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Accounting

Accountant Miami or Scammers in Miami?

Accountant Miami or Scammers in Miami?

As an Accountant Miami I’m still stunned at the unethical and just plain incompetent work non CPA Firms in Miami provide. We have to bail more people out of trouble with the IRS due to incompetent bookkeeping services in Miami than the Coast Guard has to pluck people from sinking boats. So Accountant Miami style is buyer beware and unfortunately so many people do not know the difference between a bookkeeper, accountant or CPA. (Recent example: Client’s company owed her $1M and she needed to pull $500K. Instead of repaying the loan to herself tax free, her bookkeeper tells her she needs to run it through payroll. That generated a $178K tax liability which almost sank the business. All avoidable)

So the question I pose, do you need an Accountant Miami? At the very least the answer is YES. I highly recommend a Accountant Miami. A Accountant Miami or CPA is a licensed professional who has passed the uniform CPA exam and is bound by the laws of the State and the profession. A regular accountant probably graduated from college but did not take the CPA exam and is not bound by State laws. Bookkeepers usually only have on the job experience limited to paying your bills and creating invoices. Unfortunately, anyone in the State can hang a shingle and get into the business of Tax Preparation Miami style. When the IRS comes calling, they will turn their backs on you and tell you to find a Accountant Miami in Miami to help you fix their mess. There is nothing you can do, except sue them. Good luck with that.

As a small business owner you wear the hat of CEO, Marketing Director, Salesman, Decorator, Stock-person, Secretary, Security Guard, and more times than not, Parent. Throw an incompetent Accountant Miami (or worse a bookkeeper) in the mix and now overwhelmed is an understatement.

So many times this is the scenario I walk into when I meet a new client: Me, Ok. Tell me what you are currently doing to manage your accounting.” Client, “Well, not very much. I take in money and deposit it. I then pay the bills when they come in.” Me, “So basically, if you have money in the account, you are doing well, if not, then not so much.” Client, “Basically, yes.”

If you are in this situation you should not feel bad. If everyone was an Accountant Miami, I wouldn’t have a job. I tell new accounting and or college students all the time, you either love accounting or you hate it.” Very rarely is there anyone in between. For this reason, new business owners should truly seek out an accountant in Miami even at the start up of their company.

Client: “But will an Accountant Miami cost me a fortune? I need every penny I can spare”. Not necessarily I answer. Our Miami Accountants and CPA Firm in Miami charge on a monthly flat fee basis. No surprises on your monthly bill and we put it in writing. To run a successful, growing, and well-balanced business a business should have balanced and well managed books.

Now, when thinking about this you have 3 choices. (1) Do it yourself (2) Hire an accounting in-house (3) Outsource. If you decide to do this yourself, God Bless you because it is extremely time consuming.

Ok so I don’t want or know how to do it myself, so now what? ”

Now you have to decide if you need to hire an Accountant Miami who provides outsourced accounting services in Miami. Yes hire local! Be sure that if you want to hire a CPA Firm in Miami, it will not be costly if you know what you want and help CPA Firm in Miami by keeping good records.

Don’t settle for someone who can handle light bookkeeping because you will NOT be getting the information in a way that it best for you to do all you should. I advise Outsourcing. Not only because that is what I do, but so many times, it is in the best interest of small business owners. I don’t know about you, but when I started my first company, I did not have $40 to $50K to fork out to an accountant. Instead, outsourcing was the way to go. Cheaper, more experience, and no delays due to vacations, sick days, or turn-over.

 

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Accounting

How To Choose A Miami Accountant Or Miami Accounting Firm

 

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How To Choose A Miami Accountant Or Miami Accounting Firm

There are a number of individuals and businesses who use Miami Accountant year round. There are other individuals who only hire a Miami Accountant to help get all of their finances in order before their tax preparation.

Surprisingly, most business owners and individuals don’t carefully consider matching their needs to a Miami Accountant qualifications when making a selection. That’s because many of us who don’t have a strong accounting background view all accountants as being equal.

 

But the reality is that all Miami Accountant are not created equal….and the same goes for a CPA Firms as well.

An accountant, technically speaking, is a professional who takes care of the accounting needs of an individual or a business, including bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial advice, and more. Choosing an Miami Accountant is a highly individual process, as everyone has different needs.

This article explains how a Miami Accountant can help you conquer business finances and provide useful questions you should use to choose an Miami Accountant that best matches your needs and can help you prosper — and not somebody who just crunches the numbers.

Step by Step Questions When Choosing an Miami Accountant:

1. Determine what your specific needs are.

2.Get personal recommendations.

3.Speak personally with the accountant. After you have recommendations, speak with the accountant or accountants that interest you. Explain what you are looking for and ask any questions that you might have. Watch and listen for clear, direct answers and make sure you feel comfortable with the accountant. Feel free to ask about credentials and experience – most Miami Accountant will be happy to provide that information.

