Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

FAMILES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, on March 18th, 2020, President Trump passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 (Act). This Act:

  • Provides paid sick leave and free COVID-19 testing.
  • Expands food assistance and unemployment benefits.
  • Requires employers to provide additional protections for healthcare workers.

In addition, the Act mandates that all Government entities and employers with less than 500 workers:

  • Provide 80 hours of paid sick leave to all covered employees.
  • Provide up to 10 weeks of paid family leave for employees (who have worked for the company for at least one month) affected by COVID-19.

Concerning taxes, this act also included a series of tax credits to employers and self-employed individuals to help cover lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information, please visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

NEBRASKA UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATES

Governor Ricketts issued an executive order for an emergency unemployment insurance benefit relief related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

High level overview: 

  • Changes will start March 22nd.
  • The state of Nebraska will suspend the one-week waiting period required to receive unemployment benefits.
  • The state of Nebraska will waive the requirement that the claimant is actively looking for work.
  • The state of Nebraska will not “charge” the employer’s unemployment account for the unemployment benefits paid.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Employers can monitor https://www.dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease to determine if updates or written guidance has been added. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

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OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

QuickBooks Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All: Making It Yours

QuickBooks Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All: Making It Yours

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

quickbooks isn’t one-size-fits-all: making it yours

emily moore, senior accountant

 

QuickBooks was designed to appeal to millions of small businesses – different as they are. To make that possible, the software was also designed to be as customizable as possible, while still following the rules of standard accounting practices.

If you have left QuickBooks as it was when you purchased it, you may have found it wanting in some areas. Or, you might be bothered by features and options you don’t need. Here’s a brief overview of how to solve some of those problems.

Customize the Icon Bar. Set up QuickBooks’ Icon Bar to make it appear where you want it and contain the tools you access most often. Open the View menu to move it from the left to the top (or hide it completely). Click Customize Icon Bar in the same menu to add, edit, delete, or reorder navigational icons.

Modify your Preferences. This one will take a while. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences. Click on the titles in the left vertical list to see what your options are in each area. If you are the software’s administrator, you can work in the Company Preferences tab to, for example, turn on or off features like class tracking, inventory and purchase orders, and time-tracking. Click on My Preferences to see what your individual options are.

Explore the Lists menu. In this menu, you can see the different types of lists that you will be maintaining. They aren’t all mandatory. You will be building some of them as you go (like the Item List, which will grow as you create records for your products and services).  You may discover some features that are unfamiliar to you, like the Price Level List and the Fixed Asset Item List. Let us know if you want to work with some of these but aren’t sure how.

Tailor QuickBooks’ forms to better fit your company. Depending on what version of QuickBooks you are using, you have probably seen icons in the different toolbars and menus that represent actions like Manage Templates, Customize Design, and Customize Data Layout. These all refer to your ability to change the look and content of customer and vendor forms like invoices, sales receipts, and purchase orders. For example, you can remove or rename fields, add logos, as well as select different background, fonts, and colors, etc.

Check your version of QuickBooks. The most current editions have the year 2020 in the title. Are you a few versions back? Upgrading may be the solution to software problems you are encountering. Or, you may be using Pro when you really need Premier – or even Enterprise.

We can help you get the most out of QuickBooks by assisting with a number of tasks, including:

  • Installation and setup.
  • Customization.
  • Everyday workflow.
  • General financial management.

Contact us to set up a consultation, and we’ll work with you on any element of QuickBooks—or accounting in general—that’s giving you trouble.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.769.7040

emoore@lutz.us

EMILY MOORE + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Emily Moore is a Senior Accountant in the Client Accounting Services department at Lutz. She specializes in providing outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on QuickBooks, tax and payroll compliance, small business consulting, as well as software implementation and training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Client Accounting Services
  • QuickBooks
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • MAcc, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
  • QuickBooks Isn't One-Size-Fits-All: Making It Yours

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OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Lutz adds 14 Staff Accountants

Lutz adds 14 Staff Accountants

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Lutz adds 14 Staff Accountants

Lutz, a Nebraska-based business solutions firm, recently added 14 staff accountants to its Omaha and Lincoln offices.

Ty Bardsley, Kaylee Hartman, Taylor Hoyt, Justin Oehm and Austin Sabaliauskas join the firm’s tax department. They are responsible for preparing individual and business income tax returns, as well as providing general accounting assistance to clients in a variety of industries. 

Ty Bardsley graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and works in Lutz’s Lincoln office.

Kaylee Hartman interned with Lutz during tax season 2019 and now works in both the Omaha and Lincoln offices. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and political science.

Taylor Hoyt graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Master of professional accountancy. Taylor works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Justin Oehm interned with Lutz during tax season of 2018 and 2019 and works in the Omaha office. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a Master’s degree in business administration.

Austin Sabaliauskas interned with Lutz in the summer of 2017, as well as January 2018 through May of 2019. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a Master’s degree in accounting. Austin works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Luke Biggs, Haley Carter, Joe Dahir, Matthew Gilg, Nikki Hullinger, Ryan Poppen and Ben Soukup join the firm’s audit department. They are responsible for providing credibility to clients through financial reporting.

