This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Center!
The internet is full of depressing statistics about the failure rates of small businesses. But I’d like to offer an alternative view, one based on my real-life experience in the real world, which is considerably more hopeful than those stats would lead you to believe.
As a bookkeeper, I’ve had the privilege of working with a diverse array of entrepreneurs and their various projects. I’ve seen a few of them fail, but by and large, the vast majority of them have been successful. So I’m always puzzled when I see headlines like “5 Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail,” and I wonder about their sources and the way their statistics were gathered.
This post is also featured at Intuit’s Small Business Help Center!
The Internal Revenue Service: a name that strikes fear into the hearts of taxpayers and business owners everywhere. If you’ve had to deal with them recently, chances are it wasn’t a very good experience. But fear not, below are a few suggestions that may ease your pain the next time the IRS comes calling.
I always look forward to the start of a new year. It’s exciting to think of new possibilities and set new goals; it gives me new energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead. I usually have at least one resolution that looks something like this: “This year will be the year I finally get around to [insert something I have been procrastinating on for a long time].”
I know I’m not alone in this, because every single January, I get at least a few calls and emails from people who have resolved to finally deal with their backlog of undone bookkeeping and are asking for help. Some business owners begin panicking when they are only a few months behind in doing their books, but I have worked with clients who had literally done no record-keeping whatsoever for six or more years.
If this sounds like you, don’t stress. No matter how far behind you are, 2018 can be the year that you finally catch up, get your taxes filed and fix all those problems you’ve been avoiding.
I’d like to offer four practical suggestions for any entrepreneur who has made a New Year’s resolution to improve their business finances, catch up on undone bookkeeping or deal with unresolved issues.
I wanted to provide a few details about the contracts we sign with our clients, and the reasons behind the way we set up our relationships.
Backyard Bookkeeper is constantly looking for new talent to join us, and we invite you to apply!
Occasionally we get calls from tax preparers on behalf of their clients, asking about our services–checking in to make sure we really know our stuff. Well, we do! Here are a few examples:
A common trap that business owners fall into when cash flow is tight is not paying their payroll taxes. Most bills we pay are directly linked to something we need on a regular business–utility bills, for instance, or a subscription to online advertising. If we don’t pay it, we stop receiving the service or lose access to the product. It’s a little harder to see the connection when it comes to payroll taxes, especially when it may take the IRS months or even years to notice that you haven’t paid.
*Update: at the beginning of 2016, Utah changed the due dates, filing requirements, and penalties related to the filing of w-2’s, so the following is no longer applicable.
“Annual Withholding Reconciliation Not Filed or Incomplete”
Every fall, the USTC sends out hundreds, possibly thousands of notices to employers around the state that they owe $1000 for neglecting to file their TC-941R for the previous year. It may sound like a government scheme to trick extra money out small businesses, but it’s not. It is simply a way to spur employers into action.
Last year, the renewal notice never arrived in the mail. Instead, we just got a postcard from the Division of Corporations in early October that our business registration was now late for 2011. It wasn’t that big of a deal; the renewal costs $15/year and the late fee was only $10, but it was irritating that they wouldn’t give us any leeway when we didn’t even receive the first notice. In an informal survey of clients and companies we’ve worked with, it seems like that first postcard goes missing as much as 50% of the time.
As the holidays approach, are you thinking of your employees and how wonderful theyâ€™ve been? Have you been thinking about how you would like to give them a bonus, but you are unsure how to account for it in the books?