Monday, January 31, 2011

Setting Fees for Services - Something for an Independent Contractor to Consider

If there is one mistake I have seen with my independent clients that file a Form 1099 make is in the department of fee setting. It pays to consider the following when setting fees for services:

All is different when you have a service business, and you are marketing it on the web. Of course it all will depend on your service, but many are the kind that involves providing a quote to the prospective customer. Much depends on whether the quote is accepted, or not, but no matter what always tends to cause annoying after thoughts. If you get the gig, then you may be inclined to challenge yourself. It is normal to wonder what would have happened if your fee was higher. If you requested for more, would it be a fair price or exchange of value? One thing that is pretty frequent with service providers is more work can often happen with any job. We want to examine this unique aspect involving pricing for the service based businesses.

There are a thousand various service based businesses on the net, probably more. Why don't we take a minute to look at something that is actually pretty important. You are also, and more importantly, providing your clientele with a set of clear advantages for their business. There is a huge distinction that really is glaring if you are able to see it. You will find that people place a higher value on benefits they receive. When someone thinks of a service provider, or receiving a service, there is a tremendously basic feeling attached to it. We all get services of one kind every day, and once again no unique feelings about it. You want to position yourself through you marketing as not merely a service provider but rather as a specialist who confers benefits to businesses.

Did you ever seriously sit down and consider how much your time and what you supply are worth? Do you possess a clear understanding of how valuable your particular service is worth as done by you? The the greater part of service providers reflect people in general because what the providers do is grossly undervalue their real value. But on the other hand you should never swing to the extreme reverse direction. If you are relatively inexperienced, then you should charge appropriately. If you're a little stuck about the way to approach this, then a great place is by going to Google. Look at your competitors and simply see what the assortment of fees are. Of course that will provide you with a true world idea of what people are asking.

Beware falling for the trick of being willing to drop your fees when someone hints it - no fiddling around with your fees. That is where people will want to have advantage of you as much as possible. If you have your fees clearly displayed on your site, they will continue to do it as if they totally ignored it. The reason you should not engage in this destructive behavior is because it creates a perception that you do not value your work or yourself. The moment you do that, then it is downhill from that point on - and that is the truth; people will continue to try and take advantage of you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

IRS 1040 Form and Personal Finance Software on the Market

In order to prepare a proper IRS 1040 Form it is helpful to use personal finance software though if you simply have a W2 Form then this would probably be like trying to kill an ant with an atom bomb!

Many people find that the best way to manage their household budget is by using personal finance software. Whether you want to make sure your bills are paid on time, keep track of your various accounts or plan a budget, there's a program that can make it easier. What follows are some criteria you should use when choosing personal finance software and a look at some of the leading programs on the market.

Many personal finance software programs offer you a free trial before you have to pay. If this is your first time attempting a new software you definitely want to consider the free trial period to ensure you really like the program you are considering.

You probably won't have FULL access to all features of the software you will have enough to give you a feel for it. It will be easy to see right off if the basic setup is acceptable to you and whether or not you find it easy enough to use. There's no point in buying a program that you're not sure about, so look for software that lets you try it out first.

If you want a program you can use anywhere you can get Internet access then you should look into Mvelopes Personal budgeting System. The focus of this software is budgeting and helping you reduce your expenses. Mvelopes is set up to help you identify all of your financial transactions so you can figure out where it's possible to save money. This web based software is designed for the user who merely wishes to focus on their budget. If you are looking for more in depth features you may need to look into Quicken or Microsoft Money.

If you have a Macintosh, iBank 4 is one of the personal finance software programs to take into consideration. This is a user friendly program that many Mac users find helpful to manage their finances. It is simple to track every one of your account balances, and additionally keep an eye on your investments. It allows you to import transactions from other programs like Quicken for Mac, as well as export to TurboTax to file your taxes. It presents to you a free 30 day trial, which includes support, so you can experiment with it for a full month before choosing to keep it. If you do want to continue using it, the price is quite reasonable at around $60. If you operate a Mac, then iBank 4 is a great choice if you desire a finance program with bunches of beneficial qualities.

There are many personal finance software programs to choose from, and some will suit your needs better than others. So that you choose a program with the right features carefully consider what you want it to do. This information should point you in the right direction to discover the right personal financial software for you. So you can enjoy the benefits of tracking your finances, be sure to get the program you choose up and running quickly.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Form 1099 and Cost Segregation Analysis

Can you think of two more different topics than form 1099 and cost segregation analysis ?

