Tips To Consider When Moving To Cloud Accounting

What is cloud accounting? How can you provide bookkeeping and accounting services in the cloud? Is cloud accounting for me?

These are important and pertinent questions you should be asking as a business owner, looking for great accounting and bookkeeping services when someone offer you cloud based accounting.

Originally, I started bookkeeping to help a dear friend get his books in order. With working in budgeting and accounting for years, I knew some of what was expected and I hated the fact that he was so stressed out about his paperwork. So I wanted to alleviate the pain, hence bookkeeping services.

However, my love for travel and with working in various states at any given time, I wanted to provide something more concrete for my clients. And I’m grateful the day I was introduced to Xero by a friend and I haven’t looked back since.

So today I want to share some quick tips for you to consider if you are one of the many organizations who are moving your bookkeeping services into the clouds.

  1. Do you have any special software integration needs? Some companies and municipalities use industry specific software and it’s important to understand the relationship between cloud and the firm software. In this situation, it’s important to be proactive for the benefit of the company.
  2. Do you require journal entries? If you do, then discussing how this is managed with the bookkeeper/accountant is vital. Are you still doing calculations on your part or do you expect the firm to pick up the slack? Whatever the choice, ensure the firm can satisfy your requirement before you embark on a long term relationship.
  3. Are your books up to date? Very few of my clients knew the status of their books when they started having me do their bookkeeping. Some business owners have no idea what it means to reconcile their accounts. Whatever the case, make sure to ask how this is handle by the company you are considering.
  4. Does your bank or credit care companies support a connection with the cloud software you are considering? Fortunately for my clients, Xero has been very helpful and supportive in providing options for all major banks across the US and they continue to engage more partners every day. However, that shouldn’t stop you from doing your homework which is reaching out to your bank or potential cloud accounting company to ensure to support your needs.
  5. Tax Time! How do you manage your taxes? Some cloud companies will offer tax services internally, which others will outsource your taxes completely. Still some first just choose to to be bothered with taxes. If you are looking for a one stop shop to take care of your entire package, then asking upfront from your cloud accountant will also be vital to your success.

Numbers can be a headache for most people. But for others like myself, it’s where we thrive and embrace serving others with excellence.

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Penalties for Health Insurance in 2015- Part 1

What are the penalties for not having health insurance in 2015?

Well, before you get all bent out of shape about the Affordable Care Act and what it’s going to cost you, I just wanted to outline a few exemptions that may apply to you this year.

Last year as I completed numerous tax returns, the famous question was: “How much do I owe in health insurance?

Another question was: “Will they take that out of my tax return?”

Here we are in 2015 and things are no longer a theory, but is now a law and so I want to share some of those cold hard facts with you and some strategies that you are able to put in place to help you in the future.

Penalties for Individuals

In 2015, the annual fee for not having health insurance is $325 for adults and $162.50 each child. If you have several children, you could pay up to $975. Alternatively, you could also pay 2% of your household income above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status, whichever is greater.

It’s also important to know that you will pay half of the total fee for each full month a member of your family went without coverage or exemption.

How will this be collected? 

Great question! The penalty for not having health insurance coverage will be paid on your Federal Income Tax returns, and is only paid for full months you or your family member were without coverage.

Are there any exemptions for individuals? 

The individual mandate for health insurance has the following exemptions that release the penalty fee for not having a minimum essential coverage.

  • If you don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low.
  • If you are insured for less than 3-months of the year, meaning, you are allowed three consecutive months without coverage each year. As a side note, having coverage for at least one day in a month counts as coverage.
  • If the lowest priced coverage available to you cost more than eight percent of your household income.

If you are concerned about the penalties and how much you will end up paying this year, then get with your tax professional and have them do an estimate. Additionally, you might want to start setting aside some income to help combat penalties in the future.

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