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April 18 Tax Filing Deadline - How to Create End of Year Reports and Accountants Copy in QuickBooks

Brianna Loftin - Friday, March 17, 2017

The tax deadline is fast approaching.  Here are instructions on how to get your small business ready to file your taxes using Intuit QuickBooks. 

Prepare End of Year Reports

1. Open QuickBooks App. Click "Reports," "Profit & Loss Standard" and then "Company & Financials." Select "Last Fiscal Year" in the "Transaction Date" drop-down list, and then click "Run Report." After viewing the report, Print, so that you can use it easily while preparing your tax return.

2. Click "Reports" on the toolbar, and then select "Accountant & Taxes." Choose "Last Tax Year" in the "Transaction Date" drop-down list and click "Run Report." Print if you need.

3. Click "Reports," select "Vendors & Payables" and then click "1099 Summary." Then Print your "1099 Summary."

Creating an Accountants Copy 

1. Open QuickBooks, and then click "File" on the menu bar. Select "Accounts Copy," and then click "Save File."

2. Select the "Accountants Copy" option, and then click "Next." Select the last day of the tax year in the "Dividing Date" control box and click "Next."

3. Click the "Save In" drop-down list, and then navigate to the folder where you want to save the accountant copy of the QuickBooks backup. Type a descriptive file name for the QuickBooks file in the "File Name" field. Click the "Save" button to save the accountant's copy of the file.

4. Copy the accountant's copy of the your company QuickBooks data file to an external hard drive or flash drive, and then give the device to your accountant or bookkeeper. Or email the accountant's copy of the file.

QuickBooks Hosting - Access your QuickBooks Anywhere

If you would like for your accountant to access your company files remotely and easily, you may want to look into having your QuickBooks Application hosted so that anyone that needs access can do so easily from any internet connected device. 

Call (866)710-4228, or send an email for more information, or to get started.

Daylight Saving Time Fact and Myth - Why do we do this Again?

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Our office is re-enacting the annual, "so why do we have daylight saving time again?" story-line.  

I jokingly stated that, whoever came up with the idea of DST, obviously didn't have kids. My boss retorted that it was instated to keep kids from having to take the bus in the dark. Of course I added the common misconception, that it was the farmers that wanted DST so that they could increase their hours of working in the fields, way before buses were even imagined. Apparently I was wrong, and farmers were actually deeply opposed to the time change.  

Another fallacy about the origin of DST is that it was brought about by Benjamin Franklin. He was an incredible man and inventor, but also witty, which was his intent when writing his satirical essay about changing sleep schedules so that Parisians could save money by waking at dawn and utilizing sunshine, rather than staying up late burning through candles.  

Like much of our ingenuity, DST was actually brought about to conserve electricity because of wartime measures during WWI. We have continued to implement the time change so that children do not have to go to school in the dark, and of course walk uphill both ways.  

So it turns out that we all had pieces of the story correct, but not the whole picture. Unfortunately this is ubiquitous for much of history, and society needs to do a much better job of remembering, so that we don't repeat past mistakes, even if it is just not repeating the same discussion you had before. 

My Sources



Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - Links to Your Favorite Events

Brianna Loftin - Friday, March 03, 2017

There is a buzzing and delicious smell in the air, you know what that means for Houston, TX,  The largest Rodeo in the world is here and in full swing!  

I am not sure that I can choose between my favorite aspects, the delicious Barbecue which is definitely a front runner, I can just taste the smoked sausage, brisket and delicious grilled corn. 

Muttin Bustin'  is probably my favorite Rodeo attraction.  The Livestock Show has pretty much something for everyone,and they have my the best petting zoo. There is a wide variety of animals (not just goats), that are all well taken care of, and not obese from over feeding. 

Definitely grab your tickets for your favorite, artist or just the carnival, we welcome all y'all to come visit and enjoy the show!  



Top 5 Reasons to Perform Maintenance of Your Act! Database

Brianna Loftin - Monday, February 20, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Perform Maintenance:

1. Ensure that backups are being performed

2. Minimizes “Break/Fix” cost surprises

3. Optimizes database performance

4. Identifies potential issues before they occur

5. Keeps you informed on what’s going on in your database

Tandem CloudTop will help you perform these items:

  • Scheduled Maintenance is Performed
  • Act! Certified Consultants Review Your Database
  • Issues Addressed Before they Become Major Problems.
  • Professional Communication with IT and Management Keep Parties “In the Know”
  • Keep You Focused on Business, Not Maintenance
  • Hosting on Tandem Servers is also Available

Call for more information about Act! Support and Hosting (866)710-4228 or send us an email.



CRM Training - Getting Everyone on the Same Page

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, February 16, 2017


CRM Training can be Implemented and Help your Company Immediately
A Customer Relationship System can greatly impact your business efficacy, but everyone must use it. If you just set it up, must people will use it for about a week, and then go back to the way they were accustomed to navigating their duties. You must train employees and management how to use the CRM, and provide informative tools so that they understand that the new system is actually a useful tool and not busy work. Proper use of the CRM system will help your business grow and help you get the most out of your CRM.

