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nDash Writer Profile for Erin Forst

Erin Forst

Headline

Accounting and Legal Specialist Focusing on Small Business Issues

About Me

Experienced content marketer working in accounting, finance, law, and related niches at all levels of the content marketing funnel and content types including articles, blogs, landing pages, webpages, and white papers. JD, EA, MAcc.

INDUSTRIES SERVED

Legal

I’ve worked with everyone from American Law Reports and FindLaw to brand new solo attorneys. Most of my clients are in general practice areas such as criminal law, personal injury, family law, civil litigation, and small business law, but I’ve also helped many niche specialty firms. My job is to act as the translator between you, the practice area expert, and the consumer, who may have no legal knowledge, while optimizing for SEO results and new client signings.

Accounting & Finance

I work with a broad range of clients including small to mid-sized accounting firms, outsourced bookkeeping services, and SaaS companies proving solutions in the accounting and finance space. My clients target both individuals and small to mid-sized businesses. I help explain complex accounting, finance, and tax topics in plain English while demonstrating how working with an accountant or a software solution adds value that makes it more than worth the cost.

Business Lending

I work with a variety of lenders from direct lenders to commercial banks in product lines including traditional loans, lines of credit, factoring, merchant cash advances, business credit cards, and other products. I help business owners and decision makers to understand their options as well as how to use business debt as a smart investment in their business.

Startup Financing

In addition to business lending, I work with clients promoting other funding options such as angel investing, seed rounds, series A and B rounds, venture debt, equity crowdfunding, equity sales, and other options. This includes investment firms, securities lawyers, CPAs for startups, and others marketing to startups. My job is to help entrepreneurs understand their options as well as why they need help when trying to raise funds.

Consumer Lending

I work with a variety of consumer lenders ranging from local banks and credit unions to subprime and second chance lenders. I help consumers understand what their options are, how to get approved, and how to responsibly use debt to reach their financial goals in a way that encourages new loan applications or further inquiries.

Information Security

My accounting, legal, and financial services clients are under increasing pressure to safeguard their clients’ data. I help software and security companies target these niches with content on legal requirements, ethics responsibilities set by professional associations, and plain-English explanations of data security solutions.

Industries I Write About

Accounting

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Financial Services

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Law Practice

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Insurance

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Real Estate

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Human Resources

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Venture Capital

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Investment Management

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Computer & Network Security

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My Writing Samples

What’s the Section 199A Deduction for Pass-Through Businesses and How Do I Get It?

An informational post.

https://forst.tax/section-199a-deduction/

5 Reasons QuickBooks Sucks and 3 Reasons Why Everyone Still Uses It

A small business post in a clickbait style.

https://forst.tax/reasons-quickbooks-sucks/

Law Firm Website Ethics

Example of bridge post between technology/marketing and industry professionals.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mJU8OaxM37cxOpTbLMT7e9uYbOnB2WFz/view?usp=sharing

Small Business Accounting Software Guide

Basic software comparison and review post.

https://forst.tax/accounting-software-guide/

SEO for Lawyers: What You Need to Know

Example of longer bridge post between technology/marketing and industry professionals.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ezmJ8SdKNLcIxR4nij-4qeFRVp1avb2y/view?usp=sharing

Content I Write

Ideas and Pitches I Wrote

X Benefits of Business Planning

4-6 ways business planning helps your business succeed now and in the future.

Content type: Blog Post

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Mortgage Alphabet Soup: What are the Different Types of Mortgage?

What do all the letters and names mean when choosing a mortgage? What situations are they right for?

Content type: Blog Post

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How Do SBA Loans Work?

SBA loans overview: who qualifies, who issues them, how to apply, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Interest Rate on an SBA Loan?

Average interest rates. Explanation of how they're set and why they may vary by lender.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Use Automated Billing to Increase Your Barn's Profits and Client Satisfaction

Convenience + billing clarity + less time chasing payments, etc

Content type: Blog Post

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Fringe Benefits: What They Mean for Payroll Taxes

Are fringe benefits taxable? How much do you include for them when you fill out your payroll tax forms?

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Interest Rate on an SBA Loan?

Average interest rates. Explanation of how they're set and why they may vary by lender.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Do SBA Loans Work?

SBA loans overview: who qualifies, who issues them, how to apply, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Much Will College Cost in 18 Years?

An overview of the current costs of going to college and how much things will cost in 18 years if tuition and other cost keep rising at the same pace.

Content type: Blog Post

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How the New Tax Law Impacts Landlords

Overview of the new tax provisions that will impact landlords such as the pass-through deduction and new depreciation rules.

