How an Accountant Can Help You Grow & Scale Your Business

June 3, 2020 in Accounting, Business Formation, Resources

Looking to make your small, self-owned business grow? One of the best things you can do is to hire an accountant who can guide you through the major financial decisions involved in doing so. There are arguably quite a few involved, and each one is important and will play a vital role in the future of your business.

In this article, we’ll give you a basic overview of what to expect and the ways that a certified accountant can guide your next steps.

Moving Forward as a Small Business

Before we proceed, we’d like to give you an idea of what you can expect moving forward.

Depending on how your business is set up currently, you have several routes you can take to effectively scale up your operation. For entrepreneurs (i.e. self-employed individuals), the most common options that many people go for are a) transitioning to a sole proprietorship, and b) registering as an LLC (limited liability company).

Both options have their pros and cons. From a financial standpoint, some of the key differences between the two include:

  • Sole proprietorships require minimal paperwork to set up and maintain. LLCs, on the other hand, have much more stringent requirements.
  • An entrepreneur with a sole proprietorship exposes themself to business liabilities that can put their personal assets at risk. LLCs effectively minimize this risk by providing protection from commercial lawsuits, debt, and similar threats.
  • Sole proprietorships are subject to fewer taxes than LLCs. The processes involved in filing taxes as a sole proprietor are also simpler. However, when an LLC grows in scale (e.g. hires more employees), the potential tax savings could surpass those of sole proprietorships.

There are other key differences as well. What’s important to know is that each one is a viable choice, but the right one for your business will depend on many different factors.

How an Accountant Can Help

As you can see, knowing which path to go on is already a complex decision. The applicable concepts and pertinent laws can be understandably confusing, especially if you’re a small business owner who has so far only been involved in their own finances.

This is where the help of a certified accountant can be immensely helpful. They’ll be able to simplify the many concepts involved such as asset protection and taxes for entrepreneurs. With their aid, you’ll be able to make better decisions as you’ll have a better grasp of the relevant subject matter.

In addition to this, an accountant can help you acquire and submit all the documents that are needed in scaling up your business. They’ll be able to facilitate the process of setting up your sole proprietorship or LLC—depending on your choice—and continue to provide their services for all future requirements.

Conclusion

Hiring an accountant, when everything’s said and done, is simply the smart thing to do. Small business owners often struggle to scale up because they lack the resources and knowledge to do so in the first place.

When you hire an accountant to share the burden, you give your business the chance to grow while also providing yourself the time and energy you need to focus on other aspects of your operation.

We provide accounting services for entrepreneurs in Boston, and we’d be happy to help you take your business to the next level. Send us a message to find out more!

Ways to Pull Your Business Through Uncertain Times – Our Guide

May 29, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

As we continue to wait for pandemic curves to flatten, businesses all over the world are feeling the pressure of forced shutdowns. Many are scrambling to reassess finances and keep operations running for an indefinite period of time. As uncertainties become unprecedented, here are a few key areas to shift your focus to in order to help your business survive.

1. Redirect Your Focus

If your focus has been on how to increase sales and revenues or improve efficiencies and profitability, now is the time to work with an accounting service to zero in on your balance sheet. Keep an eye on your working capital and start forecasting your cash flow with an accountant. This can help keep your finances predictable for the next 30 to 60 days.

2. Work on Receivables and Payables Management

To avoid any unforeseen financial disasters, tighten up on your receivables. Start working on halted collections and offer discounts for early payments and even long-overdue payments. Stretch out AP payments for as long as possible without damaging your relationship with key suppliers. Review your customer credit risk to prepare for the impact of the pandemic over the long run. Identify those who may be at risk and begin limiting their credit.

3. Take Note of Your Inventory

An inevitable drop in demand will result in inventory levels that may be too high for your business to manage. If such is the case, you’re going to want to reassess your safety stock levels and lower ones you can afford to lose without hindering customer demand. Consider low or negative margin sales and how you might be able to convert excess inventory into cash.

4. Negotiate Your Supply Line

It’s likely that your suppliers are sitting on excess inventory just like you are. Use this as an opportunity to negotiate lower prices in order to increase your leverage.

