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Who does your farm's bookkeeping - you, or a firm?

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  • Who does your farm's bookkeeping - you, or a firm?

    I'd prefer to do my own bookkeeping and I'm curious what everyone else's experiences are. . . I have done it for retail but not equine so I need a better understanding of the tax laws that affect a breeding business.
    Union Square Stables LLC

  • #2
    We have always carried our own books, but have an accountant checking them over and working the taxes out for us.

    No one that is not an accountant and goes regularly to continuing education seminars can possibly be up to date with all the new regulations as they come on line for business.

    Also, if the IRS has any questions, they are happier with the answers from a professional firm in good standing than having to wonder what all some private person is trying to do with their books and what mistakes may be there.

    We used many years ago to do it all ourselves, but once we started using an accountant, I think they saved us money, as they would know little details in our favor we didn't and so were not using or were afraid to use improperly.


    • #3
      I keep track of our expenses and income, etc, through the year, but give it to a friend of mine who's an accountant for tax time--no way I want to mess around with that!


      • #4
        I keep my own books, such as they are!

        I've always done my own taxes as they've been simple, but the last few years I've had a much more complex operation so I've hired an accountant for this year.


        • #5
          anyone use any horse oriented software package


          • #6
            I do all of the bookkeeping, accounting, and taxes for my business (not HR, but still specialized). I use Quickbooks and TurboTax for everything, and Quickbooks is very easy to customize for your specific purposes.


            • #7
              I think if you have a breeding business - there are so many different rules and regs I would at least start off w/ an accountant and then depending on how complex things were or were not then I'd use turbo tax or one of the other tax software programs. There are fed rules and then state rules. A friend of mine has a boarding business but they cannot claim too many expenses as business expenses because her husband plays polo which under some of the IRS would flag the business as a hobby rather than a business - because he has more polo ponies than boarders.. Same w/breeding or other small businesses, I think you have so many years before you have to show a profit, otherwise it's deemed a hobby


              • #8
                I track all my expenses and income on Quicken and produce an expense sheet of all expenses and income at the end of the year and turn it over to my tax man. I would NEVER attempt to do my own taxes with a business that is deemed questionable and possibly a hobby to IRS.
                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                Now apparently completely invisible!


                • #9
                  Another vote for QuickBooks. It's easy to use and I like knowing how the money comes and goes (mostly goes, it seems) with the farm.
                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                  • #10

                    ETA (I don't have an equine business)
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling


                    • #11
                      I do both my own books and my own taxes as a Sole Proprietor (Schedule F) right now. I am also trained as an accountant/CPA. I spent most of my career in cost accounting in industry so I'm not a tax expert but it's not difficult with a program like Turbo Tax. I do my books with Quickbooks Pro more because I wanted to learn the program than I actually like it.

                      I see your concern with doing both Tiki but the reality is that having a tax person do your taxes is no real protection if you are deemed a hobby and not a business anyway.


                      • #12
                        I have a bookkeeper that comes in to do my business and she does the books for the horse farm too. Since it is run as a corporation and there are some inter-company accounting it is important to keep everything straight.

                        Then for year end the accountant does the tax returns, but the bookkeeper gets everything ready for them.