This is Yao here, and I wanted to say that our September meet-up was jam packed with valuable information! We invited Ali Aried from Aried Accounting to our 2nd AMA (Ask Me Anything) to come talk to us about all things related to taxes and bookkeeping.
Taxes and handling the financial side of running a business is usually not the first thing we creatives are jumping up and down for. We all know that it is an essential part of continue to do what we do without getting into trouble with the IRS, but honestly? After 15 minutes of looking at spreadsheets and numbers, it all feels too overwhelming. However, knowledge is empowering, which why Ali was at our event to shed more light on this subject that we can all learn more from!
Ali Aried is a local accounting and bookkeeper here in Columbus, Ohio, and he is well-versed in working with small creative businesses. In fact, he has been a long-time accountant to a few of us, including myself for Yao Cheng Design, Jeremy of Slagle Design, and Dylan of Menges Design! Because he has experience working with small businesses, he has a better understanding of our common concerns and struggles. In my own experience in working with him, Ali was a great resource for my many, many questions as I first started my business. I asked a lot of basic questions about quarterly taxes or what I can write off as a business expense in the beginning. As my company grew, my relationship with Ali became more involved and we began talking about how/when I needed to start adding payroll, for example. I even started meeting with him mid-year to review quarterly tax, which I believe this is a general good practice for all business owners, but I also think this is more specific to small business owners. Our year to year can fluctuate greatly, which makes a mid-year touch base crucial, so that both you and your accountant can project adequately your earnings for the year! Ali touched on many of these basic questions and topics at this AMA.
Over the course of an hour, he talked about why it is so important to start with a business account, a federal tax ID, and to register as an LLC from the start. His advice is that if you build the foundation right from the beginning, then you will save yourself a lot of energy later on when it comes to tax time! When you start with an LLC, you are able to remove your Social Security Number when you file your taxes or when you are filling out W-9's. Also, as an LLC, you have the flexibility to grow your company (up to 20 people) in a variety of ways in the future! You can file as an S-Corp, for example, if you are ready to add other full-time employees to your business. As an S-Corp, you are no longer filing as an individual and can save you the amount paid to the IRS! He touched on a few other subjects, such as quarterly tax, when to file as joint income, and how to open a 401K as a small business.
We hope to have more of these AMA's in the future, and feel free to leave us a comment if you have a suggestion or person that you think would be interesting for us to host! You can get in touch with Ali here, see you all on October 6th for our next meet-up about how to create new opportunities!
Yao of the Rise & Design Crew