Happy New Year

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12/08/2005       Vol 2 Issue 1


Resolve To Organize Your Office
I sat my desk in late December and realized that the one thing I needed to do in 2005 is reorganize. My old way of doing things simply wasnít working. I even looked into electronic filing systems (those of you that know me, know how much I love paper, so donít let your jaws drop too much). In the end I decided that, for me, it wasnít a viable solution.

An extra filing cabinet, a desk extension and 12 in-trays later, I finally feel a little more confident that I can be more organized this year. In talking to many of my colleagues, organization seems to be the first thing that takes a backseat in business. Make your new year resolution now to get that clutter under control. It feels great!

Tech Talk With Tom
Ever wondered exactly what is running on your computer?  You can hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete to bring up Windows Task Manager, but all it lists is a bunch of obscure program names.  It doesn't tell you who made it, where its located or what it is doing.  Enter Security Task Manager by A. & M. Neuber.  This great shareware program does all of this for free!

After installation, simply run Security Task Manager and you'll already see a lot more information at your finger tips than Microsoft has ever offered with it's own Task Manager.  The first thing you'll see is the proper name for any program currently running on your system.  Ever wonder what rundll32.exe or svchost.exe really are? If they're running, you'll know!  The second, and most important part of Security Task Manager is the second column.  This gives every program a "security rating", the higher the number, the bigger risk it is.  To find out what this program is doing to deserve this rating, just click on it and in the bottom right hand corner a box will display detailed information on the program: who makes it, what ports it is listening to, what it is doing.  If a program is highly rated, but you know from the description that it is ok, just let it do its job.  On the other hand, it is the unknowns that we are really interested in.

Once you've decided that a program has to go, just right click on the name of the program, hit Remove and your halfway done!  Next you have to decide whether to end the threat for this session, or to remove it forever.  You can either End the task, or Quarantine the file.  I recommend Quarantine as it completely deletes the program from your Startup (if it was there), and makes the file itself inaccessible to your system.  Ending the task does just that, shuts down the program, but it can start back up the next time your machine does.

For free, Security Task Manager does more than more users will ever need it to.  However, if you upgrade it for a nominal fee, you also have access to any running
Services on your system.  The way it comes "Out of the Box", Security Task Manager is a "Must Have Tool" for anyone who requires stability and security for their home or business PC.  Download it from:  http://www.snapfiles.com/get/securitytask.html

Tom Beauchamp is the owner of LANís Edge in Austin, TX. LANís Edge is a computer gaming center that offers PC and xbox gaming as well as a high speed internet connection and PC sales and repair.  He can be reached at daystar@lansedge.com. Visit http://www.lansedge.com for more information.

Employee or Subcontractor?
For many, the question of whether a person should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor is cut and dry. For others, itís a toss up.

From the IRS website, I found the following information. A link is provided below for a more in-depth analysis. Itís always best to classify a person correctly from the get-go, but this is a good time to re-evaluate.

Who is an Independent Contractor?
A general rule is that you, the payer, have the right to control or direct only the result of the work done by an independent contractor, and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.

Who is an Employee?
A general rule is that anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done.

Partial Source:

To the optimist, the glass is half full.  To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

To the accountant, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Important Tax Deadlines
1/15  4th Qtr estimated tax payments due
1/15 - Dec payroll tax deposits are due
1/31 - Last day to mail 1099s and W2s to recipients
1/31 - Last day to file 941s and 940s.
Form 1040 Explained

For those of you who are not familiar with US tax forms, "Form 1040" is the most common of the US Federal tax forms. Most people file one of the several versions of this form.

Ever wonder why the IRS calls it Form 1040?

Because for every $50 that you earn, you get 10 and they get 40.

(haha, see us bookkeepers have a sense of humor too!)

Year End Accounting Tips & Reminders

-- When sending a 1099 to a sole proprietor, the personís name, not their business, should be used.

-- Donít forget to depreciate your assets!

--1099s are for funds PAID in a tax year, not accrued.

-- All payroll payments and filings should be based on the check date, NOT the period ending.

-- If you need to make a correction to a 941 you have previously filed, youíll need to file a 941c

-- Itís always a good idea to wait to mail your W2s and 1099s (with transmittal forms W3 and 1096) to the proper agency until the end of February (the due date). This gives the recipients time to review the forms and submit questions/corrections to you.

Spotlight On... LAN's Edge

This month the spotlight swings on over to LANís Edge. LANís Edge is a computer gaming store in Austin, Texas run by our very own Tech Talk columnist, Tom. LANís Edge opened in 2002 to cater to people who like to play video games, but wanted a more social environment. Tom tells us, ďOur store has been dubbed Ďtheí nightclub in Austin for geeksĒ. A pretty accurate description, but they offer more than just fun - they have recently branched out to selling and repairing PCs.

Walking into LANís Edge is like walking into every 16 year old boyís dreamland. High end machines, dark lighting and a whole lot of firepower await you.

LANís Edge was the first of itís kind to open in the central Texas area and has
managed to grow during the down economy for the entertainment business.

"Keeping 40 computers up and running with over 60 games takes a lot of time and effort," says Tom. "Candy takes care of most of our paperwork and lets us concentrate on our business: the customers, the computers, and the fun."

LANís Edge is located at 9012 Research Blvd #C6 in Austin, TX. For more information, visit their website at http://www.lansedge.com


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Email candy@offassist.com.