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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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How to Transition from In-House to Outsourced Accounting

May 19, 2022 9:33:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting, how to


If there's one thing that we all can agree on, it's that it's nice to have someone else do your taxes - but actually taking it one step further and outsourcing all of your accounting can seem like an obstacle that most of us would rather delay. However, there does come a time for most small businesses when it makes more sense to outsource.

For more than 50 years, CSI Accounting & Payroll has served thousands of small business clients. After talking to so many business owners, we've found that there are some common scenarios when it comes to outsourcing accounting for the first time. They tend to fall under these two categories:

Not many small businesses have their own internal accountant and still consider outsourcing unless there's an issue with employee retention, their quality of work, or it's too much for them to handle on their own. (In fact, it costs less to outsource accounting than to host an accountant in-house.)


Some small businesses will have an internal bookkeeper and also use an external annual accountant, or maybe the owner even does the bookkeeping themselves. In these cases, they might outsource for some of the same reasons, but they're also seeking the year-round tax strategy and advice that only a monthly accountant can provide.

Transitions are tricky, but we hope that we can relieve your nerves a little bit by discussing:

  • Choosing the right small business accounting firm for you
  • Planning ahead for the transition
  • Setting the standards for your new accounting firm

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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


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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Will CSI Let Me Handle Some of My Own Accounting and Payroll Work?

May 12, 2022 4:29:31 PM / by Bryan Cremeen posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, how to


When you’ve been handling your small business’s accounting and payroll internally for a while, there can be some hesitations when it comes to outsourcing. However, after the long hours grueling over complicated financial processes, you know it’s time to soften your grip and let a professional take over.

Even after you’ve decided you want to outsource, you may want to continue to handle some of the work yourself. This can be because you like things done a certain way and aren’t ready to give up full control, or maybe you’re wondering if there’s anything you can continue to do to cut your service fee.

While most of CSI’s clients are small enough businesses that they are unable to do certain tasks in-house, there are some exceptions. Out of our hundreds of clients, a few of them choose to do certain parts of the work internally for the reasons listed above: to maintain control and/or to save money. 

The beauty of it all is that even if you’re able to perform some tasks internally, you’re able to decide whether or not you want to do so.

When people bring up the question of whether or not they can do some of the work themselves, they often want to know:

  • What tasks can I do myself? 
  • Can doing anything internally lower my fee?
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Small Businesses and the Minnesota State Unemployment Tax Refund

May 10, 2022 1:12:05 PM / by Bret Asmussen posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, how to


Have you heard about the state unemployment tax bill that was just passed in Minnesota? (That’s the Trust Fund Replenishment bill, to be clear.) 

If you don’t work with CSI and your payroll provider hasn’t reached out yet, you probably have a lot of questions. Heck, maybe you still have questions even if you already talked with your payroll provider. The process of requesting a refund - or choosing to keep the credit in your account - can cause issues if you’re not familiar with your payroll provider’s processes for early payments and impounding taxes. 

CSI Accounting & Payroll has become very familiar with unemployment taxes over the last 50+ years. We show our clients how to do things themselves as much as possible, whereas many national providers don’t even educate their clients on how to log into their unemployment accounts. 

Small business owners whom we’ve talked to about the Trust Fund Replenishment bill so far wanted to know:

  • What is this law change?
  • Why was this law changed?
  • How does this affect me?
  • What do I need to do now?
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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


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


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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