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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


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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Top 3 Small Business Accounting Mistakes

Jun 20, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business taxes, small business accounting, problem


What makes you want to DIY your business’s accounting? There are a few reasons why some small business owners want to go with a more affordable option. However, what you pay for is what you get – and cheap accounting can often result in record inaccuracies, a short-term focus, and fear of change. Don’t even get us started on missed opportunities!

Working with small businesses in Minneapolis and beyond for more than 50 years, we’ve seen our fair share of accounting mistakes by owners and operators. Most of these small business accounting mistakes are simple to correct, but even easier to avoid (once you’re aware of them).

Cut out mistakes before they happen! This article touches on the top three accounting mistakes made by small businesses, along with a bonus mistake to avoid at the end.

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How to Reduce Taxes For Small Business

Jun 10, 2022 7:00:00 AM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, how to


Who likes to owe money back in taxes? At face level, the answer is nobody. As you start your journey as a small business owner, you want to hold onto as much revenue as possible. Taxes can seem like an abyss of the unknown - or even the enemy.

However, owing business taxes can be indicative of some good things. The real obstacle is figuring out how to strategically minimize what you owe over time. Consider how a monthly accountant can help reduce your long-term tax liability.

For over 50 years, CSI Accounting & Payroll has worked with small business owners to close books, create financial statements, and offer expert advice each month to minimize what is owed in taxes - even if it means paying a little more this year for the sake of saving a lot more next year.

Other business owners who talked to us about tax strategy wanted to know:

  • How can owing taxes be a good thing?
  • How can I pay more this year to save more next year?
  • How can a monthly accountant help me reach my tax goals?

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How to Amend a Business Tax Return

Jun 9, 2022 10:12:24 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business accounting, problem, how to


Hold on. You just got your business’s tax return, and something doesn’t look right. Is the amount not what you were expecting… like, at all? In extreme situations, this is a punch to the gut. How do you right this wrong? Look into getting your tax return amended.

If you work with an accountant, they should have the expertise to help you. At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we’ve been working with small business taxes for over 50 years. We know exactly how to amend your tax return and would love to assist you, even if you were not previously a client of ours!

Other small business owners who have asked us to amend their tax returns wanted to know:

  • What are the reasons why someone would want a business tax return amended?
  • What is the process of amending a business tax return?
  • How long does it take to amend a business tax return?
  • How much does it cost to get a business tax return amended?

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How to Get Small Business Employee Benefits

Jun 5, 2022 9:57:35 PM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business operations, how to


If you were an employee of your business, ranging from entry-level to management, would things like paying for health insurance or saving for retirement be achievable with your pay alone? If not, offering benefits is a great place to start improving your employees’ quality of life.

Whether you’re a new business looking to offer employee benefits off the bat or you’ve been around and have just gotten to a place where you’re comfortable exploring this option, you might still feel a little lost with all of the options out there.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has talked to thousands of small business owners over the past 50 years, and many of them wanted to know:

  • What are employee benefits?
  • Why should a small business offer benefits?
  • How do I start offering my employees benefits?

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How Do I Get a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premium Quote?

May 31, 2022 9:30:00 AM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business payroll, small business operations, how to


What does workers’ compensation insurance have in common with car insurance? Since most states require small businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance (just like car insurance), there are also similarities in finding quotes - meaning you’re generally looking for the lowest price. 

If you’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance, it might be your first time, and you’re confused about how to get started or nervous about what it might cost - or you already have it, but you’re unhappy with the cost or processes of your current carrier.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has been working with small businesses for over 50 years, so we know how many owners feel when they’re looking for workers’ compensation insurance. Our insurance partner takes the weight off your shoulders by finding you the best quote from a range of carriers.

Other small business owners whom we talked to wanted to know:

  • How do I get a quote?
  • What details do I need to provide to get a quote?
  • How do I get matched with the best quote for me?

