Choosing a Book Keeping Service

Book keeping is a task that is most accurately accomplished when completed on a daily basis. A successful business relies on the keeping being done accurately and timely. It is best to leave the detailed work of book keeping to a professional and many business owners rely upon an outside bookkeeping service. When outsourcing your book keeping needs to an outside service is important to choose a company carefully. There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a reliable service.

The skill level of the individuals working at a book keeping service is imperative to consider when choosing a company. It is important to know that they posses superior skills in the book keeping roles they work in. They must have expert knowledge in payroll, tax preparation, budgeting and the other reports and financial data the business employs them for. A business who hires an outside service to complete their tax preparation and payroll is still completely responsible for all errors and will impose penalties and interest on any outstanding tax payments regardless of if a third-party completed the work.

A business that hires a company to take care of their financial records is turning over importing financial documents and information that must be kept secure. Book keepers especially in the payroll department often have access to employees’ social security numbers and other secure information. The results can be disastrous if the information is taken misused. Before a business owner turns over any documents to a book keeping service they should first verify legitimacy of the company as well as conduct research involving any previous complaints.

Businesses save money when outsourcing their book keeping to a outside service. Instead of relying on numerous employees to keep up with the daily activities of bookkeeping, a business’s detailed records can be updated professionally and timely while the business owner pays a single bill to one company. This saves the company money and allows the existing employees to allocate and focus their time on the businesses interest.

One good way to follow up with the book keeping service and ensure that they are keeping on top of your company’s bookkeeping needs is to use an online service. Many online services utilize software that allows their personnel to enter the financial data directly into online software. This allows the business owner to login so they can view the real-time data that has been updated by the bookkeepers. Another benefit of this service is that there is no lag time when a business owner needs to view reports, further the owner can often run their own reports saving them additional money over paying the booking service to run them.



Financial Intelligence

Whoever said “ignorance is bliss” was truly ignorant; ignorance is harmful and deadly. I’m not sure how anyone can find bliss from something so tragic. If you drive a vehicle and you don’t know the condition of the vehicle, you should expect tragedy. Because of ignorance, people have died from petty illnesses they could have avoided. Ignorance is risky and dangerous. Ignorance cannot be a valid excuse for failing to live a meaningful life. There is so much information available these days in all fields of life, it is even called ‘the information age’ and most of it is free. Anything you want to do has already been done by someone else and shared their experiences and clues on how to go about doing it in books, internet, TV documentaries and magazines. So ignorance is a choice. But you have made your choice against ignorance because you are reading this book, so definitely ignorance is not your problem.

Does Money really matter?

The role of money in accomplishing worthy goals is very important. Money is at the centre of all areas of our lives especially in achieving worthy dreams. Without money your whole purpose journey becomes a stressful debt journey or a rat race for life. Lack of it can halt your dreams, frustrate your plans and even discourage you to quit good efforts. You simply don’t want to be in a position where you lack money. Big companies close down and forfeit good visions due to lack of money. However, you cannot be in lack if you organise your financial skills and organise your knowledge of money. Robert Kiosaki the Author of Rich Dad poor Dad says people experience financial failure because they don’t know how money works. Debt problems, lack of money and cash flow crises can ruin your success in all areas of life. They can destroy your dreams, spoil your marriage, even frustrate your relationships. People with better understanding of how money works are better prepared and able to avoid cash flow issues. People with poor understanding of money are forced to spend best years of their lives in the rat-race, working hard for money, living from hand to mouth, facing debts, trying hard to make a living instead of pursuing their dreams. Money is very important, as the book of Ecclesiastes states; “Money is the answer to all things”. (Ecclesiastes 10:19) So having enough money is critical to help you achieve your goals. Not having money is a result of bad planning and ignoring the four key laws of money:

  1. Living below your means or income
  2. Tithing (Give 10 percent of earnings to charitable means).
  3. Saving at least 10 percent of your earnings.
  4. Giving money as seed, expecting returns (Law of seed and harvest).

When these money laws are ignored, there is no doubt that sooner or later one will find themselves in a financial ditch, unable to live a bigger life.



