Taxes can get confusing for everyone, but especially for small business owners. Our guest today is Rob Ganer from Ganer + Ganer Certified Public Accountants PLLC. Rob and his family have been in business for over 40 years and they work with all kinds of clients. They have even developed a specialty niche in the entertainment industry. One of the many things that is unique about Rob is that he is both an accountant and a lawyer.
He is also a small business owner who helps other small business owners. His firm also goes beyond accounting and helps clients with financial advice, bookkeeping, business management, and consulting. His team will even help train owners on how to use their bookkeeping software if they aren’t ready to pay for the full service. Rob shares how he ended up in the business, tips for capturing data for small businesses, and he puts the fun into accounting.
[01:49] Rob has been in business on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 40 plus years.
[02:16] When Rob was growing up, he helped his friends with keeping track of their books.
[02:49] He went to Queens college in 1969 - 1970. He had to pick a major.
[03:30] His girlfriend suggested, he should try accounting, because he would find it easy.
[03:51] Eventually, he was hired by an accounting firm.
[04:21] Rob new he needed skills and knowledge to venture out on his own. He got his masters and then went to law school.
[04:59] He is not a litigator, but he can practice law.
[05:40] Rob's sons also work at the firm.
[06:27] When Rob started his practice, his services were required and needed. Now people can find some information online.
[07:34] Things have changed with the new tax law. The standard deduction is much higher.
[08:26] A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. People look for something to justify their position.
[09:32] Robs ex-wife got a job with a CPA firm that was involved with the entertainment industry. She met a lot of musicians who needed their taxes done, and she recommended Rob.
[11:27] From there, they built a practice with the entertainment industry and started working with musicians and actors. They worked with Steven Tyler and got to go to concerts and go backstage.
[12:00] They still have clients involved in the entertainment industry.
[12:23] Rob is a small business entrepreneur and advises small businesses.
[14:01] A CPA is someone who has had formal training and has passed a difficult exam and has experience in auditing companies. Enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS.
[16:48] If you have income from another state you have to file in both states. If your situation is more complex, you may need to hire someone for help.
[18:41] Generally the IRS doesn't look at anything older than three years.
[19:01] Business owners shouldn't be doing their taxes on their own. Unless you have hours to make sure you have gotten everything correct.
[20:17] One of the most important things for small business owners to realize when it comes to taxes is capturing data is the first step.
[20:55] The business records need to be captured from your personal finances and integrated into your business finances.
[21:02] It's a good idea to have a separate bank account for your business even if you are operating under your own name. This is also better if you are audited.
[21:38] When you mix your personal and business expenses the IRS will have to comb through everything.
[22:09] Every business should have a set of books. Have an actual ledger or use something like QuickBooks.
[23:09] The more work you do yourself the less your accountant will charge you.
[23:33] A practical application where Tracy and Andre own three furniture stores in St Louis. Their books aren't in order and they haven't kept all the receipts.
[24:18] The first thing they should do is collect all of their bank and credit card statements and make sure the data has been captured in their books and that their books reconcile with those statements.
[24:47] Then everything needs to be categorized properly.
[25:24] Look at the deposits and start with the assumption that everything deposited in the bank is income. Not everything deposited is income, you need to be able to differentiate this.
[26:29] Once the data is organized, it's time to think about earnings and tax payments. Look at things like deductions for purchasing machinery and setting up retirement accounts.
[27:13] Once you have the accurate data, then you can decide on the steps to take to lower your tax liability before the end of the year.
[27:35] It's also good to know what you owe. Projections can be made based on the data.
[28:28] It's a good idea to get on top of things as soon as possible.
[30:00] It's also essential for businesses to make budgets.
[30:51] Rob has many high net worth individuals that they help throughout the year.
[33:34] It makes sense to hire someone to do what takes up time. When first starting out, you may do it yourself. Rob's group will help train people.
[35:21] Small clients can grow into large clients.
[35:53] A lot of accounting firms don't want to get involved in bookkeeping.
[36:31] Clients prefer one-stop shopping that is responsible for everything. It also makes it easier for Rob to ensure the quality of the bookkeeping.
[38:28] In 2019, you could be affected negatively or positively by the new tax laws. Consult with a professional.