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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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Can I Work With A Monthly Accounting Service and My Annual Tax Accountant?

Mar 7, 2022 10:32:38 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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When you want to grow your business or need hands-on advice, you may decide to look into monthly accounting. After speaking with thousands of small business owners just like you, our experts at CSI know that making the jump from only filing annual taxes to working with a dedicated monthly accountant is huge. 

Major changes are often overwhelming. That’s why we are sometimes asked if a business can work with us on a monthly basis while still using their annual tax accountant. 

The simple answer is yes - however, there are several reasons why you probably don’t want to go that route.

Here, we’ll go over the reasons why some business owners may think they want to use a separate accountant for annual taxes, as well as why we don’t advise this. The reasons below are specific to how CSI Accounting & Payroll operates, but any reliable monthly accounting service should provide you with similar answers.

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Are Your Self-Prepared Financial Statements Up to Par?

Mar 6, 2022 7:00:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business bookkeeping, small business accounting

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If your small business uses accounting software to prepare your financial statements in-house, then you're putting in all of that extra time and effort for a reason!

Maybe you think your business is not the right fit for an accounting service, or maybe you trust yourself to handle your books and don't see the need to outsource. You could even want nothing more than to just balance a checkbook or file your taxes. But most likely, you're concerned that having somebody else do the work will cost you an arm and a leg.

When you use accounting software instead of outsourcing, you're counting on it saving you some money. What happens when it doesn't? Record inaccuracies can result in penalties and interest down the line or make you miss out on reimbursable expenses. Not to mention, going through an audit will take up a lot of the time that you could have put toward making profits. If you don't have a background in accounting, you may not even realize you're getting lost.

How can you tell if your bookkeeping is getting mixed up? Start by taking a look at your financial statements. Here are some common red flags.

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What Is an S-Corp, and Is It Right For Your Small Business?

Mar 4, 2022 11:19:38 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business operations

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As a small business owner, you probably hear suggestions for your business in passing all the time - and the sources aren’t always the most reliable. These days, it might seem like everyone has an opinion on whether or not a small business should become an S-Corp. Regardless, once a hot topic is thrown into your brain, you start to ask yourself if it’s something you need to look into. 

After all, S-Corps are the most common type of corporate business entity, but they aren’t the only one. In fact, there are three types of business entities: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. 

Small business owners like you dig right into the different business entity options. Here at CSI, S-Corps make up a very large portion of our client base. We mostly work with clients who have revenue in the $350,000-$5 million revenue range, which is a sweet spot for S-Corps.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What an S-Corp is
  • The advantages and disadvantages of being an S-Corp
  • How we have this conversation with our clients

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Will I Be Charged For Contacting My Accountant Outside of Monthly Meetings?

Mar 3, 2022 4:24:45 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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An annual tax accountant can’t offer the same business advice that a monthly accountant does. That’s why business owners who choose to go the monthly accounting route tend to be more hands-on with their business  and, therefore, can worry that even monthly advice will not be enough. 

Certain questions can be time-sensitive, and annual tax accountants are known for charging big bucks for their time to answer your questions. That’s what leads to the questions, “Can I contact my monthly accountant with any questions that come up?” and “Will I be charged extra for that?” The simple answer is, “No, you will not be charged extra for reaching out with a question outside of your monthly meetings.”

After many decades of working with other small business owners with the same concerns, we’ve branded CSI Accounting & Payroll as the firm of experts who prioritize communication. In this article, we’ll touch on some guidelines of contact, as well as what it typically looks like when our clients contact us.

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What Different Types of Advice Does a Monthly Accountant Provide?

Feb 25, 2022 6:45:00 AM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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One of the first things you’re going to want to know about monthly accounting is what kinds of advice your accountant will be able to offer you. After all, monthly accounting is a much more hands-on service than just filing taxes with an annual tax accountant. 

Learning that you’ll receive monthly advice should leave you wondering what types of advice your accountant is qualified to give you. We’ve briefly touched on this in our article about what an average monthly meeting looks like, but we’ll dive into much more detail below. 

With over 50 years of accounting experience under our belts, we’re able to quickly identify common problem areas and their solutions, but we’re also able to form a deeper understanding of your unique situation and opportunities to further customize your advice.

Here, we’ll talk about the advice our accountants give based on your business’s situation, your financial documents, and your taxes.

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What Are Additional Charges in a Monthly Accounting or Payroll Proposal?

Feb 24, 2022 5:07:28 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business payroll, small business accounting

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Signing a contract of any kind is already nerve-wracking, so unclear wording can add just enough uncertainty to make anybody walk away. We get it - “additional charges may apply” isn’t exactly the most detailed sentence ever written. 

Even if you already know what the cost of monthly accounting will be, you should have the full picture of what’s included in the fee before you move forward. After working with small businesses for a handful of decades, we know that owners want both a short, concise contract and the option to view full details for additional charges at will.

Our proposals clearly list the services that are not included, but we would like to offer a more detailed explanation of:

  • What they are
  • Why they aren’t included in the quoted price
  • How much they cost*

*Please note that prices are subject to change over time. Updated pricing will always be laid out in formal proposals.

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What Happens in CSI’s Monthly Accounting Meetings?

Feb 17, 2022 4:32:28 PM / by CSI Accounting Staff posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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If you’ve just started researching different accounting options for your business, you may not be very familiar with the monthly accounting process. What’s the point of meeting so often, and what do monthly meetings even cover? 

These are valid questions, especially if you’re used to only working with an annual accountant. Some business owners believe that an annual accountant provides enough service, but others see room for improvement in their accounting service and seek a more consistent approach.

CSI Accounting & Payroll is that consistent approach. Our monthly accounting services focus heavily around handling the accounting for you and bringing it all back together in the form of our monthly meetings. 

This article will briefly explain:

  • The difference between our initial onboarding meetings and standard client meetings
  • The details of how these meetings happen
  • What kind of discussions we’ll have
  • Our dedicated tax planning meetings

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