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So far Alley Rubadeau has created 16 blog entries.
2 02, 2021

The Greatest Apps of 2021

2021-02-02T20:16:54+00:00

As we transition into a new year, tech has been busy keeping up with a massive transformation in the way we do business. With the sudden work from home surge, there are many great apps out there to take some heavy mental and time suck lifting off of your work day. Tech is one of our greatest tools in the 21st century and fully using it to your advantage will help you thrive as a business owner and person. In this article, “Planet of the Apps,” we break down our top app picks for 2021. 

Zoom

We’ll start with the most cliche, no brainer app, Zoom, which is a video conferencing app. This app has been around since 2011 yet only recently have they seen the tremendous amount of growth. It seems as if Zoom experienced massive “overnight success” but in actuality it took them nine years and a world pandemic to get there. Not only is this video conferencing app a godsend for business meetings, people are using it for birthday parties, happy hours, cooking classes, fitness classes, and even romantic dates. Chances are you have already tried Zoom but if not, check it out. Their ease of use and features make it one of the best video conferencing apps on the market. 

Gusto Payroll

Gusto payroll

With the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans in full swing, business owners all over the country are pulling tedious reports to upload to the Small Business Administration (SBA). With Gusto payroll system, they are one step ahead of you and already have the reports and documents well organized for you to download. This makes submitting your application a breeze. This is only one of the many benefits of this helpful program. They also simplify paying yourself, employees, and 1099 contractors. Stuck? Get ahold of their helpful support and receive a timely response. They also have a dedicated support team to help business owners navigate PPP loans. 

Square

Square’s motto is “Tools to run your business even when it’s not business as usual.” Most people know square as the pioneer app of taking credit card payments. But did you know they offer several tools such as invoicing, tracking and accounts receivable? They work with every type of business and keep all your statistics in one dashboard. Square simplifies the process for business owners so they can focus on running their business efficiently. 

Hubdoc

Hubdoc app

We all know that person who has a purse full of paper receipts or dressers full of receipts from 10 years ago. Luckily, we are not in the dark ages anymore and there’s a good solution for holding onto your receipts without heaping piles of paper. Meet Hubdoc. With this app, you can automatically import your financial documents and export them into data you can use. Say goodbye to digging in the recycling bin looking for that Home Depot receipt you accidentally threw away a week ago. With Hubdoc, immediately have the receipt emailed into your database or snap a photo of it. Voila, one step closer to a more organized and efficient life paper and clutter free. 

IRS Free File Program

The Free File Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of industry-leading tax software companies who partnered with the IRS to help millions of Americans prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free. The service is unique because it gives taxpayers access to a number of different tax software options from Free File Alliance members. After selecting the software that works best for their tax situations, users are seamlessly transferred from IRS.gov to the company’s website to complete their returns. 

RescueTime

Mountain biking

As much time and headaches these apps will save you, sometimes we can get trapped in not so productive apps. It may seem counterintuitive to download another app however; RescueTime rescues us from wasting precious time on apps that are not going to be beneficial to our day. Most of us enjoy scrolling through Instagram reels of golden retrievers as much as the next person but it’s not uncommon to let over an hour go by watching dogs eating birthday cake and sliding down ski runs. What could you be doing with that time? Skiing, fat biking, working on your business? With RescueTime, get clarity on exactly where your time goes, block your worst distractions, set time limits on certain apps, and get reports and tools on how productive your day was. 

We’ve done the homework and these are our top apps of 2021 based on ease of use, features they offer, and pricing. Use these suggestions as tools to improve efficiency, concentration, organization and accuracy for your business and throughout your life. If you are still craving more terrific app ideas visit our post, “The Best Apps On the Planet for Productivity.” 

At Singletrack Accounting, we know small business. Similar to the above apps, we are here to make your life easier. Our team of accountants, bookkeepers, and coaches live and breathe helping business owners just like you with accounting and coaching. Reach out today for a free consultation. 

