Archive for the ‘Accounting’ Category

What Tax Benefits Exist When You Donate to Charity?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

We’re three months into 2014, and you may be thinking about what charitable donations you’d like to make this year. If you’re planning to make a donation to a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, make sure to look at your investment portfolio before you write a check.  (more…)

How Can My Statement of Cash Flows Transform My Business?

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Do you realize that your business’s financial statements are a valuable management tool for decision making? You may be thinking, “Well, I just get them done because the bank needs them for my loan file,” or, “I think I have a copy in a drawer somewhere.” But if you take the time to understand your financial statements, you’ll be surprised to find that they can give you information on the condition of your company and allow you to make better business decisions.  (more…)

What Could Ohio’s Small Business Investor Income Tax Deduction Do For Me?

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

In an effort to become more taxpayer-friendly and reduce the effective tax rate, Ohio enacted the Small Business Investor Income Tax Deduction effective for tax year 2013. This tax deduction benefits many of Ohio’s individual income taxpayers. So how exactly does this deduction work?  (more…)

What’s The Relationship Between Side-Businesses And Tax Deductions?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Do you or someone you know enjoy knitting or jewelry-making? Or perhaps you do résumé writing or other professional consulting work? If you do any of these as a side business and make a profit, did you know that you can deduct expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your business? If your side business expenses exceed the income for your business, then the loss can be deducted against other income. However, if your loss is from a business that’s not making a profit, then you’re not allowed to deduct your loss against other income.  (more…)

Will You Be Paying With Cash, Credit Or Bitcoins?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Bitcoin has been all over the news lately, and you may be asking – what exactly is it? Bitcoin is a virtual currency. Only existing online, it’s powered by its users and not backed by any government agency. This new currency offers anonymity, convenience, helps facilitate international commerce and can fluctuate in value. Check out www.bitcoin.org for more information and frequently asked questions.  (more…)

What Should You Know About 2014 Standard Mileage Rates?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Do you use your personal vehicle for business purposes when you’re on the clock? Or do you use your vehicle medical, moving or charitable purposes? If so, did you know that you can claim a tax deduction on the mileage you rack up?  (more…)

What Are 5 Things You Should Do Financially Now?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

As a small business owner, you probably find the end of the year a busy time. Before you know it, you find yourself into January trying to determine what the New Year will bring. One of the keys to being a successful business owner is taking a break from the day-to-day routine and spending some time doing valuable planning. This is sometimes referred to as working on your business, not just working in your business. To help you with this process, here are five things you should consider doing as a small business owner as you start the New Year.  (more…)

What Are 6 Things You Can Do To Improve The Health Of Your Business in 2014?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Are you out of breath from the impact the economy had on your business during the last several years? Is it time to develop some New Year’s resolutions that will make a difference in your business? Adopting a new diet, jumping on the treadmill or committing to run a half marathon are common items on the “personal” resolution menu. However, is it time to add energy and resources to your resolutions in order to improve the health of your business?  (more…)

How Can Franchising Work For You?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Purchasing a franchise might seem like a very daunting process, enough so that you might not even consider it a possibility for you. However, have you ever considered what advantages buying a franchise might bring to you? Before jumping ahead to the benefits, let’s first look at what exactly franchising is.  (more…)

What Are The Top 10 Signs Your Business’s Internal Controls Aren’t Strong?

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Internal controls are procedures that companies develop to safeguard their assets and to produce accurate, reliable financial statements. When a company doesn’t have strong internal control procedures, fraud can occur much easier. Other issues that can arise include inaccurate financial statements, the inability to find certain documents such as invoices or purchase orders, or a higher than usual number of customer complaints.  (more…)

Why Did The IRS Delay The Start Of The 2014 Tax Season?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Recently the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that due to the 16-day government shutdown, they will begin processing tax returns one- to two-weeks later than planned. The original start date was Jan. 21, 2014. With this delay, the tax season could begin no earlier than Jan. 28 or as late as Feb. 4. The IRS will not process paper returns until the official start date, even if they are received before the official start date.  (more…)

How Can Contractors Ensure They Have Sufficient Cash Flow?

