Reasons Why You Should Hire an Accountant

When starting a business, entrepreneurs often tend to perform every task by themselves, including the financial end of things. As a business continues to expand, there may come a time when the accounting needs of your business outgrow your capability as an entrepreneur. A proper accounting structure may be key in helping you maintain accurate financial records. Here are further details on the reasons why you should consider hiring a certified accountant for your business.

Frees up Your Time

Business owners and managers usually have a lot to do, even without having to deal with payrolls, tax compliance, leases, insurance and internal operations. It would be best if you preferably were spending more of your productive time focusing on income generation rather than preparing financial statements or signing checks. Hiring professional accounting services in Vienna, VA may take over these critical, yet time-consuming operational duties. This will be helpful in freeing up your mental space to concentrate more on innovating products, extending your market reach and establishing strategic partnerships.

Sort out Your Tax Matters

When your enterprise was small, you may have been capable of easily making quarterly payments and filing annual returns on your own. As your business expanded, the payrolls and taxes likely became more complicated due to more variables and regulations seen on a local, federal, and state level. For businesses that operate in the international market, the taxes may be even more complex. Tax accountants are usually tasked with keeping up with any legislative changes, which helps ensure your business remains tax compliant. In addition, they may provide insight on how to minimize tax bills and maximize deductions, thus saving you money.

Jumpstart Stalled Business Growth

A business may suffer from a slowdown in its growth at some point during its formative years. During this slump, hiring a financial advisor, such as an accountant, may help your business in restructuring its debt and identifying unprofitable lines within your business. They may also offer advice on how to realign and adjust the prices of your commodities after carrying out a review of the prevailing market rates. Professional accountants may essentially provide a solid work plan that would propel you into growth mode.

From freeing up your time, handling your tax matters, and propelling the growth of your business, seeking professional accounting services is often a smart business step. It may cost you dearly if you try handing your finances personally as your business continues expanding.

5 Ways to Make Money In Retirement

Making money in retirement is easier than ever in 2020. With the birth of the gig economy and online jobs finding a way to monetize the skills you’ve mastered over the years is now a piece of cake. 

Don’t believe me? Follow along as we go through 5 easy ways to make money in retirement:

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is one of the best ways to make money in retirement. Not only are there are a number of online publications that accept submissions from the public, but writing online is a great way to utilize your skills and wisdom as a senior.

The great thing about online publications is as long as your content is high enough quality and fits the requirements of the site, you can get published.

Writing for online publications is a great option for seniors looking to make some extra money in their spare time as well. Having the flexibility of when and for how long you want to work is an awesome perk.

Getting to improve your writing skills, while you also share the wealth of knowledge you have accumulated throughout life can be a really beautiful, even cathartic experience as well.

Some online publications that accept submissions from outside sources include:

  • Poetry Foundation
  • Slate
  • Carve Magazine
  • Story
  • Ideomancer
  • Brevity
  • SeekingAlpha

You can also become an editor for publications like Retired Brains, who are looking for seniors to help edit the work of the younger generations. Don’t be afraid to start your second career as a freelance writer, it’s easier than you may think.

The Gig Economy

According to Peter Miscovich, Managing Director of Strategy + Innovation, JLL Consulting, by 2020 gig workers will comprise half the workforce and as much as 80% by 2030. Simply put the gig economy is taking over. 

That isn’t all bad news, especially for retirees. Instead of being forced to get a full or part-time job to make some extra cash during retirement, now you can easily secure an extra paycheck or two in your own time online or otherwise.

From rideshare services to Airbnb rentals, to pet sitting and dog walking gigs, there are plenty of options out there for every type of person to monetize their skills and time in the gig economy.

It’s not just one consulting organization that believes the gig economy is taking over either. Even institutions like Intuit (known for Quickbooks) have estimated self-employment will reach some 43% of workers by 2022. 

It’s rare that seniors get to lead our economy and be so vital late into their lives, but this generation has that opportunity—thanks to the gig economy. 

Publish Your Own Book

Publishing your own book may sound far fetched, but the reality is the majority of books these days are self-published. 

In fact, according to a survey by Bowker, there were 1.68 million ISBNs issued to self-published authors in 2018, that’s a 40% increase over 2017. That doesn’t even include books self-published on Amazon which don’t require ISBNs.

So if most books are now self-published, why not take a shot at it. Online self-publishing companies now make it an easy, painless process. 

