Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In
Finance & Legal
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs

Avoid These Six Debt Collection Pitfalls

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small Business News


Avoid These Six Debt Collection Pitfalls 

Your ability to collect a debt owed to your business hinges on the processes and policies you have in place. You can avoid some of the most common mistakes and improve your chance of successfully collecting a debt by understanding where problems often arise. Your LegalShield provider law firm is ready to help you understand the laws that govern collections, draft letters to debtors and assist you in taking further legal action if necessary. Call your LegalShield provider law firm if you need assistance with a collection matter or have any questions.

  1. “We didn’t have a payment policy or written contract.” Handshake deals and verbal agreements are difficult to legally enforce. It is essential to have a signed contract for any product or service for which payment will be made at a later date. Your contract or agreement should include a uniform payment policy. Your policy should include exact due dates or a timeline for payment, the name of the individual or business responsible, accepted forms of payment and any potential fees or interest for delinquent payment.

  2. “Our accounting records are a disaster.” Accurate and detailed records will help you quickly identify and manage delinquent accounts. Your customers and clients should know exactly where their account stands. Provide itemized invoices that include a specific due date for payment. If an account is delinquent, include the total amount owed, the number of days past due, the original due date and any late fees or interest owed.

  3. "We waited because we didn't want to upset the customer." If a customer's account becomes past due, consider placing a hold on the account and contact the customer. The longer a customer's account is delinquent and the more debt they accrue the more difficult collection becomes. You may have to make the determination to stop providing additional services or products until payment is made. Always remain professional and courteous.

  4. “We don’t have any documentation but I remember talking to the customer.” Good accounting practices will insure you retain copies of bills and invoices. You must also document your collection efforts. Your records should include letters and emails, as well as the dates and times of any phone calls or meetings. This information will be extremely important if legal action becomes necessary.

  5. “I was so mad I couldn’t stay calm.” Remain professional and friendly during each interaction with delinquent customers. It is illegal to threaten, harass or intimidate customers who are unable to make payment. Never threaten an action you are not willing or legally allowed to make. Making the issue personal or becoming aggressive will hurt your chances of successfully collecting the debt and could land you in legal trouble.

  6. “I didn’t really think the attorney could help.” Utilize your LegalShield small business membership. Call your provider law firm for assistance with collection matters. Your attorney can help you understand the law, draft a collection letter on your behalf, review your contracts and answer other legal questions you may have. If a collection letter does not resolve the matter, your provider law firm will advise you on additional legal remedies available to your business.  

 

For more information about LegalShield or IDShield for yourself, your family, your business, or your employees, please contact Kenyatta Turner, Independent Associate at 602-367-1069 or KenyattaTurner@LegalShieldAssociate.com.  Worry Less...Live More!

 

Tags:  accounting  Bookkeeping  contracts  CPA  debt cancellation  debt collection  family-owned business  finance  financing  legal advice  legal services  small biz  small business  Taxes 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Do Your Taxes for Free

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

 

This was posted this morning by the Internal Revenue Service - This is tax tip #16 as posted by the IRS.

Note:  The site will direct you to a list of software providers (As highlighted below) where vendors have software that is free to use. After entering the site there is a help link, "help me find free file software". There are 13 vendors listed. I used the help link using two examples; one with income assumed of  $48,000, and another with assumed income of $10,000.  The first assumption recommended me to OLN software, and the second  to "Turbo Tax".  After entering the recommended sites the software will take you also to their commercial site with the option to purchase additional services.  Unless you have a need for the additional services they in all probability are not necessary.

 

Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

You can prepare and electronically file your federal taxes for free using IRS Free File. It is fast, safe and easy to use. IRS Free File does the hard work for you with either brand-name tax software or online fillable forms.

Here are six facts that you should know about Free File.

1. Free Options for All. If you make $62,000 or less – as do 70 percent of Americans – you can choose easy-to-use software to do your taxes and e-file for free. If you make more than $62,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, it’s free.

2. Free File Does the Hard Work. IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and tax software manufacturers that make their products available for free. You don’t need to be a tax expert. The software will help find tax breaks you may be able to claim but might overlook, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software asks the questions; you provide the answers. It will choose the right tax forms and do the math for you. Free File can also help with the health care law tax provisions.

3. Free File on IRS.gov. Access IRS Free File on IRS.gov/freefile to avoid any charges for preparing or e-filing your federal tax return. Once you choose a Free File company, you’ll go to their website to prepare, print and e-file your federal tax return.

4. All Forms and Schedules are Free. Whether you file Form 1040 EZ, Form 1040A or Form 1040, all are free. If you have a mortgage interest deduction, children in college or made money in the stock market, the Free File software will complete the forms and schedules you need.

