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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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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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

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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

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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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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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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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