experienced accountant framingham

Why an Experienced Accountant Is Best

Experienced Accountant Framingham

Managing your business finances can be hard if you are unfamiliar with debits, credits and transaction records, but there is no need to go it alone. An experienced accountant can offer you financial guidance to operate your business in an effective manner.

Although hiring an experienced accountant for a small business is technically optional, it can save you a lot of hassles when it comes to the review of your financial records, as well as for filing your taxes. An experienced business accountant can offer your company the advice that just may be the difference between succeeding and failing. As your business grows, you can rely upon their expertise to help you with your decision making.

What tasks do business accountants perform?

Your business accountant will be examining the finances of your company and preparing your financial reports. They are there to ensure that your data is correct and that you are able to pay your taxes correctly and on time. Some business accountants even offer bookkeeping services.

Some tasks performed by business accountants include:

  • Identifying all tax deductions that you are entitled to.
  • Ensuring that your cash flow remains at acceptable levels.
  • Creates financial reports necessary for investment and getting loans.
  • Preparing your tax returns accurately and quickly.
  • Pointing out potential growth areas for the analysis of pricing, inventory management, and cash flow patterns.

The First Step

To select an experienced accountant, you should begin by determining what you want them to do for you. Some business accountants can provide bookkeeping, while others are focused more on general business tasks. If you need both bookkeeping and accountant tasks performed, you may be better off looking for an accounting firm that offers both services.

If you keep your own books, you may want to hire an accountant to periodically evaluate the health of your company and produce statements. 

Selecting Your Accountant

When looking for a business accountant, you should seek one who has a solid understanding of tax law, business management and accounting software. When you interview your perspective accountant, take note of their communication skills. You want one who does not speak in a lot of technical jargon so that you can understand what they are communicating to you.

Making the Most of Your Relationship

Now that you have hired your business accountant, detail the agreement terms in an engagement letter. This document contains statements, returns, and applicable charges. This will assure you that both you and your accountant share the same set of expectations.

It is always a good idea to visit or converse with your business accountant on a monthly basis. Review problems with them and go over your financial statements so that you understand where your money is going. In addition to mere number-crunching, your experienced accountant should have the ability to provide suggestions on cutting costs and provide valuable feedback for any questions or ideas that you may have.

Learn more with a complimentary consultation today. Contact Ash CPA at (617) 462-6651.

virtual bookkeeping meeting

Why Virtual Bookkeeping and Accounting Services Are Needed

Virtual Bookkeeping

If you are thinking about entering into a partnership with a virtual accounting firm, you will likely want to know what benefits you will be receiving for the money. In today’s economy, given new tax laws and healthcare regulations, there are quite a few benefits of using virtual accountants to help with your financial controllership and bookkeeping needs.

When you are busy running your business, you may often feel the weight of numerous demanding tasks that are necessary to keep your company going and remaining profitable. With recent technological advances, virtual or remote accounting and bookkeeping services can help to unburden you of the accounting and financial stresses that are involved with running your business.

Cost-Effectiveness

Remote bookkeepers and accountants typically can provide part-time services that help to meet the needs of your small business, while eliminating the costs associated with having an in-house accountant. You can hire them on a contractual basis so that there is no need to be concerned about salaries, payroll taxes, or other hiring expenses.

Flexibility

By outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping tasks, you will have someone who is available on a flexible schedule whenever you need them. You may only require accounting and bookkeeping duties on certain days, and these professionals can adapt quickly to your schedule.

Reliable and Secure Data Backup

It is very important to back up your data using secure software, but being able to access your records is also important. Your outsourced accountant or bookkeeper should have access to platforms that are both reliable and accurate.

A Focus on Your Business

For many small business owners, the main benefit of going with virtual bookkeeping and accounting services is that it frees you up to focus on what really matters: running your business. By allowing your accounting and bookkeeping needs to be taken care of, you will be able to keep the peace of mind that is so valuable.

