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2022 Thankful Message from Protea Financial

2022 Thankful Message from Protea Financial

Another year is nearly over, and what an eventful year it has been. We have all been through a lot of ups and down over the last few years, and 2022 was no different. Thankfully, some aspects of life are starting to feel a bit more normal, and we were able to make some progress with goals we set for ourselves and our clients.

As the Director and Founder of Protea Financial, I’d like to take a few moments and reflect on some of the amazing things that happened this year. Plus, I’d like to thank some of the people who were there to help make these things happen.

 

Our Clients Are Amazing

Each client that has ever put their faith in the team here at Protea Financial – thank you. We are grateful that you trust us and that you share with others the experiences you’ve had with us. It is thanks to you that we continue to grow, adding new clients to the diverse group of people we’ve had the privilege to work with in the past. From our humble beginnings to where we are today, we have the same mission and goals, but have cast a wider net to do our best to help more people as time goes on.

 

Protea Financial is Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Over the course of 2022, Protea Financial has been able to help more people than ever before. The company, as a whole, has grown to include more financial professionals and more clients than ever. Our goal from the beginning with Protea Financial was to help as many people as possible. This goal was front and center with our message, the people we hired, the clients we chose, and the resources we created. Today, those goals and choices are the backbone of our business that is reaching further and embracing new opportunities at ever turn.

I always hoped that Protea would become a company that community members would know they could rely on, and that is taking place. I am grateful for everyone that works with me at Protea Financial, and want them all to know I see how hard they’re working and appreciate that effort each day.

 

Protea Financial is Thankful for Growth

 

The Team Shares My Determination to Help

I cannot say enough about the team here at Protea. They embody the goals we set in the beginning, and they are as determined as I am to help as many people as possible. We are always trying to come up with new ideas, resources, and methods of helping the people we work with. Plus, we bounce ideas off each other on ways to reach even more people. I am grateful to every part of the team, from our newest member to people who have been at Protea Financial for years – thank you so much.

 

Some Semblance of Normalcy

While the world may never return to what we all felt was normal prior to COVID-19, there are some good changes that we have been lucky enough to make along the way. Many of us are now closer than ever to our loved ones, which many of us took for granted in years past. However, at some points during the remote lifestyle we all became accustomed to, the closeness of working relationships suffered.

Today, we are able to have a new form of normal that allows those personal relationships with co-workers face-to-face again. I was able to spend time with my team in-person, and we are all grateful to be able to come together, brainstorm ideas, and work as a team to help solve problems like we used to. While it may never be the same, this new normal is quite possibly an improved version of life as we once knew it, and for that, I am grateful.

 

Protea Financial is Thankful for Travel

 

Travel is Once Again an Option

The last time I was able to go and visit friends and family in South Africa was in 2019. However, with restrictions changing on travel, I was able to go back and visit with people I’ve missed terribly. We were able to spend time together, talk about what happened in our lives since we last saw each other, and get caught up.

I am grateful for the time I was able to spend there with people who mean the world to me, and also for the fact that we were able to pick up almost exactly where we left off in 2019, as if no time had passed. It is a true testament to how deep relationships can go when they can continue like that. It was an amazing trip, and I look forward to my next opportunity to visit.

 

My Family is At the Heart of All I Do

Outside of the office, I also want to take a moment and show my gratitude to my family. From my parents to my wife and kids, you all support me and the goals I have for this company. I know I work long hours trying to follow my dreams and reach my goals. You are each with me in everything I do, and I am grateful that you are so understanding.

My parents have been there to show me the importance of following my dreams. They taught me that no matter where those dreams take me, I can follow them with confidence. My kids see my determination and day in and day out, I hope that I am instilling the right values in them while setting a positive example. I am grateful for the love and fun you bring to my life.

As for my wife, you truly are my best friend. Your support, understanding, and love are my constant guide. I could not help the people I do without knowing you are by my side with each decision I make. Thank you all.

 

For Every Member of the Protea Financial Family – Thank You

Protea Financial started out as a hope and a dream to help people. Today, it is a company I am proud to lead. Please contact us here at Protea Financial today if we can help your business, or if you want to become part of the Protea family, too.

Become Part of the Protea Financial Family

Reach out to Protea Financial today if you want to be part of the Protea family, too!

What Are 1099s?

What Are 1099s?

This blog post was originally published in December 2021, but we wanted to take the time to update and improve the information we offered. We recently updated it in November 2022.

If you do any type of contract or freelance work for a company, that company may be required to send you a form 1099. This is a tax form required by the IRS to report income for those who are not employees but still do work for and are paid by a company. However, while contractors often receive 1099s, they are not the only people who may get this document. Let’s go over the various types of 1099s, what one contains, why you may get it, and what you do with this document.

 

What Is a 1099?

Any time you are paid for work by a company, that company is required to report your payments to the IRS as income. Typically, this is done through a form W-2 because most, if not all, of the company’s payments go to employees. However, some companies do hire contractors or freelancers. These individuals work on specific projects for a set amount of pay. They typically receive no benefits such as insurance or paid time off. However, they are often free to work at home and on their own schedule. Once the project is complete, they receive their payment and move on to their next job, though they and the company may also agree to a new contract for further work.