Small Business – Looking For Business Financing and Business Funding

Looking for business financing generally refers to entrepreneurs searching for funding resources for a business. Businesses need capital for start-up and operating expenses, and many financial institutions provide loan programs to fulfill that need.

When looking for business financing, most entrepreneurs go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) first. This government agency supplies funding to business that employ fewer than one hundred workers and that have been denied by traditional lenders, such as banks. Their most common loan program is the 7(a) loan, which guarantees a certain percentage of a loan provided by a traditional lender. The loan requirements for start-up and existing businesses differ somewhat, but both require applicants to supply personal and business financial documents along with a written business plan. If a business meets the criteria for a 7(a) loan, it can download and print the application available on the SBA’s website to give to a lender who participates in the SBA’s guaranty program.

Existing businesses looking for immediate business financing usually turn to factoring. With factoring, a business sells its accounts receivables to another company, known as a factor. Most factors require businesses to process credit cards and to have been doing so for a certain length of time, usually three to twelve months. Once approved, the factor collects the payments on the accounts from the business’s clients until the funds are repaid. Factoring is not considered a loan; therefore, no debt is incurred on the balance sheet.

Looking for business funding refers to entrepreneurs who are searching for ways to fund a small business. Funding is needed for start-up and operating expenses. Many lenders provide specialized loan programs to assist small business owners in starting and maintaining their business.

A majority of entrepreneurs go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) when looking for business funding. This government agency provides loans to small businesses that employ fewer than one hundred workers and that have been denied by traditional lenders, such as commercial banks. Their most common loan is the 7(a) loan. The application requirements for start-up and existing business differ, but both require certain financial documents and a business plan. Certain variations of this loan may require additional documentation. To apply for the 7(a) loan, applicants should collect all needed documents and take them to a lender who participates in the SBA guaranty program. With this program, the SBA will guaranty a certain percentage of a small business loan in order to alleviate the lender from unnecessary risk.

Another source to consider when looking for business funding is a private investor. A private investor will contribute large sums of capital to a business in exchange for a portion of the profits. The best way to attract potential investors is to have a well-written, feasible business plan. Before an investor contributes any capital, it’s best to make sure that he or she is providing equity, not debt. Debt means the investor expects the business to repay all or part of the given capital.



What Is a Balance Sheet and How Can I Use It for Investing?

A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides information about the company’s assets and liabilities and the shareholder’s equity. There is a specific formula that all sheets follow. Basically, the assets of a company equal the liabilities plus the equity of the shareholders. The point of a balance sheet is to ensure that both of the sides balance out to be equal. The company will have to pay for their assets by using loans or shareholders’ equity.

Let’s take a closer look at the three main components that make up the sheet.

Company Assets

A company’s assets are basically the items that the company owns that are valuable, and in most cases they were paid for by the company or donated to them. There are many different asset types. These include cash assets, receivables, property, and many others.

Company Liabilities

A company’s liabilities include the items that the company must pay out to other people, including other businesses, individuals, or government agencies. There are many different liability types. These include current liabilities, short term liabilities, long term liabilities, and many others.

Stockholders’ Equity

A company’s stockholder equity is basically the amount of money that investors have put into the company. Some of this will also include profits that the company has kept to use for new projects that are business related.

Sheets are used to reconcile accounts. Assets should always be equal to the amount of liabilities and equity. Therefore, the equation is A = L + E, or Assets = Liabilities + Equity. It is fairly simple to understand.

A balance sheet can also be used to see where a business stands financially. Investors should always be aware of the businesses that they entrust their investments with. A good way to ensure that you are making wise investment choices is to take a look at the sheet to ensure that they even out. Shareholders will definitely want to know where they stand on these financial documents.

Another group of people that commonly view these finances are potential creditors. Creditors that help out businesses will want to know that a business is able to check and balance their assets and liabilities. This helps to show them that they are making wise loans to the business.

Analyzing a balance sheet may not be as easy as it sounds. The best way to analyze these sheets is through the use of ratio analysis. There are three different ratios to consider. These include class liquidity ratios, solvency ratios, and profitability ratios. Each of these ratios shows a particular business aspect.

