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Covid Business Debt Restructuring

Covid Business Debt Restructuring

Covid Business Debt Restructuring

On a previous post, we talked about the need to restructure and renegotiate all of your debt (Read More HERE: https://cpa-moms.com/covid-blog-financial-business-survival-strategies). We’ll share some simple strategies you can implement today. 

#1: SBA Debt Relief – 6 months of government paid principal & interest

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

If you have an existing SBA loan, the government is paying your monthly debt service payment for 6 months. That includes your principal & interest. This is NOT a deferment. It does not get added to the end of your loan. It is FREE MONEY. If you have a business loan with a bank and you are not sure if it is an SBA loan or qualifies, call your bank and ask.

#2: Renegotiate or Defer Your Business Debts and Office Rents

If you don’t qualify for the SBA Debt Relief program, no worries, talk directly with your lender or property manager. Everyone is trying to work with their customers. Ask them for a deferment and reduction of payments. Most are accommodating. If you don’t ask, they won’t offer.

#3: Defer or Refinance Your Mortgage, HELOC or any other Debts.

Most small business owners are also home-owners. While we focus all of our energy on our business, we often forget about ourselves. Call your banker and ask for deferment or reduction of payments.

For more Covid resources or support for small businesses, please visit: https://cpa-moms.com/covid

Covid SBA Loans Simplified

Covid SBA Loans Simplified

Covid SBA Loans Simplified

I was a little confused at first about where to go on the SBA website (https://sba.gov) to access the small business Covid funding available. As busy entrepreneurs, I find the need to for information to be simplified. I want to know what to pay attention to, and more importantly, what to ignore.

Here is a DIRECT LINK to the page you want to focus your time and attention on.

By the time you read this post, funding for the first two options (PPP and EIDL) will probably be gone. If you want simplified explanation or more information and resources on what all of these funding options mean for your business, visit us at https://cpa-moms.com/covid.

For step-by-step instruction on how to get to this page on the main website, here goes:

STEP 1:

STEP 2:

STEP 3:

STEP 4:

STEP 5: FINALLY!

Covid Financial Survival Strategies for Small Business Owners

Covid Financial Survival Strategies for Small Business Owners

Covid Financial Survival Strategies for Small Business Owners

One of the rules of business is get funding when you don’t need it. Before the government funding is gone and the banks tighten their wallets in response to the economic impact post-Covid 19, you do want to continue to access as much capital as you can. I expect loans will be harder and harder to access in the coming months and years as we enter our next great depression.

Here are a few priorities small business owners can focus on to stabilize and protect your cash. Normally, you would take each step one at a time. We are not living in normal. You will likely be doing all of these at once. As I write this post, I have all of the below strategies in various stages of “in process”. Do focus on the first FREE money step as THIS MONEY WILL RUN OUT!

Breathe, you’ve got this. You are not alone. We are all in this together.

First, focus on accessing all of the free money you can in the form of forgiveable loans, grants, stimulus checks, and government debt payments. You can read more about those options at https://cpa-moms.com/covid. This is all about speed to the food bowl. Give up your loyalties to any one bank, don’t worry if it is perfect, and just apply and get as much as you can right now.

There is a high probability that all of the PPP and EIDL funding will be gone by the time you read this post. However, this isn’t a reason to stop. It means it is time to enter the next phase of cash preservation and financial survival.

Second, focus on acquiring as much capital and lines of credit that you can. “Your bank is only as good as your banker”. Based on what is happening now, this statement could not be more true. After the dust settles, small business owners will start to realize how important it is to start and nurture relationships with your bankers. Look locally and build relationship with a Community Bank or Credit Union. They work best with small businesses. There are a TON of options in your local market. I really love the resources from https://www.accion.org. Honestly, at this point, google search your local market, your industry, your gender, anything and everything you think you might qualify for.

