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The end of the year is always marked by thinking about your taxes. However, it should be understood that the earlier you file your returns, the less worries you’ll have related to the the tax deadline.

You might be wondering about the necessary documents related to the filing process. The more information you provide to your accountant, the more streamlined the process of filing will be. There are certain documents that you need to have. Here is a list of them to make matters easier and less confusing for you.

Identification Details

Your accountant must possess the required documents that are necessary for verification of your identity. Your social security card will need to be provided and there is a requirement to know the social security numbers of your family members.

In order for you to be able to claim dependents on your tax returns, you must provide social security numbers along with the date of birth and full names of your family. There is a necessity for these details to be accurate so that the IRS doesn’t reject your application. Statistically speaking, hundreds of thousands of applications are sent back because the names and social security numbers don’t match. To make everything smoother, you can include a secondary form of identity verification such as a driver’s license or any other form of state-issued photo ID.

Most Recent Tax Return

You will need a copy of your most recent tax return. If you are working with a new accountant, this will help them better understand certain information and deductions. You can also find any discrepancies that might exist in your previous year’s tax statement.

Salary Statements

You should get a tax statement Form W-2 from your employer if you are currently working somewhere. If you don’t’ get this form before January 31, you should consult your employer to avoid any complications. Contractors and freelancers are entitled to receive Form 1099-MISC from the clients they have worked for. You should bring all such forms to your accountant so that they may include this information in the returns they file.

 Any Other Statements That Highlight Income

If you’ve accrued any other additional income during the year, you should bring this information to your accountant. Interests you get from fixed deposits, dividends from investments and welfare income are all a part of your additional income. It is recommended that you bring all of this information to your accountant for completing the details for the returns. You can also consult your tax preparer to know which information is relevant for filing.

Property Details

You can become eligible for a lot of tax deductions in regards to the real estate you own. It is recommended that you provide all information and documents to your accountant which outline the properties you own. These include the proof of paid real estate and mortgage, personal property taxes, home purchases and the interest paid on home equity loans. All of this information is relevant when it comes to filing returns.

Expenses

You may have no idea what kind of expense information will be relevant to your tax returns. It is always a good idea to save your receipts and invoices. Other proof of expenses such as charitable donations, education expenses, medical bills, IRA contributions and expenses incurred while finding a job and so much more can make a huge difference. The more expense information you provide to your accountant the better.

Come Prepared

It can get confusing when it comes to filing your returns. The process can get very frustrating. It is better to have an accountant handle your tax returns, especially if you have many avenues of revenue and expenses. Take this information to an experienced professional and you’ll be able to save yourself from the hassle and headache.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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To be considered a top tech savvy bank, there are certain traits that must be adopted. Along with other traits, a top tech savvy bank must have excellent bookkeeping skills. Bookkeeping will help these banks generate all of their required and significant information from which their accounts will be formulated. The process of bookkeeping is a recognized and well-defined process in the field of business and accounting. Each and every transaction, whatever the nature, has to be recorded. The process of bookkeeping helps ensure accurate and timely records.

These are some of the traits that a top tech savvy bank should have:

  1. They are Exactly where their Customers want Them to Be

Today’s generation has no desire to head over to their bank branch. They wish to simply use their mobile phones. This is the reason why mobiles have become the fastest growing podium in the field of banking.

  1. They can Provide Fast Services

A top tech savvy bank should have better and faster banking software systems. The better the system is, the more nimble the bank will be. These banks should be launching new services and products that takes them days, not months, to produce.

This also means that the speed and rate of customer fulfillment and satisfaction is intensely faster. This should especially be implemented in the banks that run both back and front offices on the exact same platform. Let us take an example of this scenario. A customer can open up a customer account, disburse the funds to its other customers, and make a financial decision… all in 60 seconds.

  1. They are Accessible

Another gain for top tech savvy banks is that integrated, modern IT systems allow them to take IT economies of scale while they are growing – whether inorganically or organically. IT systems are created to be accessible and scalable as well as the ability to handle huge amounts of new information.

This means that, on every occasion, a top tech savvy bank can easily and quickly transfer their customer data right onto their own systems.

  1. They Deliver a Pleasing User Experience

When it comes to the question of technology, bank customers can be more demanding. This is because they want easy accessibility with top-notch security, along with a personalized experience.

