12/1/2001 - Managing Your Way Out Of Debt
If your holiday spending has you thinking about juggling bills instead of singing holiday tunes, don't despair. With discipline and a change in your spending habits, you can manage your way out of debt, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Here are some steps to help you get started.
12/1/2001 - Make Your Donations Count: Give Stock To Charity
Want to make a sizeable gift to charity this holiday season? A good way to do so, and earn a significant tax deduction, is to donate from your investment portfolio instead of giving cash. This is especially true if you have assets that have appreciated in value. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), when you donate stocks instead of cash, your benefits are two-fold - you get a deduction for the stock's full market value and avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation.
12/1/2001 - New Tax Law Good For Baby Boomers
Nobody likes growing older, but age does have its merits - particularly when it comes to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. In fact, under the new Act, few taxpayers get as many breaks as baby boomers, reports the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). In addition to the tax-rate cuts scheduled to be phased in over five years, the Act includes several features likely to be popular with 50-somethings saving for retirement or paying for a child's college education.
11/1/2001 - Website Security: What Small Businesses Need To Know
A website can help business owners promote their companies, build customer confidence and even streamline some business processes. However, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that a website's effectiveness hinges on its security. Website security embraces a number of complex issues including system and network security, authentication services, privacy issues and cryptology. The Society presents this primer to help small businesses minimize Web security risks.
11/1/2001 - Choosing an ISP For Your Business
There's no doubt about it: Email, e-commerce and online research capabilities have made Internet connectivity essential for most small businesses. And since an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is your lifeline to the Internet, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that you carefully research your options before choosing one. ISPs vary widely in their access, speed, reliability, range of services offered, quality of technical support and pricing policies. Here is an overview of the factors to consider when looking for an Internet provider.
11/1/2001 - How to Find the Right Technology Help For Your Business
Information technology (IT) has made it possible for smaller companies and home-based businesses to compete more effectively. On the other hand, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) cautions that failure to use technology effectively can erode employee productivity, undermine customer confidence and negatively impact a company's bottom line. The first step in maximizing the use of technology in your business is to hire the right technology help.
10/1/2001 - Dividing Assets: What to Do in a Divorce
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce, after custody issues, typically concerns the division of marital assets. While in recent years the courts have tried to make this process of splitting up assets in a divorce simpler and fairer, divorce can create many complex legal and taxation issues. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), it is imperative that both parties in a divorce seek the advice of qualified professionals who can help address the critical financial issues involved when ending a marriage.
9/1/2001 - Small Businesses Can Beat Cash Flow Woes
All growing businesses need cash - to meet payroll, satisfy debt obligations, finance inventory purchases, and keep the business going. To ensure a positive cash flow, small business owners must carefully monitor their financial processes. The following strategies, supplied by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), focus on improving cash flow by accelerating inflow and delaying outflow.
9/1/2001 - Choosing The Right Location For Your Business
Whether you are looking for a site for a new business or relocating an existing one, choosing the right location is likely to play an important role in the success of your business. When it's time to select a location for your business, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that you address the following questions.
9/1/2001 - Succession Planning Can Protect Your Family's Business
Many business owners have spent their lives building their businesses, but too few devote the time necessary to ensure that it survives after they're no longer at the helm. Two-thirds of U.S. family businesses fail to survive into the second generation and less than 15 percent into the third. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) says business owners can beat these odds by developing and adhering to a comprehensive business succession plan.
9/1/2001 - Get a Jump-Start On Your Business's Financial Growth
Advance planning and effective preparation can improve your chances of securing financing for your business, reports the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Presenting yourself, your business, and your financial needs thoroughly and competently are key factors in convincing funding sources that your business represents a good credit risk. Here are several steps that CPAs recommend you take before seeking external financing.
8/1/2001 - Health Insurance Options for Employees in Transition
Downsized, laid off, dismissed, terminated, fired - call it what you may, losing your job is difficult. Of the many adverse outcomes, the loss of medical benefits is often the greatest concern to most people. Help is available, however, through two Acts of Congress.
8/1/2001 - How to Choose and Use a CPA
Starting a small business? Upgrading your computer systems? Developing an estate plan or trying to reduce next year's taxes? A certified public accountant (CPA) can help. But, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), how much a CPA can help depends on your ability to find the right one and clearly communicate your own goals and objectives.
