Choosing A Top Accounting Firm Based On Your Required Services

Posted by in Accounting

“Accounting” is a deceptively simple word. It brings to mind the act of keeping accounts, recording numbers, keeping track of things. While these tasks are indeed at the heart of an accountant’s job, there is a great deal more to accountancy than simply writing down the numbers that reflect the ebb and flow of a business’s finances. Many types of people and many types of firms and businesses hire accountants for a wide variety of financial duties, and they do this because accounting is anything but simple. Just as a carpenter knows that making a cabinet takes more than just a few boards and some nails, an accountant knows how to take finances beyond simple mathematics. And just like an expert auto mechanic wouldn’t try to use his expertise to wire a house for electricity, the people and companies who hire accountants do so because they demand the best, safest and most efficient treatment of their finances.

The Language of Business

Accounting has been called “the language of business” by people who study and understand it. At first glance, numbers and language couldn’t appear more different. However, when a person or a company gets down to the specifics of their money, only numbers have the precision and accuracy to express the financial needs of that person or company. An accountant can tell you exactly what needs to happen with your taxes, with no room for vagueness. An accountant can let you know why a business plan will or will not work, without letting confusion enter into the picture. When you set out to find the top accounting firms to address the services you require, you are really looking for someone who speaks the right dialect of the language of business.

Different People, Different Needs

Just like no two people or businesses are identical, no two accounting firms or even individual accountants are exactly the same. A private individual who wants assistance in setting up a trust fund for his or her children would not have the same requirements as a CEO who wants a merger or an acquisition to run smoothly. Some accountants specialist in helping small businesses to remain profitable while others work as part of a team to manage the vast finances of multibillion dollar corporations. All accountants handle money in the form of numbers, but the outcome can be very different depending on whose money it is and what the end goals are. When looking to secure the services of an accounting firm, it’s important to make certain that their expertise (their business language) matches up with your vision for your finances.

Finding The Right Accountant

When you’re looking for an accountant who “speaks your language”, whether you need someone to help you decipher the mysteries of international business management takes or someone to clarify the finer points of a smoothly running payroll department, there are a few things to keep in mind. A firm’s reputation is one of the first things you want to look at. Fortunately, the Internet makes that relatively easy. Doing an exhaustive search can give you an overview of how an accountant or accounting firm is perceived in the business world. Once you have chosen a candidate, nothing can replace the frankness of a face-to-face interview. If you speak plainly and listen carefully, you should know if you’d make a good match.

Choosing A Top Accounting Firm Based On Your Required Services

Maintaining A Business Relationship

When you secure a top accounting firm to provide the financial services you require, you aren’t just calling in experts to fix a problem. You are forming what should be a lasting and productive relationship. As the accountant comes to understand your business language and to understand your unique requirements, they will be able to maximize your profitability while safeguarding you from errors and pitfalls. Just like with a friendship, open communication will get you everywhere in the relationship between an accounting (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/accounting.asp) expert and a business.

Passion For The Job

Just as you are passionate about your business endeavours, be they personal or professional, a truly great accountant has a passion for numbers that the less mathematically inclined can never understand. Let them work their magic as you work yours, and together you might write the decade’s next great business story!

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Wealth Management for Physicians, Doctors and Dentists

Posted by in Financial Planning

As a doctor or physician, you spend most of your valuable time caring for others. You are only left with little or rather NO time to manage your finances. To do this job more efficiently for the doctors, there are a lot of fund advisors or wealth managers who are available. Wealth management for physicians and medical professionals include – investment management, insurance management, related financial advices and life planning.

Managing your finance is not as complicated as it might seem. Read on to find out the nine common mistakes made by most doctors, physicians and dentists for financial planning.

Wealth Management for Physicians, Doctors and Dentists 1.  No set targets: Marriage, child’s education, and retirement so on and so forth. Wants are nearly endless as a human being. But what is required to have all of these is a stable and wise financial planning. The major pitfall for most doctors is the failure to set the desired targets. Set your financial targets. There are two types of target: short term and the long term targets. Define each of them clearly and write them down.

2.  Not defined time lines: Some doctors and physicians set financial targets for themselves, which is very good, but setting a defined, realistic timeline for achieving these targets is also equally important. Set some long term goals such as buying a home or saving for your retirement. Also set some short term goals such as paying off the debts incurred in setting up your clinic or buying a motor vehicle. If you desire to have your own hospital, list that down as well. No goal is unachievable. This will help you know the exact amount that you expect as your return on investment.

3.  Lack of professional help:  Most doctors and physicians don’t have enough time to manage the finances. But there are a whole lot of fund advisors and wealth management firms available. It is required to take professional help. Take advantage of professional fund advisors while accessing your risk potential. Take customized advices from them about your cash flows and invest accordingly. Professional help takes you a long way in achieving your financial targets.

