Friday, May 31, 2013

Too Casual Friday?

We all love those days when we don't have to don the suit and tie or suit and heels. But what is really appropriate for a casual day in the office?  

 

I'm a bit old school and have never been comfortable putting on a pair of jeans and going to the office, but that's just me. You can wear jeans and look professional. 

 

A few "casual" day faux pas I have seen over the years:

  • Jeans with holes
  • Faded jeans dragging the floor, frayed at the hem
  • Flip flops
  • Sports team t-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Dirty tennis shoes
  • Thin blouses with undergarments showing through

 

 

Appropriate Casual Friday office attire is part of good business etiquette.  The goal is to still present a professional image while enjoying a day of business in casual attire. 

Bottom line: to be dressed in a way that you and your employer won't be embarrassed if a client or business associate stops by your office.

 

It’s ok for clients to see you in jeans, but they don’t want to see your Alumni hoodie from the 80’s or your wife beater T with your bra hanging out. And unless you work at the beach-Flip Flops have no place in the workplace-Ever... Yes, it’s Friday and the start of the weekend, but you’re still at work!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quickbooks Online, Which Version is Right For You?



QuickBooks Online has three different versions. How to choose which one's right for your business...

All versions come with a 30 day free trial and no contract so you are able to cancel at anytime. You can also change the version if you find you need more or want to add payroll.



Online Simple Start:
  • Create invoices & estimates
  • Download bank transactions
  • Get mobile access to your data
  • Over 20 business reports
  • Single user 

If you’re looking for more advanced business functions like Online Banking, Payroll and Time Tracking, you might want to look at Online Essentials or Online Plus.

Online Essentials:
  • Manage & pay bills
  • Run advanced reports
  • Import from QuickBooks Pro
  • Over 40 business reports
  • Access for multiple users (3)
  • For an additional monthly fee payroll can be added

If your business tracks inventory or needs to associate Customers with corresponding expenses, you might want to consider Online Plus. 

Online Plus:  
  • Create purchase orders
  • Track inventory
  • Prepare 1099s
  • Track employee time
  • Over 65 business reports
  • Access for multiple uses (5)
  • For an additional monthly fee payroll can be added 


Managing your small business books can be a challenging task, but with the right tools you can spend less time managing your numbers and more time making them go up. 

For more information please contact us at info@laebusiness.com
 
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day


To All Our Service Men and Women
 
My heart and appreciation goes out to all our service men and women
To those who gave their lives, to those who served and to those who still are serving today

In peace and in war 
You are there, protecting and defending our country, our freedom, our honor
Some call them soldiers, I call them heroes
 
You risked your lives for us
You have lived through hell and fought with honor

For every life, there is a soul
For every soul, there is a life

For those who have died, we show tremendous gratitude
And hold you forever in our memory

For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle
Some memories are of defeat and some of victory
 
Our veterans are more than soldiers
They were and always will be our heroes

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wendy's Supports Project Linus

LAE Business Services is proud to support the Suffolk County Chapter of Project Linus!


Come out to Wendy's in Hauppauge 

527 Route 111

Wednesday June 12, 2013 from 5-8pm


Wendy's will donate 15% of the sales to Project Linus



Children Rescued from Elementary School


CBSnews – Children are rescued by from Tower Plaza Elementary School in Moore, Okla., following a devastating tornado that destroyed the school and much of the area, May 20, 2013. A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., and passed along to rescuers. The search for more survivors continues. 
After such terrible events its wonderful to see these children being rescued after being trapped inside their elementary school. I can only imagine the thoughts and horrific sights they must have seen. Our prayers and blessings go out to everyone involved in these natural disasters. Below is a video we found of a survivor finding their dog amongst the rubble of fallen houses. Each story manages to be more touching than the last.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

QuickBooks 2013 Keyboard Shortcuts

Using the QuickBooks 2013 keyboard shortcuts shown below will make your day-to-day small business accounting easier & faster




Ctrl+A Displays the Chart of Accounts window
Ctrl+C Copies your selection to the Clipboard
Ctrl+D Deletes check, invoice, transaction, or item from the list
Ctrl+E Edits transaction selected in the register
Ctrl+F Displays the Find window
Ctrl+G Goes to the other side of a transfer transaction
Ctrl+I Displays the Create Invoice window
Ctrl+J Displays the Customer:Job List window
Ctrl+M Memorizes a transaction
Ctrl+N Creates a new <fill in the blank> where <fill in the blank> is whatever is active at the time
Ctrl+P Almost always prints the currently active register, list, or form
Ctrl+Q Creates and displays a QuickReport on the selected transaction
Ctrl+R Displays the Register window
Crtl+T Displays the memorized transaction list
Ctrl+V Pastes the contents of the Clipboard
Ctrl+W Displays the Write Checks window
Ctrl+X Moves your selection to the Clipboard
Ctrl+Z Undoes your last action — usually
Ctrl+Insert Inserts a line into a list of items or expenses
Ctrl+Delete Deletes the selected line from a list of items or expenses

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boost Your Small Business's Bottom-Line


You're in business to turn a profit, otherwise you could go work for someone else and make them money. So what steps can you take to increase your bottom-line?




