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Implementing Telework for Employees

 

Businesses across the world are worried about having to close their doors as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. However, for many businesses, there are other options. Not only can implementing telework for employees benefit your company right now, but it could help save you money for years to come. The good news is that it’s not that complicated. We’re breaking it down for you below.

 

How Telework for Employees Can Help You

Have you ever had an employee leave your company because they were moving to a different town or state? When a valued employee leaves and you suddenly find yourself needing to replace them, it can be devastating.

 

Allowing that person to telework means they can continue working for you long distance. Additionally, if they’re not too far, you can always do weekly or monthly in-person check-ins. You’ll save money on attempting to recruit and hire someone new and you’ll show your employees that you value hard work and dedication.

 

Additionally, many employees are willing to telework when they have colds or other minor illnesses. Giving them the tools to work remotely prevents germs from spreading around the office and causing other employees to have to call out sick.  

Create Ways to Connect

Most businesses are already using software for inter-office chat or client video conferencing. This software can easily be adapted to work for remote employees as well. Just because a person isn’t in the office doesn’t mean you can’t have a face-to-face chat with them. Options like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack are making it easier to stay in touch and get work done.

 

If you’re requiring people to telework, it’s good practice to provide them with the technology they need to do it. Most people have the internet already, but providing a laptop or desktop and monitors is fairly standard. 

 

You’ll also want to make sure that the computers you provide have all the same software as in-office computers. The idea is for employees to have the same resources at home as they do in the office so they can continue doing their best work.

 

The good news is that you can write off both the hardware and software at the end of the year. In addition, Adobe is currently offering two months of free Adobe Creative Cloud to assist businesses that are implementing telework for employees. Learn how to claim yours here

Stay Secure

One worry that many businesses owners have about setting up telework for employees is data security. There is a risk associated with remote work, especially if you don’t go through the proper channels to secure your information.

 

Working with your IT department or a local IT company can help, though. They can set you up with a VPN (virtual private network). This network allows employees to sign in from the computer that they’re using at home, but their internet connection will go through your secure network, just as if they’re in the office.

 

Even with this measure, you’re still going to want to go through some cybersecurity information with all employees before you allow them to telework. Your IT company should be able to help you out with this.

 

There’s no doubt that this is a time of uncertainty and stress for many, but with a little bit of adjusting, most businesses should be able to pivot and adapt to allow telework for employees. 

 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We are still available via phone and email for anything you may need. You can reach us at 410-764-3731 or on the website here

How a Bookkeeping Cleanup Can Help You Save Money

 

Many small business owners start out doing their own bookkeeping. For most, it makes sense at first. You’re working on very small margins and trying to figure out exactly what your business structure and strategy are going to look like. You’re often also trying to find vendors, figure out staffing, and working to create something brand new. 

 

If you’re a small business owner and recently went through your first or second tax season, it may have taken you a lot longer than you wanted to get through all of your books. The good news is that a bookkeeping cleanup can make next year easier and help you save more money in the meantime.

Get a Better Look at Your Company History

The best way to make informed decisions about your company’s future is to start by examining its past. You need to take a solid look at your expenditures as well as your income and make sure that everything matches up.

 

Understanding your financial history can help you answer critical questions like…

 

  • Are your clients paying on time?
  • Are your vendors over-charging you?
  • Are you undervaluing your products or services?
  • Have your credit cards been paid on time?
  • Do your earnings match your tax returns?

 

The more you understand about your cash flow, the better chance you have of turning a strong profit in the future. Updating this documentation on a regular schedule is the ideal way to keep track of everything but if you know you haven’t checked it in a while, it’s important to sit down and do a bookkeeping cleanup.

Identify Tax Break Opportunities

Small and medium-sized businesses have a variety of opportunities for tax write-offs, deductions, and even credits. However, if you aren’t keeping close track of all of your financial documents, tax time can end up being financially devastating.

 

As long as purchases took place within the last year, your bookkeeping cleanup can help you identify money saving opportunities so you can focus on putting the money you would have put towards taxes back into your business.

