IT support for small businesses

Gone are the days when well-established companies were the only competitors for the latest technology. With over 3 billion internet users, it is time for small businesses to consider tapping into this great potential. Since most businesses today may lack the technological know-how in integrating proper reforms, hiring an expert may seem the most appropriate choice. The general budget for commencing such operation initially used to be sky high but not today when services are offered based on your affordability and resources. Do not depend solely on traditional marketing when you can explore a whole new world of technology to take your business on a global stage.

Choosing the perfect IT support company Melbourne

The Internet has gone on record as a site with the most scammers worldwide. They may prey on you unknowingly and end up jeopardising your operations and stealing from you not just money but client details and other secrets too. You, therefore, need to exercise great caution when hiring an IT Support Company for your business. Here are a few pointers to guide you through this process.

Certification and credentials

Always ask for proof of training and expertise before getting into any contract with an IT company. Support documents like licensing and academic credentials help prove the authenticity of the expert or IT firm. Cisco IT certification can be a major boost for an IT company which is why it should be on your checklist. You need legit professionals who can come through for you with the computer support you require to be a success.

Scalability

Before getting into an agreement with an IT support company, find out about your scalability to help you make such important choices. You thus have to review both your current and future demands before deciding what your company needs. Hire an expert that can help you transition through these stages successfully into the future. By laying down such plans, you improve the chances of making it as a business.

The portfolio

Great portfolios attract clients easily. IT companies, therefore, look forward to showcasing their portfolios to prospective customers. If not presented to you, ask for it to assess what the company is about. The portfolio should entail past projects, reviews, and ratings from their previous clients. Companies that are proud of their work never shy off sharing contacts of past clients to prospective customers. This can help you get a review from other customers about how services are offered and convince whether or not you should offer a contract to them.

Why small businesses should outsource IT support

It is wrong to turn a blind eye to allocating budget for IT, considering businesses nowadays rely heavily on computers and networks to go about their daily endeavours. To boost your output and profits, consider integrating IT into your business and here are the reasons why you need to do this.

Maintain the systems

The work does not end when the expert is done installing IT infrastructure in your business premises. You are needed to have IT experts around to help you maintain the system and ensure smooth operations throughout the year.

Avoid breaches

Once you go online, there is no going back; a lot of insecurities may present themselves online that may jeopardise your future as a business. Have an expert secure your system to prevent unauthorised access to client data. Remember, once stolen this data may not only be used against you but also pose a threat to all your clients.

5 Tips Your Tax Accountant Won’t Give You For Free

Taxes are among the most intimidating aspects of adult life and rightly so. If you are unaware of how to file your taxes, it can get very messy. That’s why, most of the time, you need an accountant or tax agent penrith to help you out. And with hiring help comes more costs. However, here are some tips that your tax accountant won’t tell you without charging you for consultation. These tips will help you reduce payables and help you generate hefty tax returns.

Self-Employment vs Salaried Individuals

Salaried individuals working for registered companies have income taxes deducted from their salaries. However, for self-employed individuals that is not the case. If you work as an independent contractor, the best way to prepare yourself for taxes is to save up 30% to 40% of your annual gross earnings aside for taxation purposes. That is a big chunk hence it is advisable to save up instead of waiting till the end of the fiscal year to figure your taxes out. Even if you are short on cash, it is better to file considering the penalties for non-filers is a lot heavier on the pocket than the tax itself.

Giving Donations

Donating to charity is not just a responsible citizen’s act, but also helps you up your tax returns. If you are accounting for the donations you made, whether in cash or old belongings (assets), you get a silver lining with it. Donations and charity reduce your taxable income, therefore, reducing the amount that is payable by you. 

Withholding Taxes

On most public affairs related transactions, governments impose a withholding tax. That can be on your cell-phone bills or bank withdrawals for instance. Withholding taxes that you have paid can also be accounted for while filing for taxes. That brings down the tax payable by a good degree. You can get information about the withholding taxes you have paid through your service providers and banks. 