The most advanced and top tech savvy banks have started to move from offering transaction services towards assisting and facilitating their customers to make sure that they make smarter commercial and financial decisions. Not just that, they wish to introduce the right services to their customers on the right device at the right time.

Technological capabilities help top tech savvy banks monitor their customer’s activities, study them, and help them make suitable offers. The best of these top tech savvy banks provide first-rate security without having to disturb their customer experience. These types of banks use applications to understand and analyze exactly how their customers are using a device to offer background levels of verification.

  1. They have an Influence on the Power of Ecosystems

The most advanced top tech savvy banks are now also considering working with third parties. They influence the authority of the crowd in order to benefit them to update faster and provide a wider range of services and products to their customers.

Let us take an example of this scenario. A top tech savvy bank can open up a library of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to companies and developers, offering complementary solutions.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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There are a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t know how to make their start-up successful and get it up and running properly. The growth strategy of any start-up should be to take the idea to market as soon as possible. Any sort of delay can mean the loss of both profits and/or market share. Here are our tips that can help budding entrepreneurs get their start-ups up and running successfully.

1. Take the First Step

Many people with start-up ideas don’t dive in because they spend too much time contemplating about how and when to start, afraid of doing something wrong. It is important for any potential start-up to tackle the problems that are stopping it from beginning operations and take that bold leap into entrepreneurship.

2. Sell Anything

Although you may already know what you want your start-up to sell, many who want to become entrepreneurs don’t even know what they want to sell. It is recommended that you sell anything if you want your start-up to succeed. It isn’t necessary for you to sell something that is new, there are many stories of successful entrepreneurs who have sold things already in the market. They just sold them in a different and/or better way.

Innovation in the product isn’t necessary to become an entrepreneur, innovation in business is the only thing necessary.

3. Get Professionals to Work with You

In different stages of your business, you will inevitably need professional advice. It is wise to ask for actual help when looking for advice. In this way, you can get any kind of expert implementing their advice for a remuneration. For example, you can consult a qualified accountant for advice on proper bookkeeping to ensure a sound check on the finances of your business. After getting proper counsel, you can ask the accountant to provide his/her services for some kind of remuneration, which can be either in cash or maybe even in terms of a partnership or shares.

It is necessary for your business to have people with knowledge and professional skills around you. You surely have many personal attributes that you can put into the success of your business, but you can’t obviously do it all by yourself. Getting professionals to work alongside you can be of great help.

4. Hiring Remote Employees

This is actually a very affordable way to find talent for your business. There are a lot of things that can be done by employees at home. It can be a really great way to cut your costs when your start-up is still small.

5. Utilize Contract Work

Instead of hiring permanent full-time employees, try to search for contract work instead. Permanent employees may also become a burden for your start-up and they may be really difficult to find as well.

Hiring contractual employees can really help your business in getting the talent and services your company will need to grow.

6. Look for a Co-Founder

Multiple minds are better than a single mind, especially when it comes to start-ups. They can make up for the skills you yourself lack and their innovations can help your start-up grow. It is also seen that start-ups with founding teams are much likelier to get investments compared to a founding individual.

The only thing necessary when working with a founding team is to have a proper hierarchy in decision making.

7. Work with People who Bring out your Potential

It is important that the team you work with in your start-up has the capability to bring out each other’s potential. Pushing each other to the extreme can bring out the best performance from the team and can help make the team better. You can find these qualities in anyone, from a friend to a mentor. You can even push your team, bringing out their potential. As Steve Jobs said:

“By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.”

And on another occasion, he outlined his approach to management by saying:

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.”

It was his approach that led Apple to become one of the most valuable brands it is today.

8. Don’t make Money your only Focus

Spending too much time in getting funding and capital can get your start-up off track. Similarly, worrying too much about income and profits can also become a problem. There are other things that need to be done such as marketing and selling your product, researching about your market, and meeting customer demands.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

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As a shrewd consumer, you most likely have a fair idea about managing your personal credit. However, as a new business owner, you might not yet have the capacity to establish business credit. Your personal credit score will not come in handy if you require business financing at any point in time. Instead, a strong business credit history will be needed. Business credit basically performs the same function as personal credit by measuring trustworthiness. The credit bureaus collect information from vendors, banks, and other business partners to measure your solvency and allot you a score which, unlike a personal credit score, ranges from 0 – 100.

