Tax time can be especially stressful for small business owners. They invest a lot of time, money and effort to create a successful enterprise and they want to save as much money in taxes as possible. When it comes to bookkeeping, there are a number of common mistakes that business owners make that can cost them money or land them in trouble with the IRS.
Business owners must maintain communication with their accountants for effective services. If they outsource work or pay a bonus, for example, they need to inform their accountant and provide a receipt. Even the use of petty cash must be handled appropriately, along with categorization of accounts. Paper trails are critical.
Business owners know the importance of saving receipts for high ticket expenses, but they often overlook receipts of $75 or less that can provide documentation in the event of an audit. It pays to embrace modern technology for this. Apps are available that enable people to snap a photo with their phone for filing purposes. There are also scanners that will scan receipts and automatically categorize them for retrieval when needed.
These are expenses that a business owner may incur on behalf of their clients. That can include phone calls, travel, office expenses, delivery fees, conversion fees, or even lunch with a potential client. The expenses need to be tracked and documented. There are convenient apps for that.
Classifying employees can be confusing. There are regular employees, independent contractors and consultants, and freelancers in the gig economy. Misclassifying employees and contractors will result in expensive tax penalties and lawsuits.
The books a business maintains must be reconciled with bank statements. It provides individuals with information about their business health and enables them to plan for things like equipment purchases or expansions. Reconciliation will identify bank errors, if more employees can be added, and how much money is available at any given time. It can be time-consuming and complicated without the assistance of an experienced bookkeeper.
Failure to collect sales tax, or deduct sales tax, can turn into a nightmare due to the many ways in which business is conducted today – especially e-commerce. A tax professional should be experienced in the rules governing multiple types of commerce.
At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs. We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!