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Why You Need Tax Services

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We’re just a month and change past that most ominous of days on the United States’ government calendar.  I’m talking about tax day, the day that we all have to pay our ounce of flesh to the government for whatever benefit it is that we see from it (I know it isn’t roads, because the roads around me are in such disrepair and they never actually fix them, but rather they put a little bit of gravel in them and cover it with asphalt and then the tenth time it rains afterwards, the whole thing is gone and the pot hole has returned).

CPA accounting advisorsNow, for some people, tax day is the day that you just cut a check and send it off to the Internal Revenue Service, or that you spend a couple of hours doing the math required to figure out how much money the government owes you back in all the money that you’ve sent in.  However, it isn’t quite that simple for everyone.  For quite a few people, in fact, there’s a lot more work to be done than simply sending in your tax return.

For example, think about people who are the owners of sole proprietorships or who are paid on a contractual basis.  These people, they aren’t going to be having their taxes, their payroll taxes, taken out of their checks.  Instead, they’re going to have to calculate their own taxes, and to do so based on the amount of money that they brought in versus the amount of money that they spent on business expenses, or, rather, on things that could possibly be called a business expense, whichever the case may be.  Then, of course, there’s all that math you have to do to ensure that you’re paying the correct portion of your payroll taxes in order to be in keeping with the IRS and their demands concerning how much you have to pay them and whatnot.

Tax services are especially important for anyone who runs a business.  In fact, the estimates for how much we, as a country, spend on filing our taxes every year run somewhere in the hundred and fifty-seven billion to five hundred billion dollar range, depending entirely on who you ask and what they’re doing to account for the amount of man hours spent on doing such things, but the majority of that expense is related to businesses and their tax filings.  Filing taxes for a person, or as an individual, is something that is extremely simple.  On the other hand, filing taxes for a business requires understanding thousands of pages of tax code, and can take hours or days of work for everything to be completed, and that’s assuming that you don’t make a mistake.  For a business, hiring some sort of Certified Public Accountant who is offering tax accounting services either on staff or on retainer to handle your finances is basically essential.  Without them, you’re going to be looking at literally thousands of pages of legalese that you will have a hard time comprehending, out of some seventy thousand odd pages of tax code that changes every year.  It’s a nightmare!

An oft forgotten benefit of having someone do your tax accounting for you is that you have peace of mind and support. You see, every so often, you’re going to mess up in your filings, or the IRS is going to disagree with what you filed, or maybe you’ll just be the unlucky person who gets randomly audited by the IRS (they randomly audit something like one out of every ten people every year, even without them doing anything wrong.  When they do so, there is nothing better to have at your disposal than a CPA firm, except for, maybe, a tax lawyer, but, interestingly, most tax firms keep one on hand for just such an occasion.  It’s a great thing to have when you’re going up against the IRS, believe me, and they’re experts on everything that has to do with tax law).  Whatever the case may be, you’re very likely to be able to benefit from the help of the certified public accounting firm that you’ve hired, and they’re almost always worth every single cent that you paid for them.

So, basically, if you’re not an expert on tax laws, you’re going to find yourself profiting in numerous ways from hiring CPA firms.  Doing so can give you peace of mind, and it can make sure that in every way, you’ve done your best to cover yourself when you deal with the IRS and with the paying of your taxes.

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Event Design For Profit

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Trade shows are a big deal for a lot of industries, from those that you’ve never heard of and have never encountered to those that you see all the time.  Now, for the most part, such shows are more of an internal thing, showcasing updates in technologies to the people who are already involved in such an industry.  These aren’t always events that the general public actually wants to go to.

