September 2010  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 7 Issue 8

School's Out!

In July I BEAT one of my personal goals for the year--to attend 2 live business development events. The eWomen Network conference in Dallas was my third live event for the year!

First off, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by the idea of attending a conference with a few thousand women. While IVAA's live conference is growing every year, the number of attendees is still well below the 4-digit mark. I attended this particular conference ONE MONTH after joining eWomen, so I really had no idea what I was walking into.

Turns out I was walking into one of the most welcoming groups of women I've ever had the pleasure of getting to know. With a few (rare!) exceptions, every single person attending was warm and welcoming. It is definitely a conference I will be attend again.

One of the most impressive things about eWomen was the phenomenal quality of the speakers. I was really impressed with Tony Hsieh, CEO of was a fabulous keynote speaker. The conference closed with a presentation from Zig Ziglar and his daughter. Zig Ziglar! Wow, just wow.

Sure SxSWi was bigger, but it was also less structured and more impersonal. At eWomen I felt like part of the party, even though I'd just joined. A large conference like this was a real rite of passage for me.

Which reminds me... Speaking of rites of passage... As I write this, my kids are just getting back into the swing of school and all of the insanity that entails. Can you believe I have a 4th and 2nd grader now? Me either. I must have blinked.

In this issue...

Anyone who knows me laughs when I say this, but it's true. I'm a bit shy. For that reason, I love social media, both professionally and personally. It lets me come out of my shell a bit and allows people to get to know me. Without requiring me to leave my office. :-)

Social Media Benefits
By Lanette Higham

Getting Social can Help your Business

If you're not using Social Media you should know that it is growing and growing quickly. What is Social Media? There are many social platforms the most popular are YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I know what you are thinking I don't have the time, I need to run my business. Did you know that women between 20 to 30 years of age check their Facebook daily? The number of people using Facebook to connect with friends and family is rising quickly.

Did you know that you can hire an Assistant and pay them to help? You can have them make sure that your ROI is within your budget? Generate exposure for your business - 85% of all business implementing a strategic Social Media Campaign have generated exposure for their business.

Increase in traffic, optins and subscribers - More than half of companies have reported an increase in traffic due to getting social. By increasing traffic they were able to create more qualified leads.

Increased business partnerships - 56% of all companies created increased business partnerships because of social media.

Rise in Search Engine Rankings - 54% saw a rise in their search engine rankings as a direct result of becoming active on the Social market.

Qualified Lead Generation - 52% of the companies saw qualified leads increasing the opportunity for sales.

Helped to Sell Products and Services / Close Business - 48% of companies were able to determine that getting social increase their bottom line by selling more products. Getting social gave them a platform to discuss the benefits of current products, alert customers to new products and find out what their customers want.

Reduced My Overall Marketing Expenses - 48% reported a decrease of marketing expenses last year.

Find Out What the Competition is Doing - Social experts can help you figure out what your competition is doing. What is hot and what is not.

Getting Social will take time and effort to achieve results it is becoming more and more main stream. Companies like IBM, Pepsi to name a few have already jumped into Social Media Marketing. Budgets for getting social can be small at first and build as your ROI starts rolling in.

Need help with Social Media Marketing contact us. Remember the time spent on this type of marketing will not be wasted. Get out there and get social before you find yourself playing catch up with your competitors.

All statistics were taken from the 2010 Social Media Marketing Report.

If you need assistance coming up with the right Social Media Strategy check out my blog at

Article source:

NOTE: The author of this month's article isn't anyone I know. When I want social help I talk to this month's spotlight subject, Rebecca Thompson.

QuickBooks Tip

How do I track my profitability with a new client contract?

Q: I created an invoice for a client and they have gone out of business. Since I will not be able to collect the amount owed, what is the best way to remove the invoice?

A: For auditing purposes it’s best to not have gaps in your invoice numbers. To safely remove the invoice you should create a credit memo against it. To do this, go to “Create Credit Memos/Refunds”. You will create the credit memo the same way you would an invoice. In the item field you can create a new item called “bad debt” using a bad debt expense account. When you save the credit memo it will ask if you want to issue a refund or apply against an invoice. You should apply it to the open invoice. That will clear off the amount owed by that customer.

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


An accountant is talking to the young child of one of his friends and says, "Do you know what I do?"

"Daddy says you're a CPA."

"That's right. Did he tell you what CPA stands for?"

"Well, he says you're a Complete Pain in the Arse."

Tax Deadlines

September 15

- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Partnership Returns Due- FINAL DEADLINE
- Corporate Returns Due- FINAL DEADLINE
- S Corporate Returns Due- FINAL DEADLINE
- Estate & Trusts Returns - Final Deadline; Bankruptcy fillings use the same form
- Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 3rd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
- Corporations - 3rd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due
- Estates & Trusts 3rd Estimated Tax Payment
- Deadline for Corporations and Partnerships to fund SEP-IRAs for previous year

September 30

- Last day to establish SIMPLE plans for current year
- Time for businesses to consider setting up retirement plans

Tech Talk With Tom...

Windows 7: Upgrade on a clean system

This time last year I was the happy recipient of Windows 7 Professional Edition. I loved Vista, after Service Pack 1, but Windows 7 promised too many new features to pass up. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a full system wipe and clean install. I was in too much of a hurry. Which means that last week I found myself in need of a fresh install.

After a complete wipe of my system, I went to install the new OS and things ground to a halt. Windows couldn’t install. The Operating System could not find a “System Partition” to install to. Even though I was looking at my drives and pointing and yelling, “There is one right there on C!” For some reason my computer refused to understand me.

As it turns out, Windows 7 is a little finicky during the install. You MUST install to the first device as listed in your BIOS. In my case, for some inexplicable reason, the first device listed was my external USB hard drive. A quick trip into the BIOS to rearrange my boot options, and the install continued just fine….until…

You know how Windows asks for your CD-Key right before you are allowed into the OS for the first time? I was asked, I typed it in. And got an Invalid Key message? Umm..ok... I tried two more keys, both also returned “Invalid!”

After some quick research, I found that you can’t validate an “Upgrade” version during an install. You have to leave the CD-Key blank during installation. Once you are inside Windows 7, you can go to activation and enter the CD-Key with no problems.

There you have it, how to smooth out an “upgrade” installation of Windows 7. Next month I’ll give everyone a run down of, “Adventures in Compatibility.”

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

Spotlight On...

Rebecca Thompson and CLR Virtual Connection

Like us, Rebecca Thompson loves social media. In fact, she likes it so much she's made a career out of it. Rebecca's CLR Virtual Connection is a full-service VA firm, but a quick look at the site and Rebecca's certifications shows you her true passion: helping others use and enjoy social media, too.

CLR Virtual Connection provides support across multiple social platforms. Rebecca can help you set up a blog---or just do the Internet research to tell you if a blog is right for your business. She can make custom Twitter backgrounds and even walk you through setting up a LinkedIn profile that puts your best foot forward.

One of the coolest services Rebecca offers is her Fan Page Assurance program. For a small monthly fee she'll fix your Fan Page every time Facebook changes their setup and breaks it. Heck, she'll even fix it you decide to take your colors, tagline, or anything else in a new direction. Curious? Learn more about it here.

For more information on Rebecca's service offerings, check out the CLR Virtual Connection website at

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.

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.