Sunday, January 31, 2010

Current Tax Updates

With tax season off to a brisk start this year; many taxpayers are unaware of recent tax updates that can affect their bottom line. Here are two brief changes that may affect your tax filing season.

Home Buyer Credit – Those taxpayers that will be using Form 5405 to claim the credit will have to include some additional paperwork this year. Taxpayers must now include a copy of the settlement statement, or a copy of the sales contract, or certificate of occupancy. Due to the additional paperwork documentation that is needed, home buyer credit tax returns must be paper filed instead of eFiled.

Contributions to Haiti – Taxpayers that itemize this year can deduct their contributions to Haiti relief. Only cash contributions between Jan. 11th 2010 and March 1st 2010 will be eligible. Be sure that your contributions are to qualified charities.

Hope these updates can help lower that tax bill this year.

The Tech Accountant

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Technology Makes Strange Bedfellows

Came across this little piece of information yesterday and thought many out there in blog land would get a kick out of this one. It appears that two of the largest rivals in the tech game will be joining forces. Microsoft and Intuit will be partnering together to help develop cloud computing applications aimed at the small business market. I am personally eager to see how this one will play out. Will Microsoft and Intuit merge in the coming years? Only time will tell.

The Tech Accountant

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PowerPoint on Smartphone

After being in a conference all weekend (that was wonderful) to add another dimension to my business I wanted to find a way to make business presentations with Microsoft Powerpoint from my iPhone. After doing a bit of searching (and reading some bad reviews for iPhone apps at the ITunes store), I came across a site by Chris Pirillo that walked me through how to do it and more. Be sure to read the article and watch the video below. Enjoy

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

The Tech Accountant

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twittering for the New Year

I have to admit that when it came to Twitter I had to be one of the laggards that bought in. Now that I have finally setup an account (@TechAccountant) I am having a ball getting into the “groove” so to speak. What really jumpstarted my interest in Twitter was an article that I read before the end of the year in Entrepreneur that provided me with a roadmap on how to use Twitter and the benefits of using it for my business. Since then I have been tweeting virtually every day providing information that can help small business owners using technology to their advantages. In the process I have come across some rather interesting people who also use Twitter via a Linked In group. I also found out by accident that my online data backup has the capability to save my tweets and backup my Twitter account.

These are just a few of the fun tools that I have been playing around with for the first 15 days of the New Year. Be sure to post what tech tools you use for Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media tool that you use.

Oh and if you have not noticed the name of the blog has changed to “The Tech Accountant” to better portray what the blog is all about. Still the same look and feel (for now), but lookout for more changes in the next 15 days of January and beyond.

The Tech Accountant

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Windows 7’s “Intuit”ion is Broke

I recently had a client that upgraded their computer systems to Windows 7 and as I was moving over their accounting system (they use Intuit’s QuickBooks) and going through all the problems with compatibility the client and I thought we had everything ready to go for 2010. Well hold on a minute there, we attempted to test the Remote Access with WebEx and found out that there was an issue with accessing the client’s computer. Thinking that this would be a simple fix I contacted support only to find out that QuickBooks Remote Access Service does not work on the Windows 7 operating system. One would think that two mega corporations like Intuit and Microsoft would be on the same page when it comes to systems and compatibility but as with most new software/operating systems releases, one does not know what the other is doing. We were provided with a workaround, but that “solution” did not work also.

Problems like the previous make me wonder why many small business owners use boxed accounting software instead of a true technology driven accounting solution. The majority of the issues that occur can be alleviated since the data is in the clouds (similar to online banking) and updates are done behind the scenes. There are rarely problems with an online accounting solution and many small businesses may need to investigate these solutions to compete effectively in the new decade.

B. N. S.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Small Biz Advice for 2010 and Beyond

Now that 2010 is here, it may be time for many small business owners to take a look at ways to survive the New Year and the next decade. For the most part, small business owners need to think outside the box and devise totally different strategies for tackling the new market emerging from this recession. A survey of 750 small business owners for Discover Small Business Watch came up with ten tips that will help a small business owners learn how to succeed in the coming year/decade based on their shortcomings in the past. I personally like number 1, 2, 6, and 10 (and will continue to speak vehemently about implementing these strategies) although the whole list in and of itself is a great start for small business New Year’s resolutions. Just be sure to follow thru on the list.

B. N. S.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Tax Season less taxing with technology

Happy New Year everyone out there in blog land! Now that the holidays are over everyone’s focus is now on going back to work, paying off those Christmas bills and the dreaded taxes. Luckily there are ways to make filing your taxes a little less stressing. Typically you have to compile all of your tax data, schedule a time to meet with your tax professional and then wait for the return to be prepared. If you are one of those taxpayers that loves technology, then the following process may be of interest to you.

Some tax professionals allow their clients to fill out online tax organizers that will assist in getting all of your tax data compiled and ensure that you don’t forget any important paperwork. Once the online tax organizer is completed you send the organizer back along with your tax information via e-mail. This is very dangerous since you would be sending your tax data over the internet unsecure. This is where a client portal comes into play. A portal is similar to logging into online banking whereas you would login to your own secure account, fill out your tax organizer and upload all of your tax information. Once you have completed these tasks, an e-mail would be sent to your tax professional notifying them that your documents are ready to process. By using this approach, you can cut out wasted time playing phone tag with your tax professional to schedule an appointment, or sitting waiting in their office for them to review your information….that is unless you enjoy sitting and waiting on your tax professional to review your data.

Using technology can make your tax season less taxing.

B. N. S.