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businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
Technology has enabled us to break through the shackles of burdensome organizational residue. What was once a gratified paperwork filing cabinet is no longer an essential component of a fast-paced office that is ever so efficient and swift in its operational prowess. Finally, a concept formulated by technology is helping eradicate age-old traditions that once were used. Paperless offices are the future. With cloud computing, a casual office is turned into a digital record-keeping safe house. Kiss receipts and copies goodbye.  Life is easier if it’s less messy.

The concept further aids other vital industries like business development, engineering, oil and gas, etc. However, accounting is an area it can specifically bring much needed organizational and management bliss. As business evolves, the need for paper lessens which leads to a reduction of clutter and commotion. With a focused environment, comes more productivity. A paperless office doesn’t just save trees; it saves jobs and, usually, is the outcome of composed progression of a business that is still growing. It’s much better to work with spreadsheets, word processors, and pdf files rather than handling files and getting lost in paperwork to even answer a simple question.

Benefit of Paperless Office in Accounting

Document handling becomes euphoric. Executives have never been this excited due to the absence of “paper”. The manual processes of the past have receded into the corridors of redundancy and technology puts the last nail in the coffin. Modern systems have made it possible to use computers in a paperless office to save, store, and organize data at a better rate and with less effort. Everything, from expenditures to purchase orders, can easily integrate into a system that can allow enterprising to become easier and create an opportunity to save time by using systems instead of manual tasks. The click of a mouse can bring all information to the tips of your fingers.

The reduction of supply costs helps businesses manage their priorities. With money saved, costs automatically go down and other places of essence are catered to with that amount. Cabinets, folders, paper, and printer ink are not ideal for a business environment nor paperless office as they contribute to waste – a waste of time and paper! Remember when you copied a single paper 3 times because of an improper printing setting? Keep in mind, paper is an expensive commodity. Not only does it take years for a tree to grow, it takes even more processing power to produce paper.

With an e-office, all documentation for record keeping is instant and spontaneous. No need to go back to the old storage where the dusty, old, frail dog-eared files lay in total oblivion. With a paperless office, all storage is on the system and your fingers can do all the searching for you. This is the best time to invest in the technological benefits of clouds and IT systems. Even a computer, scanner, and small-time printer can help you manage all of your documentation that has collected over the years. With a single spreadsheet, for instance, any accounting or database management can be achieved… and that’s only basic stuff.

Since a business is prone to a lot of inquiries, the paperless setup provides easy facilitation to all outside inquirers. For instance, the vendor calls to follow up on invoices, purchase orders, etc. In a paperless office, a system of retrieval and storage of documents would not warrant you throwing everything down and rushing to the filing cabinet to retrieve documents and then call them back. Electronic documentation is the future for not only accounting, but every industry that is evolving.

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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.

 

Senior businesswoman is doing paperwork in her stock factory.
The accounting needs of today’s small business industry can be described in the words of John F. Kennedy.

“History … has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

Not much has changed in a long time when we talk about the system of using double-entry as a way of bookkeeping to track a company’s possessions. It is the equation that brought a revolution in the method of bookkeeping in all types of businesses and companies, be it big or small.

Bookkeeping helps business owners gather all of the necessary and relevant information through which their accounts are formulated. The method of bookkeeping is a standard and precise process in the field of business and accounting. It is the process of bookkeeping that helps business owners ensure their accounts are accurate and timely.

The alteration in bookkeeping for small businesses of today is due to the development and advancement of technology that has made it much easier for accounting experts to perform their work. Advanced accounting platforms seem to have built up performance, streamlined analysis and entries, and decreased the errors, tampering, and omissions that occur with interest charges, penalties, and dishonest dealings.

With the introduction of various cloud accounting programs, it has become a trend for small businesses to managed their accounting books with automated systems. However, many small business owners are anxious about making the switch. They must realize that they need to adapt to automated bookkeeping or they may be left behind.

1. Shift to the Cloud

Small business owners already have many time-consuming tasks that they must manage. Automated bookkeeping should not be one of them. Cloud accounting programs can save so much time and effort.

