MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC

Helping Individuals and Businesses Financially Thrive.

Tag: business finances (page 1 of 3)

Accounting Considerations When Transitioning Your Hobby into a Business

Many people dream of turning a hobby into a small business. Perhaps you’re a chef and would like to open a restaurant. Or maybe you’d like to turn your photography passion into profit. You might not face significant accounting challenges if your new business is profitable over time, but what if the new business’ expenses exceed income? In this month’s blog, we’ll show you key considerations to keep in mind to ensure your transition is smooth and financially sound.

Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate

One of the first steps is to open a separate business bank account. This distinction between personal and business finances is not just a best practice; it’s essential. Mixing the two can lead to confusion, making it challenging to track your business expenses and income accurately. Moreover, it can create issues when it’s time to manage your financial records.

Understand Your Costs

Accurately tracking and understanding your costs is critical. This includes both fixed costs (rent, utilities, and insurance) and variable costs (materials, shipping, labor, etc.). Knowing your break-even point—the point at which your revenue equals your costs—will help you price your products correctly and ensure your business is profitable.

Understand the Accounting Principles Behind Revenue Recognition

While not all businesses are required to comply with the revenue recognition principle of accounting, it’s important to take the time to understand it. In the US, according to the revenue recognition principle of ASC 606, revenue should be recognized when the delivery of promised goods or services matches the amount expected by the company in exchange for the goods or services. 

This will help ensure your financial statements accurately reflect your business’s financial health, and how your business is doing financially.

Related: Learn more about why your business isn’t making money and how to fix it here.

Consider Hiring a Professional

While DIY accounting is possible, hiring a professional accountant can save you time and help you avoid costly mistakes. An accountant can offer valuable insights, ensure compliance with financial regulations, and provide advice tailored to your specific business needs. Additionally, ensure your accountant adheres to accounting ethics to maintain the highest standards in your business operations.

Hire MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC

At MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these complexities and set your business up for success. We’ve helped many small businesses like you lay a strong foundation for your business’s financial health. Visit our website at mruiz-cpa.com or call us at (956) 997-0067 to learn more about how we can assist you in making your business financially sound and profitable.

Accounting Ethics: Upholding Integrity and Professionalism in the Field

Accounting ethics are the cornerstone of trust and credibility in the financial industry. As accountants, maintaining integrity and professionalism is not just a regulatory requirement but a fundamental aspect of our responsibility to clients, stakeholders, and the public. Adhering to a strict code of ethics ensures that financial information is reported accurately and transparently, fostering confidence in financial markets and business operations. In this month’s blog, we discuss the importance of ethics, integrity, and professionalism as an accountant.

Ethics and Reputation

Upholding integrity in accounting involves consistently applying ethical principles such as honesty, fairness, and objectivity. Accountants are often entrusted with sensitive financial information and are responsible for making decisions that can significantly impact businesses and individuals. Ethical dilemmas, such as conflicts of interest or pressure to manipulate financial results, can arise, making it crucial for accountants to adhere to professional standards and guidelines. By committing to ethical practices, accountants ensure that their work reflects true and fair representations of financial situations, thereby protecting the interests of their clients and the public.

In addition, adhering to accounting ethics is paramount in building and sustaining a corporation’s reputation. Ethical accounting practices, such as transparency, accuracy, and honesty in financial reporting, instill confidence among stakeholders, including investors, clients, and regulatory bodies. When a corporation is known for its integrity and ethical standards, it gains trust and credibility in the marketplace, which can lead to enhanced investor confidence, customer loyalty, and a stronger competitive edge. Furthermore, ethical conduct in accounting helps prevent scandals and financial misstatements, which can severely damage a corporation’s reputation and lead to legal consequences.

Related: “Accounting Mistakes That Could Harm Your Small Business”

Staying Professional and Updated

Professionalism in accounting goes beyond technical competence and includes a commitment to continuous learning and adherence to ethical standards. Accountants must stay updated on changes in laws, regulations, and industry practices to provide the best possible service. This includes maintaining confidentiality, exercising due diligence, and providing objective, unbiased advice. Overall, this ensures that accountants can effectively navigate the complexities of legal requirements, minimize the risk of non-compliance, and avoid potential penalties for their clients. A commitment to ongoing education and awareness not only enhances the accuracy of financial statements, but also positions accountants as reliable advisors who can anticipate and respond to regulatory changes.