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A Fresh Start

January 6th, 2021|0 Comments

A new year means a fresh start. With 2020 in our rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on all the things we have learned and to start fresh for planning for the future. Let’s [...]

  • Mountain bikers

Leaping Into the Unknown

September 4th, 2020|0 Comments

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive [...]

The Greatest Apps of 20212021-02-02T20:16:54+00:00
6 01, 2021

A Fresh Start

2021-01-06T02:13:05+00:00

A new year means a fresh start. With 2020 in our rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on all the things we have learned and to start fresh for planning for the future. Let’s be grateful for how we have grown as people and as business owners over the past year. There’s no doubt we have learned a whole lot and we are stronger for it. Now is the time to take what we have learned and create a fresh start. 

With all this madness ending on the horizon, our futures look bright. It’s time to hit the ground running. Innovation is at an all time high and the art of pivoting has never been more pronounced. The world has changed rapidly and has forced many companies to rethink how they do business as well as how we as business owners and entrepreneurs live our lives. Are you living your best life?

Important lessons we have learned is how important our health and our families are, the art of multitasking, and the agility to roll with the punches. It has also forced us to take a step back and evaluate our processes. Is our process working for our customers? Is it working for us? How is it affecting our loved ones? How do we create fresh starts and become a healthier and happier entrepreneur in 2021?

Prioritize Health

As entrepreneurs we have the opportunity to lead by example, not just by earning money but by prioritizing our health and wellbeing as well as the health of our employees. As driven individuals, some entrepreneurs tend to give up some quality of life to grow their business.  Living in the mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, our team is well aware of stepping outside for some fresh air as well as busting our asses in the office but there has to be balance. We try to lead by example by getting out of the office to hike, bike, run, ski, or take a quick jont in the woods. While we have always prioritized outdoor activity and our health, we will be more conscious of it going forward. 

Practice Good Karma

Bikers in Steamboat Springs

Photo credit: Yampa Valley Community Foundation

The world is full of great people that truly care about our community and give back and our hometown of Steamboat Springs is no exception. Our quaint, mountain town raised $1.1 million dollars on Yampa Valley Gives Day, beating out last year’s number even during a particular tough financial year. It’s a real town with real people that care about others. Giving back is one of the most gratifying things you can do. Practicing empathy is satisfying and reminds you of why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. 

Learn Something New

Most if not all business owners were forced to at least change something about the way they do business in the last year. It forced us to think outside of the box and truly understand our customers wants and needs during a rapidly changing year. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a pivot is to challenge yourself to learn something new. Learning something new changes your brain activity to think outside of the box.. The greatest threat to your business is complacency. Doing the same thing over and over again the same way may have worked in the past but it is not guaranteed to work in the future. Some good examples of learning something new are, learning a new language, teaching yourself a new business skill set such as Google Analytics, or taking up a new sport. The process will positively translate into your business. 

Make a plan

Backcountry skiing

The best way to achieve goals and create a fresh start for yourself and your business is to make a tangible plan. Start by writing down the large goals and work your way backwards on the tangible steps to achieve those goals. You may have a goal to acquire 5 new customers in Q1. While this is a great, tangible goal, what detailed steps will you take to achieve it? What potential obstacles could you run into and how will you overcome them? The more detailed of a plan, the better chance you will have to carry it out. Like accounting, seeing the actual numbers helps us have full clarity of our progress. It’s hard to make a revenue goal without running the numbers of what it will take to get there such as expenses, costs of goods sold, and ultimately profit. 

The main thing to remember is that you are not in this alone. Not only does Singletrack Accounting provide excellent accounting and bookkeeping services but we are with you every step of the journey. When you succeed, we succeed. We also offer small business consulting services. Getting a fresh perspective is a crucial part of setting fresh goals. Reach out for a free consultation to our team of experts. 

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Leaping Into the Unknown

September 4th, 2020|0 Comments

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive [...]

