Why Convert Personal Property to Business Use

Why Convert Personal Property to Business Use

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Why Convert Personal Property to Business Use?

 

tax-accountant-nyc-carIf you started a business or just realized you have items like computers, tools, furniture, or even a vehicle that you want to use in your business, there’s good news! Converting personal property to business use can reduce your taxes by way of depreciation deduction. This deduction is only available on property used to generate income such as in your business or investment.

IRS has specific guidelines for property conversion, which requires that you properly establish and assign the right financial value to the converted property. Once this is done the assigned value is called “adjusted basis” for depreciation purposes.   

What is my adjusted basis?

According to the IRS rules a conversion from personal property to business use must be valued at the

LESSER of…

  • the fair market value at the time of the conversion, or
  • the item purchase price plus any additions or improvements, and minus any deducted casualty losses, prior to the conversion

For example, if you bought a vehicle three years ago for $25,000, but its current value is only $12,000, the “adjusted basis” for depreciation purposes is the current value.

Typically, other than real estate, which does appreciate in value, things like computers, furniture, vehicles, or equipment usually depreciates from its original purchase price.

Considering converting personal property to business use? Get the details. Speak to our tax accountant for guidance. (212) 537-9060

Why Businesses Fail?

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Why Businesses Fail

 

Exclusively written for entrepreneurs & new businesses

Much research has been done on what makes some businesses succeed while others fail. The statistics for business failure are alarming, however, because we know a great deal about the reasons and statistical data we can help improve your chances for success.

Avoid these common mistakes:
  1. Lacking demand or poor sales for your product or service. Just because you think your idea is wonderful might not be as well received by the public. You’ll need to do some repeated market testing to get your answer.
  2. Poor pricing model.  If your gross profit margin is just too narrow it won’t deliver meaningful profitability. If you are competing with larger companies that price their merchandise low because they can take advantage of economies of scale, eg. reduced per unit costs due to buying in bulk – you’ll need to figure a way to match their prices and still make a profit. 
  3. Rigid management style. Successful entrepreneurship is all about vision, flexibility and constant adjustment to new demands. Having set goals and a plan is critical to effective management.
  4. Lack of experience. Just because you were good at your job, doesn’t guarantee your experience will transfer well into a business. Successful business owners are typically experienced not only in operational processes but in the art of business management, negotiations, and leadership skills.
  5. Unexpected growth. If you haven’t prepared to meet unexpected demand you might just discover a rival waiting in the sideline to mobilize efforts and fill in for your inability to deliver goods or services. 
  6. Poor accounting. If you don’t know the numbers or aren’t tracking your finances, we can almost predict your business is not going to make it any time soon.
  7. No cash cushion. One thing we see repeatedly is the difficulty of trying to develop a business without any financial backing. If you are relying on cash strictly from sales, you might run out pretty quickly since businesses typically don’t generate enough money their first year in business. Successful entrepreneurs start businesses with enough cash to hold them over the first 6 months to a year.
  8. Operational inefficiencies. Wasted space, underused equipment, obsolete inventory, and idle employees all contribute to financial stresses which small businesses cannot tolerate for too long.

Need help developing or streamlining your business operations? Register for our 2-Day Business Development Workshop today! Click for more information. 

Reports For Greater Business Insight

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Reports For Greater Business Insight

Reports can tell you real-time information about the health and wealth of your company.

They can also help spot weaknesses or evaluate trends which often go unnoticed. In fact, if you can run reports regularly you may become the greatest manager of your company! We encourage all our business owner clients to pick the reports they need and bookmark for easy retrieval. You too can read your business like a book by using the reports we list below. 
  
Who Owes Me Money?

This is a question you probably ask yourself often. With QuickBooks you can find this information quickly and easily just by using the Customers and Receivables report menu. Here are the reports I recommend you run and analyze regularly:

  • Open invoice report
  • Customer balance detail
  • Job profitability 
How Much Money Do I Owe?

Knowing how much money your business owes suppliers, vendors and creditors can keep you from overspending. It can also assist you in staying within a budget. As long as the data gets entered properly, you’ll have a wealth of information about your unpaid expenses. You’ll also know how much money you will have left over when certain bills are paid. These are the reports we recommend you review weekly.

