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Accounting Agency Conway

How To Find A Good Accountant

Finding a good accountant does not always end up being a simple task. There are so many accountants that seem to appear every year, it is hard to know who to choose to put in charge of your finances. Finding an accountant is a very serious task that is never taken lightly, especially since it involves your business. Here are two simple steps of how to choose an accountant that you can trust with your business’s finances. 

The first thing you do to find a good accountant is to build a list of referrals from credible sources. To find resources for these referrals may seem like a daunting task at first, however, it is simpler to accomplish this goal than what you think. You can go to such resources such as your local bank, any type of financial planners that you may have, and you can even talk to your current insurance agent about people they know about to be your accountant. If you have any contacts or affiliations with other businesses, then you can ask them for accountant referrals as well. These are all trusted resources that can provide you with some good leads on who you can trust to be your accountant. Finding accountant candidates through trusted resources such as your business’s bank is one of the best ways to find an accountant.  Most professional referrals like this mean that the accountant has a good reputation. 

Once you have your accountant referrals, you then want to contact them and exchange information. Feel free to tell the accountant about your business as well as your accounting needs and expectations. While you give the accountant your information, also ask for theirs. Some key things you want to find out is if the accountant can handle a business in your industry and your size, as well as finding out all of the services they offer. Do not be afraid to look at their portfolio and get estimates for their services. Be sure you know what services the fees cover. You never want to select an accountant whose fees are too high for what you can afford. Make sure that you can maintain a good line of communication and determine if they are helpful and informative. The accountant who offers the most detail and takes the most time to not only tell you about the services they can offer you, but also listens to your concerns, is usually the type of accountant that you are looking for. 

After gathering all of the information about the accountants, then make the decision of who is the right accountant for you. Remember that you will be having a long business relationship with your accountant, so you want to select an accountant that you feel you can build a good rapport with as well as someone who will have you and your business’s best interest in mind.

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!

 

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7 Great Accounting Jobs Right out of College

Anyone going into the accounting field should know that there are abundant opportunities for employment straight out of college, with jobs available in the private and public sectors. Those that want to work with multiple clients can find satisfaction in public accounting. For those that prefer to work for a single company, private accounting may be a better choice.

Accounts Payable

A wide range of businesses, particularly in the healthcare field, employ accountants to perform collection calls on overdue accounts, send invoices, and resolve problems with clients in regard to their bills. It’s a rapidly expanding field with multiple opportunities.

Auditing

Auditing is more than just ensuring that the numbers add up. A wide array of companies employ accountants to look for sources of lost revenue. That can encompass identifying areas of duplicated effort or deficiencies in control mechanisms. Individuals may also be responsible for investigating consumer or vendor claims.

Bookkeeping

Accounts are essential personnel for any business endeavor. In addition to tracking and monitoring income, costs, and financial transactions, individuals will be responsible for providing clients with regular reports and updates about their financial status. They are often called upon to handle a company’s payroll. Don’t overlook the opportunities for accountants at schools, universities, and government entities.

Forensics

The job of a forensic accountant is to examine data, discover where money has gone missing, and how to recover it. As individuals advance in the field, they may also be called upon to testify in court cases as an expert witness and work with law enforcement personnel.

Information & Technology

This is ideal for individuals that are as enthusiastic about technology as they are numbers. There’s a myriad of accounting software from which individuals and companies can choose and accountants in this field will be responsible for helping clients select the best financial software for their needs.

Loans and Analysis

Believe it or not, many banks employ accountants as tellers, credit analysis specialists, and loan officers. Individuals often perform credit checks and financial pre-approvals for loans on homes, vehicles, and business equipment.

Tax Preparation

Preparing taxes is an essential service and many newly fledged accountants begin illustrious careers performing tax preparation. It’s also possible for accountants to acquire regular business clients through the contacts they make doing taxes.

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!

 

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CPA Consultant Conway South Carolina

Top Qualities of a Good Accounting Firm

An accounting firm is a great way to relieve the stress of tax time and it’s a real time saver for individuals already pressed for time. Hiring the right firm may not be so easy, though. In today’s world, being “good with numbers” or the least expensive option isn’t enough. One little mistake in this field can have serious and expensive repercussions.

A good accounting firm does more than simply keep the books and file your taxes. It will be able to effectively communicate a wide range of business information and opportunities. The following are the top qualities that an accounting firm should exhibit.

