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Small Businesses’ Biggest Regrets & How CSI Can Help

March 26th, 2024 | 6 min. read

By Bryan Cremeen

When small business owners find themselves in trouble, they either downplay it or take it to heart. How do you know just how bad your situation is? Many people start by comparing themselves to their peers.

CSI Accounting & Payroll has worked with small business finances and operations for over 50 years. Believe us when we say we’ve seen it all! 

In all of that time, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the worst we’ve seen and if certain situations are too bad to work with, such as:

  • What are some of the worst situations that CSI has seen small businesses in?
  • I’m in trouble. Can CSI help me?

Blog - Small Businesses’ Biggest Regrets & How CSI Can Help

The Worst Situations We’ve Seen Businesses In

Throughout the past 50+ years, we’ve seen many prospective clients in very poor situations. There are a couple of extreme examples that come to mind when we’re asked about the worst things we’ve seen.

One small business owner fell into trouble for doing things they didn’t need to do, and another fell into trouble for not doing things they needed to do on time.

The Sales Tax One

The most we ever saved a client in sales tax is $130,000.

During onboarding, we noticed something odd – they were paying sales tax even though they didn’t need to. This had been going on for years.

How did this happen? They received a notice from the state that said they may be subjected to sales tax, so they began paying it on all of their revenue.

They assumed their accountant would point it out if they were doing something wrong, but many accountants don’t question anything. If they only speak with you annually, they don’t know your business well enough to wonder if things are correct or not.

This client’s accountant also didn’t catch when their bookkeeping software accidentally showed double the actual sales. We noticed that the actual sales in their bank account were different, and that’s part of what led to us examining everything.

We decided that after amending the tax returns, waiting for the refunds, and handling the audit that will likely be triggered for the client, we could retrieve about $130,000 of the sales tax back.

Find out now: is your business subject to sales or use tax?

The Back Work One

We see prospective clients with unfiled taxes all of the time. However, the worst we’ve seen in this scenario is 10 years of unfiled taxes.

For smaller back work or back tax projects, everything can be resolved in two to three months, and the 10-year back work project ended up taking us about six months to resolve.

How does this happen? When you focus 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.

Of those small business owners who owe back taxes, some are worried because they don’t know what consequences they could be facing. This makes them continue to put off fixing things. Others don’t know the consequences, and that’s why they haven’t started worrying yet.

Regardless of the extent of your back tax situation, here’s what you need to know about how CSI helps with back work.

Can CSI Help Me With My Situation?

There are a variety of skeletons that can be in your business’s closet. Of all of the possibilities, which ones can CSI help you with, and which ones will we have to turn away? Let’s look at some hypotheticals.

CSI can accept you as a client and help your business if:

  • You haven’t filed a tax return in years.
  • You haven’t filed your sales tax for years.
  • You haven’t paid your payroll taxes for years.
  • You missed the January 31 deadline to file your 1099s.
  • You haven’t remitted the money to your employees’ retirement plans.
  • You needed a tax extension but didn’t file for one on time.
  • You missed the tax payment deadline.
  • You have piles of paperwork that aren't in your system.
  • You’re going through an audit or have been audited in the past.

Even if you got dropped by your last accountant, we’re willing to discuss the reasons why. If they just couldn’t handle the amount of work your business takes or you have too many complexities, we’re probably better equipped to handle your accounting.

Basically, as long as you’re a good fit client, you can work with us unless you blatantly committed a crime! We’ve probably seen it all. 

Even if we somehow can't help you, we will guide you in the right direction or even refer you to the right professional. We have a wide network of experts that we trust.

Resolve Your Issues With Trusted Professionals

Now that you know about the worst situations we’ve seen and what kinds of situations we’re willing to help with, are you ready to check out monthly accounting services?

If so, please consider CSI Accounting & Payroll! To see if we can be a good fit for your business, click the button below for a free consultation:

Not ready to talk? That’s okay! First, learn more about the different types of advice a monthly accountant can offer you by clicking the image below:

Bryan Cremeen

Bryan joined CSI Accounting in 2019. He joined the team after CSI purchased his accounting firm, AccountSource LLC, which he had owned since 2005. He graduated from St. Cloud State in 2001 with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and has been an Enrolled Agent since 2010. Before owning his own accounting practice, Bryan had worked at the State of MN handling financial reporting and had been in private industry as a Controller. His primary responsibilities include overseeing the accounting department and making sure clients are receiving quality service. Fun Fact: Bryan has played soccer since the age of 4. He still plays soccer year round through various adult leagues and is an avid supporter of the Minnesota United MLS soccer team. COYL!!! (Come on, you Loons!!!)