8/1/2001 - Insurance Needs of Start-Up Companies
Few things in life carry more risk than launching a business. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that one way to minimize and manage those risks is to obtain proper insurance coverage before you officially start operating.
8/1/2001 - Give Yourself An Insurance Check-Up
Insurance provides vital protection for you, your family, and your property in the event of a natural disaster, accident, illness, death, or lawsuit - but only if you have the right type and amount. And what might have been the right insurance five, 10, or 20 years ago may no longer address your family's needs today. That is precisely why the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that you give yourself an insurance check-up every year or two. Here are a few suggestions for updating your coverage.
7/1/2001 - New Rules Simplify IRA Calculations and Planning
Owners of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other qualified retirement plans have reason to rejoice. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), the Treasury Department has issued new rules streamlining the formula used to determine the required minimum annual distribution from a tax-deferred retirement fund upon reaching 70½ years of age. Previous rules, which required plan owners to choose a beneficiary and offered limited choices for determining life expectancy, were extremely complicated and, for the most part, irrevocable. In fact, the wrong decision could mean outliving your retirement funds.
7/1/2001 - Refinancing Your Mortgage: Should You or Shouldn't You?
Conventional wisdom maintained that it made sense to refinance your mortgage only if the rates dropped two percentage points. That advice has been replaced with new thinking. It may make sense to refinance even when the rate reduction is one point or less, as long as you plan to stay in your home long enough to recover the costs of refinancing.
7/1/2001 - Couples Quiz: What's Your Financial Compatibility?
Couples frequently avoid talking about money before marriage. That's unfortunate, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), because sharing perspectives about money can help couples resolve the financial issues that doom many marriages.
6/1/2001 - Frequently Asked Questions About Trusts
Few financial topics create the confusion that trusts do. From avoiding probate to protecting heirs, and saving estate taxes to benefiting charities, a trust serves almost any purpose. But trusts are complicated, can be expensive to set up, and require professional advice. Here, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) answers some frequently asked questions about trusts.
6/1/2001 - Seven Things to Know Before Using a Debit Card
Debit cards are revolutionizing the way Americans pay for goods and services. With a debit card, you don't have to carry as much cash. You also limit the need to write checks, show identification, and wait for approval. What's more, debit cards are more readily accepted than checks, especially when you're traveling away from home.
6/1/2001 - Online Resources for Better Money Management
The Internet has changed the way people do everyday business from buying books to looking for a job, but it can also serve as a valuable resource for performing common financial tasks like balancing your checkbook, paying bills, and managing your cash flow. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following suggestions for using the power of the Web to become a more efficient money manager.
5/1/2001 - Franchising: Going Into Business For Yourself - Not By Yourself
Brand name awareness... bulk purchasing power... shared advertising costs... training and site selection assistance. These are some of the advantages of buying a franchise. But before you dash off to sign an agreement with any company, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) says it's important that you also consider other aspects of owning and operating a franchise including potentially rigid operating agreements, franchise fees and royalty payments, standardized and sometimes stringent business practices, and territory infringement possibilities.
5/1/2001 - How to Develop an Internet Privacy Statement
Whether your company has an Internet presence or is about to establish one, it's important that you address website privacy issues. Online users are especially concerned that information they supply over the Internet may be misused or distributed without their permission. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that developing a website privacy statement is vital to your ability to build consumer confidence and ensure the effective operations of your business.
5/1/2001 - Retirement Plan Options For Small Business Owners
SEP (Simplified Employee Pension), SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees), and Keogh plans offer small business owners and their employees a tax-favored way to save for their retirement. But which plan is right for your business? The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following overview to help self-employed individuals and small business owners understand the costs and benefits of the various plans.
4/1/2001 - Five Steps to Effective E-Marketing
Adopting the right e-marketing strategy can help a company remain competitive. E-marketing is communicating to customers - whether individuals or other businesses - to encourage a specific behavior, such as using your services or products. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), whose members work closely with businesses on technology and related issues, outlines five key steps to effective e-marketing.
4/1/2001 - Keep Your Business in Business: Disaster-Proof Your Computer System
There is no absolute protection against sabotage to your business or the consequences of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake. However, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that having a disaster recovery plan in place can help minimize the disruption and possible damage to your company that can result from an unexpected disaster.
