Moving Your Accounting System to A Cloud.

We love this blog post from Robert Half and Associates…its so true with these days and times.  There is a lot of cloud based work and telecommuting.  We have been a remote Accounting/Bookkeeping company for some time now and this just reaffirms our decision!

Are You Ready for a Cloud-Based Financial Solution?

Accounting in the CloudIs moving financial reporting systems to the cloud a good idea? Should accounting and finance teams adopt cloud-based computing? It depends on whom you ask.

As accounting and finance professionals get comfortable with new technologies, more companies are embracing cloud computing — a broad term that describes a range of online-based services, eliminating the need for in-house servers and locally installed software.

Moving to cloud-based financial systems

The number of financial systems being managed in the clouds is growing, according to the financial executives surveyed in the latest Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report from Robert Half and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF).

Of the U.S. respondents, 42 percent said they’ve already adopted some cloud-based solutions, and 20 percent said they’re actively exploring the options of using them, leaving just 37 percent who still opt to keep all of their data in-house. A year ago, nearly half said they weren’t making that leap.

Small businesses have been especially eager to embrace cloud computing. Last year, only 20 percent said they were using the cloud, which grew to 41 percent this year — and 11 percent of the small businesses in 2016 said they use only cloud-based solutions for financial functions.

As David Noymer, CFO of a Boston food bank, said this year in the report, “There are some awfully attractive cloud solutions out there that I’m very interested in learning more about.”

Download the latest Benchmarking report to see how adoption of financial cloud-based solutions is growing.

Fewer on-premises ERP systems

In the last two years, the majority of companies interviewed using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system tied to a local server has decreased substantially. In 2014, 78 percent of the respondents said they used a traditional, locally installed ERP system, and in 2015, 53 percent said they used an on-premises ERP system. This year’s survey shows that percentage has dropped to 32 percent.

That’s a possible response to the growing use of cloud-based solutions for financial systems and the overall increase in technology investments reported by many companies.

As one corporate controller said in the Benchmarking survey, his company’s next IT project is to move its network files and ERP system to the cloud and gradually reduce on-site servers.

Hesitancy to jump to the cloud

Some executives who expressed caution about the cloud say they’re concerned about external entities being responsible for the protection of sensitive information, or they simply don’t have the bandwidth to make the transition.

A corporate controller of a Canadian manufacturing company quoted in the Benchmarking report said, “I’m still not 100 percent convinced that my data in the cloud would be as stable or as secure as I would like it to be.”

For Noymer in Boston, the apprehension about technology investments is “less about the funding and more about the team needed to implement a solution.”

Benefits of cloud-based solutions

Cloud proponents say there are more benefits than drawbacks, including the following:

Cost savings: When maintenance and support costs are built into the subscription-based, pay-as-you-go pricing of cloud systems, companies typically can save on hardware, software, upgrades, tech support and licensing.

Resource savings: Using the cloud, many companies are choosing to outsource their payroll and tax duties using cloud-based computing systems.

Information sharing: The cloud allows spreadsheets to be accessed from anywhere, which can be an advantage if reports need to be shared with clients or colleagues in other locations.

Collaboration: Cloud computing enhances staff mobility and provides companies with a continuous, mobile-ready connection that syncs data instantly wherever there’s internet access.

Time savings: Cloud-based software is often easier to use than in-house systems. Once everyone has been trained and the transition has taken place, these solutions can greatly reduce the amount of time spent crunching numbers and producing financial statements.

Security: Many industry experts say cloud computing has more security benefits than traditional in-house systems. Cloud vendors must adhere to strict International Organization for Standardization (ISO) security standards and are subject to regular security audits.

Budgeting and long-range planning tools

When it comes to budgeting and long-range planning tools, Microsoft Excel remains the software tool of choice for 68 percent of U.S. companies surveyed. Survey responses indicate that Excel is especially popular with smaller companies: More than three-quarters (77 percent) of businesses with less than $25 million in revenues said they use Excel for budgeting and planning.

