One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a small business is paying taxes. When you run your own business — as opposed to working for an employer — you’ll be responsible for calculating and paying your own taxes. While there’s no way to avoid taxes, there are ways to lower the financial burden of Uncle Sam.
#1) Incorporate Your Small Business
There are several different ways you can structure your small business, including the use of a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Of those options, a corporation typically offers the greatest tax-savings benefits.
#2) Start a 401(k) Retirement Plan
Another way to save money on small business taxes is to start a 401(k) retirement plan. When running your own business, you won’t receive the same “match” that you would with a retirement plan offered by an employer. Nonetheless, you can still start an individual 401(k) retirement plan to lower your overall tax burden.
#3) Claim the Home Office Deduction
If you regularly work from home, don’t forget to claim the home office tax deduction when filing your taxes. You can learn more about the home office deduction by visiting the IRS’s website. Basically, though, you use either the simplified or regular method, the former of which is easiest. With the simplified method, you’ll receive a deduction of $5 per square foot of business space in your home, with a maximum deduction of 300 square feet.
#4) Purchase Goods and Services With a Credit or Debit Card
What’s wrong with using cash to purchase goods and services for your small business? Well, if you pay with cash, you won’t have a digital trail of your expenses. Instead, you’ll have to keep track of paper receipts, which are bound to get lost at some point or another.
#5) Consider Tossing Old Equipment
When a piece of equipment has reached the end of its usable life, consider tossing it in the trash instead of selling it. If you sell old equipment, you’ll incur a capital loss. If you toss it, on the other hand, you’ll incur an ordinary loss, which you can deduct from your taxes.
#6) Use Quickbooks for Accounting
The right accounting software can help you save money on your taxes. By using Quickbooks, you’ll have the tools and resources needed to maximize your tax deductions. Available in both cloud-based and on-premise versions, Quickbooks is the leading accounting software used by small businesses.
Have any other tax tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!
When sending invoices to your business’s customers, it’s recommended that you use a custom template. While generic templates may still contain all the necessary information — product name, purchase price, tax, etc. — you’ll experience better results when using a customized email template. Assuming you use Quickbooks Desktop, follow these five tips to customize your business’s email template.
#1) Use Single-User Mode
If you are currently logged in to Quickbooks under multi-user mode, you’ll need to sign out and sign back in under single-user mode. In Quickbooks Desktop, you can only customize templates, including email templates, in single-user mode. This is designed to prevent other individuals from creating conflicting changes to the same template. Therefore, you should use single-user mode if you’re planning to customize your email template.
#2) Add Your Logo
It’s recommended that you customize your email template to include your business’s logo. When you pull up the customization menu for your desired template, you should see an option labeled “Use logo.” First, however, you’ll need to click the “Select Logo” button to upload your logo. Once the logo has uploaded to Quickbooks, you can click the “Use logo” button.
#3) Use Contrasting Colors
Another tip to improve the performance of your email template is to use contrasting colors. In other words, the color of the text should contrast with the color of the template’s background. You can always use black text against a white background, but this is just one of many color combinations from which to choose.
#4) Display the Right Business Information
Of course, you should also display the right business information in your email template. If you only include your business’s name, customers may not recognize your business as being the sender of the email. Under the “Company & Transaction Information” section, you can specify the type of business information that you want to appear in your email invoice. Some of the options include your business’s name, business’s address, fax number, phone number, email address and website address. Generally speaking, the more information you display in your email template, the better.
#5) Preview Before Saving
After making the desired changes to your email template, use the print preview function to see exactly what it looks like. At the bottom-right corner of the customization window, you should see a “Print Preview” button. Clicking this button will show you how the email looks when printed.
Have any other tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!
Have you taken out a line of credit for the purpose of funding your small business? If so, you’ll need to track it. Whether it’s $1,000 or $1 million, tracking lines of credit is important because it allows you to see exactly how much of the available credit you’ve used. As a result, you can take precautions to ensure that you don’t overspend and up paying an excessive amount of interest. If you use Quickbooks Online, you can easily track lines of credit.
