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- Lowering Your Tax Bill For 2017 ( Day 2)
Are you taking up the Challenge towards reducing your Tax Bill for Next Year Taxes? We're now on Day 2 Challenge towards helping you achieve this Goal .Be Sure to implement and Keep Checking back for more information. CLUE 2: Accelerate your Deductions: If you plan to itemize your deductions, you are better off accelerating your deductible expenditures into this Year to produce a higher write-off. You will pay less in Taxes, if you have more deductions. Ways of accelerating your Deductions are: * Donations to Charitable Organizations (We mentioned this in our earlier post). * Replacing Old Business Equipment. * Prepaying State Income Taxes. * Pay Next Year's Fees and Subscriptions in the Current Year. * Pay Outstanding Medical Bills. * Pay your Real Estate Property Taxes. * If you own your Home, Make an Extra Mortgage Payment at the end of the Year, so that you can get an additional Tax Deduction for the Interest Paid. This is the Right Time to do all these, If you want a Reduced Tax Bill in 2017.
- Lowering Your Tax Bill For 2017( Day 1)
The Year 2016 is fast coming to an end; As we Close out the Year, We would like to thank all our Clients, Customers and Fans for your Business and Referrals. We look forward to your continued patronage in 2017; As the Year comes to a Close, So does the period for Tax Planning. For Each Remaining Day of the Year, We would share some Tax-Saving Strategies to consider before the Year 2016 closes Out. CLUE 1: Make Charitable Contributions - Charitable Donations are an easy way to get a Tax Deduction; The Most Obvious way to make a Donation is to write a Check to your local Church or Non- Profit Organizations. At the End of the Year, the Organization would give you a record of all the Donations, you have been making for the year and you can use this to make your Claims. Both Ways, you are giving to God ( A worthy cause) as well as lowering your Tax Bill. According to the IRS, A Donor claiming a deduction of $250 or more is required to obtain and keep a written acknowledgement for a charitable contribution, so be sure to get a donation receipt. It's also a good idea to take a picture of your Contribution, just as a Back-up. Also , making a Donation with your credit card this month means you don't have to pay it off until January- and you still get the deduction. BeSure to check out our website each day till the End of 2016 for more updates on how to lower your Tax Bill. #loweryourTaxBill
- NEW W-2 DEADLINE IN 2017; Business Owners & Employers Take Note.
If you're a Business Owner, Be sure to Draw a Big Red Circle around the date January 31, 2017, on your Calendar; This is the new Due Date for filing Forms W-2 with the Tax Authorities. In an effort to combat Fraud, The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 was passed by Congress and signed last December. With this New Act, Employers and Small Businesses have January 31st Filing Deadline to submit Forms W-2 and W-3 to the Social Security Administration (Whether you file using Paper Forms or electronically). This New Date also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting Non-Employee Compensation such as Payments to Independent Contractors. Note: The January 31st Deadline for Employers to furnish Copies of Tax Forms to Employees remains Unchanged. The New Law changes the Rules for extending time to file Forms W-2. Moving Forward, Only One 30 -Day Extension to file a W-2 is available and this extension is NOT AUTOMATIC. If you, as an Employer need an extension, you must file Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns (Downloads as a PDF). This Form should be completed as soon as you know that an Extension is necessary, BUT NO Later than January 31. Due to the PATH Act Change, the New Law requires the IRS to delay Refunds for any return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By Law, the IRS must hold the entire Refund, Not just the Portion related to the EITC or ACTC. The New Deadline, which has long been on the wish list for the IRS will make it easier to verify the legitimacy of Tax Returns and properly issue Refunds to Tax Payers. Many States have adopted this Federal Change for the New Deadline of January 31. The Only States NOT affected are Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia. WHAT ABOUT 1099-MISC? The New January 31st Deadline also applies to Forms 1099-MISC Reporting Non- Employee Compensation such as Payments to Independent Contractors. If you are filing Form 1099-MISC and Reporting Amounts in Box 7: Nonemployee Compensation, then you will need to meet the New Filing Deadline of January 31st. Note: You must also furnish Copy B and Any Other Applicable Copies of Information Returns to your Contractors by January 31st. IMPACT ON EMPLOYERS: It is important that Employers become adequately prepared to complete the Year End Tasks. This Means: * Verifying Accuracy of Employee Information. * Reporting/Submitting Any Year- End Adjustments as soon as possible. * Reviewing Year- End Totals for any Discrepancies. PENALTIES There are Penalties for Failure to File these Returns or Furnish Correct Statements and these Penalties are not Palatable. The Penalties range from: $50/Return - If Not More than 30 Days from New Date. $100/Return - If After 31 Days Late - 6 Months. $260/Return - If After 6 Months - Not Filing At All. However, If you need to make Corrections after sending your File to the Social Security Administration, you can do so by filing Form W-2C, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement. Finally, The IRS urges Tax Payers to still plan to file their returns as they normally would do, but prepare to exercise some patience. With these changes, you're bound to see some delays. The Refund Delay is an added way to help the IRS combat Tax Fraud by beefing up it's effort to authenticate Tax Payer Filings. To keep disruptions to a minimum, the IRS wants us to get the word out about these Changes NOW. As Tax Season approaches, the IRS wants to be sure Employers, especially Smaller Businesses, are aware of these New Deadlines. At Rosyan Bookkeeping Services, We are committed to helping you with your W-2s, W-3s and 1099 Filings, as well as furnishing you with helpful information regarding your Tax Filings. Call Us on 202.422.4586 and We would Gladly Assist You.
