2015 is half over – is your business accounting up to date?

If you are like alot of small to medium sized business owners you look at your bank statements and think to yourself “I have to get started on pulling this all together” and then before you know it; it’s December 31 and you haven’t gotten one thing in a good format.  If this sounds like you; problem solved… call 602-576-7052 today and schedule a free consultation.

I have over 30 years of corporate accounting experience and the last 5 has been spent helping small to medium sized businesses getting their accounting caught up and more importantly; keeping it caught up.

Let me work with your CPA so you can do what you are supposed to be doing which is running and growing your own business.

Remote capability so I am able to service out of state clients as well as local clients all around the Phoenix Metro area

http://www.mobileaccountantaz.com

Sue Ashe / Owner

Sue@mobileaccountantaz.com

Year End – ready set go….

Are you a small business owner who is looking at your financials and shaking your head with no clue on where to start to get ready for your CPA or Tax person?
If you are in the Phoenix Metro area give us a call right away to get started on your catchup for 2014 accounting

Degreed accountants and all of us are certified public bookkeepers as well.

Visit http://www.mobileaccountantaz.com or call 602-576-7052 to setup a half hour free consultation over the phone.

2014 Accounting and Taxes – are you and your business ready?

Well are you?  If you are like a lot of small to medium sized business owners that I get contacted by at this time of year you aren’t even close to being ready for your year end taxes.  Just because you are able to put it in the back of your mind won’t make it all just magically go away.  The tax man is still coming April 15th.

Be ready for him (her).

Contact my staff and I SOON for a customized quote for all of your business accounting needs.

Need January 2014 through current caught up? No problem, contact us!

Need 2013 or earlier done? Again, NO PROBLEM!  We can do that all too.

No project too large or too small (yeah I know, how cliche right?)

Ebay and Paypal sellers – Real Estate Brokerages – Retail – Contractors.  All no problem – we can do it all.

http://www.mobileaccountantaz.com

Sue Ashe / Owner 602-576-7052

MobileAccountantAZ

Happy Thursday – make it a great one!

Do you make Quarterly Tax Deposits? This is a must read!

http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/tax_news/four-play-quarterly-filers-biggest-mistakes-71677-1.html

Weeks ahead of the next quarterly deadline for filing estimated taxes (September 15) marks a good moment to look at what these filers often do wrong.

These clients, possibly a growing segment of your practice, given business startups and recent groundswells in employment structures, sometimes need a lot of help to keep up on taxes. “Poor planning is their biggest problem,” said Cheryl Morse, an EA with Emerging Business Partners in Wellesley, Mass. “Anything from letting their bookkeeping get behind to not having the money to pay their estimated tax.”

“Not making estimates at all and not anticipating what they’re going to earn by the end of the year,” said Jeffrey Schneider, an EA with Florida-based SFS Tax and Accounting Services.

Errors vary by type of returns, whether for a business requiring quarterly payroll returns or for individuals requiring quarterly estimates, said EA Roy Frick of Ocean City, Md.-based Fairway Services Ltd. and Frick Accountants Ltd.

“We call all our business clients each quarter as a reminder that they have payroll tax returns due,” Frick said. “Individual estimates are another situation. We provide them vouchers and envelopes with their returns and advise them that if situations change to contact us. In all cases, we try to prepare safe harbor estimates. If they had a large capital gain in the prior year, that can be a problem, so we need to make sure they are adjusted during the year.”

‘Just laziness?’

Misconceptions about estimated quarterly taxes run rampant among taxpayers – if newly self-employed taxpayers realize such taxes exist at all. “Every year, my tax return instruction letter to all my clients states that they need to call me once it is determined that their tax situation may have changed. Very few do,” Schneider said. “Is it because of potential fees? Because they don’t want to deal with taxes until April? Or is it just laziness? I’m sure it’s a combination. Whatever their reason, it can be a big dilemma if the client owes more than they anticipated come April 15.”