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Why a Separate Business Bank Account is a Must

Many new businesses and even established independent contractors are still using personal accounts for business purposes. This makes accounting harder, could erase the protections of a corporation or LLC, and possibly gives up account protections when personal account terms are violated.

Content type: Blog Post

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Which Loved Wealth Investment Option is Right for You?

Advanced portfolio takes out the guesswork of trying to pick your own investments and automatically adjusts for risk vs. returns depending on the time to your goal. The interest account provides safety and income for goals in the immediate future. Choosing your own portfolio lets you take a hands-on approach and match your investments to your other investments or savings plans.

Content type: Blog Post

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What Landlords Need to Know About Equal Housing Laws

Even well-meaning landlords can inadvertently run afoul of equal housing laws. This post will cover the basics that landlords should be aware of with a reminder to ask a lawyer for details.

Content type: Blog Post

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Entity Selection and Tax Planning Under the Flat 21% Corporate Tax Rate

With the change in corporate tax rates, many pass-through entity owners are considering converting to a C-corporation. Whether they should depends on their business activity, distributions vs. reinvestments, personal tax rates, and other factors.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Service Businesses Should Accept Credit Cards

Many service businesses resist accepting credit card payments because of transaction fees, but accepting credit cards increases collection rates, gets payments faster, and reduces time spent on collecting outstanding invoices.

Content type: Blog Post

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Should You Offer (And Promote) a Roth 401(k)?

Congress ended up leaving 401(k)s alone, but lowered tax rates make Roth 401(k)s more attractive. Having a Roth option as an advertised benefit in addition to your traditional 401(k) will help attract financially-savvy job seekers and will show both prospective and current employees that you're committed to maintaining a strong benefits package.

Content type: Blog Post

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Everything You Need to Know About Retirement Planning

Detailed guide covering basic definitions (ETF, mutual fund, active vs. passive), tax benefits, how much you need to save, choosing a portfolio, etc.

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Why Companies That Pay Moving Costs Should Pick the Movers

When you're paying for an employee to move to work for you, hiring the movers directly makes invoicing and reimbursement easier, eliminates stress for employees, and allows you to build ongoing relationships.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

As tax refund checks come in, many consumers are asking on social media what they should do with the money. This post will cover smart financial choices from paying down debt to starting a retirement account

Content type: Blog Post

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Online Mortgages Continue to Rise: Opportunities and Risks for Lenders

The increasing popularity of online mortgages brings opportunities for lenders to enter the market or increase their market share, but they need to update their underwriting process to account for the risks of doing business remotely.

Content type: Blog Post

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Understanding Employee Misclassification Claims

With the rise of Uber and the gig economy, employee/independent contractor misclassification claims are on the rise. This post can either be tailored to how employers can protect themselves/defend claims or what employees need to know about their rights/bringing a claim.

Content type: Blog Post

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Should You Form a Corporation? 2018 Update

The lowered corporate tax rates has small business owners reconsidering whether they should incorporate. Here's an overview of the traditional considerations and how they change with the tax changes.

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What Happens if an Employer Won't Let an Employee Off for Jury Duty?

While many employers have good jury duty programs, others don't. What happens if an employer won't release an employee? Can the employer force the employee to reschedule? Does the employer have to pay for jury duty time?

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: employment law

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How to Use the CSI Effect to Your Advantage

Thanks to TV shows, juries increasingly demand high tech proof. Use these shows as common ground during jury selection while managing expectations, give a strong visual presentation, and don't be afraid to poke holes in your opponent's low tech case.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Separate Yourself From the Pack When Selling Online

How to achieve the market positioning touched on in early posts. Add value, provide higher service, and provide unique options powered by understanding your consumer.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Right Business Structure for a Franchise?

Corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship? Taxes and liability are the key to deciding.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Handle Payroll Taxes on Employee Bonuses

Many employers run into trouble by not reporting bonuses as income or trying to classify them as 1099 earnings. Here's the right way to do it.

Content type: Blog Post

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What You Need to Know About Payroll Taxes

Basic overview of payroll taxes and accompanying accounting/bookkeeping for new business owners hiring their first employees.

Content type: Blog Post

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What Horse Owners Need to Know About Taxes

Overview of the basics plus the importance of good recordkeeping.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Does My Interest Rate Keep Going Up?

An overview of recent Fed rate increases, why they're happening, future projections, and how consumer loans are tied into the prime rate. This may be a good time to switch to fixed rate loans or to buy a car/house before rates go up more.

Content type: Blog Post

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# Ways to Improve Customer Retention

Subscription models obviously rely on keeping customers signed on. Here's how to do it.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's a Working Capital Loan?