- Top 10 Overlooked Tax Deductions.
Every Year, Business Owners across the Nation sit down with their Tax Accountants to come up with as many Legal Tax Deductions as possible. As a Business Owner, knowing which Business Tax Deductions that you qualify for can help: Reduce Your Income Tax Liability. Enhance the efficiency of your Business Operation. Improve your Overall Financial Well Being Prevent Overstating your Income/Profit. Eliminate you from being a Target of an IRS Audit. It is unfortunate that many Business Tax Deductions are misunderstood and underutilized. Some Business Owners make the mistake of claiming the wrong deductions or claiming the wrong amounts. Most Business Owners overlook the most important Deductions that can help reduce their Tax Liability. As you file your Taxes this Year, We have compiled the Top 10 Overlooked Tax Deductions that most Business Owners ignore during Tax Period. Our Aim us to help you remember to claim these deductions as you file your Taxes. 1. Software: A Software Deduction is more than the traditional idea of Software in a Box or Download. If you use any Cloud Based Tools such as Online Accounting Software or Other Productivity Tools, your Subscription Fees are deductible as well as these Software- as- a- service (SaaS) options. 2. Education: Did you spend money to attend a Trade Show, Industry Seminar, Training or Conference relating to your Business or Career in the Past Year? Did you Buy Books, CDs or Online Tutorials related to your Business? These Tools help you get smarter at running your Business and are all Tax Deductible. 3. Licensing & Regulatory Fees: Do you know that the Regulatory and License Fees that you pay each year to keep your Business Operating and in Good Standing are Tax Deductible? 4. Bad Debts: When a Client owes you money and they are not paying their Bills, It is possible to deduct the Uncollectible Bad Debt from your Taxable Income. 5. Student Loan Interest: Student Loan Interest is a Tax Deduction that is commonly missed. If you have Student Loan Debt and you are still paying for it- Either for yourself or for your Children, you have to ensure that the Loan Interest is deducted for Tax Purposes .Note: The Person who gets to deduct the Loan Interest is the person who is legally obligated to pay back the Loan. This means that if the Loan is under your Name, you can take the Tax Deduction; If the Loan is under your Adult Child's Name, then your Child will be the one to claim the deduction on their Tax Return. 6. Medical Costs: These include Health Insurance Premiums, Dental Care, Glasses, Counselling, Therapy and Miles driven to Medical Appointments. Weight- Loss Programs are also deductible if undertaken as treatment for a Disease diagnosed by a Physician. 7. Retirement Plan Expenses: Whether you are a Solo Entrepreneur or Business Owner with many Employees, Any Contribution (up to a certain limit each year) made to a Qualified Tax-advantaged Retirement Plans such as SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 401(K) or Other Retirement Accounts are Deductible. It is important to note that some People with IRAs miss the opportunity to contribute to their Plan and don't realize that it's a deduction that does not need to be funded by December 31st of the Tax Year. Tax Payers have until April 14th of every following Year to fund their IRAs. 8. Depreciation: Depreciation can mean large Tax Savings for most Business Owners and is usually complex enough to intimidate or confuse many Business Owners. Certain Fixed Assets Purchases that you buy for your Business cannot have the entire cost deducted in the same year that you purchase it, instead you need to spread the cost across a few Tax Years and deduct part of it each year. 9. Business Transportation (Vehicle Mileage & Maintenance) : Using your Personal Vehicle or Business Owned Vehicle for Business Related Travel allows you to deduct the Value of Depreciation on the Vehicle's Value by deducting your mileage with the IRS standard mileage rate per mile of Business Travel, or ( If the Number is Greater) by deducting the Total Value of Gas and Maintenance on the Vehicle. 10. Charitable Contributions & Non-Cash Charitable Donations: The IRS likes to encourage and reward People who donate and volunteer for charitable causes. Any Money that you give to a Tax- Exempt Charitable Organization can be deducted from your Taxable Income. You can also deduct certain out - of - pocket expenses incurred while volunteering for a charitable organization. Deducting a Cash Contribution to a Charity is easy, but too often People don't accurately value Non- Cash Contributions such as Clothes. You will have to determine the fair market value. It is important to take note of these overlooked Tax Deductions and remember to list them during your Tax Filing. It has been reported that Most Business Owners give lots of extra money to the IRS due to lack of record keeping of these overlooked Deductions. This is why it is compulsory to keep accurate record of all your Expenses during the Year and have them categorized properly, so that you can reduce your Tax Liability to the minimum. We know that the Tax Filing Season is not fun and will like to take the stress off you, so that you can concentrate on building your Business, If you have not been keeping accurate records of your Income and Expenses, We are available to help you. Please Free to give us a Call on 202.422.4586. You will be glad you did. To your Business Success, Rosemary Anyanwu, CFE. Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Professional Bookkeeper & Accountant. Rosyan Bookkeeping Services.
