You can research ways to save money, make more money, support your employees, and help your business grow. But did you know one of the best tools to help your business grow and flourish are blogs?
Have you spent time reading some of the most popular blogs for small businesses? Can you name three? Don't laugh, but the world of blogging isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's coming back stronger than ever. Newspapers and magazines have been slowly disappearing in paper form and reappearing online. Just like any website, you do need to dig to find credible sources, BUT when you do find them - you are being handed some of the best in the moment 'need to know' information that can help your business grow.
Blogs can help you stay up to date and in the know for your industry. It can help you stay educated (for free!) on new trends, and it can even help you stay creative as you are being inspired by others in your industry. Take the time to research some of the most popular and influential blogs in the world of your business and make time to read them. Use this blossoming tool to help your company grow. Maybe even use this inspirational too to help create your own blog! Having a blog of your own helps those magical SEO (Search Engine Optimization) numbers grow. Blogs make you and your company look more attractive on search engines. Blogs can help you become an online traffic target and they can further push the idea that you are an expert in your industry.
If you're still a little skeptical, here are some of the most popular business blogs out there today. Some of them might even sound familiar!
Harvard Business Review
Google Small Business
This is a very very very small number compared to the number of business blogs out there. We would recommend starting with these three, just to get your feet wet. Then see what happens next! You just might find the exact blog you're looking for with these recommendations or with a number of others waiting for you. You have a lot of material to catch up on, so get to reading!
You know a lot about the taxes for your company, but there still might be some unknown surprises along the way.
There are black and white things you know about taxes, preparing them, and paying them. But as a new or experienced small business owner, there might be some things you didn't know about your taxes. As we enter the fourth fiscal quarter of this year, keep these possible unknown facts in the back of your mind. This might prepare you for possible painful surprises or surprise you with some relief.
So, what did you think? Were any of these a shock or a surprise? With an unknown future and a lot of changes that are a possibility, is your small business prepared? Do you have someone helping you with your taxes, or have you been using Quickbooks to help you prepare for whatever might come your way? With the knowledge of these facts, always know that Pathways is here for you with any question you might have. We are here to help you come tax season and in any season.
Quickbooks is the amazing software that we recommend to all of our clients and what we use ourselves to do taxes and keep all of our finances in line. But for those who are still new to the program, here are five of the most commonly asked questions answered for you to get started!
We can't say enough how amazing Quickbooks is, and the reviews alone and it's personal success speaks very highly for the product. The installation of the software does take a little time but it is worth it. The software is proven to very stable and reliable. It is also a huge time saver for you and your business. It saves time on bookkeeping and paperwork because a lot of this work will now be done automatically thanks to this incredible software and all that it can do for you and your company!
It should also be a relief to you that you can constantly find out where your company stands if you are making or losing money and if you are in a healthy place or not with this software. Also, when it comes to all the financial software that's available for you to use for your small business, it is incredibly affordable. You can run your company on this amazing software for only a few hundred dollars. It is also totally customizable for what you want and how you want to use it for your business. It is very flexible and adapts to small businesses of all kinds.
We could go on and on about why we support Quickbooks so much. But don't just take our word for it. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions answered for you, so you can really see how incredible this software can be for you!
1. Is the Cost of Quickbooks Tax Deductible?
Yes it is! It is tax-deductible according to IRS publication 946 which says "off the shelf computer software is qualifying property for the purposes of the section 179 deduction." So don't be afraid to buy this for you or your small business, you can write it off at the end of the year. And who doesn't love a program that will help your busy grow and it will save you money?
2. Can I add my Accountant, Bookkeeper, or Tax Pro?
You sure can! You can invite an accountant or any of your bookkeepers or Taxpros to collaborate with you for free with Quickbooks online. Once they accept your invitation to collaborate, they can work in their accounts on their own time. If you part ways with any of these persons, you can also deactivate their access at any time as well.
3. Is Phone Support Included?
Phone Support is offered to you during the free 30-day trial Quickbooks offers you when you first sign up and is included with your paid subscription to Quickbooks online. For you to have Phone Support for Quickbooks online, your account must be current. If you are more interested in the Quickbooks Desktop Pro version, phone support is offered for an additional $89 for 90 days after you purchase the software.
4. There is no contract, correct?
This should be a sigh of relief for you. No, there is no commitment or contract. You can switch between plans whenever you would like to and you can also cancel any of your subscriptions at any time. The online version of Quickbooks even offers a free 30-day trial for you to try out the program and see if its a fit for you. If you end up buying the desktop version, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee.
5. Is it easy to get started? If you have five minutes, then you have enough time to get started. Five minutes is all it takes to get up and running with Quickbooks once you sync all of your bank or credit card transactions to Quickbooks online. It will take a little longer to download the desktop version, but as mentioned above it is worth the time it takes to do so.
We hope that if you have been considering using Quickbooks, that this will finally convince you of its potential. If you have any questions or would like more tutelage for this software, please feel free to contact us!
Why Use A Professional Tax Service For Your Business?
When it comes to filing taxes for your business, you don’t want to end up with mistakes and money lost. To ensure a proper filing process, using a professional tax service is recommended. At Pathways, instead of just filing your taxes for you, we try our best to help you understand your taxes thoroughly. So, how do you file taxes for a small business, and why is it important to use a professional?
Keep All Records
Record keeping is the most important step in the tax filing process for businesses. If there is no record, it never happened, and therefore makes it much more difficult to get correct information. In the process of keeping data, we suggest using a bookkeeping service like Quickbooks to store information used within the filing process.
