I read an article earlier today and realized it was right on the mark with what I've been thinking about recently. Is your business compliant with your state's human resource rules? Does this make you a little sick to your stomach to think about? Are you paying at least minimum wage? Have you updated your personnel files? Do you have personnel files? If yes, how long should you keep those files? Do you have an employee handbook? Has the handbook been updated in the last couple years? What kinds of questions do you ask during an interview with a prospective employee? With the Affordable Care Act, are you sure you're offering the benefits required and handling payroll calculations correctly? Are you enrolled in E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility when hiring a new individual? If it sounds like I'm speaking a foreign language, give us a call to discuss these important issues.
As I was drinking my tea this morning, catching up on some news, I found this article and I laughed until I cried thinking of all the CoMO cups I've collected over the years. Some kept because I knew I wanted to remember an evening with friends forever and others kept because I needed a new cup at home to rinse my children's hair with at bathtime. I use those cups to drink water from at bedtime and to give beverages to friends at a BBQ on a hot summer evening. Some may think that my cups at dinner are too casual, or that they look cheap and are not appropriate for a dinner setting. But I serve beverages up in those cups with pride, as do hundreds of thousands of people every day across the world. Live on white CoMO cup!
This morning I was reading an article in accounting today by Darren Root (Vol. 28, No. 10, October 2014), discussing the Great American Accounting Opportunity. I'm not going to bother you with my opinion on why this profession is a great one. I do however want to share a quote with you.
Today's small firms are all about creating a powerful brand, a compelling Web and mobile strategy, and adopting technology that supports working from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. From a client prospective, these firms are focused on higher-value advisory services -- not merely serving as technicians, pumping out tax returns. They are educating small-business clients on using advanced technologies, implementing highly efficient processes, and long-term strategic planning.
The accounting profession and the firms you see around town are changing. CPAs are not being viewed as merely bean counters. CPAs are trusted advisors who offer so much more than a correctly formatted financial statement. It's an exciting time in the profession. Smaller firms account for approximately 99% of all accounting firms and I'm so excited to be one of those. Working with my clients to help train them and make their businesses efficient and profitable.
Now that it's back to school season, let's think about ways education can save you money on taxes...and a few ways it can't.
1. Private school tuition is not deductible on your individual tax return. If there's a daycare portion though, and you can split it out, that could be deductible for children up to 13 years old.
2. Clothing is not tax deductible. Sorry folks. Even if a particular uniform is required by the school.
3. Buying those football cards from the players for their fundraiser? The benefit received from use of the card likely exceeds the cost of the card. Not deductible.
4. Moving expenses are deductible, right? Nope. Not if moving your child to college.
5. Hopefully you've saved tuition money in a 529 plan as the earnings are not taxable but if you have to get a student loan, the interest paid is deductible up to a certain amount each year as long as your income isn't too high according to the IRS.
6. For the Education Credits & Deductions, typically tuition, required supplies & books count as eligible expenses. Not room and board, fuel for trips home, etc. Keep those receipts!
Other questions???? Give me a call.
Just announced is that only one IRA rollover is allowed tax-free per year per taxpayer beginning in 2015. If IRA funds are distributed and rolled over into another IRA account within 60 days, the distribution is typically considered tax free and is not subject to penalties. Current publications indicate this can happen on an IRA by IRA basis. New interpretations though say these IRA accounts must be aggregated. Let us know if you're considering an IRA rollover so you're aware of potential tax consequences. Click for more details!
And of course they've changed their minds. Trustee to trustee transfers do not constitute a roll-over per new interpretations of the IRS thus the rules stated earlier do not apply. As always, be sure to contact us to determine probable tax treatment before making investment decisions. Regulations change frequently.
Effective at the end of May, 2014, all versions of QuickBooks 2011 will lose its support from Intuit. What does this mean for you? If you have a technical problem, Intuit will no longer provide technical support to you. If you use any of the add-on services with your license, those will not be available to you. This includes payroll, payments & online banking. In order to avoid problems with your system and a disruption in paying your employees & vendors, an upgrade is necessary. I can offer a new version to you at a substantial discount as well as file conversion & training! Give me a call to discuss!
With the popularity in today's world of working remotely over the internet, chances are you're either managing employees working from home now or will shortly be approached by a potential employee wishing to do so. Traditional mindsets usually shy from this type of employee due to the perceived lack of control over the situation. It's important to remember that not every employee thrives under the traditional arrangement. Giving parents of young children, for example, the opportunity to work with a flexible schedule allows them greater satisfaction with their work. This in turn will provide the employer with increased output and employee loyalty. To manage remote workers though, and keep the worker connected to the company and their peers, there must be some guidelines set. Distinct goals, scheduled check-ins, and staff meeting attendance either by phone or via an online meeting. Frequent communication is key.
I received this link in an email from the American Institute of CPAs late last week. After having such a great Mother's Day weekend and remembering a few conversations I've had over the years, I wanted to share with you the importance of being prepared. The article focuses on the female in relationships but it could easily apply to the other party as well. In a marriage, or in a business, you need to always be prepared for the unexpected. It's impossible to know what's going to happen next month or tomorrow and education and preparedness is crucial. Business owners must prepare contingency plans so employees and managers, spouses, are not left scrambling in the event of a death, trying to figure out who is in charge and how the show was ran. Spouses, you should share financial information and keep records organized in a safe location. Life insurance policies, bank documents, deeds, titles, stock certificates...stored in a secure, fireproof location or scanned and stored on a password-protected computer. Invite along your spouse to ask questions at meetings with me, your investment advisor, or attorney. I know it's often difficult to remember all the details of these conversations and trying to relay the information at the end of the day can be confusing.
So this is my first attempt at creating a website. I hope you all find it not just a place to look up our phone number, but also a place to find information about changing tax laws and their impact on your returns, a place to schedule appointment, and a place to interact and participate. Let me know your thoughts, and please share any requests!