How Are Your Company Records?

Four Reason to Keep Good Records

 Some aspect of the accounting or financial reporting world has been part of my entire work career.  Some people have second careers about half way into their work life but not me.  It is what I know and most days what I am passionate about.  I have been in this field long enough to see it evolve from keeping records with ledger pads, pencils, and calculators to computerized systems and complex areas of specialties.  

Small business accounting is not as complex as some areas of accounting but it is no less important than if the accounting was for a major company like GM.  In this age of technology many small business owners give little attention to their accounting records and even less in what that information can/could tell them.  I have seen accounting records for small businesses to range from a pile of receipts that are only organized once a year in order to do the tax return, to someone, usually a spouse, trying to record information into some accounting software such as QuickBooks.  Usually if someone is doing the record keeping they normally do not understanding what they are doing and/or no one is looking at the information.  

Here are Four reasons why your company information should be kept current and what that information can tell you if done properly. 

  1. At a minimum, timely kept information would provide an accurate bank account balance. I have been amazed at the number of business accounts I have seen that do not even keep a paper check register balance up to date and end up paying thousands of dollars (not hundreds) in bank charges and overdraft fees. Bouncing checks and paying unnecessary late charges put a drag on limited cash resources and endangers the company’s credit.
  2. Accurate and appropriate recording of income and cost of goods (or services) will give insight into what is selling and costing. Matching up what it costs to produce or provide a particular item or service can provide a business owner with invaluable information. I’ve seen businesses almost go bankrupt until their income and expenses were properly matched up. But once matched up costly lines can either be dropped or prices increased to reflect the cost associated with each.
  3. Timely tax planning can save money. When accounting information is only complied once a year at tax time there is no way to anticipate the tax burden much less make any plans to avoid it. We will get a flurry of calls in December asking about buying stuff, usually vehicles. I’m not a fan of buying stuff just to be buying to avoid taxes. It makes no sense to me to strap the company with a $30,000 debt to save maybe $3,000 in taxes. But there is more to tax planning than just buying things. Timing of purchases, the company’s ability to continue, the future growth potential, and investment in retirement plans are just a few things to consider when thinking about taxes.
  4. Correct records help to avoid costly mistakes. Recently, we received a company’s accounting records to prepare the tax return. They were keeping the accounting records themselves. In cases like this I always do some checking to feel comfortable that the information is correct. While doing this I noticed somethings that looked odd to me. Therefore, I dug deeper. What I found was that some items were duplicated. If I had prepared the return with the information I was originally given the business owner would have paid tax on an additional $60,000 that wasn’t there. It took us longer and cost more to fix the records than if we had done the bookkeeping all year. 

As a small business owner myself I know how tight finances are at times.  There are places to be frugal.  Keeping the company’s financial information is not one of those places. The costs that can be avoided from good records and information that can help guide the business owner should more than outweigh the cost of keeping this information.           

 

 

Gaston College Spring 2014 Seminar Schedule

Gaston College’s Small Business Center (SBC) is proud to serve small business owners and entrepreneurs with complimentary seminars, a resource center, and one-on-one counseling. As part of a network of experienced SBC’s across North Carolina, we’re dedicated to helping small businesses thrive. Our SBC understands the unique challenges that local businesses encounter, and we’re ready to offer professional advice and instruction.

For more information, visit

http://startabiz.gaston.edu

So You Think You Have a Great Idea, Now What?

This seminar is designed to assist individuals who have a new and unique idea for a product which the inventor wants to bring to market.

TH 01/23/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm    KCC 219

 

Profit Is Not A Four-Letter Word

This seminar is designed to help you understand the relationship between pricing, costs and profits. Lecture and interactive exercises will expose you to areas that need consideration when pricing your products and/or services.

M    01/27/14    6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC  125

TH  01/30/14   6:30 –  9:00 pm  KCC 219

Business Planning I for the Entrepreneur

A local banker discusses the necessity and technique of developing your business plan.

M    02/03/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH  02/06/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm   KCC 219

Recordkeeping

A local CPA/accountant discusses how to “set up the books” for your business.

M    02/10/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm   LC 125

TH  02/13/14   6:30 – 9:00pm    KCC 219

Business Planning II for the Entrepreneur

A continuation of the necessity of the business planning process and how to develop your business plan.

M   02/17/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm     LC 125

TH 02/20/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm     KCC 219

Tax Issues

A local CPA/accountant discusses financial statement formulation and terminology, self-employment and payroll taxes, tax theory and forms, and aspects of interacting with your finance and accounting professional. 