- 2016 Tax Season Begins on January 19th 2016.
January 19 2016 will mark the beginning of the 2016 Filing Season. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Tax Return filing for the year will begin one day earlier than the previous one. The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns from this day. They will also begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper now instead of using the e- file method. The Tax Day also witnessed slight changes as Washington, DC celebrates Emancipation Day on April 15 instead of the usual April 16th, which is a Saturday. Hence,The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns will be Monday, April 18, 2016. Please Note that this Date coincides with Patriot's Day so Massachusetts and Maine will observe their Tax Day on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. All in all, this Tax Season starts early and ends with a Delay. With this, Tax Payers have more than the regular time period to file their returns. But NOTE that filing the Returns within the IRS time frame can be a smart and effective way to stay safe. The IRS urges all tax payers to make sure that they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing, including Forms W-2 from their employers, Forms 1099 from Banks and Other Payers and form 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit. One Aspect that Tax Professionals should take care is the tax software that they use for Tax filing and submitting forms to the IRS. It is better not to choose your tax filing software only on the basis of filing dates that they provide. Below are some tips to consider as you file your Tax Returns: Ensure that all your Income Statements - W-2, 1099, 1098 and 1095-A are all collected, reviewed and organized. Collect all your Receipts and Sort them all out, as this will help you get your maximum deductions during your Tax filing. Coordinate and organize all your Deductions. Business Owners need to organize and review their financial reports for the previous year to ensure that all Business Expenses are accounted for and recorded, so that they can claim all the necessary deductions. Please note that picking up software that serves your tax needs better should make a smart choice. You have to think of the various requirements, that your return filing will depend upon such as the number of Transactions, Business Size and States in consideration, then analyze the choices available to meet those requirements and pick the most suitable one. Get a Trusted Tax Professional that can provide helpful information about advice and the ever- changing tax code. Remember that Choosing E-File and Direct Deposit for Refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a Refund. If you need Assistance with organizing your Documents and Accounting Records, as well as getting them ready for Tax Purposes, Feel free to call us on 202.422.4586. Let the Tax Season Begin....................................
- Getting Ready for Year End Accounting.
Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year 2016 to all our Current and Prospective Clients. We want our Clients and Fans to know that we appreciate them and continually look forward to a great working relationship. The Year is almost coming to an end and It's a Busy Season for everyone. As you make your Holiday Plans, Remember to close your Books and Accounting Records for the Year 2015. We have listed some Tips to help you close the year properly, so that you can make great plans for the upcoming year: Evaluate Your Accounting System: This is the time to start searching for a good Accounting System for the Year 2016. If you are the technology savvy person, who prefers High-tech financial management tools like Digital Vaults, Smartphone Apps, QuickBooks or Peach Tree, you will need to evaluate your system to confirm if it has worked for you. If you are the Old School of thought that prefers the Shoe Box, Envelopes and Spreadsheet System, you also need to evaluate this to see how it has improved your Accounting System. If you cannot truly attest to the effectiveness of the Accounting System that you are using presently, This is the best time to consider switching to a more effective Accounting System. Review Your Sub Contractor Data: Every Organization needs to confirm if they have paid anyone for services more than $600 during any given year; If you have, You are required to send a Form 1099 to the recipient by January 31st of every year. You have to ensure that the Subcontractor completed the information on the Form W-9 issued, at the inception of the Contract. Your Bookkeeper needs to update the 1099 Detail Reports and reconcile the amount paid during the year with the amount in the Books. Reconcile your Expense Account Data: This is the best time to ensure that you look at your expense data and accept all reimbursement checks prior to December 31st. This will ensure that your Company will receive Tax Deductions for all the Business Expenses being claimed. You also need to ensure that you have all your Receipts Handy and properly filed. Evaluate your Financial Standing: This is the best time to review your Profit & Loss Statements, Balance Sheets and general Ledger to ensure Accuracy and to make sure that all transactions have been recorded, so that you can get your Tax Deductions. Examples of Transactions to watch out for are as follows: 1) Ensure that the Bank and Credit Card Accounts have been reconciled. 2) Ensure that the Loan Interest has been separated from the Principal Amount and is accurately entered into your Books. 3) Check for the Accuracy of Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. 4) Write Off Bad Debts for Customers who are Noncollectable. Make a Charitable Giving Budget Calendar: Charitable Gifts are some of the easiest Expenses to overlook, when it comes to itemizing Deductions. During the Year End, Gifts and Donations to Thrift Stores are easily forgotten. You can use this Holiday Season to make your Donations to your Chosen Organizations, so that you are sure of claiming them for the Upcoming Tax Season. Review Your Personal Expenses: If your Business entity is a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, then it's time to ensure that your Personal Expense is not co-mingled with your Business Expenses. You will have to get your Receipts and Cancelled Checks and record these expenses to your Company's Books. Many Tax Payers have ended up paying extra taxes needlessly because they overlooked Business Expenses paid from Personal Funds. Re-evaluate your Retirement Plan: This is the time to find out if you are putting away enough money for your Retirement. Maxing out a SEP Plan or taking advantage of an Employer match can be your best option. The IRS limits on Tax deductible IRA Contributions can change just as the benefits an Employer provides changes. You have to find out if you are putting away enough to offset your Tax Burden. Prepare an Income Projection: Most Organizations prepare income projections to gauge their income and expenses during the mid-year and year end; It's actually advisable to take stock every Quarter, Half Year and Year End. The Projection looks at your Cash Flow, Estimated Taxes for the Self - Employed, Stock Options, Bonuses and other things impacting your Income. This is necessary especially if your Profit increased substantially during the year, your Bookkeeper/Accountant will help you prepare and analyze your Books to see where you need to reduce your taxable income by implementing some last minute strategies. Take your Bookkeeper to Lunch: Everyone knows that all Bookkeepers and Accountants are always busy starting from the Month of January through April of every year; We all have these Last - minute Questions, which we all need answers to at the last minute. Now is the Time to get them answered. Try to set up an appointment with your Bookkeeper/ Accountant, to find out what you can do better next year to help reduce your Tax Burdens. If putting together your information was challenging for your Bookkeeper/Accountant, Try to make the meeting over a meal or another token of appreciation. Otherwise if you have a less- than - ideal experience with your current Bookkeeper/Accountant, This is an ideal time to shop around for one that is a better fit. Another Tax Season is about to start; Filing your Taxes will probably never be fun, but being proactive when you are not under a Deadline can help ease some of the burden and save you time and frustration when April Comes around. If you need help with getting your Books ready for Taxes, We are available to help you. Please Free to give us a Call on 202.422.4586. You will be glad you did.
- Have You Reconciled Your Bank Statements?