4.Determine how much it will cost. When it comes to Miami Accountant, cheapest is not necessarily best when it comes to accountants! On the other hand, you don’t want to be overcharged. Do a little comparative shopping to make sure that the fees seem to be within an acceptable range.

5. Consider your feelings. It may sound silly to involve feelings in a business or financial decision, but if you are working with someone, especially someone who will be working with your money, you want to feel secure and comfortable. If you are uncomfortable with the accountant for any reason, choose a different one.

6. Get a timeline. Make sure you talk to the prospective accountant about when you need things done. If you are on a tight deadline for tax season, make sure that he or she can meet that deadline. You need to make sure that the accountant you choose can give you the time that you need!

Does Your Accountants Proximity to Your Business Really Matter? Why Choose a Miami Accountant?

As the accountants’ relationship with clients often requires a continuous, ongoing exchange, it is important to choose an Miami Accountant that is easily accessible. However, due to recent technological advancements of communications, desktop sharing and remote access, accountants can more easily exchange information that previously required a physical presence that is no longer applicable.

 

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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.

 

Categories
Business Trends

CPA

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

Categories
Tax

CPA in Miami Tips on Top 10 Payroll Mistakes

CPA in Miami warns that the Internal Revenue Service is focused on closing the tax gap

One way the IRS hopes to do so is by collecting under-withheld employment taxes. As part of the Employment Tax Research Project (ETRP) launched in 2010, the IRS is reviewing the payroll practices of 6,000 employers and CPA in Miami in four main areas: worker misclassification, fringe benefits, executive compensation and payroll taxes. Once the research project is complete, the IRS will identify areas in which compliance errors routinely occur and focus audits on those issues. CPA in Miami VieraCPA advises companies not selected as part of the research project should look at their payroll practices and make any necessary corrections before the IRS comes knocking. We have already observed the IRS paying a lot more attention to employment tax issues and pursuing penalties with a diligence we have not previously witnessed in this area. As a CPA in Miami we are seeing an expanded audit scope and depth of diligence by the IRS, we’ve put together a list of common payroll mistakes we’ve seen companies make. We recommend that companies, at a minimum, look at these issues:

1.CPA in Miami help Classification of Employees as Independent Contractors

Workers are generally classified as either employees or independent contractors. Getting this classification right is a big deal. Depending on the classification, how compensation gets reported to the IRS is different (Form W-2 vs. Form 1099). Whether the worker is entitled to benefits (like medical insurance coverage, retirement plan benefits and grants of equity compensation) can hinge on the worker’s status as an employee. Whether a worker is subject to federal income tax and employment tax withholding is also contingent on status. If there has been an improper classification, the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) allows eligible employers to voluntarily reclassify workers as employees on a prospective basis and get into compliance by paying 10 percent of the employment tax liability that may have been due on compensation paid to the workers for the most recent tax year.

2. Failure to Subject Vendor Payments to Backup Withholding

If a company issues a payment to a vendor without first obtaining a Form W-9, the payment could be subject to mandatory backup withholding at a 28 percent rate. Even when it is later determined that the vendor is not subject to backup withholding (for example, the vendor is later determined to be a corporation), if the company did not obtain a Form W-9 prior to issuing payment, there may still be an issue: on audit, the IRS has pursued the collection of a failure-to-deposit penalty on the amount that should have been withheld—because at the time of payment, the company did not know that the vendor payment was exempt from backup withholding.

3. Failure to Issue Form 1099s

A Form 1099 must generally be issued to vendors, including independent contractors, who provide more than $600 in services. Some entities, such as corporations, are not required to be issued a Form 1099. If a company fails to timely furnish a Form 1099, it can be subject to penalties.

4. Not Including the Fair Market Value of Gift Cards, Prizes and Awards in Employees’ Income

For federal income tax purposes, most prizes and awards are considered taxable fringe benefits subject to federal income and employment tax withholding. Gift cards are the equivalent of cash and should always be included in taxable wages regardless of amount. Certain items can be excluded from wages if they are de minimis in nature. However, cash equivalents are never de minimis.

5. Failing to Timely Deposit Withheld Taxes

Generally, a company is required to deposit taxes on a monthly or semi-weekly basis. When taxes reach certain amounts, they must be deposited the next business day. If a company doesn’t timely deposit these taxes, the company may be subject to late deposit penalties and interest. CPA in Miami notes penalties rates range from 2 to 15 percent, depending on how late the deposit is.

