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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

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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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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What to Do When Your Business Gets an IRS Letter

Apr 15, 2022 7:45:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting

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As a small business owner, you may be used to opening your mailbox and seeing an envelope from the IRS. It’s not always an indication of something wrong or demanding immediate action. However, if that letter is filled with words like “seize” or “levy,” it’s more than enough to raise some red flags. You may even worry that you’ll go to jail. (Don’t worry; that’s pretty unlikely!)

Warning letters have different meanings for small businesses than they do for individuals. You worked hard to build your business from the ground up, and it’s a big fear that you may have to close it. Plus, if you’ve been working with an accountant or payroll specialist, having so much on the line because of your accounting or payroll can feel like a betrayal of your trust.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, it’s not uncommon for us to get letters from the IRS. After all, we’ve been working with small businesses for over 50 years. Strong language in letters from the IRS isn’t always a cause for alarm and can just be used to encourage a quick correction of an issue. Everything will be alright; we know what to do.

Other small business owners who have received alarming letters from the IRS want to know:

  • Why they are receiving an IRS letter
  • What it would take for them to go to jail
  • How to get the letter’s issue resolved
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National Payroll Providers vs. Local Payroll Firms

Apr 12, 2022 2:05:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll

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When you outsource your small business payroll, do you know the differences between using a national provider with a well-known name versus a local provider with a smaller reputation?

Lots of small business owners outsource their payroll to national payroll providers by default because they assume one with a larger customer base must have better customer service or is more affordable than smaller payroll providers. This is not necessarily true at all. If you trust other local vendors to help with your operations, why not trust a local payroll provider to do the same?

CSI Accounting & Payroll is an example of a local payroll firm. In our more than 50 years of service to small business owners, we've heard a lot about the differences between national and local payroll providers that matter the most to our clients and prospective clients who decided to stick with the big guys. There are different options out there, but knowing the differences is key to determining the best one for your business.

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The Benefits of Having Accounting & Payroll Services Under One Roof

Apr 10, 2022 1:15:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting

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Who likes waiting on the phone to pass information back and forth between your accounting and payroll providers - or, even worse, for their communication issues to get resolved? Absolutely nobody. And you really don't have time for that when you run a small business.

If you're looking for accounting or payroll services, it's a good idea to bridge the gap by bundling with the same provider. CSI Accounting & Payroll offers the best of both worlds when it comes to financial services by allowing just that. You don't need to form several surface-level relationships with customer service representatives; you can have one dedicated payroll specialist and one dedicated accountant who work under the same roof.

This post touches on the benefits of bundling accounting and payroll under normal circumstances, as well as how bundling helped our clients with navigating COVID wages, loans and credits, and forgiveness when it mattered most.

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What Services Are Included in a Small Business Payroll Fee?

Apr 1, 2022 8:30:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll

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When you’re signing a payroll service agreement for your small business, do you know about everything that’s included in your fee? Different payroll providers have different ideas of what “payroll services” are, so just knowing the price of your service doesn’t mean you know the value it provides you. 

For a basic payroll package, you will want to have the fees for necessities included, with the fees for optional benefits added only at your request. You don’t want to pay for services that you’re not using, but you also don’t want to overly limit the possible service add-ons either. It’s much simpler to use multiple services from one quality provider than to have to manage multiple business relationships. You have enough on your plate already!

At CSI, payroll has meant more to us over the last couple of decades than just paying your employees. Consider things like timekeeping, PTO tracking, HR services, payroll taxes, and many other things that go beyond a paycheck. That brings us to the question, “Which services are included in a payroll fee, and which services are considered add-ons?” While the answers in this article are specific to what CSI charges, other payroll providers should have similar fee structures. 

Other small business owners like you often want to know:

  • What services are included in CSI’s payroll fee
  • Which additional services our average client uses
  • The differences between what we offer and what large payroll providers offer
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