Teach English Online

Once again, if you’re trying to make extra cash as a senior it pays to bank on skills you already have, that way you aren’t forced to learn something new before you can even start earning.

So, if you’re reading this, congratulations, you can become an English teacher in 2020. 

There are a number of organizations that help teach English online to the estimated 1.5 billion English-language learners worldwide (according to the British Council). 

Many of these require bachelor’s degrees at a minimum, including one of the most popular services, VIPKID, which pays an average of $22/hr. Teach Away is another popular organization, but it also requires a bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, although the average pay is slightly higher.

If you don’t have a college degree you may want to try Kukuspeak, an online service that teaches English to Chinese students.

Teaching English can be a fun and rewarding experience. What was once a volunteer role, now also leaves you some extra spending cash, you’re welcome retirees. 

Become A Beautician

The final, and admittedly most out of the box, way to make money during retirement is to become a part-time beautician. If you love fashion, beauty and are willing to learn, part-time beauticians have become sought after jobs of late

Beautician’s employers need part-time help but can’t afford to pay someone to come on full-time. You may think that it takes years of schooling to learn the techniques of beautician, but the reality is there are a number of easy classes available online to enhance your skillset and resume quickly.

Everything from online make-up classes to eyelash extension courses are available at reasonable prices.  Part-time beauticians make an average of just over $15K, working only 20 hours per week or less.

In 2020, making money in retirement is no longer a hassle. In fact, it can be a fun and rewarding experience that can invigorate your golden years. Thanks to the gig economy if you love fashion you can be a beautician, if you love to write you can be a writer, and if you love to teach you can become a teacher. 

So, don’t be afraid to follow your passions—and make some money doing it—in 2020.

 

How Do Online Loans Work and Which Online Lenders Can You Really Trust?

Do you need cash quickly?

If so, you’ve probably looked into getting an online loan. Online lenders are changing the way people receive loans because it’s a faster, easier to get money in your account compared to applying for a loan through a traditional bank.

But not all online lenders are a good idea, so you must do your research before taking any money, even if you’re short on time. Keep reading to learn more about online lenders, the benefits of online lending, and what to avoid to make sure you don’t get scammed.

What Are The Benefits Of Online Lending? 

Online loans offer a lot of different benefits to consumers. As we mentioned earlier, they are fast and convenient, but that’s not all. Here are three reasons you should consider online lenders:

  1. Easy Comparison Between Loan Options

Applying online lets you pull together options from multiple online lenders and easily choose which loan is best for you.

  1. Quick Approval 

Most online lenders offer rapid approval processes, so you can get money into your account faster and not have to wait days for loan approval.

With banks, the process is typically much slower. You might be able to apply for a loan online, but you will have to wait days for an answer and could have to go into a branch location.

  1. Better Rates 

Since online lenders don’t have overhead like banks and credit unions do, you’ll often see lower rates and service fees.

  1. Easier Approval 

If you’ve got a high credit score, getting a loan through a traditional bank is easy. However, if you’ve gone through some rough financial times or you are still building your credit, it will be more challenging to get money.

Online lenders are more willing to give people with lower credit scores the cash they need, and some don’t require a credit check.

  1. Unsecured Loans 

Many online lenders only offer unsecured loans. This type of loan means that only your credit score will go down if you can’t pay it back on time. Your car won’t be repossessed, for example, if you miss payments.

While there are plenty of benefits to online loans, not all lenders are legitimate, and you should always proceed with caution.

What Online Lenders Can You Trust? 

If you do a quick search for “online lenders,” you will find plenty of options, but how can you tell which ones you can trust?

You should be very skeptical of online lenders, especially when they ask you to share personal information. Before you apply for anything, make sure you check for reviews and bad experiences online.

Learn More About Online Loans 

The world of online lenders can be confusing if you’ve never received an online loan before. The best thing you can do before you commit is to conduct plenty of research and make sure you trust the company, and that you have the financial means to pay back your loan on time.

Check out the rest of our website for more important information on online loans that will help you make an educated decision.

 

Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

Your Options When You Win a Lawsuit: The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement

When you win a structured settlement, you receive your payout over time rather than in one large lump sum. Some plaintiffs are more concerned with receiving a desirable outcome to their case and don’t give much thought as to how they receive their payout.But it’s important to understand the difference between structured settlements and lump sums so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.Here are a few of the pros and cons of forgoing a lump sum in favor of a structured settlement.