A Fresh Start2021-01-06T02:13:05+00:00
2 12, 2020

What 2020 Has Taught Us About Business Resiliency

2020-12-02T15:51:28+00:00

For the majority of small businesses, this year has been a tough one. We like to compare it to frozen, skied out moguls. When we look back to February when all this began, business was popping like a bottle of champagne after an amazing powder day on the mountain. The economy was on track to have a spectacular year. Flights were packed, restaurant reservations were hard to come by, retail was having an outstanding quarter, ski resorts were thriving, and so on. Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little time called the beginning of 2020. And then, almost overnight everything changed. 

Was your business prepared? With all this madness ending on the horizon, we are going to highlight some lessons we have learned this year and how to better prepare your business for a downturn in the hopefully not so near future. 

Small business

The first and arguably most important lesson is business agility. Was your business able to pivot from its normal operations quickly and efficiently? Were you able to be agile enough to not resist change and come up with an altered, perhaps new business model? Business owners had to humanize their companies by really knowing their customers wants and needs, and changing processes and procedures to meet those needs. Part of adapting quickly has to do with mindset. You must be mentally prepared to switch gears in a timely manner. 2020 has tested us and revealed our strengths and weaknesses. Were you able to make the best choices with the information you had?

Dining gondolas

Photo Credit: IG/@michaelmowery

This brings us to the next topic of creativity. I bet you have had to come up with creative ways to either thrive or hold on for dear life this year. The pandemic has forced businesses to get out of their comfort zone and come up with new creative ways to reach customers. This may have been finding new channels to target, creating new products to fit customer’s needs (for example: lots of companies started making face masks), modifying how customers use or consume products, and finding new market opportunities. By getting out of your comfort zone, you may have unlocked new, exciting transformations you never would have known existed if it weren’t for 2020.

Getting out of your comfort zone also meant getting familiar with technology. Tech has been the backbone of having a successful business in 2020. Many entrepreneurs have become pros at digital platforms such as Zoom and wizards in document sharing cloud platforms such as Dropbox these last few months. The biggest takeaway here is, be comfortable with using technology before you even need it. Zoom made its debut almost a decade ago but most business owners had never used it before 2020. Were you ready to jump on board with new tech services?

Many businesses were not financially ready for a pandemic. Every day we are seeing multiple businesses, big and small go out of business. A lot of businesses did not have the cash buffer they needed to withstand the downturn. This brings us to the importance of having an emergency fund. While we know having excess cash is not possible for all businesses, those that had backups were more likely to stay afloat. We cannot stress enough the importance of having a good accountant and bookkeeper to deliver financial reports for you to have a grasp on your cash flow. If you still don’t have full transparency on your finances, reach out to Singletrack Accounting

Think about things differently

Now that we have gone over the learning lessons of 2020, we can look back on this wild year and know that we have acquired some valuable lessons. To summarize, 1) Be agile. 2) Be creative. 3) Technology is your friend. 4) Don’t get over your skis with your finances. We have learned a lot and will come out much stronger in the years ahead. 

At Singletrack Accounting, we are here to help you. We want nothing more than your small business to succeed. Our done-for-you program not only provides audit-ready books & tax filing but also a Team of Small Business partners who understand what you are going through and are with you every step of the way. Please reach out. You do not have to go it alone.

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A Fresh Start

January 6th, 2021|0 Comments

A new year means a fresh start. With 2020 in our rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on all the things we have learned and to start fresh for planning for the future. Let’s [...]

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Leaping Into the Unknown

September 4th, 2020|0 Comments

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive [...]

