Accounting, Bookkeeping, and QuickBooks Tips for Small Businesses

Posts tagged human resources

Yes, CPA’s Can Do More than File Taxes

CPAs Can Do More Than Taxes Tax season is in full swing and small business owners have taxes on the brain. Don’t get me wrong, tax professionals are an important advisor to your business. Good tax CPA’s can help you save tax money, plan for future tax costs, and create a plan to reduce future taxes. However, did you know that CPA’s can do more than just taxes?

Let’s stop and think about your business. If you run a small business, bookkeeping is a huge part of your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. Bookkeeping is the backbone to your small business. It provides you with a trail map detailing where your business has been, where your business is today, and where your business is headed in the future. Good bookkeeping can mean the difference between a successful business and a failing business. In addition to your tax CPA, why not choose a CPA that specializes in helping small businesses with their day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping needs?

In addition to taxes and audits, here are a few other ways CPA’s can help your small business.

  • Management Consulting
    • Analyze business operations and suggest changes.
    • Help businesses make better use of their resources, thus increasing efficiency and improving profitability.
    • Pricing strategies for new products and services.
    • Develop marketing strategies and track marketing plans for profitability.
    • Create a business plan for entrepreneurs or for existing businesses wanting to roll out a new department, product, or service.
    • Setting up a business – consult on business structure and registering the business with the correct government agencies.
  • Financial Consulting
    • Create forecasts and budgets.
    • Produce financial statements – Balance Sheet, Income Statement (Profit & Loss), and Statement of Cash Flows.
    • Perform ratio analysis – watch for business financial trends, problems, and growth.
    • Teach business owners how to read and understand financial statements, budgets, forecasts, and ratio analyses.
  • Financial Analysis
    • How much revenue does my company need to generate to be able to hire an employee?
    • Would my business save money if we purchased parts from a vendor instead of manufacturing them in house?
    • Create and calculate compensation plans – commission plans for sales staff, salary and bonuses for management, salary plans for staff, etc.
    • Why does one department continually loose money every month? What can the business do differently or change to start generating a profit?
    • Tracking cash flows – how much does my business need to make payroll? How much cash does my business need to pay next month’s bills? How much cash will be left over to pay the owner?
  • Bookkeeping
    • Accounts Receivable – record payments, assist with collections, generate invoices and statements.
    • Accounts Payable – record and pay bills and track expenses.
    • Bank Reconciliations.
    • Credit card statement reconciliations.
    • Reconcile PayPal accounts.
    • General ledger clean up and review.
    • QuickBooks Consulting – QuickBooks set up, QuickBooks training, QuickBooks clean up.
    • Cloud based and/or SAAS (software as a service) bookkeeping solutions.
    • Create, set up, and organize an accounting system.
  • Payroll
    • Online payroll processing for your small business.
    • File your quarterly and annual payroll returns – 940, 941, W-2’s, W-3, and 1099’s
    • New hire reporting.
    • Post payroll figures into the accounting software.
  • Human Resources
    • Generate an employee handbook.
    • Draft and create job descriptions.
    • Calculate compensation plans.
    • Consult on employee benefit plans – retirement savings plans, health insurance, and paid time off.
    • COBRA administration.
    • Workman’s Compensation.
    • Employee management consulting.
    • Unemployment Insurance.

This by no means is a comprehensive list of things your CPA can help you and your business with. As your business grows, changes, and enters new areas contact your CPA. You might be surprised at the additional services and resources they can provide for your small business!

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


Snow Day! Are Employers Required to Pay Employees for Snow Days?

I originally wrote this blog post for CafeTax. Since it’s a common question with the winter weather we’ve been experiencing, I wanted to share it with all of you as well.

Snow Day! Employers Obligation to Pay Employees for Snow DayIn the past few weeks, the US has felt the affects of winter. Blizzards, ice storms, and dangerously cold temps have forced schools and businesses to close. Many employers are asking – Am I required to pay my employees for “snow days”?

Federal and state laws determine how employees are paid when businesses close due to inclement weather. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from the Department of Labor sets the federal employment pay laws. Every state is different, so make sure to check with your state(s) to see if they have any additional inclement weather laws.

Exempt Employees (Salary)
According to the FLSA, exempt employees are in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity and paid on a salary basis, not less than $455 per week. Some computer employees also fall under this exemption. To qualify for exemption, employees must meet specific criteria regarding their job duties and are typically paid on a salary basis. Keep in mind, job titles do not determine exempt status.

When it comes to snow day pay, it depends whether or not the employer closes the office. If the business remains open and the employee voluntarily chooses not to come to work because of the dangerous conditions, then the employer may deduct a full day of pay from the exempt employee. Employers are only allowed to deduct a full day’s worth of pay. Therefore, if the employee takes 1 1/2 days off due to the weather, the employer must pay a full day of wages for the 1/2 day worked and may deduct 1 day’s worth of pay for the full day of work the employee voluntarily missed.

When the employer closes the office due to the inclement weather, then under federal law, the employer is required to pay the exempt employee their regular salary for the day. The federal law clearly states no deductions can be made if exempt employees are “ready, willing and able to work,” but there just happens to be no work available.

Non-exempt Employees (Hourly)
Non-exempt employees are generally paid on an hourly basis and are subject to the minimum wage and overtime time pay requirements set forth in the FLSA. Employers are only required to pay non-exempt employees for the actual hours in which they perform work. Therefore, regardless of whether the office is open or closed during the inclement weather, employers are not required to pay non-exempt employees for the hours the non-exempt employee did not work.

Paid Time Off
The FLSA and Department of Labor do not require paid time off. Therefore, the employer can choose to have their exempt and non-exempt employees use their accrued paid time off for “snow days.” Keep in mind, if an exempt employee does not have enough paid time off to cover the snow day, the employer is still responsible for paying the full days worth of salary to the exempt employee.

Inclement Weather Policy
I recommend businesses create a written inclement weather policy. The policy should clearly state how employees will be compensated for “snow days” and if the employee is expected to use accrued paid time off in the event of a “snow day.” The inclement weather policy should be written, reviewed by the employer’s legal counsel, and be well communicated with the employees.

Keep in mind that laws, company policy, and what employees think is fair do not always match. To help keep happy employees, remind your employees of the company’s inclement weather policy and talk about it when bad weather is forecasted. Open and honest communication with your employees helps make snow days as easy as possible.

Resources:
Opinion Letter FLSA2005-41
Opinion Letter FLSA2005-46
Department of Labor’s Model Basis Salary Policy

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


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