Friday, November 24, 2017

4 Fundamentals for Choosing Your Small Business Accountant



Today, running finances is complicated even for small businesses, which is why most business owners opt to hire professionals who can handle this for them. A good accountant can easily help your business grow, while a bad one will probably cost you money on multiple levels. 

This is why it's important to make the right choice when hiring an accountant. With an experienced accountant by your side, you'll have actionable advice when it comes to finances and financial decision making

Finding the right accountant also depends on what you're actually looking for. So, without further delay, let us show you what you should be asking yourself (and a potential employee) when hiring a new accountant.


Evaluate Before Hiring


It's vital that you run a background check and actually follow up on client references when you're hiring an accountant. Trust me, you don't want any surprises with this, as shady accountants can really cost your business a lot if IRS comes knocking. 

After you're satisfied with these results, you'll have to schedule a face to face meeting with a potential employee. It's best to hire someone that you feel comfortable around since you'll be dealing with them all the time, whether it's about tax implications or potential business dealings. 

There's also a huge difference between an accountant that gives proactive advice and the one that only brings reactive service to the table.


Is your Potential Accountant a Problem-Solver?


Problem-solving is probably one of the most important skills (if we can call it that way) an employee can have. If your accountant can't manage their time and find viable solutions within a certain timeframe, you're better off without one. 





Even if someone lacks experience but is a problem solver in nature, we believe that it's still better than someone who just can't handle certain situations. Money doesn't grow on trees, and it's especially important for small businesses to keep track of every penny if they're looking to hit the next stage of growth. 

It's also a good idea to hire someone who can actually spot the problems before it's too late.

Look at It as an Investment


Accountants will always cost you money, whether they are CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or not. But a good accountant will actually be saving you money, which is why you'll always want to look at it as an investment. 

You're paying for a service and you expect it to pay off. Some accountants will clearly be more expensive than others, but they might be offering a wider array of services as well. 

This is why you should always ask your potential accountant about all the services that they'll be able to do and get an estimate of the annual charges that you'll have to pay. Be very upfront when talking about the fees, as that's the only way to make sure you know what you're getting into.

What Do You Need an Accountant For?


Let's say that you're doing your own bookkeeping duties. In this case, you don't need a full-time accountant at all, but rather one that's going to evaluate the financial health of your business and perform certain tasks on a weekly or monthly basis. 

If you need more out of your accountant, it's recommended to take one full-time. This is especially true if your business needs an accountant to set up the structuring of your business so that it's able to operate in a cost-effective manner. 

This is also why professionals like Fullstack accounting services recommend hiring an accountant you can rely on, with a perfect background.

Conclusion


Once you do hire an accountant, the adventure is just beginning! Make sure you have regular meetings with your accountant, at least once per month, to review financial statements and any potential problems that might occur. 

If your accountant doesn't report any problems at all, it might be a red-flag for you already, as there's always something that's not going right when it comes to finances. You'll also want to review your accountant's performance often since that's the only way to know where you stand. 

If you make the right choice, you might be in for a long and healthy partnership.


How to Deal with an Unexpected Loss of Income



Factoring in future decreases in income is a normal part of financial planning. For example, you expect household income to drop when you retire. Unforeseen loss of income due to illness, job loss or the death of a family wage-earner are another matter. 

If you are faced with such a crisis, the key to managing the situation is to remain calm and take aggressive steps to preserve your financial health.

Take Inventory


The first step in coping with an unexpected loss of income is to determine what you have to work with. Draw up a list of your remaining income and all of your monthly expenses. 


Write down everything you spend, including food, bills and contributions to savings plans. Make another list that details all of your assets and liabilities.


Cut, Cut, Cut


Be ruthless when you cut expenses. Cost-cutting is a temporary measure, and you will be able to add things back in to your budget after your financial stability is secure. Trim spending on entertainment, groceries, clothing and other consumer goods. 




If you are facing a long period of reduced income, consider downsizing to a smaller car or home. If you are in danger of falling behind on bills, contact your creditors. Many will reduce monthly payments, and they may be willing to temporarily suspend payments.