When a company pays one of these contractors, the income is reported on a 1099. It’s similar to a W-2, but there are a few significant differences. The size of the company, their industry, or the type of project does not play any part in a 1099. All companies, even small businesses, must issue 1099s to a contractor who did work for them. 

However, according to IRS rules, a company only has to issue a 1099 if they pay a contractor more than $600 within the calendar year. This means a company that paid a contractor $500 is not required to send them a 1099. Contractors who receive one of these forms do need to include that income in their annual tax return just as they would report income earned on a W-2.

In addition to receiving a 1099 for contract work, you may also receive a 1099 for capital gains distributions, interest payments, dividends, and other income. The type of income will determine the type of 1099 form that you receive. There are a number of types of 1099s, including the 1099-MISC, 1099-R, and 1099-C.

Protea Financial What Information is On a 1099

What Information Is on a 1099?

A 1099 includes much of the same information as you would find on a W-2. This includes the following:

  • The contractor’s full name, address, and social security number or taxpayer identification number.
  • The company’s name, address, and FEIN (or SSN if they are paying as an individual).
  • The total amount of money paid throughout the year.
  • The account number.
  • The total amount of federal and state income tax withheld, if any (typically this is zero for a 1099).
  • The state or payer’s state number.
  • The amount of state income.

As with W-2s, the company will fill out the 1099 and mail a copy to both the contractor and the IRS. The contractor will need to review the information and contact the company right away if there are any mistakes.

When to Expect Your 1099

The 1099 form is an IRS document that reports the income you received from a company or individual during the tax year. If you are an independent contractor, freelancer, or self-employed person, you should receive a 1099 form from each client or customer who paid you $600 or more during the year. You will use the information on your 1099 forms to complete your federal income tax return.

You should receive your 1099 forms by January 31st. If you do not receive a 1099 form from a company or individual who paid you $600 or more during the year, you will still need to report that income on your tax return. You can get copies of your 1099 forms from the IRS, if necessary.

If you are expecting to receive a 1099 form, be sure to keep track of your income throughout the year so that you can accurately report it on your tax return. That way, when you start your taxes, you have accurate data to pull from.

 

Protea Financial 1099 Form

Why Are 1099s Issued?

Any contractor or individual who receives over $600 a year from a business, financial institution, or other payer will be issued at 1099. The IRS requires this income to be reported, and there are no exceptions. A company or other payer who fails to submit a 1099 form will face fines from the IRS. Individuals who do not report this income may be subjected to audits and fines as well.

Individuals who own stocks, receive interest on accounts, or are paid other types of income that is not classified as a wage will also receive a 1099 if they made more than $600. Typically, these forms will come from the payer. However, starting in 2021, some online payment processors such as PayPal may issue a 1099 to those who receive over $600 from the same payer. There are still many questions about how this will affect contractors, businesses, and others who receive payments through these processors.

 

How a 1099 Differs from a W-2

The main difference between a W-2 and a 1099 is that a W-2 lists out the various taxes, social security, and other withholdings from an employee’s paycheck. While a contractor may have taxes withheld on a 1099, typically this is not that case. That means the contractor or other individual will need to pay taxes on that money as part of their annual income tax return.

The two forms are similar in that both W-2s and 1099s are generated and sent out in January. Contractors, individuals, and employees should receive these forms by February first. If they do not, they will need to contact the payer. Contractors may receive 1099s from every company they have worked with over the year, while individuals may receive 1099s from every financial institution that paid them interest or dividends.

It’s also possible for someone to be an employee and do contract work. In this case, they will have both a W-2 and at least one 1099 to file.

How to Pay Taxes on a 1099

If you’re a freelancer or contract worker, you may be used to getting a 1099 at the end of the year. This document is important because it shows how much money you made during the year. It’s also important because it’s required for filing your taxes.

The first thing you need to do is get organized. Gather up all your 1099s and put them in one place. Once you have them, look at each one and make sure the information is correct. If anything looks off, contact the issuing company right away to get it corrected.

Next, you need to calculate your total income for the year. Add up all the money listed on your 1099s. This is your gross income for the year.

Now it’s time to figure out your deductions. These are expenses that can be subtracted from your gross income to arrive at your taxable income. Common deductions for freelancers include business expenses such as office supplies, website hosting fees, and mileage if you use your personal vehicle for business purposes.

Once you’ve calculated your taxable income, you can use tax software or consult with a tax professional like we have here at Protea Financial to determine how much tax you owe. Be sure to pay any taxes owed by the tax deadline to avoid penalties and interest charges.

Paying taxes as a freelancer or contract worker may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. By gathering up all your 1099s, calculating your gross and taxable income, and subtracting any deductions, you can easily determine how much tax you owe for the year.

 

Protea Financial Information On a 1099

What Information Do You Need to File a 1099

To file a 1099, you will need the following information:

  • Name and address of the recipient
  • Amount of money paid to the recipient
  • Date the payments were made
  • Type of 1099 form you are filing

If you are e-filing, you will also need to include your PIN

 

How Do the Types of 1099s Differ?

