Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tax Health Check

Are you waiting to take the next  step when it comes to your taxes for tax year 2014?  Are thinking about tax planning and what moves you need to make by year end.   Are you like the baseball player who is looking at a strategy for their next play?

Many times tax payers think about taxes right at tax time.  The time to be thinking about this is not at tax time but before tax time.  Now that it is  mid year it is a  great time to  evaluate your tax situation for 2014 and ask questions of your CPA or if you don't have a CPA it is a good time to talk to one that you may want to use at tax time.  It is never fun to be surprised at tax time and know you could have had a strategy to help save money.

dcs Accounting & Tax has a mid summer 2014 Tax Health Check Package for New clients
2 hour Consultation
Review of Prior Year Returns
2014 Tax Plan
$250.00 **(savings of $150.00)
***Offer for  New clients and ends August 29, 2014

Photograph by : Lisa Sassarath Boehm, Photographer

Score runs in your small business with these tools

In baseball many times decisions have to be made and players  look for a sign to be clear to run  to the next base, it may be very close taking that chance but it can be worth it in the long run by helping your team score a run.

Sometimes in business you  have to see clearer to score runs in your  business, but you  may not see clear to move to the next base because you  don't keep a proper system for your business finances and business system tools  if you don't know your numbers and other information it is very hard to make it  to the next base to score runs.  

Here are some tools that can help  you with your business finances and systems.

1)  Method CRM - Customer Relationship management is something that is very important to a small business, if there is not a system in place you are taking a chance of not moving along in the sales process with new customers , current customers or past customers.  This App and Program helps sync with your accounting software (ie Quickbooks) to make sure that nothing is missed when staff is communicating with customers and clients.  This is a highly rated program by its users and if your business is looking to grow this is a tool that will help you and your team score with business growth.

2) LivePlan Dashboard and Forecasting -  This is a tool that integrates with Quickbooks to help with Business plans by helping with building  budgets, forecast sales and track performance. This is a tool that is rated high by its users and also a very reasonably priced program.

3) Constant Contact for Quickbooks- FREE App  that syncs with your Quickbooks , create lists for specific target audiences to send specific messages to your customers in that specific list, track open rates etc...

4) Time Tracking by TSheets- Highly rated app makes time tracking with employees less complicated.  Run payroll , billing and invoicing against time tracked.  Time can be recorded mobile time tracking with GPS, see who is working where and on what projects.

5) ZenCash- Accounts Receivable management tool that help you get paid.   This is a great tool if you have clients that owe you money.   To move forward in your business having an account receivable management option to work with those clients that owe you money will help you focus on other things while ZenCash handles this part of your business.

Knowing  that your  current accounting system could have tools added to it,  helps you  make more runs in your  business and it  will move you to  a winning business.

Photo by : Lisa Sassarath Boehm, Photographer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where will you be in 5 years?

A question that many often ponder when they are choosing what direction they are going with their career and life.

One decision we made 5 years ago was to open up our accounting office dcs Accounting & Tax Services in Hellertown.  Many times it is hard to leave something that  is comfortable like having a job that you have a regular source of income coming in, to build an accounting practice from ground zero.  Yes we built our practice one account at a time with having no income coming in from a job.   It was a time that tested us but we took it from the standpoint of who can we help next with their accounting and tax needs.

There is fear in going for your dreams, but many times you have to face fear head on to move forward in life. When we were looking for a place for our office it was very exciting but yet difficult to find the right location. We looked for a few weeks and settled on a place on W. Water Street in Hellertown.  We prepared the office in July 2009 by painting, setting up workstations and getting things in order.  Our office officially opened in August of 2009.  It was an exciting time but scary too.  We worked hard to get the business up and running, basically hitting the pavement letting people know about dcs Accounting & Tax.

We decided on services to be offered Income Taxes for individuals and small businesses along with bookkeeping services.  It was a time of getting started and moving forward with growing one account at a time and sharing with people our services.

During the 5 years we have increased our service to serve the entire Lehigh Valley to having accounts throughout the USA.  We both are certified Quickbooks ProAdvisors in traditional Quickbooks and QuickBooks online.   Our CPA David has completed 2 peer reviews which is a major accomplishment for a firm our size and now we have added services of Compilation & Reviews , Non-profit Organization 990 Income Tax Returns. We also do Quickbooks Consultations along with Payroll for small business owners.  We also added a very unique service to our firm and that is Daily Money Management which helps with budgeting, bill paying, form filling out, mail sorting, along with account reconciliation of bank accounts and credit card accounts.  What makes us unique in this service offering, Maria is a  former social worker who worked in Geriatric Social Work for 10+ years along with over 6 + years of business experience this  adds a unique addition to our firm to make us  one of the few firms to have such experience in the Lehigh Valley.

We believe in service to help those in need we have actively helped do fundraisers and drives to help non-profits in the Lehigh Valley and beyond some places we have done this for were Toys for Tots, Robin Hood Foundation, Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley, Hellertown & Saucon Valley Food bank, and Holy Family Manor just to name a few along with contributing to other organizations that are in our immediate community like the Hellertown/Lower Saucon Little League.

We are members of the AICPA and PICPA and also members of Lehigh Valley Aging in Place.

We recently moved in November of 2013 to our new location on Main Street in Hellertown.  We have increased the Square footage of our office space along with the convenience of location with access to I-78.

