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  • 5 Tips For Your Tax Returns Everybody Should Know About

    January 14, 2017

    5 Tax Season Tips For 2016 Tax Returns

    Smart tax planning is knowing all the available deductions so you don’t miss out on saving tax dollars. Increase your tax returns with these tax savings tips for your 2016 tax returns.

    1. Maximize your employer 401(K) match. Your employer may match part of your own contributions with their employer match percentage. This is free money from your employer for 401(K) retirement. This may also put you in a lower tax bracket, when you file your taxes and you may get more money back.
    2. Don’t forget to make your yearly traditional IRA contribution. You can still make your 2016 contribution up to April 15, 2017. Contributing to an IRA may help you receive more tax dollars back. It also helps to build your savings for retirement.
    3. Take the required minimum distributions (RMD) from your retirement if you are 70-½ or older. For people who just turned 70-½ in 2016 take your first RMD before April 1, 2017. If you wait until the next year it may put you in a higher tax bracket.
    4. Tax-Preferred Education 529 Savings Plan- The 529 plan is a college savings account, which is exempt from taxes. This plan will help pay for high college expenses. Your state may also offer tax benefits for residents in the state. It is only for states that file income tax. Each state has different maximum dollar amount for the 529 savings plan so it’s wise to check the maximum allowance for your state. Learn more about the 529 plan with IRS’s questions and answers page.
    5. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. If you qualify for the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) the amounts deposited are tax-free until distributed. The education savings accounts have a maximum allowance for the total contributions each year. This education savings plan will help higher education expenses, elementary and secondary school expenses.

    Retirement Planning For Increasing Your Tax Deductions

    Retirement contributions make great tax deductions. Your retirement planning will help you save money on your tax filing. Putting money away for retirement can cut your income tax you owe. Take advantage of these retirement savings tax deductions and watch your retirement money grow. It is also a great time to start and plan your retirement or go over the retirement plans you already have. Big Financial offers tax services that will guide you through your retirement planning in North Royalton & Cleveland Ohio. Don’t wait, take advantage of these retirement savings deductions today!

  • 7 Tips for Business Finance in 2017

    December 28, 2016

    Plan Now For The New Revenue Recognition Standard

    The changes required by the new revenue recognition model are quickly looming – but most companies have not started their preparations. Given the new processes your organization may need to implement, the time to begin planning is now.

    Plan for New 2017 Tax Return Deadlines

    For the 2017 filing season, Congress agreed to change tax return filing and extension deadlines for partnerships, corporate entities, and information return forms. Don’t forget to update your calendar!

    Plan Cybersecurity Protection

    The average cost of a data breach in 2016 was $7.01 million. While you may not be able to prevent breaches entirely, you may be able to mitigate cybersecurity risks by involving all of your company’s departments.

    Consider Strategic Outsourcing

    A virtual CFO or controller can assist with financial processes and budgeting, thereby helping you more efficiently run your business. This benefit is just one of many that your company can reap from outsourcing your accounting functions.

    Plan for the Unexpected

    One-quarter of all small companies hit by a major storm permanently close. Be proactive against unexpected natural occurrences by disaster-proofing your business.

    Document Governance

    A code of ethics, document retention policy, and whistleblower policy are three governance policies that all companies should put in writing. Some of these policy details may vary depending on the needs of your organization.

    Maintain Financial Separation Between Company and Owner

    For business owners, keeping personal and company finances separate offers many benefits – including simpler tax preparation and a streamlined IRS audit process. We can advise you regarding 10 “seeds” to plant for financial autonomy.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Quick Financial Tips for Businesses

    December 12, 2016

    There’s no way to get around some of the challenges that come with being a small business owner. But the proper tools and support can help you navigate the world of debits and credits more smoothly. Here are a few financial challenges you may face and some small business finance tips for managing them.

    Small Business Finance Tips

    Cash Management

    Many small business owners can become overwhelmed by trying to manage their cash flow. Of course, you know you need accurate and timely data to line up the resources to handle crucial transactions – such as payroll – when needed. And the longer you wait to sort out your cash flow, the greater the risk for a mistake or oversight that can potentially damage your financial reputation.
    Accurate and timely financial statements are a must because they help you make important decisions and manage your fiscal obligations. They’re also a critical component to getting extra capital through a loan if needed. Unorganized financial records can be a red flag to lenders and may convey the wrong impression about the company’s fiscal health.

    Accounting

    Having a modern, often cloud-based, accounting system is a staple of many well-run small businesses. In fact, helpful accounting apps have become quite popular because they integrate into a lot of other services for easier and more efficient use.

    For example, if a sale is recorded in one department, a well-integrated accounting app can almost serve as a virtual employee and immediately make the necessary income or balance sheet adjustments to manage the transaction accordingly.
    Small businesses should consider utilizing financial/accounting apps offered through their business bank or business credit card to help them keep their finances in check.