Personalized Service

Each business is different and a superior accounting firm understands that. A full service tax firm will be able to help you develop tax strategies, create plans to meet financial goals, and help you manage your assets. Your accounting firm should meet with you several times a year, not just at tax time.

Experience and Education

The accounting firm should have experience in your particular industry. That means they’ll know your business and any applicable deadlines. Tax laws change frequently and without notice. An accounting firm will be cognizant of current tax laws and how they impact your business. The firm’s accountants will have extensive education and should have met the licensing requirements of a certified public accountant (CPA).

Accuracy and Detail

You’ll obviously want a firm that’s accurate, which means it will be detail oriented. The firm will prepare reports to keep you informed of your financial status, identify potential issues and suggest solutions, and provide guidance to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and maximize profitability.

Technology Literate

The days of accountants laboring with paper and pencil are long gone. An accounting firm should be utilizing state-of-the-art technology, advanced accounting software, and other technology-based tools.

Business Strategies

An accounting firm will be able to provide effective advice and strategies whether the business is a start-up or an established company of long standing. The firm will be able to provide you with the information you need to make sound and informed business decisions that helps your enterprise grow and evolve.

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!

 

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Accounting Software can Save you Time

Time is your most valuable asset. Accounting software can save you time that can be invested back into the business or on pleasurable pursuits. The software provides greater accuracy and multiple record types that can be recalled at any time for any reason. Accounting software is equally applicable whether you’re operating a large corporation, small business, brick and mortar store, or online enterprise.

Even your accountant utilizes software to minimize the potential for errors and automate tasks. You’ll find that today’s options for accounting software is affordable, easy to use, and provides capabilities and functionalities of which you may not be aware. It’s ready to use straight out of the box and typically doesn’t require much in terms of setting it up.

One of the great things about accounting software is the ability to automate the repetitive tasks that take up your time. The software is able to automate invoicing, payment reminders, collections and budgeting, just to name a few. The software is also able to integrate with multiple departments.

Invoicing, statements and other documents can be created automatically and sent to clients electronically via email or printed out and faxed. The feature saves you a substantial amount of time and facilitates payment collection without the need to rely upon time-consuming Excel spreadsheets.

Most accounting software will allow you to automatically transfer and import data from spreadsheets into the program. If you offer credit accounts, the software can identify contact information for those that owe you money and provide a detailed account of the transaction. Financial reports can be prepared for yourself and you’ll have the option of being able to send them to other recipients as needed.

Today’s modern accounting software will have powerful analytics, the ability to create custom reports, and delve deep within your company’s structure to determine where any improvements or changes should be made. With accounting software, you’ll spend less time on repetitive tasks and have the tools to plan for your company’s health and future.

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!

 

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Tax Penalties you Need to Avoid

It doesn’t matter whether it’s time to pay your personal taxes or your business taxes, it’s easy to run afoul of the IRS. There are some common types of tax penalties that you may incur if you don’t stay focused. The following are the most common tax penalties you need to avoid.

Bad Checks

If you write a check to pay your taxes and the funds aren’t available when the IRS tries to withdraw the money, you can be penalized a set amount or the full amount of the check you wrote.

Charitable Contributions

Anyone caught operating for-profit activities while claiming the endeavor as a charitable organization will face considerable penalties. Non-profits that are caught operating for-profit activities can lose their tax exempt status.

Failure to File

There are some taxpayers that aren’t required to file a return, but if you do have to file, you need to do so by a specific date or file for an extension. An extension gives you six more months to file, but won’t absolve you from the need to pay any taxes owed by the usual deadline.

Failure to Pay

When you owe taxes to the IRS, you have 21 days to pay the entire amount. If you don’t, the IRS will charge you ½ of 1 percent per month on the amount you owe.

Fraud

Fraud occurs when you don’t report all your income or inflate the number of deductions you have to lower your taxes. The IRS can penalize you by 75 percent of what you actually owe and/or have you jailed. The IRS receives a copy of your earnings every year, just as you do.

Late Payments

If you fail to pay a balance owed the IRS by the filing deadline, there will be financial penalties that will be added to what you already owe. Those penalties accrue compound interest each month that they go unpaid.

