8 Things to Consider When Hiring a Small Business Accountant

Have you decided that it is time to hire a small business accountant to help with the financial tracking for your company? It might be a big step to bring in a financial professional. But, this decision is an important decision to move your business forward in a positive way. Managing the financial records will set the foundation that is needed for success in the upcoming years.

DIY accounting is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made for a start-up or small business. Even though it might seem simple to track transactions and income, the truth is that important details are often overlooked along the way. Instead of trying to save money by handling the accounting and bookkeeping in-house, it is better to spend the cash on a professional team to help. In fact, it is likely that you will save more money because of the tax write-offs and other financial benefits that come from an experienced accounting team.

If you want to move forward towards financial success, then you need to have an accountant that you can trust. Follow these important tips to help you choose the right small business accountant:

1. How Much Experience Do They Have in the Industry?

Not only do you need to consider the length of time that they’ve been working in the industry, but you also need to think about the type of experience they bring to the table. Just because someone has been working in finance for many years, doesn’t mean that they have the understanding to navigate tax laws that relate to small businesses.

Your best bet is to choose an accounting team that specializes in the types of services that you need. For example, if you are launching a start-up, look for accounting services focused on small businesses, instead of hiring a big, corporate accounting team.

2. Does Your Accountant Have the Right Education and Accreditation?

Anyone can say that they are a financial professional. But, knowing how to do data entry in an accounting software isn’t the same thing as analyzing reports and putting together a financial strategy. Ask your new accountant about the education they gained to be qualified for the position.

Knowing information about their education and experience is a great way to ensure that they have the skill set the is needed to boost the success of your company. You need to hire someone that is familiar with all types of bookkeeping systems and is willing to learn more about the nuances of your company.

3. How Often Can You Ask Questions?

Some accounting services only offer communication once or twice a year. You talk to your accountant at tax time, and then the conversation is over until the next tax season. While it is important to have an accountant who can help with taxes, you shouldn’t overlook the benefit of ongoing accounting and bookkeeping services to help your company throughout the year.

The best solution is to choose an accounting team that is always available to answer your questions. Ongoing support will make a big difference to your tax strategy, helping to minimize the amount of money that you need to pay in taxes.

4. Is the Accountant Honest and Trustworthy?

When you are handing over the financial information for your company, you need to make sure that you have a team that you can trust. Never provide password information for your financial system unless you know that you are working with a reputable team.

There are many scams in the business world, with thieves who are just trying to gain access to your bank accounts. So, it is important that you do your homework to learn more about the company that you are planning to hire. Research the business, look for online reviews, and ask around to make sure that you are picking a reputable team to help with your bookkeeping and accounting.

One way that you can determine the reputation of the company is by asking for references from other clients. Testimonials and reviews can shed light on the quality of service that you can expect if you hire the accounting team.

5. Will You Receive Reliable Services?

Ongoing accountant and bookkeeping services are essential so that you can stay ahead of the cash flow for your company. If you hire someone that procrastinates the work, then you will likely be facing a messy financial situation in the future. A better solution is to hire a team with a proven system in place.

The ongoing services depend on the needs of your company. You should have a consultation with the accounting team to discuss the services that are necessary. Then, a schedule can be designed to match your preferences. This schedule should include all of the important aspects of financial tracking, such as data entry, reconciliations, payroll processing, tax payments, tax filing, and more.

Reliability is also important to give you access when questions come up. Will you be able to get on the phone with your accounting team if you have questions about a financial situation? Reliability is not only consistency with the tasks that need to be completed. It also means that your accountant will respond when you contact the team for more information.

6. How Much Transparency Will Be in the Reporting?

If a mistake is made along the way, it is important that you have transparency in the reporting to identify the problems. Accuracy is one of the most important aspects of an effective accounting system. So, you need to make sure that you have the information readily available at any time.

Transparency means that you will be able to see the work that is being completed. You can also pull financial reports to understand the current cash flow standing of your company. Plus, the accountant will be available to explain the reporting and transactions so that you can be sure that everything is on track for the future.

This openness for communication is essential so that you have all of the information that is needed for the financial health of your company.

7. Do You Have Credit and Cash Flow Management Strategies to Use?

Instead of just tracking the transactions that move through the company, your accounting team also needs to look at the strategy that will impact the financial health of your business. Most companies have credit cards and lines of credit that are used to keep the business going. Debt can be an effective way to push through slower times. But, these balances can quickly get out of hand, making it hard to get on top of the cash flow once again.

Instead of spending a lot of money on business debt, you should talk to your accounting team to look for solutions to minimize spending and pay down the balances. These strategies will contribute to the financial health of your company. Not only will you be able to manage your cash flow more effectively, but you will also be able to stay ahead of future costs that might be incurred.

