5 Ways to Accelerate Your Receivables in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Increasing your income is good. But even if you can’t, you can still take steps to collect the money you’re already owed faster. Here are five.

Let customers pay invoices electronically

Let customers pay invoices electronically

If you asked five small business owners to name the top three roadblocks they face in their quest for ongoing profitability, it’s likely that all five would point to slow payments.

It’s everyone’s problem. Accounts receivable requires constant monitoring. As satisfying as it can be to dispatch a group of invoices, you know that it’s going to take some work to bring in payment for at least some of them.

For more QuickBooks tips, tricks and info on training from our team of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors® subscribe to The QBC.

Client Update Newsletter: Spring 2014

When it comes to your business there is no one-size-fits-all formula to success – and your relationship with your CPA should be just as unique. That’s why we promise to deliver The Highest Standard of client service built on a foundation of frequent communication.

This newsletter is just one of the ways we help you stay up-to-date on tax and financial issues that impact small business owners. From year-round tax planning to tips on how to maximize profits, this valuable resource is a must read. This quarter’s topics include:

  • IRS Audits: What you need to know
  • IRS issues “repair regulations”
  • What can you deduct when customers don’t pay?
  • 2014 Tax Numbers
  • If you make gifts, you may have to file a gift tax return
  • New rule on tips for 2014
  • FSA rules modified

Click Here to Download the Newsletter

Coffee and Tablet

Accounting Firms Launch Defense Consulting Practice

Nancy Catarisano, Managing Partner of Rochester-based accounting firm Insero & Company CPAs, P.C. and Thomas Filomeno President of Filomeno & Company. P.C. CPAs of West Hartford, CT, announced today the launch of a new consulting practice, Defense Contracting Consultants, LLC.

Fighter jet

With Catarisano as majority-owner and managing member, Defense Contracting Consultants is a woman-owned small business registered with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Denise Metivier (Pittsford, NY) and William T. Laramee (South Windsor, CT) have been named as leaders of the group.

“Our goal is to provide collaborative long-term relationships designed to support the unique compliance needs and challenges faced by each of our clients,” said Metivier, who has been a consultant to companies with federal contracts for the past 18 years. The group will provide a wide variety of services including current state assessments, contract review and federal market business development consulting.

“Companies who can prove they meet the new federal compliance regulations are winning contracts and being rewarded with additional business opportunities,” said Laramee. “That being said, companies engaged in federal government contract work continue to face intense scrutiny.” Mandatory reporting under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) as well as FAR and DCAA accounting regulations require all contractors, including Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 sub-contractors, to be in compliance with DCAA standards. Failure to comply can lead to monetary liability, loss of contracts and ineligibility to perform on future contracts.

Achieving DCAA and FAR compliance is a complex process encompassing the totality of a Federal Contractor’s operation relevant to each contract. This can be especially daunting for small and mid-size companies entering the federal market space for the first time. For existing federal contractors, the stringent, complex and ever-changing scrutiny of accounting and contract regulatory requirements place additional strain on already tight in-house human resource and operational budgets. The cost to train and maintain federal DCAA expertise across an entire company’s operation has become prohibitive.

Insero & Company CPAs, P.C. and Filomeno & Company, P.C. CPAs are both full-service public accounting firms providing assurance, tax and consulting services.

For more information, please visit www.defensecc.com.

2014 Health Care Law Update

The Affordable Care Act (the ACA) – the health care law known as “Obamacare” – got off to a rough start. It was passed amidst contentious debate in Congress in 2010, faced legal challenges before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in 2012, and sputtered at the end of 2013 when technical glitches on the government’s website deterred enrollment in health insurance plans. So where does the ACA stand in 2014?

Male Doctor Hand Abstract with Lab Coat and Stethoscope.

It’s the law of the land. Some ACA changes are already in place, some have been postponed and some are still scheduled for the near future.

Changes for individuals: Certain tax-related provisions – including the imposition of a new 3.8% Medicare surtax on the net investment income of upper-income taxpayers – went into effect in 2013.

Various consumer protections were triggered dating back to 2010, while a prohibition against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions became effective on January 1, 2014.

Significantly, if you don’t have access to health insurance, you can now acquire it directly from healthcare.gov. Open enrollment for 2014 lasts until March 31, 2014. At that point, individuals are generally required to be enrolled in a plan offering “minimal essential health insurance coverage” or face penalties from the IRS.

Changes for businesses: A tax credit can be claimed by a qualified small business providing health insurance coverage to a staff with fewer than 25 full-time employees and average wages of less than $50,000. The maximum credit, which has been 35% since 2010, increases to 50% in 2014.

A provision in the ACA initially required a business with 50 workers or more to offer health insurance or pay a fine. This mandate for businesses, which was initially scheduled to take effect in 2014, has been postponed to January 1, 2015.

