Small Business Expert

Tips for Small Business Owners

  • keep an eye on profit and loss

    Your Small Business Needs a Profit and Loss Statement!

    posted by Michele Bossart
    Featured Article
  • Payroll Infographic: What Does Your Employee Cost?

    online payroll

    Sneak Peek!

    We all know that payroll can be one of the biggest expenses a small business has to meet … but how expensive is it really? The Bureau of Labor Statistics answers that question in their 24-page report (Employer Costs for Employee Compensation – March 2014). We have taken some highlights from the report and created an infographic (below).

    You may be surprised by some of the statistics. For example, the increase in the cost for health insurance benefits from 2004 to 2014 may be less than you think. Also, how much difference do you think there is between the per-hour cost for health insurance benefits in a small business and the cost for larger firms?

    How do your payroll numbers match up with the BLS report?

    6 Must-Know Accounting Tips for Your Small Business

    accounting best practices

    You can make yourself (and your accountant!) happy by following the six accounting tips below.

    Accounting is and always will be a critical function of the savvy business owner, but accounting doesn’t have to be a nightmare or something to dread. It just takes a little perseverance and planning to ensure that your records are as accurate and complete as possible.

    Each of these activities is an “accounting best practice” and represents steps to take throughout your fiscal year.

    Disclaimer: I am not an accountant. These accounting tips are based on good advice from accountants … and 28 years of business experience.

    Hello, New Jersey!

    payroll softwareNew Jersey is the 37th state to pass Patriot Software’s rigorous testing for accuracy. What does this mean for small business owners? It means that payroll just got easier!

    Famous for its oceanside boardwalks and mouthwatering produce, New Jersey’s 169,000 small businesses can now use Patriot PAY for simple and affordable payroll processing.

    “We want to thank our waiting list of Garden State business owners for their patience! They endure the second highest business taxes in the U.S., and

    ITINs: Use ‘em or Lose ‘em

    Did you see the June 30, 2014, IRS announcement about ITINs? (And is it something that affects your small business?)

    The announcement. The IRS announced that an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) that has not been used on a tax return for five consecutive years will be voided.

    In other words,

    Your Small Business Needs a Profit and Loss Statement!

    As an owner of a small business, your understanding of the Profit and Loss Statement, or P&L, is absolutely crucial. The P&L is an important tool for all small business owners to possess, utilize, and maintain on a regular basis.

    By the end of this article, you should begin to comprehend how absolutely critical the P&L is to the operation of your business. Its effective usage within your own business’s accounting matters both for having an accurate financial picture of your business, as well as for presenting the state of your business to others, whether those others are potential investors, accountants, or auditors.

    On the surface,

    True or False: You Are Making Payroll Mistakes!

    Payroll is expensive. But payroll mistakes can be even more expensive with fines, audits, penalties, or legal challenges.

    Are you in danger of making a common payroll mistake? Sharpen your pencil and take our six-point quiz and find out. (The answers are at the end – no peeking!)

    Use the Hybrid Accounting Method? Maybe Not…

    doing the math for hybrid accounting methodAs a small business owner, you’ve probably heard of the cash and accrual methods of accounting, but you may not be as familiar with the hybrid accounting method. The hybrid method is a blend between the cash, accrual and special methods of accounting, and is acceptable for internal accounting and tax purposes. To begin to understand hybrid accounting, it’s important to know the differences between the cash and accrual methods.

    Will Impending Overtime Laws Raise Your Payroll Costs?

    overtime laws affect small business ownersWhite-Collar Exemption (a.k.a., overtime) laws are changing …

    What does this mean for small business owners? In short, your salaried workers, who are exempt from overtime pay now, might become eligible for overtime soon.

    Let’s say you own a framing shop. Business is good so you add a few employees. Soon you can afford to promote a worker to supervisor — which gives you some much-needed time out of the store. However, that supervisor may cost you more than you thought …

    Do You Pay Employees Per Diem?

    man gets per diem for hotel roomIf you have employees who travel away from home for business purposes, they may be eligible to be paid a per diem, or a daily rate to cover the expenses of traveling.  Covered expenses include lodging, and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE).

    There are maximum dollar limits allowed per day:

    What Is a Chart of Accounts (COA)?

    chart of accounts makes small business owner happyAs a business owner, it is important to keep accurate records of all of your company’s financial transactions. You want to record all of the money going into your business and all of the money that goes out of it. In general, you want to make sure that the money is broken down by categories to make it easy to track for budgeting and tax purposes.

    In order to keep accurate records, most companies start a chart of accounts. In layman’s terms, the chart of accounts is