Quin Shakra

 

It’s been incredible. After three mediocre tax years, I decided to take control of

our accounting, and then Stephan reached out to me when I went looking for

a professional to take care of the things I couldn’t. I’m very hands on – I like to

understand why and how things are done – because it feels important to have an

understanding of how things work during the fledgling stages of our businesses’

growth. In the time I’ve worked with iAccounting Solutions, I’ve learned more than I expected, have

a new respect of the power of numbers, and actually like accounting. I feel like iAccounting Solutions

has been critical to setting the foundations of our business correctly to enable future

growth. These folks are in touch with the tenor of the times – it’s only a matter of

time before cloud accounting becomes the standard way of doing this work, but

they’re already there.  Xero + iAccounting Solutions; can’t recommend them highly enough.

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We love our clients at iAccounting Solutions!  This is why decided to pick random clients (who want to participate) and “shine a light” on them.

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Read on to learn more about an Organic Seed Farmer and what he’s about!

Quin Shakra

My name is Quin Shakra. I’ve lived between California and Oregon most of my life, although I’ve had some stints traveling abroad and in New York City (attended graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College). I presently live in Ojai, California, where I run Mano Farm and All Good Things Organic Seeds with my respective business partners Shawn Fulbright and Justin Huhn.

Why did you start your business?

Agriculture just kind of happened to me. I came to the Ojai Valley in 2006 to visit family for the season, and took a job that got me embedded in the farming scene here. The very first farm I worked on – Mano Farm – is the one I run today. During a break between graduate school years, my former boss offered to transition the lease on the land over to me. Even though the field is quite small – 1.3 acres – it was more land than I had ever managed. I recruited a couple of my friends, took the year off from school, and we made a run at it.

Our seed company was an outgrowth from the farm. For me, it was very fascinating to participate in the entire plant cycle: birth, reproduction, and death. Then, my business partner Justin attended a seed school in Arizona and was lit up by the idea of starting a seed company. It made a lot of sense to go in this direction: the organic seed movement is a relatively young niche of the much larger and historically entrenched organic food movement. There is a small renaissance of seed companies that have formed in the Pacific Northwest, but no one was doing what we were doing in this region.

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What market segment or niche do you market to?

We directly sell produce to our customers in the form of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares. Residents of the Ojai Valley come to the farm once a week to pick up a share of everything the farm grows. We just picked our first share of the year today. It was composed of broccoli, baby salad mix, kale, bok choi, arugula, baby chard greens, lemons and tangerines.

The market for our seed company is much broader. We mostly aim to provide the home / urban gardener quality seed varieties that perform well under organic growing conditions. We have an established retail front in Southern California – most notably at a handful of Whole Foods Markets – but also have a pretty substantial internet presence: a web site, and storefronts on Etsy and Amazon.com. This means that our potential customer base spans the entirety of the United States.

 

What is your specialty?

I deeply admire the specialists who have chosen one pursuit and hone their craft to excellence – but I’m a dilettante by nature. The word has a disparaging connotation, but I draw inspiration from its etymology – “to delight.” Prior to the rise of the professional classes it was pretty necessary to be more of a generalist, and that mentality seems to fit pretty well with trying to grow a small business in today’s climate – and I mean that both figuratively and literally. On any given day, I am involved in any number of tasks: design, inventory, order fulfillment, printing, accounting, crop planning, planting, weeding, harvesting, and content creation.

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What do you like most about working in your industry?

Having a direct connection to my food source keeps me healthy: physically, psychologically and nutritionally. My work keeps me in touch with the basis of physical existence on this planet; this connection feels like common sense, not some environmental message that needs to be clubbed over people’s heads.

Then there are the creative connections I have forged with people. I use the term “creative” in a pretty broad sense, that includes some obvious creative fields – such as our incredible illustrator or web designer – but it’s also the work that is less celebrated as creative: work with our accountants, envelope printers. I cleave to these people – our company wouldn’t be where we are without them.

