Home-Based Business in Accounting

Home-Based Business in Accounting

There is a considerable growth in the number of companies opting to outsource professional services in customer service, accounting and media management. Significant areas that a company has to carry on effectively are bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation. All these can be successfully rendered by experienced accountants who are now building their own home-based business in accounting.

If you’ve earned a degree in Accounting, then this business is for you to fall on if you don’t desire to settle for employment. To render services appropriately and competitively, you will need a few years of experience. Establishing credibility to your clients by showing them your track record of experience is most enticing than showing them documents of you passing the board exam as Certified Public Accountant.

If you are not certified yet, seek for it. Most companies would likely pick you if you’re certified or Non-CPA but experienced in all areas of finance and accounting. Apparently, majority of home-based accounting businesses are managed by Non-CPA’s and tax professionals. Those starting to sideline in accounting services have ended up creating their own firms. This report has inspired more CPA’s to launch a home-based accounting firm.

You don’t need to put up a sophisticated office as you can meet your clients in their respective offices. You can communicate with them from home through email, chat, fax and phone. Your accounting business is mostly to cater services like tax preparation quarterly or yearly, security system benefit monitoring, financial analysis and auditing. If you’re in need some extra bucks, you can start working t home by offering your accounting expertise

5 Reasons to Hire an Accountant

5 Reasons to Hire an Accountant

When you are a small business owner, the need for an accountant begins as soon as you make the decision to start a new business. A knowledgeable and experienced accountant is able to help you make informed business decisions and save money at every stage of your business.

Small business owners, though generally experts in their own fields, are not usually well versed in, nor do they have the time to become an expert in accounting processes or tax laws. Considering the immense investment of time and resources required to start and operate a business, it’s generally a good idea to bring in an expert. Below are the top five reasons to consider hiring an accountant as soon as possible.

Reason #1: Accountants Can Help Increase Profits

Accountants are especially equipped to use the information contained in ledgers, reports and statements to help you better manage your business’ bottom line and increase profits. Their sole purpose and goal is to focus on managing daily expenses and developing and implementing a plan to maximize profitability

Reason #2: Accountants Can Help Maximize Tax Returns

Accountants are experts uniquely trained in all aspects of small business tax law. They invest significant amounts of time and energy into learning and applying the complexities of the ever changing statutes for clients in a wide variety of industries. Because of this, they are able to help get you the best return possible.

Reason #3: Accountants Can Help Open Up Opportunities

Accountants are able to intelligently appraise the potential profit and loss of future projects, create business proposals to secure needed financing and develop budgets to increase the eventual likelihood of their success. This is extremely helpful when trying to expand or make changes to your business.

Reason #4: Accountants Can Help with Networking

Accountants typically have other business referrals that they can provide. These may be other clients that they have, or just people they have met at business gatherings who may be interested in networking and getting involved in your business.

Reason #5: Accountants Can Help with Tools

Accountants are trained and experienced with the latest tools and processes to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your financial information. Through the use of advanced software, they are able to disseminate large amounts of information down into simple, easy-to-read reports that help in operational decisions.

SharePoint Control of Financial Systems

SharePoint Control of Financial Systems

The need for strong financial control within any company is paramount to its success but often this control means getting non-financial members of staff to adhere to the rules of time and accuracy. Time and time again management accounts are produced on a monthly basis but a percentage of the information relating to costs has been omitted. Chasing users with requests for information from the accounts department can often be seen as not important and often slips down the list of managerial responsibility.

With SharePoint you can use a work flow utility which shows when a user is required to make a return and also shows when a user is not adhering to time set out in the schedule. Peer pressure is a very strong persuasive power in a company and if you are shown up among your peers that your monthly returns are late than you will try harder to ensure next month’s return is on time.

Companies I have worked for have had a very slack personnel expenses regime. This leads to instances where a user would not make a claim for expenses for a 6 months period (multiple claims). The ulterior motive being that when they get paid a large lump sum they can use this for a holiday or the like. This again means financial control on a month by month basis is being distorted. With its work flow utility, SharePoint can bring about a better control of expenses, only allowing a 21 day period from the month end for the user to fill in their expenses claim. There is still an over-ride whereby the finance department can agree to pay the user due to unforeseen circumstances such as long period of illness etc.

Controls such as those I have mentioned are aimed at producing accurate monthly management accounts. Many an organization has employees who at the end of the year suddenly produce invoices which need to be paid and which may have been more relevant in a different period of the year. The SharePoint model can be used to create purchase orders that ensure invoices do not get buried in the system. Once the purchase order has been created, the user has a set time to produce the invoice which pertains to the purchase order. If this invoice is not produced then the purchase order will show as an alert and the user will be required to answer the reason for the delay.

Purchase orders are seen by Accountants who are investigating fraud as the starting point for any enquiry. The patterns in purchasing can alert a manger or auditor to irregularities and with SharePoint’s clear analysis, the time effort to identify issues can be minimal. The purchase orders need to be requested by a manager who can justify the need for the purchase and then can be signed off by a manager who has the required budget for the purchase. (The value of the purchase will need to be within the capacity of the manager). Auditing after the event can be very difficult as paper trails can become compromised but with a system which is read only the information can be audited.

In some organisations the finance department is autonomous, whereas in some organisations each department has a finance element. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantage but with the above SharePoint system this can cut across department issues and with its transparency bring about an accountable finance department which is producing meaningful and accurate management accounts.