Whenever you need current financial reports, you will have complete access to them so that you are able to manage your business in an organized and efficient manner. By utilizing these accurate financial statements and reports, you will have the ability to make important business decisions regarding the future of your company.

The Bottom Line

Virtual bookkeeping and accounting services can be extremely helpful in numerous ways, but it is important that you research the variety of professionals available in a careful way. Because you cannot simply show up at their office whenever you require something, locating a trustworthy and responsive bookkeeper or accountant is critical. Ask many questions, search the internet, and go over reviews to ensure that you select the right partner for you and your business needs. Contact us to learn more!

local CPA | Ash CPA Framingham

Local CPA | Progressing Through COVID-19

Local CPA

Local CPA | It has been several months since America was introduced to COVID-19. And as Americans continue to push forward, many businesses are still struggling to stay afloat. Setbacks have become almost inevitable for small and large businesses throughout the country. At Ash CPA, we understand the need to stay operational and the challenges that come before it.

Below is a list of ways to progress through the pandemic. This information is general. Therefore, we highly recommend scheduling a consultation for a customized financial plan. Our team has over 20 years of experience helping businesses and their unique challenges. 

Review Your Business Finances

Reviewing your finances is best done with an experienced local CPA. He or she will understand your current financial health by reviewing your monthly financial reports, cash reserves, identifying what expenses can be delayed, the structure of your business, and more. Based on these findings, your local CPA will recommend options to keep your business operational. 

Maximize Your PPP Loan

Have your local CPA review your PPP loan funds. They will recommend the best way to distribute the funds in order to meet the forgiveness criteria while meeting your business needs.

Learn About The Latest Tax Provisions

The CARES Act includes many tax-relief benefits that may reduce your tax obligations. Therefore, consult with your local CPA to see if any provisions benefit your business. 

Generate Business and Defer Payments

Many businesses have reconstructed their business module to adapt to economic change. For instance, consumers are offered more promotional savings than before. Free shipping, consultations, buy-one-get-one promos, reduced interest rates, and more are available to attract consumers. What can you offer to generate business? Free contactless delivery? Free shipping? Discounts?

Likewise, contact your creditors and see if you can defer your payments. Many large companies, especially banks, are offering payment extensions without credit penalties. See if you qualify and review your options.

Reconstruct Your Business Module

Adapting to change can be challenging for anyone including businesses. This pandemic may have you wondering how to best implement safety while still earning revenue. Fortunately, technology allows us to become more efficient while reducing contact. For example, consider online payments, work-from-home opportunities, video conferencing, social media communication, and more. 

Your business module will need a customized approach to implement these changes successfully. Contact your local CPA for the best recommendations.

Reach Out to Your Customers

Even if you are operating, continue to reach out to your customers personally. It’s important to maintain a personal connection with your consumers. It humanizes their experience with your brand which can improve your sales and consumer loyalty. 

Learn More

Schedule a virtual meeting with Ash CPA to discuss your financial health and how to best operate during this pandemic. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here.

CPA | Virtual Conference

CPA | Adapting to the “New Normal”

CPA Framingham

It’s no question that COVID-19 has shifted the world in many ways. This includes businesses, small and large. Fortunately, today’s technology has allowed many business owners to readjust their norm and stay afloat. At Ash CPA, we’ve compiled a list of tips you can implement to your business. Learn more below and contact us today.

Virtual Communication

In-person communication can be difficult to have considering health risks. That’s why virtual communication is needed. There are many ways to implement this to your business. Your consumers, new and existing employees can go virtual! See how!

Consumer Interaction

Not all business can go completely virtual but any adaptation is great! For instance, offer video conferences and an online chatbox. Many industries can use these options. Whether you offer a service or product, you can limit contact by thinking outside the box. If you sell a product, schedule video conferences to showcase your product. If you offer a service, create high-quality videos of your service in action. 

