Category: small business accounting

Small Business Trends to Keep in Mind Going into 2023

Unfortunately, no one can see the future. But, as a small business owner, you can do your best to look ahead and make preparations. Keep reading for some of the most important small business trends for 2023, as well as some things to keep in mind while planning for the New Year. 

Small Business Trends for 2023


While COVID-19 is not as big of an emergency any more, the pandemic changed the way so many industries do business—and some of those changes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Many employees got used to working from home and don’t want to return to an office, and more and more are expecting remote work to be an option with new companies. 

With rising interest rates, this could be a blessing in disguise. If your company went fully remote during the pandemic, you could keep things that way and avoid renting or buying an office space. If you’re a small business, odds are you can’t match everything big companies have to offer their employees. But you can make up for certain things with flexibility. For example, maybe you can’t offer an employee as big of a salary, but they’ll choose you because you’ll allow them to work from home full time. 


Finding good people to hire has been a major challenge for small businesses this past year, and it’s expected to carry over to 2023. Finding the best of  the best will be difficult, but the key here is to focus on keeping the good people you already have. 

Company culture is something that develops naturally over time, but can significantly benefit from some intentional guidance. Take steps to ensure that your company offers employees a diverse and inclusive environment where they feel valued and appreciated. While you might not be able to afford higher salaries at this point in your business journey, consider other perks like flexible hours, generous vacation time, or certain wellness or environmental incentives. 


Gone are the days when a business could stay afloat solely based on popularity. The pandemic, coupled with recent financial stress, has shown us that even some of the most popular businesses don’t make it. Proper accounting is absolutely crucial, especially if you’re a small business just starting out. 

Instead of focusing all resources and brain power into a great product or service, business owners now need to make sure they’re spending their money extremely carefully and investing in the right parts of their business. It’s no longer enough to be a visionary—you have to be a successful businessperson, too. Not to mention that being diligent with your accounting can save you money and stress come tax time. 

Banks, Finley, White & Co: A Friend to Small Businesses

We’ve been serving small businesses just like yours for 45 years. We provide expert audit and assurance, advisory, and tax services to help you make sure you’re making all the right decisions for your business. As a regionally based, nationally recognized firm, we’re committed to excellence. Get in touch with us today to get started.

An Accountant’s Guide to Mid-Year Business Tax Review

Just about everyone—business owners, accountants, individuals, and more—wishes tax time was a little simpler. But it’s all too tempting to shove it to the back of our minds until tax season rolls around again. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some important things you can keep an eye on all year round for a headache-free tax season next year!

Keep reading for our mid-year business tax review checklist. 

How to Streamline Your Business Tax Review

If you want tax time to be a breeze (or at least as breezy as tax time can be), now is the perfect time to check in. With a mid-year business tax review, you’re setting yourself up for success down the line. Here are some key things to check in on:

Keeping Things Separate

If you’re seeing regular income from your business, it’s time to separate things out. If you didn’t do this when you first opened your business, now’s the time—open up a separate bank account for your business. You could also opt for getting a credit card specifically for business expenses under your existing account. Either way, keeping your personal and business finances separate will make filing taxes so much easier. 

Stay on Top of Quarterly Tax Payments

Parting with some of your money four times a year might feel like a big (and frequent) loss, but it’s beneficial for you in the long run. When you make quarterly tax payments, you avoid paying out a much larger lump sum later. Not to mention financial penalties come with failing to keep up with quarterly tax payments. 

Update Your Records

Don’t wait until tax season to get all your records up to date. That’s a recipe for extra stress and even mistakes. Right now, you should have about seven months of business activity to work with—a lot more manageable than twelve months! Double check your records and make sure things are in order. 

Invest in Your Business

Look ahead to the next five months. Is there a piece of equipment your business needs? Some outdated tech that needs replacing? An ad campaign you’ve been dreaming up? After reviewing your business’s cash flow, think about ways you can invest some of that money back into your business. A lot of these investments can benefit you come tax time!

Feeling Overwhelmed? We Can Help

If you’re acting as owner, CEO, marketing manager, HR person, and accountant for your business, it might be time to ask for help. Banks, Finley, White & Co. specializes in all things small business—including accounting and taxes. Visit our website to check out more helpful resources, or reach out to us to start talking about how we can help your business. We look forward to serving you.

Make Sure You’re on Track to Pay Self-Employed Taxes

Taxes can get really complicated—even in the most standard circumstances. When you throw some self-employment into the mix, suddenly taxes feel like half your job! With the right guidance, you can pay self-employed taxes without stressing out. 