6. Failure to Timely Deposit Withholding Taxes on Vested Restricted Stock and Exercise of Stock Options

When an individual exercises stock options, employment taxes should be deposited within one day of the settlement date. The settlement date should not be more than three days after the date of exercise. However, when an employee is granted restricted stock, he or she generally recognizes income upon vesting. Income and employment taxes are required to be withheld on the fair market value of the shares less any amount the employee paid for such shares on that date. The income and employment taxes may be required to be deposited the next business day.

7. Incorrectly Excluding Expense Reimbursements from Reportable Wages

Whether expense reimbursements can be excluded from an employee’s wages depends on whether he or she is reimbursed pursuant to an accountable plan. An accountable plan is generally one under which expenses are reimbursed only if there is a business connection to the expenditure, there is an adequate accounting of the expenditure and any excess reimbursements are returned to the employer. If expenses are reimbursed under a policy or plan that does not meet these requirements, they must be included in taxable wages.

8. Failure to Include Nonqualified Deferred Compensation in Executives’ Incomes

If nonqualified deferred compensation plans have not been amended to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A or have provisions that do not comply with 409A, the executives could have an income recognition event prior to the payment of the deferred amounts and could be subject to an excise tax. The Service has also established a correction program where taxpayers can obtain some relief with respect to certain operational failures. Only certain types of failures are eligible for correction, but taking advantage of this program can reduce the total amount of income inclusion and excise taxes.

9. Not Including the Appropriate Value of Taxable Fringe Benefits in Employees’ Income

Taxable fringe benefits can also include spousal travel, company-provided automobiles, country club dues and housing benefits. How a company values these fringe benefits for purposes of income and employment tax reporting and withholding can be a complicated issue. For example, there are three valuation methods for calculating the value of personal use of company-provided vehicles. Is your company calculating this correctly?

10. Excluding Travel and Commuting Expense Reimbursements from Employees’ Income

Most of the time, travel and commuting expenses are not taxable income to an employee. However, if what started out as a short-term assignment is extended beyond a year, or if an employee is traveling to a permanent work site that is not in the same place as his or her permanent residence, those company-provided travel and commuting benefits may need to be included in the employee’s income.

Categories
Business Trends

Banks Court Accountants in Miami

Large commercial banks have decided that Accountants in Miami, despite their typically modest borrowing needs, are highly desirable customers.

They have several reasons for coming to this conclusion:

Accountants in Miami can be a good source of referral business from their clients;

Accountants in Miami  partners and senior managers may be likely to switch their personal banking arrangements to the bank that handles the firm’s business;

Accountants in Miami have, in the words of one banker, “not gone through the trauma” that many law firms have, as symbolized by the recent spectacular bankruptcy filing of Dewey & LeBoeuf; and,

Small Accountants in Miami  may fit into a bank’s larger push to expand their commitment to small business in general. (“Small” may include firms with up to $20 million in revenue, based on Small Business Administration criteria.)

The upshot of all this is the emergence of a marketing push to capture Accountants in Miami business with packages of banking services deemed to be custom-tailored to the needs of public accounting firms.

Whether this marketing effort will deliver any genuinely new services and economic benefits to accountants and CPAs will vary from one bank to the next — but the attention may be welcome.

DEDICATED TEAM FOR ACCOUNTANTS IN MIAMI

Bank of America, for example, proclaimed a “new milestone” in 2012 when it extended a practice acquisition financing service originally focused on medical professionals to Accountants in Miami. The bank reports that it has a “dedicated team of specialists who focus solely on providing financial solutions for the Accountants in Miami  markets” throughout the country.

Citibank, meanwhile, came out with its dedicated CPA package (“CitiBusiness Solutions for Accounting Professionals”) last year “because we saw the value of this customer group. It’s extremely important to Citi,” said Maria Veltre, a managing director at Citi who heads up the bank’s small business unit.

“We have looked at this space and love it,” proclaimed Jay DesMarteau, who holds an equivalent position at TD Bank, which operates about 1,350 “stores” (the term preferred to “branches,” with its “stodgy” image, according to DesMarteau) on the East Coast. TD expects to formalize its marketing program and service package for public accounting firms by the end of the year.

One way that TD Bank expects to express its love for the Accountants in Miami field is to follow the approach it has recently taken with medical practices in making practice purchase lending decisions based on the practice’s business valuation, instead of the strength of its collateral. “Collateral coverage never looks that good” with professional practices, DesMarteau conceded.

TD Bank now offers medical professionals 100 percent financing on 10-year term practice acquisition loans, although it might not offer those precise terms to Accountants in Miami.

For its part, Citibank offers an “automatic second look” if prospective borrowers initially don’t make the grade according to standard credit criteria, and has a “robust” process for assessing creditworthiness, according to Veltre.

SMALL BUSINESS PUSH

Earlier this year Citibank declared its intention of expanding lending to small businesses based on a “fundamental goal” to “create economic value and support progress.”