Have you reconciled your Bank Statements lately? Just a Reminder, We have only a few days left to the end of the Year. Very Soon, It will be Tax Season and you will need to submit your Financial Statements for Tax Filing. Can you confidently say that your Company Accounts are updated and reconciled? It is very important to reconcile your Bank and Credit Card Statements at the end of every MONTH. A Bank Reconciliation is the balancing of a Company's Cash Account Balance to its Bank Account Balance. It is important to ensure that the Cash Account and Bank Account Balances match. The Main Document used for Bank Reconciliation is the Bank Statement. There are great benefits in reconciling your Accounts and we will be looking at a few of them today. These Benefits include: Accurate Financials - Financial Statements are more accurate and can be relied upon, when reconciled. Better Business Decisions - Everyone knows that when your Financials are accurate, you are able to make better decisions for your Business. This ultimately enhances your Business Growth. Better Planning - When Bank Reconciliations are done monthly, you are assured that the entries entered into your Company's Account are all correct, this also gives you a clear view of the checks that you may have issued but has not cleared from your Bank Account. Eliminating Money Leaks from your Company - The Last Thing you will want for your Business is for your Hard- Earned Money to go down the drain because of a Money Leak in your Business. It is worthy to note that Only Bank Reconciliations will catch Big Money Leaks like A Deposit that was not posted to your Bank Account due to various reasons ranging from Returned items to Bank Errors, Unnecessary Bank Charges, Fraudulent Activities, Double Vendor Charges and Other Common Errors. If your Bank Reconciliations are not done monthly, you could be losing thousands of Dollars in errors, that could have been captured on time. Updated Company Records/Reduced Bookkeeping Charges - The Month of January is a busy time for Accounting Professionals.; it's a period of closing the Year End Reports as well as Tax Preparation Season. Any Business Owner that doesn't have a Bookkeeper presently will definitely spend twice as much to get one, between the months of January - April. Would it not be wise to get a Bookkeeper Now and tidy your Books before the Rush Period? I have listed a few of what I discovered in my years of engaging Bank Reconciliations for my Clients. For easy assimilation, I will categorize them as Internal and External Observations: INTERNAL OBSERVATIONS: 1) Pilfering Employees/Employees that steal from the Company. 2) Cash Registers not closed out. 3) Bank Deposits not being timely deposited by the Employees. 4) Cash Advances and Loans taken by Employees are not properly accounted for. 5) Unauthorized Purchases made on the Company's Credit Card. 6) Forged Checks being endorsed and cashed at the Bank. 7) Managers taking Clients to a strip club on the company's Credit Card (Yes, This Happens). 8) Rampant Starbucks purchases on the Company Credit Card. 9) Wrong Recording and Classification of Loan Accounts, Line of Credits and credit Card Accounts. EXTERNAL OBSERVATIONS : 1) Customers reversing charges, without the knowledge of the Business Owner. 2) Automatic Payments increase by the Bank. 3) Utility Companies like Telephone/Internet Companies billing Clients twice in the same month. 4) Fraudulent Purchases on the Company Credit Card. 5) Match.Com Payments made on the company Credit Card. 6) Unauthorized Withdrawals by the Banks ( Inadvertently claiming the Business Owner authorized it). 7) Bill Payments issued via Bill Pay were not mailed out by the Bank to the vendor issued, hence the business Owner incurs late charges for Non Payment of Bills. 8) Over $3,500 in Annual Bank Fees for Overdrafts/NSF/Late Fees. We can see that most of these items are charge worthy and I have seen a lot of Business Owners experience One or more of these errors because they don't reconcile their Statements. We need to have internal and external procedures in place to get our accounts reconciled. If you have not been recording your transactions from the beginning of the year and have not reconciled them, the best time to start is NOW. Please do not feel that it is a waste of time to reconcile your accounts, you never know, you may have been losing a lot of cash under your nose. Try to take a look at your account today and begin to experience increased Cash flow. If you feel that you don't have time to get to your Bank Reconciliation, Feel Free to Give Us a Call on 202.422.4586. We are always available to help you.
- Have you received your New Credit Card with Embedded Microchip?
It's October 1st 2015 today, Have you received your new Credit Card with embedded microchip yet? If you haven't , it's time to call your financial institution and ask them to send it to you. Remember, you start inserting your card at the Point of Sale as from today. No More Swiping.
- Are You Ready For The New Credit Card Rules?
Have you received a letter from your financial institution informing you about replacing your Debit/Credit Card with an embedded microchip? Are you ready for the New Credit Card Rules? Are you EMV Ready? Have you wondered what the word "EMV" means? Most People have been confused and lost in the meaning of EMV; the fact that the Global Standard for computer chip based cards goes into full force on October 1st 2015 is not helping matters. Today, we will unravel the meaning of EMV, as well as the features. What is EMV? EMV stands for Euro pay MasterCard and Visa. It is a Global interoperable standard for chip-based payment cards. The New EMV Cards literally feature a computer chip on the front and they require a new point -of- sale card reader to verify the chip. Why EMV? It is a technology standard that resides in a secure computer chip embedded into a payment device. It offers the following features: Smarter Technology. Added Security- The computer chip renders the card not to be replicated and legitimately makes the card genuine and not counterfeit. Reduce Liability that will otherwise shift to merchants on October 1st 2015. What it does? It operates where the terminal machine will read the microchip