Are your books TAX ready? 5 Considerations as you approach the filing deadline:
Working with small businesses for over 15 years as a bookkeeper, accountant, controller, CFO and as a tax preparer – I can confidently count on one hand the business owners that were excited to get their books closed up and their returns out the door. Everyone waits as long as they possibly can hoping a miracle will occur and they are off the hook!
There are so many benefits to getting the deed done early and done well. This is a topic for another day but some of these benefits include: stress relief, time to prepare to pay your tax bill and perhaps secure the funds necessary; and the ability to start planning for the new year at the start of the year versus after the tax deadline or the extended tax deadline. The ability to be proactive is valuable to the bottom line of your business.
So, here we go – let’s get your books TAX ready!
Don’t wait until you meet with your tax preparer to clean up (or start) your bookkeeping and accounting. This is a recipe for extra stress and extra expense. You should be aware of your bottom line, before you hand over your books to the tax preparer. This enables you to use your meeting with your tax expert to discuss relevant tax topics and strategies. If your books are not ready, you are missing out and it is costing you money for another meeting to come back after they fix up your books and know where you stand.
Contract out your bookkeeping and accounting function! Almost every small business owner I work with wants to do their own accounting. Well, I should say – thinks they SHOULD do their own accounting. Software makes it easy right? Anyone can do it, right? They will SAVE money, right? A small business owner shouldn’t do their own bookkeeping. Period. You have a business to nurture and grow – let an expert handle the books. With the right expert, you will not only have up to date and accurate books, but you will also have additional insight and reporting available in real time to grow your business.
It isn’t too late and it won’t break the bank. If you are behind on your 2014 books, don’t hand them over to the tax preparer to finish/clean up before preparing your return. In my experience, the hourly rates you pay at this point, will far exceed what you would pay a firm specializing in bookkeeping and accounting. It is not uncommon to pay fees exceeding what you would pay a bookkeeping firm for 2 years. We review the activity, quote a flat fee to get the past year completed and then get our small businesses started on a regular bookkeeping and accounting package with a flat fixed monthly fee. Need controller or CFO services? No problem – we have you covered.
Value Technology. When you contract out your bookkeeping and accounting, make sure you choose a firm that values technology. Gone are the days of dropping off or mailing stacks of paper. You should be provided with internet (cloud) based accounting software, document management, and complementary tools to more efficiently run the financial side of your business. Access to your financials from your smart phone or tablet should be a given. We do a “walk through” with our clients to identify pain points and solutions utilizing the available technology to provide functionality they believe available only to large businesses.
Location. Your bookkeeping and accounting services do not have to be provided by a firm in your city or even your state! Cloud accounting is a fabulous thing – it gives you access to cutting edge firms regardless of your location, without jeopardizing level of service. In fact, I would argue the service is far better in many cases.
We would love to get you started – contact us at www.accounttally.com or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.