5. Reduce Discretionary Costs

While most of your focus will remain on your balance sheet, it may also be time to cut costs. Immediate cash flow opportunities might include reducing your 401k Plan to zero or whether you can pay the match at the end of the year instead of during your pay periods. You can consider leasing larger purchases that you can’t defer rather than buying altogether. Try to obtain COVID-19 tax credits and cash flow savings related to deferrals to obtain payroll savings.

6. Assess Your Financing

If you haven’t yet teamed up with any bookkeeping services, you probably should. You’ll want to consider drawing down on your line of credit while it remains available and assess how significant your cash flow situation is. You might have to look at recapitalization opportunities such as taking advantage of SBA lending or economic injury disaster loans.

7. Prepare for the Rebound

Though today holds significant uncertainty, major financial institutions predict a large bounce back in GDP by the third quarter of 2020. Remember that while it may be your business’ main goal to survive, it is also to take part in the eventual upswing. This means remembering to prioritize your supplier and customer relationships and, most importantly, your employees.

Conclusion

Trying to keep your business from going underwater may seem nearly impossible in the middle of a pandemic. But with the right business growth services, such as ours at A4E, we can take the stress of bookkeeping and other finances off your shoulders and into our own hands.

If you’re looking for effective business growth services in Boston, MA, we’ll be sure to take note of your pain points and provide you with exactly what you need.

Why You Shouldn’t Procrastinate Your Tax Filing in 2020

May 21, 2020 in Accounting, Resources, Taxes

You may have months left to file your taxes, but processing them as soon as you can leave your feeling relaxed and far from bouts of headaches. You’ll be saving more than just your head, however, as the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll know if you have any money returning. You’ll also be protecting your business from any fraud.

If you’re not convinced and would rather wait for the tax season, consider how filing your taxes early can help protect your company and your investment. Here are several tips why you shouldn’t procrastinate tax filing, taken from the experts.

Reason #1: You’ll reduce the risk of exposure to tax-related identity theft

Just over a month into the 2019 tax season, the IRS identified more than 3,500 tax returns that claim a total of $15.8 million in fraudulent refunds. The statistics show the agencies the IRS managed to catch, but unfortunately, plenty of them remain rampant. These identity thieves use Social Security numbers (SSN), which they steal to file fraudulent tax returns and get a refund from the government. Tax season is a gold mine for identity theft, as millions of SSN just float about. If you wish to protect yourself and your company from these threats, file your taxes during the low season!

Reason #2: If you’re getting money back, why not get it early?

Most taxpayers get a refund and out of 155.9 million tax returns filed in 2019, 111.8 million qualified for a refund. If you file your taxes earlier, you’ll be able to get the money back sooner. Why is this crucial? As a business owner, this means three more months of investing, which allows that money to gain value and returns. It could also mean paying debts three months earlier, which cuts down interest rates that would have led to more costs. While it may not seem like much in hindsight, three months of every single year is a lot for business growth.

Reason #3: The IRS will favor you more

While plenty express contempt for the IRS (Who likes taxes, anyway?), it’s one of the most underappreciated agencies in the government. Contrary to what the public regards them as, the people behind the IRS work with all taxpayers, especially those struggling with their bills. There are structured payment plans available, usually offered with generous terms and grace periods. IRS loves helping you pay your taxes, but filing those taxes is another story. Taxes for entrepreneurs is an incredibly complicated process, and the people behind the agency will not be able to help you during a hectic tax season. If you wish to ask them for help, do so in February and March!

Conclusion

It might seem reasonable to just go ahead and file your taxes when it’s due. Never overlook the stress and pressure tax season can bring, however, as the last-minute stress is real. You’ll do well to wrap your taxes in advance, as you’ll be saving plenty of time.

You’ll also be able to protect yourself from identity theft, get your money back early, and become friendly with the IRS. For business owners, hiring a tax service may be the best option. This could mean saving so much more, as taxes tend to be much more intricate when it comes to businesses.

