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5 commonly overlooked accounting issues small businesses must address

Posted by Aashna

May 6, 2024

Arm yourself with the knowledge and strategies to manage your finances, minimize risks, and achieve sustainable growth and success.

Small business owners often find themselves grappling with a multitude of challenges, especially when it comes to managing their accounting. The intricacies of tax compliance, bookkeeping, payroll, budgeting, and inventory management can be overwhelming, often leading to these crucial tasks being overlooked until they snowball into major issues.

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  • Self-Employment Taxes

A common challenge in small business accounting is managing self-employment taxes. If you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for a 15.3% self-employment tax and federal and state taxes. This tax isn’t automatically withheld from your income, necessitating diligent financial planning to cover these obligations. Set aside 30% of your income to cover taxes and CPA expenses. Consult a tax professional to explore business structures that might exempt you from self-employment tax, thus reducing tax compliance challenges for small enterprises.

  • Adding Yourself to Your Payroll

Many small businesses, particularly sole proprietors and LLC owners, face payroll management issues for small companies when they pay themselves directly from business earnings. Adding yourself to your payroll as an employee might unlock specific financial benefits, such as tax deductions related to payroll expenses. It’s crucial to discuss with a tax professional whether being a W-2 employee could offer substantial tax advantages.

  • Paying Your Estimated Taxes on Time

Paying estimated taxes quarterly is a significant aspect of tax compliance for small businesses. These payments should be based on anticipated annual earnings, last year’s tax payments, and expected deductions. Failure to pay on time can lead to hefty penalties, complicating tax compliance and budgeting for small enterprises. Timely payments help manage cash flow and prevent sizeable unexpected tax bills, illustrating the importance of robust budgeting and forecasting difficulties in small enterprises.

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  • Keeping Track of Expenses and Receipts

Poor expense tracking often causes bookkeeping problems in small businesses. However, implementing a system early on for tracking these, including digital tools for capturing physical and virtual receipts, can significantly ease bookkeeping challenges. Encouraging the use of apps that integrate scanned receipts into accounting software can streamline bookkeeping practices and support tax compliance, potentially leading to more efficient operations and increased profitability.

  • Inventory and Accounts Management

Inventory management challenges for small businesses are also prevalent, particularly those that handle physical products. Effective inventory management systems are essential to prevent overstocking or stockouts, which can impact cash flow and operations. Similarly, managing accounts receivable and payable issues for small firms efficiently ensures that cash flow remains steady, avoiding the common pitfalls that many small firms face with delayed payments from customers or suppliers.

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Key Takeaways

Running a small business demands meticulous attention to various accounting tasks, including tax compliance, payroll, budgeting, bookkeeping, and inventory management. While it’s possible to handle many of these issues independently, early involvement of accounting and tax professionals can provide a safety net, ensuring your business operates efficiently and thrives. Proactively addressing these challenges is crucial to avoiding complicated audits and costly financial surprises, ensuring your business’s ongoing health and efficiency.

Want to know more? Escalon has helped over 5,000 companies across a range of industries improve their compliance regarding internal controls and streamline processes. Talk to an expert today.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal, or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please get in touch with us here



Aashna Vidyarthi is a content writer and literature enthusiast. She has contributed her creative talents to various brands across industries, helping them bring their visions to life through compelling narratives and unique writing. Her love for literature and a keen interest in different cultures are integral parts of Aashna’s creative journey as she continues to weave enchanting tales that resonate with audiences, embracing the power of imagination and the beauty of diverse perspectives. A bibliophile who reads anything and everything that comes her way and enjoys every word.

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