Third, you’ll want to start the next strategy to protect your cashflow, which are basic cost cutting measures and cost restructuring to protect you and your business. This is an entire conversation we’ll have another time, but for the moment, look at these two major areas:

  • largest monthly costs
  • employees and contractors
  • fixed versus variable costs

Cut any cost non-essential to your business. Let go of anyone that isn’t performing or essential, we can’t save everyone. I am fiercely loyal, but there is a reason why we are told to “put the mask you yourself first.” If you know you want to keep them long-term, furlough don’t layoff. Turn as many fixed costs (i.e. a cost you pay regardless of any income you earn such as rent or salaries) into variable costs (i.e. a cost you pay only as a percentage of your income such as 100% sales commissioned employees). I’ll say more on this in another post.

Fourth, restructure and renegotiate all of your debt. See a separate blog post outlining our top recommendations: https://cpa-moms.com/covid-blog-business-debt-restructuring

Covid Stimulus Check Status

Covid Stimulus Check Status

Covid Stimulus Check Status

Want to know how much you should be receiving in your Stimulus Check? Want to check the status of your payment?

CLICK HERE TO CHECK YOUR PAYMENT STATUS WITH IRS

When I went to check to see the status of my check I was shocked to discover they were ready to send my payment, but they needed more info. Yikes!

They do ask you to complete a short form to verify your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) which is Line 8b on 2019 Form 1040 or 1040-SR, or Line 7 on your 2018 Form 1040.

Eligibility

U.S.  citizens, permanent residents or qualifying resident aliens will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds.

Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments.

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.

To learn more, visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions

Not Eligible

Although some filers, such as high-income filers, will not qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, most will.

Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:

  • Your adjusted gross income is greater than
    • $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
    • $136,500 for head of household
    • $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
  • You do not have a valid Social Security number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.

 

Do You Need to Take Action?

People who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018

No additional action is needed by taxpayers who:

  • have already filed their tax returns this year for 2019. The IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount.
  • haven’t filed yet for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal tax return. For these taxpayers the IRS will use their information from 2018 tax filings to make the Economic Impact Payment calculations.

People who aren’t typically required to file a tax return

Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don’t need to take action.

For Social Security, Railroad retirees and SSDI who have qualifying children, they can take an additional step to receive $500 per qualifying child.

There are other individuals such as low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities who aren’t required to file a tax return, but they are still eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can check the IRS.gov tool – Do I Need to File a Tax Return? – to see if  they have a filing requirement.

If you don’t have to file, use the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.

For more resources related to Covid for small business owners, please visit https://cpa-moms.com/covid

Your Estate Planning 30-Day Challenge (2019 Edition)

Your Estate Planning 30-Day Challenge (2019 Edition)

As a giveback to our entire community, many of who are professional working moms, we are hosting a 30-Day Challenge for anyone who wants to complete your Estate Plan, which includes life insurance.

I have been involved in two probate situations during my lifetime, BOTH PAINFUL.

My father and his wife died suddenly in a tragic car accident on May 20, 2018, WITHOUT an estate plan. As if that was not enough hardship for my family, we quickly discovered that they intended to get an Estate Plan in order, but never did.

So they died without a will, trust or any written wishes. I shared that story, what I learned from my experience and practical actions you can take to protect your family from this unnecessary hardship or navigate a difficult Estate that you are responsible for.

It can be uncomfortable to talk about this subject. I’ve had so many conversations like this in my life about these matters that it has become normal. But I know it isn’t. It’s hard.

For your sake, and especially that of your loved ones, I ask that you take two actions from this Estate Planning 30-Day Challenge:

  1. Get your estate plan DONE (Includes a Trust, Pour-over Will, Advanced Healthcare Directive and more) especially if you have children. I’m attaching a webinar I did last year to educate our community and have included links to resources to get this entire process done.
  2. Make sure your loved ones have their Estate Plan complete or updated. Talk to your loved ones and make sure they have their Estate Plan complete or updated. You are welcomed to share the video and resources.