If you really want to improve your business and investment moves, then you will want to make sure that you focus on learning the in’s and out’s of the balance sheet and how they can affect you. Don’t glance blindly at a balance sheet without understanding how to properly analyze it. This can be very detrimental, especially for people who are new to investing.



Importance of Document Shredding Services in the Accounting Sector

Reports of identity theft and cases of fraud are on a steady increase. This is especially true in industries that handle sensitive documents such as the accounting sector. Criminals have a way of looking at documents, getting information from them and proceeding to use the same for personal gain. If you are in the accounting industry, the best way to ensure you protect your clients is by using document shredding services.

Importance of Such Services

The importance of such services is one that cannot be overly stressed and it is for this reason that you are encouraged to find a company that offers services tailored to your specific needs. Sensitive documents such as accounting reports, canceled checks, deposit or withdrawal records as well as other banking documents need to be shredded because if they fall in the wrong hand, things could end up being disastrous.

Other documents that need to be handled by paper shredding services include check requests, personnel files, payable invoices and other departmental information. To cap it all, documents from the government as well as from regulatory organizations that operate externally need to be shredded to ensure that they don’t fall in the wrong hands either.

Benefits of Using these Services

By using shredding services, you ensure the most important benefits, which is safeguarding your clients. Note that these services are carried out to perfection and as such, there is no trace whatsoever left that might betray important information to criminals. Every business has confidential information and while this is the case, the accounting industry suffers the most when the necessary measures are not put into place. By consulting with document shredding companies, you increase your chances of ensuring that identity theft does not occur and this increases the level of trust consumer have in your institution. This is unlike if there are reported and documented incidences of such occurrences.

Research has proven that most criminals obtain information from sensitive business documents rather than from information stored in electronic formats. This means that the shredding services can offer you an alternative of storing the information while ensuring they destroy any documents you have. This ensures you can still access vital information without exposing your clients to more harm.

By choosing a professional company to handle this, you not only get rid of sensitive documents but also eliminate the need to buy shredding machines and keep them in your office. Note that there are instances when the maintenance of these tends to be high and as such, the document shredding service provider is your best bet. They will destroy the documents to the last details at your own convenience and this lifts a lot of stressful situations off your shoulders.

Conclusion

Shredding services are the perfect solution for accounting businesses since they ensure that all financial documents are safeguarded from criminals. To cap it all, these services can also be put to good use in different business settings. In essence, it is the only way to increase the level of success recorded by your business.



Bad Credit Buyers Expect to Pay Higher Interest Rates

The first step toward improving your borrowing power is to know your rights and responsibilities. Nobody but you is usually to blame for your bad credit rating, so start out by assuming responsibility for your bad financial choices. Acknowledge that you’ve made some mistakes, and start working to improve those mistakes by addressing the problem head-on.

Know your credit score.

Get a FREE copy of your credit report and know the reality of what is showing up on your credit for collections, for late payments or for any other reason. If you have a good credit report showing up, know about it, point that out to your lender and remind the lender as you’re going through the process that you’ve been responsible on those areas.

Deal with bad credit reporting.

If some of your financial information is missing or miss-reported, correct that. Write letters to the reporting agency explaining or asking for bad information to be removed from your credit report. 30 days after disputing a report, if it isn’t confirmed, it will be deleted. Take advantage of that option to have bad reports deleted from your documents.

Pay off low balance debts.

If it’s a low balance, pay it off, and ask that it be removed from your report. Most companies will allow paid off debts to be removed from your credit report if they no longer have you as a liability on their records.

Request good reports.

If you’ve paid on time, and you have some good reports that aren’t on your credit report, this is the time to request those reports be placed on your financial profile. Do the work and ask your creditors to make those good reports too.

Keep track of changes on your financial documents.

By keeping track of your credit report and any changes in your credit score, you’ll be better able to prevent the possibility of identity theft, or at least identifying the source and cause of any identity theft problems that may arise on your accounts. This may come in handy if anyone ever does take your debit card, or steal your identity.

Maintaining a legal shield of some kind to protect yourself from identity theft is always a good idea, but in lieu of a specific paid program, keeping close track on your own financial documentation is the best option.