A healthy business will have an emergency savings account to cover any unexpected costs that might come up. Plus, there will always be enough cash flow to stay current with the anticipated bills that come through every month. Many business owners have a hard time putting together a system to stay ahead of bill payments and credit management. So, it is a good idea to hire an accountant who can help with managing these details.

8. How Much Do the Accounting Services Cost?

The cost of the accounting services needs to be analyzed, to make sure that you can support the payments that will be needed. If you are hiring an employee to manage in-house accounting work, then you will be facing expensive costs for the salary, benefits, office space, and more. For small businesses, it probably doesn’t make sense to bring on another employee.

Instead, a better solution is to find an outsourced accounting team who can help with your business finances. You will see that the costs of a small business accountant go down when you bring on an outsourced team instead of hiring an employee. Not only will you access the skills and services that you need, but you will be able to save money at the same time.

The great thing about outsourced accounting is that your accountant can be located anywhere in the country. Instead of being limited to a geographical location, your accountant can use technology to manage your bookkeeping online. Then, you have instant access to the reporting system so that you always have a current picture of the financial health of your company.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of outsourced accounting? You need to talk to our team at Easier Accounting. We have been working hard to build a great reputation in the industry. You will see that our services are leading the industry, offering the best options that are needed for small business accounting. Call today to see if our services match the needs of your company: (888) 620-0770

Easy Tax Credits for Small Business Owners

Do you own a small business, or you have plans to start a business venture in the future? There are many financial aspects that need to be considered to ensure the success of your company, and it is important that you look for tax credits to reduce your tax burden. Working with an experienced tax accountant is one of the best options that you should consider, and you need to make sure that your accountant has worked with many other types of small business owners.

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Do-It-Yourself vs. Hiring an Accountant

Some small business owners want to save money, so they go through the hassle of trying to do their taxes without consulting an accountant. Even though it might seem like a good solution, the truth is that it is likely costing you money if you don’t work with a small business accountant!

First, it is much faster to hand over the financial details and let the accountant work through the tax preparation and filing. You have plenty of other responsibilities to focus on, and you shouldn’t be spending your time trying to figure out the tax code.

Additionally, many inexperienced business owners overlook tax credits that could be used. If you aren’t familiar with the different types of write-offs that are available, then it is likely that you are paying more in taxes than you need to. Instead of paying the higher taxes, you should invest a little bit of money into an accountant. These services are worth their weight in gold, especially when you see how much money you will be saving when it is time to cut the check for the annual tax payment.

Types of Tax Credits for Small Businesses

These are some of the common tax credits that can be helpful for small businesses:

  • Office Supplies and Equipment: Is there anything that needs to be purchased for the office? If you have been thinking about a new computer, right now is a great time to make the purchase and use it as a tax write-off.
  • Disability Tax Credits: Do you have an employee on your team suffering from some type of disability? If you are incurring additional costs to make the business more accessible for someone with a disability, then it might be possible to write off those expenses.
  • Maximize Retirement Contributions: Self-employed individuals can maximize the funds that are contributed to a retirement fund to reduce their tax burden.

The best thing that you can do is talk with an accountant to learn about the tax credits that are applicable for your situation. For more information, talk with our team at Easier Accounting: (888) 620-0770

Is Your Company at Risk for an IRS Audit?

An audit can be a stressful and unpleasant situation to deal with, and many small business owners are worried that the IRS might audit their financial records. The likelihood of auditing varies depending on the type of business that you have and the numbers that are coming through on your tax return, and it is essential that you work closely with an accountant at all times. An experienced accountant can help you to avoid the audit in the first place, and they can assist with the required tasks if an audit occurs.

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Business Categories with a Higher Risk of Audit

The IRS does not share information about the types of companies that they audit. But, there are a few trends that have been noticed and it seems like certain categories have a higher audit risk. These are a few red flags that might potentially trigger an audit:

  • Small Companies: Generally, small companies don’t have good systems in place for financial tracking and records. It is also likely that the company doesn’t have a financial professional to help them stay in compliance with tax laws. The audit rate might be even higher if the company receives most income in the form of cash.
  • Business Travel, Entertainment and Meals: It is essential to have the paperwork to back up these expenses, and most small businesses don’t keep the proper records. If you are writing off large sums for business entertainment and meals, then the IRS might thing that you are writing off personal entertainment and calling it a business expense.
  • Schedule C Losses: Do you have a tax return that shows a high salary in conjunction with a Schedule C loss? This situation might be a red flag to the IRS. Typically, a Schedule C activity is a hobby instead of a business, especially if the activity is a personal pleasure, such as travel writing, photography, sports, etc.

IRS audits can be unexpected, and the best thing that you can do is hire a good small business accountant to ensure that you are staying within the tax laws. Prevention is the best solution, to help you avoid problems if your business is audited.

