Saturday, June 30, 2012

QuickBooks Mobile for Android Demo

Get customer and sales info on the go with QuickBooks Mobile. Watch this short demo to see how it works.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

QuickBooks Online -- Small Business Accounting Made Easy

New to QuickBooks? Check out QuickBooks Simple Start at
Save time and easily manage your small business finances anytime, anywhere with QuickBooks Online

Thursday, June 21, 2012


10 Reasons Why You Should Use QuickBooks
QuickBooks is the ideal business accounting software for small to mid-sized business owners. Here's 10 reasons why you should be using QuickBooks.
  1. 1. You save time on bookkeeping and paperwork because many of simple bookkeeping tasks are handled automatically making it easier to run your business.

  2. 2. You can easily generate the reports with the information you need, so you always know where your business stands. You instantly know whether you're making money and whether your business is healthy.

  3. 3. You save money because QuickBooks is so affordable. You can use it to run a $5 million or a $25 million business for a few hundred bucks. PC accounting software is truly one of the great bargains in business.

  4. 4. Your business can grow with QuickBooks. QuickBooks will help you design a business plan to use when trying to secure a small business loan or line of credit or to plan for the future. QuickBooks will create a projected balance sheet, profit and loss statement and statement of cash flows in the format recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  5. 5. You can customize QuickBooks to work the way you want. QuickBooks is specifically designed to be flexible and adaptable to a wide range of small businesses. To broaden its appeal, QuickBooks has recently added customized accounting packages for Contractors, Retailers, Health Care Professionals, and Non-Profit organizations.

  6. 6. You can rest assured knowing that QuickBooks is a stable, reliable and proven product. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout the world have chosen QuickBooks as their accounting software. You can't go wrong with a software program with such an extensive installed user base.

  7. 7. You save typing time and errors by sharing data between QuickBooks and over 100 business applications. You can even share data with popular programs, such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and ACT.

  8. 8. You will get paid faster with QuickBooks online payments. E-mail an invoice or statement and with QuickBooks Online Billing, your customer can easily pay you with a credit card or bank account transfer. No more waiting for the check in the mail!

  9. 9. You can easily accept Credit Cards. With QuickBooks Merchant Account Service, you can accept credit cards with ease. QuickBooks Merchant Account Service is the only credit card acceptance service integrated with QuickBooks software, which means you don't have to enter the same data twice. No additional software or hardware is required. Your customers can use Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

  10. 10. You can pay your bills and bank online. Setup your current bank account in QuickBooks, and you're ready to pay your bills without licking envelopes, sticking stamps, or printing paper checks. Just write checks in QuickBooks as you normally would, then click a button and your participating bank does the rest! Pay anyone in the U.S. from your credit card companies to your pizza service. Online Banking also lets you download your monthly statement from your participating bank directly into QuickBooks for easier reconciliation.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet Our Angels!


Sylvia Barata (click to email)Sylvia Barata, Founder and Owner
Sylvia started her tax career with the Internal Revenue Service. While there she answered tax questions, instructed IRS employees, monitored the toll-free line for accuracy, supervised, and made public appearances as the Media Relations tax expert. She was recognized for her expertise with many awards, including "Federal Employee of the Year." After 10 years, she decided to open her own company, Affordable Tax Service, and in 1985 became an Enrolled Agent. For nearly 35 years Sylvia has been preparing both individual and business tax returns. With her extensive knowledge, Sylvia often assists clients with personal finance planning customized to their needs. She is also trained in the special rules for clergy, people with disabilities, foreign tax issues, and small business needs. Sylvia is dedicated to bringing her clients the best service available. She and her staff of Tax Angels work diligently to help clients reach their goals.

Anne Arms, Enrolled Agent
Anne has been a tax preparer for over 30 years. She brought her considerable skills to the ATS team in 2001. She began her career as a tax preparer, office supervisor, and course instructor for a well-known national tax franchise, then worked as a tax preparer for a private firm before joining ATS. She is also an Enrolled Agent and is very active in the California Society of Enrolled Agents where she served two years as Secretary and now chairs the Education Committee. She served the North Bay Chapter of Enrolled Agents as President in 2002-2003. And she was also the Charter President of the newly formed Solano-Napa Chapter in 2006-2007. Her specialty here at ATS is preparing returns for individuals and fiduciary returns for estates and trusts.

Darleen Rose, Office Manager
Darleen, the office manager, joined ATS in 2001. Her many years of management experience are invaluable to the team of Tax Angels. Since arriving at ATS, Darleen has upheld an efficient office operation and atmosphere of professionalism. Without her dedication and commitment to the success of ATS, many of the Tax Angels might have lost their wings. She keeps the staff grounded and focused on providing optimal service.