Experts have said that business owners of today need to streamline the cloud into their accounting processes. From ERP to managing expense and travel reports, the process needs to be cloud-based. Thanks to this program, small business owners are able to put more focus on other parts of their business. With cloud-based accounting software, they will spend fewer resources and time on their administrative activities.

2. Automate Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Software

If a small business owner is using an accounting software, they should be aware of all of the ranges of automation that is offered through the software. Do not let it go to waste.

Automate your bookkeeping so that you are able to track all of your business expenses and earnings. Use your app that connects to your bank account. This way, you will automatically save receipts and pull transactions. Delegating such an arduous task will save you time and allow you to be able to spend your valuable time focusing on growing your company.

3. Separate Personal expenses from Business Expenses

Most small business accounting software allows small business owners to separate their personal expenses from their business expenses.

Experts say that small business owners should create separate checking, credit card, and savings accounts for their business. This allows you accurately track business spending without mixing personal spending accounts. By doing this, you will discover that it makes it much easier to determine your deductions and filings on your tax return.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


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.

Cash Flow sign
Whether your business is developing or going through tough times, managing your business cash flow efficiently is absolutely vital and, for many, the key to business subsistence. You’ve perhaps heard the figure that over 40 percent of businesses that go broke are profitable, but just run out of cash.

From a cash perspective, a business is like a sponge — it sucks in snowballing amounts of cash and, to get money out of it, you have to give it a good squash. If you are unable to manage the business, the sponge is likely to grow bigger with each squeeze, making it tough for you to keep it in your hand. Successfully managing your cash flow will ensure that your business stays right on track to achieve its objectives. Here are some ways to do that.

Set Business Cash Flow Targets

Preparing and maintaining a cash flow forecast is a great way to understand the flow of money in your business. The forecast should be regularly updated to get an accurate picture of how the business is performing. Set specific targets for credit controllers that will encourage them to work hard to achieve them and, as a result, will maintain a positive cash flow for your business.

Set Clear Payment Terms

Businesses that deal on credit are often more vulnerable to declining cash flows because of late payments or other issues. They must set clear and standardized payment terms and plans that must be regularly followed to ensure that business cash flow targets are met. Even businesses that only occasionally deal with credit should have a payment plan. If you are unsure about the payment terms yourself, it will be hard for your employees and even your creditors to correctly access the right time to pay. The payments will be delayed, which ultimately means a decrease in cash flow.

30 days is generally considered to be a good time to make a payment for many businesses. However, based on the type of business and market situation, you have the liberty to set your own terms and conditions.

Generate Quick Invoices

Certain factors to improve the cash flow of your business are in your own hands. If you are efficient, it is likely that the cash flow will be positive. Invoicing your clients is one of the deciding factors and the sooner you do it, the better. Typically, a client will take a week or two to clear the generated invoice and, if it is delivered late, you must expect a further delay. Therefore, set up an automated bookkeeping system that automatically generates and sends invoices right on time so that your business cash flow is unaffected.

Install Easy Payment Options

Offer your clients the quickest and easiest ways to pay you. Online payments are a better option than checks as they take more time to actually show up in your bank account. Linking your bank account with accounting software will make it easier for you to keep track of cleared and pending payments. It also allows for quick transfers as banks already have all of the information needed to ensure a safe transaction.

Use Technology

Cloud-based accounting software is a great time saver for businesses, as it has brought efficiency to almost every business function. Tracking the cash flow of your business is just a click away with the help of this software. You can see, filter, and prioritize credit payments, depending on your need, from anywhere. The ease of accessibility that is offered through these cloud-based accounting services is just unmatched. The data is automatically backed up so you don’t have to worry about any loss or theft.

The fact that everyone in your company has access to all of the information at their convenience automatically speeds up the overall process. By using technology in your business operations, you will observe that the business cash flow has also increased considerably.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

 

 

 

Intelligent female businesswoman working on laptop while analysis business strategy and sale performance contract on workplace.
One of the most critical aspects of running any business focuses on managing its finances with the utmost care. If you make mistakes on your tax returns or go over your assigned budget, it does not matter how good your product or service is, as you are likely to get stuck in a tricky situation. Hiring a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for maintaining healthy financial records, applying for loans, and filing for tax returns is one of the best decisions you can make for your business. The certified accountant will not only manage your documents but will also help you make critical decisions about the future of your business.