We offer the best accountants for entrepreneurs in Boston, as we focus specifically on businesses like yours! Let us take the stresses of taxes and bookkeeping away from your shoulders.

A Condensed Guide on the CARES Act for SMEs

May 15, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

Given the current pandemic, social distancing measures and quarantine lockdowns are in order. To risk the further spread of infection, consumers are forced to stay at home, while nonessential businesses are ordered to temporarily close down. Businesses falling under commerce are not considered essential services, so the closure of these operations have the potential to affect small businesses negatively in terms of finance.

You may be one of the small business owners worrying about the state of not only your lack of resources but your employees’ payroll. Fortunately, the newly passed CARES Act offers several benefits for you, as well as your employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act, which stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is a stimulus package designed specifically for individuals and businesses directly affected by the pandemic, which serves as an economic relief. $2 trillion is allocated to those covered by the Act, and $377 billion of the funds will go to small business owners with 500 or fewer employees.

What benefits does the CARES Act offer small businesses?

From the $2 trillion budget, the CARES Act provides $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Grants. This grant can be as much as $10,000 for each small business owner, which is enough to cover operating costs.

The Small Business Debt Relief Program is also offered, where $17 billion is available for six months of payments to help small business owners pay current non-disaster Small Business Administration loans.

Here are more benefits that small businesses can receive through the program:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program: This allows small businesses with existing loans to pay up to eight weeks of employee payroll services costs, which includes all benefits. The funds for this program can also be used to pay interests, specifically on rent, utilities, and mortgage payments.
  • Employee Retention Credit: Launched by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, this program allows small businesses to keep their employees on their payroll. At a time where the unemployment rate is high, the program seeks to stop the further increase.
  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance: On top of what state unemployment programs pay, the unemployment insurance has been expanded by 13 weeks. This also includes a four-month $600 benefits enchantments. This program covers freelancers, gig workers (Uber drivers), and even furloughed employees.

What does the CARES Act offer employees?

The most beneficial program offered by CARES act is the expanded unemployment insurance. Originally only running from 26 weeks, it has now been expanded to 39 weeks. An additional $600 payment will be added on top of the weekly benefit amount eligible employees receive. Moreover, Americans will also be able to receive one-time stimulus checks of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

How do small business owners apply for the CARES Act benefits?

Eligible small business owners can apply for the CARES Act through the Paycheck Prevention Program, which was launched last April 3. Any application shall undergo through an existing Small Business Administration, which can be the following:

  • A federally insured depository institution
  • A federally insured credit union
  • Farm Credit System institution

For more information on loans and grants applications for the CARES Act, visit the Small Business Administration’s portal here.

What this means for small businesses

It is difficult to navigate through the new normal—your business may be suffering unimaginable losses, and you may be juggling all possible ways to support your employees through a difficult time. Although the end remains to be seen, getting help is still possible. Through the CARES Act, your small business may just see the pandemic through!

If you’re looking for accounting services in Boston, MA, our CPA-qualified accountants and financial experts are ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our bookkeeping, taxes and CFO services!

I received my PPP. Now what?

May 15, 2020 in Accounting, Covid-19, Resources

Now that you have received your PPP loans as a business owner, I can see the relief in your face. But the big question now is what do I need to do to ensure the loan amount is forgivable?

The PPP has come out with a set of guidelines on what a small business has to do in order to get the loan amount forgiven. Here are our suggestions on how to stay compliant with those rules.

Suggestions

1) Qualified uses: At least 75% of your PPP loans need to be used for payroll expenses (independent contractor’s pay does not count towards payroll expenses). The remaining amount of the loan can be used for mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.

2) Spend it within 8 weeks: From the time the loan was issued, please keep in mind that your loan amount is based on 2.5 months of your payroll expenses, which is 10 weeks’ worth of payroll. However, you only have 8 weeks to spend it in order for your loan to be forgiven. If you need to adjust your payroll timing or headcount to pay out the whole PPP loan within 8 weeks, do so. Any loan amount not used for the qualified purposes will not be forgiven.