Why Business Credit is so Important

Just as the strength of your personal credit score determines the kind of credit products you are eligible for and their terms and conditions, a business credit score is a vital component in measuring your métier as a business. Your business partners want to see a reliable track record in terms of payments and other financial handlings. The credit score allows them to make informed decisions about your business, therefore, a good credit score can open up the doors to inexpensive and enduring credit in the future.

Ways to Establish Business Credit

While establishing business credit may seem to be an arduous task for a start-up, here are some ways to do that without much hassle.

Establish a Business Entity

As mentioned before, your aim should be to reflect your payment history on your business accounts rather than personal ones. Therefore it’s vital for it to be a separate and registered entity. Your aim should be to identify the entity that offers you the best solution in terms of your needs and creditworthiness. The two most common options are sole proprietorship and partnerships as they are easier to manage at the start. However, these entities are independent.

If you have chosen a sole proprietorship or partnership, it will be hard for you to differentiate and establish business credit as a separate entity. Both structures do not specifically distinguish an individual and the business. Therefore, it is unable to help you in developing business credit.

The proper structures for establishing business credit are a ‘C Corporation’, ‘S Corporation’ or an ‘LLC’ (Limited Liability Corporation). While it’s important to think of a structure that suits your need of building credit, it is not the only thing that matters as the right business structure depends on many other factors as well.

Get a Federal Tax ID

The IRS relies on an employer identification number (EIN) to observe businesses, especially queries related to employee payroll expenses. It is necessary for every business to get this number as it performs a variety of important functions and establishes business credit at the same time. You will be required to file an application with your state or county government office.

Establish a Dedicated Business Address and Phone Number

While it may sound pretty simple, setting a dedicated office for your business along with a landline establishes your credibility which eventually has a positive effect on your credit score. You will be able to register with business directories and just being listed gets a few points added to your credit report. A phone line can establish business credit by developing a formal trade credit relationship with your vendors and other business acquaintances, which is regarded as a good sign by credit companies.

Institute Trade Lines with Suppliers

Maintaining good relations with only a handful of vendors and suppliers is good for your credit score. However, to really enhance it, you must develop good credit relations with a variety of business partners. As your small business grows, you will be able to procure from many different suppliers that will open up multiple trade lines for you. It will be even better if your partners extend credit and allow you to pay after weeks or months as this shows their trust in you, which is great to establish business credit.

Conclusion

As a small business owner, you must realize that building credit will take time and, if you get the basics right, you will rise up the ranks past your competition. Pay off your business loans and bills in time and follow the guidelines above to ensure that you are on the right credit building track.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

POS Terminal on cashier desk

Point of Sale System

A POS or Point of Sale system is essentially a system that calculates and eases the payment process. It is made up of a software that is used for recording all of the details of each sale as it occurs, all the while updating the inventory records while providing customer management features which enables easy operations of your store.

It further generates reports for you so that easy analysis of sales data is made possible. The hardware of a POS may also consist of a bar code scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, order puncher, and other such peripheral equipment based on your own particular needs.

The Innovations

POS in retail has seen a lot of innovations over the years but now with the rapidly changing technology, we have witnessed some very innovative POS systems come into the market. The innovation has brought more ease and comfort for both customers and retail shop owners. Retail business owners are demanding more unique innovations in order to stand out from the rest of the competition.

Some of the innovations that we are starting to see in POS systems are discussed below.

 No Checkout POS

Point of Sale Systems have revolutionized retail businesses. Imagine a store where you arrive, walk around in the aisles looking for your required items, pick them up and walk out of the store with them. It is possible. An innovative POS system automatically generates payments the minute you walk out of the door. There would be no physical POS system and no requirements to scan codes. Originally brought forward by Amazon, this innovative POS system is now making its way into the mainstream retail business sector. The new POS System makes use of sensors and artificial intelligence to make the payments with a customer’s virtual cart where the customer is charged for the products without having to physically checkout.

Mobile POS App

Order and pay on the move the next time you head out to eat or grab a coffee. Make use of the interactive apps on your phone that also act as an innovative POS system, allowing you to not only order your food but also pay for it as you go, enjoy your meal, and leave.

 This innovation was introduced by a coffee shop in the UK. It simply quickens your procedure, allowing you ease and comfort while also allowing business owners the comfort of a hustle free counter. The same point of sale system is being followed by a shoe shop in the UK as well, allowing you to buy a selected product by simply scanning the code on your product and making a payment automatically.

