Saturday, August 29, 2009

Smart Technology

Continuing on the technology theme of the last post, I came across a possible jewel for those small business owners (and tech savvy individuals) with smart phones that need information while away from a computer. If you are taking your small business paperless, or have been thinking about it, be sure to check out With their service you can access and share your files with anyone, backup and synch files, and collaborate online.

Now what makes the service a jewel is that the company has recently added an iPhone app allowing you access to your files and services while away from your computer. They also have a mobile login that allows other smart phone users access to their files and share them with others. We will be testing the service over the weekend and will post a brief overview of how it works.

B. N. S.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Phone Smarts

Your phone is getting smarter according to an article Fortune magazine. The demands for smart phones are increasing and not only are they for the Wall Street business types, but consumers and small business owners are beginning to buy in. The two major players are RIM who makes the Blackberry (also known as the “crack” berry) and Apple, makers of the iPhone. Each has seen sales gains in areas you would not think they would. RIM’s sales gains are from consumers and businesses are starting to see the iPhone as viable option. I was quite intrigued by the small test you can take to see which phone is right for you. Be sure to check out the test and see which phone is the smart one for you.

B. N. S.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Extra Credit

So many people have to rely on their credit cards since banks are really not lending money at the present time. There has been a bit of a change in the relationship you have with your credit card issuer, thanks to a new law. The majority of the law is consumer friendly and will hopefully allow individuals and small business owners a little more breathing room to maintain their creditworthiness. Don’t think that the banks won’t retaliate and less people will be able to qualify for a credit card. Check out what Citi and AMEX have in store for some of their customers. For now the law is in your favor.

(Business N Synergy)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Bad Rap

Earlier this week a tax client sent me a couple of You Tube links that I found quite amusing. At some point in time there was a rap contest to see who could come up with the best Turbo Tax Rap video. There were quite a few out there on You Tube, but the one my client sent me was one that hit home a message that anyone can prepare taxes with Turbo Tax and that many professional tax preparers are losing money and clients to the software giant. After you watch the video be sure to check out another video that shows our own Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner stating that he relied on Turbo Tax to prepare his tax returns (the returns under question where he underpaid his tax). Guess either way you look at it Turbo Tax gets a bad rap.

Moral: Trust a tax professional before you trust software.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Microsoft Office Accounting Express Review

QuickBooks may have a formidable opponent for their Simple Start software offering. Microsoft’s Office Accounting Express was recently reviewed by and was given very high marks by the reviewers. Both QB’s Simple Start and MS Express are geared toward the small office home office (SOHO) segment of the small business market or for those who are transferring from pen and paper or spreadsheets to perform their accounting functions. The functionality within MS Express goes beyond that of QB Simple Start thus allowing the SOHO business owner more flexibility and efficiency that will save them money in the long run (did I mention that MS Express is free to download here).

Be sure to read the review and see for yourself why MS Express is better for your small business. Also be on the lookout in the coming months for brief online presentations on how to use MS Express in your SOHO business. The presentations will be posted on this blog and our company's website.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Banking on your bank

Banks are supposed to be one of the best places to keep our money. With all the changes in the banking industry recently, the choices of banking institutions has shorten, making it tougher for individuals and small businesses to find a bank. Although many banks received bailout out money, they are still looking for ways to “mine” revenue from their customers. A recent article on Yahoo Finance provides a wealth of information about banks and their internal processes and how they make money off of all of us. Some of the information I already knew about but others were rather shocking. I guess the bottom line is to find a bank that does not nickel and dime you for everything and make sure that you take some time out to read the details of your account agreement (even though your agreement can change like the season).

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Small business tax break for business equipment

For those small business owners that need to purchase equipment here are the details of the tax law passed earlier this year.

The law extended the $250,000 limit for the first-year
expensing of new or used equipment purchased for use in
your business. This deduction is gradually phased out
once you purchase more than $800,000 of equipment in

In addition, brand new equipment, software, and
qualified leasehold improvements can qualify for 50%
bonus depreciation if placed in service by the end of

The two benefits can be combined on the same purchase.
For example, you can use the expensing option on a
piece of equipment and apply bonus depreciation to the
remaining cost if the property qualifies.

Be sure to speak to your tax advisor to ensure your property qualifies.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scams, Shams, and Fraud

While going through my e-mails this morning, I came across an “urgent” e-mail from my bank stating that as part of their security measures, the bank had screened my account. The e-mail goes on to say that to restore my account I need to click on the link to sign into online banking. The e-mail itself contain all the information of a legitimate e-mail from the bank (including the bank’s logo) however, the link to sign into online banking did not contain the banks web address nor did the e-mail address contain the bank’s name. Typically when an individual or business receives one of these e-mails you should not click on the links nor enter any of your personal information.

Yes people due to the economy the scammers are coming out of the wood work to take your hard earned money and they will even impersonate the government. Here is an interesting article that I came across today where scam artists are impersonating the IRS in another “phishing” scam. Before you take any of the action described in any e-mail you receive, be sure to call the institution that way you can protect yourself and your hard earned money.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy

Monday, August 03, 2009

States Getting Salty

Yesterday was the last day of the sales tax holidays here in Georgia and although it is too early to tell if it was a success, back to school shoppers were certainly taking advantage of no sales tax. Quite a few states have sales tax holidays scheduled for the summer’s end to assists consumers in saving money. Although the holidays stimulate the economy, many times it is at the expense of the state’s revenue departments. When these departments go without the necessary revenue, we the consumer usually loose. The state revenue departments do have one option they can exercise and that is raising tax rates.

According to a recent report by CCH, state and local taxes (S. A. L. T.) are on the rise so don’t be surprised if you are paying more for items in the coming months. If you were curious to see where your state’s S. A. L. T. rate is be sure to take a look at this map.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy (and salt free)