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The Importance of Keeping Good Records

Every business owner knows the value of maintaining accurate records for tax purposes, but keeping good records also provides individuals with a measure of the health of their enterprise. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brick and mortar store or operated completely online through e-commerce, good record keeping is critical.

It’s recommended that individuals keep pertinent records for three years and that includes tax returns. Most business owners envision boxes and file cabinets full of paper documents and that can seem overwhelming. Welcoming the digital age and appropriate software programs into a business will eliminate the clutter and keep records immediately available should they be needed for any contingency.

Keeping good records provides business owners with the knowledge required to know if their endeavor is failing or flourishing. It also tells them which products are selling well, where their largest expenditures are, and any areas where changes may need to be made.

Business owners have a legal obligation to maintain full and accurate records about their enterprise. They’ll need those records if they’re audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or asked to explain any items on their tax returns.

Maintaining detailed records enables individuals to prove income, deductible expenses for tax purposes, and make projections about their tax liability. Those records will also be utilized to prepare a variety of financial statements and balance sheets that will be essential when working with banks and creditors.

Good record keeping allows business owners to ascertain where the majority of purchases are originating, along with the reliability of the vendors with which they regularly conduct business. The receipts provide a record of who pays promptly and who doesn’t.

All of those records provide a health check on the business, allowing owners to make critical decisions about issues such as expansions, new product lines, vendors, and employees. Keeping good records is the key to operating any business more efficiently, effectively, and profitably.

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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Smart Things to do with your Tax Refund

It can be extremely tempting to use your tax refund to reward yourself with a mini-vacation or buy something you’ve been wanting. Unfortunately, when the money is spent it’s gone for good and you’ll still be looking at the same debts as before while trying to make ends meet. The following is a list of the smartest things that anyone can do with their tax refund.

Debt

Pay off any credit card debt if possible or a significant portion of it. Depending upon your individual circumstances, you may choose instead to pay down student loan debt.

Education

Consider an educational fund for your children. Costs continue to increase and an education fund will lessen the student loan burden when they seek a degree. You may want to take advantage of continuing education for yourself and the fund may even be tax deductible.

Emergencies

A major car repair, medical expense, or job loss can happen at any time. An emergency fund will help meet those challenges without breaking into the rent money.

Home Improvements

There are dozens of home improvement projects that are necessary, but it may be difficult to handle the cost all at once. A new roof, more efficient air conditioning, or a bathroom or kitchen update is a good investment, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home.

Life Insurance

A life insurance policy is one of the most overlooked precautions for families. A term policy can provide for final expenses and pay off debt upon your death.

Mortgages

Make extra payments on your mortgage. More of your monthly payments will begin going toward the principal instead of interest.

Retirement

The time for retirement will arrive sooner than you think and you need to be prepared. Consider putting your tax refund into a traditional or Roth IRA where it will stay safely tucked away when you’re no longer working.

Savings

Establishing a separate savings account from your primary savings and checking will keep the money out of sight and out of mind. You won’t be tempted to spend it on impulse buys.

Start a Business

If you’ve ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur with your own business, a tax refund can help you realize that goal. The best part is that you don’t have to quit your regular job while you’re building your brand.

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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Great Ways to Keep Track of your Finances

In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to monitor and manage your financial health. Keeping track of your finances involves more than simply knowing how much is in your account or making sure you pay the rent or mortgage on time. There are a number of ways that anyone can utilize to better manage their money that includes the following, in no particular order.

Accurate Budgeting

A budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend for fun. It does mean that you need to account for the must-pay expenses first, such as rent, car payments, utilities, groceries, and insurance premiums. The remainder will provide information on major expenditures ad areas where you might save.

The Little Things

Small expenses are the bane of a budget. They nibble away at money that you could be saving and they account for a significant amount of money each day. Some of those small expenses include eating lunch out, whether it’s by yourself or with co-workers, or designer coffees and juices. Start saving receipts from each purchase and total them up at the end of the month or use a debit card for each purchase so you can go back and identify each one on your bank statement.

Savings

Everyone should have a savings goal whether it’s for a major purchase or for retirement purposes. If your budget doesn’t have a category for savings, create one. It can be any amount you want, but financial advisers recommend a set percentage of your income. Don’t be tempted to draw upon your savings. If you have extra money at the end of the month, shift it to your savings.