  • Unpaid bills detail report
  • Vendor balance detail 
  • Costs per Job
How did my business earn? 
  • Profit / Loss Statement
  • Cash flow
  • Budget vs. actual

Accurate QuickBooks reports can only be generated if they were entered into the program properly and consistently. Where the data was entered and how will reflect on the accuracy of those reports. So it’s crucial that you adhere to the standard accounting practices and follow the step-by-step directions when using this program.

Do You need help in reviewing your QuickBoks structure and its activity, or assistance in accessing, analyzing, or interpreting your financial reports? Contact us today (212) 537-9060 to request a consultation appointment. 

Is QuickBooks Hard To Learn?

Is QuickBooks Hard To Learn?

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Quickbooks Information & Business Tips

Is QuickBooks Hard To Learn?

 

QuickBooks is a powerful, yet user-friendly accounting and financial management software that has now been re-designed to be simple enough to use for everyone; even the non-accountants. In fact, over 50% of individuals we train on a weekly basis have no financial background. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks has spent millions of dollars developing ways to make this program simple and effective at managing all aspects of running a business. This is a super big achievement on their part and frequently you’ll see Intuit advertising praising its ease of use. So why do so many people find this program hard to figure out? Or worst, we’ll get them calling complaining about having “messed up their books” because they thought they knew how to use it. As I instruct everyone on this my answer is typically the same; The program is full of strength and capability to deliver accurate information but only if the user knows step-by-step instructions of data entry and proper implementation of available features. Without following Intuit’s instructions, the program won’t deliver any kind of reliable information. You can’t improvise or implement your own workaround to enter data here. The only way this program will work optimally is if you follow QuickBooks directions. 

Now, to answer the question whether its hard to learn QuickBooks. The answer is it’s not if you receive the right training. There are many QuickBooks tutorial platforms: self-instructional books, web-based tutorials, group classes or seminars, and individual training. We use the individual 1-on-1 approach because from years of teaching people how to use this software, we found individualized instruction to be the best way for people to understand information and then be able to easily transfer learned skills to their businesses or jobs. In fact, studies show that when it comes to effectiveness of learning, 1-on-1 training is 120% more effective than learning in a group and 175% more effective than web-based learning. In the last five years we have developed our classes to be industry-specific, so time spent learning is focused on your specific business or job needs. Not having to waste time learning what you you don’t need allows for better retention of information. And a lack of retention of information is a big complaint I hear when we get people coming to us after having taken other types of classes. This focused attention to your questions and learning requirements is the real reason why we have successfully trained so many people on QuickBook.   Milana Lieberson – Certified QuickBooks Expert and Accountant

Conclusion: 

Yes, QuickBooks is easy to use and understand. But the best and quickest way to become proficient at it is to receive an individual 1-on-1 training class like the one we offer in NY, NJ, CT, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx and Manhattan. To accommodate the needs of busy professionals you can receive the training either at our facility located at 100 Church Street in NYC or have our instructor come to your office. 

Yes,  I want to be QuickBooks proficient! Sign me up for the 1-on-1  Class

Avoid These Common Bookkeeping Mistakes

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Avoid These Common Bookkeeping Mistakes

 
You have the product or service. You have the marketing tools. Revenue and expenses are coming in. Unfortunately, you are in the dark whether you are making or loosing money, and worse yet, tax season is around the corner. Now your accountant can’t get a clear picture about your finances and you are starting to feel  overwhelmed! You now realize that in your attempt to manage your bookkeeping you have made a few mistakes like these:
 
1. Failure to keep all receipts. Perhaps you didn’t give bookkeeping much thought and skipped over its relevancy until now. Maybe you failed to keep all receipts because they were too small or insignificant, or you simply lost them. Unfortunately, this is all too common and I see this frequently with new and small businesses where the owner has too many responsibilities and keeping paperwork organized is pretty low on their to-do list.
 
2. Not tracking income and expenses. Whatever your situation, you must know precisely all your revenue received and expenses incurred – that is if you are serious about making it in your business! I have seen too many times businesses go under because they failed to track sales and expenses properly. And, I can say that doing so is relatively easy, provided you do it regularly and consistently. Here is what I recommend to all my small business clients, especially start ups:
 
💡 Organize paperwork. All receipts, especially those made by cash or through loans as well as other important documents must be saved into some working, organizational system where this  paperwork can be easily accessed. In addition, I recommend using a water-proof and fire-proof storage that can be locked to guard against unauthorized access. If you are going to have an audit, not being able to get to your documents easily or having damaged documents can be very frustrating for both auditor and you. 
 
