Is Your Job Satisfying?

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Are you looking for the Wellspring of Professional Gratification?

He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again. – Sydney Smith

How much time have you wasted trying to draw empty buckets from empty wells by working tirelessly at an unfulfilling job?  You

spend more time working than you do just about anything else.  Is it both mentally and financially rewarding? Or do you count the hours every day, waiting for your day job to end so you can get back to your real life?

It’s a new year—time to take control of your career and steer it towards a more gratifying professional future.  And as you consider an occupation that is both satisfying and lucrative, we suggest you look for two things: 1) a service that is in demand, and 2) something about which you can get a little excited.

Consider tax preparation.

What?  No, really.  Tax preparation.  Nearly every individual and every business is legally required to submit a tax return (talk about a prospective client base!).  In addition, not many people like to do their own taxes, and the truth is many are leery to try.  And with increasingly complex tax regulations, who can blame them?  Thus, tax preparation will always be a service that is in demand.

Enter the Professional Tax Preparer who can expertly prepare both individual and business returns with grace and ease, submit them faster than a speeding bullet and file any necessary extensions in a single bound.  Okay, so maybe tax preparation isn’t that brand of super, but it is pretty cool.  And if you possess a penchant for numbers, you just might be able to get a little excited about tax services.

Increase Your Options and Your Earning Potential

Becoming a tax preparer opens up countless career options.  You could supplement your current income with part-time work in the evenings or on the weekends.  You could expand your bookkeeping service by adding tax preparation to your menu.  Or you could replace your full-time income by becoming a Professional Tax Preparer.  Whichever option appeals to you, the training necessary to become a tax preparer isn’t as long and painful as you might expect.  Universal Accounting Center has made it easy.

Our Professional Tax Preparer program includes the following:

  • Informative video instruction
  • Full 1040 training
  • Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
  • One Year Follow-up Support from expert tax preparers

Many programs will lecture you on tax law and preparation practices, but Universal’s program is much more effective because it provides you with the hands-on practice that will perfect your skills.  Theory is taught as guiding principles, but the focus is on actually doing taxes to gain proficiency.

The PTP course consists of 20 hours of video training. Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability. Our instructors know what challenges you will face because they have been there themselves.

You know better than anyone whether or not it’s time for you to move to another well.  If you’re looking for a wellspring of professional gratification, enroll in the Professional Tax Preparer program today.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to get started now!

Money ≠ Success

turnaroundIn a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur Jan Verleur shares “4 Reasons Not to Confuse Early-Stage Money for Success.”  He begins by explaining, “Don’t get me wrong—capital is great.  It facilitates growth.  And in some ways, it validates your business.  But the way we position it today, as the definition of success, has created an environment where startups are chasing money too early.  They want it before they’ve even launched.” 

While securing funding for your business does have some pros, there are also a number of cons.  He goes on to explain how that can prove dangerous for entrepreneurs.  Here we share three of his four reasons why:

1. You lose control.  When you have investors contribute to your startup, they generally like to contribute to business decisions as well.  And often what you believe to be best for your business is not the same thing investors believe to be best.

2. You scale too soon.  When you have a lot of cash on hand, you may be tempted to grow your business before your business is actually ready for that growth.  Renting a big office space, filling it with expensive equipment and hiring additional employees just because you have the capital to do so doesn’t mean your clientele will expand likewise.  A business often benefits from going through traditional growing pains that ensure a practice’s ultimate health and longevity.

3. Your culture suffers.  Akin to appreciating something more when you’ve paid for it by yourself, building your company from the ground up will become an endeavor that you’re much more invested in because it’s all your own. Verleur explains, “The best way for a startup to evolve is to be challenged by a lack of resources.  It forces you to think outside of the box and seek out solutions in the unexpected.  This is why bootstrapping is the ultimate approach toward developing the ideal company culture.  It makes a team smarter and more capable.”

In conclusion, Verleur is not against obtaining outside capital for a startup, but he does find value in businesses that have been launched by entrepreneurs who are not “chasing money out of the gate as a point of validation.”  Investors, he claims, will eventually come to you once they’ve seen the successful venture you have built with your own two hands.

Professional Tax Preparer (PTP)

One way to ensure your success as a financial professional is to add tax preparation services to your offerings.  Many tax preparers make more money in the months leading up to the April 15 tax deadline than others make all year long! Since all individuals and businesses, small or large, are required to file taxes, tax preparation is a respected skill that will always be in demand.  Also, more and more are becoming weary of tax preparers without any credentials.  The Tax Preparer Designation will put many of those individuals at ease, assuring them that you have been properly trained in tax preparation.

Act now to solidify your business success by increasing your service offerings.  Call Universal at 1 -877-833-7908 to enroll in this amazing program now!

Resource

Verleur, Jan.  “4 Reasons Not to Confuse Early-Stage Money for Success.”  12 November 2014  Entrepreneur.com

Increase in 2015 Tax Benefits

profit-expertDue to inflation adjustments, more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, have been changed for the 2015 tax year.  In a recent press release, the IRS shared those changes of greatest interest to most taxpayers:

  • The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $413,200 ($464,850 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $406,750 and $457,600, respectively. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.

  • The standard deduction rises to $6,300 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,200 and $12,400, respectively, for tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9,250, up from $9,100.

  • The limitation for itemized deductions to be claimed on tax year 2015 returns of individuals begins with incomes of $258,250 or more ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly).

  • The personal exemption for tax year 2015 rises to $4,000, up from the 2014 exemption of $3,950. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly.)

  • The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2015 is $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly). The 2014 exemption amount was $52,800 ($82,100 for married couples filing jointly).

  • The 2015 maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,242 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,143 for tax year 2014. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.

  • Estates of decedents who die during 2015 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,430,000, up from a total of $5,340,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2014.

  • For 2015, the exclusion from tax on a gift to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen is $147,000, up from $145,000 for 2014.

  • For 2015, the foreign earned income exclusion breaks the six-figure mark, rising to $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.

  • The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015.

  • The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (FSA)  rises to $2,550, up $50 dollars from the amount for 2014.

  • Under the small business health care tax credit, the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,800 for tax year 2015, up from $25,400 for 2014. 

For more information on recent IRS tax news, please visit their official site at www.irs.gov.

Increase Your Options and Your Earning Potential

Tax law is continually changing, and because it can be difficult for individuals and small businesses to stay ahead of these changes, they generally enlist the help of a tax professional.  As an accountant, becoming a tax preparer enables you to increase your competitive advantage and your earning potential by taking advantage of this continual need!  And the training necessary to become a tax preparer isn’t as long and painful as you might expect.  Universal Accounting Center has made it easy.

Our Professional Tax Preparer program includes the following:

  • Informative video instruction
  • Full 1040 training
  • Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
  • One year follow-up Support from expert tax preparers 

The PTP course consists of 20 hours of video training. Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability. Our instructors know what challenges you will face because they have been there themselves. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today.

What Small-Business Clients Want

client-centered-servicesIn a recent survey conducted by The Sleeter Group, small to mid-sized businesses were asked what they want from their accountants.   Over 1000 prospects were screened and narrowed down to 188 participants who were then questioned about the services they desired as well as what they believed their accountants could provide verses what they wanted to provide.

The results proved interesting.  Here is a quick summary of what they discovered:

  • Expertise and responsiveness were rated the most persuasive characteristics in selecting an accountant.  The article goes on to explain, “What may come as a surprise is that ‘proactive strategic advice’ was the third-highest-rated factor with an average score of 8.7, coming in ahead of ‘reputation’ and ‘low fees.’  The fact that proactive strategic advice rates so high shows SMBs want a CPA who is a partner in their success and often thinking about their business.” 
  • 47.8% of small businesses would prefer an accountant specializing in their industry while 37.8% don’t care either way and 14.4% require a specialist. 
  • 59% are ”highly satisfied” with their current accountant while 21% are “satisfied” and 20% are “dissatisfied.” 
  • The top five services SMBs are currently receiving include tax return preparation, tax planning, compilation/reviewing/auditing of records, representation at government audit, and bookkeeping. 
  • The top five services SMBs wish their accountants offered include business planning, business strategy, the creation of a business dashboard, business analytics, and tax planning. 
  • The top three preferred methods of communication with accountants are by (in order of preference) email, phone and in person. 
  • The top two reasons SMBs leave their accountants are 1. a lack of proactive advice as opposed to reactive advice, and 2. accountants exhibited poor responsiveness. 
  • SMBs want help in strategic planning and technology but don’t believe their accountants want to provide those services.  The article explains, “When it comes to technology planning, almost two-thirds of respondents said they ‘never’ seek out advice from their CPA, showing SMBs don’t believe accountants have the expertise in technology to provide such advice.”