Pro: Potentially Lower Tax Liability

Awarded funds may be subject to taxes, depending on whether the money is awarded due to punitive damages or as compensation for sickness or injuries.According to the U.S. Tax Code, structured settlements due to personal injury are considered tax-free with very few exceptions. Working with a CPA can help you determine exactly how much you’d pay in taxes in either scenario.

Con: Waiting for Payday

In a lump-sum scenario, you receive the entire settlement in a single check. If you choose to structure your settlement, you will receive a fraction of that amount over a determined period of time.For example, if you win $100,000, then you could opt to receive $20,000 every year for five years.

However, not receiving all of your money upfront may put a strain on your finances. For example, if you have an older car you want to replace or you have a child entering college, you may find it more beneficial to take the lump sum and ease your financial burden.

Pro: Easier to Manage

Many people who win large sums of money often end up losing almost all of it due to poor money management skills. There are countless stories of lottery winners that end up spending on their money on lavish items with no knowledge on how to protect their wealth.

Smaller sums of money that are earned over time are much easier to manage, much like receiving a regular paycheck. Because you’re limited as to how much money you receive at a given time, you may be less tempted to enjoy frivolous purchases.This alone can be an effective way to build and protect wealth for the long term.

Con: Limits Investment Options

If you’re planning on using your winnings to set yourself up for the rest of your life, investing can provide a viable option. Receiving smaller payments over time gives you less to invest.In addition,  a structured settlement won’t allow your investment to grow as quickly, which means you could be leaving money on the table.

Should You Opt for a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement makes financial sense when you want to limit your tax liability, don’t have major expenses to pay for, or don’t have the means to manage a large sum of money.However, only you can decide which method will benefit you the most. Do your due diligence so that you can maximize your financial gains with confidence.For all things money management, head back to our blog.

 

When You Should Start Saving for Retirement & Why

Are you wondering when you should start saving for retirement? The answer is simple; as soon as you possibly can! If you are just starting out in the workforce, you may not feel the need to save. But the truth is; the sooner you begin putting money away, the sooner you can retire! Ideally, you should start saving in your 20’s. Today we are going to learn why it’s important to start saving for retirement right now!

Retire Sooner Rather Than Later

Let’s face it, no one wants to work forever. In fact, many people wish they could retire in their 50’s. If you want to retire early, it’s wise to start saving while you’re young. By doing so, you will be enjoying retirement much sooner than most. While it is tempting to spend your money on trips or nice cars, you would greatly benefit in the future if you put that money away. When you retire, you will have plenty of money to spend on luxury items, and the time to enjoy them.

Put Away More Money

The sooner you start saving for retirement the more money you will have. By having more money when you retire, you will have a better quality of life. Not only will you have the cash to pay for necessities, you will also have plenty of money for leisure. A 25-year-old who saves $5,000 annually, will have at least 1 million dollars by the age of 65. Saving early will give you a nest egg that you can truly enjoy!

How to Cover Emergencies

In life, things can happen unexpectedly. Emergencies can happen at any moment. Most of the time tragedies are expensive. Having money in a retirement fund will help you to cover anything that may come up. While it is never a good idea to take money out of your retirement fund, it will be there if you really need it. An alternative to raiding your retirement fund is getting a personal loan from companies like 24Cash.ca. A personal loan will allow you to cover expenses, and you can pay the money back in small installments over a 90 day period.

Your Money Will Compound

When you begin putting money into a retirement account it will start to grow. Most retirement accounts draw interest. This allows your money to earn additional income over time. Over the years as your money grows it will continue to compound. Shop around for the best interest rate.

In Conclusion

As you can see saving for retirement in your 20’s is a great idea! The sooner you start saving, the quicker you will be able to retire.

Savings Quickly Add Up: What Are the Tax Benefits on Term Insurance?

There are tax benefits in places you wouldn’t think like the opportunity in an online term plan. A term plan is what they call “pure insurance” because it covers you without frills. It protects all your needs at an affordable cost with an inventory of options to expand the insurance.

Or, you might prefer a tax savings investment to achieve your financial goals actively while protecting your family, retirement, or business plans. There is a plethora of plans available to help your savings quickly add up.

Term life Insurance

The Economic Times notes that, with term life insurance, “financial security for nominees in case of death of the policyholder.” At the same time, it promises a set amount in the case of your premature death to fulfill your family or business financial needs.

Term life differs from other investment vehicles like fixed deposits or mutual funds. You might only enough insurance to pay your funeral expenses, to cover your mortgage, to provide for your family’s future, or to resolve outstanding business debts.