Accounting Conventions and Accounting Concepts

Accounting Conventions and Accounting Concepts

(1) Relevance

The convention of relevance emphasizes the fact that only such information should be made available by accounting as is relevant and useful for achieving its objectives. For example, business is interested in knowing as to what has been total labor cost? It is not interested in knowing how much employees spend and what they save.

(2) Objectivity

The convention of objectivity emphasizes that accounting information should be measured and expressed by the standards which are commonly acceptable. For example, stock of goods lying unsold at the end of the year should be valued as its cost price not at a higher price even if it is likely to be sold at higher price in future. Reason is that no one can be sure about the price which will prevail in future.

(3) Feasibility

The convention of feasibility emphasizes that the time, labor and cost of analyzing accounting information should be compared vis-à-vis benefit arising out of it. For example, the cost of ‘oiling and greasing’ the machinery is so small that its break-up per unit produced will be meaningless and will amount to wastage of labor and time of the accounting staff.

Accounting Concepts

(1) Materiality

It refers to the relative importance of an item or event. Those who make accounting decisions continually confront the need to make judgments regarding materiality. Is this item large enough for users of the information to be influenced by it? The essence of the materiality concept is : the omission or misstatement of an item is material if, in the light of surrounding circumstances, the magnitude of the item is such that it is probable that the judgment of a reasonable person relying on the report would have been changed or influenced by the inclusion or correction of the item.

(2) Accounting period

Though accounting practice believes in continuing entity concept i.e. life of the business is perpetual but still it has to report the ‘results of the activity undertaken in specific period (normally one year). Thus accounting attempts to present the gains or losses earned or suffered by the business during the period under review. Normally, it is the calendar year (1st January to 31st December) but in other cases it may be financial year (1st April to 31st March) or any other period depending upon the convenience of the business or as per the business practices in country concerned.

Due to this concept it is necessary to take into account during the accounting period, all items of revenue and expenses accruing on the date of the accounting year. The problem confronting this concept is that proper allocation should be made between capital and revenue expenditure. Otherwise the results disclosed by the financial statements will be affected.

(3) Realization

This concept emphasizes that profit should be considered only when realized. The question is at what stage profit should be deemed to have accrued? Whether at the time of receiving the order or at the time of execution of the order or at the time of receiving the cash. For answering this question the accounting is in conformity with the law (Sales of Goods Act) and recognizes the principle of law i.e. the revenue is earned only when the goods are transferred. It means that profit is deemed to have accrued when ‘property in goods passes to the buyer’ viz. when sales are affected.

(4) Matching

Though the business is a continuous affair yet its continuity is artificially split into several accounting years for determining its periodic results. This profit is the measure of the economic performance of a concern and as such it increases proprietor’s equity. Since profit is an excess of revenue over expenditure it becomes necessary to bring together all revenues and expenses relating to the period under review. The realization and accrual concepts are essentially derived from the need of matching expenses with revenues earned during the accounting period. The earnings and expenses shown in an income statement must both refer to the same goods transferred or services rendered during the accounting period. The matching concept requires that expenses should be matched to the revenues of the appropriate accounting period. So we must determine the revenue earned during a particular accounting period and the expenses incurred to earn these revenues.

(5) Entity

According to this concept, the task of measuring income and wealth is undertaken by accounting, for an identifiable Unit or Entity: The unit or entity so identified is treated different and distinct from its owners or contributors. In law the distinction between owners and the business is drawn only in the case of joint stock companies but in accounting this distinction is made in the case of sole proprietor and partnership firm as well. For example, goods used from the stock of the business for business purposes are treated as a business expenditure but similar goods used by the proprietor i.e. owner for his personal use are treated as his drawings. Such distinction between the owner and the business unit has helped accounting in reporting profitability more objectively and fairly. It has also led to the development of “responsibility accounting” which enables us to find out the profitability of even the different sub-units of the main business.

(6) Stable Monetary Unit

Accounting presumes that the purchasing power of monetary unit, say Rupee, remains the same throughout. For example, the intrinsic worth of one Rupee is same and equal in the year 1,800 and 2,000 thus ignoring the effect of rising or falling purchasing power of monetary unit due to deflation or inflation. In spite of the fact that the assumption is unreal and the practice of ignoring changes in the value of money is now being extensively questioned, still the alternatives suggested to incorporate the changing value of money in accounting statements viz., current purchasing power method (CPP) and current cost accounting method (CCA) are in evolutionary stage. Therefore, for the time being we have to be content with the ‘stable monetary unit’ concept.

(7) Cost

This concept is closely related to the going concern concept. According to this, an asset is ordinarily recorded in the books at the price at which it was acquired i.e. at its cost price. This ‘cost’ serves the basis for the accounting of this asset during the subsequent period. This’ cost’ should not be confused with ‘value’.

It must be remembered that as the real worth of the assets changes from time to time, it does not mean that the value of such an assets is wrongly recorded in the books. The book value of the assets as recorded do not reflect their real value. They do not signify that the values noted therein are the values for which they can be sold. Though the assets are recorded in the books at cost, in course of time, they become reduced in value on account of depreciation charges. In certain cases, only the assets like ‘goodwill’ when paid for will appear in the books at cost and when nothing is paid for, it will not appear even though this asset exists on name and fame created by a concern.

Therefore, the values attached to the assets in the balance sheet and the net income as shown in the Profit and Loss account cannot be said to reflect the correct measurement of the financial position of an undertaking, as they do not have any relation to the market value of the assets or their replacement values. This idea that the transactions should be recorded at cost rather than at a subjective or arbitrary value is known as Cost Concept. With the passage of time, the market value of fixed assets like land and buildings vary greatly from their cost.