A CRM will Keep your Company Organized
There are so many things you can learn about what your CRM system can do and how to make the system function at the highest level. CRM training keeps your organization up and running by allowing you to put useful data in order. When the training is done you will have some great ideas and be on your way to using the data and CRM system effectively.  A good CRM will make mundane processes automated and allow management to track what areas are productive and what needs work.

Working Together with CRM will Increase Sales
During the training, your CRM provider will teach everyone about parts of the CRM that are essential to your customized industry. When every employee works together to use this new system, it will make the overall work load easier. The trainer will offer suggestions at the project inception that will get everyone excited about the possibilities of the new system.

With CRM Training You Can be On Your Own in No Time
A CRM may seem difficult to implement at first but, it is just a minor adjustment and well worth the effort in the end. Co-workers will see dramatic results after using the new system for a period of time. Continued training is always essential because it will allow everyone to focus on new ways to improve the company and the CRM.

We specialize in Act! CRM, and currently offer high quality remote and on-site training. Call to see how Act! can help your business (866)710-4228 or send us an email.



QuickBooks Standard Hosting Provider - Can I access the Cloud using my own QuickBooks License?

Brianna Loftin - Friday, February 03, 2017

Tandem CloudTop's QB Hosting allows end-users to have their QuickBooks Desktop software installed on Secure Servers in an Authorized US Based Hosting Datacenter, and then access that software over the Internet on a Virtual Desktop via a secure connection.

Cloud Hosting gives you access to your QuickBooks Desktop and company files from multiple locations. You can easily update your data file when you're on the road. Additional features include:

  • Automated backups performed nightly
  • Password-protected connections
  • Off-site storage helps prevent data loss
  • Save Money without onsite server costs and low IT cost
  • Save Time - network will be maintained for you
  • 2GB per user for data storage - additional storage available

Tandems Platform includes:

  • access to multiple company files
  • local drives
  • local time zones
  • local printers

Don't mess around with other competitors who outsource their support and servers. Call (866)710-4228 or email us to get started.  




Millennial Working for a Baby Boomer - Is there a Generational Gap?

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

My boss is a baby Boomer that was born at the very end of his generation, and I am a millennial born near the beginning of mine.  It has become custom office policy to rag on Millennials for being lazy. The only problem with this is that the jokes were funny at first, but now they have lost their punch and just sound like unfounded complaints. So now as a millennial I get to tease the baby boomer for being out of fresh jokes. Of course he is the boss, so I probably shouldn't poke too hard, and show some respect, nah what am I thinking, I'm a millennial - I have no morals!

I have heard of training seminars on "How to Work with Millennials " This seems like a scheme to prey on headlines about the newly tagged generation. You don't need to be trained how to deal with us, just get to know us by talking like you would to any other human being.  I promise we wont bite, but you should be nice because you may be live streamed in the act, if you aren't. 

Every generation is different from their predecessors. Sometimes the changes seem alarming, but we are all humans, inherent with flaws, but mostly want the best for our society. I recall hearing the Greatest Generation being appalled by the Baby Boomers, shaking their hips like the heathen, Elvis Presley.  In today's environment this seems like a silly thought, and they were just dancing to great music. Currently the senior generations are worried about today's dance moves being too provocative and sexual. 

No matter what generation you were born, your successors will undoubtedly perform some acts that you find disgraceful. Many people do not like change, but the younger generations always try to assert their independence, but they always turn out okay. I promise, the world will not end when inherited by the Millennial Generation... although these Post Millennials will undoubtedly bring about utter chaos.
 


Swiftpage Act! - The Difference Between Act! Subscription and Perpetual License

Brianna Loftin - Monday, January 30, 2017

Swiftpage has recently moved to a new pricing and sales platform for Act! CRM. While this may seem confusing at first, you will quickly realize the simplicity generated and the benefits added to only maintaining one version.

    • The Subscription is what you are used to elsewhere (ie: MS Office 365, Netflix, Adobe, etc.) with a monthly option or an annual option at a discount (two months free). Should you let the license lapse, you relinquish access to Act! and it turns off.
    • Perpetual licensing allows you to “buy” the license. Should you decide not to renew after a year, then you keep the rights to the license at the version most current at the end of your term. When you renew, you will have the choice to either subscribe or pass.
    • All licenses, Subscription and Perpetual, have the same functional features.  Includes Act! technical support at the level formerly known as Silver. The new Gold is a premium support plan you can add on to your purchase for $5.00 per user per month, flat, regardless of the number of users. Support is included for Tandem Hosting Customers, which is superior in quality. Training is also available from Tandem.
    • Auto-update. Built into the new release is the option to be notified when an update is available, with a link to the download. By default this option is active, but notifications can be modified in Tools>Preferences for administrators.
    • Pricing. You will notice that the price, relative to years passed, is about the same. Most models are no more than 9% higher, some are less, including support. Swiftpage has added 90 positions, while also improving the quality of the techs and anticipating the requirements of users joining the subscription model.
    • We are recommending that you continue to renew your subscription so that you don't lose access to your information or have to pay for the license again in the future.
Call (866)710-4228 or Send an Email for more information.


