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Business Continuity


Tax Breaks Available to Some Businesses That Got PPP Loans

January 11, 2021 / by Jeff Kordela posted in Chesapeake Region, MD, Business Continuity

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Your company might be eligible for ERC tax credits of up to $5,000 per employee — even if you were previously told your PPP loan made you ineligible.

What started as a health pandemic has become a business pandemic. Many companies, even some that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, continue to fight for survival. But some businesses can receive additional assistance thanks to provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, which extends Employee Retention Credit (ERC) benefits until July 1.

And if you think changes to the ERC don't affect you because you got a PPP loan, think again. Yes, initially, businesses had to choose between PPP and ERC for pandemic relief. But now some businesses that took PPP loans are retroactively eligible for tax breaks of up to $5,000 per employee under the ERC. If your business qualifies, you don't want to miss this opportunity.

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Top 3 Reasons to Use Online Bookkeeping and Move Your Business Forward

December 8, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Bookkeeping Services, Business Continuity

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Thinking of switching to remote bookkeeping? You would be in good company. More and more businesses are outsourcing bookkeeping to become more efficient.

As COVID-19 has made clear, remote capabilities are a virtual necessity in all aspects of today's business world, including bookkeeping. If you still haven't taken your books online, here are three reasons why you should, along with tips on how to get started.

1. It's Paperless
Until recently, bookkeeping required lots of paperwork. Invoices, receipts, tax forms — all those individual pieces of paper had to be logged, organized and stored. But if you're still keeping paper records, you're not only wasting time, energy and storage space, you’re taking unnecessary risks.

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Selling in the Time of COVID-19

November 17, 2020 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Small Business Advice, Boston, Business Advice, Business Continuity

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Ready to increase your sales numbers? In a recent podcast, Steve Schultz shares his tactics for selling bookkeeping and controller services during COVID.

How does a company achieve sales success in a challenging market? That was the focus of a recent Sales Game Changers Podcast hosted by Fred Diamond, Co-founder and President of the Institute for Excellence in Sales.

Diamond's guest, Supporting Strategies Chief Evangelist and VP of Franchise Development Steve Schultz, said success starts with a simple reality check. "Our goals didn't change," Schultz said of the company's approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, "but our tactics have had to change."

Those adjusted tactics include the following …

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Business Planning for the New Year? Start with Bookkeeping.

November 12, 2020 / by Dawn Hershik posted in Small Business Advice, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Bookkeeping Services, Business Continuity

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If you made any unplanned changes in your business this year, you'll want to get an early start on year-end bookkeeping as you plan for 2021.

Let's face it: 2020 hasn't gone the way any of us expected. But that very unpredictability reinforced the core messages in the blog I wrote last year about the importance of annual business planning. The more informed you are about budget trends, tax-planning strategy and your long-range financial outlook, the more readily you can adapt to speed bumps and curveballs. And 2020 provided more than its share of those.

What will 2021 bring? No one knows. One thing is certain, however: Preparation matters now more than ever. And it all starts with solid bookkeeping.

How Did 2020 Change Your Business?
The disruptive events of 2020, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, have touched everyone. So before you can chart a roadmap for your business in 2021, you need to gauge the extent of those disruptions. For most businesses, that means answering these three questions:

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Best Practices for Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness

October 13, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Bookkeeping Services, Business Continuity

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Ready to have your PPP loan forgiven? Working with a professional bookkeeping and controller services provider can make the process much easier. 

Note: Please visit the Small Business Administration's PPP website for the current details.

Forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans can be a lifesaver for small businesses — provided those businesses follow all the steps required to actually have a loan forgiven. It can be a challenging process, which is why many businesses have turned to professional bookkeepers rather than go the DIY route.

Bookkeepers Know the PPP Procedures
Professional bookkeepers stay on top of all the Small Business Administration bulletins pertaining to the PPP program — bulletins like Interim Final Rule on Revisions to the Third and Sixth Interim Final Rules. Wondering how a rule can be both "interim" and "final" (not to mention why a final rule would need revision)? Well, let's just say that despite the government's best intentions, PPP loan forgiveness is a moving target. That's why you should seek assistance from somebody whose job it is to keep up with the changes.

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How Today's Numbers Drive Business Decisions for Next Year

October 8, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Bookkeeping Services, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC, Business Continuity

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

Ready for 2021? Insights into current cash flow are more important than ever for creating an accurate forecast.