Self-employment taxes, a common feature of quarterly filing, are minefields for potential audits and penalties little understood by most affected taxpayers. “The failure-to-pay penalty is really interest on the monies the IRS did not receive by a certain date. In most cases, it is not a huge number,” Schneider added.

“For my business clients, their income tax withholdings (via wages) are enough to cover their W-2 wages. The pass-through number can cause the issue. When a client has a large K-1 income amount, they may owe tax with the return. Many of [my clients] believe that they can make better use of their money than the amount they have to pay in the penalty. It is when they underestimate that ultimate number that causes the highest anxiety,” he said. “That’s when they kill the messenger.”

Schedule and remind

“I emphasize the bookkeeping aspect, and make sure they have a clear understanding that knowing their financial condition at any moment in time affects pricing and hiring, not just taxes, and can’t be put on the back burner,” Morse said. “I really drive home that letting this get out of control kills many good businesses.”

“When April 15th comes around and they do not have the cash to pay, ‘File an extension.’ they say,” Schneider reported. “I explain that an extension is an extension to file, not to pay and that monies have to be paid with the extension. I have to explain that the IRS can void the extension and that late-paying penalties will be assessed on any outstanding balance, plus interest. Many clients file zero extensions and will deal with the aftermath later.”

“I advise clients to open another account at their bank and transfer 25 percent with every deposit,” said Mike Habib, an EA in Whittier, Calif. “This way, the account is funded when payment is due.”

Massachusetts EA Morse makes sure to schedule appointments for such clients two weeks before estimates come due and reminds them of those appointments – “often twice” – in the weeks just before the appointment.

“We also schedule the next appointment while they’re with me,” she added. “Scheduling the year in advance always seemed to lead to conflicts for one of us.”

The Differences Between Bookkeepers vs. Accountants vs. CPAs

Bookkeepers, Accountants vs CPAs. What are the differences?

At this time of year small business owners always have the same confusion on the differences between bookkeepers, accountants and CPA’s. I am an accountant with a 4 year degree. I also have over 30 years of experience at Senior levels with two large corporations,
As such, the State of Arizona has no authority for licensing as they do with CPA’s. I am unable to do the work of a CPA such as filing taxes or giving out advice at the level of CPA’s. However with that said, if you are a small business owner on a tight budget it just makes good sense to use an accountant to do the simple day to day accounting functions such as billing, payables, bank and credit card reconciliations. As a degreed accountant I am able to do most of what is needed to keep a solid and accurate set of financials for most any business, but a CPA or Tax Preparer will always have final review rights on what is actually allowed on the tax filing.

There are good and bad bookkeepers and accountants just as there are good and bad CPA’s. I have taken over some real messes caused by sloppy and shoddy work from all levels of this business.
As a result I have nearly 95 percent retention of my clients over the years. The 5 percent that are no longer with me closed their doors for relocation, retirement or family issues.

I work closely with CPA’s on a regular basis all across the Valley for any of my clients that want me to handle that communication so they don’t have to be bothered by it. Accountants such as myself charge 1/3rd of what a CPA charges in most cases for simple date entry and accounting functions. A CPA won’t usually get detail into your accounting software using Quickbooks. (At least the ones I have seen and dealt with, they usually hire accountants to do the Quickbooks part of the detailed work) CPA’s (again, the ones I have worked with) most likely put in higher level lump sum entries. I offer my clients detailed work on a daily or weekly basis then I wrap it all up for month end for them all; again with their CPA or tax person having the final review.

I am registered with the IRS as a separate business entity and I carry all the necessary E&O and Liability Insurance to protect my clients and any future clients against fraud. I have seen first hand, the damage that an unethical accountant can do to a business and it makes our entire profession look bad.

So…. if you are a small business owner ask for references, ask for current clients contact names and phone numbers and also ask for the names of any CPA’s that the accounting services you are considering hiring.

My references, names and numbers are all available to anyone that asks, no problem.