    A Company Credit Card

    Is a company credit card the right choice for your small business?
    Naturally, there are pros and cons.
    For example, a business credit card such as Ink from Chase helps keep personal and business expenses separate. The card also rewards spending. And those reward points are capital that can be easily re-invested into the business.
    Burgeoning businesses can benefit from a business credit card too; this is a great way to establish credit and build financial stability.

    Meeting the Financial Challenge

    Even the smallest of companies today have access to financial and accounting tools and resources that can rival those of a business twice their size. These technological advances are narrowing the accounting and financing gap for small businesses.
    “Small businesses are strapped for time,” said Laura Miller, president of Ink from Chase. “The more we can bring together useful tools, the more we can help them be successful.”
    In the absence of a fully-staffed financial department — or even a single dedicated person — a small business owner can rely on the numerous services offered by their financial institute or business cards to help navigate any financial management challenges they may have.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • 2016 Tax Brackets for 2017 Tax Filing

    November 28, 2016

    2016 Tax Brackets

    When going in to file your 2016 taxes you need to know where you fall in regards to your tax bracket.

    We've conveniently listed here the 2016 tax bracket chart so you can quickly see where you land.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Financial Tips for Startups

    November 14, 2016

    financial tips for startups

    We've listed here some basic financial information that every startup should be familiar with.

    First is the standard statement of cash flows, which is prepared by accountants under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This explains changes in the cash balance and compliments the income statement. Cash inflows & outflows include operating, investing, and financing activities. Understanding this document is critical for keeping track of your money!

    It is likely that a potential investor will ask what your cash burn is. This is the rate at which your company uses its cash reserves. Calculate the burn rate for a selected period of time using this formula:

    (ending cash balance - beginning cash balance) / months in period

    The answer is a monthly value, and the lower it is, the better.
    Also be familiar with how long your cash will last at the current burn rate. Calculate this with the following formula:

    cash reserves / burn rate

    The 13 week cash flow model is an alternative commonly used by companies in financial distress. This tool allows you to see the “big picture” and analyze the amount of cash you will need in the future. It is different from other financial forecasting tools because it is cash-based rather than accrual-based, which means that cash is measured only when it's available for use.

    Something else to remember is that you must file a 1099 for all consultants you hire. This is done by the company or bookkeeper, and is due by January 31 of each year.

    Thanks for checking out these tips from your trusted partner and Ohio Accountant BizImprove!

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Ohio Business Performance in 2015

    October 28, 2016

     We wanted to share with you this great infographic on business performance in Ohio from 2015.

  • 5 Business Plan Tips for Success

    October 14, 2016

    5 Business Plan Tips

    Get rid of the fluff: You should always be as concise as possible and remove any filler language. Even if it sounds nice, fluff gets you nowhere and wastes space. Plus, no investors want to read a long business plan. Get to the point quickly.


    Be realistic: You should be honest with yourself in your business plan, which is why it’s important to consider challenges and opportunities. If you’ve got a strong idea, let it stand on its merit.


    Show you’re conservative: Everyone says they’re “conservative” in their business plans, but most aren’t. You should be. Use examples to demonstrate that you’re conservative in your approach and projections.


    Visuals are good: Whenever possible, and without overdoing it, use visuals in your business plan. Graphs, charts, and images can help bring your concept to life. Plus, it breaks up the text and helps a plan flow better.


    Be creative: Include a creative element in your business plan so you stand out and grab someone’s attention. You can use templates, but don’t look identical to a template. Do something unique to make the plan yours.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • 11 Business Facts You Won't Believe

    September 30, 2016

    11 Business Facts

    You Won't Believe these 11 Business Facts!

    1. Wal-Mart averages a profit of $1.8 million every hour
    2. Apple’s iPad retina display is actually manufactured by Samsung
    3. U.S. corporations are reportedly hiding $1.6 trillion in profits offshore
    4. Candy Crush brings in a reported $633,000 a day in revenue
    5. The most productive day of the workweek is Tuesday
    6. If Bill Gates were a country, he’d be the 37th richest on earth
    7. If you have $10 in your pocket and no debts, you are wealthier than 25% of Americans
    8. Seventy percent of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person
    9. The Rubik’s cube is the best-selling product of all time (The iPhone is second)
    10. The world’s 100 richest people earned enough money in 2012 to end global poverty four times over
    11. More than 80 million “mouse ears” have been sold at Walt Disney World to date

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Tax Preparation in 2016

    September 16, 2016

    Tax Preparation Services in North Royalton

    We are at the end of Q3 for 2016 and you need to be thinking about taxes for your business.
    We have put together 3 critical tax tips for Freelancers.

    3 Tax Tips for Freelancers

    Be accurate about your earnings

    Freelancers are susceptible to audits, so don't want make any big errors when it comes to reporting your earnings. Of course, you'll be getting 1099 forms from your clients, but only if you did enough work with them.

    If you've done a bunch of tiny jobs this year, the government wants to know about that income. Go back through your invoices and make sure you know what you actually earned.

