Author: Janet Behm (88 articles found) - Clear Search


Lean In Through The Last Half Of The Year

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"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." - Franklin D Roosevelt

If you measure your key metrics you can manage the performance of your business, AND you can see problems well in advance of when they might show up in revenue or profit figures.

Each and every business has key performance metrics [Key Performance Indicators (KPI's)], some of which are common to other businesses, some are industry-specific, and some companies create their own KPI's.

These sort of things are our bread and butter, when working with small businesses tax pro.

Do you need help?

Financial metrics are often common to all businesses. Some examples include:
* Average transaction value.
* Gross profit margin.
* A measurement of a company's efficiency during the production process.
* How much is left over after COGS.
* Gross Profit divided by Total Revenue.
* Net profit percentage.
* The amount of profit for every $1 of revenue generated.
* Net Profit divided by Total Revenue multiplied by 100.
* Debtor days or receivable turn days.
* How long your customers take to pay you. (The sooner your customers pay, the sooner you can get that cash working for you.)
* 365 (days in the year) divided by (Sales on credit or invoice divided by Average Accounts Receivable). Read More...













Hey Business Owners, Do You Understand The Value of Time?

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“When the storm has passed, put your energy into rebuilding your life, don’t waste time looking back.” -Leon Brown

Entrepreneurship is the conversion of your knowledge, talents, guts, and time into money.

Time is valuable, although the value differs from person to person. And while I recently covered the best way to think about the value of your BUSINESS ... this calculation is actually a little easier.

But it takes a certain mindset.

You see, when most people place value on their time, they do so based on an eight-hour workday, which is not all that correct. It's hard to get eight productive hours out of each day.

One study involving Fortune 500 CEOs revealed that they achieved 28 productive minutes a day. Read More...


State Tax Revenue Collection and How It Might Affect YOUR Wallet

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"A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants." -Joseph Addison 

The financial picture for the various states in our nation is a mishmash of various revenue sources (and expenses). 

Unlike, say, the federal government, the states cannot print money. So, they are forced to go hunting for it. And they get it from a few primary sources: sales tax (based on purchases/consumption), income tax (individual and business taxes based on income), property tax and "other" taxes like the tax on fishing licenses, driver's licenses and a lot of other smaller items.  

And the most volatile -- and COVID-affected -- of these sources is ye olde income tax. Sales tax has obviously taken a hit as well (but people still need to buy stuff) and property taxes, well ... more about that next week.  Read More...


Details of the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA)

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Just when we thought that the business-related news might slow down for business owners...

Not only are unemployment numbers improving (much to the surprise and delight of the stock markets), but ...

Congress passed, and the President has signed a bill that affords businesses who received the PPP (whether in the first or second round) some big flexibility when it comes to applying for forgiveness.

Namely:

  1. 60% Threshold: Business owners  around the country only need to use 60% of the loaned money for payroll*, not 75% as previously required. The other 40% can be used on rent / mortgage, utilities, and loan interest.
  2. 24 Weeks: Business owners can now spend this money over 24 weeks (through the end of this year) while still being eligible for forgiveness, as opposed to the original 8-week window. This gives you more flexibility on how you want to spread that money out.
  3. 12/31 Hiring Window: You can now count anyone rehired through the rest of the year, not the previous deadline of June 30th.
  4. Terms: Whatever PPP funds that don't get forgiven will go into a 5-year loan** at 1% (instead of a 2-year). With the end-of-year forgiveness window, that means your first payment might not be until May '21.

You might have noticed I put some asterisks on a couple of those items. Read More...


Which Stimulus Payments Are Taxable (and Which Aren't)

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"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left." - Hubert Humphrey

As difficult as it might be right now, let's project forward to next year.

Let's cross our fingers and believe that we all get through this donkey of a year that is 2020.

Maybe you have a business that clung to life, and you're headed towards recovery in 2021. You took the PPP, or perhaps the EIDL (or both). Or perhaps you had to take unemployment for a period of time, but are slowly (but surely) getting back on your feet. The economic stimulus checks helped.

But then ... taxes are due.

Uh oh.

Well, don't fear my friend: Janet Behm is here to set your mind at ease. Read More...



Frustration Is High Right Now

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I've written a fair amount over the past few weeks about all of the specific provisions in the CARES Act, related to economic stimulus checks, various tax savings strategies, financial implications, and then some.

And I will continue to be covering these topics in the weeks ahead.

But today I want to address you around this particular social moment we're in right now.

