Brian Paulson

Brian Paulson
Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.

Recent Posts

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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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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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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5 Bookkeeping Tips For Small Businesses

Sep 21, 2022 10:34:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business bookkeeping, small business operations

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When you own a small business, one of the most important things you need - timely, accurate financial accounting records - tends to fall to the back burner while many of your other responsibilities take precedence. How can you possibly expect to juggle it all efficiently?

As if things weren't overwhelming enough already, at tax time, your annual tax accountant tells you how much you owe. Often, you're not prepared to hear this number - and if you filed for an extension, the timeframe between finding how much you owe and the time the money is due is greatly reduced. When the profits from your small business are such an important part of your life, it's helpful for you to be able to anticipate your tax liability.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has worked with thousands of small businesses over several decades, so we know that it is essential that your bookkeeping and accounting services are organized, up-to-date, and handled on a monthly basis. This will avoid tax surprises and ensure that you always know where your business is and where it is going financially.

Follow these five tips to help increase your efficiency and organization - and hopefully relieve a bit of stress, too.

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How an Accountant Can Help Your Salon

Sep 11, 2022 1:30:00 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting, salons

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What makes a salon successful? It requires more than pampering your guests. Amongst other things, it takes careful planning, proper financial guidance, employee management, and tax-saving strategies to ensure profitability.

If you've reached the point where you're considering working with an accountant (not just an annual tax preparer) on a consistent basis, it's a good indicator that you're juggling more than you'd like to - and maybe even falling behind.

However looking to outsource with a monthly accountant can also be a good thing - your salon may be growing! With growth comes more accounting activity, and with more accounting activity comes less time to operate your salon in other areas.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've worked with salons since the 1960s. Simply put, that means we know all of the reasons why you might want to outsource - and, therefore, all of the ways a monthly accountant can help relieve some stress and set you up for success.

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3 Ways Accounting and Payroll Services Save You Time and Money

Sep 9, 2022 8:15:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business payroll, small business accounting

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As a small business owner, you should be consistently looking for ways to improve operations, increase profits, and reduce unnecessary spending. At first, this can look like juggling several tasks yourself or passing some off to an in-house administrative employee. Oftentimes, bookkeeping is one of these tasks.

While you certainly can do your own accounting, there comes a time when it starts to make more sense to hire accounting and payroll services.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've been helping small business owners outsource for more than 50 years. That means we have the expertise to explain three of the top ways that accounting and payroll services can help save you time and money.

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Best Payroll Services For Small Business Minneapolis

Aug 22, 2022 3:08:35 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business payroll

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You own a small business in the Twin Cities area, and you’ve been swamped with handling your payroll yourself on top of everything else that you do - or you’ve gone through the same experience that so many others have with big-name national payroll services.

What’s the logical next step? Find a reputable, local payroll provider to help you get back on your feet.

While CSI Accounting & Payroll works with small businesses across the continental United States, we haven’t forgotten the good folks at home in the Twin Cities area. 

We also understand that you will want to consider all of your options. We actually encourage it! We know that we’re not the right fit for everyone. The following providers offer a range of prices and service levels, and it’s important to do your research to find the best fit for you.

Prospective clients will often ask us who our competitors are so they can do their research, and that’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top six small business payroll providers in the Twin Cities area. To remain neutral, CSI Accounting & Payroll is excluded from this list.

Keep reading to learn more about the following firms:

  • Business Cents
  • Dorsey Enterprises
  • Payroll Direct
  • Payroll Post
  • Press Gold Group
  • Spruce Valley Payroll and Services

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Best Accounting Services For Small Business Minneapolis

Aug 11, 2022 1:25:26 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting

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You own a small business in the Twin Cities area, and you’ve been swamped trying to handle your accounting in-house - or you’ve gone through the same experience that so many others have with online accounting services

What’s the logical next step? Find a reputable, local accounting service to help you get back on your feet.

While CSI Accounting & Payroll works with small businesses across the continental United States, we haven’t forgotten the good folks at home in the Twin Cities area. We also understand that you will want to consider all of your options. We actually encourage it! We know that we’re not the right fit for everyone. The following firms offer a range of prices and service levels, and it’s important to do your research to find the best fit for you.

Prospective clients will often ask us who our competitors are so they can do their research, and that’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top six small business accounting firms in the Twin Cities area. To remain neutral, CSI Accounting & Payroll is excluded from this list. Keep reading to learn more about the following firms:

  • John A. Knutson & Co., PLLP
  • Myslajek Kemp & Spencer, Ltd.
  • OWL Bookkeeping & CFO Services
  • Siddiqui & Basnet LLC
  • Sundberg Tax & Consulting
  • Vetscher & Associates, LLC

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Best Accounting and Payroll Services For Small Business Minneapolis

Jul 21, 2022 3:59:38 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business payroll, small business accounting

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You own a small business in the Twin Cities area, and you’ve been swamped handling your accounting and payroll yourself - or you’ve gone through the same experience that so many others have with big-name national payroll services and online accounting services

What’s the logical next step? Find a reputable, local accounting and payroll provider to help you get back on your feet.

While CSI Accounting & Payroll works with small businesses across the continental United States, we haven’t forgotten the good folks at home in the Twin Cities area. 

We also understand that local business owners will want to consider all of their options. We actually encourage it! We know that we’re not the right fit for everyone. The following firms offer a range of prices and service levels, and it’s important to do your research to find the best fit for you.

Prospective clients will often ask us who our competitors are so they can do their research, and that’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top five small business accounting and payroll firms in the Twin Cities area. To remain neutral, CSI Accounting & Payroll is excluded from this list.

Keep reading to learn more about the following firms:

  • BerganKDV
  • Corneliuson & Associates
  • Haworth & Company
  • Padgett Business Services
  • Prudent Accountants

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