For example, do you want to go and see a presentation on the newest in crime fighting sciences?  How about watching a book publisher who publishes scientific studies and works on use of force policies in policing try and peddle their wares?  Would you be interested in watching a bunch of tool makers attempt to sell their new wares and their new appliances to the people who are most likely to need them, mechanics and the like?  Does looking at a presentation on the evolution of gutters and new devices and methods to make sure that leaves stay out of them sound appealing to you?  It does not.  Not to me, anyway (but then again, I’m pretty easily bored.  I’ve also been to a lot of trade shows, and have actually seen the book peddler in question try to tell me that I needed to buy his new book’s 2013 edition instead of the 2012 edition that I still hadn’t read that was sitting in my bookshelf somewhere).

trade show exhibit displayWhen you have that kind of trade show, you’re not going to see a lot of flashy displays.  In fact, it can look a lot like a bake sale, but with things specific to your industry instead of delicious food (there’ll be food there, more likely than not, but very rarely will it be something that you would actually want to consume.  It’s basically cheap food that will make sure people don’t leave all that often to get actual food, although it rarely manages to do so).  Their exhibit booths designs aren’t all that evolved, all that flashy, all that fun to go and see, because, when it all comes down to it, most of the people there already know what they’re going to be looking for and looking at during the show.

Now, that isn’t to say that all of these shows are closed to the public.  In fact, most of them are open to pretty much anyone who wants to sign up for it and send in the money that you have to spend in order to be there.  However, it’s easy to tell that some of the shows are literally designed around the idea of making sure that not only are the new innovations being show to the people who are in the industry, but to people who are outside of the industry, both reporters of various sorts and the general public.

Generally, such shows are geared towards products and industries that have a lot of interaction with customers in the general public.  I’m talking about a trade show like Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), or a show similar to the SHOT show that the NRA puts on every year.  When it comes to such shows, where the people that you’re gearing your displays towards are partially the industry, and partially the general public, event design becomes a lot more important.  The general public isn’t going to be getting news on the industry from being a part of it.  They’re not going to be finding out that you have a new thirty caliber rifle in a Stoner configuration that promises sub-quarter minute of angle accuracy, even when the rifle is suppressed.  The general public, though they may have heard word if you release a press release on the state of the new video game system, are generally not going to be aware of the specs, or any other information about it, until you show it to them publicly at a trade show.  Because of this, event design is important, making sure that you have the right design for your exhibit booth when encountering the right audience.  It’s no different from any other sort of marketing; you need to know who you’re selling to, and you need to sell to them accordingly.

So, if you’re a business, and you’re getting ready to head to your first trade show or expo, be sure that you’re prepared, not just with free samples and swag (let me tell you right now, people love swag.  Put your logo on some stupid cheap stuff and people will eat it up), but with a table or booth designed to sell to the right group that you’re going to be interacting with.

 

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Invisalign And Your Teeth

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We place a lot of importance, culturally, on the smile.  Of course, that isn’t to say that this is only the case in the United States, or in Europe; it’s true almost everywhere in the world.  If you’ve ever been out of the United States (and if you haven’t, you really must, because it’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to expand your horizons and to gain some perspective into how great we have it here in the States), you’d know that pretty much everyone uses their smile multiple times a day, for a wide variety of things, to the point that it’s almost our second most common method of communicating with people.  For the record, over the roads that lead in and out of Suvarnabuhmi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, is a sign that say either welcome or goodbye from the ‘land of smiling faces’, something that Thailand is well-known for (people in Thailand, in general, tend to smile or laugh when they’re uncomfortable with a situation, or, say, with an American speaking to them in English who obviously doesn’t realize that they don’t understand a single word.).

Now, sadly, a lot of people in the world are born with smiles that are, well, less than perfect, to say the least.  This has been something that, for centuries, we, as a society, and as a species, have been attempting to fix, in order to make sure that we can have the smile that we deserve, and that we want.  It began in the time of Aristotle, back when it was nothing but philosophers talking about the realignment of teeth and how it might be accomplished.  Because they are philosophers, they discussed how one could realign the teeth, but they also discussed what the cost and benefits of such a thing might be, both to the person and to society as a whole.  However, like so many things that philosophers had in-depth discussions about, they didn’t actually do anything about getting people quality dental care.  The first person to do so would be the Egyptians.