Reminder: Other key ACA deadlines will arrive after 2014. Be aware that this law could affect your tax planning for years to come.

Use IRS Adjusted Numbers for 2014 Tax Planning

Certain tax numbers are adjusted by the IRS for inflation each year. Here are some of the 2014 tax numbers you’ll need to use as you get started with this year’s tax planning.

Plan Ahead

  • The standard mileage rate for business driving decreases to 56¢ per mile for 2014. The rate for medical and moving mileage decreases from 24¢ per mile to 23.5¢ per mile. The general rate for charitable driving remains at 14¢ per mile.
  • The maximum earnings subject to social security tax in 2014 increases to $117,000. The earnings limit for those under full retirement age is $15,480. For those at full retirement age, there is no earnings limit.
  • The “nanny tax” threshold increases to $1,900 for 2014. If you pay household workers more than this amount during the year, you’re responsible for payroll taxes.
  • The “kiddie tax” threshold for 2014 remains unchanged at $2,000. If your child under age 19 (under age 24 for students) has more than $2,000 of unearned income this year (e.g., dividends and interest income), the excess could be taxed at your highest rate.
  • The maximum individual retirement account (IRA) contribution you can make in 2014 remains at $5,500 if you’re under age 50 and at $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
  • The maximum amount of wages employees can put into a 401(k) plan remains unchanged at $17,500. The 2014 maximum allowed for SIMPLE plans remains at $12,000. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute up to $23,000 to a 401(k) and $14,500 to a SIMPLE plan.
  • For 2014, the maximum amount that can be contributed to a health savings account (HSA) increases to $3,300 for individuals and $6,550 for families. Those 55 and older can contribute an additional $1,000.
  • The alternative minimum tax exemption for 2014 is $52,800 for singles and $82,100 for couples filing joint returns.

Give a Woman a Power Tool and She Can Change the World

Insero & Company is pleased to announce that 2014 will be our 5th year participating in Flower City Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build.

Give a Woman a Power Tool and She Can Change the World

This program is dedicated to empowering women and breaking the cycle of poverty by providing a hand up (not a hand out) to a family right here in Rochester. Our team includes employees, clients, friends and family, so if you are interested in joining us, please contact us today to learn more:

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Start Planning Now for 2014 Income Taxes

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

You may not have even completed your 2013 taxes yet, but now is an ideal time to start getting ready for your 2014 returns.


We know that you’re in some stage of preparation for your 2013 income taxes. It may seem odd to start thinking about 2014 taxes just now, but actually, this is the ideal time to start planning and making business decisions with their tax implications always in the back of your mind.

As you look at the data that will be entered in your 2013 tax forms, you’re likely to come across some expenses that you might have handled differently, or some income that should have been deferred. If you begin your planning process for 2014 while 2013 is still in the works, you can start making smarter, more tax-advantageous business decisions now, instead of late in the year when everyone is rushing to take actions necessary to lower their tax obligation.

Click Here to Read More

For more QuickBooks tips, tricks and info on training from our team of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors® subscribe to The QBC.

Estate Planning Tip: Naming Your Spouse as Trustee

When setting up a trust, your first instinct might be to name your spouse as the trustee. Just be aware that without proper planning, naming your spouse as the trustee may cause tax and administration difficulties down the road.

Couple holding hands on beach

If your spouse has broad and/or over-reaching powers over the trust corpus, the fair market value of the trust at his/her death may be pulled into her gross estate for estate tax purposes, resulting in higher death taxes. This result may be contrary to the goals and objectives of your overall estate plan.

Also, if your spouse has strained relationships with the principal beneficiaries of the trust, it may hinder his/her objectivity to comply with the terms of the trust. He/she may have some wiggle-room based upon broad language in the trust instrument to avoid making distributions to beneficiaries which may be contrary to your intentions.

Seeking the advice of a competent estate planning professional will help minimize the above mentioned difficulties.

Make QuickBooks Yours in 2014: Customize

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

QuickBooks can be used as is (with some exceptions), but you can customize many elements to improve your workflow, your form output and your business insight.


You’ll learn far more about your company’s financial status if you use Filters in reports. We can help you set up the most effective ones for your business.

While many of the things you purchase and use in your daily work and professional lives don’t come with options, many do. Think about the last time you bought a car, for example. Did you request additional features for safety or convenience or aesthetic value?

You can’t buy “extras” with your copy of QuickBooks. You can select from the different versions (Pro, Premier, etc.) and extend the software’s functionality by installing integrated add-ons from the Intuit App Center. But if you install QuickBooks on two machines from the same DVD or download, they’ll look and work the same.

Click Here to Read More

For more QuickBooks tips, tricks and info on training from our team of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors® subscribe to The QBC.