Don’t allow your identity or financial resources to be destroyed by others, be responsible for yourself.



Financial Planning

There are two kinds of People, first are those who do not know where their next pay check is coming from and the second are those who know where their next pay check is coming from.

Planning Financially is must for everyone from the lower right up to the Upper Class.

It has has been taught to every child, even you! Remember your Mom telling you don’t buy this don’t buy that it’s not good for you and stuff?? Yes! That was one of your important lessons.. But we as children ignored the important lesson and ran out and bought sugary candy which just made us Nuts and eventually drove our Parents Nuts (If you are laughing now don’t forget you will have kids of your own)

The Ideal expense to pay check ratio would be 1 : 2 or even better 1 : 3 and so on.

Every Company aims for it and so should you!

But unfortunately not many get it that way.

But roughly even if you are saving 1/3 of your pay check you are doing well enough.

People are spending a lot on Consultation, getting people to help balance their lives. Don’t forget you got to pay people for Financial help!

So instead of paying someone for a solution here are some rules, to keep your self balanced and live a Happy Life.

MUST-DO List for a happier life

Financial Planning rule no. 1

STOP using Credit Cards:

As convenient as it is, it’s an added expense and a very good reason to spend money. Only use Credit Cards where necessary. Consider this step as a bad habit and drop it where Financial Planning is concerned.

Financial Planning rule no. 2

Get rid of your Loans:

This is must you have no idea, how light you will feel.

Speak to your Bank and pay more to get rid of them faster.

Rule no. 3

Buy in Bulk:

When you buy grocery in bulk not only you get them cheaper you can use them for longer. For e.g. you use 3 soap bars in a week instead of getting just 3 next week, get a pack of 10 you will get it cheaper plus you will save time and money to go back to the Store the following week. Use this Financial Planning rule where ever possible.

Financial Planning rule no. 4

Cut down on luxuries:

You don’t need to eat out everyday, Cook at home sometimes, its healthy (that’s if you know how to cook) and cheaper, Apply this Financial Planning rule where ever possible.

Financial Planning rule no. 5

Get to the 1 : 2 Ratio:

Try as hard as you can to reach to this ratio, earning at least twice as much as your Expenses. This step is a very important step in Financial Planning!

Financial Planning rule no. 6

Save money on Gas.



8 Tips to Cut Your Divorce Costs

Good family law solicitors understand that not only is divorce very painful, but it can prove very expensive too. Apart from the fact that two households are more expensive to run than one, legal bills can escalate. However, if you follow these simple tips, you can help keep your legal costs down.

1. Prepare for your initial meeting

If you intend to divorce your spouse, it will save your solicitor’s time and your cash if you turn up at your first meeting with a brief written summary of your circumstances, and include the facts set out below. Your solicitor will then not need to spend time getting those basic details from you:

o Your full name and address

o Your date of birth

o The full name of your spouse

o The names and ages of any children you may have

o A rough summary of your family’s financial position, including details of any property, its rough value and any debt outstanding on it, details of any pensions, savings, shares, endowment policies or other investments, and any other family assets or debts

2. Obtain your marriage certificate

If you plan to file for divorce, provide for your solicitor either the original marriage certificate or a certified copy obtainable from your local Registry Office.

3. Get hold of your own pension valuation

A pension is often one of the family’s largest assets. Your pension is taken into account when looking at family assets and considering how they should be split between the two of you. Your solicitor will always need an up-to-date valuation of your pension. A simple letter from you to your pension company asking for its current transferable value will save you money.

4. Get hold of your own financial documents

When preparing to negotiate your financial settlement, your solicitor will need to see many documents. Ask your solicitor what is required in your case, but the list will probably include:

o A valuation of your house if you own it; we suggest you get hold of 3 (often free) market valuations from local estate agents

o A mortgage redemption statement from your mortgage company

o Bank statements for the last year

o Your P60 and 3 recent payslips

o Your latest credit card statement and redemption statements for any HP/loan agreements you may have

o Details of any substantial asset you may own (e.g.shares, life insurance policy etc)

5. Complete Form E

Form E is a very lengthy document required by the court in a set format listing full details of family financial position. By completing as much as you can yourself and by getting for your solicitor as much supporting documentation as you are able, you can reduce your legal costs. You should be aware that you must keep strictly to the various notes on Form E as to which documents are needed.

