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Accounting 101: The Basics

Before we get into accounting, I just want to talk about book-keeping. Unless you do both, an accountant cannot do his job without a book-keeper. The book-keeper is the one to record business transactions and then organize the transactions. After the book-keeper has finished, the account can get to work.

What does the accountant do?
When you receive, the organized the transactions the account will go through a process of analysing, interpreting, reviewing and then writing a report. The result will be a financial report for the company.

Debits and credits
Debits and credits will be a common concept you will see and use when preparing reports. The rule of thumb is: A decrease in assets and an increase in liabilities end in debit. And an increase in assets and a decrease in liabilities ends in credit.

Revenue
Revenue is any income a company makes from the sale of goods or services or assets, liabilities, and equity used. The revenue is calculated before any expenses are deducted. It will be what you see first on a statement then later on in the statement; any expenses are deducted to come to the net revenue.

Expenses
Expenses are seen as money spent in an effort to generate revenue. In layman’s terms, it shows the cost of “doing business.” Now all expenses are cost and will be added to the cost sheet, but the costs won’t be included in expenses.

Cost
Costs are seen as a cost that has to be paid to get something. These will include expenses, materials, time and consumables, a risk that have come up and opportunities lost in production and delivery.

Balance sheets
A balance sheet has an equation to work from. Assets= Liability+assets. The balance sheet is one of the major financial statements. The balance sheet shows what the financial position of the company is in by a set date. It shows their positions for a moment in time. So if a creditor views it, they will be able to see what the company owns and what their financial situation is. The balance sheet will have to be up to date to show someone like a creditor to make a decision.

Income statement
An income statement is a report created over a specific period of time to shows a company’s financial performance over that time period. The financial performance is calculated by looking at how the company gains its revenues and expenses. It will show how much the company’s net profit or loss that has been incurred over that period of time.

Cash flow statement
A cash flow statement is used to summarise a company’s financial transactions over a period of time. The statement only shows the flow of money going out of the company and money flowing into the company, whether it’s through cash or cash equivalent. It’s based on three company financial activities: Operative activities, investing activities and financing activities. The cash flow statement can provide information on whether or not a company can sell its product without affecting its product pricing and the company’s ability to expand and gain more net profit. They are also an excellent source for evaluating changes in future assets, liabilities, and equity.

Assets, liabilities and equity

Assets
Asset accounts first start with the company’s cash account and the securities account. Then the company’s inventory and fixed assets such as land and equipment will be taken into consideration. If the company were to get into major debt and had no money to pay them, their assets would be seized to cover the debt.

Liabilities
Liabilities are recorded in current liabilities and long-term liabilities. A liability is a payable account. Liabilities are separated into accounts payable and accruals. Accounts payable are what the company owe to suppliers and credit companies. Accruals will be made up of taxes owed, wages owed and anything that is a major necessity.

Equity
Equity accounts include all the claims the owner has against the company. This will also include shares that other people hold that the owner has no control over. If the owner decides to make other investments, these will be considered in the report as well.

 

For more information, visit: Chartered Accountant Cardiff.

5 tips for getting an interest-only mortgage up to the age of 85

 

 

If you are an older homeowners who is either retired or preparing to retire, your mortgage may be a concern as many lenders only allow you to keep a standard mortgage up to the age of around 65-75.

However, a growing number of lenders are responding to market demand and increasing life expectancies by offering interest-only mortgages to customers up to the age of 85. This can allow you to keep a mortgage if you can’t afford to pay yours off yet, or else allow you to unlock capital from your property for home improvements, to fund your retirement or for other purposes.

If you are thinking about taking out an interest-only mortgage for your retirement that will last until you turn 85, the following tips should help explain the process and make it easier for you to secure the borrowing you need.

Make sure you qualify

Different lenders will have their own exact criteria for lending to older borrowers, but in general they will expect you to have:

  • Income from pensions and other sources enough to cover the mortgage payments
  • A good credit rating
  • All payments up-to-date on your current mortgage (if you have one)

If you haven’t retired yet and are planning ahead, lenders will need as much information as possible about your pension and potential earnings.

This includes:

  • The exact date you intend to retire
  • The size of your current pension pot
  • Your projected monthly pension income
  • Proof of any extra income you will earn e.g. investments, shares, rental income

If you are unsure whether you will be able to get a mortgage during your retirement, you should think about discussing this with an experienced financial advisor to get a clearer idea of your options.

