401K, Accountant, Accounting, expenses, IRS, Retirement
Retirement can be an intimidating prospect, especially for individuals without financial planning experience. Fortunately, there are practical steps that anyone can take to make the process easier – no matter your age and financial situation. These essential planning tips will help set you on the path towards your future as a retiree. Start preparing now for life after work!
Start Early, Save Often
The younger you are, the easier it is to save; parenthood, homeownership and other responsibilities make it harder to put money away each month as you get older.By investing earlier on in life for retirement, the compound interest on your savings will allow your money to grow more and more every year. In addition, you may be able to take advantage of employer-based retirement matching. This will not only provide an extra boost to your savings, but you will also reap the benefits of pretax deductions.
Set Realistic Goals
Retirement planning is all about setting realistic goals and sticking to them. Determine what kind of lifestyle you want in retirement, then set a budget that reflects that lifestyle and make sure that your savings plan works towards achieving those goals. Consider inflation, taxes, health care costs, living expenses and other factors when making your plans so that your money will last as long as possible during retirement.
Create A Diversified Portfolio
When it comes to investing for retirement, diversification is key. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket by investing only in stocks or mutual funds; instead create a portfolio that contains a mix of investments such as bonds, real estate holdings and other assets that can help balance out riskier investments like stocks or commodities trading. This way if one type of investment does poorly, another may do well and help cushion the blow of any losses incurred by their counterparts.
Retirement planning is not something to be taken lightly; it requires careful consideration and long-term commitment in order to ensure financial security later in life. Start early, save often, set realistic goals based on what kind of lifestyle you wish to lead in retirement and create a diversified portfolio so that any potential losses are balanced out by gains elsewhere in your portfolio – these are all important steps towards creating a secure financial future for yourself after retiring from work life! With these tips in mind, retirees can rest assured knowing they are taking steps towards building a solid foundation for their post-work lives.
401K, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Expenses, Employee, expenses, IRS, Payroll, Small Business, Taxes, Uncategorized
As a small business owner, managing your finances can be overwhelming and intimidating. There are so many things to consider, from taxes to cash flow to budgeting. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can follow to help make the process easier. Let’s look at four financial tips every small business owner should know.
1. Create A Budget and Track Your Expenses:
Creating a budget is essential for any successful business. With a budget, you can easily manage your finances and plan for the future. Plus, tracking your expenses will help you identify areas where you can save money. Make sure to track all of your income and expenses (including taxes!) on a regular basis. This will ensure that everything is accounted for and that you have an accurate picture of your overall financial health.
2. Secure Financing Early On
If you don’t have access to capital or don’t want to use your own funds, securing financing early on is key. Whether it’s taking out a loan, talking to an accountant, applying for grants or even crowdfunding, having the right funding can make all the difference in getting your business off the ground. Make sure that you research all of your options before making any decisions – this will help ensure that you get the best deal possible!
3. Keep An Eye on Cash Flow
Cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Keeping an eye on cash flow means staying on top of invoices and payments from customers as well as keeping track of bills and other expenses that need to be paid in order to keep operations running smoothly. Setting up automated reminders or using an accounting software solution can help make this process easier – but ultimately it’s up to you as the business owner to monitor cash flow closely and stay ahead of any potential issues with payments or collections from customers.
4. Hire Professional Help When Needed
When it comes to managing finances, sometimes it pays (literally!) to hire professional help when needed. Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper can save time and money by ensuring that all paperwork is filed correctly, and all necessary tax documents are in order each year. Additionally, hiring professionals may also provide valuable advice related to cash flow management or other financial matters that can help keep your business on track financially over time!
With these four simple tips in mind, managing your finances as a small business owner doesn’t have to be so daunting! By creating a budget and tracking expenses regularly, securing financing early on if needed, monitoring cash flow closely, and hiring professional help when necessary- you’ll be well on your way towards a successful small business with healthy financials.
Accountant, Bookkeeping, Business Expenses, CPA, expenses, Small Business
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…)
Accounting, Bookkeeping, expenses, Small Business
Are you a small business owner who struggles to keep your books balanced? Do you feel like you’re too busy juggling all the other responsibilities of managing the day-to-day operations? If so, you’re not alone. Bookkeeping can be tedious and intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. We share some of our favorite bookkeeping tips for small businesses, so read on and start getting your books in order!
1. Separate Your Personal and Business Expenses
Mixing your personal accounts and business accounts is asking for trouble. Skip any confusion and create separate bank accounts. Having a dedicated business account provides a clearer picture of your business cash flow allowing you to track expenses more easily. Solely using credit cards for all business transactions is a great way to stay on top of expenses as cash payments can easily be overlooked.
2. Pay Attention to Receivables
Every business likes to get paid but managing those payments isn’t as much fun. Marking an invoice as paid when payment is received seems easy, but all too often customer payments are left to reconcile at a later date. It’s important to keep track of your transactions as they happen. Applying customer payments weekly will save you time and money – and a big headache come tax time.
3. Pay Yourself a Salary
While paying yourself may not be the first thing that comes to mind as you’re building a business, if your business earns enough money, it should be. Paying yourself a salary is an excellent way to keep your business and personal life separate and keep your books in order. Rather than having business pay your personal expenses, have them write you a check that is deposited into an account just for those payments.
4. Log Expense Receipts
The importance of keeping business receipts cannot be overstated, as they help you keep accurate records for your taxes and lend credibility to any tax reporting. Whether it’s buying dinner for a client or paying to create a new logo for your company, all purchases should have some type of receipt with them so you can keep an accurate record of all business expenses.
