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What is the Timeline For Monthly Accounting?

May 17, 2022 4:00:59 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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How quickly can you get your books in order? It might be faster than you think. A monthly accountant can help you find the right items to retrieve, close your books, and create monthly financial statements for you with a surprisingly fast turnaround time.

As your small business makes the transition to monthly accounting, you’re probably wondering about the timeline of receiving your financial statements each month.

Based on the clients that CSI Accounting & Payroll has worked with over the last 50+ years, here are some of the reasons why we think you may be asking these questions:

  • You’re being responsible about obligations to third parties, such as a bank that you have a large loan with, and you need to tell them when they can expect your monthly statements. 
  • You’re anxious because you didn’t know when you could expect to hear from your prior accountant. 
  • You’re wondering how quickly your back taxes can get done and you can start moving forward. 
  • You’re excited to get your statements each month so you can keep a closer eye on your finances. 
  • You’re just curious!

The small business owners who have fallen into these categories often want to know:

  • How long does it take to update my books to do my back taxes?
  • Moving forward, when do you need to have all of my information for each month?
  • Once CSI has all of my information for a month, how quickly can they close my books?
  • When can I expect to receive my financial statements and have my monthly meetings?

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Which Small Businesses Are Now Eligible to Apply For the ERC (Employee Retention Credit)?

May 16, 2022 10:45:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting, how to

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The ERC is a great COVID relief effort, so why aren't there more eligible small businesses applying? Long story short, the media was distracted by the initial excitement of other COVID relief efforts. Now that the stimulus checks and PPP loans seem to be through, where's the excitement for the Employee Retention Credit?

Although this benefit was cut on September 30, 2021, you may still be eligible to claim credits from 2020 to Q4 2021.

Perhaps one of the most important things mentioned in this article is how CSI Accounting & Payroll has helped ERC applicants in the past (and can help you as well!) - no hassles, no worries. We've worked with thousands of small businesses in our more than 50 years in operation, so we're familiar with various application processes and know how to regularly check for updates on benefits just like this one.

In this article, we also discuss:

  • What is the ERC?
  • How has the ERC expanded?
  • Are you eligible for the ERC?

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Will CSI Let Me Handle Some of My Own Accounting and Payroll Work?

May 12, 2022 4:29:31 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, how to

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When you’ve been handling your small business’s accounting and payroll internally for a while, there can be some hesitations when it comes to outsourcing. However, after the long hours grueling over complicated financial processes, you know it’s time to soften your grip and let a professional take over.

Even after you’ve decided you want to outsource, you may want to continue to handle some of the work yourself. This can be because you like things done a certain way and aren’t ready to give up full control, or maybe you’re wondering if there’s anything you can continue to do to cut your service fee.

While most of CSI’s clients are small enough businesses that they are unable to do certain tasks in-house, there are some exceptions. Out of our hundreds of clients, a few of them choose to do certain parts of the work internally for the reasons listed above: to maintain control and/or to save money. 

The beauty of it all is that even if you’re able to perform some tasks internally, you’re able to decide whether or not you want to do so.

When people bring up the question of whether or not they can do some of the work themselves, they often want to know:

  • What tasks can I do myself? 
  • Can doing anything internally lower my fee?
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Small Businesses and the Minnesota State Unemployment Tax Refund

May 10, 2022 1:12:05 PM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, how to

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Have you heard about the state unemployment tax bill that was just passed in Minnesota? (That’s the Trust Fund Replenishment bill, to be clear.) 

If you don’t work with CSI and your payroll provider hasn’t reached out yet, you probably have a lot of questions. Heck, maybe you still have questions even if you already talked with your payroll provider. The process of requesting a refund - or choosing to keep the credit in your account - can cause issues if you’re not familiar with your payroll provider’s processes for early payments and impounding taxes. 

CSI Accounting & Payroll has become very familiar with unemployment taxes over the last 50+ years. We show our clients how to do things themselves as much as possible, whereas many national providers don’t even educate their clients on how to log into their unemployment accounts. 

Small business owners whom we’ve talked to about the Trust Fund Replenishment bill so far wanted to know:

  • What is this law change?
  • Why was this law changed?
  • How does this affect me?
  • What do I need to do now?
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Online Accounting Services vs. Local Accounting Firms

May 5, 2022 4:15:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting

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If you've been doing your own small business accounting for a while, do you ever worry that you're missing something or aren't capturing all of your deductions?

Your expertise is in running your business, so you know when it's time to place your trust in an accountant. But do you know the differences between using an online accounting service or a local accounting firm?

When you first consider outsourcing accounting, you'll see that big-name online services do a lot of advertising. We tend to trust names we recognize, so lots of business owners use big-name services because they assume one with a larger customer base must have better customer service or is more affordable. This is not necessarily true. If you trust other local vendors to help with your operations, why not trust a local accounting firm?