Insurance and Retirement Plans 

If you have insurance or contribute to your retirement plans, make sure you account for those contributions in your tax filing. These contributions also reduce the tax payable bracket, rendering lower tax cost at the end of the fiscal year.

Simple Shouldn’t Cost 

If you have multiple sources of income along with investments and businesses running on the side than your tax configuration is a lot more complex than a usual tax-paying citizen. You should invest time and money in finding a suitable tax accountant to help you out with filing your taxes and developing a tax strategy. However, if you have a single stream of income with personal expenses to take care of, you shouldn’t opt to have a tax accountant help you sort your matter out. Low to moderate taxpayers ought not to go for expensive tax accountants, and rather consider free help. 

Useful Accounting Tips for Small Businesses

When starting a new business, it is always important to have an accounting strategy beforehand so you can manage your expenses, costs, profits, deliverables and overall budget. Otherwise many new business owners can find themselves in a world of pain solely due to overlooked bookkeeping skills. Here are some of the accounting strategies one can apply to help ensure the growth of their business;

Keeping records of All Expenses

Even as a small business, it is absolutely essential to keep a check over all the expenses, be it business related or personal. Reimbursement slips and receipts are a key part of book-keeping as they provide expenditure records and can be traced back. The worst thing a business owner could come across is undocumented expenses where he or she has no knowledge of where the money is going or coming from.

Hiring a Professional/Having the Right Software

Since accounting relates to keeping all your business money  in check, it is imperative one hires professional accounting firms toowoomba for the job or has the appropriate software for their business to achieve a zero-mistake status relating to the handling of money. It all comes down to cutting costs and magnifying your profits in the end, and a system that can not only keep that in check but also can predict the do’s and don’t helps make sure the business runs smoothly.

Future Expense Projections

Projection

Small business startups need to make sure that they track records of the money flow so they can project future expenses. It is essential for the longevity of the business as it determines how much money can be invested in marketing campaigns, product buying or hiring personnel. The projects help determine how successful a business can be in what amount of time, beforehand.

Calculating & Separating Expenditures and Profits

It is relatively easy for small businesses to fall prey to miscalculations and undetermined expenses, especially in the beginning, which is why it is important to keep separate logs for both expenditures and profits. It helps to keep track of day to day expenses as well as determine the overall budget of the business per month. The clearer the records are, the easier it will become to grow any business quicker.

Ensure Regular Payments

Getting hired and bringing in clients for any business is a good omen, but it is equally important to ensure regular and timely payments from the clients. Regardless of the turnover of clients, the business is only worth something once the money is in the company bank account and it can be withdrawn. It is important not to take on more work or promise services before prior payments are cleared.

Family Law on the Coast

The Roles Of Family Lawyers In Gold Coast

A family lawyer is someone who has studied law, attended all the practical legal classes, and been admitted to the state’s or territory’s Supreme Court. For any family lawyer to do legal work, he/she must be insured and possess the current practicing certificate.

You’ll always find most of the lawyers exposing their practicing certificate in their office. Therefore, if you can’t come across this while in his/her office, be sure that the lawyer is not qualified.

The family lawyers play an essential role in our society by listening to our problems, giving us legal advice, discussing our options, taking instructions about what we want to do and helping us to understand how the law applies to our case.

In this article, I will show you the main roles played by a leading family lawyer in Gold Coast. These are:

Following instructions

A good lawyer is the one who’s in a position of listening to us, giving us advice, taking instructions about what we want to do about our legal problem and then work as per the given instructions.

It is essential to remain honest with the lawyers since the advice they give depends entirely on the information we give them.

After listening to us, the lawyers go forward to giving us some advice. There are other situations where it becomes hard for the lawyer to give legal advice immediately. Here, the lawyers decide to carry out some research before giving out the final advice.

