In most cases, accountants use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) when preparing financial statements in the U.S. GAAP is a set of standards and principles designed to improve the comparability and consistency of financial reporting across industries. Its standards are based on double-entry accounting, a method in which every accounting transaction is entered as both a debit and credit in two separate general ledger accounts that will roll up into the balance sheet and income statement.
In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history, the Enron scandal undoubtedly is the biggest audit failure.[73] It involved a financial scandal of Enron Corporation and their auditors Arthur Andersen, which was revealed in late 2001. The scandal caused the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, which at the time was one of the five largest accounting firms in the world. After a series of revelations involving irregular accounting procedures conducted throughout the 1990s, Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2001.[74]
Before you hire a tax professional, visit their business profile to see how they handle payments. Many CPAs and tax experts accept digital payments through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. More businesses may be changing their payment methods to accommodate social distancing. Check with your tax preparer to see how they handle payments. 

I used Mark Fuqua for tax preparation services. I am self-employed and Mark used mileage deductions, Office in the Home deductions, etc. in addition to regular business deductions to help reduce my taxes. He checked my accounting and found mistakes that benefited me and taught me how to keep better records and how to record my transactions properly. He travels to my office which is included in his charges which are very reasonable....a lot cheaper than a firm like H&R Block which makes you bring everything in to them. I plan on letting Mark help me set up a limited liability company and having him do the corporate return and do payroll for that company. I am very satisfied with his services.


Two different tax credits give those paying educational costs some relief. The American Opportunity tax credit pays 100% of eligible tuition and required fees up to $2,000, and another 25% of the next $2,000, making for a total maximum credit of $2,500 per year. It's available for four years of undergraduate education, and taxpayers can claim the full credit if they make up to $80,000 for singles or $160,000 for joint filers. Reduced amounts are available for incomes up to $90,000 for singles or $180,000 for joint filers.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger Follow @DanCaplinger
Interest on mortgages taken out after Dec. 15, 2017 of up to $750,000, or $375,000 if you're married filing jointly, or $375,000 if you're married and filing separately, provided that the funds are used to "purchase, construct, or make substantial improvements" to your primary or secondary residence. The maximum amount for mortgages originated on or before December 15, 2017 is $1,000,000, or $500,000 for married filing separately.
Consider the financial effect of his choosing to trade as a sole trader or, alternatively, through a company, paying him a salary of £12,500 and then the largest possible dividend, not giving rise to a loss of capital. Assume that accounting profits equal taxable trade profits and that alan will be the sole employee and a director of the company. Use 2017/18 tax rates.

529 plans let you set aside money toward educational costs in accounts that generate tax-free income. As long as you use the money for qualifying expenses, then you'll never pay tax on the money. With generous contribution limits that in most states are well into six figures, these accounts offer a substantial amount of flexibility with no income-based restrictions on their use.


Mark is by far the best accountant/ tax prep individual I've ever worked with. Not only is he honest, he is friendly, prompt, responsive, hard working, and very wise! He's been in this business for a long time so he knows exactly what he is doing. This tax year was a bit complicated for me so I did some research to find someone who can help me with situation. Mark went above and beyond! He was able to literally squeeze every penny he can for my tax deduction! In addition, he worked way more than I expected and his price is well below any competitor out there! I've had some tax preparer that charged an arm and a leg when I first had to start doing taxes and with confidence Mark is the most affordable and beyond a stretch the most helpful! He was able to uncover a lot of things I never knew being newly married and also entering the realm of self-employment. If you want your tax in good hands, Mark is definitely the man! I will continue to work with Mark not only as just a tax prep person, but also a personal accountant/ business advice guru for my self-employment ventures! Highly recommended!


Accounting is one of the key functions for almost any business. It may be handled by a bookkeeper or an accountant at a small firm, or by sizable finance departments with dozens of employees at larger companies. The reports generated by various streams of accounting, such as cost accounting and managerial accounting, are invaluable in helping management make informed business decisions. 
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