The chatbox option is great too! You may have more calls on the line than normal. Having a chatbox allows more consumers to inquire about your product or service. As a result, you may want to consider designating a team to respond to online inquiries, while another set is answering phone calls. Definitely consult with a CPA to see how you should manage your funds to successfully implement these new virtual features.

Recruitment, Onboarding, and Training Process

Your business may be in need of new employees. How do you invite candidates and interview them? Consider marketing your business with high-quality video. Show prospective candidates what it’s like to work for your company. Perhaps, provide testimonials from current workers as well. Should you be interested in a candidate, have a virtual interview. 

Once you’ve selected and hired your new employees, do virtual onboarding and training. This part may vary between businesses. Therefore, it’s important to review how much of the onboarding and training can be done virtually. For example, if your new hire will work 100% virtually, then the onboarding and training process can also be 100% virtual. However, if the new hire will work in-person, you can still minimize contact by virtually converting as much of the onboarding and training process as possible.

Work From Home Transition

Your employees may have been working on-site and now need to work from home. Transitioning to this routine may be challenging. For example, your employees may not have an office space at home or find it difficult to be productive. Ways to overcome this is to discuss what hours work best for each employee. Some may prefer the morning shift, while others prefer evenings. Schedule virtual meetings at the beginning of each shift to assure everyone is accounted for and designate the workload. Meet again during the shift, if possible. Lastly, check on your employees and ask them how can the “work-from-home” situation improve? Their ideas may be helpful!

Learn More

Discover more ways your business can push forward during this unprecedented time by scheduling a consultation with Ash CPA. Our firm has over 20 years of experience assisting businesses of all sizes. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here.

bookkeeping and accounting professional

Grow Your Business with Bookkeeping and Accounting

There are many facets to a business. Most owners want growth or envision their business on a newer, broader level of success. That’s why choosing your team wisely is essential. This includes bookkeeping and accounting specialists. Learn how these professionals benefit the growth of your company!

What is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the financial record keeping for businesses and individuals. This includes bank statements and credit cards. Some business owners attempt to manage their own bookkeeping. However, bookkeeping is a detail-oriented task that can result in errors if not maintained properly. We recommend hiring a professional bookkeeper to maintain your financial records. Below is a list of common services that bookkeepers provide.

Generate and Explain Financial and Balance Sheets

Learn about your revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. Your bookkeeper can also provide helpful tips that benefit your needs.

Manage Accounts Payable and Receivables

Your bookkeeper will manage accounts that need to be paid, including payroll. In addition, they will generate invoices and send them on time. This assures that your cash flow is uninterrupted.

Maintain Bank Account Reconciliation

Itemize each transaction for tax purposes and prevent fraudulent activity. Proper reconciliation is helpful during tax time. Also, should be audited by the state or IRS, this information is key.

What is Accounting?

Accounting defers from bookkeeping but is just as essential. In short, accounting evaluates your bookkeeping records to understand your financial health. The accountant can determine ways to improve your finances based on your monthly generated reports. More often than not, business owners are interested in partnering with investors or adding a second location. These decisions require the insight of an accountant. They will be able to inform you of how any business decision may impact your finances. In addition, they can guide you on the best way to achieve your goals.

Accounting also includes the following services:

Financial Consultation

Receive financial guidance based on current market trends.

Business Incorporation

Properly incorporate your business to save on taxes. In other words, not every business should be an LLC. There are many incorporations and you should know which ones are best for your needs.

Tax Audit Representation

Have professional representation during a tax audit. Your representative is on your side and will work hard to defend your case.

Tax Planning

Plan for your taxes to legally reduce your tax liability.

Tax Preparation and Filing

Professionally prepare and file your taxes to avoid errors and red flags.

Learn More Today

Bookkeepers and accountants are important for all businesses, small and large. Learn more with a complimentary consultation today. Ash CPA has over 20 years of experience guiding businesses. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here. Our team would be delighted to assist you and create a financial plan that meets your short and long term goals. 

