September 2005

All of your business needs. One easy solution.

09/09/2005       Vol 2 Issue 9

http://www.offassist.com


http://image55.webshots.com/55/8/81/41/439688141gbDJqU_ph.jpg


A Helping Hand

I'm a virtual assistant.  My business exists because busy people need a hand sometimes and I am able to provide it.

Now there are others, millions of others in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, who need help.  I'm not going to ask anyone to do anything, however, if you do want to contribute to relief efforts, here are a few places to begin*:

American Red Cross
PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
(800) HELP-NOW
www.redcross.org

America's Second Harvest
35 E. Wacker Dr., Ste. 2000
Chicago, IL 60601
(800) 771-2303
www.secondharvest.org

Feed the Children
1-800-525-7575
www.feedthechildren.org

Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat St
Americus, GA 31709
(229) 924-6935
www.habitat.org

Salvation Army
P.O. Box 4857
Jackson, Miss. 39296-4857
(800) SAL ARMY
www.salvationarmy.org

World Vision
P.O. Box 9716
Federal Way, WA 98063-9716
(888) 511-6548
www.worldvision.org

*Verify any organization for yourself before giving of your time, money, or material goods.

In this issue:

  • "Tom's Tech Tip" talks about remote access
  • Learn a about multiple forms of payments in the QuickBooks tips 
  • Our spotlight this month is on Precision Assistant, a self-admitted perfectionist of a VA.
  • 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 does an accountant say when you ask him the time?


It's 9.18 am and 12 seconds; no wait - 13 seconds, no wait - 14 seconds, no wait......

The 3 Biggest Priority Busters
 by: Cynthia Kyriazis

As a professional organizer and trainer, I have come to recognize that unless there is a focused effort to keep vigilance over priority busters, our best time management efforts will go unrealized. Our day-to-day lives demand more to resolving this than just practicing better time management principles.

The cost of a minute

Jim Miller of U.S. West tells us we experience eight interruptions an hour. American Demographics magazine says us we receive 23 paper and electronic messages an hour—each one its own type of interruption. Regardless of the type or number, remember that every time someone stands at the door and asks if you've ‘got a minute?’ they invite you to climb out of your priority and into theirs. Politely moving them to an alternative time enables you to remain focused on your priorities.

'Yes' is an acceptable word

Learning to say no and meaning it is difficult. Let’s face it…no can sound like ‘yes’ and no and sound like ‘maybe’. Saying it to supervisors or customers comes with its own cautionary reminder. But identifying and being committed to your priorities is what keeps us focused on when and if we should be saying 'yes'.

Fight against procrastination

A difficult habit to break. When delaying decisions is how we handle matters, we permeate our time management practices with ineffective and frustrating scenarios. Not only for ourselves, but for others as well. Making decisions to move things forward is the only way to fight procrastination. One mindful step at a time.

Today’s business climate creates pressure to produce more work…with fewer people…sooner…for less money. It demands more of us. But there's major productivity gains to be realized by proactively handling interruptions, keeping commitments tethered to priorities and actively making decisions. That is when we will realize productivity gains and less stress as individuals and as an organization.

There are only 24 hours a day. It's how you use them that determines your level of satisfaction with work and life.

cynthia@organizeitnow.com

Copyright 2001 Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved.

About The Author

Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.

Cynthia has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star and the Legal Intelligencer. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), member of the Kansas City of the International Society for Performance Improvement – (ISPI-KC) and consultant to the American Coaching Association.

Quickie QuickBooks Q & A 

DK from Tennessee asks:


Q: A customer is paying me part check and part credit card. How do I enter this?

A: It’s a multiple step process since QuickBooks doesn’t offer a way to split the payment types in one step. 

In the “Receive Payments” window, enter the Customer.  Their account balance appears with a list of open invoices. Enter the amount and type of the first payment type (ex., Visa). Apply it to the invoice, click “Save”, and then “New”. 

In the new payment window, select the same customer. Next, fill in the amount and type of the other payment type (ex., Check). Apply it to the appropriate invoice (which has its balance reduced by the previous payment you applied).  Click “Save” and repeat as necessary if you have more than two forms of payment. 

This can also be used for someone paying in installments.

