May 2012  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 9 Issue 5

Thanks for Being Awesome

So... Plans for putting new systems in place were unexpectedly moved up a LOT after last month’s hospital trip-turned surgery-turned endless recovery (which is where I am now).  I don’t really want to recap the last month--it depresses me, even though I know things are progressing as they should. The short version is that I had ACDF surgery on April 9th. The long version is on our blog, here, along with some notes to pay attention to while I am recovering (who to contact, my availability, etc.).

I cannot possibly express my gratitude to my friends, my team, my clients, and my neighbors for all the love and support they’ve given me since this whole thing started. I’ve tried, and I’ve run out of words. All I can say, to all of you (again), is THANK YOU.

In this issue...

Nine Reasons Why Mentoring Matters to You
By Kevin Eikenberry

There are many roles we play or hats we wear in our lives. We are professionals, family members, brothers, sisters, co-workers, leaders, coaches, friends, parents, and neighbors to name just a few. While you may not wear all of the hats I listed, you can likely add several more that I left out! Many of these roles are a given - we don't have much choice of having the role - they come with being a responsible adult.

Because of these many roles, we find ourselves very busy. Many tasks and priorities find us perhaps busier now than we have ever been before!

With these two factors, many roles and little time, it may seem absurd to write an article that encourages taking on yet another role and adding another task to your over-booked calendar. But that is exactly what I am going to do. In this article I'm going to show you why, despite the competition for our time and energy, being a mentor is one of the best things you can do.

There are many reasons why being a mentor is valuable to the other person. They get the value of your expertise, knowledge, and experience. They get a chance to advance more rapidly and create greater success than they would have been able to without your insight and advice. While these are altruistic reasons, they don't say anything about how you benefit. And while we all like to help others, sometimes we need to see what is in it for us as well.

There are benefits to you personally to spending your time and energy, sharing your expertise with others as a mentor. In fact, there are at least nine benefits that you might derive from being a mentor. These include:

You'll develop a close relationship with your mentee. We can never have enough close relationships. And chances are the person you mentor will be someone you benefit from being around. After all, they are interested in improving themselves, care about learning, and are likely excited about the possibilities in their future. Which brings me to the second benefit...

You'll be re-energized personally. Get around someone enthusiastic, and you naturally become more enthusiastic yourself. Some activities sap our energy while others spark it. Being a mentor is like carrying a book of matches with you. If you want to re-energize yourself to your own possibilities, be a mentor.

You'll increase your commitment to your own career and organization. This one applies most if you are mentoring in a business situation. You can see how this would happen - as you get more enthused, you see new ways you can contribute. You see how your mentee can make a difference in the organization and this new vision will increase your commitment.

You'll learn more by talking about and teaching things. It is funny how our brains work. When we teach something or explain something to someone else, we then understand it more clearly ourselves. As a mentor you will relive experiences, teach or share ideas. And when you do this you will learn and re-learn these concepts for yourself. Often you will find yourself "taking your own advice" to your great personal or professional benefit.

You'll expand your impact in your organization. Not only will your personal commitment grow, but as you help others be more successful, the organization will succeed at higher levels. Think of the satisfaction you will get from knowing you are playing a part in making that happen.

You'll enhance your self-esteem. It just feels good to help others. You will feel better about yourself and your abilities when you share your wealth of knowledge and experience with others. Your self esteem will rise because you are doing good things for someone else.

You'll increase your skills. As you mentor others, you will become a better mentor. The skills that make you a better mentor; empathy, listening, caring, building trust (to name just a few), make you more effective in many other parts of your life. Being a mentor is actually great training in itself!

You'll grow more confident. The culmination of many of these other benefits is that your confidence will increase. You'll be more confident in many sorts of interpersonal relationships and conversations. You'll know that you can have a positive impact. You'll know that you can make a difference.