CSI Accounting & Payroll is an example of a local accounting firm. While we've been around for over 50 years and online accounting services are relatively new, we've already heard quite a bit about our differences that matter the most to our clients and to prospective clients who decided to stick with online options.

There are several options, but knowing the differences is key to determining what's best for your business.

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Can a Small Business Payroll Service Offer Retirement Plans?

May 3, 2022 2:41:46 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll, small business operations, how to

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We’re all trying to retire. It doesn’t matter how much you love your job or feel a responsibility to run your business; everybody reaches the point when it’s time to place more value in the little things and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Retirement plans and payroll services go hand-in-hand. When you’re searching for a payroll service, a big question that you should ask yourself is if they’re able to manage your employees’ existing plans

Maybe if you’re a newer small business, you’re looking for a payroll provider who can offer your employees retirement plans, but you’re concerned about what it may cost you - in time and money. Is it even possible for a small business to provide this kind of employee benefit?

While this article is specific to CSI Accounting & Payroll, you will find that many payroll providers follow similar processes with managing your retirement plans. However, the specific offerings through our 401(k) partner are not consistently found through other payroll solutions. Keep reading to learn:

  • If a payroll service can maintain your existing retirement plans
  • If it’s worth it for small businesses to offer retirement plans
  • If payroll services offer their own retirement plans

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How to Change Accountants

Apr 27, 2022 9:22:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting

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Do you ever wonder if there's an accounting firm that's a better match for your small business than your current one? Chances are, there probably is. If you're considering switching, then you already have enough of a reason to take the next step - as scary as that seems.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has talked to thousands of small business clients over the past several decades. When new clients express their concerns with their prior accounting firms, they're usually mentioning communication issues - and the surprises, confusion, and frustration that they cause.

Small business owners who want to know more about how to change accounting firms asked us:

  • How do I feel confident in my decision to change accountants?
  • What steps do I take to change accounting firms?

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Small Business Back Taxes Help: Timeline and Process

Apr 26, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting, problem, how to

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Nobody likes to fall behind - not on the dishes filling up the kitchen sink, not on the birthday present that’s going to arrive late, and certainly not on your small business’s accounting. We don’t blame you for wanting to know how long it will take an accountant to do your back taxes. 

If you lost track of your accounting for a while and are now taking the right steps to fix it (such as partnering with a monthly accounting service), you may feel the pressure of what feels like a race against the IRS. Give yourself a pat on the back for your effort, then take a deep breath as you find the answers you’ve been looking for here.

The amount of time and process of working on your back taxes varies by:

  • The amount of work that needs to be made up
  • The outside variables that your accountant is also dealing with
  • Who you’re working with

The following information is specific to CSI Accounting & Payroll but can be used as an example when you’re searching for an accounting service that is a good match for you. Once you’ve decided to move ahead with monthly accounting, it’s our goal at CSI to make your processes and estimated timelines as clear to you as possible. For some clients, the first step is getting your back taxes taken care of. 

When you pass the torch to us by fetching the information we need, you’re also letting go of the overwhelming sensation that you’ve been feeling for a while. CSI has been handling small businesses’ back taxes for over 50 years, and we’ve seen clients with several years’ worth of work to correct. We know the best practices to resolve the issues you’re facing.

Other small business owners who want CSI to get their back taxes done want to know more about:

  • What you need to do to help us get started
  • What the process for doing back taxes looks like
  • How long it will take us to do your back taxes
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What Are the Benefits of Tax Projections?

Apr 21, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes

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Do you hear from your annual tax accountant at all outside of tax season? Do they check in with you or work on tax planning with you? If not, then you likely don't have any sort of tax projection in place. This means that you have no idea what your tax season is going to look like ahead of time. This is an especially big deal if you've just received a big tax bill that your accountant didn't properly warn you about.

Tax projection is not required, of course, but if you had the opportunity to look into a crystal ball, wouldn't you take it? At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've worked with our small business clients year-round for over 50 years to ensure their taxes go off without a hitch.

Other small business owners who asked us about tax planning and tax projections wanted to know:

  • What is tax planning?
  • What are tax projections?
  • When should you get a tax projection?
  • What does a tax projection do?

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Should My Small Business Be a Corporation or an LLC?

Apr 19, 2022 10:00:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business operations

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When you own a small business, you want to make sure it’s structured and categorized correctly for legal and tax purposes. You probably hear suggestions for your business all the time from unreliable sources, and you may be picking up keywords and are unsure of what they mean or if they apply to you. This is especially true with business entity types and legal structures.

In CSI Accounting & Payroll’s more than 50 years of meeting with small business owners like yourself, we’ve been asked more than a handful of times if a small business should be an LLC or a corporation. Here’s how we address that question:

  • What is a corporation?
  • What is an LLC?
  • What is the difference between a business entity and a legal formation?
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