Of course, Excel can be used and shared using cloud storage systems, such as Dropbox, Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive web service.

Migrating to the future

There are many ways for organizations to employ cloud computing. They can look to business systems and IT consultants for assistance with evaluating, implementing and getting the most value from cloud-based solutions.

Need help moving to the cloud or setting up the necessary security protocols? Robert Half Technology can help you find the IT professionals you need.

For employers, managers, employees and job seekers, it’s a good idea to stay current with the changes brought on by the advent of cloud-based technology. Whether you like it or not, cloud-based solutions are changing the way accounting and finance professionals work, providing more effective tools and opening doors for new business models.

Bottom line: Don’t fear a move to the cloud.

Andy Denka is the executive vice president of Accountemps. John Reed is the senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.  

Get more resources to help your small businesses thrive by viewing Robert Half’s latest workplace research.

More about cloud-based computing

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2014 and was updated in 2016 to reflect more current information.



Home Office Tax Deductions.

All small business owners and entrepreneurs start somewhere…usually out of a small home office — no overhead of renting an office, no driving to work and pumping your gas bill up…for some that works great for a while, but for others, as the business grows, they need extra room.  In the meantime though, there are many ways to use your home as a tax deduction.

Directly from the IRS website, below are some guidelines to help you with home office tax breaks

Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office deduction.  Here are six things the IRS wants you to know about the Home Office deduction

1. Generally, in order to claim a business deduction for your home, you must use part of your home exclusively and regularly:

  • as your principal place of business, or
  • as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers in the normal course of your business, or
  • in any connection with your trade or business where the business portion of your home is a separate structure not attached to your home.

2. For certain storage use, rental use, or daycare-facility use, you are required to use the property regularly but not exclusively.

3. Generally, the amount you can deduct depends on the percentage of your home used for business. Your deduction for certain expenses will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses.

4. There are special rules for qualified daycare providers and for persons storing business inventory or product samples.

5. If you are self-employed, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home to figure your home office deduction and report those deductions on line 30 of Form 1040 Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.

6. If you are an employee, additional rules apply for claiming the home office deduction. For example, the regular and exclusive business use must be for the convenience of your employer.

For more information see IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home, available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

  • Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (PDF 214K)
  • Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home (PDF 64K)
  • Form 8829 Instructions (PDF 29K)
  • Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (PDF 111K)
  • Schedule A, Itemized Deductions (PDF)

If you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. These expenses may include mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation. The home office deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes, from apartments to mobile homes. There are two basic requirements for your home to qualify as a deduction:

1. Regular and Exclusive Use.

You must regularly use part of your home exclusively for conducting business. For example, if you use an extra bedroom to run your online business, you can take a home office deduction for the extra bedroom.

2. Principal Place of Your Business.

You must show that you use your home as your principal place of business. If you conduct business at a location outside of your home, but also use your home substantially and regularly to conduct business, you may qualify for a home office deduction. For example, if you have in-person meetings with patients, clients, or customers in your home in the normal course of your business, even though you also carry on business at another location, you can deduct your expenses for the part of your home used exclusively and regularly for business. You can deduct expenses for a separate free-standing structure, such as a studio, garage, or barn, if you use it exclusively and regularly for your business. The structure does not have to be your principal place of business or the only place where you meet patients, clients, or customers.

Generally, deductions for a home office are based on the percentage of your home devoted to business use. So, if you use a whole room or part of a room for conducting your business, you need to figure out the percentage of your home devoted to your business activities.

Additional tests for employee use. If you are an employee and you use a part of your home for business, you may qualify for a deduction for its business use. You must meet the tests discussed above plus:

  • Your business use must be for the convenience of your employer, and
  • You must not rent any part of your home to your employer and use the rented portion to perform services as an employee for that employer.