Keep reading for our go-to guide on self-employment taxes. 

When to Pay Self-Employed Taxes

You’re no doubt aware of the standard April deadline for taxes; however, if you’re self-employed, there are a handful of other dates and deadlines you should be adding to your calendar!

For example, tax deadlines don’t start in April for self-employed people. January 15 is actually the first deadline you should know, and it’s for 4th quarter 2021 estimated taxes. 

With April comes not only your standard individual tax deadline but also your 1st quarter estimated tax payment. Also remember that April 18 is the last day to make 2021 IRA contributions. If you have a Keogh, SEP, or other qualifying plan that grants you a filing extension, you can wait until your extension deadline to make any contributions. 

Second quarter 2022 estimated taxes are due on June 15, 2022, and 3rd quarter taxes are due on September 15. Then the tax deadline calendar rolls back around to 4th quarter estimated taxes, due January 15!

What to Do if You Miss a Tax Deadline

If you’ve missed a tax deadline, don’t fret! There are several factors to take into account when figuring out what you should do, as well as any penalties you might face. 

You Missed a Deadline & Were Owed a Refund

If you filed your taxes and found that you’re owed money, you don’t have much to worry about. While you should file your taxes as soon as you can, you have up to three years after the due date to claim your tax refund. Of course, ideally you want to be as close as possible to owing or receiving nothing from the government.

You Missed a Deadline & Owe the IRS Money

This situation, as you can probably imagine, isn’t quite so forgiving. Every day that your tax return is late, the IRS will typically charge interest. It’s important to file your taxes as soon as you can to avoid owing way more than you did originally!

You Missed an Estimated Tax Payment Deadline

Like a lot of things with self-employment, there isn’t a straight answer to this dilemma. Any interest the IRS charges you will depend on several things, including how much you owe and how late you are. Minimize any penalties are interest charges you receive by submitting and paying your estimated taxes as soon as you possibly can. 

Need Help Sorting Out Your Self-Employed Taxes?

At Banks, Finley, White & Co., we know everything there is to know about taxes—especially when it comes to small businesses and/or self-employment! The best way to avoid owing the IRS more money, submitting the wrong form, or missing an important deadline is to get professional guidance. Get in touch with us today to take charge of your financial future!


BANKS, FINLEY, WHITE & CO., CPAs announced today that it has successfully completed an independent review of its accounting and auditing practice. The reviewers concluded that the firm complies with the stringent quality control standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the national organization of CPAs, and awarded it the highest possible grade, an unmodified opinion. Peer reviews are required every three years for membership in the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) of the AICPA. BANKS, FINLEY, WHITE & CO., is a Registered Accounting Firm with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), as well as a member of the Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC), the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) and the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS), according to James C. White, Jr., Managing Partner of the firm. 

BANKS, FINLEY, WHITE & CO. was founded May 26, 1973, and has been in practice for 49 years. It is a regional, nationally recognized CPA firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama (home office); Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Denver, Colorado. 

The peer review was conducted by Jones, Nale & Mattingly, PLC. The reviewers made an independent assessment of the firm’s quality control policies and procedures and inspected the working papers and reports on a representative sample of accounting and auditing engagements. The reviewer’s report was accepted by the National Peer Review Committee and placed in the public files maintained at the AICPA. 

White said, “Each of our peer reviews has resulted in the highest possible grade. This is further testimony to our continuing commitment to quality work and our forward-looking efforts in maintaining a sound quality control system.” 

How to Handle Small Business Payroll Efficiently & Effectively

Managing small business payroll is a lot more than just paying the right people at the right time. Payroll can help your small business get the job done—and help you avoid losing money. Keep reading for some expert tips on managing an efficient payroll system. 

What Does a Small Business Payroll System Entail?

There are a lot of considerations to be made when it comes to payroll, and some of the decisions you make early on will determine whether your payroll system will help or hinder your small business. 

The first thing you’ll need to decide is what to handle yourself and what to turn over to a professional. After that, it’s all about keeping organized! You’ll need to keep track of records, benefits, tax payments, and more. Keep reading for a more in-depth guide. 

To Do or Not to Do?

While payroll is ultimately your responsibility as the business owner, that doesn’t mean you can’t delegate or outsource parts that you don’t have time for. In fact, 45% of small businesses use a payroll service. Around 20% handle it all in-house. 

Evaluate everything that’s on your plate, who you could delegate things to, etc. to determine what the best route would be for you. Every small business’s situation is different, so make sure you’re realistic about what you could handle yourself and what should be handled by a professional. 

