3 Steps for Accountants to Balance Work and Home Life

Accounting practice is on a progress march, and while the hot topic of conversation is to work towards the complex advisory path, it might not be a suitable option for everyone. Embracing cloud technology has already turned the accounting landscape over its head, and has proven to be a performance booster. The popular use of smart accounting processes, like QuickBooks hosting solutions, has improved collaboration among team members.

While it is important to embrace the change and grab the opportunity to be successful on this path, your success is not defined only by your advisory journey. Identifying your strengths and working to add value to the community with your services is an essential task. Also, you might have found a specialization for you that has a potential to grow, even if its local. If you are comfortable with your current scenario, then it is great.

Work smarter, not harder – that is the key to improve your practice. No need to add on to your already piling workload this tax season if it will not help you professionally. Although cloud accounting and the ease of internet has made work more manageable, here are few steps to achieve the much coveted work-life balance.

1. Find an expertise

While it is good to be the “Jack of all trades, master of none”, it is not very practical in the accounting landscape. Yes, it is a lucrative idea to offer all kinds of services, but becoming an expert in one field and making your name for it offers another opportunity. Select one (or two) complex services to make your specialty and advise your clients on.

Many firms offer to do your taxes in the tax season — they promise to help save your money for a price. And, their marketing strategies to reach the target audience through radio and internet are taking the cake. Management is easier with cloud based QuickBooks. The thing to learn here is, know what your clients need and find your expertise.

How is this related to work-life balance? Well, a balanced work practice will resonate a balance home life. Thus, it is crucial to have a stable workflow that eliminates financial stress and provides satisfaction.

2. Create your clientele

Once you have made a foundation and discovered your niche, next is creating a client base. Be proactive in how you manage your client base, make your expertise your selling point. Target the type of clients you want, manage the messy ones, continue to acquire more — this is a certain way to ensure continuous growth of your revenue.

Another upcoming trend is to specialize in an industry, a vertical niche. A few firms do this, and they do it really well. For example, if you have many restaurants and cafes as clients, you can call yourself an expert for the restaurant business. This means you have a deep understanding of the work processes, budgets, and profits so that you can advise them for their business growth accordingly. Once you establish yourself as an expert in a particular area, people from that industry would prefer to be a client of your firm as you endorse better handling of their business process.

3. Priorities and Choices

It may seem difficult to achieve that work-life balance, with so much to be done and so little time. The primary thing is to clear your priorities. Do you really need another house? It is your choice to make your life smooth or keep it a constant struggle. Your priority must be to plan your life keeping in mind the daily activities and responsibilities — both at home and in the office — and weave your long-term goals in between. Financial trouble must not strain your daily life.

Achieving that sweet balance of work and home life is simple if you take the right steps toward effective management. Using modern technology like QuickBooks cloud hosting can save your time and money. Strategize your work processes and prioritize both home and work to get that balance.

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Difference Between Payday and Personal Loans in the UK

DEFINITION OF PERSONAL AND PAYDAY LOANS

Most people feel that payday loans and personal loans are one and the same thing, but this is not at all true. They may seem similar, but they have many big differences which set the two options at opposite poles. One should consider the credit and the amount one needs to borrow to know what one qualifies for before one applies for it.

Personal and payday loans are both useful when one requires an extra boost in finances, but this is the only similarity between them. The factors that vary are the term, cost and the amount among other different finances.

DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS

The loan amount also differs when it comes to a comparison between the two. Most banks in the UK do not lend less than 1000 pounds for a 12 month period in case of personal loans.

When it comes to cost comparison, personal ones are considerably cheaper with a maximum APR of 29.9% but one needs to have good and excellent credit. Payday loans can be usually more expensive, but it does not require any strict credit requirement.

When it comes to loan term, personal loans offer around 5 years maximum as the loan tenure. Payday have a shorter term of around two to maybe four weeks that can go upto 12 months.

When it comes to eligibility, personal loans which are offered by credit unions and banks have very strict criteria for eligibility. They generally require borrowers to have a good credit along with a fairly strong financial background. Payday loans seem much more flexible in comparison as lenders only require that the borrowers have a proper and regular source of income for qualifying.