Who are CPA’s?

An accountant refers to a person who is well versed in the rules and regulations that comply with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). These rules and standards are set by the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) after considerable thought and accreditation from top finance professionals. A CPA refers to professional accountants who have cleared a licensing state examination to work as an accountant. These individuals have the necessary skills and knowledge to combine with the success of your business. Even small businesses who are considering growth should preferably use their services as they can be a valuable asset to any organization.

Why Hire a CPA?

State-Approved License

A Certified Public Accountant has a state-approved license, which makes them an ideal candidate for managing your needs. They are required to stay up to date with the current tax and accounting laws as the examination is a laborious process spanning over several days. There are many standards that a CPA must follow in order to keep their license. The professionalism and skill set makes them perfect for your business as they are highly capable to efficiently handle complex financial matters concerning your business.

Familiarity with Tax Laws

It is necessary for a CPA to be aware of the tax laws concerning different businesses. No matter what type of business you run, a CPA is well equipped to handle any situation because taxation is an important aspect of their examination. They also have to take yearly tax courses to stay up to date with the current changes in tax laws and regulations.

When filing your tax returns, a professional accountant will ensure that the criteria and standards set by the IRS are properly set. The IRS is smart in distinguishing between taxes filed by a simple accountant or a CPA through their tax identification numbers. Therefore, if you want to offer authentication to your filed documents, it is best to consult a professional.

Financial Analysis

CPAs are well equipped and skilled to perform a detailed financial analysis of your organization. With a professional at your service, you should expect a detailed analysis of your financial reports and cash flows. They will provide you with an honest picture of your current financial standing and are capable of offering advice for the future. Managing your cash in the right way is another important demeanor of success and a CPA is able to do that quite well.

Can Represent You in an IRS Audit

One of the biggest advantages of working with a professional CPA is their ability to represent you in case of an IRS audit. Although their authority in representing you can be quite limited, you can still authorize them to execute claims on your behalf as they are very trustworthy. If you want to grow your business, you should consider hiring the services of a CPA in critical financial matters.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closeup view of male hands holding laptop computer.Blurred background, horizontal. Selective focus on hands
We live in a time where technology changes faster than fashion trends. Every other day, we hear about the demise of a certain technology and the birth of another. From email to QuickBooks, people are quick to say that a certain tool or platform doesn’t work or isn’t relevant anymore.

The question is – does technology ever die? Not if it evolves.

QuickBooks is one of those rare tools that has survived the test of time by staying up to date and even ahead of the times. There may be some firms that are now switching to fancy accounting software, but that doesn’t mean QuickBooks is obsolete or in any way less advanced.

The fact of the matter is that QuickBooks is still used by more than 500,000 small businesses across the world. The main reason behind its success is its simplicity and ease of use, two things that have only improved over time. Accountants and bookkeepers, who aren’t up for making their clients pay an excessive fee, actually swear by QuickBooks. They only recommend an upgrade to a more complex system when the businesses have grown beyond a certain size.

5 Good Reasons you Should Stay with QuickBooks

QuickBooks is Scalable Enough for Your Business

QuickBooks is good enough for an enterprise with up to 30 users. Some upgrades allow businesses to keep their accounting expense within their budget while scaling their accounting software per their needs. If your accountant or bookkeeper is telling you to pay for a fancy tool while your business is still in its infancy, the only thing you should consider changing is your accounting service provider. QuickBooks delivers scalability without compromising data integrity.

QuickBooks Can Be Industry Specific

Don’t let anyone fool you into investing in a tool that claims to be more industry specific. You will end up paying for nothing but a generic product with a fancy mask. QuickBooks has come a long way and there is a huge community that supports this tool. There are numerous modules and add ons that can help you enhance the capabilities of QuickBooks without breaking your bank. Some of the most popular modules include retail, manufacturing, contractor, and non-profit.

