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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

Is it Time to Hire an Accountant for Your Small Business?

Having a strong financial plan for your small business is one of the most important aspects of creating a foundation for the future. If you ignore financial tracking, tax strategy, and bookkeeping, you might be able to get by for a little while. But, eventually you will face the harsh truth that your business growth will be limited without a solid financial system. The best thing that you can do is hire an outsourced accountant to oversee the details in the early stages of your business growth.

Why Accounting Services?

Small business owners are always looking for ways to save money. One mistake that is often made is hiring an entry-level administrative employee to help with financial tracking. Instead of bringing on an experienced team, it seems like a cheaper solution to pay someone who can handle the data entry.

While the daily data entry is important, it never replaces the strategy that comes from working with an accounting team. These accounting services encompass much more than simply tracking the transactions that move through the bank account. A good accounting service will incorporate everything from basic bookkeeping to full tax strategy and planning for the future.

Working with an accountant is a strong addition to your business strategy. You have the benefit of a team member who understands the nuances of small business finances. Lean on their expertise, so that you can apply the proven principles to your own business practices.

Benefits of Working with an Accountant

Is it a big deal to hire an accountant? Yes! As you learn about the benefits that come from these services, you will wonder why you didn’t make the investment earlier in your business efforts. Having a great accounting team might be the difference that you need to overcome cash flow problems and set your business up for future growth.

Here are some of the benefits that you can expect when you hire outsourced accounting services:

  • More Time for Business Development: Stop wasting your time on number crunching and data entry. As the owner of a business, you carry the heavy responsibility of overseeing every aspect of your company. The best thing that you can do is outsource some of the busy work so that you can focus your efforts on other activities that will bring in more revenue. Hiring an outsourced accountant is an essential step if you are still involved in data entry, invoices, payroll processing, tax filing, and more.
  • Save Money on Overhead Expenses: When you see that you need financial services, it might seem logical to hire another employee. But, you need to think about the costs that will be incurred by bringing an employee into your company. Not only do you need to carry the responsibility of another salary, but you also need to pay for expenses such as office space, benefits, time off, and more. Save your cash by hiring an outsourced accountant instead. You can tap into the expertise of an professional in the industry, without the need to carry the weight of a full-time salary for another employee.
  • Maximize Tax Write-Offs: You are probably leaving money on the table if you are doing your own taxes. Tax strategy can be complicated, especially since the laws have changed recently. You can’t read a few short articles online and think that you understand tax strategy for small businesses. Instead, you need an experienced CPA who understands the nuances of tax law, helping you maximize your write-offs while staying within the legal guidelines at the same time. Implementing a good tax strategy could save you thousands of dollars each year. Many business owners find that they save more money on taxes than what they spend on the accounting services.
  • Categorizing Assets: Does your company own assets? Whether you have an office full of computer equipment, or you have bigger assets for real estate or vehicles, you need to have a financial expert help with the categorizations for these assets. The way these items are categorized can impact your tax filing. Plus, you can use the assets as collateral if you need to borrow money in the future. Another benefit of proper categorization is to know how much the business is worth, so that you always have a snapshot of the profits and successes of the company.
  • Ongoing Reconciliation and Audits: Even if you are diligent with data entry and other financial practices, it is common for mistakes to be made along the way. Seemingly small issues can add up over time, resulting in bigger problems in the future. So, you need to take a proactive approach to identify the errors and correct them in the early stages. Regular reconciliations and in-house auditing can be invaluable to ensure that you are staying on track for the future. Plus, you will have the peace of mind to know that there is nothing to worry about if you are audited by the IRS.
  • Efficiency with Cashflow: It can be a stressful situation if you feel like you can never stay ahead of the cash flow for your company. Inefficiencies in your financial system can be identified and corrected by an experienced accounting team. Correcting these issues can improve daily, weekly, and monthly systems. As a result, the money will be there when it is needed, giving you the flexibility to manage your business without feeling like you are running out of cash. An accountant will oversee the ongoing strategy and forecasts to ensure that you always have the cash that is needed for accounts payable and payroll.
  • Planning for the Future: Not only can you keep up with the current needs of your company, but you can also think about the future possibilities that can be achieved. If you want to be ready for expansion, then you need to make changes right now to set yourself up for success in the future. Set goals for the revenue growth that you want to experience. Then, talk to your accounting team to design a system that can accommodate the growth as it occurs. You need to think about various options such as tax strategy, business entities, and more.

Start with an Accountant Right Away

If you don’t already have the services of an accountant for your small business, then right now is a great time to get started. You can have the support that you need for the upcoming tax season. Plus, you will be able to lean on the financial expertise throughout the year.

A good accounting service encompasses more than one conversation a year for tax strategy. You need to have someone who watches your business trends throughout the year, giving you the professional advice that will keep your business on track for the success that you desire.

It is amazing to see the difference it can make to hire the services of a professional accountant. Not only will you have someone who can answer your financial questions at any time. But, you will have access to accurate reporting and information when it is time to make big decisions about your company. There is no way to put a price tag on the benefits that you will receive from outsourced accounting services!

Don’t Hire a CPA; Call for Outsourced Accounting Services Instead

Save the money that you would spend on an outsourced CPA and bring in an experienced outsourced accounting team instead. You will have a full range of experience in the industry, plus you can save the cash that you would have spent if you hired a CPA.

What will you do with the extra cash? Saving thousands of dollars will give you the options to invest in new office equipment, consultations with experts in your industry, or a company retreat. Or, you could use the money for business development, helping to expand the products or services that are available for your customers. These investments can have long-term benefits for your company, helping to maximize your profits in the future.

Outsourced accounting services offer all of the benefits of having an in-house CPA, without the expense of another employee. You can call your outsourced team at any time if you have questions about your tax or financial strategy. We are always available to answer your questions and support your needs, giving you the expertise that you need to manage the stressful side of running a business. Instead of crunching the numbers and trying to navigate financial reports, you can focus your efforts on other business tasks. We will do the heavy lifting to ensure the financial health of your company.

Are you ready to learn more about hiring an outsourced accountant? Our team is here to assist with anything that you need. We encourage you to call us to learn more about the services that we provide for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Contact us at Easier Accounting to see if our services match your needs. We are happy to cater your accounting plan to make sure that everything is in alignment with your business goals. Call for more information: (888) 620-0770

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