Beyond the generalities, Citibank has determined, through customer surveys, that what matters most to many accounting firms is cash management, Veltre says. Sophisticated technology-based cash management solutions being offered to Accountants Miami Firms (not to mention all other business clients) include remote check deposit, credit/debit card merchant services, payroll systems, and the panoply of online banking services that have become a staple of the banking industry in recent years.

The pitch to Accountants in Miami  is preferred pricing arrangements, including waived fees and low (or zero) account balance requirements.

A cash flow challenge for many Accountants in Miami  (especially those that do a lot of tax work) — which banks report they are eager to help solve — involves the cash gap between the period in December or January when bonuses are paid out to partners, and the spring months when clients pay for tax preparation services. “We do a lot of lines of credit” for such firms, said Gary Gilbert, executive vice president and senior business loan manager for BB&T, a Southeastern regional bank with operations in 12 states.

CASH MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Debt consolidation — perhaps more of a working capital optimization exercise than a cash management function — is a need among some Accountants in Miami that Bank of America is willing to perform. The bank says that it will finance up to 70 percent of a practice’s revenue for that purpose, with terms as long as 10 years, “with flexible principal reduction and early payoff options.”

A common borrowing need of CPAs — not the firm itself — involves financing a partnership interest when the accountant is invited to become a partner. Union Bank’s “capital contribution buy-in program,” according to David Jochim, a senior vice president and director of the bank’s professional business services unit within its private bank group, allows new partners to finance 100 percent of their purchase for terms up to five years, without collateral, priced at prime. While these are personal loans to individual borrowers, this loan program applies to partners of accounting firms that have an existing relationship with Union Bank.

Equipment financing is another, perhaps more routine, credit need that banks are anxious to provide. Bank of America’s offering in this area, under its “Practice Solutions” service package, for example, features fixed-rate loans from $10,000 to $75,000 for up to seven years, with no application or documentation fees.

BB&T, which folds leasehold improvements under the same umbrella as equipment financing, tries to tie the loan term to the relevant amortization schedule for the items being financed. That means the purchase of an office’s worth of desks might be financed over 10 years, whereas a standard computer might require a much shorter loan term, Gilbert said.

COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES

One banking service for accounting firms that seems to garner more interest, at least among some bankers, is commercial real estate mortgages. “We are focused on owner-occupied commercial real estate,” said Gilbert.

He is one-upped in enthusiasm by Union Bank’s Jochim: “We love commercial real estate,” he said. Union operates in California, Oregon and Washington State.

A typical Union Bank mortgage will feature a 15-year term and a 15-year amortization schedule, he said, but the bank also will lend with a 10-year term and a 25-year amortization schedule. Loans generally will be up to 65 percent or 70 percent of the property’s appraised value.

Current demand for commercial mortgages from accounting and CPA Firms in Miami doesn’t necessarily match banks’ interest in making such loans. “We are seeing an increasing trend towards owner-occupied commercial real estate, but I wouldn’t say it’s dramatic,” noted Citibank’s Veltre.

In BB&T’s experience, office mortgages are typically granted to a partnership entity consisting of the accounting firm’s partners, which in turn leases the property to the accounting business. In that scenario, the bank bases loan terms on the personal balance sheets of the partners, more than the appraised value of the real estate itself.

In its push to attract CPA firm accounts, Bank of America’s small-firm-oriented Practice Solutions unit is offering commercial loans up to $5 million with a six-month payment holiday and a year of interest-only payments to defer the brunt of the monthly financial obligation.

That unit of Bank of America offers similar terms — but generally with a lower, $750,000 borrowing ceiling — to assist in the purchase of an accounting practice. “We have customized loan amounts that provide up to 70 percent financing for a practice owner or 50 percent if someone is a first-time business owner,” according to Justin Schafer, BoA’s regional business development officer for the Practice Solutions unit.

PERSONAL BANKING PERKS

Because banks consider accounting firms a good referral source, they often are willing to give partners favorable terms on personal banking services, perhaps to encourage them to give those services a test drive. For example, Union Bank’s personal private bank, featuring trust, wealth management and related services, ordinarily requires a minimum of $1 million of investable assets. But a “courtesy inclusion” policy gives CPA firm partners whose firms have a business relationship with the bank access to the private banking services without satisfying that $1 million threshold.

This suggests that in shopping for banking services for their firms, Accountants in Miami might also consider in the overall decision-making process personal banking services that they might consider attractive that they might otherwise not have access to.

In addition, just as banks are hoping for referrals of CPA firm partners and firm clients to the bank, banks should be evaluated for their potential to refer banking clients to the CPA firm itself. “We tend to do a lot of business back and forth,” said DesMarteau.

He suggests that CPAs ask banks about the nature of their clientele, and look for areas of overlap with the Accountants in Miami client development priorities.