Working capital loans are a common financing type in the business world but are a foreign concept to new business owners used to personal lending. Here's an overview of what they are and how they can help a business.

Content type: Blog Post

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Is Your Accounting Process Automated? If Not, Why Not?

Do you think accounting is about sitting there typing in numbers? If so, you're wasting time and money that could be better spent boosting your profits. Automate your data collection and entry so your accountants and managers can spend time looking for growth and making decisions that matter.

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How to Calculate and Report Overtime Pay

Do your employees earn overtime pay? Make sure your calculations are in line with local law and that you report it with other income.

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Is Using Your Personal Credit to Finance Your Business the Right Move?

Personal credit cards and even loans are often easier to obtain than business financing. However, they come with risks. In addition to personal liability, the heavier usage can hurt your credit score and scare lenders who think you're running up your cards with consumer purchases. This can in turn make it harder to qualify for business credit. Here's the approach you should take.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Maximize Your Credit Score While Getting Out of Debt

Why: Increase refinancing opportunities to lower interest rates until able to pay off completely. How: Optimize credit card utilization, be strategic about new credit applications to transfer debt, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Your 401(k) May Not Be the Tax Haven You Think It Is

401(k)s bring a tax break today, but this is a trade for being taxed in retirement. If tax rates go up, more things are tied to income like healthcare, or you need the money before retirement age, you could be in for a portfolio killing tax bill.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Get Your Home Ready for Hurricane Season

Double check insurance especially flood coverage. Make sure roof is in good shape. Have storm shutters. Make sure trees, landscaping, playground equipment, etc isn't a threat...

Content type: Blog Post

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Florida Sales Tax: What Small Businesses Need to Know

What's taxable. How and when to file. Selling in other states. (Talk to your accountant for details.) Collected tax is not your money so should go into a separate bank account (not required in FL but is mandatory in other states).

Content type: Blog Post

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Are You Ready for Post-Wayfair Sales Tax Changes?

Overview of the Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect tax from retailers with no physical presence. How Infinity Data Corp will help you.

Content type: Blog Post

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Are You Saving for a New Roof? If Not, Watch Out

Did you know an old or damage roof could lead to a cancelled homeowners insurance policy especially with Florida's hurricane risk? Did you know Florida law requires a roof replacement if you have to repair 25% of the roof within 12 months? A new roof can cost as much as a new car and even when insurance applies, it doesn't cover full replacement value. Make sure you have a savings plan and a designated account/CDs for a new roof or other major home expenses.

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What Should You Do With Your Stuff if You Lose Your Roof?

Hurricane, tornado, or fallen tree put a hole in your roof? Have another disaster? Putting up a tarp may not be enough to protect your belongings. Unpakt can help you get your stuff into storage or a temporary rental and avoid water damage plus humidity while you're waiting for repairs. Your insurance may even cover it.

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Do Orlando Homebuyers Need to Worry About Hurricanes?

Orlando is generally safe from the worst of hurricanes and is even an evacuation point for coastal residents. But there is still the risk of high winds, so homebuyers should make sure the home is up to code and has a solid roof. Also find out if a nearby lake, river, or drainage problem can cause localized flooding. Get good insurance. Rare inconvenience of hurricanes far outweighed by benefits of Central Florida living.

Content type: Blog Post

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Debt vs. Emergency Fund: Which Comes First?

It's good to knock out high interest debt as quickly as possible, but facing an unexpected expense when your credit is already maxed out could spell financial disaster. Here's how to set your priorities.

Content type: Blog Post

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Bad, Damaged, or Old Roof? Good Luck Getting Homeowners Insurance

If your roof has a hole in it, has a minor problem like algae, or is just plain old, your homeowners insurance company could end up dropping you. Make sure your roof is in great shape to keep your coverage.

Content type: Blog Post

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Can Your Roof Hold Up to a Winter Storm?

Homeowners insurance requires you to keep your roof in good condition, so make sure it is, or you may find yourself uninsured the next time a blizzard strikes.

Content type: Blog Post

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Business Entity Selection After Tax Reform

Tax changes mean it's time to take a new look at which is best — sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-corp, or C-corp.

Content type: Blog Post

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Does Gramm-Leach-Bliley Apply to CPA Firms?

Many CPA firms are oblivious to Gramm-Leach-Bliley or think it only applies to banks. This post will provide an overview of the requirements that apply and how to use notices and software to comply.

Content type: Blog Post

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Succession Planning Beyond the Numbers: Is Your Family Willing and Able?

