Category Archives: finances

If Time is Money, How Much Could You Save by Outsourcing Your Payroll?

Think back to the last time you restructured your office. You might have reduced your team, redefined roles and rearranged the furniture but what did you think to reconsider any processes that may be holding you back?

It’s often the older, more set-in-stone processes that go on behind the scenes that get left behind when we’re busy rethinking how other aspects of the business could affect performances.

Take payroll for instance, did you know that according to research from ADP, a staggering 55% of companies fail to measure the true costs of payroll? That’s a pretty significant number and one, which could be drastically cut if companies reconsidered their options, particularly outsourcing.

A few years ago, an article in HRWorld magazine stated: ‘Big businesses can afford to maintain big payroll departments. For small businesses however, an in-house payroll service is a money burner.’ With that in mind, let’s take a look at exactly how outsourcing payroll could save you time and money…

On the clock
Regardless of the size of your company, outsourcing payroll can save you crucial time. That time that could be utilised more efficiently to look at other areas of the business that need improving or fine-tuning.

Or perhaps the time is given back to employees to carry out their jobs efficiently without having to rush tasks at the last-minute in order to squeeze both the payroll paperwork and their projects into the out tray by the end of the day.

Whether it’s your time, your staff’s time or a mix of both, the chances are the hours could be divided up more efficiently. After all, working late is no one’s idea of fun and could lead to errors, an unmotivated work force and a bitter office atmosphere.

Outsourcing your payroll will save time by enabling professionals who are experts in their field to administer tasks such as:

  • Processing payroll
  • Cutting and distributing pay slips
  • Calculating and paying withholding and employment taxes
  • Preparing and distributing HMRC and tax paperwork
  • Keeping up with HMRC and tax legislation updates
  • Handling employee payroll enquiries

Underestimate costs; prepare to overspend
Remember that figure we stated earlier? That over half of companies fail to measure the true costs of payroll? If you’re not tallying up all the hours spent and resources used to complete payroll duties, you could wind up falling into this category.

A thorough cost assessment usually proves that businesses of all sizes save money by outsourcing the processing, tracking and filing of payroll documents. If you’re wondering how much time and money you currently spend on payroll administration, consider the following:

  • Whose time is being used up and just how important is that time if it could be switched to another area of the business? Consider both your time and anyone who processes or gets involved with payroll. Often, many people in a small company will be involved whereas if you outsource, you’re handing over the responsibility to one sole provider who can release this burden from the rest of the team
  • What savings would outsourcing provide? You may actually be able to downsize your team depending on how many people are involved in the process, saving you money which could be invested into other areas which are more in need of development
  • Trust the statistics. According to a 2011 survey by BPO analysts Nelson Hall, the number one reason for outsourcing payroll continues to be cost reduction, with approximately 85% of respondents citing this as their primary business goal

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
You’re never going to get anywhere in business copying someone else. In almost all other areas, it pays to buck the trend and be original. But when it comes to processing payroll, did you know that a recent survey of UK firms by the CIPD revealed that around half of organisations intend to outsource part of their HR activities within the next three years?

There are countless reasons why outsourcing payroll has become so popular (increased quality of service, streamlined processes, increased compliance, reduced risk and introduction of advanced new HR technology) and it’s a rare that you will ever match the exceptionally high standards of the professionals who pride themselves on delivering meticulously accurate, prompt payroll services so if you can’t beat ‘em, it might pay to join ‘em.

About the author: Morgan Danaher is Managing Director of Ceridian Ireland http://www.ceridian.ie

Tips For Using A Home Office Tax Deduction

When you own your own business, there are certain perks you get to enjoy. One is the ability to write off a home office. This can make a substantial difference in the size of your income, and you don’t want to overlook the deduction if it is available to you. However, you need to tread lightly when claiming it. The rules are clear, and violating them can land you in hot water with the IRS.

Business Only

Suppose you have a desk in the corner of the family room that serves as your “office.” The rest of the room is for the family’s enjoyment, but the desk is only for you. If you decide to write off the entire room, then you fail the first test. The space must be used exclusively and regularly for business if it will qualify. Spaces that are used a few times a year do not qualify, and a room that doubles as the guest room or a hobby area will also be denied this deduction. The exception is homes that use certain rooms for a daycare because the daycare is used only during certain hours.

Why Are You Working from Home?

If you are an independent contractor or small business owner working from home, then you will pass this test. However, employees who have a work station available at the office and choose to work from home cannot take the deduction. If you are an employee, then you can only write off the home office if your employer has mandated that you work from home. If there is an alternate location available, then the deduction is closed to you.

Tread Carefully if You Have More than One Business

If you have multiple pans in the fire and are working on several businesses, then you need to tread lightly with the home office deduction. You can only claim the deduction if all the businesses meet the standards. The rules are clear, and if even one business fails the tests, then you cannot claim the home office for any of them.

You Are Only Taking a Percentage

Calculate the square footage of your home office, and then divide it by the total square footage of your home. This is the percentage that you can claim for the home office. You will deduct that percentage of all related home office expenses including real estate taxes, mortgage interest, utilities, annual depreciation and insurance. Maintenance directly benefiting only the home office can be deducted in full.

Limited to Income Levels

Finally, the home office deduction is limited to your income levels. You cannot write off more for the home office than you actually brought in. If your income is $3,000 and deductions are $3,500, then you will only be allowed to write off $3,000 of the deductions. The good news is that you can carry the loss forward to the next year.

The home office deduction is an important one for business owners working from home. It will help you shrink the tax bill, but you have to tread lightly. You must have a dedicated space that is only used for work, and you can only write off a certain percentage. Also, if you have access to another office at one of your stores or through your employer, then you should not take this deduction at all.

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My name is Ben Sawyer. I’m currently working as a marketing consultant for a construction project building new homes in NYC. As a person with extensive experience of working from home, I’ve been familiarized with tax procedures for small personal businesses. This articles aims to provide a short overview of the thinks you should look out for when running a registered home business.

Spring Cleaning Those Finances

Getting your finances on track can often best be performed during times of change and when better than spring to give your money relationship a quick one over. So, let’s look at how you can de clutter your finances and get them in spick and span shape for the rest of the year.

ISA

The ISA is a great addition and one that can allow you to benefit from increased interest, once you do so before the end of the next tax year. The ISA allowance is £11,280 and you can deposit half in cash form. This investment is tax-free and allows you one of the best opportunities to shelter your account from the tax man and also earn a quite nice sum in interest. Getting on top of it now and investing before the deadline means you can benefit and won’t lose out.

Current Account

We all have current account issues and so a nice spring clean can make all the difference. Sort out all of those direct debits that you no longer use, such as those magazine subscriptions or that gym membership from a half decade ago. This can save you dozens of pounds over a month and perhaps hundreds over the space of a year.

Also, take a look at your overdraft and if you are constantly paying off high rates on it then you should switch to a current account with a lower rate. Some even give you a free period for up to 12 months, thereby allowing you the chance to pay it off.