Budget: Make sure you have a budget and review it monthly to see where you stand with your spending. Things can creep up on you if you wait too long to take action.

Change Operating Procedures:  Is it possible to generate more sales while reducing operating expenses? It sure is! Cross-sell to your customers. Have a "relationship" based sales model that will have your customer coming back to you. Offer bundle discounts or prepayment discounts. Audit your audit your administrative functions to see where you can trim expenses. Outsourcing is a growing trend for both HR and Accounting Departments. Ask yourself, what routine functions could outsource to save money? and would it be more cost efficient to hire part-timers to do these tasks?

Be Visible and Connected: In this age of technology and social media the one who's out there is the one that gets noticed. Does your company have a website? Blog page? What about social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn just to name a few. Taking you reputation online will enable you to connect with clients and make strategic alliances.

Everyone's a salesperson: Now I don't mean your accounting department is going to be cold calling potential customers. But whether it's telephone call, email or face-to-face meetings, every employee has the opportunity to spread your company's message and engage in potential sales-generating conduct. All staff needs to pitch in to help cutting costs, selling, networking on the web, marketing, and so on. Motivate your staff to sell your message by encouraging self-development, conferences, lunch meetings, and webinars. Reward your employees who take continuing education classes or who go the extra mile to positively represent the company inside and outside of work.


 How will you grow profits at your business this year? 
Leave us your tips.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Quit! Resigning From Your Job


We have all had those days where we want to march into the bosses office and say, “I quit”. Remember, all of our actions have consequences. You may need your former employer for a reference at some point. If you’re staying the same industry there’s a chance you will see him or her at a business function, so it’s always best when possible to leave on good terms.

Give Notice
Before you do anything check your employment contract, if you signed one, and see if it states how much notice you are required to give and what the consequences are if you don’t abide by it. It’s standard practice in most cases to give two weeks notice.  I’m sure we all know people who have felt like they just couldn’t take another day at their job.  Should they hang in there for another week or two or are there times when you can give less than two weeks notice or even no notice at all?

How to Quit
When you quit a job, it's important to resign as professionally as possible. Tell your supervisor in-person that you're leaving and to write a resignation letter. However, depending on situation, you may need to quit over the phone or via email.

Write a Letter of Resignation
No matter how you chose to quit, write a resignation letter.  You don't say much more than you are leaving. Accentuate the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, but, state that it's time to move on. A resignation letter can help you uphold a positive relationship with your former employer, while providing a way for you to move on. 

Clean Up Your Computer
Some employers may decide that you should leave right immediately and show you to the door, even if you give two weeks notice. That being said, before you hand in your resignation, clean up your computer. Make sure you have the contact information for everyone you need to keep in touch with after you're gone. Delete personal files and email messages.

Far too often I have seen people leave at the end of the day or even at lunch time and just not come back. Or better yet, send an email that they are quitting when they are already supposed to be at the office.  Remember; don’t burn any bridges that you may need to cross again…

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ways Facebook Could Get You Fired

 Ways Facebook Could Get You Fired


We’ve all seen and heard a news story about someone who has been fired for saying or doing ridiculously stupid things on Facebook, like calling out sick and then posting photos of their drunken night out, announcing that they were skipping work or even bashing their boss and the company they are employed by.How stupid! Yes, we’re all thinking it. In an effort to save you from your future unemployment, here are a few things you should bypass doing on Facebook.