If revenue was lower than anticipated at your business this year, you're not alone. But if you were among the fortunate ones whose business remained open or only had a brief disruption, you have an opportunity to regroup and get a fresh start next year. And it all starts with examining your current cash flow.

Understanding the Numbers
For any business to succeed, it must have enough cash available to pay expenses, bank loans, taxes and salaries and to purchase whatever inventory and equipment is necessary to function effectively. That's why the kind of disruption in cash flow that many businesses suffered this year has been so unsettling. Some organizations suddenly found themselves unable to pay their bills.

If you're in that category, now isn't the time to panic — that's never a good approach. But it is the time to apply a sense of urgency and figure out a way forward in this new financial reality.

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Managing Accounts Receivable for Prompt Payment

September 8, 2020 / by George Stephen posted in Bookkeeping Services, Northern Chicago, Business Continuity

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From reviewing your A/R aging each week to knowing how and when to follow up, these collection strategies will help you get paid.

Considering the importance of cash, it's surprising collections is one of the more neglected processes for businesses. It easily gets out of control if not managed consistently. Especially in the current environment, you need to have a systematic approach in place.

Here's how to manage your accounts receivable to ensure timely payments.

Know Your Cash Status
Like brushing your teeth, getting paid requires consistent effort to avoid unpleasant surprises. While tools are available to automate certain aspects, you still must devote time to compiling and reviewing transactions as well as confirming your records are up to date and accurate.

It all starts with billing. Your invoices should contain all required information to be paid (accurate descriptions, P.O. numbers, bank instructions, etc.) and be sent as soon as possible. Having any missing information and/or not following a client's procedure just delays payment.

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Update Your Business Plan for the Pandemic

August 11, 2020 / by Dee Johnson posted in Chicago Northwest Suburbs, Business Continuity

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Learn how the process of planning can help you prepare your business for unexpected changes.

Remember when you wrote your original business plan before starting your company? And remember the last time you updated it, say, late in 2019? That seems like a different world now, doesn't it?

Well, that was a different world. COVID-19 changed everything, and you need to adjust your business plan accordingly.

A Business Plan Is an Informed Prediction
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

I love that quote. What Eisenhower meant was that committing to a specific plan was foolish, because it doesn't allow any wiggle room when circumstances change — as they always do. However, the process of planning gives you valuable intelligence about what to expect so you can react appropriately.

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Updates on PPP Loan Forgiveness, Including Safe Harbors

July 20, 2020 / by Linan Zhang posted in Business Continuity, Southwest Houston, TX

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Are you applying for loan forgiveness on your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan? Learn about safe harbor provisions and coverage period restrictions.

Note: Please visit the Small Business Administration's PPP website for the most current details.

As of July 14, American businesses had received more than 4.9 million loans through the PPP. All of those loans — some $518 billion worth — are eligible for forgiveness under certain circumstances. Make sure you understand the requirements.

Payroll and Salary Criteria
Initially, the PPP stipulated that 75% of any loan had to be dedicated to payroll costs. But recent legislation revised that figure to 60%.

That's just one of many adjustments. The government's latest Loan Forgiveness Application revision, which has two application forms and two corresponding instructions, can be confusing. We will try to summarize the changes by focusing on a few key provisions.

Coverage period definitions and restrictions: Businesses that received their PPP loan by June 4 can still choose an eight-week period for their loan. However, just like post-June 4 borrowers, they may also elect to use a 24-week period. Among other things, choosing the 24-week option effectively increases the maximum amount you can pay any individual employee with PPP funds from $15,385 to $46,154 (prorated based on a $100,000 cap on annual salary).

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Reopen for Business: How to Adapt to New Financial Realities

July 16, 2020 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Continuity

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How can your company regain the momentum it lost due to the coronavirus outbreak? Here are bookkeeping strategies for finding your new normal.

If your business is among the many that have just reopened, or plan to shortly, after the COVID-19 shutdown, you might feel like you're starting all over again. And yes, there are some similarities between starting a business and restarting a business. But there are important differences, too. Let's look at how you can prepare for these new realities with bookkeeping best practices.

That No-Revenue Déjà Vu
The most vivid reminder of your startup days is probably the lack of immediate revenue to cover your expenses. There's no question that can be a source of stress, particularly if your business has substantial upfront costs or a significant burn rate.

In addition, depending on the nature of your business and your particular state's reopening guidelines, you might have to budget for additional expenses that you never had to worry about in a pre-pandemic world, such as Plexiglas shields or extra cleaning staff.

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