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Can an Accountant Help Start a Small Business?

Nov 28, 2022 1:21:19 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business payroll, small business accounting

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As a new or aspiring small business owner, it can be overwhelming trying to get all of the behind-the-scenes pieces together. When you have questions, it’s nice to have a professional to help you. Is an accountant the advisor you’re looking for?

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we have more than 50 years of experience in advising new businesses. Here, we address the questions you should ask your accountant when starting a small business, and we take a deeper look at some of the things an accountant may be able to help you with, including:

  • Setting up a chart of accounts
  • Finding the right accounting software
  • Selecting the best entity structure
  • Establishing payroll needs
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5 Financial Reasons Businesses Fail

Nov 25, 2022 9:32:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting, problem

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Scary statistics: Forbes says 80% of entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates 60% of new businesses will flop within the first five years.

If you look up reasons for why so many businesses fail, poor financial management is always listed as a top contributing factor - but what does that even mean?

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've worked with small businesses for more than 50 years. That means we know how you can improve your odds of long-term business survival: avoid these five financial practices that cause businesses to fail:

  1. Failing to budget
  2. Poor bookkeeping and cash flow management
  3. Underfunding
  4. Insufficient advertising
  5. Failing to seek professional advice

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Accounting and Payroll Case Study: Sports Page Bar & Grill

Nov 23, 2022 10:30:52 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll, small business accounting

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Have you heard of Sports Page Bar & Grill in Bloomington, Minnesota? According to the owner, Becky Rademacher, “It’s just a local sports bar. You know - greasy burgers, cold beer, nothing too fancy.”

Becky’s story is a little different from other clients’. She didn’t struggle with other accounting or payroll providers, but she wanted to share the story of how CSI Accounting & Payroll helped her business by:

  • Managing its accounting and payroll
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Obtaining the COVID relief funds that would prove to be critical to its survival
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Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll for Your Small Business

Nov 21, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business payroll, small business operations

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If you manage your small business's payroll in-house, you're probably one of the many payroll software users out there. While the software offers the necessary features to comply with payroll regulations, it can fall short because it lacks the intuition that only a trained payroll specialist can provide. In fact, there are many downsides to doing your own payroll.

So what's the alternative? Outsourcing your payroll!

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've worked with small businesses for more than 50 years. For the first few decades, we only handled small business accounting needs, but due to popular demand, we opened our payroll department in the 2000s. We fully understand that there are many benefits of outsourcing small business payroll, such as:

  • Better compliance and accuracy
  • Time saved
  • More cost-effective

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Why Doing Your Own Payroll is a Huge Mistake

Nov 16, 2022 7:02:00 AM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business payroll, small business accounting, small business operations

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What makes you want to do your own payroll? If your answer is along the lines of, “I want to save money,” you may see avoiding expenses as a safer option than making an investment. This is not true for every situation. While we can admit that some situations may benefit from doing payroll in-house, for many small businesses, it's a mistake.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we’ve spoken with thousands of small business owners over the past several decades, so we know what commonly drives people to want to do their own payroll. However, when you do your own payroll, you need to consider the following hazards:

  • Difficult-to-use software
  • Ongoing software fees and other expenses
  • Extra time required
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When Do Payroll Funds Get Taken Out of a Small Business’s Bank Account?

Nov 14, 2022 1:22:37 PM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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Direct deposit is an expected form of payment now. It means your employees can skip running to the bank each pay date, and they can easily access online paystubs. It also accommodates fully remote employees and helps you cut down on paper, ink, and delivery fees. However, it can feel less tangible of a concept to some employers than a paper check does.

When you own a small business, you want to make sure your employees get paid on time. This means you need to know how much money to have in the correct account by a certain time. If your payroll service doesn’t disclose this information clearly, you can end up with additional fees or, worse yet, unpaid and unhappy employees.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we’ve worked with thousands of small business owners over the past few decades. Often, these owners want to know:

  • When do I need to report my payroll information?
  • When does my payroll specialist process and collect my direct deposit funds?
  • When does my payroll specialist collect my payroll taxes?
  • How much is payroll tax?
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3 Times When You Need to Contact Your Accountant

Nov 13, 2022 8:04:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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If you're like most small business owners, you have an accountant that you meet with to get your annual taxes done. Because you don't meet regularly outside of that time, you hesitate to reach out before tax season. Your accountant seems very busy and may even charge by the minute if you call them, so you want to ensure that you're only reaching out when necessary.

Accountants can help you beyond just filing annual taxes, and you should consider them a financial partner. Reaching out for help prior to a business decision – even a small one – can result in tax savings, cost cutting, and increased profitability.

Because of this, if you don't talk to your accountant more than once a year, you're not getting enough value out of them.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we believe in the power of monthly accounting. After all, we've helped thousands of small business owners achieve their goals by implementing this year-round method. Outside of tax season, here are three times when you should reach out to your accountant.

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3 Ways an Accountant Can Help You Secure a Small Business Loan

Nov 9, 2022 4:56:00 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business taxes, small business accounting, small business operations

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Many small businesses take on loans to purchase a large piece of equipment, obtain another business, and even just to get cash flow money so they can expand. It can be a daunting process. Even if you're prepared to show forecasts and solid research to support your loan application, that won’t always be enough to guarantee success. What do you do then?

When you're looking for a small business loan, you don’t have to go into it alone. Turn to your accountant to help you secure a small business loan! Here are the steps an accountant can help with:

  • Loan planning
  • Preparing and gathering financial data
  • Creating an ideal presentation

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've helped many of our clients obtain loans over the past 50+ years. Do you know what your accountant can do for you? Here are three steps an accountant can take to help you secure a small business loan.

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Who is a Bad Fit to Work With CSI?

Oct 26, 2022 10:33:16 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting, small business operations

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When you’re searching for an accounting or payroll service for your small business, you don’t have the time to sit through consultations from services that aren’t a good fit for your business. After all, isn’t wanting more time back in your day a big reason why you wanted to outsource in the first place?

On that same note, CSI Accounting & Payroll consultants would also love to get some time back instead of meeting with small business owners who aren’t a good fit for our services. We’re not going to be a perfect match with everybody! Continue reading to learn about the technical components and values that it takes for us to be a bad match.

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Detect and Prevent This Common Payroll Fraud Scheme

Oct 13, 2022 10:36:42 AM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business payroll, problem

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Criminals have developed many believable scams over the past few years. Chances are, you even know somebody who’s fallen victim to one. It can happen to anyone.

Even if you’ve heard about certain payroll schemes, it’s still possible to fall for them if you’re busy running a business! While speed is valued in work, jumping into tasks quickly means that sometimes red flags are missed.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we have worked with small businesses for more than 50 years. Because of this, we know what to look out for. 

There are plenty of ways that you can be taken advantage of internally (by your own staff), but we’re going to focus on the following details of a common external scheme called “payroll diversion.”

  • What are payroll fraud and payroll diversion?
  • How can I detect payroll fraud?
  • How do I prevent payroll fraud?
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