These changes or variations in the value are generally ignored by the accountants and they continue to value them in the balance sheet at historical cost. The principle of valuing the fixed assets at their cost and not at market value is the underlying principle in cost concept. According to them, the current values alone will fairly represent the cost to the entity.

The cost principle is based on the principle of objectivity. The supporters of this method argue so long as the users of the financial statements have confidence in the statements, there is no necessity to change this method.

(8) Conservatism

This concept emphasizes that profit should never be overstated or anticipated. Traditionally, accounting follows the rule “anticipate no profit and provide for all possible losses. For example, the closing stock is valued at cost price or market price, whichever is lower. The effect of the above is that in case market price has come down then provide for the ‘anticipated loss’ but if the market price has gone up then ignore the ‘anticipated profits’.

Critics point out that conservation to an excess degree will result in the creation of secret reserve. This will be quite contrary to the doctrine of disclosure. However, conservatism to a reasonable degree may not come in for criticism.

Accounting Equation

Dual concept may be stated as “for every debit, there is a credit.” Every transaction should have two sided effect to the extent of same amount. This concept has resulted in Accounting Equation which states that at any point of time the assets of any entity must be equal (in monetary terms) to the total of owner’s equity and outsider’s liabilities. This may be expressed in the form of equation:

A-L = P


A stands for assets of the entity;

L stands for liabilities (outsider’s claims) of the entity; and

P stands for Proprietor’s claim (Capital) on the entity.

(The form of presentation of equation A-L = P is consistent with the legal interpretation of financial position. Thus it emphasizes that properly speaking the proprietary claim is the balance after providing for outsider’s claims against the business from the total assets of the business).

How To Choose The Right Accountant

   Choose The Right Accountant

An accountant is a professional who keeps track of the financial records of a business or an individual. There are a number of individuals and businesses who use the services of an accountant all year round. There are other individuals who only hire an accountant to help get all of their finances in order before their tax returns are due. There are millions of accountants located all around the world. With many cities and towns having at least ten professional accountants it is often difficult for many individuals to decide which accountant they should hire.

Learning how to choose an accountant for personal or business use is a fairly easy process. There are a number of factors that should be considered before the services of an accountant are actually hired. The best way to get started on hiring an accountant is by finding a number of them in the area. It is possible to hire an accountant that is not located in the same area as an individual or business; however, many individuals feel that it is easier to deal with an accountant who is local.

There are a number of ways that an individual or business can find an accountant. The most popular way is through research. Many professional accountants are listed in the local phone or they advertise their business online. When using a phone book to find an accountant individuals should look in the yellow pages or the business directory of their phone book. The majority of accountants are listed under the heading of Accounting and Bookkeeping. It is also possible for an accountant to be found by using an online business directory. Online business directories work in the same way that a traditional phone book does; however, they are often nationwide and sometimes include feedback from previous customers. Feedback ratings of a particular company may come in handy when trying to find an reputable accountant to do business with. Many individuals also find an accountant by asking for recommendations from family, friends, and coworkers.

Personal recommendations are a great way to learn about an accountant that is professional and highly recommend; however, individuals and business owners are encouraged not to just take the word of someone that they know. A large number of accountants offer free consultations to the general public. Individuals and business owners are encouraged to use a free consultations to learn more about an accountant. If a free consultation is not available many professional accountants do not mind answering a number of questions over the phone or in an email.

The most important thing to consider when looking to choose an accountant is their qualifications. There are many states that require their accountants to become certified before operating a business, but there are others that do not regulate the way that accountants operate. A certified public accountant (CPA) is often a professional individual who was trained and has a large amount of accounting experience. Many certified public accountants charge more for their services, but at the same time they often offer better results.

There are many accountants who handle a wide variety of case loads; however, there are some that only specialize in a specific area of accounting or deal with a certain type of client. Individuals and business owners are encouraged to speak with an accountant to determine if their services can be applied to their individual needs. There are many accountants who only specialize in personal accounting while others may only work with business owners.

It is also important to determine if an accountant is working on their own or if they are a part of a larger accounting team. While each may have their advantages it is possible that a large accounting firm may mean that multiple accountants will be working on your finances. There are many individuals who only want to work with one accountant instead of multiple accountants. Working one on one with a specific accountant often allows individuals to feel like they are getting the appropriate amount of attention and it also creates less confusion and errors.

As previously mentioned learning how to choose an accountant is a fairly easy process once individuals or business owners known which type of questions to ask. Asking questions is the best way to learn about their qualifications and the amount of money that their services cost. There is a perfect accountant out there for every individuals or business it may just take a little bit of research to find him or her.

how Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts

how Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts

While installing your new accounting software you have most likely been asked whether you would like to use one of the default charts of accounts included with the program or develop your own. Unless you are very familiar with setting up a set of financial books you will want to choose from one of the selections offered. And even if you have the experience choosing one of the defaults will save you a great deal of time. But you may ask what if I don’t need all these accounts and how do I know which accounts I should keep. And should I use a numbering system or not? Let me help you by explaining just what a Chart of Accounts is and how to adjust the default list to your needs.

First of all a Chart of Accounts in its simplest definition is a list of accounts used to track all financial transactions that flow through a business. This list is typically broken in to eight segments: Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income, Cost of Goods Sold, General and Administrative Expenses, Other Income and Other Expenses. You might see Equity referred to as Capital, Cost of Goods Sold referred to as Direct Costs, and General and Administrative Expenses referred to as Expenses. Companies that wish to track Sales Expenses such as commissions, salaries and related expenses of sales personnel and other costs related directly to sales activity might also add a Sales Expense segment.