5. Hire a Professional
Too many small businesses struggle with the day-to-day tasks of keeping their books, and it’s a problem that can be easily avoided. Your business requires your full attention as you grow it into something amazing—outsource these tedious jobs so you have more time to focus on what really matters, making money!
As a small business owner, you have to be mindful of your accounting and finances. These tips will help make bookkeeping less daunting and ensure that your business is on the right track financially.
Accountant, Bookkeeping, expenses, Small Business, Taxes
It’s one thing to plan on improving organization around the office, but another to actually go through with it. Getting organized does more than make the office look tidy – a more structured workplace can actually help you grow and earn money. It’s easier to be productive when you don’t have stacks of papers, lost receipts and file cabinets filled to the brim. It’s not just physical clutter that gets in the way – digital files, profiles and accounts can quickly become disorganized and that creates an avalanche of problems.
We’ve provided our bookkeeping and accounting services to many Chicagoland businesses through the years and our past client experiences have made us understand that being organized at work and with your finances will aid productivity. Here are a few tips we’ve suggested to our clients that you can use to help you stay more organized.
No, it’s not spring quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little cleaning around the office to free up some space. A cluttered office environment can make people feel stressed, and removing unnecessary items will create a more welcoming space. It’s common to want to hold onto knick-knacks, old office papers and other items because we often overestimate their importance. Problem is, once these items are no longer necessary, they just get in the way when you’re looking for something you really need. The next time you come across a form or document that’s over a year old, ask yourself whether it’s causing more problems than it’s worth. If you haven’t missed it, you probably won’t in the future.
Put Away Paper Receipts
If there’s one thing nobody ever feels like doing, it’s organizing a fistful of receipts after a long day. Chances are, you’ll toss those papers into the trash just to get them out of the way. That, or you’ll add to the ever-growing Mount Crumpled Paper – before long it’s sure to reach the ceiling. It’s impossible to completely avoid paper receipts, so it’s worth doing the next best thing: get a scanning app that turns that ink into digital receipts. It only takes a few seconds, and it will make your business tax write offs a whole lot easier to manage. Shoeboxed, Expensify and Wave are three great mobile apps that automatically scan and extract receipt information. If you need to know more about how you can use a scanning app for your receipts with our bookkeeping service, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to discuss with you.
Clean Up Your Inbox
Computer screens aren’t always immune to clutter. If your number of unread emails is in the hundreds or thousands, it’s probably time to do a little organization. You don’t necessarily need to delete old emails, because you might need to look back at a conversation thread with a coworker or client, but you should create folders to store them away. Most email services allow you to archive old emails that you don’t use on a daily basis, while keeping a separate folder for more current messages. You can go a step further and create categories in your inbox for the types of emails you commonly receive. Most email services already have a spam folder, but you should unsubscribe to any pesky promotional emails that escape the filter.
Stop Battling Your Books
Chances are, you already have a bookkeeping service like Motl Accounting in Dundee, IL, or you leave it all to an accountant. Whatever your situation, it’s worth reevaluating the processes you have in place to see if you can manage your records more efficiently. Processing payments, recording expenses and tracking projects is essential if you want your business to grow. At the very least, look over your income statement and balance sheet every month to ensure that your records are accurate and every expense is accounted for. Look into smartphone apps like Mint or Freshbooks that allow you to record your transactions on the go, and ensure that any computer software you’re using is up-to-date. You can make your life easier by taking advantage of the bookkeeping services provided by Motl Accounting– we’ll ensure your records are managed correctly whenever we step in to assist with your bookkeeping needs.
A client of ours who owns restaurants in Batavia and Naperville lost his general manager and other restaurant staff within a short period of time. He had to take on some of the accounting work for the business and this obviously hindered him from focusing on his usual responsibilities as the owner. Motl Accounting offered to assist and we stepped in to handle his accounting needs until another general manager was hired and trained by us to get up to speed with the restaurants’ operation. Our client was positioned to be successful even through a transition and trying time by working with us and he was extremely grateful for our assistance.
This is the kind of passion and commitment our team of Motl accountants aim to provide. We strive to guide all our clients down the right financial track.
It only takes a few weeks for a mess to get out of hand. When the office is orderly, your whole team can perform at its best and productivity increases. It’s impossible to know how much time you waste digging through emails, searching for documents or wondering how much you spent on equipment, but it adds up. Make your life a little less hectic with accounting services at Motl that help you stay organized. We can integrate with your existing bank accounts and Quickbooks software, so the transition is simple. Let the Motl Accounting professional’s help you get on top of the day-to-day and start focusing on year over year growth. You’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner.
Accountant, Bookkeeping, Business Expenses, expenses, Small Business
Tax season is behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop thinking about business expense documentation. In fact, now is the ideal time to get organized and create record-keeping habits that make sense for your company. Nobody wants to waste time digging through receipts and records just before tax day. Document your expenses now and you’ll save yourself and your accountant a headache later on.
Working with the Motl Accounting bookkeepers affords you the opportunity to not deal with all the effort and time it takes to stay organized with your expenses. We assist many businesses with bookkeeping services in Dundee, IL and the Chicagoland area. Below we share some of the things we recommend to our clients to keep their finances organized throughout the year.
Set up a Business Bank Account
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a small business is not creating a bank account dedicated to business funds. If you’re using the same account for personal and business spending, it’s easy to mix these expenses up and harder to locate specific purchases. Any business-related income should be pooled into a dedicated account. Only use business checking or credit cards when making purchases. Losing track of purchases will become a thing of the past. (more…)