December 2009  
All of your business needs. One easy solution.
Volume 6 Issue 12  www.offassist.com

The Holidays Are Here...

Wow, we've come nearly to the end of another year. This time of the year is bittersweet. I love the holidays and being able to concentrate a lot of time on my family and friends, but I also know that the crazy bookkeeping time of the year is looming. But this year, my focus is going to be on not worrying about that. I plan to spend more time in the moment and enjoying myself. I hope you are all doing the same.

Happy Holidays from the OffAssist family!.

In this issue...


Saying Thank You During the Holiday Season
by Patty Dost

With Christmas just a few weeks away, I'm sure you've been thinking of what to send to your clients and peers to say thank you for the 2009 year. You may have already started sending thank you gifts to make sure that they receive them in time.

Here's a few inexpensive, but special, ideas to help you out:

Gift cards: Gift cards are always a great way to say thank you and Merry Christmas. Everyone enjoys a gift card to a restaurant, book store, office supply store, movie theater, etc.

Personalized gifts: Send something that's personalized. You can go to the 'Personalization Mall' and find some great deals. You can then choose something especially for them.

Magazine subscriptions: If you know of a magazine that might interest them, sign them up for a one-year subscription.

Baskets: If you know they like chocolate or fruit, you could send them a little basket.

Charities: Make a donation in their name to a charity you know they are interested in. They will then receive a double thank you (from you and the charity) and they'll know that you care about them because you listened to what they care about.

Just remember ... it doesn't have to be expensive for them to know you care.

Article source: Patty Dost ~ Time Is Of The Es-Cents

QuickBooks Tip

Tracking different areas of a company separately by department or location

Q: How can I track different areas of my company separately by department or location?

A: You can track the income and expenses of different departments or locations within your company separately by using classes. You can use classes to track the following:

  • Individual department's payroll, overtime, income and expenses, etc. as well as the total for all departments.
  • Totals for separate locations as well as the cumulative total for all locations.
  • Different properties you own.
  • Any other meaningful breakdown of the business you do.
  • An example: You own more than one fitness center and want to track the income and expenses for each of the centers separately, plus you want to know the total income and expenses for the entire business. You set up a separate class for each fitness center. Each month, you run a separate report for each fitness center, and then run a report that shows totals for all your centers. Note: You can track classes for income/expense accounts (such as sales, advertising, phone, etc.), but you cannot track classes for most balance sheet accounts (such as check, accounts receivable, etc.).

To turn class tracking on:

  • From the File menu, choose Preferences. (In versions prior to 8.0, just choose Preferences from the menu bar, select Transactions and skip step 2.)
  • Select Accounting in the scroll box.
  • Select the "Use class tracking" checkbox.
  • Click OK.

To create a list of classes:

  • From the Lists menu, choose Classes (Classes may also be in the Other List menu).
  • In the Class List window, choose New from the Class menu button.
  • Enter the class name in the Class Name field.
  • (Optional) If this is a subclass of another class, select the "Subclass of" checkbox and choose the higher-level, or parent, class from the drop-down list.
  • Click Next to enter another new class, or click OK to close the window.

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

Humor

Twas The Night Before Christmas (Texas Style)

'Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin' of Christmas, like me and you.

Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed,
For this was Texas, what more need be said,
When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,
There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.

And I saw 'cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,
A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run,
The driver was "Geein" and "Hawin", with a will,
The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.

"Come on there Buck, Poncho, & Prince, to the right,
There'll be plenty of travelin' for you all tonight."
The driver in Levi's and a shirt that was red,
Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.

As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,
With his beard and moustache, so curly and white.
As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,
And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.

And he filled up their boots with such presents galore,
That neither could think of a single thing more.
When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws,
He asked in a whisper, "Are you really Santa Claus?"

"Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?"
And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.
Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,
"To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, You-all"  

 
Tax Deadlines

December 15
- IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for November issued payroll

December 19
- State Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly filers

January 15
- IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for December issued payroll

January 20
- State Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly, quarterly and annual filers

January 30
- Employer's Quarterly Payroll Tax Report(s) Form 941

- Employer's Quarterly TWC (Texas Workforce Commission)

- Employer's Annual FUTA (Form 940)

- Forms W-2, Annual Wage and Tax Statement must to recipients

- Forms 1099-Misc, Miscellaneous Income to recipients

- Forms 1099-B, Interest Income Statement

- Forms 1099-Div, Dividend Income Statement

Tech Talk With Tom...

I Love My Netbook

One look at the title says it all. I truly love my netbook. No, it's not great for heavy duty work, and it definitely isn't great for gaming. But what it is great at is keeping me in touch with the world when I have to be out and about. It's also great for simple work tasks such as word processing or even giving a PowerPoint presentation. Well, I would recommend hooking it up to a projector for the presentation unless your customers have great eye sight.

So, how do you get the most out of your tiny little (dare I say "cute"?) computer?

1.) Stick with XP or another low overhead operating system. You don't have a lot of extra computing power and you definitely don't have the hard drive storage. Keep your operating system to the bare minimum to maximize what power you have for work.

2.) Upgrade the memory. That was the first thing I did with mine, even before I turned it on the first time. You can somewhat make up for a slower processor by throwing in as much memory as the machine will hold.

3.) One...thing...at...a...time. In this day and age of multi-tasking this may seem like a foreign concept. However, I've found I can run some pretty beefy programs (read "games") as long as I don't have anything else running (such as Skype or Twirl). If your netbook slows to a crawl, check and see if you have anything running that doesn't need to be.

4.) The touchpad is for emergencies only. Seriously, get a cheap wireless USB mouse (or bluetooth if your netbook supports it). I've got a great little Verbatim mouse that even has a space to store the USB plug right in the bottom.

5.) Stop squinting to watch movies on the go. Sure your iPod Touch is great for watching movies...oh wait..no it's not. Tiny screen and not a lot of storage space really limits your viewing pleasure. Why not load up a few movies on your netbook before you jump on the plane? It's also great to store your MP3s and other media files.

There are a lot of other things you can do with a netbook. One way to not feel the loss of computing power is to remote into your office computer. Sure the screen will be smaller but you'll have access to your desktops files, printers, and (most importantly) you'll be using its processor and memory!

I'd die without my netbook. Well, I'd be at much more of a disadvantage without it. And I'd probably have a bad back from lugging my ancient 2-ton laptop around. If you have a netbook, make the most of it. If you don't, why not?

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

Spotlight On...

Negotiating ... A Realtor's Dream Job
Holly had always thought about pursuing Real Estate back when she was in Boston, but the ad business was lots of fun and a great challenge. She became friends with a couple Realtors® in Boston who just loved their jobs, and their customers always referred others their way and even ended up becoming pretty good friends in the end. They always treated their clients in an honest and upfront manner and gave them knowledgable, professional, creative advice on selling and purchasing homes. It was a breath of fresh air to see someone actually love their job and perform it so well. So, she decided to move to Austin and become a Realtor®.

When starting her business, she decided that since Holly McCormick was her name, it was just natural for her to use that name for her Realtor® business.

Holly loves negotiating for her clients, but she also loves giving. Her father, George Barbee, passed away from cancer when he was only 36 (Holly was 12), and ever since then Holly has wanted to do everything in her power to aid in cancer research.

Holly's ideal client is someone who wants a Realtor who loves negotiating and who has a marketing background. In other words, she loves working with sellers who like to make money on their sale and buyers who want to save money when purchasing a home. She wants someone who is motivated and serious to buy or sell.

To find out more about Holly, check out site at http://www.hollymccormick.com.

 
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 Candy@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.


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.