Therefore, the main role of the lawyer is to advise you of all the available options. Taking the lawyer’s advice into consideration is essential. However, you have control of your final decision.

The family lawyer maintains confidentiality

You’ll realise that most of your conversations with the lawyer will remain confidential. This is an indication that lawyer will not disclose your discussions to anyone else including the court or the police without your permission.

However, there are some cases where the lawyer can decide to share out your discussions such as when a given law requires them to do so, to prevent the occurrence of a serious criminal offence or when your safety or someone’s safety is at risk.

The lawyer avoids conflicts of interest

A lawyer will not work for you if:

–          your interest and that of the lawyer clash,

–          if the lawyer is acting for the other people or person involved, and he/she do not want to work as per the interest of one of you or

–          if the lawyer worked with other people or person in the past, and he/she has the confidential information connected to these people that might affect their interests negatively.

A lawyer who decides to do any of the above, the situation can be regarded as the ‘conflict of interest.’ A good lawyer should keep you informed if he/she finds out about a conflict of interest.

Make efficient communications and promptly

The lawyer must make efficient communications and promptly whenever they’re working. Also, the lawyer should be at a position of giving regular updates concerning the progress of the client’s matter.

Lawyers act honestly

A good lawyer must be honest to the client. Also, the client’s best interests should be the main concern for the lawyer. However, lawyers are not supposed to act unethically or illegally.

When do you need to hire a Lawyer?

Have you just found you have been involved in a legal proceeding? Seeking separation from your spouse? Looking for someone to help with child custody? Division of assets? Looking for someone to help your business go through legal proceedings? Probating a deceased’s will? All these are procedures which need the intervention of lawyers in Gold Coast. Hiring a lawyer is a serious process and one which should be done after a great deal of deliberation and careful thinking.

Keep in mind that a good lawyer could help make the whole legal process easier. Despite the intricacies and sensitivity of the case, the right lawyer would guide you with the best of their abilities. They would ensure their clients suffer as less as possible and the whole proceedings are carried out in a timely manner.

When looking for a lawyer, make sure to look for the following qualities. This is by no means an exhaustive list but just something which would help you choose the right lawyer in Gold Coast.

What to look for

Look for the following qualities in a lawyer:

  • A layer who is experienced in the field of law which they practice is your safest bet. Why? Simply because they would be able to help you with the matter much quicker. You might need to pay more for their experience but you know you would be getting the right advice and saving precious time. Hiring an experienced lawyer who could simplify the legal process is necessary.
  • Take a look at the way they communicate with you. Since you would be talking to your lawyer a great deal, explaining your issues and problems, you need to hire someone who understands you. Whether it’s business proceedings or family issues, the right lawyer would help make you feel at ease. You should be comfortable discussing your legal issues.
  • Their availability is important as well. Do they have the time to take on your case? The right business and commercial lawyer Gold Coast is someone who could handle the proceedings in a fast and efficient manner. A case which lingers for a long time can be quite stressful. So make sure your lawyer is available to help you with the proceedings.
  • Don’t feel afraid when asking for references, if not private you could ask someone who they have helped in the past. Have they helped someone with a case which could be similar to yours and if so what were the outcomes.
  • Get to know their fee structure. How do they charge? Whether it’s by the hour or do they take a nominal fees before they file a case and rest after the proceedings are completed. You can shop around for quotes from different lawyers and finally settle on someone who could help you.
  • Also keep in mind that you would need to have all your documents in order when you go see a lawyer. They would require you to provide them with the complete information. Also make sure you don’t hide stuff from your lawyer. It could sell legal trouble for you in the future.

Why you Should Look for Security

If you are considering hiring a security company to guard your business there are several thing which you ought to consider. You need to consider quite a few things and ask the right kind of questions. Make sure to consider the following when choosing the right kind of security companies.