Virtual Shopping With Tablets

Innovative POS Systems are also helping to enhance the customer experience by not having to go to every retail store. The products are simply kept on display, where a giant tablet is also provided  the window, allowing customers to go through the latest collection of clothing of their favorite brand. The customer has access to designs, colors, and a variety of stuff on their fingertips without wasting their time going through stacks and rows of clothing. The same tablet can then be used to place your order and pay for it. This POS system is gaining quick popularity in the US.

Make Your Face Your Money

A hotel in Birmingham has come forward with a unique innovation in the POS where all customer just have to smile as they check out. It triggers a picture which is matched to your profile picture on PayPal, allowing you to make payments on the go without having to go through any hassle. Once the payment is made, an e-receipt is generated.

Conclusion

POS Systems are revolutionizing the way customers experience shopping. As newer POS Systems are generated, the customer experience is enhanced, providing both the business and customer benefits.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

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In 2018, the universe is a very different place than it was just a year ago. Variation swept across the world, majority movements augmented, and trade settlements were annulled. And commodity, currency and asset prices oscillated unpredictably and the probability for major policy shifts flustered markets. At the same time, technology continues to disrupt whole businesses, raising future apprehensions about employment, productivity, and global growth. A vigorous economy demands a balance of small as well as large firms. In innovative economies, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) typically generate more than half of GDP. They regularly produce fresh ideas and innovation by consistent bookkeeping and fresh approaches to old ideas. Start-ups, though, represent just a small proportion of SMEs. In fact, numerous SMEs are long-established family businesses or are managed by the founder and owners to attain personal objectives beyond stockholder return. Small companies—not big businesses—are the largest employers in most countries and their prominence is expected to increase as automation remains to threaten routine occupations and countries fight to accomplish full employment.

The World According to SMEs

Because of their smaller size, SMEs are naturally more susceptible to improbability than larger, more recognized firms. So it’s no astonishment that financial uncertainty (37%) and political uncertainty (15%) signify the top apprehensions for SMEs worldwide.

SME Strategies for Success

SMEs are reacting to insecurity by emerging effective strategies that build their economical strengths. They are also evolving policies and bookkeeping techniques to build from this strength and expand into new local and export advertises.

Strategies to Form Economical Strength

SMEs are prioritizing four parts critical for future achievement:

 ■ Applying technology

 ■ Agility

 ■ Augmented innovation

 ■ Appealing and retentive talent

While large businesses also focus on these stratagems, SMEs hold distinctive advantages in each of these areas which they can exploit to toughen their market position. SMEs are already assured in their competences in these four areas and plan further improvement in the coming years.

Planning

Research your opponents and your marketplace but try to think about the market as physical people. Develop a detailed understanding of the people you want to trade with and the problems they face. E-Consultancy is a fantastic source for advertising data, such as reports on how different customers act online, meaning you can direct your publicizing efforts in the accurate areas.

Set Aims

This isn’t a limited-edition job. Set purposes for every bit of advertising you do and give very specific timings and measurements of success. For example, your website’s success may be measured by how it produces inquiries or sales. Give your published work specific goals, too, such as driving traffic to your website through a specific “search for” call to action. Don’t be shy about speedily evaluating through bookkeeping and adjusting things in order to keep on track for your aims.

Get to know some local suppliers

Local industries might be able to service you much better. And they’ll always know other people who can help you, too. Don’t be scared of inquiring penetrating questions about their facilities either. You need to know that you’re spending money with trustworthy companies that can verify their outcomes, quality and delivery times. Consider your expenses cautiously and map each bit of money spent to a specific consequence.

 Become a professional

Social interacting is perfect for launching yourself as an expert in your arena. Give high value content and instruction away to help your ascension to “expert” status. Generate a policy for releasing content and set up a blog as a medium for this release.

Conclusion

Overall, remember that advertising is one of the more fun features of running a business – eventually it’s about telling individuals how great your business is – but don’t try to do everything at once. The best methods to recover return on strategy are to start where you are and gain assurance in the procedure. If the method needs modification, then add as needed.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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HUD is short for Housing and Urban Development. The HUD Settlement Statement refers to a document that is issued when a borrower takes out a loan to purchase real estate. In order to record a HUD Settlement Statement, it is essential to understand what this statement entails. The HUD Settlement Statement consists of basic information of the parties involved such as the buyer and seller, property details, settlement agent details and the figures (numerical data) involved. These figures and their recording in financial books will be discussed in detail in the paragraphs that follow.