What 2020 Has Taught Us About Business Resiliency2020-12-02T15:51:28+00:00
11 11, 2020

End of the Year Accounting Prep

2020-11-11T15:53:58+00:00

We are nearing the end of the year (can you believe it?) and 2020 has tested us. Let’s not make it any harder on ourselves by procrastinating our accounting. Even the most organized business owner can sometimes feel the crunch when approaching tax deadlines. We are here to make your life a little easier in the upcoming months. No one likes to cut a powder day short because they have a few hours left to file their 1099s. What day is that again…? In this article, we’ll go over how to organize your accounting right now, to make your 2020 accounting go smoother. Let’s face it – anything to make 2020 easier is a win. 

Payroll

One of the most common mistakes that we see every Christmas are bonus checks to employees that aren’t run through payroll. When you pay employees ANY type of compensation, it absolutely must go through the normal payroll & tax process. ALL payments to employees must be run through your payroll app. 

If you use a service such as Gusto, or work with an Accountant, W-2s will be made available in January. Do not attempt doing payroll by hand, it’s not worth it. 80% of small businesses not using software end up with at least one IRS penalty each year. Penalties run over $400!

Woman hiking in Steamboat Springs

1099s

Things are a bit different this year. If you paid an unincorporated service vendor (or received money as an unincorporated service vendor) over $600 in 2020, you will be issuing (or will receive) a form 109-NEC,  which is new for this year. The 1099-NEC (non employee compensation) is a spin off from the old 1099-MISC. (Basically they took box 7 off the 1099-MISC and created a whole new form called the 1099-NEC). Landlords and Attorneys will still have their rent and legal fees/proceeds reported on the old 1099-MISC, but everyone else will have their non-employee payments reported on the new form. The January deadline to file these comes quickly after the holiday. Start collecting your service vendors information now by requesting w-9s before it’s too late. The worst thing you can do is wait until a few days before the deadline to ask for your vendors’ W-9 info and find out they’re on vacation in Mexico. That’s not on them, it’s on you.

Bookkeeping Reviews & Year End Tips

If you are wise enough to have an amazing bookkeeper, receiving end of the year reports will be a breeze. Make sure to collect each report by month or quarter to make them easier to review (and file them in a safe spot for future reference). Go over the reports to ensure all your income and expenses are accounted for. That random business lunch you put on your personal credit card a while back can be counted as a business expense. As long as you have the proof, you can turn that into another tax deduction.  Organization adds up! Keep receipts, make sure to let your accountant know if anything changes, and thoroughly look over your reports. Did I mention receipts already? A paper trail is important. Keep your receipts in a safe and accessible place in case the taxman comes knocking for an audit. 

Paddleboarding

Tidy Up

If you’re still with us, this one is important. While we are on the subject of keeping a good paper trail, the end of the year is a good time to do a business audit. Take a look at how your year has been going. What unneeded expenses can you cut? Have you used all your subscriptions? Do you still need premium plans for apps you use? Is your payroll in order? This will help you create financial goals for the upcoming quarter to set you up for success. Bonus tip: Similar to creating a New Year’s resolution for yourself, create one for your business as well.  

The best way to handle your accounting is to hire an accounting expert to advise you along the way. You need an accountant to review your end of year financials and any tax and audit preparation that you are required to complete. The end of the year headache should drastically decrease with an expert by your side. It is still your business and you will have important tasks to do, next year to plan, and the added stress of entering a new year but why make it harder on yourself? 

At Singletrack Accounting, we are with you every step of the way. We also will go over all your reports alongside you to make sure you are utilizing every resource. Our number one goal is to help you be successful while staying compliant. Reach out today for a free consultation. 

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Leaping Into the Unknown

September 4th, 2020|0 Comments

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive [...]

End of the Year Accounting Prep2020-11-11T15:53:58+00:00
6 10, 2020

Save Thousands on Taxes With an S-Corp Election

2020-10-06T16:56:04+00:00

Give yourself a pat on the back. Owning and operating a small business is no small feat. What if we told you you could be leaving hard earned money on the table and there was something you could easily do about it? 

An alarming amount of business owners are not taking advantage of a major federal tax saving filing status, s-corporation. I know you’re thinking – what’s the catch? In this article, we will go over the numerous benefits and some caveats of changing your filing status. If you are making over $20,000 in annual profit a year, listen up. You are probably overpaying your taxes. 

