What’s the Difference Between Cash and Accrual Accounting?

What’s the Difference Between Cash and Accrual Accounting?

You can have the same amount of money flowing in and out of your business, but did you know that the way you choose to account for that cash-flow in your books can affect the tax due on your return? Beyond the obvious financial decisions a company must make regarding their accounts, like budgeting, every business should take a careful look at their method of bookkeeping and decide whether the accrual or cash method would be more suited for their business. To do that, however, you must first understand how both work. The Cash Method The cash method, as the name suggests, is a form of bookkeeping that simply accounts for income and expenses as they happen. For instance, if a product is sold, the income would only be recorded after the money has been received, while expenses are counted only after the bill has been paid. Commonly used by individuals or small businesses, the cash method is a great way to have a grasp of a company’s financial state in real-time. However, one disadvantage to cash accounting is that it can be deceiving in the long-run, as it can show that a company has plenty of cash coming in, when in reality, the long-term expenses far outweigh the revenue. The Accrual Method The favored method by many large companies, accrual accounting focuses on recording all income and expenses, even before the money ever changes hands. As this offers businesses a broader financial picture in the long-term, accrual accounting can often help companies plan for growth and avoid potential pitfalls down the road – though it can be difficult...
Payroll Support to End for QuickBooks 2015

Payroll Support to End for QuickBooks 2015

Per Intuit’s (the creators of QuickBooks) yearly tradition to retire an older version of their QuickBooks software, Intuit has announced that on May 31, 2018, QuickBooks Desktop 2015 will be discontinued, and as such all current 2015 users are advised to upgrade to Intuit’s newer 2018 software. Are you currently using QuickBooks 2015 for your payroll and taxes? Here’s everything you need to know about the changes and what to expect come May 31. Why Is QuickBooks Discontinuing Service? Application sunsetting happens for a number of reasons, but in the case of QuickBooks, the answer is simple: Intuit regularly discontinues their older products to ensure that all users run off of the same data – thereby eliminating the incongruent hassle of maintaining an outdated service. Plus, with so many new features and user-friendly upgrades to their latest version of QuickBooks, the change is sure to be beneficial for all involved. Which Features Will Be Affected? While an unsupported version of QuickBooks will continue to work, as of May 31st, all users still operating off of QuickBooks Desktop 2015 will find access to their Payroll, Online Banking, and Merchant Services denied. All paycheck and tax calculations – whether using Basic, Standard, Enhanced, or Assisted Payroll – will be inaccurate, as well as automatic tax filing ceasing to process. Access to Intuit’s services or online support will also be canceled and users will be unable to submit information such as direct deposits, filings, and payments. Customers with the Annual Support Plan, however, will continue to have full access until their yearly subscription expires, at which point they must upgrade to a...
Due Dates for Filing 2017’s Tax Returns

Due Dates for Filing 2017’s Tax Returns

It’s officially tax season, which means it’s time to gather your documents, meet with your CPA, and start filing your 2017 tax returns. To help you stay on top of things, here’s everything you need to know about this year’s income tax return due dates and filing extensions. Business Tax Return Due Dates: As each business entity type often has different deadlines for Federal Income Tax Returns, here’s a graph of each one for reference:   Entity Type: Return/Extension Filing Due Date: Due Date After Extension: S Corporation or Partnership 03/15/2018 09/17/2018 C Corporation and Individuals 04/17/2018 10/15/2018 Exempt Organizations 05/15/2018 08/15/2018 Any tax returns filed late will be accepted – though you can expect to pay late fees – all the way up to its final deadline (the extension due date), after which all electronic filing will be denied by the IRS, and you must file via paper instead. If you don’t yet have all the necessary tax information to file your return on time, you can file for an Extension all the way up to the filing due date, which will extend your return deadline by up to 6 months (see graph for exact dates). But remember: filing for a Tax Extension does not extend the payment deadline for tax due, so be sure to pay all your taxes on time! Business Tax Return Forms: Need help deciding which tax form your business requires you to fill out? Here’s a basic guide for your convenience:   Entity Type: Required Tax Form: S Corporations Form 1120S C Corporations Form 1120 Partnerships Form 1065 Individuals Form 1040 Exempt Organizations...
Understanding 1099s