3) Payroll headcount needs to be maintained: Compare the average number of full-time employees for the 8 weeks following the loan disbursement with 1) employee headcount from Jan 1, 2020 to Feb 29, 2020 or 2) headcount from Feb 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019. Ensure that the headcount for the 8 weeks following the loan disbursement is equal to or larger than either of the comparison periods.

Exemption: Many employers are complaining that their headcount levels cannot be maintained due to employee refusal to return to work. There is an exemption of this headcount rule if the employer can provide either of the following:

  • A written re-hire offer with the same rate of pay and number of hours before the employees were laid off and.
  • A rejection to the offer from the employee.

Employees who refuse offers will no longer be able to continue with the unemployment benefits.

4) Payroll amount needs to be at least 75% from the most recent quarter: Before the 8 week loan period is complete, with the exception of any employees who receive more than $100,000 in salaries in 2019. Any reduction in pay lower than the 75% level will reduce the forgivable portion of the loan by the difference between the employee’s current pay and 75% of the original pay.

If you have previously laid off or furloughed any employees or reduced their original pay by more than 25%, you are able to reinstate their pay and rehire them before June 30, 2020.

5) Documentation and books need to be maintained: Lenders will ask you to provide the following documents. You need to have these ready:

  • Form 941
  • Payroll records
  • Other health insurance and retirement contribution documents to support your claim.

6) Currently, the forgivable loan is not taxable and expenses used under the forgivable portion of the loan is therefore not tax deductible to prevent double dipping. This means your expenses need to be clearly labeled in your books and to identify the expenses being paid by the PPP Loans. Also, we recommend business owners to house their PPP loans in a separate bank account so any expenses paid out of PPP loans are traceable and easily trackable. This will be very helpful when it comes time to file your 2020 tax returns and provide proof of your expenses.

7) For self-employed (Sch. C) business owners, it’s even more important to maintain good record keeping of your books and documents to prove that you have met the PPP loan forgivable guidelines. This ensures funds are used appropriately.

8) The amount of forgivable loans for self employed individuals on owner’s compensation replacement is calculated based on your 2019 Sch. C net profit multiplied by 8/52 weeks. Any remaining amount will need to be used for mortgage interest, rent payments, and utilities.

9) For new businesses in 2020 that were not in existence in 2019 but were in business before Feb 15, 2020, there has not been clear guidelines from the SBA on how to calculate the owner’s compensation replacement yet. We will keep you updated.

10) File your 2019 tax returns and apply for forgiveness with your lenders. Deadline for the 2019 federal tax return has been extended. If you have already submitted your Sch. C to your lenders, you might want to file the tax return but delay the payment until July 15. You will also need to apply for forgiveness with your lenders after your 8 week period.

11) Some payroll credits are not allowed if you have a PPP loan. This is to prevent double dipping since the forgivable portion of the PPP loan is not taxable. So if you have a PPP loan, you will not be qualified for the Payroll Reduction Credit. For more information on what other credits and benefits your business is eligible for, please check out our article here.

If you’re looking for help filing your tax returns (including back tax filings), bookkeeping for your business, or catch-up bookkeeping services, please feel free to contact us. We want to ensure your books are clean, your taxes are up to date, and your PPP loans are forgiven.

 

Covid-19 Guide – Accounting Measures Every SME Should Take

May 6, 2020 in Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on small-to-medium enterprises. In many countries, their entire SME landscape has been all but leveled; the disruption of supply chains and suspension of labor means most shops have shuttered for the time being. With so much uncertainty, even after four months of lockdowns, business owners face the possibility of picking up the pieces on their own once things slowly get back to normal.

If you are an accountant for SMEs, you are in a unique position to help businesses during this tumultuous time. Accounting services are especially valuable today, as essential businesses attempt to operate normally, and as the rest of the industries try to catch up. Below are some of the first things accountants must do when helping companies transition to the new normal.

1. Learn of all aid options and apply these to clients

Seek out information on financial aid, emergency funding, or other forms of assistance provided by local and national government agencies. Knowing these would help you assist clients who are in most need of public support measures, such as service and hospitality providers.

