Cogs in the Machine?

Big Changes in the Overtime Rules

One of the biggest changes to affect small businesses, entrepreneurs and employees of them in years has just been issued by the Obama Administration. Under new rules implemented, the threshold for qualifying to overtime pay when they log over 40 hours per week will increase to $47,476 per year up from $23,660 per year currently. It is the first increase since 2004. Workers who are paid hourly are already eligible for overtime.

Filling Time Sheet with hours

© Depositphotos.com/Mayalain

Who is helped?

Some employees – There will definitely be an increase in pay for some employees. Especially younger professionals who do work outside of the office and are not far off from the $47,476 per year in salary. My prediction is employers will just give them the bump and not worry about all the additional record keeping.

Certain misclassified Exempt Employees – Employees who should be classified as hourly but have been classified as salaried/exempt employees to avoid having to pay them overtime. This is the one category of employees who really needed this change. It is one class of employee that unfortunately many companies have taken advantage of. Having worked with many non-profits and small businesses, I have seen this problem and this should help immensely.

Bookkeepers, Accountants and Lawyers – Someone has to keep track of all the hourly employees and make sure everyone is in compliance. Of course there will be lots of lawsuits over classification and back pay. Never forget who writes the laws and advises the politicians.

Who is hurt?

Some Employees – From my research into comments from businesses it could definitely have an effect on compensation for many employees, and not in a good way. Particularly affected will be store managers and assistant managers who work with  base salary and bonuses. I have seen many companies say they will have to change how they pay these people. More than likely their base pay will be reduced so with overtime for their average say 50 hours per week, the costs will remain the same. Another possibility I have see will be that benefits  and bonuses will be reduced to offset the costs.

Small employers – This will make the decision to hire employees tougher than it already is. An employer hires employees to make the company more money than what it costs to employ them. As an employer, you will have to do more cost benefit analysis before you add on an employee.

The record keeping burden will also be increased. I will be posting more on this topic in the near future.

Employers not located on the big coastal cities – $47,476 may not seem like much in San Francisco or New York City, but it is decent pay in small town USA. Much like minimum wage, one size does not fit all. It will definitely have an adverse effect in “fly over country.”

Telecommuters – The boom in people working from home, checking email everywhere on your phone, etc may become more difficult. Because of the new rules, employers will have to design a system to make sure employees aren’t working over their 40 hour maximum.

My Bottom Line

Our economy has been changing quickly the past 20 years. Technology advances and globalization has uprooted the old industrial way of life. Working at a factory or for a single company for your whole career. Exchanging hours for dollars also is ending. Today’s world values creative work over human repetition.

This change will definitely benefit some employees which I am very happy about. Many companies have taken advantage of young talented workers eager to pay their dues and be prepared for better jobs. I hope it doesn’t hurt these same workers.

Most likely what I believe will happen is the trend toward hiring independent contractors will continue to accelerate in areas where a physical presence is not needed. Store managers and supervisors will of course still be needed and paid accordingly. Other workers like graphic designers, IT people, etc will be outsourced even more.

Of course this could be a great opportunity for you. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur or an independent contractor. Companies put value on jobs completed and creative ideas – not just punching a clock. Be extraordinary and you can do better than you have ever imagined!

As always, if I can be of help be sure to contact me at david@davidcooperaccounting.com.

Quickbooks Security Update

If you use Quickbooks Desktop Be Sure to Read below

Intuit has identified and is implementing an update to address a security vulnerability in QuickBooks desktop software.  This does not impact QuickBooks desktop for Mac or QuickBooks Online.

The update includes password controls to verify that the person attempting to access the account is authorized.  

If you have the “credit card protection” feature on, or have credit card data in your QuickBooks company file, you will be asked to set up a password, if you do not already have one.

Please follow the steps below on all computers with QuickBooks desktop installed as soon as possible.

Open QuickBooks desktop, click Help > Update QuickBooks.  In the Overview tab, click Update Now

In the Update Now tab, make sure you have a check mark next to Maintenance Releases and Critical Fixes.  Click Get Updates to start the download.  When the download is complete, please restart QuickBooks desktop to complete the installation.


Let me know if you have any questions on Quickbooks. Happy to help.

The security update includes:

  • Password controls to verify that the person attempting to access the account is authorized.
  • All users who have the “credit card protection” feature on, or have credit card data in their QuickBooks desktop company file, will be asked to set up a password.
  • The administrator account holder will be notified if users have not set up a password.  This will give the administrator account holder the ability to recommend that users create a password, or to assign a password directly to those users.  This will increase security by requiring that all users with access to the system use appropriate security credentials.
  • Customers using QuickBooks desktop in multi-user mode will need to ensure that all users are on a supported version of QuickBooks desktop and have installed the security update.

Financial Accounting Tutorial Now Available!

Who Else Wants to Understand Financial Accounting without Losing their Mind?!

 

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Financial Accounting Made Easy!

Learning Financial Accounting is probably easier than you think, but it does require some practice. Unfortunately most Financial Accounting textbooks are really frustrating for many students. Lectures that may make sense while you are in class disappear from your head when you are doing homework or worse, taking a test! Frustrating!!!

2015 IRS Mileage Rates

The IRS has released the standard mileage deduction rates for 2015. For business use of a car, van or pickup the rate will be 57.5 cents per mile, up from 56 cents per mile in 2014. The driving for medical or moving rate will be 23 cents per mile, down from 23.5 cents in 2014. Service to a charitable organization remains at 14 cents per mile which is locked in by statute.

As always, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you document actual mileage, the date of the trip, and the business purpose of the trip.

