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Business Trends

Free Accounting Software – CPA Not Included

Free Accounting Software – CPA Not Included

As a CPA in Miami, I know small businesses love to use QuickBooks. There are versions of QuickBooks which are even free. However, like the “batteries not included” disclaimer on toys, the CPA in Miami is not included with QuickBooks. In order to make informed business decisions with accurate accounting data you should hire Gustavo A. Viera CPA.

If you own a business, then at the end of the every month you mostly face the problems which involve bookkeeping and accounting. CPA provides bookkeeping and accounting services in Miami and support and employ professional qualified CPA. Accounting Miami CPA also complies with the preparation of financial statements, tax preparation and cost reports to regulatory agencies such as AHCA preparing Medicare Cost Reports.

With the advent of the internet, it has become easy to handle the accounting and bookkeeping task in an easy and simple way. That is of course assuming you have some basic accounting knowledge.

Don’t “Fire your CPA” just yet as the old QuickBooks advertisement used to tout. QuickBooks quickly reversed its advertising strategy when business owners flooded their tech support lines with basic accounting questions and their books in shambles. Intuit, the owners of QuickBooks products, quickly came out with an “Accountants Edition” of QuickBooks which allowed the business owner to send CPA in Miami an “Accountants Copy” for review at the end of the month.

CPA SERVICES:

  • Forward-looking
  • Supports in the decision making process
  • Prepares timely financial statements
  • Helps small business improve control functions
  • Highly automated using the latest management information systems

 CPA in Miami firms are traditional vs. innovative. Accounting Miami is all about:

  •  Our Miami Accountants are strategic partners in your organization
  • Our Miami accounting firm assist in decision-making of the organization
  • Our Miami accounting helps you with Risk Management

CPA services are not all alike. With tough economic times, small businesses have been greatly impacted. Saving a buck is always a good idea, but not when it comes to your accounting. We have seen so many businesses get bad advice that lands them in trouble with the IRS. The number of fraudulent tax preparation Miami has also risen with “tax services in Miami” promising huge refunds. What many people don’t know is that the income tax return is prepared fraudulently and you become personally liable when you sign it. These tax services in Miami try to walk away when they get caught. But the IRS is cracking down on the owners of these services and they’re putting them in jail. I applaud the IRS’s efforts to clean up the industry.

When hiring a CPA in Miami, consider if you want traditional vs. innovative practices in your CPA?

Please call us for a free initial consultation.

 

Categories
Tax

Hiring a Savvy Income Tax Preparation Professional Is a Must!

Hiring a Savvy Miami Income Tax Preparation Professional Is a Must!

Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountants Gustavo A Viera CPA know all the technological sophistication in our world will not compensate for taxpayers who do not know what they are doing. Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountants can guide you through a relatively simple tax return, but there are many instances where an experienced Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountant is a better choice

Income Tax Preparation – Is Your Situation is Complicated?

If you have anything more complicated than a 1040A, you can expect to spend many hours researching law and typing in information on your own. It is much easier to sit with a an experienced Income Tax Preparation CPA’s specializing in tax preparation for 20 minutes and let him do the work. Tax software is not reliable and it does not always catch mistakes. All the data needs to be entered on the forms in the right places. Furthermore, if you have employees, foreign income, rental property, or if you have lived in more than one country or state, you will benefit fromAccounting in Miami specializing in Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountants advice.

Income Tax Preparation CPA’s – You Don’t Know Much About Tax Law?

If you don’t know a lot about tax law, you should hire a professional Income Tax Preparation CPA’s specializing in income Tax preparation. Income Tax Preparation CPA’s have the knowledge and skill that’s required to prepare people’s taxes. They understand all the rules and they will make sure everything is filed properly. Each year, new laws are passed and they can affect your situation.

Income Tax Preparation CPA’s take continuing education courses and they stay up-to-date with the latest in the law.

If you own a business, you shouldn’t try to tackle a business return on your own. A Income Tax Preparation CPA’s who understands the law and your business will always do a better job. Besides, the expense of hiring a Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountant is a tax deduction, so it’s worth it.