There are many different 1099 forms. All of these forms are used to report income other than wages earned as an employee. However, each one is slightly different in what income it is used to report. Here are some of the most common types of 1099s:

  • MISC – The 1099-MISC was the form used to report payments made to contractors and other freelancers. However, the form was also used to report other payments, including prize money, payments made to attorneys, rent, and other miscellaneous income. It is no longer used for contractors as of 2021.
  • NEC – The 1099-NEC replaced the 1099-MISC for contractor payments starting with tax year 2021. It lists all non-employee income received in exchanged for services. This is the form that contractors and other freelancers will typically receive. Contractor payments were split out from the 1099-MISC to address certain loopholes.
  • DIV – Individuals who own stock or other types of securities and are paid more than $10 in dividends or distributions will receive a 1099-DIV to report that income to the IRS.
  • INT – The 1099-INT is issued by banks and other financial institutions. It reports interest of over $10.
  • R – Those who receive distributions from a retirement account such as a 401(k) or a Roth IRA will receive a 1099-R stating the total amount of the distributions taken that year.
  • C – This is a special type of 1099 that is only used when an individual settles debt with a credit issuer for less than the amount owed. Typically, this is done during the bankruptcy process, although it could also be done via other types of negotiations. This form shows the amount of forgiven debt, which is not typically taxed as income. However, it still must be reported.
  • Q – A 1099-Q is used to document income received from a 529 educational plan or Coverdell ESA. This form is
  • G – The 1099-G form is used to report several different types of payments. It’s commonly used to report unemployment compensation, but it can also be used to document income tax refunds from the state or local government as well as agricultural payments and income from taxable grants.
  • SSA-1099 – Those who receive social security payments will receive a SSA-1099 form every year detailing the total amount of SSA payments they received that year. This is one of the few 1099 forms in which the identifying letters come before the form number.
  • K – A 1099-K is issued by a third-party payment processor such as PayPal when an individual or business has more than 200 online payment transactions that total over $20,000. Credit card payment processors may also issue 1099-K forms.
  • B – Individuals who sell stock will receive a 1099-B from their mutual fund company or brokerage. This form details the date the stock was sold, the cost of it, and the amount it was sold for.

Protea Financial Understanding a 1099 Form 

Pros and Cons of Being a 1099 Worker

As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying your own taxes. This means that you will need to save money throughout the year to ensure that you have enough to pay your taxes come tax time. Additionally, 1099 contractors are not always eligible for unemployment benefits, so if you find yourself out of work, you will not have any safety net to fall back on.

On the other hand, 1099 contractors have a lot of freedom and flexibility when it comes to how they work. You can often set your own hours and work from home, which can be a major perk. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate a higher rate with your clients since you are not paying into unemployment or other benefits.

 

Common Mistakes When Filling Out Your 1099

There are a few common mistakes that people make when filling out their 1099 forms, which can lead to some pretty serious consequences. Here are a few of the most common mistakes:

  1. Not including all oyour income: This one is pretty straightforward – if you don’t include all of your income on your 1099, you’re not going to get credit for it come tax time. Make sure to double check that you’ve included everything you need to, or you could end up owing the government a lot of money.
  2. Incorrectly calculating your deductions: This is a mistake that can cost you big time. Be sure to take your time and calculate your deductions correctly, or you could end up overpaying (or underpaying) your taxes.
  3. Not keeping good records: This is important for a few reasons. First, if the IRS comes knocking, you’re going to want to be able to show them exactly what you did and how you did it. Second, even if the IRS doesn’t come calling, good records will help you keep track of everything come tax time so that you can be sure you’re getting all the deductions and credits you’re entitled to.
  4. Filing late: This one can also cost you, in the form of late fees and penalties. Make sure to file your 1099 on time so that you don’t have to worry about these extra charges.
  5. Not understanding the form: Not understanding what the form wants or needs from you is another common mistake. It can lead to open spots or inaccurate information. The best thing to do if you do not understand the form is to ask someone who can help guide you through the process. Not filling out a 1099 properly because you misunderstood something is not going to allow you to bypass the potential consequences from the IRS.

 

Risks of Not Filling Out Your 1099 Correctly

If you’re a business owner or independent contractor, you’re probably aware that you need to fill out a 1099 form for any contractors or vendors you’ve paid $600 or more during the year. What you may not know is that there are some serious risks associated with filling out this form incorrectly.

The first and most obvious risk is that you could end up owing the IRS money if you don’t report all of the income you’ve received. This could result in interest and penalties, and could even lead to an audit.

Another risk is that you could inadvertently misclassify someone as an independent contractor when they should be classified as an employee. This could come back to bite you down the road if the person decides to file for unemployment benefits or sue you for wrongful termination.

Finally, if you make any mistakes on your 1099 forms, it’s possible that the IRS could come after you for back taxes, interest, and penalties. So it’s important to double-check your work and make sure everything is accurate before sending in your forms.

If you have any questions about how to fill out your 1099 forms correctly, don’t hesitate to reach out to a tax professional for help.