QuickBooks Can Be Seamlessly Integrated

Integration is crucial to the efficiency and performance of any tool or software. QuickBooks Enterprise can now be integrated with a number of enterprise systems including CRM and inventory management systems. This seamless integration promises better workflow, but a bit of custom development is required. A reputable accounting service provider or bookkeeping service will help you make the most out of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Helps with Tracking and Reporting

Essentially no tool can be of any real benefit unless it can provide insightful reports. When it comes to accounting, tracking and reporting are extremely important. QuickBooks allows you to generate charts and reports per your firm’s need. The enterprise version even allows creating of consolidated reports from multiple files. There is a complete customization option to meet the reporting requirements of your company.

Last, but not the least, QuickBooks simplifies the whole process of tracking inventory and managing accounts over various locations. There is a whole range of third-party software and systems that are designed to work with QuickBooks in order to enhance it’s capabilities according to your needs.

The Bottom Line

Advanced accounting tools are not only complex, but they are also costly. QuickBooks is a trusted option, however, it all depends on your accounting service provider or bookkeeper. For any business owner who thinks their company has outgrown QuickBooks, the safest bet is to contact professionals who are well aware of the proper utilization of the tool. You will be surprised to know how much more it can offer.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

Businesswoman making to do list on diary
In traditional business accounting, the term overhead expenses refers to costs that are not directly associated with the production of specific product units, specific service engagements, or specific sales. “Overhead”, instead, denotes the supplementary costs of production, service delivery, or sales activities. The overhead costs have to be paid regularly, irrespective of whether the company is engaged in a high or low volume of production. It is vital, not just for the sake of budgeting and bookkeeping, but for setting an optimum price for the products and services to make a profit.

Firms plan, quantify, and examine overhead expenses. As a result, overheads, like other expenses, eventually influence how an income statement proceeds. With the increase in expenses, the profits decrease. Your income statement is affected, as a whole, because of these expenses and you have to make required adjustments to cater to them.

Overhead Expenses in Business Accounting

Overheads are either fixed, which means that they stay the same month after month, or they can be variable, which means that they can vary depending on the business activity for the specific month. Some overheads fall into the semi-variable category, which means that they are incurred regardless of business activity, and some are related to the circumstances. Utility bills can be categorized as semi-variable because some of the base charges are fixed while the remainder depends on your usage.

Overheads can be general as well as departmental. A general overhead would be distributed among the whole company while departmental overheads are charged strictly to the specific department. Typically, a service-based business will have more general expenses in the form of insurance and utilities.

Categorizing Overhead Expenses

Overheads can also be applied to many operational categories such as administrative and marketing. Administrative overhead costs are related to the administration of the business and include costs associated with hiring and keeping a receptionist or bookkeepers. Branding for your company also involves certain costs that fall into overheads. Your business accounting needs require you to identify these materials, commercial, printing, and other expenses and charge them into overheads.

Reporting for Overheads

Because the overhead expenses directly affect the profitability of the company, they appear in the income statement of the company. You must account for overheads in order to determine the net profitability of your company. These expenses will be deducted from the revenue and the remaining income, after taxes, will determine your profits.

Applied overhead is generally recorded under the cost accounting method and is charged to a specific department or production job. They are quite dissimilar to general overheads and usually cater for depreciation and insurance expenses.

For business accounting purposes, applied overhead expenses are charged according to a specified formula over multiple departments. For example, if the expense is incurred by marketing, it may not be fully allocated to it. Instead, it will be distributed among various departments according to a specific percentage.

Overhead Rate

To allocate overheads, an overhead rate is applied which determines the resources used in the production of each product and then distributes the expenses accordingly. One way to accomplish that is by setting a fixed rate based on the machine hours required for the production of a product. This is a simplified approach, however, real-time business accounting scenarios require you to account for several cost drivers and then set an overhead rate.

It can be difficult to accurately estimate the overhead expenses. Therefore, the costs are generally estimated depending on the overhead rate for each cost driver.

Under Applied Overheads

Sometimes the assigned cost of work in progress goods does not equal the assigned amount and therefore has to be reported as a prepaid expense on the balance sheet.  Debiting cost of goods sold at the end of a year offsets the discrepancy. Under applied overhead costs are also referred to as unfavorable variance.

