on the size of your business and the services that are needed. But, it is important to know that your accountant is always looking for ways to support your business efforts, helping with the future success that is possible.

Not only will these accounting services help with tax filing, but tax strategy can also be suggested to ensure that you are ready for taxes next year. If you want to optimize your deductions to minimize your tax burden, then you need to be strategic with your bookkeeping and spending during every month of the year.

If your accounting team doesn’t offer this ongoing support, then it might be time to find an accounting service that specializes in small businesses. Your business will have the highest chance of success if you are working with a company that isn’t just punching the clock during tax season. Instead, your accounting team should maintain a conversation with you on an ongoing basis. You can get help with bookkeeping, payroll, quarterly filings, tax planning, and more.

It’s Never the Wrong Time of Year to Think about Taxes

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is pushing your tax strategy to the back burner for most of the year. Too often, business owners let the financial paperwork and receipts pile up. Then, it is a stressful rush to complete the calculations and paperwork that are needed at tax time.

Instead of procrastinating your financial work, it is essential that you make it a priority to keep up with these details on a weekly and monthly basis. For example, receipts should always be filed and labeled if they can be used as tax write-offs. Proper categorization makes it easy to calculate your deductions when it is time to file tax paperwork in the future.

Other essential tax planning tasks will depend on the complexity and size of your business. So, you should talk to your accountant to get the personal recommendations that are needed for your company.

Availability of Your Accountant

Keep in mind that your accountant is likely facing a huge workload during tax season. As a result, they probably don’t have a lot of time to discuss tax strategy with you a few weeks before the tax filing deadline. If you wait until the busiest time of the tax season, then your options might be limited to have the conversations that are needed for your tax strategy.

The best thing that you can do is enlist the help of an accounting team right now. Then, you can implement a good tax plan so that you are ready for anything that might come your way through the rest of the year. Most accountants have time available right now to have detailed conversations about your business. You will receive the undivided attention that you deserve to ensure that your tax strategy is designed to be a perfect fit for your company.

Tax Forms that Need to be Filed Throughout the Year

Are you a new business owner? Then you might not realize that there are tax forms that need to be filed throughout the year. Most people know about annual tax filings, but they aren’t aware of quarterly payments and other paperwork that might need to be addressed.

The paperwork varies depending on the structure of your company. Companies with employees need to pay employment taxes and file paperwork on certain dates. Owners of LLCs need to file separate tax paperwork for the business and the company. Sole proprietors can often keep all of the tax filings under the same forms.

Additionally, there might be various paperwork requirements for state and local tax requirements. Your accountant can help you assess both federal and state level paperwork and taxes that need to be addressed.

Do You Qualify for Any Tax Credits?

Tax credits might be a good option for your strategy. Some small businesses can qualify for tax credits, helping to offset the tax burden that is carried each year. Keep in mind that these tax credits can change from year to year. So, you need to lean on the expertise of your accounting team to ensure that you are staying current with the credits that are used.

In many situations, basic tax credit information is programmed into tax preparation software programs. But, strategy and planning are required if you are going to take advantage of these credits. Thousands of credit opportunities are available on federal and state tax levels. All of the credits have unique requirements, and your accountant can help you assess how your business needs to meet the requirements.

Go Digital with Your Accounting System

Have you delayed the change to move to a digital accounting system? If you are dragging your feet with the changes, then right now can be a great opportunity to implement the new system. Going digital will give you the opportunity to improve your tax strategy. Additionally, you can enlist the services of the best accounting teams since you aren’t limited by location. Digital accounting makes it possible to share your accounting records with an online team. You can also access these records from anywhere in the world.

Online software programs can help with essential tax requirements, such as tracking employment taxes and sales tax. Then, you can run reports to see how much money needs to be paid to the government. The right system can also be used to help with payroll, ensuring that you are withholding the right amount from employee’s paychecks and also making the employer contributions that are needed.