Succession planning takes more than just figuring out who gets what and minimizing taxes. You need to make sure that your proposed heir has the willingness, business, ability, and maturity to take over. This might include an intermediate plan that has someone else take over while they gain education or experience.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Business Valuation is a Prerequisite to Succession Planning

1) Many families are forced to sell to pay estate taxes if they haven't planned ahead. 2) You want to make sure heirs who won't receive shares or play an active role are still treated fairly. 3) If you decide to sell outright or put a buy-sell agreement in place, you need to know what your business is worth.

Content type: Blog Post

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What Exactly Does a Controller Control?

Outside of accounting circles, controller sounds like something you use for video games. Here's a basic overview of what a controller does and how that helps a business.

Content type: Blog Post

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Starting a Horse Rescue: What You Need to Know

Who can qualify for IRS 501(c)(3) status and how, plus general business considerations of how to run it.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child and When Do You Need the Money?

This post will cover the general cost of raising a child plus specific events to plan for such as college, a first car, playing sports, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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What You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage with Student Loans

Many student loan borrowers believe they can't get a mortgage, but this isn't true. While student loan debt may be part of the decision, it is still possible to qualify based on the total debt load and credit standing.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Best Way to Pay Down Debt?

Comparing the debt snowball method against attacking the highest interest rates first plus managing your credit score so you can refinance/balance transfer to a lower interest rate.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

As tax refund checks come in, many consumers are asking on social media what they should do with the money. This post will cover smart financial choices from paying down debt to starting a retirement account

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Document Qualifying Expenses to Claim Your Full R&D Credit

Lack of documentation means leaving money on the table or potentially losing an audit. Here's what you should do to be able to claim all of your qualifying expenses.

Content type: Blog Post

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What Non-Profits Need to Know About Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations

What non-profits need to consider before accepting crypto donations and what they need to do if they do.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Your Business Strategy Must Include Social Impact

Social impact is no longer just a personal goal for a business owner. Customers are demanding it, and they have the buying power to make it happen whether you're in or out.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Get Your Rental Home Ready for Hurricane Season

As with other maintenance, don't expect your tenants to take the same care you would during last minute preparations. Use storm shutters so they don't have to board windows. Check your landscaping early in the season. Make sure you have the right insurance coverage including flood coverage. Know your rights and responsibilities if your tenants must evacuate, if there's a prolonged power outage, and if your home is damaged or destroyed.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Revamp Your Sales Tax Tracking After Wayfair

The Supreme Court says states can now collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers. Is your accounting system ready to keep track of it all? Tracking sales by location, getting rates, segregating funds, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Do Interest Rate Keep Going Up?

An overview of recent Fed rate increases, why they're happening, future projections, and how consumer loans are tied into the prime rate. What this means for the real estate market and real estate pros' income.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Does the Qualified Business Income Deduction Work for Real Estate Pros?

Real estate professionals may be eligible for the new 20% tax deduction subject to income limitations. Real estate pros are not subject to the "specified service business" limitation. How to maximize your deduction.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Best Retirement Plan for a Real Estate Pro?

What's the best retirement plan? Personal, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA or a small business 401(k)? Whether you're independent or have employees matters. Plus taking advantage of the recent tax changes.

Content type: Blog Post

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Does Gramm-Leach-Bliley Apply to CPA Firms?

Many CPA firms are oblivious to Gramm-Leach-Bliley or think it only applies to banks. This post will provide an overview of the requirements that apply and how to use notices and software to comply.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Should You Offer (And Promote) a Roth 401(k)?

Lowered tax rates made Roth 401(k)s more attractive. Having a Roth option as an advertised benefit in addition to your traditional 401(k) will help attract financially-savvy job seekers and will show both prospective and current employees that you're committed to maintaining a strong benefits package.

Content type: Blog Post

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Should You Ask About Previous Salary History?

States and cities are adding laws prohibiting employers from asking job seekers about their salary history, and the information may not be that useful anyway.

Content type: Blog Post

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Should You Ask About Previous Salary History?

States and cities are adding laws prohibiting employers from asking job seekers about their salary history, and the information may not be that useful anyway.

Content type: Blog Post

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Understanding Employee Misclassification Claims

With the rise of Uber and the gig economy, employee/independent contractor misclassification claims are on the rise. How employers can protect themselves/defend claims.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What Happens if an Employer Won't Let an Employee Off for Jury Duty?

While many employers have good jury duty programs, others don't. What happens if an employer won't release an employee? Can the employer force the employee to reschedule? Does the employer have to pay for jury duty time?

Content type: Blog Post

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Do Expense Ratios Matter Anymore?

