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NEW! Business Tips

  • July 19, 2016 Image preview

    The new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor affecting overtime for white collar workers goes into effect December 1, 2016. It may have a profound effect on many small businesses and organizations who have salaried employees. Below is a brief overview of the new rule and the resources available to help.

    Currently, white collar salaried workers who meet one of the five categories of eligible exemptions: executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and some computer employees, and are also paid $23,660 a year ($455 per week) or more, are exempt from overtime pay. The new rule effective December 1st raises the required level of pay to $47,476 per year ($913 per week) to remain exempt from overtime for those salaried workers meeting one of the categories of exemptions just mentioned.

  • July 05, 2016 Image preview

    Many small businesses struggle with cash flow problems. For some businesses, it is the number one problem of concern. Cash flow can be described various ways. One way is this:  how cash moves or “flows” from the time the business pays for the expense of cost of goods or service (cash out) until the time it is collected by the business from the customer (cash in). The length of this process can determine the extent of the problem a business has with its cash flow. The longer the period of time from expense to collection, the larger the cash flow problems the business may have. The longer it takes the more cash a business will require to cover cash needs. What causes cash flow issues? Your cash may be tied up in your customer’s “pockets” through aging of accounts receivable or tied up in inventory that is not moving fast enough. In addition, your prices may be too low causing your gross profit dollars to be less than they should. Gross profit dollars are used to cover overhead expenses. Finally, your overhead expenses may be too high. It could be one of these reasons or it could be a combination of these reasons causing cash flow problems. 

  • June 20, 2016 Image preview

    Cash flow and accountability are what makes or breaks many small businesses.  Accurate recordings of transactions, along with proper assessment and processing, give small business owners a firm base on which to make decisions and create opportunities for growth.

    Understanding and recording the sales, expenses and other basic business financials should be easy enough for small business owners.  Understanding the accounting needs of a business is not always so simple.  What type of activity is considered bookkeeping, and when do you need an accountant instead?  What is the difference between the two?

    There is, and it is a simple but important one.  Bookkeepers record a small business’ daily transactions, while accountants verify and analyze that information.  A bookkeeper’s area is daily financial transactions, which include purchases, receipts, sales and payments.  Recording these items is usually done through a general ledger or journal.  Many small businesses use software to keep track of their entries, debits and credits.  These efforts culminate in a trial balance, which means the final total of debits and credits match.

  • June 06, 2016 Image preview

    Could you, would you, should you take a vacation?  Most small business owners would answer this with an emphatic “no way.”  The answer should really be, “Yes, WAY!”

    You could take a vacation, all it takes is proper planning.  Be intentional about taking time off, get it on the calendar as far in advance as possible. 

    Anticipation of taking a vacation will help you prioritize your to-do list. For example, you have a list of things which you’ve been putting in that “I’ll get to that when I have time” folder.  Take that list and assign tasks to yourself and your employees then promptly complete the tasks.  You will find that having these chores finished will make a difference in how relaxed you’ll feel on vacation.

  • May 10, 2016 Image preview

    Tax season is over but now is the right time to recap and implement strategies to have an easier process during your next filing season. The beginning of the year for small business owners is usually somehow stressful mainly because of tax season. You are having to put all the business paperwork together to file taxes. No matter whether you’re a sole proprietor or corporation, if you sell goods or services for financial gain, you should have an accounting structure in place and if you collect sales tax you must send that money to the government. It’s theirs anyway. Tax returns and payments are due by April 15th or the first business day thereafter.

    The first questions you will be asked when filing taxes is: What is your accounting period?  For almost every business it’s from January 1 through December 31 of the same year.  The year is broken down into quarters and typically you should be paying an estimated tax to both state and federal offices each quarter. But to pay taxes is necessary to keep a record of your sales as well as your expenses. The best way to keep up with it is with preparation during the year. 



Business Tips Archive

The most current Business Tips article is available on the San Angelo Standard Times online newspaper The following Business Tips articles are provided for you in an Adobe PDF format.