The first three segments represent the accounts you will find on a Balance Sheet and they will be broken down into sub-segments. Under Assets you will find sub-segments for Current Assets, Fixed Assets and sometimes Other Assets. Current Assets accounts are used for assets that can be readily liquidated into cash, such as cash, investments, accounts and notes receivables, and deposits. You may choose when setting up more than one cash account or receivable account to create a further segment. This will allow you to summarize all your cash accounts, for example, on your balance sheet while keeping a separate recording account for each bank account. Fixed Assets accounts are used to record the cost of items purchased that have a useful life that extends beyond one year. The Fixed Assets segment also includes contra-accounts (reduction of the value of an asset) that are used to record the depreciation of your fixed assets. These contra-accounts are typically named “Allowance for Depreciation – (name of type of fixed asset)”. You should have a fixed asset account and corresponding depreciation account for each type of fixed asset you purchase. Some examples are vehicles, office equipment and furniture, building or leasehold improvements. The Other Assets segment is used for all other types of assets.

Likewise the Liabilities segment is broken into Current Liabilities and Long-Term Liabilities. Current liabilities represent the company’s liabilities that are to be paid in less than one year. Examples are Accounts Payable, Payroll Tax Liabilities, and Note Payables. Long Term Liabilities represent liabilities that are to be paid over a longer term than one year such as mortgages, vehicles loans and other long term debt.

The third segment of the balance sheet is the Equity, or Capital, segment. This segment consists of accounts that record the owner’s, partners or shareholders investments, draws of profits taken from the company by the investors and the net earnings of the company. For each owner or partner within a business entity there should be an individual investment account and draw account. When a company is incorporated than the capital investment by the shareholders is recorded into capital stock accounts. These accounts may be broken down further if different types of stock are issued. The Retained Earnings account is used to record the profit, or loss, the company has earned from the beginning of its existence. Usually you will not be posting to this account, as this is the account your software program will use to close out your end of year income statement accounts.

Moving on to the Income Statement segments, you will want to have in the Income segment accounts to record each type of income you earn in the course of your business. You may want to break out your sales income into more than one account if you have more than one type of service or product. For example if you are a general contractor you may want to track how sales compare between remodeling and new homes.

Cost of Goods Sold or Direct Costs are those expenses that relate directly to the sale of a product or service. Again if you are a contractor these typically would include payroll and payroll expenses of your workers, materials, subcontractors, permits, general liability and workman’s compensation insurance, equipment rentals, etc. They would not include rent or office supplies.

General and Administrative Expenses are business expenses incurred that are not dependent on the sale of a product or service. They include rent, phone, office payroll and payroll expenses, employee benefits, office supplies, utilities, etc.

Other Income typically includes non-sales income such as interest income. Federal and State Income Taxes and any related interest and penalty expenses are what you will find in the Other Expense segment.

Now that you have an idea of how a Chart of Accounts if typically set up, how do you pick and choose what accounts to keep and which to delete? Print out the default list and go through it choosing the accounts you think you will need. You will need at least one cash account, an account receivable and accounts payable account. If you do not have employees and don’t ever expect to have any than by all means delete all accounts with payroll in the name. If your company will not be making investments than delete all accounts having to do with investments under Current Assets. You get the picture – however it is easier to keep what you think might be needed sometime in the future. Your program may not let you delete some accounts because they are being used in conjunction with another account or accounts. Let them be. You can also edit account names – as long as the new account name belongs in the same segment as the one you are replacing.

Now, to number or not number. Numbers are used in a Chart of Accounts to sort the accounts correctly. Also, between you and me, accountants are much better at remembering numbers than they are at names so they prefer numbers. When using numbers, each segment is assigned a specific group of numbers. Typically these are as follows:

Assets – 1,000’s

Liabilities 2,000’s

Equity 3,000’s

Income 4,000’s

Cost of Goods Sold 5,000’s

General & Administrative 6,000’s

Other Income 7,000’s

Other Expense 8,000’s

When a Sales Expense segment is used it is assigned the 6000 range and each of the remaining segments move up a range. Leave room between sub-segments so you will be able to add if needed. And when setting up numbers within a segment make sure you leave some room between each account as you may also want to add accounts.

And when in doubt ask a professional. Your software advisor or accountant can get you started in the right direction from the start which may save you a lot of time and aggravation down the road. As with most endeavors, doing it right the first time is always best.

A well set up and maintained financial management system is the cornerstone of any business. Without well organized financial records and the ability to review your data in meaningful reports a company cannot be at its best.

Accountant Supply List

Accountant Supply List

Not many years ago, accountant supply lists involved items such as ledgers, stamps with inkpads, and a very large cup of sharp pencils. Today, accountant supply lists are much different.


First and foremost, the most important accountant supply to purchase is a computer. This is a given in nearly every existing business in the United States today, and choosing a computer can be complicated and confusing due to the many options that are available. If you don’t have a computer that you can use for your accounting business, visit your local accountant supply store, office supply store, or computer dealer.

Shop around at a minimum of three places, and ask a sales representative to demonstrate the different features, as well as review features on memory. Bring a note book to write down the different types of computers you’ve seen, as well as the pros and cons of each different computer. If you have a relative or close friend who knows computers, share your findings in order to make the most educated purchase that is best for your business.