Now, it is important to note that, at the time, Egypt and Greece had a brisk trade in ideas and goods, as brisk as any that exists today.  The greatest library in the world, in Alexandria, was filled with works from both nations that were collaborative in nature.  However, Egypt was the first country that did anything when it came to attempting to fix the alignment of teeth.  You see, they created an early version of orthodontic headgear, and used it in attempting to realign the teeth of their people, mostly their well off people.  They didn’t have success at realigning, although they did manage to prevent the teeth from getting any worse than they were, and they kept the mouth from collapsing upon death, which is an interesting accomplishment.

Cosmetic dentistry for smile correction, on the other hand, didn’t come to be, in any way that we would recognize it, until the advent of standard metal braces, and this wouldn’t occur until the seventies.  This is because standard braces were so dependent on the ability of the braces to be held in place over the long term, and this meant long term dental adhesives were needed.  Once they were made, braces became the common method of aligning the teeth.

finding a good dental officeNow, this isn’t to suggest, in any way, that standard braces are the best way to fix the teeth in order to get a better pattern of alignment.  In fact, and this is a mostly opinion statement, but I will back it up with facts, but Inivsalign is the best, and most modern, way to do so.

Invisalign braces are, as the name would lead one to believe, invisible; they’re designed to blend in perfectly with the teeth, in order to make sure that you’re able to fix your teeth as easily, and as discreetly, as possible.  They’re also much more comfortable than your standard braces, because they’re form-fitted for your mouth, and for your teeth, so that you can be as comfortable as possible when you’re wearing them.  Truly, they are the best, and most discreet, way for you to realign your teeth, and to do so with the least amount of hassle to your life.

So, if you’re looking to realign your teeth, you should ask your local professional cosmetic dentist if Invisalign might be a choice for you.  It’s a great, hassle-free way for you to improve your teeth and to make sure that they’re as perfect as they can possibly be.

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Website Design To Bring In More Business

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When it comes down to it, there are few things less important than the fact that your business needs to keep modernizing.  For example, if you run some sort of grocery store, you probably need to have credit card readers that work, or else you’re not going to see a lot of business in the United States.  If you don’t have a refrigerator, as a butcher, you’re probably not going to sell much when it comes to meat sales.  I know, this may seem counterintuitive what with the rise in hipster businesses that are doing literally everything they can in as old-fashioned and cheesy a manner as possible (I’m sorry, I meant they’re doing everything by hand to increase the artisanal value and to make sure that it’s all the highest quality.  Just kidding, it’s a ridiculous fad that adds cost to things without adding value or quality to them, but whatever, the parents of some spoiled kids are fine with continuing to pay for it, so it’ll continue to happen until all the parents who are supporting the running of these terrible shops stop being willing to waste money on their kids wanting to play at being business owners as if this was the 20s), but modernization is great.  It increases productivity, it increases accuracy, and it increases accessibility, and literally everything about that is a good thing.

When it comes down to it, one thing that event hose hipster businesses can agree on is that it’s wise to have a website, and to have someone professional do their website design work so that you’re going to have a website that not only looks good, but that is also responsive and works in a way that is in keeping with the expectations of the company and the customer.

If you’re running a business in this day and age and you’re doing so (or attempting to do so ) without a website or websites, you’re going to be handicapping yourself without any reason.  When someone is looking for somewhere to go for a meal, they check the place out on the internet.  Now, if you don’t have a website, one designed by decently able web developers, you’re going to be at the mercy of pages like yelp, which will both give the location and phone number of your restaurant, as well as a review or a few reviews, which can be favorable or can be less than favorable depending on your business and the way its run.

