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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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  • 3 Tips for Financial Planning in Your 40's

    August 15, 2016

    Finacial Planning in Your 40s

    If you're in your 40s, you are at a time in your life when you should be doing financial planning for your future and your family's future. Many people in their 40s say they need to be saving for college tuition for their kids, putting money into a retirement account and at the same time buying a house or saving for a down payment. Financial planning experts can help you see where your savings should be going. Not having a financial plan is worse than having a bad plan! These financial planning tips are meant to help people in their 40's find balance in their lives with spending and debt.

    The Tips

    Establish an Emergency Fun

    You should have three to six months of income in an account that's safe and liquid. You should also have in that account savings for planned expenses. For instance, if you know you will go on vacation next year, you should be setting aside money for that in your savings account. There's no right or wrong answer about how much cash to have on hand, but you need to be prepared in case your engine goes out or you lose your job.

    Eliminate Credit Card Debt, Student Loans and Medical Bills

    If you have credit card debt, you need to pay that down as quickly as you can. If you have student loan debt, then you should first look to see if it's tax-deductible based on your tax bracket. If not, then you should pay that off as soon as possible. In addition to financial planning, you should check the interest rates on your credit cards & student loans to see if you can get lower rates. If you have a lot of debt, you should be using all available funds to pay it off. If you have a little bit of debt you should use one-third to pay down that debt, and then use the rest for retirement savings.

    Max Your Employers 401K Match

    In your 40s, you should at least be saving as much in your 401(k) as your employer matches. Even if you weren't making any profit on that investment, your money doubles just because of the employer match. Every employer has a different retirement plan, you should find out how much you can contribute, and maximize your contributions up to that limit. People in their 40s can contribute up to $18,000 in a tax-deferred 401(k) in 2015.

    For more information on Financial Planning Click Here.

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  • Financial Planning: Helping You See the Big Picture

    July 29, 2016

    Financial Planning

    Do you picture yourself owning a new home, starting a business, or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.

    That's where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you target your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources.

    Why is financial planning important?

    A comprehensive financial plan serves as a framework for organizing the pieces of your financial picture. With a financial plan in place, you'll be better able to focus on your goals and understand what it will take to reach them.
    *There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.

    Common financial goals

    • Saving and investing for retirement
    • Saving and investing for college
    • Establishing an emergency fund
    • Providing for your family in the event of your death
    • Minimizing income or estate taxes


    One of the main benefits of having a financial plan is that it can help you balance competing financial priorities. A financial plan will clearly show you how your financial goals are related--for example, how saving for your children's college education might impact your ability to save for retirement. Then you can use the information you've gleaned to decide how to prioritize your goals, implement specific strategies, and choose suitable products or services. Best of all, you'll know that your financial life is headed in the right direction.

    The financial planning process

    Creating and implementing a comprehensive financial plan generally involves working with financial professionals to:

    • Develop a clear picture of your current financial situation by reviewing your income, assets, and liabilities, and evaluating your insurance coverage, your investment portfolio, your tax exposure, and your estate plan
    • Establish and prioritize financial goals and time frames for achieving these goals
    • Implement strategies that address your current financial weaknesses and build on your financial strengths
    • Choose specific products and services that are tailored to help meet your financial objectives*
    • Monitor your plan, making adjustments as your goals, time frames, or circumstances change

    Some members of the team

    The financial planning process can involve a number of professionals.
    Financial planners typically play a central role in the process, focusing on your overall financial plan, and often coordinating the activities of other professionals who have expertise in specific areas.
    Accountants or tax attorneys provide advice on federal and state tax issues.
    Estate planning attorneys help you plan your estate and give advice on transferring and managing your assets before and after your death.
    Insurance professionals evaluate insurance needs and recommend appropriate products and strategies. Investment advisors provide advice about investment
    June 27, 2016 Page 1 of 2, see disclaimer on final page
    options and asset allocation, and can help you plan a strategy to manage your investment portfolio.
    The most important member of the team, however, is you. Your needs and objectives drive the team, and once you've carefully considered any recommendations, all decisions lie in your hands.

    Why can't I do it myself?

    You can, if you have enough time and knowledge, but developing a comprehensive financial plan may require expertise in several areas. A financial professional can give you objective information and help you weigh your alternatives, saving you time and ensuring that all angles of your financial picture are covered.

    Staying on track

    The financial planning process doesn't end once your initial plan has been created. Your plan should generally be reviewed at least once a year to make sure that it's up-to-date. It's also possible that you'll need to modify your plan due to changes in your personal circumstances or the economy. Here are some of the events that might trigger a review of your financial plan:

    • Your goals or time horizons change
    • You experience a life-changing event such as marriage, the birth of a child, health problems, or a job loss
    • You have a specific or immediate financial planning need (e.g., drafting a will, managing a distribution from a retirement account, paying long-term care expenses)
    • Your income or expenses substantially increase or decrease
    • Your portfolio hasn't performed as expected
    • You're affected by changes to the economy or tax laws

    Common questions about financial planning

    What if I'm too busy?

    Don't wait until you're in the midst of a financial crisis before beginning the planning process. The sooner you start, the more options you may have.

    Is the financial planning process complicated?

    Each financial plan is tailored to the needs of the individual, so how complicated the process will be depends on your individual circumstances. But no matter what type of help you need, a financial professional will work hard to make the process as easy as possible, and will gladly answer all of your questions.

    What if my spouse and I disagree?

    A financial professional is trained to listen to your concerns, identify any underlying issues, and help you find common ground.

    Can I still control my own finances?

    Financial planning professionals make recommendations, not decisions. You retain control over your finances. Recommendations will be based on your needs, values, goals, and time frames. You decide which recommendations to follow, then work with a financial professional to implement them.

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  • What You Should Do About Student Loan Debt

    July 14, 2016

     Student Loan Debt: We Can Provide the Decision-Making Details You Need

    Did you know that the average student loan balance is $24,803? Student debt is taking a heavy toll on borrowers, according to an American Institute of CPAs survey, which found that 75% of respondents or their children had made personal or financial sacrifices because of monthly student loan payments. Sacrifices included putting off saving for retirement (41%); delaying car purchases (40%); postponing a home purchase (29%); and even waiting on marriage (15%).

    Among the most troubling findings were that only 39% fully understood the burden that student loan debt would place on their future and 60% had at least some regrets about their decisions on financing their education. That’s why it’s always critical to understand the full potential impact of all your financial choices. The good news is that your CPA can help. Contact us with all your financial questions and we’ll provide the knowledge and insights you need to make the best decisions for you.


    Learn more about Student Loan Debt Here.

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