The ETF and mutual fund fee wars mean investors can now select funds with 0% expense ratios. Investors have long been told to go for lower fees, but that started in the days of 1-3% expense ratios. Today, index composition, tracking error, securities lending income, bid/ask spread, and other factors can outweigh a difference of a few basis points.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Tax Reform Changes the Value of Retirement Accounts

The old Roth vs. Traditional decision process is changed by tax brackets that are temporarily lower through 2025. For business owners and contractors, the 20% qualified business income adds a new wrinkle as it lowers the effective tax rate while deductible retirement contributions lower the QBI deduction. How to prioritize: Roth vs. Traditional, Personal IRA vs. Work Plan, Employee vs. Employer Contributions.

Content type: Blog Post

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S-Corporations and Reasonable Compensation: What You Need to Know

Many new or non-tax-savvy business owners see S-corporations as a way to cut their tax bills by saving money on employee taxes. S-corporations have benefits but not taking a reasonable salary as the owner can mean trouble with the IRS.

Content type: Blog Post

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S-Corporation Shareholder Basis: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

General post for those considering or needing to understand how to use an S-corporation. Why tracking basis is important: loss deductions, distributions, and sales. How to track basis.

Content type: Blog Post

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How the Qualified Business Income Deduction Works for S-Corporation Shareholders

General post for those considering or needing to understand how to use an S-corporation. What counts as QBI (versus wages). Qualified property/wages for deduction limitation assigned pro rata to shareholders. Income/income limits on per shareholder basis. Note difference in employee vs. employer retirement contributions (employer reduces QBI). Don't run afoul of reasonable compensation rules trying to increase deduction.

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You Don't Have to Be a Scientist to Claim the R&D Credit

Many SMBs don't consider the R&D credit because they think they don't do "research." An overview of activities that count for the credit they may not have realized.

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Don't Miss Out On State R&D Credits

Many states also offer R&D credits. Mostly follow the federal guidelines but varies by state (e.g. some restrict to target industries or only certain entity types). List of states. How multi-state businesses qualify.

Content type: Blog Post

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Why Service Businesses Should Accept Credit Cards

Many service businesses resist accepting credit card payments because of transaction fees, but accepting credit cards increases collection rates, gets payments faster, and reduces time spent on collecting outstanding invoices.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What Credit Score Do You Need for an SBA Loan?

What are the credit qualifications by an SBA loan? Standards will vary by lender and there's no exact credit score. Personal credit matters because most businesses applying for an SBA loan won't have enough credit history to stand on business credit alone.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

How to Get Your Financial Statements Ready to Apply for a Loan

Lenders will often ask for detailed financial statements with a business loan application. In addition to showing a profit, clearly showing how your business operates and following accounting standards is important. What you need to do.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Should You Start a Business with a Personal Loan?

Personal loans can be easier to get than business loans but don't have the same protections and can have a bigger impact on your personal credit. What you should consider before you apply for a personal loan for business purposes.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Bad, Damaged, or Old Roof? Good Luck Getting Homeowners Insurance

If your roof has a hole in it, has a minor problem like algae, or is just plain old, your homeowners insurance company could end up dropping you. Make sure your roof is in great shape to keep your coverage.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Do Jacksonville Homebuyers Need to Worry About Hurricanes?

Jacksonville is generally safe from the worst of hurricanes due to its location. But there is still the risk of high winds, so homebuyers should make sure the home is up to code and has a solid roof. Also find out if a nearby lake, river, or drainage problem can cause localized flooding. Get good insurance. Rare inconvenience of hurricanes far outweighed by benefits of North Florida living.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What Landlords Need to Know About Equal Housing Laws

Even well-meaning landlords can inadvertently run afoul of equal housing laws. This post will cover the basics that landlords should be aware of with a reminder to ask a lawyer for details.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Common W-2 Errors and How to Avoid Them

Making a mistake when you complete your employees' W-2s could delay their refunds and lead to you getting nasty letters or fines from the IRS. Here are some of the most common errors so you can avoid them.

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How to Make Sure Your Payroll Reporting Complies with the ACA

Overview of companies that need to comply with the Affordable Care Act's employee health insurance requirements. What forms you need to file throughout the year to show that you've done so. What are the penalties for non-compliance? Hint: get professional help.

Content type: Blog Post

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Common Payroll Frauds and How to Stop Them

Payroll frauds can include employees padding their time to your payroll specialist issuing fraudulent checks. This post will cover the common frauds and how to spot or prevent them. Outsourcing can provide an extra layer of protection.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Avoid Higher Costs From Revenue Recognition Implementation

When ASC 606 came into effect, companies saw increased compliance costs as they needed more manual work to properly recognize revenue. The key is proactively identifying project milestones to allow for greater automation.

