June 2012  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 9 Issue 6  www.offassist.com

Graduating and Moving On

As I write this, I’m relaxing during a break in our yearly planning meeting with my operations manager and a few key folks, all here to help me make real and useful decisions about my business. It’s hard work, but it’s also a much-needed step forward for OffAssist. I have an operations manager! Someone to help ease the day-to-day business ownership headaches for me. In a lot of ways it feels like my little bookkeeping business has moved on, growing and changing before my eyes.

Just like my newly minted 6th grader.

This Spring has brought a lot of changes, some planned, some unplanned.  I was ruminating on this last month while I watched Jamie walk across the stage at his completion ceremony. I was, of course, filled with pride (A/B Honor Roll, baby!) but also struck by how much his life (and, consequently, ours) will change in the next year. We’re all in for an amazing and awe-inducing August, I suspect.

BUT all of that was a couple of weeks ago. As you read this now, my family and I are traipsing around Disney World, playing with Mickey. One of the promises I made myself was that we would take a family vacation each year and a truly epic family vacation every 2-3 years. This year we’re visiting the House(s) of Mouse in south Florida. I am very lucky to have clients that believe we all deserve some solid down time, as well one or two who inspire me to want to travel more.

It’s June. The kids are out of school. The sun is shining, the beaches and pools are calling our names. Make sure you take time out to answer.

In this issue...

A Solopreneur's Monster Under the Bed - The "C" Word
By Michele Christensen

I had several conversations this week with solopreneurs about confidence.  It's one of the biggest things standing in our way to building the business of our dreams.  What's amazing is that even though we may know in our heads that we do great work, that doesn't stop us from feeling inadequate.  With newer business owners, the sentiment is often something like "Who am I to have a business doing X?  Who would pay me to do that?"  It's like we don't see how valuable what we know and can do is to others. With more seasoned business owners, it may take a different guise such as second guessing ourselves after working with clients or charging too little.  Sometime seasoned business owners lack confidence to expand into a new venture or to expand.

The fix for this comes from two places: outside yourself and inside yourself.  One of the best ways to boost your confidence is to get feedback from other people such as customers, friends and family you have helped whether under your business or not, peers, colleagues in other industries and mentors.  Sometimes when I'm giving feedback to a client, they'll be overwhelmed with the "kindness" of my words but the reality is I don't sugarcoat the facts nor do I butter people up.  I only tell people how I see them and how others see them.  Hearing someone describe your greatness may help you to feel more confident in what you offer.

Getting help from outsiders is great, but what about relying on yourself?  You can keep a file of things that boost your confidence such as testimonials and feedback.  Bookmark any mentions on the web or particularly popular posts you've done.  Sit down and write a list of 10 things you've done that helped others.  10 may be hard, but keep at it.  Going through this exercise will force you to focus on how you've helped others for long enough to do it.  Build a habit to look for and acknowledge the talents of others - it will help you to see your own.

Sometimes it's hard to see how great our own gifts are.  Do you ever look in awe at someone using their natural talents?  That's how people perceive you and your natural talents when you use them to help others.  If we were all great athletes, there would be nobody to build the stadiums.  If we were all artists, there would be no historians to teach us about the art.  The world needs you using your gifts to help others and you deserve to make nice living doing it.  If confidence is standing in your way, find a way to break through and get your business going!

About The Author: You have something unique to offer the world and a solopreneur business is a great way to help others and earn a living with your gift. If you're thinking of starting a solopreneur business or already have one, you can learn exactly what skills you need to make your business a success in my free e-course "5 Essential Skills for Solopreneur Success," Visit http://www.michelechristensen.com to sign up and you'll also get a free subscription to my Solopreneur Strategy Newslette.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7024683

Bookkeeping Tip

I’m having reconciliation issues!

Q:I’m reconciling my bank account and the beginning balance doesn’t match the beginning balance on my bank statement. What do I do?

A:Most often this happens because a reconciled transaction was deleted or changed. From the Begin Reconciliation screen, select “Locate Discrepancies.” This will open a new box and “Discrepancy Report.” If a reconciled transaction has been changed or deleted, it will show up on this report and you can make corrections. Occasionally you find that a transaction has been edited and it will show on the reconciliation screen as already cleared.

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


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Tax Deadlines

June 15
- Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 2nd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
- Corporations - 2nd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due
- Estates & Trusts 2nd Estimated Tax Payment
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- US Taxpayers Overseas Individual Personal Returns due
- US Taxpayers Overseas Claim Foreign Earned Income
- US Individuals Overseas Personal Return Extensions due

June 30
- File Form TDF 90-22.1 - Report of Foreign Banks with $10,000 anytime during year

July 16
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

July 31
- 2nd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
- Deposit FUTA tax if more than $500 was paid through June 30th
- Employer's Deposit Federal Unemployment (FUTA)
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ
- Employers File request for Extension filing Employee Benefits Plan Return
- 2nd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher

Tech Talk With Tom...

My new favorite calendar!
By Carol Mikel

Many of you have heard of Boomerang for Gmail, right? It’s now available in Safari, too.

But did you know Boomerang also has a Calendar for Gmail? It’s awesome!

The Boomerang calendar automatically detects times in incoming emails and highlights them for you. It identifies event information as you read your email and automatically highlights dates and times in the message with information about whether or not you can attend. Believe me they jump out at you. If the event text is green, you're all clear. Yellow, you have an adjacent event and red means you have a conflict. No need to switch over to your calendar to check, the Boomerang Calendar syncs with your Google Calendar so you never have to worry about overlapping appointments.

It’s now even easier to schedule meetings with the scheduling built right into the compose email window. No flipping tabs back and forth from your calendar to your email to find convenient times. When composing an email, you click on the “Suggest Times to Meet” button, your calendar will open, click the times you want to propose for a meeting and it automatically inserts them into your email for you. Participants can reply directly to the form inside their email clients.

For event planning, you can go into your Boomerang calendar and create an event with all of the meeting details. Then as participants provide availability data, the email messages in your participants’ inbox will automatically update to reflect the changes. No more emails flying back and forth with different proposed dates and times. This totally eliminates the missed email where one person said they couldn’t make it.

According to their website, “Boomerang Calendar lives where your schedule does - inside your email.” And it does; this tool has made my appointment scheduling so much easier.

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

Carol Mikel is the owner of Next Level Office Solutions and works with small business owners helping them to market their business through social media.

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: Virtual Done Wright

Kay Wright, while not a native Austinite, is a 3rd generation UT grad from a family that bleeds orange.  A year ago she decided it was time to pack up and ‘come home’ to Austin so she could be closer to family--especially her grandsons! The ability to go anywhere and still be business owners is one of the most appealing things about becoming a VA.

Kay puts her years of experience in IT education and management to work for her clients -- handling the computer tasks they would rather avoid. Kay’s business, Virtual Done Wright, specializes in helping businesses connect with the right customers through social media, email marketing, contact management, market research, and--a new service for Kay-- newsletters.

As a side note -- Kay is one of the most interesting people we know! She’s traveled extensively and always has a great story to tell or resource to share at our local monthly VA get-together.

Want to learn more about Kay Wright and Virtual Done Wright (LOVE her business name... we like ‘em punny!)?  Check out her website at virtualdonewright.com. Feeling social? Connect with Kay on facebook.

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.