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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011, 05:38 PM
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Tax prep

I have been working the last couple days on getting all my expenses in line for taxes and trying to get a rough idea if I NEED to make any purchases before the year end but I am always surprised on how the little expenses and even the not so little expenses add up.

Any of you open enough to discuss your expenses on here and possibly learn from each other? Just a thought - not sure if others are that open - but if we were to it would give us a chance to figure out how we are doing compared to each other and most importantly it could get us to look at what we could do better that others are doing.

I know everyone's numbers are going to be a little different based off of the size of operation alone as well as the part of the industry you are in such as only maint. vs L and O owner and the number employees etc...but maybe we could learn something from each other?

Anyone interested?
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:49 PM
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Like my accountant says "don't let the tail wag the dog" and purchase something just for the write off. If you NEED something, sure purchase and right off but only if you need it. I am an equipment freak but this year decided to back off big ticket purchases this year unless there was a true need. I use quick books so I constantly know where I am at throughout the year. Every quarter and end of year I send a file to my accountant and he files my qurarterly and year end. As well advises on things like you mentioned. Sounds like your not using accounting software and I would suggest you start. Having all the numbers at the click of a mouse is real convenient.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fl-landscapes View Post
Like my accountant says "don't let the tail wag the dog" and purchase something just for the write off. If you NEED something, sure purchase and right off but only if you need it. I am an equipment freak but this year decided to back off big ticket purchases this year unless there was a true need. I use quick books so I constantly know where I am at throughout the year. Every quarter and end of year I send a file to my accountant and he files my qurarterly and year end. As well advises on things like you mentioned. Sounds like your not using accounting software and I would suggest you start. Having all the numbers at the click of a mouse is real convenient.
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Have quickbooks but am just now getting familiar with it. The software I was using for invoices was suppose to transfer data over easily - and that is not the case of what I have found so far.
Once I have a little bit of time on QB I think I will like it - but it is just a lot to take in at first.


And as far as equipment - I am one that will more likely make it through with what I have until I have to buy something - so the end of the year is just me buying what I really should of bought all year but I am just too damn cheap to .
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:54 PM
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I would max out my SEP IRA contribution before buying something for the sake of a write off.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:00 PM
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Good peer discussions to have but I think on the open forum it will turn into a who has a bigger Wang contest and info may be skewed, which won't help. Private message and emails with similar size companies who perform similar services preferably close to your area would be more beneficial.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
I would max out my SEP IRA contribution before buying something for the sake of a write off.
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Valid point - again my write offs will not be just because the write off - but rather things that will come in handy that really should of been purchased during the year but I am just too cheap to buy at the time. For example a couple of things that will most likely be purchased this year is additional racks for the trailer - nothing that is going to break the bank - but something that makes life simpler during the heat of the summer as something is no longer in your way.

With that said - more to the point of the original post - % I guess would work best as no one will be disclosing their numbers.

For example what % of fuel for the mowers and 2 cycles does run a year?
Anyone out there actual have a large enough gas bill running solo to take the deduction for it vs the alloted deduction per mile? ETC ETC .
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fl-landscapes View Post
Good peer discussions to have but I think on the open forum it will turn into a who has a bigger Wang contest and info may be skewed, which won't help. Private message and emails with similar size companies who perform similar services preferably close to your area would be more beneficial.
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Valid point - for sure - but you posted this before my last post. % should be something of interest to all - and not create a big wang contest I would guess. I would be more interested in knowing someones close to my size pure numbers - but knowing others % would also be a helpful guide I would think to know where fat can be trimmed and where maybe you are missing the boat.
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If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2011, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Geist Yard Works View Post
With that said - more to the point of the original post - % I guess would work best as no one will be disclosing their numbers.

I don't think you'll get many concrete answers on this Michael, way too many variables. And if you do, it would be more as anecdotal information rather than empirical.

The structure of each business has a great impact on numbers and percentages. There's a difference in operating costs between maintenance outfits v. landscape one, and/or any combination in between. Labor percentages, raw materials, supplies, etc.

And ultimately, each company's pricing structure will have the biggest impact on those numbers as well, rendering any info inapplicable unless you can find two identical situations.

And what are the odds?....

.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenT View Post
I don't think you'll get many concrete answers on this Michael, way too many variables. And if you do, it would be more as anecdotal information rather than empirical.

The structure of each business has a great impact on numbers and percentages. There's a difference in operating costs between maintenance outfits v. landscape one, and/or any combination in between. Labor percentages, raw materials, supplies, etc.

And ultimately, each company's pricing structure will have the biggest impact on those numbers as well, rendering any info inapplicable unless you can find two identical situations.

And what are the odds?....

.
I guess that would be correct to a point. I guess I am just referencing my business experience from my previous life as a big box store mgr. We would compare numbers in the district and be held accountable for our numbers even though there was large differences in the stores volume and even selection etc. Supercenters should obviously have a lower payroll % you would think - but in general the stores that were the regular old Wal-Marts were expected to control their payroll % the same as the supers, the same held true for many aspects such as shrink, accidents etc, because in realilty we were talking % to % and not raw numbers as there were dramatic differences there but the % were similar enough believe it or not.
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"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

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If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2011, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Geist Yard Works View Post
I guess that would be correct to a point. I guess I am just referencing my business experience from my previous life as a big box store mgr. We would compare numbers in the district and be held accountable for our numbers even though there was large differences in the stores volume and even selection etc. Supercenters should obviously have a lower payroll % you would think - but in general the stores that were the regular old Wal-Marts were expected to control their payroll % the same as the supers, the same held true for many aspects such as shrink, accidents etc, because in realilty we were talking % to % and not raw numbers as there were dramatic differences there but the % were similar enough believe it or not.


I believe you. I spent a lifetime in the restaurant industry and the fundamentals were the same, 30% labor, 25% food cost, etc. Sales volume was the most notable difference and where you picked up the efficiencies, or lack thereof.

This, this is a whole different animal.

But a lot more fun.

.
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