Understanding 1099s

Let’s talk 1099-MISC forms. Commonly forgotten or misunderstood by businesses, Form 1099-MISC is often the oversight for those looking to pass the tax season with flying colors. Which begs the question: did you submit the 1099s that were due this year? Hopefully you filed them on time (they were due January 31st). If not, you can still submit them, but you may face a late filing penalty. To help you process them accurately and on time next year, here’s everything you need to know about the 1099-MISC. What is Form1099-MISC? In most cases, a 1099-Misc is issued to report a payment over $600 made to a non-incorporated individual or partnership who performed a service for your business. For example, if your business hired a freelancer to redesign your website for you and paid them $650, your business is then liable to report that expense through a 1099 by January 31st, the following year. You need not report if the work was done by an employee, valued at less than $600, or if payment is made via credit card or through a third party such as Paypal. How to File Your 1099 It is commonly misunderstood that the responsibility to file a 1099-MISC form lies with the worker, rather than the business that hired them. However, the opposite is true and any business that fails to report the expense can be penalized. In order to file a 1099 form, tax information must first be collected from the person with whom you are working – adding yet another reason to the list of why every business should get into the habit...
Understanding Bill.com — Our Trusted Tool

Understanding Bill.com — Our Trusted Tool

When it comes to managing our clients’ bookkeeping, we at AB&P trust Bill.com to help us securely and efficiently handle all accounts payable and receivable – saving us, and our clients, more time to help those they serve. We know that you care about your business just as much as we do ours.  This is why we value transparency and think it’s important that every client has the chance to understand how their finances are handled. So, if you’re curious how your bills are being paid and who works the magic of your cash-flow: we take care of it – through the use of Bill.com. While other firms are forced to outsource the different facets of billing and invoicing to multiple sites, or spend all day entering each item manually, at Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll we help streamline the process for our clients by keeping everything in one place.  We do so with scheduled, hands-free, and automatic invoicing and billing all through Bill.com. As one of the few online accounting softwares capable of giving its user complete control over all aspects of billing, we use Bill.com to help our clients save hours of valuable time by scheduling automatic payments, sending automatic invoices and reminders (paper or digital), installing recurring customer payments, and more. Their format customizes for each client’s needs – accepting all forms of payment – and with the combination of our bookkeeping experts, by syncing Bill.com to our accounting software and your unique business needs, you can feel empowered with accurate, real-time cash-flow readings that are always up to date. With Bill.com, all documents and data are...
Exceptions to 1099 Filing Requirements

Exceptions to 1099 Filing Requirements

In the last post, I shared some basic information on who is subject to report, as well as who is subject to receive form 1099-MISC.  If you missed that post, you can find it here. There are exceptions to the rules listed in the prior post: Generally, payments to a corporation. But see Reportable payments to corporations, later. Payments for merchandise, telegrams, telephone, freight, storage, and similar items. Payments of rent to real estate agents. But the real estate agent must use Form 1099-MISC to report the rent paid over to the property owner. Wages paid to employees (These are reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement). Military differential wage payments made to employees while they are on active duty in the Armed Forces or other uniformed services (These are reported on Form W-2). Business travel allowances paid to employees (may be reportable on Form W-2). Payments to a tax-exempt organization including tax-exempt trusts (IRAs, HSAs, Archer MSAs, and Coverdell ESAs), the United States, a state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. possession, or a foreign government. Payments made with a credit card or payment card and certain other types of payments, including third party network transactions, must be reported on Form 1099-K by the payment settlement entity under section 6050W and are not subject to reporting on Form 1099-MISC. There are additional exemptions, but since most small businesses don’t have these types of payments, I have excluded from this post.  If you’d like to see the full list of exemptions, the IRS rules can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf. The following payments made to corporations generally must be reported on...

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