Barbara Horton - Business Support Specialist
Deborah Wilson - Client Relations Specialist
Deborah joined ATS in January, 2008. She earned her "ANGEL" wings by providing professional support, and outstanding service to ATS employees, clients and prospective clients. With Deborah, you are guaranteed enthusiastic support and friendly service with a smile.

Mitzi - Girl Friday
Mitzi first came to ATS as receptionist in 1994 while still in high school. She provided friendly service to ATS clients for two tax seasons, after which she sprouted her wings and left for a life of change and growth. Fifteen years later Mitzi returned to ATS in January 2010 to earn her angel wings as the newest staff member and proudly takes on the title of "Girl Friday." She buzzes around the office providing backup support and assistance to all ATS staff and clients. Her spunk and bubbly personality keeps ATS always smiling.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where to Invest My Money - Don't Give Yourself Option Anxiety

One of the questions I hear every single day is "Where should I invest my money"? When you are just beginning your investment journey this is a very important question as it is vital that you get off to a good start. Too many people have one bad experience with investing and then turn their back on it for the rest of their lives. When you are learning where to invest your money the most common problem is that you have too many options.
I like to call this problem 'Option Anxiety"
The definition of option anxiety is when you have so many options to choose from that you start getting anxious about which one you are going to choose. Pretty soon you are incredibly stressed about which option you are going to take. All of the options start to look pretty good but you just can't make up your mind. In the end you decide that all these options are simple too stressful and its much easier to do nothing. Does this sound familiar? It really is quite a bizarre thing but I'm sure everybody has experienced it at some stage.
When I first began my investing career I used to always get option anxiety when deciding where to invest my money. Should I invest my money in the stock market, should I invest my money in real estate, should invest my money in the bank - quite simply WHERE should I invest my money.
If you too suffer from option anxiety then don't worry, it is an easy problem to solve. There are two main reasons why most people get anxious when they are investing their money for the first time.
1. The most obvious reason is because they have worked extremely hard for their money and they don't want to loose it. This is a very natural emotion as nobody likes losing money. If you come from a family that didn't encourage investing then deciding that you want to invest can be an incredibly big accomplishment in itself.
2. When we are doing things that we don't really understand we get scared. This is totally normal and in fact a very sensible thing to feel. If humans didn't get a little bit scared when we were doing foreign things then we might get ourselves into a lot of trouble very quickly. In saying this it is very important that we don't let this natural fear hold us back form doing anything.
So how did I overcome these problems and decide where to invest my money. I picked an investment strategy that I was comfortable with and then I built up my knowledge and got some expert advice. Pretty soon after that I was addicted to investing. So you are probably asking "how can I learn where to invest my money".
Well the first thing to do is to decide which kind of investment you think you are most suited to. The obvious two choices are Property & Shares. As a general rule you will need more money to get into the property market (although this is not always the case) so it is often a good idea to start with the stock market. Once you have decided what option you would like to take I recommend that you start building your knowledge in that area and then once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve you can start looking for an expert to help you even further.
Don't feel like you need to do everything on your own. Deciding where to invest your money is a very big choice so there is no harm in asking other people for help. If you wanted to become a dentist I don't think you would assume that you could learn how to do it without getting an education from somewhere, would you? So what are you waiting for? There are thousands of free investment resources on the internet all you need to do is to find them, use them and then in turn you will begin to break down your fear of investing. Remember to become successful you need to grow and develop and the best way to do this is to increase your knowledge.

Article Source:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Life Insurance FAQs