For the industries most affected by COVID-19, you can advise and guide them through the processes needed to secure claims. You can also help them identify opportunities for diversification, and access to emergency financing from the government. You might also want to re-negotiate fees and payment schedules to fit their circumstances.

If you are a member of national accountancy organizations or networks, keep in touch with representatives. They may know of aid from other countries or transnational companies, or practices that can be beneficial when translated into the local context.

2. Address urgent cash flow and business needs

Review and adjust cash flow forecasts to reflect the current situation. This is perhaps the most important service you can provide clients at the moment. Stress the importance of continuing payments to suppliers, as this will help prevent further economic collapse. Determine if cuts in sales will significantly affect their ability to meet debt payments as well.

Sit down with the business owner and see how employee payroll services can continue at this time. Examine if the business can sustain alternative ways of delivering goods and services, or if they can make cuts in other departments like marketing and sales. Scaling back the production for some items might be necessary as businesses adjust to the limited capacity of suppliers to deliver at this time. You should also look into insurance claims for financial losses.

3. Help them keep up-to-date records and contracts

Help them update financial records so they can monitor closely their situation during this time. In many countries, internal revenue collections have been deferred, but this may lead to delays in filing taxes later on. Keep clear records and provide full tax services even amid COVID-19 to prevent the loss of financial data.

You can also help them renegotiate payment terms with suppliers and debtors. Construct offers like discounts for early payment or concessions for businesses that are unable to make loan payments. In certain situations, you may have to give advice on debt reorganization for insolvent companies; this is a better outcome than full liquidation.

4. Assist in medium-term planning

Though small businesses may currently be in survival mode, you can help prevent further collapse by helping them plan for the medium term. Help your clients figure out how to make the business viable without laying off employees. Retrenchment should be a last resort, and you must help clients access alternatives.

For example, employees may be willing to take temporary pay cuts instead of suffering redundancy. This will help the business pull through this time and prepare for a possible new peak in COVID-19 infections when restrictions are eased.

The importance for our small businesses

The coronavirus pandemic has turned business upside down. This is a critical moment in global economic history and everyone’s efforts certainly matter in keeping things going.

For tailored CFO services in Boston, MA, get in touch with our accountants at A4E today.

Why You Should Hire an Outsourced Chief Financial Officer – What to Know

April 30, 2020 in CFO

All businesses, whether they are startups or conglomerates, benefit from employing a sound financial strategist. Accountants for entrepreneurs set and manage budgets, oversee forecasts. and develop strategies that will ensure a company’s liquidity and viability.

Generally speaking, this is the role of the chief financial officer or CFO. Not all companies, though, have the capital to employ someone full-time. In cases like these, the company may be best served by having an outsourced officer. Outsourcing a CFO, aside from being a cost-effective solution to a skills gap, provides a company with other benefits.

1. Outsourced CFOs are independent

Since they operate remotely, outsourced workers have little company-related bias. They can provide an independent service, which is especially important for positions that deal with company numbers and expenditures.

In-house finance officers might feel obligated to take into consideration the internal politics at their company. This can result in decisions that do not serve the company’s best interests. A CFO from outside will be less pressured in that regard and can present financial data as objectively as possible.

2. They can be a temporary solution

For companies that would prefer an internal employee, but who cannot hire one at short notice, it is a good option to have a virtual or outsourced financial officer. Businesses with resigning or a terminated finance officer can greatly benefit from having an interim outsourced one.

Aside from providing the necessary services, they can also give advice for companies that are going through a transition. CFO services can include helping a company with strategic decisions and business development. Virtual CFOs are used to working with startups or small to medium enterprises and are likely to have skill sets uniquely fit for helping new companies get started.

3. They have an existing network

Virtual CFOs, especially ones who offer freelance services on a regular basis, have large networks of contacts from financial institutions. Your company could gain access to resources, people, clients, and customers through your outsourced officer. This is valuable especially to new companies that would like to reach untapped markets.

They can also help the company find the best banks, venture capital firms, or institutional investors that will be particularly interested in your type of business. An outsourced officer with an international network can even help the company expand into another country.