TOP 7 REASONS YOU NEED A CRM - Keeping Better Track of Your Customers

Brianna Loftin - Friday, January 20, 2017

If you are realizing that you need to do a better job of keeping track of your clients, a CRM is essential, here are 7 reasons why:

1. Centralized Information - One of the most obvious reasons that a CRM is apparent in today's work environment is having your information centralized. Customer information does nobody any good when it is stored in separate laptops, accessible only to users on that machine. Emails are usually stored in a single system, but are invisible to other people who work with the same clients. Communicating through a CRM allows everyone in your organization to see and keep up with what is happening with a given client. No one will look unprepared if they missed a discussion or critical meeting. Every piece of information can be made available to everyone who needs to know, and conversely you can keep certain files separate, by changing access privileges for users. 

2. Paper Solutions are Not Sufficient - Are you one of those people who has collections of business cards and 3-ring binders full of notes in their office?  Its easy to grab a pen and paper to jot down notes quickly, but even easier to lose that scrap of crucial information. You can’t type a phrase into a file cabinet and have it arrange your information so that it shows just the contacts who meet your criteria. You can send a paper marketing mail out, but you won’t get the attention of people who check their email twenty times a day for every time they check their post. CRM technology is as critical part of any successful business.

3. No Data Loss - In addition to paper notes being mislaid, disorganized, or discarded. Data is even vulnerable when it is stored on your laptop or desktop, or on your office server. Servers can crash. Hard drives can fail. But a good CRM solution, administered by a good CRM provider, will be structured in a secure manner on servers that are maintained and backed up regularly. The advent of cloud computing brings you data anywhere and anytime, so long as you can access a connection. No matter where you are in the world, the critical customer data you gather is immediately accessible to your colleagues in every location needed.

4. Coordinate the Present - Using what you’ve learned about the relationship you have with your customers, you can make your business into a responsive and confident authority. You can design programs that give your customers the right kind of customer service experience. You can get sales and support staff talking to each other so that they can work together to give customers only what they want. You can use customer feedback to tell you where your resources are best spent. You can use past sales history to suggest what potential maintenance issues a customer might be facing. In addition, you can plan your time using built-in calendar and task management so that every process is done right the first time.

5. Quickly Understand the Past - There’s really no good way to look back into the history of your relationship with a customer without using CRM technology. If you want to look back in time and understand how things have progressed, you need a solution that tracks all of their communication, history, and issues. You’ll be able to save clients by knowing how to anticipate their needs and forestall common problems. You’ll be able to create marketing materials based on purchase and communication history.

6. Stay Organized in the Present - You can design programs that give your customers the right kind of customer service experience. You can get sales and support staff talking to each other so that they can work together to give customers what they will need next. You can use customer feedback to tell you where your resources are best spent.  In addition, you can plan your time using built-in calendar and task management so that every process is done right the first time.

7. Predict the Future - Once you understand the past, and know what to do in the present, you will have a reasonably good idea what your efforts now will give rise to in the future. You can use past sales history to suggest what potential maintenance issues a customer might be facing.  Things that used to come as complete surprises will be explainable, and you can plan for them, when you know why and how they happened. The better your data is in your history, and the better you track your campaigns, projects, and events, the more you can know about what is likely to happen. 

For more information on a CRM to suit your needs call (866) 710-4228 or send us an email.


Cycling to the Office - Top 5 Reasons to ride your Bike to Work

Brianna Loftin - Friday, January 06, 2017

I recently started riding my bike to work, and have already seen the myriad of benefits, even though work is only one mile away.  

Weight loss - The combination of cardio and resistance from pedaling has already made me shed pounds which everyone noticed right away. Plus I have built up muscles that aren't easy to achieve from other forms of exercise.  

Increased Productivity - There is a natural energy boost from getting fresh air and exercise, which generates more productivity in the workplace. Plus bicycling may be one of the most fun forms of exercise. You can either use it as a utilitarian tool to get you quickly from point A to B or you can do tricks and fun maneuvers all while the wind whips through your hair. Additionally there are fun accessories, like lights and bells.  I am thinking about bringing back the classic noise-making card attached to my spokes with a clothespin. 

Save Money - Bike purchases are a relatively low cost compared to buying a car, plus there are many rental and craigslist options if you really want to save money.  Again, even with a one mile (two both ways) trek, I have noticed a substantial decrease in m weekly gasoline expenses, which also saves me from having to fill up at the pump.  Its takes about a minute more to bike than to drive, and i may even make it in the same time after I gain more stamina. There are also tax incentives to save you cash for your bike upkeep. 

Good for the Environment - Not only is the gas saved easy on your wallet, but it keeps the smog and green house gases down, even a little bit goes a long way.  Plus the more cyclists on the road makes it safer for other riders because drivers are more aware cyclists as a mode of transportation.

I mainly sit down all day, except for water cooler and bathroom breaks, so the bike ride is a no-brainer when its time to leave.  Living in Houston means we never know what weather to expect, yesterday it was about 80 degrees out, now its nearly freezing.  No matter the weather, I dress accordingly; however I wasn't prepared for today's freezing rain for the ride home, but at least I can count on it being an adventure.   




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