How to Learn Accounting without an Accounting Background?

When it comes to business concepts of sales, purchases, and overhead, the first thing that comes to mind is accounting.  Accounting aids in making informed and strategic decisions that help in businesses grow in the right direction and at the right time.

As a subject, Accounting may be considered quite tough to grasp as it requires meticulous financial recordings and tedious ledger management, coupled with complex concepts that need intensive practice. While this is true to some extent, learning accounting is not impossible as it is based upon basic math skills. With our comprehensive and easy-to-learn accounting guide, you can get started and manage your business details and finances or get your dream job.

 

Capitalize on E-Learning Programs and Online Courses

In this digitally advanced age, everything has evolved. Now ordering food is just a click away, entertainment modes have become immensely diverse, and even education has shifted to online mediums. So, why not avail the opportunity and get started with any of the e-learning programs offered by numerous well-known schools, universities and colleges.

Learning online is more convenient than the conventional college-going experience. The world is now a global village with no boundaries, and any prospective learner from any educational background can enroll in their desired e-learning courses. These online programs are well developed as per modern market needs, ranging from basics to advanced levels. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunity and build your skills by learning from famous institutions like The University of Michigan, Udemy, Coursera, MIT, and many more that too free of cost!

For accounting, the options are simple with courses like the following to consider:

Choose a Suitable Learning Method

Several learning options like online learning, YouTube videos, e-learning diploma programs, and onsite learning are available. But, every prospect has its pros and cons. One must pick the most suitable medium as per our requirements. So, before selecting any accounting learning programs, one needs to consider the following factors:

  • When it comes to learning supplementary skills like accounting, computer basics, language, or any soft skills, budget is one of the significant factors that impact the preferences of aspiring students. E-learning programs are very cheap, and most of the time, fundamental courses are less costly. So, select your desired lessons as per your learning requirements and budget.
  • Analyze and decide beforehand the key gains that you desire from your accounting course and keep track of your learning and professional outcomes even during as well as after the completion of your online course
  • Management is the most substantial aspect of after-college learning or supplementary education. So, organize your calendar accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Knowing your optimal learning style and habits is also crucial. Some people are good kinesthetic learners, while some are auditory or visual learners. So, select courses as per your learning styles to connect with like-minded peers. This approach will amplify your learning capacity manifold!

Follow the learning method compatible with your coveted outcomes, budget, learning style, and schedule.

 

Devote Time to Learning

Irrespective of the learning methodology you choose, devote ample time to it. Accounting concepts construct gradually, so investing enough time in deep learning each topic is crucial to building a conceptual foundation.  Avoid rushing while learning basics as a strong foundation needs clear concepts. Keep practicing accounting problems daily as that will enable you to progress toward your desired educational goal.

 

Concentrate on Real-World Application

Keep in mind that learning accounting equations and principles does not require memorization. Accounting is the game of practice, so always apply your understanding to real-world problems. For instance, online accounting courses incorporate a case-based teaching methodology that provides the students with an opportunity to take on real business problems and real-world challenges.

Furthermore, attempt to recreate scenarios that you might have experienced during the course of your career. Applying concepts and equations to subjective experiences can help learners connect with real-world problems and practical solutions. It is also significant to understand accounting is not something one can understand overnight; it needs time and repeated practice.

 

Do Network with Accounting Professionals

When we connect with the peers and professionals from our relevant field, it gives us more analytical and practical insights about the subject. Such communities not only help hone our accounting skills but also provide motivation and support. These accounting networks are supportive platforms for newbies as they have also experienced similar challenges in the past and are open to helping others through their accounting journey. Along with professional growth, accounting networks also develop a community spirit and sense of belonging amongst online learners.

 

Wrapping Up

Whenever we learn a new skill, the most notable aspect is to take control of that learning. Before taking on something that is not quite compatible with our educational background, degree, and experiences, we need to put aside the inevitable fear and be prepared to move outside our comfort zone.

Learning the fundamentals of accounting will not only help you diversify your skillset, boost your confidence and performance in organizations but will also assist you in making more intelligent decisions. Therefore, whether you want to supervise your finances or are interested in pursuing a book-keeping or an accountant job in your dream organization, learning and practicing the basics of accounting can help get you started.