 
Important Tax Deadlines

September 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for August

September 15 - Final Deadline for Corporate Tax Returns

September 15 - 1040ES Estimated Taxes due for 3rd Quarter 2005

October 17 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for September

News Flash! 

September 9, 2005

The IRS announced today an increase in the standard mileage deduction from 40.5 cents per mile to 48.5 cents per mile, for the last four months of 2005 only!  For more information, read the press release at www.irs.gov .

 

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Want to hear an accountant joke?"

The guy next to him replies, "Well, before you tell that joke, you should know that I'm 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, and I'm an accountant. And the guy sitting next to me is 6'2", 225 pounds, and he's an accountant. Now, do you still want to tell that joke?"

The first guy says, "No, I don't want to have to explain it two times."

Spotlight On... Precision Assistant 

Basking in the spotlight this month is Precision Assistant.

Like many new moms Sommer Cronck realized after the birth of her daughter in 2003 that she wanted to stay home but was unsure how to swing it financially.  What was the answer that worked for her?  She became a virtual assistant.  Thus, in early 2004, Precision Assistant was born.

Precision Assistant is a full-service virtual assistant company whose notable strong points are website-related services and graphic design.  Their web work includes site design, maintenance, hosting, and even a nifty utility Sommer wrote that allows realtors to upload new listings to the web without requiring them to learn complex html.  Sommer has also been the visual genius behind a number of company logos, ad campaigns, and marketing packages for diverse clients ranging from a yoga studio in her native Washington State to a real estate team here in Austin as well as other businesses around the country.

To find out more about how Sommer Cronck and Precision Assistant can help you grow your business on the web or make a distinctive visual impression, visit them on the web at www.precisionassistant.com .

 

Tech Talk with Tom...

Work at the office, from your home!

Office and home computer networks have come a long way in the last ten years. 

Information from one computer on the network can be made easily available to any other

computer on the network.  But what if you need access to those same files while you are on the road?  What if you are one of the growing number of telecommuters that only go into the office once a week, and need to access important information that you left on your computer at home?

Remote Desktop Connection is a tool that is built into all computers that run Windows XP Professional.  With Remote Desktop Connection and an Internet connection on both ends you  can  access a remote computer as if you were actually sitting in front of it.  This month I am going to go over  what you need and how to set up a connection using Microsoft Windows Remote Assistance.

What you need:

The computer you wish to access remotely must be running Microsoft Windows XP Professional.

The computer that you will use to access the other must be running Microsoft Windows XP Home or Professional.

Both computers need to be connected to the Internet.

How to set up the Server (computer you wish to access):

Click "Start"

Click "Settings"

Click "Control Panel"

Click "Performance and Maintenance"

Click "System"

Select the "Remote" Tab

Check the box labeled "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer."

Click the "OK" button

How to set up the Client (computer you wish to use to access the Server above):

No real set up is required; just follow these steps to connect to the remote computer:.

Click "Start"

Click "Programs"

Click "Accessories"

Click "Communications"

Click "Remote Desktop Connection"

You will need to enter the IP address of the Server and click "Connect".  The two computers will then communicate and, if all goes well, you will be asked for a user

name and password to log in.  Make sure you log in with the account you set up in the "How to setup the Server" section of this column.

Congratulations!  You can now use the connection to do anything you can do while sitting in front of the remote computer!  Your files are now available at your fingertips and you can even use any hardware connected to that distant computer.

Ok, folks, that's it for this month.  If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at daystar@lansedge.com .

Tom Beauchamp is the owner of LAN’s Edge in Austin, TX. LAN’s 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.  

Networks Made Simple???

Letters

Candy -

Your time off article is timely - my hubby and I are taking off 4 days end of this week to recharge our batteries.  I am taking my laptop with me. But where we're going there is no phone connected and because it's in a deep valley, the mobile phone will not work unless we climb up a hilltop. So peaceful that way.

I plan to spend some time reading and writing - I love writing but get very little time for the creative side of me to come out, so these 4 days will give me that opportunity to think, plan, create. 

Kathie M. Thomas, AFAIOP, MVA, ASO
Award-winning "A Clayton's Secretary"®, Network est. 1994 The Secretary You Need When You Haven't Got a Secretary!®
Ph: +613 9585 5780 Web: http://www.vadirectory.net

*****

 

Have an article you’d 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..