 

virtual bookkeeper working

Benefits of Virtual Bookkeeping for Businesses 

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way Americans operate. Many normal tasks have been converted to a contactless process to flatten the curve. Virtual bookkeeping is one of them. Although virtual bookkeeping is not new, many Americans are now switching to this service. Learn more about virtual bookkeeping below, and contact us today.

What is Virtual Bookkeeping?

In short, virtual bookkeeping is just like traditional services. The main difference is that your bookkeeper is able to work remotely. This offers protection for you and your bookkeeper while maintaining your bookkeeping as expected. Additionally, cloud-based software is utilized to communicate, view receipts, generate and deliver reports. Services include the following.

Financial and Balance Sheets

Know about your current revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow.

Manage Bill Pay

Expenses are unavoidable. With virtual bookkeeping, you’ll stay on top of your bills.

Reconcile Your Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Identify unusual transactions and maintain financial records for tax purposes.

Manage Your Invoices and Payroll

Keep business operations moving smoothly with your virtual bookkeeper. He or she will generate and deliver invoices timely. Likewise, your employees are paid on time.

Why Should I Choose Virtual Bookkeeping?

Aside from protecting your health, another reason to go virtual is convenience. We have all experienced the lockdown and curfew mandates. Your bookkeeping is not interrupted. You won’t have to worry about delayed maintenance. In addition, you are not tied to your work desk. For example, you can upload receipts from anywhere. As long as you have access to the cloud, you and your bookkeeper can function as normal.

In addition, accounting is uninterrupted. Your accountant will be able to access your financial reports. This offers continued financial guidance, especially during unprecedented times. At the end of the day, virtual services help protect you and your business. 

Is Cloud-Based Software Easy to Use?

Generally, yes! Brands like QuickBooks have made bookkeeping easy for you and your bookkeeper. Depending on your services, you may only need to upload your receipts and help categorize unknown items as needed. Likewise, most brands offer integrated services to make this task even easier.

Start Virtual Bookkeeping Today

Ash CPA offers exceptional virtual bookkeeping services for businesses and individuals. Learn how your virtual services benefit your short and long term financial goals. Ash CPA has been helping businesses and individuals succeed for over 20 years. In fact, services include accounting, financial guidance, tax audit representation, tax preparation and filing, and more! 

Become part of the success with a complimentary virtual consultation. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here. We look forward to meeting you.

virtual tax preparation and filing | woman smiling

What is Virtual Tax Preparation and Filing?

Virtual Tax Preparation and Filing

July 15th is this year’s tax day due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you have not already filed, the deadline is approaching. At Ash CPA, we highly recommend filing virtually with a qualified accountant. This way you and your business can benefit from every qualifying deduction and tax credit. Learn more about virtual tax preparation and filing below. Be sure to contact us for a consultation.

What is Virtual Tax Preparation and Filing?

Just like regular tax preparation and filing, this method is simply done online. Many clients submit their tax documents to their accountant via a secure portal or utilize their electronic bookkeeping records. Some people attempt to file virtually on their own but we recommend not to. Many mistakes can occur and deductions and credits can be missed.

Why Should I Hire An Accountant for Virtual Tax Preparation and Filing?

Hiring an experienced accountant is essential for all types of tax preparation and filing. Whether it’s a simple tax return for an individual or for a dynamic well-established business, an accountant is needed. This professional is educated and trained to help you qualify for as many deductions and credits. Also, it’s a great opportunity to plan for your next year’s tax filing. Accountants can guide you with a tax plan that will benefit you the most based on your unique financial goals. For instance, freelancers can manage their finances in such a way to legally reduce their tax obligation. Reducing your tax obligation requires guidance from a qualified accountant. It’s worth the time and investment.

What Are Other Benefits of Going Virtual?