If you are prone to savings in current accounts, then look at the accounts that offer you more. Some accounts can provide you with up to 5% for your savings for a set period; though watch as afterwards they may fall to very low rates. Others offer you the chance to make money on your savings depending on how much you have in your current account at the time. Take a look about; there are plenty of products available.

Credit Cards

The credit card can be a real hindrance too and ensuring you have the right one and that it is working for you can make all the difference. If you have an old card with a high rate, you may be paying a lot on the card and should perhaps consider switching to a lower rate card, or a balance transfer card. Be aware of all the terms and conditions before you apply for a credit card.

If you are a person who pays off their balance in full each month, then you should look for a card that gives you something back. There are a number of cards out there that offer you rewards in return for spending, so take a look and see what best suits your needs.

Bundles

A lot of people tend to purchase all their services separately, however great savings can be made by combining them all together. Why not consider bundling your TV, phone and broadband and see if you can save. Of course, you will need to check all services are available in your area – but if they are you can do well and save significant amounts yearly.

These tips should help you to save your money and sort out those finances nice and easily.

Cormac Reynolds writes for a range of credit card and finance sites and offers financial advice in print and online.

Here Comes Baby: Financial Planning Tips For New Parents

Expecting your first child can produce a rollercoaster of emotions; it is exciting, but it can also be terrifying in so many ways. You wonder if you will be a good parent; you may feel stress over preparing for your new bundle of joy; and perhaps the greatest source of terror is the financial aspect of raising a child. For many expectant parents, the costs of having a baby will produce major changes to their current financial picture.You need to consider things you’ve never had to think about before. By making a few smart choices and good financial planning, you can ease into this new life with greater confidence.

Get a Life Insurance Policy

If you are currently without life insurance, you need to start thinking about getting some when preparing for your new child. You now have a tiny person wholly dependent on you financially. Should you die when your child is still young, you want a solid life insurance policy in place to provide for him. The best bet is a term-life insurance policy that is valid for at least 20 years. As far as how much to take out, it is really dependent on your personal financial situation, but the biggies to consider are how much it would take to pay off your mortgage and to cover the expense of college. Do not underestimate the value of a non-working spouse either—even someone who does not work outside the home should have some sort of coverage.

Carefully Examine Your Health Insurance Policy

You are going to need to add your baby to your health insurance plan.If you and your spouse both have a plan, it is important to carefully review both policies to see if it is better to remain on separate plans and add the child to one of them or get family coverage. You want to consider the pediatrician you will be choosing for your child and other factors once the baby arrives when deciding on what plan is best. Understanding costs as they relate to your pregnancy and delivery is also crucial for getting the full financial picture of giving birth—this is not the time to be taken by surprise with thousands of dollars in medical costs that your insurance will not cover.

Do Not Neglect Your Retirement Savings

Raising children is expensive and it is understandable that focus on your own future may be pushed to the back burner. But many financial experts caution against neglecting your retirement savings in favor of expenses for your child, such as college. While you are working, you want to contribute as much as you can. There are other avenues to secure money for college, should it come down to that. A Roth IRA is a good vehicle since it can be used for both retirement and college.

…But Start Saving for College as Well

While you should not neglect your retirement nest egg to save for your child’s college, this does not mean you should not worry about college until your child enters his senior year of high school. Sure, you can get loans, but as the cost of a college education continues to skyrocket, it would behoove you to save as much as you can through those first 18 years of life. By 2030, it is estimated that a four-year public university education may run as high as 250,000—even if that estimate is grossly overestimated, you are still looking at a big chunk of change to get that degree. There are many types of savings accounts that offer tax-advantages and make minimal impact on financial aid eligibility, such as the 529 College Savings Plan or a Coverdell account.

 

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has written on a variety of personal and professional finance topics.In writing her pieces, she frequently seeks the guidance of finance experts, such as John Studzinski.

How To Manage Your Company’s Inconsistent Cash Flow

Most companies, especially new businesses, have an unpredictable cash flow on a regular basis. Sales can vary due to a change of season, new promotional events, and fluctuations in the economy. Expenses will differ week to week and month to month, so it is hard to know for sure exactly how much cash flow will be available in the future.

Since you can’t accurately predict how much money you will have in your bank account, you need to monitor it closely. Simply checking your bank statement each month will not be enough to ensure that you have the cash you need to cover all of your upcoming expenses. It won’t take into consideration any outstanding checks or any payments that have not been received yet.

Here are a few helpful ways you can manage your company’s inconsistent cash flow:

Run Your Cash Flow Statement Often

It is essential that you regularly run and review a proper cash flow statement. This will take into account outstanding payables and receivables, so you are given the most accurate forecast of your cash flow. If you use an accounting software program or an online billing application, it will only take a few minutes to generate a detailed cash flow statement that takes into account your entire financial situation.

Plan out Your Expenses

Try to create a payment schedule with your vendors, so not everything is coming out at once. For example, if it costs you $200 per month for janitorial services and it is usually scheduled to come out on the 1st of the month, ask the supplier if you can pay $100 on the 10th and $100 on the 20th. It shouldn’t make a difference to the vendor, but it will help you spread out your payments, so they are more manageable.

Encourage Your Clients to Pay Earlier

You can always offer your customers a small incentive (1-5%) for early payment. They want to save money just as much as you do, so it should inspire them to pay the invoice immediately. There are other ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to receive payment that you should be doing already. For example, always email the invoice instead of waiting for snail-mail, follow up with a professional reminder notice, and offer them an electronic payment option for added convenience.

Keep a Minimum Balance in Your Account

Ideally, you should try to maintain a month’s worth of expenses as a minimum balance whenever possible. If you don’t currently have this extra cash available, you can slowly work on building it up. Take a small percentage of each receivable and put it aside in a separate account. Once it reaches your target amount, transfer it back into your regular business account. This financial cushion can be incredibly beneficial when something unexpected occurs that requires a higher cash flow than normal.

There is no doubt that having ample cash flow to stay afloat is crucial to every business. By monitoring your cash flow statement, spreading out your supplier payments, encouraging earlier payments from your clients, and maintaining a minimum balance, it will be a lot easier for you to manage.

The article is posted by Gerwyn Wallto. You can find more articles here.

Tax Planning Tips For A Small Business

Organizing Your Taxes

tax planning

Successfully running and operating a business can be quite an involved task. You have a lot on your plate and the last thing you need is to worry about tax planning. Because of this, it may be a good idea to hire the help of a professional. Now, I do recommend that you keep an eye on the details so that you know exactly what is going on at all times. This will allow you to make better plans and also assist anyone who is going to be working on your taxes. Let’s go into a bit more detail about tax planning.

The “check the box” regulation was introduced in 1997 by the IRS. This is basically a regulation that allows business owners to be classified as either a partnership or corporation so that they are able to gain corporate tax benefits. When a single person owns a company they have the option to be classified as a corporation. Businesses that have multiple owners will be classified as partnerships. You should take a bit of time to research which way you wish you claim your taxes in order to see which option is the most beneficial to you and your company.