Adjusting your books for overhead expenses is an important task that must be undertaken by every business if they want to correctly estimate their profits and set an optimum price for their products.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

 

 

 

 

CPA Certified Public Accountant written in notebook on white table
Accounting is most often controlled by a chief accountant; additionally, there is usually an assistant chief accountant and other ordinary accountants. Depending on the size of an organization and its workflow, these posts can be supplemented by others, such as an accountant-auditor and accountant-cashier.

Certified public accounting has generated an interesting, creative and well-paid profession. In most medium-sized organizations, the accounting system is the most important and is mainly divided into bookkeepers and accountants who are responsible for maintaining detailed operational registers. A certified public accountant of the highest qualification is able to decide how the courses should be reported, composed, and how to interpret it. A CPA is responsible for preparing a special assessment, developing and managing traffic information systems, and ensuring its accuracy. The accounting records of many organizations are evaluated by independent accountants and auditors. Bookkeeping is used by CPAs to keep detailed accounting records.

What You Should Pay Attention to in the Accounting Profession

A certified public accountant must be able to independently make decisions, have management experience, and maintain an accounting record in accordance with the criteria of the national legislature and corporate requirements. They should also be able to work with tax consultants and external audit counselors, interact with the business’s management to effectively solve the set of tasks, and much more.

What Does a CPA do?

After becoming a Certified Public Accountant, an accountant is given a higher privilege in the eyes of expert peers, regulators, business contacts, and potential clients. It is because of the fact that a CPA has met the requirements of education and has passed a very tough exam. The designation of a CPA comes under one of the most versatile and highly sought after qualifications of accounting and finance.

What Can a CPA do?

Public accounting consists of an extensive range of auditing, tax, and accounting. In addition to this, it also involves consulting tasks for small businesses, government organizations, and individuals. A proficient public accountant is capable of doing all of these tasks. Moreover, a CPA can perform two tasks that an ordinary accountant without a CPA license cannot:

  • A professional CPA is capable of preparing reviewed or audited economic statements and can file a report with the commission of securities and exchange. Every public organization has to file a reviewed and audited economic statement with the SEC.
  • An expert CPA is able to represent their clients in front of the Internal Revenue Service. However, an ordinary accountant that is a lawyer, an enrolled agent, or a registered agent for a retirement plan is also capable of representing clients.

CPA Firms

A certified public accountant (CPA) at a CPA firm works in one of the following three areas:

Tax Services

Tax services are comprised of filling and preparing state, federal, and local tax revenues as well as working with individuals and companies during the year to minimize tax obligations. A CPA organization can represent their customers in the case of an IRS audit or investigation by country or local tax authorities.

Auditing Services

Auditing services are said to be independent expert services that help improve the context and quality of both non- financial and financial data, especially for decision makers. The audit is an objective assessment of economic and financial data in order to make sure it is accurate and meeting criteria. For example, GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles).

Management Services

Management services are able to provide complete guidance and assistance for managing and supervising a day to day activity of an individual or organization. Management services also provide strategic and long-term planning. These services might include budgeting, management of cash, and economic planning that includes preparation of financial statements, risk and insurance management, and guidance for investment.

Most businesses, particularly big corporations, also seek the help of CPAs for filling the positions of accounting, especially management and other higher level positions.

CPA’s are Experts in the Following Areas

  • Financial reporting and accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Internal audits
  • Tax accounting

Additionally, CPA’s can work for the government by performing financial tasks and audits of government agencies. Moreover, another job opportunity for a CPA is with law enforcement organizations, helping in the investigation of financial offenses or other crimes which leave an economic trail.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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.

Happy businesswoman wearing suit working using a calculator in a desk at office
When becoming a licensed tax professional, most consider choosing among two well-known paths –  CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or EA (Enrolled Agent). Both certifications are great and will assist you in getting a good job, promotions and earning a reasonable income. While you might consider them to be the same, there are some basic difference between the two and you must choose the one that suits you the best.

Difference Between a CPA and EA

CPA – Certified Public Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant is a state level accreditation that is awarded after you complete 150 undergrad hours and a 4-part examination. The four main areas covered in the examination include Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting, Business Environment and Concepts, and Reporting and Regulation. It is necessary for every individual to clear all four disciplines before being awarded the certification. Taxation is covered under the Regulations section and is considered an important component of the overall certification. Because the accreditation is state level, you can only practice within a specific jurisdiction. It is vital for a CPA and an EA to keep high ethical standards.