💡 Invest in a bookkeeping system that will accurately transfer your data into meaningful reports that your accountant can easily read and understand. The most popular bookkeeping program in the business world is QuickBooks and for good reason. It is flexible, functional, user-friendly, and inexpensive; all ideal qualities for small businesses. Just have someone give you a tutorial because even these simple programs require some understanding. Because typically it’s the self-taught QuickBooks users who often cause the biggest errors! 
 
💡 Do your bookkeeping regularly so you can run reports and evaluate your company performance on a consistent basis. With this data you can implement changes and make improvements based on concrete data instead of entrepreneurial intuition. That’s smart management!
 
3. Failure to reconcile your bank account monthly. Although you may not have realized the relevancy of monthly bank reconciliation but this is, in my opinion, one of the most important business functions. There are numerous reasons why it’s so important but one of the biggest is that it will provide you with an accurate picture of how you are using your money, as well as ascertain your your real time available funds. It helps you account for all of your money and guards against over drafting your account. Whether you use a manual system or a software like QuickBooks, don’t let too much time go by in between reconciliations. Regularly balancing your bank account is key. 
 
4. Not backing up your data consistently. You finally got all of the work done for the day then disaster strikes at night. You come in the next morning to find your company file corrupted or yesterday’s data completely erased, or the entire data file being completely inaccessible. Prevent data loss by backing up at the end of your workday and keep the back up safely locked in a fire-proof and waterproof location.
 
5. Not having someone else handle your bookkeeping. Since you might not know proper bookkeeping procedures nor do you have time to figure it out, you should have someone with more skill and training handle your bookkeeping needs. An experienced bookkeeping professional will complete your bookkeeping functions accurately and quickly so you can invest your time directly into revenue producing activities.
Need a better bookkeeping and accounting system to track your business? Call (212) 537-9060 office Monday through Friday to speak to our accountant. If you need QuickBooks setup or training please request to speak to a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. 

Cash Flow Mgmt. Made Easy With QuickBooks

Cash Flow Mgmt. Made Easy With QuickBooks

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Cash Flow Mgmt. Made Easy With QuickBooks

 

We reveal proven methods you can implement now to take control of your cash flow!

 

What is Cash Flow?

nj, ct, ny quickbooksCash flow is a vital measurement showing the net value of money coming and leaving your business. Assessing cash inflows and outflows is critically important to any business which relies heavily on funding its own operations. Startup businesses and young companies are vulnerable to cash flow fluctuations and this is one of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail.

Cash flow is often confused with net profit and I often hear business owners complain the company is profitable, yet they have little cash flow left over for operations. First here is the definition for Cash Flow and for Net Income:

Cash Flow is a measurement representing net cash left over from in inflow and cash outflow.

Net Profit shows the net difference between sales and expenses.

For small businesses cash flow is generated primarily from two sources: sales and borrowed funds. Occasionally small businesses can bring additional cash from a sale of its fixed assets such as furniture or equipment. Conversely, cash outflows result from payment for operating activities, interest, taxes and loan payments. Profit is used to figure out your taxes while cash flow is used to plan, budget, and execute daily operations.

NOTE: Profitable companies can go bankrupt if they disregard the importance of cash flow

Need help navigating or understanding how QuickBooks software works? Please contact our office at (347)230-8450 for more information. In NY we service Manhattan, Long Island, Qeens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester County, Rockland County. In CT we service areas near Greenwich and Stamford and in NJ we service Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County and Passaic County.

 

How to Analyze Your Cash Flow in QuickBooks

 

Learning how to manage your company’s cash flow will increase your business survival rate. In addition, you’ll be better prepared to grow and protect your business. Businesses who use computerized accounting software like QuickBooks are typically better equipped to manage cash flow effectively because these programs can quickly and precisely deliver in-depth information on demand.

To begin taking control of your cash flow, you’ll first need to understand the components that influence your cash inflows and outflows. An in-depth review of these components will expose issues that cause cash flow leaks, gaps, and inconsistencies. Plugging gaps, closing leaks and balancing out cash fluctuations is essential to successful cash flow management.