and not a magnetic stripe. It allows the issues and people processing the transactions to know that the card is legitimately, what it's meant to be and not a counterfeit. Beginning October 1st this Year, no one is expected to swipe their card anymore instead we would be expected to insert our card into a terminal slot. Below are the steps to using the New EMV Cards: a) Insert Card: Instead of Swiping, Card is now inserted as it appears on the picture. b) Leave Card In: Card Stays in terminal for the duration of the Transaction. c) Sign Receipt or Enter Pin: Sign Receipt Or enter PIN to complete transaction. d) Remove Card: Remove Card when the purchase is complete. What This Means. Presently, when counterfeit fraud occurs, merchants are not liable and consumers don't end up paying for it either. Rather, the Card issuers take the liability. With the introduction of the EMV Chip Card, there is a liability shift, which means that if there is an incidence of card fraud, whichever party has the lesser technology will bear the Liability.For instance, if a merchant is still using the Old System after October 1st 2015, they can still run transactions with a Swipe and Signature system, but they will be liable for any fraudulent transaction, if the customer has a chip card. The same goes for a merchant with a new terminal, for which the Bank has not issued a chip and PIN card to the customer, the Bank would be liable. The key point of a liability shift is to create co-ordination in the market, so that issuers and merchants can invest in the migration at the same time. The sooner the migration takes place, the faster fraud will be driven out of our system. HOW TO BE EMV READY (as a Business Owner). 1) Check if you are in an EMV Card Operation environment. An EMV Card Environment is a point of Sale Transaction environment, where consumers use their cards at the point of Sale. 2) Check if your equipment is ready to handle the new EMV Chip Card operation. Most Businesses already have Machines with terminals, that are ready to handle the new card, but they are currently not utilizing it. You may need to upgrade your machine or get a new one to be EMV enabled. 3) Contact your POS (Point of Sale) vendor. 4) Ensure that consumers INSERT their card into the terminal slot, instead of swiping. HOW TO BE EMV READY (AS A CONSUMER). 1) Ensure that you contact your Bank to issue you a New Chip card, if you are yet to receive yours by now. 2) Get ready to start INSERTING your card into the terminal slot at any point of Sake Transaction and remember to STOP Swiping. 3) A Consumer can choose to add the PIN Number feature to their card instead of signing. (this enhances added security). Exemptions to EMV. 1) EMV Chip card Rules does not impact E-Commerce Based Transactions. 2) It does not operate in a Not-Present environment, since this pushes counterfeit fraud away from the system. It is advisable that Business Owners with an E-Commerce presence would be wise to beef up their online payment security.As a Reminder, the Euro pay, Merchant and Visa (EMV), the Global standard for Computer -Chip based cards goes into full force on October 1st 2015. If your Business is not equipped to process chip card at the point of Sale transaction, you will be liable for any credit card fraud.Do not risk the potential cost of a credit card security breach; the result can be devastating to your Business. If you need more information on the EMV Rules, Feel free to call us on 202.422.4586 for more information.
- Let's talk about Payroll Expense.
Today, we will be taking a look at an essential expense item in a Business. When you have a Business, you will surely have Payroll Expense. Even if you work alone, after all the expenses are paid, you are the payroll expense. At the beginning of every business, a Business owner does mostly all the work in the Business, but as the Business grows, it becomes impossible to juggle it all together. Payroll Expense is a bunch of complex array of talent, thinking and behavior. Every Business gets its life from People with ideas, dreams, passions, skills, courage, imagination and other purely human qualities. All these inevitably make Payroll an expense Line item that cannot be neglected. Let's take a look at some No- Compromise Facts about Payroll Expenses, and I promise, that these will be mind blowing for you as you manage your Business. Payroll Cost is a Fixed Expense: It is important to note that the Greatest Portion of your Payroll Cost is a "Fixed” Expense. "Fixed" here means a constant expense of the Business, that does not change based on Sales, Number of Employees or Other Variables. When Employees are added to the fixed schedule as your Business increases, they are your "Variable Cost Employees". This takes us to the next fact about payroll expenses. Payroll Expenses can be controlled: Payroll Expense is usually the largest expense in any Business, and if it's not controlled, it can wreak havoc on your Cash flow and profits. Whereas, if managed properly, a Business Owner will have no regrets incurring Payroll expenses, since he/she cannot do everything and be everywhere in the Business. As a Business Owner, your job is to prepare yourself and your Business for growth, while you leave the operations of your Business to people, that know how to manage it best.The general benchmark for service payroll is 30- 35% of your Gross Revenue, And Administrative /Guest Services is about +/- 10%. Having this knowledge should enable us to have an idea of our Payroll cost before it is incurred. It is also great to know that Payroll Expenses can be controlled through sound scheduling and improving employee productivity. It is about Time: The Payroll expense line item on your Profit & Loss Statement represents the purchase of your employees' time. The purchase of time gives you access and use of your employee's talent, skill, creativity and other liabilities. Please note that it is the Business Owner's responsibility to utilize the time