Let Us Help You Spring Clean Your Finances!

Since spring has sprung we are taking every opportunity to open our windows and let the fresh air in. Most of us start cleaning out the garage, clean off the outdoor furniture and pack up our old clothes to donate to charity. Why should spring cleaning end with your home? This is the perfect time to tidy up your personal finances as well. Consider these recommendations to “clean” up your finances.

Contribute to your 401(k). Make sure you contribute enough to your 401(k) to qualify for maximum matching funds. Your employer is willing to give you this free money so don’t leave it on the table.

Open and IRA. If you own your own business or work for a company with no retirement plan, open an IRA. You can get big tax breaks from opening this type of retirement plan. If you don’t know which IRA is right for you, you can search “Types of Retirement Plans” at irs.gov.

Rate check your credit cards. The interest rates on your credit cards can have an impact on your balances and have the potential of adding up over time. If your interest rate is increasing your card balances, it’s time to shop around to find a lower rate. Other items that are options for rate checks are mortgage loans, auto loans and even your checking and savings accounts. For a real feeling of gratification, pay off the balance that costs you the high interest. If you want to zero our your balance by the end of the year, divide the amount owed by 7 and pay that amount every month. Can’t bite off that much every month? Move the balance to another card with an introductory rate and pay it off before the deal runs out. Make sure there are no high transfer fees.

Open a savings account. Follow these three steps when opening your savings account:
1. Set a financial goal and timeline.
2. Decide how much to save each month to help you reach your goal.
3. Setup automatic transfers into your savings plan from your checking account. This way the transfer is done for you and you won’t miss the money.

Review your credit report. Make sure your credit reports are free of mistakes. Remember, you are able to order one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can get one free of charge from annualcreditreport.com.

Organize or discard old financial documents. Sort through all your bank statements, invoices, bills and other financial records and keep those that are only necessary. Be aware you need to keep tax returns, canceled checks, receipts and any supporting paperwork for your taxes for at least six years. Make sure you don’t just trash your important documents in the trash without shredding them. You don’t want them to be picked up by an identity thief.

Set up automatic bill pay. Spring-cleaning just isn’t about de-cluttering. It’s about making your financial life more efficient. Set up automatic bill pay and link it to your checking account in an effort to eliminate any chance of missing a payment and paying late fees.

Review your budget. Take a close look at your current budget and decide if you need to make any changes.

Pay off as much debt as possible. Spring is a good time to review your outstanding debts and which loans or credit cards you could pay off. If nothing else, develop a stricter payoff plan. Cleaning up your outstanding debt quickly will put you in a much better financial position for the rest of the year.

Record your financial passwords and store all your records in a secure place. Make sure you’re not using the same password for all your financial accounts. Protect yourself against identity theft by protecting your passwords and other financial documents in an online secure vault.

Be a community steward. Try and make a difference in your community. Believe it or not, giving of yourself to others will make you feel a lot wealthier.

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It’s Time For Millennials To Get Their Finances In Shape

Most millennials are now in there 20s and 30s, beginning a career climb and also the time when you are making major financial decisions. These financial decisions can include home ownership, investment strategies, and family planning. Certainly, you want to try and avoid some of the financial hazards that have transpired in the lives of previous generations.

Financial literacy is seldom taught in school, so if you didn’t learn it at home growing up, your first time in the “real world” may get you into some financial distress. Read below to learn some of the top financial tips that will help millennials make smart financial decisions.

Take online money management courses

Because most millennials excel at technology, I would suggest signing up for courses in basic economics, accounting and budgeting. These types of courses can be very affordable and very well delivered by the online professor. I feel this is a very efficient way to update yourself on financial topics that may simplify and improve your financial life.

Build up your retirement savings

Did you know that Wells Fargo revealed that almost 50% of millennials weren’t planning for retirement? Make sure you participate in your employer’s 401(k) plan, even if you can only afford to contribute the minimum every month.

Make a list of your whole financial picture

I recommend you make a list of everything that is spent each month. After you have digested this information, ask yourself this question. How am I going to pay for all of this? There are also four essential things everyone should know about their finances: income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Having a firm comprehension of these items will help you make sense of your finances. There are many online tools that can help you connect all your accounts – Mint, Quicken just to name a few. I believe this is your first step in improving your finances.

Research passive income opportunities

Most of us work for money all our lives and never really put it to work for us. It is possible to use your job income for passive income from your investments. For example, the IRS says passive income can come from two sources: rental property or a business in which you do not actively participate. Make no mistake; passive income is not about getting something for nothing. It involves a lot of work and is definitely not a “get rich quick” scheme.

Start a savings account

Open up a share account at your credit union even if you can’t make regular deposits. You can use this account to put extra money aside for your short term and even long-term goals. This can also be used as your emergency fund. Shoot for 3-12 months of expenses, put aside for emergencies.

