for questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of accounting. Please note that questions about accounting that are academic or have no bearing on personal finance are off-topic here.

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13
votes
6answers
819 views

Indie Software Developers - How do I handle taxes?

I apologize if this is the wrong site to post on, perhaps someone could point me to the proper place if it is not. Hello, I am 17 years old and currently develop applications/games for Android and ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Comprehensive tutorial on double-entry personal finance?

Can anyone recommend a comprehensive tutorial on using double-entry accounting to manage personal finances? I've read a few articles that make double-entry seem worth learning, but I'm struggling with ...
8
votes
1answer
207 views

How to record the finding of 10 dollars lying on the street and their subsequent placement into one's wallet (in gnucash)?

Within gnucash: within the Cash in Wallet account: description: found some money in the street transfer: Imbalance-USD or create a new arbitrary one-off account called something like "Penny Lane" ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “write-off” mean?

I've heard this term throughout my life but I've never been entirely sure exactly what it means or why you would want to write something off.
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Starting with GnuCash. How to eliminate automatic entries ending up in the “unbalanced” account?

I just started using GnuCash and there is something I do not quite get how to get rid of (and whether I should try to get rid of). When I start importing transactions, I have expenses, income, etc. ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

I need a tax accountant, but don't know how to find one

Is there a trusted listing service for tax accountants? I'm reluctant to call the first listing I see on google or to search craigslist. I also have no idea what is a fair amount for such a person ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

Consider Paypal fees in accounting

I'm a freelancer. I sent an invoice to my client (using InvoiceBubble.com), which he decided to pay via Paypal. Paypal took a fee. How do I take this fee in consideration for my accounting? I marked ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the costs to establish an LLC and to maintain it?

What's the average (approximately) cost to open a basic LLC in Florida state or in NY state? (FYI in my case is to buy an house in Miami and rent it. I already have a bank account in the U.S.) What's ...
6
votes
2answers
328 views

How should I record the changing value of an investment in accounting software?

I have the following (simplistic) structure set up in GnuCash, but this should apply to other software too: Assets Bank account Pension Income Salary Interest Every month, my salary is ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

Nit picky personal accounting question: What is the right way to record borrowing from yourself?

I keep a spreadsheet with my personal financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow) that generally follows the corporate approach. I omit considerations of depreciation, etc. ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

How to find out if a company is legit?

I'm from Sweden and considering opening a "Internet" company on Cyprus with a (valid EU VAT number), because of better tax benefits compared to Sweden and the UK (where I have other companies). I've ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

Verification of student loan amounts

I consolidated my student loan debt with FedLoan a year or two after graduation. Is there an easy way to verify that my current balances are accurate? Is this something an accountant would handle, or ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

How do I enter a house sale into my accounting package?

We sold our house and purchased a new one. The money from the sale went into our lawyer's trust account, and then was passed onto the vendor that sold us the new house. In my accounting package, I ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

Accounting for payment into wrong currency account

I deal with clients in several countries and have two bank accounts in two currencies. Recently, I sent out an invoice with the wrong bank account number, so a client invoiced in SGD made a payment ...
5
votes
4answers
288 views

What could be the harm in sharing my American Express statements online?

I would like to store my American Express statements in Google Docs so that my virtual assistant can log the line items into my accounting spreadsheets. It is also handy so that they are in one place ...
5
votes
4answers
283 views

Payroll reimbursments

I am a salaried employee. Occasionally I use my own credit card for company business. When I am reimbursed I receive a separate check from my regular paycheck. My company does not tax the ...
5
votes
2answers
76 views

How does one apportion returns to multiple investors when their times and amounts of investment were different?

No accounting experience here. The problem: Man A invests $10 on day 1. Man B invests $5 on day 4. Man C invests $85 on day 5. On day 7, the $100 returns 10%. How do you fairly distribute it?
5
votes
3answers
247 views

Dealing with fractions of a penny

If my car insurance was £1200.01 per year, I could end up being charged £100 + 1/12p per month. I know that's not how it works, the extra penny is kept whole and goes on a specific month instead. ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

I started some small businesses but need help figuring out taxes. Should I hire a CPA?

I've got a couple of small businesses I run. I started them in the last couple of months. I feel lost when it comes to my taxes. I know I should be paying something, but I'm not real sure where to ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

Does total US public debt include state debt?

When I see total US public debt, I wonder whether state debt is included. If "total US public debt" used differently for different cases, I will restrict my case to the usage in national ...
5
votes
2answers
370 views

Is there a dollar amount that, when adding Massachusetts Sales Tax, precisely equals $200?

I am confused about calculating Massachusetts Sales Tax (6.25%). Is there such an amount, that when added to its sales tax, equals $200? The reason I ask is because my business has been charging ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

How do I interpret these income tax numbers for Chinese public company Dangdang Inc. (DANG)?

I'd like some help with understanding the financial statements of E Commerce China Dangdang Inc (ADR). You can see the Income Statement/Balance Sheet/Cash Flow statements on Google Finance. If you ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

Where do expense ratios show up on my statement?

This answer describes the lowered expense ratios of Vanguard admiral shares compared to Vanguard investor-class shares. How do I tell from my statements that I am saving money through the lowered ...
5
votes
1answer
584 views

GnuCash bookkeeping for account contributions to accounts having annual contribution limits?

I'm using GnuCash, and trying to figure out how to structure a couple of accounts to track contributions to accounts like Roth IRAs and HSAs that have an annual contribution limit that I need to ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

FAFSA implications of filing jointly?

Recently our accountant filed a tax return as married for my partner and me (we live together). She is applying for FAFSA and is not sure whether she should be reflecting her marital status from our ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Marriage merger of finances and continuity of records

I just got married last week. Yay! I've been using Microsoft Money for 15 years. I have one gigantic file that has all of my transactions since early 1996 in it. I can use it to generate all kinds ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

In double entry accounting, how does income become equity?