What if you sell something?  Sure, there are a handful of businesses that are able to get by with only using a storefront to sell something, but those days are getting few and further between when such businesses are going to have a good day.  Why would I like to drive all the way down to your store, when, with a lot less hassle and with a lot more comfort, no travel, no risk of being hit on the road while driving, I can simply go online and order whatever it is that you’re selling that I want or need?

professional website development agencyThen there’s the fact that, if you don’t have a website you’re going to be losing business to people do.  For example, when you look at the way that people are selling things today, and the way that people are buying their nonessential things like clothes, entertainment, electronics, and even liquor, you notice that people are spending a lot of their money in purchasing with the use of the internet.  Again, it’s a time saver, it’s a lot easier, and most importantly, you’re not going to run into an issue where you drive all the way to, say, your local gaming store, and then open the door, go inside, and find that there’s been a run on the new Nintendo Wii U, and that they are now completely out of stock, and they’ll let you put your name on some sort of reserve list, but once they get one in, you have to come back again to pick it up again.

Or, you can just purchase it online, direct from a store’s warehouse, and get it shipped to you.  A digital agency can help you to get this done, so that when you order something, you get it as soon as possible.

The point is, you need a website if you own a business or run a business, and you need one that looks professional done, not one that looks like it was designed in the 90s.  Hire a pro, get the website design you deserve, and you’ll be a happier businessman.  Trust me on this.

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Three Great Reasons To Visit Your Orthodontist

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In the United States, we have an amazing amount of access to medical technology and treatments, and in few ways is this more noticeable than in our ability to treat, preserve, and perfect our teeth and our smiles.  Your local orthodontist can do amazing things for you and for the alignment of your teeth, and you can get those amazing treatments on the cheap.  In fact, in some cities, if you fall into a certain low-income tax bracket (normally defined as being under thirty thousand dollars annual income for a family of two, or under eighteen thousand dollars for an individual), you’re able to get orthodontic care at various clinics and low cost events where you can get treatments costing a few thousand dollars for under three hundred dollars cost to you!  Truly, it’s a great time to be alive, especially if you want to straighten out your teeth.

There are a few good reasons to go visit your local professional practitioner of board-certified orthodontistry.  While price is a great reason to visit when you need to, there are even better reasons to get your foot in the door, and here are just three of them.

1.  Examination

The best reason to visit your orthodontist (or, really, any applicable medical professional, depending on the issue you’re having) is if you suspect that something about your person might be amiss.  In the case of said orthodontist, the thing that’s likely to be amiss is that you’ve got some sort of issue with the alignment of your teeth, keeping your smile from being everything that it could be.  In the more extreme situations, you may have an issue that’s causing you pain, something like overcrowding, where you basically have too many teeth crammed into too little space in your mouth.  You can’t really know what’s going on that makes you feel things are amiss without an examination.  This is the step in your orthodontic treatment where you’re going to be having a professional orthodontist poking and prodding your teeth, as well as doing other things, like having dental X-rays taken, in order to get a good idea of what’s going on with your particular teeth, and what can be done to fix them.  In extreme cases, the fix may require something like dental surgery to remove a tooth in order to make more space for the rest, but more commonly, you’ll be talking about braces of some sort to realign the teeth more optimally.

2.  Standard Metal Braces

Standard metal braces are the most common method of aligning teeth today.  They’re also one of the newest methods, having only been around since the seventies.  They were a great improvement over the device that they’ve almost entirely replaced, the orthodontic headgear, which is now reserved for very specific instances when you need to apply pressure on the teeth either inward or outward, realigning them toward or away from the back of the mouth and the throat, things that are mostly related to, say, allowing a child to have a pacifier for too long.

professional family orthodontistsFor most others, you’re going to have braces placed in your mouth for a few months to a year and longer, depending on how bad off your teeth are when you get said braces.  However, just because braces are the most common method of aligning teeth, doesn’t mean that they’re the best or the most advanced.

3.  Invisalign Discreet Adult Braces For Smile Correction

Invisalign is, in fact, the most modern way of aligning the teeth, and is, in many ways, far superior to braces.  The fact that it hasn’t become more common than braces are is likely because it requires some computer know-how as well as the orthodontic know-how, and computer skills are woefully inadequate in a lot of people in this country who are over the age of forty.  Obviously, this will be slowly changing as younger generations move into professions like orthodontistry.

