Woman at a laptop holding a cell phone for a video conference

Can’t Meet in Person? Try a Video Conference

Video conference options mean meeting with the professionals at David Mills CPA, LLC is as easy as looking at your phone.

We utilize the Zoom software to host video conference meetings with clients. It’s an easy-to-use program, where no account or password is created.

Laptops, tablets and cell phones are designed for video conferences

Because most laptops, tablets and cell phones have built-in cameras, there’s no additional hardware to purchase.

We understand individuals and business owners lead busy lives. Finding time to come to either our Morton or East Peoria location can be difficult.

With a video conference, you can have a meeting wherever you are. We will send you a link to directly connect to your tax preparer. It’s the ideal solution for those out of town or with busy schedules.

Set up your video conference appointment today

Contact David Mills CPA, LLC today to learn more about video conferencing or to set up an appointment.

Two sets of hands, one holding a phone and the other holding a business document

How do Business Structures Differ?

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but with so many business structures, deciding the legal structure of your company can seem overwhelming. Will it be a sole proprietorship? A corporation? Is it an LLC?

Trying to figure out the various business legal structures can seem complex. However, the experts at David Mills, CPA, LLC have the experience and knowledge to provide expert advice and guidance

Two sets of hands, one holding a phone and the other holding a business document

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says there are five primary types of business structures. Which one you chose will affect which income tax return form you have to file.

The five most common business legal structures are:

Sole Proprietorship

In a sole proprietorship, the individual who owns the business is an unincorporated business by themselves. 

This type of business structure is sometimes known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a sole proprietorship is “the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business.” 

Partnership

A partnership is when two or more individuals join together to create a business. According to the IRS, in a partnership “each person contributes money, property, labor or skill, and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.”

Within a partnership, there are two common types: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP). 

The U.S. Small Business Administration notes a limited partnership has one partner with unlimited liability and all others with limited liability. 

In a limited partnership, the partners with limited liability tend to have limited control over the company. Profits are passed through to personal tax returns, and the general partner — the partner without limited liability — must also pay self-employment taxes.

A limited liability partnership (LLP) gives limited liability to every owner. This structure protects each partner from debts against the partnership.

Corporation

When a corporation is formed, prospective shareholders exchange money, property or both, for the corporation’s capital stock. 

Sometimes called a “C-corp” a corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners. 

The Small Business Administration notes corporations offer “the strongest protection to its owners from personal liability” but “the cost to form a corporation is higher than other structures.”

Operating a corporation requires more extensive record-keeping and reporting.

S Corporation

The IRS says S Corporations “are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.”

Becoming an S Corporation requires a business to meet certain qualifications including being a domestic corporation and having no more than 100 shareholders.

Businesses must file with the IRS to earn S Corporation status.

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company, more commonly referred to as an “LLC” combines the advantages of both the corporation and partnership business structures.

An LLC can protect an individual from personal liability in most instances. 

Owners of an LLC are known as “members” and the members can be individuals, corporations, other LLCs or foreign entities. Most states, including Illinois, permit “single-member” LLCs, in which there is only one owner.

Let the Experts at David Mills, CPA, LLC Help

The professionals at David Mills, CPA, LLC, have offices in both Morton and East Peoria. They work with business clients in the Tri-County (Peoria, Woodford and Tazewell) area as well as beyond.

When establishing a business, contact David Mills, CPA, LLC to ensure the legal entity you select best matches your professional goals.

Your Small Business Needs a Budget

five stacks of silver coins increasing in height from left to rightSmall businesses need budgets, but too often, they don’t have one. The staff at David Mills CPA, LLC can assist with your budgeting needs.

Creating a business budget can seem overwhelming. One survey found as many as two-thirds of all small businesses don’t have a budget.

Without a budget, though, your company’s financial health is at risk. Small businesses face challenges every day. A budget helps mitigate those difficulties.

The experts at David Mills CPA will show you how budgeting can grow your profits. Interpreting the numbers is key, but we understand making sense of those figures can feel overwhelming.

We can help you answer the critical questions:

  • Do you really know where your money is going?
  • What does it cost you to open the doors each day?
  • What are your most profitable services or products?
  • When you have vendor price increases how much more do you need to sell to remain at the same profit levels?