You Need Tax Advice – Consult an Income Tax Preparation CPA’s

If you need advice, you will benefit from hiring a professional. For instance, a Income Tax Preparation CPA’s can help you decide what kind of IRA is right for you. He can help you decide if paying your mortgage loan off early makes sense for you. An income tax preparation professional can also help you decide if you need to adjust the amount of state and federal that is deducted from your paychecks. There’s nothing like a professional when it comes to getting great advice.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that most people need the help of Income Tax Preparation CPA’s. Hiring a professional will be money well spent, especially since the laws and rules are becoming more complex. If you hire a professional, you may end up saving money and avoid making some serious mistakes. You may also reduce the chance of facing a costly adjustment in the future. If you don’t have experiencing preparing, hiring a savvy Income Tax preparation in Miami Accountant is a must.

When searching for a specialist Income Tax Preparation CPA Miami residents should research all of their options in order to find a qualified professional. For more information, visit Tax preparation in Miami.

 

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Tax

Small Business Accountants Miami Corporate Tax Preparation

Small Business Accountants Miami Corporate Tax Preparation

The Internal Revenue Service has been doing a better job of financial audit of Corporate Tax Preparation in recent years, according to Small Business Accountants Miami CPA Gustavo A. Viera, but potential quality concerns remain. A government report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, reviewed whether IRS examiners followed the appropriate procedures and guidelines when they audited the corporate tax preparation of small companies with assets of less than $10 million.

Many Small Business Accountants providing Corporate Tax Preparation considered closely held because they are owned by one shareholder or a closely knit group of shareholders, TIGTA noted. These shareholders typically exercise significant control over accounting and managing and directing the day-to-day operations of the corporation, providing them with opportunities to improperly structure transactions that reduce the amount of income taxes owed when the corporate tax preparation is performed by Miami Accounting Firms and the small corporation or its shareholders.

TIGTA found that the IRS has established many key procedures and guidelines for financial audit of such Corporate Tax Preparation processes by Miami Accounting Firms. That may have contributed to the increasing amount of recommended additional taxes generated by the financial audit.

However, when TIGTA reviewed a non-statistical sample of 51 Miami Accounting Firms Corporate Tax Preparation processes and subsequent financial audit, it found potential quality concerns in 19 of them. For example, IRS financial audit examiners did not always document the steps taken to investigate significant differences between the labor costs deducted in the corporate tax preparation and the amounts reflected on employment tax returns filed with the IRS.

Many of the quality concerns involved issues between the corporate tax preparation and other tax returns that were or should have been filed by the corporation, such as information returns and employment tax returns, or which were related to it, such as the shareholder’s individual tax return.

“Miami CPA Firms, corporations and shareholders that understate their tax liabilities can create an unfair burden on honest taxpayers and diminish the public’s respect for the tax system,” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS provide additional guidance to first-line managers to improve the feedback provided to field financial audit examiners on using the IRS’s automated information systems to enhance the quality of their required filing checks for financial audit of small corporations, their small business Accountants and their corporate tax preparation procedures.

IRS officials agreed with the recommendation and plan to issue a memorandum to first-line managers concerning the use of automated information systems to enhance required filing checks and address feedback provided to field financial audit examiners.

“We believe ensuring compliance with the filing of all related returns is an important audit technique to enhance voluntary compliance and concur with your recommendation,” wrote Faris R. Fink, commissioner of the IRS’s Small Business/Self-Employed Division.

 

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Accounting

When to Hire Accounting Miami CPA and when to Do it Yourself?

When to Hire Accounting Miami CPA and when to Do it Yourself?

Ever wonder if you need to get a Miami CPA involved in a business matter? A Miami CPA can help in many business scenarios, from helping with the incorporation process, preparing projections and, if necessary, representing you in before the IRS. But is a Miami CPA always necessary or are there times when you are better off saving the big bucks and navigating tax matters on your own?

Here are some guidelines to help you know which accounting or tax business issues you can probably handle independently and when it’s really time to retain an Miami CPA.

Issues You Can Handle on Your Own without a Miami CPA but not recommended

This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers items you can probably take care of on your own, and government resources that can help. Each business is unique, and an initial consultation with an Accounting services in Miami CPA can help you determine the complexity of your own needs and how to proceed on many of these issues.