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How to Avoid Higher Costs From Revenue Recognition Implementation

When ASC 606 came into effect, companies saw increased compliance costs as they needed more manual work to properly recognize revenue. The key is proactively identifying project milestones to allow for greater automation.

Content type: Blog Post

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Taking Care of Business: Don't Forget the Business Side of Things

Many barn owners like to be out in the barn or field, but taking care of business and accounting chores is also key to a smooth, sustainable operation. Why it's important and how using software to automate can get you back to what you want to be doing.

Content type: Blog Post

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Running Your Barn: Setting Fair Scheduling and Cancelation Policies

Keeping to your schedule is a key to running an efficient operation, but you also don't want to put off clients. How to set scheduling policies that work for everyone.

Content type: Blog Post

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Are You Ready for Post-Wayfair Sales Tax Changes?

Overview of the Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect tax from retailers with no physical presence. How botkeeper will help you.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What's the Right Business Structure for a Franchise?

Corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship? Taxes, liability, and transferability are the key to deciding.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

How to Separate Yourself From the Pack When Selling Online

Add value, provide higher service, and provide unique options powered by understanding your consumer through data.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Debt vs. Emergency Fund: Which Comes First?

It's good to knock out high interest debt as quickly as possible, but facing an unexpected expense when your credit is already maxed out could spell financial disaster. Here's how to set your priorities.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

How to Maximize Your Credit Score While Getting Out of Debt

Why: Increase refinancing opportunities to lower interest rates until able to pay off completely. How: Optimize credit card utilization, be strategic about new credit applications to transfer debt, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

How to Get Your Financial Statements Ready to Apply for a Loan

Lenders will often ask for detailed financial statements with a business loan application. In addition to showing a profit, clearly showing how your business operates and following accounting standards is important. What you need to do.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What Credit Score Do You Need for an SBA Loan?

What are the credit qualifications by an SBA loan? Standards will vary by lender and there's no exact credit score. Personal credit matters because most businesses applying for an SBA loan won't have enough credit history to stand on business credit alone.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

Why Restaurants Should Accept Credit Cards

Many restaurants resist accepting credit card payments because of transaction fees, but accepting credit cards increases collection rates, gets payments faster, and reduces time spent on collecting outstanding invoices.

Content type: Blog Post

Links:

What's the Best Retirement Plan for a Restaurant?

Offering a retirement plan isn't very common in restaurants but can help attract and retain good employees. So, what's the best retirement plan? Personal, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA or a small business 401(k)?

Content type: Blog Post

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When is the Right Time to Outsource Marketing?

Startups who have little cash often try to handle marketing in-house (along with everything else) and often carry this habit into when they actually have money. But marketing spend can be directly tied to sales and in turn growth. So need to make it happen as soon as ready to launch and reduce risk with strong planning and clearly measurable results.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Use Your Crowdfunding to Launch Your Marketing

Crowdfunding campaigns aren't just about startups raising money. They have a high chance of going viral and gaining social engagement. Use your campaign to build up an email list and social following of people who clearly believe in your company.

Content type: Blog Post

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Three Shows Your Clients Need to Watch

CPAs should tell their restaurant clients to watch Shark Tank, The Profit, and Bar Rescue. They provide basic business lessons in a highly relatable way and can get clients focused on why their numbers are important and how their CPA can add value to their business.

Content type: Blog Post

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Where Do Credit Cards Fit Into B2B Payments?

If you think business is done by check, think again. Many small businesses use credit cards for convenience, rewards, or lack of other options. Even major corporations issue employee credit cards for minor (to them) purchases. If you don't take cards, you're missing sales. Further, taking cards eliminates having to deal with accounts receivable and eliminates your credit risk.

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How a Cash-Only Policy Costs You Money

You aren't deciding between X% for credit cards and 0% for cash. Cash still costs money in handling time, bank fees, errors, and theft. Meanwhile, credit card users spend more on average thanks to consumer psychology.

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S-Corporations and Reasonable Compensation: What You Need to Know

Many new or non-tax-savvy business owners see S-corporations as a way to cut their tax bills by saving money on employee taxes. S-corporations have benefits but not taking a reasonable salary as the owner can mean trouble with the IRS.

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Is it Safe to File for a Corporation or LLC on Your Own?

Most state governments have online filings that offer a template covering the basic legal requirements that you need to form a business in most states. However, for true legal protection, you want to tailor your foundational documents to your business.

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How to Set Your Business Up to Get the Financing You Need

New and growing businesses can have a hard time securing financing when they aren't making much money. Your business's legal structure often impacts what you're eligible for, and just following corporate formalities and good accounting practices can make you more attractive to lenders.