Monday, October 28th, 2013
As a construction contractor, income taxes are probably the furthest thing from your mind. And you’re probably not too excited about writing big checks to the respective taxing authorities. (more…)

Does Your Company Have Solid Internal Controls?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Let’s admit it… we all want to be able to trust other people. And we generally do…until we’re proven wrong. Owners of small, family-owned businesses are no different, and must put their trust in someone to handle their revenue, disbursements, payroll and inventory, among other financial functions.  (more…)

Why Is A Budget Important To The Success Of My Business?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching. Before you know it, Jan. 1, 2014, will be here and another business year is at hand. So… have you started planning and budgeting for your 2014 business year? If you haven’t, don’t wait any longer. The sooner you get your budget in place, the better idea you’ll have of what you can do in the year ahead.  (more…)

What Is The Difference Between Fixed Asset Expensing And Capitalization?

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

If you’re about to acquire, produce or improve real or tangible personal property, and then turn around and use the property in a trade of business for income, stop right there. Under the Internal Revenue Code, you’re required to capitalize certain amounts of money you invested into the property.  (more…)

What Should I Do If I Recently Received An IRS Notice About Form 5500 or 8955-SSA?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

No one likes to hear from the IRS. But for the roughly 4,000 plan sponsors who have recently received erroneous notices, it’s extremely frustrating. Chances are if you have received a notice telling you that the IRS is assessing a penalty due to your “filing a late or incomplete” Form 5500 or 8955-SSA, it may very well be a mistake.  (more…)

What Should I Expect From My CPA?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

As a small business owner, you may have started your business because you have a passion for your particular business/industry or you may have had the desire to “take the plunge” and be your own boss. Income taxes, payroll or financial reporting were probably not anywhere on your list of top reasons to own your own business. However, these three items along with many others fall under the umbrella of accounting services, and require the training and expertise of a CPA. So, since your business needs these services, what should you expect from a CPA?  (more…)

How Can A Focus on Inventory Management Help My Business?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Is the recession over? Reports show that we are continuing the slow climb out. While the hill may be tall, chances are the recession has given you new tools to manage the effectiveness of your business and business capital – a renewed focus on cash flow and collections. But is that enough to get you into smooth waters?  (more…)

What Do I Need To Know About Unclaimed Property in Ohio?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

We have all lost things from time to time. Our keys, our phones, and sometimes it seems our minds. But did you know that more than 200,000 Ohioans have lost financial assets worth more than $1 billion? As a result and in an effort to protect property rights and reunite the owners with their rightful funds, Ohio enacted unclaimed property laws.  (more…)

Can I Qualify for New Incumbent Workforce Training Dollars?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The state just announced that it will launch the second round of the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program. Earlier this year the state offered $20 million in cash to businesses to reimburse for training costs. However, all those dollars were accounted for the first day the program launched. Don’t fret though – more dollars will be available on September 30 at 10:00 a.m.! (more…)

How Can You Get A Strong Start With QuickBooks®?

Friday, July 5th, 2013

As a business owner, you may prefer to maintain your own accounting records, and you either use or have investigated using the accounting software product called QuickBooks®. The program is an easy-to-use, affordable accounting software package. (more…)

Do You Understand Your Company’s Financial Statements?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Big GAAP vs. Little GAAP has been a hot topic in recent years. (Okay, “hot” topic may be a stretch…) The question of the hour is: Why should a privately held company with close relationships to owners, bankers, insurers and other financial statement users need to comply with the same complex rules and extensive disclosure requirements that a publicly traded company is held to? (more…)

Part 2 | What Happens if My 401(k) Plan is Out of Compliance with an IRS or DOL Rule?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