Invisalign braces are basically a series of plastic aligners that are put in the teeth in order to align them better over time.  You wear each set of aligners for two weeks, and then you move on to the next in the series, until your teeth are perfected.  It’s the newest, and most hassle free, way of improving your teeth and their alignment.

So, if you’re wondering if, or why, you should visit your local professional orthodontist, consider these reasons as a guideline.  If you have questions or issues with your teeth as they currently exist, consider making an appointment to see your local professional orthodontists today!

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Enclosed Cannabis Grow Rooms and the Modern Grower

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28 remember a time when growing cannabis was simple. You sprouted the seed, you put it in a pot of soil. You put it in a sunny part of the house, outside somewhere discreet, or underneath a grow lamp in a grow room you put together yourself. You watched your plant rise up from a tiny seedling to a big bush, and then you harvested. Those were the days.

The only problem with those days was that it really wasn’t as simple as we fondly remember it to be. The quality of the bud was extremely variable, and sometimes it would take several attempts to have a successful harvest at all. Mite infestations would happen, and then you’d have to go back and do your research on how not to make them not happen. And then on your next try, gnats or snails would take over, and then it was back to the drawing board. Or, powdery mildew would start appearing on your leaves and between your buds, and once again you’d have to go back and do some research on how to avoid this. Buds would come out small and underdeveloped, the plant would get stressed, root rot would set in. And every time we ran into a problem, we had to go back, figure out what we did wrong, and try again, meanwhile hoping and praying we wouldn’t get caught.

It’s common to look back with nostalgia on the good old days, the simpler times. But, the truth is, improvements come along for a reason. As much as we may enjoy the classic feel and simplicity of an old Chevy, you really can’t beat the gas mileage, performance, and fine tuning of a modern vehicle. Similarly, when it comes to growing cannabis, the old, clunky, haphazard trial and error process of growing your cannabis with minimal equipment really can’t compete with the modern enclosed cannabis grow room.

The reason for this is, again, like the reason for the superiority of newer car technology. A modern modular, prefab grow room simply has more complex systems, with more fine-tuning of the growing process. While older methods left a large margin for error, an enclosed marijuana growing room provides a degree of control over the growing environment that was previously unavailable. This means that, with most variables accounted for, you are much less likely to run into any potential problems.

The modern enclosed cannabis grow room has an assortment of devices to control every aspect of it’s contained growing environment. Temperature and humidity are carefully monitored and regulated, which will prevent the onset of most molds and fungi. Incoming air is filtered for contaminants, and outgoing air is also filtered to eliminate odor for your comfort and discretion. Lights are kept on timers, and reflective surfaces all over the inside of the grow room make sure that your plants get every photon that they can for their photosynthetic needs. The grow room is designed to be light-tight, which is critical for the proper flowering of your buds, and also air tight, which is critical for your safety and comfort, and to prevent invasion by molds and pests. Watering systems can be timed to run automatically, and fans will ensure that your plants grow up strong and receive all of the CO2 and other gases they need.

Since we’re singing the praises of modern grow room technology, it’s worthwhile to mention the latest and most advanced element that can be added to your enclosed grow room, which makes the entire process even easier. That element is a central, computerized control system, which can coordinate all of your automated systems together with one, central device. All of your timers for lights and water can be controlled from this device, and temperature and humidity readings can be used to prompt when to turn on your ventilation or air conditioning. Sensors can also be installed to warn you in case of any emergency situations, such as flooding. It’s even possible to install cameras, so that you can monitor your grow from anywhere, literally the other side of the world, if you want to. This system makes it so that you barely ever have to even open your grow room and step inside, which is good for maintaining minimal contamination, as well.

Clearly, growing cannabis is not what it used to be. But I think we should view that as a good thing. It’s now possible to invest in a system that will practically grow the marijuana for you, and why not? There’s something to be said for giving your plants the love and attention they need, which you can still do, but if it’s possible to use the best tools available to minimize error and maximize your bud, why would anyone not want to do that? Clearly, the modern enclosed indoor grow room is the best way to grow. And when it will pay for itself after only one or two harvests, it’s difficult to imagine why anyone today would grow any other way.