How to Record a HUD Settlement Statement

Sellers’ Transactions

The list of transactions involved and their treatment in the books will be sorted out in this section.

Credits – will list the gross amount owed to the seller at the time of settlement closing:

  1. Contract’s Sale Price
  2. Personal Property
  3. Any and all additional credits to be made to the seller including money owed to the seller by the buyer of this HUD Settlement Statement
  4. Other credit entries to the seller’s account may be made for adjustments that have been settled by the seller in advance such as prepaid taxes, homeowner association dues, and expenses of the sort

Debits – will list the charges of the seller at the time of settlement closing:

  1. Any and all excess deposits made by the buyer 
  2. Settlement charges paid by the seller
  3. Full or partial payment of mortgage loans or other owed liens will be debited in the seller’s account
  4. Debit entries will also consist of closing costs paid by the seller on behalf of the buyer
  5. Lastly, any and all adjustments for items unpaid by the seller, for instance, pro-ration of property taxes, security deposits, and items that are to be credited to the buyer

Buyers’ Transactions

The list of transactions involved and their treatment in the books will be mentioned in this section.

Debits – will list the gross amount owed by the buyer at the time of statement closing:

  1. Contract’s Sale Price (remember that this is the double entry made alongside the credit made to the seller, as mentioned above)
  2. Personal Property
  3. Settlement charges paid by the buyer
  4. Any and all amounts due from the buyer
  5. Adjustments for items that have been settled in advance by the seller may be shown as miscellaneous expenses

Credits – will list the amount paid by the buyer or those paid on behalf of the buyer of the HUD Settlement Statement:

  1. Deposit made by the buyer 
  2. The loan amount 
  3. The amount owed by the seller to the buying party is a credit entry and must be recorded. This is the double entry made in opposition to point no. 5 made in the list of seller’s debit transactions
  4. Property tax and assessment pro-ration credits from seller to the buyer of the HUD Settlement Statement
  5. Lastly, any and all additional credits to the buyer will be entered here, be it from any source, if not from the seller.

Now that the debits and credits for both parties have been identified in the HUD Settlement Statement, these will be entered and the total balances on both accounts shall be estimated in the accounting books to serve for bookkeeping purposes. The treatment of these entries will be carried forward to the General Ledger as is done for all other accounts in the chart of accounts.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

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In general, people are good and employees are honest in their workplaces. However, there have been many occurrences of some employees trying to steal products or money from their employers. Speaking in terms of figures, the estimated losses attributed to employee theft amount to $200 Billion annually. In fact, business owners should remain alert in regards to the loopholes their business operations might have that would allow their employees to steal. Data from bookkeeping may help you detect this, but only after you have become a victim of employee theft. You need proactive solutions in order to prevent theft from happening in the first place. Here is a list of certain common practices that you need to keep in mind when safeguarding your business from the threat of employee theft. Implementing solutions into your strategy would significantly reduce the chances of your business facing any kind of employee theft.

1. Phony Vendor Accounts Set Up By Employees

This is one of the most common ways for employees to steal, by setting up phony accounts so that they are able to create fake invoices. By doing this, they are able to issue checks against these invoices to the vendor account. They are then able to have these checks deposited into bank accounts. This mainly involves misreporting expenses, such that $700 paid to a vendor may be entered into expenses as $800 (with a phony invoice as proof), enabling the employees to write themselves a check worth $100. Another somewhat similar issue is setting up a fake payroll for employees that have either quit or are retired.

The solution to this involves tracking purchases in a numerical order. Also, you can task different employees with different tasks. You should have one employee setting up a vendor account, a different employee writing checks, and another one verifying and recording invoices. In addition, you need to make sure that all employees are aware of the processes in your accounting and bookkeeping systems.

2. Theft of Checks

It is common for employees to take a check from the company checkbook and then either deposit or cash it. This is because banks do not usually verify the signature when it comes to company accounts.

This problem can be solved by keeping your checks locked and issuing them in a particular sequence. Ensure the reconciliation of cash accounts with bank statements on a monthly basis. It is advised that you should review bank statements in order to ensure that only the checks that have been authorized are cleared.

