Getting Started with Reports in QuickBooks Online

You should be running reports in QuickBooks Online on a weekly—if not daily—basis. Here’s what you need to know.

You can do a lot of your accounting work in QuickBooks Online by generating reports. You can maintain your customer and vendor profiles. Create and send transactions like invoices and sales receipts, and record payments. Enter and pay bills. Create time records and coordinate projects. Track your mileage and, if you have employees, process payroll.

These activities help you document your daily financial workflow. But if you’re not using QuickBooks Online’s reports, you can’t know how individual elements of your business like sales and purchases are doing. And you don’t know how all of those individual pieces fit together to create a comprehensive picture of how your business is performing.

QuickBooks Online’s reports are plentiful. They’re customizable. They’re easy to create. And they’re critical to your understanding of your company’s financial state. They answer the small questions, like, How many widgets do I need to order?, and the larger, all-encompassing questions like, Will my business make a profit this year?

Getting the Lay of the Land

Let’s look at how reports are organized in QuickBooks Online. Click Reports in the toolbar. You’ll see they are divided into three areas that you can access by clicking the labeled tabs. Standard refers to the comprehensive list of reports that QuickBooks Online offers, displayed in related groups. Custom reports are reports that you’ve customized and saved so you can use the same format later. And Management reports are very flexible, specialized reports that can be used by company owners and managers.

Standard Reports

The Standard Reports area is where you’ll do most—if not all—of your reporting work. The list of available reports is divided into 10 categories. You’re most likely to spend most of your time in just a few of them, including:

  • Favorites. You’ll be able to designate reports that you run often as Favorites and access them here, at the top of the list.
  • Who owes you. These are your receivables reports. You’ll come here when you need to know, for example, who is behind on making payments to you, how much individual customers owe you, and what billable charges and time haven’t been billed.
  • Sales and customers. What’s selling and what’s not? What have individual customers been buying? Which customers have accumulated billable time?
  • What you owe. These are your payables reports. They tell you, for example, which bills you haven’t paid, the total amount of your unpaid bills (grouped by days past due), and your balances with individual vendors.
  • Expenses and vendors. What have I purchased (grouped by vendor, product, or class)? What expenses have individual vendors incurred? Do I have any open purchase orders?

The Business Overview contains advanced financial reports that we can run and analyze for you. The same goes for the For my accountant reports. Sales tax, Employees, and Payroll will be important to you if they’re applicable for your company.

Working with Individual Reports

To open any report, you just click its title. If you want more information before you do that, just hover your cursor over the label. Click the question mark to see a brief description of the report. If you want to make the report a Favorite, click the star so it turns green. And clicking the three vertical dots opens the Customize link.

When you click the Customize link, a vertical panel slides out from the right, and the actual report is behind it, grayed out. Customization options vary from report to report. Some are quite complex, and others offer fewer options. The Sales by Customer Detail report, for example, provides a number of ways for you to modify the content of your report so it represents exactly the “slice” of data you want. So you can indicate your preferences in areas like:

  • Report period
  • Accounting method (cash or accrual)
  • Rows/columns (you can select which columns should appear and in what order, and group them by Account, Customer, Day, etc.)
  • Filter (choose the data group you want represented from several options, including Transaction Type, Product/Service, Payment Method, and Sales Rep)

Once you’ve run the report, you can click Save customization in the upper right corner and complete the fields in the window that opens. Your modification options will then be available when you click Custom reports, so you can run it again anytime with fresh data.

QBO tips

You can customize QuickBooks Online’s reports in a variety of ways.

We’ll go into more depth about report customization in a future issue. For now, we encourage you to explore QuickBooks Online’s reports and their modification options so that you’re familiar with them and can put them to use anytime. Let us know if you have any questions about the site’s reports, or if you need help making your use of QuickBooks Online more effective and productive.

