The new generation of San Antonio entrepreneurs is earning success in industries across the city. Their belief that growth is possible and necessary is often the first step in achieving success.It’s easier to maintain streamlined day-to-day operations when you have a clear knowledge of your assets. Brush up on business finance, keep your books in order, even enlist the services of a certified public accountant (CPA) — and you’re on your way to a stable financial future.
Business Funding TipConsider the best financing structure for your business such as the amount(s) of short-term and/or long-term financing.
TRACKING COSTS WITH A BALANCE SHEET
A brief business statement that summarizes your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity, the balance sheet is an important tool for understanding the big financial picture. Use it to evaluate different parts of your business and organize your expenses.
Take things one step further when it’s time to make an important business decision. With a cost-benefit analysis (CBA), you can quickly work out whether the profits outweigh the losses, and make an educated call.
- Create a list of the associated costs and benefits of your decision over a particular period of time
- Assign an estimated dollar amount to all costs and benefits
- Calculate your total costs and total benefits, and compare the two values
- Analyze your results and come to a final informed decision
CHOOSING AN ACCOUNT METHOD
There are two options for recording accounting transactions: "cash" and "accrual." The only major difference lies in the timing. With the accrual method, business transactions are recorded directly after a sale. With the cash method, revenue and expenses are only recorded once payment is received.
- Creates an instant record
- Reduces your tax burden
- Management is more complicated
- Figures can be deceptive
- Shows clear picture of cash flow
- Easier to understand and manage
- Limits predictive value
- Less long-term clarity
MANAGING BUSINESS CREDIT
Accounting isn’t a part of your job description, but building and actively managing business credit is essential to the future success of your venture. Business credit can affect everything from interest rates and insurance premiums, to financing costs and rental terms and conditions. Start by taking steps now to improve your cash flow.
- Find out whether you have a business credit file
- Establish credit history by using lines of credit linked to your business
- Pay bills on time and understand alternative factors that influence your credit rating
- Keep your credit files current and track ratings changes
- Know your customers' and vendors' credit standings
Ensure your new business remains in good legal standing by adhering to tax rules. As always, use your location and business structure as guides to determine which tax laws apply, and reach out to state and local governments for more comprehensive information about tax obligations specific to your state.
- States with no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming
- States with flat tax rates: Colorado (4.63%), Illinois (4.95%), Indiana (3.23%), Massachusetts (5.%), Michigan (5.10%), North Carolina (5.499%), Pennsylvania (3.07%), and Utah (5%)
Again, your unique business structure dictates what types of federal taxes you’ll have to pay. Whether you run a sole proprietorship, a C corp, or limited liability company (LLC), check with the IRS or an accountant to see which federal business taxes — income tax, self-employment tax, estimated tax, employer tax, and excise tax — are most relevant to you.
Bear in mind, there are ongoing filing requirements for upkeep of your state and federal taxes. Stay legally compliant in your state by submitting records of franchise taxes, Articles of Amendment, initial reports, and annual reports or biennial statements. There’s less to do on a federal level, since most business will simply continue their federal tax payments and health coverage reporting to the IRS. However, you’ll also be required to maintain and renew any federally awarded permits, licenses, and certifications.
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