Create an Account for the Principle
To get started, you need to create an account for the principle of the line of credit. While logged in to Quickbooks Online, click the “Settings” button on the home screen and choose “Chart of Accounts.” From here, select “New,” at which point you can choose “Current liabilities” form the “Account Type” menu, followed by “Line of Credit” in the “Detail Type” field.
Assuming you followed these steps correctly, you should see a field for the account’s name. While you can use any name that you’d like, it’s recommended that you choose something meaningful, such as “credit line.” When finished, click “Save and Close” to complete the process.
Create an Expense Account
After setting up the principle account, you need to create an expense account for the line of credit. This is done by going back to the Quickbooks Online home screen and clicking “Settings,” followed by “Chart of Accounts” and “New.” From here, select “Current liabilities” in the “Account type” menu. Next, choose “Expenses” and “Interest Paid” for the “Detail Type” field.
Like with the principle account, you’ll have the option of naming your expense account. Once you’ve named your expense account, click “Save and Close” to complete the process.
Tracking the Line of Credit
Once you’ve created an account for the principle and an expense account, you can begin tracking the line of credit in Quickbooks Online. When you use your line of credit to make a purchase, for example, you’ll probably incur interest charges. As a result, you should record these interest payments in your newly created expense account.
Additionally, you should record payments made towards the outstanding balance of your line of credit. If you make a payment towards the balance, record the payment in your principle account By tracking all payments, you’ll have a better understanding of your small business’s financial health.
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With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, you should use this opportunity to prepare your small business. Although there are exceptions, most small businesses — particularly those that operate in a business-to-consumer (B2C) industry like retail — generate more sales during the months of November and December as opposed to other times of the year. By planning ahead, you can maximize your small business’s sales during the holidays.
Stock Up on Inventory
As a small business owner, you probably know the importance of keeping products in stock. If you run out of a product, you may have to turn away shoppers in search of that product. During the holidays, out-of-stock products can cost your small business big bucks. Therefore, it’s a good idea to order a surplus of products in anticipation of the increased holiday sales.
Hire Additional Employees
Of course, you may need to hire additional employees during the holidays. While some small business owners are reluctant to hire employees, there’s only so much work you can do yourself. And with the holidays being the busiest time of year for most small businesses, hiring additional employees can prove to be a smart investment. Just remember to choose highly motivated employees who are willing to put forth the necessary effort to help your small business succeed.
Consider offering discounts that are only available during the holidays. Prior to visiting your small business during the holidays, prospective customers may search for coupons or promo codes online. If they don’t find any discounts when scouring the internet, they may take their money elsewhere, such as a competitor’s small business.
Change Your Hours
Finally, evaluate your small business’s hours of operation to determine whether they need changing. If your small business typically closes at 6:00 p.m., for example, you may want to extend its hours of operation to 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. during the holidays. By extending your small business’s hours of operation, you’ll attract more customers during this critically important time of year.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends that business owners decorate their establishment during the holidays. Adding just a few seasonally relevant decorations will make your small business stand out. At the same time, it will encourage more shoppers to visit your small business, resulting in higher sales revenue during the holidays.
Have any other tips that you’d like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Statistics show over half of all small businesses will fail within their first five years. To prevent this from happening to your small business, you need a strong marketing strategy. By following these six marketing tips, you can bolster your small business’s presence to achieve greater success.
#1) Create Social Media Profiles
Even if you have a personal profile on all the leading social media networks, you should still create profiles under your small business’s name. Prospective customers will often search for small businesses on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. By maintaining active social media profiles, these users will be able to find your small business more easily.
#2) Sponsor Local Activities and Events
Don’t underestimate the value of local sponsorships. By sponsoring activities and events in your city, you’ll reach more prospective customers, some of whom may choose your small business the next time they need a product or service you sell. Sponsorships typically aren’t free, but they are well worth the investment when marketing a small business.
#3) Hand Out Business Cards
Even in today’s digitally connected landscape, business cards are still a useful marketing tool for small businesses. When you encounter a prospective customer, you can provide him or her with a business card. Considering that business cards typically cost just pennies to produce, it’s a small price to pay to spread the word about your small business.
#4) Launch a Website
Of course, you can use a website to market and promote your small business. Not all prospective customers will use social media to search for your business. Some may use a search engine like Google or Bing. Assuming your small business has a website, these prospective customers can find your small business more easily.
