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      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges
MSchafer

Tax Time Again

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MSchafer

I've owned my own businesses for 35 years and have  always just used a paper & pencil  or some spread sheets to compile my figures but it's tedious and things get missed, I've been using the free trials of several packages Wave,Zero,quicken and some others I don't recall. Just asking the group for suggestions if any have used theses or other (very) small business accounting packages,I have no desire to actually do my taxes but want to uncomplicate my life and get ride of the shoebox, so far Wave is the front runner and it's free for what I need at this point might expand into online sales and credit/debit at some point though.

Mark

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Clueless1

Wife is a real estate agent so she basically is an independent contractor.  We have used TurboTax with good results.   Of course we haven't been audited yet.  I'm holding onto this one for that "But TurboTax worked for Tim Geithner!"

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MTRookie76

In the grand scheme of things having a CPA prepare your tax returns is a very small cost. I know nothing about those programs mentioned but as a fellow small business owner my recommendation is do yourself a favor and hire a CPA, you'll wish you had yrs ago.

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MSchafer
3 hours ago, MTRookie76 said:

In the grand scheme of things having a CPA prepare your tax returns is a very small cost. I know nothing about those programs mentioned but as a fellow small business owner my recommendation is do yourself a favor and hire a CPA, you'll wish you had yrs ago.

Like I mentioned I don't want to do my actual return and I have a great CPA but she is only as good as the bookkeeper(me) so  what I'm looking for I guess is a more automated way of gathering all the bits and pieces 

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topdog1961

I have a small side business, and an accounting degree that I don't really use, except for the fact that I do my own taxes. Likely that is a mistake. But as far as organizing revenues, expenses, inventory...etc, I just use an excel file with a worksheet for each "account". Then I throw the back up documents into a shoebox. But then again I use excel in some relatively complex applications in my day job. All of our budgeting and operating plans are developed using excel. It is one of the very few things I consider myself accomplished at. 

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MSchafer

What I like about the programs I have been trying is they import all the transaction from my bank and CC into one place and I decide what category. Wave is the best so far not a lot of unnecessary extras 

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Chief Paduke

You are on the right track. One advantage of Quicken is the  widely available assistance. 

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Dogwood

"Quick Books" all day.  Super easy, intuitive, can easily send all relevant data to your acct.  Can't believe I slogged along with a manual check book and ledgers all those years.  Plus, if or when you're audited you're screwed without accurate verifiable financial data.

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Brad Eden

Can't help out but will blather on. I'm old school. I have folders in my home office that I stuff receipts and anything else remotely needed at tax time. At one time my wife did our taxes, but my freelance design career and so many irons in the fire to keep the wolves at bay...punctuated by a couple miserable stints as an actual employee on a payroll...got and is too complicated. We use a CPA now. I due a tally of income, tax forms, hopeful deductions etc., and hand the info to her. My wife gives her all her forms etc., common to those gainfully employed. Then I am sick to my stomach waiting to see how much money I owe state and Feds. Anyone working small scale self employed/freelance knows you typically always owe money, even if you paid quarterly taxes.

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NVChukarChaser

I have done thousands of tax returns for a couple different CPA firm and have the degree to go along with it. From that perspective I would recommend quick books but have your CPA set it up for you. The biggest thing I ran into was crap in=crap out. If you are using the most expensive and advanced accounting software you still need to feed it the correct data. CPAs like to get you the biggest return, they really do, but after 21 straight 14 hour days we aren’t hunting for your deductions for you. It better be right there! 

 

I have my own side businesses and run it all through excel but I do the books every week. 

 

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FlyChamps
30 minutes ago, NVChukarChaser said:

The biggest thing I ran into was crap in=crap out.

 

I'm a sole-practitioner CPA; my practice is primarily tax preparation of which bookkeeping assistance and advice is part and parcel.

 

The importation of transactions sounds great in theory but, in my experience, doesn't always work as well in practice.  Or I should say that when it works it saves a little time but when there's a problem it can take hours to straighten out.  I've had several cases that I referred to a lady who specializes in QuickBooks to fix problems with imported transactions and her fee almost always approaches $1,000 before the mess is fixed.  In one case it was so bad that she had to set up a complete new file for the client and reenter all beginning balances, vendors, customers and transactions for the current year to fix the problem.

 

I keep the books for several clients and myself in QuickBooks and I upload the files for adjustments prior to preparing the tax returns for almost 50 additional clients.  I won't import transactions for my own books and now only a few of my clients import transactions - guess which clients I charge the most for fixing problems that don't rise to the level of calling Cathy in to help.  By the way I call Cathy for the benefit of my clients because her hourly rate is only 1/4 of mine.

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MSchafer

Honestly... all I do is look at the previous year and get the numbers that correspond to the current year for each category. My experience with quick?...etc is that they are for bigger businesses than our little family barbershop and all my side income businesses.  I'm going to go back and look at the QUICK group of programs again and see if it works for me and how I do record keeping but the fact that so many have had problems kind of mirrors what I experienced.  So far the Wave free version is looking like a winner for my application and temperament..

 

FlyChamps, are you a supporter of quickbooks or suggesting I steer clear and find what works for me?

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FlyChamps

I like QuickBooks for clients who need a "real" accounting system.  It does require a fair amount of learning plus someone knowledgeable about QuickBooks that you can call when you encounter something new or something that you do infrequently.  Once learned QuickBooks is powerful and has some useful features - just this morning I needed to know who I paid for a service in 2012 and was able to find the information in less than 5 minutes.  I just checked and I have the detail for every deposit, credit card charge and check for my business back to January 1, 2001.  I like QuickBooks but more than one-half of my clients use a pencil and paper or a Excel to summarize their revenue and expenditures at the end of the year.  If you don't have a large number of transactions and categories it works well.

 

I recommend that you talk with your CPA and ask what she recommends, because she will have to deal with the records you furnish her.

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