April 2012  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 9 Issue 4  www.offassist.com

Spring Planting

Ahhhhpril.... The first half of the month is a whirlwind of frantic end-of-main-tax-season madness. The last half? Well, honestly, after years of being a bookkeeper the last half of April is just kind of a blur of catching up on sleep lost over the previous three and a half months.

However, once I get a couple of days of sleep (only partly kidding folks!) I start thinking Spring thoughts. Thoughts like. "What can I plant now to help my business grow this year?" Planting, growing. Yes, it's a corny metaphor, but it's an accurate one, too.

Like most business owners, I tend to reflect on my business at tax time--because you have to when you do your taxes. Or, you know, when your CPA tells you the bad news after he does them... I'm one quarter into a new year. What can I do now that will help me achieve the goals I set over the holidays? What have I already done?  What's working and what isn't?

For me, I'm spending more time developing myself as an entrepreneur. I'm also putting processes in place that will allow me, and my team, to take vacations--like normal folks--without worrying that OffAssist will fall apart without us. It hasn't yet, but, you know, the worry never really goes away.

What will you be planting this month? What are you hoping it will be when it blooms?

In this issue...

Time Management Tip: The Single Most Important Tool to Manage Your Day
By Mark G Sayles

When was the last time that you were working through your day and halfway through you realized that you just weren't getting anything done? You probably created your plan of action and prioritized your tasks, but that wasn't enough. You ran into one distraction after another and you soon realized that you weren't making any progress. You were quickly running out of day and you still had an entire day of projects left on your plate!

Then, to get caught up, you reorganize your paperwork. Or you will take a break to reorganize your thoughts. Perhaps you take a few moments to vent with a co-worker. You may even work yourself into a frenzy of worry, mentally running in circles trying to figure out how you will finish your day. Do I reprioritize everything? What do I do next? How can I possibly get this all done?

If you are like most people, this happens every single day. You start out with a plan and that plan is quickly derailed. However, there is one critical thing that you can do to ensure that you are able to work your way through your day AND accomplish what you set out to do.

It is an extraordinarily simple principle: GET ONE THING DONE. Perhaps this seems too simple and obvious. However, I have applied this religiously and it does work miracles. That is probably BECAUSE of its simplicity--the simplicity of FOCUS. What you focus on becomes your priority AND because it is important, you accomplish your goal.

GETTING ONE THING DONE also works because it brings your tasks down to a level you can control. With a plethora of tasks in front of you, many people may feel overwhelmed and out of control. However, it IS possible to get just one thing done. Since doing one thing IS possible, this puts that task back into the realm of your control.

To do this, simply prioritize the tasks that you need to get done during the day. Start with the first item on your list and GET IT DONE. You will want to ignore ALL distractions. If you do become distracted and you are pulled away from your task, refocus and work to get the first item done. Keep focusing on the task at hand and GET IT DONE.

Once you finish your first item, move on to your next item and COMPLETE IT. If you are distracted, come back to the task you started and GET IT DONE. Keep focusing on just ONE task and one task ONLY. If something else should come up, write it down on your list of tasks with any notes you need regarding that task, prioritize it and then--DROP IT FROM YOUR MIND. You have notes, so you don't need to think about it anymore.

GETTING ONE THING DONE is an amazingly powerful tool because it gives you control of your day. It enables you to focus and free your mind from the heavy workload of the day. When you FOCUS on one thing and drop everything else from your mind, you become more efficient and effective.

About The Author: Mark Sayles says: For additional tips to improve your productivity and smash through ANY procrastination and distractions, visit me at http://hypertracker.com/go/sklemen/ProductivityEZine0312 -- the Productivity Enhancers website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6945260

Bookkeeping Tip

How do I find my transactions?

Q: I am a sole proprietor and have both business and personal bank accounts. I recently purchased a laptop for $700 using my personal account. I don't want to reimburse myself from the company account, but I do need it to show in my business books. What do I do?