Keeping Track of It All

Making it as easy as possible for your employees to update their information will go a long way in keeping your records up to date. Whether there’s a paper form for them to fill out or an employee portal via your payroll software, make sure you’re keeping up with every address change, name change, pay change, etc. 

In addition to keeping up with employee information, you’ll also need to track your employees’ hours. It doesn’t matter how you choose to track this, just make sure it’s thorough and accurate!

Also, the IRS requires businesses to hold onto employee tax records for at least four years. Depending on the state you live in, there may be additional record-keeping requirements so make sure you’re aware of yours!

Reconciling Payroll

You may have heard this term before. “Reconciling” payroll simply means comparing your expected payroll with your actual payroll. You should do this fairly often—before sending out W-2’s at least—but ideally every payroll and before filing quarterly taxes. Try to check your payroll at least two days before running payroll as well. 

Small Business Advice You Can Trust

At Banks, Finley, White & Co. we specialize in all things small business. Whether it’s payroll services, tax advice, or general accounting, we have your back! Get in touch with us today to get started.

Short Notice Tax Prep for Small Businesses

Let’s be honest—small business finances are stressful. And no matter how hard small business owners try, it’s all too easy for them to find themselves on the less prepared side of things come tax season. They have a lot to juggle, after all. Luckily, we understand the struggle and are here to help. Keep reading for our best last-minute tips regarding tax prep for small businesses. 

Report Your Property

There are a lot of things that qualify as property when it comes to your small business taxes. Furniture, equipment, fixtures, vehicles, and more can be reported as Section 179 expenses—instead of just having those things depreciate over the years. 

Small things like this can make a big impact, especially for small businesses just starting out. Take advantage of whatever tax breaks or credits you can! 

Think About Who You’ve Hired

Hiring people from vulnerable populations has a lot of benefits. For starters, you’re providing much-needed job opportunities to veterans, people receiving SSI or food stamps, etc. If you hire anyone who falls into this category, you might be eligible for Work Opportunity tax credits. 

Use Your Retirement to Your Advantage

Are you making the maximum allowable contribution to your retirement fund? You should be! 

If you have an IRA and you’re under 50 years old, you can contribute up to $6,000—and then deduct that from your taxes. And if you’re over 50 years old you can contribute up to $7,000. Consider your employees as well. You might want to think about setting up SEP IRAs or other pension plans for your employees. 

Expanding Your Business?

If you’re expanding your business, you might be able to write off some expenses. For example, if you build a website and launch your business into the e-commerce space, you could write off up to $10,000 in startup expenses. 

Take Advantage of Deductions

Knowledge is power—especially when it comes to something as important and complicated as tax prep for small businesses. Being aware of all the possible deductions you can take advantage of will go a long way in saving you money come tax season. This is where organization comes into play. Keeping detailed records of your purchases throughout the year will make deducting as much as you can so much easier. 

Office supplies, client or employee entertainment, vehicle expenses (if you use your car for business), professional services like tax prep or software, and more can all be deducted from your taxes. 

Tax Prep for Small Businesses

Tax prep for small businesses is complicated and time consuming, especially if it’s your first time or there are parts of tax prep you’ve procrastinated on. Banks, Finley, White & Co. has you covered. We specialize in everything small business, from tax prep and advice to accounting and audit services. Make sure your business is in good hands this tax season—get in touch with us today!

All Too Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make Going Into Tax Season

There are tons of articles out there all about what small businesses should do to prepare for tax season—but what about what not to do? That list is equally important! As a small business owner, you’re an expert in your niche and industry—not necessarily a tax expert. That’s why it’s important to seek out professional guidance to make sure you do everything by the book. Keep reading for some of our best tips for avoiding common mistakes this year. 

Don’t Overestimate How Much of Your Startup Costs Are Deductible

This will come as no surprise, but your first small business tax season is when slip-ups are the most likely. That means you should go in with as much knowledge and as much preparation as possible. This includes triple checking how much of your startup costs are tax deductible. Although many people think it’s all deductible, this misconception can get you in trouble!

For starters, you have to make a sale before anything is deductible. After that, those expenses are deducted over the course of the next 15 years. If your total first-year expenses were less than $50,000, the IRS will allow up to $10,000 in deductions. If your first-year expenses were more than $50,000, you can still receive your deduction, but it will be reduced by how much over $50,000 your expenses were. 

