4 Reasons to Hire a Small Business Accountant

Small business accounting is often an afterthought. It’s not something you necessarily think about on a daily basis. You’re focused on running your core business, and accounting seems like a faraway topic for you to discuss.

Hiring a small business accountant can help you maintain financial stability and plan for the future. It also ensures you have a financial professional on your side without going through the expense of hiring an in-house accountant. LongSchaefer showcases the top four reasons to hire a small business accountant for your firm.

Related Post: 5 Small Business Accounting Issues for Summer 2020

1. Regular Financial Services

Monthly or quarterly reports from a small business accountant give you an overall snapshot of your company’s financial performance. LongSchaefer will reconcile your bank account, generate an income statement and a balance sheet, and clean up your general ledger.

Why should you have these things readily available? When you need to apply for a loan, plan for tax time, and if you’re interested in a merger & acquisition. All three of these instances require highly detailed paperwork as to your company’s financial health. Small business accountants can create this paper trail for you.

2. Customization

Regular reports provide a solid foundation for your small business accounting system. However, not all small businesses are the same, and small business accountants should never, ever take a cookie-cutter approach to your financial prosperity. We can customize the package of financial services you receive by adding payroll, tax planning, tax preparation, or any of our other services.

3. Identifying Problems & Plan for the Future

Reconciling your business checking account each month or quarter allows us to keep your accounts up-to-date. Our small business accountants can identify lost checks or deposits. We could find and flag unauthorized wire transactions, and detect or prevent excess/unjustified bank charges and ensure transactions are posted correctly by your bank. Our reports may also find cases of embezzlement of funds from within your company.

Regular financial reports, especially income statements and balance sheets, from a small business accountant help you plan for the future.  You can’t really know what’s going on unless all accounts are reconciled and properly accounted for on your financial statement. Proper management of funds not only saves you money but also makes money for you. You can plan effectively by having accurate numbers in place.

4. Peace of Mind

CPAs are highly trained professionals who specialize in financial planning, tax preparation, and money management. If you have questions, we’ll answer them promptly. You get unlimited consultations when you hire LongSchaefer! Rather than worry about whether your books are showing you accurate numbers, you can sleep more peacefully at night knowing that you have the right financial data to make the correct decisions about your company’s financial future.

Related Post: Seven Common Small Business Tax Myths

LongSchaefer: Your Small Business Accountant

The CPAs at LongSchaefer help you with comprehensive small business accounting services customized to your needs and goals. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help as your small business accountant.

5 Ways Accountants Help With Business Planning

When it comes to strategic business planning, you need expertise and experience on your side. You must gather data, analyze every aspect of your business model, and set realistic goals for your profits. Does this sound overwhelming? Business planning can be. Luckily, you have professionals on your side at LongSchaefer. Today’s blog from LongSchaefer explains five ways accountants help with business planning. 

Related Post: Reasons You Should Hire a Small Business Accountant

1. Financial Analysis

Business planning has many facets. Perhaps the most important one is the financial analysis of your company. You can’t plan for the future if you don’t understand what’s going on with your business right now. Accountants dive deep into your numbers, including cash flow, operating expenses, gross revenue, and projected profits. 

Do you have enough loyal customers to sustain your business in lean times? Do you have a target audience that creates a growth pattern for the future? Business planning with accounting professionals can help identify trends for growth in your current numbers.

2. Data Gathering

Financial analysis in a business plan is only as good as the data you have on hand. Accountants know what data you need to collect for a thorough analysis. The more data, the better. Not all of the data will be crucial, but computer software takes the raw numbers and turns them into reports you can use to make decisions about the future of your company. LongSchaefer can crunch the numbers using the right computer software to analyze your current financial standing. We can take a look at your business as a whole, drill down to the unit level, and analyze your costs and pricing models.