Congress, Don’t Give the IRS More Responsibilities by Mark Bailey CPA

Tax season can be a stressful time for many hard-working Nevadans. Our tax code is complex, and taxpayers can wait months to receive their tax refunds. As a long-time certified public accountant in Reno, I have spent my career helping businesses and residents navigate our complicated tax code. That is why I am worried about proposals being debated in Washington, D.C., that would expand the authority and mandate of the Internal Revenue Service to automatically generate tax returns on behalf of all Americans. Although this proposal may seem like a way to streamline the tax collection process, it would overburden an already strained IRS and create a conflict of interest that would harm taxpayers.

The IRS serves an important role in our country. The federal government needs an agency that can effectively and efficiently collect revenue to fund social spending programs, national defense, and other critical government functions. The IRS getting its existing mandate right is and should always be the priority.

Adding more responsibilities to an already overstretched agency is inviting disaster. A recent report from the Treasury Department’s independent Taxpayer Advocate Service found that the IRS is woefully unprepared for the 2022 tax season. The agency warned taxpayers to expect, “one of the worst filing seasons.”

Under a government run tax preparation system, taxpayers will likely have to deal directly with the IRS to correct any mistakes or have any questions answered. A 2021 report from the Washington Post found that only 1 in 50 calls to the IRS help line was actually answered by a human representative. If one of my clients calls my office, or that of any CPA or tax professional, they know they will get a timely response.

On the other hand, as of December 2021, the IRS had yet to finish processing 6 million tax returns filed last season. This is especially concerning with the start of this tax season already underway.

Taxpayers will likely be forced to wait even longer to receive their well-deserved refunds. The same report from the Taxpayer Advocate Service found that tens of millions of taxpayers had to wait to receive their refund checks in 2021. This can cause real financial pain for families struggling to deal with rising inflation.

Proposals to create a government run tax preparation system present a clear conflict of interest. The IRS cannot be asked to collect revenue or audit taxpayers while simultaneously fighting for deductions and refunds for those same taxpayers. As a long-time CPA, I have experienced first-hand how many of my clients appreciate having an independent expert on their side when it comes to dealing with the IRS.
Whether it is a CPA or even a cheap private online tax preparation software, Americans want someone fighting for their financial interests. Our tax collection process should have a system of checks and balances.

U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both Nevada Democrats, have always been pragmatic legislators who fight for sound policy. They know when a proposal is well-intentioned, but misguided. I urge both of our senators to work with their colleagues to reject any proposals that add additional burdens and responsibilities to an already overstretched IRS.

Mark Bailey is a certified public accountant and managing partner of the Reno-based financial consulting firm Excelsis Accounting Group.

Starting a Side Gig in 2022? Your New Tax Obligations

It’s not just self-employed individuals who must pay estimated taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

W-2 income tax withholding isn’t perfect. You’ve probably had years when you owed more than you expected to on April 15. Or you were pleasantly surprised to receive a sizable refund. The idea, of course, is to try to come out as even as possible. You can usually do this by adjusting your withholding when you experience a life change like taking on a mortgage or having a baby.

Income taxes are also pay-as-you-go for self-employed individuals – or at least they should be. If you’re striking out on your own by starting your own small business in 2022 or you’re simply taking on a side gig to improve your finances, your tax obligation will change dramatically. Your income will not be subject to employer withholding every week or two. In most cases, you’ll get it all. But the IRS expects you to pay estimated taxes on that income four times a year.

Who Else Must Pay?

There are other situations where you’ll be expected to make quarterly payments. In fact, the only individuals who aren’t required to pay estimated taxes (besides W-2 employees whose withholding is on target) are those who meet all three of these conditions:

  • You owed no taxes the previous tax year (line 24 on your 2021 1040—total tax—is zero, or you weren’t required to file a return).
  • You were a resident alien or U.S. citizen for all of 2021.
  • Your 2021 tax year covered a 12-month period.

tax tips

You’ll find your total tax for 2021 on line 24 of the Form 1040. Notice, too, that line 26 asks for 2021 estimated tax payments.