Paying your taxes

Paying your taxes is a very important thing that everyone has to do. No matter how much you try to fight it, you’re going to have to pay taxes. The good news is that you can lower your taxes and also increase your capital by doing some careful planning. Your business can grow much larger and become a lot more profitable if you take the right steps. You should make sure that you take the necessary time to factor in all of your appropriate write-offs in order to get the most when it comes time to file your taxes.

Planning your taxes

A great way to plan your taxes is to take a look at your previous results. Take a bit of time to examine all of the figures and see how they were processed. This will not give you an exact figure, but it will certainly give you a broad range of what to expect. This will be beneficial because it can save you from having a large amount of unexpected expenses. You can also make a solid game plan by using methods that were previously used. It’s always a good idea to have a head start, and this can be the key for you.

You don’t have to be an expert to properly plan your taxes, but it will take a bit of time and research. If you’re uncomfortable in taking on the task of planning your taxes, it may be in your best interest to consult the help of a professional tax planner to ensure that everything is being taken care of in the most efficient and profitable way. There’s no need to worry; using the tips above combined with the help of a professional you should have a seamless tax experience.

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James Randolph works with Hong Kong offshore companies and has over 10 years of experience within the tax planning field.

Essential Accountancy Advice For New Small Businesses

One of the less exciting aspects of starting your own business is the fact that you have to start maintaining your own accounts. Moreover, when you are first starting out, money is tight and the chances are that you wont have money spare to spend on a fancy accountant. Instead, you will need to learn how to handle your own taxes and that can be a difficult process for most people, particularly when they have all the other aspects of starting a business to deal with.  This article will provide some answers as to the most common accountancy questions for new businesses:

What Do I Need to Handle the Business Bookkeeping Myself?

If you do decide to go down the route of handling your accounts yourself then there are differing ways of doing it that can make it easier depending on the kind of person you are: (1) The first of these is to do it completely manually using old-fashioned bookkeeping techniques. This is good if you know how to manage debit and credit columns and like to keep a close eye on all aspects of your business. All you need for this is a double entry accounts book, a pen and a calculator. This has the advantage of costing almost nothing and relying only on your own calculations and no one else. Conversely it also is prone to your own human error, something that is not hard to imagine when you are starting your own business and feel tired or lacking in energy. (2) If you want to stick to a low-budget solution but cut out human error (data entry aside) you could invest in a program such as Excel. Excel is the most popular tool for bookkeeping and offers a basic computer based version of the manual double entry accounts above. It includes built-in formulae and takes care of all the math for you, leaving you to simply enter data whenever necessary. (3) Finally, if you really want to automate things you can invest in some dedicated accounts software for your computer (such as Intuit, Quicken or Sage) that will take care of the whole accounts process for you. Apart from the initial period when you have to learn how to use such software, these programs will speed up the whole process and save you a lot of time.

How Do I Find A Good Accountant?

The first thing to do is check their credentials. If you are choosing between accountants in your area then the obvious first stop is to make sure they are all suitably accredited. In the US you can check with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and their directory of accountants and accountancy companies. In the UK they need to be registered either with the Institute of Financial Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. But this is only the first step. Just because someone is qualified doesn’t necessarily make them a good accountant. If you want to get a good accountant, the best way to go about it is word of mouth. Ask around your friends, family and business acquaintances for a good recommendation of someone in your area. Once you have got a name it is then important to interview them – sit down and get a feel for whether you think you can trust them with your affairs. Check how much they charge and what they can do for your business.

The choice between the two will depend on a number of factors, including how much spare cash the business has versus how much spare time. Would your time be used more efficiently with you concentrating on the business itself or taking care of the accounts and saving some money?

Esther is a financial journalist and business blogger based in Chicago. She writes about all areas of business and personal finance affecting the consumer from tax relief to credit and store cards and from consumer rights to where to find good accounts receivable financing.

Four Money Saving Tactics for Your Small Business to Try in 2013

Money saving tactics

Small businesses face a number of challenges from a variety of sources, because of their limited revenue small business success can be won or lost with a relatively small amount of money. In order to save money and help your business be more profitable this year these are some tactics to consider.

1. Eliminate Paper Wherever Possible

Electronic isn’t always better but in a lot of cases it is cheaper, electronic customer files require less storage space and are ready to be pulled up in a second. Electronic paychecks for employees remove the cost of printing checks and can be scheduled on a recurring basis so that they require less time and effort.

Even things that don’t seem like they would be easy to make electronic can be, like offering electronic invoices can allow your customers to choose whether or not to print and save your business money. Scanning documents and then sending out copies electronically is cheaper than making multiple hard copies for employees or customers as well.

2. Make Your Credit Cards Work for You

This tactic includes several different ways of making credit cards more efficient, so choosing a 0 percent balance transfer card and moving your debts onto it is an effective way to minimize the amount of interest that your business is paying. If your business doesn’t usually carry a balance, look for a credit card that has low annual fees and a longer grace period.

As well as avoiding paying interest, certain credit cards actually come with benefits. For instance, if your business flies people around regularly, consider getting the best airline miles credit card available. This way, when you make necessary purchases for your business you are also accruing miles for flights.

3. Buy Used or Lease Equipment

Equipment is a major expense for certain businesses and there is often no way around it. However, costs can be greatly reduced by choosing to purchase used equipment or lease, but both options have their pros and cons.

Used equipment is considerably cheaper to obtain than new but may have an extremely limited or nonexistent warranty, and it also typically requires a large, one-time purchase. Leasing may cost more in the long run since you never stop paying but it may also include costs such as maintenance and repair.

4. Prune and Target Your Mailing List

A mailing list can be an effective way for a small business to reach people but it needs to be properly targeted. Blanketing an area with advertisements is usually expensive and not worthwhile since most people won’t be interested, so instead, prune your mailing list to just the people you have purposefully selected and spend the rest of the money on your ad campaign.

To ensure that your ads are reaching the correct people, take advantage of the U.S. Postal Services’ offer to clean up your mailing list for free. They will correct addresses and add the 4-digit ending zip codes to your list, this may make your mailings eligible for barcode discounts and will ensure that your ads reach the people they are aimed at.

 

The Two Most Important Elements Of Business

Small business owners typically have to wear all sorts of hats in the company.  The typical small business owner may fill the role of CEO, COO, CFO, and CMO at the executive level, and it is common for the same owner to have to regularly fill the role of frontline employees, such as the administrative assistant, the tech team, and the sales rep.  Trying to balance all of this out can be exhausting.  And even worse—it can be damaging to the business.

As an entrepreneur it is easy to get distracted by non-essential tasks.  This can be devastating because in the early stages of a business’ life, staying afloat is often the number one challenge.  Therefore, there is not a huge buffer of cash to allow for business mistakes and non-essential tasks to eat up an entrepreneur’s time.  Peter Drucker is widely regarded as one of the greatest business minds to ever live.  He emphatically proclaimed there were two business processes that trumped everything else—innovation and marketing.