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How to Use Accounting Data to Set Your Restaurant's Hours

1. Track sales trends by time, day, and local special events. 2. Know your costs such as labor and food (especially in case of pre-prepared foods). 3. Adjust for profitability including standard hours, special event hours, and available menu.

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Employee vs. Computer Automation: Which to Use For What

Use software to automate routine, recurring tasks that require time-consuming data entry and have a possibility of calculation errors. Save your employees for interpreting the reports and making smart business decisions so that they can remain focused on your core restaurant operations.

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How to Properly Track Food Inventory

1. Match orders to deliveries. 2. Track what you cook (including waste). Your POS can help. 3. Use inventory control to monitor expiration dates (know when to make a special or order replacements). 4. Properly write off any discarded inventory.

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Cash Flow Management for Gig Economy Workers

How to deal with an irregular income. 1) Have an account for deposits separate from your personal checking. Set a salary to transfer to your checking. 2) Don't pay taxes and retirement funding later — "withhold" them from your deposit account so they never hit your spending account. 3) Build up a strong savings buffer. 4) Plan ahead (budgeting, taxes, etc) and always be ready to adjust.

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Billing Best Practices to Keep Clients Happy

1) Send a statement that clearly shows what they're paying for in a way that shows the value added. (https://blog.advicepay.com/blog/new-feature-release-payment-descriptions) 2) Be predictable w/ a regular billing schedule (https://blog.advicepay.com/blog/how-often-should-i-bill-my-clients) 3) Make sure you're recognizable on credit card statements 4) No surprises or gotchas 5) Make it convenient

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How to Get Organized for Tax Season: Start Now

Your accountant does not want a box of receipts (and will charge you a lot more). Keep good records throughout the year and attach your receipts (botkeeper makes it easy). Here's how to do it. Your accountant will get everything in a nice spreadsheet and be able to spend time trying to save you money.

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Should You Keep Your Own Books?

1. Do You Have Time? 2. Do You Have a Trusted Second Set of Eyes? 3. Do You Understand Basic Accounting Principles? 4. Do You Understand How to Use the Software? 5. Do You Know Enough to Notice if Something is Missing or Wrong?

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Should CPA Firms Outsource Their Bookkeeping?

Some firms like to keep everything in-house but keeping and retaining good bookkeeping help is tough. Plus up and down swings in work levels can mean tough hiring and firing decisions. How to integrate outsourced bookkeeping while maintaining client satisfaction and increasing profits.

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How to Handle Employee Expense Reimbursements When Running Payroll

Employee expense reimbursements are generally not taxable income if you follow the rules. What you need to do to properly keep track of and report everything.

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Pay Employees with Virtual Currency? What to Know About Payroll Taxes

Do you pay your employees with Bitcoin or another virtual currency? Here's what you need to know about payroll tax withholding and reporting.

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What IRS Payroll Tax Forms Do You Need to File?

If you thought the IRS takes income taxes seriously, you haven't seen how they handle payroll taxes. Here are the forms you need to file to stay on their good side.

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Form 1099 Rules and Requirements

When do you need to file a 1099? How do you do it? Do you ever need to withhold taxes for 1099 payments? What happens if you don't follow the rules?

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How Cloud Billing Keeps You Safe, and What You Need to Do to Keep it That Way

The technical features that keep cloud billing safe along with the best practices to follow to make sure that you don't undermine that security or miss out on things the software can't detect.

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What Are Lenders Looking for in a Business Plan?

What are lenders looking for in a business plan? Can a good business plan really affect your chances of getting a loan? How is a business plan for lenders different than one for investors?

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In a Cash Crisis? Look to Your Accounts Receivable First

Catering companies who aren't paid in advance may face a cash crisis when their low margins are combined with slow-paying customers. To get through it, focus on collections and improving your AR process.

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Is Your Business too Small for Fleet Leasing? Not With a Micro Fleet

Fleet leasing sounds like it's for big corporations, but even small mom and pop businesses can take advantage of micro fleets. Here's how micro fleets work and how they benefit you.

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Average Small Business Failure Rates and Where They Went Wrong

What is the average failure rate for a small business? What are the top causes?

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Small Business Credit Card Rates and Perks: Choosing the Best Card

What is the interest rate range for major small business credit cards? What is the rewards structure? Who reports to personal or business credit bureaus? What else should business owners consider?

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Cloud Billing Best Practices

X best practices for increasing client satisfaction and retention, reducing errors, becoming more efficient, etc. Competitive links below.

