Business Owners

  • I hate paperwork. Can you do everything?
  • If I do my accounting with Quickbooks, Peachtree, or other accounting packages, what else do I need?
  • How often should I prepare and go over financial statements?
  • How can accounting policies and procedures protect my business?
  • Do I need to have an independent, certified audit or reviewed financial statements?
  • How can accounting help me make more money?
  • What is the best form to conduct business (corporation, partnership, limited liability company, etc.)?
  • Should I claim a deduction for a home office?
  • How do I claim business meals and entertainment?
  • How should I handle a car that is used for business? Should I lease or buy? Should the title be in my name or that of the business?
  • How long will it take to get my refund?
  • Q. I hate paperwork. Can you do everything?
    A. Yes, pretty much. For example, some of our clients give us a monthly packet with bank statements, check stubs, etc. and we maintain their general ledger and prepare their financial statements. As an entrepreneur, however, you need to maintain control over business activities. Those activities should not be delegated.

    Q. If I do my accounting with Quickbooks, Peachtree, or other accounting packages, what else do I need? 
    A. Accounting programs have greatly improved in recent years and can be a great tool in running your business. We often find, however, that clients using accounting packages need some guidance in areas such as depreciation, categorizing expenses, establishing and amortizing loans, sales and payroll taxes, and income taxes.

    Q. How often should I prepare and go over financial statements?
    A. No successful, large company would go very long without the benefit of a financial statement. Even though you may be more closely involved with your business, financial statements give an objective perspective and should be an effective management tool. We suggest at least quarterly, and preferably monthly.

    Q. How can accounting policies and procedures protect my business?
    A. Accounting policies and procedures establish a framework of controls. These controls are intended to physically safeguard assets, and ensure that transactions are accurately recorded. We would be happy to discuss ways of improving controls in your business.

    Q. Do I need to have an independent, certified audit or reviewed financial statements?
    A. You may need a certified audit or review if required by your bank, if you are seeking investment capital in a private or public offering, or if required by your Board of Directors. Most of our small business clients do not choose to have their financial statements independently audited.

    Q. How can accounting help me make more money?
    A. If used properly, accounting and financial statements can be effective management tools. Numbers can be compared to identify trends, the need to adjust pricing, and reduce costs. 

    Q. What is the best form to conduct business (corporation, partnership, limited liability company, etc.)?
    A. Businesses vary by type (service, retail, manufacturing), by needs, and organizational structure. It is best to consult with an accountant to discuss your specific situation to see what form is most suited for your needs.

    Q. Should I claim a deduction for a home office?
    A. In order to claim a home office, it must be a separate room or place in your home that is used for that purpose only. Is this the only place that you conduct the administrative duties necessary to maintain your business? Or do you have office that you generally go to and use this as a place to do work at home? Can you meet with customers or clients in your home office? These are some questions that may help you determine if you have a "home office” by the IRS standards. 

    Q. How do I claim business meals and entertainment?
    A. Save all your receipts or credit card statements if possible. You are allowed up to $75.00 per meal without a receipt. You should keep a planner to help you to keep track of expenses. 

    Q. How should I handle a car that is used for business? Should I lease or buy? Should the title be in my name or that of the business?
    A. You should keep track of all of your expenses – gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance, vehicle tags, and car payments. You should also keep track of your mileage. When your tax return is prepared, we can evaluate whether it is more beneficial to take the mileage or use actual costs, which would include depreciation. Leasing or buying should be judged on an individual basis. 

    Q. How long will it take to get my refund? 
    A. Generally it takes about 2- 3 weeks to receive your Federal refund if you file electronically and request a direct deposit into one of your bank accounts. It takes an additional week if you request to have a check mailed to you. If you mail in your return it could take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to receive your refund. State refunds vary by state.