1. Naming your business and claiming a incorporating – The process of naming a business isn’t as simple as just picking a name and running with it. If you choose any name other than your own, you’ll need to file a “Doing Business As” Name. A Miami CPA will also check to see whether your choice for a URL (domain name) has been claimed already. You can do this on your own by searching the public WHOIS database of domain names.  Once you have a unique domain name, follow these steps to claim it.

You can also search for and claim a URL or trademark on your own. Use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if a similar name, or a variation of it, is trademarked. You can even claim a trademark yourself online.

2. Legal structure for your business – Entering into a partnership agreement or forming an LLC can be done without Miami CPA assistance – although it’s wise to consult an Miami CPA about the ramifications to your individual business. You can also use the services of an online broker such as LegalZoom, MyCorporation, or The Company Corporation. These guides explain what you need to do:

  •  How to form an LLC
  •  How to form a business partnership

3. Filing and registering the paperwork to start a business – Most of the steps involved in starting a business can be handled without the help of a Miami CPA. This includes applying for the right licenses and permits, registering your business for tax purposes, and applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

4. Creating contracts and non-disclosure agreements (NDA) – Customer contracts, partner or vendor agreements, and NDAs can all be prepared without the assistance of a lawyer. But I highly recommend an attorney for this.

5. Creating buy-sell agreements – If you are in a business partnership or an LLC with multiple owners, you’ll need a buy-sell agreement in place to protect you, in case a co-owner dies or wants to transfer ownership. Miami CPAs can help you structure the terms.

Other aspects of business ownership that can be handled without a lawyer include hiring employees or, independent contractors.

When it’s Time to Retain a Miami CPA

While an Miami CPA and eager online brokers will be willing to help you with any of the items listed above, you’ll need an Miami CPA practice for more complex issues.  These can include:

1. Forming a corporation – While you can often take care of the formation of a legal business entity such as an LLC or business partnership without legal help, forming a corporation with shareholders and a board is a more complex process. Articles of incorporation can be filed without lawyers, but the administrative side of managing the complex tax and legal requirements often requires the services of a corporate attorney.

2. Filing a Patent – Patents are expensive and time consuming. It can take years to get one approved.  That’s why so often see “patent pending” messaging in the marketplace. So unless you are in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, consider whether patenting your product actually gives you a major market advantage. Consult a patent attorney and your Miami CPA to help you evaluate your product and understand what rights you will achieve.

3. Litigation – This can include dealing with lawsuits by current or former employees or customers, discrimination or harassment lawsuits, environmental lawsuits, government investigations for legal violations, etc. Miami CPA specializing in forensic accounting can help you quantify your damages.

4. Buying or Selling a Business – Miami CPA can help with negotiating sales agreements, lease agreements, and more.

Categories
Business Trends

CPA firms Tips for Dissolving a Business Partnership

CPA firms in Miami can help you if you or your partner trying to exit or dissolve your business partnership?

Business partnerships, just like CPA firms in Miami, dissolve for many reasons – one partner may have lost interest, is no longer committed to the business or just wants to retire.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.

But how do you plan and execute a clean dissolution of your partnership? What are your options and what legal steps must you take? CPA firms Gustavo Viera will walk-through your options and your obligations.

Revisit Your Partnership Agreement and Review Your Options with your CPA firms

CPA firms always recommend and is the one critical foundation for a clean break-up, the partnership agreement – best established when you formed your partnership.  Most agreements outline how the partners will run the business – how business decisions are made, how responsibilities are divided, how disagreements will be resolved and so forth.  A good one will also include a dissolution strategy, like a prenuptial agreement.  Although not required by law, CPA firms in Miami warn it can be extremely risky to operate without one.

CPA firms advice is if your partnership isn’t working, revisit the agreement and review your options. Remember, dissolving the partnership isn’t always necessary. You might consider changing the weighting of the partnership so that one partner has more decision-making or financial control through a majority share, allowing a less-committed partner to remain involved while relinquishing some control.