 

What Are the Penalties for Not Filing a 1099?

If you don’t file a 1099, the IRS can assess a penalty of up to $280 per 1099. The penalty is based on when you file the 1099 and how many 1099s you must file. The penalties are:

  • $50 per 1099 if you file within 30 days of the due date
  • $110 per 1099 if you file more than 30 days after the due date but before August 1
  • $280 per 1099 if you file on or after August 1

As a Business, You Need to Have Your 1099 Forms Prepared Correctly

It goes without saying that any business that issues 1099s must make certain that the forms are prepared correctly and are issued on time. Being late can result in fines, while sending out incorrect forms can cost you time and money in correcting and resubmitting them. Fortunately, most businesses will only need to deal with one or two types of 1099s.

While a 1099 is a fairly simple form to fill out, you will still need a professional bookkeeper on your side to make certain you submit the correct payment amount to the right contractor or other individual. If you don’t have a bookkeeper of your own, you may want to work with a virtual bookkeeper. These experts are just as skilled and knowledgeable as local bookkeepers.

The team here at Protea Financial is ready to assist you with all of your bookkeeping and other financial needs. We can track contractor payments, assist with 1099s, and much more. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.

Let Us Know if You Have Questions

If you still want help understanding a 1099 or what it is used for, then reach out to us here at Protea Financial. We are here to help!

The Best Small Business Software Considerations: Work Simply, Manage Efficiently

The Best Small Business Software Considerations: Work Simply, Manage Efficiently

Are you looking for the best small business software? Look no further! This guide details some of the top-rated software options available for various tasks and how they can help you work more efficiently. From email management to time tracking, these programs are perfect for small businesses.

Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Software Options

Protea Financial Small Business Accounting and Bookkeeping Software

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software developed by Intuit. It offers invoicing, tracking sales and expenses, managing bills and payments, and preparing tax returns. QuickBooks Online allows users to connect with their bank accounts to import transactions automatically.

QuickBooks Online offers four pricing plans: Simple Start ($25/month), Essentials ($40/month), Plus ($70/month), and Advanced ($150/month). The Simple Start plan is best suited for businesses with basic accounting needs, while the Essentials and Plus plans are designed for companies with more complex accounting needs. The Advanced plan is best suited for businesses that need advanced features such as inventory management and time tracking.

QuickBooks Enterprise

Beyond QuickBooks Online, there is also QuickBooks Enterprise. This sector of QuickBooks is aimed at providing the resources big enterprises need. The features are more robust and there is more support offered for this upgrade because the way it works and the reports it offers are geared specifically to the industry the business is in. However, it is primarily on desktop which can be a problem for some businesses.

Xero

Xero is an online accounting software that allows you to manage your business finances and bookkeeping in an easy-to-use platform. It’s free to use so there’s no risk associated with signing up, and it comes with a number of useful features such as recurring invoicing, multi-currency capability, and more. In addition to being easy to use, Xero also offers a wide range of other benefits such as reporting tools and reports, multiple currency support, and much more. Xero is ideal for small businesses that need an accounting solution without the hassle of having to deal with complicated software.

NetSuite

NetSuite, a product from Oracle, is more than just bookkeeping and accounting software. It goes so far as to be a step above the others on this list in that it is an ERP, or enterprise resource planning system. It tracks finances, human hours, provides reporting, payroll, and more for nearly any industry. It is also a great option for anyone from a solopreneur to a massive enterprise, and any size business in between. It is one of the more expensive options, but it comes with so many ways of customizing what it provides that many companies find the software worth the investment. 

Best Time Tracking Software Options

Protea Financial Small Business Time Tracking Software

QuickBooks Time

One of the easiest time-tracking software options most businesses have is QuickBooks Time. Many know the software by its old name of TSheets. QuickBooks Time aims to make payroll easy, provide quotes easily while maintain a high-level of accuracy, and keep accurate records of timesheets for each employee.

It easily integrates with many other software titles, keeps schedules, and provides full reporting for every member of your team. QuickBooks Time offers a 30-day free trial and has plans that start at just $30 per month.

Gusto Time Tracking

The ideal time-tracking software would be able to track both time spent on a task and how long it takes to complete a task. It should also be easy to setup and use, even if you’re not a tech expert. Gusto Time Tracking is a popular choice for people who are trying to improve their time management skills.

It can track the time spent on tasks as well as the time it takes to complete tasks, including the amount of time spent waiting or being interrupted. It’s available for both Windows and Mac, and it’s easy to set up and use. This makes it an excellent choice for people who aren’t tech experts.

Even if you’re not interested in tracking time spent on tasks, you may still find value in this software because it’s overall very user-friendly. Plans start at $40 per month plus just a few dollars per person you add into the software.

TimeAttend

TimeAttend is a cloud-based time tracking software that offers businesses a lot of flexibility with minimal investment. It lets employees log in with their phone, or even a fob that matches with a device in the workplace. All details can be accessed from anywhere, allowing for remote or hybrid time tracking situations with ease. The software offers a 14-day free trial and pricing starts at just $9 per person that you want to add into the system.