Accounting Software

After purchasing a computer, or if you already have a computer suitable for your accounting office, the obvious next accountant supply that will be needed is a good accounting software package. Rather than choosing accounting software by brand, though, choose software that is right for your particular business.

Out-of-the-box accounting software is most suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that have standard accountant supply needs. If your business needs unique data reports, make sure the accounting software you choose offers customizable reports. If you run a service-related business, check to be sure the accounting software includes features such as a time and billing module. When choosing your software, ask a few pertinent questions to make sure the package is right for your accounting business.

– Does the accounting software allow you to print or electronically send cheques, purchase orders, and invoices?

– Does it have internet connectivity so you can bank online?

– Is it integrated with other software that you often use, such as Microsoft Office?

– Is it able to convert data from other accounting programs or databases? In other words, will the accounting software be able to meet all of your needs, now and in the future?

– Does it work easily with tax forms and configurations?

If you anticipate your business to grow and include other staff accountants, consider these additional questions as well.

– Is the accounting software networkable?

– How easy or expensive is it to move from one user to multi-users?

– With some accounting software, adding new users is just a matter of buying the appropriate number of user licenses; with others, you have to purchase multiple copies of the accounting software program, which is much more expensive.

Some software accountant supply packages, such as Peachtree by Sage, offer areas of accounting software specialty as well, such as accounting for construction, accounting for distribution, accounting for manufacturing, and accounting for nonprofit organizations. Therefore, as with a computer purchase, get several opinions from various sources in order to make the most educated purchase for your accounting businesss.

Other Supplies

Once a computer system and software package is installed, filling an accountant supply cabinet is the next item a self employed accountant should choose to complete. Before spending your hard earned dollars, though, carefully research the items that you will need the most and those items that you will need immediately in your particular accounting specialty.

A few basic items for your effectively equipping your office, which are available at most any accountant supply or office supply store, are as follows:

– Client tax guide organizers

– Presentation materials and client folders

– Accounting forms

– Filing cabinet with file folders

– Accounting reference materials

– Telephone with headset

– Desk top calculator and adding machine

Some items that will be needed in your accountant supply cabinet can be purchased at an accountant supply or office supply store, but could also be obtained at no charge through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or ordered at irs.gov.

– W2 and 1099 tax forms

– Federal and State envelopes

– Federal and State income tax forms for the current tax year

Basic office supplies that should be included on your accountant supply list are:

– Pens

– Pencils and an electric pencil sharpener

– Paper clips

– Stapler

– Rubber bands

– Desk organizers and baskets for organizing paperwork to be kept on your desk

– Envelopes of various sizes

– Postage meter if you do or plan on doing a lot of daily mailings on a very regular basis

– Self inking stamps – one with your business mailing address and one for stamping bank deposits

– Letterhead and envelopes with your business name printed on them

– Business cards

Additionally, consider a unique accountant supply that could be of great benefit to you and your clients — a subscription to a tax update newsletter, or another resource that will keep you regularly informed of tax updates, and can help you remain updated on the latest changes in taxes and tax laws

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/158877

Chart of Accounts for a Small Restaurant

Independent restaurant owners often do their own bookkeeping. Even if they hire a professional accountant at year’s end, they may save considerable money by handling the weekly tasks themselves.

Setting up a chart of accounts to fit the restaurant needs generally requires customizing the default choices of any accounting program. The selection of sales and cost of goods accounts on most systems does not provide for the separation of food and beverage categories that are needed.

Even the leading bookkeeping program for small business, while it has a default selection for restaurants, fails to provide all of the accounts that most restaurant owners require. In addition, many of the expense accounts that are added are rarely used, leading to confusion during data entry, and don’t help with the overview of the business finances.

The National Restaurant Association publishes a book titled Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants. The book provides detailed descriptions of the application of generally accepted accounting principles to the restaurant industry.

That book includes a sample chart of accounts, but notes that “the codes used here are not the only method for classifying the accounts”. It points out that most restaurants will not use all of the categories listed, and it also notably lacks breakdown of inventory and cost categories beyond “food” and “beverage”. Many restaurant owners want further separation of those categories to include sub-categories such as “meat”, “seafood”, and “produce”, and possibly “beer” and “wine” for beverage categories.

While many programs do not require the use of account numbers, the NRA book states that some type of account numbering system must be used. If your program is not showing account numbers, it should have an option on a set up screen to activate that feature.

Any account numbering system is generally grouped so that accounts of a particular type fall within a specific range of numbers. For example, assets may be in the 1000 range, and income accounts in the 4000 range. On systems with many detail accounts, 5 digit numbers may be used to allow more sub-categories, but that is rarely needed for a small restaurant.

Typical number ranges that are used by many accounting systems are as follows:

Asset accounts: 1000-1999
Liability accounts: 2000-2999
Equity accounts: 3000-3999
Revenue accounts: 4000-4999
Cost of goods: 5000-5999
Expenses: 6000-8000
“Other” accounts: 8000-9999

Asset Accounts

Asset accounts include cash, bank accounts, inventory, and everything else that is owned.

It is common to assign the first account number, 1000, to Cash, since they are usually ordered, within each group, by liquidity (ease of converting to cash).

A separate account should be used in the chart of accounts for each bank account maintained for the business. If merchant deposits take a few days to reach the bank, a merchant account can be used. Also, if checks are accepted and not processed electronically, an account should be created for checks to be deposited.

New accounts are normally numbered 10 digits apart, so your first two bank accounts may use 1010 and 1020 as account numbers in the chart of accounts. Leaving gaps between the numbers makes it easy to add another account later and squeeze it in to the sort order in any position.

