Newsletters

Apple Guerin Company

Accounting Near Me | Medicine for Your Business

70808 Accountants

The business world often goes hand in hand with stress. Pressures to attract new customers, meet quotas, or increase productivity can make working feel like an unpleasant chore. If you have begun to dread going into the office due to an oppressive atmosphere, chances are strong that you are not alone in your feelings. Turning things around for you and your team may be easier than you think. Consider adding fun back to your business with a daily dose of laughter.

While the addition of humor to the workplace does not move deadlines or reduce the expectations for performance, it can help create a more enjoyable environment for everyone there. When the office feels fun and engaging, the work feels lighter and more accessible. Scientific studies have shown that laughter relieves tension, boosts the immune system, and relaxes the muscles. Additionally, laughing can increase memory, energy, and creativity and elevate the mood. Every office can benefit from these effects.

There are many ways to inject some humor into your workdays. Try sharing a joke with your team to start the huddle and invite them to bring their own. Post a board in a shared space and challenge everyone to bring a funny image or comic strip to hang. Have a silly shirt day once a week or once a month. Take silly photos or videos of you and your team to share on social media.

Embracing a little more humor with your colleagues and team takes only a small investment of time and can yield large increases in mood, productivity, and worker morale. For more ideas on making your work more engaging, contact our office.

6421 Perkins Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 1B, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Baton Rouge Accountant | Smart Money – Filing Taxes with an Accountant

Did you know that more than 65% of failed businesses blame financial mismanagement as their downfall? This is why forming a good relationship with a professional financial advisor is paramount to the longevity of your business.

When is the most important time to have this established relationship in place? That’s right – tax time. If you’re thinking about taking any shortcuts during this time (like using online software), you may want to reconsider. Why risk your entire business by cutting corners on something so crucial? Consider these reasons why you should work with a professional accountant.

Accountants understand tax code. Tax code is not only complicated – it changes frequently. It’s literally a full-time job interpreting and staying up to date. A financial professional will be able to guide you through this and take that stress off your plate. You’re already busy enough without having to keep up to date on tax law. Knowing you’re working with a professional can eliminate the stress of tax compliance. It’s hard to put a price on peace of mind.

Accountants know how to get you more deductions. Everyone wants to maximize their deductions, but only a true professional financial expert can get you everything you deserve.  Don’t leave any money on the table and don’t overpay on your taxes. Working with an accountant throughout the year will ensure you have the documentation you need to get your deductions and not overpay your taxes. This is exceptionally important especially for small businesses, like most dental offices.

Accountants minimize your risk. Are taxes the place where you want to cut corners and take a risk with your business and your team’s financial future? One mistake can land you in a heap of trouble. No one wants to deal with any sort of issue with the IRS let alone an audit. If you run into one of these scenarios, you’ll wind up paying far more than you would have if you worked with a professional from the beginning.

Everyone is willing to take some risks, especially small business owners and entrepreneurs.  Being brave enough to start your own business or follow your dreams is a risk in itself.  Don’t jeopardize your dream by cutting corners on one of the most important tasks of every year.  Work with a financial professional and allow yourself the peace of mind to protect what you’ve built.

CPA Near Me | Career Tips for New Businesses

Starting your professional career can be one of the most exciting (and anxious) times of your life. Whether you are beginning your own business or joining one, there are several important aspects to keep in mind. We have compiled a quick guide that will help you manage your priorities as a new business owner with confidence.