Best Marketing Software Options

Protea Financial Small Business Marketing Software

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is an email marketing software that helps businesses stay in touch with their customers, including a contact management system, email templates, autoresponders, and more.

Constant Contact offers three different pricing plans for its email marketing software, starting at $20 per month for up to 500 contacts.

MailChimp

MailChimp is an online marketing platform that allows businesses to create and send newsletters, emails, and other automated messages. MailChimp offers a variety of features, including templates, design tools, list management, automation, reporting, and integrations.

MailChimp’s pricing depends on the number of subscribers you have and how much control you want over your email designs. The service offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers with basic features, as well as paid plans starting at $10/month for up to 500 subscribers with an increased number of features.

Best CRM Options

Protea Financial Small Business CRM Software

Method

Method is a CRM, or customer relationship management, software specifically for those who use QuickBooks. It automates many of the steps that would otherwise take human time to perform, and it boosts the type of customer support companies can offer. Method easily integrates with many other software titles through Zapier, and it allows for automated lead generation through its workflows. Businesses get all these features and more starting at just $25/month. 

HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM software that helps businesses manage and grow customer relationships. HubSpot offers many features, including contact management, email marketing, lead capture forms, and reporting. HubSpot offers three pricing plans starting at $50 per month.

Best Project Management Software Options

Protea Financial Small Business Project Management Software

Trello

Trello is a project management software that enables users to create boards to organize and track their projects. The software is based on the Kanban system, which helps users visualize their work and progress.

Some common Trello features include:

  • Trello enables users to create boards and lists to organize their projects.
  • Users can add cards to each list, which can contain details about the task, due date, attachments, and more.
  • Cards can be assigned to specific users, and users can leave comments on cards.
  • The software also offers a calendar view, which helps users track deadlines and progress.
  • Trello integrates with several other productivity tools, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

Monday

Monday is a tool that helps you plan, track, and execute projects. You can use it for anything from small tasks to large-scale initiatives.

Some features commonly found in project management software include task lists, Gantt charts, resource management, and collaboration tools.

Prices for Monday vary depending on the features you choose. Their pricing starts at just $8 per month and go up from there, depending on your specific needs. 

ClickUp

ClickUp is a project management software that helps teams to collaborate and get work done more efficiently. It offers a variety of features, such as task management, team collaboration, real-time communication, and more. ClickUp pricing is based on the number of users and starts at $5/month for the Basic plan.

Some of the key features offered by ClickUp include:

  • Task Management: Helps users to organize and track tasks using various methods such as lists, kanban boards, calendars, Gantt charts, etc.
  • Team Collaboration: Enables team members to collaborate on projects by sharing files, comments, @mentions, etc.
  • Real-Time Communication: Allows users to communicate with each other in real-time using chat or video call features.
  • Integrations: ClickUp integrates with various popular applications such as Google Drive, Slack, Zapier, etc.

Protea Financial Can Help You Narrow Down the Best Small Business Software Titles for Your Needs

There are a lot of great options out there when it comes to small business software. The most important thing is finding a program that fits your needs. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different options until you find the perfect fit. If you need help, Protea Financial is always here to lend a hand. Give us a call today!

Protea Financial Is Here to Help with Everything from Bookkeeping to Small Business Software Recommendations

Finding the best small business software solutions for your business can be complicated. Let Protea Financial help make it easier. Contact us today and learn why we recommend these titles over the rest!

What Receipts Does the IRS Require You to Keep?

What Receipts Does the IRS Require You to Keep?

When you deduct business expenses on your income tax return, you can usually refer to your records to support the expense. However, you must keep records that meet IRS record-keeping standards in case of an audit. We aim to explain what receipts the IRS requires so that you don’t miss anything when filing your taxes.

The IRS will probably ask for a receipt or another expenditure record if you use cash for business expenses other than wages, depreciation, or car expenses. The rules are more lenient if your business is a sole proprietorship, and all its expenses are subject to the personal property deduction. Here are some of the most important receipts you should keep for your business.

 

Receipts for All Business Expenses Over $75

The IRS requires a written record of all business expenses exceeding $75. In most cases, you must have a receipt for these expenses.

  • If you make a payment that does not require a receipt, you should keep a written record of the payment. The written record can include a computer log, a spreadsheet, or a diary. It must show the payment amount, the business reason for the payment, the business name and address (if different from your own), the date of the payment, and the name of the person or company that you made the payment to.
  • Keep records of all expenses relating to your automobile, such as gasoline, oil changes, repairs, insurance, tires, and maintenance. Business miles driven should be kept separate from personal miles driven. If you drive a car that you own, you can deduct the business miles driven and your actual expenses (gasoline, oil changes, repairs, and maintenance). If you drive a car that you lease, the lease payment and business miles are considered a business expense. If you drive a vehicle that you rent, you can deduct only the business miles driven.
  • Keep records of all expenses relating to your home office, such as electricity, heating fuel, cleaning supplies, telephone, internet, and insurance. You can also deduct the cost of a separate telephone line with a business message on your voicemail. If you have a home office, you must determine whether the office is a deductible expense.

