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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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Why a Payroll Service is a Great Option for Small Business

Mar 30, 2022 1:29:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll

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Aren't you tired? Running a small business usually means that you're wearing more hats than the average person. When you find yourself putting in extra time to work through payroll, payroll taxes, and all associated add-on features, it can feel like there aren't enough hours in a day.

Outsourcing payroll is often one of the first things business owners do to get back on track. You may even be starting your business and want to get payroll handed off to someone else right away.

There comes a time for every small business when outsourcing certain tasks becomes the right decision. However, coming to that conclusion is often difficult for owners who are used to taking on everything themselves. In CSI's more than 50 years of working with small businesses, we've seen time and time again that once an owner outsources a service like payroll, they never want to bring it back in-house again.

Learn more about why outsourcing payroll is a great benefit for small businesses, as well as how to choose the best payroll service for you.

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How to Automate Payroll for Small Business

Mar 24, 2022 11:15:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business payroll

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Time is extremely precious – and putting in extra hours after a full workday to run payroll software can take its toll, especially if you’re still dealing with spreadsheets and cutting checks by hand. Even if you're working with a national payroll service, their customer service is known to be so poor that you may still be manually carrying activities that you didn't know could be automated.

Wouldn’t it be great to get some of that time back? If you're feeling like a work/life balance is impossible, automation can be helpful... but don't forget the big "IF." (Automation can be helpful IF it isn't a nightmare to set up, there are no errors, and if it's tackling everything it can be, instead of leaving some things on your plate that don't need to be there.)

Using automation to streamline payroll means you can focus on actually running your business - where your time offers the most value to your business. An automated system also makes payroll processing more efficient and less prone to errors.

CSI's payroll department has offered quality service to small businesses for over a decade, so we know what business owners want to know about automating their payroll:

  • What is manual payroll?
  • What is automated payroll?
  • What are the different levels of payroll automation and services?
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Thinking About Changing Accountants? Don’t Let These Fears Hold You Back

Mar 22, 2022 10:15:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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Trust your gut. If you’re already thinking about leaving your current accounting firm, then you’re ready to move on.

When you work with an accounting firm, you should treat the relationship as an investment. The performance that you get out of them should line up with the fees that they charge you, otherwise the investment isn't a good value. The sooner you find a better-value accounting investment, the better off you'll be.

Many small business owners who discuss working with CSI Accounting & Payroll say that their relationship with their current accountant has them feeling overcharged for poor communication. They don't feel like what they pay lines up with the service they receive. Don’t settle for inconsistent or lackluster service; the success of your business relies on timely and accurate bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation.

In this article, we'll discuss some reasons why someone should switch accountants, as well as the things that may hold them back.

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Can an Accountant Help With Small Business Tax Audits?

Mar 20, 2022 8:23:20 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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What’s one of a small business owner’s worst fears? Besides your business needing to shut its doors or not turning enough of a profit, it could be the possibility of your business going through an audit.

Growing your network with other business owners is an important part of the operation of any small business. However, when you pool common walks of life together, you start to share the same fears. And the fear of an audit can grow even more rapidly if someone in your ever-growing network goes through one.

Audits are stressful and time-consuming. Small business owners who we’ve talked to over the past several decades have voiced their concerns with the possibility of an audit, as well as how it could hurt their efficiency. Maybe they’re even worried that they could say the wrong things to an auditor or accidentally give incorrect information.

That normally leads to the question, “Can an accountant help me if I ever get audited?” The short answer is yes. In this article, we’ll discuss how accounting firms like CSI can help you with your small business audit and answer in detail:

  • What a tax audit is
  • What causes a tax audit
  • What CSI does to help in the case of a tax audit

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Can I File Multiple Years of Back Taxes At Once?

Mar 17, 2022 5:57:25 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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When you’re a small business owner focusing on providing quality products or services to your customer base, it’s easy to lose track of some of the things that aren’t done on a regular basis. For many business owners, this means falling behind on taxes.

Emotions on the subject can vary quite a bit. Over the past several decades, we’ve seen a varying amount of worry from the small business owners we’ve talked to. Some are worried because they don’t know what consequences they could be facing - for others, not knowing the consequences is the reason why they haven’t started worrying yet. 

That doesn’t mean they’re aware of the advantages of being up-to-date with their taxes, though. We make it our job to inform business owners of the positives as well.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What back taxes are and how they accumulate
  • The consequences of not filing previous years’ taxes
  • The advantages of staying up-to-date with your taxes
  • What CSI Accounting & Payroll does with back taxes

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How to Analyze Your Business's Tax Return

Mar 13, 2022 2:30:00 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes

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If you're staying on top of taxes this year, you should be getting your small business's tax return soon. Check that off of your to-do list, and give yourself a high-five! You earned a little break, especially after making it through tax season while keeping your business running as efficiently as ever.

However, if you have an accountant who's too busy for you or filed your taxes by yourself, you'll need to analyze your tax return on your own. A normal business tax return can be 30 pages, 40 pages, 50, 60, 70, 80... that's a ton of paper to look through!

Your tax return can feel even longer when you don't know what you should be looking for. And chances are, if you're not an accountant, this part can start to feel like rocket science. Plus, if your accountant doesn't have time to talk you through this critically important document, do you think they have the time to take full advantage of tax strategies and benefits for you?

At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we assign each of our clients their own dedicated accountant who proactively makes sure that small business owners understand:

  • If you are listed as the best business entity type for your situation
  • What key items on your tax return mean
  • How your accountant will help you with future tax strategy

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