3. Risk Management

Risk management is a huge part of business planning. Whereas financial analysis is a quantitative measure, risk management is more qualitative. You must identify future risks to your business and mitigate those risks as much as possible. Think about supply chain issues, labor costs, competitors in your target market, and seasonal ebbs and flows that can all have negative impacts on your company. An accountant can identify and even quantify what these risks can do to your business model.

4. Bank Loan Applications

Applying for additional financing is a daunting task. Banks have stipulations and standards. You’ll need an excellent credit history for your business. Financial institutions also require a stout business plan and financial analysis as part of the application process. The better your business plan, the better your chances of getting an approved business loan. Accountants can help you create the best possible plan for you.

5. Profitability Goals

Profits depend on cash flow and growth. Your business plan can identify growth potential by providing insights on cash flow patterns, inventory management, business financing, diversity of offerings, and the prices of your products or services. Future growth and profitability may include an acquisition of a competitor, adding more staff, or altering the prices of your current offerings. Which ones are right for you? 

This is where accountants thrive on big-picture goals: We help you see where all of the analyses, data, and risk management are headed. If you tweak your prices, where are profits in six months? If you get that business loan and buy a competitor, how quickly can your revenue grow? What happens when you invest in another product line? Accountants can show you how different paths forward could affect your company as you create a business plan for sustained growth and profitability.

Related Post: 5 Small Business Accounting Issues for Summer 2020

LongSchaefer: Business Planning for You

Business planning is no small feat. Whether you want to see one year, five years, or 20 years out, LongSchaefer helps you with comprehensive business services customized to your needs and your goals. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help your business plan for the future.

How Sharp Business Planning Helps Your Firm Recover After the Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world economy hard. The U.S. economy contracted during the late first quarter of 2020 when stay-at-home orders went into effect. Small businesses had to rethink their strategies while shifting to survival mode.

Fortunately, the government intervened with emergency loans and funding for small businesses. As a small business owner, you know it’s going to take more than that to return to pre-COVID-19 profitability. That’s where business planning comes into play. Today’s blog from LongSchaefer explains how sharp business planning helps your firm recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Related Post: Reasons You Should Hire a Small Business Accountant

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Even as state and local governments have eased restrictions for businesses to re-open and allowed larger gatherings to happen, it’s important to monitor the situation carefully. We all want the economy to come back quickly. But we don’t want to move too quickly into pre-coronavirus activities because that may lead to more pandemic problems.

Rethink your 12-month, 3-year, and 5-year goals for your business plan. The goals you set forth at the beginning of 2020 may be unattainable, but that’s okay. Recognize that those six months were a temporary setback. Set realistic goals based on your current situation, how quickly you can hire more people, and how fast your loyal customer base returns. You should also think about a contingency plan should the coronavirus pandemic come back at some point in the future.

Dive Deep Into Your Market

Now is the perfect time to reassess the behavior of your target market for business planning purposes. Many of your customers might have been out of work or had reduced workloads during the pandemic. But they’re also eager to return to a normal life. Revisit your customer personas to see if you can find any gaps left by the pandemic. Do your customers need more time to come back or do they need you right away? As you talk to your customer base, you’ll find out what they need to come back sooner rather than later. The more you communicate with your base, the more information you’ll get from them. When you have more data, you have a better chance of finding the right strategy for success.

Now is an excellent time for competitor analysis. How did the pandemic affect your direct and indirect competitors? Are they starting to come back or are they still waiting? How many of your competitors are offering discounts, and if so, what are they? Seeing what your competitors are up to gives you ideas on how to come back from COVID-19 as you alter your business plan accordingly.

Find Ways to Become More Efficient

Efficiency is one key to profitability. What can your business do to become more efficient? Think about bringing in automated tools, outsourcing mundane and nonessential tasks, consolidating tasks, making your current tools better, and eliminating what doesn’t work. Business planning helps you find weaknesses and costly excesses so you can shore up your core business model and make it more likely to survive in the future.

