Back to work tips for August

It’s August, and for many of us with children we know it’s time to get in one last bit of relaxation this summer. If you live in Florida for many of you like myself there’s only one or two weeks left of summer vacation. So enjoy the beach, have a couple of late mornings and get ready for the back to school schedules.

On the work side for many self-employed professionals summer is normally the time when things slow down for us. It’s also a good time to get your office back in order and ready for business for the next push of the year. My work tips for August:

  • Get your finances in order – August is a great time while it’s slow going to update all your bookkeeping/accountig. Round-up any stray unpaid invoices from customers if you have any. Do your bank recons so you have a idea where you stand financially and what you need to do to meet your end of year financial goal. Hire a bookkeeper if you don’t have the time, patience or software to do your finances by yourself, or they are too out of control for you to deal with. However you decide to deal with your finances set a deadline for August 31 to get it all done and ready for the last months of the year.
  • Schedules – If you have kids then your work from home schedule is going to be really important. Be realistic about what you can do and when you can do it. For many of us our best work time is when the kids have gone to school. That will give you a good 6 to 8 hours of focused work time, so use it wisely.
  • Be flexible – Although you’ve got a schedule it’s always good to be flexible because life happens.
  • Home Office or work space – Over time our work areas get cluttered, it’s natural. While its slow take a couple of hours to tidy up, put files in their place and shred all that unwanted paper that is cluttering up your space and make it workable again 🙂 Don’t forget your computers too, we tend to drop a lot of stuff on our destops, so file those away too.
  • Finally have fun – Enjoy the last few days of family relaxing time before everything goes haywire again. Have fun and head outdoors, go to the beach or bike riding, but have some more fun before school and work get back in full swing.

Happy summer and have a great August.

Brain on vacation – Back to normal

Finally tax day has come and gone, and now my brain can vacate for a few days. It’s been a busy few weeks but was well worth it. Now to relax into a more steady work schedule.

mental-vacation

I can never say this enough having your accounts in order whether they’re done by you or a bookkeeper/accountant, it’s so much easier when it comes to taxes and annual accounts. Doing your accounts ever month, every quarter or even six months will be beneficial to you the business owner/independent contractor in that it helps you keep track of what your income and expenses are.   It also lessens the stress when it comes to doing your annual accounts and your profit and loss statements and other reports that you need at the end of your financial year.

So if you haven’t done your first quarter accounting, now would be a good time to get it done or hire a bookkeeper to do it for you.

Enjoy the week.

Althea – VYPA

Enjoy Spring

It’s Spring and already a very busy year for many of us. In the States we all know that it’s tax season and you’re either getting your accounts in order, or have passed our receipts, statements, etc., on to our CPA or tax preparer for tax purposes, or for those of you who are able have already done it yourself. For those of you who haven’t done your taxes yet, the deadline is Tuesday April 18, less than four weeks away.

It’s March and as my work schedule begins to slow down to normal I have an observation that I’m sure many small business owners might have been struggling with, how to track all your business accounts and expenses, and keep my business accounting accurate. Over the next few weeks I will be looking at some tips, options and solutions available for the small business owner to utilize to help make their accounting less stressful and more accurate, and hopefully by the end of the series will prove helpful to a few people out there.

So until the first installment in the upcoming blog series, Small Business Solutions,  enjoy spring and brighten up your surroundings with some beautiful flowers. Have a wonderful day.

 

 

 

Happy Wednesday.

HowtoBoostYourMetabolism

Well we’re out of January and into the first full week of February, how has it been for you all so far? It’s been busy here at Virtually Yours-PA with assisting clients to get their books in order for taxes. Hope you all have yours in order and ready to file your returns. For those of you still waiting on documentation don’t worry I’m sure they’re all in the mail.

Have a great rest of the week.

VYPA

 

 

 

Are you ready for Tax Season?

Tax Season
Are you ready?

It’s that time of year again that we all have to prepare for, if you live and work in the United States. So to make it a little easier here’s a checklist of what you need to gather before you head off to your tax accountant or sit at your computer to do it yourself. And remember there have been some changes for 2017 which you can read more on here. It’s also good to note that the IRS won’t be making payments on refunds until February 15 if you have Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.

