Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Commit to Excellence

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

5 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview

Five things not to say in a job interview:

  1. "I'm the best qualified person for the job."
  2. "What does your company do?'
  3. "I can't think of any real weaknesses."
  4. "I'm a perfectionist."
  5. "I don't have any questions."

Maximizing Productivity

Productivity depends on several factors: motivation, training, talent, work environment, support from others, time management and luck... It's almost too much to think about. But when everything lines up, things get done.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Order Taker or Salesperson

Order Taker or Salesperson

Who are your best producers? Salespeople or order takers? Which one do you need and how can you tell the difference?  What would you consider the person at your local Starbucks, a salesperson or an order taker? They manage a business exchange between customers and the store, but they still primarily take orders. Is the associate who up sells a salesperson, or still an order taker? This type of sales confusion can make it difficult to seek and hire the appropriate sales professional. It’s often challenging for an employer to differentiate the roles, and also challenging for sales reps to properly label themselves. Know what you need, before you hire.
Order Taker
The order taker waits for contact from the buyer and the buyer dictate the sale. They respond to RFQ’s and react to requests. The order taker is directed by the customer, and sells in the present. They are proficient at reciting product features and how the purchase can benefit the buyer. They are advocates for the customer and what the customer demands. Order-takers are able to handle a large amount of calls quickly and efficiently. Essentially, the order taker doesn’t even have to sell; their objective is to close the deal and move on to the next call.
A salesperson searches for prospective customers, it takes skill and confidence. They focus on their customer’s needs and in developing a relationship. The customer is engaged in the sales process and the salesperson impacts the buy. A salesperson has a selling strategy, often selling months in advance. They plan for the future of the customer and the company, looking beyond the here and now. The salesperson is continuously prospecting, and a top performer will earn a fruitful living in any economy.
Recognize the difference between an order taker and a sale maker, determine the type of calls and leads you are receiving before you decide on which type of professional to hire. Many order takers try to pass themselves off as salespeople. Make sure you have a thorough selection process. A good salesperson can change the course of your business while an order taker opts for the path of least resistance. There is a station and a role for both types in the sales field, but hiring the wrong personnel can prove discouraging and costly.



Bookkeeping Tip #7 – Depositing Reimbursements Received

How to handle receipt of a refunds from a vendor or reimbursements from  an employee without overstating your income…

Reimbursements received

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bookkeeping Tip #6: Memorized Reports in QuickBooks

So you've finally found the report in QuickBooks that fits your needs perfectly and you want to be able to access it quickly, easily and often…memorize it! 
Select any report, modify it by "customizing" and "filtering" it with the information you want to see and then memorize it.  Whenever you change the settings for a report, you can memorize the report with the new settings and save it in the QuickBooks Memorized Report List. Then, when you want to create a similar report, just go to the Memorized Report List to find it. 
Please note: QuickBooks memorizes the report settings, not the data in the report; so if data changes in your company file the data in the report changes.

How do you memorize a QuickBooks Report? Glad you asked...Here are a few easy steps:

1. Customize a report with all the information you need, click Memorize at the top of the report.

2. If you have changed an existing memorized report, indicate whether you want QuickBooks to replace the earlier report, using the same name or create a new memorized report with a new name.

3. In the Memorize Report window, enter a title for the report.
4. If you want to assign the report to a memorized report group, choose “Save” in “Memorized Report Group”, and choose the group from the drop-down list.  

5.  If you run several businesses or have a multi-user QuickBooks installation, choose the sharing option for your custom reports so other employees will be able to access the report templates quickly and easily.

Happy memorizing... Need more information? Email us at

2013 – 2014 Job Search Tax Issues and Deductions

When don’t you think about taxes, money and related financial issues? It seems to dominate the thought-process of just about everyone especially CPAs until April 15th. But taxes hit everyone pretty hard and people in career transition need good information.
Job Search Tax Deductions
Tax issues seem so overwhelming to just about everybody but add the pressure of looking and finding work or job search and the game just gets even harder. But if you have looked for a job in 2013 or you plan to search for employment in 2014 then you should take every legitimate tax break you can. Don’t leave money on the table for yourself when it comes to your salary negotiations and don’t leave money on the table for the government when they have opened the tax door of deductions for you.
Keep Good Habits
You should keep records that will give the information needed to figure the deduction according to these rules. Also keep canceled checks, substitute checks, or account statements and receipts of the expenses paid to prove the deductions you claim.
More Information and Source Material. See Publication 587 for more detailed information and a worksheet for figuring the deduction.
The resources below are quite excellent and are actually very readable. The “What Ifs” answers many questions and provides a Job Related, Debt Related and Tax Related Q&A section. Publication 4128 addresses the impact to you in many of these areas in a very real way. Schedule A is, well, Schedule A.
Here Are Additional IRS Resources:
Publication 4128, Tax Impact of Job Loss
Schedule A, Itemized Deductions
Job Search Expenses
The Disclaimer! Always check with your financial adviser or tax consultant but here is some information you need to know and find the critical links below straight from the site:
You can deduct certain expenses you have in looking for a new job in your present occupation, even if you do not get a new job. You cannot deduct these expenses if:
You are looking for a job in a new occupation,
There was a substantial break between the ending of your last job and you're looking for a new one, or
You are looking for a job for the first time. Sorry brand new graduates but again, check with your tax professional on eligibility.
The Good News – What You Can Deduct
Employment and outplacement agency fees. You can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees you pay in looking for a new job in your present occupation. Outplacement fees also includes résumés – yes you can deduct the fees paid for these and other services.
Employer pays you back. If, in a later year, your employer pays you back for employment agency fees, you must include the amount you receive in your gross income up to the amount of your tax benefit in the earlier year. See Recoveries in Publication 525.
Employer pays the employment agency.If your employer pays the fees directly to the employment agency and you are not responsible for them, you do not include them in your gross income.
Legal Fees
You can deduct legal fees related to doing or keeping your job.
Licenses and Regulatory Fees
You can deduct the amount you pay each year to state or local governments for licenses and regulatory fees for your trade, business, or profession.
Don’t Forget
Remember that laws change; however, here is some general advice. It is not mandatory that you are unemployed or employed to deduct expenses. Generally, a deduction is allowed for employment search expenses in the same trade or business regardless of whether or not the search is successful states. 
Your single greatest investment during your career is you. Investing in books, tapes, networking events and training that you pay for and value can make all the difference in your career. Your personalized career training path should not just be dictated by your employer. You should drive this area – the investment in “yourself” area. So too has the government recognized this value.
Your educational expenses may be deductible as a business expense if the education (1) maintains or improves a skill required in your trade or business or (2) the education is required by the employer, laws, or regulations and is a condition of continued employment, status, compensation, etc.
Things you may not need during the search are brand new cars, the hottest computers, newest of the new cell phones, Armani suits and jewelry.