There are numerous situations where individuals who have payroll taxes regularly withheld on their income may still be required to submit quarterly estimated taxes. For example, did you receive income from rents or royalties? Dividends or interest? Income from selling an asset? Gambling?

If you have an employer who withholds taxes, but you don’t think you’ll be paying enough given the deductions and credits you might receive, you need to plan for estimated taxes. Self-employed individuals are almost always required to submit them.

Special Rules for Some

As with all things IRS, there are many exceptions to the rules regarding estimated taxes. For example, there are special rules for:

  • Fishermen and farmers.
  • Some household employers.
  • Certain high-income taxpayers.
  • Nonresident aliens.

How Do You Estimate Your Quarterly Taxes?

That’s the hard part, especially if you’re new to the world of estimated taxes. There is no magic formula, no way to calculate to the penny what you’ll owe. You’re basically making an educated guess. Since you won’t know for sure what changes to the tax code will be put in place until the end of the year, you can’t be absolutely certain that you might get a particular credit or deduction.

But you know roughly what your income will be for a given quarter once you’re nearing the end of it. Do you have a lot of business-related expenses? Keeping track of those is critical, as they’ll offset your income. If you don’t, you’ll have to budget for a heftier quarterly payment. And you must keep in mind that you’ll be paying self-employment tax – that portion of your income taxes that your employer used to pay.

Once you’ve been self-employed for a full tax year and have seen what your tax obligation was, it will be easier to estimate in subsequent years. But you may have a difficult time your first year.

How Do You Pay Estimated Taxes?

tax tips

Individuals and business that had to pay estimated taxes in 2021 submitted the Form 1040-ES four times. If you’re self-employed in 2022, you’ll need to submit similar vouchers with your payments, unless you’re paying online.

If you’re self-employed and you anticipate owing $1,000 or more in taxes on your 2022 income, you’ll need to file quarterlies using IRS Form 1040-ES vouchers (available on the IRS website) along with a check or money order. There are also ways to pay online using a credit or debit card or direct bank withdrawal. Corporations would file the Form 1120-W if they expect to owe $500 or more.

Estimated taxes for the 2022 tax year are due:

April 18, 2022 (January 1-March 31, 2022)

June 15, 2022 (April 1-May 31, 2022)

September 15, 2022 (June 1- August 31, 2022)

January 16, 2023 (September 1-December 31, 2022)

A Challenging Task

Estimated taxes are not precise. And it may be difficult to set aside money for them if your income is not where you’d like it to be. But as you might expect, the IRS will levy penalties on you if you don’t.

Year-round tax planning can help you in this critical area. We’ll be happy to set aside time to consult with you about estimated taxes. We’re also available to do tax preparation and to look at how your taxes fit into your overall financial situation. Contact us soon to get a jump on the 2022 tax season — or to finish up 2021.

Cash Flow Strategies for Cash-Strapped Businesses

Businessman with cash dollars - business concept,computer and finance,investment,save.Cash is critical to the functioning of every business. Maintaining a healthy cash flow not only allows a company to meet its financial obligations but also gives it the flexibility to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

All too often, however, small businesses find themselves in a cash crunch, struggling to pay the bills and stay afloat. The good news is that businesses can take various measures to manage cash flow more effectively.

Controlling Expenses

A good place to start is by reviewing expenses to determine if there are areas where you can shave costs by contracting with another vendor or renegotiating existing contracts. Costs for ongoing goods and services, such as utilities, shipping, and telecommunications, should be reviewed frequently to see if expenses can be reduced. And when paying suppliers, consider whether it makes financial sense to take advantage of any early payment incentives that may be offered.

Keeping Debt in Check

Debt can be a useful tool if used properly, so be sure to keep it at a manageable level. Before your business takes on a new loan, reach out to multiple lenders and compare the terms they offer. When acquiring equipment, consider whether leasing may be a better option than borrowing money to finance its purchase. For short-term financing needs, a line of credit is a helpful tool. The lender will base interest charges only on the amount your business draws from the credit line.