  1. Protect Your Work-Life Balance – While you might be used to a heavy schedule during your years in academia, don’t let yourself burn out. You deserve a healthy work-life balance. By setting expectations and following them, you can enjoy your time with friends, family, or hobbies without feeling tread on by your work schedule.
  2. Know Your Strengths – Your practice should center on two things: what you are compassionate about, and what you are incredible at. Don’t pursue a specialty just to appeal to your community if it isn’t something you are excited about. Focusing on your strengths will bring you more satisfaction in your work as well as higher quality to your service.
  3. Manage Your Debt – Graduates usually have a significant trail of student debt following them. Whether you refinance, make extra payments, or choose an alternate repayment plan, focus on reducing your balance instead of simply paying off the interest. Don’t forget to contribute early to your retirement fund, either. The best time to start saving was yesterday.
  4. Successful Business Management – A business needs a strong leader. Schools don’t typically prepare you for the financial and leadership elements of your career, so don’t be afraid to seek coaches or consultants. With the right mentor, both you and your business can succeed.
  5. Continue Your Education – The last advice you want to hear as a new business owner is ‘more schooling,’ but it’s true. Once you have settled in, you should look for new opportunities to hone your skills. There exists a world of workshops, lectures, and courses that can further your passion in business, bring you confidence in your work, and improve the value of your company.

With the right mindset and plan, you can build yourself up as a new business owner, achieving your leadership and financial goals. If you are considering starting your own business, our team will be the resource you need to secure your future in success. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

CPA Baton Rouge | Opportunity Called – Did You Answer?

Baton Rouge CPA

The first step to growing your business is attracting new patients. Your website, social media, and marketing are all geared toward the idea of getting people to call your office. To help convert this interest into new customer appointments, you have probably spent time selecting and training the team members who answer the phones during office hours. But have you considered what happens when a prospective customer calls when the business is closed?

If a person calls your office for information about a service or comparison shopping, they may decide to call back within your business hours. Chances are, they were not ready to schedule an appointment at the time of the call, so they may accept the delay and still call back. However, a new or current patient who is experiencing a dental emergency is far more likely to hang up and try calling another dentist who has someone answering the phones and ready to help.

Many businesses do not have any coverage for phone calls outside their hours of operation or during lunch hour. Others have an impersonal answering machine advising callers of the business hours and perhaps offering to record a message. This can be extremely frustrating for your customers, both current and prospective.

If your customer discovers on Friday afternoon or evening that they will need to reschedule an appointment set for Monday morning, chances are that message will not be heard until it is too late to move another patient into the opening. If your phones are being answered outside working hours, this can be addressed much more promptly, leading to better scheduling and happier customers.

You may be wondering how to arrange to have 24/7 phone coverage. There are a few options available, but one of the most economical and most personal for your business is to train some of your team members to share the responsibility. No one has better knowledge of your practice, your customers, and your schedule than your own team. You will want to decide on the best way to compensate them for the added time, such as paying them a set amount per weekend or evening day or an amount per call answered.

Once this is determined, arrange a rotation for the team members who will participate. Your main phone line can be forwarded to a business-owned mobile phone during off-hours, which can be held by the team member on call. Be sure that each person has your after-hours contact information in case of an emergency, especially when you are first launching this system.

After a few months, hold a meeting with all the involved team members to review the number of after-hours calls you receive, what times are most common, and how many are converted into new appointments for your business. This can help you value the ROI for this new plan of action and to determine whether your office benefits from full 24/7 coverage or if a more limited extension of hours is more cost-effective.

Contact us for more information.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020

Protecting Your Practice from Employee Embezzlement

Employee embezzlement is not a rate occurrence in today’s society. More specifically, the healthcare industry, including dentistry, consistently ranks in the top three industries in terms of employee embezzlement cases. The average employee embezzlement amount exceeds $100,000. This is a frightening reality for dentists. Often between treating patients, managing their staff and staying updated on the newest technologies, dentists have limited time for tracking the practice’s finances. Below are suggests tips to help reduce the chances of being a victim to employee embezzlement.

Click here to read the entire article.

Baton Rouge CPA | Toxic Employees

CPA in Baton Rouge

Hiring is time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly. In some cases, this causes business owners to avoid firing an employee long after it has become clear that the person is damaging the overall work environment. Finding the right person for your office can be challenging. However, continuing to retain a toxic employee can be far more costly for you and your business.

