(149) Keeping Your Business's Finances on Track

One of the biggest benefits of operating a home-based business is that it doesn't require any formal training or experience. After all, some of the most successful individuals never attended a single business-related class or workshop.
The only drawback to having a lack of experience and/or business education is that it can make tracking your company's finances difficult. Even accountants who spend their lives working with numbers often find bookkeeping a tedious chore.
But no matter how mundane keeping track of your company's revenue and expenses may be, it is also necessary for several reasons:

1) You need to know at a glance if your business is spending more than it is earning.

2) You need to have all of this information documented for tax time.

3) You can use this data to help you establish your budgets and to adjust your spending.
Of course, just knowing it's important doesn't make it easier to accomplish. In fact, you really have two options if you want to reduce your accounting stress:

A) Hire a professional to help you or

B) Invest in a helpful accounting software program.
While hiring a professional would be the easiest route, it's also more costly. For most home-based businesses, the most effective choice is to use an accounting software program.
Before you spend a dime, however, there are a few things you need to know.

1) Know What You Need The Program To Do
The accounting programs currently available can handle a wide array of business related tasks, such as tracking expenses, creating invoices, handling payroll, and printing checks. The more of these tasks a program can do, the more expensive it will be.
For that reason, you should know exactly what you are going to use it for. That way you can get a program that meets your needs without paying for features you'll never use.

2) Know The Details Of Your Computer
Before you buy any software, you need to know your computer's current statistics, such as what operating system you use, how much hard drive is available, and how much RAM your system contains.
If you buy a program that won't work on your system, you won't be able to return it and get your money back once it's been opened. Checking in advance will protect you from getting stuck with software you can't use.

3) Do Your Homework
Any type of business-related purchase requires careful consideration, so be sure to investigate before you buy. Explore all of the software programs available and find out what other people are saying about them. Sites like and can provide you with product feedback from both consumers and reviewers.
Pay attention to mentions of difficulty levels since you want a program that is easy for you to learn and to use. Also, take advantage of software demos. Nothing beats a hands-on preview. You should do some research into the companies' technical support and customer service as well. If you ever need help, you want to know it's readily available.

4) Be Aware Of Costs
Another thing you need to know is how much you can afford to spend on the program. The costs for accounting software run from $30 to $600 or more depending on the features included.Knowing what you need and can afford in advance will prevent you from paying too much. Shopping around for a particular program won't do much good, however. Whether you buy a program online, from an electronics store, or from a retail outlet, you'll pay about the same price. Watch for rebates or special offers, however, because they can cut your costs considerably.
Here are a few suggestions if you find it difficult to identify the right accounting software program for you:

* Peachtree Accounting 2009 Peachtree is one of the most recognized names in business accounting. This program allows you to manage your accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, payroll, job costing, fixed assets, even general ledger. Other valuable features perfect for small or home-based businesses, such as Internet postage, credit card service, direct deposit, and contact management are also included.
This version costs $199.95, but others are also available. You can learn more about Peachtree's line of accounting software at

* Quicken Home & Business At $89.95, Quicken Home & Business is one of the most budget-friendly accounting programs on the market. Even though its price is low, its packed with features, such as creating custom estimates and invoices, generating business reports, setting up a Merchant Account, managing taxes and expenses, and keeping track of your cash flow.
You can also use the program to download your transactions and pay your bills online. Other versions of Quicken are also available through the company's web site
* Microsoft Monday 2009 Deluxe & Business With this software, you can take care of most of your accounting needs without breaking your business's budget. At only $64.95, the software still comes with a wide range of features including the ability to create customized invoices, estimate tax payments, compare financial data, balance your checkbook, track cash flow, and pay your bills. Additional versions of the the program are available for sale at
Knowing this useful information will help you find an accounting program that will make your job easier, less stressful, and more efficient. Vishal P. Rao is the owner of - One of Internet's leading website dedicated to starting, managing and marketing a home based business.