Have a great business day all

http://work.chron.com/differences-between-bookkeepers-vs-accountants-vs-cpas-4173.html

IRS Tax Scam – Interesting and Timely Article

This is especially timely for right now with the typical tax year coming to close.  Hopefully people with elderly relatives will be able to not only warn them but also possibly monitor their calls.  

http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/irs-watch/irs-warns-again-of-pervasive-phone-scam-71675-1.html

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said they are continuing to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.

Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA said it has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from the scams.

“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

PARTNER INSIGHTS

 
 

In addition, the agency noted, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone; never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations; never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.

Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy, the IRS cautioned.

The scammers often use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves. Scammers may also be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.

Sometimes, scammers will “spoof” an IRS toll-free number that will show up on caller ID to make it appear that the IRS is calling when in fact it is not. Scammers sometimes will also send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.

Victims may hear background noise of other calls being conducted in order to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or the revocation of the taxpayer’s driver’s license, scammers may then hang up, but others working with the scammer will quickly call back pretending to be from the local police department or the state Department of Motor Vehicles, and the caller ID display will seem to support their claim.

The IRS advised taxpayers that if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what they should do:

• If they know they owe taxes or you think they might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1 (800) 829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.

• If the taxpayer knows they don’t owe taxes or has no reason to think they owe any taxes (for example, they have never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then they should call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1 (800) 366-4484.

• If they have been targeted by a scammer, they should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov, adding “IRS Telephone Scam” in the comments on the complaint.

Taxpayers should also be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS emphasized that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for Personal Identification Number codes, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information or to report a scam, visit www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box. More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the IRS’s Web site, IRS.gov.

  

 

 

 

2014 Tax Time is just around the corner… Are you Ready for your CPA or Tax professional?

Yes it’s nearly fall; though it would be hard to tell that fact while living in Phoenix Arizona where it is still 105 degrees during the day.  

What does the fall season mean for the average business owner?  Yep, it means TAXES are going to be a few months away. You need to ask yourself “Are my accounting records in order?  Do I still have all of my bank statements ready to go into Quickbooks but I’ll do it “tomorrow””?  Well folks, tomorrow is NOW or it should be.

Every year my staff and I start getting calls and emails from our website indicating that a business needs to START getting their accounting done for the year.  

The time is now to STOP thinking about getting your accounting up to date and START doing it.  

Hand it all over to a professional before you make a mess of things by trying to do it on your own.

If you are in the Phoenix Metro area please visit our website or send an email directly to me; the owner of MobileAccountantAZ; to go over your needs and setup a time to meet.

The time is now people, lets do this!  

Sue@MobileAccountantAZ.com

602-576-7052

Working… working…..working

It’s mid February, which in accountant’s terms, means it’s half way through tax season.  Whoohoo.  

When I started my business 5 years ago it was slow going, one client here and a little there.  A few years ago it exploded through referrals and online advertising that I started doing and this year I am actually turning work away.  

While I don’t actually do taxes (yet, that’s on the plans for next year, Lord help me) I do the cleanups for businesses that have neglected their books and accounting for a year or more.  

It’s amazing to me how companies, no matter how small or large, think that accounting is somehow the last thing that should be on their list of importance.  Not true!  I hear “I can’t afford accounting” “It’s not in my budget” and on and on.  My clients that come to me with nothing done, or worse; a large mess created by a former person that was cheap (you get what you pay for) are finding out that it’s more expensive to let it get to this point and come to me after their books are all in disarray than it would have been if they had just bit the bullet and hired myself and my staff to begin with. 

I always ask a client who balks at our fees “Do you want it done cheap or do you want it done right?”  

So anyway, those are my thoughts for the day of February 13, 2014.  The sun is going to be shining bright here in an hour or so and it’s supposed to make it to the mid 80’s here in the deserts of Phoenix.  But alas, instead of being able to get out and enjoy the sun shine I will be stuck in my home office working away to meet the deadlines of a lot of businesses that need to get their taxes done.

Have a great day all and if you are in the Phoenix Metro area and need some accounting work done please check us out at http://www.mobileaccountantaz.com

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their butts and do anything to make it happen.”