Personal loan lenders are online lenders, banks, peer to peer lenders and credit unions whereas payday loans are offered by those lenders who specialize in check cashing services and short term lending.

PAYDAY OR SHORT TERM LOANS

Payday loans, auto title loans and instalment loans have high fees and rates which could trap a person in a debt cycle. The person could be forced to take a second or even third loan just because they couldn’t pay the first one in the stipulated time limit. Alternatives to short term loans like local resources such as local charities, government agencies and non-profits offer relatively free services for financial needs and also help with rent, food and utilities for those people who are in dire need of it.

One can also get payment extensions by talking with the concerned bill providers regarding an extension or a longer time frame or payment plan if one is behind on his or her payments. One can also take side jobs to catch up on the payment.

COST FOR EACH OPTION

The payment cost varies when it comes to payday loans versus personal loans. The interest rate that you will receive along with the terms is based on the individual’s credit history and if one has collateral or not along with the amount you borrow and the stipulated loan term.

Payday loans whereas have APRs of three or four digits (100%-1000%). The actual total cost depends on the state of living of the borrower. APR represents the yearly cost which is important to note.

DECIDING THE RIGHT TYPE OF LOAN

Deciding whether to opt for a payday loan or a personal loan depends on the amount of money that the individual intends to borrow and it also depends on the person’s credit. If one needs to borrow around 50 pounds to 1000 pounds, he or she can opt for a short term loan as personal loans require the person to borrow a minimum of 1000 pounds to around 2000 pounds.

One must also consider the time factor. Short term loans offer faster times for the turnaround when compared to personal loans as it involves less approval process. Nowadays, more and more personal loan providers are shifting online hence they have almost the same processing speeds similar to short term loans like payday loans.

Credit history is also an important factor. If the borrower has excellent credit scores, they are more likely to save money by obtaining a personal loan at lower interest when compared to a payday loan which will be available at higher cost.

The total cost of the loan depends on the borrower’s monthly payments and also depends on the total amount to be repaid which depends mostly on the interest rate. One should always compare and consider various different options and check on online calculators offered by the lender to see which mode of loan is best suitable for your needs and how much one will need to repay.

ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE

There are many alternative options available to personal loans and payday loans which can be beneficial to the borrower. One can borrow a small sum or amount of money without the need for the borrower taking on a payday loan.

Another short term loan is an installment loan in which the borrower repays the amount in a single lump sum. Thus, personal loans and payday loans for bad credit can be beneficial only when one carefully examines which loan type is best suited for his or her needs.

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Let Us Help You Spring Clean Your Finances!

Since spring has sprung we are taking every opportunity to open our windows and let the fresh air in. Most of us start cleaning out the garage, clean off the outdoor furniture and pack up our old clothes to donate to charity. Why should spring cleaning end with your home? This is the perfect time to tidy up your personal finances as well. Consider these recommendations to “clean” up your finances.

Contribute to your 401(k). Make sure you contribute enough to your 401(k) to qualify for maximum matching funds. Your employer is willing to give you this free money so don’t leave it on the table.

Open and IRA. If you own your own business or work for a company with no retirement plan, open an IRA. You can get big tax breaks from opening this type of retirement plan. If you don’t know which IRA is right for you, you can search “Types of Retirement Plans” at irs.gov.

Rate check your credit cards. The interest rates on your credit cards can have an impact on your balances and have the potential of adding up over time. If your interest rate is increasing your card balances, it’s time to shop around to find a lower rate. Other items that are options for rate checks are mortgage loans, auto loans and even your checking and savings accounts. For a real feeling of gratification, pay off the balance that costs you the high interest. If you want to zero our your balance by the end of the year, divide the amount owed by 7 and pay that amount every month. Can’t bite off that much every month? Move the balance to another card with an introductory rate and pay it off before the deal runs out. Make sure there are no high transfer fees.

Open a savings account. Follow these three steps when opening your savings account:
1. Set a financial goal and timeline.
2. Decide how much to save each month to help you reach your goal.
3. Setup automatic transfers into your savings plan from your checking account. This way the transfer is done for you and you won’t miss the money.

Review your credit report. Make sure your credit reports are free of mistakes. Remember, you are able to order one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can get one free of charge from annualcreditreport.com.

