Atlanta Bookkeeper Tips - Is It Time To Outsource Payroll?

Atlanta bookkeepers understand that the larger your company grows, the more complex payroll becomes. You may have started out with just you and another employee, or a handful. Now your business has grown to 10, 20, or even more employees. Even if you have a staff member who works in an accounting capacity and takes care of payroll tasks, it can be a challenge. Your employees expect to be paid on time, and taxes, 401k and other deductions must be properly calculated.

How do you know when it’s time to outsource payroll tasks to a reputable Atlanta bookkeeping company? Here are a few signs that indicate it may be time:

Employee confidentiality issues. It may be that the person you have put in charge of payroll makes you feel a little uneasy about confidentiality – or worse, other employees may not feel comfortable knowing that a fellow employee knows their financial situation.

It’s become necessary to train employees and purchase expensive software. Payroll systems are constantly updated, and so is the software – which can be expensive. You must train your payroll person on the new program, and possibly another person so that you have back-up when your payroll employee is sick or on vacation.

You are considering offering employee benefits. Certainly it’s a nice feeling when you can offer employees 401k savings plans, health insurance, and other benefits; however, it’s also complicated. Outsourcing payroll is a smart idea when your payroll becomes more complex.

You have made mistakes in payroll, or missed the deadline. Employees understandably want to be able to depend on getting their paychecks on a set schedule. If you have made mistakes in calculating pay, or even missed payday entirely due to problems, you can bet employees remember it – and you don’t want to lose your best employees because of payroll issues.

These are just a few of the signs that should alert you to the fact that it may be time to outsource payroll. Not only can you avoid the problems and count on employees getting paid correctly and on time, it will free up your time to concentrate on other areas of your business. Let Sound Business Services take care of your payroll processes efficiently, and affordably.

Atlanta Bookkeepers - Top Accounting Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Unfortunately, financial mismanagement is the number one reason that small businesses fail today. Many companies start out small, and with a very limited budget; owners hope their big dreams will one day become a reality. Some do, but there are numerous bookkeeping mistakes that if avoided, could actually save your company from becoming yet another statistic.

As trusted Atlanta bookkeepers, we want to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes. Here are a few of the biggest:

Mixing business and personal finances. This is extremely common, but a huge mistake. One rule of a successful business is to keep your business and personal accounts separate. Having only one account makes it almost impossible to reconcile your accounts. Consider an account specifically for business receipts, and one for disbursement. Reconciling your accounts will be so much simpler.

Procrastinating when it comes to reconciling your bank account. More than half of small businesses have only one to four employees; if you’re the only one, you may find yourself wearing many hats in an effort to take care of your company. When you have more on your plate than you can take care of yourself, it’s easy to say “I’ll do it later.” Reconciling your bank account is something that must not be put off, particularly if you’re one of those who is guilty of mixing personal with business. Keep every deposit slip and receipt, putting them in date order to make things as simple as possible.

Playing “bookkeeper” without any real knowledge. Not many small business owners graduate from college with an accounting or business degree, which means you know just enough about bookkeeping to be dangerous. Take a course and learn, or hire an Atlanta bookkeeping service to handle payroll, accounts payable, receivables, etc.

Lack of internal controls. Do you have a reliable system in place to ensure that once an invoice is placed into accounts payable for payment, that same invoice cannot be duplicated and mistakenly paid again? Little things like this can add up to huge problems for small business owners. Make sure your accounting software has strong internal controls – and that no one else in the office has access to logins and passwords other than those who will actually enter the information.

Are you making any of these top accounting mistakes? At Sound Business Services, Inc., we’re the Atlanta bookkeeping company that helps you experience peace of mind. Give us a call today for any or all of your accounting needs!

Atlanta Bookkeepers Remind Small Businesses Personal Income Tax Returns Due April 15, 2013!

As a trusted bookkeeping service in Atlanta, Sound Business Services wants to remind you (as if you’d forget) that personal income tax returns are due on April 15, 2013. We realize this is a date many business owners would rather forget, but like the old saying goes, “the only sure things in life are death and taxes.”

