Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rain Clouds on Peachtree? Here’s you Umbrella

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Sage Accountants Network that Sage Peachtree’s cloud based solutions will be discontinued on November 30th of this year. With the discontinuation of the Sage Peachtree cloud products (ePeachtree, Peachtree Web Accounting, Sage Peachtree WebsiteTrader and WebsiteCreator Services) is there a “next step” for clients that are using these products before the November 30th deadline? I have been getting calls/emails with questions and concerns about:

• Having access to their data after Nov. 30th

• Will Sage offer any other cloud products to move data over to

• How this affects the use of desktop Sage Peachtree products

Here is what we know so far regarding alternatives to Sage Peachtree Cloud products:

• ePeachtree – extract data by November 30th and Sage will offer customers a free desktop version of Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting and Sage Peachtree Simple Payroll

• Peachtree Web Accounting – Sage offers two alternate sources for web accounting. Sage Remote Access powered by GoToMyPC and Sage Peachtree Accounting 2011 using Terminal Services. To see which solution will work for your small business click here.

• Sage Peachtree WebsiteTrader and WebsiteCreator Services – Probably the toughest of the alternatives, clients will have to transfer their websites to another provider. The transfer can be completed via uploading the code to a new provider via FTP or exporting the website catalog item list to an XML or CSV file.

These are the solutions that are currently offered by Sage to somewhat minimize client’s pain with transferring their data to alternate sources. Clients must take the initiative and start planning for the transfer now to ensure that there is no interruption in their office procedures and administration and they can also test the transfers before the yearend reporting season. Be sure to seek assistance from a Sage Peachtree software consultant to correctly walk you through the transfer of your data.

The Tech Accountant

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

7 Steps to Paying Tax Liabilities

As the summer comes to a close, so does the 6 month extension to file tax returns. Extensions are used to extend the time to file your tax return but do not extend the time to pay any tax monies owed. If you are a taxpayer that has a tax liability that has not been paid, here are the seven steps to paying your tax liabilities:

1. Find out how much you owe in unpaid taxes. Either contact the IRS or get copies of your tax returns to verify the amount you owe. Tax liabilities not paid timely will include your original tax due, plus penalties and interest.

2. If setting up a payment plan, the IRS charges a user fee: $52 for direct debit installment agreements, $105 for new installment agreements without direct debit, or $45 for restructuring or for reinstating a defaulted installment agreement. Low income taxpayers can request a lower fee of $43.

3. Fill out Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Or use the Online Payment Agreement Application on the IRS Web site.

4. Choose a day of the month you want to make your payments. Your payment must be made by the same day each and every month. You can choose any day you want between the 1st and 28th of the month.

5. Choose your monthly payment amount. You must pay the same amount each and every month.

6. The IRS will respond to your request in about 30 days.

7. Make payments each and every month. You can pay by check, money order, credit card, EFTPS or automatic withdrawals from your checking account.

Taxpayers can increase the amount of their monthly payment if they like, but should at least make the same minimum payment each month. Taxpayers can always seek the assistance of a competent tax professional if they need assistance creating a budget for their tax liability or they do not have the time to complete the steps.

The Tech Accountant

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bankruptcy and Your Taxes

Bankruptcy filings are at an all time high according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts, the highest number since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Taxpayers that file bankruptcy need to know the rules regarding bankruptcy protection and how tax debts can come into play. Before a taxpayer attempts to include federal tax debts under their bankruptcy protection they must determine what tax liabilities might be dischargeable.

Find out which tax liabilities are dischargeable here:


Taxpayers also must attempt to salvage their credit history by researching other options before including tax debts in bankruptcy filings. Tax administrative options can include a request for abatement of penalties, installment agreements, offers in compromise, and innocent spouse relief. If these options have been exhausted or are not viable for the taxpayer, including tax debts in bankruptcy may be the only solution.

Taxpayers can find assistance with bankruptcy and their tax situation by seeking the assistance of a good bankruptcy attorney and their accountant. Working in conjunction with the attorney and accountant, the taxpayer can determine which type of bankruptcy they need to file, what tax debts if any will qualify for discharge in bankruptcy, and how a bankruptcy filing will affect their tax situation in the future. Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world and for some taxpayers may be the only option to help them rebuild their lives.