Profitability

Cash is king.  In business, there is only one way to survive over the long-term:  a company must consistently make more than it spends.  This needs to be done on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.  Now, there are times of course, especially in the early stages, when a company may undergo a cash crunch and raise additional investment capital or secure debt financing in order to meet payroll, keep the lights on, and continue to move forward.  Eventually, however, those liquidity options disappear.  And when they do, if a company is not self-supportive, then it will fail.

Now, this may sound extremely capitalistic, but a business primary concern must be to generate more revenue than it spends on a consistent basis, and this is only done by developing a product or service the market wants and then presenting that product to the market.  That’s it.  Business operations, in all of their extreme complexity, can actually be summarized in that simple point.  This is why Drucker said all that matters is innovation (developing a product) and marketing (selling it) are the keys to sustained business success.

The Entrepreneur

Now, as an entrepreneur, it is incredibly easy to get completely distracted from these two key points.  It is easy to let non-essential tasks eat up hours of your day.  Here is a list of non-essential tasks that should be given extremely limited attention in the early stages of a business:

  • Posh office space
  • Office furniture
  • Paint colors for the wall
  • Technology that is not necessary for product development and marketing
  • Vendor relationships that are not directly related to product development and marketing
  • Meetings about things other than product development and marketing
  • Writing out 5 year business plans that include talks of taking over the known universe

This list is not exhaustive by any means, but hopefully it communicates the point that everything outside of product innovation and marketing should be given limited attention.  Focus on these two aspects of business, and the probability of success will be greatly improved.

Danielle Thomas is a writer for merchantseek.com, where you can find the best credit card processing solution for your business.

Business Budgeting for Start-Ups

A budget, like a business plan, is absolutely necessary for a start-up business venture. Without a budget, the owner will not know if he or she has included everything. There will be no picture what the business will look like at the end of the year without revenues estimates. Often business start-ups are short on available funds. There is often a time constraint on how long the business has to break even and start making a profit. A budget that shows an eventual profit makes a case for a valid, sustainable business.

In addition to providing a picture of the business, the budget is at the same time, a road map. Extending income and expenditure out into the future will give the owner (and possibly investors or creditors) an idea of what the route the business will follow and describe its long-term possibilities. In doing an initial budget, there are three basic categories that have to be accounted for: initial start-up costs, expenses and revenues.

Initial start-up costs are one-time costs necessary for starting the business. For example, these include attorney fees for incorporation, logo design, stationery and brochures, research and development, insurance, consultants and rents are a few of them. Start-up expenses will vary with the type of business.

Expenses fall into two primary categories: fixed and variable. A fixed cost is one that does not change when the volume of business changes. Rent is a fixed cost. Lease payments for car or office furniture are also considered fixed. Salaries that are set on a monthly basis are also in this category. Variable costs, on the other hand, change as the volume of business changes. Shipping costs, hourly wages, and marketing costs are examples of this type of expense.

One useful method is to put your expenses into categories, rather than lumping them all together. Generally, these categories are the cost of sales, professional fees, cost of technology, administration, sales and marketing and wages and benefits.

Spending some time with your accountant is invaluable when setting up an initial budget. An accountant will be able to go over your budget items and review what you have included. The accountant will also be able to make sure that your accounts have been numbered and named appropriately. This will make it easier to apply your expenses correctly.

Revenue should also be added to your budget to complete the picture. Revenue projections should be based upon research and be a reasonable reflection anticipated business activity.

Review your budget with your accountant. Having a professional look at budget and evaluating it in terms of reasonableness will help assure that all costs have been considered and revenue is realistic. This budget is vital in the development of your business plan.

Don’t toss your budget into a desk drawer, however. Review it regularly, comparing the forecasted numbers to the actual results. This should be done on both a monthly basis and a year to date basis. Budget reviews will help you find areas of expenses and revenues you might have misjudged or missed altogether. By staying on top of your budget and actual performance, you will have the opportunity to adjust costs and revenue projections to reflect exactly where the business has been, where it’s going and find opportunities for growth.

 

Asset Search- You Are Always One Step Ahead With It

In these days, every body wants to know the farthest corner of the asset locations of the targeted party. The matter is not confined to a single thing. It touches many, starting from individual, couple, divorcee, financial companies, partnership firms, business deals and what not? In fact asset investigation is unearthing accounts, property, money and many such in the name of the person in question by the other interested person(s) or interested party.

 

Shouldn’t We Know What An Asset Is?

In the dictionary of “Financial Accounting”, all the financial resources are assets. Any thing, whether tangible or intangible but capable of being controlled or owned for producing any positive economic value, is considered as asset. If it can be said in a simpler way, assets entails about the value of ownership that is convertible into cash.

Assets Types- Brushing Up The Basics                

 

Tangible Assets: These are assets with physical substances. Precious metals, equipment, inventories, vehicles, real estates, buildings and currencies are the examples of tangible assets.

Intangible Assets: These are non physical rights and sources which have the value for a firm because they give some kind of advantage to the firm in the market place. Goodwill, patents, trademarks, trade names, copyright, financial assets, computer programs, bonds, stocks and accounts receivables are the examples of intangible assets.

 

Asset Search Services- Justifying The Need

Asset search services can be availed for the following cases:

  • Personal Injury: Any severely injured person with inadequate insurance, in need of locating all the assets and liabilities, during both pre and post litigations, can avail the services of law firms dealing with these issues.
  • Collection Of Debt: It is important for any individual or business to receive payments or debts that are due, through an efficient and prompt manner. It is a naked truth that collection of payments is always delayed. So, an asset search is the better and rational mean for collecting debts owed. It also helps you to inform whether you need to further exert your effort in the same matter or it can be a wild goose chase.
  • Non-disclosed Asset In A Divorce Case: A couple on the verge of collapsing their marriage ties may take the service of a consultancy firm dealing with asset Search. The purpose is to identify the hidden assets with the spouse. Mostly divorce is a messy affair and rarely experiences reunion with a smile. During the process of divorce, either of the spouses tries to hide the assets from the other, so that the financial obligations can be lowered to the best possible way after the divorce is finalized. This is a better way and a pre-discovery tool that can assist a spouse or their attorney in finding out the non-disclosed or hidden assets with the other spouse. Many divorce couples, attorney and mediators related to divorce can get the assistance in verifying the assets or locate the hidden and unreported assets.
  • Asset and Liability Search: This type of search is related to cases like either entering into a business agreement or hiring a key employee in the course of an agreement. By taking the service of asset search as an invaluable tool, you can remain worry free. This type of necessity comes into fore when you are considering investing in a new business or you may be planning to bring a new investor, or hiring a key employee or you may be thinking of a merger between the two companies. By taking the service of asset search, you are creating a rock-solid background as your future support.
  • Asset Search in a Law Suit: Some times it is necessary to make an asset search as you want to sue some one for some sorts of legal claims or personal millstone. The litigation is worth pursuing in case the other person has the required amount of assets that can be passable enough to meet the necessary compensations. In this case, if the opposite party is not backed up with the required amount of asset to compensate you, the asset search services can precede with the necessary investigation through which you can save the cost of litigation.

Since the asset search companies maintain the professional connections and huge database, they are in a position to retrieve relevant information that help them search for any type of above mentioned tangible or intangible assets.

