Over the past couple of years, controversy rose around independent contractors. The line between employee and independent contractor has thinned, and many are confused over how workers should be classified. In general, the independent contractor is considered to self-employed, and the company is their client. This means that there are some vast differences between the tax obligations for independent contractors and employees.
Here at MyCorp, we love talking about small business, as the sheer variety of small businesses available to start up is simply astounding. There is no, one, ubiquitous small business industry. Retailers, lawyers, restaurateurs, accountants – nearly every profession can be spun into a business!
With that in mind, we’re bringing you the ABCs of Small Business Industry as our latest post series on our blog. Over the next few months, we’ll be looking at the major industries that make up the small business world, taking a look at the different types of businesses, and helping people within these various industries start their own companies.
Without further ado, we present the first in what we hope will be an educational and enjoyable series – A is for Accounting.
What do you need to create your own accounting practice?
First, you need to be licensed. A Certified Public Accountant has to pass a Uniform CPA exam, and you can’t legally offer your services as an accountant without some sort of credentialing. Licensing and certification will also vary state-to-state, so make sure you research what your state requires of an accountant before you open up your practice. If all of your ducks are in a row, opening up your own firm is like opening any other small business. You need a DBA name, and you have to apply for all of your local/state business and operating licenses. You should also have some sort of professional liability insurance, just to protect yourself, and if you hire anyone or bring on a partner, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Once all of that is taken care of you’ll have a sole-proprietorship, or a partnership if you have a partner. However, this type of business can leave you personally liable for any debt resulting from lawsuits, debt, or negligence and it’s a good idea to consider forming a separate business entity.
If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time or are just getting started, then you probably already know that small business accounting is not as easy as it sounds. Not only do tax laws regularly change, but accounting standards and practices change too, which makes it easy for a small business owner to get tripped up and make a few mistakes.
But keeping the books for your small business doesn’t have to be stressful. We want to help you simplify your life, save money and reduce stress by learning how to avoid these five basic bookkeeping mistakes.
1. Mixing Money. You might think it’s not a problem, but the IRS disagrees. Co-mingling your personal and business funds together is simply bad business and as a LLC or Corporation it could potentially cause a breach in the “corporate veil.” Not only is it a risk to your asset separation but also you may have to pay an IRS penalty if get caught. No matter what, keep your business and personal account spending separate. Take the time to speak with a small business accountant to help determine the best way for you to transfer money from the business to you personally or vice versa.
There is one area of business that very few business owners, managers or entrepreneurs really enjoy working on and that’s finance. Unless you happen to be an accountant, this is probably one aspect of business management that you try your best to ignore.
But it’s important that all businesses, charities and enterprises don’t ignore or do poor work on their finances either. For a small business it could be the difference between thriving and going bust. For a charity it could be the difference between helping those in need and falling short.
So with that in mind, how can technology help you to manage your all important accounts?
Any entrepreneur who has tried to start up a new venture knows how difficult it can be to get the ball rolling – and expensive as the costs begin to add up over time. There are many ways business owners can work to keep their expenses down and one of these methods includes outsourcing. Whether you have three people working for you, or 30, outsourcing your bookkeeping can be hugely beneficial for the following seven reasons.
1. Less mistakes.
In the early stages of a business, you are a one-person operation. All of the hats, from bookkeeping and marketing to cleaning and sales, must be wore each and every day. By doing several jobs at once, it’s much easier to make mistakes due to lack of time and energy or even simply overlooking some assignments.
By Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant Writer
In the eyes of most small business owners, bookkeeping is likely one of their least favorite things to do. When you sit down and think about it, who truly enjoys pouring over lengthy spreadsheets and calculating financial figures that will often make your head spin? Even though bookkeeping is not a highly popular task it is still one of the most important priorities on any business owner’s to-do list.
Bookkeeping is a practice that involves maintaining all of the financial records of a business. It is vital to keep a keen eye on the profits a small business generates, the money it pays in the form of expenses, and the taxes it incurs on a regular basis. When you can see a clear snapshot of this information in front of you, the financial side of your small business will immediately become very important to you.
Accountant, attorney, and B Corp movement supporter Senen Garcia, Esq. got his entrepreneurial start at an early age. The sole owner of two businesses before completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and International Business, Garcia opened his accounting and tax practice before receiving his undergraduate degree. While running said business, he completed his Graduate and Juris Doctorate degrees and now operates SG Law Group in Florida which assists clients with their corporate, real estate, estate planning an property insurance claim needs.
Today he’s giving us a look at how he got interested in the B Corp movement, what he believes Benefit Corporations need in order to succeed and why the real benefit behind the B Corps has a lot to do with marketing.
By Keith Tully
When it comes to proper budgeting and accounting, what most people tend to overlook is the prevention and preparation aspect. Without adequate planning, all the right data in the world won’t help once your bank account is over drafted all thanks to a simple oversight. Keep these five easy tips in mind for maintaining a healthy company bank account balance and eliminate the risk of potential company cash flow problems in the future.
Online document storage is increasingly becoming an integral part of any company offering accounting and/or bookkeeping services. It offers a sense of security to the small business owner because hard copies can easily be damaged or misplaced, and a way to store files long term without having to invest in additional filing space for the physical files. But it’s not enough to just store all of the files in a database as it will cause problems when it comes time to review or retrieve them. Having a system in place to organize and archive files will prove to be a big help to businesses in the years to come.
Although it is becoming very easy to store accounting and bookkeeping related files online, it is important to store them properly in order to minimize the hassle of searching through archives when a file is needed. It is also important to know which files to have on hand. Here are some ideas to help provide a better understanding of proper file storage. (more…)
Opening your own business is so immensely rewarding. For me, it was the fulfillment of a dream. Working a 9-5 job, making someone else successful and working “my fingers to the bone” on behalf of another person simply wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I started my own company. However, I quickly encountered several problems that threatened to make me lose my sleep and my sanity. With luck and perseverance, I overcame them – here’s what you need to know if you’re ever faced with a similar situation.