Organize or discard old financial documents. Sort through all your bank statements, invoices, bills and other financial records and keep those that are only necessary. Be aware you need to keep tax returns, canceled checks, receipts and any supporting paperwork for your taxes for at least six years. Make sure you don’t just trash your important documents in the trash without shredding them. You don’t want them to be picked up by an identity thief.

Set up automatic bill pay. Spring-cleaning just isn’t about de-cluttering. It’s about making your financial life more efficient. Set up automatic bill pay and link it to your checking account in an effort to eliminate any chance of missing a payment and paying late fees.

Review your budget. Take a close look at your current budget and decide if you need to make any changes.

Pay off as much debt as possible. Spring is a good time to review your outstanding debts and which loans or credit cards you could pay off. If nothing else, develop a stricter payoff plan. Cleaning up your outstanding debt quickly will put you in a much better financial position for the rest of the year.

Record your financial passwords and store all your records in a secure place. Make sure you’re not using the same password for all your financial accounts. Protect yourself against identity theft by protecting your passwords and other financial documents in an online secure vault.

Be a community steward. Try and make a difference in your community. Believe it or not, giving of yourself to others will make you feel a lot wealthier.

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Brief Discussion on the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

With the introduction of computers and the internet, companies prefer to do sales and marketing in a non-traditional way. Instead of relying on door-to-door sales and marketing, modern businesses prefer to maintain corporate portals where they highlight the products or services meant for marketing and sales. Modern business houses prefer digital marketing to sell products or services as this method of sales and marketing is considered effective yet less laborious. This blog highlights the fundamentals of digital marketing. It also discusses SEO and its role in web marketing.

Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is also known as search engine optimization and it is very important as far as web marketing is concerned. Companies hire the expertise of professional web marketers to sell their products and services. The expert digital marketer uses their skills, strategies to market, and sells products or services. The professionals in the field of digital marketing use SEO to enhance the visibility of client resources like websites, webpages. More visibility of client online resources implies that the business seeking SEO services attracts more web traffic, hence there exist greater chances of lead generation, conversion of leads to sales. If a business manages to convert leads to sales then it implies that it generates business profits.

Benefits of SEO

Following are the benefits of using SEO as part of web-marketing:-

SEO helps a business to enhance its ranking in the various search engine research pages
It helps to attract more and more quality online traffic
It helps to generate leads
Convert leads to sales
SEO contributes to business profitability
Search engine optimization also contributes to branding

Types of SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is of two types and they are as follows:-

On-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO

What is On-Page SEO?

At first, it is important to say that when web marketers do SEO then they deal with client websites or other web resources. On-page SEO is the type of SEO that is done on the website of the client. It deals with keyword research and analysis. In On-page SEO, digital marketing experts require to have skills in writing and posting content for the client website. Such contents include the Title, meta description, body of the content. On-page SEO is associated with using keywords in the website contents. The expert search engine optimizer should make sure that the keywords are well-researched, they are not that competitive but have high online search values. Moreover, the keywords that need to be used in the content should be relevant. For keywords it is important to mention that there are broadly two types of keywords 1) Short-tail keywords 2) Long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are more competitive than long-tail keywords and hence the chances of converting leads to sales are low with short-tail keywords. It is always advised to use long-tail keywords in website content while doing on-page SEO. Besides, on-page digital marketing also involves search engine indexing so that a website or a link has higher visibility in the search engine results pages.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO also deals with search engine optimization activities that are outside a website. Off-page search engine optimization deals with link-building. Proper link-building of a website can enhance the DA (Domain Authority), PA (Page Authority), PR (Page Rank) of the website. It implies greater exposure of the client business, more lead-generations, and conversions. For more information on Off-page web marketing visit relevant websites available online.

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Understanding The Significance of Content Writing in SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is very important for the growth of a business. Web marketers or SEO specialists who are responsible for doing the search engine optimization of client websites require adopting SEO strategies to enhance the visibility of the website in the various search engine results pages. The website visibility depends on how well the SEO expert conducts on-page as well as off-page optimization of the client website. In the context of on-page or off-page search engine optimization, it is important to understand that the emphasis is always on the website contents. It is important that the content for on-page as well as off-page search engine optimization is well written with proper distribution of keywords, anchor text. The objective is to attract more and more web traffic to a business. From this angle the significance of content writing and content writers is high when it comes to search engine optimization.