If that’s not an option, and you or your partner wish to continue the business outside the partnership, consider selling your share or buying your partner’s share. Consult an CPA firms to ensure your interests are protected during this process.

If either of you want out or you can’t reach an agreement about the future of the business, it may be time to legally dissolve the partnership.

CPA firms How to Guide on Legally Dissolving a Partnership

Dissolving business partnerships is governed by state law, so check your state’s website for information about the process and the forms you need to complete.  It usually takes 90 days from filing a statement of dissolution (usually a simple one-page form prepared by your CPA firms) to dissolve a partnership.

The process ensures that neither partner will be responsible for the other’s debts and liabilities and, once dissolved, that neither partner can enter into any binding transaction on behalf of the partnership. It also renders your original partnership agreement void.

Before you file any paperwork with your state, make sure you review with your CPA firms in Miami your current business:

  • Have you or your partners completed all agreed duties?
  • What is the business worth? A third-party valuation can help you develop this figure. Once your partnership is dissolved you can typically expect each partner to assume business assets and liabilities based on percentage of ownership.
  • Review all leases, contracts, and loan agreements to see how the dissolution will affect them.  For example, are you locked into a contract period regardless of your partnership status?

Once the partnership dissolution is in process, draft a dissolution agreement with the help of a Miami CPA Firms. This will outline the terms of the split and protect you against any future disputes or claims that might be brought against you.

What if You Never Had a Partnership Agreement?

If you didn’t have a partnership agreement that outlined a dissolution strategy, try to work out terms together. If not, an intermediary such as your CPA firms in Miami may be able to help you resolve your dispute through mediation. Many law firms offer these services. Your final resort is a court-dictated decision which could be costly and may not provide the result you were looking for. Courts often divide assets and liabilities 50-50 regardless of any disputes.

Miami Accounting CPA Firms Big Question – What about Taxes?

There are no direct tax consequences of dissolving a partnership, but you will need to account for business-owned property that has appreciated in value and for payment of business and employer taxes. Let the tax authorities know that you are no longer in partnership when you file your final return.

Notify Suppliers, Customers, and the Authorities

Don’t forget to notify customers, partners, and suppliers. If you choose to continue the business in your own right, give the message a positive spin.

You will to tie up some loose ends, such as business licenses, permits, “doing business as” name registrations, and final paychecks for example. Refer to your Accounting in Miami CPA Firms for more information.

Continuing the Business?

If you want to continue and grow the business after dissolution, consider restructuring it as an LLC or S Corporation. And it never hurts to get mentoring from your Miami CPA Firms or legal counsel to help you formulate your new business strategy.

 

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Business Trends

CPA

Gustavo Viera is a licensed CPA in Florida since 1983. More than 25 years of accounting, tax and audit experience.

Categories
Accounting

Accounting Miami

Accounting Miami

Accounting Miami uses accounting information to provide small business owner with data to make informed business decisions. Accounting Miami or even CPA in Miami firms do not provide information that is:

  • Forward-looking for Accounting Miami standards
  • Model to support decision making vs. just looking at historical after-the-fact financial statements
  • Designed and intended for use accounting Miami small business to improve control functions.

Accounting Miami CPA responds to the needs of small business, using management information systems. CPA in Miami are more traditional vs. innovative

Accounting processes is mostly about:

  •  Identification
  • Measurement
  • Analysis
  • Preparation
  • Interpretation, and
  • Communication

Accounting also complies with the preparation of financial statements for non-management groups such as shareholders, creditors, regulatory agencies and tax authorities such as AHCA Medicare Cost Reports.

Gustavo A Viera CPA recently updated its definition of its accounting practice as follows:  “Accounting is a profession that involves partnering in management decision making, devising planning and performance management systems, and providing expertise in financial reporting and control to assist management in the formulation and implementation of an organization’s strategy.”

Our Accounting Miami best practices to the following three areas:

  • Our Miami Accountants are strategic partners in your organization.
  • Developing our Miami accounting firms practices to assist in decision-making and managing the performance of the organization.
  • Risk Management
When hiring a Accounting Miami CPA, consider if you want traditional vs. innovative practices in your business?

Please call us for a free initial consultation.