  • Having your Facebook posts set to ‘public’ is a huge blunder, because people; like your bosses, the IT guy or the cranky girl in the next cubicle, can see all the posts you’re making. Sad but true, you can still get fired from posting things if your profile is private, but at least it reduces the odds. You may not be “friends” with your bosses on Facebook but it only takes one disgruntled co-worker, that you are friends with, to turn you in.
  • Do not say anything about your co-workers, boss or workplace on Facebook. Unless it’s so obviously positive that there is no chance it could be misconstrued as negative or offensive. Doing this may get you fired for harassment, bullying or just being a rumormonger.
  • Avoid trying to be comical on Facebook, when it relates to your work, your customers and your colleagues. Many people have been fired for sidesplitting stories about customers on Facebook. And good chance they won’t be a customer for long if they find out.
  • Being a racist, homophobic or any other type of prejudice can be detrimental to your career. Even if you actually are, which is sad in itself, don’t broadcast it. It’s a fabulous way for you to lose your job and your company to lose business.
  • Be cautious of clicking the like button on Facebook Pages that conflict with your company’s values or beliefs. In 2012 six Virginia workers were fired just for liking the Facebook Page of their boss’s political opponent. A federal judge ruled that clicking the ‘like’ button is not constitutionally protected speech.
  • Think before you “check-in” during working hours, especially when you’ve called out sick. If you’re meant to be in the office, it’s probably not the niftiest idea to check in at the amusement park or the tavern down the street. Social media institutes the need for us to announce to the world what we are doing every minute of our waking day. You should probably stop to think that there are people, like your boss, who wouldn’t be thrilled about that particular tidbit of information.
Firings, thanks to social media, are on the rise. It’s going on all around us and it’s probable that it will continue to increase as we spend more and more time on social networks telling everyone about everything we’re doing. It’s not only getting people fired, but it’s also making it more difficult for them to get new jobs. I’m sure we’re all guilty of a few of these things, but please, try to fully engage your brain before you post online. Once it’s out there, it never goes away!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

EFTPS Scams on the Rise Again

EFTPS Scams on the Rise Again



Phishers and Scammers are becoming ever so clever these days. That’s why it’s important to be cautious and well informed.
The most recent scam appears to be a phishing scam. A colleague of mine received an  email just today from a scammer. The  emails circulating  looks like this or similar:
{Subject: EFTPS: Company Tax Payment Batch Has Been Rejected. Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 3874431340 has been rejected.
Return Reason Code R225 – The identification number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid. Please, check the
information and refer to Code R966 to get details about your company payment in transaction contacts section: }

This is a scam. Delete it immediately. Do not click on the link.
There are a couple of ways to identify this as a scam or phishing. One, check the “to” email address. If you use aliases in your email, these emails are often sent to those addresses.
Two, check the “from” and “reply to” email addresses. While this email claims to be from “customers@eftps.gov” (which sounds bogus to begin with), it’s even more telling that the “reply to” address is “smatteringok31@gmail.com.” Companies may be outsourcing a lot of things these days but I can assure you that the US Treasury is not outsourcing their collection efforts.
Lastly but most importantly, if you remember nothing else remember this: The IRS does not initiate contact with a taxpayer via email.
If you’re unsure about the possible contact from the IRS, contact them directly at 1-800-829-1040 or have your tax professional check it out for you.
You can forward such emails to the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to help shut down these scammers. Before forwarding the email, make sure the email is displaying full headers, and then forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Please be aware that the IRS will likely not respond to your submission.
Don’t fall prey to these scammers and phishers.

How to Build Trust by Treating Employees Fairly, Not Necessarily Equally

How to Build Trust by Treating Employees Fairly, Not Necessarily Equally


Ask yourself, “would I want to work for me?” Now let’s be frank; to be effective as a manager, you need to know that your employees trust and respect you. They need to believe that you will handle their issues at the office fairly, consistently and maintain their information confidentially when they require your help. Continually, studies have shown that employee retention is directly linked to the quality of the relationship between a manager and his or her employee. Employees often look for another job when this connection doesn’t exist.
Several years ago I had a boss who believed that he should treat several of his direct reports precisely the same in respects to salary. He believed that he was being “fair” by treating all of us the same, even though we all had different areas of responsibility, performance levels and work styles. Treating us all the same didn’t work, because we were all in fact very different.  He managed us like a parent treated his kids. He didn’t want to show favoritism to anyone in particular.  Good parenting practice; not so good management style.
What kind of a manager are you? Do your employees have faith in your ability as a manager? Can they depend on you for your backing and fair treatment? Do you differentiate their individual strengths and contributions?
Think for a moment and consider what you need from your manager in order to succeed in your job? Make a list of your top 10 prerequisites. Chances are your list will be very similar to the ones your employees will fashion for you. Use it as a self-evaluation of your managerial effectiveness to establish how you can develop as a manager before the economy begins to recover in earnest.
How can you become a more effective manager? By being concerned enough to:
  • Build a professional yet attentive relationship with each of your direct reports
  • Ask them frequently how their job is going and how you can help; be available when they need you
  • Pledge to hold weekly staff meetings with everyone reporting on what they’re working on in a round table setting; do not postpone or cancel scheduled meetings
  • Honor your commitments to employees and follow through
  • Having their back is crucial; provide support, obtain salary increases, supplemental training, etc.
  • Keep an door open; don’t sit in your office with your door closed unless in meetings
  • Find out what interests them as individuals and use that creatively when recognizing each employee for exceptional performance
  • Hold your employees accountable for work you expect them to do and the deadlines to be met
  • Ask them how they want to be treated or what resolution they anticipate from a conflict at work
  • Hire smart; manage performance problems as they occur
  • Communicate, Listen and Inspire!