Accounting still in shoeboxes and plastic bags? Accounting reasonably done. Phoenix Metro Valley Wide

If you are like some business owners you put your receipts and bank statements off to the side as you get them telling yourself “I’ll get to that tomorrow” (or next week, month) then all of a sudden here you are; getting ready to file your business taxes and those receipts and bank statements are all still sitting there untouched and unorganized.  Sound familiar?  Yeah I kinda of thought so.  

That’s where it’s crucial to have ongoing monthly accounting done, weekly even.  If you think you cannot afford monthly accounting, think again.  You really can’t afford NOT to have your accounting kept up to date.  First off if you have to make your own regular deposits for your taxes how can you possibly know how much income you have if you don’t have it all organized?  The simple truth is that you are just guessing at it.  Guessing is bad.  Yep repeat after me GUESSING IS BAD!  

The average small business client that I have can pay 300 – 600 a month in fees to me.  Think about those numbers for a second.  Even at the high end that’s a little over 7,000.00 for a year of accounting and financial well being.  If you hire anyone part time on your own payroll you will have to pay their employment taxes, medicare, social security, workers compensation insurance as well as provide them with a place to work.  That all adds up to far more than 7,000.00.  Hire my firm and you pay our business, no taxes, no insurance, and no overhead.  Best of all you don’t get bogged down with daily questions.  We keep all of the questions to a minimum and email once a week or month to clean up anything that we might be unsure of during the month.  You will still have a good bank balance, all of your Accounts Payable bills paid and up to date as well as a good picture of your Accounts Receivable and cash flow for budgeting purposes.

Need to finally get those receipts and bank statements organized?  No problem.  

 

Check out our website TODAY at www.mobileaccountantaz.com and make an appointment with a dependable and efficient group of accountants.  

Dreading tax season? Who doesn’t?

Yep it’s that time of year again folks.  April 15th will be here before you know it.  I don’t do personal or business tax returns but my business is that I get small to medium sized businesses ready with up to date, accurate and understandable financial reports.  I usually take a shoebox or paper bag and work all of the income and expenses up for the small to medium sized business owners that haven’t touched their accounting for the prior year.  If the clients have Quickbooks already, great, I clean it all up and make sure they have all of their transactions entered properly.  Refer back to an earlier blog I posted on some items that are helpful to get your accountant on the right track to get you to the point that you can walk in to your CPA or Tax Preparer’s office with confidence and let them work up your tax return,  Why have an accountant do that part of it?  Money of course.  If you take that same shoebox and bag of receipts into a CPA’s office you will get nailed with 100 an hour for simple data entry.  The CPA will hand the data entry job to a low level “bookkeeper” who they pay 10 an hour but still bill you for 100 or more per hour.  THEN you will also get charged for the full price of 1,000 or more to actually do the tax returns.  Are you adding all of that up on your calculator?  Kind of pricey huh?  The average small business has two business accounts, one for savings and one for checking, they also might have a credit card or two and / or a line of credit..  Loans on top of that list?  Yikes you are looking at a ton of hours spent just to enter and reconcile all of your transactions by hand.  Luckily for you, MobileAccountantAZ has the programs that will automate most of that work.  Yep I have a program that I purchased years ago that literally shaves hours off of data entry.  (Sorry can’t tell you what the program is since I own the program and it was developed especially for me – don’t want to give away any trade secrets right?) 🙂

Soooo by going with the staff of accountants at MobileAccountantAZ you will save the hours and hours of hand data entry, get accurate and dependable income and balance sheets at a fraction of the cost of the CPA.  When you go into your CPA’s office they will not be happy that you used an accountant at a fraction of their cost but that’s not your problem is it?  Nope, it’s called good business sense.

So think of MobileAccountantAZ when you are making the decision to finally get all of your accounting cleaned up or caught up

In the meantime here is a little light reading for you to check out; my blog showing what we will need (by no means is this list inclusive of everything needed, it is merely a general overview.  Every business is different in what will be needed)

https://mobileaccountantaz.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/a-quick-checklist-for-the-small-to-medium-business-owner/

Have a wonderful business day full of success and happiness ya hear?

 

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