Thank you for being with us and sharing our services with those you know we appreciate it very much.  Thank you for being there during our journey and our 5 years of serving you.  We will continue to keep adding services to help many in the Lehigh Valley community like more workshops to help individuals and business owners along with more service offerings for non-profit organizations that are in need of accounting Services of a CPA  also we will continue to expand working with individuals looking for tax planning throughout the year.  Thank you very much we look forward to serving you for many more years to come.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Keep swinging until you hit, 3 ways to get your bookkeeping system to be a hit

Many times small business owners start with good intentions of having a bookkeeping system  in their small business so they keep looking for the right fit  for their small business bookkeeping.  They try different software, or methods only to find they just don't stick with it, they just keep swinging but don't get the hit maybe  because of time, lack of interest, not using the correct software or bookkeeping method, or it is just too much work.

Finding  a bookkeeping system to work so it is a hit for your small business can be as simple as 3 steps.

1) Talk to an accounting  professional that has accounting software experience and  who knows a variety of tools that are available and what fits your specific small business needs.  They can provide suggestions, get you set up and be there for you when you have questions.

2) Keep regular contact with your accounting professional on a regular basis they will help coach you , keep you on track, help you problem solve and so much more.  Just like a baseball player has a hitting coach to help them tweak their hitting skills to help them many times business owners need a coach when it comes to their bookkeeping systems.

3) Sometimes in baseball the baseball player has to go back to the minors for sometime because they may be injured and need some extra help. The same holds true with your small business bookkeeping sometimes you need to have your bookkeeping given to a professional to help get it in  better shape , or move you back into the game by hiring a professional bookkeeper to take care of your bookkeeping, which  in the long run can save you money so you can be back in the game doing what you do best growing your business.
We offer bookkeeping packages starting $129.00  we customize what you need and provide a package that fits your budget.  We have a CPA in house for questions that arise and also we are a Certified Intuit Quickbooks ProAdvisor firm.  

When you have a hold of your bookkeeping system you will hit home runs when it comes to growing your small business because you will know where you are at so you know where to focus your time in your business, the numbers can tell you so much.  Make that hit in your small business to move it to the next base so you score a great bookkeeping system.

Photo by  Lisa Sassarath Boehm, Photographer

Public Accounting Professionals and the top 3 reasons why they make a difference

Many times we hear accounting professionals referred to as "bean counters"  or "number cruncher".  In the world of Public Accounting it is more than just numbers.  If you have someone in the Public Accounting arena helping you with your personal or business financial matters then you may know exactly what I am talking about.  You may work with a professional bookkeeper, daily money manager, Enrolled Agent or , Certified Public Accountant just to name a few. What makes these professionals so important in our daily lives?

1) Peace of Mind-  To hire someone who can help you by knowing the latest with tax laws is just the tip of the iceberg.  Public Accounting Professionals  are due date driven so they know what is due and when.  You know things are going to be done and ready but also they will be done correctly and with care.   In our practice this is something we do on a daily basis for our clients, it is a big part of why we do what we do to help our clients have peace of mind.   When we hear "Thank you for all you do"  or " As always thank you for your hard work"  it makes our day as Public Accounting Professionals because it is about the people we serve and their specific needs.  It varies from client to client some things we provide peace of mind with are Preparation of Income Taxes, Financial Reports, Compilations and Reviews, Bill Paying, Small Business bookkeeping & analysis, payroll, sales tax, helping get clients organized financially , and so much more.  You can imagine just from this list the peace of mind we give our clients as public accounting professionals.  

2) Trusted Adviser- We are there as public Accounting professionals to be a sounding board and also if there is something we are not able to help with we can refer to a reliable professional who we have worked with.   Having a trusted adviser is very important because it is someone you know you can email, call or make an appointment with and know they will listen and analyze what the best options would be for you. Those who have this type of relationship with their public accounting professional know that it is worth its weight in gold to have someone there when they need help with various small business issues, personal finance issues and tax questions just to name a few things we work with on a daily basis.

3)  Service Oriented - To be there and create the best way to service a client that meets their needs.  When it comes to service it is not a one size fits all method.   Our clients all have different needs when it comes to service they may want to call in the evening or they may want to call early in the morning, some may want to email and some may want to meet.  We are able to offer the option that meets our clients needs.  This has been a very big thing in our practice.   Also the style in which some tasks are done are tailored to our clients and their needs, for example some clients want vouchers printed for their payments for taxes and others may want to set up an e-pay on a specific date that works for their cash flow but meeting the deadline for date due.  Also some clients require visits and some want to come to our office while other clients we can work with virtually through technology tools.   Service is so important because it is about the people we serve.

So this can very well clear up the notion that it is all about the numbers it is about the people because it is the faces  we see, the people we  talk to and communicate with they all have specific needs and life events that numbers happen to be part of that equation.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

3 of the most common options for your small business payroll

When it comes time for you to look at payroll for your small business many times small business owners do not know their options before they are given a few sales calls on how they can be helped with their payroll needs.

Here are the most common options for small business payroll

1)  Do it on your own with software to support. Prices vary for software.

2) Work with an Accounting Firm

3) Hire a Payroll Company

Many times owners want to have some control over their payroll  so they may choose option 1 or 2 ,many times they want  everything done for them so  they can focus on building their business they may choose 2 or 3.

In  our practice we see small business owners that we  assist in setting up  payroll software and help the business owner with getting started along with  assisting with their quarterly and annual payroll filings. Also we do have clients who we provide them with all their payroll needs,  they know they  have someone they can reach directly for questions which is a big thing for our payroll clients.

 Many times business owners who need full service  do not have time to utilize computer tools for payroll or they may not be able to be available for a phone appointment that is set, so they need more flexibility offered.   Service is a major factor for some small business payroll clients because it can be  complex to small business owners.

 These are just a few factors that lead a business owner to how they handle their payroll needs for their small business.  There are many other factors to consider when choosing a payroll option so be sure to look closely at all the above options and factors and see what is important to you and your small business needs.