Our Small Business Packages are innovative solutions designed to support your business' day-to-day operations by relieving you of the cumbersome accounting tasks — balancing checkbooks, bookkeeping, paying bills, payroll, financial statement preparation, as well as your retirement planning needs.Learn more
The team at Accounting Freedom have helped my small business grow immensely. Not only am I more organized with my taxes and finances, but I now am working more productively on helping my clients rather then worrying about the book work. Their team took the burden off of my shoulders and has helped my salon business grow. I would recommend the Accounting Freedom team to anyone who is looking for business growth and financial stability.Read more
The professionals at Accounting Freedom go above and beyond for my small business. Gregory Landscapes, Inc. is a 3 year old company in its infancy and probably the smallest business customer that Accounting Freedom has. However, their team treats my business like it’s the biggest and oldest customer they have, always with equality and never making me feel inferior. It’s comforting to know I don’t have to stress about this part of my business, while focusing on growing my business. Accounting Freedom has been superb since day one and an absolute pleasure to work with. Their professionalism and masterly knowledge have earned my trust and endorsement!Read more
RJ Products has been doing business with Accounting Freedom for over eight years. At the time we were looking for an accounting firm that would actually return phone calls. We have found the people at Accounting Freedom to be very responsive. Accounting Freedom’s team have done an excellent job in taking care of our needs. Accounting is now one area of our business that we don’t have to be concerned about, as everything is done accurately and timely, month after month. I particularly like Accounting Freedom’s attention to detail and the on-line storage and access to our financial information. We have finger-tip access to our financial information, past and present, any time we need it. They have also suggested additional ideas to improve our efficiencies such as payroll and ways to reduce our taxes through better retirement plans. I strongly recommend Accounting Freedom to any company with similar needs and wants their phone calls returned.Read more
Kevin and Janine Walsh of The Walsh Team of RE/MAX SHOWCASE have used Accounting Freedom since 1986 for all of our accounting work. Never have we had to worry about incorrect work, missed deadlines, or any other accounting issues with them. We just email in our paperwork once a month and like magic we get a email back with detailed instructions of where and how much to pay in taxes. It’s is a pleasure do have done all our accounting with them over the last 26 years and will continue to do so. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!Read more
As a small business, it is reassuring to know that we can count on the friendly and experienced staff at Accounting Freedom to ensure our accounting and tax returns are always in order and submitted on time. They deal with all my queries quickly, efficiently and in a timely manner. We have been doing business with Accounting Freedom for 25+ years and the team has always been professional, understanding, and practical. They provide much hands-on service and we are very comfortable with the working relationship and ease with which Accounting Freedom is able to communicate with us and their availability when we need them.Read more
The services provided to our small business by Accounting Freedom are invaluable. They are more than just accountants and tax filers. They take the time to know our business and provide the best advice in light of the ever changing tax laws, small business opportunities, and government regulations. I have peace of mind knowing this is one segment of my business that I don’t have to worry about.Read more
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good idea to start reviewing business expenses for deductibility. At the same time, consider whether your business would benefit from accelerating certain expenses into this year.Be sure to evaluate the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which reduces or eliminates many deductions. In some cases, it may be necessary or desirable to change your expense and reimbursement policies.
Is your sales process getting off-balance? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Fluctuations in the economy, changes in customer interest and dips in demand may cause slowdowns that are beyond your control. But if the numbers keep dropping and you’re not sure why, you may need to double-check the structural soundness of how you sell your company’s products or services. At Accounting Freedom (Grafton WI accountant), we have four pillars for a solid sales process:
In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Tax free fringe benefits are especially attractive to employees. Let’s take a quick look at some popular options.
It’s easy to understand why more and more businesses are taking a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to the smartphones, tablets and laptops many employees rely on to do their jobs. BYOD can boost employee efficiency and satisfaction, often while reducing a company’s IT costs. But the approach isn’t without risk for both you and your staff. So, it’s highly advisable to create a strong BYOD implementation plan and policy that combines convenience with security.
Businesses that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building — or did so in previous years — should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And the potential benefits are now even greater due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
Like many business owners, you probably created a business plan when you launched your company. But, as is also often the case, you may not have looked at it much since then. Now that fall has arrived and year end is coming soon, why not dig it out? Reviewing and making a new business plan can be a great way to plan for the year ahead.
Tax identity theft may seem like a problem only for individual taxpayers. But, according to the IRS, business identity theft is increasingly becoming common. And identity thieves have become more sophisticated, knowing filing practices, the tax code and the best ways to get valuable data.