Written by: Vishal P. Rao


If you are looking to purchase Kentucky refinance mortgage loan to benefit from current lowest interest rates then read on…

Do you require Kentucky Refinance Mortgage Loan

Are you paying too high interest rates on your mortgage loan? Wondering about current drop in mortgage interest rates and wondering how you can improve your specific situation? Are you looking to decrease your mortgage interest rates, monthly payments and improve saving levels? Consider purchasing Kentucky refinance mortgage loan with a reputable state mortgage lender to find how much you can save on your home loan.

Let us help you improve your specific situation. We work with few of the top Kentucky refinance mortgage lenders and can find you best Kentucky refinance mortgage loan as per your requirement. We offer following benefits and more on Kentucky refinance mortgage loan:
·Convenient personal service and timely assistance to help you find best Kentucky refinance mortgage loan
·Decreased interest rates and monthly payments
·Receive cash out of your home equity
·Convert from one mortgage type to another at lowest possible costs (from fixed rate mortgage to adjustable rate mortgage and vice versa)
·Consolidate various high interest debts (if any) in to a low secure monthly payment
·Reduce mortgage term and get you out of debts sooner.

Factors to Consider Before Refinancing Mortgage Loan in Kentucky

Generally, it is advisable to purchase Kentucky refinance mortgage loan when you are offered minimum 2% reduction in interest rates compared to rates that you are currently paying. However, you should take care to approach a refinance mortgage lender who does not charge too high closing costs and mortgage points, else, refinancing may not provide the needed benefits. Also, prior to applying for a Kentucky refinance mortgage loan, check if it is prudent to refinance mortgage in your present situation. If you are not planning to stay for long in the home after refinancing then it is not worth to spend on points. Moreover, if you have paid-off major portion of your mortgage balance then it may not be advisable to apply for refinancing. Kentucky mortgage loan refinancing is best advisable when it helps to reduce interest rates and monthly payments while at the same time reducing mortgage term.

Are you doubtful if Kentucky refinance mortgage loan is right for your specific needs? Let us help you make right mortgage loan decisions. Our experts will study your situation and your requirements and we will advice you regarding best options. Apart from finding you the best Kentucky refinance mortgage loan, we will also advice you regarding closing costs, potential tax benefits, and more. Fill out our simple hassle free mortgage quote to receive best refinance mortgage loans, expert information, tips, and advice, including, any other assistance that you require.

About the Author
Swapna is working as content writer
for Ensx softech/sitscorp.She worked
for many projects and got invaluable
experience with her as content writer.

Written by: SWAPNA

(151)Know Thy Finances

The first step to financial success lies in knowing your financial situation at any given time. There is an anecdote attributed to John D. Rockefeller--that as a child he was given a monthly allowance from his parents, but upon stipulation that he had to save 10% of it, give away 10% to charity, and account for the rest of it. While his parents required that he record down to the penny where he spent it--you can be a bit more lenient on yourself!

Track your spending for 1-2 full months

Use a program like Quicken to keep track of all your personal finances. I recommend the latest version of Quicken or a similar financial program if you already own one. You should start out by entering in your present-day personal checking account, savings, investments, and cash situation.

To complete this step, you will also need a cheap plastic filing container or something similar. You can purchase these for about $15 at Office Depot, etc. As you make payments, keep track of all the receipts you receive, the checks you write, and any other monetary transactions you make. Like I mentioned earlier, you don't need to be exact when it comes to cash--just try to be, as much as you can tolerate.

At some later time, at your leisure, enter all this transaction data into Quicken. As you do so, put the purchasing receipts into the file folder under the appropriate Category. Make separate labels for each of the file folders-- I suggest some of the following:




Books & Education

Dining Out

Business Expenses



You can also add your own categories or remove some as appropriate. At this point, you may be wondering why you have to do all this. For the moment, just trust me that it will be beneficial to you (I will explain it later on). Also, it takes a grand total of about 10-15 minutes per week to do what I just described. The next section, Budgeting, will take a little longer. But budgeting also requires that you need to at least perform the first step mentioned above, that is, keeping track of what you currently spend.