Yes, I'm a tax professional -- I'm not a counselor, religious leader or a psychiatrist, obviously -- but in the course of the last couple months, I have had the privilege to speak with MANY people about their finances, their mindset, and how they are responding to all of this.

Because you can pick your problem -- there are PLENTY all around us.

We have clients all over the map on just about every issue -- from virus measures, to civil liberties, to economic concerns, to re-opening, to medical concerns, to ... you name it. 

And almost NOBODY is satisfied about, well, anything.

I'm reminded of the old curse: May you live in interesting times.

(And do you want to know something fittingly ironic? The source of that curse is supposedly China ... but even THAT is unclear. Yes, these times are "interesting".)

What we are really seeing is a breakdown of trust, and it's happening all over the place. Trust in social and governmental institutions are at an all-time low, trust in the media ... even lower. Trust in our friends is even breaking down.

So much of this is driven by social-media-fueled anger and envy ... but let's not pretend these 
trends just suddenly "cropped up" after the invention of Facebook.

Our cultural agreements are fraying around the edges.

Which is why I keep coming back to this: how you carry yourself and your own mind is the 
most important aspect of this current crisis.

This has implications for your wallet, your family (if you have one), your friendship circles, your business (if you still have one), and your future.

You have a choice TODAY about how you funnel your energy and your attention. How will you 
treat those who disagree with you (on important things even)? How will you organize your lockdown-restricted day?

Unless your vocational calling requires you to run down various rabbit holes of viral pathogens 
or nefarious cabals out to take over the world ... ask yourself:

Does this information that you are consuming help you accomplish the mission you've been given in life?

Are you moving your family, your career, and your soul forward through what you are doing right now?

If the answer to those questions is still "yes", great.

But if it isn't ... may I humbly suggest the following:  

Rise above.

Yes, this can be especially difficult in this cultural moment. Yes, you might be massively affected by what is happening right now in our world. But YOU decide what drives YOU. Nobody else can do that for you. And will you move our local world forward? That's what we're trying our best to do here, with our tax clients and our blog friends. And I hope you'll join us.

BE THE ROAR not the echo®

Warmly,

Janet Behm
Utah Real Estate Accountants
(801) 278-2700

"CRISIS Action Plan" for my clients and friends:
1) Don't marinate in other people's panic. Be mindful of your social media consumption.
2) Continue to stay financially and logistically prepared for worsening situations.
3) Make sure you have some ready, liquid assets, if you are able. (I.e., cash in the bank, and in hand.)
4) Set aside plans for any big spending until the dust settles -- but especially look out for your small business owner friends and vendors. Read More...


























































Time for Some GOOD NEWS

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It feels to me that we're all in need of some good news.

I have some great news for the young (ish) and the old (ish), but before I get there, I'd like to encourage EVERY person who is reading this:

Keep your head in the game.

Yes -- we can so easily get caught up in seemingly nefarious schemes on every side. Whether you are Team ReOpen or Team StayLockedDown ... there are data points and new stories plentifully available to bolster your case.

But what are you doing about what YOU can control?

That's the game right now.

Many people receive these emails that I send out. But of all of them, in point of fact, there might be only a small handful that have actual power to enact change by influencing minds or implementing action.

So, what are all the rest of us doing? Read More...


PPP Forgiveness and Your Taxes

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Well, if you were wise, you probably saw this coming.

Turns out ... if you received a PPP loan, that the expenses you pay from the proceeds of this (forgivable) loan ... are not deductible for businesses.

Ouch.

The IRS just released new guidance to this end (which is being protested by CPA associations). This reduces the value of this "loan", depending on your tax rate.

And it's a good lesson for all of us: Congress can do whatever it likes. And it doesn't need to tell you in a timely fashion. It can come in at the 11th hour and change everything.

Welcome to my world.

That said, your tax pro can do certain things on your company's taxes (with your cooperation) to reduce the impact of this new IRS guidance. Read More...


Scammers are Everywhere Right Now

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Anytime (like now) that there is a rollout of government assistance, you can count on two things:

1)    Bumps in the road (it's hard to manage many millions of people needing help)

2)    SCAMS

I haven't yet heard of any of my clients or friends being taken in by this stuff, but I did want to alert you to this dynamic.

How to make sure your check is the right check.

Most of the Economic Impact Payments (i.e. stimulus checks) have been direct deposited by now. So if you have NOT received it, you might want to check the status using the tool the IRS has set up here:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

Some who did not set up direct deposit, or for other reasons, might receive a check instead. That said, a couple things to note: Read More...