You’ve no doubt heard the old business cliché “cash is king.” And it’s true: A company in a strong cash position stands a much better chance of obtaining the financing it needs, attracting outside investors or simply executing its own strategic plans.Maintaining cash reserves for business is one way to ensure that there’s always a king in the castle, so to speak. Granted, setting aside a substantial amount of dollars isn’t the easiest thing to do — particularly for start-ups and smaller companies. But once your reserve is in place, life can get a lot easier.
Does your business offer employee travel expense reimbursements? If you do, you know that it can help you attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you might want to start, because changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) make such reimbursements even more attractive to employees. Travel reimbursements also come with tax benefits, but only if you follow a method that passes muster with the IRS.
Most business owners want to grow their companies. And one surefire sign of growth is when ownership believes the company can expand its operations to a second location.If your business has reached this point, or is nearing it, both congratulations and caution are in order. You’ve clearly done a great job with growth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to expand. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you are a small business opening a second location.
Here are some of the key deadlines Q4 2018 affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.
Every business with more than one owner needs a company buy sell agreement to handle both expected and unexpected ownership changes. When creating or updating yours, be sure you’re prepared for the valuation issues that will come into play.
Taxes for independent contractor hire is much cheaper than an employee. In fact, classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and allows it to forgo providing overtime pay, unemployment compensation and other employee benefits. It also frees the business from responsibility for withholding income taxes and the worker’s share of payroll taxes.For these reasons, the federal government views misclassifying a bona fide employee as an independent contractor unfavorably. If the IRS reclassifies a worker as an employee, your business could be hit with back taxes, interest and penalties.
If you’ve done any research into employee benefits for your business recently, you may have come across a bit of alphabet soup in the form of “HSA + HDHP.” Although perhaps initially confusing, this formula represents an increasingly popular model for health care benefits — that is, offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) coupled with, as required by law, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
If your small business doesn’t offer its employees a retirement plan, you may want to consider a SIMPLE IRA. Offering a retirement plan can provide your business with valuable tax deductions and help you attract and retain employees. For a variety of reasons, a SIMPLE IRA plans for small businesses can be a particularly appealing option. The deadline for setting one up for this year is October 1, 2018.
Late summer and early fall, when so many families have members returning to educational facilities of all shapes and sizes, is also a good time for businesses to creatively step up their business development efforts, whether it’s launching new marketing initiatives, developing future employees or simply generating goodwill in the community. Here are a few business community examples that might inspire you.
The S corporation business structure offers many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). Due to certain S Corp requirements, not all businesses are eligible. Plus, with the new 21% flat income tax rate that now applies to C corporations, S corps may not be quite as attractive as they once were.
IT consultants are many things — experts in their field, champions of the workaround and, generally, the “people persons” of the tech field. But they’re not magicians who, with the wave of a smartphone, can solve any dilemma you throw at them. Here are six ways to get more value from your next relationship with an IT solutions company:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business taxpayer can use to obtain automatic consent to change its method of accounting under the TCJA. If you have the option to use either of the tax accounting methods, it pays to consider whether switching methods would be beneficial.
As a business grows, one of many challenges it faces is identifying a competitive yet manageable sales compensation structure. After all, offer too little and you likely won’t have much success in hiring. Offer too much and you may compromise cash flow and profitability.But the challenge doesn’t end there. Once you have a feasible sales compensation structure in place, your organization must then set its course for determining the best way for employees to progress through it. And this is when you must contemplate the nature and efficacy of linking pay to performance.
One of the biggest concerns for family business owners is succession planning. Success is a family business transfer of ownership and control of the company to the next generation. Often, the best time tax-wise to start transferring ownership is long before the owner is ready to give up control of the business.A family limited partnership (FLP) can help owners enjoy the tax benefits of gradually completing a family business transfer of ownership yet allow them to retain control of the business.
In an increasingly global economy, keeping a close eye on your supply chain is imperative. Even if your company operates only locally or nationally, your suppliers could be affected by wider economic conditions and developments. So, make sure you’re regularly assessing where supply chain challenges within your company may lie.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees can no longer claim the home office tax deduction. If, however, you run a business from your home or are otherwise self-employed and use part of your home for business purposes, the home office deduction may still be available to you.
A strategic planning process is key to ensuring every company’s long-term viability, and goal setting is an indispensable step toward fulfilling those plans. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there.If this scenario sounds all too familiar, trace your goals back to their origin. Those that are poorly conceived typically set up a company for failure. One solution is to follow the SMART approach for your strategic planning process.
Vehicle, travel and meals expenses tax deductions are common for businesses. But if you don’t properly document these expenses, you could find your deductions denied by the IRS.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides a valuable new tax break to non-corporate owners of pass-through entities: a deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). The deduction generally applies to income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). It can equal as much as 20% of QBI. But once taxable income exceeds $315,000 for married couples filing jointly or $157,500 for other filers, a wage limit begins to phase in.