 

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Accounting

Does Your Miami CPA Firm Live up to it’s firm’s values

Does Your Miami CPA Firm Live up to it’s firm’s values

The concept of core or shared values gets a lot of press, with most professional Miami CPA Firm, Web sites promoting their core values to prospects, clients and recruits. But, like so many management ideas that are on the soft side, they are often more talk than reality.

Miami CPA Firm

For too many Miami CPA Firm, their espoused core values don’t actually represent what the Miami CPA Firm stands for, and they don’t guide individual behavior. Often, in fact, neither the partners nor the employees know the Miami CPA Firm core values, and no one in the Miami CPA Firm is evaluated or rewarded on how well they live them.

But one of the things that we have found time and time again is that the truly best Miami CPA Firm has a core set of values that they live by. The values do describe what the Miami CPA Firm stands for and do influence what people do and how they do it. So, here is what we recommend that firms think and do in order to ensure that their core values are truly meaningful.

1. You have to live your core values, so make sure they are important to you. Nearly every Miami CPA Firm we know quotes teamwork as one of its core values, but in too many of the same Miami CPA Firm, the reward system focuses on individual, rather than collaborative, behavior. So, unsurprisingly, most people believe that collaborating with their colleagues is less important than doing things themselves.

To ensure that the Miami Miami CPA Firm has values that actually drive the behavior that it wants its people to exhibit, have the partners and employees spend some time thinking about which values are important to them. The typical ones like integrity, client service, and respect for others will probably come up, but there may be some surprises — in one U.S. firm we worked with, for example, they listed “belief in the foundation of family.”

2. Give examples of how the values are actually lived in the CPA Miami firm. Words on their own aren’t enough. The description of the values in action, in the everyday interactions between people, is key. If these behaviors are ill-defined or don’t exist, one of the ways to generate the list of behaviors that underpin each of the values is to ask groups of people to provide two or three examples of how they see the value being lived in the CPA Miami firm. When the behaviors that underpin each value are defined and shared across the firm, everyone knows what the values mean in practice and what behaviors are acceptable.

3. Core values apply to everyone in the Miami CPA Firm — employees and owners. Partners need to embrace and constantly live the values. Remember, the partners are the culture in a professional service firm. What they believe, what they reward, what they do, and how they do it determines what and how things get done. Core values are for everyone in the firm — with no exceptions!

4. Core values don’t bend to fit the circumstances. This is key. Values must not be compromised at any time. A story in the U.S. Air Force’s Little Blue Book — the guide to its core values — illustrates this point perfectly. In the story, Admiral James B. Stockdale writes, “In 1965, I was crippled and I was all alone (in a North Vietnamese prison). … The one thing I came to realize was that if you don’t lose your integrity, you can’t be had and you can’t be hurt. Compromises multiply and build up when you’re working against a skilled extortionist or manipulator. You can’t be had if you don’t take that first shortcut of ‘meet them halfway,’ as they say, or look for that tacit deal, or make that first compromise.”

5. Core values don’t change every year. While visions may be adjusted and circumstances force a change in focus, the Miami CPA Firm values are the bond that holds the firm together. Occasionally, making one of the Miami CPA’s firm’s internal values more externally explicit may be necessary, but such a move is about presentation, not substance.

6. Tie core values into the firm’s evaluation system. As the teamwork example earlier illustrated, the old adage that, “People do what management inspects, not what management expects (and rewards)” still holds true, so if a firm wants its values to dictate behavior, then the way people behave should be part of the firm’s evaluation and reward process. Using an evaluation process, like a 360, which includes the mandatory sharing of the output between the team members, is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that espoused behavior becomes reality.

7. Let the Miami CPA’s firm’s markets know what the values are and why they are important. Clients and prospects often refer to a firm’s values in determining whether they want to work with a particular firm. Firms should be proud of their values and want others to judge them by what they are and how well they live them.

But what about the firm’s other market — the market for people? In Good to Great, Jim Collins tells us that we need to get the right people on our bus. And this is especially important in accounting firms, where differentiation is only achievable through delivery. But before people will get on the bus, they want to know what the firm’s owners’ value. Core values help get the right people on the bus because they tell the recruits the price of admission to the firm.

