February 2010  
All of your business needs. One easy solution.
Volume 7 Issue 2  www.offassist.com

Love, Sweet Love.

Yes, it's February; time to break out the roses, the chocolates, the W2s, and the 1099s.

Huh?

Yes, it's that time, folks. By now you should have gotten your W2s and 1099s and should be compiling your info for your tax preparer.

Bonus points if you already did it!

You should've also given your poor abused bookkeeper everything they've asked for by now.

Right?

Show us number crunchers some love and turn it all in. Trust me, we like that much more than chocolates!

Have a great February! Don't forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, too. I know that sometimes when things are hectic, I certainly forget!

In this issue...


The Benefits of Giving to Charity
by Cait Genereuse

We all want to help out when tragedies strike. Is it okay to help your business and help others at the same time? Here's one perspective.

Giving to charity benefits yourself as much or more than it benefits those to whom you give. That reason alone should be sufficient to justify starting now. If you need more convincing, read on:

  1. Giving to a charity helps make our communities better places to live by helping to provide goods and services to people who might not otherwise have access to them. When we raise the standard of living for the the least able among us, we raise our own standard of living in turn.
  2. What motivates you more: Having stuff or feeling good? If you chose the latter, you're not alone. Many have found over centuries of recorded history that their ultimate satisfaction came from helping those in need.
  3. Those who witness our giving are reminded that we are all interdependent on one another for our care and well-being. That reminder can have a viral effect and motivate countless others to follow your example.
  4. At the very least, your gifts to charity will be rewarded, in part, by the government in the form of a reduced tax liability. Business owners can especially benefit from this if they give through their businesses.
  5. Some believe that what they give to the world is returned to them threefold, sevenfold, or even tenfold! Their experiences bear out their beliefs. The only way you'll find out is to start.

Any gift to a charity is better than no gift. Start at a level you're comfortable with now. Increase if, or more likely when, you feel able and willing to. Look at what your generosity does for others, and also observe the good that it does for you.

Article source: Writer Cait Genereuse invites you to read more articles like this at her website, Rx for Charity. While you are there, subscribe to her newsletter. Go to http://www.rxforcharity.com/.

Article courtesy of ArticleCity.com

QuickBooks Tip

Entering transactions in QuickBooks

Q: What is the cleanest way to wipe out prior year payable entries that have not been paid and for any of a number of reasons, will not be paid?

A: This happens quite often when the invoice is entered as a bill to be paid, but the payment is actually generated with a direct check to the vendor.

If the payment was never actually made, but is in the accounts payable register, you should VOID the transaction and make a note in the memo section next to the word VOID: telling WHY it was voided such as “duplicate entry – see ck #XXX”. This notation will also help if the reason the invoice won’t be paid is a dispute with the vendor,

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

Humor

 
Tax Deadlines

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

February 20
- State Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly

February 27
- Forms W-2 and W-3, Annual Wage and Tax Statement to be submitted to the Social Security Administration

- Forms 1099 and 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns to the Internal Revenue Service

March 15

- IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for February issued payroll

- U.S. Corporate Income Tax Return

- U.S. S-Corporation Income Tax Return

March 20

- Texas Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly filers

Tech Talk With Tom...

Dual Personality

The last month has been super hectic, between getting the holiday stuff packed away, finding room for new goodies, and, of course, preparing for tax season. I'm guessing that a lot of our readers either got brand new 21" monitors during the holidays.

Why?

Because the number one question I've been asked since New Year's, the one I've been asked over and over, is, "How do I set up multiple monitors on my computer?"

First, check your operating system. If you're running Windows XP or later then you're set. All you need to do is plug in that extra monitor and away you go!

Oh, wait...

That brings us to the second thing to check: Do you have a plug for that second monitor?

You need more than just another video cable, you need a second video port on your computer. If you have a general-use, off-the-shelf (i.e. non-gaming or design-oriented) computer the odds are good that you don't have more than one video port.

You've got two options. You can spend about $80 and get (A) a new dual-port video card for your computer, or (B) an external graphic extender device that turns one video output into two, three, or even four. If you're comfortable cracking the case on your system, or have a hardware person you use, I strongly recommend the video card upgrade. If you want to get up and running without worrying about getting your wires crossed, a good graphic extender will put you on the fast track to seeing double.

For more tips and tricks--once your many monitors are up and running--check out the newsletter archives at www.offassist.com/newsletters. In March of 2009 I wrote an article with lots of ideas for making the most of your dual monitor set up. Check it out!

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

Spotlight On...

Charity Navigator

You've probably figured out by now that the content for this newsletter is put together a while before it goes out to you. Which means that at this writing we are all still reeling from the heartbreak and loss of life on the island of Haiti.

We're also more than a little horrified by the number of hoaxes and fake charities that popped up after the earthquake swindling people who just wanted to help.

Which begs the question, "How do I give without getting taken?"

Enter Charity Navigator. Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator rates nonprofits on how responsibly they operate on a day-to-day basis and whether they are positioned to maintain their programs over time. They also evaluate charities' privacy policy. The site has won numerous awards since it opened. Check them out at www.charitynavigator.org.

There was also an excellent article on Forbes.com with tips for spotting dubious Haiti charities, which you can read here.

 
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.