If you’ve ever attempted a quick Google search for CPAs in your area, you’ve probably learned there’s no such thing as a quick search for an accountant. Accounting is all about the details, and when you’re trying to find someone to handle your finances, it pays to be thorough. Your money is at stake, and you should only choose someone who has your best interests in mind. A small amount of accountants have questionable (to say the least) practices, and knowing the warning signs makes a big difference:
Outdated CPA Certificate
There’s a reason many people prefer to work with a CPA rather than a general financial planner: the title requires a higher level of expertise. In addition to years of schooling, CPAs complete exams to ensure a high-level understanding of auditing, business concepts, financial rules and reporting. It’s worth asking for credentials to ensure your accountant has retained their license. (more…)
When you start a new business, you have to make a decision regarding how you will approach your financial management. Two basic methods are available to you: cash basis or accrual basis. Although the two methods clash, there are also see some similarities.
Cash basis is an accounting method that counts income only after cash or a check is received and expenses are not counted until they have been paid. This method is the most popular accounting method among entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Accrual basis is an accounting method that counts income when orders are placed or services are requested, regardless of payment being received. Expenses are counted when your request for good or services is fulfilled.
There are many different options for accounting and it can be difficult to decide which is the best for you or your business. You can hire an accountant to do your books or you can use accounting software. Each has its own pros and cons, and it helps to understand them before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring an accountant vs. using accounting software. Hopefully it will help you decide which option is right for you!
Hiring An Accountant
Hiring an accountant is a good option for businesses that don’t have the time or resources to do their own accounting. An accountant can help you with everything from bookkeeping to tax preparation. They will keep your books in order and make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws. Hiring an accountant also gives you someone to rely on for advice and support. A main benefit of hiring an accountant is the time it saves. You can focus on other aspects of your business and personal life instead of working on your finances for hours on end.
However, It can also be difficult to find an experienced accountant who is knowledgeable about your specific industry. Additionally, you are limited to the services that the accountant offers. If you need help with something that the accountant does not offer, you will have to find someone else to help you.
Using Accounting Software
Using accounting software is a good option for businesses that want to do their own books but don’t have the time or resources to hire an accountant. The software gives you access to all of your financial information in one place, which makes it easier for you to keep track of what’s going on with your business and make decisions based on that information.
However, using accounting software can be very time consuming and difficult to learn. You need to be able to understand financial statements in order to use the software effectively. If you don’t have any experience with accounting, it will take some time to learn how to use the software and understand what the statements mean. Additionally, you are responsible for entering all of your financial information into the software, which can be a time-consuming process. If you find yourself struggling with the software, it is wise to consider hiring an accountant.
In conclusion, both hiring an accountant and using accounting software have their own pros and cons. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. If you use accounting software, make sure that the software is easy to learn and use before purchasing it. This will help ensure success!
If you hire an accountant, make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about your industry and has experience working with businesses like yours. We pride ourselves at Motl Accounting on helping various types of businesses and individuals with their taxes. Whether you need accounting or payroll services, we can help. The most important factor when it comes to your finances is peace of mind and we offer that to our clients.
Need help with your business finances or personal taxes? Contact one of our experienced professionals at our West Dundee location to get the help you need.
For those living and working overseas in a different country, taxation is a different ball game that requires experts who are skilled in international tax planning. The rules and regulations are different and knowing what is required to be in compliance with local and international laws can be daunting. Many taxpayers do not realize most US citizens and residents abroad must report their foreign income and foreign bank accounts. Many are not also aware that you can still receive deductions you are eligible for despite not living in the US. Mainly important to know is that all income from abroad is taxable and must be reported along with certain financial accounts. With this in mind, we have gathered a few helpful tips you would want to consider when it comes to international taxation.
Understand Tax Obligations of Work Country and Home Country
Some countries don’t tax their citizens living abroad, the United States however does, so it’s important to know if you are to be paying taxes to the country you work in, in addition to the US. There are some instances where individuals living abroad can claim credit for taxes paid overseas and this can help with not being double taxed.
Understand Laws and Treaties
Knowing the treaties, pacts and trade laws between both the US and country you work in is important. A trade law, sanction or tariff imposed or removed can have effects on how the laws intersect and how international tax treaties are followed. If you are looking to mitigate double taxation, there are avenues like Tax Treaty Relief, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, Foreign Housing Benefit and Foreign Tax Credit. An experienced accountant in international taxation will be able to assist using some of these avenues.
Family and Lifestyle Dynamics
Are you married to a non citizen, did you recently purchase a home abroad or did your child just move abroad for the foreseeable future? These are all family and lifestyle dynamics that will be factored in when it comes to your taxes. For example, your child residing abroad permanently may qualify for the US foreign earned income exclusion and if you own a home abroad, you may be allowed to exclude some foreign housing costs from taxable income. However the foreign country your child lives in may impose a tax on the money you send him as a gift and the number of days you spend in your foreign home can play into how you are taxed.
Many US based families find themselves in international work or living related situations which automatically affects how they are taxed. Having international tax experts like we do at Motl Accounting in the United States can provide you the peace of mind you want when it comes to your taxes. We help United States citizens and residents earning global income and/or living abroad file their personal income taxes and properly report their foreign bank and financial accounts.
Through the IRS “streamlined compliance program”, we’ll assist you in creating a safe-haven to catch up on your delinquent income tax filing, and non-reporting of your foreign bank and financial accounts (FBARS), without the heavy penalties and fines. We apply appropriate foreign tax credits and foreign earned income exclusions, possibly mitigating any taxes owed and ensuring you are in compliance with the US law by filing all the necessary forms and returns for taxpayers earning foreign income.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation that warrants international taxation or you are looking to file your FBAR with a skilled agent, we can assist. Contact our West Dundee office in Illinois at (+1) +847-426-2100 or send us a message on our Website or Facebook Page.