Pin Down Discrepancies

Nearly every company’s books have discrepancies. Human error is unavoidable. However, you’re a lot more likely to have large discrepancies if you’ve never done a bookkeeping cleanup before or if you don’t regularly review your company’s financials. 

 

These discrepancies have the potential to cost you thousands of dollars, especially if they show up on your invoicing, credit card, or bank statements. You may discover that you were never paid for a project or that you missed a credit card payment and suddenly owe late fees and are subject to a rate hike. Ultimately, you want to avoid any of these situations.

Get Help with Your Bookkeeping Cleanup

Taking the time to go back through all of your books takes away from opportunities to build your business, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Instead, you should reach out to a professional who knows exactly what they’re looking for.

 

At PL Consulting, we have a tried and true process for bookkeeping cleanup. We’ll tailor this to your organization’s needs so you can get started saving money right away. Our team is dedicated to helping you come up with a plan that will work for you — and we won’t stop until you’re completely satisfied. Questions on how we can help? Give us a call today at 410-764-3731 or contact us here

5 Tips for Small Business Bookkeeping

 

Keeping track of each and every business expense is not a simple task, especially if you aren’t a numbers person. Small businesses may not always have a financial expert on the team, but bookkeeping is necessary for keeping business on track. Using proper techniques can help make bookkeeping easier. Here are five tips for small business bookkeeping!

 

Separate Business and Personal Finances

 

Though you may have started your small business with personal finances, you want to create a separate business account as soon as it gets off of the ground. Mixing business and personal finances make it difficult to keep an accurate track of business expenses. It’s also a good idea to get a separate credit card for your business to further separate finances as well as build your business credit.

 

Keep Records of Business Expenses

 

Modern technology makes it easy to keep all of your business expense records in one place. Rather than having to hold all of your paper receipts, receipts can be scanned and digitalized onto your device. Keeping these records helps to analyze business progression and also allows you to see what expenses can be deducted from your taxes.

 

Automation

 

There are several software applications designed for bookkeeping and other accounting services. Cloud-based software gives you access to your financial information from multiple devices. It also keeps your data backed up in case of a technical malfunction. Handling your business banking online allows you to sync bookkeeping software with your bank account so that you always have accurate and current financial records.

 

Hire a Professional

 

If your budget allows it, hire a professional accountant to help you maintain your business finances. Though this will be a financial investment, it will help you save and manage your money better in the long run. A professional will be able to assist you in finding the best software for your business and offer advice on how to use it. If you want consistent help managing your finances, a long-term accountant will provide continuous services to ensure the most success possible for your business.

 

Quarterly Review

 

Keeping track of your business expenses isn’t enough to make it grow. It’s important to analyze the data that you are reporting so that you can see what’s working and what needs to be changed. Each quarter, do an in-depth evaluation of your financial records. Look for things like growing or declining sales, the number of late-paying customers, and the amount of revenue. Come up with a plan each time you review to improve sales and revenue while eliminating unnecessary expenses.

 

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Financial Services!

 

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

 

What to Consider when Hiring a Professional Accountant for Your Business

 

Managing your business finances correctly and efficiently can mean the difference between business success and failure. Not all business owners are savvy in the accounting field, so sometimes it’s best to bring in a professional to ensure your finances are being handled properly. A professional accountant can keep track of your business finances and make suggestions to help you make as much money as possible. Here are some things to consider when hiring a professional accountant for your business!

Desired Services

The first thing you should consider when hiring a professional accountant is what specific accounting services you need for your business. Do you just want someone to file your business taxes? Or do you need someone to manage your daily business finances? Coming up with a specific outline of what you want from your accountant gives you better guidelines when you begin your search.

Reviews & References

Don’t hesitate to ask a potential accountant for any client references they may have. This gives you further insight on how well the accountant does their job and also which specific accounting fields they specialize in. You also want to do your research and look for any reviews that give you an idea of their quality of service. One of the best ways to find a good accountant is to ask people you trust for suggestions, as they are the most likely to provide you with honest feedback.

