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
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
- "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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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
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.
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
- Partnership Returns due for 2004
31 - Quarterly IRS 941s are due for Q2
31 - Quarterly 941 payments are due for Q2
15 - Personal tax returns due (for those that filed an extension)
15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for June
Virtual Partnering |
The spotlight this month is trained on Virtual
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
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
Talk with Tom...
Time for a Shiny
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
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 email@example.com
and I will answer them in the coming months.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit http://www.lansedge.com for more
Why did the accountant start smoking?
So he could deduct cigarettes from his income tax. Called it loss by fire.
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
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.