Diversify

Diversification is another key to survival. It works in nature. It also works in the business world. Find ways to diversify your portfolio of products and services beyond what you already have on hand. Use your business planning time to identify ways you can deliver more and different items to your target audience. This is where your market and competitor analyses come in handy.

Get Help

Seek assistance as much as possible. Keep an eye on the news, industry publications, and newsletters. The SBA has already dished out billions of dollars in federal assistance, but that may be difficult to navigate. Talk to experts in business planning, such as financial advisors and accountants. They can give you valuable advice based on their experience in dealing with financial downturns and crises.

Talk to Other Business Owners

One last thing to remember is that we’re all in this together. Other small business owners are going through the same thing you are. They’re brainstorming ideas, how to plan for the future, and how to come out of this stronger and better than ever. Talk to other business owners to bounce ideas off of them, see what they’re doing, and collaborate on the road to recovery. Your discussions offer not only ways to cope with the coronavirus crisis, but also ways to solve problems and develop better business planning strategies to deal with a new normal.

Related Post: What Is a Certified Public Accountant?

LongSchaefer: Business Planning for You

The staff at LongSchaefer understands what you’re going through. We’re a small business that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, too. We can help you retool and re-strategize as you come up with new business planning strategies for recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help your business.

5 Small Business Accounting Issues for Summer 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the world economy into chaos. Small businesses were some of the hardest-hit in the United States, and the government responded with a stimulus package to help keep small businesses afloat. In today’s blog from LongSchaefer, we examine five small business accounting issues to keep an eye on during the summer of 2020.

Related Post: Reasons You Should Hire a Small Business Accountant

1. Cash Flow 

Cash flow is foremost on the minds of small business owners. Robust and accurate data is the first step to figuring out the best way to move forward. You need accurate numbers in terms of revenue, expenses, and staffing. Once you reach a certain threshold, you must add or subtract your costs as needed. Small business accounting can help you measure and interpret your data to give you an idea of when to take action. 

2. Tracking Business Losses From COVID-19

Small business accounting software gives you tools to track all of your financial data. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make decisions about the coming months. Track your business losses from COVID-19 correctly. Business losses offer some opportunities for relief. No one wants to default on business loans. However, if you have strong data you can give to your bank, the financial institution might be willing to work with you with regards to delaying payments on loans you received before the pandemic happened. 

If you received SBA loans as part of the CARES Act, you might be able to delay making payments on the loan for up to six months. Our small business accounting experts can help you navigate your debts and help you discuss the situation with your bank. 

3. Employee Numbers

Staffing and labor costs are the number one line-item expense for many small businesses. You need to know how many employees you can afford to keep, how many hours you can afford to pay them, and what rates you can pay your workers. Talk to your employees. Get a feel for how things are going. Was their stimulus payment enough to cover any gaps they have in unemployment or reduced hours?

4. SBA Emergency Funding Forgiveness: Yes or No?

Staffing numbers were a major factor in how much money you received for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. How your staffing levels affect the loan forgiveness process can help you save money on staffing expenses in the future. Small business accounting experts help you meet your loan obligations if you want to have the best chance for loan forgiveness. The SBA’s regulations may change with regards to the emergency funding, and LongSchaefer is staying on top of the evolving situation.

5. Tax Deadline of July 15

The tax deadline for federal and Ohio filers was extended to July 15. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, filing taxes is probably the last thing on your mind. Small business accounting pros at LongSchaefer have an easy way for you to submit your documents to us ahead of the filing deadline. Our TaxCaddy portal makes it easy to submit your documents and information. Let us know if you need further assistance!

Related Post: Seven Common Small Business Tax Myths

LongSchaefer: Here for You

Our mission is to help you achieve your definition of success. LongSchaefer aims to be a calming force in the storm of financial calamity after COVID-19. We’re staying on top of new information as it comes out, and we offer expert, qualified advice for your small business accounting needs. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help your business.

How Does Tax Preparation Work With Businesses?