4.  Lack of investments: You would want your money to work as diligently as you are! You should not let your money to idle away. Make systematic investment. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or real estate. Identify your risk potential and invest accordingly.

5.  Lack of insurance: You care for a whole lot of your patience’s health. Keep up the same attitude while caring for your health as well. Be proactive to get information about various types of insurances- health, disability and life. This long term care protects you and your family against major risks that physicians face. Work with expert fund advisors to get details about the insurance policies that are best suited for you.

6.  Life planning! What is it? As a physician or doctor, you would have deeper aspirations about life. While planning for your future, make sure that you keep these aspirations in mind. If you are going for professional help through fund advisors, make sure that you convey your deeper aspirations clearly to them. This can make a significant difference in your life.

7.  Choice of bad fund advisors: Some advisors charge exuberantly.  You need to be cognizant of what you are paying versus the services that are being offered. There could be fund advisors who are not registered. Beware! Make sure that you check the background of the fund advisors with whom you are willing to entrust your entire financial information. Also make sure that your fund advisor is registered and certified.

8.  Not being proactive: As physicians and doctors, you spend all your energy and time in caring for your patients. But when it comes to being proactive about investments, you take a step back. This is a major pitfall. Make sure that you take the same interest in investing as you take to look after your patients.

9.  Lack of integrated solution:  As doctors you do not have much time to look into each and every area of fund management. It is best to look for fund advisors who give you an integrated solution. These fund advisors (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-do-index-fund-advisors-do.htm) who provide integrated solution take care of insurance management, asset management, investment and maintaining your portfolio. This integrated solution works for all.

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Accounting for Small Businesses is Critical

Posted by in Accounting

If you own a small business than you owe it to your business and to yourself to find a good accountant. A good accountant can help make your small business run more efficiently, and at the end of your fiscal year that can mean happier customers and higher profits. Unfortunately, when it comes to accounting for small business, many owners feel they cannot spare the time or the money to use a good accountant on a regular basis. Instead many small business owners attempt to reconcile their own books every month and count on an accountant to sort it all out at year-end.

Here is the thing about accounting for small business, though. Even if you are working with a good accountant, it is good to spend a bit of time each week staying in touch with your business’s bottom line. Here are a few other suggestions regarding accounting for small business that will help keep your business finances in order.

Ask for referrals. If you don’t know any accountants ask friends and colleagues for referrals. If you are a member of an entrepreneur breakfast club, ask your fellow entrepreneurs for referrals. No one will understand the importance of good accounting for small business than a business associate. In fact, keep asking around and get several referrals before you make your final decision.

Accounting Small Business

Prepare and interview. Now that you have several different accountant recommendations it is time to interview each one. You should look at the interview process the same way you would if you were hiring an employee. Your accountant, like an employee, will develop a personal relationship with you while getting to know the inner-workings of your business. You need to make sure you pick the right one to handle the accounting for small business needs.

Listen to Advice. Once you’ve picked the right accountant for your small business you need to be prepared to listen his advice. Your accountant should have experience with other small businesses, and he should have some good advice for making your small business operate more smoothly. His advice regarding accounting for small business might mean the difference between business success and business failure.

Agree to meet regularly. Don’t just wait until the end of your fiscal year to meet with your accountant. It is important to develop a relationship with your accountant by scheduling regular meetings. Every three or four months should be sufficient. Between meetings keep your finances in order and keep track of any questions you might have for you next meeting. Accounting for small business is not complicated, but you must keep your records organized.

How you run your small business is up to you. Hiring an accountant to help with your finances might seem like an added expense, but it could end up being the best decision you have made. Accounting for small business is no small feat. As a small business owner it is up to you manage your business and satisfy the customers, so it is wise to leave the accounting to the professionals.

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Accounting Gone Global with International Accounting

Posted by in Accounting

If asked, how long would it take a person to name ten multinational companies? These days, it wouldn’t take as long as it used to. The world is becoming more interconnected and accounting is adapting to that. Responsible for more than just balancing spreadsheets and creating quarterly reports, these days, accountants are also expected to have experience or training in international accounting.

With its own rules, regulations, and standards international accounting is growing by leaps and bounds, as are its practitioners. In sectors as varied as oil and gas, banking, investments, entertainment, transportation, and retail, having a strong international footing is essential and employers are recognizing that.

In a recent article, The Journal of Accountancy cited a poll claiming that “almost seven in 10 (69%) of more than 2,100 CFOs in large U.S. metropolitan areas said international experience will be at least somewhat necessary for accounting and finance staff five years from now…” Even small firms are not immune to the need for international accounting knowledge, “Small companies and companies that don’t have international operations need accountants familiar with international tax laws and regulations to determine their impact on business partners, vendors, and suppliers, McDonald said.” Without this knowledge, their ability to be competitive can be impacted.

