How to Organize Your Records for Tax PlanningPosted on August 6th, 2019
Every business needs to plan for taxes, and keeping your records organized is a crucial part of this process. Leaving everything until the last minute can leave you stressed and exhausted, so it is a good idea to get on track now and stay there.
Start with an Assessment
Look at how your last tax filing went and make a list of the things that went well and any areas that need improvement. Review last year’s liability and make predictions for profit levels and expenses. If you are not in line with your projections, adjust your estimated tax payments, so you don’t run into any surprises at tax time.
Review pending tax law changes and current deduction opportunities to find ways to improve your tax situation. If you haven’t done so yet, meet with your tax advisor and get updated on the latest strategies you can use to save money. Consider the impact of equipment purchases, hiring new employees, improving your property, and your investments, and plan the best time to initiate these and any other changes.
Organization and Automation
Set up and maintain a record-keeping system that is more efficient and less time-consuming. The objective is to have an arrangement that maximizes accuracy and provides you with immediate access to your data at any time. Create a file for the current tax year that includes all the documentation you will need and put them in order as you progress throughout the year.
Ideally, all your records, receipts, and important documents should be digitized and made available online so that you can access them from anywhere at any time. This also enables any professionals you have assisting you to keep tabs on your operational health and give you a heads up if you need to change your purchasing habits. Keep your entries up to date with a task list that is categorized by frequency, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. This consistent attention will prevent errors and guarantee you can take advantage of any deductions available.
Tax Planning Assistance in Lakeland, FL
The team at Jason Wiley Simpson, PA can help you set up and maintain an organization system that will make tax planning easier and more effective. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us show you how we can help take the stress out of tax planning and preparation.
Minimum Wage and Small BusinessesPosted on June 11th, 2019
The minimum wage has not been increased by the federal government since 2009 when it was raised to $7.25, failing to ensure a fair and livable wage for the nation’s lowest paid workers. Now, many states are taking matters into their own hands, with a total of 40 states raising the rate and promising to increase it even more in the future.
At first glance, it may seem like this change may have a negative impact on small- to medium-sized businesses, costing owner’s tens of thousands of dollars in additional payroll expenses each year and making it difficult to turn a profit. However, several third-party surveys have found that most small business owners believe boosting their employees’ paychecks will be a good thing. They understand the struggle of keeping up with the cost of living and believe better wages will improve employee retention and productivity.
Many Businesses Support a Higher Minimum Wage
Employees who are paid better are happier at work and more likely to stick around, reducing the high cost of turnover and recruitment. Long-term employees become more invested in the company they work for, providing better service, doing a better job, and essentially creating more sales and profits for their business. Additionally, increasing the minimum wage is also expected to boost local economic activity, allowing workers to afford payments on a new car loan, better rent, or tuition.
Small business owners are an adaptive group that must turn to innovation in the face of change because they do not have the same resources as large companies. Change is the key to survival, and the increase in minimum wage will pressure owners to adjust their business model to thrive. They will consider everything from raising prices, hiring more or less often, relocating, and incorporating AI technology to make it work.
The effects of a minimum wage increase will differ from business to business, but most will have to be prepared to reduce their profit margin or look for new efficiencies. Because the increase applies to everyone, many businesses will be able to pass some of the cost to customers without losing their competitive advantage.
Helping Your Business Succeed
At Jason Wiley Simpson, PA we understand the challenges and obstacles that face today’s business owners. We can help your business run at peak performance by increasing efficiency and staying in compliance. Our goal is to guide and protect your business, so you can concentrate on boosting revenue and profits. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How Does Depreciation Work?Posted on April 9th, 2019
For many business owners, depreciable assets are invaluable in avoiding excessive taxation. Depreciation allows a business owner to deduct the value of a tangible asset over a set period, which is determined by how long that asset is estimated to last. At Jason Wiley Simpson, PA, we help business owners make the most of their depreciable assets for reduced tax liability and increased long-term viability.
The Process of Depreciation
Assets are depreciable for the length of their expected usefulness, a figure that’s derived by the amount they were purchased for minus their salvage cost. While this equation is the format to calculate general forms of depreciation, accelerated depreciation is more commonly used to return a greater amount of the expenditure in a shorter period of time.
Depreciation is a smart way to get money back on a big purchase, including large hardware, furniture, property, and cars. But there are some important factors to keep in mind for proper depreciation:
Spread out the cost – While you can write off the full amount of the asset in the first year, up to a certain dollar limit, dispersing the cost of the asset across several years allows you to reap the long-term benefits from your investment.
Calculate Cost — It’s more than what you simply paid for it. The cost of an item includes the taxes you paid on it and what it costs to operate. If the asset is a car, upkeep and maintenance can be factored into the cost as well. After the asset is outside of the window of use, it’s helpful to know its worth after-the-fact, called salvage.
Follow GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are standard methods of operation that dictate how bookkeeping processes are handled. This allows governing organizations to ensure streamlined reporting.
Make the Most of Your Depreciable Assets
Whether you are the owner of a construction business looking to make the most of new equipment, or a real estate investment firm trying to lower the impact of property taxes, contact our Lakeland firm today. Jason Wiley Simpson, PA helps you identify and capitalize on your business’ depreciable assets.
How to Establish Effective Billing SystemsPosted on February 26th, 2019
The billing process of your company can be just as important as the service or product that you sell. A customer who is not happy with payment terms or finds it too difficult to submit their payment will most likely decide to look elsewhere for their business. Knowing how to professionally and competently handle your billing process can greatly influence the reliability and reputation of your business.
