Everyone in business must keep records. Keeping good records is very important to your business. Good records will help you do the following:
- Monitor the progress of your business
- Prepare your financial statements
- Identify source of receipts
- Keep track of deductible expenses
- Prepare your tax returns
- Support items reported on tax returns
Monitor the progress of your business
You need good records to monitor the progress of your business. Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make. Good records can increase the likelihood of business success.
Business expenses are the cost of carrying on a trade or business. These expenses are usually deductible if the business is operated to make a profit.
To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.
Recently, I participated in a small business roundtable with the Asian-American Pacific Islander community in Philadelphia. The event was co-hosted by the National Association of Asian American Professionals and the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, and we were joined by 40 small business owners for a lively discussion on how to do business with the Federal Government.
Part of our mission at the General Services Administration (GSA) is to make sure that small firms across the country have the opportunity to do business with the government, and we were able to pass on several strategies that small businesses can use to successfully compete in the Federal market.
First, FedBizOpps is an online tool to help businesses learn about upcoming opportunities with the government. Small businesses can use this tool to preview what the government is looking to buy in the near future. GSA also posts a Forecast of Contracting Opportunities, informing vendors of anticipated contracts offered by GSA for the current fiscal year.
Expanded Tax Credit for Hiring Unemployed Veterans
The work opportunity credit has been expanded to provide employers with new incentives to hire certain unemployed veterans.
On November 21, 2011, the President signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. This new law provides an expanded work opportunity tax credit to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and for the first time also makes part of the credit available to tax-exempt organizations.
As we close out 2011 and prepare to enter 2012, one cannot help but reflect on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. 2011 proved to be a productive and exciting year for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). MBDA took bold steps and explored new markets all in an effort to enhance our ability to empower the minority business community and create jobs for all Americans.
During 2011, MBDA committed nearly $14 million over five years to the MBDA Business Center program. The redesigned program eliminates geographic boundaries of the centers so they can assist minority entrepreneurs nationwide with access to markets, contracts and capital and offer strategic business consulting services. The Agency also expanded its footprint with new center locations in Denver, CO, Cleveland, OH, Boston, MA, and Minneapolis, MN and a satellite presence in Anchorage, AK.
As part of the nearly $14 million commitment, MBDA dedicated $1.75 million to open the Federal Procurement Center in Washington, DC with a sole focus of increasing the accessibility of the federal marketplace to minority-owned firms nationwide.