You'll leave a legacy. Successful athletic coaches do more than grow their teams and win lots of games. The best also create a linage of coaches that leave their staff to become head coaches as well. This is an important legacy that they leave - a statement of their influence and impact. By mentoring others with care and compassion you will be adding directly to your legacy.

Take minute now to be selfish. Think about yourself as a mentor. Identify what you see as being in it for you. Envision how it will feel to give back to someone else. Then go out and become a mentor - you, along with your mentee, will be glad you did!

About The Author: Kevin is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (, a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.

Article Source:

Bookkeeping Tip

How do I find my transactions?

Q:Can you explain the difference between LIFO and FIFO methods for inventory?

A: LIFO means "last in, first out".  You would use the costs of the latest inventory purchased for each new purchase.  FIFO means "first in, first out", so you would use the cost of your oldest inventory against new purchases.

Your company might consider using the LIFO method for inventory if your costs are falling.  Since most costs rise, FIFO would generally tend to be the best valuation of your inventory.
If prices are rising FIFO will give a better indication of the value of ending inventory (on the balance sheet), but will also increase net income because inventory that might be several years old is used to value the COGS.  Increasing net income sounds good, but remember that it also has the potential to increase the amount of taxes that a company must pay.

LIFO isn’t a good indicator of ending inventory value because the leftover inventory might be extremely old and perhaps obsolete.  The result is a valuation that is much lower than today’s prices.  LIFO results in lower net income because COGS is higher.

If prices are falling, the opposite is true.

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

Follow Us!


Forward this newsletter to a friend by clicking here.

Tax Deadlines

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

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

Tech Talk With Tom...

Windows Log-On

In this day and age, this may seem like a strange article. Everyone is super security conscious, right? Well, there is a time and place for security, but sometimes you just want to cut a minute or so off your morning computer start up.

So, how do you set up Windows 7 to login an account automatically?

  • Click “Start”
  • In the search box type “netplwiz” and hit “Enter.”
  • You should see the Advance User Account panel open.
  • Click on the User you want to automatically login.
  • In the “Users” tab, uncheck the box that says “User must enter a username and password to use this computer.”
  • Click “Apply.”
  • You will then be asked to type the password for the user you selected.
  • Click “Ok.”

And you are done!

I wouldn’t recommend this for a high traffic office or if you keep sensitive documents on that machine. However, if you just need a little extra time in the morning, this is a great way to get in a little more “me” time in before the day starts.

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

Source: Free Articles from EzineArticles

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: Success Solutions

Most of you know Lanel Taylor -- she’s been my lead bookkeeper for years and is moving (a little earlier than we’d planned!) into a new project management role at OffAssist in the wake of all the excitement of the last month. So, obviously, I think she rocks.

Lanel, in addition to her time with OffAssist and running her own VA business, Taylored Office Solutions, spent years in corporate America, too, watching businesses grow, and watching them make mistakes.  Why does this matter?

Simple -- Lanel devoted a lot of time to putting all that hard-won knowledge into her new program, Success Solutions. That means she is using her experience to help other people (maybe even you?) avoid the pitfalls that come with growing a business.  Even better, there’s something for everyone at every level.

On a personal note, I want to congratulate Lanel on her new venture, and tell her (in front of witnesses) how proud I am of all that she’s achieved since we first met in IVAA’s mentoring program years ago.

Want to learn more about it?  Check out her website at Feeling social? Follow Lanel on Twitter at @LanelT.

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 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.


Your First Worry

A young accountant interviewed for his first job with a very nervous man small business owner.

”I need someone with an accounting degree,” the owner said. “But, mainly I’m looking for someone to do my worrying for me.”

"Excuse me?” the accountant said.

”I worry about a lot of things,” the owner said. “But I don’t want to have to worry about money. Your job will be to take all the money worries off my back.”

“I see,” the accountant said. “And how much does the job pay?”

“I’ll start you at eighty thousand.”

"Eighty thousand dollars!” the accountant exclaimed. “How can such a small business afford a sum like that?

“That,” the owner said, “is your first worry.”

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?


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.