Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bright Idea…Dimdim

The buzz around the small business owners that I interact with is technology. More and more small business owners (SBO’s) are beginning to embrace the world of technology to help them get more done and operate their businesses more efficiently. One tool that many of my SBO clients like is a little tool call Dimdim. I have posted before on the benefits of this software but recently Dimdim made some updates. Dimdim allows you to share your desktop, make presentations, and conduct online meetings. I use it to show SBO’s how to use various accounting software, how to upload files to our secure web portal, and even conduct online seminars. The possibilities are endless with this jewel. Best of all, Dimdim is free and they also have a low cost Pro version that has more features and functionality.

So be sure to stop by the Dimdim website and see if your small business can benefit from using it.

The Tech Accountant

Sunday, February 21, 2010

SMB's need good accounting now more than ever..

Small and medium businesses need to have an efficient accounting system in place now more than ever due to the economy and recent tax law changes. Here is a brief video on what a good accounting system can do for your business. Enjoy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Your E-Filed Tax Return Will Be Rejected

Yes people in the blogsphere, your tax return will be rejected by the IRS if it contains one of the following errors:

Making Work Pay Credit (MWPC) – the MWPC will cause your return to be rejected if you are not sure if you received the credit or not. Most tax software will assume that you did receive the credit based on your age and other factors, but taxpayers and their tax preparers should contact the Social Security Administration to confirm that the credit was actually received. Another way to find out is to go back and look at your bank statements around May of last year and see if there was a deposit for $250.

First Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHBC) – The FTHBC can only be claimed on returns that are paper filed. If you are a taxpayer that is trying to claim this credit, you will need to attach additional documents to your return to adhere to the more strict guidelines set forth by the IRS.

For more information regarding these credits or other issues that may delay your tax return, be sure to stop by our website.

The Tech Accountant

Friday, February 12, 2010

Falling From the Clouds

As I looked out the window earlier today, I couldn’t help but notice that the winter snow storms have finally made their way to the south. The snow was falling from the clouds at a pretty constant pace and oddly enough it was beginning to build up on the ground. I thought to myself that the forecasters were correct in timing the snow fall and since I live by the 6 P’s (proper prior planning prohibits poor performance), I did not have to run out to the store to buy the necessary bread and milk.

Instead of having to go out and brave the elements today, I was able to get all my work completed thanks to the use of technology. As I watched the news reports about how many of the schools, churches, and other facilities were closing early today in addition to the traffic build up around the city; I reveled at the fact that by using software as a service (SaaS)products and cloud computing my business was able to operate “business as usual”. This is just one of the many reasons a small business owner needs to investigate the use of technology resources in their firm. By using technology driven resources a small business owner can operate in the clouds instead of worrying about what’s falling from them.

The Tech Accountant

Monday, February 08, 2010

Outsourcing Basics

Lately I have been hearing a great deal about small business owners looking for a way to get out of doing all of their back office functions so that they can focus on growing their businesses. I don’t know if it is the economy that has changed many of their focus but the word “outsourcing “ seems to be on the minds of many small business owners that I come in contact with and in the publications that I read. This makes me laugh because when I mention the word outsourcing and did seminars about the benefits of it many years ago (the mid 90’s to be exact), many small business owners were not open to the idea. I am now under the impression that since there has been a considerable change in the small business marketplace in addition to the economy as a whole, most small business owners are looking for ways to cut cost at the same time maintaining (or increasing) productivity. Well here is a brief overview of outsourcing and how it works.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing as per Wikipedia is defined as the process of subcontracting to a third party.

What can be outsourced?

For the small business owner, many processes can be outsourced. Among those include bookkeeping, website design, search engine optimization, lead generation and other administration and marketing tasks.

Where can outsourcing be performed?

Many of the larger firms outsource their functions overseas to areas such as India, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. Most small business owners feel that this is not a secure process and worry about data security issues. Outsourcing has come a long way, and what many small businesses don’t know is that when they send their information to large businesses, it is already being sent overseas. Case in point when you call customer service of a large corporation the call is usually sent overseas and those people have access to your data.

How do I outsource?

The first step to small business outsourcing is locating reputable outsourcing firms. The best way to do this is to join social networks and search for the firms there. If you are a small business that can provide outsourcing, be sure to let everyone know (on the social networks) about your firm and how your outsource process works.

I hope this time around that small businesses will quickly embrace the outsourcing function so that it will help them increase their productivity, save time and focus on more revenue producing activities.

The Tech Accountant

Friday, February 05, 2010

Tax Preparation Changes

Recently I signed my firm up to use a new product being offered by Intuit that may change the way tax professionals prepare returns for their clients. The new Intuit ProLine Tax Online Edition is in the process of being developed by the company and currently allows our firm to prepare personal tax returns from virtually anywhere we have an internet connection. The ProLine Tax Online Edition is currently in beta testing and our firm is excited to be one of around 2000 other firms that are testing the product for the current year. Intuit plans to add business returns, document management, workflow management, and integration with accounting products (QuickBooks I’m sure). Here’s a funny video from Intuit about their new product.

This is an exciting time for tax and accounting professionals as our profession and the way we do business is changing. The question is which firm will embrace the change and who will resist it.
The Tech Accountant