Boost Income


Find ways to add extra income. For example, you might have a skill you can market part-time through an on-demand job service like Tackl. Local educational institutions hire proctors to supervise standardized tests on weekends. 


If you must stay home to care for children, look for telecommuting jobs. The key to finding extra income streams is to get creative, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Child Care Issues


The cost of child care can be ruinous if it is added to a sudden loss of income. An employer may be willing to help. Today, many employers offer child care assistance as a job benefit. Keep track of money spent on child care. 


If the cost is related to work or attending school, it may be tax deductible. Investigate joining a child care or babysitting co-op in which parents share child care duties.

Deal with Legal Issues


Sometimes the cause of a loss of income raises legal issues. Most commonly, this occurs when someone’s actions cause an accident, injury or death to a family wage-earner. If you are faced with this situation, you have legal options. 


The party that caused the problem can be held liable for loss of income. Don’t hesitate to contact a wrongful death or personal injury attorney from a firm like Wells and McElwee if you think you may be entitled to damages.

Conclusion


Sudden loss of income is potentially devastating, especially when it is accompanied by illness, death or job loss. The secret to financial survival is to be resilient. Take charge of your financial affairs, and do not be shy about making whatever changes in your lifestyle are required


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Health Expenses: How to Mitigate Emergency Dentistry Costs



Are you concerned about the ever-rising dentistry costs? In this article, we analyze options and essential tips that can help you in mitigating emergency dental expenses and bills. So read on.

Register for Discount Dental Plans


This is by far the best option that can help you save up to 50% on emergency dental treatment. The advantage of registering for this kind of plan is that you get access to a wide variety of oral care professionals. 


Note that there two basic types of discount dental plans; individual and family. But regardless of which plan you subscribe for, access to the dentists’ network is not limited. 

You will still be able to receive specialized treatment for you and your family at discounted rates.

Save for Emergency Medical Services


A toothache doesn’t give warning before it begins. It can hit you, anyone, anywhere and at any time. If it hits in the middle of the night what would you do? What if you don’t have an insurance nor a discounted plan? 




And what if your regular dentist is unreachable? You obviously won’t wait until he/she is available for you to get the necessary dentistry attention. This is where your medical emergency savings will come in. 

These funds will help you cater for such unpredictable medical needs including when you get your tooth knocked out during a fight or in an accident.

Free Dental Care Options


Some health centers offer free dental care plans, so if you are lucky to find one near you the better. However, you have to understand that most of these programs are to some extent misnomer. 


This means that in as much as they are labeled free, you will have to pay some small amount of money, especially in an emergency case. Take note, although you will be asked to pay up some cash, the amount payable in most instances is very minimal that it seems as if you are getting a free service. 

So take advantage of these options if you are looking to save on an emergency dentistry expenditure.

Regular Dental Check-ups


Most emergency dental cases arise as a result of neglect. It is therefore essential that you schedule regular dental check-ups with an expert dental care provider. 


Some companies, such as Gentle Family Dentistry, know that this is the best way to prevent possible oral health problems. This will help in identifying any potential concerns and treating them early before they become more severe and expensive to handle.

Proper Oral Care


There is no better way to save on overall dentistry costs than to take appropriate care of your dental health. You understand that poor oral care is the number one cause of dental health problems. 


It is therefore vital that you be more concerned about your overall oral hygiene and health. Begin by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least twice a week. You should also consider replacing processed and sugar-laden foods like soda, candy, and chocolate with healthier options like water, fruits, and vegetables.


Protect Your Teeth


When taking part in contact sporting activities like boxing, football, or golf, remember to protect your teeth from potential accidents. This means being watchful of the balls when playing or when walking close by a playing field. 


Protective gear/armor for your teeth might also come in handy if you are actively involved in this kind of sports. You might also get involved in unforeseen fights when this happens to be careful not to get your teeth knocked out. 

The cost of removing, filling or crowing teeth can be overwhelming in your pocket. So be careful the next time you go out.

Summarily, as mentioned in the introductory paragraph, dentistry costs have risen by a large margin over the last few years making the cost of emergency services even more expensive. Unfortunately, not many people can afford these. 


