MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC

Helping Individuals and Businesses Financially Thrive.

Why Is It Essential to Hire an Accountant When Starting a Business?

Accounting is of great use when starting a business. Indeed, it is the tool that makes it possible to provide and store data related to the financial state of a company. However, when you embark on a business launch in Mission, TX, a large number of accounting procedures are essential stages as per Texas law. A seasoned accountant can help you in this new business venture, from the time of launch to the final steps. Let’s explore more in this month’s blog.

Get the Right Business Plan

Your business plan is the complete presentation file for your creative project. It is necessary to obtain professional aid. However, during this key stage, an accountant can support you and provide you with the knowledge on how to deal with taxes, legal and social obligations, and most importantly, how to achieve your company’s objectives. This is called the right business plan.

Ensure the Credibility of Your Project

Not only does the creation of a business have a cost, but in addition, you often need to build your credibility as a business owner and earn respect and trust for the work you do. Here, an accountant can help you analyze your market as part of your market study, carry out the legal formalities for the creation of your business, and finalize your business plan. In this area, accountants are real strategists and second-to-none. 

Detect Any Scams That May Hamper Your Business Launching Process

Money frauds are everyday things in business if you ignore organizing your records from the beginning. To avoid such kinds of potential financial losses, you must have a trusted person to keep a regular check on your cash flow and manage your records. A seasoned accountant or bookkeeper is a sensible investment to operate a successful business. You need to play smart if you want a successful launch.

Related: Learn more on how an accountant can save your business from fraud here.

Conclusion

Remember, launching a business is a big achievement in itself, but hiring the right accountant will be another feather in your cap. Rely on our accountants and bookkeepers! Contact MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC to be well-supported and guided at each stage of the creation and development of your business. Our accountants take the time to explain each possibility to you.

A Foolproof Plan to Get Your Finances in Order in 2023

Managing one’s finances is full of complications and technicalities. It is essential for people to take out some time to manage their finances. If a person can learn to manage their money, they are already on the path to financial freedom. If you struggle with financial management, you are not alone. The following is a foolproof plan to get back on track with your finances.

1. Set a budget.

The first step to getting a hold of your finances is to make a budget. Figure out and calculate how much you spend every month. This includes your rent, utilities, fuel expenses, and groceries. Having set numbers for the exact budget helps you control your expenses, and you have a fair idea of how much you can save and spend on other things. Sticking to your budget will help you start off with an understanding of your spending behavior.

2. Save money by distinguishing between wants and needs.

Saving money is the hardest task for many people. If you want to save money, we have a simple way for you to plan your savings easily. Distinguish between your wants and needs. Drawing this line helps you figure out where you are wasting money or whether it is even necessary to spend or not. After figuring out your budget, make a realistic goal of how much money you will save every month. Believe in the principles of compound interest and see your savings soar in a year.

Related: “Expenses That You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductions!”

3. Use automation to your advantage.

Automating your bill payments is another step towards taking control of your finances. Automating your finances will make sure that you are sticking to the plan and that no bills go overdue. There are many benefits of using automation to your advantage in this regard. It takes away the stress of remembering to pay on all the different dates. Plus, it also saves you from late payment fees.

4. Be done with your debt.

The next step in this plan is to get rid of your debts in the first place. With your accumulated savings, pay off your debts before it starts accumulating more interest. It is always better to be done with your debts so you can move forward more freely and be in control of your finances. Experts advise building up an emergency fund right after you have paid off your debts. This fund will secure your assets from liquidation in case of any emergency.

5. Strategize for your long-term financial plans.

The best time to start investing in long term financial plan was yesterday. The second best is right now. Do not delay in making long term plans regarding your finances. The best approach towards planning is careful and informed deliberation of your finances. Now that you are clear of your debts and have an emergency fund set up, start looking into your retirement plans and generating enough to develop a fair passive income. Ask yourself what you want for your retirement and get the help of a professional to help you with it.

Conclusion

Financial checkups should be treated just like an annual visit to the doctor. You can discover a lot of new things while managing your finances. If you need assistance, hire the professionals who will do it for you. Whether you are an individual with a job or a business owner, you can benefit greatly from the services of a professional accountant in meeting your financial goals. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC offers financial consulting, professional accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation services, and more in Mission, TX. Visit our website to learn more about our services or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.      

