home office tax issues

This past year was the first year that I was fortunate enough to work from my home. Working from my home has been a wonderful change for both personal and professional reasons. The only thing that caused a slight issue was the tax filing changes that I had to endure. The office in my home was now considered a tax deduction. I had to get some help learning how to deduct the things that are allowed on my federal taxes. If you are new to working from home and have a home office, this blog can help you learn what you need to know before tax time rolls around.

3 Ways Your Accountant Can Serve Up Theft Protection For Your Bar


As a bar owner, you run the risk of employee theft in many ways -- cash, product and time. And while increasing physical security in your bar with things like cameras, management oversight and good hiring practices will help, you may also find that your accountant can help a lot in your battle against theft. Yes, your accountant, even if he or she is never in your bar.

Here are 3 examples of how your accountant can help you look for signs of and prevent employee theft. 

Audit Inventory

Keeping regular control of inventory is one of the best ways to prevent theft, but it requires some math and time invested. Most businesses just deal with inventory calculations once per month or once per year for accounting purposes, but it's better to track it more often -- perhaps weekly or daily. Once a physical inventory is taken on two specific dates, your accountant can use the sales receipts and inventory purchases to determine how much product was used or offset. If the amount of inventory used doesn't match up well with the types and amounts of sales, you have a shrinkage problem. This process, often called a variance report, can be performed as often as you feel is warranted to find useful patterns. 

Tracking Productivity

Beyond looking at the overall patterns in your inventory, you should also be looking at the personal performance of each bartender or waiter through their productivity. Productivity for each worker is determined by dividing the gross sales attributed to that worker by the number of hours worked in that shift. Some shifts just have naturally lower productivity (less customers, for example), but if a worker is simply not doing as much in sales in comparison with others no matter what shift he or she is on, you may have a problem. This report can highlight things like a slow or lazy worker, a bad pourer or even theft through free product being given out. On the flip side, you can also identify your best and more trustworthy employees this way. 

Develop Cash Controls

Accounting is based on the idea of checks and balances, of separation of functions and of auditing one another. So your accountant is the best person to help you develop and oversee a good system of controlling your cash. This will likely begin with creating a checklist for cashiers to count their drawers at the beginning and end of each shift and turn in the result, which can be overseen by the accountant or yourself. It may include determining the amount of money to trigger a cash-drop (taking out excess money from the till during the shift and depositing it in a safe) or learning to work with cash only when in pairs of responsible employees. You could even invite your accountant to look over your physical cash-handling process to see if there are any weaknesses or areas you could improve security. 

For more information, contact Teri J Henderson, CPA, P.A. or a similar accounting professional.


10 December 2015