Know how much you can borrow and how long for

While standard mortgages often allow you to borrow anything up to 70-85% of your home’s value (and up to 95% in some cases), a retirement mortgage will normally only let you borrow around 50-60%. This is because lending to older customers is seen as higher risk by mortgage providers.

Loan terms for mortgages aimed at those up to 85 years old tend to be around 5-15 years. This will depending on your age and the exact type of mortgage.

Consider equity release

Equity release mortgages allow you to unlock capital from your home with the mortgage only being repayable when the property is sold (usually when you move into a care home or pass away). They can be a handy way of releasing money for home improvements or to fund your retirement.

They often come with the option to roll-up the interest, so it is only paid when the mortgage is repaid. You may also have the option of a drawdown facility, where a pot of cash is set aside, but you only withdraw it as and when you need it. This means you only pay interest on the money you have actually withdrawn which can make your borrowing much more cost-effective.

Dealing with specialist lenders

Many mortgages for the up to 85s are only offered by specialist lenders, although some high street mortgage providers do also offer them. Specialist providers only offer their mortgage products through intermediaries such as mortgage brokers and even high street lenders often only deal with intermediaries for these type of mortgages.

Use a mortgage broker

If you need an interest-only mortgage up to the age of 85, it is highly advisable to speak to an independent mortgage broker. Not only can they give you access to specialist lenders and mortgage products, they can also help you get the best possible deal on your mortgage regardless of the lender. This is because they can compare deals from a wide range of providers and recommend the best deal to suit your circumstances.

A mortgage lender will also have the experience and industry knowledge to quickly identify the best mortgages for you, making the process of finding and applying for a retirement mortgage that will last you until you are 85 much faster and easier.

Where Should You Get Your Crane Repaired?

There are many companies that rely on a crane to perform tasks on a daily basis. Therefore, it is essential that these machines are kept in perfect working order. Otherwise, jobs will not be completed on time and problems will occur as a result. Even the best cranes are going to have mechanical problems occasionally. All machines will break down every now and then. The key is to know where to take your crane when it is no longer functioning properly. There are many crane repair services out there. How do you decide which one to choose? Here are a few tips that will set you on the right path.

1. Does the crane repair company have experience repairing the specific type of crane that you own?

You will discover that the crane repair industry is very specialized. This means that many of the companies that repair cranes will only be able to fix cranes that are made by specific companies. Therefore, you will need to check with a repair company in advance to make sure that they have experience repairing your brand of crane. Allowing your crane to be repaired by a company that is not experienced with that brand could lead to your crane not being repaired correctly.

2. Does the crane repair company have a good reputation in your area?

You want your machine to be repaired by the best crane service MD. A good way to find a repair company that won’t let you down is to talk to other people who own cranes. Ask these people where they go to get their cranes serviced. You might be able to get a few solid references for crane repair companies that you never heard of before. Only go to a place that has received solid feedback from the people you have talked to.

3. How long will it take the company to repair your crane?

Time is money. Therefore, every day that it takes for the company to repair your crane is money out of your pocket. You need to have your crane fully operational as soon as possible. This is why it is absolutely essential for you to find a crane repair company that has a very fast turnaround time. Some companies are able to finish their repairs much faster than others. Ask for an estimate of when your crane will be ready.

Google AdWords or SEO – which one you should invest in

Quick answer: BOTH

If you are offered to take either 2 lotto tickets or just 1, which option would you take?

When Google Search results are concerned its always better to have two listings on the first page than just a single one. Some customers will click on your Ad while others click on your organic listing. Bottom line: your chances of capturing a visitor are doubled. Getting as many visitors through to your site is why you are pursuing SEO/PPC in the first place!

Best strategy is to run your PPC (Google AdWords) campaign while your SEO campaign is building up. It will take a while to start seeing results from SEO, whereas AdWords will start showing your site on Google straight away.

Once your SEO has kicked in and you are visible in organic search, there really is no reason to stop AdWords, unless you simply can’t afford it.

First 4 listings on search are reserved for Ads. The closest you can get to the top of Google organically (Free) is position 5.

But why would I want to pay when someone clicks as opposed to just getting a free click? Because there is no guarantee a searcher will click on Your organic listing – and so you might miss out on that customer altogether. Having an AdWords ad show up in the results will double Your chances of getting that user to visit your site.

One area where you would not need to run AdWord if you already rank organically is for your brand name searches. You are likely to show up on top of results for your brand name organically and its less likely that competitors will be bidding on your brand. There isn’t as much benefit to having both your listings right after each other. With that said, brand name searches usually carry very low cost per click so even if someone clicks on your ad,  it won’t use up too much of your budget.

SEO might or might not get you to the first page of Google Search. There are no guarantees. AdWords on the other hand (if executed correctly) almost guarantees you a place in Google. Cover both angles and double your chances of a win.

 

 

 

 

How to Obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee

In finance, a medallion signature is a special form of a certification stamp used for transfer of securities. It is an essential requirement when parties are trading stocks or bonds since it guarantees that the seller is genuine and that one is purchasing authorized shares. It also protects shareholders against any illegal transfers of their shares. The signature also comes in handy whenever an individual requests change of ownership of an investment account.

Acquiring a Medallion Signature Guarantee is not such a daunting task. Most financial institutions and brokerages provide Medallion Signatures to their existing customers normally via acknowledged programs. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recognize three programs, which are:

  • Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program- Stamp. This program accommodates over 7000 Canadian and US banking institutions.
  • Stock Exchanges -Medallion Program- SEMP. Participants in this program include regional clearing and trust firms, as well as stock exchange member companies.
  • New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program- MSP. The participants here are limited to NYSE member firms.

Medallion Programs are therefore only issued by financial institutions that are members of any of these programs. The signature, however, is not offered for free. Most of these firms charge fees to cover the liability risk they will face when offering the guarantee. Similarly, different companies have varying policies on the identifications required to provide the guarantee. It is very rare for any institution to offer the guarantee to an individual who is not their existing customer.

  • Individuals seeking to obtain the guarantee have to meet the following requirements:
  • Provide a valid government issued ID
  • Must be a member of a providing institution and have an account in good standing
  • Provide proof of ownership of securities. (A statement or Actual stock certificate)
  • Evidence of value
  • Must have verification of legal right to sign in case the owner is not present. (Death certificate, power of attorney or trust agreements are examples)

At one time or another, US citizens abroad may need to acquire a medallion signature guarantee. This has proven a hard nut to crack for most individuals and for this reason, with prior notice some financial institutions offer a substitution and accept a United States embassy seal instead. On the other hand, banking institutions with a correspondence relationship with a bank in the US might be given the permission to offer the guarantee to existing customers. For military personnel, the institutions might accept an alternative form of proof or waive the requirement entirely for small transfers.

The only time that you will not require a medallion signature guarantee to transfer shares is when your shares are registered in your brokerage “street name.” This can prove to be an easier way to initiate a transfer if you are not able to reach an institution offering the guarantee.

Since 2001, the New York Stock Exchange has been providing electronic transactions of shares which have significantly reduced the need for physical stock certificates. However, at one time or another, you might end up “discovering” old stock certificates stuffed in your family’s trunk. It is at this point that medallion signatures prove quite essential.

Getting a guarantee can prove to be quite a hassle since you will spend a reasonable amount of time, money and effort, but in the end, it is worthwhile. It will offer you indisputable cover and protection when conducting the transaction. Some of the transactions that can be endorsed by the guarantee include liquidation or transfer of ownership of:

  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Unit Investment Trusts
  • Savings bonds

Finally, when acquiring a medallion signature guarantee, it is important to put into consideration whether you will transact immediately or you will keep the guarantee for later use. It is for this reason that it’s important that you ensure the guarantee is not dated since if it is dated, it is only usable for that date.

For further information on medallion signature guarantee visit website

 

 

How to Form a UK Subsidiary

International organizations benefit a lot from setting up a UK trading subsidiary. Some of the benefits of setting up a UK subsidiary for an international organization include:

  • Greater access to sources of capital through the UK public markets
  • Customers enjoy comfort since the organization operates as a sales platform in the UK and all over Europe because they are dealing with a UK company
  • Offering tax and regulatory benefits
  • Allows international organizations to provide incentives to UK based staff by giving the staff shares in the UK Company
  • International organizations can ring fence the UK venture, which helps them to protect the stable overseas business from a significant liability.

You can rely on experts to guide you through the process of incorporating a new UK subsidiary company as well as managing it to ensure it adheres to the standards. Additionally, you can have your company listed on the public market by consulting experts. It is good that you consult the expert directly to get advice based on your specific needs. However, here are common considerations people who incorporate a UK subsidiary face.

