8 Tax Deductions Every Small Business Owner Should Know About

Running a small business takes a lot of time, effort, and the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities—often including bookkeeper. While owning a small business can be rewarding and creatively fulfilling, the extra work of tax time can feel daunting. 

Keeping detailed records, knowing the latest laws and regulations, and understanding which deductions you’re eligible for on top of keeping operations running is no small feat. To help you navigate your small business taxes, we’ve compiled a list of 8 deductions so you can maximize your efforts and keep more of your hard-earned money.

8 Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners

The US tax code is notoriously complex and there are so many deductions it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 8 tax deductions that every small business owner should be aware of:

1. Home Office Deduction If you use a portion of your home exclusively for business, you may be able to deduct related expenses such as a portion of mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation.

2. Using Your Vehicle for Business

 If you use your car for business, you can deduct the costs related to that use. This can be calculated using either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. Be sure to note that this does not include commute time from your home to place of business as that is considered a personal expense. 

3. Supplies and Equipment

Did you buy anything this year that helps you run your business? Supplies and equipment necessary for running your business, including computers, software, and office supplies, can be deducted.

4. Salaries and Wages:

The same rule applies to the valuable people who make running and growing your business possible. The cost of their salaries, wages, bonuses, and other forms of compensation given to employees can be deducted.

5. Professional Services:

Did you hire a professional to assist you with your business this year? Fees paid to lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other professionals directly related to your business operations are deductible.

6. Rent Expenses:

 Great news: if you rent space for your business, the rent paid is deductible. This deduction encompasses both office space and equipment rentals!

7. Utilities and Internet:

You do everything you can to keep the lights on and that electricity is tax deductible. If you use any utilities such as electricity, water, heat, internet service, and phone lines for your business, they are deductible.

8. Travel and Meals:

 Do you travel for work? Business travel expenses such as transportation, lodging, and meals can be deducted. Be advised thought that meals are generally limited to 50% of the cost.

Get Every Deduction You’re Eligible for With Neely’s Accounting Services

These deductions can significantly reduce your taxable income, but it’s essential to maintain detailed records and receipts so you can show proof of your activity and business expenses throughout the year. 

The best way to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions while remaining compliant with tax laws. is to work with a tax professional. At Neely’s our knowledgeable Roanoke CPAs have been helping small business owners with their taxes since 2007. We pride ourselves on offering big city services with a hometown feel. And, as a small business ourself, we’re experts in small business taxes. It’s never too early to start preparing for tax season. Contact us to get help with your small business taxes today.

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New Federal Reporting Requirement for Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)

If you’re a small business owner, you should be aware of critical new reporting requirements that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. They may require your business entity to report its beneficial ownership information to the Federal government. We’ve covered the important details you need to know. Keep reading to learn if you’re affected by the new requirements and how to fulfill them. 

New Federal Reporting Requirement for Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, many companies in the United States will have to report information about their beneficial owners, i.e., the individuals who ultimately own or control the company. They will have to report the information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

Do I Need to Report? 

Most businesses are small businesses that may need to file. Your company may need to report information about its beneficial owners if it is: 

  1. A corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or was otherwise created in the United States by filing a document with a secretary of state or any similar office under the law of a state or Indian tribe; or 
  2. A foreign company and was registered to do business in any U.S. state or Indian tribe by such a filing.

When Do I Report? 

Reports will be accepted starting on Jan. 1, 2024. 

  • If your company was created or registered before Jan. 1, 2024, you will have until Jan. 1, 2025, to report BOI. 
  • If your company is created or registered on or after Jan. 1, 2024 and before Jan. 1, 2025, you must report BOI within 90 days of notice of creation or registration. 
  • If your company is created or registered on or after Jan. 1, 2025 you must report BOI within 30 days of notice of creation or registration. 
  • If there is any change to the required information about your company or its beneficial owners in a BOI report that your company filed, your company must file an updated BOI report no later than 30 days after the date on which the change occurred. The same 30-day timeline applies to changes in information submitted by an individual in order to obtain a FinCEN identifier. A reporting company is not required to file an updated report for any changes to previously reported personal information about a company applicant. Furthermore, if Neely’s prepares your report, the following must be reported to our office no later than 10 days after a particular change so we can file the update report within 30 days to FinCEN.