These online tax systems are secure and effective. You have control to grant access to the tax professionals that are helping your company. Lean on the expertise of a good accounting team so that you can avoid manual calculations and busy work in the future.

How Can Tax Planning Help Your Company?

Your accountant might make suggestions that will assist with the financial goals for your company. These are some of the strategies that can be built into your tax plan:

  • Decreasing the taxable income
  • Reducing your tax rate
  • Managing the schedule of tax payments
  • Identifying potential tax credits
  • Avoiding common accounting mistakes

Your accounting team will look at all of the options to manage the taxes that you are paying each year. In some situations, it might make sense to restructure your company or change the way the transactions are handled to provide the best outcome. Your accountant can analyze your situation and see if there are any areas where you might be missing out on tax benefits. As a business owner, it makes sense to maximize your tax benefits as much as possible.

Timing of Purchases and Deals

Remember that the timing of your purchases can impact your tax strategy as well. For example, if you have a low-income year followed by a high-profit year, then you might choose to purchase expensive equipment or furniture in the higher year to reduce tax burden that year. You need to evaluate where you will fall in the tax brackets to see if it makes sense to adjust your spending.

Sometimes, a purchase that you are considering in December can be pushed to January if you anticipate that you will need the write-offs more next year. So, you need to consider the cash flow and potential tax burdens, then look at the timing of the transactions for the best results in the future.

Our team of experts at Easier Accounting is always working hard to ensure optimal results for your company. We specialize in small business accounting services, giving you the peace of mind to know that you are working with a team that understands your industry. If you need tax planning or other accounting services, then we invite you to contact us for more information. We offer a variety of solutions, ensuring that the services are catered based on the needs of your company. Call the leading team of outsourced accountants if you are ready for a new tax strategy for your company: (888) 620-0770

Essential Factors to Evaluate Before Hiring an Outsourced CPA

An outsourced CPA can be a great resource to improve your financial systems and boost your business results. There’s no doubt that your company will benefit from experienced advice and guidance to help with cash flow and profit evaluation. But, there are a few things that need to be considered before you rush into the decision to hire a CPA.

Follow these guidelines to ensure that you have the right services and skills that are needed to support your business efforts:

Look at References and Reputation

What is the reputation of the company that you want to hire? Considering references and the business reputation can give you an idea about the quality of service that you can expect. Search online for the company name to uncover reviews and information shared by other customers.

These reviews can be biased, so you need to keep an open mind when you are reading through reviews. Not only can good reviews be planted by the company’s marketing firm, but bad reviews could be placed by a competitor. So, you need to read the reviews to get an overall feel for the type of experience that you might expect if you choose to hire the outsourced CPA.

Asking for references can be one way that you determine the quality of services that are provided. Before you hire the team, ask for contact information for references that can answer your questions. A good accounting team won’t hesitate to provide references upon request. You can talk to satisfied customers to know that you will be receiving services from a reputable company.

Compare Expenses for the Services

Hiring an employee can cost you thousands of dollars per month, which is why many CPAs try to charge high amounts for their ongoing accounting services. Even though you are tapping into the professional experience of the team, you don’t need to pay that much for good accounting and bookkeeping services.

As you are comparing options for accounting services, you need to open up the conversation about the ongoing costs that are expected. Plus, you deserve to see a breakdown of the services that will be provided for the investment. Evaluate the value that you will be receiving for the money that is spent. Don’t be afraid to compare various services to ensure that you find an accounting plan that matches the needs of your company.

Many small business owners find that it is cheaper to hire an online accounting service instead of paying for a local company to help with accounting. If you hire a local accountant, then the fees will be higher to cover the costs of the office and storefront. In comparison, many online businesses can reduce overall expenses since you don’t need to have face-to-face meetings.

Just because you aren’t meeting in person, doesn’t mean that you will receive subpar services. You always have the option to open up a conversation over the phone. A good outsourced CPA will offer ongoing support, giving you access to their expertise throughout the year. You need an accounting team that you can lean on for advice on an ongoing basis, instead of only talking to your accountant once a year.