Now, consider the perfect solution for you to excel in your accounting career and get paid what you are worth.

Author Bio: 
Maliha Safiullah is a Former Correspondent for 60 Minutes, Channel Nine Australia and is a published writer having worked as a Feature Writer for Dawn News, Pakistan.

A Successful Business Website

8 Tips in Turning Your Site into a Marketing Force

If you don’t already have a website, you should get one. Progressive businesses have an internet presence; it speaks volumes of their professionalism and ability to keep up with current trends. A good website will represent you well and increase your clientele. It will also work 24/7 as a virtual receptionist, getting the word out about your business while you spend your time doing what you do best: tax preparation. And if well developed, your business website can act as an inexpensive marketing tool and a good point of contact. It can also help to further brand your business.As you consider building a new website or enhancing a current one, refer to the following 8 tips in turning your site into a marketing force:

1. Clearly state who you are and what you do.

While most visitors will probably land on your website because you gave them your URL or they performed an internet search on tax preparers, there will be some who will immediately want to know who you are and what you do. This information should be easy to access from your homepage. Also be sure to include easy-to-find contact information. Your website’s ultimate objective is to enable people to retain your services. They can’t do that unless they know who you are and how to contact you.

2. Ensure your website is easily accessible.

You want your target market to be able to access your website with ease. This means you must design it in such a way that your typical visitor would be able to download your site without expending too much time or energy. And no matter what you do, test your site to ensure others can access it without any problems. This will require you to test the site on different computers using different browsers, but it will be well worth your time.

3. Use a clean, professional design.

How do you respond to Power Point Presentations with neon text, flashing graphics, and nifty rollover effects? It may be hypnotic at first, but can quickly become distracting. While you want your site to be visually appealing, you need to remember that your content is on display, not the clever programming.

Your navigation should also be clear. The internet is all about quick and easy access to data. If your navigation slows users down, chances are they won’t hang around to find the information they’re looking for; they’ll go to a website that’s more transparent.

4. Include valuable content.

Visitors will continually return if they find valuable content on your website. If you provide valuable tax tips for the small business owner, you’ll find they use your site as a reference and perhaps even bookmark it. And when they need professional tax help who do you think they’ll go to? You, of course!

5. Update regularly.

Nothing is more frustrating to users than an out-of-date website that lists old promotions and dated information. While this may take some time, it will totally pay off in internet traffic.

6. Ensure all the links, etc. work properly.

This tip is closely related to number five. Broken links, missing graphics, and malfunctioning navigation communicate a sloppy regard for your internet visitors. And even though it’s unintended, it will reflect poorly on your tax preparation skills as well.

7. Include exclusive website promotions.

Reward your internet visitors by offering special promotions. Consider providing them with a free tax consultation that will afford you the opportunity to further promote your value as a tax professional.

8. Distribute your URL.

A website will do you no good unless you promote it. There are inexpensive ways to get your website out there. Here are just a few:

  • Put the URL on your business cards
  • Include the URL with your email signature
  • Issue a press release in your local paper
  • Whenever possible, get other websites to link to your site
  • Submit your site to directory listings
  • Include the URL in your Yellow-page listing
  • Include the URL on your stationary

Universal Accounting Center Can Help You Create a Custom Website for Your Practice

Imagine how difficult it would be to create your own website with all the above features without spending much of your own time managing the process. Now imagine that UAC can manage that process for you, enabling you to create a strong web presence without expending much energy. Universal Accounting Center (UAC) has recently released an expanded and improved Accountweb website development tool, available exclusively for accounting, tax, and bookkeeping professionals. Within a number of business days you can create a personalized website for your practice, enabling potential clients to access your business even after your office closes.To see a sample of a website developed from the Universal Accountweb platform, go to www.universalaccountingservices.com.Whether you run a full-time practice or do taxes on the side, you need a website that tells potential clients about your business even when you are unable to. If you haven’t yet developed a website for your business, today is the day! Order your subscription now-your website will be up and running by the following business week. And if you are a Universal Accounting student you will receive a free six-month trial!