Let’s dive into how an s-corporation (s-corp for short) works. The key feature that makes an s-corp different is the tax advantages it offers. S-corps are a tax structure or a tax filing status, that allows pass-through taxation for small businesses and exempts their dividends from self-employment tax. We’ll unpack this for you.

An s-corp is not an entity – that is your LLC or your corporation. An s-corp is a tax filing status with the IRS. 

Understanding the difference between a business entity and a tax filing status. 

Before moving on, it’s important that you understand the difference. You set up your business entity by registering it with the secretary of state. You can then choose which tax filing status you want. Your entity could be an LLC, while your filing status could be an s-corp. Therefore in this example; you would have an LLC taxed as an s-corp. 

What’s the benefit?

S-corp status exempts business owners from getting taxed on their profits from self-employment tax…thats the elimination of 15.3% tax on your business profits! 

But how? 

Rather than paying 15.3% self employment tax on S-Corp profits, business owners pay themselves a “reasonable salary” by issuing themselves a W-2. Yes, you will need to pay social security & medicare taxes on your W-2 income, but by running some of your profits through Owner payroll, the entire remainder of your net income is saved from paying ANY self employment tax. Even better, the business can write off your salary and it’s portion of your payroll taxes. Say goodbye to 15.3% self-employment tax on your profit! If you file your taxes as a single member LLC you WILL pay 15.3% self employment tax on your entire profit…that is one of the highest tax rates paid by any American.

Confused? We prefer visuals. Take a look at the example graphic below. For simplicity, this person is single with no other income. We compare the different business structures and how much taxes this business owner will pay based on filing status.  

S-corp tax savings example

If you’re still with us, you can see that this business saved between $5000-$13000 in taxes for electing to become an s-corp. That is a BIG difference. Think of all the things you could do with that extra cash. Put it back into the business, save it for a rainy day, take a trip to Europe (Yolo!). 

But seriously, what’s the catch?

Fly fishing

Like all great things, this one is going to take a little effort and a proficient accountant. Changing the tax filing status of your company is complex and requires a professional. However; once the leg work is done, the tax savings and simplicity is worth every penny. Keep in mind, you must agree to meet accounting and tax related compliance tasks. 

This is our specialty at Singletrack Accounting. We offer affordable accounting for small businesses to take advantage of these tax savings. The amount you will save, even after the costs of accounting services is typically thousands of dollars. We make sure all the accounting compliance requirements are done with low cost done-for-you packages. 

There are a few steps to conversion.

Steps to s-corp conversion 

1- Ensure eligibility

2- Financial & Service Ramifications

3- Create a Business Entity

4- Apply for an EIN and file Form 2553 with the IRS

5- Changes to Bookkeeping

6- Changes to Tax Filing

Top compliance requirements

1- Owner W-2

2- Separate personal and business bank accounts

3- Separate corporate tax returns

4- Updated operating agreement

This may sound like a lot, but not to worry. We work with you every step of the way. 

Late to the party?

Camping

You may be wondering if it’s too late to take advantage of the tax savings in this fiscal year. Let’s talk about late s-corp elections. Many s-corps miss the deadline, but fortunately for you it’s not too late. Filing for an s-corp is tricky enough, filing for a late s-corp election is even trickier but still possible. At Singletrack Accounting, we do the heavy lifting ensuring we follow all compliance measures to get you on track to change your filing status and in return save you thousands. 

Takeaway

Running a small business is hard enough! Make it easier on yourself by taking advantage of this no brainer tax savings strategy. Professionals are here to make the process run smoothly. We take the heavy lifting off of you so you can do what you do best – run your business. 

Reach out today to our team of experts to set up a free consultation. We have saved business owners multiple thousands of dollars over the years. Our bread and butter is s-corp election for small businesses and we are ready to help you. 