Software

There are dozens of software programs that will help you budget your money, track expenditures, and even send you alerts via mobile device so it’s easy to manage your money on the go with today’s busy lifestyles.

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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What are Auditors?

Accountants and auditors help to ensure that the Nation’s firms are run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. They perform these vital functions by offering an increasingly wide array of business and accounting services, including public, management, and government accounting, as well as internal auditing, to their clients. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation-preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to clients-many accountants now are required to possess a wide range of knowledge and skills. Accountants and auditors are broadening the services they offer to include budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services.

Specific job duties vary widely among the four major fields of accounting: public, management, and government accounting and internal auditing.

Internal auditors verify the accuracy of their organization’s internal records and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. Internal auditing is an increasingly important area of accounting and auditing. Internal auditors examine and evaluate their firms’ financial and information systems, management procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and controls are adequate to protect against fraud and waste. They also review company operations, evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and procedures, laws, and government regulations. There are many types of highly specialized auditors, such as electronic data-processing, environmental, engineering, legal, insurance premium, bank, and health care auditors. As computer systems make information timelier, internal auditors help managers to base their decisions on actual data, rather than personal observation. Internal auditors also may recommend controls for their organization’s computer system, to ensure the reliability of the system and the integrity of the data.

 

Government accountants and auditors work in the public sector, maintaining and examining the records of government agencies and auditing private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by Federal, State, and local governments guarantee that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations. Those employed by the Federal Government may work as Internal Revenue Service agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration.

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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Revenue and receivables

In most businesses, what drives the balance sheet are sales and expenses. In other words, they cause the assets and liabilities in a business. One of the more complicated accounting items are the accounts receivable. As a hypothetical situation, imagine a business that offers all its customers a 30-day credit period, which is fairly common in transactions between businesses, (not transactions between a business and individual consumers).

An accounts receivable asset shows how much money customers who bought products on credit still owe the business. It’s a promise of case that the business will receive. Basically, accounts receivable is the amount of uncollected sales revenue at the end of the accounting period. Cash does not increase until the business actually collects this money from its business customers. However, the amount of money in accounts receivable is included in the total sales revenue for that same period. The business did make the sales, even if it hasn’t acquired all the money from the sales yet. Sales revenue, then isn’t equal to the amount of cash that the business accumulated.

To get actual cash flow, the accountant must subtract the amount of credit sales not collected from the sales revenue in cash. Then add in the amount of cash that was collected for the credit sales that were made in the preceding reporting period. If the amount of credit sales a business made during the reporting period is greater than what was collected from customers, then the accounts receivable account increased over the period and the business has to subtract from net income that difference.

If the amount they collected during the reporting period is greater than the credit sales made, then the accounts receivable decreased over the reporting period, and the accountant needs to add to net income that difference between the receivables at the beginning of the reporting period and the receivables at the end of the same period.

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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Bookkeeping Basics

Most people probably think of bookkeeping and accounting as the same thing, but bookkeeping is really one function of accounting, while accounting encompasses many functions involved in managing the financial affairs of a business. Accountants prepare reports based, in part, on the work of bookkeepers.

Bookkeepers perform all manner of record-keeping tasks. Some of them include the following:

They prepare what are referred to as source documents for all the operations of a business – the buying, selling, transferring, paying and collecting. The documents include papers such as purchase orders, invoices, credit card slips, time cards, time sheets and expense reports. Bookkeepers also determine and enter in the source documents what are called the financial effects of the transactions and other business events. Those include paying the employees, making sales, borrowing money or buying products or raw materials for production.

Bookkeepers also make entries of the financial effects into journals and accounts. These are two different things. A journal is the record of transactions in chronological order. An accounts is a separate record, or page for each asset and each liability. One transaction can affect several accounts.

Bookkeepers prepare reports at the end of specific period of time, such as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. To do this, all the accounts need to be up to date. Inventory records must be updated and the reports checked and double-checked to ensure that they’re as error-free as possible.

The bookkeepers also compile complete listings of all accounts. This is called the adjusted trial balance. While a small business may have a hundred or so accounts, very large businesses can have more than 10,000 accounts.

The final step is for the bookkeeper to close the books, which means bringing all the bookkeeping for a fiscal year to a close and summarized.

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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