Thus, following the tips mentioned above can significantly and quickly help you save on emergency dental expenses.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

5 Common Health Insurance Woes faced by Insurer



With the cost of medical treatments rising year-by-year, you need an affordable health insurance policy to cover health expenses and keep your related concerns at bay. Health insurance is certainly not an alien concept to most people, and people are quite aware of the different benefits and covers offered by various insurance companies to their customers.

Most of the articles online, focus on the strengths of an insurance policy, but a well-informed individual will also be aware of the setbacks or pains they are likely to face at the time of purchasing or renewing their health insurance. Here are a few of the most common pain areas:


1. Reminders for policy renewal


One common pain shared by modern individuals across societies is the consistent reminders to renew a policy. These reminders upset the organized, but people who are not as fastidious with their updates are happy to receive these reminders. 


But, even for them the incessant mails, SMS, and even phone calls, can become a pain point. In India, a person can opt to be put on the Do-Not-Disturb list, but, a reminder is better than missing a premium.


2. Hike in renewal premium


Inflation can result from many factors, but a general rise in inflation of a country, along with advancement in the field of medicine can directly impact your premium at the time of a policy renewal. 





A first-time buyer will also be affected by the increased rates, but since a health insurance is a must, there is no avoiding this increase.

3. Better terms for new buyers


Though most insurance companies will go out of their way to keep old and new customers at par, sometimes they may not be able to do so. 

In such a case, a policyholder seeing a new policy with better coverage or a lower premium or the option of getting a health insurance for parents without a medical test may not be too happy.


4. Shell money from pockets


According to the CEO of HealthAssure, “improper maintenance of customer's’ database by insurance companies is one of the major causes of increased cash deposits.” Well, this brings no solace to customers expecting a cashless hospital stay, who end up paying a hefty amount from their pockets. 

Though companies reimburse payments as per the affordable health insurance policy, yet the pain of arranging money cannot be denied.


5. Inability to meet representatives at hospitals and nursing homes


This is especially true at nighttime, when an insurance representative handling the policy may not be present in the hospital. A patient is then bound to take a decision based on equity available in hand. 

Though the medical personnel have a fair idea of what can or cannot be covered, it is not a confirmed option. As an informed person, all a customer can do is check on the availability of an insurance representative at night in a healthcare center, and if possible, go there for treatment when the need arises.

To sum up


Even an affordable health insurance policy is accompanied with deductible expenses, implying that almost 90% medical expenses of the insured are covered, and the remaining expenses are to be paid for by the customers. 

However, despite these pain points, there is one thing to be said, compare, compare, compare, the different policies on offer, before you invest in a health insurance policy.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

5 Home Repairs You Should Never DIY



People often turn to DIY repairs to save money or because they are too impatient to wait for a repairman. The internet is full of various tutorials and how to articles so it is not uncommon that people believe they can do the repairs themselves. 

But no matter how easy they may seem, some repairs actually require expertise and knowledge which only comes with experience and years of learning. Additionally, not all repairs are safe to perform and can even be life-threatening, like meddling with electricity or doing roof work. 

It comes down to this: if you want it done right then avoid DIY-ing the following repairs and leave them to the professionals.

1. Fixing the Roof


The roof is one of the most important parts of the house since its main purpose is to shelter the inhabitants from the weather and keep them protected. 

But if it leaks during rain or snow, the tenants start worrying about whether the moisture will enter the foundations and walls or not. They also believe that the repair price will be too high so they decide to do it themselves. 



Although it may seem like a piece of cake, roof repairs not only require skill, but also present a dangerous task for an inexperienced person. It is very easy to slip or trip and fall down on the ground, causing serious injury. 

Also, if not done correctly, the problem will return or may get bigger due to the layman approach.

2. Replacing the Windows


Replacing the windows is known to be costly and people postpone it as long as they can. There are various things which can go wrong even if the work appears to be perfectly carried out. 

Then it has to be done all over again and ends up being more costly than it initially would have been. Due to the lack of knowledge, you might be using the wrong kind of insulation and construction materials, not to mention that the installation technique and positioning of the windows are also factors to be included in the works. 

