Finances and the Year Ahead

The main topic of conversation for the past 18 months or so has been all about the economy and how we’ll be able to cope with it today and into our retirement years. Most of us have had a certain amount of fear invade our once serene financial lives and today just about anything will set off our emotional release when it comes to the sensitive topic of – “what happens next?” – as it pertains to our personal financial situation. It has been a very tough year and although government figures are pointing to a recovery on the horizon, I don’t really know many who will attest to the fact that things are really beginning to improve on their economic front….at least not yet.

But there are a few things that you can do to help the situation while the years ahead try to mend the financial damage that we’ve experienced recently. The first thing, and probably the most important, is not to ignore your current situation. Listen, I know that many of you have not been checking out your banking or investment statements lately because you just don’t want to see that bottom line figure. The fact remains, unless you know what that figure is, you won’t know where you’ll need to start the repair or how aggressive you’ll have to be to fix the problem. So, stop hiding and take a look. You might not like what you see but at least you’ll know where you stand and that will be the beginning of “fixing what has been broken.”

If you haven’t done so already, find an accountant. There have been so many changes to the tax laws in the past year and even the professionals are overly challenged when trying to keep up with the latest tax modifications. Many of you have started your own businesses this past year and if you try to mix that with your personal taxes, well, you could be in for an ordeal that might lead to errors in your final tax figures. So, let someone who knows how to handle the situation do it for you. Sure, it’s going to cost you a few dollars but in the end you’ll be more at ease and content that you did it the right way and, believe me, that will be well worth a few extra dollars.

In the computer age, you can automate many of your financial responsibilities that in the past you would normally worry about. Things like automatic bill pay through your bank’s website or payroll deductions to your 401(k) plan or savings accounts can do much to take some of the pressure off. You can also have your utility companies or a personal credit card simply debit your account on a monthly basis and you won’t ever have to worry about late fees. But even better than that, since you won’t have to actually sit down and pay the bills, you’ll have a lot of extra time to do the things you really want to do.

As we approach 2010, use some of your extra time to sit down and write your goals for the New Year. What did you want to accomplish this year that you didn’t? What would you like to achieve next year? Maybe it’s that vacation you’ve always wanted to take to Paris or finally finishing your education; whatever your goals are, just make sure you write them down and post them someplace. Ask yourself where you see yourself in five years. Then, prioritize those goals to figure out a way to make them happen. Once you’ve set your personal goals, make sure you stay focused and remain on course to complete them successfully. Constantly review and update your list of goals and modify them to reflect any life changes, experiences or priorities. If you want to make something happen you must set and manage your goals. Make that a priority this year.

If you are dedicated to creating a booming year ahead, you must make sure that you look at everything with a new point of view. If you’ve been doing things in a certain manner that hasn’t really been working out for you, the only way to change the outcome is by changing how you deal with the problem. Make something happen in the coming year by producing a positive environment that will allow you to realize the success you are striving to achieve.

Appreciating the Critical Role Played by CPAs and Accountants

Large businesses today increasingly require professionals who can bring together knowledge from multiple resources to address tactical business problems and help develop new business models. This fact provides new break-throughs for accounting professionals who can bring new value in a global, growing and free economy. There is an urgent need for Accounting professionals who are not only trained in the normal accounting standards but also possess the leading integrative and hi-tech competencies with multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills.

Amongst the two genres of accounting- general accountants and CPAs, there lies a substantial of demarcation among the two. Where a general accountant is involved in preparing the disclosures about the various financial letters necessary to assist the executives, regulators and funding sources make better calls; a Certified Public Accountants (CPA) can manage a number of jobs and tasks. CPAs provide advanced income tax preparation and service for a range of customers including individuals, small businesses and corporations. Accountants also perform intermediate-level business consulting work. Depending on the state in which they reside, to maintain their license, every three years CPAs must take up to 200 hours of continuing education courses in order to stay current of changes in their profession.

It is known that all CPAs can be accountants but all accountants can not be CPAs though the two terms are mistakenly used interchangeably. The job and responsibilities of CPAs is considered to be complex than that of accountants. The fact is that no matter what the specific responsibility or the difference between their functions is, they all serve as a primary resource for advice and/or consultation with respect to business matters and financial advice. CPAs can operate in virtually any area of finance including forensics, initial public offerings, corporate governance, preventing, detecting, and investigating financial frauds, finance information technology, especially as applied to accounting and auditing and performance management and other funding.

As you are most likely aware, accurately prepared financial statements are a crucial part of any business endeavor and it calls for the services of highly qualified professionals to do the job. Locating a professional CPA or accountant is a challenge but the process can be made simpler if you do some of preparation. Achieving CPA status takes work, smarts, ethics, and a lifelong commitment to learning. It all begins with countless of hours of some of the toughest business courses at any college or university. Then, after graduation and a year of professional work under the guidance of another CPA, candidate CPAs must pass a thorough test of their business, auditing, and general accounting skills. Their training and unique knowledge perfectly positions them to function as financial managers and strategists, often serving as chief financial officers for medium to large-sized businesses. Other attributes may include the moral ethics defining the trustworthy nature of the candidate and his dedication towards the job.

If you are in search of a professional accounting specialist (CPA, accountant or bookkeeper) in Austin or central Texas, then Austin-Accountants.com is the answer. They are a recognized accounting advisor firm and can help you find the right professional who will protect your interests and your financial assets.

Let’s Know About Computer Financing and Its Bad Credit

Computer financing refers to the various methods business owners use to purchase new computers or computer equipment. Many different agencies, including computer and electronics companies, specialized lending institutions, and banks, offer ways to finance buying new computers or equipment.

The first source for computer financing that a business owner should consider, is the direct manufacturer of computers and computer related products. Companies, such as Dell, Sony, and Apple, usually offer plans that allow a buyer to make small monthly payments on purchases at low interest rates. Monthly payments and interest rates are calculated according to the buyer’s credit report. The better the credit, the better chance a business owner has of paying less. Similar financing can be obtained through retail electronics stores as well, such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

There are lending institutions that deal solely with computer financing. Usually, their terms for financing are more liberal than those of manufacturers and retail stores. Many of these lending agencies do not even require a credit check or a down payment; therefore, individuals with bad credit have a good chance off getting a better deal with these agents.

Banks and credit unions may also have computer financing programs. With banks, however, an individual with bad credit may be turned down or may have to make large payments. Also, approval for financing from a bank could take several days or weeks; with other methods of financing, the approval process usually takes no more than twenty-four hours.

To get the best value for your money a business owner should research all the available options and decide which would be most suitable for his or her needs.

Computer financing for bad credit generally refers to ways for business owners with bad credit to get financing for new computers or equipment. Most computer manufacturers, retail electronics stores, and financing institutions have programs that allow individuals with bad credit to get the computers and equipment needed for a business.

Companies that offer computer financing for bad credit typically require applicants to have a checking or savings account and a minimum monthly income. If the individual is on the verge of bankruptcy they would be charged higher rates along with expensive monthly payments.

Computer financing for bad credit costs more because financing companies take a risk that the buyer may or may not pay off the computers or equipment. The buyer also pays more to compensate for his or her bad credit. When a buyer meets the monthly payments, finance companies report this to national credit institutions, thereby improving the buyer’s credit score.

Other companies that offer computer financing for bad credit are rent-to-own businesses. A buyer gets to use the computer while paying monthly installments towards the ownership of a computer. These companies typically charge higher interest rates and payment plans in comparison to other computer financing agencies.

Once a business owner with bad credit obtains a means of financing a computer, it is important to pay the monthly installments on time to improve his or her credit report and possibly lower the interest rate on the computer.