A handful of my entrepreneur FB friends have been posting about their regular naps lately, and I’ve thought, Hhmm. Could there really be something to the Power Nap we’ve all heard about? This week on Entrepreneur.com, author and entrepreneur Jacqueline Whitmore responds with an article entitled “Why You Should Learn to Nap like a Pro.”
She begins by suggesting that you follow the greats at Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Zappos who encourage their employees to enjoy a daily siesta. With them at the lead, daily naps are becoming more acceptable. Not to mention, historical powerhouses like Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, John Rockefeller, Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Reagan also indulged in regular naps.
Whitmore claims, “A quick snooze can also prevent burnout. .. When we sleep, our brains reboot—sifting through the information that’s been acquired throughout the day to decide what to keep and what to discharge. Entrepreneurs who nap will retain more information and increase the ability to memorize complex information.”
But, contrary to popular belief, power-napping can be a difficult habit to start. Whitmore recommends the following:
- Find a dark room and get comfortable.
- Nap early in the afternoon, to avoid insomnia later at night.
- Allow thoughts to come and go while concentrating on your breathing.
- Keep your nap short (no more than 20 minutes at a time).
While you may have some extensions to work on, the bulk of your stressful tax season is over! So stop worrying that a daily power nap might limit your accomplishments. It appears that the opposite is true. Power nap on!
Thank Us Later!
Consider what your life would be like without the convenience of modern technology. Without software programs like QuickBooks, we would be required to do things the slow, old-fashioned way. Thankfully, we don’t have to.
The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting. Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers. Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your menu. With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the creditability you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding tax professional!
With just one small initial investment, you can increase your income and your clientele. Don’t wait to thank us. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order now!
Whitmore, Jacqueline. “Why You Should Learn to Nap like a Pro.” 8 April 2014 Entrepreneur.com
You can go far on a good first impression. And as a financial professional, those first impressions may matter even more because prospective clients expect a lot from the person to which they trust their finances.
In a recent Forbes.com article, author Glenn Llopis shares 15 ways “The Best Leaders Make Unforgettable First Impressions.” Here we share 5 of those methods:
1. Polished. Obviously, the way you dress says something about you and even the way you conduct business. If you’re well groomed, many will assume you’re a trusted professional and will remember that impression the next time they look for someone to manage their finances. In addition to that, your body language must also communicate both confidence and approachability.
2. Friendly; Engaging. A good first impression will let people know that you’re approachable and easy to communicate with. As Llopis explains, “Leaders that genuinely care about their employees and make an effort to engage with them – starting with a powerful first impression – will go a long way.”
3. Good Listeners. This may be surprising because most expect powerful leaders to command attention when they speak. But the truth is, good first impressions are often secured by those who listen to others. In fact, the best leaders listen to colleagues, employees, and clients in order to improve their businesses.
4. Knowledgeable. You solidify your expertise when you demonstrate your industry knowledge. And as a financial professional, prospective clients especially will take comfort in a first impression where expertise is thus established.
5. Motivational. Leaders with a sense of vision, enthusiasm and confidence are able to motivate those around them, including employees and clients. Your ability to motivate in a first impression will definitely take you far.
Don’t disregard the significance of a powerful first impression. When those you first meet are struck by your professionalism and good leadership skills, they will remember your business and come to you for their financial needs.
Register for Universal’s FREE Start Today Seminar
From DC to Texas and Canada to California—Universal travels the country providing free 3-hour seminars teaching the secrets to establishing a successful accounting and bookkeeping service. There you’ll learn how to enhance your service offerings while increasing your bottom lime! Look at our schedule and register for one of our seminars in a city near you. As attendee Dennis Shumway explained, “I have been involved in financial service for 20 years and have attended seminars all over the country. The quality of this class has been head and shoulders above any class that I have ever taken.”
Take advantage of this FREE opportunity now! Register today!
Llopis, Glenn. “The Best Leaders Make Unforgettable First Impressions.” 31 March 2014 Forbes.com
On March 20th the IRS announced that the winter 2014 edition of the Statistics of Income Bulletin is currently available. The Statistics of Income (SOI) Division publishes the bulletin on a quarterly basis and includes data gathered from tax returns filed most recently.
The IRS noted that articles on the following topics can be found in this edition:
- Individual Income Tax Returns, Preliminary Data, 2012. For the 2012 tax year, individual income taxpayers filed approximately 145 million returns. The adjusted gross incomes on these returns totaled $9 trillion, increasing 9 percent from last year. Taxable income rose 12 percent to more than $6 trillion, and total income tax increased 15 percent to $1.2 trillion.
- Sales of Capital Assets Panel Data Reported on Individual Tax Returns, 2004-2007. A study of individual taxpayer trends showed an 84.7 percent increase in net gains and losses to $916.5 billion and a 69.2 percent increase in capitol gains to $1.1 trillion.
- Split-Interest Trusts, Filing Year 2012. There was a 3.4 percent decrease in the financial activities of split-interest trusts as noted by the number of Forms 5227 filed: 113,688. However, while the number of filed 5227 Forms declined, there was a 74 percent increase in asset contributions, which rose to more than $5.2 billion.
- Nonprofit Charitable Organizations, 2010. Tax-exempt charities experienced a 9 percent increase in assets from the previous year as reported in Forms 990 and 990-EZ, totaling more than $2.9 trillion. In addition, they reported $1.5 trillion in expenses.
You can access your own copy of the SOI Bulletin at the IRS website. For more information on accessing a hardcopy for your files, refer to the corresponding press release.
Let us know what tax news would be most helpful to you; leave your comments below.
Universal Accounting Helps Tax Preparers Succeed
At Universal, we believe it’s important to prepare for the future, and we’re interested in seeing your future success as a tax preparer. Our online tax training, the Professional Tax Preparer Program, is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, become efficient in the completion of individual and business returns, and establish thriving home-based tax businesses. If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!
Some people are under the impression that leaders are bossy, manipulating, and uninterested in the ideas and opinions of their subordinates. While there may be countless supervisors who do indeed fit this description, that does not make them good leaders. As a small business owner who may manage a staff of employees or look to hire employees sometime in the future, you should know what makes a leader truly effective. Here are seven characteristics you should consider developing:
1. Visionary. Theodore M. Hesburgh, retired president of the University of Notre Dame, once said, “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” Leaders envision what can, but hasn’t yet, been achieved. They have a clear picture of where they want their business to go and how it can get there. Unwilling to settle for the status quo, leaders are striving for improvement, progress, and continued and amplified success. But more than that, good leaders can share this vision with their staff and communicate it in a way that makes it clear, reasonable, and most importantly, inspirational.
2. Ethical. Trust is earned, and unless a leader practices good ethics and has integrity, it will be difficult for a staff to trust him/her. Honest, hard-working, reliable, equitable, and respectful are all characteristics of an ethical leader.
3. Enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is contagious and when you’re passionate about what you do, generally your employees will feel that enthusiasm and begin to reflect it in their own work. As you interact with staff you must share your passion, enthusiasm, and excitement for your business.
4. Confident. It’s hard to follow a leader if they don’t appear confident. You must not only feel confident in your managerial approach, but you must also exude confidence. And confidence doesn’t equate to blind arrogance. It does, however, communicate a cool assurance that you have the resources and know-how to get from point A to B. Only when you have confidence will employees be willing to follow you there.
5. Motivational. Generally a combination of vision, enthusiasm and confidence are able to motivate one’s staff to do their best. Leaders must be conscious of every communication they share with employees and ensure that they are positive and inspiring.
6. Open-minded. No one likes a smarty pants. You must be willing to listen to your employees and the feedback they have to offer. You might be surprised at the good ideas they have regarding your business and its profitability. Be willing to listen to what they have to say and possibly apply what they suggest.
7. Personable. Good leaders are approachable and easy to communicate with. You should practice an open-door policy with your employees and those things they would like to discuss with you. And while you shouldn’t become too friendly, being kind and considerate to them will promote good feelings in the workplace.
While you may not feel like a leader right now, you can become one that employees would be proud to follow. Evaluate your current leadership style and see how you might implement two or more of the above traits. And give yourself the time to learn and improve. You may be surprised at the natural leadership instinct within you.
If you would like to secure your practice and earn the loyalty and confidence of current and prospective clients, you should consider enrolling in the Professional Tax Preparer Program. This course will teach you how to complete and file all different types of individual and business returns. To learn more, visit our website and read testimonials of our very own graduates, sharing what they found most valuable in this program.
In a recent press release, the IRS encouraged employers to ensure they were taking advantage of the small business health care credit. With the tax deadlines nearing for businesses (March 15th for tax-exempt organizations, March 17th for C Corporations and S Corporations, and April 15th for partnerships and individuals), the IRS wants to ensure that everyone has access to key information and resources.
As noted in the release, “The small business health care tax credit was included in the Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010. Under the ACA, eligible small employers can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for two additional years beginning in 2014. For 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 25 percent of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations.”
The IRS reminds small business owners that, if necessary, they can receive a filing extension by completing the necessary forms. Those that have already filed without taking advantage of the credit can file an amended return for the affected years.
Visit the following sites designed to help employers take advantage of the Health Care Tax Credit:
Ensure Your Creditability as a Tax Professional
Tax preparation is a viable and lucrative career path. Universal’s tax training will help you acquire the expertise you need. UA’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will not only help you earn a professional designation, but you could receive up to 60 CPE credits, depending on the number of modules you complete.
The four models include the following:
1. Establishing the Tax Foundation. Learn the entire process for determining income and adjustments to income, which will factor into the Adjusted Gross Income. In fact, you’ll cover all the information necessary to prepare Page One of Form 1040.
2. Becoming the 1040 Expert. This module deals with background information and forms that go into the 1040, Page 2. We also discuss all the adjustments that can be made to gross income, including credits that are allowed and different types of deductions and exemptions that can be taken against that adjust gross income number.
3. Profitable Business Returns. Here we introduce you to the world of business organizations and their tax concerns. This module is a practical companion to Module 2, as it give you experience in completing each of the schedules and forms common to business organizations.
4. Building Your Successful Tax Practice. Get a head start in creating and running your own tax preparation service. You will find yourself light years ahead of the competition as you put these strategies into play.
Hone your skills and earn a designation as a Professional Tax Preparer. Call Universal Accounting at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today.
–. “IRS Encourages Small Employers to Check Out Small Business Health Care Tax Credit; Helpful Resources, Tax Tips Available on IRS.gov.” 10 March 2014 IRS.gov
Every year CPA Trendlines surveys tax professionals to see how they’re coping with the stressful tax season. They call it CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer.
This year they’ve surveyed more than 500 tax preparers to see how they’re faring. As in years past, the top issue continues to be unprepared or late clients. Last year 42% of those surveyed noted it as a significant issue. This year 48% said it continues to be problematic.
Some issues appear to be less troubling this year than last. IRS operations went from 47% last year to 29% this year, and tax code changes went from 38% to 28%.
However, some issues have become more stressful in 2014. For example, pricing and fee pressures troubled only 10% of those surveyed last year, but they are currently troubling 31%, three times that, this year. Rick Telberg explains, “From solo practitioners to regional firms, owners and managers are grappling with sometimes fierce competitive price-cutting. They are complaining that low-ball tax shops are overpromising deductions and refunds to win clients, while other would-be low-end clients are learning quickly they can prepare their own taxes.”
Other issues haven’t increased dramatically, but still seem to be more concerning to tax preparers this year than last. Setting aside enough time to plan went from 15% last year to 22% this year, office workflows or processes went from 20% last year to 27% this year, and staffing issues increased from 25% to 29%.
In addition to surveying concerns over problematic issues, Trendlines also tracks sentiment regarding the current tax season. “Some 47% of respondents are characterizing their seasons so far as ‘somewhat better’ or ‘much better’ than the same time last year, while only 14% are terming it ‘somewhat worse’ or ‘much worse.’”
So how are you faring this tax season? Please post your top concerns and how you’re addressing them in the comments below.
Increase Your Value to Current and Prospective Clients NOW!
Add business assessments to your service offerings! Using BizBench online, you can merge financial data with benchmarking data to provide clients with a comprehensive view of their business. In just minutes you can generate custom reports that will show how their business compares to the competition, noting their shortcomings while offering suggestions for improvement. Help clients launch their businesses to the next level. Call Universal now at 877-833-7908 to find out how BizBench could benefit your practice!
Telberg, Rick. “New Survey Findings: Tax Season Price Wars.” CPATrendlines.com
Some days you’re on a roll. Everything goes your way, from headache-free traffic to late-evening sports reports of your favorite team’s victory.
Other days it’s just the opposite. You just seem to be on the losing side–appointments canceled without notice, long lines wherever you go, and even a flat tire when you’re heading home.
Why does life seem to gain momentum in one direction or the other?
Why are there such big swings of the pendulum? Where do you assign credit or blame? An age-old theory says it’s all on you. The reasoning? Your expectations and consequent behavior govern the responses of the outside world, and ultimately, you get what you ask for.
It’s simply the Law of Attraction, a concept that’s been around for hundreds of years. Like the Law of Gravity, it influences your life whether or not you believe in it. Plainly stated it goes something like this: your life is a reflection of what you think, what you focus on, and what you expect to happen.
If you’re unsatisfied with your life and the success of your business, then it’s likely that your thoughts have been of an unsatisfying life and an unsuccessful business. Perhaps you worry about whether or not you’ll be successful. Or maybe you develop contingency plans for all the problems you expect to happen.
Take inventory of your thoughts because when you worry and dread you invite more things into your life about which to worry and dread. Imagine what might happen if you expected success, if you spent more of your thoughts on profitability and an ever-expanding client base? Because the Law of Attraction is working in your life, whether or not you’re conscious of it. You might as well take advantage of the tremendous impact positive thinking can have on your business.
What’s In It For You To Be Positive?
If you are going to speak with a potential client, having an optimistic attitude can help close the deal. When your clients see that you are upbeat and positive, they feel confident that things will be all right. If you show concern or negativity, you put them in a state of mind where they will be more negative or concerned with what might go wrong.
Is this theory really on target? Are you responsible for how successful or unsuccessful you are, for how happy or unhappy? Give it a try–it can’t hurt, and it could prove to be a winning strategy for you.
If you found this article helpful, consider taking advantage of our other free resources; join our free accounting and tax forums, follow us on Twitter and like us on FaceBook. You’ll be surprised at how Universal’s virtual community will enable you to stay in-the-know.
Starting your own financial practice can be terrifying and exciting at the same time. There are lots of pros in self-employment: the flexibility to work when you want and on the projects you want to work on, the potential to uncap your salary, and the ability to wake every morning to a job you love.
But you aren’t being realistic if you don’t consider the cons as well. Unfortunately, it’s the cons that can cause any reasonable professional to hesitate a bit. But you can be practical about starting your own firm while preparing for potential obstacles if you just ask yourself the right questions.
In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and professional coach Lindsay Broder shares “6 Questions to Help Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur.” Here we share 4 of her questions:
1. Do you believe anything is possible? You must have the confidence that anything can happen with a little determination and perseverance. And sometimes that comes in acting upon your dream. However, if you’re at all hesitant, you can keep your day job while working your business on the side. After some time you will built up the assurance that success is achievable.
2. What’s your purpose? Ask yourself what you hope to achieve as an entrepreneur. If you’re just interested in bossing people around or becoming filthy rich, this probably isn’t the path for you. But if you’re passionate about a purpose—your practice’s mission—than that can carry you through a lot of difficult times.
3. How willing are you to market yourself? Not many financial professionals get jazzed about marketing their practices, but neglecting this key function causes many businesses to fail. You must be willing to step outside your comfort zone and let people know how your services can improve their lives.
4. Do you believe you’re capable? When you have the confidence that your skillset can handle any potential obstacle or problem, you exude a sense of expertise that puts potential clients at ease. As Broder explains, “Believing in what you’re doing and believing you’re capable are two key ingredients for selling your business to the consumer. If you lack either, dig deeper to figure out if it’s lack of confidence in your business or a lack of confidence in yourself.”
Universal’s Training Programs Can You Launch a Profitable Accounting Practice
Startup costs for an accounting practice are minimal. You can begin part-time and work from home. In a market pining for accountants and bookkeepers, you’ll quickly build the client base that will allow you to work full-time and enjoy the lifestyle of which you’ve always dreamed.
The Professional Bookkeeper Program
If you need to increase your skillset, consider the Professional Bookkeeper Program which will train you in the practical application of small-business accounting, while enabling you to earn a professional designation, which demonstrates your expertise and true professionalism. Not only that, but the PB Program will also train you to market your practice, eliminating the competition because of the unique and valuable services you offer clients.
The Universal Practice Builder Program
If you need help developing solid marketing techniques, the Universal Practice Builder Workshop will train you how to promote your practice effectively. Imagine all that you could learn from our experience training thousands of individuals like you!
This program offers the following:
- $30,000 in new annualized billings in only 12 months
- Tactical goal planning and setting
- The generation of 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
- Phone marketing instruction and training
- Training in the benefits of newsletters and websites
- 12 proven marketing strategies
- Financing options
We’re in the business of seeing individuals like you successfully launch and/or grow their own accounting and tax practices. But don’t take our word for it. Read from the many testimonials we have received from students, thanking us for the training that has helped them gain the knowledge, skill and confidence necessary to earn promotions, start their practices, and/or secure more clients. Enroll in these powerful programs today by calling 1-877-833-7909.
Broder, Lindsay. “6 Questions to Help Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur.” 20 February 2014 Entrepreneur.com
February 26th, 2014 in
, Finding Employment
, For Business Owners
, Get Educated
, Growing Your Practice
, Offer Accounting Services
, Small Business
, Start an Accounting and Tax Practice
, Starting & Running a Practice
Just answer a few questions for us:
- Would you like to make more money?
- Are you interested in being your own boss?
- Would you like to enjoy a flexible work schedule?
- Have you considered spending more time with your family?
- Do you want to improve your standard-of-living?
Not many people would answer “no” to any of those questions. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not know how to accomplish them. Luckily for you, Universal Accounting Center is in the business of helping professionals accomplish all that and more!
What Are You Waiting for?
A more prosperous economy? Your ship to sail in? The perfect time?
When you take a passive approach to life, waiting for something good to happen, you’ll find those good things are forever beyond your reach. Truly successful people don’t wait for anything; instead they choose to make good things happen for themselves.
A little work, a small investment, and some elbow grease are all that’s required to start and build your own accounting and tax practice. That and two power programs.
The Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program
In order for your financial practice to be more appealing than the competition, you must offer specialized services. Small business accounting is a specialized service. Consider that your current and prospective clients will need someone trained to do one or more of the following:
- Master accounting for retail and wholesale businesses
- Establish the accounting method that best fits the business
- Set up an efficient system for a “Ma & Pa” manufacturing company
- Track job costs simply and efficiently for a construction company
- Consult on key business issues with confidence
- Enter data quickly and accurately
- Prepare payroll like a seasoned pro
- Avoid costly IRS penalties
- Spot and avoid dangerous trends before they become tragedies
- Save a company thousands of dollars in auditing costs
- Prepare a loan application package
- Make positive change happen!