If the use of the home office is merely appropriate and helpful, you cannot deduct expenses for the business use of your home.

For a full explanation of tax deductions for your home office refer to Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home. In this publication you will find:

  • The requirements for qualifying to deduct expenses for the business use of your home (including special rules for storing inventory or product samples).
  • Types of expenses you can deduct.
  • How to figure the deduction (including depreciation of your home).
  • Special rules for daycare providers.
  • Selling a home that was used partly for business.
  • Deducting expenses for furniture and equipment used in your business.
  • Records you should keep.
  • Where to deduct your expenses (including Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home (PDF), required if you are self-employed and claiming this deduction).

The rules in the publication apply to individuals.

Game Plan for Small Businesses.

We ran upon this ‘Game Plan for Success for 2011‘ that was put out by the IRS and thought we would share.  Great resource for small businesses self-employed to keep you on track.  There are some great tips, a calendar to tell you when to file taxes, and explains what all the different tax forms are for and what to do with them.  If you need any help plugging through any of this, just give us a shout!

Tax Advice for Newlyweds.

We are in the midst of the wedding season here in the beautiful Charlottesville area, consisting of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive, University of Virginia, Monticello, and countless wineries and vineyards. It can be understandably easy to become immersed in the finite details of wedding planning: choosing the perfect location, which photographer to hire, which event planner, catering company, florist, who will be the bridesmaids and groomsmen, where will we honeymoon, how will we satisfy both sets of inlaws drama-free, etc.? Would you know that you need to prepare for the tax implications as well? Here is a quick video (we know, it’s a bit cheesy, but that is what makes it easier to remember): {Newlywed Tax Video}

As always, Current Accounting is more than happy to assist you with your pre-and-post wedding tax preparations.

New Mileage Rates.

IRS Increases Mileage Rate to 55.5 Cents per Mile

The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011, as set forth in Revenue Procedure 2010-51.
In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.


The Travelin’ Accountant

Here at Current Accounting, we like to make accounting tasks effortless and provide the utmost convenience for our clients.  In addition to helping you with virtually all of your accounting responsibilities…we also bring the meeting to you!  Its just easier for you.  No hassle, don’t have to worry about finding a parking place or allowing enough time to make an appointment.. Just call us the ‘Travelin’ Accountant’.

Our fundamental belief is that no one should be ‘afraid’ of accounting.  We want to help you understand budgets, taxes, invoices, spreadsheets, and all the other things accountants do to help your business run smoothly.  We want our clients to not just be able to log in their account and see their status, but also understand what they are seeing.  With the ever-growing technology world, we now have the ability to grant you access to your account from any web-accessible device – be it a smartphone, laptop, tablet computer, or desktop computer!  As great of a virtue as ‘patience’ may be, isn’t it nice to be able to find faster, more time-efficient ways to handle your accounting duties? (hint: the answer is a universal ‘yes!’)

Furthermore, we don’t to create an ‘assembly line’ type of feel…we want you to feel like we are your most highly-valued employee who’s simply working from home (adding in the savings on payroll taxes, benefits, etc. that you will not have to pay). We love meeting with our clients and prospects as well and building long-term relationships.  We want to shake your hand, see you smile, and take care of business.  We pick up invoices, drop off checks, meet to go over budgets and taxes, and any other excuse we can think of just to say hello. 🙂

So just call the ‘Travelin’ Accountant’ to help with your business’ accounting needs.  We meet day or night, weekday, and weekend…does not matter to us.  In the end, we just want to help you enjoy coming to work each day and not having to worry about anything accounting-related! We believe you’ll wind up scratching your head, wondering to yourself, “Man…why didn’t we call these guys sooner!?!?”


Starting Your Own Business.

Have you ever thought about starting and owning your own business?  There are a lot of great resources out there to help you think through all of the ‘nitty gritty’ details.  We have referenced the Small Business Administration as they are a great resource and outline all of the important steps of starting, running and growing your own business…below are some steps they recommend for starting your own business.  For the accounting component, remember Current Accounting can help you with anything from budgeting, to taxes to maintaining your books and anything else in between.