3. Stealing Directly from the Cash Register

This is mostly done when a cash payment is accepted by the employee at the cash register who can balance the drawer later on by voiding the particular transaction.

Solving this problem involves, first, keeping a check on the number of voids for each cash register on a routine basis. Along with this, you can have video cameras watch over the registers to ensure that employees do not put any cash from the register into their pockets.

4. Faking Expense Accounts

This is one of the most common ways that employees steal from their employer. They do this by submitting fake expenses or recording real expenses on a receipt multiple times.

The solution to this consists of properly recording a receipt of each expense and coming up with a way to ensure that any particular receipt hasn’t been submitted in the past. You can do this by requiring employees to submit unique identifiers for each expense receipt. For example, a receipt from a vendor could have a unique order number mentioned on the invoice. While a receipt from, suppose, an electrician or plumber for a business-related repair might have a unique invoice number. This will make it easier for you to catch a double entry and verify the authenticity of single entries.

5. Employees Punching In and Out for Coworkers

This is known as “Time Theft” and is a very common practice committed by employees of a business who utilizes traditional time cards to keep track of working hours. Sometimes, employees, themselves, fill out time cards for the days they aren’t present if the time cards are not checked on a daily basis.

One of the ways of solving such a problem is to adopt a bio metric punch in/out system. Utilizing fingerprint or face detection for keeping track of time can help. Many businesses have already incorporated such systems into their operations.

6. Stealing from Inventory and Falsifying Inventory Records 

Sometimes, employees may take items from the inventory that have not yet been entered into your inventory management system. Another thing that happens is the setting up of a phony vendor who does get paid for products which aren’t delivered to the business.

In order to solve this problem, you need to integrate physical inventory checks into your routine. While doing so, keep note of anything that is missing and utilize RFID tags to keep track of valuable items in the inventory.

7. Data Theft

The targets for this particular kind of employee theft are usually records of a customer’s data, which might be of personal nature. Other data that might be considered valuable can also be stolen.

Prevent this by requiring employees to frequently change their passwords. Delete the accounts of employees who have stopped working for you either due to retirement, quitting, or being dismissed. You should also restrict access, only allowing employees to access the data relevant to their job function. Cloud storage solutions are able to provide such security measures for the data of your business.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

credit score gauge
A worthy credit score is of significance if you want to be entitled to future loans. Maintaining a good credit score is not a distant dream, provided you manage your finances wisely. Handle your credit responsibly and avoid making credit mistakes to keep your score at an optimum level. A simple mistake can ruin the possibility of acquiring future credits.

While some credit score killers are difficult to evade, such as failing to make a mortgage payment because of unemployment or maxing out your credit cards because you are swamped with medical bills, many credit blunders are simply due to negligence and can easily be avoided.

Credit Mistakes to Avoid

Not Paying Your Bills On Time

You may have the required amount to pay off a loan, however, if you are unaware of the deadline or accidentally fail on a payment, it could cause a major dent in your credit score. Even if the bank does not report you to the IRS for paying a late fee, it will charge you a hefty penalty which otherwise could have been avoided. Late credit card payments can be charged very high penalties. Therefore, it is important that you pay the amount due on time. To avoid credit mistakes related to late payments, you can use an automated payment process offered by banks. This will pay off the minimum amount and give you enough time to make the remaining payment.

Prioritizing Payments Incorrectly

Prioritizing your debt payments is an essential element of keeping a worthy credit score. Most people usually prioritize bigger loan payments such as personal loans and mortgages over credit card loans, which makes sense. Defaulting on a bigger loan payment can result in more critical financial circumstances for you, rather than missing a credit card payment which is going to cost you 1% or 2% of the balance. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and, depending on the payment amount, you should prioritize the payments. Some credit card payments might be necessary to pay off as they are compounded. Therefore, prioritize according to the situation.

Not Checking Your Credit Report Regularly 

Checking your bills for any discrepancies can be a tedious task but it must be undertaken regularly. Sometimes, there could be items on your credit report that are either charged by mistake or if someone has misused your credit card information. You will never be able to know about any possible errors if you do not check your credit report from time to time. You can dispute these charges within 60 days and that is only possible if you are aware of them. Though, charges related to fraudulent activities might allow you a longer time to dispute a charge. Not checking your credit report is one of the worst credit mistakes you could make.