The asset accounts can be numbered as such:

1000 Cash
1010 Primary Bank Account
1020 Bank Account #2
1060 Merchant Deposit Account
1080 Checks Received
1100 Accounts Receivable
1200 Food Inventory
1210 Meat Inventory
1220 Poultry Inventory
1230 Seafood Inventory
1240 Dairy Inventory
1250 Produce Inventory
1260 Bakery Inventory
1270 Frozen Inventory
1280 Grocery Dry & Canned Inventory
1320 Beverage Inventory
1330 Liquor Inventory
1340 Beer Inventory
1350 Wine Inventory
1360 Merchandise Inventory
1380 Bar & Consumable Inventory
1400 Prepaid Expenses & Advances
1450 Recycle return value

Assets that have a lifespan of several years or more are referred to as Long Term Assets. This also includes any real estate.

1500 Fixed assets
1510 Land & Building
1520 Automobile
1530 Furniture Fixtures & Equipment
1540 Leasehold Improvements
1600 Accumulated Depreciation
1700 Capitalized Start Up Expenses
1800 Security Deposits

Liability Accounts

Liability accounts includes things like credit cards and payables to vendors. It also includes money that has been received for things like tax that is due to the state, tips due to the employees, and gift cards sold but not yet redeemed. Real estate loans and other major financing is sub-categorized as long-term liabilities.

Liability accounts can be numbered as:

2000 Accounts Payable
2110 Credit Card
2120 Credit Card #2
2130 Credit Card #3
2140 Credit Card #4
2210 Sales Tax Payable
2220 Second Tax Payable
2250 Payroll Liabilities
2260 Second Payroll Liability
2280 Tips held
2300 Gift cards & certificates
2350 Customer Credits
2400 Notes Payable
2500 Other debt

Equity Accounts

The owners’ investment in the company is represented in the equity accounts. For a corporation, this includes the shareholders equity. It is effectively the money that the business owes back to the owners. When an accounting period is closed, the balance of the income and expense categories is transferred to Retained Earnings, which is also an equity account.

The most basic equity accounts could be numbered:

3000 Owner Capital
3100 Common Stock
3300 Retained Earnings

Income Accounts

Sales fall into the general category of income accounts. A restaurant will obviously want separate categories for food and beverage sales, and may want further separation of beer, wine, and liquor sales.

Typical income accounts are:

4000 Sales Revenue
4200 Food Sales
4320 Beverage Sales
4330 Liquor Sales
4340 Beer Sales
4350 Wine Sales
4360 Merchandise Sales
4500 Catering & contracts
4700 Other Operating Income
4900 Discounts

One difference between the NRA recommendations and many other lists involves the placement of the “other income” accounts. This can include income from sources such as cover charges, games or vending machines, and banquet room rental. Most lists place these accounts in the 8000 range, above expenses, but the NRA list places them in the 6000 range.

Most smaller locations will only need a single category for other income. Since “cost of goods” is a general sub-category of expenses, it makes sense to avoid placing an income category in the middle of the range from COGS through expenses. A single account has been placed in this list within the 4000 range.

Putting the discounts into the revenue category implies that this will be a “contra” account. Where most of the sales categories will have a credit balance, discounts will normally have a debit balance.

Cost of Goods Accounts

The Cost of Goods accounts, also called Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold, represent the food and beverage purchases to provide the meals. Other expenses directly related to sales may be included, such as merchant fees or consumable cups and napkins.

The numbers used here also provide consistency across all accounts, as the last 3 digits of each COGS category is the same as the last 3 digits on the associated inventory account.

A cost of goods list could include:

5000 Cost of Sales
5200 Food Cost
5210 Meat Cost
5220 Poultry Cost
5230 Seafood Cost
5240 Dairy Cost
5250 Produce Cost
5260 Bakery Cost
5270 Frozen Cost
5280 Grocery Dry & Canned Cost
5320 Beverage Cost
5330 Liquor Cost
5340 Beer Cost
5350 Wine Cost
5360 Merchandise Cost
5380 Bar & Consumable Cost
5600 Delivery & direct labor Cost
5700 Merchant Fees

Expense Accounts

This example separates the expense accounts into three primary categories: payroll expenses and other expenses. The payroll expenses are grouped in the 6000 range, with the other operating expenses in the 7000 range. Overhead like rent, taxes, and amortization are bumped into the 8000 range.

While accounts must be broken down at least far enough to separate tax lines, combining rarely used accounts will make the overview much easier to understand. The following list combines several categories that are often separated on other charts.

You should check with your accountant or tax preparer to ensure that anything you combine does, in fact, share the same tax line.

The Inventory Loss/Waste account has been slid in under the 6000 marker, as some may consider it to belong with the Cost of Goods categories.

5800 Inventory Loss/Waste
6000 Labor related expenses
6100 Management Wages
6200 Staff Wages
6300 Contract Labor
6400 Commissions paid
6500 Employee Benefits
6600 Workers Comp Insurance
6700 Employers Payroll Taxes
6800 Payroll processing expense
7100 Direct Operating Expenses
7110 China – Glassware – Flatware
7120 Restaurant & Kitchen Supply
7130 Cleaning Supply & Expense
7140 Decorations & Guest Supply
7150 Laundry – Linen – Uniforms
7160 Fees – Permits – Licenses
7200 Pest – Security – other contract
7250 POS – Tech support – Online serv
7300 Marketing
7310 Media & Print advertising
7320 Promotional events
7400 Automobile & travel
7500 Music and Entertainment
7600 Repairs and Maintenance
7700 Utilities
7750 Telephone & net connection
7800 General and Administrative
7810 Bad Debts – Over/short
7820 Bank fees
7830 Insurance
7840 Interest
7850 Professional fees
7890 Misc. Office expense
8100 Rent and Occupancy costs
8200 Equipment Rental
8600 Sales tax paid on purchases
8700 Amortization
8900 Other expense
9000 Income Tax

Other Accounts

The only remaining items to account for are the sale of major assets, other income from sources besides restaurant operations (such as investments or sub-letting space), and a placeholder account for transactions where the business owner needs their accountant’s assistance.