Planning your Budget

I can already hear what you are going to say--oh no, not a budget! I don't like them either, because they tend to reign in my emotional spending or "I gotta have it" mentality. The truth is, you are the master of your financial destiny (not to sound corny, but its true for the most part). If you want to buy that fancy knickknack with the wireless PDA attachment downloader, then by all means, get it. But if it doesn't serve your needs in the long run, then you will have wasted $X dollars to serve your fleeting emotional desires. Besides, you will notice after tracking your budget for several months where the real money is flowing. You might buy a fancy computer toy only occasionally, at $200+ dollars, but eating out at lunch everyday + dinner with the girlfriend at fancy restaurants all the time is leaving you broke. How about going to bars? I like to drink, but a beer at a bar or nightclub can range from $4-$10. It's probably even more if you live in areas like San Francisco or New York.

Anyway, the point of planning your budget is just to get a better grasp on directing the flow of your money. I'm not saying that you should totally change your lifestyle or even change it at all--but if you are complaining about not having enough then there are certain things you should do, mainly spend less. It will be described later the benefits of saving & investing your money (which you probably already know anecdotally, but perhaps do not have extensive experience personally).

Good Luck!

About The Author
Shanti Braford
The Long-Term Value Letter
Written by: Shanti Braford

(152)Life insurance – wise investment in personal finance or excessive caution?.

Life insurance is typically taken out to offer valuable financial protection for your family in the event of your death, upon which a payment is made to your financial beneficiaries, heirs or family members. The extent of this payment will depend on your insured sum and earnings. Life insurance and life assurance may be interlinked in advertisements, though bear in mind the two policies are different. Life assurance is a form of financial protection which is also an investment, as you should always get a pay-out at the end of the term of the policy. Life insurance on the other hand is simply financial protection for your family, avoiding the issue of debt in the event of your death.

According to an article by the Fair Investment Company, the British life insurance industry shrank to almost half the size of the pensions industry last year and according to the Association of British Insurers, less than 50% of UK households hold a life insurance policy.

In their most recent newsletter about this issue, the Association of British Insurers found that 25% of mortgage holders had insufficient life insurance to cover their debt. The ratio of new life insurance policies to new mortgage loans was apparently 68% in 1994, but by 2009 this had dropped by half to 33%

The absence of mortgage life coverage poses a serious risk for the dependants of homeowners. If banks were to embark on wide scale repossessions as a result of this absence of life insurance, this would impose a risk on their loan books and reputations. The Association of British Insurers also state that one of the main reasons behind the increased gap between mortgage loans and insurance is the emergence of people remortgaging their property to take advantage of equity release through a rise in value, without insuring their borrowing. In their report it was stated that around 63% of new mortgage loans were remortgages or further advances, compared to 34% in 1994. Egg reported at around the same time, that three out of four of these new loan homeowners had no intention of insuring this additional debt. This is particularly worrying if couples are remortgaging their property later in life – towards retirement, given that should anything happen to the breadwinner, the partner would be left with significant debts without the capability of paying the loan back.

Reasons for the downward trend in life insurance take-up include:

* Relaxation in lending policy – increased competition in the mortgage market means that lenders are not forcing life insurance policies on their customers

* High house prices have stretched homebuyers, in particular first time home-buyers, in terms of their mortgage repayments, that the additional costs of a life insurance policy are deemed too expensive

* There are more households with no dependents

If you’re interested in researching a life insurance policy, make sure you shop around. UK websites such as moneynet ( life insurance ) provide life insurance and life assurance information guides, as well as providing price comparison research for the different products. In the states, the website also offers a similar service.Because of the various factors listed above, people have also become less familiar with the term life insurance and without the awareness there is little recognition of the importance of this type of insurance. However as speculation increases that UK households are not coping with their debt, so should the awareness of life insurance as an essential product in the personal finance portfolio.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
About Rachel:
Rachel writes for the personal finance blog Cashzilla:
Rachel is a disillusioned, disaffected and broke graduate, exploiting new media for financial therapy.
Phone: 0131 561 2251

Written by: cashzilla

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