The same applies to the doors, except in that case you have to think about all the security issues which may arise from careless and amateur repairs.

3. Wall Removal


The best way to expand your space is to remove the walls. This is a great solution to create an open floor plan, but it’s also not a cheap one so you consider doing it yourself and maybe with the help of a few friends. 

Furthermore, you have heard or read somewhere that demolishing walls with a sledgehammer can be really therapeutic and relieve stress, so it also has some health benefits. 

Only there are more hazards in playing the demolition man that will outweigh those benefits if you do not know what you are doing. Some walls are load-bearing and if you tear them down you can cause the ceiling to collapse. 

Also, if you live in an old house or an apartment building, removing walls can create dust made of construction materials, some of which could be poisonous and toxic, e.g. lead and asbestos.

4. Fixing Gas Appliances


Gas appliances are not uncommon in homes. They are used for stoves, ovens, water heaters, heating, air conditioning and you can also use them for the fireplace to impress the guests and enjoy in the snowy winters. 

But gas is not something to trifle with and can have very serious consequences which may even result in destruction of property, injury and death. As pointed out by the experts from the Total Appliance repair center, the gas supply line is easy to interrupt when connecting the pipes together or sealing the joints. 

This may seem like minor trouble, but the carbon monoxide released in this way is a known cause of many home deaths.

5. Electrical Repairs


Electricity is dangerous and life-threatening if not handled the right way and with caution. Even the smallest of repairs can cause injury and loss of life if you do not know what you are doing. 

To handle electricity, you must have the basic knowledge of how to prevent getting in any contact with the current. Besides the right tools, it also requires knowledge of materials, electricity behavior, power line schemes and how to approach every problem. 

You may hear that a switch is easy to replace, but if you do not have previous experience and possess even the smallest doubt in your skill, then opt for an electrician and save yourself the stress and having to deal with even worse consequences.
Tread Carefully

Of course there are more tasks you should never do on your own and when it comes to repairs you should be well aware of your abilities and skill set. Never try to prove that you are able to pull off a DIY or save money that way, because the results may cost more than imagined.


Advice to Help You Make Investments



Allowing your money to just sit in a savings account would not be a wise financial decision on your part. This is because banks do not pay much interest at all. You need to seriously think about investing your money so you can generate a sizeable profit. 

You should make your money work for you. However, investing your money is not something that you should go into lightly. This is because certain investments require you to take a great deal of risk. 

As you might imagine, these are the investments that have the highest potential for the biggest profits. Here is some advice that will guide you on your journey into the world of investing.


1. Pay very close attention to all of the investments that you make.


There are some people who make some very foolish mistakes that end up costing them a lot of money in the long run. One of the worst things you can do is invest money and then forget about it. 

There are people who make investments and simply move on to other things. They do not take the time to check on the status of their investments on a daily basis. This could be a huge problem if the investment begins to take a serious drop. 




You need to always be well informed where your investments are concerned. This will allow you to get your money out of a bad investment before your losses become very large.


2. Be careful not to invest a dangerous amount of money.


How much of your money do you need to pay your regular expenses? How much of your money do you want to set aside in case of emergencies? 

These are important questions that you need to ask yourself when you are trying to determine the amount of money that you are going to invest. Would you be able to survive financially is your investment collapsed and you lost all of your capital? 

This is the question you need to ask yourself prior to making any investment. If the answer is no, you have invested too much money.


3. An investment advisor will be able to give you valuable guidance.


People with no investing experience should never try to randomly choose investments to make on their own. The various financial markets can be very difficult for an inexperienced person to understand. 

Therefore, it would be wise to have a person who deals with the national and global financial markets on a daily basis to give you advice about where to invest your money. You need to be very selective when you are hiring a financial advisor. 

Make sure the person has a solid track record of making a profit for his clients. Chris Pivik is considered to be an expert in the world of investing. Chris Pivik businessman is respected by the people who invest with him.


4. Never put all of your money into a single investment.


The stupidest thing that you can do would be to risk everything you have on one investment. You might believe very strongly that the investment is a sure thing. 

However, you need to understand that there are no certainties in the world of investing. Invest in a few different things just to be on the safe side.


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