Starting a Business?

Starting a Business?

Starting a business can be an overwhelming process, and no matter how successful you just know you’re bound to be, it may be necessary – and it’s always a good idea, anyway – to get some help from an accountant or bookkeeper; tax preparer or tax planner.
Dunham Tax Professionals can be a critical component in the success of your new business

Did you know that an accountant can and does:

  • Form your business
  • Help write a business plan
  • Audit your cash flow
  • Find cost-cutting opportunities
  • Advise on business strategy
  • Manage debt
  • Chase down payments
  • Write and submit loan applications
  • Plan budgets
  • Set up your accounting software
  • Manage inventory
  • Recommend business tools
  • Help open new bank accounts
  • Oversee payroll
  • Year-end financial reporting
  • Prevent audits
  • Advise on personal finances

A bookkeeper can and does:

  • Reconcile accounts
  • Record transactions
  • Manage accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Adjust entries
  • Prepare financial statements
  • Send invoices
  • Set up and manage technology and tools
  • Stay up to date on laws and regulations
  • Basic payroll

Moreover, a Tax Preparer and Planner can and does:

  • Answer your questions
  • Look over your returns
  • Find deductions that apply to you
  • File your taxes
  • Prepare and submit your documents
  • Be there for you

Contact Dunham Tax Professionals or make an appointment today, to work together to determine your business needs.  Let us focus on what we’re good at so that you can focus on what you’re good at: Keeping your business going.

4 Bookkeeping Tips for Truckers

4 Bookkeeping Tips for Truckers

Every owner-operator needs to understand bookkeeping for truck drivers. Here are some very basic tips to consider:

  • Maintain your Books on A Daily – This is critical in having an accurate picture of where your business is going money-wise. Once you’ve set up your system, keeping the books should only take a few minutes a day.
  • Be Careful with Checks – You’re likely comfortable with operating with cash, but business checks are almost as easy to use as cash, so you should be careful to always sign checks in a clear, legible way and make sure to look at every cancelled check you receive for your records to ensure they are accurate.
  • Use a Month-End Cutoff – Synchronizing your bank statement with other monthly records will make it much easier to reconcile your statement and track expenses.
  • Be Audit-Proof – Maintain separate checking accounts for your personal and business expenses. Save receipts for every business-related purchase. In short, if there is a record of a transaction you made, hold on to it!

As always, when in doubt, it’s a good idea to consult an expert to help you. Dunham Tax Professionals is an expert in your tax and accounting needs.  Contact us. We’re here to help.

Outsource Your Bookkeeping So You Can Focus on Your Business

Outsource Your Bookkeeping So You Can Focus on Your Business

When you opened the doors of your small business, you were probably excited about the product you have, your services, or meeting your first customers – and most importantly, and starting to turn a profit.

You’re proud of yourself – and you certainly should be – but to get where you are and as your own boss, you’re probably used to doing everything yourself. Moreover, you may be tempted to avoid spending extra money when you think you can just take care of a task like bookkeeping yourself.

This may be accurate; however, bookkeeping tasks may feel overwhelming at the onset, especially if you’ve never thought of yourself as a “math person”.

Bookkeeping is the process of recording and organizing a business’s financial transactions and are critical in providing a roadmap for your business’ growth and overall success. But bookkeeping mistakes are costly and threaten success. For instance, if you have ever looked at your bank statements and thought, “Where is all the money we made this month,” it’s probably time to get help with bookkeeping.

There’s no need to go it alone, make an appointment for a consultation with Dunham Tax Professionals today: We can handle your bookkeeping tasks or answer any questions you may have, to offer you practical solutions. We’ll take a lot of time, effort, and worry off your plate so that you can focus on what you’re good at: establishing and maintaining relationships with your customers.

Businesses should implement best practices

Businesses should implement best practices

State and federal employment laws and labor regulations are continually being updated. Therefore, it can become more complicated for small businesses to keep current in regard to HR and payroll trends.

Be mindful of the following things as a basis of implementing best practices.

