Business

When Do You Need Outside Financial Advice?

Think back to your first job. You probably didn’t need to use an itemized tax return and just had a simple 1040-EZ to mail. Owning property, starting a business, having a family, establishing college funds, investing in real estate or stock and preparing for retirement – these milestones come later. With every new phase of your life, your financial needs become more complex. At some point, it makes good sense to call on a financial advisor to protect your wealth and prepare you for what’s to come in life.

CPA services save you more than they cost. With gains from tax savings, wise investments and protection from financial risk, you have more reason than you think to choose a financial advisor. A financial advisor helps you meet your future on sound financial footing at every point in your career. Continue reading

Silver Lining Playbook: Deductions for Net Operating Losses

Even a wildly successful business doesn’t show continuous profits throughout its lifetime. Some amount of loss is almost inevitable, but a business loss can have a silver lining when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service. Deductions for a business loss can provide tax relief and give you a significant refund – possibly as much as your entire previous year’s tax payment.

Sole proprietorships can choose to deduct losses from other income, such as investments, wages and spousal income on joint returns. Your filing status becomes somewhat more complex when you are part of an LLC, partnership or S corporation, but your individual return still carries your share of the total business loss that passes through the company to you. Only C corporations cannot make business loss deductions on individual returns; in these cases, the loss is ascribed to the business and should be handled by a CPA with corporate tax experience. Continue reading

5 Questions to Ask Your CPA When You’re Starting a Business

Your business plan may be in order, your lease agreement in the works and your pitch to potential backers honed to perfection, but if you haven’t spoken to your CPA in depth about your business plans, you’re missing crucial information. For many small and mid-sized business owners, the enthusiasm for creating a new business overshadows more mundane concerns about cash flow, loss prevention and taxes. It’s worth investing the time to meet with your CPA before you take any major step toward opening; when you do, put these questions on your list of things to ask.

“What’s the best way to set up my company?”

You have many avenues available to you for your fledgling business, including incorporation or becoming an LLC. An attorney’s advice is essential here, but so is your accountant’s. Your company’s organizational status has far-reaching implications for everything from taxes to financial liability in the event of a lawsuit, so you should involve your accountant in the decision process too. Continue reading

How to Choose a CPA for Your Business

Aside from any business partners you may have, your accountant probably gets to know more about your company than anyone but you. The organization’s financial health will rest in the capable hands of your CPA, so it’s worth finding a firm that’s a good fit for your needs. Asking the following questions can help you narrow down your selection.

How Available Do You Need Your CPA to Be?

In a volatile economy, companies in industries that experience variable work flow may need an accountant to be readily available for face-to-face meetings and teleconferences throughout their busiest seasons. Others prefer to give their CPA the reins and need little contact beyond the occasional phone call or email exchange. Whether your approach requires frequent communication or feels more hands-off, look for a firm that is flexible enough to meet your need for contact with your CPA. Continue reading