A smartly planned budget will include flexibility to help you navigate any troubled waters your business may face.

close up of black calculator keysA budget should be more than just a yearly chore. It’s a tool to help you tackle short-term obstacles while planning for the long-term future.

Experts can help answer budgeting questions

We will teach you the questions to ask when looking at your budget versus actual numbers. In this way, your budget becomes a valuable tool to manage cash flow and build your business.

Budgets help make your business more efficient. They can help keep your company out of debt while developing a roadmap for future growth or expansion.

Planning your business budget will make it more efficient to operate your company.

Let the staff at David Mills CPA assist you with all your business budgeting needs. Contact us today for more information.

Baffled by Business Finances? Get Help

Woman in blue with finger to chin, head tipped, looking confused. Gray question mark near her head.

Are you confused by your business financials? Hiring outside professionals can help.

You’re the CEO of your business and an expert in your industry, but does that expertise expand to the financial side of your business? If phrases like “projected profitability” and “cash flow” make you cringe, it’s time to call the experts at David Mills, CPA, LLC.

Chances are you didn’t get into business because the idea of managing financial statements appealed to you, yet your company’s success is directly related to the quality of your financial statements and the CFO (chief financial officer)/Controller Services overseeing them.

Ignoring Finances Can Doom A Business

A head-in-the-sand approach to your business finances is a disaster waiting to happen. Just like ignoring your car’s check engine light can leave you stranded, not paying attention to finances can cripple your business.

laptop computer with colorful charts on screen

Outsourced controller services from David Mills, CPA, LLC can help you make sense of your business financials.

More than 28% of bankrupt businesses cite problems with the financial structure of their company as a primary reason for failure.

Businesses fail because they forget about the basics. Have you taken the time to create a budget? If you have, do you regularly analyze the results? Is your business making a profit, yet you never seem to have money in the bank? 

Hire an Outsourced Controller for Your Business

Hiring an outsourced controller/CFO is the smart way to keep your finger on the financial pulse of your business.

If financial statements make no sense to you, you won’t use them. You need controller services you can trust to interpret the statements for you.

Just because you may not have the budget for a full-time CFO doesn’t mean you don’t have alternatives.

With our Morton and East Peoria offices, our firm can provide CFO services on an “as-needed” basis to companies in the Tri-County area.

We can take full responsibility for the financial side of your business, work part-time, or train your staff. Our services are available on a monthly, quarterly or a specific-project basis.

You’ll gain greater control over your business when the numbers make sense.

Having the staff at David Mills, CPA, LLC  be your financial experts allows you to excel at the business you do best.

Contact us today about our CFO consulting and outsourced controller services.

David Mills CPA: East Peoria Location Now Open!

Exciting news! David Mills CPA has officially opened our East Peoria location. We can provide your business with accounting and financial services. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

David Mills Services Offered David Mills East Peoria location

In order to best serve our customers, we offer a wide variety of services. We can assist your business with the financial aspects so you can focus on what is most important to you. A list of our services include:

  • QuickBooks
  • Bookkeeping
  • Family Office Services
  • Trust & Estate Taxation
  • Income Tax Planning
  • Daily Money Manager
  • Financial
  • Tax Preparation
  • Controller/CFO Services
  • Payroll
  • Business Structure
  • Cash Flow & Budgeting

Now Booking Appointments

Our East Peoria location is now booking appointments. For all of your financial needs, contact David Mills CPA today. We look forward to working with you and serving our customers in East Peoria.

 

5 Reasons to Hire A Tax Consultant

If you are like most people when it comes to taxes, you don’t feel confident in what you are doing. A tax consultant can help relieve stress and reduce mistakes while filing taxes. Check out five reasons why you should consider hiring a tax consultant.

1. You Find A Mistake On A Previous Return

Have you found a mistake on a previous tax return in the past three years? You can work with a tax constant to file an amended return. A consultant can help to minimize any damage that may have been caused. It can also provide you with peace of mind in knowing that your tax return will be properly handled.

