July 2005

All of your business needs. One easy solution.

07/08/2005       Vol 2 Issue 7

http://www.offassist.com


Be Money-Wise in Money Matters
 

As a bookkeeper I occasionally get calls from  business owners in distress. 

They have someone doing their books, either internally or externally, and thought everything was taken care of.  Then something comes up wrong and they are forced to review their financial statement history.  This leads some to realize, suddenly, that it's been wrong for a while.

So, a friendly a reminder to everyone out there...

Please remember to look at your financials at least quarterly. This can help prevent minor errors turning into major problems--problems that frequently cost business owners both time and money.

In this issue:

  • "Tom's Tech Tip" talks about Purchasing a New Computer
  • Learn all about letter shortcuts in the QuickBooks tips section
  • Our spotlight this month is on Virtual Partnering, a Virtual Assistant firm with personality 
  • My usual collection of quirky office and accounting humor.
  • ... and those ever important upcoming tax deadlines

I hope you enjoy this month's issue! I am always looking for articles. If you have an article you would like to write, please feel free to email me at candy@offassist.com

What You Need To Know About Incorporating Your Business
by: Diane Hughes

Most US-based small businesses are getting eaten alive in taxes! That statement has proven itself true over and over again. However, while small business owners want to save money, many are literally afraid of incorporating their companies. The paperwork, the additional reports, having a set payroll amount each month, and other visions swirl around their heads. Those visions could be costing you a ton!

Let me take a few minutes to explain what you need to know about incorporating your business. While it certainly isnít a move every business will want to make, there are definitely some large benefits associated with incorporation.

MYTH Incorporating means I canít take money whenever I want it.

TRUTH Yes you can! This is a MYTH that holds a lot of small business owners back from incorporating. If you set a payroll amount for yourself, then decide you want/need more money, you simply write yourself another check and call it an "owner distribution" or a "draw."

MYTH Thereís too much paperwork involved once you incorporate. I donít have the time.

TRUTH There are some additional forms you have to complete. There are some additional taxes you have to pay. HOWEVER... read this carefully... for the three or four extra forms and the cost of the additional taxes, most businesses will still save when compared to counting every dollar you make toward personal income.

MYTH The only good reason to incorporate is for personal protection. The difference in taxes isnít that much.

TRUTH While incorporating your business will help protect you from lawsuits and from having your personal property seized, there are more benefits than that. The tax savings can be quite significant.

MYTH With the attorneyís fees, the CPAís fees, the additional income tax returns, and the forms I have to file quarterly, itís just not worth it. I wonít really save any money.

TRUTH Every case is different; however, most small businesses will more than make up the $1500 - $2000 it costs to incorporate within the first six months to one year. Also, most small businesses will save about 50% on taxes after they incorporate. (A qualified CPA will be able to look at your books and give you a more accurate figure.)

MYTH Iíll have to hold meetings and keep lots of records that I donít have time to keep.

TRUTH Not if you register as a "closed" S-Corporation. This means you have waived the requirement to hold all those meetings and keep all those records.

How Do You Get Specific Details?

Contact a qualified CPA in your local area. He or she can give you detailed information on how much it will cost to set everything up, and - most importantly - how much you will save in taxes.

Incorporation is not something to be afraid of. In fact, if youíre one of the many who will save 50% off your taxes in the next year, itís something to go after with a vengeance!

Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes

About The Author

Diane C. Hughes * www.ProBizTips.com

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane

Newton's Laws of Accounting

1. For every accountant, there is an equal and opposite accountant.
2. Both of them are wrong. 

Quickie QuickBooks Q & A 

 

Ever need to send out a letter to your vendors, employees, or customers?

 

You can save time by letting QuickBooks do the work for you! It will even prepare the envelopes for you!

 

Just follow these simple steps and save yourself some headaches.

 

Note: You must have QuickBooks Pro or Premier and Microsoft Word for this to work. In this example I am using QuickBooks Pro 2005 and Word 2000, your menus may vary slightly.

 

1. Choose "prepare letters with envelopes" from the Company menu. Choose the type: vendor, customer, etc.

 

2. If this is the first time using this feature, QuickBooks will prompt you to "copy" the files into the correct directory.

 

3. Select the recipients that you want to send the letter to and click 'next'.

 

4. Choose a document template to start working with. You can choose to start with a blank one if you wish. Click 'next'.

 

5. Enter your name and title as you would like it to appear on the letter. Click 'next'.

 

6. At this point, QuickBooks will begin exporting the information into Word. Just make any changes where needed (they will show **Missing Information** to let you know there is a problem) and print.

