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Accounting and Taxes for Business

Accounting

AccountingSmall business owners wear many different ‘hats’ – from executive officer, to salesperson, to purchasing agent, and the list goes on. When you find yourself wearing your ‘accounting hat’, keep in mind that day-to-day recordkeeping is one task you’ll need to carefully manage. Luckily, there are several options you can choose from to handle your accounting needs.

Option 1 – DIY (do it yourself):
If you’ve managed personal finances all of your life, you know that you are keeping track of income and expenses, which makes tackling taxes at year-end easier. While a bit more is required for your business, you will basically need to do the same thing. These bookkeeping basics from NoLo can help.

Option 2 - Accounting software: There are many software products available that can help make the accounting process easier. No two businesses may have the same needs, so take some time to review product offerings, as well as to consult with your accounting or tax professional. Choosing the Right Accounting Software from Business News Daily, offers questions to consider when looking at different software products.

Option 3 - Outsourcing: You know a lot about your core business. But if your product or service has nothing to do with accounting you may be spending too much valuable time dealing with paperwork and bookkeeping - time which could be better spent focusing on what you know. Contracting with an accountant or bookkeeping firm might be a consideration. While you still need to keep on top of your business finances, turning over the day-to-day tasks could be beneficial. Check out this LinkedIn blog article for reasons you may want to consider outsourcing.

Regardless of how you decide to handle your bookkeeping, here’s a handy accounting checklist from QuickBooks with information on ‘what to do when’ for accounting and record keeping tasks.

Taxes

IRS_Tax_HelpAs the saying goes, nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. A normal part of any business is filing quarterly and annual tax forms. Even if you are a seasoned business owner, keeping up with state and federal tax regulations can be overwhelming. It’s always best to work with an experienced accountant, attorney or tax preparer to determine best practices for your business, but here’s some information to get you on your way.

The Iowa Department of Revenue can help walk you through any of your state-related tax sales and use tax questions. Check out their FAQ page for common tax questions, review the Iowa Sales and Use Tax Guide online, or you can contact Taxpayer Services directly at 515-281-3114 or email idr@iowa.gov.

The Internal Revenue Service Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center provides information for many businesses with assets under $10 million. The Large Business and International Tax Center provides more specific information for those businesses with more than $10 million in assets. Just starting out? For new businesses, check out the Tax Tips for Starting a Business.

You can also find great information from the Iowa Department of Revenue in the Iowa Tax Webinar series on IASourceLink.