6. Promptly reply to any correspondence without being reminded

Don’t forget your solicitor will charge you for every letter and phone call they make so limiting them as far as you can will assist in keeping your bill down.

7. Ask your solicitor if there is anything else you can do yourself

8. Make sure you choose a specialist and experienced family law solicitor

Picking a solicitor who specialises in divorce and has plenty of experience should keep your bill down. Avoid solicitors, however cheap they may seem, who don’t really know what they’re doing — by picking someone without experience or family law specialisation you may end up paying a lot more in the long-term.



Budgeting – No One Likes To

Budgeting is the backbone of a good debt management plan. Without first setting up a budget you do not know what your financial situation is actually about. You need to know how much money you will have each month to meet your expenses.

You can start by gathering all your financial documents, bills and all other expenses. Determine your income from all sources. Determine your fixed expenses. Fixed expenses are items like your mortgage payment which remains the same each month. Other fixed expenses include cable, internet service, student loan. Now determine the amount of money you spend on variable expenses which include things like groceries, gas, eating out, clothing and entertainment. Variable expenses are ones you can control and cut back on. While groceries are a necessity you can stop going out for dinner and save the money for your grocery bill.

After looking at the financial documents and income and expenses you can compare your income to your expenses and see where you end up. You now know how much money you have left over after paying all bills and expenses. If the end result shows more income than debt then you are off to a good start. If your income is less than your monthly expenses then you will have to find places to cut. The first thing you do is stop going out to eat, stop buying the $4 cup of coffee every morning and get some special coffees like Starbucks from the grocery store. You do not have to go without you just have to scale back all variable expenses.

After having set up a budget you will need to monitor it monthly. Make sure the amounts are adequate to pay the expenses. You can track your expenses on ledger paper by outlining income and expenses and verifying there is enough money available to pay all bills. The money that is left over should be put to good use or go into a savings account, not into higher variable expenses.

Review your budget and make adjustments where needed. Make sure the income is providing enough funds for the expenses. Make sure your budgeted cost and actual cost were the same or if not why not? You will find that you are tweaking the budget periodically to reflect new debts or reflect paid off debts.

The backbone to debt management is the budget. By setting up a budget, monitoring it and most important sticking with it you will find your debt is under control and you will not have to worry about the stress of being in debt.



How to Get the Best Out of Financial Aid

If it were not for grants, student loans and financial aid, getting a college education would have only been a dream for a lot of people. Despite the availability of these opportunities, some students do not take full advantage of them or do not know the best approach to take to keep them focused and provide them a means to get an education. To be ready to grab the opportunity and receive fund distribution at the right time as not to compromise your education, the students should:-

oBe Responsible

oKnow The Deadlines

oDo Not Limit Your Application

oSubmit All Documents

Be Responsible

The first step is to be an active and informed applicant. Parents who are putting together the application for their children should get them involved. It is a lot easier for financial aid workers in colleges to help a student who understands what is going on and is knowledgeable enough to provide answers to their questions. It is in the student’s best interest to know how to apply for aid and be an active and informed participant.

Know The Deadlines

As you start your application for financial aid pay attention to when the submission deadline is. You do not want to miss the deadline and penalized unnecessarily for turning in a late application. In the broad scheme of things it is better to turn in a late application than not to turn it in at all.

Do Not Limit Your Application

As you start to apply to schools, do not be deterred by the high cost of the schools tuition and other fees. Always apply early to such schools and also apply to schools which are more affordable so that you will be in a sweet spot if you should get into all the schools you applied to. Gaining acceptance into all the institutions you applied to and then deciding on which one to go to, is way better than wondering if it was a good idea not to have followed your dreams by applying to that ivy league school.

Submit All Documents

Financial aid is distributed by Federal Student Aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) requires that you submit some documents. Always give them whatever they ask for. If they asked for it, they definitely need it, and if you do not provide it with your application it will only slow the process done for you.