The Tech Accountant

Monday, August 16, 2010

Form 1099 reporting - Need Your Input

Small business owners are in for a treat starting in 2012 if they do not voice their opinions. Under Section 9006 of the Healthcare Act all businesses, tax exempt organizations, and federal, state and local government entities will be required to issue Forms 1099 to vendors who they make purchases from totaling over $600 during the calendar year.


So if you are a small business owner, the new law is going to increase your paperwork burden for the end of the year and may possibly increase your accounting fees. Currently there is a bipartisan effort to have this portion of the law repealed, but nothing has changed as of yet.

I would recommend that small business owners take the time to leave comments with the IRS regarding this new law. At the following link:

IRS Requests Pubic Input on Expanded Information Reporting Requirement

To hear my personal input, listen below.

The Tech Accountant


Friday, August 13, 2010

Another Cool Cloud Offering

Small business owners (SBO’s) that are out in the field or away from the office a lot will love the new offering from online fax vendor MyFax. For those SBO’s that use iPhone smartphones (and there are quite a few according to this webinar), MyFax has released an iPhone app that allows users to open view or preview mission critical faxes while away from the office.

To hear more about the app from MyFax provider Protus and get more details, be sure to check out the following link.

Additionally I was pretty shocked at the number of Blackberry, iPhone, and Android users in the webinar. Appears Android and iPhone users are on the rise while Blackberry continues to loose market share. So I decided to take a poll and see what kind of numbers are out in the small business world.

Feel free to take the poll to the left and let me know which smart phone you use.

The Tech Accountant

Monday, August 09, 2010

The End of RAL's

In the past I have personally expressed my opinion of refund anticipation loans or RAL's for short. Well the IRS seems to be coming around to my thinking with their recent announcement. Starting with the upcoming filing season, the IRS will not provide tax preparers or financial institutions with the "debt indicator" that is used to determine the creditworthiness of taxpayers for RAL's. For more information on this change be sure to see the details at the IRS website.

Is this the end of RAL's? Let me know your thoughts.

The Tech Accountant

Thursday, August 05, 2010

3 Ways to Take Small Business Accounting to the Clouds

Small business owners (SBO’s) who use any kind of technology in their business will have undoubtedly heard someone mention “cloud computing” or “SaaS” and how this new technology will be the future of their business operations. Due to tighter budgets and a bit of misunderstanding of what the cloud has to offer, many small business owners continue with the “if it ain’t broke…” way of doing things. When speaking to small business owners about how they can streamline operations and save money, the topic of cloud computing seems to come up a great deal. I usually hear reasons for resisting the cloud to include security issues, control of data, and learning curve.

If a small business owner is not ready to fully jump out the airplane and into the clouds, they have three basic ways they can move to the clouds. These solutions also address some of the many issues that small business owners have about the cloud way of doing things.

Remote Access

Test your current accounting system using remote access. Remote access allows a SBO to still control their data by having it located on one of their computers and gives bookkeeping personnel the ability to login to the system from anywhere there is an internet connection. The bookkeeper can access accounting information at their leisure and can cut down on in office expenses. Remote access works best when there is a dedicated computer for accounting and only one person is accessing the data. Some remote access vendors include LogMeIn and Citrix.

Software Hosting

Hosting your accounting data is an even closer step towards the cloud. When an SBO “hosts” their accounting software bookkeeping personnel will login to the hosting company’s servers and complete their tasks over the internet. The data will reside on the hosting company’s computers and updates will be done by the company. Hosting also allows simultaneous users allowing more than one person access to accounting functions. SBO’s must use due care when setting up permissions to various functions of the accounting software to ensure that proper controls are in place. Some hosting vendors include CPAASP and Right Networks.

SaaS Solution

When an SBO uses a SaaS accounting product, all of their mission critical data is in the clouds. Bookkeeping personnel will login to the accounting system just like accessing an online banking module. Changes are updated in real-time and updates are usually done during non-peak hours. Simultaneous users can also access the system at once and the control functions are integrated into the module. Since the data is completely online, there is no data file to share or provide to outside parties. Some SaaS vendors include Netsuite and AccountantsWorld.

As a SBO, taking your accounting processes to the cloud can be done in many ways. Depending on the SBO’s resistance, one solution is sure to fit your business operations. Embracing the cloud can be tough for many SBO’s thus it is important to speak with cloud vendors, map out a plan, and test the systems before going full speed with a cloud accounting solution.

The Tech Accountant