Before you sign an agreement, make sure that you are clear about the amount that you will be paying and the services that will be offered. These details will ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the outcome of the services that you will be receiving.

You are Running the Business; the CPA is Assisting in the Efforts

When you hire an outsourced CPA, you might think that you can hand over the responsibility to reduce your stress load. While the accounting services will help to offset the busy work and oversee the financial strategy, they won’t take over the decisions that need to be made for your company.

In fact, many business owners use caution when they start working with a new accounting team. Instead of handing over all of the financial details and accounts right away, you might consider the option to work together for awhile to build trust first.

The CPA should offer tax preparation services, payroll, bookkeeping, and more. They can complete the calculations that help you evaluate cash flow and potential tax liabilities in the future. Even though this information is provided, remember that you are still the owner of the company. You have the final say in the decisions that are made. You can use the information to improve your decisions, without handing over all of the power to an outsourced team.

If you allow the accountant to make decisions on behalf of your company, then it is essential that you at least keep an eye on the transaction and the things that are happening. Otherwise, you could be at risk for fraud or other issues that could pop up if the books aren’t handled appropriately.

Why an Outsourced CPA instead of In-House Employees?

Why should you hire an outsourced CPA instead of bringing on another employee? While it might seem like a benefit to having a financial professional in your office, no real benefit can’t be gained from outsourced services.

In-house employees can be expensive, especially when you are paying a salary for an experienced accountant or CFO. Add up the costs of the salary, as well as employment taxes and employee benefits. Don’t overlook the cost that will be paid for additional office space, furniture, computers, and office supplies. All of these factors cut into your bottom line, making it hard to maximize your profits.

There’s nothing wrong with hiring an employee when it makes sense for your company. But, take the time to evaluate outsourced services before you rush to bring another employee into your office. With an outsourced accounting team, you always have someone there to answer your financial questions. At the same time, you can reduce the costs since you don’t need to be paying for someone to be in your office on a full-time basis.

It is interesting to see that outsourced services might actually be more valuable compared to an in-office employee. When someone is working in your office, they are always focused on the same project. As a result, they could have a narrow-minded perspective regarding potential systems or strategies that could be used for your company. It is easier to get stuck in a rut if you aren’t getting an outside perspective.

In comparison, an outsourced accounting team is always working with a variety of business owners. The experience can be used to improve your systems since the team understands the best practices in the industry. Choose an accounting team that specializes in small business services to ensure that you receive personalized information to match the needs of your company.

Where to Find a CPA You Can Trust

There are a variety of options that you can use if you need to find a CPA to help with your business. Some people look to network and industry contacts to find these services in the local area. A personal recommendation or referral can be a valuable resource. Just make sure that you trust the person who provided the referral. It is best to ask for these referrals from other like-minded business owners.

Next, you need to evaluate the options that might be available online. Search for companies that offer small business accounting services that are a good fit for your company. The internet has opened many options for outsourced services, giving you the ability to tap into expertise from accounting teams that understand the nuances of your industry. There are many benefits to choosing a small business accountant who focuses on companies like your own, instead of hiring the services of a big firm that offers accounting for small and large corporations.

Specializations are essential if you want to maximize the long-term results of the services that are available. Additionally, look for a company that offers many years of experience in the industry. It is better to hire an experienced team instead of trying the services of someone who is just out of college. Hands-on experience is invaluable and is worth more than the money that you will save on entry-level services.

The Best Outsourced Accounting Team: Easier Accounting

If you are looking for unbeatable outsourced accounting services, then you need to talk to us about the options that are available from the Easier Accounting team. We are focused on the satisfaction of our customers, giving you top-notch solutions for both accounting and bookkeeping. We have many years of experience in the industry, giving you the best options that can improve your business systems.

One of the advantages that we offer is that we specialize in small business accounting services. By focusing our services, we can improve the results for our customers. We invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about the ways that we can help with your business finances. Call us at Easier Accounting to see how we can help: (888) 620-0770