Buying the right type and the right amount of life insurance can be a confusing process, especially if you are just beginning to research the best life insurance policy for you and your family. There are many questions to consider and there isn't a one-policy-fits-all answer. Although you will definitely want to discuss all of your options with a reputable insurance agent who will provide recommendations based on your specific needs, here are some life insurance FAQs to get you started:
How much insurance do I need?
The amount of life insurance you need depends on your individual circumstances and may need to be modified several times during your life as your family grows and your assets increase. The general rule of thumb is that your insurance equals six to eight times your annual gross income. However, there are many important factors to take into account:
• The number of individuals who are financially dependent on you
• Income sources and amounts other than your salary earnings
• Whether you are married and, if so, your spouse's annual gross income
• Whether you have any special insurance needs, such as mortgages, estate planning, college funding, etc.
• The amount of death benefits payable from an employer-sponsored insurance plan and social security
What is term insurance?
Term life insurance provides protection for a specific period of time, and it only pays a benefit if you pass away during the term. Term insurance is a popular option because it is generally inexpensive when you purchase it at an earlier age and benefits can be used to pay off outstanding debts.
What is whole insurance?
As long as you pay the premiums, which will be higher than term insurance, whole life insurance remains in effect throughout your lifetime. Whole life insurance policies are especially beneficial if you want to use your insurance as collateral for loans or receive cash payments while you are still living.
What is universal insurance?
Universal life insurance gives you permanent insurance protection, but it is more flexible than whole life insurance because it allows you to select the amount of protection that best fits you and your family. You can increase or decrease your universal coverage as your insurance needs change, and have more control over the amount and frequency of payments.
Whom can I name as a beneficiary?
Your beneficiary is the person or persons for whom you will want to provide financial support when you pass away, and is typically a spouse, children, or other relatives. However, remember that you may need to update your insurance policy as circumstances change. For instance, if your spouse becomes unable to handle financial matters or you get divorced, you may need to review and modify the beneficiary designation on your policy.
Can I name my estate as beneficiary?
The short answer is yes, but it may not be the best option for a variety of financial considerations. For example, many state laws dictate that life insurance benefits paid to an estate must go through a probate process before your beneficiaries can receive the proceeds of your policy. You will want to speak with your legal advisor to discuss the financial implications of naming your estate as your beneficiary.
Do I have to take a medical exam?
Medical exam requirements vary depending on the life insurance company, but most will require some form of exam to obtain an objective evaluation of your health. As you might imagine, the results of a medical exam will influence the type and amount of insurance for which you are eligible. One of the most important health factors is whether or not you smoke cigarettes. Due to the increased mortality risk associated with smoking, smokers almost always pay higher premiums and, in some cases, may be denied life insurance coverage.
These are likely just a few of the questions you have about life insurance. Get all of the answers you need to choose the best type and amount of insurance for you and your family when you meet with a trustworthy insurance agent.

Article Source:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6 Rules For Debt Elimination To Personal Freedom

Debt has become a major problem in many countries throughout the world. In fact, financial debt is now a major concern for many millions of people. Options do exist to help, but to get help you must be willing to take the steps necessary to help yourself. You need some form of debt relief immediately. Reducing, and ultimately eliminating, your financial stones around your neck will create greater personal freedom and a huge amount of stress-free living.
Make a conscience decision to keep these simple rules in mind:
Rule #1 - Do not let panic over the situation rule your actions. Acting rashly can, and does, often put you into an even worse predicament.
Rule #2 - Create a budget for yourself by adding up all your income, payments and expenses. This will help you become aware of where exactly all your money is going. If you do not really know, how can you fix the problem? In addition, your newly created budget will highlight all the small, unnecessary expenses that you can eliminate.
Rule #3 - Cut the credit card purchases. Introduce a new-found habit of paying cash for the items you really want or need. If you do not have the cash on hand, start a savings toward that purchase. Do not go into debt for "toys." A car is not a toy, but also purchasing one out of your price range (even if they make the financing "work" for you) is foolish. Carry small amounts of cash or a debit card (not a credit card) with you at all times.
Rule #4 - All spare cash you have should be put towards a debt relief fund. As it grows, this fund will help you to clear other debts. Remember each time a debt is paid off, and cash is freed up, use that free cash toward your next major financial debt. Think "rolling snowball." The cumulative effects can and do work quickly if you stick to your budget and your plan.
Rule #5 - Explore all of your options first. Sometimes when the debt is large, people decide to refinance their homes to help pay off their debts. However, this does not eliminate the debt, but merely change it into yet another form of debt. For some, this is a sensible move; for others, it can be disastrous. If you do not know, seek assistance.
Rule #6 - This is actually an extension of Rule #3 above. Never be tempted to withdraw cash from one credit card to pay toward another (or any) debt. Again you are not fixing a problem, merely adding more debt and confusion to your problem.
While the rules above are just guidelines to get your financial affairs in order, seeking out professional help is highly recommended. If you find yourself merely purchasing for the sake of buying (and still have cash on hand), stop. Put it toward a sensible retirement plan; yes that day will come faster than you can imagine.
If you are continuously short of money daily, weekly, monthly, you most definitely need to find a financial advisor.
The process for clearing one's debt is not the same for everyone. One size does not fit all when it comes to debt elimination. However, sitting and doing nothing as your bills mount is never, ever a solution. Make your decision to help yourself today and your tomorrow will be much brighter.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Selling Your Home

Find out what you need to know tax-wise if you sell your home. For more information, read Publication 523 on