A Good Accountant Can …

Human hand drawing partnership puzzle on the whiteboardThe last thing you want is to second-guess your CPA or accountant, but if you are even the least bit concerned about the decisions your accountant is making on your company’s tax and accounting needs, then it’s time to evaluate your relationship.

It seems that clients and friends/colleagues ask me all the time for referrals to qualified CPAs and accountants. I’m glad to provide those, of course. In the meantime, here’s a refresher of what business owners should look for in their CPA or accountant.

A good accountant can …

  • lower your tax liability through innovative tax-saving strategies. The tax code is a whopping 75,000 pages and 187 times longer than it was 100 years ago. There’s no way any business owner could figure out how to write a smaller check, and run the business very effectively. Tax matters are best handled by tax professionals.
  • provide more than simple tax prep. Clients tell me they want to hear from me on a regular basis – and it isn’t any different for their accountant. As long as you are clear as to what the monthly fees will be, a good accountant will work with you throughout the year rather than just on tax filings.
  • spot needs and opportunities for life planning. Your accountant already has your complete financial history, so he or she should be able to help you plan for future life events, such as retirement savings or other needs.
  • do what they do best and leave the bookkeeping to us. You wouldn’t go to a roofer to install a wood floor in your den, so why go to your accountant to handle your bookkeeping? Accountants want to focus on tax planning rather than tax prep, which gets back to my second point above.

If you’re experiencing heartburn with your current CPA or accountant, try to resolve the problem. If that isn’t a workable solution, then ask for referrals from other business owners or give me a call at 770-745-4283. We’re here to help!

It’s Time to Send 1099s

Calculating numbers for income tax return with pen and calculator

Happy New Year to one and all!

Tax season 2015 is upon us, and with that comes a January requirement some businesses may forget about: sending 1099s. In short, Form 1099-MISC is required if you’ve paid $600 or more for services performed for your business by anyone who isn’t one of your employees or anyone who receives a W-2.

This includes fees to any subcontractor, an attorney and even your accountant. For example, if you were invoiced $600 or more from your tax preparer, you have to issue the person or firm a 1099. Note that there are some other important conditions that apply to 1099s, and you can find them here.

It’s not overly difficult to render 1099s and you can do it within QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online and most other tax software. However, some people find it challenging to navigate the IRS 1099 rules, mentioned above, to determine exactly which of their vendors should receive a 1099. In addition, there is the challenge of retrieving the necessary information from your vendors in order to send them their 1099.

In light of these challenges that few business owners have time to deal with, we strongly suggest you let Sound Business Services prepare your 1099s for you. And, if Sound Business Services also provides your bookkeeping services, they already have most of the information they need to prepare your 1099s.

Important Deadlines: The form must be sent to recipients by January 31 and to the IRS by February 28, or March 31 if filing electronically. Again, we can help you through this process, but don’t wait until January 31 (a Sunday) to get started!