Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The true meaning of the Holidays and beyond

This year as many go about getting ready for the holiday's, I know that doing for others is truly what it is all about.  dcs Accounting & Tax was a drop off point where people could donate items to gather and give to those who are somewhat over looked this time of year.  We collected items from so many wonderful small businesses and individuals for the senior population and the terminally ill.

My youngest son and I put bags together to give out with the items we received from our collection and he also came to deliver the items to Saucon Valley Manor, St. Vincent DePaul Society, St. Lukes Hospice, Saucon Valley Community Center and Safe Harbor. He is getting ready to get confirmed this year so he had to sum up his volunteering with the corporal works of Mercy "Feed the poor" we packed up special snacks for seniors "Clothe the Naked "  we gave warm blankets to those that were cold and needed comfort and "visit the sick" we visited the local assisted living home to give out items and to say hello.  It really does not have to be a great big project but yet so many can be touched.

We would like to take the time to thank the following Individuals and Businesses for their generosity in bringing joy to over 100 people this season.  

Tammy Huk of Coldwell Banker
Lynn Hufton of Coldwell Banker
Charles & Linda Smith
Jane Croissette Stichin Witch Embroidery, LLC
Denise Cassidy-Dietsch of Doodie Calls, LLC
Various Patrons of the Hellertown Area

In closing here is a quote from someone who inspires much of the kindness of giving and has recently been canonized as a Saint.  "We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the Ocean would be less because of that missing drop" Mother Teresa

Wishing all very Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Jobs- 5 valuable takeaways that can be so important to Teens.

Many years have gone by since my days of working a summer job during my teenage years.  Two of my teenagers are now experiencing some of the benefits of working a summer job. It got me thinking of some of the great things summer jobs provide to teenagers while out of school.

There are lessons that I learned during my days of working a summer job that have helped me throughout life and made me stronger and prepared in my professional life my hope is that my children will learn the same and have the same experience from working a summer job. Here is a quick list.

1)  People skills- working a summer job taught me how to work with people in a way that can not be taught in any school, when you  work day in and day out during the summer months with customers, co-workers and management you learn so much when it comes to service, communication and being a good listener these things are so much better when they are taught hands on like in a summer job situation.  

2)  Responsibility- Learning to be timely, know what was expected of you when you show up for work and also knowing your schedule but also working the days you are scheduled to work.  Very important things that working can teach and are not taught in any book.

3)  Professionalism- You may say well it is only a summer job, but many summer jobs you are required to have a sense of professionalism.   Many summer jobs may require a uniform, looking clean and neat. Also professionalism by not taking phone calls from friends or making personal phone calls while working.  Now it would be no texting or looking at your phone while working the phone is locked up until you are done with work.   This is a great lesson that can be learned in being professional while working.  

4)  Money Management-  Well the best part of working a summer job is getting paid.  It can teach you budgeting, setting goals and also money management.  Many times it is the 1st time you open a savings and checking account and will have some spending money.  This can be the best teacher in money management that a teenager can ever have. It also teaches financial responsibility something that is a can be a great lesson from a summer job because it can be so hard to teach in a school setting.  Parents can use this as a great teaching tool and guide their teenager.   Also a great time to introduce how taxes work and how to read a pay stub.  Such an important lesson also will be after the summer job and teaching them the importance of filing their Income Tax Returns.  These are items that you as a parent can use as teachable moments and also create a more independence as your teen goes into adulthood.

5)  Resume -  Summer jobs especially when you are doing something skilled like office assistant or life guarding can be used as a good solid resume item.  This will be a great thing for future jobs after high school or college that can lead you to a more skillful job situation. This was very helpful to me because one of the jobs I had made a great resume item because it was working in an office and I had some great skills in which I learned from this job.  It also had me in contact with some leaders in the community.   Never underestimate the power of a summer job as adding to a skill set and becoming a great resume builder.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 ways to Get Ready , Get Set , Get Organized with your financial life

1) Computerize your finances - A great way to make things organized and automated , also a good way to keep safe because it is so important to monitor your finances on a regular basis. Also makes reconciliation of accounts more manageable.

2)  Create a place in your home just to work on your finances and household paperwork- keep everything centralized. You will find you will keep up with your finances and household paperwork if you have a place in your home that is conducive to keeping you on track with this task. Make it pleasant , neat , organized and comfortable.

3)  Create a system for organizing important paper work - This can be a paper filing system, computerized system or a combination of both. Also incoming and outgoing system of organization. Keeping a handle on important mail vs junk mail is also a big part of keeping a handle on organization of paperwork.