This is a guest post by Samuel Taylor. Occasional guest blogger on online security and full-time blogger on private investigation and asset investigation.  Charlie currently represents Beacon Investigation Solutions a private investigation company licensed in 45 states across the US.

Top 20 Ways Everyone Can Save Money

The recent numbers released by the federal government show that the economy is still in neutral at best. Inflation is still outpacing income and there does not seem to be an end in sight. The only thing that most people can do is control their spending and find ways to save money. Here are twenty proven ways that you can keep up to an extra $1,000 in your pocket each year.

  • Change your cellphone plan. If you are not using all of your minutes, why pay for them?
  • Drop your home phone.
  • Raise your insurance deductibles. Also, ask yourself; ”do you need full coverage on a paid off car?”
  • Cut your cable package to basic.
  • Eliminate memberships and subscriptions that you do not use regularly.
  • Pack your lunch. You can cut your lunch bill in half each day.
  • Switch banks. Especially if your bank does not offer ATMs near your home and your job.
  • Buy clothes out of season. Swimsuits are on clearance by the end of July. Christmas decorations are really cheap in January, etc.
  • Sell off your stuff. How much stuff do you have in boxes? Why not turn it into cash?
  • Always use coupons.
  • Buy generic whenever possible.
  • Reduce or eliminate your tobacco and alcohol usage. You could save a $1,000 a year just doing this.
  • Adjust your thermostat by two degrees. Warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. This can save you close to $500 a year.
  • Use a budgeting tool. Whether it is online or a hard copy at home. Tracking your spending will help you recognize waste.
  • Do home improvement and car repair projects yourself whenever possible.
  • Take advantage of local free events for entertainment.
  • Do you really need the latest tech? Buy the last generation and you will save plenty on each purchase.
  • Buy used when possible. Consignment shops, eBay, and other sites can save you a lot of scratch.
  • Do you need a vacation? Yes, we all do. What you do not need to do is go away. “Staycations” can save plenty of money. Instead of going out of town, do all of the local things that you can’t normally afford. Do them for a week while taking time off work.
  • Last of all, drive less, walk more.

There is nothing complicated about this list. Most of the items are common sense, but they are also things that you do not normally think about. Saving money takes very little effort. All you have to do is think for a few minutes and you will find ways to keep your money in your pocket.

This article has been provided courtesy of Taylor Brown, whose companies helps to connect people with trusted credit repair companies in their area.

How Does Bankruptcy Work in Canada?

Bankruptcy in Canada is different from in other places in the world. A person goes through this procedure when he or she is having trouble paying debts. The consumer must be unable to pay back his or her creditor bills as they are due. The individual must have at least $1,000 due to the creditors and he or she must be financially deprived and incapable of paying immediately. Canadian bankruptcy usually lasts for a period of nine months. During that time, the debtor must follow strict rules and requirements. At the end of the nine months, the court will make a ruling on whether to discharge the bankruptcy.

Loan After Discharge

After a Canadian resident receives a discharge from the courts, he or she will have the ability to receive bankruptcy loans. Creditors will be willing to give this type of person a second chance to borrow money. The first thing a consumer must do after being declared bankrupt is rebuild his or her credit. A great way to rebuild credit is to obtain a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a card that is secured by a deposit the debtor makes to the lender. It works just like a regular credit card, except the lender has the security deposit in case the debtor defaults. After paying on the secured card for several months, the debtor could apply for bankruptcy loans.

Steps To File For Bankruptcy

To file for bankruptcy in Canada, a consumer must take several steps. The first step in the process is evaluating whether the person needs to take this action. If the individual has the ability to pay the creditors, he or she may want to look into another method of credit repair. However, if income is lower than bill payments, bankruptcy is probably the best solution to the consumer’s problems.

The debtor will want to arrange for a free initial consultation with a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will evaluate the debtor’s financial profile and inform the person whether filing bankruptcy is the right move. If the two people decide to proceed with the bankruptcy claim, the debtor will have to produce information and paperwork. The trustee will need to see copies of the debtor’s pay stubs, child support statements, and monthly benefit payments. The debtor will also have to provide documents of home and vehicle ownership. Additionally, the trustee will need to review all statements from the lenders so he or she can get a clear picture of the client’s bills.

The trustee will prepare the bankruptcy paperwork and the debtor will have to sign it. Once the paperwork is signed, the trustee will file a petition with the courts for bankruptcy. The debtor will have to make payments of at least 50 percent of his or her surplus income to the trustee. The debtor will also have to submit his or her assets. The job of the trustee is to liquidate these assets and use the income to pay the creditors. After nine months, the debtor should be able to apply for bankruptcy loans again.

This article was provided on behalf of Prudent Financial Services, offering bad credit and bankruptcy loans in the Greater Toronto Area. http://prudentfinancial.net/services.php

What is the Right Finance Type for Your Company?

Does your small business need financing to take off? During the financial crisis in 2008, many financial institutions including lending companies temporarily stopped processing loans and closed the applications process altogether. The impact of such a crisis created a domino effect on many businesses from small startups through to the industry behemoths.

In the ensuing years, however, or just a couple of years since that crisis, lending to small business picked up quite surprisingly as it registered an 18 percent increase in the financial year that ended in 2011.

This is good news for many businesses, and it seems that the lights at the end of the tunnel are still shining. There is a legislation currently being proposed in Congress that would, among other things, enable small businesses to raise capital and invest their money in business ventures considered to have shown potential to succeed. The JOBS Act which was signed into law this year is seen to help small businesses to grow in number and value throughout the nation.

One of the main things the bill provides for is the easing of a variety of security regulations, which have been the stumbling block for many small businesses to date. With the JOBS Act finally in place, it is now easier than ever before for people to start their small business without being encumbered with legal restrictions.

Financing a business venture definitely requires more than just selecting the type of financing sources. You need to make your decision very carefully and from there you will get a better understanding of your financing needs.

The following are guidelines on what you need to know about small business financing to put you in a better position to find a lender yourself.

Debt Financing

Among others, banks are probably the most popular source of financing needs for almost all sizes of businesses. However, there are also other sources such as lending companies, credit unions, commercial finance companies, U.S. Small Business Administration and Savings & Loans.

To many, banks are the most accessible sources of funding, and for good reasons. They are everywhere and most of them offer loans to almost any type of business ventures. Some of them offer low-interest rates, while others will make much higher offers. Most banks will present you with their financing plans and it could be a little bit intimidating initially if it is the first time you have been involved in business borrowing. Despite the intimidating paperwork, most lenders are willing to help you through the process, as they want your business as much as you want their money.

In the majority of cases it is better to have established a close relationship with your bank, either through having held a personal account or a business account with them for some time before asking for your loan. This way they already know your reputation of trust and will be more willing to offer you a favorable rate.

Most business owners find that debt financing is much easier to for small business or start-ups than it is for personal reasons, because it doesn’t require equity or security to be placed before you get your loan. However, you do need to repay your loan including the prescribed interest rates within the maturity period, and in some cases you will be required to provide some collateral for the loan, such as personal property or a share in the company as security for your finances.

