Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the "a" word


Hello friends, this is Beans again, in case you missed the post yesterday I'm all up in my wife's blog right now laying down some crazy good posts, only tangentially related to the real purpose of the blog, while she is in North Carolina soaking up the sun (maybe? I actually don't know how warm it is there right now) and southern cooking.


Hello delicious

But while she is off having fun, we are going to discuss some serious stuff.  This isn't going to be some whimsical, good-time-party blog post.

This one's about accounting.


I did an image search for "accounting jokes" and this is all that came up.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a CA - a chartered accountant, and I work for an accounting firm.  But accounting isn't the "A" word.  When I tell people I'm an accountant the worst they think is that I'm boring (people who have never seen a group of young professionals try to recover dozens of hours of unpaid overtime at firm-sponsored open bar events).  No, the cringes and shudders and, in more than a few cases, curse words, come when I say the real "A" word:

Auditor.

Like many other people working for accounting firms, I do financial statement audits, which means large corporations hire our firm to come in and independently certify that all their figures are correct and in-line with accounting standards.  In fact there are all kinds of auditors, not just the scary, government, make-sure-you-are-paying-your-taxes auditors that most people picture when they hear the word (although I know a few of them and they are really nice people too).  

So, what does all this mean for Laura?  Well, unfortunately, it means that until this operation of hers is clearing millions in sales and is considering bringing in shareholders, the skills that I have from my job are completely useless to her.  

So, to get it all out on the table, there's nothing creative or exciting that I can do to save Laura thousands in taxes.  But here's a couple simple things we do for her business that might be good for yours too:
  1. Home office - we have a room that is only used for business purposes, and Laura doesn't have a studio or other office space, so we deduct a percentage of our mortgage interest (could substitute rent here), electricity, heating, security monitoring, etc.  Percentage is based on square footage of the office vs. the house.
  2. Automobile - we deduct automobile expenses like fuel, oil changes, and repairs based on the percentage of kilometers used for business purposes.  This requires you track all usage of the vehicle but can be worth a couple hundred dollars depending on how much you travel.  For clarity - travelling to and from your office does not count as business usage.
  3. Later filing deadline - when you report business income on your personal return, your filing deadline is extended out to June 15.  You still have to pay by April 30, but you can do a rough estimate and pay based on that and then tax a little extra time to file.
And that's about all the secrets I have.  Remember, keeping track of receipts and keeping up with your bookkeeping can definitely save you some effort at the end of the year.  And with that sentence I couldn't possibly sound more like an accountant if I tried.

Phew... that's that it for tax-time, even I'm bored right now.

- Beans



2 comments:

  1. Keep up the good work Beans.

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  2. This might be my fave blog post ever (no offence Laura - or Zach re: our pics) !!!! I'm pretty much crying tears of "a" word joy right now, wishing every small business owner could see tax tips like this.

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