Why Hire an Accountant for Your Small Business?

Owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. Being an entrepreneur takes courage, vision, and a strong work ethic. One of your primary goals is likely to make money and grow your company. But as your company grows, so do the demands on your time, attention, and energy. You might find yourself barely able to keep up with the day-to-day requirements much less have time for strategic planning and growth.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to hire an accountant. Many small business owners avoid hiring help, because they’re worried that they might not be able to afford the expense. But hiring an accountant is an investment toward the financial health of your business. Plus, you’ll add time back into your schedule so you can work on your business, not just in it.

Here are a few ways an accountant can help you reach business goals:

Provide Virtual CFO Services

You can rely on your accountant year-round, not just at tax time. Hiring an accountant means having access valuable professional advice and support. Essentially, your accountant can function as a CFO for your company, without the potentially prohibitive expense of a salary and benefits.

Depending on your needs, an accountant can track your financials and meet with you regularly to provide insight into the financial health of your business. Having expert guidance can help you prepare for tax season and make strategic decisions.

Improve Budget and Cashflow

Outsourcing the effort of tracking your income and expenditures can make a big impact on your business. Understanding trends in your cashflow can help you make informed predictions about the future financial health of your business. Having this information at your fingertips can help you make solid decisions about big purchases while saving you time.

Prepare And File Taxes

Of course, hiring an accountant can help you prepare and file your tax returns. Never worry about filing incorrectly or missing important deductions. With a professional accountant, you can have peace of mind that your taxes will be done right.

Neely’s Accounting Services provides expert tax preparation and accounting in Roanoke and Vinton, VA.  Our clients have trusted us with their business management, personal income tax, and outsourced accounting needs since 2007. We’re proud to offer a full range of professional products at a fair price without sacrificing the individual attention you deserve. Our friendly, dedicated advisors are always ready to help you with personalized solutions that meet your needs.

Let us take the stress out of running your business and filing income taxes. Contact us or visit one of our convenient locations today.

How to Conquer Payroll Procrastination

If you’re a small business owner, perhaps you know the feeling: the creeping sense of dread that grows as you inch closer and closer to payroll processing time each month. Processing your payroll involves tracking and re-tracking details, keeping up with evolving compliance, and ensuring accurate payroll tax filings. You know that mistakes can be costly, as even inadvertent errors can lead to steep fines at tax time. Maybe you delay starting the task which leads to frantic late-night accounting work as you race to pay your employees on time. Talk about stressful!

Plus, each minute you’re handling payroll means a minute not spent with employees, customers, or creative work. Payroll is by nature time-consuming. As a business owner your time is precious, and it can feel like there’s not enough of it to go around. It’s no wonder that small business owners struggle with payroll procrastination and dread. If this sounds like you, consider these tips to conquer payroll procrastination once and for all.

Identify Your Primary Pain Points

Take 10 minutes to brainstorm the top three obstacles you face with payroll and write them down. Maybe it’s your manual payroll process, or perhaps it’s the endless salary calculations. Maybe you’re dreaming of having some time back in your schedule or you’d just like a professional advisor to call with questions. Getting clear about your payroll needs is the first step to making payroll more efficient.

Define Your Budget

If you’re managing payroll by yourself, it’s likely because of budget constraints. It’s a tension many small business owners manage, but don’t forget that your time is money too. Hiring a professional can seem like an extravagant expense but consider the ways your business could grow if you had more hours free in the month. Determining a workable budget will help you choose the right level of support for your needs.

Determine What Level of Support You Need

Now you have all the information you need to make a confident decision about hiring professional support. Maybe you’re not ready to hand over the reins of your payroll, but you’re interested in phone and email support from a trusted expert. Perhaps having your payroll workflow analyzed and streamlined could save you hours each month. Lastly, many accounting firms offer fully outsourced payroll services, giving you the ultimate freedom and peace of mind. Call your local accounting service to find out what’s best for you.

Let Us Help!

Need help with your payroll? Neely’s Accounting has been supporting Roanoke, VA small business with their payroll needs since 2007. Our clients love us because we offer big-city services with hometown values. Contact us or visit one of our convenient locations today.

6 Tips to Streamline Your Business Expense Management

Tracking business expenses is time-consuming and sometimes downright painful. But it doesn’t have to be. You can fold expense tracking into your daily business processes by implementing the right tools and systems. Use our tips to streamline your expense tracking and effortlessly stay on top of your finances.

Establish a clear expense policy

The first step in managing expenses is to have a clear understanding of what your business will pay for and what it will not. Make a list of approved expenses. Then clearly and consistently communicate that information to your team.

