With the end of the year approaching fast, many accountants are working with clients on year-end investments they can make to lower their tax burden for 2020.
Companies looking to use Form 4562 Section 179 deductions, will find an increased limit this year for equipment, hardware, and software purchases to $1,040,000. It also includes the 100% bonus depreciation.
As accounting firms know, there are several different areas of a business that a company could target for year-end, tax-deductible purchases. Technology upgrades are one of the most impactful.
Technology is now completely infused with how companies operate, no matter what industry they’re a part of. Platforms like Microsoft 365 can significantly improve productivity, while spending on cybersecurity can significantly reduce risk.
Technology also directly impacts a company’s bottom line, but many Treasure Valley area businesses are missing out.
A study commissioned by Google found that 80% of small businesses in the US were not taking full advantage of technology tools. And for those 20% that do, they see the following results:
- 2x as much revenue earned per employee
- Nearly 4x as high year-over-year revenue growth
- Nearly 3x more likely to be creating jobs than the prior year
While you as an accountant can help your client best position deductions and how to take them, we can help you steer clients in the best direction as to which technology purchases they may want to make for the biggest benefit.
Smart Technology Purchases for Businesses
When it comes to planning year-end technology purchases of qualifying hardware and off-the-shelf software, businesses want to consider things like:
- Urgent needs (outdated computers, slow network, etc.)
- Productivity boosters (all-in-one software platforms, etc.)
- Cybersecurity (network protections, remote workers, etc.)
When working with clients on their tax-deductible business purchases, here are some smart technology upgrade considerations to share.
The threat of a ransomware attack or data breach is ever present, making cybersecurity a main priority of any business.
The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. Just one incident causes many small businesses to close their doors because they never recover.
So, it’s vital to consider protections that can keep a breach from happening.
These can include things like
- Password managers
- Multi-factor authentication programs
- Firewall with advanced threat protection
- Endpoint device manager
- Cloud application security
Businesses that try to eke out too many years from a computer end up paying more in downtime, maintenance, and data loss costs. Studies show that the total cost of ownership of a business computer rises significantly between year three and year four.
Keeping computers that are older than 4-years old in operation costs companies approximately $2,736 per year.
Companies should consider updating any computers or mobile devices that are outdated. This will not only give them a tax write-off, but can also improve productivity and security.
All-in-One Applications That Can Reduce Cloud Cost
Cloud use keeps going up as companies move more of their processes online. But cloud waste and cost are also increasing because companies end up with an inefficient cloud infrastructure.
They can wind up paying for multiple applications that have similar features and paying for tools that aren’t integrated, costing them in productivity because data has to be manually moved from one system to another.
Businesses should look for all-in-one platforms like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a platform like Microsoft 365. These tools have multiple applications for one overall subscription cost, and those apps are designed to natively integrate and share data.
Moving to an all-in-one cloud platform can reduce cloud subscription costs as well as boost productivity.
Prepare for the Future
We already know that 5G and IoT are going to get bigger in the coming years. Contactless customer experiences have also come on the radar due to the global pandemic.
To get a leg up on the competition, companies should think about what technology they may need over the next few years.
This could include things like:
- Devices that can take advantage of 5G
- Remote worker technology infrastructure
- IoT devices that help automate business processes
- Contactless customer-facing POS devices
Your wireless network is the heart of any technology environment. If it’s slow or unreliable, then everything is slowed down.
A smart year-end technology purchase that can have a wide impact on efficiency is to make network improvements.
This may mean moving from a single router to a mesh Wi-Fi that includes several nodes that blanket a larger area with a consistent signal.
Businesses may also want to take the opportunity to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 hardware, which is much more secure and improves internet speed and multi-device handling by a router.
Get Help Planning the Best Year-End Technology Purchases
Connect2Geek can help your accounting firm (and your clients) make the best technology upgrade decisions.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.