Tips on Writing SEO Contents

This blog discusses how you should write content while doing on-page or off-page SEO activities.

On-Page Content Writing

if you are focussing on on-page activities then you know that you have to write high-quality content for your website pages. The objective is to attract more and more traffic to your business. Understand that greater traffic implies higher lead-generation and subsequently greater conversion of leads to sales. While writing on-page content like the content for a website’s about-us page, you require to be very specific about your business, you require to highlight your business objective. While writing the content you can use anchor text as and where required. The links that you use need to be relevant. There should not be an overuse of keywords. The keyword distribution should not exceed 1%-3% in the entire content. If you follow these rules then you discover that your website content is presentable and attracts more and more online traffic.

Off-page Content Writing

Off-page search engine optimization means link building. Link building in SEO is very important as it helps to enhance the page rank of a website, it helps to enhance the DA or domain authority value, the PA or page authority value of a website. During the process of link building, the web marketers require to post content along with relevant links in a number of blog sites, article sites, forum sites, question answers site, press release sites. To create the content the web marketers require the participation of content writers. To do off-page content writing the web marketers require to follow some rules. They require to write content on the topic, include keywords that are relevant to the topic. The content writers require to use anchor texts linking relevant websites or web resources. In this context, it is relevant to add that the content writers can do keyword research to find out the keywords to be used for the content, or else the list of keywords will be furnished by the client. There should not be an overuse of the keywords. The entire content should have a keyword density in the range of 1% to 3% only.

This blog highlights the fact that content writing is immensely important for both on-page as well as off-page SEO. Therefore, the next time you wish to do SEO of your client’s website then be sure to hire the quality services of a professional content writer.

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Strengthening and Enforcing Our Profession

In order to be an effective project manager (PM), we should look at our definition of project management. Definitions surprisingly vary greatly by organization and individual. We should be careful about calling something project management that really is not. Doing so often confuses the profession. Call it what it is. If a position is more administrative, add this label. If a position is more holistic with overall responsibility and leadership for the success of the project, I’d be more inclined to call it project management. Well defined roles are not only essential for the organization and individual, but for the profession at large.

If someone is used to providing project leadership and overall project responsibility under a PM title, certain expectations are set. If the next opportunity doesn’t provide the same opportunities and expectations both the organization and individual may experience issues. Likewise if someone is in a lower level position where they simply schedule meetings and follow-up on action items, this individual may develop an inappropriate perception of project management. Remember, a true PM is responsible for all aspects of the project, including management of scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, human resources, communication, risk management, stakeholder management, and integration. I’d even take this list a step further and involve the PM in scope discussions during business development. It’s never too early to involve the person responsible for high stakes efforts.

Other pet peeves of mine are a lack of analysis and a lack of communication skills. Project management isn’t about producing reports or documents, but managing to ensure project success. Project data is necessary to ensure success, but without analysis and interpretation it is strictly administrative data. I’m also often amazed at the lack of communication in project management. Strong PMs spend eighty to ninety percent of their time communicating. This doesn’t mean just forwarding emails, but providing impact analysis and recommendations. And my final pet peeve (for this posting!) centers on improperly handling situations by escalating all items or informing all parties of all developments. This goes along with communication. Determine your stakeholders and how you will interact with those stakeholders. It may be easier to copy everyone involved, but it’s not about what is easy.

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Ways to Create a Powerful Website Design

For businesses to grow and be successful they need a website since this is among the most effective tools to realize their goal. This is also the way to draw potential customers to the products and/or services they offer. In addition, this has a wider reach compared to other marketing methods without their high startup costs. Businesses can consider the following tips to create a powerful web design.

Take Advantage of Visual Hierarchy

The term visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement of website elements like the color, font size, white space and position to put emphasis on the primary point for every page. In order to complement a call to action (CTA), it is important to direct the eyes of visitors to something they want done by means of these visual factors.

To highlight their landing page’s central theme, they can do the following:

Make the font size larger.
Place the text at the top part of the window.
Choose a contrasting color since this stands out from the rest of the page.
Include a captivating graphic or video making use of the latest innovative web design trends.
Use white space so it will stick out from other text.