In the last issue of Illuminations, you read about some initial consequences you may face if you find that your 401(k) plan is out of compliance with an IRS or DOL rule. In this week’s issue, check out the second part of the article that explains the statute of limitations and how you can work to rectify any issues you may have with your business’s retirement plan. To refresh your memory, you can read the first part of the article here(more…)

Did You Know that the FASB Wants to Hear From You?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Let’s face it—opinions matter. We all like to be asked for our opinion. And more often than not, opinions help shape decisions and the direction that a group of people may take. (more…)

When Can I Apply for the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

When will the application process begin for the next round of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program? This is a burning question for many Ohio companies these days. While the Ohio Development Services Agency has not yet communicated what date the application process will begin, you can keep an eye on its website for an official announcement.  They are hoping to have the application process open sometime in June, though it’s possible that date may get pushed back.  (more…)

Cash Flow is King: Where Do You Need to Focus?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Do you know the current balance of your business checking account? If you don’t, keep reading. Cash flow is the key to business survival. A healthy business generates money for the operations of the business.  (more…)

Is It Time to Upgrade Your QuickBooks to a Current Version?

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Intuit recently released the 2013 version of QuickBooks.  If you are a registered user of QuickBooks, you will certainly have received notice of this release, and have been encouraged by them to consider upgrading.  But, do you need to?

For those of you who don’t know, QuickBooks is an accounting software package that was designed for smaller businesses.  It is a very good package, is simple to use, and is very affordable.

The newer versions of QuickBooks certainly contain some nice enhancements, and those enhancements are helpful, not only to you the user, but also to your accountant.  (more…)

What Are 5 Things You Should Do Financially At the Beginning of the Year?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
As a small business owner, the beginning of the year is a busy time. It’s January and you’re trying to determine what the New Year will bring. One of the keys to being a successful business owner is taking a break from the day-to-day routine and spending some time doing valuable planning. This is sometimes referred to as working on your business, not just working in your business. To help you with this process, here are five things you should consider doing as a small business owner as you start the New Year.  (more…)

Do You Have Any QuickBooks Tips for Managing Cash Flow?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Cash flow management is a struggle for many small businesses.  Unlike revenue, cash flow isn’t easy to quantify or pin down.  It’s up and down and moves around.  But, most small businesses that fail do so because of a lack of cash flow… not revenue or profits. (more…)

How Do You Get a Handle on Your Inventory?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Inventory management can have a very direct impact not only on your profit but also the cash flow of your business. Inaccurate inventory will directly affect your business profit. If the inventory is too high, you may be paying tax on higher profits than you actually have. If it is too low, you run the risk of understating taxable income and, if audited, the IRS can hit you with back taxes and penalties. (more…)

What Accounting Methods Do Contractors Use?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Usually when you hear the words “accounting method,” you think of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, you should not overlook the impact that accounting methods have in the tax world, especially for construction contractors. (more…)

How Can Employers in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan & Tennessee Get a FICA Tax Refund?

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Downsizing by companies has been a fact of life over the past several years.  As a part of this process companies may have paid severance payments to employees who were involuntarily terminated due to either: (1) reduction in force (“RIF”) initiatives or (2) plant closings or other similar conditions.

Historically the IRS has argued that such payments are subject to FICA tax withholding in addition to income tax withholding at the time of payment.  In 2002, the Court of Federal Claims in CSX Corp v. U.S. held that severance payments made by CSX were not subject to FICA tax and thus CSX was entitled to refunds of amounts previously withheld.   The IRS appealed and in 2008 the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Court of Claims holding that such payments were subject to FICA tax. (more…)

Should You Maximize Cash Flow or Minimize Income Taxes?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

“Do I need to buy, and expense, equipment or a vehicle before the end you the year to save income tax?” Every CPA involved in business tax planning hears some variation of that question several times, on an annual basis. Our first question back to you is, “Do you need it?” (more…)

Do You Know The True Cost of The Products You Produce?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

After the ups and downs of the last few years, we should all know that, when it comes to the economy, anything is possible.  Some businesses vanished during this downturn, others survived – and some actually flourished!  Those that survived and those that flourished had one thing that others did not: an understanding of their product cost. While many of our clients are seeing their sales volumes return to pre-2008 levels, I wonder how many of them truly know what it costs to produce their products. (more…)

Where Can You Get Cash for Your Business?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

All businesses need cash to operate. Without it, you can’t repay expenses let along find new ways to grow your business. But where can you go to find that needed cash? There are only three options: an investor, a bank or within your business. (more…)

Do You Need a CFO?