Conclusion

At MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC, we believe that ethical accounting practices are essential for the success and sustainability of businesses. Our commitment to integrity and professionalism is reflected in everything we do, from financial reporting to advisory services. We invite you to experience our dedication to ethical excellence firsthand. Visit our website at mruiz-cpa.com call us at (956) 997-0067 to learn more about how we can support your financial needs with the highest ethical standards. Rely on us to be your trusted partner in achieving financial transparency and success.

Bookkeeping for Freelancers and Self-Employed Individuals

For freelancers and self-employed individuals, managing finances effectively is crucial for the success and growth of their business. Unlike traditional employees, freelancers must handle their own bookkeeping to track income, expenses, and taxes accurately. By establishing sound bookkeeping practices, freelancers can gain better control over their finances, make informed business decisions, and ensure compliance with tax obligations. Let’s explore some essential tips for freelancers and self-employed individuals to streamline their bookkeeping processes and manage their finances efficiently.

Keep Your Personal and Business Finances Separate

One key aspect of effective bookkeeping for freelancers is to separate personal and business finances. Maintaining separate bank accounts and credit cards for business transactions can help simplify record-keeping and ensure that business expenses are properly tracked. Tracking income and expenses diligently is essential for monitoring cash flow, identifying tax-deductible expenses, and preparing accurate financial statements. Utilizing accounting software or cloud-based bookkeeping solutions can streamline the process and provide real-time insights into the financial health of the business.

Develop an Organized System

In addition to tracking income and expenses, freelancers should also stay organized when it comes to invoicing and payment tracking. Sending invoices promptly, setting clear payment terms, and following up on outstanding payments are essential practices for maintaining a steady cash flow. Keeping detailed records of client invoices, payments received, and expenses incurred can help freelancers monitor their financial performance, identify opportunities for growth, and prepare for tax season efficiently.

Related: “Tips For Keeping Accurate and Organized Financial Records”

Asset and Legal Protection

Maintaining accurate financial records not only helps freelancers and self-employed individuals make informed business decisions but also plays a crucial role in protecting their assets and ensuring legal compliance. By keeping track of income, expenses, invoices, and receipts, freelancers can demonstrate transparency and accountability in their financial dealings.

Proper documentation of financial transactions can provide protection in the event of an audit, dispute, or legal challenge, helping to safeguard assets and mitigate potential risks. Additionally, accurate financial records can serve as evidence of income and expenses in the case of legal proceedings, contract disputes, or tax inquiries, offering a layer of legal protection and ensuring financial stability for freelancers and self-employed professionals.

Rely On an Experienced CPA

Ready to take control of your finances as a freelancer or self-employed individual? Contact MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC in Mission, TX, for expert bookkeeping and accounting services tailored to your business needs. Our team is dedicated to helping freelancers and self-employed professionals manage their finances effectively and achieve their business goals. Visit our website at mruiz-cpa.com or call us at (956) 997-0067 to schedule a consultation and optimize your financial management today.

Accounting for E-commerce Businesses: Challenges and Best Practices

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, where transactions are conducted online and businesses operate across borders, accounting becomes a crucial aspect of managing finances. Proper accounting practices are essential for e-commerce businesses to accurately track their revenue, expenses, and overall financial health. However, accounting for e-commerce businesses comes with its own unique set of challenges. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges faced by e-commerce businesses in their accounting processes and discuss best practices to overcome them.

E-commerce Accounting Challenges

One of the main challenges faced by e-commerce businesses is the complexity of sales tax compliance. With transactions occurring across multiple states or even countries, businesses must navigate through various tax regulations and requirements. Determining the correct tax rates, collecting and remitting taxes, and staying up to date with changing regulations can be a daunting task. E-commerce businesses need to invest in robust accounting software that can handle multi-jurisdictional tax calculations and automate the process to ensure compliance.

Another challenge is inventory management. Unlike traditional retail businesses, e-commerce businesses often have large volumes of inventory that need to be accurately tracked. Inventory valuation, including the cost of goods sold (COGS) and determining the value of unsold items, can be complex. Implementing an efficient inventory management system that integrates with the accounting software can help businesses maintain accurate records, optimize inventory levels, and make informed financial decisions.

Furthermore, the reconciliation of online payment platforms poses a challenge for e-commerce businesses. With multiple payment gateways, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square, it becomes crucial to reconcile transactions and ensure that all payments are properly recorded in the accounting system. Failure to reconcile can lead to discrepancies in financial reports and hinder the accurate assessment of the business’s financial performance. Regular reconciliation, along with the use of accounting tools that integrate with payment platforms, is essential to maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records.

