Last week I got an email from QuickBooks, telling me I could get a 30 day free trial of QuickBooks Payroll for Mac.  (I’m sure they have it for PC owners too.)  Hmmmm… I’ve been using Paychex for over 2 years and the cost of paying myself has steadily increased.  I don’t get hate-mail from the IRS or State for not submitting tax forms properly, but paying $1120 a year is feeling a bit steep.  So I clicked on the link and learned a little more about the service.

It looked pretty good but I was still a little nervous to change – not wanting to mess things up and start getting hate-mail again and potential penalties.  I decided to call the number and talk to someone to reassure myself that all would be fine.  ( call 866-729-2925 )  The very nice man in Reno, NV assured me everything would work well.  There is a wizard to get everything set up – the same information I needed to give Paychex when I started.

He then asked a golden question:  Are you a Costco Member?

Yes, I replied.  As a Costco member, I can get the Plus package (which can electronically file my taxes with both the Federal and State governments) for $25 / month instead of $39 and I get the first THREE months for free.  Awesome!

Then he asked if I was a regular or Executive member.  Executive members get the Plus package for $23 / month – even better!

Now I’m excited and it’s the perfect time to make a change.  Paychex has done everything for 2010 and I’ll start using QuickBooks Payroll for 2011 so all the quarterly taxes will be nice and tidy.  QuickBooks even has an iPhone app if I want to do Payroll on the go…  since it’s just me and I pay myself once a month, I doubt I’ll need that but it’s nice to have the option.

Bottom Line:  I’ll be changing how I process my payroll and saving $913 in 2011 and $845 / year thereafter.

Take some time to look at how and where you are spending money in your business.  Is it necessary?  Is it still the best choice?  It’s a good idea to review where your money is going at least once a year and see where you can save.  As Benjamin Franklin said,  “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  I think he’d be pretty proud of this savings!

Here’s to your creative and financial success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  If you are wondering why I pay myself through payroll at all, here is my reasoning:  My accountant told me that if I didn’t start paying myself consistently, as well as the federal and local governments, I’d be opening myself up for an audit.  Once you are in business for several years they want you to act like a business and not be too loose with the accounting.  Check with your accountant or tax advisor and see what they advise for you.

P.P.S.  I have no affiliation with QuickBooks and will not be compensated if you decide to use their services.  I’m just excited about the service and wanted you to know all of your options!