With COVID-19 cases still affecting America, reducing your contact with others is important. Fortunately, filing your taxes can be a touchless errand when done virtually. Another benefit to consider is convenience. Virtual tax preparation and filing allows you to stay home or take care of other responsibilities while your accountant is hard at work. Overall, virtual tax preparation and filing is a peace of mind from all angles.

How Can I Get Started?

Contact Ash CPA to schedule a virtual consultation today. Our firm happily assists individuals, families, and businesses of all sizes. We will let you know what documentation we need and how to submit them securely. Likewise, if you have other questions regarding financial planning, let us know! We offer an array of services which include financial planning, tax planning, bookkeeping, accounting, tax audit representation, and so much more. Furthermore, we have 20 years of experience assisting clients with various financial needs and goals. In fact, we assist clients from all over the United States. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here. We look forward to speaking with you!

ppp loan - business owner

The Paycheck Protection Program for Business Owners and the Self-Employed

PPP Loan

On June 5th, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) became law to help business owners qualify for PPP loan forgiveness on simpler terms. The PPPFA was pushed forward due to the many complaints and uncertainty surrounding the PPP loan terms. In fact, many business owners were afraid to accept the loans because the original terms would leave them financially worse. If you are considering applying for the PPP loan, the deadline is approaching! 

Learn more about new loan forgiveness terms below for business owners and the self-employed. As always, request a consultation with Ash Wasilidas, CPA to learn how the PPP loan can help your unique business needs.

What is the PPP Loan?

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is part of the CARES Act of 2020. In short, it was designed to help businesses operate during the COVID-19 pandemic while still paying their employees. Although the program seemed ideal, the terms for loan forgiveness were out of reach for many businesses. Therefore, many business owners did not accept or apply for the loan. This has left many businesses non-operable and employees jobless. 

Fortunately, changes were made in June 2020 to ease the loan forgiveness terms. The terms are as follows.

  • Businesses now have up to 24 weeks to use the funds.
  • Only 60% of the funds are required to use toward payroll, instead of the original 75%.
  • Businesses now have 40% of the funds to utilize toward expenses such as rent, utilities, and inventory.
  • Employees must be rehired by December 31, 2020, which offers more relief compared to the original deadline of June 30th.
  • Loan repayment has also been extended to 5 years should the business not qualify for loan forgiveness.
  • Also, those who qualify for loan forgiveness can defer their payroll taxes.

New PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

With these new changes, the SBA released a revised loan forgiveness application. If you have not applied yet, you can find the application here. There is a simplified version called the 3508EZ. We suggest seeking guidance from an accountant to determine which form you should use.

The PPP Loan for the Self-Employed

Self-employed individuals with no employees can apply for the PPP loan. The most one can receive is $20,833, without employees. This is known as owner compensation replacement. It is recommended that the self-employed individual maintain a separate business account to receive the funds and then disperse the money into their personal account. Doing so will offer an easier way to prove how the money was used.

Should You Apply and Accept the PPP Loan?

Many business owners are worried about accepting the loan due to its terms and the possibility of repayment. Is it right for your business? Find out with a consultation from Ash Wasilidas, CPA. He has over 20 years of experience assisting businesses of all sizes and dynamics. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here.

the white house | Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

New PPP Terms: Senate Has Approved More Flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

The COVID-19 pandemic sent shock waves of financial hardship across the country. Many Americans were left unemployed as businesses experienced operational interruptions. Fortunately, in late March 2020, the CARES Act was signed which included $2 trillion in relief aid for Americans. Relief came in various forms such as a stimulus check for qualified Americans, federal unemployment benefits, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

While much of the CARES Act was straightforward, many businesses began to question the PPP. The Paycheck Protection Program originally allowed businesses to apply for aid and have their loan forgiven if certain criteria were met. For instance, 75% of funding had to go toward paying employees up to 8 weeks. The PPP Loan was created with the intention of putting Americans back to work and pushing the economy forward. However, many businesses struggled with meeting this stipulation due to their overwhelming expenses such as rent, utilities, inventory, etc. In other words, the remaining 25% simply wasn’t enough to cover expenses and still qualify for loan forgiveness. 

congress podium and flags | Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

Business owners were left with one of three choices. 