What is a “toxic employee?”

A toxic employee is easily recognized for exhibiting several, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • Bad attitude: This includes eye-rolling, muttering, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions.
  • Lack of engagement: This can include work-avoidance, lack of enthusiasm, unwillingness to accept responsibilities, and being inattentive in meetings and huddles.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies and thefts, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor work performance: While a new team member may experience a learning curve at first, the toxic employee never rises above the bare minimum of what has been explicitly listed as expected. In many cases, they may not even be fully or properly completing work. They are uninterested in feedback or training and unwilling to work to improve.

Do you recognize anyone in your office from these descriptions? If so, it’s time to pull the plug.

When you continue to keep a toxic employee on your staff, you may avoid the headaches of the hiring process in the short term. However, you are creating a host of other problems for yourself that will cost you a great deal more time, money, and energy to solve in the long term.

One toxic employee in your office can cause:

  • Loss of new customers: If a toxic employee is interacting with potential customers, they are creating a negative image of your business, which can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Loss of existing customers: If your clients are treated poorly even once, they may choose to take their business elsewhere – and they may tell others.
  • Loss of your best team members: Your best people want to work in a positive environment where they feel supported and appreciated. By tolerating the complaints or shoddy work of one toxic person, you risk losing team players to a company that maintains a better atmosphere.

Don’t compromise your business or your best team members by refusing to fire toxic employees. For more strategies to improve your business, contact our office.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020

CPA in Baton Rouge | Revitalize Revenues through Increased Investment

Baton Rouge CPA

Every business experiences trends of increasing and decreasing revenues. When new business slows and income begins to dip, many business owners react by cutting back on the item in their budget they think is most expendable: marketing.

The unfortunate reality is that this is almost definitely the wrong step to take. When you cut your marketing budget, you reduce your revenues as well.

Today’s business cannot survive through only word of mouth referrals. Your company needs to attract new clientele on an ongoing basis, not just in the weeks following a postcard blast or mass email. In addition, you need to engage and maintain the loyalty of your existing customers.

Consistent, effective marketing helps you achieve both ends.

One recent study examined the marketing budgets of several publicly-traded companies. The researchers found that businesses that were spending an average of 16.5% of revenue grew up to 15% annually, and those that spent an average of 22% grew 16% – 30% annually.

When your marketing budget increases, your revenue follows suit.

There are several factors that can influence how much your business should be spending on marketing.

  • Are you a new startup company? You may need to invest more until you have established a client base.
  • Is business established and you want to maintain growth? Compare your current rates of new customers to those lost annually to determine how your current budget is doing.
  • Is business stagnant or decreasing? Consider investing an additional 5% or 10% above your current marketing budget, at least until the trend reverses.
  • How competitive is your local market? Higher competition requires greater investment to grow business.

For more advice regarding your marketing budget and business growth, contact our office.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020

70808 CPA | 5 Signs You Need an Accountant

CPA Baton Rouge

Have you wondered whether you actually need to have a professional accountant? Here are 5 signs that confirm you do:

1)     You earn over $200,000 per year – Your odds of being audited once you start earning over $200,000 a year increases to nearly 4%. While this may not seem like a large number, it’s actually an increase of over 300%. Having your financials in order in case this does occur is vitally important once you become a high-earner.

2)     You are a business owner or are self-employed – Utilizing the services of an accounting professional is vitally important for any business owner or entrepreneur. Tax laws change annually. The current US tax code has over 7 million words in it. Making sure all of your deductions are included, your assets are depreciating properly, and you are maximizing your tax savings will wind up saving you money in the long run.

3)     You are setting money aside for others – When putting money aside for your children, grandchildren, or anyone you want to take care of, it’s very important to use a financial professional to decide which vehicles to use for tax-deferred or tax-free savings. This includes college savings plans or trusts.