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The Need for a 401k Audit

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401k audit Millions of people rely on retirement savings account to secure their futures. One of the most common types of these accounts in the United States is a 401k. The name comes from the section of the IRS code that describes the account. The account allows employees to defer some of their salary pre-tax into an investment savings account. Taxes on the money will not be paid until the money is withdrawn from the account. Many employers offer these accounts as a benefit, matching employee contributions up to a certain dollar amount.

The account’s funds will typically be invested in a wide variety of investment opportunities, selected by the accounting firm in charge of the accounts. Common types of investments made are stocks, bonds, guaranteed insurance contracts, and mutual funds. Usually money can be reallocated across the different investments at any time, so there is some flexibility in 401k accounts.

If a company has 401k plans of a certain size, they will have to be audited by an independent CPA firm. This is done to make sure that  company’s 401k accounts fall in line with all government regulations. Over the course of the 401k audit, the accounting firm in charge will review all financial data in the company’s plan. Once they’ve gathered all of the necessary information, the firm will offer their thoughts as to whether or not the 401k plan provided by the company is clearly presenting the essential aspects regarding the stability and overall status of the account. Each employ participate in a company’s 401k plan deserves to have all of the pertinent information, as people often rely on the accounts for retirement.

The main goal of any 401k audit is to ensure the company’s 401k plans comply with government regulations. At the same time, the firm reviewing the plan will review the plan details laid out in documents and make sure they are being followed correctly. Certified public accountants, CPAs for short, are generally tasked with carrying out these audits. There are many detailed financial questions that must be asked during the process, so they are most qualified to handle it. Let’s look at some of the basic questions asked during the review:

  1. Are assets in the plan valued appropriately?
  2. Is the plan equal opportunity (can all eligible employees participate?)
  3. Are accounts stated fairly and accurately?
  4. Are payments being made correctly, in accordance with plan terms?
  5. Have potential tax status issues been identified and dealt with?
  6. Have ERISA-prohibited transactions occurred?

These questions help ensure the integrity, safe, and stability of 401k retirement accounts. The audit is an opportunity to see where the plan can be improved and to make sure nobody’s money is at risk due to oversights or poor planning. A ‘large’ 401k classification will always trigger an audit. A 401k plan needs 100 participants to be denoted as large. That doesn’t mean smaller plans can’t have audits however. It’s always wise to make sure things are working as planned and without any issues.

A 401k audit can be a relatively big deal for large companies with many employees. The audit will generally be attached to a company’s financial filings, essentially creating a paper trail. Usually a company will name a plan administrator, and this person will receive a summary of the audit and other communications from the auditor. The CPA in charge of the audit should be open with communication, as they should be seeking to correct any uncovered noncompliance issues and strengthen the overall plan. The best CPAs will do their part in conveying the importance of the fiduciary duties that managing a 401k carries.

Though some 401k audits are mandatory, many companies and firms will find themselves with plans well under the size that triggers them. For these companies, it’s still wise to hire an accounting firm to audit their 401k plan. This will help a company plan ahead and get  ready for when the plan becomes large enough to trigger mandatory audits. Furthermore, plans that undergo audits are often more successful and beneficial to employees. The audit will require a lot of document gathering and preparation, so an appropriate time commitment is necessary. Of course one of the major benefits to an independent audit is that it can be handled in-house, by a company’s own accounting team.

A company’s 401k plan will have to be addressed during tax filing. Large plans, with 100 or more participants, will require an audit with filing. For this reason, it’s important that a competent, trusted accounting firm is tasked with carrying out the audit. For obvious reasons, the firm must be independent, and not associated with the company. The IRS wants to see that a plan is in compliance and fair to the participants. 401k audits are essential to health of the accounts in general.