Managing Inventory

Maintaining excessive inventory can tie up cash unnecessarily. If your business carries inventory, avoid overstocking. Your inventory management system should be able to indicate the minimum quantities that you need to keep on hand in order to meet your customers’ needs.

Simplifying Billing and Collections

Employees who handle billing and collections should have specific, clear guidelines. By standardizing the process, you help ensure your business will be paid promptly. You can speed up payments by offering discounts for early payment or by encouraging your customers to pay using electronic funds transfer. To help minimize the problem of unpaid accounts, consider making follow-up calls or sending email or text message reminders within a set period after you have provided goods or services or when a bill’s due date passes. Minimizing Taxes When Possible

Deductions and credits can help your business limit its tax burden and boost its cash flow. A knowledgeable tax professional can keep you informed of any special tax breaks that may be of value to your business, such as the energy credit for the acquisition of various types of alternative energy property.

Make Planning a Priority

Identifying the causes of reduced cash flow and taking steps to rectify a cash flow crunch is critical to the ongoing success of your business. Proper cash flow planning can help you make better use of budgets and employ financing and capital more effectively to increase revenues as well as boost profits. If erratic cash flow is a recurring issue for your business, it can be helpful to gain the insights and the input from an experienced financial professional.

8 Accounting Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Businessman And Businesswomen Having Informal Meeting In OfficeAs a small business owner, you probably think about tracking expenses and keeping up with tax deductions, but these aren’t the only critical accounting tips you should know. Whether you’ve been in business for a while or you’re a new start-up entrepreneur, read on for our 8 best accounting tips.

1. Outsource your bookkeeping.

For every business, bookkeeping is critical. This essential task is keeping organized records of your business’s income and expenses. If you’re like most small business owners, bookkeeping isn’t in your primary skillset. And even if it is, you probably don’t have time to crunch numbers and keep records. By outsourcing this critical task, you will free up your time; put this vital function in a professional’s capable hands and check one business owner-related stressor off the list.

2. Keep accurate records.

In addition to having someone overseeing your bookkeeping, it is up to you as the business owner to make sure you keep accurate records for your business. For example, you’ll need to account for:

  • Gross receipts are sales, deposits, credits, recipes, invoices, etc.
  • Expenses include all receipts, canceled checks, or anything else that shows the cost of doing business.
  • Fixed assets should be recorded so that annual depreciation can be calculated.

Pro tip: For tracking receipts, you may want to use a receipt scanning app on your smartphone. It makes it easy to scan and store receipts electronically instead of maintaining a large paper file.

3. Keep an accurate inventory.

Keeping accurate inventory records provides you with current data that reveals whether you can take on client requests or additional projects with inventory on hand and when you need to order stock. It also helps you identify trends over time and make basic predictions about your business operations. All of these factors allow you to plan and strategize about your business. This ability is critical to developing and maintaining a small business over time.

4. Separate personal and business accounts.

The most important reason to keep your personal and business accounts separate is taxes. As a business owner, you can deduct expenses like travel and office supplies; however, you must provide supporting documentation for these expenditures to claim them. Lumping personal expenses in with business expenses makes a tedious mess of separating expenses and could knock you out of some deductions. It is best to have a separate line of business credit, separate credit cards, and a separate bookkeeping system to be safe.

5. Have (and maintain) a budget.

You should have developed a budget when you created your business plan to make projections about revenue and expenditures. But beyond that, you must maintain a working budget at all times. This approach helps you stay on track with what you spend versus what you take in, and it provides accountability so that if you do get off track with your spending, it is readily apparent and can be corrected quickly.

6. Work with a tax professional.

When the average business owner attempts to complete their taxes, it costs them about 40 hours in valuable time. And even then, chances are, a professional’s help will be needed to ensure the business is getting all the deductions to which it is entitled. So why not start with a pro? After all, tax preparation fees are a tax-deductible business expense.

7. Plan ahead.

When a small business implements the accounting tips on this list, it allows for planning with accuracy. Accuracy is the key term. Anyone can guess what might happen, but only with accurate records and observations about business patterns can you confidently make targeted predictions. For example, a small business that tracks income and expenses can detect patterns that reveal the best time for large investments and expenses.

