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Accounting Agency Conway

Understanding Depreciation Reporting

In an accountant’s reporting systems, depreciation of a business’s fixed assets such as its buildings, equipment, computers, etc. is not recorded as a cash outlay. When an accountant measures profit on the accrual basis of accounting, he or she counts depreciation as an expense. Buildings, machinery, tools, vehicles and furniture all have a limited useful life. All fixed assets, except for actual land, have a limited lifetime of usefulness to a business. Depreciation is the method of accounting that allocates the total cost of fixed assets to each year of their use in helping the business generate revenue. 

Part of the total sales revenue of a business includes recover of cost invested in its fixed assets. In a real sense a business sells some of its fixed assets in the sales prices that it charges it customers. For example, when you go to a grocery store, a small portion of the price you pay for eggs or bread goes toward the cost of the buildings, the machinery, bread ovens, etc. Each reporting period, a business recoups part of the cost invested in its fixed assets. 

It’s not enough for the accountant to add back depreciation for the year to bottom-line profit. The changes in other assets, as well as the changes in liabilities, also affect cash flow from profit. The competent accountant will factor in all the changes that determine cash flow from profit. Depreciation is only one of many adjustments to the net income of a business to determine cash flow from operating activities. Amortization of intangible assets is another expense that is recorded against a business’s assets for year. It’s different in that it doesn’t require cash outlay in the year being charged with the expense. That occurred when the business invested in those tangible assets.

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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The Purpose of Your Accountant

An accountant is a licensed professional who has gone to hell and back to gain their designation as a certified public accountant. The testing for the certification is beyond brutal. If an accountant is certified, it means they are extremely versed in the tax code, finances and tax issues. 

 

Many people are under the mistaken belief that accountants simply provide tax return preparation services. The stereotypical view involves a person dropping off their receipts a month before tax returns are due and the accountant doing the best he or she can to prepare a tax return while limiting the amount of money you owe the government. This occurs, but people are wasting money if this is how they are using their accountant. 

 

Accountants have expertise in the tax code. You should use this. Ideally, an accountant will aware of all aspects of your financial life. They should also be aware of significant events in your private life, such as the fact you are about to have a child. The reason this is important is it gives the accountant the ability to solve your tax mystery. 

 

Solving a tax mystery simply refers to an accountant figuring out the best way to limit your taxes. As you know from police shows on television or mystery novels, finding as many clues as possible is the way to solve the mystery. The accountant needs to do the same with you and you need to help them. Each part of your finances represents a clue to solving the mystery of how to cut your tax bill. 

 

Once an accountant has all the clues, he or she can do their job. They will give you specific direction on the steps to be taken to save money on your tax bill this year. Equally important, they will give you advice on how you are going to save taxes in future years. Depending on your situation, they may even recommend a long-term tax strategy for stuffing away money to pay for your kids’ college tuition or your retirement. 

 

The purpose of using an accountant is not just to put tax returns together. They put together tax strategies to save you money this year, the next and throughout your life.

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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Profit and Loss

It might seem like a no-brainer to define just exactly what profit and loss are. But of course, these have definitions like everything else.  Profit can be called different things, for a start. It’s sometimes called net income or net earnings.  Businesses that sell products and services generate profit from the sales of those products or services and from controlling the attendant costs of running the business. Profit can also be referred to as Return on Investment, or ROI. While some definitions limit ROI to profit on investments in such securities as stocks or bonds, many companies use this term to refer to short-term and long-term business results. Profit is also sometimes called taxable income.

It’s the job of the accounting and finance professionals to assess the profits and losses of a company. They have to know what created both and what the results of both sides of the business equation are. They determine what the net worth of a company is. Net worth is the resulting dollar amount from deducting a company’s liabilities from its assets. In a privately held company, this is also called owner’s equity, since anything that’s left over after all the bills are paid, to put it simply, belongs to the owners. In a publicly held company, this profit is returned to the shareholders in the form of dividends. In other words, all liabilities have the first claim on any money the company makes. Anything that’s left over is profit. It’s not derived from one element or another. Net worth is determined after all the liabilities are deducted from all the assets, including cash and property. 

Showing a profit, or a positive figure on the balance sheet, is of course the aim of every business. It’s what our economy and society are built on. It doesn’t always work out that way. Economic trends and consumer behaviors change and it’s not always possible to predict these and what income they’ll have on a company’s performance.

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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What are Independent Auditors?

Independent CPA auditors are like referees in the financial reporting arena. The CPA comes in, does an audit of the business’s accounting system and methods and gives a report that is attached to the company’s financial statements. Publicly owned businesses are required to have their annual financial reports audited by independent CPA firms and any privately owned businesses have audits done as well because they know that an audit report will add credibility to their financial reports.

An auditor judges whether the business’s accounting methods are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Generally, everything is in place and the financial report is a reliable document. But at times an auditor will wave a yellow or red flag. Some indicators of potential trouble include when the business’s capability to continue normal operations is in doubt because of what are known as financial exigencies, which could mean a low cash balance, unpaid overdue liabilities, or major lawsuits that the business doesn’t have the cash to cover.

An auditor must exercise professional skepticism, meaning the auditor should challenge the accounting methods and reporting practices of the client in order to make sure that its financial statement conforms with accounting standards and are not misleading – in short, that the financial statement are fairly presented. Indeed, the words “fairly presented” are the exact words used in the auditor’s report.

A good auditor needs technical know-how, but also needs to know how to be tough on the accounting methods of the client. His job is to be the agent of the shareholders and other users of the business’s financial report. It’s incumbent on an auditor to strictly uphold GAAP, and not let any irregularities slide. 

There are a number of well-known companies that engaged in accounting fraud recently and that fraud was not discovered by the CPA auditors. Enron is one of these companies. In this case, the auditing firm, Arthur Anderson was found guilty of obstruction of justice because it destroyed audit evidence.

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 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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tax deductions

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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