 

TIP:

If you have your letterhead in electronic format, you can simply copy and paste the letters into your letterhead, getting rid of the QuickBooks generated letterhead.

 
Important Tax Deadlines

July 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for June

July 15 - Partnership Returns due for 2004

July 31 - Quarterly IRS 941s are due for Q2

July 31 - Quarterly 941 payments are due for Q2

August 15 - Personal tax returns due (for those that filed an extension)

August 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for June

 

 

Spotlight On... Virtual Partnering 
The spotlight this month is trained on Virtual Partnering.

In 2004, after receiving her BS in Management from Davenport University and completing Assist U's Virtual Training Program (VTP), Cindy Hillsey decided to put her business support experience, over 25 years worth, to work for herself and opened the virtual assistant company Virtual Partnering.

Cindy brings to her business over 14 years of experience in the financial and insurance industries, and specializes in clients seeking long-term virtual relationships. She enjoys a variety of clients and loves the fact that being a virtual assistant allows her to do work she loves and still indulge the wanderlust that has taken her all over the United States from the West Coast to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her current base of operations in Kentwood, Michigan.

Virtual Partnering is a full-service VA firm, covering just about any administrative need a small business may have, from database administration to event planning and growth strategies.

To find out more about how Cindy Hillsey's Virtual Partnering helps her clients achieve "Synergy Electronically, Anywhere, Anytime." visit her on the web at www.virtualpartnering.com


Tech Talk with Tom...

Time for a Shiny New Computer! 

 

Ok, so you know you want a new computer.  The big question is: Where to buy?

I'm not out to promote any particular brand or retailer, just to present some of the pros and cons of the outlets in general. Basically you have three options:

1.) Big Online Retail Computer Company

2.) Local Retail Chain Location

3.) Local Independent Computer Retailer.

Each, of course, has it's own benefits and problems, so lets get started.

Ok, so first lets tackle the Big Online Retail Computer Company. They usually offer custom-built computers at what seems like a reasonable cost.  You can get a very good deal through these guys, especially if you look at their close-outs or last year's products . The main issue here is lack of local support. If something goes wrong you could be without your computer for weeks, even months. Another issue is that their sales people are usually just that, salespeople. They do not know enough about computers to help you with your decision and will usually just point you toward whatever will get them the highest commission.

Next: Local Retail Chain Location. It is really amazing how many store now sell computers. If you want a really low pressure sale, this is where you go. They will have only a couple of pretty low range options, but their prices will be great. Once again you'll be stuck without a computer for weeks or months if something breaks.  However, due to the ease of purchasing and low cost of these computers, many people make this choice.

Lastly: Local Independent Computer Retailer. This is my personal choice. Support your local economy! But there is more to it than just that. Usually the people selling you your new computer will also be the ones building it for you, so they will be very knowledgeable about technology and how different choices may affect you. Also, they often times ask what you already have and don't try to sell you anything beyond what you need. Another big plus: local support. If your computer breaks down, more often than not you will have it back in 24 hours. The downside of using "the little guy" is that his prices are usually 10% to 20% higher than the Big Guy or the Chain.

Its up to you, as the customer to make the best choice that you can. All three fill very important parts of the market and do well within their market share. It is up to you to determine what services are offered and what value they actually give you for their price.

In the coming months, I'd like to do a general Q&A session for all of our readers. If you have any computer question, basic or complex, please send it to daystar@lansedge.com and I will answer them in the coming months.

Tom Beauchamp is the owner of LANís Edge in Austin, TX. LANís Edge is a computer gaming center that offers PC and Xbox gaming as well as a high-speed internet connections, and PC sales and repair.  He can be reached at daystar@lansedge.com. Visit http://www.lansedge.com for more information.  

 
Why did the accountant start smoking?

So he could deduct cigarettes from his income tax. Called it loss by fire.

 

 


Have an article youíd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?
Email candy@offassist.com.

 


A special thank you to our copyeditor and all-around-language-geek, Dyanna Larson of Ink Think - visit her website for more information about her services.

 

 

Please visit our affiliates:
(Note: I only refer those businesses I personally work with and have had good results with)
  Ultra-secure checks for Quicken, QuickBooks, etc. 


This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. (c) 2005
Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research, professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA or other professional..