Closing an Old Credit Card Account

You might be tempted to close an old credit card account, which has remained unused for quite a while. However, unless you are being charged a high annual fee, it can be a grave mistake. Closing a credit account can significantly lower your credit score which will ultimately lower the amount of credit you can acquire. Basically, it affects your credit utilization ratio which is an important component of measuring a credit score.

Closing your oldest cards with a history of on-time payments can be the worst credit mistake as it can significantly dampen your chances of acquiring a loan. Lenders like to see credit accounts with a long history of on time payments. Closing the account means that it is eventually written off from your credit report. Instead of having a positive impact on the credit report, it actually affects it negatively. Even if you are not using an old credit card, it’s better to keep it in a drawer and make recurring payments to it so that the bank does not close it due to inactivity.

Conclusion

Avoid these credit mistakes, at all costs, if you want to promise a secure financial future for yourself.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

CONTROL word cloud, business concept
No matter how big or small your business may be, employee theft will continue to eat a significant portion of your annual revenues and profits. It is something that has been around since the beginning of times. No one can deny the fact that businesses are vulnerable to fraud, especially SME entities who suffer excessively huge losses of fraud. SMEs need to ensure effective internal controls in order to create a favorable environment for yielding profits. Although, you may believe that cases of fraud are found in large-scale companies with thousands of employees in multiple locations. The truth is, SMEs are victimized and employees tend to steal from smaller businesses more frequently than larger organizations.

SMEs Are Vulnerable To Employee Fraud

Today, organizations have mixed opinions on how to deal with cases of fraud. Some are very proactive and instill policies for prevention; some are lenient and show more sympathy towards their employees on personal grounds. According to studies, organizations with fewer than 100 employees are more vulnerable to employee fraud as they account for the highest percentage of fraud. The thing is, SMEs are more inclined towards generating sales and profits and care less about maintaining effective internal controls and reviewing their bookkeeping records with a fine tooth comb. Each year, SMEs lose billions of dollars in annual revenues and profits worldwide, which bears testimony to the fact that employee fraud is inevitable and it hurts a business’s integrity.

Fraud Can Be Prevented

With innovative tools, techniques, and practices, fraud prevention and detection is possible. You must choose the right prevention option by making a comprehensive analysis of your business. Obviously, no one knows a business more than its owner and owners have the potential to change the fate of their company. They know their business’s strength and weaknesses and can possibly turn things around in their business’s favor. In organizational setups, SMEs have scarce resources in which they need to ensure whether everything is in control or not. Business owners need to know how to create and maintain internal controls by implementing a properly designed fraud prevention and detection plan with limited resources.

Why do Employees Steal from their Company?

There are primarily two reasons why employees get  involved in fraudulent activities in an organizational setup; when they are undervalued and underpaid. These two things work as fuel for them and, if it’s not there, the employees feel discouraged, demotivated, and left out. Moreover, you can only expect your employees to work efficiently if both of these things are ensured by the owner. When these two things aren’t there, the owners can expect their employees to be involved in fraudulent activities through various means. Organizations can catch up with their fading fate by creating, implementing, and practicing the proper internal controls.

Corruption Ruins the Business

Moral and financial corruption eats up an entire organization, slowly and gradually. Diminishing profit margins and draining profitability leads a business towards a complete disaster. Owners who are eager early on to get their organization’s operations back to normal may have a slight chance of success. But, those who react when the time has already passed achieve very little or no success at all. Some organizations choose to hire professional managers who can turn things around on their organization’s behalf. This seems like a smart choice, especially for those who are good at yielding sales and profits but lack managerial skills to maintain the right internal controls.

Maintaining Effective Internal Controls

Organizations need to prevent and detect fraud in a way that others working in the company aren’t bothered. By slightly modifying the existing organizational processes, companies are often able to overcome business challenges in an effective manner. Sometimes they are successful, sometimes they fail. It all depends on how well you leverage your internal controls. For a typical company, separation of duties is a critical tool that helps evaluate performance on an individual scale. This way, you get to know whether your employees are stealing from you or not and, if they are, you will know who is stealing!

Additionally, you need to make sure that your employees abide by the policies and procedures. Encourage your employees to document each and every thing for you to know what exactly is lacking or where the problem is exactly. These are some of the ways by which you can maintain a proper internal control in your organization.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.