effectively and efficiently. When the Business Owner buys too much time, he/she ends up putting stress on Cash flow and shrink profit. Whereas when too little time is bought, you compromise the ability to meet demand and deliver quality results. Time is a precious commodity that requires constant attention. It is About Productivity: Every Business's productivity rate is a primary critical number. It is a ratio of time available to time used. As a Business Owner, you cannot control Payroll cost, until you understand that you are not ' scheduling' people, but rather “purchasing" a potential to work. You increase productivity through Training and the use of labor saving equipment and products. Perhaps when we know this, we will adjust our need to schedule only the number of staff, that are actually needed for a job rather than getting more than the necessary staff because of fear of being short staffed. Payroll Expense is about Investment: Payroll is an investment in your employees. In fact, like any worthwhile investment, Employees need continuing education to develop and refine their skills. They need to know how; they are doing through scheduled performance reviews and one-on- one session. Most of all, employees need to know that they are appreciated for their contribution to the Business. A Business that invests and cares for its employees is a Business that maximizes its payroll investment because you can only get the best out of an employee that is well taken care of and highly appreciated. It is less about the Money: Money does not buy employee loyalty, passion and commitment to your Business. People work for opportunities and fair pay. Your Employees will deliver their best performance and productivity, when there is meaning and purpose in their work. As a matter of fact, Money and Profit is an outcome derived from what the Business stands for in terms of core values, fairness and integrity. Having explained these facts, we will look at the three (3) Groups of Payroll Costs. They are : A) Compensation : These are the amounts paid directly to the Employee or a Third(3rd) Party for Services provided, work done and legal compliance( Child Support, Court Ordered Payments or Automatic Payroll Deductions for Loan Payments. Examples are Salaries and Wages. B) Taxes: These are amounts paid directly to the respective governmental authorities for both the employee's withholdings and the required employer matching Unemployment Taxes. Examples are Social Security, Medicare and Federal Unemployment and state Unemployment. C) Benefits: These are Payments that are made to the beneficiary and the benefits providers based upon the agreed terms between the 3rd Parties (Employee, Employer and the Benefit Provider) .Examples are Health Insurance, Vacation/Sick Time with Pay, Dental/ Vision/ Cancer, Retirement and Life Insurance. In conclusion, Payroll is truly more than an expense to be managed and controlled..... It is something extremely personal because it is about Peoples' lives. Given the proper attention, Planning and financial discipline, A Business’s Payroll expense should be a source of pride to any Business Owner. If not, you are missing what Business is all about. Have you been overwhelmed with doing it all in your Business and know that it is time to recruit employees for your Business? Are you worried about how to handle your Payroll Expenses? Do you need help with setting up Payroll Expenses for your Employees, as well as remitting the payroll taxes to the appropriate authorities? Are you overwhelmed with handling your Payroll expenses and need help with paying your employees at the right time? Do you need help with filing the appropriate payroll reports with the Federal and State Agencies? As a Business owner, your job is to prepare yourself and your Business for Growth, why don't you let us manage your Payroll Expenses and take care of your Payroll taxes? You will be glad you did. Give us a call on 202-422-4586 and let's discuss how we can help you.
- 5 Ways to Build Wealth for your Business.
Every Business Owner wants to build and acquire wealth for their Business. Every Business owner wants to grow and expand their Business, as well as ensuring that the Business has an intangible value (Goodwill). Are you Building Wealth for your Business? Do you have steps in place to building wealth for your Business? There are 5 Basic Rules to follow, when you want to build Wealth for your Business. These Rules have been proven to work, no matter your Company Size and they are as follows: 1) REDUCE YOUR EXPENSES : Every Business Owner must have control over their spending. The Key to reducing your Expense is to ask 2 Pertinent Questions: a) How much do you NEED each month to run and maintain your Business? b) How much do you ACTUALLY SPEND each month to run and maintain your Business? As a Business Owner, In order to answer these Questions you will need to have a form of Accounting and Bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks, to give you an accurate answer. QuickBooks helps to track your income, as well as your expenses, thereby giving you an average total cost for each of your expense for the month. It is advisable for every Business owner to get the QuickBooks software. This is the first step to building wealth for your Business. 2)EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS EARNING CAPABILITY: It is important for every Business Owner to ensure that there is a consistent supply of Cash flow into the Business. It is a fact, that every Business has opportunities to earn more. As a Business Owner, you always have to seek for various ways, that your Business can make money for you. There should be various ways to diversify and expand your Business. For instance, An Optometrist Business Owner can see patients and charge for his Services, as well as selling the Eye Wear Frames in his practice, so that his patients can select and buy their frames from the Practice. By this, the Practice makes money from the Services & Examination, as well as Selling of Eye wear Frames. Basically, Earning More is the Simplest Way to build wealth. 