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Outsourced CFO Services Support Small Businesses

Do you ever feel like you can’t seem to get your arms around costs? If so, you could probably benefit from the skills of a CFO. The following are other signs that you may need a CFO:

  • You regularly bounce checks.
  • You don’t have immediate access to financial information when your banker asks for it.
  • Your budget and forecasting is lacking.
  • As an owner, you have your hands in too many things to focus properly on your finances.
  • You can’t answer the question, “How much money did you make yesterday?”

Most small business owners face at least one of these issues; however, they don’t have the need or resources for a full-time CFO. These owners often rely on a controller, bookkeeper or office manager to manage the internal accounting function.

Sound familiar? If so, you need to recognize that even though these people can do an excellent job for you, a CFO can bring additional skills to the table. You’ll probably wonder how you ever got by without this kind of person. (more…)

What Does a CFO Do?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

A CFO, or chief financial officer, is the financial head of an organization. Usually reporting directly to the CEO, or chief executive officer, a CFO is responsible for keeping an organization financially healthy.

CFOs work in businesses, not-for-profit organizations and even some government entities. They are responsible for the finances, but what all does that entail? A CFO has four “COAR” areas of responsibility:

Cash Flow
Operations
Accounting
Revenue (more…)

What are the 12 qualities you want from your accountant?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

When you’re looking to hire an accountant, what qualities should you consider? Sure there’s technical acumen, but that’s a given. What other qualities are important in developing a long-term business relationship? (more…)

How do you manage your personal cash flow?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

There’s no such thing as a free lunch… but a little planning ahead can make it a lot cheaper.

Let’s say you go out for lunch, on average, twice a week. At $8 per meal, you’ll spend more than $800 in one year on those lunches. And if you add in a weekly dinner out ($20), you’ll spend upwards $1,800 per year in restaurants. These little indulgences – fast food here, a sit down dinner there – add up and wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit. (more…)

Are you having trouble staying current with payroll taxes?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Do you process your own payroll? If so, do you ever find it challenging to stay current on the filing and payment of your payroll taxes? If so you are not alone. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 1.6 million businesses are behind on paying their payroll taxes. It estimates that collectively, these businesses owe approximately $58 billion in payroll taxes.  And, the recession may have made those delinquent tax numbers even worse. (more…)

How Can You Track Use Tax in QuickBooks?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Now that you have filed for use tax amnesty and are all set up with an account, how are you going to track it daily going forward? If you use QuickBooks, the answer is as simple as 1-2-3. (more…)

Does New 1099 Reporting Affect You?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

If your business has paid at least $600 in professional services or other payments in 2011, you may be subject to a new 1099 reporting requirement as you begin to file your 2011 taxes. (more…)

Want a More Efficient 401K Audit? Here’s How

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Employee benefit plan audits are deadline-driven, and can require plenty of documentation and interaction with your auditor. Delays could mean fees and/or penalties –as well as higher audit fees than originally estimated. (more…)

A One-Time Opportunity? Proposed Ohio Use Tax Amnesty Program Explained

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Ohio businesses may have a one-time opportunity to lessen their use tax liability due to a use tax amnesty measure in Ohio’s current budget bill. If passed, the law could be one of the most taxpayer-friendly laws ever enacted by the State of Ohio.

Note: Ohio has established its tax amnesty program since this post was originally created. Please click here for the most recent information. (more…)

Ohio Use Tax Audits Find Big Liabilities from Small Items

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Note: Ohio has established a tax amnesty program since this post was originally created. Please click here for the most recent information.