It is always better to look for an agency which is locally owned. Why? Simply because a small company is willing to go an extra mile for you and ensure better service. Mall locally owned security companies are dedicated towards providing quality service. They know the area well and they have all the knowledge regarding the security concerns and issues which local people are facing. When you hire an internationally owned security companies you would just be a drop in the ocean, the service might also not be what you are exactly looking for.

Choose a company which is customer oriented. Though many might argue that providing the right kind of security should be the number one priority but a company which focuses on its customers is always a better option. They should be able to handle all your concerns and answer all the queries which you might have regarding the security issues. Get to know whether the company has a twenty four seven answering system. If not what could you do when you find the cc TV camera not working in the middle of the night. Also get to know whether the security guard who they provide should have the necessary training and knowledge to handle different security threats.

Make sure that company you are looking for has security as its main field of interest. There are several companies which pose as security companies but on the other hand provide cleaning services and home care services as well. If security is your major concern you should be focused on finding a security company whose main focus is providing security to homeowners as well as businesses.

Get to know whether the company provides an option for hiring uniformed guard. Sometimes the presence of someone in uniform is enough to deter any kind of security issue. However there are certain cases where it’s advisable to hire security staff which is under cover. This works in special situations. You would only need to talk to the admin at the security company to find what option is going to be best for you.

Get to know the reputation of the security company as well. For this you would need to do a bit of research. You can take a look at the website of the company and check out the reviews left by previous clients. A company with good reviews is what you should be looking for too. When it comes to matter of security you can’t be too lax about such things. You have to find a company which does great work, provides the necessary security services and has a great reputation.

Simple Software For Your Business

Running a small business isn’t easy. Unless you’re one of the fortunate business people who can stand to go out on a limb, you’ll need to precisely survey any critical choices your group makes. Almost every business has to integrate software in their business operations. In the current digital world, software plays a critical role in improving business efficiency.

Software choices vary depending on the nature of the business. However, in most cases common software can be used across different businesses. Some of the popular software programs for small business are:

1. Google Drive

Google drive offers more than just a backup for your business files and documents. It offers a document processing platform making it possible to open, create and edit files similar to Microsoft Word and excel. Google drive offers the services for free compare to other platforms which charge for their software. Better yet cloud hosting enables a business to access and edit the files remotely from any internet connected device.

2. Join.me – Video Conferencing

This platform offers video conferencing services. Although it is not the top player in the space, it is highly recommended due to its affordable aspect. The platform supports video conferencing for up to 10 users free of charge. Additional features include screen sharing capabilities and the option to integrate up to five different video feeds.

3. Wave – Accounting Software

Accounts processing is a key segment for any business, Wave offers a simple and very affordable solution. With the basic free version, the platform enables a small business perform the basic accounting processes including invoice processing, payroll, utilities processing and balance sheet services. For advanced services such as automated payments you may be required to upgrade to a premium option.

4. Hootsuite – Social Media Management

This software provides a one-stop social media management tool. It enables businesses manage their social media activities including posts scheduling and followers interactions. The free version offers the basic services which may be sufficient for any small business. The user has the option for upgrading to access premium features such as user demographics, post reach data analysis and the ability to schedule posts for posting in multiple platforms.

5. MailChimp – Email Marketing

This platform provides an easy way of collecting, analyzing and sorting emails from a business subscription website. The platform also enables content marketing in the basic version while the premium version offers advanced user targeting with the option of user personalization in each email. Their data analysis tools are quite detailed making it possible for any small business to effectively deploy a marketing campaign at a very affordable rate.

6. Zoho Desk – Customer Service

This platform is integrated in a business website enabling a small business to receive customer feedback or questions. The platform aggregates different customer data and relays that to the relevant department making it possible for different organs within the company to receive independent feedback and respond to the customers effectively.

There are numerous software platforms available free or at a reasonable price designed specifically to improve efficiency for small businesses. If you don’t have the time to look into some of these options yourself, consider working with an external IT consultant such as http://www.itma.com.au/services/consulting who will be able to manage this aspect of business for you.