OffAssist

 

June 2013
Volume 10, Issue #6

Ah... Summer!

Wow, it’s already June! My kids are out of school and Tom has the summer off. Well, most of it -- a teacher’s work is never really done and he has several projects he’ll be working on this summer. June is the slowest month of the year for those of us in the bookkeeping business and it’s always nice to take a break and get away from the insanity that erupts the first half of the year.

Personally? I plan to spend more than a few hours at the neighborhood pool, playing games with the kids and catching up on my reading. If you’re curious about that, you can see what I’m reading on my review blog at Candy’s Raves. Being June, I’m also on the hunt for good summer reading recommendations and would love to know what book you can’t put down this month.

Til next time -- Happy Leisure!

Candy

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In this issue...

Article: The Importance of Giving Yourself Time Off From Your Business

Bookkeeping Tip: QuickBooks Shortcuts

Tax Deadlines June 2013 / July 2013

Spotlight on Let’s Talk About... You!

Tech Talk: Learn Something New

Humor

The Importance of Giving Yourself Time Off From Your Business

By Taylor Ellwood

The other night, I attended a presentation on time management. Among other realizations I came away with was the importance of giving yourself time off from your business. It is very easy to not do that, to get caught up in a wave of work which seems to endlessly pull at you. Certainly I can attest to that, because I have a list of things I need to do, which sometimes seems to never end, and which I feel guilty about leaving alone. Yet, at some point, if I don't leave it alone, something worse occurs, and it's something all business owners can attest to.

Business burnout occurs. You get so tired of doing anything related to your business that you burnout and stop caring. Needless to say when that occurs, there's usually dire consequences, in the form of neglecting business, making mistakes, and otherwise just wanting to do anything but maintain your business. Of course, business burnout can occur because of other reasons, but generally it seems to occur because too much time is spent on the business. Business owners just starting out face this issue because they feel they need to put every waking moment into the business, but even veteran business owners can get business burnout if they can't balance their work with their life. And it's not surprising when business owners do it, because the business is how they make money and sustain a living. If you aren't working, you aren't bringing in money. However, at some point you have to take a break from the business and enjoy other aspects of life.

Cultivating an effective work-life balance may not always be easy, but it is important, for avoiding business burnout, and also making time for what you genuinely enjoy. I find it to be a good policy to at least take a day off from your business, if not two. It is also useful to figure out what it is you do enjoy doing that isn't business related so that you don't feel at a loss for what to do. Make a list of trips, activities, books, and other things you wish to do, so that when you aren't working you have something to do. Also make sure you spend time with family and friends. I make it a point to schedule several nights during the month which are focused on activities I like, but also provide me an opportunity to spend time with friends I'd like to see.

Your business is important, but it shouldn't consume your life. All work and no play DOES make a person feel dull, so make sure you take time to enjoy your life and take off from your business. Not only will it allow you to reconnect with friends, family, and activities you enjoy, but it will also allow you to reconnect with yourself and recharge so that you can come back to your business refreshed and ready to give your best effort. Getting recharged is important, because it can provide you perspective and ideas for your business that you might otherwise miss.

Maintain a healthy work-life balance. Give yourself a day or two off per week from your business and on the days you do work, make sure you give yourself some time doing an activity which is leisurely. If you can do that, you'll avoid business burnout and may find yourself being more productive than you were previously.

About The Author: Taylor Ellwood connects Businesses to Great Clients and Gets Writers Published - http://www.imagineyourreality.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

Bookkeeping Tip: QuickBooks Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time when entering data in QuickBooks. Here are some common ones that most will find useful:

  • Ctrl+A - Displays the Chart of Accounts window
  • Ctrl+F - Displays the Find window
  • Ctrl+G - Takes user to other side of a transfer transaction
  • Ctrl+I - Displays the Create Invoice window
  • Ctrl+J - Displays the Customer:Job List window
  • Ctrl+M - Memorizes a transaction
  • Ctrl+Q - Creates and displays a QuickReport on the selected transaction
  • Ctrl+R - Displays the Register window
  • Ctrl+T - Displays the memorized transaction list
  • Ctrl+W - Displays the Write Checks window
  • Ctrl+Insert - Inserts a line into a list of items or expenses
  • Ctrl+Delete - Deletes the selected line from a list of items or expenses