Cultivate company-wide transparency

The best way to make sure your team is on the same page is to communicate about your expense policies often and with transparency. You’ll create an open environment that’s conducive to sharing ideas and providing constructive feedback.

Simplify expense tracking

Invest in a software program that allows employees to take pictures of their receipts, propose requests, and submit reports online. Digitizing your expense tracking makes sharing and storing information simple and stress-free.

Audit your processes consistently

Set aside time each month to audit your expenses so you’ll always have a good idea of your finances. It’s a reliable way to prevent small problems from becoming big complications. Consider using a quality accounting software to make the process even simpler and less time-consuming.

Use company credit cards

Company credit cards are a great way to track of spending, maximize cash flow, and simplify record keeping and reporting. There are many options to choose from including permanent, single-use or set dollar amount cards.

Train Best Practices

Part of clear communication is adequate training. Invest the time to properly train your employees on best accounting practices so you stay up to date on your liquidity.

Need Professional Support?

Neely’s Accounting Services is your dependable, local resource for bookkeeping. Our team of Roanoke CPAs are available in convenient locations around the Roanoke Valley and are ready to provide a full menu of services. Contact or visit us today to learn more about how you can gain time, money and peace of mind with our expert local bookkeeping services.

Avoid these 5 business tax mistakes

If you’ve made the leap and started your own business, you deserve a pat on the back! Starting your own business is an exciting adventure—you’re free follow your creative vision and figure out how to overcome obstacles along the way. Business taxes can be an area where new business owners stumble. We want to make sure you’re set up for success, so we’ve outlined some common pitfalls to avoid when it comes to business taxes.

Selecting the wrong entity

When starting your business, you can choose to designate yourself as a C-corp or an LLC. The decision can seem easy enough but there are tax implications to each one. Choosing the wrong designation for your business can impact your tax responsibilities and personal liability so it’s essential to get it right.

Overestimating startup cost deductions

You probably know the saying, “you have to spend money to make money.” It takes funding to start a business, but luckily, business owners can defray some of the cost through tax deductions. However, many new business owners make the mistake of overestimating their deductions. The IRS only allows $10,000 in deductions for total costs $50,000 or lower.

Missing tax payment deadlines

Running business is a complex undertaking and keeping track of your tasks and finances is no small feat. It’s understandable that you might miss tax filing deadlines because you’re busy keeping all the plates spinning, but the IRS is strict. If you miss a deadline, you could incur fines and fees that you didn’t budget for.

Mistaking contractors for employees

Many small businesses hire contractors, especially when they’re first starting out. They can be a great choice for your business. Contractors tend to be less expensive and are professional and efficient. However, be careful that you’re not asking contractors to fulfill employee-like expectations otherwise you could be responsible to payroll taxes. Failure to do so could result in crippling fines.

Disorganized record keeping

Its critical to keep sterling tax and financial records. You don’t want to be caught unawares by an IRS tax audit and not have access to invoices, receipts, and other financial information. If record keeping isn’t your strong suit, then consider outsourcing the job to a dedicated professional.

Hire a Trusted Professional

Avoid these mistakes by working with an expert. Neely’s Accounting Service has been guiding Roanoke business owners through startups and tax season for over a decade. We’re your local advocate in dealing with the IRS. Feel confident about your business tax process. Contact or visit us in Roanoke or Vinton.

The Ultimate Age-Based Guide to Retirement Savings

It’s never too early to plan for retirement. No matter where you are on your journey, there are smart decisions you can make today that will pay dividends tomorrow. We’ve outlined a basic financial to-do list for every decade of your life so you can enjoy your golden years in comfort. If you haven’t accomplished everything in each decade, don’t worry! Today is the perfect time to start.

Savings Goals for Your 20s

  • Start an emergency fund. Open a savings account and aim to save enough money to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses. This way, if you lose your job or get sick, you’re less likely to accumulate credit card debt, default on student loans, or dip into other savings (like retirement).
  • In your 20s, you’ve likely aged out of your parent’s insurance coverage and now it’s time to secure some of your own. Common ways to acquire insurance are through your school, job, or through the health insurance marketplace.
  • Set up a retirement account and start saving. You can sign up for your employer’s 401K plan, or enroll in a Roth IRA. The important thing is to be consistent. Have a set amount automatically drafted from your account so you won’t’ be tempted to skip a month. Even as little as $5 will add up, thanks to compound interest.