While you can get a six month extension with both the state of Georgia and the IRS (form 4868), keep in mind that October 15th is the last day to file an extension. After that date lapses, you will have no valid extension option and will be subject to additional penalties and interest. An extension to file does not give you permission to pay late; by law, it is required that individuals pay taxes as the money is earned.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind for personal income tax purposes:

The mileage rate for 2013 is 56.5 cents per mile. It is important that you turn in a monthly or weekly expense report to get reimbursed for personal expenses related to business. Keep track of business mileage with a day to day log; this is required in IRS tax rules.

If you are having Sound Business Services prepare your personal income tax return, here is a checklist that will make things easier for all involved:

Summaries:

  • All medical expenses incurred in 2012, including copies of any individual items exceeding $1,000.
  • Property taxes, including copies of any individual items exceeding $1,000.
  • Property taxes on automobiles (Ad valorem taxes), including copies for any items exceeding $1,000.
  • Mortgage interest, including copies of any individual items exceeding $1,000.
  • Contributions (cash and property), including copies of any individual items over $1,000.

Other items include:

Copies of all 1099s, W-2 forms, interest, brokerage statements, dividends, etc. or other reported income forms.

Include any changes from the prior year which could affect this year’s return, including change in filing status, business/home address, dependents, etc.

Child care expenses, tuition, student loan interest and other miscellaneous income and/or deductions should be forwarded to us.

New clients are asked to bring a copy of prior year tax returns, both personal and corporate. If you have recently incorporated or done so since your last tax filing, also bring a copy of your S Corporation acceptance, incorporation papers and Federal identification number.

Please recap all expenses and revenue if you have earned income as an independent contractor/sole proprietor regardless of whether you received a Form 1099 for the work.

We know April 15th is still nearly four months away, but it will sneak up on you before you know it – and it’s good to be prepared so that you can avoid the stress as the date grows nearer. Our Atlanta bookkeepers know that being prepared when it comes to taxes is half the battle!

Count on Sound Business Services for all of your Atlanta bookkeeping needs. We save you time, stress, and offer cost-effective solutions to all of your accounting, taxes, and payroll needs.

Atlanta Bookkeepers And The 'Hidden' Talents That May Surprise You

Let’s face it – when you think of a bookkeeping service in Atlanta, most likely you think of experts in the accounting field who can handle payroll, tax preparation, preparing financial statements and other tasks commonly associated with “bean counters.” Did you know that your bookkeeper may have some “hidden” talents up his or her sleeve that you haven’t really given much thought to?

Here are a few of those talents, more reasons why you should consider outsourcing a portion of your accounting tasks to a reputable Atlanta bookkeeper:

Knowing if your accounting employees are really as sharp as you think they are. You think your accounts payable clerk is a pro – fast, efficient, accurate. An external accountant can analyze how the process works in your unique situation, and help you evaluate your staff objectively. This will enlighten you about any training programs or workshops that may improve your current situation – and reveal possible strengths and weaknesses in current staff.

Is your accounting system ancient or inefficient? So many business owners never keep up to date on ways to improve efficiency and/or their accounting programs may be out of date. It’s easy to say “we’ve always done it that way” – and yes, sometimes doing away with what you’re comfortable with is hard. If some of your accounting procedures are obsolete, a skilled bookkeeper can help increase profits and reduce expense. Often, a fresh set of eyes can identify whether it’s time to re-negotiate contracts such s utilities, telephone and other expenses you may be paying more than you have to for.

Saving time and money through better tools. Again, you may be operating on a “dinosaur” accounting system without being aware of it. An external accountant is familiar with systems, reporting and the newest, most efficient and reliable software to help make the business of bookkeeping less costly both in terms of money and time.

There are many hidden talents of an external bookkeeper that may work to your advantage. By outsourcing some of the accounting tasks to a reputable Atlanta bookkeeping company, it’s possible that more internal controls may be put into place, and the risk of fraud by employees reduced. At Sound Business Services, Inc. we offer the administrative support and solutions you need to run your business in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Discover our “hidden” talents by contacting us today!