The Great (Well, 6K) Geezeo Bailout Contest

 I just got an email from Geezeo.

Geezeo wants to help the 50 million Americans between the ages of 18-44 that will make money-related New Year’s resolutions. They offer tools that help people better understand their money, set up easy-to-use budgets, and achieve their financial goals. With a commitment to helping users reach their goals, Geezeo is introducing The Great Geezeo Bailout! Between January 2, 2009 and March 31, 2009, Geezeo users can win a very grand prize: Geezeo will pay someone $6k in cash to pay off their bills!!

Three Time Tracking Sites

I’m here today at New Work City getting stuff cleaned up for the end of the year.  I have unsubscribed to over a dozen email newsletters, delete draft emails and followed up on advertisers for Cupcake Takes The Cake. In the meantime, I have heard about three time tracking sites from fellow co-workers and twitterers.

Lets Freckle


Less Time Spent

Web 2 Point Dough:, TwitPay and SXSWi

Mint has a free iPhone App that is now available for download.  You can check your bank and credit card balances and watch your investment performances. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can set your alerts to come to your phone via SMS. Also, check out this article in the New York Times about using online personal finance sites like Mint, SmartyPig and Wesabe.

Want to send money to your Twitter friends? TwitPay is a great way to donate money quickly to your Twitter community.

BTW,  I will be attending South by Southwest Interactive in 2009. I am so happy and honored to be on a panel with Aaron Patzer of and the founders of Smarty Pig. The panel is called, “Finance 2.0: Money Management to Save this Generation” panel at SXSW is scheduled for Monday, March 16th.

Can You Bank On The Amount “Available” According To Your Bank?

Question: Is the bank balance shown on your online banking the actual amount available?

A friend of mine ran into this problem at Bank of America. I totally feel for her and for my bookkeeping clients whose balances were not exactly what the bank says.  Even though the banks offer “real time” bank balances, it is actually not true. The problem is since transactions posted in the afternoon (i.e. deposits) usually don’t appear until the next day whereas debit card transactions at a store, restaurant are immediate no matter what time of day.  That’s why bank reconciliations are still important.

Online banking sites use the terminology “pending transactions”, “uncollected amounts” and “amount available” but what does it really mean?  As much as I love online banking and personal finance sites, you have to remember that the more frequently that you have automatic debits and credits to your bank account, the more you have to  be vigilant of what you actually spend.

15 Questions That Small Businesses Ask About Social Media

 Here’s a great blog post listing questions that small business owners will ask about social media. If you are a small business, ask these questions, and if you provide social media strategy, then be prepared to answer these questions.

clipped from

  • How much is it gonna cost?
  • But first tell me what exactly it is?
  • Is it like Facebook or Myspace? Because that’s all I really know.
  • Twitter? I’ve heard about it, but I’m not really sure what that is.
  • A blog? I don’t see what I blog is going to do for my business, besides, I don’t have time nor the desire to write one.
  • So you’re going to “show me” how social media is going to drive business? Ok…(proceeds to wait)
  • Who else is using it?
  • Are there any companies like mine that are using it?
  • So can you guarantee this?
  • Who’s going to do this? You? or us?
  • How long is this going to take?
  • I still don’t understand but I’ll take your word for it.
  • Can you get our website ranked higher in Google?
  • Will I make money?
  • Will I save money?
  • blog it

    End Of Year Bookkeeping Checklist

    The end of the year is upon us, and it is time to get organized with your accounting records. If you talk to your CPA, he/she would highly recommend getting on a robust accounting system for your business.  Check out Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Less Accounting or Harvest. Leave the Excel spreadsheets alone!

    This is not an exhaustive list, but an outline of what you need to
    prepare for the end of the year

    Enter final transactions for the year

    • Review tax form (1040-Schedule C) from prior year and compare to this year’s expenses
    • Enter ALL cash receipts for business expenses (taxis, business meals,subway, train)
    • Reconcile all your accounts and enter any missing transactions
    • Work on reducing receivables (Follow up with clients/customers to get paid)
    • Write-off bad debt if necessary, but work on getting paid by customers/clients first
    • Make SEP IRA or 401K contributions and donations to charity to reduce taxable income
    • Make all asset depreciation entries (only applicable for equipment that you had put on a depreciation schedule)

    Organize: Make Life Easier on Your CPA and Understand What Happened During The Year

    • Organize receipts and statements for expenses that will be itemized on your Schedule C/1040
    • Review your budget and compare actual to budget which will help develop 2008 budget
    • Inquire from your CPA as to what reports, form and any other documentation are needed for tax preparation
    • Ask if year-end reports should be on a cash basis or
      accrual basis
    • Print out a copy of general ledger
    • Back up the Quickbooks file in case of any data loss
    • Send a copy of your Income Statement and Balance Sheet to your accountant at the end year to get an idea what your taxes will be in March 15 (quarterly tax payment) and/or April (personal income tax deadline).

    Employee/Independent Contractors

    • Order 1099-MISC forms (Independent Contractors)  and W-2 forms (Payroll Employees) early. The forms are much cheaper if buy at Staples then via Quickbooks.
    • Get Independent Contractors and Employees current mailing address, SSN and the total payments made to them for the year.