A FINAL REMINDER

Core values point everyone in the firm in the right direction and give them a clear fix on what is acceptable and what isn’t. They drive the culture and underpin everything that the people do both internally and externally. They truly are core to a firm’s success.

 

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Tax

What is a Partnership Status For Tax Purposes

Partnership Status For Tax Purposes

Ronald Smith and his son, Paul, had a fairly substantial agricultural operation in Miami.  They chose to report their accounting arrangement as separate businesses instead as a Partnership Status For Tax Purposes.  All income and expenses were reported on one tax return or the other.  The thing that probably bothered the IRS more than anything else was that although the income was divided 50/50, the expenses were disproportionately allocated to Ronald.  Ronald, and accountant, had significant income from his accounting service, while day to day operation of the farm were handled by Paul.  In order to avoid being whipsawed the IRS took a rather draconian approach in its notice of deficiency. It taxed each of them on 100% of the income and denied all the deductions.  Over the three years in question the operation produced about $80,000 in taxable income, which had been reported.  The deficiency notices totalled over $1,000,000 in tax.

The ultimate decision by the Tax Court was that the arrangement was a Partnership Status For Tax Purposes and, lacking anything better to go on, net income should have been divided 50/50, which presumably was the result the IRS was aiming for when it issued the overblown deficiency notices.  The Ninth Circuit just upheld the Tax Court decision.  The Ninth Circuit decision does not include much detail and I would have glossed over it had I not written about the Tax Court decision, which tells a rather fascinating story.  Some Tax Court decisions are more interesting than most novels.

There is an important practice point in this case.  Mr. Smith created a lot of trouble for himself by treating his arrangement with his son as two separate businesses instead of a Partnership Status For Tax Purposes. I have a hard time seeing what he was gaining.  Assuming the expense allocation was reflective of how they would ultimately split the money, the bottom line effect that it had could have been achieved with a well drafted partnership agreement.  Instead he ended up with a nightmare.  I look at it as a cautionary tale.

Partnership For Tax Purposes?

When two or more people ally in profit making activities, they might account for those activities as separate businesses and, if individuals, report them on Schedule C or page 1 of Schedule E.  Alternatively, they might file a partnership return.  In that case an extra return is filed (i.e. Form 1065) and K-1s are issued to the partners.  Each partner reports a share of the partnership taxable income on page 2 of Schedule E.  Despite what many people think, this is not something that is a matter of free choice, except in special circumstances.  In principle, a accountant should analyze the arrangement between the parties and determine whether or not the arrangement is a partnership for income tax purposes (What the individuals call the arrangement is only one of the factors to consider and probably not one of the more important ones).  The problem is that in applying accounting and tax laws to facts on this question you will find a fairly large gray area, particularly when you are dealing with people who do business on a handshake (or maybe a wink and a nod).  Fuzzy law applied to fuzzy facts makes for lots of fuzz.

Why Should Anybody Care?

Imagine a parent, probably a father, who puts the cheerios in front of the little kid and pours in the orange juice.  The little kid already upset about several other deviations from the smooth running household machine that temporarily absent Mom maintains will likely complain.  The answer to the complaint is something that is genetically implanted in the mind of male parents.  “It’s all going to the same place anyway.  Eat it.”  You could look at the separate businesses versus partnership issue the same way.  It all ends up in the accounting of the adjusted gross income of the individuals, so why worry about it?

It does make a difference.  Even though a partnership does not pay tax, it is a “taxpayer”.  It has its own accounting method and a variety of determinations are made at the partnership level.  An interest in a partnership, unlike a co-ownership interest in an asset, such as real estate, cannot be the subject of a like-kind exchange.  If you think you had a couple of separate businesses and it turns out that you really had a partnership you can end up with a pretty ugly mess, which is what happened to the Smiths.

When In Doubt Accountant Should File As Partnership?