Istos Global is a professional firm that can help you with your Cyprus Company Registration

Keeping Your Business in the Black

You’ve finished your work, the client is happy, and you’ve just sent off the invoice – now you can relax, right? Not quite yet!

Just sending out your invoices isn’t enough – you need to remember that a sale isn’t a sale until the money’s in your bank account!

Emily Coltman ACA, Chief Accountant to online accounting service provider FreeAgent, gives her five top tips on how to collect payment from your customers and ensure that you stay in the black – not the red.

Don’t make your customers think – make payment simple!

When it comes to invoicing, it pays to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about all of the different ways your customers could pay you, and which would be the most straightforward for them.

Also think about the risk involved with each payment method – for example, a direct debit might be convenient, but if the customer’s balance is too low, it could be returned.

One of the easiest ways to pay online is PayPal or Google Checkout – both will let you take card payments without a merchant bank account.

Using these services means that your customers don’t have to give their credit card details to you directly, and you won’t incur the fees and additional admin of a merchant bank account.

However, it’s important to also do your sums and check PayPal’s fees and Google’stoo, because they charge you when you receive money in from your customers.

Finally, make sure that your customers never have to dig around to find your payment details – the easiest way is to include payment details, including your bank account number and sort code, on every invoice that you send.

When to ask for payment

You need to make sure you achieve an acceptable balance of risk between yourself and your customer in this area.

Asking for full payment upfront is a fantastic low-risk option for you, but it could put prospects off, especially if they haven’t tried your product or service and don’t know if they’ll be happy with it.

You should consider offering a money back guarantee to make them feel more comfortable. Alternatively, you could spread the risk by asking for part payment upfront and part on completion of the work, or delivery of the product.

Asking for payment in full once a project is finished or the product is delivered puts a lot of the risk on to you.

You could end up out of pocket if your customer delays payment, or even refuses to pay altogether, but you’ve already delivered the service or the product.

Communicate your payment terms clearly

Make sure your customers and prospects know when they should pay.

Set your payment terms (i.e. 10 days, 30 days, etc.) and make sure they’re clearly visible on your website, and reinforce the message by including payment terms on your invoices, too.

You may also want to consider adding a more personal approach onto your invoices to better communicate them to your customers. For example, we had one FreeAgent user who customised his invoices with a picture of his children and a note saying that they wouldn’t get fed until the payment was received!

While you might not want to go as far as this example, a personal touch can remind your customers that there’s a real person behind your invoice, and that they should deal with that payment now instead of putting it off for another week.

Don’t be shy – chase late payers

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of not chasing money that they’re owed, because they’re worried about losing customers, or don’t know how to remind customers without risk of offending them.

Remember, you’re providing a product or service that your customer wants and needs. Don’t be embarrassed to chase them for the money.

If you’re worried that doing this yourself could damage your customer relationships, consider using a virtual PA service, or use online accounting software that will keep track of outstanding payments so you’ll never forget to send reminders to your customers.

Emily Coltman ACA is Chief Accountant to FreeAgent, who provide an award-winning online accounting system designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers. Try it for free at www.freeagent.com.

The content contained in this article is for information purposes only and should not be used to make any financial decisions.This article links back to http://www.freeagent.com

A Comprehensive Starter’s Guide To Home Office Tax Deductions

An enterprise that uses the home for business is considered a home office. It includes mobile homes, boats, apartments, condominiums, residential properties, or other venues for accommodating basic living needs. One of the advantages of a home office worker is that he or she can be qualified for tax deductions which are always an advantage to anyone.

For a home office to be considered qualified for tax deductions, it must be the main area of a business, where clients are dealt with, and which is comprised of a segment of the home not used for any other purposes. The exclusive use of the portion as an office is vital; otherwise, one will not be entitled to getting any deduction.

This coverage does not include houses which are used fully and exclusively as inns or motels. The exclusivity requirements also do not hold for a part of the house if used as a day care center or a retail storage area. Regularity of use as a business venue is also important, as proven by a specified exact location where business is being done at home. Both employees and employers can file for home business tax deduction, with a special requirement for employees, who must be required by their employer to work from home to fulfill their job. Moreover, they must not be renting a home space just to meet the employer’s request.

For people with multiple businesses at home, all trades or business types must adhere to the requirements for home office tax deductions. Since it is highly recognized as an enterprise, there are corresponding taxes that accompany one’s income generation from home. Fortunately, taxes for US home offices can definitely be deducted with good reason and the requirements are fairly reasonable.

For those who filed their Schedule F or Form 1040, there is an existing worksheet in Publication 587 that will help determine their allowable deductions. It is a line by line procedural form that evaluates three parts:

  • The percentage of the home used for business,
  • The allowable deduction based on gross income and expenses,
  • The depreciation of the home.

It will also include a section that involves the carryover of disallowed expenses in the following year. For home depreciation, the MACRS Percentage Table for 39-Year Nonresidential Real Property percentages are used after the depreciable portion of the property has been determined.

In a nutshell, direct business expenses can be fully deducted, indirect expenses can be deducted with limitation, and unrelated expenses have no deduction whatsoever. But there are certain qualifications as stipulated in Publication 587.

Deduction for Business Use of Your Home: The business percentage can be computed by dividing the area of your home office portion to the overall area of your home. This will then be used in the Form 8829 of Publication 587 from the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Services.

Part-Year Business Deduction: Any home worker is not allowed to deduct a portion of the taxes including the parts of the year which did not involve home office work. Those unused days do not deserve a deduction and the computations will only involve those dates where actual work was done at home.

Deduction Limit: If your gross income exceeds your gross business expense, all business expenses can be deducted from the taxable portion. But if you are earning less than what you spend to keep your business at home, there is a limited deduction that can be obtained.

Deduction of Other Non-deductible Expenses: Expenses on insurance, utilities, and depreciation depends on the expenses which are normally deducted in the home whether or not it is used for a home-based business (mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and theft losses) or if the business expense is purely for the business and not necessary in the home.  

Carryover of Deduction: Finally, if you reach the limit of deduction for this year’s taxes, the remaining deduction can be carried over in the next year.

Maria Dublin provides PR assistance in the blog community for ComputerDesk.com – the best place to buy a computer desk online. She loves helping people find the most cost-effective ways to build a home office. Visit ComputerDesk.com for free shipping on every desk, every day.

Alternative Ways to Make some Extra Money Online

In my experience I have found it’s possible to make a little bit of extra cash online. I’m not talking about get rich quick schemes here, basically they don’t exist.  If something seems too good to be true then it usually is.  What I am talking about is genuine ways of building up some extra income which you can spend on life’s little luxuries. Let’s face it not many of us are rolling in cash at the minute, and every little bit helps. So I thought I would share some of the ways I have found it possible to use the Internet to my advantage.

Winning and Taking a Little Risk

Okay, this option I am going to focus on first because there are no guarantees. If you enjoy playing games though this is a really good way of having fun and possible turning fun into some form of extra money coming into your bank account. I love playing games online so a few times a week I will login and play a few games which may result in me walking away with a cash prize. There are lots of sites to choose from and I have won a lot of money using this method.

