OffAssist

A Note from Candy

December,  2015
Volume 19, Issue #1

December, the most wonderful time of the year, right? It can be, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Family and work commitments are more common and all the shopping, traveling, and hosting can be overwhelming. If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant, this is also the time of the year you try to live it up because W-2 season is just around the corner. With that in mind, I have two things to say:


  1. Take the time NOW to go through your employee records and make sure you have the correct legal paperwork for everyone before W-2 season. It will make your life, and your bookkeeper’s life, much easier if you are prepared when January arrives.


  1. Take time for YOU. Lots to do? Feeling overwhelmed? Give yourself a break.  Go for a cup of coffee and leave your phone in the car. Get outside and enjoy the beauty particular to this time of year. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Just do something that is just for you.


Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.


I’d write more, but I’m off to have lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in far too long!

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In this issue...

Article: 3 Year End Strategic Business Planning Guidelines for Companies and Entrepreneurs

Quickboook Tip: Collapse Report Lines

Tax Deadlines: December 15, 2015 through January 15, 2016

Spotlight: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Tech TalkExasperated with Excel

Humor: The Perfect Holiday Workout

Article: 3 Year End Strategic Business Planning Guidelines for Companies                                 and Entrepreneurs

By 

 

Does everyone have a good pair of glasses? - Because we have officially and undoubtedly entered the review time of year! As this year ends, it is time to reflect on this year's accomplishments and incorporate them into next year's strategic business planning.

 

Here is a short checklist of activities in which I routinely engage to ensure that my strategic business planning remains on path with my long term business goals.
 

Each year, my strategic business planning begins with three big themes: a look back, a look ahead, and what is next? Please review this checklist, and add your own goals to create your own checklist.
 

3 BIG Year-End Review Questions for Successful Strategic Business Planning Goals
 

  1. What worked?

  2. What did not work?

  3. What is my business vision for the New Year?
     

In each category of your strategic business planning, use the following rubric to assess what worked, what did not work and what you would like your New Year vision to include. Give serious attention to this process and you will be rewarded favorably in following year.
 

FORTUNE, favors the PREPARED.
 

SALES - Within sales, you will want to assess:

  • Create and evaluate a process for lead capturing

  • Product and service performance, sales systems as well as new product / services R & D

  • Evaluate your follow up systems and interactions with clients
     

MARKETING - There is an old saying that goes, "Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." Advertising provides your business with a constant flow of new clients as well as repeat business. In addition, marketing promotes brand recognition.
 

To determine how well your marketing efforts have paid off, look back on the following marketing avenues:
 

  • Advertising

  • Professional Organizations, Affiliations & Strategic Alliances

  • Speaking Engagements

  • Website Development

  • Marketing Collateral

  • Other
     

ACCOUNTING- Review expenses, profit and loss statements, etc.
 

BUDGETING- Based on your yearly budget, are you on mark? Do you have excess funds? Are there major expenditures pending?
 

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT - Are you ready to launch a new product or do you need to add a development plan to your strategic business planning process?
 

SET UP ANNUAL CALENDAR - Decide what key events will be added to your calendar such as national conferences or professional growth for the year.
 

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH - Identify three growth initiatives to stretch personally next year.
 

These are mine:

 

  1. Accepted President's role for International Coach Federation Central Ohio Charter Chapter position

  2. Recruited new team members for business development responsibilities

  3. Find one training program to take for professional growth
     

As you make your way through this strategic business planning process, remember to reflect with honesty and kindness. Be honest with yourself about your growth and be kind to yourself about your shortcomings. They are simply opportunities for improvement, and a New Year is a PERFECT time to strive for the best business and the best you!


About the author:

 

Barb Girson, International Direct Selling Industry expert, trainer and coach, is a highly interactive, creative speaker and author offering professional skill development programs for workshops, leader retreats, annual conventions and teleconference training programs.
 

Barb helps companies, teams & home-based entrepreneurs...Gain Confidence. Get Into Action. Grow Sales.

To contact Barb: Call 614.855.0446.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Barb_Girson/74449

Lanel's QuickBooks Tip: Collapse Report Lines

By Lanel Taylor, Operations Manager at OffAssist

 

When reviewing your financial statements there may be times that you want more or less details.  QuickBooks offers the ability to use subaccounts (and even sub-subaccounts) to allow for more detail.  An example when this can be helpful is with insurance, you can have the main insurance account then sub accounts for the different types of insurance (health, workers compensation, liability, etc.).  Having this added level of detail can help with analyzing your business but it can also make for a very long and cluttered looking financial statement, that’s where it helps to collapse the report.

 

At the top of the report screen there’s a button to collapse, this will collapse all of your subaccounts to the one main account. But, what if you still want to see some of the sub accounts – no problem.  Next to each account that has subaccounts there’s a little arrow, click that and it will collapse or expand that section.

 

Quick tip – while using subaccounts and having this extra level of detail is helpful don’t get too detailed on your financial statements.  There are better ways to view higher detail for your accounts.

Tax Deadlines

12/15/2015        Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th                                     of each month

12/15/2015        Corporations - 4th Quarter Estimate Due

12/31/2015        Last Day to Open KEOGH account for 2014 deposits

1/15/2015           Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 4th Quarter                                     Estimated Tax Payment

 Spotlight: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

There are so many events happening this time of year and Austin has some unique ones for sure! Take the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar for example. 

Hot music, fine art, and cold beer make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place where Austin shops in the giving season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar.

On exhibit will be everything from statement-making collectible pieces to modestly priced stocking stuffers. While Texas artists predominate, there are a select few carefully chosen from around the country.

The Armadillo stage showcases some of Austin’s favorite musical talent, with live, intimate performances at least three times a day. Featured musicians range from new and emerging stars to local legends, to Grammy winners.

What other city has an event like that? Visit http://www.armadillobazaar.com/ for more information.

(Source http://www.armadillobazaar.com/)

Tech Talk: Exasperated with Excel

Tom BeauchampBy Tom Beauchamp

I use Excel for just about everything. I fell in love with spreadsheets and formulas years ago, and the rows and columns speak to me better than a 10 page sales report. But since I upgraded with Windows 10, my spreadsheets open at the speed of molasses! I tried all kinds of settings inside Excel, but to no avail.

It turns out, the problem isn’t with Excel at all. The problem is inside the Cortana. For some reason if you enable the voice command feature of Cortana, the loading of Excel files slows to a crawl.

So, if you are experiencing this problem, here is a quick fix:

Open Cortana and go to “Settings”.

Where is says “Hey Cortana”, turn that off.

Reboot your computer.

I normally don’t like turning off features to fix an issue. In this case, though, I’m making an exception because I have found that I don’t walk around going “Hey Cortana”. I also haven’t heard any of my co-workers saying it either.

So, now my spreadsheets load up just like they used to. Cortana isn’t much of a conversationalist anyway.

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

Humor: The Perfect Holiday Workout

Someone finally came up with the PERFECT holiday workout!

 

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 the coding talents of Next Level Digital Solutions.

 

This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2015

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.