If you have an arrangement that might be viewed as a partnership, the safer course is probably to get a partnership agreement drafted or more likely form an LLC and have an operating agreement drafted.  Then file as a partnership.  It is a complex area but the tip off to your arrangement being a partnership is that you are carrying on business and dividing profits. If the arrangement is substantial and there are compelling business or tax reasons to avoid partnership status you will probably need even more complicated agreements.  Ironically the best person to draft them for you is probably a tax attorney who is an expert on partnerships.

 

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Accounting

Shaping Up Your Accounting Firms in Miami

Have you thought about what you can do in your Accounting Firms in Miami to improve how you operate your business, making sure that this year is a better year than last year? Do you think your firm needs improved focus in order to be more profitable? Please allow me to offer some suggestions that could streamline your business to a “leaner and meaner” more profitable machine.

1. Clean Out the Closet

Have you had an experience like I have, going into a closet or a desk drawer and finding it so cluttered with “stuff” that you couldn’t find what you were looking for? Everything you put in that closet or drawer had a purpose at the time, but it turned out you never used it, and it most likely could have been thrown away in the first place. But, like me, you held on to it thinking someday it would be useful.

Our book of clients can sometimes get like that proverbial closet or drawer. All of us have what we would term “marginal” clients – those who probably don’t consider you their primary Accounting Firms in Miami, don’t totally value your advice, and maybe don’t even completely trust you. Yet, they can take up a sizeable amount of your time with little profitability to show for it.

Maybe it’s time to clean out your book in order to make room for profitable clients. Consider referring them to another Accounting Firms in Miami. Or, if you have a large number of them, consider segmenting that block of business and selling it to another CPA Firm – perhaps a younger accountant just getting started in the business, for whom those clients would be valuable.

This is a hard thing to do for many CPA’s, but, in the end, both you and those clients will benefit. You will benefit in that you will be able to structure your book with more profitable clients. The clients will benefit by being referred to an accountant who can and will spend more time with them to help them with their problems.

2. Build a Financial Planning Practice, Not an Asset Management Practice

In my experience, when I helped my clients with their accounting goals the business plan part of the process was not a major focus, yet, I continued to gather more and more assets under management. Many experts will tell you that if you fail to help your clients address the important accounting and tax issues, you will eventually lose the client, no matter how good an accountant you are.

3. Concentrate Your Efforts on Things Most Valuable to You and Your Clients

The best way for most of our clients to increase their net worth over a long period of time is to have a well-defined tax plan and to implement it. Having a purpose for every accounting decision will help our clients remain focused on their goals and how to get there. I heard an interesting statement recently. The speaker said that, in building a comfortable retirement nest egg, the just the decision to contribute to a 401(k)  was more important than how those investments are allocated. It sounds pretty simple, but how many individuals go for years without even contributing to their 401(k)? Educate your clients on the need to start investing for retirement (and other goals) as early as possible, and as much as possible. Statistics will show that this is a much more important decision than what to invest in.

Once they begin investing and understand why they are investing, then the investment and asset allocation decisions will follow. And, while asset allocation decisions are critical to the success of the investment process, an understanding of why they are investing is critical to their steadfastness with the process during both good and bad times. Dalbar’s Qualitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, which has measured the buy and sell behavior of individual investors since 1994, shows that the average individual investor almost always trails the S&P 400 index, according to Steven M. Sears, author of The Indomitable Investor. The primary reason, Sears said, is they don’t hold stocks long enough. This is a result of the erratic way individuals invest when they don’t have a defined plan or strategy.

4. Spend Less Time on Selection and Timing

My experience is that most Accounting Firms in Miami cannot consistently “outperform” the markets by researching individual stocks or funds, following trends or economic statistics, or using one of many techniques. Most of us cannot add a tremendous amount of value over that of professional money managers or a properly diversified portfolio, so why waste time trying? Spend that valuable time on more productive activities, such as time with clients identifying their goals, developing a plan of action to reach those goals, and then implementing and staying with the plan.

5. Move More of Your Accounting Service to a Fee-Based Model

If you are going to build an efficient business model similar to what I have outlined here, a fee-based compensation approach is the best practice, both for you and your client. Your clients want good advice and personal time with you to discuss issues and their plan, and they will be willing and happy to pay you for that service in the form of a financial planning or asset management fee. Everybody’s life is made simpler with such a model.