#5) Create an Email Newsletter
Email has become of the most commonly used communication channels in the world. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that an email newsletter can improve your small business’s marketing strategy. With an email newsletter, you can collect the email addresses of prospective customers. Once collected, you can then send them emails containing advertisements for your small business’s products or services.
Finally, networking offers a simple yet effective way to market your small business. Regardless of where your small business operates, there are probably networking events available. During these events, you can meet other business owners, as well as prospective customers, to further grow your small business.
Have any other small business marketing tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you use Quickbooks to keep track of your business’s financial transactions, you’re probably well aware of journal entries. In Quickbooks, a journal entry is a record of a credit or debit. Unbeknownst to many business owners, however, Quickbooks also supports the use of adjusting journal entries.
What Is an Adjusting Journal Entry?
An adjusting journal entry, as the name suggests, is a record of a credit or debit that automatically adjusts an account balance. In other words, it will force the account balance with which it’s associated to change. If you’re recording a debit for credit card fees, for example, you may want to use an adjusting journal entry. Once entered, the entry will automatically adjust the account balance to reflect the fees.
You can use adjusting journal entries for more than just recording credit card fees. Other times to consider using them include recording amortization, reversing accruals of expenses and adjusting taxes for interests or penalties. Keep in mind, however, that adjusting journal entries will automatically change the balance of the account to which they are connected.
Steps to Creating an Adjusting Journal Entry
In Quickbooks Online, you can create an adjusting journal entry in just a few easy steps. After logging in to your account, click the + button and select “Journal Entry” under “Other.” You should then see a message asking if this is an adjusting journal entry. Click the box next to this option so that it places it a checkmark inside the box. When finished, you can then enter the adjusting journal entry — just like you would for a normal journal entry. Upon clicking the “Save” button, the credit or debit will be recorded as an adjusting journal entry.
What Is the Adjusted Trial Balance?
You’ll probably see an adjusted trial balance when creating and using adjusting journal entries. Basically, an adjusted trial balance is a snapshot of all your account balances before the adjusting journal entries. It’s a good idea to review your adjusted trial balance to ensure it’s aligned with the rest of your financial transactions.
To pull up your adjusted trial balance, click the “Reports” link and search for the “adjusted trial balance.” On the adjusted trial balance page, you’ll see a list of all account balances and their respective adjusting journal entries before those entries have been applied.
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Did you accidentally delete a transaction in Quickbooks? It’s perfectly fine to delete duplicate entries. If you reconcile a bank account, for example, only to discover that you entered the same transaction twice into Quickbooks, you should delete one of the two transactions. If you delete a single, correct transaction, on the other hand, it will likely throw off your business’s financial records. The good news is that you can recover deleted transactions in just a few easy steps.
Recovering a Deleted Bank Transaction
If you accidentally deleted a bank transaction, you can recover it from the “Banking” menu. After logging in to Quickbooks, click the “Banking” tab in the left-hand navigation sidebar and choose “Excluded.” Next, scroll through the list of transactions until you see the one that you accidentally deleted. Once you’ve located the deleted transaction, click the “Undo” button below the “Action” Column.
When finished, return to the “For Review” section to make sure the transaction is now visible. Assuming you followed these steps correctly, the transaction should be visible in the “For Review” section. Keep in mind, this recovery method only works with bank transactions that aren’t recorded in Quickbooks. If you already recorded the transaction in Quickbooks, you’ll have to recreate it manually.
Recreating a Recorded Transaction
So, how do you recreate a recorded transaction exactly? This is done by going back to the Quickbooks home screen and clicking “Settings,” followed by “Audit Log.” You can then choose filter options to find the deleted transactions more easily. Just add your filter options under the “Filter” menu, followed by clicking “Apply.”
While scrolling through the list of transactions, look for the specific transaction that you accidentally deleted. If you’re struggling to find it, even when using the filter options, you can click Ctrl+F and search for “deleted.” Once you’ve located the deleted transaction, click “View” under “History.” This won’t necessarily recover or otherwise reinstate the deleted transaction. It will, however, provide you with all of the necessary information to recreate the deleted transaction. Using this information, you can create a new transaction to replace the deleted transaction.
