November 2011  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 8 Issue 10

Thankful in November

2011, thus far, has been an eventful year for me as a business owner.  I've started a new enterprise (VA League) and given myself permission to spend a lot more time on professional development than in years past.  Which is great for me -- but a lot of work.

So, even though I said this in February, I'm going to say it again --- behind every good business owner is a good team and OffAssist is no different. Just in time for Thanksgiving -- though I mean it year round--I'm sending out a huge thank you to Lanel, Patty, Angela, Dy, Elaine, Heather, Justin, Marcy, Melinda, Susan and last, but certainly not least, Tom. These are the stars - the people that make OffAssist such a fabulous (so modest!) bookkeeping firm.

Make sure you take a few minutes out this month to thank the people who make you successful, both in the office and at home.

No - I didn't forget you!  Without you, our clients and colleagues, there would be no OffAssist.  My thanks to all of you and best wishes for a Happy Turkey Day!

In this issue...

What Are QR Codes and How Can They Benefit Your Business?
By David Vallance

Quick Response Codes or QR Codes as they are more commonly known are becoming increasingly common as a way for individuals and businesses to share information quickly and easy and are increasingly used within companies marketing collateral and even business cards.

So what is a QR Code?

Even if you are not familiar with these chances are you have seen them, they are very similar to barcodes traditionally used by retailers for stock control and product pricing, except they are 2D and can contain far more information.

Bar codes are one dimensional holding up to 20 numerical digits, however QR codes are two dimensional (2D) and can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters.

So what can a QR Code do?

A QR Code can link users straight to digital content and even activate programs, when scanned using a smart phone with a QR Reader App, such as an iPhone or Android device, the device must have a camera for this to work.

This content could be simply contact information, this means that the desired contact information is automatically added to a users phone without them needing to manually enter any information, hence the increased use on business cards. It could also be a calendar event, web address, email or SMS.

So how might your business make use of a QR code?

There are a number of different practical applications for QR Codes, here are just a few examples:

On business cards to simplify people adding your contact details to their address book.

On marketing collateral linking to your website or a dedicated landing page.

On restaurant menus, linking people to newsletter signup pages or promotional pages.

On event promotions enabling users to easily add event details and dates into their calendars.

Clearly there are so many potential applications, with more uses being found all the time, for example some airlines are now using them as digital boarding passes.

Practical Information

It's important to note that many smart phones will not recognise QR Codes 'out of the box' you would typically need to download a QR Reader App, and then open the App prior to trying to read a code. The App will automatically start the device camera which then allows you to line up the code within your phone screen, within a couple of seconds the phone should then complete the desired function without you needing to take any more action.

About The Author: David Vallance is Managing Director at Kit Happens Ltd, an internet marketing business providing seo, graphic design, email marketing and web design milton keynes, Northampton, Luton, Bedford and the Midlands. Article Source:

QuickBooks Tip

Merging Information

Q: I have two accounts in my Chart of Accounts that are really the same expense. Can I merge them without losing any detail?

A: If your accounts are the same type (income, expense, liability, etc.) it is easy to merge them.  Open the Chart of Accounts list and select the account you want to merge.  At the bottom of the screen go to Account: Edit Account.  In the edit screen change the Account Name to be exactly the same as the one you want to merge it with.  When you hit Save & Close you will get a warning asking if you want to merge the accounts, select yes.  If you want to rename the merged account you can do it after they are merged.

If you are merging accounts of a different type (income to expense, for example) you need to change the Account Type first, then merge the accounts as described above. 

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


Thanksgiving Trivia

Did you know...?

  • The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
  • President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.
  • A spooked turkey can run up to 20 miles per hour!
  • Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on October 3, 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving. Earlier presidents just made an annual proclamation to specify the day Thanksgiving would be held.
  • Plymouth Rock is now only the size of a car engine -- it has cracked 3 times over the years, each time getting smaller and smaller.
  • Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that now onwards Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Truman was the first president to pardon a turkey at Thanksgiving.


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Tax Deadlines

November 30
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

December 15
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Corporations - 4th Quarter Estimate Due

December 31
- Last Day to Open KEOGH account for 2010 deposits

Tech Talk With Tom...

SOPA Glossary

With the new SOPA act, we’ll be seeing a lot of buzzwords flying around in news articles. SOPA is the “new” Stop Online Piracy Act which is designed to be even more restrictive than the DMCA.

So, as this topic re-enters the public eye, I thought it would be good to repost a glossary of terms that will be showing up on the Internet and on TV in the weeks to come (SOPA is being voted on November 16th).

Copyright: Protects ways or forms of expression. Does not protect actual information, ideas, or systems.

Counterfeit: A copy of an original work. May appear to be produced by a legitimate dealer.

DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Digital Rights: Rights that affect property defined as digital media. Property rights of digital media formats

Dilution: Using a trademark or intellectual property owned by another in your own work without permission. This can reduce the possible income from the property for the original owner.

Fair Use: Referencing or providing a sample of intellectual property with the intent of criticism, comment, new reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Infringement: Use of another's work or trademark that creates the appearance of affiliation.

Organized Piracy: Criminal organizations made to copy and distribute another's intellectual property or goods.

Patent: Protects the intellectual property of an inventor so that public disclosure of the invention will not result in loss of income.

Piracy: Copying or distributing protected works without the authorization of the owner.

Public Domain: Intellectual property freely available for public or commercial use. These works are not protected by copyright restrictions.

Streaming: Technology that allows the real-time distribution of digital media via the Internet. Users typically view the media as it is being streamed.

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

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: The Intentional Networker by Patti DeNucci

How useful is networking in today's world? Is who you know really more important than what you know?

Not unless you know the right people for YOU. What you need, and have to offer, when networking is different than the person across the table from you is looking for and if you're both looking for it at the same event, in the same way, from the same people, one or both of you is doing it wrong.

Patti DeNucci is a communications professional who saw a need for guidance when it comes to networking. It's not just about collecting business cards and shaking hands.  It's about setting a specific goal, deciding what you need and what you have to offer, and acting on these things. It's about making meaningful connections that have value to both parties. In short, networking with intent. 

And The Intentional Networker was born. Patti's book is short, but substantial, and one we recommend.  Also, she's good people :-)

Want to learn more about The Intentional Networker or its author, Patti DeNucci? Check out the book's website at Want to know more about the woman behind the words? You can see the business side of Patti at Feeling social? Follow Patti on Twitter at @pattidenucci.

Bonus: Candy reviewed Patti's book in early October. See what she had to say 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 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?


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.