If you’re just getting by and spending a lot of time wandering around or undoing things, you may want to take a course in that software.
The deeper our knowledge is in the apps we use every day, the more proficient we can be. This is true of all of your staff as well.
Reward New Suggestions
Your staff will be the first to know where there are bottlenecks and hiccups in your processes. Encourage them to speak up when they find something that could be improved. Listen to their ideas and reward the good ones. Implementing ideas from your business’s “front line” will increase its overall efficiency.
Watch Your Time
How do you spend the bulk of your day? Working on new strategic projects, fighting fires, or a little of both? An honest evaluation of how you spend your time can yield many ideas about what’s going right and what needs work in your business.
Allocate at least an hour a day to work “on” your business instead of in it. That time is the only way your can move your business to the next level. If you’re the CEO, the focus should be more external than internal, more proactive than reactive, and more strategic rather than operational.
Avoid “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome”
Are you easily distracted by an email (that you didn’t realize waylaid you into an hour of unproductivity), a web link, or a conversation? It’s crazy-easy to get sidetracked right in the middle of a task these days. It’s also easy to purchase something that looks great without doing your homework.
One way to avoid unnecessary purchases is to get three bids from potential vendors on all major purchases for your business. Make it a procedure so that you’re not lured into fancy marketing and items you might not ever use once you see the fine print.
One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure
When you start to look around your office, you might be surprised at all the things you haven’t used in a while. Laptops that have been replaced, office supplies that were accidentally double-ordered, those folders you were going to use two years ago for a marketing campaign, even extra desks and chairs that are now empty: all of these items could be recycled to not only free up space but also get you some cash.
Which idea do you like best? Try it next week to improve your business efficiency.
Blockchain is a term that has been bantered about quite a bit when referring to the future of accounting technology. While its impacts are primarily long term in nature, let’s take a brief look to see what everyone is talking about.
Blockchain is a technology that can store transactions. Some people have referred to it as a digital ledger. Unlike your current accounting books, transactions recorded using blockchain technology are public. This digital spreadsheet of transactions or records is copied across thousands of servers so that there is no single point of failure. It’s a decentralized, distributed, and public digital ledger.
The blockchain ledgers are updated constantly as new records are added. They are also reconciled constantly. Once added, the records cannot be altered retroactively. This feature has many implications for auditing in that many records won’t need to be validated the old-fashioned way because blockchain is self-auditing. Auditors will still need to validate the non-digital components of a transaction such as physical inventory counts.
Prior to 2016, blockchain was originally referred to as block chain, where the blocks are the list of records or transactions. While the records are public, they are protected through cryptography. Each block includes cryptographic code from the previous block that keeps the entire chain of data safe and verified.
Blockchain is then a way for two parties to safely record their transaction permanently and with verification. While bitcoin is the most common current use of blockchain technology, many developers are working on new applications. Development started heavily in 2017, so it remains to be seen which applications will take off and which will die.
Blockchain’s uses in the future will be many:
Blockchain in the future may eliminate the double-entry bookkeeping system that we have now. Instead of each person keeping their own set of records, companies will write their transactions into a public blockchain ledger. This will reduce the cost of bookkeeping in the long term. But for this to happen, much development must be done to standardize and optimize the financial system. Many accounting professionals are working today toward that goal, which is many years away.
For now, the biggest implication to realize for a blockchain future is that personal reputation will become incredibly important. Blockchain systems eliminate the intermediary so that you are doing business with other people in a peer-to-peer environment. Identity protection as well as reputation will become essential. Blockchain is also likely to take off first in countries where there is a lot of corruption and/or corporations are not trusted.
Blockchain may not impact your life today, but it’s something to watch on the horizon.
Here Is How Basis Works
Typically, stock basis in an S Corporation begins with the capital contribution you make to get the company started. Note that when you receive stock as a gift, an inheritance, or in place of compensation, your initial basis is calculated differently.
At the end of each taxable year, your stock basis is adjusted to reflect your business’s operating results. Taxable income increases your basis, while losses reduce it. Basis is also increased by capital you put into your company and reduced by amounts you withdraw, such as distributions.
After your stock basis reaches zero, you may be able to deduct additional losses, up to the extent of your debt basis. That is the basis you have in loans you make to your company. However, once your stock and debt basis are both reduced to zero, losses incurred are suspended, which means you get no current tax benefit. You can generally take suspended losses in future years, when you again have basis.
You can increase your basis – and your ability to take losses – by adding capital or making loans to your business.
Please call to discuss how basis affects your individual income tax return. We can guide you through the rules.
The information presented is of a general nature and should not be acted upon without further details and/or professional guidance. For assistance in identifying and utilizing all the tax deductions to which you are entitled, please contact your CPA or tax preparer.
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