How Do I Report? 

Reporting companies will have to report beneficial ownership information electronically through FinCEN’s website: www.fincen.gov/boi

It’s important to note that this will be a free filing that companies can complete themselves. However, Neely’s is providing a service in which we will prepare your BOI report based on the information you provide. Please note that services for preparation of your return do not include auditing or verification of the information you provide.

What Could Happen if I Don’t Report?

There are significant penalties for missing filing deadlines, including criminal (fines and/or imprisonment) or civil (monetary) penalties. There is a $500 per day penalty, up to $10,000, and imprisonment of up to two years for the WILLFUL failure to timely file initial or updated reports. 

Taxpayer Responsibilities

Finally, we wish to emphasize that we are making you aware of these new current reporting requirements, and associated risks. Neely’s Accounting will assume no liability stemming from your neglect on not filing this BOI report. If you choose to engage BOI services from Neely’s our firm assumes no liability stemming from your neglect on not providing applicable information as detailed above for filing the BOI report. 

For more information about BOI reporting, and our reporting preparation services, please contact us or stop by our office.

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Preparing for the Year-End: Essential Accounting Tasks

With less than three months until the end of 2023, now is the time to focus on year-end accounting tasks that will help your business stay organized and ensure compliance with financial regulations. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up a list of essential accounting tasks to help you stay on top of your finances and end the year strong.

Tax Planning

Now is the time to start planning for tax filing so the process is smooth and straightforward. Stay informed on any changes to the tax codes and make any final adjustments to ensure your business is ready to take full advantage of any relevant tax changes for the 2023 cycle. 

The fourth quarter is your last chance to offset your tax burden with the purchase of any assets or supplies needed for the coming year. Prepaying for needed services in the coming year is also an option. Be sure to document any purchases and save your receipts. Neely’s Roanoke CPAs are ready to help you make any last-minute tweaks to maximize your tax strategy.

Financial Statement Preparation 

After Jan. 1, be prepared to create three key financial statements: A balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow statement. 

To get ready before the year’s end, you can start reviewing your records. Some questions to ask yourself to stay on track: Do you have all invoices from vendors used in the last year? Did you issue all necessary invoices to customers? Have you reconciled all bank accounts? Taking care of this ahead of time will help you avoid a scramble in the new year.

Inventory Valuation

Inventory valuation calculates the value of any unsold product, and the calculation is needed for year-end balance sheet. The information will also help inform purchases during the coming year, ensuring you don’t overbuy but also have the inventory you need.

There are three ways to do this; each has a different method of addressing changes production costs throughout the year. Neely’s CPAs are skilled at helping you choose the option that makes the most business sense for your unique needs.


Annual budgeting is critical to the health of your business and will help you meet your key business goals for 2024.

Start with a review of recent year-end income statements, including the one for 2023, to assess regular revenue and expenses as well as how inflation affected those numbers from year to year. Then, factor in any known large expenses expected in 2024, including any needed capital expenditures. Understanding your cash flow will help you choose the perfect time to make those big purchases.

Neely’s Is Ready to Help

Feeling a bit overwhelmed at prepping for the new year? The great news is that you don’t have to do it alone! Neely’s Accounting Services has supported Roanoke-area individuals and business for 16 years offering big-city financial services with a hometown feel. Contact us today to see how we can help you. 

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Harnessing Excellence in Financial Management: A CPA’s Guide to Developing and Improving Your Accounting Systems

At Neely’s Accounting, we understand the critical role an efficient accounting system plays in the success of your business. It’s the financial heartbeat, influencing decisions and strategy while ensuring precision and compliance. To help you navigate the maze of developing and improving your accounting system, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide with an insider’s perspective.

1. Identify Your Needs: We’ve worked with a diverse range of businesses, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that no two are the same. Your accounting system should reflect the unique nature of your operations. From simple expense tracking to full-fledged financial reporting, determine what you need from your system. 

2. Selecting the Right Software: The advent of accounting software has streamlined financial management. In our experience, consider scalability, ease of use, integration capabilities, and security when selecting software. We often recommend solutions like QuickBooks, Sage, and Zoho Books to our clients.