9500 Gain/Loss on sale of assets
9900 Other Income (not from operation
9999 Ask My Accountant

Rectification concept Of Accounting Errors

Rectification concept Of Accounting Errors

Accountants prepare trial balance to check the correctness of accounts. If total of debit balances does not agree with the total of credit balances, it is a clear-cut indication that certain errors have been committed while recording the transactions in the books of original entry or subsidiary books. It is our utmost duty to locate these errors and rectify them, only then we should proceed for preparing final accounts. We also know that all types of errors are not revealed by trial balance as some of the errors do not effect the total of trial balance. So these cannot be located with the help of trial balance. An accountant should invest his energy to locate both types of errors and rectify them before preparing trading, profit and loss account and balance sheet. Because if these are prepared before rectification these will not give us the correct result and profit and loss disclosed by them, shall not be the actual profit or loss.

All errors of accounting procedure can be classified as follows:

1. Errors of Principle

When a transaction is recorded against the fundamental principles of accounting, it is an error of principle. For example, if revenue expenditure is treated as capital expenditure or vice versa.

2. Clerical Errors

These errors can again be sub-divided as follows:

(i) Errors of omission

When a transaction is either wholly or partially not recorded in the books, it is an error of omission. It may be with regard to omission to enter a transaction in the books of original entry or with regard to omission to post a transaction from the books of original entry to the account concerned in the ledger.

(ii) Errors of commission

When an entry is incorrectly recorded either wholly or partially-incorrect posting, calculation, casting or balancing. Some of the errors of commission effect the trial balance whereas others do not. Errors effecting the trial balance can be revealed by preparing a trial balance.

(iii) Compensating errors

Sometimes an error is counter-balanced by another error in such a way that it is not disclosed by the trial balance. Such errors are called compensating errors.

From the point of view of rectification of the errors, these can be divided into two groups :

(a) Errors affecting one account only, and

(b) Errors affecting two or more accounts.

Errors affecting one account

Errors which affect can be :

(a) Casting errors;

(b) error of posting;

(c) carry forward;

(d) balancing; and

(e) omission from trial balance.

Such errors should, first of all, be located and rectified. These are rectified either with the help of journal entry or by giving an explanatory note in the account concerned.


Stages of correction of accounting errors

All types of errors in accounts can be rectified at two stages:

(i) before the preparation of the final accounts; and

(ii) after the preparation of final accounts.

Errors rectified within the accounting period

The proper method of correction of an error is to pass journal entry in such a way that it corrects the mistake that has been committed and also gives effect to the entry that should have been passed. But while errors are being rectified before the preparation of final accounts, in certain cases the correction can’t be done with the help of journal entry because the errors have been such. Normally, the procedure of rectification, if being done, before the preparation of final accounts is as follows:

(a) Correction of errors affecting one side of one account Such errors do not let the trial balance agree as they effect only one side of one account so these can’t be corrected with the help of journal entry, if correction is required before the preparation of final accounts. So required amount is put on debit or credit side of the concerned account, as the case maybe. For example:

(i) Sales book under cast by Rs. 500 in the month of January. The error is only in sales account, in order to correct the sales account, we should record on the credit side of sales account ‘By under casting of. sales book for the month of January Rs. 500″.I’Explanation:As sales book was under cast by Rs. 500, it means all accounts other than sales account are correct, only credit balance of sales account is less by Rs. 500. So Rs. 500 have been credited in sales account.

(ii) Discount allowed to Marshall Rs. 50, not posted to discount account. It means that the amount of Rs. 50 which should have been debited in discount account has not been debited, so the debit side of discount account has been reduced by the same amount. We should debit Rs. 50 in discount account now, which was omitted previously and the discount account shall be corrected.

(iil) Goods sold to X wrongly debited in sales account. This error is effecting only sales account as the amount which should have been posted on the credit side has been wrongly placed on debit side of the same account. For rectifying it, we should put double the amount of transaction on the credit side of sales account by writing “By sales to X wrongly debited previously.”

(iv) Amount of Rs. 500 paid to Y, not debited to his personal account. This error of effecting the personal account of Y only and its debit side is less by Rs. 500 because of omission to post the amount paid. We shall now write on its debit side. “To cash (omitted to be posted) Rs. 500.

Correction of errors affecting two sides of two or more accounts

As these errors affect two or more accounts, rectification of such errors, if being done before the preparation of final accounts can often be done with the help of a journal entry. While correcting these errors the amount is debited in one account/accounts whereas similar amount is credited to some other account/ accounts.