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant – Which Is Better?

Bookkeepers and accountants both support and manage businesses at different stages of the financial cycle. Therefore, it gets hard to distinguish between each process. Do you want to learn about the difference between bookkeeping and accounting? To help you get a better understanding, we have compiled an in-depth analysis that will explain the functional differences between accounting and bookkeeping. Scroll down to read more!

The Key Differences between Accounting and Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping Tasks 

  1. It helps you record and categorize your business’s daily payments and expenses. 
  2. It helps you send customer invoices.
  3. It also helps you to record all the payments received throughout the month and year.
  4. It even helps you conduct bank reconciliation every month.
  5. It helps to prepare books for the accountant.

Related: “What’s the Difference between Accountants and Bookkeepers?”

Accounting Tasks

  1. It helps you perform accurate audits.
  2. It provides you with tax advice.
  3. It even helps you file tax returns and conducts tax planning.
  4. It helps you analyze the cost of operations.
  5. It even helps in advising business owners during their financial decision-making.

Related: “Accounting for Small Business Owners”

The Functions of Bookkeeping and Accounting

Bookkeeping is comprised of:

  1. Posting debits and credits. 
  2. Producing invoices.

Accounting is comprised of:

  1. Analyzing the costs of operations.
  2. Completing income tax returns.

Related: “How to Find a Reliable Accountant”

Which Is Better?

Both bookkeepers and accountants are required for organizing financial records and balancing finances, along with accurate tax filing. Plus, both accounting and bookkeeping play a vital role in contributing to the long-term success of every business. However, you should know that the charges for accounting and bookkeeping may vary accordingly. Lastly, it all depends on your choice, as whichever option you choose, your main concern should be to help your business grow and expand at the same time.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking for professional accounting and bookkeeping services, you can rely on MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC. We offer professional accounting and bookkeeping services and support from a team of knowledgeable experts in Mission, TX. Check our website to learn more about our services, or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.

How Forensic Accounting Saves Your Business from Fraud

No company in the world is completely safe from a variety of internal and external threats such as fraud and misinformation. As such, it is critical for a business to work with forensic accountants to make sure everything is in order regarding accounting and bookkeeping operations. Forensic accountants have keen minds and they like figuring out what really happened! In this month’s blog, we will discuss how forensic accounting keeps your business away from fraud and how to choose the right accountant for this task.

You May Benefit From A Forensic Accountant If…

First of all, before hiring a forensic accountant, you have to determine when and why you need their services and help. Well, if you have been robbed, are suffering from commercial damages, or even if you catch one of your employees stealing from your business, then it’s time to seek their assistance. A forensic accountant is a trained professional that combines a set of skills to investigate financial cases from the inside out.

Related: Learn more about the main role of a forensic accountant here.

How to Hire the Right Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant must have many skills to be able to do their job to the fullest and provide the desired results. Nevertheless, forensic accountants can specialize in a variety of industries. Therefore, hire someone who has undertaken similar cases before. Not to mention that you have to research their portfolio, experience, and credibility.

The Objectives of Forensic Accounting

While forensic accounting primarily aims to detect fraud in financial activities, it has much more far-reaching implications than simply identifying fraud.

Below are four forensic accounting objectives:

  • It can help the company reduce losses significantly.
  • Forensic accounting ensures that business activities are legitimate.
  • It can help businesses avoid a range of legal threats.
  • Forensic accounting can help a company develop value-added economic policies.

Related: Learn more about forensic accounting and how it works here.

Conclusion

Nowadays, our news feeds are constantly flooded with stories regarding fraudulent acts. The age of the internet has given scammers and cybercriminals an opportunity and a channel to fraud businesses. This is where a forensic accountant comes in handy. If you need seasoned a forensic accountant in Mission, TX, choose MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC. We have many years of experience in the industry and specialize in all accounting areas. To learn more about our accounting firm and services, visit our website.

Expenses That You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductions!

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Tax deductible expenses are basically work or company expenses in which the government allows tax relief. During tax season, it is much better to come prepared and have all your books and records straight for a successful financial audit. You can claim tax deductions on expenses that are exclusively made in the interest of the business as per HMRC. The following is a list of tax deductibles that you can claim this tax season.

