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Don't Delay on W-9's
Equine Accounting
Wednesday 18th of May 2011 11:00 AM

Outsourcing various duties of your equine business to independent contractors can save you a lot of time and money compared to doing it yourself or hiring full time staff. Making the decision to outsource is easy, but make sure you are aware of the IRS guidelines for paying freelancers.

You are required to report annual payments of $600 or more to individuals on IRS Form 1099-MISC, but before you do that, you need to have completed W-9s from your workers. The W-9 form is most commonly used with freelance employees who are responsible for paying their own taxes. This is one way for the IRS to keep track of what freelancers are making and to check the yearly W-9 numbers employers turn in versus what the freelancers claim they made.

The W-9 is an official request for identifying information for tax reporting purposes and should be resubmitted if the information it contains changes. The form does not have an expiration date, so updates are as needed. Don’t be left in a bind by not having your independent contractor’s information come tax preparation time for 1099s.  Require every independent contractor to submit a completed W-9 form to you before you pay them the first time. That way, you are assured of collecting the necessary information in a timely manner. It’s also a good idea for you to request a new W-9 be filled out each year to ensure accuracy.  My advice – do it now!  Don’t wait until the next tax season rolls around!

Call Now! Seriously??
Equine Accounting
Wednesday 4th of May 2011 11:00 AM

I was waiting at a stoplight on my way to a dentist appointment last week, deep in thought about whether the hygienist would be able to tell I had an Oreo for a snack when a bright yellow hand-written sign caught my eye. I assumed it would be one of the many “Cash for Gold” or “Pillowtop Mattresses – We Deliver” signs, which by the way….who thinks “Wow, great sign!  I should call now!” However, this sign was a first for me; it read “Outsource Your Bookkeeping 555-5555”. REALLY??? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, but is this really the way to instill confidence in your potential clientele??  And furthermore what sort of individual would think this is a good way to find a bookkeeper??

Bookkeeping is one of the most essential functions of your equine business and the accuracy of which can determine your success or failure. Three characteristics that instantly come to mind (and should come to mind) when thinking of a potential bookkeeper are professionalism, experience in the equine world and a good reputation. Now these aren’t the only qualities you should look for, but if a bookkeeper doesn’t have ALL of these things, then you should cross them off the list.

Let’s review the handwritten ad at the stoplight. Professionalism? None. My daughter’s sign for a lemonade stand had more thought and effort put into it than that! Experience? They could possibly know something about bookkeeping, but they sure don’t know anything about the business and standards. Good reputation? If they had one before, they certainly don’t now!

Don’t put your equine business’s financial future in the hands of a handwritten street sign advertiser. No legitimate, qualified and experienced bookkeeper or accountant would advertise that way. Do your research and find a true professional. Same goes for mattresses…but that’s just my opinion! 

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