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Old 07-20-2007, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Maple Valley, WA
981 posts, read 3,094,664 times
Reputation: 441

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I'm taking the exam on Monday, I've chosen a broker, and I'm about to plunk down some moola to get going.

So far, I've planned for the expected expenses (joining NAR, MLS, all that), but I haven't really decided on how to handle my business finances. I currently have a CC with a 7K limit, which I pay off every month, and personal checking/savings accounts. For the time being, I plan to put everything on the CC.

Should I open a separate account at the bank? Should I get another CC exclusively for work? Do you pay your taxes quarterly or annually, and do you use a CPA?

I really appreciate the feedback!
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 18,823,894 times
Reputation: 5397
I use one cc just for work, it makes it easy to track everything.
I don't keep a separate bank account though.
Taxes? Are we supposed to pay taxes?
On whethjer or not to use a CPA, it is all dependent upon how good you are with keeping track of you finances and taxes.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:10 PM
 
Location: North Pittsburgh
353 posts, read 1,603,623 times
Reputation: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peterson View Post
I use one cc just for work, it makes it easy to track everything.
I don't keep a separate bank account though.
Taxes? Are we supposed to pay taxes?
On whethjer or not to use a CPA, it is all dependent upon how good you are with keeping track of you finances and taxes.

And filling out Schedule C on your federal/state tax returns.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Northwestern VA
982 posts, read 3,240,521 times
Reputation: 568
I have a separate CC and a separate account where I deposit RE commissions....I just find it easier for record keeping in case I'm audited. I pay taxes annually and use a CPA.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
566 posts, read 2,821,405 times
Reputation: 151
I actually suggest opening two accounts. One operating account to pay your bills and one profit account. Then put x% of each commission check into that profit account. I would also open another credit card account with a company that has a great rewards program....perhaps you could tie it to a nice hotel and then treat yourself to a "free" vacation every year with the points you've earned.

..and get a great CPA. They are worth every penny.

Last edited by DavidS827; 07-20-2007 at 02:24 PM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Maple Valley, WA
981 posts, read 3,094,664 times
Reputation: 441
Thank you all very much!
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,465 posts, read 12,652,100 times
Reputation: 31730
Please keep separate checking accounts for your business. It does make life simpler. Keep track of your mileage for real estate. I keep a cc for real estate expenses, such as fuel, personal office supplies, gifts to buyers/sellers, etc.
Suggestion regarding CPA: OH YES...they be worth every penny ($) IF you find a good one. Check around with other agents. Good luck to you on yur new venture and have fun. Smile a lot, it helps
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,432 posts, read 9,213,917 times
Reputation: 19111
Like the others here, I strongly recommend a credit card strictly for business expenses and at least one checking account for business expenses. All checks go directly into that account but only after I've recorded them on an excel sheet. I keep track of the address and name of the buyer/seller, sales amount, AGC, GCC, and source of the initial contact (ie past client referral, ad, etc.) At any given time I can figure out about how much I owe in taxes and Social Security--don't forget you may need to pay that too. From that business account I will transfer money into a personal account as my "pay." My spouse is also a self employed business owner. (Talk to me about high insurance rates sometime!) We pay the corporate taxes (his) quarterly, but personal taxes yearly. This was on the advice of our accountant years ago. The first year or so you might be able to survive without one, but their advice is valuable in determining the structure your business take.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area
169 posts, read 1,017,002 times
Reputation: 172
Thumbs up Did we make it look like fun?

So you want to be a Realtor... did we make it look fun and easy? Fun yes, easy no. But good luck to you and welcome - it is a wonderful profession with many rewards.

I have a terrific CPA I highly recommend them.

Get a copy of Quickbooks when you're ready and have the CPA set it up for you and show you how to enter clients and expenses that are client specific vs. general expenses. This way you can track also money spent by category... like advertising vs. subscriptions.

I suggest a seperate bank account for your expenses with a debit CC - then you're keeping track of every expense but not carrying debt like you would with a traditional credit card. You can still get the points, check with your bank...

We have a standard "package" of marketing we spend on each listing based on the list price so I have a good idea going in what a listing will cost me. Buyer's vary a little more but they aren't quite as expensive to manage.

I have a car dedicated only to work. If you can't do this, keep track of your milage

Expect to bleed a lot in the begining - you'll feel like your feeding your profession but really your investing in a business. Give your investment time to pay off. Do more of what works and less of what doesn't. You won't know unless you measure your time and your money.

Advertising is expensive - go for reach.

Good luck and Welcome to the fray!
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:51 PM
 
8,283 posts, read 12,416,878 times
Reputation: 4974
best advice: get a good CPA...they are worth every penny! I use one of those planner books with envelopes for monthly reciepts which is great for organizing because the last thing your accountant wants is a shoe box full of them!
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