For small businesses, managing payroll can be one of the most arduous tasks. Adding to the burden earlier this year was adjusting income tax withholding based on the new tables issued by the IRS. (Those tables account for changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.) But it’s crucial not only to withhold the appropriate taxes — including both income tax and employment taxes — but also to remit them on time to the federal government.If you don’t, you, personally, could face harsh payroll tax penalties. This is true even if your business is an entity that normally shields owners from personal liability, such as a corporation or limited liability company.
You’ve probably heard about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state and local governments to impose more out of state sales tax laws. The ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. is welcome news for brick-and-mortar retailers, who felt previous rulings gave an unfair advantage to their online competitors. And state and local governments are pleased to potentially be able to collect more sales tax.But for businesses with out-of-state online sales that haven’t had to collect sales tax from out-of-state customers in the past, the decision brings many questions and concerns.
For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%. The TCJA also reduced individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). The top rate, however, dropped only slightly, from 39.6% to 37%.On the surface, that may make choosing C corporation structure seem like a no-brainer. But there are many other considerations involved in making a choice of business entity.
Every year is a journey for a business. You begin with a set of objectives for the months ahead, probably encounter a few bumps along the way and, hopefully, reach your destination with some success and a few lessons learned.The middle of the year is the perfect time to stop for a breather. Going through a midyear business evaluation checklist can be of great benefit. It can help you and your management team determine which objectives are still “meetable” and which one’s may need tweaking or perhaps even elimination.Naturally, this will involve looking at your financials. There are various metrics that can tell you whether your cash flow is strong and debt load manageable, and if your profitability goals are within reach. But don’t stop there.
Most businesses approach technology as an evolving challenge. You don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles you’ll never fully use, but you also don’t want to get left behind as competitors use the latest tech tools to operate more nimbly.To refine your IT sourcing strategy over time, you’ve got to regularly reassess your operations and ask the right questions. Here are a few to consider:
If you own a business and have a child in high school or college, hiring him or her for the summer can provide a multitude of benefits, including tax savings. And hiring family members as employee can make more sense than ever due to changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
It’s not uncommon for businesses to sometimes generate tax losses. But the losses that can be deducted are limited by tax law in some situations. Businesses implementing a tax loss strategy are now facing more difficult challenges. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) further restricts the amount of losses that sole proprietors, partners, S corporation shareholders and, typically, limited liability company (LLC) members can currently deduct — beginning in 2018. This could negatively impact owners of start-ups and businesses facing adverse conditions.
When business people speak of innovation, the focus is usually on a pioneering product or state-of-the-art service that will “revolutionize the industry.” But innovation can apply to any aspect of your company — including customer service.Many business owners perceive customer service as a fairly cut-and-dried affair. Customers call, you answer their questions or solve their problems ― and life goes on. Yet there are ways to transform this function and, when companies do, word gets around. People want to do business with organizations that are easy to interact with.Here are four ways to improve customer support and encourage innovation in your customer service department:
At this time of year, a summer vacation is on many people’s minds. If you travel for business, combining a business trip with a vacation to offset some of the cost with a tax deduction can sound appealing. But tread carefully, or you might not be eligible for the deduction you’re expecting.
“That’s just the cost of doing business.” You’ve probably heard this expression many times. It’s true that, to invoke another cliché, you’ve got to spend money to make money. But that doesn’t mean you have to take rising operational costs sitting down.Business cost control is a formal management technique through which you evaluate your company’s operations and isolate activities costing you too much money. This isn’t something you can do on your own; you’ll need a total team effort from your managers and advisors. Done properly, however, the results can be well worth it.
IRS examiners use Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) to prepare for audits — and so can small business owners. Many ATGs target specific industries, such as construction. Others address issues that frequently arise in audits, such as executive compensation and fringe benefits. These publications can provide valuable insights into issues that might surface if your business is audited. It can also help address what to expect during an IRS audit and how to better prepare.
For NOLs arising in tax years ending after December 31, 2017, a qualifying NOL can’t be carried back at all. This may be especially detrimental to start-up businesses, which tend to generate NOLs in their early years and can greatly benefit from the cash-flow boost of a carried-back NOL. (On the plus side, the TCJA allows NOLs to be carried forward indefinitely, as opposed to the previous 20-year limit.)For NOLs arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, an NOL carry-forward generally can’t be used to shelter more than 80% of taxable income in the carry-forward year. (Under prior law, generally up to 100% could be sheltered.)The differences between the effective dates for these changes may have been a mistake, and a technical correction might be made by Congress. Also be aware that, in the case of pass-through entities, owners’ tax benefits from the entity’s net loss might be further limited under the TCJA’s new “excess business loss” rules.