1. Expenses of Your Business

If you have invested a significant amount of capital on the expenses of a startup or your business, you can claim it all as a tax deductible by showing it as a business expense. All the hardware and supplies like computers and office stationery necessary to set up your business, the cost of business registration as a licensed product, the web domain fees, and advertising are all under the umbrella of tax deductibles. Any expenses that are paid for using personal funds can be claimed when the company or legal entity starts trading, so be sure to keep receipts and maintain accurate records.

2. Office Maintenance

For any repairs and maintenance work for your office, the amount is tax deductible. If you are working from an office, you can also file your rent for the premises as a tax deductible as well. This also includes small business owners who work in a home office. In this case, you would have to report what percentage of your home is used for your business and measure your work space.

3. Electricity, Water, and Gas Bills

Due to the spread of COVID-19, people were assigned to work from home. If you also work from home, you can easily claim a certain percentage of your electricity, water, and gas bills as tax deductibles. Determine how much of your home is used for professional work purposes. The said amount will be registered as a tax deductible amount from all your expenditure. This includes power bills, council tax, and even some part of the interest on your mortgage payment.

4. Subscriptions

If you are paying for subscriptions strictly for professional purposes, it can also be stated as a tax deductible. For example, a production company will have access to multiple editing and animation software products.

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Conclusion

Claiming tax deductibles is a technical aspect and should be left to seasoned professionals to take care of it. Are you looking for a public accountant to take care of your financial affairs? Let a professional do it for you. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC offers professional accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services at affordable rates in Mission, TX. Visit our website to learn more about our services or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.  

Ways to Help Your Clients Survive an Audit

Audits can happen to anyone and at any time and can easily stress and petrify any client or tax professional. As a result, it is your responsibility to look after your client and ensure that they face the situation with caution. With your assistance, advice, and support, your clients can deal with audits professionally. Not only this, but with your necessary accounting and tax services, your clients can easily overcome late tax payments, fines, and other issues. To help you out, we have created a guide that will help you know what to do if your client ever goes through an audit.

You can be a representative.

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At times, tax rules can be complicated and can vary depending on the situations and clients. Therefore, it becomes necessary to have adequate counsel from a professional and well-experienced tax specialist. If you are a CPA or an enrolled agent, then you can easily be a volunteer and represent your client. This way, you can ease the stress of your client and seek out better solutions for audits.

Related: “How to Minimize Your Chance of an Audit”

Assist your client with their tax record.

Try to assist and work with your client to make sure all the valid records are arranged in the correct order and can easily be submitted to the IRS for a successful audit. You can also advise your clients to keep clear and transparent records throughout the year. This way, you have all the important information readily available if the IRS needs it.

Everything is written in black and white.

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Ask your client to demand their auditors capture their contacts on paper or with narrative explanations. Not only that, but you can also encourage your clients to keep records of all their formal and informal contacts with their auditor. This allows you to easily take care of the official requests and document exchanges that may likely appear in the future.

Related: “What is the Audit Process?”

Plan ahead of time.

Instead of rushing at the end, encourage your client to plan ahead of time. Ask them to arrange all the paperwork correctly and provide support for the position they have taken or plan to take. Though time extensions are frequently granted on legitimate requests, it is still better to take the proper time to plan ahead because you might not know what circumstances and challenges you might encounter in the future.

The Bottom Line

If you need professional auditing advice, rely on MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC. We are here to make the process easy and stress-free for our valued clients. Just let us know your requirements and we will ensure all your audit needs are successfully met. Learn more about our services by visiting our website or by calling us at (956) 997-0067.

How the Landscape of Internal Auditing Will Change in Coming Years

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COVID-19, undoubtedly, affected the entire work dynamics and environment on a global level. Every field had to adapt to new circumstances. Internal auditing faced a number of unprecedented challenges. It brought a number of opportunities and challenges alike. It has, in fact, become a race against time to be prepared for the inevitable. The following are the key risks we believe that internal auditors will need to focus on.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an elephant in the room and we need to address it fast. With COVID-19, we saw an increased dependance on technology among all organizations, no matter what field you choose to review. Cybersecurity has become one of the greatest concerns among corporations and businesses. Data security should be the first concern of internal auditors in 2022.