EA – Enrolled Agent

An Enrolled Agent has a federal license, which makes them eligible to represent clients in front of the IRS. Because their license is approved by the IRS, they can work anywhere in the country without any restrictions. They must, however, clear a comprehensive three-part examination that deals with areas like Businesses and Representation as well as Practice and Procedures. Everything about taxes is covered in these subjects. You can also become an enrolling agent if you have worked in the IRS at a position where you had to apply the tax code as part of your job.  The IRS often performs a background check into your personal finances and tax liabilities before granting the license.

The Difference in Career Paths

A CPA and EA have a considerably variant career path as they are required to perform to the best of their skill set. The career choices for a Certified Public Accountant are far greater than an Enrolling Agent as they can work for the government, the private sector, individuals, and other organizations for managing their financial matters as well as tax filing. An EA, on the other hand, is a specialized professional who only deals with issues related to taxes, which results in a limited career path. However, an enrolled agent will take care of tax needs better than anyone else.

The Difference in Amount of Time

It takes around 7-8 years to become a fully functional Certified Public Agent because you are required to complete 150 credit hours before sitting for the exam. In some states, you may have to gain some experience by working under a licensed CPA for a certain period of time. After that, you have 18 months to take the exam, which already has an extremely low pass percentage. Even if you do everything right and do not waste any time, it will still take you around 8 years to become a professional Certified Public Agent.

On the other hand, becoming an EA requires far less effort as you only have to clear the three-part examination. If you have enough experience working with the IRS, you may even be exempted from the examination and given the license directly. However, you will have to provide proof of a proficient record in handling tax-related issues.

The Difference in Salaries

Typically, a CPA would earn more than an EA. However, that entirely depends on where you fall on the career continuum. An enrolling agent with significant experience under their belt could earn more than a Certified Public Agent. However, being CPA offers better career growth and advancements opportunities. The yearly median salary for a professional accountant is close to $62,000, while it is around $49,000 for an agent.

One drawback of being an EA is that the income seems to flatten out once it reaches a certain peak. While, for a public accountant, there is no such limit and they can even become CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of an organization.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A behind the scenes look, mid-reno
It is essential for a fix and flip investor to implement maintainable and accessible systems that help in expanding their business and improve the number of revenues they are earning. Successful fixing and flipping businesses are made up of complicated processes. An important aspect of these complicated processes is related to accounting and bookkeeping.

Accounting for all of the expenses that take place is necessary to achieve success in this field of business. Reducing the overall tax on the business by providing accurate values and accounting shows the investors and other lenders that the business is running professionally.

Developing efficient accounting systems is not hard, especially with the technological advancements in the millennial age. Efficient accounting methods can be made easy by utilizing software and applications that are specifically made for accounting and bookkeeping purposes.

However, ensure that the accounting procedures are not complicated. Keep it as simple as possible while educating your employees who are responsible for accounting. They should know the handling of new technology that you introduce in your business or organization. Below are some ways to stay organized and things that you need to show to your accountant or bookkeeper at the end of the day.

1. Introducing and Developing an Effective Accounting System

The shoebox method is a process in which all the receipts and financial records are collected, stored and handed over to the accountant at the end of the year. This is a cost-effective method and is not very common in the millennial age. Some experts do not recommend this at all.

A more profitable and time-saving method would be to use software programs and applications that cater to accounting services. An example of an application is Expensify which allows the user to scan a receipt, enter the specific amount, categorize it accordingly and then save it into the cloud. It works somewhat similarly to the shoebox method, but it is much easier to maintain and simpler to use.

Regardless of whatever method you use for developing an effective accounting system, make sure that you include the following categories of transactions:

1- Acquisition costs

2- Rehab costs (The improvements made in the household)

3- Repairing costs of the household

4- The holding costs of a property

5- The selling price of the property

6- The selling costs

2. Types of Records that should be kept as a Backup

The laws of a state do not require the records of a fix and flip business, unless there are certain specifications. Any method of recording transactions can be opted for that clearly defines your income and expenses or any other expenses that might take place.