A: Sometimes owners buy things with personal funds, such as costs incurred in travel for business and office supplies.

There are two ways to record personal expenses, depending on if the owner wants reimbursement immediately or not.  In this example, the owner does not was immediate reimbursement, but the expense should still be recorded.  The name and type of the account used to track amounts owed to the owner depends on the legal structure of your business.  If you have shareholders, the amount can be categorized to a shareholder or Member Loan liability account.  If your business is a sole proprietorship, the amount can be categorized to a Owner Draw equity account.

Using the register for the loan liability account (in QB, it looks like a checkbook register), enter the transaction details – date of purchase, name of business paid, the amount and the correct category for the expense.  You’re done!  The amount of the loan account is increased showing what is due to the owner for later payment, and the expense is recorded.

Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!


How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

Two, one to change the light bulb and one to check that it was done within the given budget.

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Tax Deadlines

April 17
- Last Day to set up and fund IRAs and Roth IRAs for previous year
- Individual Personal Returns due
- Personal Returns due - Nonresident, US income, etc.
- Personal Returns due - Easy Form Return
- Personal Returns due - Not Itemizing Return Form
- Personal Return - Extensions due
- US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return
- US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return Extension Due
- Partnership Returns due
- Issue K-1's with Partnership Returns
- Electing Large Partnership Returns due
- Estate & Trusts Returns are due; Bankruptcy fillings use the same form
- Partnership, Estate & Trusts Returns - Extensions due
- Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 1st Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
- Corporations - 1st Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due
- Estates & Trusts 1st Estimated Tax Payment
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

April 30
- Deposit FUTA tax if more than $500 was paid through March 31st
- 1st Quarter Payroll Tax Returns Due
- 1st Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher - Form 720

May 15
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

Tech Talk With Tom...

Dual Monitor Calibrating

So a while back I got a second monitor. They are the same brand, same size, and even the same model. I have this beautiful picture of the Martian landscape taken by one of the Mars Rovers that extends from one monitor to the next. The problem is, it doesn’t even look like the same picture.

One monitors colors are less red than the other. The other monitor is much brighter.  The picture looks awesome on one monitor, totally washed out and bland on the other. The truth is, it has nothing to do with the picture. And even pictures that look great on my monitor might look horrible and discolored on yours.

It all comes down to calibration.

Luckily, Microsoft has built a monitor calibration wizard into Windows 7. They just didn’t give us a link for it. To run the calibration tool do the following:

Click “Start”
Type: DCCW
Hit <Enter>

Follow the steps and you can be sure that you are seeing your pictures in the colors and brightness that they were meant to be!

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.

Source: Free Articles from EzineArticles

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: Violet Crown Realty

Did you know that Austin used to be known as, "The City of the Violet Crown?" This month's spotlight subject, JoAnne McKinney, taught me all about it when we were discussing her business name, Violet Crown Realty. It's kind of a long story -- for the full scoop check out the Violet Crown info page on JoAnne's website.

Violet Crown realty is a boutique real estate office focused on folks rather than funds.  The overwhelming majority of comments from their satisfied customers talk about JoAnne and her partners and the personal attention they give people searching for homes.

Violet Crown helps people find homes all over the Austin area, but their special expertise is helping people looking at older homes in the heart of the city.

Curious? Want to learn more about JoAnne and Violet Crown Realty? Check out their website at violetcrownrealty.com. Looking to buy or sell in Austin? Check out their free resources here. JoAnne and Violet Crown are very social, you can find them online in all these nifty places:

Have you nursed a secret longing to be in the spotlight, center-stage, all eyes on you?

If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column, and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Patty@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.

Fine print: We do reserve the right not to feature anyone and a request is not a guarantee that you will make it into the newsletter. Also, if your news, announcement, etc. is time sensitive or tied to a specific date, please let Patty know in your email.

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.

The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the copywriting/editing skills of Ink Think VA, and the coding talents of Time Is Of The Es-Cents.