With the move towards globalization speeding up, the need for international accounting practitioners will increase in step. Having personnel who specialize in this field is as essential to multinational firms as is having business managers who have training in international supply chain management or a legal staff who specialize in international law. As the article notes, to meet the demand worldwide for a higher standard of accountancy education “The AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) joined forces to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation”.

This move along with others illustrates the need for accounting professionals and firms to recognize that having international accounting training and experience is the way of the future. And some firms have. In order to find work as an international accountant, candidates must often have to possess a masters in accounting, have spent part of their education abroad, be multi-lingual with a broad understanding of various nations’ financial practices, and have at least 2-5 years’ experience. Along with competitive campus recruiting drives and lucrative internships, some of the best accounting firms when searching for new talent, offer extensive on the job training programs and promote strong mentor relationships between new hires and more experienced staff. They also reinvest in their current talent, assisting them with ongoing education and encouraging lateral movement within the company, so that employees gain a wide breadth of experience and training.

International accounting is a profession that is on the rise. In demand everywhere, highly qualified professionals could opt to work abroad or at home, in large multinational corporations or in small boutique accounting firms. The strongest firms are those that will be able to obtain, train, and maintain international accounting professionals. Even companies that do business strictly within the nation’s borders should look at expanding their knowledge in order to cover their bases. The world is growing smaller, and accountancy must adapt to that.

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Why it is Imperative to Use a Small Business Accounting Firm

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The main goal of a company is to financially profit. This is done through a delicate balance of income and expenses. Many companies will begin as a small operation with the owner being the buyer, seller, shipper, receiver, human resource contact and accountant. This is believed to be the most beneficial method. The common belief is that if you do not spend money on hiring personnel, you are saving it. However, this misconception is very misleading. Small business accounting is needed in order to properly expand and grow. While this can be attempted by the owner, it is not the recommended choice for those that want to see a larger return for their investment.

Time is Money

When you are running a one person show, you can only physically and mentally contribute a portion of yourself to each task. You need to multitask at all times if you are to keep your business active and productive. When it comes to accounting, this makes a very noticeable difference. Small business accounting will consist of payroll, tax reporting, bill payments, invoice collections and budgeting. Of course, for each type of business, there will be much more added to that list. When the owner is trying to manage all aspects of accounting, along with every other role of the company, it is very easy for things to get missed. It takes dedicated time to be able to properly work on the accounting side of a company. While you may believe you are money by doing it yourself, you are not. Self-managed accounting in a company will result with loss in other areas. The time spent on accounting will take away from the time needed to generate revenue. If accounting is done in a hurry, money is lost through incorrect tax calculations, payroll, and missed bill payment fines and interest. Hiring an accounting firm that specializes in small businesses will save you both time and money. Time is freed up for you to focus on the rest of your company and money is saved by properly keeping on top of your finances.

Accountants are trained to see the bottom line

While a business owner will know every angle of their company, it is the trained accountant that will know every angle of finances. Cash flow analysis and company forecasting is critical to ensure that your business is moving in the right direction. An outside view of the details of your company is the best way to have an accurate report. It is easy to miss details when you own, manage and run a company. Small business accounting firms can see the larger picture and show you where your company is heading financially. They can accurately show you ways to save money. Small business accounting firms will be able to forecast your financial future and give you a much better warning of decisions to make that will affect your company’s future.

Small business accounting firms are imperative for success. If you own a business, do not overlook the importance of this outside help. You will find that the money spent in hiring a firm will be returned many times over from the income saved. You will find that hiring somebody else to manage the financial side of your company will save you countless valuable hours that you can better dedicate to your business. When it comes to having a profitable business, hiring a small business accounting firm is one of the best moves that you can make.

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R&D Credit- Game Changer for Manufacturers

Posted by in Everything Else

The R&D credit is a boon for companies involved in research. But do you know this big tax break is also intended to boost domestic manufacturing? Many manufacturers have an outdated understanding of the R&D tax credit laws and the financial incentive is not limited to white collar research only.

Despite the name Research and Development, the tax incentive extends beyond basic research to include applied research. The tax credit is also available for manufacturers who want to improve their manufacturing process to make it efficient and environmentally friendly. So, you may wonder what manufacturing activities are covered under the new R&D credit scheme. Here is the list.

Qualifying Manufacturing Activities

Listed are examples of manufacturing activities that are considered as qualifying research activities.