Classifying workers as independent contractors — rather than employees — can save businesses money and provide other benefits. But the IRS is on the lookout for businesses that do this improperly to avoid taxes and employee benefit obligations. This is why it is important to look at an employee vs contractor criteria.To find out how the IRS will classify a particular worker, businesses can file optional IRS Form SS-8, “Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.” However, the IRS has a history of reflexively classifying workers as employees, and filing this form may alert the IRS that your business has classification issues — and even inadvertently trigger an employment tax audit.
When a business decides in planning a company retreat for its employees, the first question to be answered usually isn’t “What’s our agenda?” or “Whom should we invite as a guest speaker?” Rather, the first item on the table is, “Where should we have it?”Many employees, and some business owners, might assume a company retreat, by definition, must take place off-site. But this isn’t necessarily so. Holding an on-site retreat is an option —and a markedly cost-effective one at that. Then again, it may also recall the old adage: You get what you pay for.
Normally when appreciated business assets such as real estate are sold, tax is owed on the appreciation. But there’s a way to defer this tax: a Section 1031 "like kind exchange accounting." However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduces the types of property eligible for this favorable tax treatment.
AThe recently passed tax reform bill, commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the most expansive federal tax legislation since 1986. It includes a multitude of provisions that will have a major impact on businesses.Here’s we provide a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act analysis with a look at some of the most significant changes. They generally apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, except where noted.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return.
For many companies, there comes a time when owners must decide whether to renew a lease, move on to a different one or buy new (or pre-existing) space. In some cases, it’s a relatively easy decision. Maybe you’re happy where you are and feel like such a part of the local community that moving isn’t an option.But, in other cases, a move can be an important step forward. For example, if a business is looking to cut costs, reducing office space and signing a less expensive lease can generally help the bottom line. Conversely, a growing company might decide to buy property and build new to increase its prestige and visibility. Why is location important in business; because making the right choice is critical.
As a business owner, you know that it’s easy to spend nearly every working hour on the multitude of day-to-day tasks and crises that never seem to end. It’s essential to your company’s survival, however, to find time for some organizational strategic planning.
There’s an old saying regarding family-owned businesses: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It means the first-generation owner started in shirtsleeves and built the company up from nothing but, by the third generation, the would-be owner is back in shirtsleeves with nothing because the business failed or was sold.Although you can’t guarantee your company will buck this trend, you can take extra care when choosing a successor to give your family business a fighting chance. Here are seven steps to consider:
Several businesses have been asking us, are holiday parties tax deductible? Many businesses are hosting holiday parties for employees this time of year. It’s a great way to reward your staff for their hard work and have a little fun. And you can probably deduct 100% of your 2017 party’s cost as a meal and entertainment (M&E) expense. Next year may be a different story.
Many people scoff at New Year’s resolutions. It’s no mystery why — these self-directed promises to visit the gym regularly or read a book a month tend to quickly fade once the unavoidable busyness of life sets in.But, for business owners, the phrase “New Year’s resolutions” is just a different way of saying “strategic plans.” And these are nothing to scoff at. In fact, now is the perfect time! Our Chicago accounting services firm can take a critical look at your company and make some earnest promises about improving profitability in 2018.
Two valuable depreciation-related tax breaks can potentially reduce your 2017 taxes if you acquire and place in service qualifying assets by the end of the tax year. Tax reform could enhance these breaks, so you’ll want to keep an eye on legislative developments as you plan your asset purchases.
No business owner wants to send out spam. Even the term “email blast,” the practice of launching a flurry of targeted messages at customers and prospects, has mixed connotations these days. Yet as businesses are accounting for marketing expenses, email remains a viable and even necessary communications channel. Here are four tips on making your marketing emails a blast (in the fun and informative sense) and keeping them out of recipients’ spam folders:
With Veterans Day on November 11, it’s an especially good time to think about the sacrifices veterans have made for us and how we can support them. One way businesses can support veterans is to hire them. The Work Opportunity tax credit 2017 (WOTC) can help businesses do just that. However, it may not be available for hires made after this year.As released by the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would eliminate the WOTC for hires after December 31, 2017. So you may want to consider hiring qualifying veterans before year end.
Projecting your business income and expenses for this year and next can allow you to time when you recognize income and incur deductible expenses to your tax advantage. Typically, it’s better to defer tax. This might end up being especially true this year, if the Trump tax reform bill is signed into law.