Learn to make the right-click function of your mouse a habit when you're in QuickBooks. The menu that comes up in QuickBooks when you right click is different depending upon where you are in the program. You will see a different menu of options in every screen. There are a lot of shortcuts to bring up a specific screen in QuickBooks that we mentioned previously. For example, Ctrl+W will display the Write Checks window. Right click on this window and you will see a menu of actions that you can use specifically on the Write Checks window. Try it on all of your screens and it will save you lots of keystrokes and searching and most importantly, time.

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

Susan Kovalesky is the owner of Balanced Bookkeeping Solutions and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a certification updated annually. She is also a team member of OffAssist. Follow her on Facebook.

Tax Deadlines

06/17/2013
- 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

06/30/2013
- File Form TDF 90-22.1 - Report of Foreign Banks with $10,000 anytime during year

07/16/13
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

07/31/13
- 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

Spotlight: Let’s Talk About... You!

Do you have something new and interesting coming up you’d like to share with our readers?

We’re redoing our spotlight column and accepting submissions from you guys. Send us a short blurb (300 words or less) about your business or your new program/service and we’ll be happy to feature it here.

We allow links to your website and social media pages (Twitter and Facebook only), but do not allow affiliate links. If the blurb is time sensitive (related to a specific launch date, etc.) please let us know that when you submit.

We reserve the right to edit your submissions for clarity or space requirements and do not guarantee publication. You retain the rights to anything you submit and will not be compensated other than with the link your site or product.


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.

Tech Talk: Learn Something New

Tom BeauchampBy Tom Beauchamp

Palermo. That is not a very common last name. However when I saw my new co-workers last name it immediately rang a bell. Had I known a Palermo before? When I met her for the first time it dawned on me: Palermo is the city that houses the Capuchin Catacombs, famous for the amazingly well preserved remain interred there.

So how did I know this? Or as Candy says, “Where did the million and one useless facts” come from? I believe in lifelong learning. I truly believe that the best way to get better at what you are already doing is to broaden your knowledge of the world. In the past, this meant a trip to the library, expensive courses at the local university, or taking your chances that the Wikipedia article on that subject hadn’t been tampered with.

Luckily, there is now a wealth of resources available online that is free, easy to use, and in many cases backed by major educational entities. Need to brush up on your Algebra? Want to take a course in writing? Maybe you are just curious about biology, computer programming, or physics. Whatever it is you can almost guarantee that there is now an institution offering a free course on that subject.

Here are a few of the most popular online learning sites:

Khan Academy: an all around great learning resource for everyone. There are classes available on basic math, science and economics, and even a course on human/machine interfaces!

MIT Open Course Ware: This one is amazing for engineering minded individuals. Simply put: if it is taught at MIT, it is published here.

Harvard Medical School Open Courses: Maybe you are more interested in medicine, biology, or the humanities. Harvard Medical School offers a set of courses covering these and many more.

eHow: Some of us just want knowledge that we can use now. Maybe to fix something, make something new, or find a new use for something we already have. eHow.com can help you do many things: from styling a formal ponytail to installing a theatre quality sound system in your office or home.

These courses are all defined by three things: no cost, no instructor, no credit. MIT and Harvard are not going to send you a free of charge Master’s degree. However, if you are looking for knowledge to better yourself, to tutor a child, or just to stay in touch with the changing world, these are great resources that should not be passed by.

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

Humor

In honor of vacation season, here’s a tip for those of you traveling by air:

Airline Luggage Routing

A family was heading to New York on vacation. The mother presented their tickets at the airline counter and gave the agent their luggage. As she did so, she said, "I'd like you to send our green suitcases to Boston, and the black suitcases to Minneapolis."

The confused agent said, "I'm sorry, we can't do that."

The woman smiled. "Really? I am so relieved to hear you say that because that's exactly what you did with our luggage last year!"

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.

Ink Think       Time Is Of The Es-Cents

This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2013

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.