2. Your Marital Status Has Changed Tax consultant

Have you gotten married or divorced in the last year? If so, your tax filing may be affected.

  • Newly Married Couples: A consultant can help you decide whether to file your taxes together or separate. It is helpful to get a tax consultant’s opinion of what will be most beneficial since every couple’s situation is different.
  • Recently Divorced Couples: A consultant can help you determine if it is best to file separate or together. They can also help ensure that alimony has either been paid or received properly.

3. Filling Your Own Taxes Can Be Time Consuming

Filling Your taxes can be time-consuming. A tax consultant will be able to work quickly and efficiently. They will be able to save you the stress of making sure your taxes are done right.

4. You Work or Live In Different States

Taxes can become confusing if you live and work in different states. If you’ve recently moved to a new state it can be confusing as well.

A tax consultant will be able to assist you in the different states’ tax rules and can help you sort out any issues that arise.

5. You’ve Started A Business

A common mistake of new business owners is waiting to hire a tax professional. How you file your taxes the first year can impact future tax filings. It is important to start off right.

David Mills Can Assist You With Taxes

David Mills is proud to assist our customers with their taxes and make recommendations that fit your needs.  If you need assistance with your taxes, contact David Mills today. We look forward to working with you!

 

 

Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring Clean Your Finances

With April right around the corner, warmer days will be here before we know it. While many people associate spring cleaning with cleaning and organizing your home, have you thought about spring cleaning your finances? Spring cleaning your finances is a great way to get back on track with paying off any debt, getting organized, and evaluating your overall financial situation. By following our five spring cleaning tips, you will be on your way down a more stable financial path.

Spring Clean FinancesEvaluate Your Debt

Take a look at how much total debt you owe. To truly understand your debt load, you will need to calculate how much debt you owe compared to the amount that you earn. If your total consumer debt is less than 20% of your net income, you are in fine standings. But, if your total consumer debt is above 20%, it is time to assess your debt load. Don’t let it overwhelm you though as there are many solutions to becoming debt free such as cutting expenses, creating a debt-free plan, setting goals each month, getting a second job and numerous of additional solutions.

Get Organized

Organizing your finances is a vital part of being able to gain control over your financial situation and to make sure that additional wealth is going to be created. A few ways to organize your finances can include consolidating accounts, filing important documents, determining your personal net worth, estate settlement, and shredding documents that you no longer need. All of these tasks will help you be on your way to better-organized finances.

Save MoneyTweak Your Budget

Your budget is one of the most important parts of your financial planning. Without a budget, you could be at risk of overspending on items that could cause you to go into debt, or further into debt. The best way to tweak your budget is to look back at the past couple months and analyze what you spend the most and least money on. From there tweak it accordingly if you see any trouble spending areas or areas that you’re budgeting more than you need to.

Check Up on Insurance

It is always a good idea to check up on your insurance policies, whether it be health, property, casualty, or any other insurance policies you may need to evaluate. There are many benefits by doing this such as catching any mistakes, finding better rates, or realizing it may be time to bundle. As your life changes over the years, it is always best to ensure you are not paying for insurance you no longer need or that you are not underinsured.

Evaluate Your 401K

Evaluating your 401k is important for a number of reasons. Many people make basic mistakes such as overlooking retirement plan fees, getting scared by market volatility or getting overly aggressive. Reasons like these are why it is important to think about retirement sooner than later so that you are able to take on an appropriate level of risk all along.

If you are looking for financial services to help get your finances in order this spring, contact David Mills CPA LLC. David Mills offers financial and accounting services to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as individuals in Peoria, IL as well as the surrounding areas. To learn more about the services we offer, or to learn more about David Mills CPA LLC as a company, contact us here. We look forward to speaking with you!

Get Your Books in Order

Get Your Books in Order

Get Your Books in OrderNo matter the type or size of your business, the tax man will come knocking on your door when tax season comes among us. It is always best to have your books in order and up to date when that time comes. We are aware this may seem like a hassle to keep up with yourself, but by following our tips below you will be on your way to better, more organized accounts this year and a more successful business.