  1. Accept the PPP Loan and follow the stipulations for loan forgiveness, knowing the potential financial risks. 
  2. Accept the PPP Loan, use it as needed, and face the possibility of paying it back. 
  3. Not accept the PPP Loan and hope that the business will survive.

Fortunately, Congress was made aware of the challenge surrounding the current PPP terms and created the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act.

What is the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act?

In brief, the new bill offers business owners more flexibility to allow for loan forgiveness. The new terms include the following:

  • Use of funding has been extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • The 75% payroll spending stipulation has decreased to 60%, offering 40% for business expenses.
  • The June 30th deadline to rehire workers has been extended.
  • Loan repayment will start later than originally anticipated, which offers businesses more time to prep for repayment
  • Those who qualify for loan forgiveness will be able to defer payroll taxes

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act has been passed to President Donald Trump to sign. Hopefully, this final step will occur this week as many businesses are in much need. As an experienced CPA, my firm is ready to assist businesses of all sizes to apply for a PPP loan, or better structure their current one. Request a consultation today. Call (617) 462-6651 or book online here

 

july 15 tax dead line

Tax Deductions to Consider

Many Americans have not filed their taxes yet due to this year’s new deadline on July 15th. If you haven’t filed yet, double-check your deductions with a professional tax accountant. You may have missed one! Did you know that there are items you purchase or services you take part in that are tax deductions? Learn more below and contact Ash CPA for a virtual consultation today.

Income Tax and State Sales Tax 

Sales tax is one of those things you can use as a tax deduction as a tradeoff with your state income taxes. If you’ve made luxury purchases or major home improvements and the cost was greater than your state income taxes, you can claim them as a tax deduction. You can strategically make your purchases so they work to your advantage. Be sure to consult with a tax accountant to learn about tax-saving strategies.

Green Upgrades to your Home

If you have a primary residence that you own, invest in green upgrades. Some are tax-deductible! However, there are requirements for what you intend to do as well as for what state you’re in. The spectrum of upgrades you can make may range from heating and cooling HVAC systems to solar panels and wind turbines. Always consult with your tax accountant to assure you are making smart green upgrades.

Electric Cars

Don’t have a primary residence? Invest in an electric or Hybrid-Electric car. You could get a tax credit. The stipulations include the following.

  • Car must be purchased new
  • Car must not be leased

Be sure to double-check with your accountant as some car models may not qualify for one or reason or another.

Medical Expenses for Dependents

If you are north of 65 years old and your medical expenses, excluding elective and cosmetic surgery, exceed 7.5% of your gross adjusted income, you can deduct the expense. If you have dependent people that have incurred medical bills that exceed your gross adjusted income, you can deduct the expenses as well. This includes dental as long as it’s not cosmetic. 

Medical Tax Shelters

Medical savings accounts are a great tax shelter. A lot of companies offer these as a benefit. They aren’t the most popular for consumers because of the policies attached to them. However, you can claim the amount you personally contribute to it.

Service Animals

Service animals are a blessing to the lives of many people with disabilities. They’re a source of safety and comfort to those who care for them. The animal must be trained in some cases. They also have to be fed and medically kept up to par. So dog food, health checks, and training are deductible. 

Gambling Losses

If your losses offset the gains of your gambling, you can deduct them. Yes, the flight and hotel and what it cost you to have fun! So what’s included?

  • Trips and prizes won deducted at fair market value.
  • Raffles
  • Casino Gaming
  • Horse and dog racing
  • And of course Lotto

Learn More

Schedule a virtual consultation with Ash CPA to learn more about this year’s upcoming Tax deadline.  Our team can also prepare and file your taxes virtually! Call (617) 462-6651 or schedule an appointment here. We look forward to meeting you.