Trust me, I KNOW that one of the aspects of being a working professional mom includes having an endless list of tasks, all-important, that will never get done – it’s a well with no bottom.

That said, I am taking an extra few minutes I don’t have today to express again to anyone who will listen and attempt to impress upon everyone with or without children, married or single, to move the Estate Plan to the top of your list.

This is so important to me, that I have decided to conduct a 30-Day Challenge during the month of August to help support and empower everyone in our community to get this done. I’ll do a few FB lifestreams and will encourage you to take the actions to get this done. For something like this, if we do it together, we’ll all get it done!

If you have your Estate Plan completed and it doesn’t require any updates, use the Challenge to make sure all of your loved ones get theirs done.

From my end, I’m using the August Challenge to review my current plan with my husband for updates that I know we need to make, to support my friends, family, and community to get their Estate Plans complete.

If you would like to join me in this Challenge, please comment below with whom you are committed to having the Estate Plan completed with (no names, just your relationship is fine) by 8/30/19. If it is you, please be brave and raise your hand and commit to getting this done. The entire community will support you to get it done.

Ready to get started?

Alright, here’s your immediate action step for today…
Watch the Day One video for the 30-Day August Challenge below. Then, be sure to RETURN to this post WEEKLY to see the remaining videos:

WEEK ONE:

SUMMARY: 5 Key Steps to complete your Estate Plan:

  1. Hire an Estate Planning Attorney and/or Life Insurance professional (may require getting referrals, interviewing & getting quotes from three professionals in order to choose) 1). Estate Plans generally range from $500-$2,500. Life insurance professionals do not charge for their services. They are paid a % of the policy. Here is a resource to get you started on your selection: https://cpa-moms.com/partners-estate
  2. Do the “homework” of completing the questionnaires, having difficult discussions and making decisions about your wishes. In order to complete your Estate Plan, your attorney will give you a questionnaire to complete. You’ll also need to get your life insurance policies set up or updated. Some policies require an exam and blood work. The nurse came to our house. Others, just have you fill out a health questionnaire. Be 100% accurate because they do have the right to review your medical file, if they find that you did not disclose a known medical condition, then certain policies may pay the beneficiaries only the premiums paid and NOT the actual death benefit.
  3. Submit the questionnaire to have your attorney draft your Estate Plan for your review.
  4. Sign official documents (some may need to be notarized)
  5. Fund your Trust. Put your assets in the name of your Trust (property, bank account.) Ask your attorney about which assets to “fund” in the Trust.

WEEK TWO:

SUMMARY:

For those of you who have completed Step 1: Hire an Estate Planning Attorney and/or Life Insurance professional. Well done! You are leading the pack and are lightyears ahead of the majority of the population.

If you are just getting started it may be overwhelming to get this entire process done. If you can commit to one thing by the end of this challenge I encourage you to choose, hire, and engage an estate-planning attorney and a life insurance expert to get the process going.

This week’s recommendations based on where you are in the process:

  1. If you’ve already started, use this challenge to get your estate plan completed
  2. If you already have an estate plan, use this challenge to get it reviewed and updated, including your insurance
  3. If you have never done an estate plan and/or insurance, use this challenge to get that professional hired, have your first meeting with them to establish a timeline to get it done

Don’t forget you can share the link to this blog post with your friends and family for them to join the challenge as well.

I applaud you for taking this on! And it’s a gift you’ll leave behind for your loved ones who will thank you as well!

Stay tuned for the next week’s update…

(For those of you who can’t wait to race ahead, here is a recording of a webinar I did last year: Estate Planning for Everyday People
And here’s the estate planning resource page to learn more about and contact with each of the experts.

WEEK THREE:

SUMMARY:

We are now halfway through the 30-Day Estate Planning Challenge, so for those who have taken your first steps in starting or updating your estate plan, CONGRATULATIONS! This is the beginning to peace of mind for you and your family.