Tax Preparation Checklist

Personal information:

The IRS needs to know exactly who’s filing and who is covered in your tax return. To do this, you will need Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, and your dependents:

Information about your income:

  • Income from jobs: forms W-2 for you and your spouse
  • Investment income – various forms 1099 (-INT, -DIV, -B, etc.), K-1s, stock option information
  • Income from state and local income tax refunds and/or unemployment: forms 1099-G
  • Alimony received
  • Business or farming income – profit/loss statement, capital equipment information
  • If you use your home for business – home size, office size, home expenses, office expenses.
  • IRA/pension distributions – forms 1099-R, 8606
  • Rental property income/expense – profit/Loss statement, rental property suspended loss information
  • Social Security benefits – forms SSA-1099
  • Income from sales of property – original cost and cost of improvements, escrow closing statement, cancelled debt information (form 1099-C)
  • Prior year installment sale information – forms 6252, principal and Interest collected during the year, SSN and address of payer
  • Other miscellaneous income – jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account (MSA), scholarships, etc.

Adjustments to your income:

The following can help reduce the amount of your income that is taxed, which can increase your tax refund or lower the amount you owe.

  • IRA contributions
  • Energy credits
  • Student loan interest
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
  • Moving expenses
  • Self-employed health insurance payments
  • Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE and other self-employed pension plans
  • Alimony paid
  • Educator expenses

Itemized tax deductions and credits:

The government offers a number of deductions and credits to help lower the tax burden on individuals, which means more money in your pocket. You’ll need the following documentation to make sure you get all the deductions and credits you deserve.

  • Advance Child Tax Credit payment
  • Child care costs – provider’s name, address, tax id, and amount paid
  • Education costs – forms 1098-T, education expenses
  • Adoption costs – SSN of child, legal, medical, and transportation costs
  • Home mortgage interest and points you paid – Forms 1098
  • Investment interest expense
  • Charitable donations – cash amounts and value of donated property, miles driven, and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Casualty and theft losses – amount of damage, insurance reimbursements
  • Other miscellaneous tax deductions – union dues, unreimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publications, travel, etc.)
  • Medical and dental expenses

Taxes you’ve paid:

Properly documenting the taxes you’ve already paid can keep you from overpaying.

  • State and local income taxes paid
  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Personal property taxes – vehicle license fee based on value

Other information:

  • Estimated tax payment made during the year, prior year refund applied to current year, and any amount paid with an extension to file.
  • Direct deposit information – routing and account numbers
  • Foreign bank account information – location, name of bank, account number, peak value of account during the year.

 

 

Hello December

As we venture into the last month of the year, think about what you have accomplished for 2016. The new clients you’ve gained, spending more time with your family and friends, striking a good work life balance, or just simply having an extremely productive year.

We’ve all set goals at the start of this year and I’m sure we have met some if not all of them. For those of you who have only met some of your goals December will give you the opportunity to set yourself up for 2017. So look ahead to push through and prepare for 2017.

Happy December.

How to Make Your Bookkeeper Really Work for Your Business

In this article by Dean Bassal it looks at what you should look for when choosing a bookkeeper for your business.

Bookkeepers are an integral part of any business and at some point we all need to choose one. The article below by Dean Bassal gives you a good start in looking for the right bookkeeper for you. Have a read.
bookkeeping
As the owner of a business, you are constantly pushing yourself to perform to the best of your abilities. You invest in the best quality goods and services you can, in order to provide the best service or product to your customers.

So, when it comes to ensuring that you are keeping on top of your finances, you need to ensure you get the best from the person you hire to be your bookkeeper.

The majority of firms hire a bookkeeper to keep an accurate and up-to-date record of all of their financial transactions in preparation for producing annual tax reports. Getting this right is crucial, so you need to make sure properly qualified, registered bookkeepers are hired to do this on your behalf.

So, how do you choose and use the services of a bookkeeper?

You need to think about a few factors to ensure that you have a successful relationship with your bookkeeper.

It’s important to consider carefully what role they will play within your business, and what responsibilities you are going to give them. In the same way you would set out a job description for a particular employment role, you can set out the criteria you require for a bookkeeper.

Checklist: Choosing the right bookkeeper for your business

  • Listen up—make sure it’s a two-way conversation
  • Be clear about the services you need
  • Arrange a face-to-face meeting
  • Check their knowledge, understanding, and qualifications
  • Make sure they have the personal skills for the job
  • Choose a bookkeeper who is able to look at your business as a whole
  • Pick someone tech savvy
  • Ensure that they are ready for the commitment to your business

Click here to read the entire article.