10 Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses
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Small Business Tax Tips
When you manage your incoming and outgoing expenses on a regular basis, tax time doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. With so many automated small business tax tips available, your finances practically take care of themselves. Practically.
Successful tax planning strategies allow you to keep more of your money by reducing your tax burden on everything you do, year-round. Miller & Company LLP, NY Certified Public Accountants, a best rated NYC CPA firm.
When you put your debits and credits in the hands of a first-class NYC accountant, you lighten your load. By following small business tax advice, bookkeeping tasks can be lifted off your shoulders and removed from your To Do list. The process starts with a visit to a professional accountant with a personal approach, like the personal accountants at Miller & Company with offices in NYC and Queens.
You Still Have to Participate
You can’t sit back and let your bookkeeping take care of itself. You have a role to play in putting those tax tips for small business into action. Just as your high-end clientele expect you to fulfill their every need, your high-end accountant needs both access and responsiveness to you and your books for best results.
To maintain a smooth flow of funds so that you can concentrate on what you do best, follow these 10 small business tax tips for your bookkeeping safety and your sanity:
1. Mind Your Business.
Whether you’re a sole proprietor, in a solid partnership or the CEO of an S-Corp, you need to be vigilant about keeping your personal and business expenses separate. It’s too easy to misplace receipts, lose track of credit card expenditures and miss out on valuable business deductions when you wait until January (or April) to separate your personal and business expenses. Use different credit cards to avoid mix-ups.
2. Keep It Honest.
Don’t tap into your business for personal needs. Don’t cut corners with tax payments that could come back to bite you. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll just fix it later. Even if it’s an unintentional oversight, the IRS looks very unfavorably at disallowed business expenses, and they could levy some heavy fines at you. If you have any questions about avoiding an IRS audit or getting help if you’re about to have one, call a leading CPA firm in NYC Miller & Company with offices in NYC and Queens, NY.
3. Look Ahead.
A budget helps you keep your head above water. Include projections that take into account your future plans. Just as your personal financial advisor tells you to save every month for retirement, your business financial guide has the same message: Put a little aside each month to pay for growth.
4. Sock Away Some Savings.
Of all the tax tips for small business bookkeeping tips, don’t ignore this one. Even when it seems there’s always some other pressing financial matter at hand, find a way to save. Don’t believe that the gravy train is never going to end. Keep smart books and include a line item in your budget to get you through the rough patches.
5. Write It Down.
If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen. All those quick trips you take for a lunch meeting or to pick up office supplies can add up. Tax deductions like mileage easily get lost in the day-to-day milieu of your real business. But every dollar counts toward your ultimate tax burden. If an expense doesn’t show up on your business credit card, write it down in a ledger you carry or make a note in your electronic note-taker.
6. A Place for Everything.
No matter what kind of small business you’re running, you must develop an organizational system that works for you. Invest in software that’s intuitive and works alongside your other tracking software, such as you CRM or sales tracking. Buy a file cabinet since most businesses still rely on some forms of paper, be it contracts or invoices that directly affect your books. Empty your briefcase, portfolio and pocketbook every week to ensure all the receipts are filed.
7. Hire the Best.
You might be comfortable keeping your own books the first couple years, but when your business takes off, you don’t need to spend valuable work time on your books. A top Manhattan accountant such as Miller & Company sets you up so that you can focus on what you do best. It’s worth the price and can save you money in the long run.
STILL DOING YOUR OWN TAXES?
If you still doing your tax preparation yourself, you’re in the minority. Only about a third of Americans do their own taxes, and you can bet they’re not getting all the deductions they’re due. As your wealth increases, so does your tax burden. If you’re still doing your own taxes — or having a friend or relative prepare them for you — you’re missing out on the benefits you deserve.
Americans spend between $100 and $150 billion each year getting their taxes done by professionals. But not all preparers are equal, even though they’re plentiful. In 2012, the country had more tax preparers (about 1.2 million) than firefighters (310,400) and law enforcement officers (765,000) combined. That’s testament to the demand — due mainly to the complexity of the tax code.
8. Take the Advice.
Once you’ve found the best accountant for your industry, your territory and your tastes, listen to his advice. Even the most competent accountant can only work with what you give him. If you don’t keep receipts, for example, those expenses are lost forever. An ideal accountant provides you with valuable guidance when it comes to small business tax advice.
9. Make Time to Review.
Bookkeeping requires regular reviews for a number of reasons. For example, you want to make sure you’re on track, monthly or quarterly, whichever your accountant advises. And you can catch errors or poor payers before they strangle you. Your bookkeeping isn’t just an afterthought, but an integral part of your success.
10. Pay as You Go.
While there may be times you need to borrow money to purchase new equipment, fill out your staff or pay your ongoing bills, the closer you can stick to a debt-free business model, the more successful you’ll be. By following insightful, straightforward small business tax tips and the advice of your personal accountant, you can stay in the black and on the road to financial security.
Do you have questions about Small Business Tax Tips in NYC and Long Island? Would you like to receive a personal Small Business Tax advice customized to your specific needs? To schedule an appointment with a nationally recognized top CPA in Queens and Manhattan, Paul Miller of Miller & Company LLP, please contact our NYC accounting firm for a FREE consultation.