Use Minimalism

Businesses should use and integrate the above mentioned elements on the website but they have to keep in mind that this should be done in moderation. If this is overdone, this will cause cluttering, which will make customers confused or even worse, discouraged.

Also, they should not let visitors complete many tasks. They should minimize form fields as well as menu items and only focus on one CTA that has one goal per page.

According to a Google study, users do not like visual complexity. There are ways to simplify a site such as:

Eliminate the Sidebar – rather than have readers click on information on the sidebar, the process can be made easier by taking away this element and just create a very long page. In this way, they will be able to scroll through the content and scan everything, raising the possibility that the message of the brand will be conveyed.

Go for Familiar Layouts – while they may think that an unusual site design will set their domain apart from the rest of the competition, visitors are actually attracted to simple layouts with easy to understand icons and effects. Also, using a regular web structure can improve navigation on their site.

Prioritize Readability

Businesses should consider readability to make it easy for users to recognize and comprehend the text on their site. Prioritizing this factor will make sure that users will not have a difficult time in scanning their site and will remember the information they want to be retained. They should use the most ideal typeface, font size and contrasting colors for their brand.

Conclusion

Websites are important since these provide prospects with information on the business, which includes the office address, email address and phone numbers.

In addition, websites enable businesses to build and establish credibility in their niche of choice by being a source they can trust and rely on. The best SEO strategies and relevant content will help establish their authority in their industry making use of their domain and most especially, a powerful website.

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Data Science And The Advantages It Offers

Data Science has turned out to be a progressive technological field that everybody seems to talk about these days. In fact, it is considered the ‘most appealing job of the 21st century’. Let’s find out more about it.

Data Science is a buzzword and not a lot of people understand it. While many human beings desire to emerge as data scientists, it is indispensable to check out the advantages of this field. Let’s check out some of the advantages.

1. It’s in high Demand

Data Science is in high demand. Prospective job seekers have several opportunities to avail of. It is the quickest developing field of job on LinkedIn and is envisioned to create 11.5 million jobs by the end of 2026. This makes Data Science a pretty employable job sector.

2. Abundance of Positions:

There are very few human beings who have the required skill-set to become a good data scientist. Therefore, this field of job is less saturated than other IT sectors. Therefore, this offers a lot of opportunities. The subject is high in demand but there are not many professionals out there who can meet the demand.

3. A Highly Paid Career option

Science has created a lot of highly paid jobs. According to Glassdoor, Data Scientists make more than of $116,100 per year. This makes data science one of the best moneymaking professions out there.

4. Versatile

There are several purposes of data science. For instance, It is extensively used in health-care, banking, consultancy services, and e-commerce industries. So, this field is a very versatile. Therefore, you will have the chance to work in a number of fields.

5. Data analysis

Data analysis companies require experts to analyze their data. They not only analyze the data but also enhance the quality of it. Therefore, this offers a lot of benefits for companies that are looking for an ideal way of getting their data analyzed.

6. Data Scientists are Highly Prestigious

Data Scientists allow different types of groups to make smarter business decisions. Companies rely on these professionals and use their understanding to grant much better services for their clients. So, these people play one of the most important roles in the company.

7. No More Boring Tasks

This has helped a number of industries to automate different types of redundant tasks. Companies make use of historic information in order to train machines to perform repetitive tasks. This has simplified a lot of hard jobs undertaken by real people before.

8. Data Science Makes Products Smarter

This field involves the use of Machine Learning that has enabled industries to create higher quality merchandise that are customized for each consumer.

For example, Recommendation Systems use on e-commerce web sites provide customized insights into the likes and dislikes of customers primarily based on their historic purchases. This has enabled computer systems to apprehend human-behavior and make data-driven decisions.

9. It can Save Lives

The Healthcare sector has been substantially uplifted due to of the advent of data science. With the introduction of computer learning, it has been made much easier to become aware of early-stage tumors. Also, many different health-care industries use these systems in order to assist their clients.

10. Data Science Can Make You A Better Person

This will not just provide you with a good profession but will also help you develop your personality. You will be able to enjoy a problem-solving attitude. Since many of these roles bridge IT and Management together, you will be capable to get the most of both the worlds.

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