Pay yourself first

Once you have money in your hand from your paycheck, IRS refund, etc. always pay yourself first. Arrange for automatic transfers from your checking account directly to your share account every payday or on a monthly basis.

Do you know the impact of your credit score?

Everyone, but especially entrepreneurial millennials need to understand that their personal credit can be the defining factor in getting working capital in the future. Getting approved for a loan can be very challenging when your credit score is low. Learn how to read your credit report and check it frequently.

Reduce your debt faster

Pay off small debts first and gradually tackle the larger ones. This will allow you to see results and stay motivated.

Enlist the assistance of a trusted mentor

There is an overabundance of information online regarding financial literacy. However, picking the brain of someone you know and trust is better. Their insights are often tailor-made to your specific needs.

Remove extra costs

It is a proven fact that millennials have expensive habits ($5 lattes every day, eating out on a regular basis, designer fashions, etc.). Keep a close eye on your expenses and trim them where you can.

Raise your children to be financially savvy

At this point you may already have young children or planning to start a family. Teach them that saving money is essential. When they are old enough take them to your credit union and help them open up their own accounts. This will hopefully excite them to continue saving their own money.

I hope you use these financial tips to keep your finances on track while you are young. Remember, you have a very bright financial future ahead of you if you start now and stick with it!

Small Business Management Software: Advantages For Accounting Firms

Managing an accounting firm, whether big or small, can be challenging. And, doing it all alone, only adds more to the challenges. If you wish to turn your business into a soaring success, a slew of factors needs to come into play; at the right time, at the right place.

Small Business Management Software is one such factor that helps to take your business to another level.

Small business owners usually believe in taking things in their own hands. Naturally, it saves money. However, this practice may be doing more harm to their business than anything else. If your office desk is covered in piles of sheets, paperwork from days is lying unattended and your staying up late in office is not taking you anywhere, then it’s time to seek professional help.

What Can Small Business Management Software System Do For You?

1. Saves You More Time At Hand

Surveys reveal that entrepreneurs who do not use computerized accounting struggle with management of their accounts. Using a business management software system can take control of an array of routine tasks. Thus, saving a lot of time for the owner’s benefit.

2. Can Be Learnt Quickly

The software developers understand how occupied entrepreneurs and business owners can be. Hence the software is constructed in such a way as to ensure that the users can learn to use them with ease and in the least possible time. A team of experienced technicians is also available for 24*7 assistance.

3. Generates Invoice From The Same Application

Business management software will streamline the follow ups. With everything at one place, owners can manage sales in an effective manner. Price quotes and invoices can be generated easily with low possibility of errors.

4. Allows You To Follow a Time Table

A business requires an array of tasks to be managed at the same time. There may be meetings, deliveries, queries and client/customer visits all happening at the same time. With an inbuilt calendar in the business management application, reminders can be set and appointments can be met, without a miss.

5. Leaves You Less Paperwork To Deal With

Once again, the application allows the owners to store everything at one location. All work-related files, whether invoice, price quotes, orders, shipping documents and customer’s emails can be stored into the system. These files can be accessed anytime, anywhere, without unwanted delays.

6. Ensures Better Management Of Your Projects

A business owner has several projects at hand. There may be meetings to attend to, prospective clients waiting, a price list to create or an inventory to stock. The project management tools offered by the small business management software can offer a great deal of help in project management.

7. Employee Performance Can be Tracked Regularly

Business management software also allows you to track your employee performance with real-time data. Information including performance report of each individual employee, KPIs, project status, etc. can all be reviewed on a crisp dashboard within a few clicks.

8. Less Issues To Handle At The Year End

The best part about the business management software is that they need the users to update information every month. This ensures that there will not be piles of untended paperwork at the end of the year.

9. Scale As You Grow

The cloud-based accounting software is a rage among start-ups and growing businesses. When expanding the business in size or introducing it to other countries, a slew of data is required at one place. The cloud-based software can be accessed anytime and anywhere via the internet, making business management simpler.

10. Carry Your Books With You

With the software available in the form of applications, installable at both android and IOs, users can carry all of their files, sheets, and data in their pockets. Thus enjoying the ease of access and saving time at the same time.

11. Individually Calculate Tax On Each Invoice

Small business management software makes it easier to manage the invoices. The regular customer payment reports allow the owners to get a reliable picture of what the customers owe and what they need to pay. Thus, profits can be tracked efficiently.

And Finally

Discussed above are the proven advantages of using a Small Business Accounting Software. But the benefits do not end here. Each user comes with his own set of needs, thus the benefits cannot be limited only to a list.

Those who are still sticking to the outdated methods can make the switch to the accounting software now to experience the benefits mentioned above.