For most businesses, accurate and efficient tax preparation is extremely important. When businesses make mistakes in their tax preparation, it can lead to serious financial penalties, criminal charges, and even the loss of a business license. In today’s blog post, LongSchaefer explains the basics of business taxes and how to know if your business needs professional tax preparation.

What Type of Business?

The type of business you own will play a role in how your taxes are prepared. Small business filings are different from those of large corporations. If your business is a corporation, it might be a C-corporation or an S-corporation. C-corporations are recognized as a separate taxpaying entity. S-corporations elect to pass income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders, then the shareholders report the income on their personal tax returns. Nonprofit entities have a completely different filing process altogether. A properly structured business with appropriate tax preparation can substantially lower the tax burden.

What Are My Options?

For some corporations, tax preparation may involve an in-house department devoted to tax prep. Other corporations that value efficiency may have their tax preparation handled by a third-party firm like LongSchaefer. Many small business owners file on their own, but there are a lot of details to deal with. From deducting expenses to depreciating assets, from payroll recordkeeping to renewing your ITIN, small businesses often struggle to check the boxes at all, let alone maximize their deductions. If you are unsure of your options, the team at LongSchaefer is happy to provide a no-pressure assessment of your business’ tax needs.

When You Need Professional Tax Help

Tax preparation is a difficult and delicate process for businesses. Even for a small business, it is almost always worth it to outsource your tax work. When you hire a tax preparation company like LongSchaefer, you can be sure that your taxes will be handled properly, so you can focus on what matters. 

Contact LongSchaefer for More Information

For more information on tax preparation, give LongSchaefer a call today at (513) 245-0300 or contact us online today.

Common Businesses That Need Tax Services

For businesses, there are few administrative tasks and processes more important than tax work. Tax mistakes, even when unintentional, can lead to lengthy battles with the IRS with dire consequences such as tax fraud charges. Under-reporting income, over-reporting expenses, and even not reporting taxes such as sales tax or payroll taxes can lead to big problems with various taxing authorities, including the IRS. Therefore, businesses must consider professional tax services when there are questions or concerns. LongSchaefer looks at three common business types that can benefit from tax services in today’s blog. 

Law Offices

Legal practices already utilize tremendous amounts of administrative and clerical work. Few businesses have more paperwork floating around than a law office. Because of numerous tasks to keep track of, law firms may overlook proper tax work. Even if law offices stay on top of their finances, they won’t be able to complete it with the same level of expertise as a professional tax office. Attorneys and their firms should consider professional tax services to prevent tax problems and avoid hassles with the IRS.

Dentists

Dental practices already have enough on their plates when dealing with private insurance companies, as well as patients with Medicare and Medicaid. Think about how much more administrative paperwork a dentist’s office has to deal with when it comes to tax time. With professional tax services, dentists can delegate that work to a skilled accountant and stay focused on what is most important: their patients. 

Small Businesses

Small business owners can’t leverage the same type of financial resources as larger businesses and corporations. That means they have smaller staffs and have to carry more of the day-to-day workload. Owners juggle finances, daily tasks, employee schedules, problem-solving, and delivering products or services to customers. It’s far easier for small businesses to make tax errors because owners try to juggle tax filings along with their already heavy workload.  At LongSchaefer, our team helps small business owners avoid trouble with the IRS thanks to our professional tax services. We make your life easier by allowing you to focus on your business instead of taxes. 

Contact LongSchaefer for Tax Services

If you need tax professionals on your side, LongSchaefer has the experience you require. For more information on our services, give us a call at (513) 245-0300, or contact us online today. 

May 2020 COVID-19 Update

In order to comply with the Ohio Health Department Order & CDC social distancing recommendations, our offices are closed until further notice. Rest assured that our established protocols and available technology will allow us to provide the same level of service and quality you expect from LongSchaefer during this time.

The SBA has announced details of how it’s helping small businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak. The IRS is sending payments to families affected by this crisis. 

Please click on our Coronavirus information pages for more information.