Related: “Accounting Mistakes That Could Harm Your Small Business”

E-commerce Accounting Best Practices

To overcome these challenges, e-commerce businesses should consider adopting best practices in their accounting processes. Investing in cloud-based accounting software that is specifically designed for e-commerce can streamline financial management and provide real-time insights into the business’s financial health. Additionally, partnering with an experienced CPA firm that specializes in e-commerce accounting can provide valuable guidance and expertise in navigating the complexities of e-commerce accounting.

Implementing robust internal controls is also crucial. E-commerce businesses should establish clear policies and procedures for sales tax compliance, inventory management, and reconciliation of payment platforms. Regular audits and reconciliations should be conducted to ensure accuracy and identify any discrepancies or errors promptly.

Related: “Why Is It Essential to Hire an Accountant When Starting a Business?”

Rely On an Experienced CPA

In conclusion, accounting for e-commerce businesses comes with its own set of challenges. However, by leveraging technology, implementing best practices, and seeking professional guidance, e-commerce businesses can overcome these challenges and achieve accurate financial reporting. At MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC, we specialize in providing comprehensive accounting solutions for e-commerce businesses. Visit our website at www.mruiz-cpa.com or give us a call at (956) 997-0067 to learn more about how we can assist you in managing your e-commerce accounting needs.

Reasons Your Small Business Needs CFO Services

Running a small business requires wearing many hats, from managing day-to-day operations to overseeing finances. While you may have successfully handled these responsibilities on your own thus far, there comes a point when your business can greatly benefit from the expertise of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this month’s blog, we will explore what a CFO is and what CFO services can bring to the table for your business.

What is a CFO?

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a senior executive responsible for overseeing and managing the financial operations of a company. Serving as a strategic partner to the CEO and other stakeholders, the CFO plays a critical role in shaping the financial direction of the organization. They are responsible for financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and keeping your business financial records accurate and organized.

Related: Learn more about tips for keeping accurate and organized financial records here.

Enhanced Financial Strategy and Planning

According to new statistics, the failure rate for new startups is currently 90%. The main reason? A poor financial strategy and planning. A CFO can iron out the wrinkles in your financial management and bring a high level of financial expertise to the table. Your business needs an accurate financial strategy to achieve your goals in both the short term and long term.

Related: Learn more about accounting mistakes that could harm your small business here.

Effective Risk Management

Risk is an inherent part of any business, regardless of the industry. All businesses face risks such as market downturns and unpredictability (as we’ve recently seen with COVID-19). A CFO can help you identify and assess potential risks, whether they are financial, operational, or regulatory in nature. By implementing robust internal controls, developing contingency plans, and monitoring key risk indicators, a CFO can safeguard your business’s financial well-being.

Related: Learn more about key considerations and best accounting practices for startups here.

Rely On an Experienced CFO

As your small business continues to grow, the need for CFO services becomes increasingly important. At MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC, we offer excellent CFO services designed to drive your business toward sustainable growth and profitability. Visit our website at www.mruiz-cpa.com or call us at (956) 997-0067 to learn more about how our CFO services can benefit your small business.

3 Reasons Why Outsourcing a CFO Saves You Money in Business

Outsourcing the CFO services can be a huge money saver for your business. However, when entrepreneurs and small business owners reach a specific size or level of complexity, it can be beneficial to outsource CFO services. By partnering with a trusted accountant, you can position your business to grow and make it stronger and more secure. In this month’s blog, we will explore three compelling reasons why outsourcing a CFO can save you money in business.

business technology internet network concept

Remain Focused on Financial Goals

When running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day operations and lose sight of your long-term financial goals. This is where CFO services come in handy. By outsourcing your CFO responsibilities to experts, you can ensure that someone is dedicated to managing your finances, monitoring cash flow, analyzing financial data, and developing strategic plans to keep your business on track.

Related: learn more about tips for keeping accurate and organized financial records here.

Streamline Your Bookkeeping & Tax Filing Process

As a business owner, you have to deal with a maze of tax regulations. You must stay on top of federal, state, and local regulations, and in a lot of cases, you may end up subject to taxation in multiple jurisdictions. Hiring a CFO who doubles as a trusted CPA is a clever way to save your business money. A CFO will implement efficient bookkeeping systems, automate processes, and provide expert guidance on the latest tax regulations.