Other Risk Factors That Require Auditing Efforts

Apart from cybersecurity, the following are growing key risk factors that all internal auditors must be prepared for by 2030:

  • Continental drifts in the global economy
  • Diversity of the workforce
  • Efficacy of management from the top hierarchy
  • Inevitable climate change
  • Rising artificial intelligence and its implementation

Strategies and Resources to Overcome the Upcoming Challenges

There is always a silver lining to a dark cloud. Amidst the crisis, resources have grown considerably in favor of internal auditors to tackle the aforementioned risks of the future. Here are some tactic driven approaches to take out the problem in a constructive manner:

  1. Proactively prepare for the key risks by considering their solutions right now rather than later.
  2. Figure out the necessary skills required for the future and train your staff, so everyone is equipped with an adequate skill set for a relevant job market.
  3. Develop a communication link between the workers and stakeholders in the organization for a better understanding of the company’s future goals.
  4. Introduce and adopt technology and the latest methods and practices of the trade to maximize results and stay up to date with the market.
  5. Gather all the experience and data retrieved through remote working and test possibilities with a hybrid-working environment.
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Conclusion

Internal audit requires many qualifications and years of experience to develop an insight on how finances run through the market and corporations. Are you looking for a public accountant to take care of your financial affairs? Let a professional do it for you. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC offers professional accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services at affordable rates in Mission, TX. Visit our website to learn more about our services or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.     

What Can a Forensic Accountant Help You With?

A forensic accountant is a person who has all the expertise and skills needed to thoroughly investigate financial cases. He or she can also provide you with professional advice and solutions to overcome issues. So, if you’re thinking about which matters a forensic accountant can help you with, stress less. To clear your doubts, we’ve discussed all the possibilities that you can consider.

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1. A Shareholder or Partner Dispute

If you’re a person who is involved in a shareholder or partner dispute, fret not. A forensic accountant can help you with all sorts of disputes. The accountant will carefully study, analyze, and take the whole situation into consideration. Without being biased, the accountant will help determine the benefits and compensation that are owed to each shareholder and partner. The accountant will also ensure that the shareholder and partner agree to continue a diplomatic partnership. Not only this, but also accepting the outcome.

2. Selling your business

A forensic accountant can also assist you in figuring out a precise valuation of your company, so that you are well aware of how much it’s worth when the time comes to sell it. Even if you don’t plan to sell your company, at least you will know the value of your business and stay in the loop.

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3. Account Record

It becomes quite crucial to keep an eye on your business and also ensure that it is in good trustworthy hands when there are many people handling your records, because accounting malpractice can happen at any time. But if you lack expertise and you are suspicious about your bookkeeper, a forensic accountant can help you maintain accounting records. The accountant will walk you through the whole record your bookkeeper is maintaining and review how exactly they were handling.

4. Commercial Damage

You can also refer to a forensic accountant if you are suffering from commercial damage. The accountant will accurately study all the breaches of the contract, fraud, and construction claims and will provide you with expert testimony. Once the review of all the complexities of a commercial damage case is completed, your accountant can also help you present the facts to the jury.

5. The Fraud Risk Assessment

Not every person working and holding a position of power can be trustworthy. If you believe that your manager is involved in fraudulent activities, you can hire a forensic accountant. The accountant with all this expertise and experience will perform a fraud risk assessment. This process will help you prevent further financial theft at your workspace.

Conclusion

If you come across any of these situations, you should consult the professional services of a forensic accountant immediately. They will undoubtedly protect you and provide you with the best solutions. For instance, if you’re looking for a forensic accountant, you can rely on MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC. We offer professional forensic services in Mission, TX. Check our website to learn more about our services, or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.

How to File Your Taxes in 2022

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Tax season is upon us. It can be a daunting and tiresome experience, especially for the people who are filing taxes for the first time. So, if you are in a jam thinking about how you are going to file your taxes, we have a cheat sheet for you to follow up with. Read the following article and get the basics of filing your taxes.

1. Select Your Tax Filing Method

There are basically 3 ways to file your taxes. The first one is that you fill out an IRS Form 1040 and send it through mail. We don’t recommend it because paper processes take up to 6-8 weeks.

The second way is to file taxes online through a tax software. It is a fairly easy method that covers all the areas that are under inquiry during the audit. IRS also offers access to tax preparation software. You must have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less to avail this service.