Don’t Choose the Wrong Entity When Registering Your Business

Making the wrong choice here can double the taxes you owe, which definitely isn’t ideal for a small business just starting out. The business tax entity you choose will depend on several factors, including what you want your business structure to look like, your future financial goals, and how many people you plan on employing. 

Here are the most common entities:

  • Sole-Proprietorship;
  • C-Corp;
  • Nonprofit;
  • LLC;
  • Partnership. 

Each option comes with its own benefits and its own potential downfalls, so it’s important that you do in-depth research or consult with a professional to make sure you’re choosing the right entity. 

Don’t Mix Your Business & Personal Finances

Did you know that client dinners aren’t always deductible? Or that the cost of your commute isn’t a write-off? Even business trips (which has the word “business” in it!) can get complicated when it comes to tax law. Not knowing where the line is between your personal and business expenses is a huge red flag to the IRS, so it’s very important to keep things clean and organized. As with most of these tips, it’s always safest to consult a professional tax professional. 

Don’t Keep Poor, Disorganized Records

In a sense, you should always be preparing for tax season. If you maintain this attitude, you won’t be left scrambling come tax time to get everything in order! Not only can disorganized records cost you money in lost deductions, they can also lead to bigger problems if your business is ever audited. Make sure you’re adding every receipt to your files and updating your accounting software regularly. 

We Can Help Make Tax Season a Breeze

This list is a great place to start when it comes to the “dos” and “don’ts” of small business tax season—but it’s only scratching the surface! Things get complicated fast, and navigating taxes isn’t every business owner’s strong suit. Trust the experts at Banks, Finley, White & Co. to help you with whatever you need. Get in touch with one of our professional accountants today, and know that your small business is in good hands!

What to Know & Do Going into 2022 Tax Season for Small Business

The 2022 Tax Season for Small Business: How to Start

2020 was not a perfect year to say the least. It’s not easy to keep tax prep in mind during a normal year, let alone a year like that one! Luckily, we specialize in small business finance—and have some helpful tips for you to navigate the 2022 tax season like a pro. 

Organize Your Financial Records

The first step in preparing for just about anything? Getting organized! Take time to get all of your business’s income statements, payroll documents, credit card statements, receipts, etc. together before you do anything else. Getting organized for tax season also involves getting important dates and deadlines on your calendar. Depending on what type of business entity you own, tax deadlines will vary—so be sure to know when things are due!

Fill Out All Necessary Tax Forms

In addition to getting all of your financial statements and reports together, you’ll need to find out which forms are necessary for your business. These forms (whichever apply to you) will be in addition to your personal 1040 form. Keep in mind that you may need to fill out additional forms if you’re self-employed, you run your business from home, etc. 

Things to Consider When Preparing for Tax Season

Since things haven’t exactly been “normal” over the past couple of years, there are other things you should think about when prepping your taxes. Some of these things include:

Did you work in multiple states?

If you did, you’ll need to file taxes for the state that you live in and the states you worked in. This process varies from business to business but, generally speaking, you won’t have to pay taxes multiple times on the same income. 

Did you start freelancing?

The freelancing market has surged in the last couple of years thanks to the pandemic. If you were a part of that surge, the IRS considers you a small business. You’ll need to pay taxes on every dollar you earn. When you work with a W-2 company, they automatically withhold these taxes from your paychecks. When you freelance, however, you pay those taxes after the fact. A good rule of thumb for freelancing is to save 30% of your freelance income for tax season or make estimated payments every quarter. 

Did you receive a loan from the PPP?

To keep things simple, PPP loans that have been forgiven are not considered taxable income. Even if the loan is forgiven, business expenses paid for with a PPP loan are deductible. These are general rules when it comes to federal taxes—but be sure to check if your state has a different set of rules. 

We’re Ready to Help You Navigate the Upcoming Tax Season

It’s probably no surprise that our biggest piece of advice is to seek help from a professional accountant. Regardless of what industry you’re in, an accountant is one of the best investments you can make—especially when you’re just starting out. Make sure you’re ready for tax season with Banks, Finley, White & Co. Contact us today to get started with an accountant who specializes in small businesses!

EOY Tax Season Prep for Your Business: What You Need to Know

Tax season will be here before you know it, but the right preparation can turn that thought from terrifying to triumphant! Keep reading for some important tips you can use to make sure your business is as prepared as possible for this upcoming tax season

Prepping for Tax Season

Developing strong end-of-year practices is one of the best ways to make each tax season a breeze. And these practices are even more important for small businesses. If you want to make sure you’re reaping all the benefits of tax advantages like deductions and write-offs, work with a professional accountant that specializes in small business’ finances

Plus, keep reading for some end-of-year best practices!