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Leaping Into the Unknown

September 4th, 2020|0 Comments

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive [...]

Save Thousands on Taxes With an S-Corp Election2020-10-06T16:56:04+00:00
4 09, 2020

Leaping Into the Unknown

2020-09-04T18:38:36+00:00

We have been recently reminded that it is crucial for entrepreneurs to stay up to date on emerging trends. Staying dynamic will allow you to successfully alter your course to fulfill client needs and thrive amid transition and variability. Owning a small business can be uncertain, even in the best of times and 2020 has been no exception. This year could include a major pivot in your business as the current situation has drastically changed the landscape in several different ways. You can either sit back and see your goals get further away or you can lean into the turn and create positive change. Things are changing in a big way and with big change comes big opportunity. If you know where to look for it.

We assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In this article we’ll showcase several business stories where founders have embraced change. These businesses we’ve highlighted have shifted the way they operate and have successfully adapted to the ever changing business landscape.

Two Birds Brewing

This female run brewing not only has delicious craft beers, but has a taste for innovation. When nonessential businesses were forced to close, owners Danielle Allen and Jayne Lewis, set up a drive up bottle shop, offered nationwide free beer delivery, and beefed up their e-commerce by selling online. Not only is their online and delivery services thriving, their brewery is back up and running successfully as quarantine measures were lifted.

Tacoma Shoutouts

Tacoma shoutouts

Photo Credit: @tacoma_shout_outs

A few months ago, we highlighted a clever entrepreneur, Matthew Fleming, who is a laid off chef at a restaurant. This entrepreneur had an idea to bike around neighborhoods yelling happy messages to friends and families of people who paid him a small amount. He found a way to turn his frustration into something constructive. Not only is he getting exercise but he has also teamed up with a charity, 2nd Cycle on Hilltop, to give back the proceeds.

McKay Books

Nashville business, McKay Books, sells books, albums, videos, and other odds and ends. When retail restrictions were taking place, McKay quickly had to pivot in order to stay in business since customers could no longer browse the warehouse. Knowing many people needed to stay entertained throughout sheltering in place, they developed a genius idea of curbside entertainment bags. Customers could fill a bag with entertainments of their choice such as fiction and nonfiction books, kids books, or choose from themed bags. They could order online and then come pick up their goodies curbside at their convenience.

Bauer

Bauer, a notable hockey gear company, switched from making gear only for the ice to creating medical gear. The Minnesota based company shifted to making protective masks for hospitals, first responders, and retail stores. Not only are they still making quality hockey gear but they used their resources to create adaptation and resilience.

Virtual Pasta-Making

Photo credit: AirBnb

This 84 year old Italian entrepreneur not only proves that you can follow your dreams at any age, but is a great example of creating a business that thrives during lockdown. Nonna Nerina usually runs a pasta making class near Rome, Italy but due to country wide isolation measures, she had to cancel her classes and rethink her business strategy. With the help of her granddaughter, she has taken all of her classes online. You can now book her 2 hour pasta-making lessons here. Buon Appetito!

In some cases, the most heroic thing an entrepreneur can do for their business is carry on and “not die.” In order to find out what lies around the next bend of the entrepreneurial journey you need to be agile and make quick corrections when things change. Be honest with yourself when things aren’t working, test new ideas, create short feedback cycles, and keep learning new ways to make your customers happy. Even though sometimes counter intuitive, it’s often a much better plan to try to make a small group of customers love you than a large group like you. We hope these business examples can provide hope and creative inspiration to stay afloat amidst uncertainty.

If you’re struggling (or even thriving) during these times, our private client business coaching is here to help you. Kim Hornsby is a small business expert who has succeeded (and failed) at businesses throughout her life. She will help to create action plans and modeling to stay in business and thrive. Book a free consultation here.

Remember – keep up with the trends, think digital, be creative, stay positive, and don’t be afraid to pivot!

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