5. Free Extensions. If you can’t make the April 18 deadline (April 19 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts), you can use Free File to request an automatic six-month extension. Making the request is easy and free through IRS Free File. Just look for “free extensions for anyone” in the company offers. Remember, this is a six-month extension of time to file your tax return, not to pay your tax. If you think you owe, make an estimated payment with your extension request. Tax software will help you make this payment, or you can view other payment options at IRS.gov.

6. Use IRS E-file. Remember, the fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit. If you owe taxes, you can e-file now and set up an automatic payment on any day until the due date. To view your payment options visit IRS.gov/payments.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  accounting  IRS  Taxes  tips 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Basic Bookkeeping Tips For Small Business

Posted By Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, August 29, 2014

Bookkeeping is an important and necessary part of owning a small business. However, you probably weren’t a bookkeeper before you became a small business owner. You are bound to make some mistakes along the way. Fortunately, most of these mistakes are pretty easy to fix. Use these basic bookkeeping tips for small business owners to help you learn the ropes and avoid errors.

  1. Choose the best accounting system for your business. There are two main options - cashed based accounting or accrual based accounting. In a cash based accounting method, you count your income when you get it and count your expenses when you pay them. With the accrual based accounting method, you count these things when they happen instead of when they are paid. So what’s the difference? Well, there will be a difference for your business if you keep an inventory or make transactions on credit. If this is true for your business, the accrual method may be a better choice for you. In fact, the IRS may require a business to use the accrual accounting method if they keep an inventory or have more than $5 million in sales. If you don’t keep inventory or deal with credit transactions, a simple cash based accounting system should work just fine for you.

  2. Keep daily records. This is simple, but extremely important. Make an accurate daily record so that you are aware of the financial situation of your business. It doesn’t matter what system you use; just choose one and stick with it. Once your system is in place, it will only take a few minutes to keep up with it each day.

  3. Treat checks with as much care as cash. You probably write a lot of checks, and you get envelopes full of canceled checks back from the bank. It’s easy to fall into a routine and pay little attention when writing checks, but take a moment and slow down. Review all of your checks carefully. If you make a mistake, it is your mistake, not the bank’s mistake. You will have to deal with the fallout. Review cancelled checks personally; this way, you will be aware of any unauthorized checks before anyone else gets the chance to remove them.

  4. Request a bank statement that cuts off at the end of the month. This is useful because it syncs your bank statement with your other monthly records, so you are comparing matching time frames. It’ll be a lot easier to balance your statements and track expenses this way.

  5. Leave a trail. You should be able to retrace your company’s financial activities easily. Keep business and personal accounts separate. Keep your checks and invoices in order, and don’t skip numbers. If you need to go back and check something later, it will be much easier this way.

  6. Use software. Even for a very small business, using a bookkeeping software program will make your record keeping much simpler and more organized. Let’s face it – the time of the old ledger and pen system has come and gone. You can do everything you need to do, and even back up all of your important records, if you do it on your computer.

Originally posted on NAWBO. Written by Kjell Andreassen, a managing partner of Acceler8.

Tags:  accounting  Bookkeeping  HR  NAWBO  Small Biz  Small Business  tips 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Join @Zoho at the AC Biltmore Hotel on 11/22

Zoho One

Free seminar on business optimization! Join the Zoho team on November 22nd at the AC Biltmore Hotel for a half-day of learning and fun. Their experts will discuss how you can manage your sales, marketing, support, finance, and more all with one comprehensive platform. They'll also discuss tips and tricks and best practices to automate processes and help you optimize your business.

LEARN MORE

Join ASBA

ASBA

ASBA is the most powerful resource for your business in Arizona. We ensure the tools we offer are valuable and support the growth, education and connections necessary for today’s top business minds.

LEARN MORE

Enterprise Bank & Trust

ASBA

Enterprise was founded on the idea of serving the lifetime financial needs of privately held businesses.Today, we continue to empower privately held businesses and also help families to secure their financial futures.

LEARN MORE

RSVP

Coffee Connect with ASBA

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location

RSVP

ASBA Speed Networking

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location

Have Questions on Health Insurance?

Health Insurance

Do you have questions on plans for Individual, sole proprietor, or group? We can get the answers needed to make sure you find the right plan for you and your employees.

LEARN MORE

Partner Program

CopperPoint

ASBA’s Partner Program delivers your brand throughout Arizona. Share insights, connect with small business and highlight your company’s involvement with the association. Contact Jodi Towns to get started.

LEARN MORE

Upcoming Event

Health+Plus

ASBA is bringing you Health+Plus, an all-inclusive healthcare experience for business owners! We’re getting you in front of healthcare providers, insurance carriers, health and wellness experts, HR, software solutions, telemedicine, and more.

REGISTER

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal