Three Reasons To Utilize Tax Services

April the fifteenth is one of, if not the, most hated days on the calendar.  It’s the day that you have to pay your due, and render unto the proverbial Caesar what is Caesar’s.  I’m talking about tax day, the day that you have to pay your pound of flesh to the Internal Revenue Service, or, if you’re someone whose taxes get taken out as they go along via payroll taxes, then it’s the day that you beg them, like Oliver of Dickensian fame, for more of your money back.  It’s not hard to understand why so many people absolutely hate the day.  You have to give the government money, although, really, you can’t see much benefit that the government has given to you.  If you’re my age, mid to late twenties, it’s even worse.  You see, I have to send in money to social security, even though even the rosiest of estimates are telling me that by the time I am old enough to legally draw from social security for retirement, it won’t exist anymore, due to the fact that it has been immensely underfunded is repeatedly being scavenged in order to pay for other things that it shouldn’t be paying for at all.

So, obviously, the best thing that I can do is to keep as much of my money from going into the hands of the IRS as is legally possible, wouldn’t you agree?  But, how do I do that?  I mean, I don’t have the time and the inclination to go and try to figure out the seventy-odd thousand pages of tax code that currently exist, and I certainly don’t have the time, inclination, or even the desire to go and figure out the additions that they make every year.  Where am I to turn?

business tax accountingWhy, I can find a CPA firm that offers tax services and listen to what they have to say, and let them help me with my taxes.  Here are just three times when it would be advantageous to go out and pursue such services.

1.  When you first go out on your own

The first time you move out and live on your own is going to be a very startling experience.  All the sudden, you have to bring in your own money.  You have to do your own laundry, buy your own groceries, and you will, eventually, discover that doing your own shopping means you have to buy real food in order to have decent nutrition that will allow you to continue to live and be healthy.  You also have to pay your taxes.

But thing is, we don’t really give a lot of advice to our young people about how you do that, how you fill out your tax forms, or even what you can deduct.  So, you might find that you benefit from hiring one of the local CPA firms and getting them to help you file your taxes so that it’s done right and you save as much money as possible from the hands of the tax man.

2.  When you first get married

When first you get married, you’re going to have a lot of new expenses (and you’re also going to have a lot of new headaches, believe it or not), and nothing is as much of a hassle as figuring out how to jointly file your taxes.  So, where are you to turn to keep from having the filing of taxes tear apart your marriage as it begins?

Find your local group offering tax accounting services, and hire them to deal with it.  Let it be their headache, while you focus on the argument over throwing out all your glasses because they all have beer logos on them (no judgment, pint glasses are pretty awesome, right?).

3.  When you have a kid

Having a child is pretty expensive, especially the actual birthing process and the care that comes right after.  Then there’s the actual cost of raising a child, which is, to be fair, astronomical.  Then, there’s also the money you need to set aside for their education, for their future, the list goes on and on, and the point is that we’re talking about a lot of money.  Luckily, you can write off a lot of the expense and thus remove it from your tax filing, saving yourself money that you can spend on your new bundle of joy!

Hiring a CPA to help you with tax services is the best thing you can do if you’re not sure about your tax filings.  They can help you to save as much money as possible, and best of all, they’re going to be able to help you keep your money in your pocket, rather than in the pocket of the IRS.

This entry was posted on June 23, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Event Design To Bring In Profits

If you’ve ever worked for a company that produced something on a large scale, whether they were selling it to other companies, to governments, or to the citizenry, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say the words ‘trade show’.  For the rest of you, this is either something that you’ve been missing out on, or something that you would absolutely hate.

Trade shows, in general, especially in more affluent industries, are held in some of the most awesome places in the country.  Chicago.  Boston.  Various parts of Hawaii (no part of Hawaii isn’t awesome.  You could stick me in the barracks on any random base down there and I’d still be excited to be in Hawaii.  Just saying, guys.). California (pretty much all of Cali, really, is ripe for industry expo shows, and they know it well, because a lot of their larger cities pander to the whole thing and the industry crowd).  Both coasts are pretty popular with the people who put on such things.

event marketing strategiesHowever, even though a trade show is a fun time for those who are attending, that doesn’t mean that those who are there presenting what they have to offer to the industry at the show aren’t doing a lot of work, or that a lot of work hasn’t gone into the whole thing before ever the show began.  For example, event design, the design of whatever it is you’re going to be presenting at the show, is an important thing, and it is also very intricate of a process to go through in order to make sure that you get the most out of your money when it comes down to the event.

You see, trade show booths exist in order to bring in more money for the company that owns them.  A trade show is the best place, bar none, for a lot of people to meet and exchange ideas and, more importantly, orders.

Let me paint you a hypothetical picture.  You have an expo, a trade show, whatever you’d like to call it, and it’s being held in lovely, sunny, beautiful San Diego, California.  It’s a bunch of medical equipment companies, selling everything from needles and accessories designed to help you with getting a needle into someone’s arm to give them necessary fluids or substances, to MRI machines and other immense and complex materials and equipment(s).  This means that they’re going to have plenty of room, and plenty of spaces, to show off this new technology, or the newer versions of older technologies that they have access to now in order to help you treat and diagnose various illnesses.  And who, do you think, that this whole event is geared toward?

It’s geared toward the people who work in acquiring new medical devices for hospitals, whatever the hospital may be, and whatever the device may be.  So, they’re going to spend the whole time walking around, looking at new equipment, more modern equipment, with one eye on the list of things that they need (and things that the people working at and operating the hospital want them to pick up.  The list of needs and wants are not always completely exclusive, really), and another eye on the price and viability of options, plus the operating costs, maintenance costs, things like that.

Now, this is just what happens when you have a trade show, filled with a series of exhibit displays that are designed for the purpose of separating the people who are there from their money.  To be sure, that’s pretty much every trade show that has ever been put on in history.  The whole reason for attending such a thing is to let everyone in the world know what you have to offer them.  This will, hopefully, if your product is worthwhile, lead to sales both on the floor of such a show, but even more importantly, it leads to a lot of great opportunities for networking, getting a card from a fellow or two, and making sure that those people are aware that your business exists and it has something to offer so that, in the future, if they find themselves needing that something, they think of you and your business.

So, if you have something to sell to another business, another company, or something that you want to sell to the people of the country, the public, you need to have a presence at such a trade show, and that means you need to design a booth.  Make sure that you do so, and make sure that it’s one designed to bring in people and to present what you have in a positive light.

This entry was posted on June 10, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Three Reasons Invisalign Is An Improvement

We spend a lot of time thinking about the way that we look, the way that we present ourselves to people when we go out and meet them.  We spend a lot of time and money on the way that we dress, the way we look, the way our hair looks, the way that everything about us presents to the people around us.

One aspect of that, and one that people may ignore, but that is nonetheless extremely important, is the way that your teeth look.  It’s one of those things that we instantly judge people for.  If you see someone missing a lot of teeth, what do you think about them?  That they’re a redneck, maybe (depending on what area you’re living in).  Maybe you’re thinking that they’re a junkie (ever seen the teeth of a meth addict?  Meth mouth is a real thing, and it is absolutely disgusting to look at).  Maybe you’re thinking they are one of those people who just doesn’t take care of themselves.  The reality could be any of those things, but the point that is illuminated here is that you want your teeth to look the best they possibly can be.

Now, part of that means that you need to receive regular quality dental care from your local professional dentists, as well as making sure that you brush and floss your teeth at least once or twice daily.  But these are only the steps you need to take in order to make sure that your teeth aren’t going to, say, fall out, or something similar.  In order to perfect the way that your teeth look, you’re going to need to seek out someone qualified to offer orthodontic services, and likely, they’re going to outfit you with braces.

Braces, as they exist today in their standard configuration, have been around since the seventies, and they work just fine when it comes to realigning the teeth, but there are some drawbacks.  However, there’s another way, a newer technology that will allow you to realign your teeth with less hassle.   It’s known by its brand name, Invisalign, and here’s just three reasons its great.

1.  Discretion

A big drawback to standard metal braces, and one that is so well-known that it is the source of many teen drama stories (and high school horror stories), is the lack of discretion that the standard braces have.  You see, they’re a series of metal parts that are put in the mouth in order to realign the teeth, and what this means is that you’re going to have a lot of metal in your mouth. A t no time has very shiny medal ever been something that is easy to hide.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are made of a hard and clear plastic, meaning that, once it’s put in your mouth, nobody is going to be able to tell that it’s in there unless they go groping around into your mouth looking for it.  And let’s be honest, if that happens, people finding out you have braces is probably the least of your problems.

2.  Ease of Use

Cosmetic dentists with experience will tell you that when you have standard braces, you’re going to find yourself having to spend a lot more time on your normal dental health regimen, working around them.  On the other hand, when you’re using Invisalign brand invisible braces, you’re going to be able to remove them whenever you like; you see, they aren’t affixed to the teeth with the use of a dental adhesive, meaning that whenever you need (or want) to remove them, you can just pull them off in order to, say, brush and floss.

3.  Comfort

cosmetic dentistry for smile correctionHaving a series of hard metal brackets in your mouth are not something that anyone can pretend is going to be comfortable.  They’re big, they’re bulky, they have sharp edges, and worst of all, they rub against the sensitive flesh inside your mouth.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are something that, when put in the mouth, won’t be uncomfortable at all.  You see, when you get them, they’re form fitted for your mouth, meaning they will be as comfortable as anything that you can put in your mouth and wear over the long term.

So, if you’re looking to improve your teeth and their alignment in order to make yourself more beautiful, consider asking your local cosmetic dentists with experience about Invisalign, and if it is right for you.  You’ll be glad you did when you have the most discreet method of smile correction at your disposal.

This entry was posted on June 9, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Website Design To Bring In More Business

Business today is evolving, and the way that we do business is evolving as well.  Of course, the way it’s evolving is very interesting, but it also mirrors the way that our society is evolving.  You see, the new thing in business is the utilization of website design to bring in more customers and to make sure that the young people and the people who have grown up in the internet age are able to access your business in the way that they are most accustomed to and most comfortable with (yes, there is ample evidence that the rise of the internet is making people less personable, and robbing those who grew up with it of interpersonal skills.  Deal with this.  You have to adapt to it, and the way to adapt to it is with the internet!).  This means that you, yes you, need to implement some website design to bring in more customers in the future.

functional responsive websitesYou really can’t compete, as a business, without a website, outside of a few rare instances.  I mean, it’s understandable that doing business in new ways can be terrifying, but it’s something that you need to do , to change with the times so you can make money.  There are plenty of businesses that didn’t change with the times, and most of them are dead.  Look at what nearly happened to Kodak when they insisted on continuing to make film for cameras that weren’t popular and hadn’t been popular for years.  Look what happened to Oldsmobile when they continued to make cars for a shrinking market (basically, they made cars that were for old people, thus the name.  They were slow, they were reliable, they were comfortable, and they were safe.  Also, they were basically immortal.  I had one that got hit by a snow plow.  Car was fine, it just looked like someone had taken an axe to the fender.); they eventually closed and all those jobs went away.  The same thing happens with people who make things in old-fashioned ways that aren’t applicable to today.  Look at hipster businesses; they may be keeping up with the internet presence that they need, but they’re doing business in the worst ways possible, ignoring the ability to do things in a way that is a lot easier and more productive in order to feel like what they do is artistic (sorry, no.  The fact that it took you three minutes to make coffee and twenty minutes to actually hand it to me doesn’t make you an artist.  It means that I’m just not coming back, and nothing you can add to the coffee, no artistic design you can swirl in the cream is going to make that change).  in fact, I suspect that the reason that many hipster businesses don’t last long has a lot to do with the fact that, while they may make use of web designers, they are doing business in a way that is far outdated and not conducive to actually turning a profit, but rather to falsely living an aesthetic ideal of rugged individualism that they don’t really meet.

So, if you need a website (and yes, you do need one.  This isn’t up for debate) you need to hire someone to make it.  I would greatly suggest, especially if you’re a larger business, or one that is more professionally based than other, or even one that sells things, that you get a website made professionally, one made by a professional website design company so that you can entice people to come to your business.  Now, some people try to go the cheap way, and get one made by a friend who likes to code, and that’s nice, but it often doesn’t look professional, and can, quite frankly, make your business look like a joke.  You need a well-made website that is functional and that looks professional, and that will help you to bring in the business that you need in order to remain competitive in the market.  However, you don’t just need a website designed, you also need it maintained, you need it to be updated with the information that you need to share with the customer, whether it’s a new entrée or a new product that you are running a special on.

Whatever business you’re running, it’s important that you change along with the times, making sure that you are updating your website, and your image, as the market dictates, and most importantly, remaining, as a business, customer-centric, dedicated to the customer and meeting their needs.  Long story short, get a website.  You need it.

This entry was posted on June 7, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Three Great Reasons To Visit An Orthodontist

A lot of people just don’t enjoy visiting their local dental professionals, be it someone who is there to see if you’ve got cavities, or someone who is there to make sure that your teeth are coming in straight and as beautifully aligned as is possible.  There’s a variety of reasons that these visits are so uncomfortable and so loathsome to many, but in my mind, the most important reasons is because of what they’re doing.  They’re poking around in your mouth, a place that is pretty personable, and pretty vulnerable, and nobody really likes being vulnerable around someone else (and if you disagree, you’ve obviously not had a long term relationship yet, haha).  Then there’s the awkwardness of someone poking around in your teeth and trying to make small talk with you while doing so, which is made all the more awkward by the fact that it’s really hard to respond to someone when they’ve got their hands in your mouth, keeping you from being able to actually articulate a response.

However, with all that awkwardness, it’s still important that you go out and see your local practitioner of board-certified orthodontistry with some regularity, in order to make sure that your teeth are as well of as can be.  Here’s just three great reasons to go see them.

1.  Examination of your teeth and their alignment

The most important reason to go and see your local orthodontist is, obviously, when you have cause to think that something is out of place in your mouth, that something just happens to not be right with whatever is going on in there.

It’s important, too, that you listen to the nagging feeling that you may get that something just isn’t right with your body, not just when it comes to your teeth, but in general, when it come to the entirety of your body. This can help you to treat things in an orderly manner, and to make sure that you’re treating them fairly quickly before they can become any worse (which can make it harder and more expensive to treat them).  Your teeth are no different; the more out of proper alignment they become, the more likely it is that you’re going to be looking at a more lengthy process to fix them, and a more painful one as well.

Examination of your teeth and alignment is likely to include things like dental X-rays, as well as things like bite indentations and modeling your teeth as they currently exist, in order to make a model which can be used both to explain the issues you’re having and to suggest various treatment methods.  When it comes to treatment, though, you’re likely to encounter one common treatment…

2.  Treatment with standard metal braces

Standard metal braces are the most common professional orthodontic treatment, by far, in the United States and around the world.  They’re simple to install, and they work well, and can do so anywhere in the world.

adult orthodonticsThey consist of a series of metal brackets which are mounted to the teeth with the use of a long-term dental adhesive, which will hold those brackets in place for months or even years (if that’s necessary), until the proper solvent is applied.  Over the top of these metal brackets is run a long metal wire, which is hooked or looped around some of the brackets, and will provide the appropriate pressures and tensions to ensure that the teeth are realigned properly.  This metal wire is then held in place with a series of rubber bands, wrapped around the bracket and the wire in order to make sure it doesn’t pop out of alignment.

This is the most popular way to fix the alignment of teeth, but that doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that it is the best way to do so, or the most modern.

3.  Treatment with Invisalign (when appropriate)’

Invisalign, in fact, is the most modern way to treat misaligned teeth, and it has a lot of advantages.  It doesn’t need to be semi-permanently mounted, for one thing.  It’s made out of a discreet and clear plastic that allows it to be almost completely invisible when placed on the teeth.  Best of all, it’s a lot easier to work with, what with the fact that you can remove it simply and without need of a solvent or anything similar.

So, if you’re having issues with the alignment of your teeth, consider going to see your local professional orthodontist.  You’ll be glad you did!

