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CSI Accounting Staff

CSI Accounting Staff
This article was composed by a member of our staff who interviewed our experts to get the facts straight. Any uncited information found here came straight from a knowledgeable accountant or payroll specialist.

Recent Posts

How to Close Your Books (the Right Way)

Sep 27, 2022 12:44:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting, how to

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If you own a small business, you probably don't have a very high-level knowledge of accounting - but why would you? When you hear "closing out your books," you might not know everything that entails.

Closing your books is a necessary part of preparing to file your taxes, and it’s important to make sure that transactions are recorded in the right place at the end of each year. For this reason, you need to close your books at least once a year. However, most businesses close out their books every month.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has handled accounting for small businesses for more than 50 years, but we believe that owners should have access to bookkeeping details that can help their business whether they come on board as a client or not.

Here, we help you learn more about the advantages of a monthly routine and the four steps it takes to close your books each month.

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Are Remote Workers The Answer?

Sep 13, 2022 10:59:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business operations

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With the rise of remote and hybrid work over the past few years, some excitement - and confusion - has grown around the idea.

Remote work was originally thought of as only possible for large businesses or the self-employed, one-man show. Now, even some small and medium-sized business owners have begun to adopt this work style if it's possible for their industry.

As a business owner, you may have questions about remote and hybrid work. CSI Accounting & Payroll supports many small and medium-sized businesses with this work style, so we're familiar with the answers to these commonly-asked questions:

  • Will having remote employees cost more?
  • What are the benefits and downsides of remote employees?
  • How are remote workers taxed?
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5 Bookkeeping Tips for Your Salon or Spa

Sep 10, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in salons

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Owning a salon or spa comes with handling multiple responsibilities, including (but not limited to!) servicing your clients, managing your employees, and making your business grow. However, 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.

If you're like many small business owners, your spa or salon (whether it be a hair, nail, tanning, or beauty salon) is a primary source of income. When these profits are such an important part of your life, it's helpful for you to be able to anticipate your tax liability.

For more than 50 years, CSI Accounting & Payroll has worked with salons and spas, 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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Auto Repair Shops: Managing Insurance Short Pays

Jul 8, 2022 11:07:44 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business accounting, automotive repair shops, problem, how to

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As an auto repair shop owner, do you ever run into issues with not receiving full payment for some jobs?

Short pays, when applied to the auto repair industry, are typically referring to when a client’s insurance pays a certain amount for warranty work that you charge more for. Because of this, the invoice is only partially covered. What do you do then?

Some people suggest balance billing, meaning that you bill your client for the difference between your charge and their insurance’s covered amount. However, after more than 50 years of working with auto repair shops, the experts at CSI Accounting & Payroll don’t advise balance billing, and we don’t know of anyone who does this.

In this article, we cover the route that we suggest to tackling short pays - without balance billing.

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Don't Delay Compliance With Sick & Safe Time Requirements

Jun 24, 2022 10:14:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll, small business operations

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Are you aware of the Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance? If you’re a business that’s located in or that has employees working in the Minneapolis or St. Paul city limits, this directly applies to you – and there are consequences if you don’t comply. 

(If you’re located elsewhere, there are now many places across the U.S. on a local or state level with similar requirements. Please consult your local or state government’s website to see your specific laws.)

CSI Accounting & Payroll has monitored laws that affect small businesses for over 50 years, and we help our clients stay on top of them. We know that you don’t need to know the nitty gritty details, but here’s what you do need to know about sick and safe time:

  • What is earned sick and safe time?
  • Does sick and safe time apply to you, and what do you need to do? How can your employees use it?
  • Are there still warnings for being out of compliance for sick and safe time?
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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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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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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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