4)     You are incurring large capital gains tax – The key to success in paying big capital gains tax is paying at long-term rates. An accountant can help you with a Qualified Small Business Tax Credit, minimize your taxes, and help you set long-term payment goals.

5)     You are experiencing rapid growth in your business – Not only is keeping your finances up to date time-consuming, it’s also complicated. When you’re experiencing rapid growth, it’s time to call in an accounting professional. Having more customers, employees, and vendors is going to require more paperwork and number crunching and can rapidly become impossible for you to manage.

For more information, contact our office.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020

Baton Rouge CPA | Why You Should Join (or Start) a Study Club

CPA Baton Rouge

Science is a field where the only true constant is change. Business is no different. With advances in techniques and new technologies every year, it can be challenging to stay current, especially without breaking your budget.

Study clubs can be an ideal solution to this inevitable problem. There are many reasons why you should be gaining the benefits of membership in a study club. Here are some of the most valuable advantages you stand to gain:

Continuing Education

By pooling the resources of a group of professionals, you can attend continuing education lectures and hands-on training in your local area, without all the time and expense of travel. This added source of training and education can be invaluable for staying current with new techniques and new technological advances. If you have a desire to focus on one or more specific areas of business, a targeted study group can help you find and attend the courses you need to develop the skills and qualifications to reach your goal.

Peer Support

With a study club, you are interacting with other businesses and specialists in your area. Group discussions have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to share experiences, techniques, challenges, and new ideas with like-minded individuals for the benefit of everyone involved. This informal venue can allow you to explore new ways of approaching a problem and allows you to benefit from what another has already tried.

Networking

While it is not the primary reason to join a study club, you should not overlook the importance of networking. Making other business contacts in your area can be highly beneficial. Specialists, in particular, depend on referrals from other businesses. It can be much easier to refer a client or gain a referral when you have developed a relationship with other professionals and know how they treat their clients, what technologies they use, and other such information.

Whether you join a local study club or decide to create one of your own, the benefits of membership far outweigh the costs. For more information, contact our office today.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020

CPA in Baton Rouge | 4 Ways to Grow Your Confidence as a Business Leader

CPA Near Me

The up and down nature of confidence can be exemplified as a business leader because of the stressful nature of maintaining a high-ranking position. Confidence can grow with practice and effort. Here are four ways to grow confidence as a business leader.

Consistency is Key

Rapidly changing methods and ideas can prevent a business leader from feeling confident. The business should work for the business leader, not the other way around. Gaining a sense of consistency and stability with schedules, rules, and realistic expectations can lead to an increase in confidence that the business will run smoothly. Know and understand the key parts of the business, important dates, and the function of each role. You can only become confident in your business operations when you fully grasp the nature of the entire business.

Be Yourself

Being afraid to say what you think can be viewed as a lack of confidence. Speaking your mind, while still having a professional filter, can build confidence as it shows you are part of a team and contributing. Being yourself will also dispel any notion coworkers might have that you are not being a genuine person. Openness and authenticity will not only strengthen your bond with your employees, but are also essential traits for effective leadership.

Be Open to Criticism

Change cannot come from one person alone, and not all criticism should be seen as a slight against you. Listen to feedback from coworkers and customers and tailor that feedback into something positive. Do not let the criticism fester and destroy your confidence, take it and use it to grow as a person. Accepting constructive criticism and negative comments can help increase your confidence.

Know What You Are Talking About

Fully understanding what you are talking about can help improve your confidence. If you are a business leader, strive to know everything you can about the business and its operations. If you are speaking about a topic, research everything you can about that topic. Become the expert. You will be better positioned to demonstrate confidence when it is clear that you are invested in what you are discussing.

Confidence can not only make or break your career, it can impact the business as a whole. You can take your confidence to the next level, while learning how to prevent situations from arising that can be detrimental to your confidence.

For a consultation, contact our team.

6421 Perkins Rd.
Bldg. A, Ste 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 767-1020