8. Monitor business performance with financial statements.

Again, we cannot emphasize the importance of logging income and expenses. It helps in the day-to-day operation of your small business and provides information about overall business performance. For example, income statements help your business determine profit or loss, a balance sheet shows assets and liabilities, and a cash flow statement shows how much money goes in and out of your business in a given time, as well as how much cash remains. These types of financial statements are also imperative when asking banks and investors to secure financing or funding.

With these eight tips, you can keep your small business on track, establish valuable patterns of business behavior, and make sound financial decisions for your business’s future.

If you would like help with some of these accounting tasks, contact us now.

Hiring An Independent Contractor? Your Tax Obligations

First time hiring an independent contractor? Here’s what you need to know about taxes.

Two months ago in this column, we explained the differences between employees and independent contractors. The IRS has strict rules that you must follow when you make this distinction because there are very different tax rules for each type of worker.

If you’re hiring an independent contractor for the first time, here’s the good news: Your income tax obligations are much simpler than they’d be if you were bringing on a new employee. You are not responsible for withholding and submitting payroll taxes to the IRS and state agencies. You simply pay the compensation that you and your worker have negotiated.

Here’s a look at the forms you and your independent contractor will need to complete.

The W-9

tax tips

Independent contractors must complete a W-9 before they can get paid by you.

Where employees have to fill out a Form W-4 form to get paid by their employers, independent contractors are required to enter tax-related data on a Form W-9. This is a very simple document, requiring only the taxpayer’s:

  • Name, address, and business name (if different).
  • Business entity type (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, etc.).
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This will most likely be your contractor’s social security number, though in rare cases, it may be an employer identification number (EIN).
  • Signature and date signed.

You or your independent contractor can print out a copy of the W-9 here. He or she can either send you a completed paper copy or scan it and email it to you. As the employer, you’ll use this information to report your independent contractor’s annual income. The IRS advises you to keep this form for four years in case it has questions at a later time.

Form 1099-NEC

Before tax year 2020, nonemployee compensation was reported in Box 7 of the Form 1099-MISC. Now, though, there is a separate form for it: the Form 1099-NEC. If you paid someone who is not your employee $600 or more during the tax year, you must complete this form. You’ll need to submit one copy to the IRS, one to state taxing agencies, and one to the contractor by January 31 of the year following the year the income was earned.

tax tips

You’ll need several copies of the 1099-NEC for distribution.

In addition to the taxpayer’s name, address, and TIN, and your TIN (account number is optional), you must include the following information on the Form 1099-NEC:

  • Box 1 should contain the total that you paid the independent contractor during the tax year (nonemployee compensation)
  • If the Box 2 is checked, it signifies that you sold $5,000 or more in consumer products to the contractor for resale, on a buy-sell, a deposit-commission, or other basis. The contractor should report income from these sales on the Form 1040’s Schedule C.
  • Box 3 is not currently being used by the IRS.
  • If you withheld federal income tax from the contractor’s payments, as is required when he or she does not supply a TIN, you must report it in Box 4.
  • Boxes 5-7 would only be used if you withheld state income tax.

You can see an example of the Form 1099-NEC here, but you can’t just print or scan and email all of the copies needed. Copy A goes to the IRS, and the other copies go to state tax departments and the independent contractor. You must have an official IRS version of Copy A because it needs to be scanned by the agency. The other copies can be downloaded and printed.

The Form 1099-NECs that you send to the IRS must be accompanied by Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. We’ll tell you more about acquiring and preparing all of these forms as the deadline for the 2021 tax year gets closer. Your relationship with your independent contractor should be fairly uncomplicated where taxes are concerned. But if you’re dealing with a situation that causes you to question your handling of it, please let us help. We can also advise you on your classification of your new hire (independent contractor vs. employee), a distinction that the IRS takes very seriously. As always, we’re available to help with year-round tax planning and eventual preparation and filing.