4. They constantly upskill

An outsourced CFO will have a wide knowledge of other industries, as they need this to constantly gain new clients. Some CFOs have certifications outside of finance, such as in actuaries, engineering, or even law.

A particularly helpful skill is knowing about cloud accounting or online accounting solutions like QuickBooks and CRMs. A CFO who has up-to-date knowledge in information systems is a valuable addition to the company, especially one looking to be part of a competitive market.

What this means for small businesses

Virtual CFOs provide services beyond the usual budgeting, auditing, and strategizing for a firm. They can be experienced in everything from succession planning, financial modeling, risk management, and financial forecasting. They can even set up and implement financial systems for a company that is just getting off the ground. All things considered, hiring an outsourced financial officer will benefit your enterprise in the long run, and should be considered when looking at the overall financial status of your company.

For tailored CFO services, particularly for service-based businesses in Boston, MA, get in touch with us at A4E today. We offer impeccable accounting services, taking the stress off your shoulders while you grow your business.

A Quick Bookkeeping Guide for Small Business Owners

April 22, 2020 in Accounting

In small business operations, regardless of nature, bookkeeping serves as the basis for the accounting system. Bookkeepers are responsible for classifying and recording every accounting transaction of a company. As a small business owner, it is essential that you handle your financial transactions well—your business growth greatly depends on this.

Here are some of the best practices to consider to make your bookkeeping effective, ensure you always have the right data at your fingertips, and you can make better business decisions.

1 – Choose automation whenever possible

If you can, choose a bookkeeping software. Automation simplifies the tedious process that comes with dealing with data and spreadsheets. Moreover, you do not risk losing papers from hoards of folders, as these types of software are already cloud-based—all your financial data is backed up and secure.

There are many paid and free versions out there. We recommend Quickbooks as it’s the most robust solution that includes enhanced reporting functionalities. As a customer of Accountrepreneur, you’ll save up to 50% off on Quickbooks Online.

2 – Do a weekly checkup

Even as a business owner, numbers may not come naturally to you. It’s not the most exciting work for an owner, to say the least.

As such, the accounting process tends to be dull and monotonous. Your data and transactions do tend to pile up, so if you leave them be even just for a month, disaster will ensue. With no focus, you may end up with unbalanced books, unpaid invoices long overdue, and even bounced checks. To make matters worse, tax season comes around and you realize you have to pay your CPA to fix everything.

What’s it all mean to the owner? Added costs, added headaches, added stress.

To avoid these disasters, make sure to take some time to review your books at least once a week—you’ll be able to catch any problems early on.

3 – Track all your invoices carefully

At the core of every small business’s accounting processes are invoices, so it’s essential that you keep constant track of them. Unpaid invoices could mean angry vendors and partnerships.

Every invoice received and sent should be recorded, as only then will you be able to keep up with any unpaid and overdue invoices. Leaving them as is will greatly hinder the flow of profit to your business, ultimately impeding any form of growth.

Using software such as Quickbooks will make managing all your invoices much easier and will provide valuable data for when you need to understand your business’ growth.

4 – Stay on top of your business’s accounts receivable

To add to the above, carefully tracking all your unpaid and overdue accounts is crucial.

Late-paying customers will dry up your cash flow, which will then affect your budgets, ability to pay vendors and staff, and strain the business during hard times.

Pay attention to your receivables; as soon as you find something overdue, act immediately. Reach out to these customers about their pending payments. Should they express financial difficulties, see if you can come up with a payment solution plan in order to receive money owed. You can use Quickbooks to automate payment reminders.

5 – Don’t hesitate to seek professional help

You’re a small business owner, and you wanted to run a business. Instead, you’re now overseeing all your operations, customer delivery and paying workers. Not what you had in mind, right?

Numbers may just not be your forte, so do not attempt to handle something as intricate as accounting. You risk jeopardizing your business’s cash flow, which also affects the overall growth.

With these in mind, it’s best to consider seeking the help of professional accountants with CPA-level expertise. There’s a reason their industry thrives—apart from being the best in handling numbers, they know how to handle financial concerns well. They’re proactive and knowledgeable, which will be helpful when your finances may be suffering—immediate action can be taken to avert disaster!