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How Cloud Billing Keeps You Safe, and What You Need to Do to Keep it That Way

The technical features that keep cloud billing safe along with the best practices to follow to make sure that you don't undermine that security or miss out on things the software can't detect.

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Cloud Billing Best Practices

X best practices for increasing client satisfaction and retention, reducing errors, becoming more efficient, etc. Competitive links below.

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Should You Refinance Your Mortgage With Interest Rates Rising?

Interest rate increases are in the news, so existing mortgage borrowers may think they can't do better than the rate they already have. A lower rate may still be possible thanks to improved credit, shopping lenders, or other factors.

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Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About S-Corporations

New entrepreneurs think S-corporations are the solution to all of their problems especially with the QBI deduction in play. This will serve as a complete guide including tax, legal, and capital-raising considerations.

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Keywords: small business,entrepreneur,s corporation,corporation,business entity,business formation,business law

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Small Business Owner's Retirement Planning Manual

This post will provide a complete guide for small business owners looking to establish a retirement plan for their company from choosing a plan to the tax benefits after tax reform. Could be tailored towards a firm offering small business plans such as SEP IRAs, financial advisor services, or tax accountants.

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: retirement,small business,entrepreneur,sep ira,simple ira,401k,investing

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How Do Business Evictions Work? Know Your Rights

What's the eviction process for commercial leases? What rights do businesses have? How is this different from residential evictions?

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Keywords: real estate,litigation,eviction,landlord,tenant

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Average Small Business Loan Rates: Where's the Best Place to Get a Loan?

What are the average rates for various types of loans and lenders? How can small businesses use this knowledge to raise capital?

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Average Online Credit Card Processing Rates and Other Features to Look For

What fees do online credit card processors charge? What else should business owners consider when choosing a processor?

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How to Prevent and Beat Subscription Billing Chargebacks

How to take proactive steps to reduce your risk of customer chargebacks. How to successfully beat them when they happen.

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Is Metered Billing Right for You? X Things to Consider

Subscription models don't have to be a flat fee. Metered billing could be right for you and your customers in these situations.

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Overcoming the No Contract Objection

Not wanting to lock into a contract is one of the key objections buyers raise when offered subscription pricing. Here are some ways to overcome that objection.

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The Importance of Tax Diversity in Retirement Planning

Today's ideal decision between traditional, Roth, or taxable retirement savings may not be the ideal way to plan your withdrawals for retirement. Ensuring that you build a mix of account types over your career can help you plan your income and taxes later in life plus be prepared for possible changes in the tax code. (For example, having money in the 0% income or capital gains tax brackets.)

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Business Continuity and Your Data: Why There's No Place Like Away from Home

When hurricanes, terrorist attacks, fires, and other disasters strike, businesses don't just need to worry about physical property damage. While out-of-area clients may be sympathetic, they can't afford to have their own services disrupted for too long. Offsite data storage is key to ensuring ongoing operations during and following a disaster as well as ensuring valuable data isn't permanently lost.

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Business Continuity Isn't Just Good for Business: It's the Law

High-level overview of laws that mandate or imply business continuity — e.g., financial reporting and tax record requirements. Industries with even stricter standards due to additional regulations.

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Do Cloud Solutions Follow Attorney Ethics? How to Tell

Many attorneys who see the convenience of cloud solutions worry if they will be in compliant with client confidentiality and other ethical requirements. This post will provide an overview of when cloud solutions are allowed and how to use them in line with attorney ethics rules.

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How Long Should Attorneys Keep Client Files?

Overview of document retention requirements for attorneys. This is something that new lawyers and those starting their own firm and need a storage system would be looking into.

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What Client Information Do Tax Accountants Need to Keep and For How Long?

Overview of the minimum standards plus why it's a better practice to go above the minimum. How using cloud storage can help.

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Is Your Barn a Business or Hobby? The IRS Wants to Know

Being a business means you can deduct your expenses from your horse income, while hobbyists have to declare their income but get no deductions. Using business management and accounting software can help prove you're a business.

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Leasing vs. Buying: How Does it Help Your Accounting?

What are the differences and advantages for income tax purposes as well as the bottom line on your profit and loss statement?

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What's the Right Business Structure for a Restaurant?

Corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship? Taxes, liability, number of owners, and desire to sell are all keys to deciding.

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Cloud Billing Solutions for SMBs

See third point here: https://www.focusitinc.com/focusit-blog/benefits-of-cloud-based-loan-servicing/. Staffing, resources, and equipment seem to line up. Maybe they have specific use cases where other issues on this theme have come up.

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How CPAs Can Get More Restaurant Clients

Who is the typical restaurant owner? What problems are they facing? Where are accountants letting them down? How you can provide tailored services.

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