4) Invest in a Shredder this can be a good investment, try to invest in a micro-cut shredder.

5)Consider investing in a safe deposit box or a fire proof lock box to keep permanent important identification cards, certificates, bonds , paperwork , digital pass words and account info.

Many times it may take a professional to  help you  get set up with a computerized way of setting up your finances , what to shred, what to keep, how to set up files , how to set up your personal home office space and plan a space, also helping you with a list of important financial documents that need to be kept safe and accounted for when setting up  a safe place.

Daily Money Managers are a great starting point if you are looking at professionals to help get you set up because they have experience with finances, organization , tax , computerized options for financial organization and a knowledge of what is important when comes to financial paperwork.

Simplifying and organizing your financial life will lead to a much more calmer and stress free lifestyle and worth the investment of your time and also the enlisting of a professional. The investment of a professional may even more important if you are divorced, starting a new career after college graduation, recently widowed, couples that are just in need of  an extra hand and are too busy , seniors who may have problems with vision, medical problems or just need guidance.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 things needed when keeping a Business Mileage Log

This is always a very important thing many people do not realize what they need to record when tracking business mileage.

1)   Date - Be sure to record the date of business travel

2)   Destination- City, Town or area

3)   Business Purpose-  What is the purpose of this travel

4)  Odometer Readings - Start and Stop

5) Total Mileage of this Trip- Total the mileage traveled for this trip

Be sure this is neatly tracked in a journal of choice ie Notebook, journal book

Also there are different apps that can be used that follow IRS Business Mileage log guidelines that can also be used and printed.  

Be sure to keep these records each year in case it ever comes into question by the IRS.  

Also January 1st be sure to record your odometer reading for the start of the year and also Dec 31st record your year end odometer reading.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

3 things to know about QuickBooks Online that will help you distinguish how it is different than the Desktop version.

This question is asked by many everyday.  We are seeing more and more start off or even switch over to QuickBooks Online.   Why ?  Intuit is advertising more on TV, in magazine ads, computer ads and many small business owners are checking it out.

QuickBooks Online has a much different feel than QuickBooks Desktop, it does have some really stand out features that comes with your subscription.

1. What are some of the differences?

  •  Access from anywhere.
  • Cloud based which means it will be backed up even if your computer crashes.
  • Bank feeds that automatically update without having to do the connection yourself each time.
  • Many of the same features that are in   desktop are now in QuickBooks Online.
  •  Ability to easily add on enhancement apps as your business needs inventory, time recording, etc.
  • No worrying about updating or sun setting of the product. Intuit is always making updates because it is cloud based you do not have to do these updates they are automatic. No having to worry about files being corrupted because of windows versions not being updated or QuickBooks not being updated or files getting too large.   No need to update to a newer version like in the desktop version. 
  • Intuit is putting increased resources in improvement in QuickBooks Online to make it the "premier accounting software", It is their latest focus.   

2. Is it important to get training in QuickBooks online?
Absolutely,  it is important to get some kind of training, because if things are not done correctly it can cause problems that will take time to fix later  which may involve working with a Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and can cost some money to fix.  The same even holds true for those using the desktop version.  Certified QuickBooks Online  ProAdvisors are even available to work with clients on training. It usually is a good investment to hire someone who knows the latest and is up to date on their certifications in QuickBooks Online because it is different than the desktop version in many ways. Even if you decide to contract out for someone to keep up your QuickBooks , look for a Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and even better one that has a CPA they are teamed up with  it can help greatly and offer you even more value.  

3. Cost of QuickBooks Online?
Pay monthly, different discounts are available, talk to a Certified Quickbook ProAdvisor about which version is best for you. This is important because they will do a needs assessment and fit you with the best version.   Certified  QuickBooks online ProAdvisors may offer some different  packages for those who want support or want actual work to be done on a monthly basis. It does help to have a  professional looking at your QuickBooks on a monthly basis to be sure it is being done correctly and review the important things you as a business owner should be watching in QuickBooks to help you grow your business.

The best thing is don't go into it alone, talk to a Professional who knows the Online version of QuickBooks and even look for them to be certified.  It does make a difference. The QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor time is worth the financial  investment  because it is an important part of your business. Look at references on LinkedIn and other published references via the web when looking for a Certified ProAdvisor or Certified Online ProAdvisor.  Also see if Online is for you, it is for many small businesses out there but not for all.