Luke Biggs previously interned with Lutz during tax season in 2018 and 2019. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Luke works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Haley Carter graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and business pre-law. Haley works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Joe Dahir interned with Lutz during tax season in 2017. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Joe works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Matthew Gilg interned with Lutz during the summer of 2018. Graduating from Doane University, Matthew received his Bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration. Matthew works in Lutz’s Lincoln office.

Nikki Hullinger interned with Lutz during the summer of 2018, as well as, tax season 2018 and 2019. She received her Master’s in professional accountancy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Nikki works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Ryan Poppen interned with Lutz during tax season of 2018 and 2019. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Ryan works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Ben Soukup previously interned with Lutz during tax season in 2018 and 2019. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Ben works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Tyler Daveline joins the firm’s healthcare department in Omaha. He is responsible for providing accounting and consulting services to healthcare organizations with a focus on outsourced CFO services and cost reports. Daveline graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and sport management.

Matt Siedhoff joins the firm’s client accounting services department. He is responsible for providing outsourced accounting services to clients, including QuickBooks and payroll assistance. Matt previously interned with Lutz during tax season of 2019. He received his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Matt works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

RECENT POSTS

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read more

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Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

How Automating Payroll Will Change Your Life

How Automating Payroll Will Change Your Life

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

how automating your payroll will change your life

mike perry, client accounting services director

 

You didn’t start a business to learn about compliance with federal and state employee compensation rules. Yet here you are, wearing out your calculator twice a month as you try to stay current with tax tables, government regulations, and worker benefits. One small mistake, and you’re paying penalties, making employees and a whole lot of agencies, or benefits providers unhappy.

Isn’t your time better spent managing your business and planning for its growth? Automating payroll will give you those hours back and reduce the possibility of costly errors exponentially. There are countless websites that provide these services. They can help you:

Maintain comprehensive employee profiles

How do you store and retrieve your employee information now? On time cards, in folders or Microsoft Word files? However you do so, it can be cumbersome just looking up details. Payroll websites let you create online records for each employee that contain everything you need to know, including:

  • Contact information
  • Compensation
  • Required tax form data from the W-4 and W-9
  • Benefits
  • Direct deposit authorization

Set up multiple pay schedules

Do you pay some employees weekly and others semi-monthly, for example? Payroll websites accommodate such an arrangement. They also allow off-cycle payroll runs.

Define multiple earnings types

You might pay some workers by the hour while others get an annual salary, but payroll websites go well beyond these classifications. They can support bonuses, commissions, etc., and even let you set up custom earnings types. You can also automate withholding, like garnishments.

Calculate state, federal, and local payroll taxes

This step is probably the bane of your existence if you’re processing your company’s payroll manually. The online solutions available not only calculate payroll tax withholding, but most of them actually submit those taxes and any filings necessary by the prescribed deadlines.

Add deductions for pre-tax benefits

If you offer your employees benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, calculating and incorporating those payments and any matching contributions you make can also be quite the challenge. Payroll websites automate this step.

Track sick and vacation time

Once you define your PTO policies, you will always know when an employee is eligible to take time off.

Prepare W-2s in January

Using the data they’ve collected through the year, most payroll websites take this task off of your to-do list, too.

Set up all of this

These online applications usually offer step-by-step tools to setup and get ready to run payroll. Company onboarding specialists are also always available to help.

Run payroll

Actual payroll processing generally only takes a few minutes. If your payroll is often the same, you may be able to put it on autopilot.

If you’re already doing your payroll manually, you should be able to make the transition to online fairly easily. But if you’re struggling with or new to employee compensation, we can help you get up and running, or even take over this element of your accounting completely. Contact us, and we can discuss your options.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Perry + Lutz Client Accounting Services in Nebraska

402.827.2087

mperry@lutz.us

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MIKE PERRY + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES DIRECTOR

Mike Perry is a Client Accounting Services Director at Lutz with over 15 years of accounting experience. He focuses on providing business consulting, software implementation and training, accounting procedure assistance and outsourced accounting replacement consulting for closely held companies.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Advanced
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Community Bike Project Omaha, Past Treasurer
QUICKBOOKS PROADVISOR CERTIFICATIONS

Certified ProAdvisor - Online  Certified ProAdvisor - Advanced Desktop  Certified ProAdvisor - Enterprise

BILL.COM CERTIFICATIONS

Bill.com Guru Certification   

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS!

We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Smart User Management Key to Data Security

Smart User Management Key to Data Security

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

smart user management key to data security

jimmy burgess, senior accountant

 

You trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them. Still, when someone other than you has access to your company’s accounting records, strong safeguards are critical. You store customer profiles, credit card numbers, payroll details, and other information that could hurt you—or someone else—if in the wrong hands.

If you are still doing your accounting work on paper, the best you can do is to lock all accounting files up and restrict access. Computer-based records are another story.

Built-in Security

QuickBooks provides a way to restrict users to specific areas of the software and to the activities performed there.  To explore it, open the Company menu and click Set Up Users and Passwords, then Set Up Users. The window that opens will list you as the administrator. Click Add User and enter the name and password for the employee, then click Next.