Social Security Number

You have to provide a Social Security number for yourself, spouse, and anyone you claim as a dependent. You must disclose those numbers or face penalties for each instance of non-compliance.

Underpayment

For individuals that estimate their tax burden, you’ll incur a fine if you fail to pay the entire amount. There is also a fine for underestimating what you owe. The fine will be added to the amount you owe the next time you’re required to file.

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!

 

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Preparing for tax audit

Reduce Your Chance for a Tax Audit

Everyone fears the dreaded tax audit – and with good reason. It means that the algorithm scoring formula used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has found what it deems to be an irregularity on your tax return. Few audits turn out well for the individual or small business being questioned and the following are just a few of the ways that people can help mitigate the chance of being audited.

Hire a Professional

Nothing can compare to the personalized service and expertise available with a tax professional. It’s tempting to use online tax software. It’s easy and convenient, but the software may not be able to account for special circumstances and you may be leaving money on the table that could go in your pocket. Hire a professional if your tax return is complicated or complex in any way.

File on Time

Seeking an extension or filing an amended return can activate you for review by IRS systems, particularly for high-end earners. The same is true for those that file paper returns. It’s always best to e-file and makes sure they’re filed before the deadline.

Documentation

When dealing with the IRS, documentation is everything. If there’s a chance that the IRS may not understand expenses you’ve claimed or deductions, the onus will be on you to provide documentation to prove your right to make the claims. A professional tax preparer will know what documentation you’ll need.

Deductions

Another instance that will red-flag your tax return is the deduction-to-income-ratio. Deduction amounts that are unusually high compared to stated income may be a symptom of claiming the same deductions twice in the eyes of the IRS. Stay away from dubious deductions.

Exemptions

A high number of exemptions and dependents will bring unwarranted attention from the IRS. There are specific rules about what dependents are eligible for you to claim. For example, in some instances, a dependent may be required to file their own return, which means you can’t claim them.

Compliance

Remaining in compliance with your responsibilities in regard to withholding taxes, filing status, deductions, and exemptions will significantly reduce the potential for a tax audit. If you do get audited, having a professional file your tax return will ensure you have knowledgeable backup should you need it.

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!

 

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How an Accounting Firm can Help Your Small Business

Small business owners have more than their share of tax-related items to consider and an accounting firm can help in a number of ways. It can provide bookkeeping services, tax consulting and return preparation, payroll processing, cash flow estimations, and even litigation support if needed.

As a business owner, you may need to make difficult decisions based on your own unique circumstances and the industry you’re in, along with current and future economic trends. You never know when an emergency will occur or what type – as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. An accounting firm that’s adaptable and can act quickly in your best interests is worth its weight in gold.

Accounting firms can help you achieve greater success and business health through insights and experience gained over many years, combined with an in-depth knowledge of financial matters. An accounting firm has the ability to provide precise and highly-detailed reports about all areas of your financial health. It can also identify opportunities for growth of which you may not be aware.

Hiring an accounting firm provides the means to maintain financial stability. You’ll know at every juncture what your cash flow is for consistent and reliable growth. You’ll know the number of staff to hire, when not to take on new challenges, and be able to serve your clients in the best way possible.

An accounting firm also provides you with the means to market your business more efficiently and effectively for the acquisition of new clients. Knowing the financial health of the business will enable you to launch marketing campaigns at the most opportune time.

Greater efficiency is another way that an accounting firm can help your small business prosper. They provide you with highly accurate financial information so you’ll know the best time to expand or make other investments that can make the enterprise more efficient and profitable. An accounting firm helps you get all aspects of your business finances under control and in order.

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!

 

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How to Analyze a Financial Statement

Its obvious financial statements have a lot of numbers in them and at first glance, it can seem unwieldy to read and understand. One way to interpret a financial report is to compute ratios, which means, divide a particular number in the financial report by another. Financial statement ratios are also useful because they enable the reader to compare a business’s current performance with its past performance or with another business’s performance, regardless of whether sales revenue or net income was bigger or smaller for the other years or the other business. In order words, using ratios can cancel out differences in company sizes.

 

There aren’t many ratios in financial reports. Publicly owned businesses are required to report just one ratio (earnings per share, or EPS) and privately-owned businesses generally don’t report any ratios. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) don’t require that any ratios be reported, except EPS for publicly owned companies.