Entering Competitions

All of the money I have won has gone on nights out and holiday spending money.

There are hundreds and thousands of competitions running online, from large chain stores to small blogging sites. Once a week I will go on social networks and look for giveaways, competitions and freebies. It doesn’t take long to find or enter these competitions but it’s easy to lose a few hours as there are so many.  I enter all cash competitions but there are many more which will giveaway products, games and clothing.  One tip is to enter competitions which are being held by people who don’t have a lot of followers on their profiles as this will increase your chances greatly. I have won cash, a remote control car (which I sold) and a few smaller items like a bottle of champagne, a meal out and cinema tickets.

Selling Your Skills

If you have a specific skill you may be able to get paid for it online. There are some excellent freelancer websites where people are looking for help from outsourcers. You will have to declare any money you earn through this option with the tax man, but it’s a brilliant way of making money online. I work in sales full time but I have always fancied myself as a graphic designer which I studied at college. When I have the time I will go on freelancer sites and apply for jobs where companies are looking for new logos.  It’s easy work if you have the skills and the software and it pays really well.  There are all sorts of jobs which can be done from home, and if you use respectable freelancer sites it possible to get some protection when it comes to payments, and who knows it could even turn into a new career.

Make a Website

I have left this one for last as it’s not easy and you will need time and patience when it comes to running your own website. However, one of my friends has managed to start making money from a gaming site he started up a couple of years ago.  He has been reviewing games and writing up news all this time and even in the early days PR companies were sending him free games to review.  Now his site has a larger following and he is making money through adverts placed on the site, selling advertising space to companies and through affiliate links. Like I said this is not a quick option and you will need to learn about creating a site (my friend started with a free blogging site and spent out on his own domain), have time to write for the site and work on marketing too. However if you have the time and the passion for a hobby or interest you love, making a website could be a really great idea.

Short Term Fun or Long Term Commitments

Some of these methods for making money online will deliver results faster than others. When I want to try to increase my cash quickly I will choose the online gaming option (which is how I like to unwind at the end of the day anyway). Freelancing and running a website are more long-term commitments and entering competitions may seem like a bit of a long shot, but believe me it is possible to win some amazing prizes, including cash.

Always avoid anything which claims to be able to make you rich quickly and spend time researching your options online. You don’t need to pay out in order to make money online, so if you’re not sure of a website steer clear of it.

Learn how to play poker for free online. Poker is a great way of making money and having fun at the same time.

Keep Your Business Finance Clean in Spring

Spring season is analogous to starting a new life. Spring heralds a new day, a promise of a new beginning. A promise of new opportunities for your business.

There is a lesson or two to be learnt from the fresh new season of spring, which you can apply to your business and make a better start for the year. Begin to consider the present financial health of your company and make some comparisons with previous years. Whether the differences are big or small, this can be the start of something great for your business planning.

If the financial health of your company for the past year has not been a look you want to continue into the new season, then get the metaphorical duster out and start spring cleaning your business.

First Step: Eliminate Expenses Which Prove to be Unnecessary

When people have the means to do so, they often don’t mind handing over a few hundred bucks now and then to satisfy their needs or desires. However, in business this can lead to a bad habit and levying unnecessary expense on your company. If your business, for example, subscribes to a dozen or so magazines and periodicals, try to reexamine if you really still need to. Chances are, there are online versions of those magazines and periodicals that you might be able to subscribe to for a fraction of the cost.

Try to make a list of any expenses your company is paying on a monthly or yearly basis. Study each of them carefully and decide if they are really necessary for your business.

Another possible culprit as to why your business is racking up expenses month on month can be your utilities and property rental costs. While you may need an office for your own as well as your clients’ comfort, try to figure out if you really need the in-room toilet, cable TV, copier, a desktop computer, and the phone landline. Cross out those that can be eliminated and review the remaining items.

Next Step: Skip Events and Activities That Drain Resources

Attending and joining seminars and other special events both within the locality and elsewhere can cost thousands of dollars every year. Before the next event, try to figure out if your participation to that event is really necessary. Ask yourself if the said events increase your market share or attract clients. If they do, is it significant enough to recoup the money you spend to attend the event?

Beware of small seminars that won’t produce the results you need, and focus on the high return, now and then events to make this investment worthwhile. Similarly, be aware of sessions that are badged as ‘training seminars’, but actually offer no formal qualifications or tangible outcome for the attendees, as this phrase really just gives some companies a license to charge over the odds for a fairly mediocre event.

There are many other ways to help reduce the costs that your company is liable for, many of which are simple, straightforward and highly profitable. Things like reviewing your suppliers, negotiating better contracts on purchasing, advertising and services and many other small changes can all add up to make a big difference, so get spring cleaning and tidy up your company’s finances this year.

John Bake is writing articles for Ellinas Finance, a Cyprus Investors Public Company Limited

So, You Want Your Money?

So, You Want Your Money?

If you have recently or even not so recently been awarded a settlement but are only getting your money in tiny little payments over a period of time, then this may interest you.   There is a way to get your money in a single, lump sum.  It’s called settlement funding and every state regulates it.  Once you settle a lawsuit, or a worker’s compensation claim you will be awarded financial benefits.  If you have a structured settlement that means that your money will be paid out to you in agreed upon payments over a very long period of time.  Once the structured settlement is reached and agreed on, it cannot be changed.

Knowing that you have an enormous amount of money due to you, but you can’t access it can be beyond frustrating.  You may need it to pay off your medical bills or to replace wages you have lost.  You might even just need it because you want to purchase your dream house or that new car.  Bottom line here is that since the money is yours to begin with, it shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what you want or need to do with it.  Getting a tiny amount of your settlement every month or so just isn’t going to help.  And to be honest, really isn’t right.

What is it?

So, what is settlement funding?  In the most basic of terms it is when the winner of a suit where money is awarded gives the right to that money to a company that handles this kind of funding.  The pitfall here is that a company who deals with this sort of funding will only ever offer a portion of the originally won amount.  The good part is that it will come to you in one lump sum.  Some would say the good far outweighs the bad here.  The initial settlement amount will be legally turned over to the funding company, and the person receiving the lump sum can then use it immediately to fulfill whatever needs he or she may have for it.

Will it make you happy?

Most people who use this type of funding are generally happier with the lump sum payment over the structured payments, even if it is a great deal less than the original winning settlement.  I know I would much rather have the lump sum.  You never know when something will come up and you need the cash.  And if you are not working because your settlement was from a worker’s compensation injury then you don’t have the income coming in to take care of your mounting needs.

As mentioned above, this type of funding is available in most states in the US and it is regulated closely.  Your lump sum payment may be taxable as well.  Just make sure you look into and get as much information as you can about settlement funding before you make any moves in that direction.  Know how having this lump payment may impact you financially. It is also recommended you speak with a financial planner and/or tax attorney.  But, in the long run, this may be exactly what you need.  Financial obligations pop up all the time, mostly unexpectedly.  This is a way to be prepared for what may come down the road.