Company formation in the UK

Most UK subsidiaries are private limited companies. An article of association is an essential document required in the incorporation of UK companies. You can adopt model articles prescribed by the government. The content of these articles is standard since the government provides certain necessary provisions; thus, it is the easiest to apply. The other way is adopting a set of regular articles. It entails sophisticated provisions, and it covers more details than the previous model. Additionally, a company can adopt a fully tailored set of articles. It is a standard mode, especially if the company has many shareholders and they want to state out their obligations and rights. The articles of association outline the powers of shareholders.

Statutory compliance

Companies need to meet the necessary statutory requirements. However, the legal compliance rule for UK corporates is pragmatic as compared to other European rules. Corporations should adhere to the stator compliance to avoid fines, criminal and civil proceedings. Companies House has the authority to strike a company off the register if it fails to meet its obligations. UK companies should comply with these areas among others listed in this guide:

  • Relevant filings for Companies House
  • Maintenance of the statutory registers of the company
  • Compliance with the Companies Act 2006

 

Corporate tax

The tax residency is usually determined by evaluation of the tax position of a company. A company qualifies to be a tax resident in the UK if the directors are residents and decisions are made in the UK. However, if decisions are made in the parent company overseas or if the directors run the company from abroad, then the company’s tax resident will be overseas.

Legal requirements

Setting up a company in a new country requires a host of legal requirements and regulatory. Some are generic to all businesses while others are specific to a given industry. The requirements in the UK include compliance with data protection legislation and e-commerce legislation.

Executive coaching

What is the main principle behind executive coaching? In a nutshell, this type of coaching is designed to dramatically improve the performance of businesses by delivering professional training to the senior executives who are responsible for the smooth and efficient running of those businesses. Even up to 9 out of 10 senior executives who have undergone this type of coaching believe it to be worth their money and time.

Executive coaching and mentoring is a type of development strategy that overall builds and promotes strength within a company. This way, senior executives can become more successful in the role which they assumed by delivering a completely rebranded plan to their existing companies.

Why do most senior executives benefit from this sort of help? The answer to this question is fairly simple. Most business owners run their companies exactly the same way for many years. Very often, a fresh approach is exactly what they need in order to ensure that they produce the results that are satisfactory to them, or even more, the results that surpass their current expectations. We all get used to doing things the certain way that we so much get accustomed to them not even knowing that we might be missing something important here, something that really matters. By this I don’t mean that we all do things the wrong way. Executive coaching is there to help senior executives identify their strengths and then manipulate them in such a way to achieve the best possible results.

The bottom line is that when it comes to executive coaching, everything boils down to understanding where you stand today, what you want to do in the future and what steps you need to take in order to get there on time. Sometimes, the right specialists are needed in order to ensure that you have the right means in order to accomplish your goals.

Finally, executive coaching is about making the right type of progress at the right speed. Even if you are making progress, if you are not making it fast enough you risk getting stuck in a place where you might not want to stay for a long time.

The Importance of An Outdoor Marketing Calendar

Each year in the UK is full of various multicultural events from Chinese New Year to Palm Sunday, or Father’s Day. We all can name a few events (most of which are not even bank holidays anyway), but are you absolutely sure that you know all the dates that are important these days? A quick look at the Marketing calendar in the UK should reveal all the options.

As a business owner in the UK you need to make sure that you are aware of various traditions and dates that take place all year round in the country in which you live. The UK is a multicultural nation where many traditions cross and where each nation has a right to preserve their traditions. If you want to launch a marketing campaign, this might be just the right place to get started as you have a lot of traditions to work with here. Timing them and taking advantage of them is the key to success.

In the beginning of each year it definitely makes sense to make yourself familiar with all the traditions that take place withing the next 365 days. Nobody says that you need to tailor your marketing strategy to all of the events in the calendar. You might want to choose just a few events that fit with the theme of your product and them start from there.

Remember to be sensitive when it comes to various traditions and customs. Very often, researching thoroughly a tradition might be the best decision you will ever make and something that can affect your marketing campaign for a very long time. Choose your strategy carefully and you have everything set and ready to go for a really long time.

You might want to be flexibly as well. If you have proof that something has not worked out the way you wanted it be sure to adjust to the situation and make the necessary changes. And remember that there are many dates in the calendar each year you will want to take advantage of. Feel free to research even more traditions that not everybody knows about and who knows maybe you are going to reach a group of people with a product that nobody else has thought about reaching before.