· Improving product quality

· Developing product design using CAD

· Optimizing manufacturing processes

· Development of improved/2nd generation products

· Designing of manufacturing equipment

· Designing cost-effective operational processes

· Alternative material testing process alternatives

· Designing, building and testing prototypes

· Integrating new materials to improve product quality and performance

· Increasing production capacities and manufacturing capacities

· Meeting compliance with changing emission regulations

If you still find the research activities confusing, try answering the questions below.

· Does your company resolve technical challenges through innovative processes and use of products?

· Is your company involved in activities related to process design and development?

· Is your company involved in using innovative materials to create energy-efficient and reliable products and processes?

If the answer to any question is a Yes, it means your company is eligible to receive R&D credit. To get a better understanding of qualified research activities, you need to think in terms of formulas, testing out new building materials, processes, software, and design of any new project involving electrical or mechanical systems.

The information given above makes it quite clear when it comes to determining the eligibility of research activity for R&D credit. Now let’s see how it is calculated.

R&D Calculations

The R&D credit is calculated in any one of the following two ways-

Regular Credit:

Older companies can claim higher tax credit by comparing current year’s research expenses with a base amount that is an average of research expenses incurred from 1984-1988.

Alternative Simple Credit:

Other companies need only three years of prior data to calculate the base amount. While the Alternative Simple credit has lower credit rate, it can still help companies to reclaim a good amount through an R&D tax credit.

When Can Manufacturing Companies Apply for Credits?

Applying for R&D tax credits depends on your company’s tax filing deadline. However, the R&D tax credits can be carried forward to a period of 20 years. The extension of the tax credits and the carry forward condition changes with every State.

Expansion of Benefits

The PATH legislation introduced by Congress in 2015 made the R&D credits permanent. The tax incentive scheme was extended to startups and small businesses which were not eligible earlier as they paid Alternative Minimum tax.

Not Just for the Big Companies

The new changes introduced in the R&D credit laws enable the small and medium businesses involved in manufacturing on a small scale to get the benefits like the big manufacturers. The new provision enables companies with $50 million or less in gross receipts to apply for a tax credit under AMT.

Under the new provision, Qualified small businesses can use all of the year credit, use part-credit or carry the unused tax credits forward against payroll tax (http://www.wikihow.com/Pay-Payroll-Taxes).

R&D Credit – A Tax Savings Tool for All Manufacturers

It is not only the primary manufacturer who can claim tax savings. Even secondary manufacturers who make products for OEM can claim R&D credits.

For example, if a big car manufacturer has given a small manufacturing company a contract to develop parts and prototype based on its design, the small manufacturing company can also claim R&D tax credits as it plays a big role in quality, functionality, and reliability of the parts that will be used in the final assembly of a car.

The R&D tax credit is a game changer for manufacturers as it allows them to claim a part of funds spent on research activities and make the bottom line stronger. Since the eligibility requirements are clearly defined, all they need to do is identify and document research activities to claim R&D credit.

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All You Need to Know About International Accounting

Posted by in Accounting

As a business owner, you know that you must be selective in choosing your accountant. Your accountant will be instrumental in making sure you are following any financial regulation or legislation that is relevant to you, as well as helping you to grow your wealth by helping you with tax savings. For many business owners, their accountants also play somewhat of a financial advising role. One of the areas that an accountant might be able to help you with is structuring your business. Often this means deciding if you should be dealing with holding companies and investments, both of which might end up having an international aspect. If your accountant is advising that your company invest internationally or should start international holding companies, make sure that your accountant is well versed in international accounting. Breaking international tax law can have a very serious impact on your business and on your reputation as a business owner.

Accounting laws vary from one country to the next. Even within the same country, there might be different laws and regulations for accounting practices in different regions, states, or provinces. A good accountant will know that international accounting does not necessarily follow the same conventions as domestic accounting, and will make sure they don’t venture into international accounting territory without first looking into local legislation. Similarly, a good accountant will make sure that any accounting practices they engage in through your overseas accounts will not violate any domestic accounting laws. Just because a practice is legal in another country, it doesn’t mean that involving yourself in it from home is also legal or advisable. Even of an accounting practice is legal, it still might be looked down upon by your clients and peers, so be sure that your accountant goes through every possible scenario with you.

So how do you know if your accountant can be trusted with international accounting practices? There are different ways. Some accountants might have special certifications or designations allowing them to practice in other countries, or showing that they are trained in the accounting laws of other countries. You can also ask to speak to existing clients as references. Be sure to do a little research to ensure that your accountant has a good reputation when it comes to international accounting.

Seeking business and investment ventures in other countries can help you to grow your wealth, but only if you do it safely and legally. By ensuring that your accountant has a solid grasp on international accounting, you will be protecting your business and your reputation.

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