Analyze these components in your QuickBooks software:

  • Analyze and monitor accounts receivable using the Open Invoice report and Aging Reports found under the “Customers and Receivables” to assess your average collection days and amounts owed. You might need to start to regularly send out statements along with late fees charged to slow paying customers. These can be easily prepared using the “Assess Finance Charges” feature in the Customers menu.
  • Change your credit policy by reducing your credit terms or offer discounts for early payment. This will greatly affect the timing of your invoice collections so you can receive your money faster. Changing credit terms can be easily done right on the invoice or directly in the customer’s profile in the Payment Settings Tab.
  • Inventory turnover must be assessed to ensure stagnant inventory is not tying up your available cash. You can review the Inventory by Stock Item and Inventory Valuation Detail to reveal surplus or unsalable inventory.
  • Negotiate accounts payable terms to match your own invoice credit policy. Try paying your vendors on the same payment terms as you extend to your customers. Although this is not always possible to achieve, even if you can negotiate it with some vendors it will help prevent unpleasant financial glitches.
  • Review Statement of Cash Flow found in the Reports menu under the Company & Financial option. Use this report to monitor how much money you will have coming and going out at any particular period and to see your starting and ending cash balances.

QuickBooks Desktop Vs. On-the-Cloud

QuickBooks Desktop Vs. On-the-Cloud

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QuickBooks Desktop Vs. On-the-Cloud

Which is right for you?

 

quickbooks online nyc nj ct nyOne of the most common question we get is from new business owners inquiring about the differences between the online and the desktop versions of QuickBooks. 
 
The answer depends on the complexity or the simplicity of information they are looking to get from the system. If you are running a small medical office and just need to track your sales and expenses as they occur, then QuickBooks online is an excellent choice. If you operate a photo studio and only use basic functions such as invoicing or bill entry, then the online version will work well too. On the other hand, if your business requires job costing analysis or escrow account tracking like the kind used by attorneys, builders, architects, then the online version will not satisfy your needs. For businesses that need more complex and detail reporting options, we recommend the desktop version.
 
Here are some key differences between the two systems:
 
QuickBooks Online offers remote access 24 hours a day, provided that your internet connection stays on. For small businesses this is a very convenient feature since so many business owners travel and need access to financial data anywhere, anytime. The desktop version stopped supporting remote access as of January 2015.
 
Online edition of QuickBooks permits up to to 25 simultaneous users access the system, while the desktop version allows up to 5 users. However, the more expensive edition called QuickBooks Enterprise, which is used by larger businesses, does offers up to 30 users. This system is much more expensive and from our experience most small businesses only have a need for up to 3 users. 
 
QuickBooks software updates, which are periodic maintenance releases are automatically updated in the online edition. In the desktop edition users install it themselves upon logging into the system.
 
Online edition upgrades, which are new software releases are free with the online version yet cost the full price of the software for desktop editions. We suggest using your desktop version for two years before upgrading.
 
QuickBooks support is free for the online version while support for desktop is extra. 
 
QuickBooks online does not integrate with Intuit POS as the desktop versions do.
 
Quickbooks online does not offer complete job or project costing reports although you can configure it to track expenses by job. It also lacks a lot of report customization features found in the desktop version. QuickBooks for desktop, especially the higher version like Premier or Enterprise offers multiple industry-specific reports which the Online version does not. 
 

QuickBooks FAQ

QuickBooks FAQ

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 QuickBooks FAQ

Running and operating a small business can bring many rewards and challenges. One of those challenges is how to properly and accurately maintain  your financial data and paperwork. That’s where accounting and bookkeeping software like QuickBooks for desktop and QuickBooks online come in. These programs offer simple yet powerful tools for effective financial management and good organization, which is simple enough to learn for everyone, even the non-accountants. 

 

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks for desktop is a software you download to your computer while the online version can be accessed anywhere, anytime provided you have internet connection. Here are some of the functions you can do on QuickBooks:

  • Create invoices and manage account receivables
  • Manage bills and expenses
  • Track income 
  • Pay bills and print checks
  • Manage inventory
  • Create budgets
  • Pay employees
  • Analyze your company’s performance
  • Organize paperwork
  • Maintain customer and vendor database all in one place
 
Why Use QuickBooks?

Save time on accounting and bookkeeping tasks. You can handle many simple or complex functions easily with QuickBooks. These include downloading transactions from the bank and quickly reconciling your accounts, invoicing customers or figuring out your profitability. 

Track daily business operations. Knowing where daily sales are coming from or expenses going to is easily achieved with QuickBooks. 