The PB Program will teach you how to do all that and more. In less than 60 hours you can receive professional certification that demonstrates your expertise to potential clients. You will be able to do for them what few other accountants could do. The only thing left for you to do is promote your newly acquired skills.
The Universal Practice Builder Program
Marketing strategies, promotional campaigns, advertising techniques. Those are generally things financial professionals are unfamiliar and even uncomfortable with. Knowing how to appeal to your particular demographic will enable you to create a marketing approach that is successful, lucrative, and productive.
The Universal Practice Builder Program will help you do that by equipping you with 12-proven marketing strategies that will enable you to secure 15 to 25 qualified leads per month. You’ll also learn how to prepare seminars that will demonstrate the value of your services to prospective clients. In addition, for three months you’ll have access to a personal coach who will help you apply the things you learn while setting and achieving your business goals. Not to mention, all this comes with a guarantee that you will earn $30,000 more in annualized billings in just 12 months!
Again, what are you waiting for?
It’s time you took action! Pursue your dreams, expand your practice and take a bigger piece of that pie. Go on! You deserve it. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll now!
They’re everywhere these days. People have personal blogs, political blogs, travel blogs, health blogs, corporate and small-business blogs. But do you really need a blog?
Small-business blogging is a popular, and cost-effective, method of marketing. But the point is not just to get a blog out there; the point is to have it rise to the top of competing blogs. So, how do you do that?
Here are a few tips that will help you create a blog worthy of a significant and loyal following.
- Read other small business blogs. You’re more likely to see what works by reading other blogs, especially those in the tax industry. Do a quick search, and bookmark all those you want to follow. This is, possibly, the most effective way to witness what works and doesn’t work in the wonderful world of blogging.
- Update frequently. People expect to find new information on a blog, so you’ll loose readers quickly if you neglect it. While some blogs update daily and others two to three times a week, you’ll find your sweet spot, once again, by visiting other small-business accounting blogs to see what they’re doing.
- Build in numerous links. Not only do visitors find that useful, but those same sites just might return the favor by adding your link to their site, increasing your traffic.
- Include free and practical information. Not only does this demonstrate your tax expertise, but it demonstrates a professional generosity which current and potential clients will appreciate.
- Avoid blatant self-promotion. While your blog is obviously a good way to get the word out about your valuable services, you should avoid successive posts that only boast about your services.
- Enable social sharing. Most blogging systems allow you to add links to posts, enabling readers to share your blog via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Doing so gives will increase your readership more quickly.
- Keep posts short and sweet. The nature of blogging is to abbreviate rather than blather on and on. Most readers opt out of reading a post that involves much scrolling.
- Respond to comments. The great thing about blogs is that they are conversational. Readers can post comments to the blogger and visa versa. Encourage that interaction because it inspires greater loyalty among your readers.
- Include pictures. Graphics add professionalism and interest to your posts. Look for an inexpensive graphic subscription that would enable you to easily find and upload images to your blog.
- Avoid negativity. Nobody likes to continually read text through which the author rants and raves about the injustices of the world—that is, unless those readers themselves are Negative Nellys. Keep your posts positive.
Once you get your blog up and running, share the URL with current clients, have it printed on your business card, include it in your email signature, and provide a link to the blog from your website. You may discover that blogging might be one of the best marketing tools you’ve used in a long time.
Enhance Your Skillset!
Consider what your life would be like without the convenience of modern technology. Without software programs like QuickBooks, we would be required to do things the slow, old-fashioned way. Thankfully, we don’t have to.
The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting. Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers. Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your menu. With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the creditably you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding tax professional!
With just one small initial investment, you can increase your income and your clientele. Don’t wait to thank us. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7909 to order now!