3)PAYING OFF YOUR BUSINESS DEBT: Business Debt can be incredibly useful, but most people are not aware of its dangers. Debt is a thief of Income. When a Business is in debt, every extra income, that the Business generates goes towards paying off the Debt, and this eludes the Business Owner into thinking that the Business is not making money. It is a fact, that Business Loans, Credit Cards and Mortgages are powerful financial tools, necessary for any Business to function, but by any means, Always endeavor to pay them off. It is advisable to have a Plan to pay off your Business debt. Remember, that Every Debt paid leaves room for your Business to save more and this is a strategy to amass wealth. 4) INVEST: The quickest ways build wealth is to Invest, therefore, it means that the quickest way to build Business Wealth is to put your Business Money into Investments that earn less than Inflation. The Long term returns from the U.S. Stock Market is right around 7% (Inflation Adjusted). Although, it is not unheard of, to get 12-15%. The real trick is Time in the market, to allow the returns to compound. Investing your Business Money does not require a fat stack of Bills, to get started. The Key to Investment is Instant Diversification and Instant Exposure to the returns of the market and exceptionally low costs. 5) GET A BOOKKEEPER/ ACCOUNTANT: Let's face it..... Most Business Owners mess up with keeping the Accounting Records for their Business. You can argue with me all you want, but we both know that every single year, when Tax Time rolls around, you run around to look for Bookkeepers/ Accountants. Get to know these facts: Do you know that, every Minute, that you are on QuickBooks, trying to figure it out, is a minute that you are not doing Business stuffs that MAKES you the money? How can you build Wealth when you are wasting your time on what you are not competent on? Do you know that if you don't maintain your Accounting Records, there is a high chance of you facing an IRS Audit? Do you know that an IRS Audit can lead to confiscation of your Assets, as well as placing a Lien on your Bank Accounts and Properties? As a matter of fact, Getting a Bookkeeper/ Accountant is the most important way for you to build up your Business Wealth. Make a Decision Today to get a Bookkeeper/ Accountant, who will help you stay on track all year long. We hope that as a Business Owner, you can implement any and if possible, all of these rules and build wealth for your Business. If you do need help in implementing any of these, We will be happy to help you out. Give US a Call today on 202-422-4586. You will be glad you did.
- How to Avoid Online Fraud.
The Warmer Weather has finally arrived; soon it will be summer. Most Business Owners let down their guard, let go on Vacations and have Fun. Coincidentally, it's also a time that Online Scammers and Hackers get active and keep their eyes looking for Accounts to hack and tamper the unfortunate company Account Holders. Cultivate a Habit of Reviewing your Statements: Every Business Owner should regularly check their Bank Statements, Credit Card/PayPal Statements, and keep a lookout for any strange activity. If anything seems out of place, contact customer service immediately and ensure that nothing is wrong. This is how we saved a Client thousands of dollars, which hitherto had been deducted continuously for 6 months from his Business Account. Maintaining a Good Bookkeeping System: When we maintain a good Bookkeeping Record, We are able to quickly detect any fraudulent and suspicious activities, and get them resolved immediately. This also helps us to save on unauthorized expenditures, as well as increasing revenue on the bottom line. Use Separate Email Accounts: This is an important email security tip that seems like a hassle but can prove worthwhile in the long run. It is advisable to have more than one Business Email Account, through which you can log on to your financial information. For many of us, Our Businesses are the gateway to other online accounts. If a company is hacked and someone gains access to your inbox, they are one step closer to everything else. Use Multiple Payment Methods: It is better to split your funds between multiple sources; this can help protect you against losing everything at once. For instance, if you purchase eBay Goods with PayPal and EBay is hacked, only your PayPal Account is at risk. This is not necessarily a catch-all solution, since if you have one credit card, you don't really have a choice but to use that particular card. But, it's a general rule to diversify whenever possible. Don't Save Personal Information: It is best to avoid storing your personal details, like card Numbers on Bill Payment Services. Everyone believes that it's a stress to put it in the information, every time you want to make a payment, but it's also safer. Protect your Computers: Use Firewalls, Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware Software on your computers and keep them updated regularly. Beware of Unsecured WI-Fi Hot Spots: As Individuals and Business Owners, We should be discreet about opening our Bank and other secure information websites in public places. The connections used in these places are mostly insecure. It's fine to check weather, social media but not Bank Accounts and statements in public places, not even when we are using our Hot Spots. Use a Strong Password: This will prevent hackers from right-guessing your password. It is an obvious fact, that Humans get password-lazy, so they re-use their password and use them for multiple accounts. Don't Re-Use your passwords. Most importantly, Passwords are your first line of defense. It is a strong way to protect yourself. Finally, it is worthy to note that the most effective way to prevent fraud is to be proactive in the design of your strategy. It is really scary to consider the damages.