Term life contracts does not have maturity benefit. So, the cost is affordable, encouraging you to apply for adequate protection. Term insurance plans provide tax breaks under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. In addition, any death benefit realized on your passing is tax-free under Section 10(10D).

Other life insurance opportunities

Savings add up quickly and safely in several other life insurance opportunities. Those listed here may not be available from all insurance sources and may vary by name:

  • Guaranteed Savings Plans, for example, will help you fulfill dreams as well as your family’s. The plans pay a lump sum benefit on maturity along with guaranteed accumulations on premiums paid.
  • A Super Saver Plan is a participating life insurance policy helping you save while providing a long-term financial safety net for you and your family. And, it comes with a premium waiver that continues to pay the premium should you die or become disabled.
  • Smart Platinum plans link the insurance with an investment portfolio. The investment risk is yours, but the plan helps your savings perform better while insuring your life.
  • And, an Endowment Savings Plan Plus invests your monthly savings deposit. The accumulations let you build a corpus to fulfill your promises, pay off or reduce your mortgage early, prepay a child’s university education, or support your retirement dreams.

The Options are all Yours!

Nupur Anand, writing for Quartz India, warns, “up to 988 million Indians—or 75% of the country’s population, which is more than the population of Europe—do not have any form of life insurance.” The average Indian citizen “has only around 8% of what may be required to protect his or her family from the financial shock.”

Helping solve the problem, online life insurance presents opportunities and options you can afford or customize for your specific needs. The low-cost term life or premium savings plans can solve your security issues with the promise of payment and long-term peace of mind. So, this may be your call to action!

7 Signs You Need the Help of a Financial Risk Manager

There’s a lot of truth to the old adage “no risk, no reward.” However, there is definitely such a thing as taking on more risk than you can handle, and poor risk management has been the downfall of many once-profitable companies.

Are you unsure of how well your business is handling financial risk? Do you want to make sure you don’t make the same risk management mistakes that other business owners do?

Read on to learn about some of the most pressing signs that you need the help of a financial risk manager.

What Is a Financial Risk Manager?

A financial risk manager (or FRM for short) is a professional who specializes in assessing risks for a variety of businesses, including the following:

  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Accounting firms
  • Asset management firms

In addition to identifying certain financial risks, FRMs help business owners to analyze these risks and come up with plans to avoid getting in over their heads.

FRMs have received accreditation from the Global Association of Risk Professionals. To do this, they must pas a two-part exam and spend two years gaining work experience in the financial risk management field.

Signs You Need to Hire One

Not every business needs to have an FRM on their staff. However, they can provide a lot of assistance, especially when you bring them on at the first sign of trouble.

Here are some signs to be on the lookout for that may indicate you need the help of an FRM:

1. You’ve Gone Off-Script

When you first started your business, you likely had a business plan that you were following fairly closely.

A good business plan helps to give you guidelines and a road map to follow when getting your business off the ground. It helps you manage funds in an appropriate way and ensure your business is profitable.

If you’ve gone off-script and haven’t been following your business plan, you might not be on track to be as profitable as you’d like. This is where having an FRM come in and evaluate your position from an objective standpoint can be beneficial.

2. You’re Not Adhering to Regulations

One of the biggest frustrations for business owners is the abundance of regulations (local, state, and federal) that they have to follow.

When it comes to your finances, have you been following all of these regulations and rules to the letter, or have you just been winging it and hoping for the best?

If the latter is true, it’s a good idea to get an FRM to come and evaluate things. They can help you get back on track and ensure you’re in compliance with all finance-related regulations for businesses in your area.

3. There are Issues with Operations

There may be issues with day-to-day operations that are impacting your business’s profitability and financial well-being.

This could be problems with employee production and productivity, technological issues that are dragging the company down, or even natural disasters that halt operations and have an effect on your bottom line.

FRMs can help you navigate these problems with more ease and help you come up with a solution that won’t put your business at risk from a financial standpoint.

4. The Market Is Unstable

When the market shifts or is particularly volatile, a lot of business owners start to panic. Instead of making rash decisions based on emotion, it’s better to hire an FRM who can look at things with more of a global perspective.

They can review your current financial situation and let you know how you’ll fare if the market continues in the direction it’s currently headed. They can also help you make a plan to pivot and weather the storm without going under.

5. The Economy’s Shifted

Economic shifts can also spell trouble for business owners who aren’t well-prepared. If a major economic shift has occurred, such as a recession, you need to work with a professional to figure out where your business stands. The sooner you can do this, the better off your company and your employees are likely to be.