Emergency Loans To Consider For Your Business

As a business owner, you strive to prepare for all of the difficulties your company may face. Even during periods of great success, we must all prepare for challenges lurking around the corner. Generally, most trials a business may face can be overcome with more money. Of course, these are also the times when cash flow can be at their lowest. The good news is that there are cash flow options. Just as you might use title loans to overcome personal finance troubles, you can access emergency loans for your business. With that in mind, let’s look at the emergency financing options you may have available.

Bank Loans, Credit Lines and Credit Increases

Bank loans can range from a few months to several years. They’re often the ideal way to borrow because of the favorable terms. If your business has developed a history with a particular bank, you may be able to get a loan on short notice. Another option is a credit line, which can be opened quickly with good credit. If you already have a line of credit, an extension to that line is another option.

SBA Loans

The Small Business Association doesn’t just help get new businesses off the ground. The SBA helps prepare and deal with emergencies. If you’re facing an emergency that threatens your business and cannot get a loan through a traditional lender, you may find the assistance you need via the SBA.

Disaster Assistance

If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a natural disaster, then you may be eligible for special assistance. Agencies like FEMA often help facilitate this kind of special assistance. Even the SBA has funds set aside and sometimes awards grants, which don’t have to be repaid.

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders are becoming more prevalent, and they offer a path for creditworthy businesses to traditional financial institutions that wouldn’t otherwise be there. If you face an emergency but can’t get a bank loan, these alternative lenders may be willing to take on that risk. An advantage this approach offers is being able spread the money you need across multiple entities willing to assume that risk.

Asset-Based Loans

If your business lacks the credit necessary for traditional forms of lending, borrowing with collateral may be an alternative. Businesses can often acquire short-term loans on short notice using assets the business holds or even personal assets held by the business owner. Common examples of this collateral include commercial real estate, privately held real estate, inventory and equipment.

Bridge Loans

Bridge financing is a type of financing that assists a business in meeting its financial obligations while it waits for other entities to meet theirs. For instance, a business may be waiting on a large payment from a client or may be waiting on a large financing deal to be completed by a bank. These bridges are usually for relatively small amounts over short periods and let a business bridge a financial gap.

Emergency Equipment Leasing

If the emergency your business faces is that you need equipment or similar assets that you cannot afford at the moment, emergency leasing may be available. These opportunities are generally offered directly through the vendor and may or may not be backed by a bank. This type of leasing usually works in one of two ways. It can let you lease the equipment you need until you’re in a position to purchase, or it can defer any lease payments owed to a future date.

Cash Advances

A final option is a cash advance. These are similar to bridge loans in some ways but involve the sale of future credit card deposits or similar transactions. In other words, you receive cash based on future sales at the cost of some percentage of those future sales. The cost of this option can be quite high compared to the other options presented here, but it’s sometimes the only option for a business owner in pinch.

Tips on Expanding Your Business to a New Location

When expanding your existing business to a new location, it can be stressful, especially if your previous venture was at a pre-existing location. If you’ve never built a new work space from the ground up before, then the prospect of doing so may seem daunting. In order to help alleviate some of those concerns, and make the entire process more enjoyable overall, this guide will offer up some simple tips to make the concept of business expansion much more straightforward.

Installation Specialists

Before you choose a plot of land to build your new business, you might want to invest in an installation specialist that can do most of the work for you. Surveyors can go out to the prospective area and determine whether or not the land is right for sustaining a business. If you’re someone who doesn’t really know much about surveying, or what is involved in installing a new business from the ground up, then it can be worth investing in these services. In fact, it’s recommended that you seek out a knowledgeable installation expert, even if you already know what you’re doing. It’s always a good idea to have two separate sets of eyes overlooking complex projects of this magnitude.

Invest in Peripherals

It’s not enough to simple put up some walls and call a new area your place of work. If you want to add legitimacy to your location, then you’ll want to invest in the associated additions. This means finding things that fit your company’s style, like turnkey digital signage. Companies like Casco Signs offer these types of LED digital signs, which allow businesses to easily put up messages on them for potential customers to then see.

Prepare Financial Materials Beforehand

If your business expansion is reliant on outside investing, then you’ll want to make sure all of your paperwork is in order before you approach any would-be investors. During this process, it will also allow you to review your current financial situation, and better prepare you mentally for the costs associated with a typical business expansion project.

Expanding your business can be an exciting, and potentially lucrative, experience, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its fair share of difficulties. If you can rise to the challenge though, you’ll find it to ultimately be incredibly rewarding, on both a personal and a financial level.