Know how your business is doing. QuickBooks software lets you quickly see the health of your company with already pre-templated internal graphs and reports. 

Create custom reports. Prepare customized reports to get an in depth picture about specific areas of your operations. 

Be more productive. You can customize how you work and access information on QuickBooks by inputting shortcuts.

Reduce costs. Companies who have a well-functioning accounting and bookkeeping system, typically spend less on accounting and tax preparation fees. 

 

Who should use QuickBooks software?

QuickBooks has a plethora of solutions for anyone who needs to maintain their business’ books. If you are someone who manages the finances at a business or one of the following, you should consider purchasing a QuickBooks product that meets your needs.

  • New business startups
  • Self-employed consultants
  • Sole Proprietors, corporation, partnerships
  • Trusts
  • Home owners associations
  • Legal firms, real estate, contractors
  • Manufacturers/wholesalers
  • Professional service companies
  • Retailers
  • Nonprofits
  • Accounting firms

Speed Up Your A/R Collection With QuickBooks

Speed Up Your A/R Collection With QuickBooks

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Speed Up Your A/R Collection With QuickBooks

 
Making sales is great but not if you can’t collect them on time or in in full. Unpaid invoices can wreck havoc on your company’s operations while slow payments cause roadblocks to profitability or impede your ability to pay bills. All in all, problems collecting A/R cost businesses money. But those who use QuickBooks software have excellent tools built within the program which are designed to help speed up invoice collections.
 
Here is what we suggest to our clients for help with A/R collections:
 
💡  photo QBC0314image1_zps4aa7ef09.jpgLet customers pay invoices electronically and include the payment link on each invoice or statement. You can sign up with QuickBooks using their Intuit Payment Network service, which will deposit customers’ payments straight into your bank account usually within 1 to 2 days.  
 

💡 Monitor your A/R regularly: Being proactive in business can mean the difference between being in the black or seeing red. One way to do this is by using built-in A/R reports especially designed to give you immediate information about who owes you money, how much and the aging on those invoices. Armed with this knowledge you can take action to collect your money more aggressively. 

💡 Send statements monthly to customers who pay slow: sending unpaid statements has been reported to speed up payments on invoices because most people hate seeing these same reminders month after month. 

💡 Send accurate invoices the first time: Few things will slow down your account receivables more than an invoice with errors. Customers who dispute charges usually wait until the due date and then get more days to pay them because it takes time to review and correct errors.

💡 Offer early payment discounts and assess late payment charges: How much are you willing to give up to speed up your invoice collection? That’s a balancing act which requires careful analysis. For millions of small businesses with big cash flow fluctuations, encouraging faster collections on unpaid invoices is a strategically effective alternative to keep the money coming, even at a cost.  Conversely, assessing late charges and including them on customer statement reminders will often encourage faster payments. 

💡 Input a credit threshold in a customer’s profile under the Payment tab so QuickBooks can automatically flag for potential bad debt losses. Once a customer has reached his/her credit limit, you can control or stop deliveries until payment is made. Customers who’ve been identified for “zero available credit” should have their names edited to “On Hold” until outstanding balances get paid off. 

💡 State due date and late payment charges on all invoices so customers can’t be in the dark about payment due dates.

Whatever approach you implement in your A/R collections, make sure that you are doing it consistently. Be firm with your customers about staying within the requred terms but also be fair. Nobody likes to deal with an unreasonable company. We encourage all our small business owners to use a computerized accounting system like QuickBooks to help speed up and manage A/R and cash flow more effectively.

➡ Did you know that QuickBooks software is the #1 most popular accounting system for small businesses? To find out why, email us for more information using the form on this page.

Need help learning how to better manage your account receivables and speed up your cash flow? Call our experts for more information at (212) 537-9060. Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm. 

– QuickBooks User Guide

– QuickBooks User Guide

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FREE Downloadable QuickBooks User Guides for 2015

 

For the convenience of QuickBooks users we are making available learning guides especially developed by Intuit. They contain simple step-by-step instructions designed to help you understand how to use this program correctly and efficiently. 

➡ DOWNLOAD QuickBooks for MAC Guide

➡ DOWNLOAD QuickBooks for Windows Guide

➡ DOWNLOAD QuickBooks Online Guide

Read our posts exclusively written for “Your’re the Boss” workshops:

 

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Call our office to schedule your setup or training session Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm EST

Our certified experts and business strategists have been advising and guiding small businesses since 2005!