1. Stay Organized

Becoming and remaining organized is incredibly important when it comes to keeping your finances in order. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Keeping up with basic spreadsheets showing all of your funds received and funds paid out is a simple way to track your finances. At the end of every month, check to make sure your records all align with the money in your bank account to ensure balanced accounts.

2. Hire an Accountant

We understand that handling your financials is not the easiest task to take on by yourself, which is why we always recommend hiring a professional accountant in your area to take care of the dirty work for you. Through hiring a professional, you can rest assured knowing your accounts are in good hands and you are up to date with all rules, laws, and aren’t missing out on any tax allowances. Through hiring an accountant, you can put all of your attention on growing your business.

3. Separate Personal & Business Finances

There are many benefits when it comes to separating your personal and business finances. Not only will it make your business look more professional, but it will make it much easier to separate personal and business expenses when tax time comes. Depending on how your business is set up, it may be required by law to have separate accounts. Ask a local accountant in your area if you are curious if this is required for your business or not.

Clock - Don't wait to get books in order4. Don’t Procrastinate

Waiting until the last minute to get your finances in order is never a good idea. Procrastinating this task usually leads to additional issues down the road and by then, it is too late to have sorted out. Staying on top of your receipts and invoices will make it easier for you and your accountant to get your accounts sorted out in a timely manner. And not to mention, will help your overall business run more smoothly.

By following the four tips above, you should be on your way to better, more organized accounts. The more you keep track of and have up to date, the easier it will be when tax season comes along. If you are looking for additional help with your finances or have any questions about getting your books in order, contact a professional accountant in your area. David Mills CPA LLC provides expert accounting and financial services to both small and medium businesses, as well as to individuals across Peoria, Morton, and the rest of Central Illinois. If you are looking to get your books in order this year, feel free to contact us here.

Understanding Identity Theft or Identity Fraud

How Common is Identity Theft?

identity theft in Peoria, Morton, ILIdentity Theft (also known as identity fraud) is a type of crime where an individual uses someone else’s personal data to deceive. It is typically used for financial/economic gain. It’s more common than we would like to think. In fact, in a recent story on NBC News, it cites a study that says 1 in 5 Americans identifies themselves as a victim of identity theft or fraud. The researchers of the study estimate that means this crime has hit 44 million people. That number is eye-opening, or it should be. So what can you do to protect yourself from such theft?

1. Know the common types of identity theft: There are multiple ways people can steal your identity. First, they can watch you from a nearby location (also called shoulder surfing). They can listen in on calls where you give out personal information. Another type of identity theft that can occur is stealing your information off of pre-approvals from credit cards that you discard in the mail without shredding, or use email “spam”. They can also use computer technology to steal large amounts of personal information.

2. Take steps to protect personal information: Taking advice from USA.gov, you should protect your information. For example, only give your social security number out when completely necessary. See the complete list on their website located here: https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft

3. Sign up for free credit reports using annualcreditreport.com or creditkarma.com. Also, sign up for alerts to changes in your credit reports through these companies.

What if you are a victim of identity theft?

First and foremost, stay on top of your credit and bank accounts. Be sure to watch for changes that don’t seem normal. You can get your credit information for free via websites like www.creditkarma.com now. If you notice changes that aren’t normal, take action immediately.

1. Contact your bank and your credit card companies. Check for a fraud department and inform them of the problem. Make sure to close and freeze accounts. Also, change any logins or passwords associated with any of your financial accounts. If there are PIN numbers associated with any of your financial accounts request they be changed as well.

2. Alert all of the major credit report companies to the fraud. Here is the contact information for each of the main credit reporting companies:

Experian.com/fraudalertProtect your financial future in Peoria and Morton, IL
1-888-397-3742
TransUnion.com/fraud
1-800-680-7289
Equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance
1-888-766-0008

3. Report the fraud to the police.

4. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission. You can go to their website IdentityTheft.gov or call 1-877-438-4338.

If you need advice on this topic you can contact the team at David Mills CPA in Morton, IL. We are here to help the Peoria area including Washington, Morton, Germantown Hills, East Peoria and the rest of Central Illinois with all their financial concerns. Identity theft is a growing problem in our country. It’s important to stay on top of your own financial situation to be aware of identity theft the moment it happens.