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how do i calculate expenses

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FineScapes, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. FineScapes

    FineScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I have a few ideas but i want to keep track of every penny this year. Is this possible? Truck cost is that from my storage shed or from the yard im coming from? Mower cost?String Trimmer Cost?Other cost please help me with a plan i can put on excel?

    thank you
  2. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    I own a small business in addition to working as the Director of Grounds for our Parish.

    Everything you use for business is eligible as an expense. This includes your paper, pens, computer (if used solely for business), magazine subscriptions (no, Playboy doesn't count), bank fees, repairs, new equipment... the list is endless.

    Save all of your receipts to show it is a justified business expense. Another organizational method to keep business separate from personal is to setup a business checking account and get yourself a business credit card. KEEP ALL BUSINESS MONEY SEPARATE... except when you pay yourself.

    As far as your vehicle goes, is this vehicle used ONLY for business? If so, you are entitled to write off all costs associated with this vehicle... oil changes, repairs, insurance, etc.

    If you use this vehicle for personal use as well, you must document the business miles driven for that vehicle. In some cases, you might be able to document the percentage of use for personal and business. There are few ways to do it. The most common is to tally up your business miles and take the standard deduction which last year was like 36.5 cents per mile (I think).

    Of course, as best advice we can offer here, your best bet is to go to a professional CPA... just the way your client should turn to a professional for their landscape needs.

    PS Oh yeah, Excel may work for you now, but you should really look into QuickBooks Pro for your accounting. It will really do wonders for your business administration.
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,228

    I use quickbooks. You might look at the schedule C you will probably be using to list bussines expenses in filing your taxes and set up your expense accounts accordingly so you can tranfer the information easily at tax time.
    P.S. The I.R.S. tax guide for small bussines might be helpful.
  4. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    That is a good idea dishboy.
    only makes sense to set up the expenses as you have to report them. I think I'll look into using that. :waving:
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    my best advise would be to keep track of the expenses on a spreadsheet during the year, and then come tax time easy transfer of information over to your accountant
  6. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    quickbooks, quickbooks, quickbooks. It will enable you to print as detailed reports as you so desire at the click of a button. Excel is a great program, you could so it in excel, I'm very familiar with it and use it often in my F/T job. It will be much more difficult and time consuming, but it could work.
  7. Mark P

    Mark P LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    :) I agree with what everyone said but myself im like tiedman, i run a daily summary sheet just like most business do this gets everything down to the penny........Marks Mowing Service
  8. FineScapes

    FineScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Thank you all for the advice I will definetely be looking into the quickbooks. Hey Chris I am going to be very serious about keep up with all my receipts - this year my truck is only business One more question for yall do you think THIS SEASON WILL BE DRY OR NORMAL IM JUST PRAYIN IT DOESNT GET DRY THIS YEAR IN NASHVILLE. (knock on wood). Oh yea is the quickbook have different versions and how much is it?

    Good luck this season
  9. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    There are a few versions. I think you will be fine with a basic quickbooks. IMO, the added cost of "professional", "service" ,"retail", is all a bunch of bull.
  10. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    oh sorry, around $500

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