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Creating a Startup Business: 4 Ways to Get Startup Business Loans

Are you starting a business? Whether you plan to offer services or products, you will need money to get your entrepreneur dreams off the ground. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the money saved up in their personal checking accounts to place toward purchasing or leasing a storefront, buying equipment, hiring employees, buying inventory and getting the other necessary business resources.

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You will need to obtain small business startup loans to help you get your company up to running at full capacity. Here are 4 financing options to consider:

Traditional Loans

Many people first take the traditional route by seeking out a bank or credit union to provide them with a business or personal loan. Loan amounts can vary, and banks will have stringent loan conditions. You will typically have to provide a loan package that will include your business plan, financial documents, tax returns, financial projections and credit history. It can be difficult for a start-up to get a traditional loan if you don’t have any business history or strong credit score as banks have to decide if they want to take the risk on your products or services.

SBA Loans

Many business owners turn to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as a way to get financing to avoid the hurdles of getting a traditional loan. The SBA doesn’t directly offer the money out of their own pockets to business owners. Banks and other financial institutions offer the loans. What the SBA does offer is a guaranty program towards business startup loans in case your business fails. If you don’t pay back the loan, the lender can still recover their money through the SBA.

There are many different types of loans offered through the SBA, such as 7(a) loans, 504 loans and 7(m) microloans.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending is a non-traditional way to obtain financing where you seek out an investor who will place money toward your startup business. You will make requests for small business startup loans on a P2P online platform as investors will pay a certain financial amount up until the full loan request amount is reached. So you may have multiple investors providing financing to your business. Then you will make small repayments to the P2P platform to pay off the loan.

Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

Angel investors are individual investors who will provide funding to small businesses startups. The angel investor will usually be successful in a certain industry and will provide financing and mentoring for new businesses who are in the same market segment. Venture capitalists are larger firms and companies funding startup business loans. They are very selective as they seek out businesses that they are sure will reach success.

One of the similarities between an angel investor and a venture capitalist is that both seek out an equity stake in the business. They may cash out that stake once the small business is sold to a larger business or holds an initial public offering.

There are numerous traditional and non-traditional ways to seek out financing in addition to the options listed above. Determine the right loan for your startup business by deciding on the loan amount you need, what the money will be used for, and the type of loan terms you must agree to so you can get the financing.

Avoid These Common Financial Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners

Starting a small business is exciting and stressful at the same time, and some people compare it to a roller coaster ride. When you start a new venture you can expect to experience some great opportunities, but there are some common mistakes that might pop up along the way as well.

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Since the stakes are high, it is essential that you are careful to avoid these common mistakes so that you can create long-term growth for your company. Here are the 3 biggest mistakes that you can avoid:

Classifying Employees Incorrectly

Do you know the difference between an employee and a contractor? It is essential that you talk with an accountant to understand these differences, because the classification impacts the way the payments are handled. If you classify an employee incorrectly as a contractor, then it is possible that you might have to pay back wages and penalties.

Lack of Automation

Are you still trying to do everything by hand, because you don’t have a good financial system in place? It might not seem like a big deal to track payroll, invoices, and other financial information in a spreadsheet. But, these activities are eating away at your productive time each day. Instead of trying to track everything by hand, it is better to implement a good financial system from the beginning. It’s much easier to use automated systems right now, rather than wasting time with manual tracking and then trying to transition everything to an automated system later on.

Cash Flow Problems

It is common for a small business to be over-extended, making it hard to come up with the cash flow that is needed to keep the business running. If you aren’t staying up-to-date with finances, invoices, and bank account balances, then you might find yourself in a world of hurt when you need cash to restock inventory or pay your employees. Instead of making knee-jerk reactions every time you need to make a financial decision, it is better to stay current with your financial tracking systems so that you always have current financial information about your company.

The easiest way to stay current with your small business finances is to hire a professional to help. In fact, many business owners find that hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to assist with financial tracking is a way to decrease costs and boost the success of the business. Here at Easier Accounting, we offer the accounting and bookkeeping services that you need. Call us to learn more: (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

Are Electronic Records Sufficient for Your Financial Tracking?

Most business use digital systems for tracking financial records and other information, and there are a lot of benefits to using these online accounting systems. Does your company utilize a digital software to manage financial details? Even though the transactions are recorded in the system, it is still essential that you have receipts and other records to back up the transactions.

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Why are Receipts and Records Needed?

The reason that you need to keep the receipts and records is to provide verification in case your company is audited by the IRS. If an audit occurs, then they will need more information than just the basic transactions in your accounting system. These receipts and financial documents back up the records, showing that the transactions were real and legitimate.

There are cases where the backup documentation wasn’t available, causing the company to get in trouble with the IRS. Additionally, this information allows your company to verify the transactions in the system in order to ensure that the records are maintained correctly.

Paper Records to Back Up Your Electronic Journal

When the IRS looks at your digital system, it is assumed that you have paper documentation to back up the information in the software programming. Digital transactions can be changed, but a paper record provides the verification that is needed to increase the reliability of your tracking system.

In fact, the tax court has said that it is negligent to rely on electronic entries without maintaining supporting record to validate the transactions.

Staying Consistent with Documentation

The best thing that you can do to keep your company protected is to maintain consistent documentation at all times. Many business owners don’t have the time or knowledge to maintain accurate record keeping, which is why it is beneficial to work with a professional company that offers the bookkeeping services that you need. Having a bookkeeper on your team will ensure that you are keeping track of the right information throughout the year, and you can have the peace of mind to know that a professional is staying ahead of the changes in tax law.

Here at Easier Accounting, we want to make it easy for you to manage the accounting for your business. For more information about working with a small business bookkeeper, we encourage you to contact us right away. We are always here to answer your questions so that you will have success with your accounting and bookkeeping efforts. Call us today: (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

3 Ways Bookkeeping Services Save You Both Time and Money

As a business owner, you should always been looking for ways that you can improve systems, increase profit, and reduce spending. One of the options that should be considered is to hire a bookkeeper, because these bookkeeping services can help you to save both time and money. Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy:

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Stay Up-to-Date on Business Spending

It can take a lot of time and effort to catch up on neglected financial reports. Do you find that it is hard to stay current with business transactions? There are quite a few small businesses with financial records that are a mess, because the business owner is too busy with other aspects of managing the company and doesn’t have time to deal with the monthly accounting.

Instead of procrastinating and letting everything pile up, it’s better to stay consistent with tracking financial information on a weekly and monthly basis. If you don’t have time to keep up with these tasks, then you should definitely consider the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper to help.

Keep Track of Business Write-Offs

When tax time rolls around every year, you need to have good documentation of expenses that fall within the category of write-offs for the business. A bookkeeper can help you keep track of these expenses, so you have information ready to hand over to your tax preparer.

Bookkeeping services don’t typically include tax preparation, but here at Easier Accounting we offer a wide range of financial services, including tax preparation. Instead of working with two different companies for bookkeeping and tax preparation services, you can simplify the financial process by working with us.

Outsource Payroll

Payroll can be an expense that really adds up, especially if you are paying the salary of an internal employee to handle payroll processing. Have you taken a look at the real cost of internal payroll management? By outsourcing payroll, you can save money and free up the time of your employee to help with other tasks within the company instead.

There are many streamlined systems that can be implemented to make it easy for you to outsource payroll. These systems can be catered to the individual needs of your company, giving you the ease of letting a professional service handle it for you.

Are you interested in learning more about accounting and bookkeeping services? Contact our team at Easier Accounting, and we will gladly help with anything that you need: (888) 620-0770