What You Need to Know About Incorporating Your Business

Business people working on business contract papers at officeIncorporating your small business the right way can bring tax benefits and protect your personal assets. Read on to learn more about what incorporation is, why you might want to incorporate, and how an accountant can help you navigate the questions that come with selecting the right business structure.

What is Incorporation?

When discussing “incorporation” in terms of a business, the term denotes how the business is organized or structured.

Regardless of the structure you choose for your business, incorporation is a legal process that brings your business into existence. The following are business structures commonly used in a small business.

Sole proprietorship

If you conduct business as an individual and do not register as any other type of business, you are a sole proprietor. With this business structure, your personal and business assets and liabilities are not separate. Sole proprietorships are relatively simple structures and a good choice for low-risk businesses or entrepreneurs testing a business idea. However, this business structure does not offer liability protection, so the owner is personally responsible for business debts and obligations. Another drawback is that it can be more challenging to get bank financing and business credit with this structure.


When two or more individuals own a business together, the simplest structure is the partnership. There are limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP). LPs consist of a general partner with unlimited liability; the remaining partners have limited liability and limited control in the business. The partner without limited liability pays self-employment taxes. In LLPs, every owner has limited liability, protecting them from business debts and the actions of the other partners.

Partnerships can be a good choice for multiple-owned businesses and professional groups like physicians, attorneys, and veterinarians.


Sometimes called a C-corp, a corporation is a separate legal entity from the business owner(s). The benefit of a corporation is that they offer the most robust protection for owners from personal liability; however, it costs more to form a corporation than it does to establish other business structures, and business profits are taxed at the personal and corporate level. Further, the record-keeping, operations, and reporting are more involved for a corporation. This structure is usually best for higher-risk businesses or those that raise money or plan to become publicly traded in the stock market.


An S-corporation, or S-corp, is designed to avoid the double-taxation of a C-corp. This avoidance is possible because, in an S-corp, profits and some losses go through the owner’s personal income to avoid corporate taxes. S-corps are taxed differently in different states, so it is essential to have your accountant help you understand the guidelines and laws in your state.


A limited liability company (LLC) has the benefits of a corporation and a partnership. The owner is protected from personal liability in situations like bankruptcy or lawsuits and can avoid corporate taxes because profits and losses can pass through their personal income. However, there are self-employment taxes and Medicare and Social Security contributions since LLC members are considered self-employed.

An LLC is an option for owners with significant assets that need protection and who want the benefit of a lower tax rate than a corporation pays.

How to Incorporate

When you’re ready to incorporate your business, consult your trusted CPA or accountant so that you have a full view of what incorporating will mean for you and your business initially and for years to come.

Let us know how our CPAs and business consultants can help your business navigate challenges and become more profitable. Contact us to request a consultation, or give us a call today at 775-332-4201 and ask for Mark Bailey for more information.

Customers Paying Late? How to Create Statements

There are many ways to encourage delinquent customers to pay. QuickBooks Online’s statements may be effective for you.

After the year-plus you’ve just experienced, the last thing your small business needs is customers who are behind on their payments to you. You may have been giving them a break because you know that they’re struggling, too, but things have been looking up for many companies in the past few months. It’s time for you to be more proactive about calling in your debts.

There are numerous ways you can accomplish this. One of the best is to send statements in QuickBooks Online, which are detailed reminder forms that contain multiple transactions. These can be especially helpful if you’ve sent multiple invoices with no response. There are three different types you can send, depending on your needs. Here’s how you create them.

Before You Start

QuickBooks Online offers a couple of options for formatting your statements. To see these, click the gear icon in the upper right corner and select Your Company | Account and Settings. Click the Sales tab and scroll down to the Statements section. Click the pencil icon over to the far right to make any changes needed. You can:

  • List each transaction as a single line or include all of the detail lines.
  • Display an aging table at the bottom of each statement.

Click the buttons to specify your preference and then click Save and Done.

tax tips

QuickBooks Online gives you control over some elements of your statements.