Related: Learn more about the reasons you need to hire a tax expert here.

senior CFO developing strategies for businesses

Access to Expertise

A recent report by Datarails indicates that CFOs spend around 10 hours per week on manual work rather than on strategic financial analysis. This means, that when hiring a CFO, your budget, cash flow management, and financial data are all done off-site by a CFO whose only job is to ensure your finances are running smoothly. This could also help you avoid pitfalls that could harm your small business.

Related: Learn more about mistakes that can harm your business here.

Interested in Outsourcing CFO Services?

At Mariela Ruiz, CPA, PLLC, we have a team of dedicated professionals who are ready to provide you with comprehensive CFO services tailored to your specific needs. From financial analysis and forecasting to strategic planning and cost optimization, we have the expertise to help you achieve your financial goals. Visit our website at mruiz-cpa.com or call us at (956) 997-0067 to schedule a consultation and experience the benefits of outsourcing a CFO for your business.

Tips For Keeping Accurate and Organized Financial Records

For every business, performing fast and accurate accounting is a matter of utmost importance. However, many businesses need to be aware of the different regulations surrounding keeping financial records. In Texas, businesses must keep certain records for at least four years unless the comptroller gives written authorization for earlier destruction. This shows the importance of keeping accurate and organized financial records. In this month’s blog, we will explore some valuable tips that can help you maintain accurate financial records, ensuring better financial management and peace of mind.

Keeping Track of Income and Expenses:

The first step towards maintaining accurate financial records is to diligently track your income and expenses. This can be done by regularly updating a spreadsheet, using accounting software, or even keeping physical receipts. These accounting practices can help you identify areas where you can cut costs and make informed financial decisions.

Related: Learn more about best accounting practices for startups here

Go Digital and Use Software:

One of the best ways to ensure accuracy and organization is to use financial software. Tools like QuickBooks or Mint can help in categorizing and tracking every transaction. These software programs often come with features that allow automated data entry from bank accounts and credit cards, reducing the chances of errors. Moreover, opting for cloud-based solutions ensures that your data is accessible from anywhere and gets backed up automatically, protecting against potential data loss.

Related: Learn more about what to consider before getting accounting software implementation here.

Schedule Regular Financial Check-ins:

Just like a regular health check-up, it’s important to routinely review your financial records. Set aside time monthly or quarterly to go over all transactions, ensuring that they are categorized correctly. This also gives you the chance to reconcile your records with bank statements, identifying any discrepancies or fraudulent activities. Additionally, during these check-ins, ensure that all documents are stored systematically. This way, when you need a specific document, it’s easy to locate without sifting through countless folders on your computer.

Related: Learn more about the best bookkeeping and accounting practices for the success of your business here.

Rely On MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC

For expert assistance in maintaining accurate and organized financial records, contact MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC. Our team is well-versed in financial management and can provide personalized solutions to suit your needs. Contact us at (956) 997-0067 or visit our website at www.mruiz-cpa.com to learn more about our comprehensive accounting services.

Accounting for Startups: Key Considerations and Best Practices

As a startup owner, navigating the world of accounting can be both challenging and crucial for the success of your business. Understanding the key considerations and implementing best practices in accounting is essential to ensure accurate financial records, regulatory compliance, and informed decision-making. In this blog post, we will explore the key considerations and best practices that every startup owner should be aware of to establish a solid accounting foundation.

Key Considerations for Startup Accounting

When it comes to accounting for startups, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, setting up a proper accounting system is essential. This includes selecting the appropriate accounting software, establishing chart of accounts, and implementing robust internal controls to safeguard your financial data. Secondly, understanding the financial implications of different business structures, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, is crucial. Each structure has different tax obligations and financial reporting requirements. Lastly, tracking and categorizing expenses accurately from the beginning is vital for budgeting, tax deductions, and financial analysis. Proper documentation and record-keeping of all transactions will save time and headaches down the road.

Related: “Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Practices for the Success of Your Business”

Best Practices for Startup Accounting

Implementing best practices in accounting will streamline your financial processes and provide a strong foundation for growth. Regularly reconciling bank statements, invoices, and receipts will ensure accuracy and help detect any discrepancies or errors. Creating a budget and regularly monitoring cash flow will enable you to make informed financial decisions and manage resources effectively. Additionally, seeking professional guidance from a qualified CPA with expertise in startup accounting can provide valuable insights, ensure compliance with tax regulations, and help optimize your financial operations.