    Know your deductions

    Deductions are business expenses you can deduct from your taxable income. For example, if you made $60,000 last year but spent $10,000 on business expenses, you only have to pay taxes on $50,000.

    Below are the most common deductions for a freelancer:

    • Office supplies
    • Books, magazines, reference materials
    • Telephone/Internet service
    • Promotion/advertising
    • Office rent
    • Gas and electric
    • Memberships
    • Messengers, private mail carriers, postage
    • Business insurance
    • Tax preparation
    • Travel
    • Business meals and entertainment
    • Equipment
    • Software
    • Business loan interest
    • Legal and professional fees
    • Taxes and permits
    • Home office space



    Be sure to talk to your tax professional before claiming major deductions, as there are often specific stipulations for each write-off. For example, if you're primarily working from home, you can only write off the amount of square footage that's used as a dedicated workspace.

    But claiming a crazy amount for certain deductions can trigger audits. If a deduction you're making seems unreasonable to you, chances are the government will think so too.

    Know your forms

    The government likes to make their forms extremely confusing & extremely similar. Here are the ones you should probably be familiar with:

    W-9: You should have already filled out this form for the companies who hired you. Just basic info here: social security number, name, address. Not a form you're going to have to worry about now.

    1099: This is the form your clients will send to you by late January or early February, assuming you did more than $600 worth of work for them. Again, this is a fairly simple form listing the amount of money the client paid you — also known as the amount of money you now owe taxes on.

    1040: You'll use this form to file your income taxes. There are three different types of 1040 forms: 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ. They are basically the same thing. The only difference is the amount of information required to fill them out. For example, the 1040EZ form doesn't allow you to claim dependents. To keep things simple, just fill out the 1040 form. It has everything you need.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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  • Strategic Business Planning in Cleveland

    August 29, 2016

    strategic business planning

    Encouraging Effective Management Accounting


    Most discussions about managerial costing turn into comparisons of different costing methods & approaches. Previous costing solutions historically skipped the fundamental work for assessing their effectiveness against a set of concepts. Actually, it isn’t uncommon for the results from competing methods to point to contradictory decision alternatives. In the past experts have gone back and forth trying to push their preferred method without a principled basis to ground their approaches. This can be dangerous for achieving accuracy to support decision making.

    A good example is the use of simple activity-based costing. This method fails to consider the nature of costs. ABC lacks capacity information as well. The confusion is based on whether capacity resides in resources, activities, or both. Activities don’t have capacity of their own, activities merely consume resources.

    The profession must embrace a managerial costing principles based approach to cost modeling. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we are promoting a one size fits all approach to cost modeling or that every organization should perform cost modeling in the same manner. What it does mean is that managerial costing professionals can now assess how closely aligned their cost models are to the principles outlined in the Framework. If we collectively embrace these principles of managerial costing, then ultimately we must believe that principles are good for the profession and should be integrated into our practices.

    If we agree that establishing principles will encourage the revitalization of our industry, then we must dive deeper into understanding the principles themselves.

    Causality is the basis for all inferences in the scientific method. It is appropriate and essential, to apply causality to managerial costing, and as a principle it is the basis for discerning truth in cost modeling and its decision support information.

    This isn’t to say that management accounting is a science, but decision science, which managers apply in their optimization efforts, is dependent on cause-and-effect insights. The Framework defines the principle of analogy as “the use of causal insights to infer past or future causes or effects.” Thus analogy “applies when insights are used and inferences are made about known cause and effect relationships.”

    Given that these principles are self-evident, cost models that are consistent with causality and analogy would naturally provide information that aids managers’ decision making needs. Most current methods don’t consistently follow causality. As a result, they don’t produce efficient & reliable cost modeling solutions nor the clear, causal insights that decision makers need to perform their most important work.

    As an example, the CPA exam still teaches students to allocate all overhead costs from manufacturing support into one main manufacturing cost pool. This means that fixed overhead can no longer be analyzed in a meaningful way. Fixed and variable costs aren’t separated. These issues plague management accounting. These problems are even worse when we consider that textbooks defer to GAAP principles rather than principles needed for internal decision support when teaching traditional standard costing. They teach some adjustments from GAAP for management analysis but don’t teach any principles for internal decision support.

    The 2012 survey indicated that the availability of investment funding in relevant cost modeling technology wasn’t a significant financial constraint for most companies, but companies were reluctant to invest in new cost modeling methods. We believe these survey results may reflect increasing levels of regulation that have created commensurate amounts of uncertainty, effectively stalling investment.

    This may indicate a lack of proposals to justify improving cost information or the possibility that accounting and finance professionals lack the knowledge to provide an effective cost information solution. One approach already exists: resource consumption accounting, that has the ability to encourage the healthy promotion of management accounting’s role. This principles-based managerial costing approach completely conforms to the Framework but is now sparsely employed in practice. The 2012 survey reveals the gap between managerial costing’s problems and the practices needed to effectively achieve improved results.

    For more information on Strategic Planning Click Here.

    Contact Us About Your Business, Finance, Accounting or Tax Needs

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