Pricing

Before you begin looking for an accountant, it’s best to set a concrete budget. This helps you to stay on track and find a good accountant without breaking the bank. Always be sure to get specific rates from potential accountants because the last thing you want is to be surprised by unknown expenses when you get your first bill. Take the time to go over the exact services you want and let the potential accountant break down specifics of how payments work so that there is no confusion down the line.

Stay Involved

A professional accountant is there to assist you in managing your business finances. However, you shouldn’t rely on them solely for your financial success. Create a plan and make sure you’re aware of your own responsibilities to keep your finances in order. Be sure that you fully understand your financial situation so that you know what to ask and expect of your professional accountant.

 

Along the way, always follow up to ensure your account is providing the best quality services for your business. As business grows and expands, your accountant should adapt and grow with you.

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Accounting Needs!

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

5 Tips for Maintaining Your 2020 Business Budget

As the first month of the new decade reaches its end, it’s time to analyze how well you’ve been sticking to those New Year’s resolutions. How well have you been adhering to the budget you created for the year? It’s easy to get off track when life can be so unpredictable at times. Here are some great tips for maintaining your 2020 business budget!

 

Employee Involvement

 

You do not have to handle all elements of your business on your own, nor should you try to. Having a team to help you with your business budget can help to not only improve efficiency, but also hold you more accountable for sticking to the set budget. Create a budget team of employees that will assist you in maintaining your business budget. Having more than one voice can help you create a plan from multiple different perspectives, allowing you to consider things you may not have thought of on your own. You should keep employees updated on both short and long-term financial goals so they understand the vision and are also prepared for any upcoming financial changes.

 

Analyze Risks

 

Every business has potential risk factors involved that can affect their finances. You want to analyze all of the possible risks that your business has and budget accordingly. It can be difficult to budget for things that haven’t happened yet and that may never happen, but having extra money set aside just in case can save your business in case of an emergency. You want to always leave room in your budget for any unexpected expenses that may arise.

 

Overestimate Expenses

 

When you are mapping out your expenses for the upcoming months, it’s always best to overestimate rather than underestimate your expenses. A lot of businesses operate on a project-to-project basis, which means that no two projects will be exactly the same. Some projects may go over-budget and you have to be able to compensate for that. As mentioned before, an important aspect of budgeting is planning for the unexpected. Leaving room for going over budget will ensure that your business continues to make money rather than lose it.

 

Time is Money

 

The phrase “time is money” is something that we hear often, but often don’t account for in our business budgets. The more time a project takes, the more money it costs in the long run. A big part of maintaining your business budget is to always plan out your time as well. You want to treat your time as if it’s money, meaning setting concrete project deadlines to ensure things get done in a timely fashion. If you think a project will be finished on Friday, promise delivery on the next Monday. That way, you can deliver it early if it gets done on time and leave some extra time in case the project isn’t finished by that day.

 

Constantly Revisit Budget

 

The best way to maintain your 2020 business budget is to constantly go back and revisit the budget. When unexpected expenses or income arises, you want to adjust your business budget accordingly. Businesses are constantly changing and fluctuating, so your budget should do the same. A good rule of thumb is to revisit your budget at the end of each month to make the necessary changes require to keep your business on track.

 

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Business Budget!

 

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

Tax 101: Small Business Preparation Tips

 

Tax season starts this year on Monday, January 27th. Though filing taxes isn’t everyone’s favorite task, it’s better to get it done early than wait until the last minute. Once you file your small business taxes, you’ll have a better idea of your official budget for the year. Here are some small business preparation tips for this year’s tax season!

Separate Personal & Business Expense

 

When you first start up your small business, you may find it difficult to separate your work and business expenses. While it may seem easier to just keep all financial information in one place, this can lead to a lot of confusion during tax time.

 

Mixing expenses can cause the IRS to disallow certain business expenses and also confuses your accounting information. The best way to prevent this is to open a separate bank account for your business.

Track Expenses

 

Keeping close track of your business expenses allows you to better reduce your tax liability. Certain business expenses can be used to reduce your adjusted gross income, therefore reducing the amount of tax money you’ll owe.