The third one is to hire a professional tax expert or tax preparer. The professionals are well-aware of everything that goes in the system. They are familiar with all the requirements and technicalities involved in the process of the IRS audit. You might want to seek the guidance of a professional if you have a healthy earning side gig.

2. Have a Clear Understanding of How Taxation Works

Your payable tax amount is determined by dividing your taxable income in to tax brackets. Each bracket gets taxed at a corresponding tax rate. This system ensures fairness. So, a person with a high taxable income will pay more taxes and a person with a low taxable income will be subject to a small amount of tax as per the laws.

3. Know Your Tax ABC

You need to gather all the right documents and get them organized or you will be scrambling for everything at the last minute. It is good to be prepared and ready for everything. Here is a list of must-have documents that you will need during the process.

  • Social Security Numbers (Yours and the dependents)
  • W-2 Form (Form that states your annual earnings from last year and how much tax you have already paid)
  • 1099 Forms (Records that a person or entity gave or paid you money)
  • Contributions towards retirement
  • Proof of state and local taxes you paid
  • Educational expenses
  • Unreimbursed medical bills

4. Settle Your Score With the IRS

If you have outstanding balance against IRS, now would be a great time to pay it all back. You can use cash, electronic payment methods, wire transfers, checks, and credit/debit cards to clear whatever you owe to the IRS.

If you can’t pay your taxes in one go, you can opt for an IRS payment plan. You can choose between a long-term plan or a short-term payment plan. Both come with their own pros and cons. Whatever you select, you will be making monthly payments after this.

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Conclusion

As discussed in our blog, it is quite helpful if you hire the services of a professional tax expert to file the taxes for you. This will give you the freedom of mind so you can focus on better and more productive things in your life. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC offers professional accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services at affordable rates in Mission, TX. Check our website to learn more about our services or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.

How Accountants Can Help You Make the Leap from Good to Great

Behind every successful business is a great accountant – that is one of the key reasons why small companies become great.

Being a business owner is a huge job with many facets, since running a business involves so many important challenges and you are responsible for them all. But skilled accountants can lighten your load by taking responsibility for a few of these challenges based on their deep knowledge of tax loopholes, deductions, and government subsidies.

In this month’s post, we’ll show you exactly how the work of an accountant supports the long-term growth and success of your business.

What Do Accountants Do?

To begin with, we’d like to bring to your attention that there are many types of accountants, and each accountant can specialize in a particular area. However, public accountants might be the most critical financial consultants for business accounting. Public accountants often work independently and may contract with companies. Not only will they improve financial processes and produce reports and data, but they will also advise you on planning strategies, helping you with tax preparation, and other financial planning.

Is an Accountant Able to Transform Your Business From Good to Great?

While some companies settle for good results, there are other companies in the same industry and with the same opportunities that manage to make the leap from good to great. You may wonder how that is possible, and if so, how? The answer is figuring out if your business needs accountants, then handing over your financial tasks to them and having confidence in them. You heard it right!

Accountants can do an amazing job in improving business efficiency and saving money. An experienced accountant strives to give you all the information you need to make competent and effective business decisions.

Here are some of the specific services provided by a masterful accountant:

  • Advice and Assistance in Selecting a Business Entity

You have to work extensively with an accountant before any official registering of your business, because every decision you make early on will have a huge impact on the future potential of your company. Therefore, getting all the information you can get is crucial to making the right choices.

  • Create and Maintain Cash Flow Projections

A healthy cash flow is essential for a healthy business. That’s exactly what a masterful accountant will do. They will help you assess your cash flow and take control of it by studying your business and keeping you up-to-date about your business budget.

A great accountant will provide you with neat weekly and monthly budget reports so you can know how the budget is flowing in and out of your business.

  • Offer Financial Advice

In the business world, there is nothing better than an experienced accountant to advise you. When working with clients and jumping in to make big purchases or start new marketing campaigns, it’s best to consult with an accountant who can analyze the risks and benefits of your options.

Final Thoughts

The leaders of great companies get the right people on the bus and put them in the right seats; then they figure out where to drive it. Be sure to work with the best accountant in your city. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC offers the most professional accounting services in Mission, TX. Our experienced accountants will cover all of those exhausting tasks and accompany you through your business journey. Please call us at (956) 997-0067 to learn more information about our working hours or visit our website for more information.

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