 

Travel and Entertainment

The IRS requires receipts for travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses, such as airfare, hotel bills, meals, and car rentals. The rules are different if the T&E is associated with a business event that meets one or more of the IRS’s T&E rules.

You do not need a receipt to support the T&E expense in these cases. Instead, you must keep a log of the expenses and the business reason for the T&E. You must also keep track of the business purpose, who was present at the event, how much each person spent, and how long the event lasted.

Protea Financial Small Business Receipts

Advertising and Marketing

The IRS requires receipts for all advertising and marketing expenses and some research and development costs. Advertising and marketing expenses include the cost of printing, designing, and mailing promotional materials such as brochures, catalogs, and newsletters.

These also include the cost of internet advertising, website design, and fees for public relations and advertising consultants. Research and development costs include the cost of product testing and experimentation to determine if there is a need for new products and the level of customer demand for existing products. They also include the cost of developing prototypes and formulas.

 

Depreciation

Businesses that use an accrual method of accounting must keep all records. Depreciation records must show the date the equipment was placed in service, the equipment’s original cost, and the depreciation amount each year.

If your business owns its assets, you must depreciate them over a certain period. Real estate records must show the date you purchased the property and the amount of any mortgage. You must keep records of the cost of improvements and repairs to the property.

 

Business Gifts

The IRS requires receipts for all business gifts. Keep records on the following:

  • The date and location of the gift
  • The name of the person receiving the gift
  • The value of the gift
  • The name of the person who gave you the gift
  • The business reason for the gift
  • The business relationship with the person giving you the gift

If you receive a gift, keep records of the gift, the business reason for the gift, and the business relationship with the person who gave you the gift. You must report gifts of more than $25 on your income tax return.

 

Computer Equipment and Software

Businesses that use computers to process their financial data or orders of products and services must keep records of the acquisition cost and depreciation. Computer-related expenses that can be deducted from your income tax return include the cost of:

  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Modems
  • Software
  • Internet service
  • Repairs, upgrades
  • Depreciation

These also include monthly payments for a computer and internet service, computer repair fees, and computer rentals for employees who do not have their own computers. For any software titles, it is best to also add a note as to what it was used for and who used it, in case you ever need to know down the line.

 

Office Supplies

Keep records of the purchase price of all office supplies that you deduct on your income tax return. These include paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, file folders, cleaning supplies, toner for printers, pens, pencils, paper clips, and computer paper and toner.

Warranties for office equipment such as computers and printers are also deductible. You can also deduct the cost of copying and printing services.

Protea Financial Small Business Office Supplies

Mileage and Vehicle Maintenance

Keep records of all vehicle-related business expenses, such as gasoline, new tires, oil changes, necessary repairs, insurance, and all vehicle maintenance. Also, keep records of the business miles driven.

You must keep a mileage log for each business trip and every business-related trip from home. You must report all business miles driven on your income tax return.

 

Outsourced Assistance for Your Business

The IRS requires receipts or written records for all out-of-pocket expenses. You also must keep records of any payments made to independent contractors or outsourced service providers.

In addition to written records, you must maintain a written contract with any individual or company that you hire to perform any part of your business. Keep these records also to protect yourself should an issue come up with those contractors or providers in the future.

 

Let Protea Financial Help You Determine Which Receipts Are Best to Keep for Your Business

The IRS will examine your business expenses if you claim them on your income tax return. You must keep records of all business expenses to prove that they were legitimate business expenses.

Keep records in a way that makes sense to you so that you can quickly identify and locate the information when you need it. This will make tax time much easier.

You should keep these records for as long as you own the business. If you sell your business, you must keep the records for at least three years after the date you sell it.

Are you looking for more information? Contact Protea Financial today and let us help you organize your finances, straighten out your receipts, and be ready ahead of the next tax deadline.

Protea Financial Can Help You Keep the Right Receipts for the IRS

When you contact Protea Financial, you get a team of professionals who can help you with many aspects of your financial record keeping, including knowing which receipts are best for you to keep for tax time. Call now – we are here to help!

The Pros and Cons Of Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online For Small Businesses

The Pros and Cons Of Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online For Small Businesses

Are you thinking of using QuickBooks Online to manage your business’s bookkeeping? If so, you’re not alone. In today’s fast-paced digital world, no business can afford to lag behind, making software an essential component of success. Small businesses, in particular, must be agile to succeed. Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever for small businesses to connect with potential customers and streamline operations.

Many businesses use QuickBooks Online for their accounting and bookkeeping needs for good reason. It can be an excellent program for managing financial information, streamlining processes, and reporting on performance.

However, there are pros and cons to using QuickBooks Online as your business’s bookkeeping solution. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages you should consider before deciding to use QuickBooks Online for your company’s bookkeeping needs.