Using GNUCash, help, putting it all together, I'm accounting for a lottery income transaction. I was able to get the example shown with 2 transactions. 1. Dr. Savings 750,000 Cr. ...
4
votes
4answers
181 views

How should I account for Social Security contributions?

I'm currently tracking all my finances with GNUCash, and splitting the various paycheck deductions into expenses. It's pretty nice to be able to correctly predict what will be on my W2, and it's even ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

After consulting HR Block, are you actually obligated to file your taxes with them, if they've found ways to save you money?

tl;dr HR Block charged me $100 for a "review"—that is, entering in their system what I myself calculated my returns would be (via TurboTax), and seeing what they could come up with to beat that. If ...
4
votes
2answers
790 views

Are in-kind donations from my S-Corp tax-deductible in any way?

I have an S Corp that each year, sponsors a film festival by creating their website for free. In return, they print our logo in their program guide. Last year, I gave them 80 hours of work building ...
4
votes
3answers
169 views

How do I add my income to my personal finance balance?

I've never understood accounting really, apart from the basic concepts. Supposing I want to keep a better track of my money, I'm using Excel at this moment. I guess I need to move to some double entry ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

U.S. Taxes: Can you deduct or depreciate equipment that was both bought and sold in the same year?

Assume there is equipment used for a for profit endeavor that will be deducted from earnings. That equipment is also sold in the same year, for less than or equal to the purchase price. How does ...
4
votes
2answers
754 views

In double entry accounting, how do I enter a loan?

I have taken an accounting course several years ago, but I'm a little rusty. I'm using GnuCash, double entry accounting software. I have a loan from a friend, so no interest. I have paid about half ...
4
votes
1answer
970 views

How to report my revenue from Apple iAds and App Store sales, without an invoice?

For accounting purposes, we need an invoice for accounts receivables, but when you get a payment from Apple for iAd revenue and app sales, how do you issue an invoice ? Are there any specific ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Should you work out the yield on property or shares against the purchase price, or the current market price?

In What is a good rental yield?, there's some discussion about whether you should calculate yield by dividing the original purchase price, or the current market price. Which is the correct ...
4
votes
2answers
289 views

Can I invest C-corp or S-corp profits by purchasing stock, bonds or property to reduce tax liability?

If I own a C-corp or an S-corp in the US ( say for example Delaware ), and I take profits from revenue after expenses for the corporation and purchase stock in the US stock markets, bonds or other ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Calculating the total capital of a company?

I was wondering how do we calculate the total capital of a company? Which items should I look for in the financial statements? And how do I calculate notes payable? Is the same as accounts payable?
4
votes
1answer
414 views

What forces cause a company to write down goodwill?

Consider TimeWarner: In 2002, $128Billion of its $209Billion in assets was Goodwill. What forced them to write down this goodwill to $37billion a few years later?
4
votes
1answer
801 views

Can dues and subscriptions expenses be deducted 100% to calculate taxable income in an LLC company?

I'm using Quickbooks Online, "Dues & Subscriptions" is one of the expense accounts we have. I would like to know if this expense can be deducted 100% for calculating my taxable income. Our company ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

In accounting and investment, what is the difference and relationship between balance and position

In accounting and investment, what are the difference and relation between balance and position, when talking about a checking/saving/investment account? Or are they the same concept? Thanks and ...
4
votes
1answer
442 views

How do I track investment performance in Quicken across rollovers?

I use Quicken to track investments. I'd like to track performance. Here is a situation that feels wrong: I buy stock S for $10/share. I hold for 5 years. I sell S at $20/share and buy S2 for ...
3
votes
3answers
204 views

Help in understanding a basic accounting principle

'An entry which increases an asset account is called a debit.' So if my bank account is my asset account, when I debit money, money actually goes out so it is a 'decrease'. But the above statement ...
3
votes
1answer
359 views

Can I account for start-up costs that occur before incorporation?

I'm starting an LLC with a couple of partners. But before we incorporate we need to finalize a partnership agreement. I would like to initiate a few time-sensitive things such as a patent search ...
3
votes
1answer
854 views

Why does the fiscal year in many countries start in April?

I was just wondering why in the UK the fiscal year starts in April. Is there any historical reason for this?
3
votes
1answer
146 views

How important is reconciling accounts for a small LLC (Quickbooks)?

We are in our first year of starting a small LLC. We are using Quickbooks Online and things are going well. The only exception is that, due to our lines of credit and bank accounts being personal ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Making good use of the (optional) Num column in gnucash? “name-of-counterparty” column

In previous humble attempts to learning-the-ropes of household accounting (in conventional spreadsheet software) I used to have a column to hold the name of the counter-party, e.g. the supermarket ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

How to account for Capital Gains (Losses) in double-entry accounting?

After taking an introductory financial accounting class, I decided to use GnuCash to keep track of my personal finances. I have 5 major accounts in my general ledger: Equity Currently only used to ...
3
votes
2answers
929 views

Calculating Profit Ratio (Gross Margin)

When looking at a company's income statement to calculate the Profit Ratio (Gross Margin) PM = Net Profit / Sales Do you include "other" revenue in the equation? Example: XYZ Ltd Income Statement ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of “Non-trading Item” and “Capital Item”

I'm reading the income statement of a company, and the column describing profit is titled Profit from operations before non-trading and capital items. So, my question is a two-parter: What is a ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Accounting: Should a fee on an amount payable be applied in AR or AP account?

An application I'm building has a simplistic double-entry accounting component to it to keep track of funds passed owed to various parties. I'm unclear on how certain entries should be applied. Take ...