So what does this survey suggest? Focus your efforts on providing those additional services SMBs desire, like strategic business and tax planning.  Also, consider the importance of becoming a Growth and Profit Expert, helping clients tackle problems proactively while making more strategic and lucrative business decisions.  And gaining expertise in technology will also help you respond to one of their most pressing needs.

UAC’s Training Programs Can Help

Our convenient and practical online training programs can respond to all these demands, helping you become a Profit and Growth Expert, provide tax planning services, and master QuickBooks, the leading software used by small-business owners.

The Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program enables you to do what most accountants can’t: specialize in small-business accounting services.  After just 60 hours, you can become a Profit and Growth Expert, a financial advisor who enhances and/or turns around promising small businesses by providing direction in controlling cash effectively, reducing and minimizing expenses and increasing revenue.

Tax Preparation is just the first part of the Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) Program; you will also learn how to advise businesses to structure their organization to reduce their tax burden. You will assist them to strategically place themselves in a position today that will reap tax rewards next year. While tax preparation peaks around the tax return deadline, there is great money to be made all year long optimizing organizations to take advantage of tax benefits and exemptions.

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting.  Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers.  Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your offerings.  With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the credibility you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding bookkeeper and trusted technology advisor!

Respond to small business accounting wants and needs by enrolling in these three outstanding programs today.  Call Universal now at 1-877-833-7908 to become a full-service financial provider.

 

Resource

Sleeter, Doug.  “What SMBs Want from Their Accountant – 2014 Update.” 9 April 2014  www.sleeter.com

Start Your Day with 3 Questions

questionSo much depends on the mindset with which you start each day.  And a great way to begin is with some powerful questions that can launch you in the right direction.

Matthew Toren, in a recent Entrepreneur.com article, shares “3 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily as Your Roll Out of Bed.”  The purpose, he explains, is to help “you be prepared for opportunities throughout the day by keeping your eyes open to possibility when there are inevitable challenges.”

His three questions can help you focus your efforts as you move through each work day:

1. Who can I help today? Human nature finds most of us to be self-serving, beginning each day worrying about what we need to get done.  But when we begin the day with this question, our focus is immediately removed from ourselves and onto ways we can help others.  As Toren explains, “it is tantamount to you saying, ‘I’ve got something to offer.  I’ve got something to give.’”  And that idea—the idea that we can offer value to others—is as empowering as it is inspiring.

2. What can I do better today?  There are ways in which we can all improve, but how likely are we to follow-through without daily reminders of specific actions we can take.  This question reminds us about the importance of continual improvement and progress.  As Toren says, “It’s not about being perfect or fake—it’s about trying to make each day’s efforts a little better than yesterday’s efforts.”

3. How can I create value today?  While we talked about offering value in the first question, this particular question is designed to help you consider ways in which you can improve your work as an entrepreneur.  You want to ensure that the services you provide are valuable to all your clients.  Asking this question every day will remind you of client needs and how you can best fulfill them.

Your Options and Your Earning Potential

Becoming a tax preparer enables you to expand your service offerings, providing more value to current and prospective clients.  Universal Accounting Center’s tax training program can make that easy.

Our Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program includes the following:

  • Informative video instruction
  • Full 1040 training
  • Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
  • One year follow-up Support from expert tax preparers

The PTP course consists of 20 hours of video training accessible online. Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability. Our instructors know what challenges you will face because they have been there themselves.

You can answer all these questions with one program. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today!

Resource

Toren, Matthew.  “3 Questions to Ask Yourself Daily as Your Roll Out of Bed.”  10 July 2014 Entrepreneur.com

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