If you have a small- to medium-sized business, billing can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be, and by utilizing some important tips, you can get paid faster and concentrate on what matters – your company.
Set Your Terms
The basis for a good customer relationship is agreeing on a set of terms before you start working together. This understanding helps you avoid surprises and increases your chances of getting paid on time. Your terms should clearly state:
- Hourly or project-based billing
- Your standard fee and any additional fees
- A timeline of when the project is to be completed
- Types of payments you can accept
- A due date by which the client is expected to pay the invoice
- Any penalties charged to the client if the bill is past-due.
Automate and Organize
Automation features can process your payments faster and save you and your clients’ time. There are a variety of billing software systems available that will automatically compile costs and quotes, track billable time, and produce invoices. Electronic processing reduces the number of people needed to produce quotes and decreases the chance of human error. Save your business time and money by:
- Establishing automatic recurring billing schedules and fees
- Create auto-responders for invoice reminders
- Process invoices online and set up payment methods that can be accepted any time
- Generate invoices from your proposals and tracked billable time
In today’s high-tech business environment, flexibility and accessibility are key. Don’t rely on paper or Excel-based systems to bill your clients and use a cloud-based system that can track and send out invoices promptly. Having an advanced system in place will speed up the billing process, give you a real-time overview of the current situation, and eliminate manual errors. A convenient payment system will also improve customer satisfaction, making them more likely to seek your services again.
At Jason Wiley Simpson, PA in Lakeland, we can help you set up and organize your billing system, so it’s easy to work from any off-site location and keep your accounts up-to-date and on track. You’ll never have to worry about losing your data, and you’ll always have the most current version of the accounts. Call us today for a free consultation and let us show you how to create an effective billing system.
Should You Purchase or Build Your Practice?Posted on December 10th, 2018
If you dream of owning your own practice, you have two basic choices: you can build a brand-new practice from the ground up and make it exactly what you want, or you can buy an existing practice and modify it to suit your style and preferences. Owning your practice instead of being an associate allows you to build your own brand, focus on a client base you are interested in, and offer the level of care that suits you best.
Whether you decide to build or purchase, owning your practice allows you to lift the limits of your earning potential and reap the full rewards of your hard work.
Buying an Existing Practice
Acquiring an established practice can make it easier to get started because there is already a built-in group of clients and reliable revenues. You will also have a team of employees that already know each other and understand the procedures and job duties. The potential drawbacks are that the team may not be excited about having a new boss, and the clients may miss their beloved former proprietor. The resistance to changes you have planned may be significant, and you may end up losing some clients and revenue in the beginning.
Building Your Own Practice
If you already have a client base, are well known in your community, and the area is experiencing growth, then starting your practice from scratch may allow you to achieve your goals more easily. You will be able to choose your location, design the aesthetics, and implement your ideal standard of care. If you are the type of person who loves planning, marketing, and dealing with timelines and details, then this avenue will be an ideal match for you.
Business Skills and Insight
No matter which option you choose, you will need to bring some business knowledge to the table. The choices you make in the beginning stages of ownership set your course for the future. While every entrepreneur wants to make their business a success, not everyone will make the decisions necessary to achieve their aspirations.
At Jason Wiley Simpson, PA, we work alongside first-time owners and those launching a new venture, guiding them through every step of the formation. If you need help choosing a tax entity or determining internal processes for your emerging company, we offer expert insight and advisory. Position yourself for success by enlisting the help of Jason Wiley Simpson, PA in Lakeland; call us today for a free initial consultation.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your BookkeepingPosted on October 3rd, 2018
Hiring an accounting professional to take care of your bookkeeping tasks is a smart way to free up valuable time. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, but managing accounting and payroll without expertise can be risky. Not only will you end up frustrated and distracted, but you will also increase the chances of making mistakes that could have serious consequences on your company’s bottom line. An accounting professional has the knowledge and expertise to manage your books professionally in a fraction of the time. Invest your valuable time in your business’s operations and let a professional handle your finances.
A professional can point out areas that need to be improved, and places where you can cut costs. Bookkeepers also serve as a protector of your finances, so they can make you aware of any fraudulent activity. The most important task they perform is profit tracking, where they analyze records and help you monitor sales targets.
Reduces Errors & Costs
Skilled accountants have extensive training in getting the numbers right. They specialize in balancing cash flow, consolidating records, and crunching the data. This accuracy protects you from tax problems and IRS scrutiny. Clean records also help you obtain the full value when selling the business or obtaining a loan when expanding it.
Outsourcing will Allow You to Plan Strategically
The strategic business decisions you make for your business should be based on sound financial data. If your books are unorganized or out-of-date, you are putting your business at risk. Creating a solid foundation for strategic planning is probably the most critical reason to hire an accounting professional. Your accountant can be an indispensable resource, providing valuable insight and advice that will ultimately help your business grow and prosper.
Need Expert Bookkeepers? Call Jason Wiley Simpson, PA
If you are one of the few small business owners with a tax and accounting background, you may look forward to accounting and bookkeeping tasks, but most entrepreneurs will find managing payroll and financial record-keeping a chore.
If you are looking for professional accounting or bookkeeping services in Lakeland, we invite you to contact Jason Wiley Simpson, PA. We are a full-service accounting firm, and we are ready to put our expertise to work for you. Call us today for a free consultation.