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Springtime means headaches for Phoenix small business owners

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While most of the country is thrilled that spring has arrived…at least on the calendar, Phoenix business owners are gritting their teeth, as it also signifies challenging times managing their paperwork. The number of deadlines—e.g., 1099s, business and personal Federal income taxes, AZ quarterly filings, W-2’s, and, this year, healthcare reform—seems to grow more ominous every year. Since this is all unavoidable, small business owners just need to attack, rather than retreat. But small business owners should recognize that they do not need to go into battle alone or unarmed.

Deb Morgaina, CEO of Balanced Business Consulting, who has been helping entrepreneurs with bookkeeping and other business challenges for 20 years, says, “Too many business owners try to do everything themselves. At some point they need to delegate some duties to grow their business and to have time to enjoy their family and personal pursuits.”

Business owners need to weigh the time, cost and effort in maintaining various software programs, keeping abreast of ever-changing regulations, and time wasted on paperwork themselves, against the cost of hiring professionals to handle financial issues. It is usually no contest.

With careful planning, entrepreneurs can save money. For example, Don Cluett, a small business accountant, and CEO of Affordable Accounting, advises you can save expenses by having a bookkeeper provide an organized, clean set of books to the more-expensive CPA, and to have a CPA do your taxes instead of an expensive attorney or tax preparer.

Both Morgaina and Cluett warn that entrepreneurs run into trouble with over- and under-payment of primary taxes, Federal income tax, State and Federal payroll taxes, and Arizona sales taxes, and late reporting. Another minefield are employment matters, where business owners, who do not have human resources expertise or staff, make mistakes in hiring and firing employees or other labor/union issues.

There are other resources in Phoenix as well. Organizations, like SCORE, provide free business advice. BASC Expertise is an accounting firm that has monthly breakfasts for entrepreneurs. On March 26, BASC will host a breakfast at its Chandler office by attorney Paul Cox to discuss the top ten business mistakes that can lead to business trouble.

Hiring experts can provide peace of mind and allow the owner to spend time creating and implementing his/her business vision, and, as Morgaina advises, enjoying a mentally and physically healthier quality of life.

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