 

Keep track of each and every expense your small business makes, including office supplies, entertainment, travel, advertising, and insurance. Waiting until tax time to try and track your expenses increase the chance of overlooking something.

Remember the Dates

 

The IRS provides a tax calendar that helps businesses keep track of deadlines for tax season. This calendar includes dates for things like filing W2’s, W9’s, making estimated payments, and filing your return.

 

For freelance workers and independent contractors, you must obtain 1099’s from the clients you worked for during the year.

Digital Receipts

 

Modern technology has made it so much easier to get through tax season. There is expense tracking software that allows you to scan and save all of your small business receipts.

 

This makes it way easier to organize your expenses when they can all be accessed from one place. Creating digital receipts means you can throw away those paper ones, helping you organize your business space as well.

Hire a Professional

 

As a small business owner, your expertise may not be in accounting and that’s perfectly okay. Even with the expertise, time is limited when you have a business to run. Rather than stress yourself out about your business taxes, hire a professional to take care of it for you.

 

An account knows how to file your taxes correctly and efficiently the first time around. Having an experienced accountant on your team can make or break the long-term success of your small business.

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Accounting Needs!

 

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

The Four Elements of Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is essential to keeping your business finances organized and accounted for. A bookkeeper is responsible for keeping track of each and every financial transaction that takes place within your business, both ingoing and outgoing. This allows you to see exactly where your money is going and plan budgets accordingly. Here are the four elements of bookkeeping!

Accounts Receivables

The accounts receivable refers to the money that is coming into the business. Your bookkeeper should be sending some type of invoice to clients for all the services that you’ve performed for them. This invoice shows all the necessary costs that the client is required to pay to your business.

 

The bookkeeper keeps track of all incoming payments from clients, marking them down as deposits are made. Your bookkeeper also takes on the responsibility of following up with any clients that may be behind on payments.

Accounts Payable

Though businesses may not be too excited about accounts payable, it is still crucial to keep track of it. The accounts payable refers to the bills and expenses that your business has to pay to others.

 

A good bookkeeper will keep track of each and every outgoing payment your business needs to make. This helps you keep track of what you owe so you can determine the best system to make payments that maximizes your cash flow.

Bank Reconciliations

Your bookkeeper is responsible for regularly going through all of your bank and credit card transactions. They ensure that all your statements stay organized and sort them out so that they’re always easily accessible.

 

Bookkeepers also go through to make sure there are no duplicate transactions documented which could impact your business finances.

 

Once they’ve entered all your card transactions, they will go through to make sure that each account matches up with their bank statements and there’s no discrepancies.

Payroll

A good bookkeeper doesn’t only keep track of your accounts, but can also keep track of your payroll as well. Having someone operate your payroll saves you so much time, allowing you to focus on other important elements of business.

 

Your bookkeeper will keep track of your employee’s work hours, days off, commissions, etc. Once all of this is entered, the finished form will be sent to your management team for final approval and then payroll will be completed from there.

 

Your bookkeeper will keep track of this information and prepare tax documents for employees during tax season.

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Bookkeeping Services!

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

Business Budgeting 101: New Year Planning

The new year is right around the corner, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to plan a budget for the upcoming year. The new year is the perfect time to sit down and analyze your business finances, creating a plan to save money, increase profits, and ensure success. Here are some tips for planning your New Year budget!

Digital Footprint

With modern technology, more and more businesses are going digital in some way. Take a moment to evaluate your digital marketing strategy to see how you could expand and improve. An online presence is essential in this age to maintain a successful business.

 

Often times, digital marketing is less expensive than physical marketing. Including digital marketing in your overall marketing budget can help to improve business and also save you some money.

Vendor Pricing

If your business requires going through a vendor, the beginning of the year is the best time to research vendors and ensure you’re getting the best quality for your money.

 

Often times, vendors are also completing their budgets around this time and offer better deals to ensure they achieve their financial goals. The right vendor will be reasonably priced and provide quality products to your company.

Equipment Check

It’s easy to get consumed in business tasks and forget to regularly check your business equipment. Testing your equipment at the beginning of the year allows you to plan accordingly for anything that needs to be fixed, updated, or replaced.