What more can you do?

Growing your business is already a huge undertaking—managing numbers, getting customers, producing content, paying workers, and so on. The list never ends.

Our team is here to take the stress out of bookkeeping, payroll, accounting and dealing with taxes off your to-do lists. Our team of licensed CPAs and finance experts can provide that much needed relief so your time can be better spent growing the business.

Learn more about what we offer and how we can help your business grow with our accounting services.

My journey to founding and growing Accountrepreneur (A4E)

April 16, 2020 in Resources

My name is Sara, and I’m the Founder of Accountrepreneur (A4E). Yarty is our other co-founder and my husband, and together we’ve built and grown A4E to a business that has replaced our corporate career.

It’s been a long journey, a difficult one, but one that we’re proud of. We hope our journey and findings can help benefit you in your journey to becoming a founder and owner.

How it all started

My journey with Accountrepreneur began when I attended and graduated from Babson College, a school known for entrepreneurship. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and one day own my own business, so everything I did was leading to that eventual path.

After working for ten years in the public accounting industry with firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and BDO, I realized that corporate life just wasn’t a fit for me anymore. With my husband, we both decided to quit our jobs and take an opportunity to travel the world. We ended up backpacking throughout Southeast Asia for months, and it was such an incredible experience. Here’s us below in Indonesia:

After returning home from our trip, I had a deep reflection on whether I wanted to go back to the full time corporate grind or try something different. I asked myself, “Would I regret this opportunity of running my own business?” That was enough for me to realize that I needed to take this chance now.

In terms of what business to start, I felt it was natural to start with a bookkeeping and tax services business. I had had a few customers already while working full time, and I knew the business model very well because of my corporate experiences.

Being in this particular industry for so long, I realized small businesses and startups didn’t have convenient ways to have the essential accounting services. Typically, owners have one bookkeeping service, a separate tax accountant, and maybe another financial advisory (e.g. CFO) service. All of this just adds up to unnecessary added expenses and headaches.

How we decided to package our services to provide better value to our customers

With Accountrepreneur, we analyzed the pain points our customers were experiencing with other accounting providers and decided there had to be a better way. With this in mind, we decided to package our services.

Currently, we offer three packages to help entrepreneurs, startups and business owners with their bookkeeping, tax returns and financial management:

  • Starter packages start at $299/mo and covers bookkeeping and tax returns for solo founders just starting out their businesses
  • Essentials packages start at $499/mo and covers all the essential accounting and tax compliance services for a small business
  • Premium packages start at $999/mo and covers all your bases such as bookkeeping, tax returns, payroll, as well as providing budgeting and analysis to help businesses grow.
  • We also offer individualized services for businesses looking for one-off services such as tax returns.

Because I’m a licensed CPA and Yarty was a corporate finance expert working with CEOs and CFOs, it made sense for us to combine our services and provide these valuable services to our customers without the exorbitant prices.

How the journey has been for the past year

Starting out, I thought it made sense to do the work first since that was what I was most comfortable with. Although it was important for us to get our first customers, it also led to some bottlenecks in our process. That bottleneck being me of course.

I was doing sales, marketing, service delivery, accounting, customer support in addition to being a wife and mother. It was just too much!

So I decided to take a step back and ask myself, “I can’t keep doing this forever.”

That’s when I read the book “E-Myth”. That book changed how I viewed business and realized I was spending too much time being the “Technician”, not enough time being the “Entrepreneur”.

That needed to change. Immediately.

So in the past couple of months, we’ve streamlined the operations by creating documentation behind our service delivery, automating recurring tasks using tools like Zapier, brought on my husband full time to support sales and marketing, and invested in tools to grow our business.

Here’s a video tutorial we created using Loom on how to pay contractors

Simply, it’s been a life saver. I’m no longer doing everything and I’m no longer scared that things may fall apart (although that fear is always there).

Where we hope to be in the next year

Although the start to 2020 has been a bit bumpy with the stock market collapsing and the coronavirus spreading, I’m optimistic that we’ll bounce back, that small businesses and large will rebound.