Here at Easier Accounting, we are experienced with all types of small business finance. We are here to help with anything that you need, and we invite you to contact our team to learn more about the services that are available. Call us right away: (888) 620-0770

Do You Need a Bookkeeper to Help with Payroll Processing?

Payroll processing can be a time-consuming task, and some business owners have a hard time keeping up with everything that needs to be done. It is essential that you are consistent and accurate with payroll, because paycheck distribution will have a direct impact on employee satisfaction.

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Do-It-Yourself Payroll

Some companies choose to handle payroll in-house, but it is essential that you have a solid system and the right team to help with the paychecks. Missing hours, late paychecks, or any other errors might cause employees to be frustrated with their work. These problems can lead to higher turnover, which can be damaging to your company.

If you are handling payroll on your own, then you might consider the benefits of hiring a payroll service to help instead. In fact, many business owners find that they can actually save money by using a payroll service instead of paying a high salary for an in-house bookkeeper or accountant.

Payroll Service Benefits

When you hire a bookkeeper or payroll service to help with payroll processing, you will see that there are a number of benefits that you will be able to enjoy. Outsourcing these tasks helps to increase the accuracy of the payroll distribution, especially if you are working with a trusted company with a lot of experience in bookkeeping and payroll processing.

Additionally, you will see that hiring a bookkeeper to help will be beneficial to free up your time in the office. Instead of worrying about the details of payroll calculations and distributions, you can focus on the other things that need to be done. Business owners have a lot of responsibilities, which is why it is best to outsource the busy work to the professionals instead.

When you hire a payroll service or small business bookkeeper to help with payroll processing and calculations, your stress levels will drop. Financial professionals can keep the business running by managing payroll, invoicing, and other financial services. So, you can focus on building the business and expanding for future growth.

At Easier Accounting, we are here to help with any type of bookkeeping or financial assistance that you need for your small business. We invite you to contact our experienced team today to learn more about the services that are available. We will talk with you about your goals, and put together a plan that will work best for your needs. Call us right away for more information: (888) 620-0770

Hiring Independent Contractors? Don’t Forget These Important Steps

It is easy to see why business owners frequently hire independent contractors instead of hiring an employee, because a contractor can be beneficial to reduce costs and provide a temporary relationship when the skills are needed. You can pay for specific projects and tasks, instead of having the hassle of bringing on a full time employee.

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If you are hiring independent contractors to help with your business, then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. These important steps will ensure that you are following the laws and staying compliant with your workforce:

Ask for a Signed W9

You need to be sure that the person can work in the United States, so you should ask for a copy of their W9. This form will verify that they are a US citizen or resident, and you will have the peace of mind to know that you aren’t hiring an illegal. This form will provide the tax information needed that will be used when filling out the 1099 at the end of the year.

Submit a 1099

At the end of the year, you need to send a 1099-MISC form to any contractor who earned more than $600 during the calendar year. This form needs to be provided to the contractor, and you also need to send a copy of the form to the IRS. It is essential that the contractor receives their copy by January 31st, or the next Monday if the 31st happens to be on a weekend. The IRS copy needs to be sent by the last day in February.

Maintain Good Records

Make sure that you keep up with records throughout the year, so that you have information about the work that was performed and how much was paid to each contractor. For example, keep copies of the invoices that were provided, as well as information about the payments that are sent. The easiest way to handle these details is by hiring a small business bookkeeper to help with ongoing accounting and record keeping.

Have a Signed Agreement

Before the contractor starts working on the project, it is best to have a signed contract in place. This contract will keep you protected, and it ensures that all parties are on the same page with the work that will be delivered.

Do you need help with the financial side of running a business? We are here to help! We offer a number of bookkeeping services and other accounting services, and we invite you to contact us anytime to learn more about how your business will benefit: (888) 620-0770

How to Streamline Your Business Finances

Do you look at your business finances and feel overwhelmed at the mess and the lack of organization? Without the proper financial system, it is likely that you are spending too much time trying to sort through the financial details of your company. Here are a few tips to help you streamline your business finances and put a few systems in place to reduce your stress:

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Automate If Possible

Are there tasks that you are managing by hand, which can be automated with the right software? It is possible to save hours of time when you implement the right system that will automate busy work. The foundation to automation is to choose the right financial software that incorporates the functions that you need.

Cut Out the Paper

Papers pile up fast, and the filing can turn into a nightmare if you don’t stay consistent with everything. Instead of juggling piles of paper on your desk, look for options to go paperless. There are numerous benefits to paperless financial tracking, such as increasing productivity, reducing busy work in the office, and protecting the environment. With the right bookkeeping software, you can manage all of your receipts, invoices, contracts and other documents in a digital format.

