Friday, January 31, 2020

Changes with Federal W-4 and Tax Withholding

Recent changes in the Federal withholding tables are causing concern.  Changes with the new W-4 are causing confusion.  I'm here to help.

Even if you do NOT file a new W-4 you will be affected by the new Federal Income Tax Withholding tables for 2020.  So even if you keep Married with 0 dependants you may see a decrease in your federal withholding, at times $20 - $60 less that last year with the same gross wages.

The IRS has given us the following information:

Normally I suggest to employees that they update their W-4's after having their income taxes done.  Income tax preparers and most software have projections and can suggest and most times print a new updated W-4 for you to give to your employer.

Because the changes have been at times so dramatic, people are growing concerned that they may be stuck with a large tax bill next year, so I've found the following help:

You will need last year's W-2 and your most recent pay stub with year-to-date totals before you begin using this estimator.  When complete it will print an updated W-4 for you to give to your employer.

There is no limit on the number of times a year you can submit an updated W-4 and should always remember to do so whenever you have major life events, such as:
  • Tax Planning
  • Moving
  • Marriage/divorce
  • Birth or death of dependant or spouse
  • Adoption of a child
Please ask your income tax professional for additional income tax planning advice. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Cost of Online Accountng

A while back I posted the truth about online accounting:

This week I received notice from Intuit that their QuickBooks Online Simple start has new pricing.

"On the billing date, on or after October 1, 2019, your clients' QuickBooks Online Simple Start subscription will increase to $25 per month for the monthly subscription or $270 per year for the annual subscription, plus tax where applicable. If they have a discount, it will be applied to this new pricing until the discount expires. 

Please note that your clients will be notified of these pricing changes starting on August 28, 2019.

Your clients can check their billing details using these steps to verify the changes that have gone into effect:"

So now, their most inferior product is costing more than their Desktop Pro Version.  Buyer beware!  In my practice I will always give my clients the most cost effective solution first, even when it means I teach them to do their own bookkeeping while I take on an advisory/review position.  The Desktop Pro version is the "cadillac" of small business accounting.  I've helped many startups achieve success with this product.  It has all the management reports you need in daily operations.  If you require a report that cannot be generated within QuickBooks desktop, I can export data into excel and further refine what you are looking for.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

New BNI Midday Chapter opening just South of Traverse City

I would like to invite everyone interested in joining this chapter to visit next Tuesday 5/29.  We meet at Incredible Mo's in Grawn at 11 am. 

We have openings for the following professions:

Carpet/flooring Sales & Installation
Commercial Real Estate Sales
Construction - most ALL Trades
     Finish Carpenter
     Handyman Services
     Gutter Sales & Installation
     Home Inspectors
     Kitchen remodlers
     Siding Sales & Installation
Personal Banker
Estate Attorney
Family Attorney
Property Manager
Travel Agent
Auto Mechanic
Auto Sales
Event Planner
Videographer / Photographer
Salon Services
Physical Therapist
Business Coach

Thursday, May 10, 2018

State of Michigan Unemployment Notices

The State of Michigan Unemployment sent notices on 5/3 that your first quarter Unemployment taxes were past due and added interest.  They goofed, we did schedule payments for 4/25 and they didn't post them until 5/3.  Please disregard the notice and rest assured that your 1st. Qtr. payroll taxes were processed and paid on time.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The truth about online accounting

I don't see personal computers going away any time soon, so as long as you have and maintain a desktop or laptop, why not utilize it to the fullest?

#1 Security - If you are using your laptop or mobile device on a public wi-fi you are opening yourself up to security breaches. If you are using a "cloud based" solution, all of your financial data is being hosted on a web server, and you don't have control over the security of that server. Many use Amazon servers, and we all know Amazon has been hacked. IT professionals may tell you that the "cloud" is more secure because they have a team of professionals fighting off hacking attempts. Yes, they are being attacked because they are the keepers of the "honey-pot".

#2 Connectivity - You MUST be connected to the internet to access your accounting. While internet is much more stable than it was in the past, but depending upon your network and your bandwidth you will experience inherent latency, slowness and at times simply waiting for your data to refresh and update. Many online accounting software is designed to be used with point & click, or screen tap rather than keyboard input. This will slow your capability to input data efficiently.

#3 Cost - Online solutions are subscription based, usually an annual or monthly fee. You don't have to remember to pay this bill, they auto debit your credit for debit account. One of the most popular programs for small businesses is QuickBooks Pro (QBDT), which costs $200 or less and each version is currently being supported for 3 years. If you look at QuickBooks Online (QBO), "Compare QuickBooks Online to Desktop" Simple Start is basically worthless, you're limited to 20 Vendors (people you spend money with), QBO Essentials cost $24/mo., $288/yr., $864/3 yrs.. Costing you nearly $700 more than QBDT. Essentials is still very basic. Then you look at their QBO Plus offering that one costs you $35/mo., $420/yr., a whopping $1,260/ 3 yrs. That's OVER $1,000 more than QBDT! WoW!

#4 Features - You'd think that if your spending over $1,000 for a 3 year period you'd have a ton of features. NO! Below are the report menu view from QBO Plus and QBDT Premier.

QuickBooks Online Report Menu

QuickBooks Desktop Report Menu

As you can see the QuickBooks Pro/Premier have many more financial reports. (Premier only adds some industry specific reports.) Another major features that is NOT available for QBO is Job Costing. That alone makes this unusable for anyone in the construction industry.

Finally, bookkeepers and accountants are making more money using this software. They can now bill by project rather than hourly. When a bookkeeper comes on-site you receive personalized attention, we delve into more questions than just simply reconciling or processing your A/P, and you pay us by the hour that we're there rather than a flat project fee. I've seen some accounting firms charging $250/mo. for simple bank reconciliations and payroll tax processing. Something I can typically do in an hour or two for $50/hr.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Michigan Treasury Onlne

I'm optimistic for the future of State of Michigan Treasury Online services. Michigan Treasury Online is currently undergoing a system upgrade and promises to have a friendlier user experince. The new site will be up on January 16th. I look forward to exploring this and helping to get more of my clients able to make their Sales, Use and Withholding taxes online.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

QuickBooks Usage & Analytics Study

I am not comfortable with Intuit collecting my or my client's data. I'm turning this off.

"About the QuickBooks Usage & Analytics Study Only the administrator of the company file can turn the QuickBooks Usage & Analytics Study on and off. Once you turn it off, you can't turn it on again.

What data is collected? We collect information about the features our customers use, how they navigate through the product, and other demographic and quantitative data. We also collect information about your license, product, system, or other technical data that help us direct you to the appropriate information or services. We don't collect data that is identifiable to your employees, customers, or vendors.

How will Intuit use your data? We will use the data to improve your experience, to enhance our products and services, and to recommend products, services, and promotional offers that we believe will add value to your business. We won't sell, publish, or share data you entrust to us that identifies you or any person without your explicit permission.

How is the data transmitted? The transmission of data is secure and encrypted. Data transmission takes place in the background without disturbing your current tasks and shouldn't affect the performance of your computer.

What if you don't want this data collected? If you prefer not to have your data collected, or if you change your mind about participating in the study, choose Help > QuickBooks Usage & Analytics Study. Then click Discontinue."