Three Statement Types

You can choose from among three different types of statements in QuickBooks Online: Balance Forward includes invoices with outstanding balances for a specified range of dates. Open Item statements contain information about all unpaid (open) invoices from the last 365 days. And Transaction Statements show every transaction in a date range that you specify. We’ll describe how to create them so you can decide which makes the most sense for a particular situation.

One Way to Create Statements

Like it does for many other actions, QuickBooks Online offers two ways to create statements. The first is easier. Click the New button in the upper left and select Statement (under Other). Click the down arrow in the field under Statement Type to see the three options there.

If you select Balance Forward, you’ll need to define three criteria (there will be similar options for the other two types):<.p>

  • Statement Date
  • Customer Balance Status (Open, Overdue, or All)
  • Start Date and End Date

tax tips

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to create any of three types of customer statements.

When you’re satisfied with your statement parameters, click Apply. QuickBooks Online will display a list of the transactions that meet your criteria, along with the number of them that will be generated. Each row in the list will display the recipient’s name, email address, and balance. In the upper right corner, you’ll see the number of statements again and the total balance these customers represent.

If you want to exclude any of these customers, click in the box in front of each to unselect them and delete the checkmark. When you’re satisfied with your list, click Save, Save and send, or Save and close. If you click Save and send, a window will open containing a preview of your statements. Thumbnails of each will appear in the left pane. Click on any to see their previews. When you’re ready, you can download, print, or send them.

If you click Save or Save and close, you’ll still be able to see the statements you’ve just generated. Click the Sales tab in the toolbar, then All Sales. Click the down arrow next to Filter and open the drop-down list under Type. Select Statements, and your list will appear. You can print or send one by selecting the correct option in the Action column. If you want to dispatch multiple statements, click in the box in front of each, and then click the down arrow next to Batch actions.

Another Method

There’s an alternate way to create statements. Click the Sales tab in the toolbar, then Customers. Select any or all of the customers in the list, then click the down arrow next to Batch actions and select Create statements. QuickBooks Online will open the Create Statements window again so you can select the type and process your statements like you did using the previous method.

We don’t expect that you’ll have much trouble working with statements, though you may want to consult with us on when they’re appropriate. We can also suggest other ways to bring your accounts receivable up to date. As always, we’re available to help you maximize and streamline your use of QuickBooks Online. Keeping your financial books current and organized is one way to ensure that you don’t fall too far behind with customer payments.

5 Topics Every Business Owner Should Discuss with An Accountant

Group of people having meeting and disscusingYour accountant or CPA is a business asset that you should put to good use year-round, not just at tax time. There are several topics beyond taxes that business owners should discuss with their trusted financial professionals. In this article, we cover five of them for you. While the new year is traditionally when business owners think of making financial, strategic, and other business-related plans, any time is the right time to speak to your accountant to discuss the following aspects of your business. You can’t begin the conversation too early, but it could be too late in some cases, so don’t put aside these five essential talking points.

1. Financial Planning

Budget is front of mind for business owners, but other financial issues impact your business, too. Consider a full portfolio review with your accountant to plan your financial future. Some critical topics to cover include strategies to improve cash flow, existing business loans, capital investment, charitable contributions, employee-related expenses like bonuses and health care, retirement planning, and asset management.

2. Company Growth

The goal of all businesses is growth. With growth comes change. As your business objectives shift, your valuation and tax liability often shift, too. Any changes you experience in your business should be conveyed to your accountant or CPA so that they can apprise you of liabilities or status changes. For example, suppose you plan to expand, add additional locations, make significant staffing changes, merge companies, acquire new businesses, or plan to sell your business. In that case, you should set up an appointment with your accountant to develop a logical strategy to address the change.

3. Inventory

If your business sells or resells tangible goods, inventory is vital. Sales tax laws and regulations can be challenging. Many states have rules about nexus (i.e., how much presence a business has in a city or state) related to where businesses warehouse inventory and fulfill orders. Your accountant can assess your order process to verify your restocking and ordering processes to maximize cash flow, ensure unsold inventory is accounted for, and ensure that sales tax is collected everywhere your company has nexus.

