When it comes to calculating sales tax in the state of New York, the website TaxRates.com spells it out bluntly and without pulling any punches: New York sales tax has numerous local taxing levels that must be monitored and maintained on a regular basis. It is complex and time consuming due to the volume of jurisdictions.
As a comparison, Connecticut has a single, state-wide sales tax rate, with no additional county or city sales taxes being imposed.
For a business owner like Alex Modica, who operates ShelfGenie New York and Connecticut (NY/CT), such a disparity presents an ongoing challenge when it comes to overseeing his books and filing the appropriate taxes at the right time. Modica serves clients across a wide geographical swath of the two states, and as he’s worked tirelessly to build his home shelving solution brand, he has found that spending valuable time learning accounting nuances – like the sales tax differences between New York and Connecticut – would be extraordinarily tedious and time-consuming. So he outsources that business function.
“It was almost a non-decision for me to make sure I offloaded that as quickly as possible,” Modica says. “If I didn’t, I’d be consumed doing bookkeeping work and not doing the things I need to be doing to grow my business.”
Modica hired Remote Quality Bookkeeping, or RQB, immediately upon opening his franchise in 2009, following in the footsteps of nearly two dozen other ShelfGenie franchise owners. He called it a practical choice: if ShelfGenie’s corporate team had full confidence in recommending RQB, it made sense to Modica to take that recommendation as well.
RQB has remote online access to ShelfGenie NY/CT’S checking account, and Modica sends copies of his two credit card statements via RQB’s secure cloud platform. Since all products are manufactured and shipped by the ShelfGenie home office, invoices for orders go directly to RQB as well. The result is constant reconciliation of ShelfGenie NY/CT’s books and real-time reporting of the numbers.
“I’d rather work with RQB than spend time entering numbers into a do-it-yourself program like QuickBooks. That way I can focus on finding new clients and bringing money to the table,” Modica says.
RQB also helps ensure Modica is filing his sales tax information correctly, which is another function that QuickBooks can’t do. That guidance is especially important given ShelfGenie’s business model revolves around on-the-road sales, and Modica conducts business in six different New York counties. That means there are six different sales tax rates – seven, including Connecticut – his business must charge depending on the town. Modica’s team makes the sales, and RQB does the rest.
“When you owe sales tax to two different states – and New York is highly complex – it’s nice to not have to worry about it,” Modica says. “RQB calculates what the sales tax needs to be, they send me an email with filing information, and I know what I have to pay. It’s seamless.”
Modica says the decision to outsource his bookkeeping has not only saved him time, but has also minimized his risk. Had he tried to learn and understand the ins and outs of sales tax calculations, he may make a mistake and less of his energy would have gone toward reeling in new customers and growing his new company. Plus, he doesn’t have to deal with the headaches involved with recruiting and hiring an employee to do the bookkeeping in-house while he’s out on the road.
In that respect, outsourcing his bookkeeping has been invaluable to Modica.
If you have unique bookkeeping challenges, you may be best served by outsourcing them. Check out how RQB helps its clients with a la carte services.