#1: Make Sure You’re Caught Up

The first step toward not getting overwhelmed by tax season is making sure all your financials are up to date. Most small businesses pay estimated taxes based on the previous year’s figures—so do your best to determine how the past three quarters compare to last year. This means, as a business owner, you can keep track of your expenses in the buildup to tax filing in April, and offset any costs that occur between this period and their final submission to the IRS. 

#2: Double Check Inventory & Uncollectable Debts

Some situations for small  businesses aren’t ideal—like products that just don’t seem to sell, or debts that just aren’t collected—but they’re at least deductible! Old or unsellable inventory can be counted as a deductible when tax time rolls around. This applies to uncollected debt as well. What qualifies as uncollected debt will depend on your particular business model. Regardless, you’ll need to be sure you have proper documentation!

#3: Year-End Investments

The more deductions, the better. Make sure you’re saving as much as possible on your taxes, and taking advantage of all the government-sanctioned exceptions you can. If you’ve been considering upgrading some equipment or purchasing some extra business property, now’s the time to do it! But don’t do this just for the sake of doing it. If you’re going to make bigger purchases, make sure they will increase the profitability of your business as well. 

#4: Check Your Business’s Retirement Plan

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to offer less conventional perks to their employees, but it’s hard to beat the tried-and-true perk of a great retirement plan. As you’re prepping for tax season, take a look at your retirement offerings. As a small business, you have access to specialty retirement plans separate from the regular 401(k) and IRA plans. 

#5: Work With a Professional

You most likely saw this tip coming—one of the best things you can do for your small business finances is trust them to a professional. They’ll make sure you’re getting all the tax benefits you can, and that everything stays organized and compliant. Tax law is complicated. Failing to correctly file your taxes as an individual can lead to a sticky situation, but for a small business it can mean disaster. Make sure you’re working with someone you trust!

Small Business Tax Experts

Banks, Finley, White & Co. is standing by, ready to help you with all of your small business accounting needs! Over the past 45 years, we’ve evolved with the changing accounting landscape. We can help you navigate tax time with ease. Reach out to us today to get started!

Small Business Accounting Tips That Will Save You Time & Money


Small business accounting is no small task—there are a lot of considerations and, if you aren’t a trained accountant, things can seem complicated and daunting. Luckily, we’ve compiled a helpful list of some small business accounting tips that will save you both time and money. 

Separate Business and Personal Expenses

This tip might seem obvious, but a lot of small business owners overlook it. A separate, dedicated bank account for business expenses will save you lots of time when it comes to figuring out deductibles. If you own an LLC or a corporation, doing this will also help limit legal exposure to business debts. 

Keep Up With Labor Costs

Labor costs make up a huge part of your expenses, sometimes up to 70% of your small business’s budget. Make sure you’re keeping track of everything in this department, including benefits and overtime. Consider hiring a professional accountant to help you with payroll taxes, since they’re separate and due at a different time than other taxes

Track Everything

Organization is key when managing small business finances. Make sure you’re very detailed with your expenses, as this will help your business maximize credits and tax write-offs. Using your business credit card will help with this, and make it easier to keep track of things. Investing in a good accounting software can help you keep track of things as well. 

Hire a Professional

It’s no secret that hiring a professional is the best way to make sure everything stays organized, accurate, and beneficial to your business. If hiring a full-time accountant isn’t in your budget at this time, consider hiring one temporarily to get things in order—or during important times of the year like tax time. 

Update Your Books

Calendar blocking is a great way to make sure you get the important things done! Block off time every week on your calendar to get your paperwork in order. After invoices and receipts pile up, it’s much harder to get them under control. Staying on top of them regularly will go a long way in keeping things streamlined. 

Plan for Major Expenses

The better you can plan, the better off your business’s finances will be. Whether it’s equipment upgrades, tax time, or staff adjustments, being prepared for larger expenses will help lessen the blow when the time comes. 

Look to the Future

In addition to looking ahead to large business expenses, it’s important to make future financial projections. While no one can truly predict the future, do your best to predict how your small business’s expenses and profits might change going forward. Consider natural forces like inflation, how you plan to grow, changes you know you’ll have to make, etc. This will help guide you in your decision-making. 

Need More Accounting Help?

Managing your small business finances is a full-time job. If you’re looking for extra help, Banks, Finley, White & Company is ready to help. We specialize in small business accounting, and can guide you through all the complicated moving parts. Contact us today to get started!