Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Keeping up with your tax obligations is a crucial part of managing your small business. While hiring an accountant is one way to reduce the burden, it is not your only option. Several valuable tax prep resources exist to help you streamline the process.
The average small business generates a slew of expenses. Tracking receipts for everything from equipment purchases to expenses for office celebrations can be taxing. Expensify eliminates some of the hassle. This handy application allows you to record cash purchases, import credit card transactions, track your mileage, and scan paper receipts with your mobile device. When the information is uploaded, you can create detailed expense reports, or import it all into accounting programs like QuickBooks and Xero.
Pricing for the most basic plan starts at $5 per month. For the corporate plan, it’s $9 per month. A premium option is also available for businesses that prefer a customized experience. Pricing in that instance is based on the features selected.
Business owners in search of a more comprehensive program for managing financials would do well to invest in solid accounting software. QuickBooks is one of the most popular and it is not a budget buster.
Business owners can create invoices, track expenses, run payroll, schedule bill payments, create profit and loss statements and accept payments, all with QuickBooks. You can link your bank accounts and credit cards, for easy reconciliation of all transactions. QuickBooks also syncs with hundreds of other applications including Square, PayPal and Shopify. When it’s time to file your taxes, you’ll have all the necessary information in one application, instead of having to triangulate data from multiple sources.
Online access to the software starts at $10 per month for the Independent Contractor package, going up to $40 per month for the most comprehensive small business package, excluding payroll. Adding on the payroll feature comes at an extra cost.
Taking a DIY approach to filing your taxes may seem scary, but with the right tax software, the task becomes a little less overwhelming. If you’re already using applications like Expensify or QuickBooks to track your income and expenses, preparing your return may be as simple as importing this information into TurboTax.
The software is easy to use, even if you have no experience with tax preparation. It is designed to help you find every credit and deduction your business qualifies for, determine the appropriate depreciation method to use for business assets, and prepare W-2s or 1099s for employees.
Current pricing is set at $104.99 for federal returns and $39.99 for state returns. Compared to hiring an accountant, this is a bargain.
An online bookkeeper may be the answer for business owners who prefer a more personalized touch. Bench offers an all-in-one approach to bookkeeping, so you can focus on running your business. Signing up for the service gives you access to your own bookkeeping team, who will do all the work of reconciling accounts, categorizing expenses, and keeping tabs on receipts. All you have to do is link your bank and PayPal accounts to Bench’s software; they’ll do the rest. When it’s time to file your taxes, you can download the data from your Bench account to use in a tax-prep program, or Bench can connect you to an accountant in their partner network.
Service plans start at $135 per month for the micro plan [3 bank and credit card accounts and 1 custom add on], rising to $385 per month for the enterprise plan [6 bank and credit card accounts and 4 custom add ons].
Filing and paying taxes is an unavoidable part of running a business, but there are ways to make the process more manageable. Each of the resources outlined has pros and cons with regards to features offered and pricing plans. Evaluate the particular needs of your business to determine which tools will be most suitable.
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