Keep in mind, the “Audit Log” only shows transactions that were saved in Quickbooks. If you didn’t save the transaction, it won’t appear in this section, meaning you’ll have to find the transaction’s information elsewhere to recreate it.
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There’s an old saying that it takes money to make money. As a business owner, you’re probably well aware of the truth within this adage. You must spend money to purchase inventory and services in order to sell your business’s own products and services. While you can always finance your business using a traditional bank loan, however, you should consider equity financing for the five following reasons.
#1) You Don’t Have to Repay It
Bank loans are a form of a debt financing, meaning you’ll have to repay them — usually with added interest. With equity financing, on the other hand, you keep the acquired money. Equity financing simply involves selling ownership stake in your business. As a result, you aren’t required to repay it. Whether you obtain $10,000 or $1 million through equity financing, it’s yours to keep.
#2) No Credit, No Problem
When initially starting your business, you may struggle to obtain debt financing because your business has little or no credit. The good news is equity financing is a viable alternative. Equity investment companies don’t look at your business’s credit. Rather, they focus on your business’s current and future prospective revenue. As long as your business is poised for a successful future, you should be able to obtain equity financing.
#3) Fast Cash
Equity financing is typically faster to obtain than debt financing. Banks can take months to approve an application for a loan. Even then, a bank may encounter problems that pushes back its approval date. Equity investors, however, are eager to finance the right businesses. As a result, you can obtain equity financing in as a little as a few days.
#4) Expert Help
You might be surprised to learn that equity financing can bring expert help to your business. Equity investors want the businesses in which they invest to succeed. If an investor purchases some of your business’s shares — defined as equity financing — he or she will benefit from your business’s future success.
#5) Simple and Easy
Finally, equity financing is simple and easy to obtain. To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to contact an equity investment firm to inquire about financing. The firm will likely review your business plan, as well as other documents, followed by providing you with a quote for partial ownership. Although it sounds like a complex process, equity financing is simple and easy.
What are your thoughts on equity financing? Let us know in the comments section below!
How much time you spend in a typical day using Quickbooks? There’s no denying the fact that Quickbooks is a highly useful accounting tool. After all, it’s the single most popular accounting solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. Failure to take certain precautions when using Quickbooks, however, may result in an inefficient accounting strategy. You can speed up Quickbooks accounting, however, by following these tips.
Disable Automatic Updates
By default, Quickbooks will automatically download and install new updates when they are available. If a new version is released, for example, the software will connect to Intuit’s server and download it to your computer. Unfortunately, these automatic updates can cause performance issues, specifically slow speeds when the update is being downloaded. The good news is that you can disable automatic updates by accessing Update Quickbooks > Options. In this menu, you should see an option to toggle on and off automatic updates.
Check For Errors
You should also scan your Quickbooks installation for errors on a regular basis. Even if you’re able to use Quickbooks without any visible technical problems, there could be one or more errors within the software itself — and these errors may cause slower speeds or other minor performance issues.
So, how do you scan your Quickbooks installation for errors exactly? Start by downloading Intuit’s File Doctor tool. Once downloaded, run the program from your computer and follow the given instructions. The File Doctor tool will then scan your Quickbooks installation, specifically your company file, for errors. If it detects any errors, it will try to fix them.
Stay Signed In
Another way to speed up Quickbooks accounting is to stay signed in. The Quickbooks Online Desktop App, for example, doesn’t require you to log in each time you want to access your Quickbooks account. You’ll stay logged in at all times — and you can even launch Quickbooks with just a single click.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
If you aren’t using keyboard shortcuts, you’re missing out on one of the easiest and most effective ways to speed up Quickbooks accounting. Unbeknownst to many business owners and accountants who use it, Quickbooks supports commands by pressing just a few keys simultaneously. For example, pressing Ctrl+Alt+V automatically opens the vendors page, whereas pressing Ctrl+Alt+F automatically opens the search transactions page.
There are literally dozens of keyboard shortcuts, all of which can speed up Quickbooks accounting. For a list of all available keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl+Alt+A/.
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