6. You’re Having Trouble with Internal Processes

Internal issues can wreak havoc on a business’s financial situation. For example, if you’re dealing with several vendors who aren’t paying or delivering on time, this could slow down all of your operations and make it harder for you to pay your employees or deliver products to your customers.

An FRM can help you evaluate these situations and figure out where your money’s going.

7. New Laws Are in Effect

Have new laws recently gone into effect that could have an impact on your business’s financial health? If so, it’s a good idea to bring in a risk manager and have them assess your current situation. They can help you make sure you’re complying with these laws and adjust your spending to make sure they don’t derail your business.

Tips for Choosing the Right Financial Risk Manager

Have you spotted any of these signs? If so, you need to start looking for an FRM sooner rather than later. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re hiring the best FRM for your business’s needs:

  • Consider Their Education: Have they passed the exam to become an FRM (FRM Part 1 and FRM Part 2?)
  • Ask About Their Experience: Have they worked with businesses like yours in the past?
  • Assess Their Temperament: Can they communicate well with you and your colleagues?
  • Don’t Forget Their Fees: Are their rates fair and something you can afford?

Asking yourself these questions will help you get the best person for the job.

Hire a Financial Risk Manager Today

Now that you know more about what a financial risk manager does and how they can help their business, do you think it’s a good idea for you to consider hiring one?

If you’ve noticed any of the warning signs outlined above, chances are good that having a risk management expert on your team will help more than it’ll hurt you.

Keep these tips in mind as you begin your search to ensure you’re hiring the best FRM possible. Visit the Finance section of our website, too, for more helpful resources.

Happy Holidays – 5 Cooking Tips To Ensure This Holiday Season Is Stress-Free

Is your kitchen at Christmas usually more scary than merry? More aggressive than festive? There’s no need to toot steam just yet because we’re here to help! Let us help you enjoy the relaxed, stress-free meal-making you deserve during the holidays with these handy five cooking tips:

Make Life Easier For Yourself With The Best Cooking Gear

There’s no need for fancy gadgets, but there’s much to be said for high-quality equipment that makes your life as easy as possible when you’re cooking up a storm for family and friends at Christmas. Switch out any rubbish cooking accessories for sturdy, reliable cookware so you know at the very least even if you lose your temper, you won’t lose time or energy with unreliable kitchenware. 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe,” – Abraham Lincoln 

Hopefully, you won’t have to sharpen any axes this Christmas, but you can ensure that you prepare in full for the hefty task ahead. Tasks like vegetable peeling and cutting, parboiling, searing off, blending and seasoning can all be done ahead of time. The more that is ready to be reheated or cooked, the easier the process will be on the day. 

Become A Timing Ninja

You’ve got your delicious recipes sorted, your organic veggies prepped, your main course roasting, so what can go wrong? Unfortunately, despite the fact that 98% of Americans prefer to prepare and cook at home, that doesn’t guarantee that the results will be any good. The easiest thing to go wrong is the timing. A few minutes too long, and the fondant is just a cake, the veggies are mushy and grey, the gravy is congealed, and the meat is so cremated you’re inspired to bow your head and say a few words. Take the stress away from spinning all the plates by writing down a timing plan for the food you know will work. 

Stop Trying To Please Everyone

If you’re guilty of trying to please everyone and their dog, then you’ll find yourself getting so stressed during this multi-tasking extravaganza. You won’t enjoy yourself or the people you’re around and that is the whole reason for this time together. Maybe this year could be simpler. You could consider cooking a completely new recipe everyone tries, or everyone brings their own dish to contribute, or perhaps you simply create your ideal menu and everyone either likes it or lumps it. 

Remember What Matters The Most

Statistics released a couple of years ago suggested that 31 percent of Americans find Christmas to be a frantic time, with the stress peaking at about 2 p.m. on Christmas day, which is around Christmas lunchtime for many of us. That’s a clear indicator that the cooking process for what many deem to be the most important feast of the year is a real wrinkle-maker for those creating it. Try to remember what matters most, which is that you spend quality time with your family and friends making memories. The food will come and go and be consumed so quickly, but the memories of the laughs, the smiles, will last forever. 

If you’re chef this year remember that there are plenty of ways to ensure the process isn’t so stressful that it ruins your experience. With the right tweaks, perspective and help, you can cook up a storm and enjoy yourself these upcoming holidays without burning out, or burning anything else for that matter. 

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