This entry was posted on June 6, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Why a Contained Indoor Grow Room is the Safest Option For the Modern Grower

Ah, cannabis. Marijuana, ganja, that beautiful plant we love so dearly. It is proven to function as medicine for many ailments, ranging from chronic pain to severe epilepsy. Not only that, but for thousands of years, its use has never caused a single fatality. It makes many of us feel good, it inspires creativity, it helps us be more relaxed, easygoing people, it makes us hungry, and it makes many people happy, while still leading fully productive lives. And, it makes us…criminals?

Well, luckily less-so now than ever before. If you are fortunate enough to live within a medical, decriminalized, or legalized state, growing cannabis is a very real possibility for you, and does not require that you leave the realm of law-abiding citizenship. Over 20 states have legalized medical marijuana, and a majority of Americans have polled in favor of rescheduling cannabis for over a year now.

However, even in states where it is legal, there is still some level of danger involved. The federal authorities may or may not fully recognize your state-sanctioned right to grow. The last thing anybody wants is a SWAT team busting down their door and ruining their lives, shortly before hauling them off to prison for growing a plant that has proven useful in countless ways.

On top of that, police and government agencies aren’t the only gun-toting thugs you have to worry about; being a cannabis grower also means that you are a prime target for actual violent criminals. Think about it, you are growing a plant that sells for $2,000-$3,000 per pound, on average, and it’s unlikely that you can put all that money in your bank account. That means that at any given time, you may have thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash somewhere on your property, which makes you a rather fat catch for anyone willing to take it. Add to that the fact that your owning a cannabis growing operation makes you drastically less likely to call the police in case of an emergency, and you have an obvious recipe for robbery.

But does that mean you shouldn’t grow at all? The more cautious among us may say so, but growing marijuana is far too enticing for everyone to be deterred. But with all of these potential threats to the grower, we must ask ourselves, what is the safest way to grow? Is there a method of growing which can drastically reduce, if not completely eliminate all of the risks that one takes in growing cannabis? How can we grow in such a way that the authorities and criminals both will not even know that we are growing?

growing room

The key to growing cannabis safely is definitely stealth and secrecy. If no one knows that you’re growing, then no one is going to bother you. It’s only when you give yourself away that you put yourself at risk. Growing indoors certainly helps, but is not by any means fool-proof. Authorities are constantly finding new ways to catch growers, such as monitoring water and electricity usage, and even looking for houses that have snow melted on the roofs, from the heat of the lights, in Winter. Rumor has it that drones are now even being employed to look at heat signatures of houses to find indoor cannabis farms.

If the authorities are advancing their methods, then we must also advance our own. We must find new ways to conceal our grow operations from the prying eyes of men with guns who want to put us into cages. This is why the safest and best way to grow today is with a prefabricated, modular indoor marijuana grow room.

What is a modular indoor cannabis grow room? A grow room of this sort is an entirely contained marijuana growing environment. It is completely air-tight, meaning that no air escapes it that has not been thoroughly filtered to eliminate odors. It is also completely light-tight, meaning it is sealed perfectly so that no light will escape into the outside world. The environment within the grow room is entirely controlled, so all of the factors that influence your plants’ growth, such as temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and light cycles are finely regulated for optimal growth. Additionally, it is completely isolated from the outside world, so that no mites, molds, or fungus ever get anywhere near your lovely green beauties. Every aspect of it’s contained environment is entirely optimized to produce the healthiest plants, and the fattest buds possible.

But why is it so much safer? As already described, the air and light from your grow room will be completely enclosed, meaning that lights and smells, which often give a grow away, will be entirely absent. Additionally, an indoor grow room of this sort is extremely efficient, meaning that it will use the minimal amount of electricity and water required, and will be less likely to create obvious spikes on your electrical bills that are likely to be noticed. In addition to all of this, being modular, your grow room builder will be able help you maximize the use of your space, and customize it to your specific needs. From a closet to a warehouse, these modular grow rooms can be fitted to virtually any space.

The best part is, from the outside, your grow room will basically look like a box.  With no odor and no light escaping it, the last thing that anyone would suspect is that you are growing marijuana plants. For these reasons, growing with a modular, prefabricated indoor growing room is by far the safest way to grow today.

This entry was posted on June 1, 2015, in Uncategorized.