IRS Warns of “Phishing” Scam

fraudOn September 24th, the IRS issued a press release warning financial institutions of scams designed to steal FATCA-related account data.  Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently requested Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) holder identity and financial account information.  The press release emphasizes that the IRS does not require institutions to provide such data over the phone, by fax or via email.  Nor does the IRS ever require FATCA registration passwords or other confidential account access information.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen explains, “Tax scams using the IRS name can take many forms and they are not limited by national borders.  People should always be cautious before sending sensitive information to anyone.”

Reports of such fraud have been reported in multiple countries and continents.  Those targeted are financial institutions registered to comply with FATCA and those in jurisdictions required to uphold intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to implement FATCA.

These types of fraudulent requests qualify as “phishing” scams, and anyone who suspects having been likewise approached are asked to report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or through the TIGTA secure website.  For more information, please visit the official IRS website.

Become an Official Tax Professional

Tax preparation is a lucrative business.  Consider that first-time preparers submit tax forms for 50 clients, charging an average of $150 each.  They make, roughly, $7500 working the 45 days before April 15th, and that’s before they have had much time to build a solid clientele.  For many people, this represents 3 months of salary.  That’s an appealing career path for many individuals.

Whether you want to earn a significant amount of money on the side or start your own full-time tax practice, you can appreciate the value of comprehensive tax preparation training.

The Professional Tax Preparer Program 

UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will enable you to become proficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  The PTP provides you with the following:

  • Convenient online training
  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • Hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S)
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee 

The Value of Tax Training

In today’s world of complex tax laws and increasing tax fraud occurrences, like the one described above, tax payers are looking for specialists with credentials.  It affords clients peace of mind to know that the individual they’re working with is qualified and knowledgeable.  It also affords the tax preparer peace of mind to know they’ve been properly trained.  Universal recognizes the value of a professional designation and awards Professional Tax Preparer Certification to those who successfully pass the final exam with a score of 90% or higher.

The program is comprised of the following 4 modules with their corresponding topics: 

  1. Module I establishing the Tax foundation
  2. Module II Becoming the 1040 Expert
  3. Module III Profitable Business Returns
  4. Module IV Building Your Successful Tax Practice 

A Lucrative Investment

Acquiring tax preparation skills not only affords you the opportunity to earn upwards of $100 per hour, but it exposes you to a limitless potential client base.  The fact that nearly every adult and business in the nation must report their tax liability on a yearly bases means that your tax preparation skills will be very appealing to a significant population.  And as your practice grows, so will your income.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll now!

Resource

–.  “IRS Warns Financial Institutions of Scams Designed to Steal FATCA-Related Account Data.”  24 September 2014  IRS.gov

Strategic Budgeting

cut-costsAs a financial professional you probably think you’ve got your budget under control.  You know numbers and watch your spending to ensure that you are managing your money well.  But unless you’re applying crucial budgeting strategies, you’re not using this valuable tool to its full advantage. 

Here are 5 tips that will help:

1. Ensure your budget aligns with your business strategy. This may seem obvious, but in the day-to-day tasks required in business management, strategy may be forgotten.  There are fires to put out, emergency expenses to pay, and last-minute purchases to make.  So unless you’re vigilantly monitoring your outflow, your strategy may be nickel and dimed into extinction.

If you don’t yet have a strategy, now is the time to develop one.  Does your business require more aggressive marketing techniques?  Are you attempting to grow your firm by hiring a support staff?  Or do you want to focus on retaining current clients?  Whatever your strategy, you should devise a budget that supports and sustains it.

2. Assess your Chart of Accounts. As a financial professional, you are likely familiar with the Chart of Accounts.  The Chart of Accounts enables you to set up categories that align with your management strategies.  It also enables you to establish a healthy balance between control and responsibility regarding business spending.

3. Establish accountability.  Anyone responsible for spending within your business needs to be accountable for their choices.  You may currently be the only person responsible.  However, it’s important that you acknowledge and assess your spending and then make any necessary changes.  You may determine that your budgetary items are best distributed among control areas like marketing, skills development, client retention, management, etc.  This may provide you with more control over outflow.

