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         Tuesday Tips and Tricks
          September 16, 2014


Receipts Can Cost You Money

   Why Every Small Business Should Use Accounting Software


If you have that box of receipts or all of your information in a spreadsheet, these methods of recordkeeping could be losing you some of those precious tax deductions, or costing you more money at tax time when your tax preparer charges you for sifting through it.


Tax preparers prefer to receive information from a computerized accounting program. It not only makes their job easier, but it gives them confidence that you will receive every eligible deduction.


Accounting software is also much better should you be audited by the IRS. If the books have been kept in an accounting program, and maintained by a third party, the audit generally is of much shorter duration.


If you are doing your bookkeeping out of a shoebox (and you're not in the shoe-selling business), now is the time to get your records put into order. Doing it now will help you plan for any year-end tax planning. Don't wait until January when it is too late. Call us today to schedule a consultation.



Write It Down
A Case for Using Good Old Pen and Paper to Take Meeting Notes

Taking notes on a laptop is undoubtedly faster, easier and more convenient than using pen and paper, but a recent study suggests that longhand is much better if you want to actually remember some of those notes. A recent paper published in the journal Psychological Science found that those who took longhand notes performed better on quizzes than those who took notes on their laptop, even when there was no Internet connection.


Researchers Princeton graduate student Pam Mueller and UCLA psychology professor Daniel Oppenheimer tested the theory on college students. The subjects watched an on-screen lecture and were told to either take notes by hand or on a laptop. After 30 minutes, they were all quizzed on both factual and conceptual elements presented in the lecture. Those that took longhand notes performed better than those who took notes on laptops, especially when it came to the conceptual elements.


The subjects were tested again after a week, with results that surprised the researchers. It was expected that laptop note-takers would perform better because they took more notes, thanks to the speed at which people type. However, the long-handers still performed better.


"We thought we might see [laptop users] rebound because they had extra content," Mueller said. "We were really surprised that they seemed to not get any benefit from that."


When people take notes by hand it forces them understand the material to the point that they are able to summarize it, since no one can write fast enough to take notes verbatim. So, the next time you are in a meeting (or lecture, brainstorm session, etc.), try taking longhand notes. It will give you a deeper understanding of the subject matter and will help ensure you remember the concepts a little better.





"Overstating" the Importance of Cost Reporting

 Sign-up Today for this Free Webinar


Business owners rely on reports from their management team in order to make decisions. However, cost reporting is often inadequate for this purpose because there may be too much or too little information; or data may be misrepresented, incomplete, unrecognized, not validated, or simply inaccurate. Owner oversight of projects requires accurate, timely, and relevant status reporting, yet all too often it is not provided.


Hosted by Off-Site Business Services, a panel of distinguished virtual office business professionals will present a free webinar on September 24, 2014, from 2pm to 3pm EST, designed to help businesses identify the challenges in reporting project costs and risks to owner decision makers. 


This webinar will identify common pitfalls in project cost reporting, discusses the differences between accounting and project management software capabilities, and provides guidelines for developing periodic, consistent, useful reports to upper management.


During the execution of a project, procedures for project control and record keeping become indispensable tools to managers and other participants in the process. In this webinar, the panel explains the tools that can be used to record the financial transactions that occur as well as how they can give the project manager an indication of the progress and problems associated with a project.


Go here for registration or call 877-966-4441.  


Paying It Forward

We have the privilege of working with some outstanding businesses and will periodically feature one in our newsletter.

This month we are celebrating our 16th year of working with Chicago Ridge Public Library. The library has quiet study rooms, a reading room, computer workstations with Wi-Fi access, and a wide variety of children, teen and adult programs that offers something for everyone. For more information, visit

Thank you, Kathleen McSwain and staff for being such a pleasure to work with.

Off-Site Business Services, Inc.

Full-time Professional Office Management-Without the Full-time Cost.

Kimberly Shannon


Refer a new client and receive a $25 VISA gift card

                                                        (after $100 of paid services).   

   Call for a free one-hour consultation.


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