Determining the Need for a 401k Audit

People are constantly concerned with retirement. Nobody wants to work forever, and they don’t want to worry about how they’ll survive when they reach retirement age. 401k accounts are one of the measures in place to make sure people have enough to retire. A 401k is simply a retirement savings account that allows individuals to contribute pre-tax earnings that are to be invested, grow, and released at retirement age, designated at 59.5 as of now. The money isn’t always tax-free however, as income tax is paid when the money is withdrawn from the account. As long it’s taken out after retirement age however, there will be penalties. Many companies in the United States offer 401k accounts as a benefits, and will match a certain percentage of your pre-tax contributions. This can be a huge help for retirement and generally seen as a great benefit. It should be noted that there IS a maximum yearly pre-tax contribution.

A 401k seeks to grow an individual’s investment by distributing funds over a variety of different investments. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are some of the more common ways 401k funds are invested. These are just a few examples however, as there are quite a few choices when it comes to investments. Typically the path of investments is decided by the plan administrator, usually an experienced accounting firm or accountant. Companies may have in-house accountants handling this, or they may outsource, it just depends on the size, type, and preference of the company.

Many 401k plans are required to undergo a yearly audit. These audits become mandatory for plans that have 100 or more eligible participants. A company must select an independent and unassociated firm to carry out the 401k audit. The reason for this should be obvious, as a company cannot audit itself without bias. There are many things the auditing CPA firm is seeking to uncover and understand. First of all, the CPA will determine whether or not the most important features of the plan are clearly presented to participants. Additionally, they seek to find out if the plan’s current stability is accurately and clearly portrayed by the plan manager. These are very important facts, but they are far from the only reason for the audit.

As with any investment account, 401k accounts have many rules and regulations regarding them. In fact, the very name of the accounts stems from the IRS code that applies to them. The 401k audit’s primary goal is to make sure that the 401k plan follows regulations and guidelines closely. Of course a plan MUST follow government regulation, but it also needs to follow the guidelines laid out in the plan’s executed documents that participants have agreed to and signed off on. For these reasons audits needs to be precise, and should be handled to expert CPA firms.

During the course of the audit, top CPA firms will seek to answer several questions that will illustrate the overall health of the 401k plan. Here are a few examples of questions accounting firms will seek to answer:

  • Have assets been assigned the appropriate value?
  • Is the plan open, available, and accessible to all eligible employees?
  • Are payments being applied correctly to individual accounts?
  • Have there been any tax issues and have been properly addressed?
  • Have any ERISA-prohibited transactions taken place?

This is quick example of some of the questions that will be asked and answered by the best accounting advisors. Employees rely on 401k plans to retire in timely fashion, after they’ve dedicate their lives to a company’s success. Therefore, they should be able to rest easily knowing their money is being appropriately cared for and managed. This is the exact purpose 401k audits serve. They help the IRS make sure that everybody is getting the plan they deserve. These audits can also have other benefits though. They show companies how plans need to be adjusted or tweaked to maximize gains and contributions. Though audits are mandatory for ‘Large’ 401k plans with more than 100 participants, many companies with smaller plans still have audits.

Due to their benefits, 401k audits are often used by companies with plans that have less than 100 participants. But they do take some prep work, and the plan administrator will have to gather quite a few pertinent documents. They’ll include IRS documentation, including determination, executed plan documents along with amendments, and all summary plan descriptions. These are only a small piece of what will likely be needed however, and an accountant will be able to go into further detail. The easier these documents are located the smoother the audit will be.

401k audit Of course the reason for mandatory audits is an IRS requirement, so it follows that the audit will have to be submitted along with taxes. 401ks and these audits are serious business, the IRS wants to be sure that a company is in compliance and following the law. Companies need to have experienced, talented accountants auditing their 401k plans. It can cause real issues if an audit has missed a glaring issue.

It doesn’t matter if a 401k plan is defined as ‘Large’ and requires an audit, or is small and doesn’t, audits are a good idea. Plans that are growing will be ready for a smooth transition if and when audits do become mandatory, and audits will let companies know what they’re doing right with their plans, and what they could do better.

This entry was posted on May 24, 2015, in Uncategorized.