 

Ratios don’t provide definitive answers, however. They’re useful indicators but aren’t the only factor in gauging the profitability and effectiveness of a company.

 

One ratio that’s a useful indicator of a company’s profitability is the gross margin ratio. This is the gross margin divided by the sales revenue. Businesses don’t disclose margin information in their external financial reports. This information is considered to be proprietary in nature and is kept confidential to shield it from competitors.

 

The profit ratio is very important in analyzing the bottom-line of a company. It indicates how much net income was earned on each $100 of sales revenue. A profit ratio of 5 to 10 percent is common in most industries, although some highly price-competitive industries, such as retailers or grocery stores will show profit ratios of only 1 to 2 percent.

 

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!

 

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accounting firm Conway South Carolina

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is the practice of utilizing accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to assist in legal matters.  It encompasses 2 main areas – litigation support, investigation, and dispute resolution.

Litigation support represents the factual presentation of economic issues related to existing or pending litigation.  In this capacity, the forensic accounting professional quantifies damages sustained by parties involved in legal disputes and can assist in resolving disputes, even before they reach the courtroom.  If a dispute reaches the courtroom, the forensic accountant may testify as an expert witness.

Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as employee theft, securities fraud (including falsification of financial statements), identity theft, and insurance fraud have occurred.  As part of the forensic accountant’s work, he or she may recommend actions that can be taken to minimize future risk of loss.  Investigation may also occur in civil matters.  For example, the forensic accountant may search for hidden assets in divorce cases.

Forensic accounting involves looking beyond the numbers and grasping the substance of situations.  It’s more than accounting…more than detective work…it’s a combination that will be in demand for as long as human nature exists.  Who wouldn’t want a career that offers such stability, excitement, and financial rewards?

In short, forensic accounting requires the most important quality a person can possess: the ability to think.  Far from being an ability that is specific to success in any particular field, developing the ability to think enhances a person’s chances of success in life, thus increasing a person’s worth in today’s society.   Why not consider becoming a forensic accountant?

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!

 

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7 Ways to Minimize Your Income Taxes

Are you paying too much in income taxes?  Are you getting all the credits and deductions you are entitled to?  Here are 7 tips to help you minimize taxes and keep more in your pocket:

 

  1. Participate in company retirement plans. Every dollar you contribute will reduce your taxable income and thus your income taxes.  Similarly, enroll in your company’s flexible spending account.  You can set aside money for medical expenses and day care expenses.  This money is “use it or lose it” so make sure you estimate well!

 

  1. Make sure you pay in enough taxes to avoid penalties. Uncle Sam charges interest and penalties if you don’t pay in at least 90% of your current year taxes or 100% of last year’s tax liability.

 

  1. Buy a house. The mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible, and may allow you to itemize other deductions such as property taxes and charitable donations.

 

  1. Keep your house for at least two years. One of the best tax breaks available today is the home sale exclusion, which allows you to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of profit on the sale of your home from your income.  However, you must have owned and lived in your home for at least two years to qualify for the exclusion.

 

  1. Time your investment sales. If your income is higher than expected, sell some of your losers to reduce taxable income.  If you will be selling a mutual fund, sell before the year-end distributions to avoid taxes on the upcoming dividend or capital gain.   Also, you should allocate tax efficient investments to your taxable accounts and non-efficient investments to your retirement accounts, to reduce the tax you pay on interest, dividends and capital gains.

 

  1. If you’re retired, plan your retirement plan distributions carefully. If a retirement plan distribution will push you into a higher tax bracket, consider taking money out of taxable investments to keep you in the lower tax bracket.  Also, pay attention to the 59-½ age limit.  Withdrawals taken before this age can result in penalties in addition to income taxes.

 

  1. Bunch your expenses. Certain expenses must exceed a minimum before you can deduct them (medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income and miscellaneous expenses such as tax preparation fees must exceed 2% of your AGI).  In order to deduct these expenses, you may need to bunch these types of expenses into a single year to get above the minimum.  To achieve this, you might prepay medical and miscellaneous expenses on December 31 to get above the minimum amount.

 

The most important thing is to be aware of the tax deductions and credits that apply to you and to plan for taxable events.  And don’t be afraid to ask for help.  The benefits from consulting an experienced tax professional far outweigh the cost to hire that professional.

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!

 

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