The Internal Revenue Service defines a business expense as ‘ordinary’ and ‘necessary’. Ordinary expenses are those costs typically incurred in your industry. A restaurant would not ordinarily purchase vaccines. And a medical practice would not purchase 50 heads of lettuce.
When the owner of a business or a reader of financial statements understands the concept of depreciation, he can better evaluate the business operation. Depreciation is merely matching a long life asset to its contribution to the product or delivery of service in incremental steps.
Purchasing equipment for a restaurant is a daunting task. There are three phases to successfully purchase restaurant equipment. The first is planning, see How to Purchase Equipment for a Restaurant – Planning Phase for more information about this phase. The second is research, go to How to Purchase Equipment for a Restaurant – Research Phase for an understanding of this phase. This article covers the third phase of purchasing equipment, using business finesse to negotiate the best deal.
Any tangible item not consumed within one accounting cycle (typically a year) and providing long term utility is referred to as a Fixed Asset. Traditional images include manufacturing equipment, tools, transportation vehicles, buildings and utility related systems (sewage systems, power grids, power plants and dams). In accounting, these assets are recorded to the balance sheet as ‘Fixed Assets’.
The Internal Revenue Service sets the depreciation allowance based on the Code as promulgated by Congress. The most commonly referenced section is 179. This is a form of accelerated depreciation allowing the small business owner the opportunity to take a large expense deduction and reduce their tax obligation immediately.
Reading a balance sheet is instrumental in understanding the business’s financial position. This particular financial report is a snapshot of a moment in time. It can change dramatically in a minute so understanding the perspective of the report and its respective sections will help you to be better informed.