Citations:

For more information regarding settlement funding, contact Jeana Olchowy. Follow her @jolchowy25.

Update Your Lighting And Improve Your Business Profits

It has been obvious to business owners for some time what a difference the lighting in the workplace can make to the efficiency and productivity of the employees. In the last decade or so, this has become even more striking, with the rapid new developments in lighting technology. These days, there is really no reason for any group of workers to be hampered in their work by unsuitable or inadequate lighting.

Commercial lighting is of course very different from domestic lighting, even that in very large or affluent homes. However, even commercial lighting falls into very diverse categories depending on the setting. For instance, the lighting needed for a retail store is quite different from that required for an office block, and for a commercial warehouse. Happily, there are electricians who can provide lighting design solutions for any type of work space.

In large facilities such as warehouses or big office blocks, the default type of lighting since World War II has often been fluorescent strip lighting. It has become increasingly obvious that this is detrimental to the workers’ performance – not only does it fail to illuminate the work space adequately, but it causes headaches and feelings of lethargy. Many employers have found that much more effective types of lighting, especially for offices, are ceiling mounted deck lights, or alternatively adjustable recessed spotlights, which can be provided in single configurations, or in configurations of two, three or four. The spotlights minimise maintenance costs and energy consumption through LED multi-die technology, and can have specifications of beam angles of 16, 24 or 40 degrees to provide highest quality illumination in white light. For office workers, additional light if required can be provided by individual desk lamps, which give exactly as much light as needed.

For other types of commercial premises, including hotels, restaurants and retail stores, where it is important to make people feel welcome and relaxed, wall lighting has often proved to be the best solution. These lights can be configured to generate a soft, warm glow to provide a subconscious feeling of wellbeing, and the effect can be enhanced with attractive finishes, such as old gold or antique bronze. Proprietors are often prepared to spend more on lighting in these establishments.

If you are a business owner whose lighting has not been updated for some time, it would be a good idea to locate a commercial electrician for advice. The electrician can provide a lighting design consultancy service, analysing your needs and compiling a report on which type of lighting is most suitable for the particular requirements of your business. You may be surprised at the extent to which an update to your lighting can enhance your productivity, and thus improve your bottom line.

Guest article published by David.

Is My Legal Settlement Taxable?

A legal settlement is a conflict resolution between one or more parties that is made to avoid the continuation of a court case. The courts carry out the settlement. People who disregard the agreement could be sued sometimes twice if they have been sued before. It is important to know how to obtain a settlement and figure out when the award must be taxed.

Obtaining a Settlement

Most legal cases are determined by settlements. Both parties usually have good reasons to settle so that they do not incur legal fees and deal with typical court case time and hassle. Also, some people cannot continue working after they have suffered severe injuries. Also, litigation takes up a great amount of time because other cases have to be handled. These delays and interferences may affect the plaintiffs employment. Additionally, getting enough money to continue the case may be hard or impossible.

Usually, one party comes forth to make an early settlement. The situation could involve a settlement conference that brings the parties together. In cases of controversy, there may be a written part that orders both parties to prevent the disclosure of the case. Also, one party typically the one that was sued may be ordered to admit wrongdoing. The circumstances are entirely based on the individual case.

Taxable Settlement

No legal settlement is the same, and each one has unique circumstances. When obtaining a settlement, it is important to consult an expert who can figure out the parts that can and cannot be taxed. The IRS states that income can be taxed, regardless of how it was earned.

Legal settlements can be divided into a taxed and non-taxed group. One group relates to physical injuries, and the other relates to non-physical injuries. The settlements are divided into three sections: damages caused by both types of injury, emotional damages and punitive damages.

Settlements that are associated with physical injuries cannot be taxed. These settlements include compensatory ones that include missed income. Also, emotional damages that are caused by a physical injury cannot be taxed. A range of factors must be reviewed, like medical expenses, counselling, missed work, medication documents and sick leave.

As for the settlements that can be taxed, it is possible to tax punitive damages, even in a personal injury case. However, compensation for wrongful death in certain states cannot be taxed. Some cases result in punitive and personal injury awards. So, the personal injury award would not be taxed, but the punitive damages would be taxed.

Situations that do not involve illness and physical injury are usually taxable. Cases involving libel, discrimination and anything related to employment are included. However, parts of the award that involve out-of-pocket medical costs and emotional damages cannot be taxed according to outlines set by the IRS.

Tanya Tsuji is a freelance writer and has also worked as a law clerk for personal injury lawyers. She writes about common legal questions to help ordinary people understand the complex issues that come up.

Some Advantages to Wealth Management

The number of advantages to wealth management can equal the tax dollars you might save or the number of dollars you have acquired in your lifetime. From estate planning to charitable donations to investment advice to even private banking, wealth management entails far more than simply counting pennies.

What is Wealth Management

Wealth management is often defined as the oversight and fund manipulation to grow investments and increase personal funds and assets. It does not incorporate only one discipline but usually spans several. An advisory specialist is usually credentialed and experienced in tax management, investments and portfolio growth and may include either direct experience in financial law or have resources at hand to assist as needed. A wealth manager can be either independent of any institution or an employee of a bank or management firm, for example.

Certification and Bonding

Independent wealth managers are often bonded to lend protection against fraudulent activities to protect their clients. If member of a firm, the business may be bonded as a unit, covering the individual employee.

Whether independent or dependent, a wealth manager should be not only be educated in financial planning but also educated and certified in the field. Titles could include a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Strategic Wealth Professional, CFA Charterholder or even a Master’s of Business Administration degree.

Who Uses a Wealth Management Professional?

Virtually anyone can use wealth management techniques, but normally, the very rich hire wealth managers to supervise financial concerns. Both individuals and businesses can employ wealth management professionals, and often these specialists are associated with investment banks, although that association is not always necessary.

Wealth managers direct retirement plans, investments and tax plans, attempting to maximize accrual and minimize outlay. They recommend or facilitate stocks, bonds and commodities trades, and they might advise on venture capital investments as well.

Why Use a Wealth Management Professional?

The advantages to wealth management are myriad. You have expertise in the field in which you accrued your wealth. That field is probably not in money management. You seek expert advice when you need medical attention, for the advantages are obvious. You might seek wealth management expertise when

  • You own a business, run a conglomerate or prefer philanthropic activities, the last thing you want to worry about on a daily basis is managing your money.
  • You don’t like paying tax penalties for withdrawing funds from the wrong investment account, but you aren’t familiar with the complexities of today’s tax laws.
  • You might have ideas for stock and bond investments, but you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to determine the best time to buy, sell or short a stock.
  • You have an idea of the lifestyle you want to enjoy in your retirement, but you have little knowledge of retirement planning.
  • You have a family, and you want trust funds for them to grow.
  • You would rather spend your time making more money than watching what happens to it.

This article has been provided on behalf of Adrian Spitters – Senior Financial Planner Surrey BC. If you need help getting you financial future in order then click here to contact Adrian today!