Correction of errors in next accounting period

As stated earlier, that it is advisable to locate and rectify the errors before preparing the final accounts for the year. But in certain cases when after considerable search, the accountant fails to locate the errors and he is in a hurry to prepare the final accounts, of the business for filing the return for sales tax or income tax purposes, he transfers the amount of difference of trial balance to a newly opened ‘Suspense Account’. In the next accounting period, as and when the errors are located these are corrected with reference to suspense account. When all the errors are discovered and rectified the suspense account shall be closed automatically. We should not forget here that only those errors which effect the totals of trial balance can be corrected with the help of suspense account. Those errors which do not effect the trial balance can’t be corrected with the help of suspense account. For example, if it is found that debit total of trial balance was less by Rs. 500 for the reason that Wilson’s account was not debited with Rs. 500, the following rectifying entry is required to be passed.

Difference in trial balance

Trial balance is affected by only errors which are rectified with the help of the suspense account. Therefore, in order to calculate the difference in suspense account a table will be prepared. If the suspense account is debited in’ the rectification entry the amount will be put on the debit side of the table. On the other hand, if the suspense account is credited, the amount will be put on the credit side of the table. In the end, the balance is calculated and is reversed in the suspense account. If the credit side exceeds, the difference would be put on the debit side of the suspense account. Effect of Errors of Final Accounts

1. Errors effecting profit and loss account

It is important to note the effect that an en-or shall have on net profit of the firm. One point to remember here is that only those accounts which are transferred to trading and profit and loss account at the time of preparation of final accounts effect the net profit. It means that only mistakes in nominal accounts and goods account will effect the net profit. Error in the these accounts will either increase or decrease the net profit.

How the errors or their rectification effect the profit-following rules are helpful in understanding it :

(i) If because of an error a nominal account has been given some debit the profit will decrease or losses will increase, and when it is rectified the profits will increase and the losses will decrease. For example, machinery is overhauled for Rs. 10,000 but the amount debited to machinery repairs account -this error will reduce the profit. In rectifying entry the amount shall be transferred to machinery account from machinery repairs account, and it will increase the profits.

(il) If because of an error the amount is omitted from recording on the debit side of a nominal account-it results in increase of profits or decrease in losses. The rectification of this error shall have reverse effect, which means the profit will be reduced and losses will be increased. For example, rent paid to landlord but the amount has been debited to personal account of landlord-it will increase the profit as the expense on rent is reduced. When the error is rectified, we will post the necessary amount in rent account which will increase the expenditure on rent and so profits will be reduced.

(iil) Profit will increase or losses will decrease if a nominal account is wrongly credited. With the rectification of this error, the profits will decrease and losses will increase. For example, investments were sold and the amount was credited to sales account. This error will increase profits (or reduce losses) when the same error is rectified the amount shall be transferred from sales account to investments account due to which sales will be reduced which will result in decrease in profits (or increase in losses).

(iv) Profit will decrease or losses will increase if an account is omitted from posting in the credit side of a nominal or goods account. When the same will be rectified it will increase the profit or reduce the losses. For example, commission received is omitted to be posted to the credit of commission account. This error will decrease profits ( or increase losses) as an income is not credited to profit and loss account. When the error will be rectified, it will have reverse effect on profit and loss as an additional income will be credited to profit and loss account so the profit will increase ( or the losses will decrease). If due to any error the profit or losses are effected, it will have its effect on capital account also because profits are credited and losses are debited in the capital account and so the capital shall also increase or decrease. As capital is shown on the liabilities side of balance sheet so any error in nominal account will effect balance sheet as well. So we can say that an error in nominal account or goods account effects profit and loss account as well as balance sheet.

2. Errors effecting balance sheet only

If an error is committed in a real or personal account, it will effect assets, liabilities, debtors or creditors of the firm and as a result it will have its impact on balance sheet alone. because these items are shown in balance sheet only and balance sheet is prepared after the profit and loss account has been prepared. So if there is any error in cash account, bank account, asset or liability account it will effect only balance sheet.

Outsourcing Tax Returns: The Benefits

Outsourcing Tax Returns

Whether you have just set up your business or have been running your company for ten years or more you will no doubt know of the importance of correctly managing your business finances. From payroll and invoicing to vat and bookkeeping, there are many areas to consider and take care of but with careful management and control you can keep your business in great shape.

From new opportunities to employee management and even marketing, for those in charge there are more than a handful of tasks to regularly deal with that as a result leave very little time to focus on financial obligations.

For this reason a number of business owners choose to outsource their business finances to accountants. The expertise, knowledge and understanding that a financial specialist can bring to a business is worth its weight in gold which is why many business owners will happily hand the management of everything from payroll to bookkeeping straight over.

The peace of mind that comes with knowing your business finances are in the best hands possible is unbeatable but do you know what is even better? Knowing you never have to face the dreaded tax return again! A tax return is a legal obligation, whether a retailer, building firm or interior designer as a business you are required to ensure that every year you complete and file your return by the set date.

Whether you have done it once, twice or a million times over filing a tax return can be a complete nightmare but outsourcing can make your life a lot easier…

A business finance specialist will work with you to truly understand your business and compile a clear and accurate return on your behalf.
If you have outsourced bookkeeping, payroll and so on then you’ll know that your finances will be well managed and in the best shape possible which will ultimately max preparing for a tax return far easier.
The cost of outsourcing your return is far less than the cost you would face if you were to hire an in house accountant or worse yet, if you attempted to complete the return yourself only to fail to include details or miss the deadline and be handed a penalty.
A financial specialist will be up to date with any and all rules and regulations implemented by HMRC
Whilst you focus on all other areas of your business an accountant will be dedicated to dealing with your business finances and will therefore plan for your return in advance; ensuring your business never misses the deadline.
Completing a tax return is not where it ends, an accountant will also provide planning tips and ensure you have regular suggestions on how you can save money.