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Can Payroll Services Help With Workers’ Compensation Audits?

May 30, 2022 9:45:00 AM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business payroll


Have you noticed that the more often you do something, the more naturally it comes to you? You remember to get it done in that small time frame, and you remember exactly how to do it. This isn’t quite true with things that you don’t have to do as often.

Plenty of people set aside an afternoon each week to get caught up on their cleaning. However, if you didn’t get reminders in the mail to renew your driver’s license every few years, would you remember to do that?

If your small business is going through a workers’ compensation audit, you might be feeling a bit stressed out. These audits only happen once a year, so it can be easy to forget some of the steps or to let the due date sneak up on you. There comes a time when you’ll wonder if a payroll service can help.

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we’ve been meeting with small business owners for over 50 years. We know that having one less thing to worry about each year is a bigger deal than it seems. 

Other small business owners who have asked us about workers’ compensation audits wanted to know more about:

  • What is a workers’ compensation audit?
  • Why do these audits happen?
  • What do you do when you’re going through one?
  • How can a payroll service help you through one?

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What Happens When a Small Business Doesn’t File Taxes?

May 28, 2022 3:00:00 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business accounting


Have you ever saved the most important thing on your to-do list for last? You know it’s probably not the best plan of action, and yet here you are, hitting that deadline like a brick wall with nothing to show for it. You’d be surprised at how often this happens with small business taxes. 

There are lots of moving parts when it comes to running a business, and when you’re facing the extra challenges that tax season throws at you, due dates can sneak up on you. Maybe you’re trying to contact a too-busy accountant or worrying you couldn’t pay any taxes you might owe.

In CSI’s more than 50 years of working with small business owners, we’ve seen this plenty of times. We know that if you’re doing research on what happens if you didn’t pay your taxes, this is probably the first time it’s happened to you. Take a deep breath. We’ve got this.

Let’s take a deeper look into:

  • What the IRS does when you don’t file
  • How an accountant can help you fix things
  • How to avoid not filing your taxes in the future

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What Happens in Your First Monthly Accounting Meeting

May 26, 2022 7:45:00 AM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business accounting


So you've signed up for your first monthly accounting meeting. You have all of your papers in place, and there's a feeling of relief or maybe even excitement that you're finally going to get your books in order and taxes minimized! More than anything, addressing your questions is top of mind.

Depending on which level of service is offered by the provider you choose, your first meetings with an accountant may be very different. Some might lead right into a basic Q&A session, while others take a hands-on consultative approach that focuses more on strategy. 

At CSI, we’ve been having onboarding meetings for over 50 years. Because of the strategy involved, we call them Initial Strategy Sessions (ISS). These meetings are more than just filling out paperwork; they are conversations outlining:

  • Your situation and goals
  • The information we need from you
  • What we can help you achieve

Here’s a walkthrough of the tentative agenda for ISS meetings, as well as a detailed look at how we make the list of items we need from you each month moving forward.

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Which Accounting Method Am I Using?

May 25, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business accounting


Different people have different talents. Even if your skills with numbers allow you to do your business’s accounting, you may not have as great of strength in words. How are you supposed to know the name of the method you’re using?

Maybe you work with an accountant who’s never mentioned which method they use - and why would they? You don’t need to know this as their continuing client, and they want to keep your business.

If you don’t know the terminology behind what’s being done in your books, you’ll be a deer in headlights when a new accountant asks which accounting method you’ve been using. Luckily, there are clear signs to tell whether you use cash basis or accrual accounting.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has been taking on small business owners’ accounting for over 50 years. During that time, we’ve come to recognize that most owners don’t know which accounting method they use, even if they’re the ones doing the accounting for their business.

Here’s what other business owners who didn’t know their accounting method wanted to know:

  • What is cash basis accounting?
  • How can I tell if I use cash basis accounting?
  • What is accrual accounting?
  • How can I tell if I use accrual accounting?

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