4. Regularly review your budget. Establishing a budget and then ensuring that it aligns with your business strategy is only part of this valuable process.  The true benefit of budgeting comes when you regularly review your budget with key players in your business.  In your review you can compare budgeted expenses with actual expenses and discuss discrepancies.  You can also talk with those responsible for various expenses and see how they might revise some of their spending choices.  This is also a good time to implement necessary changes and assess any changes implemented since your last budgetary review.

5. Revise as necessary.  A budget is not set in stone.  As mentioned in the previous tip, as you assess and review your progress it’s important that you make necessary changes.  In fact, that’s the beauty of budgeting.  As you monitor your income and outflow, you can make changes that will influence the future profitability of your business.

As a tax preprarer you may assume that you’ve been using this tool to its full advantage.  But if you haven’t been applying the above tips, you may be missing out of some of the best benefits of budgeting.

QuickBooks Made Profitable

Budgeting isn’t the only tool you can use to increase your business’s profitability.  Our program, QuickBooks Made Profitable, will teach you just how to use QuickBooks accounting software to attract and retain more clients.

Nearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks software.  While other programs may be useful, QuickBooks has definitely captured the small business market.  Mastering QuickBooks will not only enable you to better manage your budget and keep more efficient records, but it will also help you teach your clients how to use the software so that you can get the information you need which, making your job much easier.  This program will teach you how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profits.  What client wouldn’t be interested in that?  We’ll teach you how to use this valuable software package to generate more income!

Don’t wait to grow your business and experience the success your budget will certainly help you achieve.  There are countless potential clients out there in need of these specific services.  You can be the one to provide them.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order QuickBooks Made Profitable today!

 

Commissioner Danny Werfel Speaks at IRS Nationwide Tax Forum

On July 30th, newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel spoke at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in Dallas, Texas.  There he addressed key IRS accomplishments and struggles while sharing his vision for the Internal Revenue Service as the organization continues to move forward and fulfill its obligations and responsibilities.

Werfel took the time to acknowledge the IRS’s accomplishments, which he believes have been overlooked amidst recent controversy.  He praised the organization’s ability to continually manage the submission of returns in a fairly seamless fashion regardless of the growing complexity of the tax code.  Also, Werfel felt the IRS’s ability to complete a successful 2012 filing season—collecting more than $2.5 trillion to fund the federal government—following significant budget cuts was commendable. Other notable accomplishments included the following:

  • Improved international tax compliance
  • Modernization of IRS technology to ensure improved filing experiences
  • Efforts to eliminate identify theft and refund fraud, including the resolution of more than 565,000 cases, three times the number resolved last year at this same time
  • Expansion of fraud detection efforts
  • Upcoming deployment of a new Enterprise Risk Management Program to detect and address risk across the IRS

Werfel took a considerable amount of time to address his concern over recent budget cuts and the impact it will have on the IRS.  He expressed his concern in the following statement:

“Ultimately, I believe a high-performing IRS is in the best interest of the nation. To be high-performing, we must be able to invest for the future in areas such as strategic hiring, critical training, and further technology modernization. We will also lose critical institutional knowledge and compromise overall productivity if we fail to replace departing staff. Thus, before such cuts are implemented in response to potential IRS waste, we must carefully consider the state of IRS spending today to determine if such waste persists, and the impact that such cuts will have on the core mission of taxpayer service and enforcement.”

Werfel continually praised the efforts of dedicated IRS employees and took the time, at the close of his speech, to commend their efforts.  He explained, “It is easy to forget that, in the middle of the tempest in Washington that we have found ourselves in, there are thousands of dedicated employees and leaders, who have no connection to the events of the past few months…”

Universal Accounting’s Tax Training

UA’s Professional Tax Preparer program will help you establish yourself as a trained and trustworthy tax professional.  You can earn the Professional Tax Preparer Designation will receiving up to 60 CPE credits, depending on the number of modules you complete.

Acquire the expertise necessary to become a Professional Tax Preparer.  UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will not only give you hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S), but it will also provide you with the following:

  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • 2 instructional manuals
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee

Call 1-877-833-7909 to enroll today, and improve your competitive advantage while securing your professional standing in the tax industry.

Resource

–.  “Prepared Remards of Danny Werfel, Principal Deputy Commissioner, Before the 2013 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum.” 30 July 2013  IRS.gov

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