Savings Goals for Your 30s

  • In your 30s, you’ve likely spent 5 or more years establishing your career. Now it’s time to look at any remaining student loans and create a plan to pay them off. You can use a loan payment calculator to estimate how much you can afford to pay each month and how long it will take to pay the loan in full.
  • If you’re currently renting, chances are you’ve dreamed about purchasing your own home. Now is the time save for a down payment. Your goal should be 10-20% of the cost so you can have immediate equity and avoid private mortgage insurance.
  • In addition to your health insurance, you should add life insurance and a will. Life insurance may be offered through your employer, and a simple will can cost as little as $200-300 to establish.
  • Revisit the amount you save for retirement each month. In your 30s, it’s likely that your income is a bit more consistent. Most experts recommend saving between 10-15% of your pretax income in your established accounts each month.

Savings Goals for Your 40s

  • Perhaps you’ve purchased a home and have set up your retirement funds. To increase your available savings, eliminate any non-mortgage debt like credit cards or student loans. If this feels daunting, consider using the snowball or avalanche method to tackle the task.
  • Give your budget a second look and see if you have any extra cash to throw toward your mortgage principal every month. Paying extra on the principal will increase your equity and shorten the life of your mortgage, saving you money on interest in the long term.
  • If you have children, set up a college savings account. College may seem like a long way off, especially if your little ones are still in grade school, but it will be here before you know it and having some funds tucked away can make a big difference.

Savings Goals for Your 50s

  • Now that you’re on the home stretch toward retirement, maxing out your retirement contributions is a great idea. Saving the maximum amount allowed each year will ensure you stay on track with your goals.
  • Create a living trust. A living trust directs your assets if you become ill, disabled, or impaired by the symptoms of aging. A designated trustee executes the trust to your benefit and the benefit of your family while you are living.
  • Research long-term care insurance and secure the option that’s best for you. Planning for retirement is all about preparing for the unknown. Long-term care insurance helps you pay for care services you may need while protecting your nest egg.

Savings Goals for Your 60s

  • Retirement is right around the corner — and you’ve earned it! Meet regularly with your financial advisor to refine your goals and avoid surprises so you can retire with confidence.
  • You’ve worked hard to set up financial stability for yourself and your family. Review your life insurance and will to make sure it’s current with your situation and wishes.

Get Help to Retire with Confidence

Whether you’re just starting out, or are approaching retirement years, Neely’s can help you stay on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — Neely’s has been Roanoke and Vinton’s trusted source of financial expertise since 2007. Our friendly professionals are standing by! Contact us or stop by our offices in Roanoke or Vinton.

Emergency Funds: Preparing for the Unexpected

It can feel hard to pay bills each month, much less save for something that may or may not occur. But If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected can and does happen. That’s why you need an emergency fund.

Experts suggest saving 3 to 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. This kind of savings may feel like an unattainable luxury (especially during a period of inflation) but having even $500 tucked away can make a big difference in your financial stability. No one likes to think about potential crisis, but it’s even worse to be unprepared. Read on to learn 5 ways an emergency fund could help you in the future.

Unexpected Medical Bills

In 2020, 17% of adults had major, unexpected medical bills with the median cost between $1,000-$1,999. Dealing with a health emergency is one of the top stressors in life. Adding financial strain to an already stressful situation can make your health outcomes worse. An emergency fund can give you peace of mind while you or a loved one recovers.

Personal Property Repairs

If you’re a homeowner or have ever purchased a new car, you probably remember how it felt to be handed the keys to your new property. The possibilities and the sense of accomplishment make it a thrilling experience. However, ownership often comes with maintenance costs. Perhaps you need to replace the roof, or your car needs a new set of tires. Being able to draw on an emergency fund can take some the stress out infrequent but routine upkeep.

Unemployment

An estimated 23 million people lost their jobs in April of 2020. Many wouldn’t have predicted this record number of layoffs just a year prior. Job loss can be scary but having a financial cushion can help you bridge the gap between jobs. One way to be prepared is to add all your monthly expenses like housing, food, and transportation. Then strive to save enough to cover three months, giving you time to find a new job without taking on debt.

Travel to Attend Family Emergencies

What if you had a family emergency or death that required travel? Would you be able to purchase a last-minute plane ticket or hotel? Knowing you can cover these costs can be a huge relief in a time of potential stress and grief.

Pet Health Emergency

According to the National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the America Pet Products Association, 70% of U.S. homes owned a pet in 2021. Even the most pampered pets can have health emergencies that require surgery. It’s always a good idea to save money in case your beloved animal companion requires unexpected veterinary care.

The reasons to start an emergency fund are numerous and there are ways to make saving easy. Begin by opening a dedicated savings account and set up an automatic contribution each month. You’ll love the peace of mind you gain as your savings grows. As a trusted local provider of accounting and financial services, Neely’s Accounting is here to help. We’ve assisted countless clients in the Roanoke region. Call or contact us today to let us support you as you build your financial safety net.