 

Make note of any equipment that will not last through the year and create a budget accordingly. High-quality, efficient equipment can greatly improve productivity and save your business money in the long run.

Employees

Take the time to analyze your staff at the beginning of the year. If there are any adjustments or additions that need to be made, now is the time to begin planning for it.

 

Finding the right person to fill a position is no easy task, so it’s better to plan in advance. Budget for new hires as well as any employee activities you’d like to have throughout the year.

Need Help with Your New Year’s Budget? Contact PL Consulting Today!

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

4 Ways to Save Money in Your Business

 

Saving money is not an easy task, especially when you are running a business. Every time you find yourself saving business money, another expense comes up that needs to be paid for. With the new year just a month away, now is a good time to implement new strategies for saving money. Here are four ways to save money in your business!

Advertising Alternatives

In this digital age, the marketing industry is transforming in a way that makes it easier to advertise your business.

 

Cut the costs of traditional print advertising methods and opt towards utilizing social media, public relations, and SEO techniques to reduce the cost of your advertising!

 

A lot of social media accounts are free of charge, also offer cost-friendly advertising options to those trying to grow their following.

Outsource Services

In-house employees are essential to maintaining the productivity of your business. However, salaries and office space can account for a big portion of a business budget.

 

For services that don’t need to be performed in-house, consider outsourcing to independent contractors. Independent contractors typically have lower rates and can be put on a temporary contract.

Cloud Computing

Many businesses are converting to the cloud, not talking about the ones in the sky. The cloud is an online space to store information.

 

Not only is cloud computing less expensive than other data storage methods, but it also allows data to be accessed from any authorized device.

 

This gives your business more flexibility while eliminating the costs of expensive storage hardware.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting is a growing trend, allowing employees to work from home rather than come into the office. While this isn’t an option for hands-on businesses, it’s a great money-saving tool for businesses that use computers.

 

You may not be able to merge into a completely remote business, but consider offering employees a few telecommuting days each week. This saves a lot of money on office space and the cost of upkeep.

Contact PL Consulting Today for Your Budget Planning Needs!

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/

4 Tax Preparation Tips for Small Businesses

 

Tax season is right around the corner and quickly approaching. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to file your business taxes. In fact, it’s better to plan ahead and prepare so that you know what to expect financially and are able to get your taxes done faster. Here are four great tax preparation tips for small businesses!

Hire the Right Accountant

The first thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with seeking professional help for your business taxes.

 

The best way to prepare for tax season is to invest in an accountant before tax season so that they can assist you throughout the entire year.

 

The right accountant will do more than just your taxes, instead of working with you to track financial transactions, profits, etc.

 

A good accountant helps you properly maintain your finances the entire time so that when it’s time for tax season, everything is already organized and in place.

Separate Business & Personal Accounts

When kicking off a small business, it may seem easier to just keep those finances in your personal account.

 

However, even if you reported all business expenses correctly, the IRS now has access to your personal account.

 

They can look into your personal account because of the combined money and this could end up impacting your tax information.

Keep Financial Records

It is so important to keep track of all your business expenses, both internal and external, as you go along. If you are unsure of the proper way to keep track of your finances, a professional finance service can help.

 

Bookkeeping has been made easier due to digital software, but a professional can ensure that all expenses are accounted for and also analyze financial information to help improve your small business and keep it growing.

Claim all Income Reported to the IRS

Trying to get over on the IRS is never a good idea because they most likely have access to the information that you are trying to withhold.

 

The IRS gets a copy of the same 1099-MISC forms that you receive, so they know exactly how much income your business has made within the year.

 

They compare the amount you made to the amount you reported and if they don’t match, it’s a red flag for the IRS.

Contact PL Consulting Today to Prepare for Tax Season!

At PL Consulting, we consider our clients part of our team. We provide full financial management services including bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, tax preparation, budgeting, and more.

 

Serving the Baltimore area for several years, we are dedicated to providing customized service to fit each and every one of our client’s unique needs.

 

To book PL Consulting today or get more information, contact us at (410)-764-3731 or at https://www.plcfo.com/contact/