Tip: Click F2 and look in the upper left corner to see whether you can Add this user to my QuickBooks license.

QuickBooks then displays a multi-step wizard that will help you define the employee’s role within QuickBooks. You have three options here. You can give the user access to:

  • All areas of QuickBooks. Be cautious here, as this means everything, including customer credit card numbers and check-writing privileges. If you click Yes and then Finish, your setup is complete.
  • Selected areas of QuickBooks. When you choose this option, you’ll be able to assign individual access rights to multiple areas of QuickBooks, including Sales and Accounts Receivable, Checking and Credit Cards, and Sensitive Accounting Activities. Your choices for each are No Access, Full Access, and Selective Access. If you choose the latter, you will be able to select the level of activity that the user can engage in (Create transactions only, Create transactions and create reports, etc.). The final question asks about changing or deleting transactions. QuickBooks then displays a table that shows that user’s permissions.
  • External Accountant. You can give your accountant access to all areas of QuickBooks except for sensitive customer data like credit card numbers.

Helpful Reports

If the worst happens and you suspect an employee may have somehow gained access to a restricted area (for example, by discovering your password) and altered data, there are tools in QuickBooks that can help you assess the damage and learn who is responsible. One of these is the Audit Trail report (Reports | Accountant & Taxes | Audit Trail), which tracks changes to your company’s accounting records, who made them, and on what date. You can also see how a specific transaction has been edited by opening it and clicking Reports | Transaction History.

You have to know what you are looking for to use these methods, though. If you have concerns about the security of your company’s data, please contact us. We have experts in both QuickBooks and technology who can work with you on building protections into your accounting workflow – and other areas of your network.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.514.0016

jburgess@lutz.us

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JIMMY BURGESS + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Jimmy Burgess is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over four years of relevant experience. His primary focus is to provide outsourced accounting to clients with a focus on QuickBooks, tax and payroll compliance, small business consulting, as well as software implementation training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Outsourced Accounting Services
  • QuickBooks
  • Tax & Payroll Compliance
  • Small Business Consulting
  • Software Implementation & Training
  • Construction Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BS in Business Administration and Accounting, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Youth Sports Coach, Volunteer
QUICKBOOKS PROADVISOR CERTIFICATIONS

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS!

We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

3 Things a Business Plan Can Do for You

3 Things a Business Plan Can Do for You

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

3 things a business plan can do for you

Lauren duren, senior accountant

 

Business plans aren’t just for big companies. Your small business needs one, too – perhaps even more than large enterprises. Even if you’re an entrepreneur working in a spare room in your home, having a written framework for your strategy and long-term goals can help you make smarter, more targeted business decisions in the short run.

Your business plan can be one page, or you can do it by the book, filling it with voluminous text, financial statements and organizational charts (you will need the latter if you’re approaching banks and investors for financing).

You don’t have to be a brand-new venture to benefit from a business plan. Existing companies will find that this critical document can be useful in numerous ways. You will be able to:

Know when to grow.

Growth costs money. As your company continues to expand and prosper, you’ll need to make decisions about property and people. When is it time to: Take on a new employee? Buy an expensive piece of equipment? Move to a larger office space? Perhaps acquire another business? If you’ve built a detailed, realistic business plan, you’ll be better equipped to decide on expansion based on your short- and long-term goals and projections.

Paint a detailed picture of your company that can be shared.

Think about the individuals and companies in your orbit. Who could benefit from knowing, for example:

  • What problem(s) are your products and/or services are trying to solve?
  • How do you plan to create those?
  • Who are your target markets – and who is your competition?
  • Who is your managerial team?
  • What are your projected milestones?

Provide a written roadmap for other employees (and for yourself).

If you’re building a complex business plan with a lot of sensitive and financial data, you may want to have two versions. One would be comprehensive, available only to staff in managerial positions. Those individuals would see your entrepreneurial vision spelled out in terms they could apply to their own work, the decisions they make every day, and the way they prioritize their schedules. This also makes them feel part of the “bigger picture.”

Better Planning

Noted business plan expert Tim Berry talks about the theory of displacement: Whatever you do is something else you don’t do. An effective business plan will help you schedule your weeks and months more strategically so your time is spent on activities that support your mission and goals (as much as possible).

We could get involved here in a number of ways and help you shape your business plan based on why you need it. For example, are you planning to sell your company, or do you need a business valuation for another purpose? Are you looking for funding? Or, do you just need help creating a document for your own purposes? Whatever the reason, we are ready to help. Contact us, and we’ll set up a consultation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.827.2062

 

lduren@lutz.us

 

LINKEDIN

 

LAUREN DUREN + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Lauren Duren is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over three years of relevant experience. She provides outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on tax, payroll compliance, and healthcare consulting.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Outsourced Accounting
  • Tax
  • Payroll Compliance
  • Healthcare Accounting Consulting
  • Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • National Medical Group Management Association, Member
  • Nebraska Medical Group Management Association, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • MBA, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Lutz Gives Back, Volunteer

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS!

We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

115 Canopy Street, Suite 200

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850