  • Paid Leave – States are passing paid leave legislation at a rapid rate – Michigan was first among these – and it may be a challenge for a small business to monitor having fewer resources than a larger business. The most notable change in Michigan is that businesses with 50 or more employees must offer leave to all types of staff, including temps and independent contractors. This may not apply to your business at the onset, but that may change whether it be through regulatory changes or the success and growth of your business.
  • Payroll Fraud – It happens much more frequently in small businesses than in larger companies. Payroll fraud can be committed by employers, who engage in wage theft; employees, such as those who work in the payroll department; third parties, such as cyber criminals. There are certainly things a business can do, here, to combat this, from routine audits of payroll, implementing safeguards against timecard manipulation and segregating payroll duties to a few people and having a “checks and balances’ policy, as well as providing cyber awareness training to your employees, including your payroll staff.
  • Timekeeping – Whatever the size of your business, federal law strictly mandates that employees who should be paid, i.e., those who are not volunteers, are to be paid the contract wage for each hour worked.
  • The New W-4 – Without the W-4 form, payroll processors cannot make the correct deductions from an employee’s wages. The form has been in place for decades, but for the tax year beginning 2020, an updated version is being issued.
  • Exempt versus Nonexempt – Determining whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law can be a chore –which is probably why some small businesses simply pay their entire staff a salary and then treat everyone as exempt – but identifying everyone as salaried-exempt without considering their job duties, these small businesses risk violating federal and state wage-and-hour laws. That’s why it’s always best to consult an expert like Dunham Tax Services to know how to proceed.
  • Pay Satisfaction – Always ensure you pay your employees fairly and accurately, on time, and when contractually obligated to do so. Moreover, make sure to offer convenient methods of disbursement, e.g., paper check, direct deposit, pay card.
  • Outsourcing – this may be an option for a small business to use an outside service provider than to hire staff to do this.
Owner-Operators: Dunham Tax Professionals LLC can help

Owner-Operators: Dunham Tax Professionals LLC can help

Many owner-operators not only own and operate their own equipment; they all but live in their rigs: they also do most or all of the repair and maintenance on their own equipment not to mention stay in compliance with regulations.

It is important that the owner-operator find a qualified tax preparer who also understands that trucking is a unique industry with unique tax rules.

Dunham Tax Professionals is the company for you. Call us today so that we can help you start resolving your tax burdens. We will help you work with the IRS to reduce your taxes and work on repayment or other alternatives.
You may or may not be aware of these possible deductions as an owner-operator:

  • Advertising
  • Commissions and Regulatory Fees
  • Payments to employees, other drivers and contractors
  • Business insurance
  • Equipment
  • Health insurance
  • Legal and accounting costs incurred
  • Home Office equipment
  • Sleeping -related accoutrements like bedding and clocks
  • Retirement plans
  • Repair and maintenance costs
  • Truck supplies
  • 2290 taxes
  • Tools
  • Per Diem
  • Hotel/Motel stays
Trucking bookkeeping is a crucial task of successful owner/operators

Trucking bookkeeping is a crucial task of successful owner/operators

Trucking bookkeeping is among the most crucial tasks of successful owner/operators. The records and receipts kept are utilized in some aspects of your business – income tax minimization and reporting, warranty problems, monthly profitability, and maintenance information, just to name a few.

Here are some important tips to ensure that the IRS doesn’t take a bigger bite out of your bottom line:

  • Save Everything – Put an envelope inside the truck for gathering your receipts or utilize the dedicated folders on your laptop or in the cloud for e-receipts. Have them available for your month-to-month profit-and-loss statement and quarterly tax estimates. Even a scanned image of a receipt can be considered a proper record in a pinch.
  • Open A Separate Account – If you are an Owner Operator, open up an extra personal account, then save yourself the additional fees which are related to business accounts. Deposit all settlement checks into that account, then pay yourself for driving from that money. Pay all business costs from that account. Having a different account also will provide you convenient accessibility to necessary information in case you’re audited.
  • Use a Credit Card – this may seem like a no-brainer, but you should always look for a credit card that has the lowest interest rate available and no annual fee. Make a concerted effort to pay it in full each month as well.
  • Log It – Your Electronic Logging Device is always going to be the most accurate record you have for mileage and hours on the road and is crucial for per diems and meal expenses as well.
  • Carry a Notebook – in addition to your Electronic Logging Device, it is always a good idea to carry and use a notebook to keep track everything else for which you can’t get a receipt, like when you wash the truck at a coin-operated center or business usage of your personal car.
  • Keep It All – Anything you saved, compiled and used for a valid record for your tax return must be saved for a period of three years from that filing date.
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