If you surveyed business owners for their feelings about accounting, you’ll likely get a mixed bag of responses. While some embrace the financial world and use it as a learning tool, others dread it and think of it as a necessary evil, and then there are those who are just too terrified to check on their finances altogether. Love it or hate it, your business can’t live, let alone thrive, without a good accounting backbone so it’s important to put a solid system in place that you can trust.
Even before launch day one thing is certain: It costs money to start and run a business. We all intuitively know this to be true because we know that simply existing in the world (as a business or individual) comes with expenses. It is one of the biggest barriers many undercover entrepreneurs see between their current lives and their dreams. And while we all know the benefits of getting as much as bang for our buck as possible, even the smallest startups with little to no overhead and minimal cash burn must spend money to grow or stay afloat.
Just like your first steps into #adulting can be financially wobbly, so can the first year (or few years) running your own business. You might have the wisest, most experienced mentors and investors in your court, but there are going to be things that nobody can prepare you to face. Like everyone else, even the most seasoned entrepreneurial vets are limited to their own experiences and can only know so much about what the future holds for your particular startup.
We’ve all had a vision so clear and perfect we can almost feel the tug of the finish line ribbon, only to have our expectations fall into a million pieces for us to pick up. To Jessica Mah, that vision was to be an entrepreneur. She never saw herself working among the masses so leading a company is something she always knew she would do. But that certainly didn’t end up the way she expected at 8, 11, 19, or 21 years old…
When you’re a writer, sometimes you have writer’s block. In fact, if you’ve ever written an essay back when you were in school, you might be familiar with the concept. And while some editors will graciously give you an extension, most are sticklers for timely, well-written content. However, when it comes to filing taxes, even the most notoriously fanatical disciplinarians, the Internal Revenue Service, realizes that excellence takes time.
Like most of today’s business owners, you probably don’t spend a lot of time sifting through the IRS’s website for tax-saving tips. But chances are, unless you're already a CPA, you still have a lot to learn about saving your business money on taxes.
Fact: Every living, breathing adult citizen or resident of the United States of America is familiar with the concept of taxes. This also includes U.S. organizations who file and pay taxes each year and are required to follow business tax laws.
Behind those businesses, companies, nonprofits, etc. are owners, partners, and founders who find themselves juggling both business and personal tax codes. Needless to say, this can get confusing. Every business is different and every business owner has their own unique situation, so understanding what tax responsibilities and opportunities do or do not apply to you as a taxpaying business owner is not always easy to decipher—especially not on the IRS’s website.
That’s where inDinero and Trinet decided to put their heads—and Twitter followers—together! Our two organizations are dedicated to helping business owners run companies with healthy employees and happy bank accounts. So, earlier in February both teams put their Twitter handles and LinkedIn profiles to work to see what burning questions small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have about tax season.
Pop quiz! Do you know if your business is on track to hit its financial goals for the year?
Sorry to put you on the spot like that and don’t let it make you sweat. Truth be told, an estimated 90 percent of small businesses are unable to produce dependable financial statements when prompted. And it’s probably safe to assume that even if they could access accurate finances, most small teams wouldn’t know how to turn those numbers into business insights to put into action.
If you are a successful entrepreneur, you are probably (hopefully!) already contributing to a 401(k) plan. For the 2016 tax year, the 401(k) salary deferral limit for participants under age 50 is $18,000. While your deferrals may be allocated to traditional (pre-tax) 401(k) and/or after-tax Roth 401(k) accounts, if you are in a high marginal federal income tax bracket, you likely favor traditional 401(k) contributions.
At the same time, you may have also heard or read about the merits of having both tax-deferred and tax-free Roth savings to draw from in retirement. You might like to be able to make an additional contribution to a self-directed Roth IRA, but, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) your income is above the IRS eligibility limits [see Table 1]. So you are out of luck, right? Not necessarily.
If you let it sneak up on you, sales tax can be one of the most difficult and confusing administrative aspects of running an eCommerce business. But once you get the hang of it, handling sales tax is just like any other administrative task. This post will take you through the fundamentals of sales tax to help you get going.
One of the most common problems we see from startup founders that are first moving off from DIY accounting is a wide range of “personal transactions” being made with the business accounts. This is known as “commingling your books” and is a huge no-no as well as one of the most common ways businesses find themselves on the barrel end of an IRS or state audit.