 

What is the best way for someone to contact you?

Follow us everywhere @manofarm @plantgoodseed.

Or check out our website at: http://www.plantgoodseed.com/

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In our effort to educate the small business owner in how to keep more of their hard earned money, often we get asked: So what is better ROTH or Traditional IRA’s?  So we asked a local Financial Expert to explain the differences.

 

What type of IRA (Traditional or Roth) best meets your financial goals?

Tax Benefits:

Roth:  Tax-free growth.  Tax-free qualified withdrawals.

Traditional:  Tax-deferred growth Contributions may be tax-deductible..

 

Eligibility Age:

Roth:  Any age with employment compensation.

Traditional:  Under age 70½ with employment compensation.

 

Taxation at Withdrawal:  

Roth:  Contributions are always withdrawn tax-free.  Earnings are federally tax-free after the five-year aging requirement has been satisfied and certain conditions are met.

Traditional:  Withdrawals of pre-tax contributions and any earnings are taxable when distributed.

 

Penalties at Withdrawal: 

Roth:  A non-qualified distribution is subject to taxation of earnings and a 10% additional tax unless an exception applies.  (A distribution from a Roth IRA is federally tax-free and penalty-free provided that the five-year aging requirement has been satisfied and one of the following conditions is met: age 59½, qualified first time home purchase, or death.)

Traditional: Withdrawals before 59½ may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty unless an exception applies.  (For Traditional IRAs, penalty-free withdrawals include but are not limited to: qualified higher education expenses; qualified first home purchase (lifetime limit of $10,000); certain major medical expenses; certain long-term unemployment expenses; disability; or substantially equal periodic payments.)

 

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s)

Roth:  Not subject to minimum required distributions during the lifetime of the original owner

Traditional:  RMD’s starting at 70½

 

Maximum Contribution: 

For both 2013 and 2014: $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older) or 100% of employment compensation, whichever is less

* Catch up contributions:  Individuals age 50 or older (in the calendar year of their contribution) can contribute an additional $1,000 each year

** Contribution deadline:  Tuesday, April 15, 2014, for the 2013 tax year

Note: A Rollover IRA is a Traditional IRA often used for rollovers from an old workplace plan, such as a 401(k).

Feel free to reach out to either us if you have further questions.
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If you run a small business, then chances are you maybe required to file 1099’s.  These are probably one of the most misunderstood forms business owners file.

Here’s the scoop:

What are they for?

Form 1099 is used to report money paid to individuals who are not your employees.  The IRS uses your 1099 to make sure the people you pay are reporting the income on their tax returns.

Who should I file a 1099 for?

File a 1099 for everyone that is not an employee (individuals you’re not withholding taxes for) that you pay more than $600 to in a calendar year.  You are not required to file 1099’s for money paid to company’s (LLC, Corps).

 How do I file a 1099?

There are many service providers that will do this for you.  Whether it’s your accountant, or a web service, we recommend using one to assure that they are accurate, and filed timely.  All 1099’s should be filed and in the mail by Jan 31st.  But if you’re a DIY (do it yourself) type of person, there are plenty of services on the web that do this for you at a very reasonable cost.  Our favorite is Track1099

How do I keep track of how much and who to file 1099’s for?

This is easily done in accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.  You can designate contacts/vendors as 1099 recipients, and as long as you record all your transactions, you can run a report at the end of the year that will tell you how much to file them for.  We recommend using Xero for this.  It’s easy, and will be a breeze to setup and do.

What happens if I don’t file 1099’s?

You may get away with it…for awhile.  But if the IRS decides to audit you, and you didn’t file, then watch for penalties coming your way!

What do I do if I have no clue what to do?

Easy, reach out to us and we can take care of from start to finish!  We can help no matter what state you live in.

 

Have questions, feel free to leave comments and we’ll answer them ASAP.  Want to reach out directly, fill out our “Contact” page and we’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

Thanks for reading!

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