Keeping meticulous records has never been more important than it is today. With today’s governmental agencies looking for additional dollars, they’re not going to give you the benefit of the doubt should your business be audited for use tax. Consider these two recent cases: (more…)

Want to Look Back in Time? See an 1864 Tax Return

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Recently blogger Paul Caron, a professor of law at Cincinnati College of Law, shared an IRS tax form from 1864. The form was two pages, and 10 questions. As our country considers ways to simplify our current tax laws, it may make sense to look at where and how our tax laws began nearly 150 years ago. (more…)

Are You Celebrating National Small Business Week?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

May 16-20 is National Small Business Week, and several organizations are providing materials, events and other tools to help small businesses. (more…)

Raiding Your 401K? It’ll Cost You

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A recent study by Bankrate found that nearly one-fifth of full-time employed Americans have raided their retirement accounts in the past year to cover emergency expenses. These results match a Fidelity Investments study last year that reported the number of workers borrowing against their retirement accounts had reached a 10-year high. Given the financial stress that many workers face today, the numbers are not that surprising, but the long-term consequences can be. (more…)

How Does Communication, Timing Impact My Business Succession Plan?

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed steps to follow when you develop a succession plan for your business. First, we made the decision to do a succession plan. We looked at the value of the business. We explored all of the options for transition. And we determined your personal and professional goals and those of your family and key personnel. Now it’s time to set a course of action. (more…)

Will some professionals be exempt from red flag rules?

Monday, December 6th, 2010

For several months we’ve been telling you about “Red Flag” rules, which require businesses to implement anti-identity theft policies. Originally scheduled to become effective January 1, 2008, the rules have been granted a series of extensions to the deadline for compliance by the FTC.   (more…)

Are you ready for a year-end financial check-up for your business?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to bring all of your business advisors together for a year-end financial check up. Make it a point to set up a meeting with your accounting, legal, estate planning, investment and retirement planning advisors at the end of each year to get a check up of your business and personal financial health. If you have partners in the business, they should also be included in this meeting. (more…)

Can the IRS now audit my QuickBooks files?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

In your next IRS audit, don’t be surprised if the agent requests a copy of your QuickBooks files instead of your printed general ledger. The agency has purchased 1,100 user license agreements for the software program and recently completed training its agents on the software. The IRS can also accept Peachtree accounting software files. (more…)

How can accounting standards be improved for privately held businesses?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

At Rea & Associates, we believe some elements of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, create an excessive burden for closely held businesses and the accounting firms that serve them. Although GAAP principles work well for publicly-traded businesses, financial reporting requirements as a result of some of the principles take a great deal of time to prepare and result in additional accounting expenses for our clients – without providing any benefit to the businesses or those who use the financial information. (more…)

Can medical residents and their employers get FICA refunds?

Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you were a medical resident between the late 1990s and 2005, the IRS may owe you a FICA tax refund. The same is true for medical colleges and teaching hospitals that employed residents during this time.

(more…)

Guess Who’s a Top 100 Accounting Firm?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Rea & Associates was recently named to the Top 100 Accounting Firms in the Nation by INSIDE Public Accounting, an accounting industry publication. We are pleased to be recognized once again by our peers. Rea doesn’t strive to be one of the largest firms in the county, but we do strive to provide small-town attention with a high level of expertise to our clients. We’re grateful to our clients for allowing us to continue to share in their success, and humbled by the word-of-mouth advertising they share with our prospects. (more…)

How will new 1099 reporting impact my business?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Businesses could see significant changes in how they report transactions on 1099 forms, thanks to a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (more…)

How important are financial statements?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Although they’re not required for a closely-held business, financial statements can provide a crucial roadmap that helps management determine the financial health of the business and the steps to improve the return on investment for the owners – not to mention the fact that several entities outside your business may also request them.

There are four basic financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and statement of shareholders equity. Do you know the difference? (more…)