Tips to Help Improve Cash Flow for Small Businesses

One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses is maintaining adequate cash flow. Even in periods of growth, it is imperative to monitor your company’s cash inflows and outflows.  If you are not monitoring your cash activity, you could be almost out of business and not even know it.  Here are some quick and easy tips to help improve your cash flows.

Transportation Industry: Keep Your Fleet Safe and Save Money

truck driver on the road

Whether your company has one vehicle or dozens on the road, smart management can save you money. Familiarity with tax laws, simple maintenance steps and high-tech solutions can reduce the costs of operating your fleet and keep it safer.

Start With Taxes

One of the best ways to save money is to spend some time with a financial professional. Deductions can make a major difference in the cost of operating a fleet, particularly in the first year of ownership. Smith Schafer has the experience and understanding of the transportation industry to make a lasting positive difference in your future success. Our Transportation Group, comprised of numerous professionals, is committed to serving over 80 Minnesota transportation entities.

What Entity Should You Choose for Your Business?

small business owner working at desk

One of the most important decisions you will make when starting a business – determining the legal structure. This may affect the way you run your business. It could influence how you engage in business transactions, protect yourself against liability and minimize tax.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each business type:


The Income Approach to Valuations

The words “Business Value” or “Business Valuation” by themselves hold more than a singular definition. The complexity of business valuations, make it challenging to fully grasp what is involved in the process of valuing a company. There are three main approaches when establishing a value for a company:

4 Ways to Prepare for a Business Valuation

Ready to sell your business? Or planning to keep the business in the family by gifting ownership to a relative? Whatever the reason may be - estate planning, mergers and acquisitions, litigation support, equity or debt financing, or marital dissolution - it is vital to engage experienced professionals and prepare for a business valuation.

We work with business owners to help determine their company’s values relative to their situation or business plan. We take a comprehensive view of all you have invested in your business and what you have created. Below are four items we review during the process and what you can do to prepare your business.

Trends in Minnesota Construction 2018

Success in the construction industry requires the ability to cost effectively create the building envelope, structure or support systems such as electrical, plumbing or HVAC. It also requires sharp project management skills to ensure that labor, materials, supplies and equipment are properly scheduled and managed. The ability to manage unexpected scheduling and other surprises reflects management’s skill. However, beyond the day-to-day, management needs to be aware of trends and issues impacting the industry and develop a plan to address them. 

What Is the Standard of Value in Divorce?

Business valuation is an evolving discipline. In some jurisdictions, investment value — rather than fair market value — has emerged as the preferred standard of value in some divorce cases. This trend is important to monitor to ensure your valuation expert estimates the correct standard of value. If not, a court may disregard his or her conclusion.


Investment Value Definition

Fair market value, which is the most common standard of value, estimates the value that the universe of hypothetical buyers and sellers would agree on for an interest in the subject company. It is customarily defined by IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60, but it also may be appropriate for valuations prepared for purposes other than federal taxes.

Tax Law Changes Meal and Entertainment Deductions

Employee Meal

Once upon a time, taxpayers could generally deduct 50% of business-related meal and entertainment expenses. However, several exceptions allowed larger deductions in certain circumstances.

Then came the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which dramatically shifts the playing field for expenses paid or incurred after December 31, 2017. The new law also creates some uncertainties, as this article will explain.

The Before and After of Exceptions

Under prior law, the following exceptions to the general 50% deductibility rule were available. (In some cases, as you will see below, the exceptions have been retained under the TCJA).

Tax Implications when Accessing Retirement Accounts

Whether you recently left a job, are in the middle of a financial crunch, or you are beginning your retirement, you need to be aware of the income tax implications of withdrawing funds from your retirement savings account(s) for personal use. Having both taxable and tax-free retirement plan assets available from your retirement accounts is a prudent tax-planning method when taking retirement plan distributions for personal use. For example, In years where the income tax rates are higher, you may want to withdraw more retirement plan funds from your income tax-free alternatives to reduce your overall income tax exposure.  

Retirement accounts come in many forms. Some retirement accounts include:

How Does Self-employment Tax Work

Every day, individuals transition from working for an employer to being self-employed. The list of changes resulting from this transition are abundant, unfortunately the related tax consequences are often overlooked until it is too late.