 

The Pros of Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online

There are many advantages to using QuickBooks Online as your financial platform. Here are just a few of the biggest pros to using QuickBooks Online:

  • Easy setup – QuickBooks Online has a simple setup process that can be completed in a matter of hours. You should spend plenty of time setting up the system so that it is optimized for your business. The process is straightforward, and plenty of resources are available to help you make the most of your setup.
  • Excellent user interface – One of the best parts of QuickBooks Online is its user interface. It makes using QuickBooks Online easier and more intuitive.
  • Powerful reporting tools – A good accounting solution should allow you to view your financial situation, as well as that of your customers. This can be especially important if you have a subscription-based business model. QuickBooks Online reporting tools allow you to view critical information quickly and easily, allowing you to make smart decisions quickly.
  • Data security – Unfortunately, data breaches are a real problem in today’s business world. QuickBooks Online provides plenty of security features to protect your data. This can help you sleep better, knowing your data is safe from malicious actors.
  • Affordability – QuickBooks Online is one of the more affordable options on the market. If you want to be able to use bookkeeping software that is not going to cause your finances to struggle, this is likely the best option for you.

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The Cons of Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online

Despite the advantages of QuickBooks Online, it isn’t the perfect solution for every business. There are drawbacks to using QuickBooks Online for bookkeeping. Here are a few of the cons to using QuickBooks Online:

  • It is not always the best for growing businesses – While QuickBooks Online is a great solution for small businesses, it may not be the best choice for growing ones. You may need to upgrade your accounting solution as your business grows and expands.
  • Data limitations – While QuickBooks Online has robust reporting, you cannot always use all of it. You cannot use certain features if you have customers governed by specific data laws.
  • Feature limitations – Some small businesses will find that QuickBooks Online lacks features. For example, if your business relies on eCommerce, some features that can help you track purchases may be missing.
  • It doesn’t integrate with everything – Not all software integrates with QuickBooks Online. Some services you may want to use won’t work well with QuickBooks Online, which can create issues for some small businesses.

 

Should You Use QuickBooks Online for Small Business Bookkeeping?

If you are still on the fence about whether QuickBooks Online is the right solution for your business, here are a few factors to consider. Accountants recommend that companies keep their books for at least seven years. If your business is new, it has no history to report, making a new software title a viable option.

If your business is growing, you may need a better solution than QuickBooks Online. If you are unsure if QuickBooks Online is right for your size business, consider reaching out to a bookkeeping specialist here at Protea Financial. Our experts can help you decide whether QuickBooks Online is the right solution for your business today and in the future.

Turning to an experienced bookkeeper can get guidance on reading the different reports and accessing the various financial reports QuickBooks Online offers. Should you decide to use the QuickBooks Online platform, you can either go through the process of setting it up yourself or turn to an outsourced bookkeeper with QuickBooks Online experience for help.

Protea Financial QuickBooks Online

Tips for Deciding if QuickBooks Online is Right for Your Small Business

Here are a few tips to help you decide if QuickBooks Online is the right solution for your business.

  1. Do your research – When you decide to use a new accounting solution, you put a lot of trust in that solution. You want to make sure you’re putting your trust in the right place. Make sure you do plenty of research before settling on QuickBooks Online.
  2. Ask questions – If you are in the process of deciding whether or not QuickBooks Online is the right solution for your business, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can’t make an informed decision unless you have all the necessary information. Be sure to ask any question you may have to make sure you have all the information you need.
  3. Pick the best option – There are many variations in bookkeeping software, including QuickBooks Online. If you are unsure if the one you are looking at will fit, explore the possibilities. Look at each feature and add-on before deciding on any software title.

You can do a few things to ensure success if you choose to go with QuickBooks Online for your company’s bookkeeping needs.

  • Make sure the data you input is accurate. This can help you make intelligent financial decisions faster.
  • Make sure everyone who needs access to the system has access. This can help reduce the time spent managing the system and allow you to focus on more important things.
  • Make sure QuickBooks Online is integrated with as many services as possible. This will help reduce headaches and keep things running smoothly.

There are many valuable tools within QuickBooks Online. Make sure you take the time to explore it properly to get the most value for your money.

 

Let Protea Financial Help Your Small Business Succeed

Deciding on one specific software for your business can be a daunting task. Thankfully, you do not have to make the decision alone. Turn to the financial experts here at Protea Financial today. We can help guide you toward the best possible bookkeeping software for your business.

You can also turn to us as virtual bookkeepers so you can focus on your business while we track your financial information for you. Put our years of experience to the test. Contact Protea Financial today so you can get your business on the right track.

Protea Financial Can Help You Learn QuickBooks Online for Small Businesses

Here at Protea Financial, we understand that finding the right software solutions is not always easy. If you are considering QuickBooks Online for small businesses, then reach out. We can help!

Is Your Small Business Ready for the Recession?

Is Your Small Business Ready for the Recession?

Small businesses are often hit the hardest when the economy takes a downturn. With fewer customers spending less, many small businesses must cut back in order to stay afloat. In these times, it is more important than ever for small businesses to be as frugal as possible and have a plan for staying afloat during recessions.

Whether your business is just starting out or you’re looking to revamp your company before things get worse, our goal here at Protea Financial is to help you get ready for challenging times ahead. Get acquainted with some common risks that small businesses face during recessions, and learn strategies to safeguard yourself from potential pitfalls. Here are some practical tips on keeping your business safer through this period of instability.