Use The Correct Form
It is important to know the differences between the tax forms and which is appropriate for a business. The form most used for small businesses is a Schedule C or Form 1120. Schedule C is a simple form that is easier to calculate and input information.
Deadlines are Real
To make the filing process the easiest, be aware of the filing deadline for taxes on small businesses. We are very serious when it comes to this because of the repercussions that may occur due to late filing.
Pathways is here to help your business breeze through tax season, so why not make your appointment today?
It's Quickbooks Season!
According to USA Today, the company that creates Gibson guitars and Baldwin pianos has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to stabilize the business in a new deal. Gibson Brands itself was founded in 1894, and though the company had many supporters, their rapidly declining sales in recent years made it difficult to keep afloat.
With this latest anouncement about Gibson Brands, Pathways Consulting LLC has been thinking about the adjustment business owners have to make to their business over time in order to continue on.
When you start to decline in sales in your business, it's very important to come up with a 'gameplan' as to how you will continue your business efforts. As people grow and change, community does as well so often times the service or products you provide become outdated. For instance, many decades ago, they had calltakers for the telephone lines as a prominent job position. As telephones became more self-sufficient in communication, that job position began to become unnecessary. So what could the business owners of those companies have done to adapt and continue their business? Perhaps refine their service to telephone repair or design?
If you are a small business owner, you know how hard it is to keep everything running. The main way to keep it running smoothly is by preparing and planning. Think about how your company could adapt as trends change and your business industry evolves over time.
One of the many perks of being a large corporation is that you are eligible for larger tax breaks. They can write off things that normal small businesses just do not have the means to do so. For instance, large corporations can write off research and experimentation. It does not make sense for a small business to spend money on research just to receive a tax break because they have much less revenue.
There are many more breaks that large corporations can get like deferral of income from controlled foreign corporations, exclusion of interest on local and state bonds, and deduction of domestic manufacturing just to name a few. Of course, these are far outside the reach of small business owners’ ability to take advantage. Meaning even though large corporations will pay a larger amount of money in taxes they do not take the same tole as taxes on smaller businesses.
This is about to change. Annette Nellen, the Executive Committee chair, testified before the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in favor of lowering taxes for small businesses as much as corporations. In her testimony Nellen says, “Congress should continue to encourage, or at least not discourage, the formation of sole proprietorship and pass-through entities. If Congress decides to lower corporate income tax rates, small businesses should receive a lower tax rate as well.”
Hopefully, the future will hold an easier time for small business tax rates. The whole committee agreed that without tax accounting software small businesses will have an extremely difficult time optimizing and filing their taxes. Having a one stop place, for small business owners, to receive small business advice and have a certified professional file their taxes, in a way that will benefit them the most, is still of great importance. As the tax laws change, small business owners that can save money on their taxes will be ahead of the game and have more capital to invest in their business to promote growth.
If you receive a letter from the IRS remember that this does not mean they are automatically going to audit you. They could be looking for clarification or additional information. Once you receive a formal audit figure out what part of your returns is being audited. Only provide the specific information that the IRS requests to prevent broadening the audit. Make sure you are polite and quick to respond. With that being said, here are 10 red flags for the IRS that are in no particular order.
When you start your own business, it is common to make mistakes especially when it comes to accounting. Skipping small accounting tasks seems like it would save time, but it ends up costing time and sometimes even money in the future. It is better to get into a habit of taking care of accounting tasks early so they become less of an ordeal towards the end of the fiscal year. The focus should be clean, clear, and accurate accounting that will make your life easier. So, here are a few tips to help with your small business accounting.
Separate your business funds from your personal funds. Even if your business consists of only you. Create a separate account for the business and the business only. This not only allows you to make your reconciliations and end of the year deductions easier, it also lets you keep close accounting of your cash flow.
Many accounting professionals that work with small business owners will tell you that often they see the business owner not applying payments to open receivable accounts. It seems almost too simple to point out but it is easy to forget. Leaving receivable accounts open can cause major headaches down the road.
Reconcile all your accounts as soon as the statement is available. This process will be much easier now since the rest of your records should be accurate. Not reconciling accounts can reduce the amount of deductions you will receive.
Understand the tools and functions of your accounting software. Whether you are using QuickBooks or another software, understanding exactly what it can do and its limitations are important to making good use of your time.
Read the entirety of Terms of Credit agreements. Reading long terms can be monotonous at first but It can save you money in interest and other fees.
When first starting out it is easy to keep track of the small books you will be keeping. It is important to set up in a way that you can grow and scale without exponentially raising the amount of work you must put in to maintaining your books. You can set up automation in some online cloud based accounting that will allow your business to scale without you having to maintain all the accounting records by hand.
Use this tips for your benefit to learn from the mistakes that others have made in the past. Professionals are always ready to help with high level expert advice for small business owners.
Business owners make mistakes, both large and small. Poor cash flow management is one of the most frequent reasons why small businesses will fail. Here are some ways to improve your cash flow management.
It is important to know at any given time the financial health of your business. Keeping good records and tracking cash flow make this a much easier task. If the stress of doing it all yourself becomes too much you can outsource to the professionals. Many small businesses will have accounting firms help because of the demand and time required.
Plan for the worst. Since we do not live in a perfect world, your sales cycle will probably see cash leaving before it comes in. Having a cash buffer for times where you need cash but the money has not come in yet will allow you to have access to capital.
Try to keep a handle on your spending decisions. Whenever cash leaves there should be a good reason and a clear purpose. Having capital tied up in unneeded expenses at the wrong time could prove fatal for a small business. As always it is important to use your cash to grow your business and monitor your bottom line.
The Pathways Team