M   02/24/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm    LC 125

TH 02/27/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm     CC 219

Marketing I – I Want It, Like I Like It

The first of three seminars designed to acquaint a business owner with marketing a product, service, or business entity using visual, written, and workshop based materials.

M    03/03/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH  03/06/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  KCC 219

Legal Issues

A local attorney discusses issues on business organization, legal obligations and the rights and legal liability of the small business owner.

M    03/10/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH  03/13/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  KCC 219

Marketing II – Targeting for Results

This seminar identifies the marketing tools relative to specific business needs, with the introduction of demographic, location, and advertising selection activities.

M    03/17/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH  03/20/14 6:30 – 9:00 pm  KCC 219

Insurance Issues

A local insurance agent discusses the insurance needs of small business.

M   03/24/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH 03/27/14  6:30 – 9:00 pm  KCC 219

Marketing III – Great Expectations

This seminar provides clarity in strategizing a realistic marketing plan that matches your limited resources.

M  03/31/14   6:30 – 9:00 pm  LC 125

TH 04/03/14 6:30 – 9:00 pm  KCC 219

Basic Accounting Principles

Chart of accounts are defined with a discussion of its importance in preparing reports. In addition, the accounting equation will be covered with an explanation of how debits and credits are used and how they impact your bottom line. Also, there will be a review of what makes up a set of financial statements.

T   04/29/14  6:00 – 8:00 pm  DSC 206

Basic Accounting Recording Assets & Liabilities

This seminar will discuss assets and why they are important. In addition, it will discuss liabilities and their long-relationships to assets. There will be a review of what is considered short-term and long-term assets and liabilities and why they are important.

T  05/06/14  6:00 – 8:00 pm  DSC 206

Basic Accounting Income & Receivables

Businesses want to make money but where does it all go. This seminar will discuss cash flow, how to control receivables, and how to improve collections.

T  05/13/14  6:00 – 8:00 pm   DSC 206

Basic Accounting Expenses, Payroll & Payables

This seminar will discuss what expenses are, how to pay out, and the impact on cash flow. In addition, it will cover negotiating terms with vendors. Also, it will discuss who the employees are, how we pay them, and payroll taxes.

T  05/20/14  6:00  – 8:00 pm   DSC 206

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCATION KEY:

DSC Dallas Campus (Dallas), Dalpiaz Student Success Center

LC Lincoln Campus (Lincolnton)

KCC Kimbrell Campus Classroom Bldg. (Belmont)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaston College Small Business Center Seminars for Fall 2013

Gaston College’s Small Business Center (SBC) is proud to serve small business owners and entrepreneurs with complimentary seminars, a resource center, and one-on-one counseling. As part of a network of experienced SBC’s across North Carolina, we’re dedicated to helping small businesses thrive. Our SBC understands the unique challenges that local businesses encounter, and we’re ready to offer professional advice and instruction.

All of these classes are “FREE.”  Individuals just show up at the seminars they are interested in attending and they will fill out a registration form that night in the class. 

For more information, visit

startabiz.gaston.edu

704.922.6447

Recordkeeping

A local CPA/accountant discusses how to “set up the books” for your business.

M           10/21      6:30 pm – 9:00pm               LC 125

TH         10/24     6:30 pm – 9:00 pm              KCC 220

Marketing II – Targeting for Results

This seminar identifies the marketing tools relative to specified business needs, with the introduction of demographic, location, and advertising selection activities.

M          10/28      6:30 pm – 9:00 pm             LC 125

TH        10/31       6:30 pm – 9:00 pm            KCC 220

Tax Issues

A local CPA/accountant discusses financial statement formulation and terminology, self-employment and payroll taxes, tax theory and forms, and aspects of interacting with your finance and accounting professional.

M          11/4       6:30pm  – 9:00pm               LC 125

TH       11/7        6:30pm  – 9:00pm               KCC 220

Marketing III – Great Expectations

This seminar provides clarity in strategizing a realistic marketing plan that matches your limited resources.

M         11/11      6:30pm  – 9:00pm               LC 125

TH       11/14     6:30pm  – 9:00pm               KCC 220

 

LOCATION KEY:

LC – Lincoln Campus (Lincolnton)

KCC – Kimbrell Campus Classroom Bldg. (Belmont)

DSC – Dallas Campus