20May
How to Tell If You Need QuickBooks Consulting
Business Ownership

screenshot of quickbooks onlineIf you’re a small to midsize business owner, you might be wondering what exactly a QuickBooks consultant actually does. As ProLedge founder Patrick Bonnaure notes, “you put the word ‘consultant’ into someone’s title, and you’re guaranteed to have fuzziness around the function of that individual.” Bonnaure says that the most commonly accepted definition of a QuickBooks consultant is someone who is certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and someone who focuses on projects as opposed to ongoing bookkeeping work.

The basic definition is useful, but doesn’t necessarily explain why you would hire a QuickBooks consultant as opposed to sending the project straight to your internal bookkeeper and CPA. First, it’s important that you are sending QuickBooks projects to Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors.

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18May
Moving Employers? Don’t Miss This 3-Step Checklist
Personal Finance

filing cabinets at the officeAll around us, a change is happening in the workforce. Much of today’s work looks significantly different than work of days past. Unlike past decades where employees exchanged loyalty and hard work for long tenures with one company, new generations of workers are switching jobs more frequently.

But switching jobs isn’t as simple as, well, “just” switching jobs. Moving from one company to another without making proper tax considerations, especially if you get a raise, is an almost surefire way to end up with an unpleasant surprise come April.

So: what exactly should you do when leaving one job to start a new one? Here’s a simple, three-step checklist to kickstart your process:

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10May
Your Post-Tax Season To-Do List
Personal Finance

to-do list written on paperAfter tax season, accountants everywhere take a deep breath and hopefully, a short break. However, it’s a myth that financial planners and accountants are only busy during tax season. True, it’s the busiest time of year, but there is plenty of other work to keep us busy in the months to come.

Similarly, after the stress of tax season, clients shouldn’t put off thinking about their taxes until next year rolls around. Working with a tax planner now can help make next year’s taxes as smooth as possible. With this season fresh in your mind, take this opportunity to roll out the kinks from what may have been problematic this season.

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03May
Tax FAQs: “How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?”
Personal Finance

shredded paperAlmost every year, we receive multiple phone calls from clients asking, “How long should I keep my tax records?” Especially if you don’t have a good system for organizing them, paper records can pile up and seem like a hassle.

But wait! Don’t shred those documents until you know exactly how long you need to keep them, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re ever considering throwing away a record from your financial history, give us a call first to make sure you’re in the clear.

Here’s a few rules of thumb for you:

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28Apr
Tax Benefits: Just Another Reason to Hire Veterans
Business Ownership

veterans working packing bags

Tax Benefits: Just Another Reason to Hire Veterans

There are many, many reasons for both small businesses and corporations to hire veterans. While numbers of unemployed veterans are decreasing each year, there’s still a sizeable population out there looking for work.

As Marlin Steel president Drew Greenblatt notes for Inc. Magazine, hiring a veteran isn’t just a patriotic act or a way to fulfill your duty to your country: It’s a smart, shrewd business decision. If you’re looking for methodical, solid, hard-working team players, a veteran is one of your best bets.

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26Apr
The Benefits of Hiring Your Children
Business Ownership

macbook and pig on a desk

The Benefits of Hiring Your Children

If you are a business owner, have you ever considered hiring your dependent children under age 18 as employees?  Hiring your children can be a surprisingly smart tax move.  Your child can earn money at their (presumably lower) tax bracket, and you can write off the cost as a business expense, thereby reducing your gross income.  Your child may even be able to avoid paying taxes on their earnings altogether.  Consider the following scenarios:

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28Mar
Using Software to Track Your Finances
Personal Finance

budgeting on a computerMany people use the concept of a “New Year’s Resolution” to set financial goals for themselves. For some, this means saving more money and for others, it could mean investing more wisely.

My advice for clients aiming to manage their budgets and spending more efficiently? If you’re not already doing it, it may be time to transition from the traditional paper checkbook register to an easy-to-use-software budget manager for balance sheets and income statements.

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24Mar
How to Choose the Best Business Exit Strategy
Business Ownership

green exit sign in a coffee shopLet’s say you’ve launched an extraordinary, successful business. You love the business, and you’ve worked hard to make it profitable. Whether you’re on the verge of retiring or you’ve just begun to grow your company, it’s important to think about what your exit strategy will be.

In the words of Entrepreneur Magazine writer Jeffrey Robbins, “Entrepreneurs live for the struggle of launching their businesses. But one thing they often forget is that decisions made on day one can have huge implications down the road. You see, it’s not enough to build a business worth a fortune; you have to make sure you have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out.”

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15Mar
Deciding Whether to Apply Construction Contractor Accounting Principles
Taxes

construction project underwayDetermining whether a business should be considered a construction contractor is sometimes difficult, but it is a critical decision in determining what accounting rules apply. A construction contractor is basically involved in constructing facilities to the customer’s specifications under a contractual arrangement. If the business has varied activities (construction is only one segment of its operations), only the relevant portion of the business would be analyzed to determine whether construction accounting principles apply.

Contracts are usually written, but some smaller subcontractors enter into oral arrangements. Oral contracts tend to be short-term arrangements, and this might not need to be accounted for following construction contractor accounting rules.

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09Mar
Navigating Your 1095 A, B, and C Forms for 2015
Taxes

form 1095 screenshotAre you ready for the new 2015 tax forms? As a result of the Affordable Care Act, you’ll be receiving, or may have already received, some new forms for the tax year 2015 related to health care reform measures. If you open your mailbox and don’t recognize the form inside as a familiar one, not to worry!

There are three new tax forms that are used as a “proof of insurance,” according to Jeff Reeves in USA Today, that are essentially designed to help taxpayers avoid paying a penalty for failure to be covered. However, these forms are reported on your 1040 return, so it’s important to understand which one you receive and why.  

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Hancock & Dana, PC
Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants
12829 West Dodge Road, Suite 100
Omaha, NE 68154

Phone: 402.391.1065
Fax: 402.334.9498

Email: info@hancockdana.com