Related: “Accounting Mistakes That Could Harm Your Small Business”

Rely On an Experienced CPA

Ready to establish a solid accounting foundation for your startup? Contact MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC at (956) 997-0067 or visit our website at www.mruiz-cpa.com to learn more about our comprehensive accounting services. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping startups and small business owners navigate the complexities of accounting and achieve financial success. Let us be your trusted partner in building a strong financial future for your startup.

Accounting Mistakes That Could Harm Your Small Business

While large businesses may have the resources to bounce back from financial blunders, small businesses, on the other hand, may not have that cushion. For entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to keep their cash flow steady, there are some steps they can’t just skip trying to make the leap. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes that can sink and destroy small businesses.

No Rainy-Day Fund

Failing to save for emergencies is one of the biggest financial mistakes that even the savviest business owners go wrong with their small business financial management. A rule of thumb is to have at least six months of running business expense as your rainy-day fund to avoid any financial shortcomings. The last COVID-19 pandemic did a number on many high-profile companies in the US, and this is a case in point on the importance of saving for emergencies and planning for the unexpected.

Mismanaged Taxes

Going for DIY taxes software to quickly cross off your to-do list can simply lead to costly tax issues. Managing your business taxes is an entirely different ball game than managing your personal ones. You need an expert well-versed in local and business laws to help you with your taxes. As a small business owner, you already have a lot on your plate, which is why hiring a tax expert can be a smart investment for your small business.

Being Oblivious to Fraud

Small business owners often wear many different hats and accounting might be one of their skills. While it’s a good thing that you’re able to handle your small business finances on your own, there is a risk of failing to catch the signs of fraud. Specialized accountants like forensic accountants have keen minds and it’s their job to ensure your business activities are legitimate and everything is in order. In cases of fraud detection, we believe that one can never be too careful. Hiring an accountant will minimize the risk for you.

Related: Learn more about how forensic accounting can save your business from fraud here.

Starting a Business without the Backup of an Accountant

Having your business see the light of the day is a big step. However, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year and being one of them is the last thing you want. That shows the importance of having a good business plan and the backup of an experienced accountant. No business can survive without a solid long-term plan and a vision to execute it.

An accountant can assist you with market forecasting and analyze the current situation to devise a plan for your business’s future. A seasoned accountant can help you put your business plan together and be your key success as you move forward.

Related: Learn more about why it’s essential to hire an accountant when starting a business here.

Let MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC Help You Reach Business Milestones

Small businesses face unique financial challenges that require careful attention and planning. MARIELA RUIZ, CPA, PLLC is here to ensure that you are well-supported and guided at each stage of the creation and development of your small business. Check our website to learn more about our services or simply give us a call at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.

Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Practices for the Success of Your Business

Managing your personal finances is one of the primary priorities in one’s life, and a majority of people can manage this on their own. But when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting for business finances, it is entirely different. There is a lot more to consider, and with employees and customers counting on you, the stakes are much higher. The following are some of the best bookkeeping and accounting practices you can adopt for the success of your business.

1. Set internal control over finances.

Setting internal control over the business finances can reduce the risk of fraud. Your bookkeeping policies should be diversified and not solely dependent on one person. Establish dual control of processes that include purchasing or receiving payment.

In simpler words, the person who opens the mail for bills should be someone other than the one who writes the check. And the person who writes the check should not be the one to authorize it. The list of payments should be forwarded to the accountant, so the entire process is free of fraud.

Related: “What Can a Forensic Accountant Help You With?”

2. Determine the accounting method that suits your business needs.

There are two standard accounting methods widely practiced in business management—cash basis accounting and accrual accounting.

Cash basis accounting is one of the simplest methods and approaches for accounting and bookkeeping. Cash basis accounting records transactions at the time cash actually changes hands and is usually only recommended for companies that do business strictly in cash payments.

The accrual method uses the matching principle to record revenues and expenses in the time frame they occur, regardless of when payments are made or received. The accrual method is usually the best choice for any business which will be invoicing clients.

3. Keep your personal and business finances separate.

Keeping your personal and business finances separate is crucial to ensure clarity in the management of accounts and finances. Ensure that you and your employees are not using the business funds for personal purchases or expenses.

Have separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business expenses. This will immensely help you when you are filing for taxes and ensure you keep the records. You don’t want to face legal action because your business and personal finances were intermingled.

Related: “Why Is It Essential to Hire an Accountant When Starting a Business?”

Conclusion

Whether you run a startup or manage a large corporation, you can benefit significantly from the services of a professional bookkeeper 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 call us at (956) 997-0067 for further assistance.    

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