Keep a record of all of the tax assessment cards and maintain the HUD statements alongside all receipts that are inclusive of any transactions that may have taken place. Insurance documents should also be stored along with these in your bookkeeping records.

All external expenses that take place should also be recorded with the supporting documentation. The supporting documentation should show the amount that has been paid and the amount of money that was invested for a business expense.

The expenses documents include:

1- The checks that have been canceled

2- The tapes of the cash register

3- The statements of the accounts

4- The sales slips of all credit cards that have been used in the business

5- Invoices

6- The petty cash slips that are used for small cash payments

3. Decide Whether you are using Cash or Accrual Methods of Accounting

Decide whether you will opt for cash or accrual methods of accounting. The cash method defines the income recognized after the paycheck is received and expenses are recognized after they are paid. Many taxpayers use this method to get their returns.

The accrual method of accounting identifies the income and expenses when they incurred or earned instead of recognizing them after the check or payment is received. How does this imply to fix and flip investors?

When someone deals in a property, the IRS classifies him or her as dealers. This means that, for accounting, the house that the investor is dealing with is his/her inventory. The IRS will, therefore, require the use of the accrual method.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
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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Hiring a good accountant or bookkeeper is your secret weapon for faster growth and they can truly add real value to your business. Besides helping you to manage your accounts, they will help you grow your company with better financial decision making, employ legal tricks to minimize your tax bills, reduce accounting errors and save you a lot of time on admin.

Most MNCs (Multinational Corporations) have in-house accounting teams usually working around the clock all year to ensure that taxes and other corporate debt(s) are paid on time, salaries and bonuses are being disbursed, profit potential is evaluated, financial reports are created and balanced-out, and the growth is managed successfully. It is the job of a good accountant/bookkeeper to get things moving in the right direction, resolve all financial discrepancies, and make sensible monetary projections year-round.

On the contrary, small-scale businesses, are also now looking to hire the services of professional accountants because they know they can only grab a significant market share and survive in the competitive market if their financial equation is favorable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the initial phases of business creation or have an established business, the need for hiring a pro-level accountant never dies. Your accountant and/or bookkeeper is the backbone of your business and, undoubtedly, your secret weapon for faster growth. Any small-scale business with a sound game plan and business execution strategy can expect to reach the top in no time if the business has a good accountant to look after its financial operations.

Planning and Forecasting Your Cash Flow

Planning and forecasting prior to decision-making makes sense but, once you start to take a ride on the sinking boat, it isn’t helpful at all. Businesses—small or large, almost always strive to achieve a perfect balance in cash flow, especially when they structure the operations of business on a DIY accounting model. The influx and outflow of cash have to be maintained properly or else the lack of effective financial management can be fatal to the future of your business. On the other hand, a good accountant and bookkeeper can make your business move in the right direction and help you achieve faster growth. A professional accountant with superior bookkeeping services will help you in better financial decision-making which will allow you to succeed in a very short span of time.

Reduction in Taxes and Financial Discrepancies

Professional accountants and bookeepers have superior accounting knowledge, skills, and experience which helps them to stay on the top of cash flow, taxation rules and regulations. They know the tricks to handle tax-related issues and help you reduce them, up to a great extent. Hiring a good accountant is more of a need than a desire because, without them, you cannot expect to achieve faster growth or strategic goals. The theory of tax reduction is quite simple, the more relief you can claim, the more you save, the faster you grow.

Sharpen Your Focus

Obviously, hiring a professional bookkeeper allows you to focus on the core business operations, which ultimately sharpens your focus. Small-scale businesses usually do everything on their own—from conceptualization of ideas to business establishment to managing their finances. However, little do they know, they can help their business to achieve faster growth if they define a way to manage their finances well. For that, a good accountant or a professional bookkeeper seems like a fair choice as they help you with better decision-making, reduce accounting errors, and find financial discrepancies.

Compare Your Numbers with Industry Benchmarks

It is the duty of a good accountant to let their clients know about their current financial standing and what financial decisions they have to make if they expect to achieve faster growth and success. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a good starting point to know whether you are performing better or worse and what possible measures you can take in order to keep the financial equation favorable. Comparing your numbers with industry-specific benchmarks helps accountants sketch a clear picture of your financial standing for suitable measures.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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.