After reviewing all of your comments and concerns regarding this topic, communication with family seems to be a recurring issue that many of you are having. Speaking to family on such a personal and uncomfortable issue can be very challenging. I’m sure thoughts come up such as, “Will certain members of my family feel as though I’m after something?”. What may be an uncomfortable topic with family now, will save you or your family a headache of uncomfortable conversations later.

This week’s recommendations based on where you are in the process:
1. Take ONE step today! Whether its simply making an appointment professional or even speaking to your spouse regarding what your wishes are. It’s never too late to take one step to moving your estate plan forward.
2. Take advantage of the resources provided in this blog. Visit our estate planning resource page for more information on estate planning and experts that are available to help you in this process. Also, there are free worksheets available for you to take advantage of!

Don’t forget you can share the link to this blog post with your friends and family for them to join the challenge as well. Please continue to comment and share your journey with us! Looking forward to another productive week!

Stay tuned for next week’s update…

WEEK FOUR:

WEEK FIVE:

SUMMARY:

We are now bringing our 30-Day Estate Planning Challenge to an end, so I would like to go over how to effectively complete and move forward from a challenge.

1. Define a measurable outcome: Organize goals around your calendar. 30 to 90 day challenges are the most desirable timeframes due to the fact that if the finish line is too far away, its hard to see the finish line and stay focused and motivated. Longer or more detailed goals that would need a year to complete, break them down into shorter term goals to hold yourself accountable. Try to start on the 1st of every month in order to have a clear start and finish time. 

2. Have accountability: Share your goal or challenge with the people you KNOW will hold you accountable. Choose the people who will be tough on you to complete what you set out to accomplish. Weekly check-ins are a great way to keep you on track throughout the challenge. 

3. Completion: In order to truly complete a challenge you must evaluate what the result is. Let’s relate to the challenge as a game, you must be able to play, complete and then leave it in the past. If the game leaves you in an upset it’s not truly complete. If everything is not finished, it’s OKAY! Look at what you originally set out to complete. Acknowledge what you said you were going to do complete, what you did not complete and all of the unexpected benefits. 

I want to thank ALL of you who participated in this challenge, its brings me so much joy watching al of you succeed! Please continue to share your success and incompletions with me and the rest of the community. 

Stay tuned for our SEPTEMBER WELLNESS CHALLENGE! 


**The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.**

Employee vs. Independent Contractor Bookkeepers?

Employee vs. Independent Contractor Bookkeepers?

Employee vs. Independent Contractor Bookkeepers?

If you are someone who can spot a good accountant from a bad, has the desire to manage the HR component of having employees, like paying worker’s comp insurance, and don’t mind not being able to fire someone without worry about a lawsuit then an employee might be the best option.

Employees are dedicated to the company (meaning – not working for any other company), but also have that dreaded employee mindset. Most entrepreneurs we work with need people to think like them, act like them, and understand what it is to have your own business, even if it is a consulting service. Employees are limited in what they know. If they don’t know something, there isn’t anyone else on the “team” to ask. If the company outgrows them, there is no place for them to contribute and the hiring and knowledge transfer has to start over from scratch.

It makes sense for companies of a certain size to have accountants on staff, but for most entrepreneurs, it is too limiting to what they need and they simply can’t afford to make the wrong choice, usually can’t pay the employee desired benefits, and don’t have an HR team that can manage the hiring process.

Business owners should not be saddled with this time consuming process. In terms of risk management, accountants that are comfortable in their stable, steady position (where no one else really understands what they are doing) are in a place of trust and have a higher opportunity to commit fraud. It happens and there are ways to mitigate the risk of it happening to you.

My vote is stick with a part-time independent contractor until your business grows enough to warrant the additional fixed cost and salary burden. Usually around $1m of revenue, it makes sense to hire and pay an accountant $30-40k/yr. Rule of thumb accounting services run ~ 2-3% of gross revenues.