3. Customization is Key: A one-size-fits-all approach seldom works for accounting systems. Tailor your system to match your operations. Our friendly, Roanoke CPAs can assist you in customizing your system, from setting up automated invoice reminders to report generation.

4. Invest in Training: As CPAs, we know the difference comprehensive training can make. Ensure your team knows how to use your system effectively, from its basic functionality to troubleshooting.

5. Implement Regular Auditing: An essential step often overlooked is regular auditing. Internal audits ensure data accuracy and system efficiency, preventing minor issues from escalating. Neely’s offers comprehensive auditing services to provide peace of mind.

6. Updates and Upgrades: Just as tax laws and financial regulations evolve, so do accounting systems. Staying updated with the latest features and upgrades will ensure you’re utilizing the most efficient tools. 

7. Consult with Professionals: A professional perspective can prove invaluable. As Roanoke’s trusted CPA firm, we can provide expert advice to ensure your system aligns with financial regulations and mitigates potential risks.

Streamline Your Accounting System with Neely’s

Developing and refining an accounting system is not a one-and-done process. It’s a journey that involves continuous learning and adaptation. By following these steps, you’ll not only create a system that caters to your current needs, but also one that’s ready to grow with you. Reach out to us today, and let’s pave the path to financial excellence together.

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Is Outsourced Accounting a Good Idea (and How to Decide If it’s Right for You)

If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day. Running a small business is demanding. It requires all your expertise, creativity, energy and then some! As you grow, the demands increase and tasks become more complicated, especially your accounting.

That’s why many small business owners opt for outsourced accounting services for their bookkeeping and accounting needs. Engaging an expert CPA company can feel daunting at first, which is why we’ve put together this guide to outsourced accounting. Keep reading to think through the pros and cons of outsourced accounting and feel ready to make the best decision for you.

Pros of Outsourced Accounting

There are many advantages to outsourced accounting, especially if you choose a trusted partner. Not only will you take a time-consuming task off your plate, but you’ll also gain peace of mind knowing that a critical part of your business is handled with professionalism and care.

  1. Gain time: No more burning the midnight oil trying to reconcile your books before payday. With outsourced accounting, you’ll have more time to work on your business, not in your business. 
  2. Save money: This may seem counterintuitive, but outsourced accounting will save you money. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, you only pay for what you need, when you need it.
  3. Increase accuracy: Speaking of full-time, when you work with a professional CPA, they’ll bring years of full-time experience to the job so they can easily keep your records pristine and your financial processes smooth.
  4. Improve cash flow: With the right partner, you’ll always have financial data at your fingertips so you can understand your cash flow and make informed decisions.
  5. Smooth tax season: Tax-time stress will be a thing of the past with outsourced accounting. Your CPA will handle it down to the last detail.

Cons of Outsourced Accounting

Most businesses that opt for outsourced accounting experience more growth and less stress. However, it all comes down to choosing the right partner. Here are a few things to watch out for as you consider hiring a CPA firm to handle your accounting needs.

  1. Security concerns: You’ll share sensitive information with a third party so it’s essential to choose a trustworthy partner for your outsourced accounting needs. A firm with integrity will address your security concerns and share the measures they take to keep your data safe.
  2. Less Control: Whenever you delegate tasks, you hand over some control in getting the task accomplished. This can be a challenge for some entrepreneurs who are used to having a hand in every aspect of their business. However, frequent, and clear communication usually resolves these issues.
  3. Not Local: Choosing a CPA firm in a different area code or time zone from you can add communication obstacles create delays. Choosing a local CPA firm mostly closely resembles having an in-house expert where communication is timely and easy.

How to Decide if Outsourced Accounting is Right for You

Are you an entrepreneur who is ready to gain time, increase peace of mind, and grow your business? Those are all good indicators that outsourced accounting is a good choice for you! But if you’re like us, you’ll want to be thorough. Here are a few specific items to help you decide if outsourced accounting will help you reach your goals.