Step 1: Templates for Writing a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training
Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 4: Finance Your Business
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 6: Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)
Register your business name with your state government.

Step 7: Get a Tax Identification Number
Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 8: Register for State and Local Taxes
Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities
Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.

A Fresh Look To Our Site.

We want to stay up with the ‘times’, and always be ‘Current’ and cutting edge.  Even though we are an accounting company, we try not to be boring or dull.   So we have decided to spruce up our website a little.  (Thanks to a couple of our Charlottesville colleagues for giving us some helpful hints on some of the interworkings of a website.)  We want it to be easy on the eyes, easy to navigate, yet informative and where you can understand and find what you need.  So we have come up with just that.  Something that stands out, easy to follow and has all the information there for your reference.  So, this is what we have done.  Of course it is always a work in progress–always updating, staying ‘current’ and helping you in any way we can.  We want to know what you think, so let us know.  If there is something that you think could be improved on, send us a note….we want you to feel like Current Accounting is the first place you think of when it comes to accounting, taxes, bookkeeping and anything else in between.

Vendors Are Customers Too.

We were one of the sponsors for the Get Engaged workshop yesterday that was held at the Boars Head in Charlottesville.  The workshop was geared around helping wedding vendors in Charlottesville and surrounding areas to grow their business, to be in better tune with brides and grooms and what the new trends are.  What a great group of folks…from florists, to planners, to photographers, you name it, the whole crew was there.  It was great to see old friends and folks who we haven’t seen in a while, but also, great to see a lot of unfamiliar faces too!

There are a lot of new, small businesses out there, and especially in the wedding market.  Well, we all know that Charlottesville is a destination wedding venue, and there is a lot of demand, so people who work in the wedding market can’t hardly catch their breaths from March to mid November.  With all the demand, it is great to network, know each other, and most importantly, help each other.  When you have obstacles, schedules not jiving, it is good to have relationships with other vendors to refer business to, and vice versa.  You have to work together to help grow your business.  It helps with getting the word out because we all know the name of the game is referrals.  What does this have to do with accounting?  Well, a lot of things.   It helps grow your top line revenue when you get referrals with little effort.  There are no unrealistic marketing dollars flying out the window with referrals…just making a good name for yourself.  Being original, dependable, trustworthy, honest and helping others is a good start.  We are not saying that you shouldn’t market yourself and your business, but do this along with all of the other reasonable marketing efforts will help.  Also, remember referrals can come from the vendors that you work with as well…they come in contact with a lot of potential customers too, so don’t forget about them.

Yes, Current Accounting does all of the ‘number crunching’ and takes the headache away so you can concentrate on growing your business, but we also like to help small businesses in our community grow just like others have helped us.  Here is a great post on how to maintain vendor relationships.  You just never know who or what knows who that can help you.

Tax Pros Is The Route To Go.

What a glorious week in Charlottesville it is setting out to be!  Warmer weather, sunshine; yes, Spring is on its way!  You have to admit that this puts a little ‘Spring’ into your step, right?  It surely does for us.  We want to put more of a ‘Spring’ into your step as well with taking the burden off your shoulders with taxes.  Believe it or not, we are just a few days shy of being exactly two months away from taxes being due to the IRS.  Have you started looking at all of your paperwork, deductions and everything else that goes along with it?  It can be overwhelming we know, but a tax professional can take the sting out and soothe your worries.   In the long run you will be better off to have another set of eyes look at them.  A trained tax professional will see and know things you don’t, and can make sure your taxes are done right from the beginning.

I thought I would share this article from the Wall Street Journal…it reaffirms why it is beneficial to hire an accountant to help with your taxes.  Call one you can trust, one that is down to earth, one who is knowledgeable, get a referral from someone, or just call us.