 

What a Recession Can Do to a Small Business

A recession is a time when the economy slows down, and companies experience reduced sales, fewer customers, and higher costs. One of the most common effects of a recession is that it can harm small businesses, and this is because smaller companies may not be able to absorb the impact of reduced sales, so they may have to make significant cuts in their workforce.

If this happens, some employees may leave the company, which could lead to further reductions in staff numbers. Furthermore, if a small business goes through a period of financial difficulty, it may be tempted to take on more debt.

However, when the economy improves, this debt may make it harder for the company to repay its loans. Therefore, it could end up with even deeper problems than it started with.

Protea Financial Getting Ready for the Recession

Protect the Assets That Matter Most to Your Business

If you want your business to weather a recession, you have to be ready for one in advance by maintaining a tight ship. This means cutting discretionary spending so you have a healthy cash flow. You can cut out company-paid snacks, or put someone in charge of finding vendors that may offer better prices.

Carefully track your expenses so you know where your money goes and you can be sure you are not spending unnecessarily. Tracking your business expenses is often best left to your bookkeeper, as they can do it in less time and with more accuracy than you likely can.

Other options you have to protect your assets include:

  • Bolster your relationships with your customers. This can keep business coming in, and sometimes even attract new customers during this unpredictable time.
  • Get insurance policies that can help keep your business safer in the event of an unexpected event or emergency.
  • Place the money you save into a savings account so you have cash reserves should you need them.
  • Keep your company’s employees happy. It costs far more to bring in a new employee than it does to keep your current employees. Turnover is expensive, so make sure you offer options like competitive salaries and health benefits to keep employees with you during these tough times.
  • Protect your company on all fronts, including making sure you have cybersecurity protection in place, as well as proper backups. The expense of losing data is much higher than replacing an up-to-date backup.
  • Always maintain the highest reputation that you can. This allows you to build and maintain strong relationships with customers, who will typically keep buying from the companies they know and trust.

 

Save Where You Can

As you prepare your company for a recession, one of the best ways to stay afloat is to save where you can. This includes cutting unnecessary expenses and setting up automatic savings plans to save for the future.

Start by making a list of your business’s expenses and cutting any unnecessary ones that you can. Look for any areas where you can save, such as by reducing your energy use during business hours or by outsourcing some services if they are not absolutely necessary.

Another way to save money is to open up a savings account where you can store away money for a rainy day. You should also open up an emergency fund where you can store money to help pay for unexpected expenses such as repairs or to help meet payroll when cash flow is low.

 

Stay Flexible

A recession can often come out of nowhere, and it can be easy to be unprepared if you are not keeping an eye on the economy. As you prepare for a recession, you must keep an eye on any potential warning signs that one may be approaching. This includes monitoring major economic indicators and listening to what analysts and experts have to say about current events.

When a recession does hit, one of the most important things to do is to keep working. It’s easy for small businesses to get overwhelmed and paralyzed when a recession hits. By continuing to work, you can ride out the storm and be in a better position to emerge on the other side once the recession is over.

Protea Financial Is Your Business Ready for the Recession

Learn More About Your Finances to Protect Your Small Business

Every aspect of a small business is vulnerable to financial loss, especially during the uncertain times of a recession. Your cash flow, sales, inventory, and more can be affected by unexpected expenses, including the costs of an emergency. Understanding your business’s financial health allows you to protect your business from potential financial losses better.

You can use several tools and financial reports to assess your financial health and identify areas for improvement. Some examples include:

  • A cash flow forecast that shows expected incoming and outgoing cash flows over time.
  • An income statement that shows revenue and expenses over time.
  • A balance sheet that shows assets, liabilities, and owner equity in a single snapshot.
  • A profit and loss statement that shows income and expenses over time.

Watch Your Cash Flow

If your business is tied to the economy’s health, you’ll want to keep an eye on your cash flow. When the economy takes a downturn, customer spending decreases, and you can expect less revenue to come into your business as a result.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your cash flow during these times and make sure you have enough cash on hand to get you through any rough patches. This includes having enough in your savings account to cover payroll and other expenses. It’s also a good idea to have a line of credit or business credit card available in case of emergencies, like sudden drops in revenue.

One important thing to keep in mind is that your customers’ payment timelines may also change during recessions. Credit card companies often extend payment deadlines and give users more time to pay their bills. Your customers may also be more likely to pay in cash during tough times, so you should factor these changes into your business’s cash flow projections.

 

Protea Financial Can Help You Learn Ways to Get Ready for the Recession

A recession can be a trying time for many small businesses. Make sure you are ready for one by keeping a close eye on your expenses, protecting your cash flow, and saving money whenever possible.

Stay focused and keep working during tough times; your business will be better positioned to emerge stronger once the recession ends. For help learning about how you can improve the health of your business or understand where your business stands, contact Protea Financial today!

Get Ready for the Recession with Protea Financial As Your Guide

Getting ready for the recession is a must for small businesses that want to survive. Let us help guide you. Contact us now and let us help!