Are you making the mistake that will bring the IRS to your business? Independent Contractor versus Employee

The perfect storm of the Affordable Care Act and the lingering effects from the financial crisis have combined to force many businesses and non profits to make tough decisions on whether to hire or keep current employees, or to work with Independent Contractors. Many businesses have gone the independent contractor route but does their classification of workers as independent contractors pass the IRS test?

© Depositphotos.com/eric1513

© Depositphotos.com/eric1513

A recent Wall Street Journal Article (subscription required) reported that roughly 1 in 3 U.S. Workers, is now a freelancer. That is 53 million Americans that are employed as Independent Contractors and temporary employees. But should they be classified that way? 

Excel for Business Now Available!

If you want to know how to use Excel but don’t want to read a boring reference book, check out my new Excel for Business Course. 

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If you are in business than odds are you have had to do some work with Microsoft Excel. The problem is everyone thinks you know how to use it but no one has ever taught you how! This includes most of my adult education Accounting students both Undergrad and MBA.

You can click around and try to figure it out. You can buy a huge reference book (let’s be honest – there is nothing more boring than reading one of those). You can search the internet and youtube and piece together what you need.

Unfortunately that wastes a lot of time that could be spent doing your priorities. Plus it seems REALLY complicated.

The good news is:

You don’t have to be a Genius to become an Excel Whiz!

I have created over 60 screencasts that you can pick and chose from to get the skills you need. From the Basics to Advanced topics like Pivot Tables, I have you covered.

Topics include:

  • The Basics
  • Tables
  • Formatting your Data
  •  Using Styles and Themes
  • Formulas
  • Working with Text
  • Date and Time Functions
  • Lookups
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Pivot Tables

And much more.

I know the frustration of needing to use a tool but not knowing where to start. Let me help you out with that. Click the link below and check it out!

Excel for Business

I think you will like it!

 

 

 

Do You Have a Bored Board?

Have you ever sat through a board meeting, or even a meeting with your accountant, and got that glazed over look in your eyes? I know I have experienced that feeling. I have sat through, and given, hundreds of presentations of financial statements at non-profit boards through out my long career. One thing has stayed content, the Bored Board Look!.

© Depositphotos.com/@ AndreyPopov

© Depositphotos.com/@ AndreyPopov

There are many reasons why people volunteer for non-profit boards. They genuinely believe in the cause (the best reason). They are resume building. They are trying to make business connections. They were talked into it. They are giving money and would like control of the organization in return.

Dangers of Being a Grant Prostitute

Dangers of Being a Grant Prostitute

Can we have a frank discussion about prostitution? No, not THAT kind of prostitution. The kind of prostitution where you solicit any grant or funder that will pay your organization money.

iStock_000004929988Medium

© iStockphoto.com/Jamesmcq24

Your organization has a great record of performance in your area of expertise but you need additional funds to support your needs. You decide to apply for any grant or funder that will possibly pay you.

Because of your stellar record, you are awarded a big new grant. The problem is it in a field that you have no expertise in yet. Do you accept the grant? Most organizations will say “Of Course! Are you crazy?!”

In the words of the immortal Robot from the old television series Lost in Space, “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!”

About David Cooper Accounting

David Cooper Accounting

Here Is What David Cooper Accounting Is All About.

Hi everyone. My name is David Cooper and I am the owner of David Cooper Accounting.

Have you ever wished you had an Accountant or Advisor:

*  Explain your finances in a common sense manner that you can understand?

* Give you timely, accurate and relevant financial information that you need to prosper?

* Help you do financial forecasting?

* Guide you through the complexities of doing business in either the non-profit or for-profit world?

* Talked finances with someone who has been through the struggles and not just read about them?

* Can work with your Boards and Banks to give them the information they need to have to support you?

Or if you just want to learn more about accounting and finances from an experienced teacher in a way that is convenient for you…

You’re in the RIGHT place!

Here’s How David Cooper Accounting Helps You Get Ahead In Business and Life.

According to the website statisticbrain.com, 76% of businesses fail because of incompetence – including no knowledge of finance, pricing and record keeping, and lack of quality managerial experience. I would add knowledge of cash flows and lack of a realistic budget/forecast.

I believe that businesses and non-profits that want to win and survive in today’s competitive market MUST understand the financial side of your business.

The problem is most business owners and non-profit administrators don’t understand or don’t have the time or more likely the desire to deal with these issues. They would rather concentrate on their passions which is the core of their business.

This is completely natural! This is why I founded David Cooper Accounting. To provide you with the information in an understandable format so YOU can succeed.

So how can I understand the financial aspects of my business while still RUNNING my business? Subscribe to David Cooper Accounting!

 

We work to give you the information you need to understand and intelligently grow your business. No “Accountaneese.” I have a knack for just straight common sense advise that you can use to grow your  non-profit or small business.

Introducing David Cooper Accounting

As a subscriber to DCA (Our email subscribers are treated as royalty) you will get:

The DCA Blog – the latest information on the current business and accounting developments effecting your business or non-profit.

The Non-Profit Business Report – This podcast gives you the latest information on issues you need to know as a non-profit administrator, board member, or a informed donor/supporter.

The Education Section – Selected videos and training that will show you best practices that will help you understand your business better. This includes opportunities to purchase and enroll in trainings at a discount and before the general public.

Information on the services provided by DCA. This includes outsourcing of your financial operations, financial statement preparation, budgeting/forecasting services and other tools that you need but don’t have the current expertise to handle.

About David Cooper

I have over 28 years of experience in Accounting and Teaching. My passion is teaching people how to understand their business and make sound financial decisions. I have an ability to teach complex information in an easy to understand manner.

I have a MBA and CPA (not in public practice) and am a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants including the Personal Finance and Technology Divisions.

I strive to be on the cutting edge of technology and business practices. I would love to share what I have learned with you. Just subscribe and we will work together to make your business as successful!