Hire a Bookkeeper and Accountant

Professional help can go a long way to make it easier to manage your business finances. Consider hiring a small business bookkeeper to maintain the ongoing financial transactions and tracking details. Another option is to hire an accountant to assist with the tax filings and other financial tasks. Having a trusted team by your side can make a big difference in the success of your business! When you have a good grasp on the financial health of your company, you will be able to make the right decisions to protect the financial interests of the business.

Here at Easier Accounting, we specialize in all types of online bookkeeping and accounting services. Instead of hiring an internal employee to help with these tasks, it is much easier and cheaper for you to outsource the bookkeeping and accounting work instead.

For more information about the services that are available, contact our experienced team any time. We will gladly answer your questions and help you choose the right accounting and bookkeeping services that are needed for your business. We are experts in the industry and we would love to help with your financial needs. Contact us today for more details about how you will benefit from these services: (888) 620-0770

Simple Strategies to Reduce Stress during Tax Season

Tax season can be a stressful time for small business owners, especially if you haven’t been consistent with financial tracking throughout the year. As we are approaching tax deadlines, it is important to consider the financial standing of your company. Don’t get stressed out by the process though! Here are a few things that you should do to minimize the stress during this time of year:

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Gather Information about Expenses and Profits

Your accountant will need help with the financial details for the year, so you need to make sure that you are ready to provide the necessary reports and numbers for the tax filing. Make sure that you have an effective system in place which will help you to stay on top of the books, making it easy to gather the information that is needed when it is tax time. Many people find it beneficial to hire the services of a small business bookkeeper to manage these details on a weekly or monthly basis.

Double Check Employee and Contractor Info

As you are preparing W2s and 1099-MISC forms, it is a good idea to double check employee information before sending out the forms. Having an old mailing address or incorrect information can result in a situation where the employee doesn’t receive the necessary tax forms, so they will contact your company requesting to have the forms re-sent.

Save your company time and money by double checking the employee information in advance, to ensure that the form is sent to the right place. It is a good idea to have each employee verify the mailing address, name, and social security number.

Evaluate Employee Benefits

How effective are the benefits that you are offering to employees? Many small business owners get the benefits setup and then they forget to maintain these details on an ongoing basis. Look at details such as paid time off, flexible spending accounts, retirement accounts, and bonuses that were paid during the year. Make sure that the benefits were administered correctly and that the benefits are entered correctly on the tax forms.

Are you looking for someone to help with your company during tax season? One of the best ways that you can lower your stress levels is by hiring the right team to assist every step of the way. Here at Easier Accounting we offer both bookkeeping and accounting services for your small business, and we would love to help with anything that you need. Call us today for more information: (888) 620-0770

What to Expect from a Small Business Bookkeeper

It can be overwhelming to be a small business owner, because there are so many responsibilities and tasks that you need to keep up with. If you need help with the financial management of the company, then you should consider the benefits of hiring a small business bookkeeper.

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There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to manage everything on your own, which is why it makes sense to outsource some of the busy work that you don’t have time for. A bookkeeper can improve your financial systems and help you with the management of expenses and cash flow, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Setting the Right Expectations

When you start working with a professional bookkeeper, it is important to set the expectations at the beginning of the work agreement. By outlining the expected tasks and work assignments, you can make sure that your employees and outsourcers all understand their individual responsibilities. Getting the right system in place ensures that everything will be handled in the right way, to avoid the problem of having important things slip between the cracks.

Maintain Good Communication

Throughout the year, it is important to check in with your bookkeeper and other outsourcers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Are the tasks being completed as agreed? Misunderstandings can cause problems for your company, but good communication can make it possible to avoid these misunderstandings. By maintaining a good relationship, you can work together to build common goals.

Monthly Tasks for Your Bookkeeper

Your goal should be to offload as much busy work as possible to the bookkeeper. The great thing about bookkeeping services is that the workload can be adjusted depending on your needs. For example, basic bookkeeping tasks might include things such as managing accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions throughout the month. But, why not have them help with other tasks such as payroll, tax preparation, and financial reports?

Hire the Right Team

The foundation to finding success with a bookkeeper is to make sure that you find the right team to help. Doing your homework in advance will give you the peace of mind to know that your company is in good hands. Make sure they are competent and experienced with the tasks they will be helping with, to ensure that your business finances are handled in a professional way.

Do you want to learn more about accounting and bookkeeping services? Contact our team at Easier Accounting. We are here to help: (888) 620-0770

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

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

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

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

Let the Professionals Handle Everything for You

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

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

January Tax Forms are Due Soon

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

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

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

Call us today at: (888) 620-0770

New Year Bookkeeping Resolutions to Improve Business Finances in 2016

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

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Use the Right Financial Tracking System

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

Set a Budget and Stick to It

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

Keep Business and Personal Spending Separate

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

Stay Ahead of Weekly Financial Tracking

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

Hire a Bookkeeper to Help

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

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