Given this, we’re still investing into the business and planning for our next year and forward. We’ve already planned a number of sales and marketing initiatives to grow the business, hiring more staff, provide more opportunities, and continually streamline our operations.

My mission has never been to extract profits and generate millions in sales.

It’s always been to help business owners with their business, and we do that by taking the stress off their plate with their books, taxes and other financial aspects.

That will never change.

And although 2020 will be unpredictable, I’ll be staying optimistic and continuing to serve our customers the best we can.

Thank you for reading our story! It means so much to us, and we’re always looking to help and support other businesses where we can.

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Finally, you can reach me at sara@meeta4e.com. Feel free to reach out and say hi 🙂.

Coronavirus in the Workplace – What You Need to Know

April 15, 2020 in Covid-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading from country to country, and the cases in the US only continue to rise. As such, employers must keep track of any developments and adjust accordingly. These actions should maintain a safe workplace, as well as appropriate monitoring and responding to the situation. These include compliance with labor laws and alternative efforts, such as working remotely. Here’s a quick guide on the extent of your responsibility as an employer:

Why do employers need to think about COVID-19?

Should employers continue with normal working conditions, you risk exposing your employees to the COVID-19. While a relatively mild disease for some, the vulnerable sectors easily fall to the disease. In fact, one in every five of the COVID-19 positive ends up needing hospital treatment. You must take certain measures, which are discussed in detail below.

Your responsibilities as an employer: An overview              

Apart from disseminating information on observing proper hygiene, you may be dealing with other business concerns. That includes efforts to reduce other possible effects of the coronavirus in the workplace, such as labor standards and laws.

Efforts to ensure employee safety

  • Reinforce good hygiene practices and safety precautions – The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide employees with a healthy and safe workplace. With the threat of the pandemic, employers are naturally expected to uphold this law with the utmost importance, such as taking basic preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection and spread. These include constant reminders of hand washing, as well as providing soap, sanitizers, tissues, and masks.
  • Have your employees work remotely – Being in a digital age, you have all the means to migrate your business operations to remote work. Should you choose to do so, remember to consider security risks that may arise. As an employer, you are also required by law to provide IT support and loan equipment, as these are necessary to their job functions. Employees must also be paid for all hours worked, as well as reimbursed for work-related expenses (internet and electricity).

A review on labor standards and laws in the context of coronavirus pandemic

  • The FMLA leave The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is specifically designed for people dealing with serious health conditions and those who need to care for sick family members. This act requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for particular health-related instances.

The symptoms of the COVID-19 are flu-like, but considering its adverse effects, it can be considered as a “serious health condition” depending on the circumstances (e.g., the elderly or immuno-compromised). With these in mind, an employee infected with the coronavirus or an employee taking care of a family member with the same disease may be permitted to take the FMLA leave. It is important to note, however, that an employee with no disease and refusing to report to work out of fear cannot qualify for the FMLA leave.

  • Wage and hour issues – According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees who do not work cannot be paid. The FLSA minimum wage and overtime rules pertain to applicable hours worked during an entire workweek, so employees who do not work during such weeks are not entitled to wages. The only exception is the FLSA “white collar” employees, which pertain to the people paid on a salary basis, not hourly.

The employer is also required to pay employees according to employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, or any other contractual obligations that may apply. Keep in mind that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has allowed employees to telecommute, deducing it as an effective way for employers to remain in operation while avoiding the risk of coronavirus infections.

Conclusion

More than the labor acts and guidelines discussed above, it is imperative for businesses to remain vigilant. Most employers have drafted business continuity plans that enable them to run smoothly, which can be helpful for events like dealing with a pandemic. Those plans may include remote work, which should detail precise working hours for non-exempt employees to avoid unnecessary overtime work. Additionally, the payroll department should be included as part of a business continuity plan. However, certain transmissions and processes should be considered, especially when dealing with valuable data.

If you’re looking for reliable, trusting accountants for entrepreneurs, schedule a free consult with us. We’re here to help your business through this crucial time.