4/1/2001 - Innocent Spouses Can Apply For Relief From Tax Inequities
Many married couples file joint tax returns to take advantage of lower tax rates and certain other benefits of this filing status. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), some taxpayers fail to realize that spouses who file joint federal income tax returns are jointly and individually responsible for the accuracy of the return and for any back taxes, interest, and penalties due on the joint return. This is true even if only one spouse earned the wages or income on the return.
3/1/2001 - Don't Be an April Fool: Take Note of These Tax Tales
When it comes to responding to inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your best offense is a clear understanding of the tax rules. To help you stay on the offensive and avoid becoming an April Fool this tax season, here are some tax tales from the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA).
3/1/2001 - Senior Citizens Get Financial Relief With a Little Help From Uncle Sam
With age, comes wisdom, knowledge, experience - and a few tax breaks. While federal income tax laws generally apply equally to all taxpayers, certain provisions give special tax treatment to older Americans, reports the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Here is some important tax information that can help senior citizens trim their tax bills.
3/1/2001 - Homeownership Opens the Door to Tax Breaks
Whether you buy a single-family house, townhouse, or condo, it may open the door to new tax savings. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) explains some of the tax breaks associated with homeownership, making "Home Sweet Home" seem just a little sweeter for homebuyers.
3/1/2001 - Don't Overlook Valuable Tax Deductions
If you're looking for deductions to help lower your 2000 tax bill, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following information on commonly overlooked deductions and what is and isn't deductible.
2/1/2001 - Beware of the Small Business Audit
Who's afraid of a federal tax audit? Just about every small business owner should be. Few events are as stressful, expensive, and time-consuming as a tax audit. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), knowing in advance what can trigger a small business audit and what auditors are likely to look for can help you conduct your business in a manner that minimizes audit risk.
2/1/2001 - Driving Towards Auto Deductions
Business in the fast lane can be expensive, especially if your business requires you to put a lot of mileage on your car. For this reason, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that business owners make a concerted effort to keep track of business-related transportation. Qualified transportation expenses are deducted from your business's bottom line and reduce your overall tax bill. The key is to understand the rules and keep good records.
2/1/2001 - Tips and Tactics for Deducting Business Meals and Entertainment Expenses
Taking customers or clients out to dinner, to a round of golf, or for a night at the theater often makes good business sense. Structuring the meal or entertainment so that it qualifies as a tax-deductible business expense makes even better business sense, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). But before you even think about using the words fun and tax deduction in the same sentence, be sure your business meal and entertainment expenses pass two separate tests.
2/1/2001 - Dependency Exemptions Can Help Minimize Your Tax Bill
Some people will go to great lengths -- and rightly so -- to make certain that they take every deduction due them. Yet many of these same people overlook the value of maximizing dependency exemptions. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) reports that, for 2000, each dependency exemption lowers the amount of income subject to tax by $2,800. Here's what you need to know to determine how you can make the most of these exemptions.
1/1/2001 - A Short Lesson on Using Education IRAs to Boost College Savings
Although children get welcome breaks from school during the summer and for holidays, parents can not afford to take a break from college savings. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that one way parents can boost their college savings is by taking advantage of Education Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
1/1/2001 - Give Yourself an Insurance Check-Up
Most people recognize the importance of having insurance protection and wouldn't be without health, life, homeowner and automobile coverage. But many of those same individuals are leaving themselves and their families exposed to a number of serious gaps in insurance protection. Read through the following information, provided by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), to determine if you need more specialized forms of insurance.
1/1/2001 - Using Your Net Worth as a Financial Compass
If someone were to ask you how much money you make, most likely, you could answer off the top of your head. But what if someone asked you how much you were worth? Many people underestimate the importance of calculating and tracking their net worth. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), keeping track of your net worth is like having a financial compass, leading you on the right path to building wealth.
1/1/2001 - Ring in the New Year with a Technology Tune-Up
In many households, computers have become an important part of everyday life, allowing families to get driving directions, shop online, conduct research and much more. To make sure you can continue to do these things seamlessly, you must periodically give your computer a tune-up. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that you ring in the New Year by cleaning up your personal computers, assessing your family's technological needs, and planning for future purchases and enhancements.
1/1/2001 - Resolve to Begin the New Year with a Smart Business Plan
For small business owners, the New Year is an opportune time to create or update your company's business plan. A well-developed business plan is crucial when looking for financial backing or strategic partners. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following advice for creating a critical road map for business growth.
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