  1. Consider your business needs: If your business has complex accounting needs, outsourcing is a great, cost-effective choice. Keep in mind that a good partner offers more than just task fulfillment, they also offer expert advice and business consulting.
  2. Evaluate the costs: Compare the costs of outsourcing accounting functions to the costs of hiring in-house staff and investigate billing practices of the firm you’re considering. Do they charge per service or offer a flat-rate monthly billing system?
  3. Research outsourcing firms: Look for outsourcing firms with a track record of success, industry experience, and strong security measures. Be sure to check references and read reviews to ensure that the firm is trustworthy and reliable.

Contact Neely’s Accounting for Expert Roanoke Accounting

If you’re ready to take the leap into outsourced accounting, consider Neely’s Accounting Services. We’ve been helping Roanoke area individuals and business since 2007 with our big-city services and a hometown feel. Thanks to our cutting-edge, secure online platform, you can collaborate with our Roanoke CPAs instantly and always have up-to-date views of your data.  Plus, we’ll never surprise you with unexpected fees.  Our services are bundled at a fixed monthly rate to give you an efficient, well-maintained accounting system at a fair price. 

Let us help you find the best accounting solution for you. Contact us today to get started.

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How to Identify and Protect Your Company from Occupational Fraud

Hiring a new employee takes a lot of thought and effort, and for good reason. Your new employee may have access to sensitive company information or finances so it’s essential to quickly establish trust. In most cases, that trust results in a positive, productive working relationship. However, sometimes the worst can happen, and your business becomes a victim of occupational fraud.

Although it is unlikely, preparedness is one of the best ways to identify and prevent someone stealing from your company. Having solid accounting services can help protect you if you become the victim of occupational fraud.

What is Occupational Fraud?

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) defines occupational fraud as “the use of a person’s occupation for self-enrichment through deliberate misappropriation and misuse of the employing organization’s asset and resources.” In other words, if an employee steals from their company, they are committing occupational fraud.  While this can happen in a variety of ways, there are three common types of fraud to look out for. 

  • Asset misappropriation is the most common form of occupational fraud, occurring in about 89% of cases. This happens when employees steal equipment or cash, or present inflated expense reports and bills to pocket the excess. 
  • Corruption occurs when an employee uses their influence inappropriately for personal gain. It often takes the form of bribery or extortion and is most frequently undertaken by senior employees.
  • Financial statement fraud happens rarely but is the costliest. Perpetrators inflate revenues and minimize losses to present an image of success to gain performance raises or new investors. 

Who is at Risk for Occupational Fraud?

Any business can fall prey to occupational fraud, but those without strong accounting services and regular audits are particularly at risk. While it can happen anywhere, certain conditions make it more likely that occupational fraud will occur.

  • Pressure either on the job or at home can contribute to an employee’s decision to commit fraud. If an employee feels pressure to perform or to make payments for a lifestyle beyond their means, it may drive them to commit fraud. 
  • Access to sensitive information and lack of accountability creates opportunity. If your business has lax accounting, then it becomes easier for an employee to take advantage. 
  • Frustration on the job can lead to an employee that rationalizes theft. Maybe the employee feels they deserve a raise, or they don’t agree with certain business practices and “compensate” themselves by stealing from the business. 

How Can I Protect My Protect My Business from Occupational Fraud?

The best way to protect your business from occupational fraud is through a culture of accountability and reliable accounting services. Developing effective internal financial controls like accounting audits ensures you have the information you need to identify or even prevent fraud. 

  • Proper employee management goes a long way to preventing fraud. Creating a culture of transparency and accountability as well as ensuring that your employees are satisfied isn’t easy but often leads to greater trust and productivity. 
  • Clear boundaries and accountability are critical tools for safeguarding against fraud. Assigning clear ownership and oversight of financial tasks makes it difficult for fraud to happen and protects against event accidental missteps. 
  • Strong accounting services and regular audits give you a clear overview of your financial situation, making it easy to spot discrepancies and issues.

Contact Neely’s Accounting to Learn More

You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to developing a fraud protection plan. Since 2007, we’ve been helping Roanoke businesses stay financially healthy and secure. Contact us today to learn more about how we can provide accounting services that make sense for your business. 

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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, 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 today.

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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 today.

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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.

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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.

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