4. Risk Management

Do you have a plan in place to protect your business from disruption? Many do not. If that applies to your business, contact your accountant to discuss continuity planning to protect your business. They can provide professional insight regarding how to mitigate risks should a disruption occur. Some topics to address are whether your insurance policies are up to date, if all compliance, security, and privacy standards are met, whether your business has fraud protection in place, and if the existing internal controls protect your business. Given the time and capital small business owners invest in their passion, they must take time to manage any potential risk that could destroy what they worked so hard to create and build.

5. Tax Compliance

Lastly, as a business owner, you always want to be tax compliant. And this doesn’t apply only to federal taxes. It is just as essential to make sure state-imposed taxes are addressed on time. Regulations and tax laws change frequently, so it is vital to have a firm grasp on these. The best way to ensure you do this is to have your accountant guide you. They can inform you of any changes that affect your business and advise you on addressing them. Discuss collecting and filing W2s and 1099s for any contract employees; ensure exemption and resale certifications are collected and stored correctly; comply with online sales and nexus rules; and have an internal review to find any issues that might trigger a sale tax audit.

It helps to think of your business accountant as an extension of your team, an impartial adviser who will assess the risks and rewards associated with your business. They will answer your questions and illuminate unclear topics for you. They may bring up important points you’ve yet to consider, so make that call today and get a meeting on the calendar to discuss these critical points with your accountant. And remember, you can do your part by making sure you keep business and personal finances separate and maintaining complete, organized records.

The Top 3 Reasons to Outsource Your Accounting

Business people talking in officeWhile you may think it’s better to take care of your small business accounting tasks in-house, you may be surprised to know that your business can benefit from having a professional accountant or CPA handle the job for you. Here are the top three reasons to outsource your accounting.

1. Peace of Mind

The number one reason for outsourcing your accounting is the peace of mind you will get regarding managing your accounting records. A qualified accountant or CPA on your team allows you to gain access to their professional knowledge and experience. Further, you can even choose an accountant that specializes in your unique business needs. A professional can help you keep your business records accurate and up-to-date. For example, payroll and tax documents will be maintained appropriately and submitted promptly. Timely and accurate accounting reduces your risk of penalties resulting from inaccurate record-keeping or lack of knowledge regarding aspects of accounting like tax laws and deadlines.

2. Focus on Business Development

When you enlist the services of a qualified accountant or CPA to manage your small business accounting needs, you minimize the time that you or your senior staff must spend performing or micromanaging those tasks. Freeing up your time in those areas enhances your ability to maintain a keen focus on the day-to-day tasks your business faces and any additional business needs that arise. Being able to focus your time on managing and growing your business, you improve operational efficiency. As you develop strategic goals, you can convey those to your outsourced accountant to garner their professional guidance and support when executing and realizing those goals.

3. Save Money

Many small business owners feel that handling accounting tasks in-house is more cost-effective because they can utilize existing staff. However, consider the total cost involved in hiring or training a staff member to manage your business’s accounting needs. There is also the associated time expenditure related to supervising an employee who manages the accounting. For a dedicated in-house staff member to handle the task, you must consider the additional costs of payroll, payroll taxes, and employee benefits. There is also employee turnover to consider, which, if high, could lead to additional training and expenses. By not electing to have a full-time dedicated employee handle accounting in-house, you also save on space and technology required to accommodate that individual.

For these reasons – and more such as getting timely financial advice, understanding cash flow, and maximizing your tax savings opportunities – it’s time to outsource your business’s accounting needs. What you gain far outweighs the cost.

Contact our firm to find out how we can create a package of accounting services for your small business.

Let us know how our CPAs and business consultants can help your business navigate challenges and become more profitable. Contact us to request a consultation, or give us a call today at 775-332-4201 and ask for Mark Bailey for more information.