The point though is that the topics and fields being an expert in as a CPA are many. So can you expect to truly have competence in all of them not really. So it pays to do your own research besides the help of your local accountant or CPA to make sure the information you are getting is up to date and correct to the fullest extent possible.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Audited Financial Statements and the Benefits And Drawbacks

If you are considering getting a set of audited financial statements for a particular purpose but on are on the fence this is for you. Fine, let us get started. On one side you have the "Pro", the positions in favor: The very first point in support of audited financial statements is going to be they will be respected more than a review or compilation. A 2nd point in favor would be they are required for many regulatory authorities. The 3rd supporting point is going to be they are the best and highest form of assurance. The 4th point in support of audited financial statements will be that it may be the only way you can get a buyer to consider purchasing your business. Lastly, the 5th point is why start with a review or compilation and later have to upgrade. For balance then let's hear from the other side, those opposed, the "Con" side: The primary point against audited financial statements is the higher cost than reviews or compilations. The 2nd point against will be the time it may take to get it done. A 3rd significant point against is you will need to use a CPA to produce them. Your fourth point against is the expense may never pay off. And 5th and last, but not necessarily the least, consideration against is perhaps you do not want to open up your books to an outsider.

So there we have all the arguments for each side.

Finally then, what is the "bottom line" here? Are audited financial statements good or bad?

We now have a "Yes" answer to both questions! audited financial statements definitely seems to be both good AND bad! It is left up to your reader to determine which side, the good or the bad, outweighs the other...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Online Savings - Online Tax Accounting

Even though in the past the Internet was not the place to get assistance with tax accounting services. Much has changed with the progress of the Internet and there are many good solutions to find tax accounting services through the World Wide Web.

Keep More Cash

If you're looking to keep more moola and tax accounting services there is some advice that I can give you as a practicing certified public accountant. As most services are, fees and costs are mostly calculated as a product of multiplying hours by a rate of pay. The reason this is important for a small business or any taxpayer looking to get tax accounting services is that you can save cash by using accounting programs that will reduce the hours required for the tax preparer to do the necessary compliance.

Accounting Software for Tax Accounting Savings
Whether you are using accounting software such as Google Docs or simply using a spreadsheet to summarize expenses it is likely that you will be saving your accountant time and that will save you money. Though you should be sure that what you are doing will not need to be redone by the person doing your tax accounting. This means that the information should be easily summarized and able to show that it is matching your bank statements.Keep in mind what tax accounting services you will require.

Tax Compliance
The most basic services are called compliance. The understanding why it is called compliance is because it helps the taxpayer comply with federal, state and city tax laws. This can include filing corporate returns, sales tax returns, as well as commercial rent and other local filings. When you employ an accountant to do compliance tax accounting then you should not expect to necessarily get much consulting. In such a situation it is likely that price will be the major determinant of who you choose.

Tax Consulting
At times the compliance with tax laws can be done internally without the need for a tax accountant. Then the other reason you may be because you need advice on what needs to be prepared and how you can plan to save money. You would be surprised how a little bit of preparation in advance can save a very significant amount of cash.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Google Wave for Business

On friday I received my invite for Google Wave. Considering that I am a big fan of Google and a user of many of their products I accepted their invitation promptly.

So why am I excited about Google Wave?

  1. Collaboration - The ability to bring new people into a Wave and get them up to speed quickly.
  2. Best of email and instant messaging plus much more.
  3. Amazing potential for support
What are my reservations?

The main reservation I have is that the way invitations have been dolled out the number of users is limited. This means that the main reason for using Google Wave, collaboration, is difficult without other users to collaborate with.

Do you want to Wave?

I have some invitations left. So if you would like to collaborate with me. Or possibly be refered by me then drop me an email and I will likely send you an invite.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BD Audited Financial Statements

Broker dealers have had a longstanding requirement to submit annual audited financial statements to FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency, and the SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission.

Beginning with the year ended December 31, 2008 these audited financial statements must be conducted by a CPA that has been registered with the PCAOB, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The process that a CPA must undergo to be registered is not always simple. The CPA's internal process of quality control is put to scrutiny even in the registration process. The CPA must explain their means of assuring the following:

  • Independence Integrity and Objectivity
  • Engagement Performance
  • Personnel Management
  • Acceptance and Continuance of Client Engagements
  • Monitoring

There are in the range of 3,000 CPA's and CPA Firms that are registered with the PCAOB. This is a small fraction of all CPA's and CPA Firms worldwide.

In theory the audit's conducted should not have changed from prior years and as such the annual fee should be comparable. Many broker dealers have found the fees they are being quoted are not similar to the prior years.

That any firms or CPA's fees are higher when they are subject to more scrutiny and regulation should make sense. Yet some small broker dealers feel to be victims of excessive regulation in a year that they have been affected as much as the rest of us have been by the depressed economy.

As much as possible I have made myself available via email and phone to see if I can perform a Broker Dealer audited financial statement for a reasonable fee. Please understand though that an engagement to conduct an audited financial statement is extensive and requires careful planning and takes time. There is never a fee to discuss the options of preparing the audited financial statements for a client and I welcome the opportunity to talk to you.