Kasasa

Kasasa works with community banks and credit unions to create products for consumer accounts. Kasasa does all the marketing. Kasasa is a product of BancVue/ FirstROI.
Kasasa Tunes free stuff from iTunes.

The guys from Kasasa had a great presentaition even if it was a little corny. Helping the smaller local banks be more profitable should be a good way to stabilize the banks so that there is less worry about the big banks that may be deemed “too big to fail”.

POP Money: Pay Other People

POPMoney is a new product from CashEdge. You can send via your onlin banking to another person via email, mobile number or bank account. For me and anyone else who uses PayPal to pay people or get payment, this sounds great.

I am really excited about POPMoney. I wonder if there are fees associated with using POPMoney. They have four banks using this.

Nichelle
bookkeeper, cupcake enthusiast, editor

Take 5 Links You Can Use: Happy, Frugal or Cheap, P and L

16 Ways to Be Happier at Work. via Gretchen Rubin.

Are you a frugalista or a cheapskate? This Small Change column in the Washington Post will tell you the difference.

Reviewing your profit and loss statement is a good thing. Not sure what it is? Read this from Outright’s blog.

Get Mint.com on your MyYahoo.com page, so you can keep mind on your money, even while checking your horoscope.
Planning a staycation in New York City?  Here’s how to do it.

Web 2 Point Dough: iPhone App, Runway Project

tamales

Wise Up: Wi$eUp is a program designed for Generation X & Y women. Its goals are to promote financial security through online education and to encourage responsible saving habits for future retirement.

No more password reset:  Clipperz is the one stop shop for storing all your passwords.

iPhone App: Less Accounting now has an iPhone App.

Keeping nickels: Thursday May 14, I will be doing a bookkeeping seminar at New Work City as part of the Runway ProjectOutright.com kindly sent me some T-shirts, so I will be giving them away. Free!

To learn more about the Runway Project, read this article.

Vitamin C For Your Schedule C And Nine Tricky Business Deductions

April 15 is less than a month away. Don’t panic! If you are self-employed and do not have C-Corp, then you will be filing a 1040 with Schedule C.  A Schedule C shows the Profit or Loss from Business.  The income is the easy part,  but the tricky part is knowing how to classify expenses.  First look at your Chart of Accounts. The Chart of Accounts is to a business’ financial picture as a table of contents is to a book. Use your Charts of Accounts as “vitamin C” and it will prevent errors in recording your income and expenses. I recommend printing a blank copy of a 1040 form with the Schedule C and then printing out a copy of your current Chart of Accounts. Then you can “map” accounts, which means to assign what deductible expenses that will properly correspond to your business’ Chart of Accounts.  If you are not using Quickbooks or have no idea what a Chart of Accounts is, then I suggest you sign up for a free Outright account. You can use Outright to figure out your taxable income taking the income and expenses for 2008 that you already have calculated on an Excel spreadsheet. 🙂

Outright enlisted the help of two bookkeepers Jeanné Neubelt of BookWorks Total Bookkeeping Services and Cheryl Hinkson of For Your Business Bookkeeping Services to compile a list of nine “hardest to classify” business deductions.

1. Business cards
When you first hang out your shingle, you might head down to the local printer to get some business cards made up.  But what kind of expense is that?

Which do I choose: Supplies, Legal & Professional Services or Advertising?
Recommendation: Advertising

As a self-employed individual, odds are your business cards will be given out to prospective customers in an effort to generate revenue.  For this reason, the most appropriate category would be Advertising.

2. Website Hosting
You pay a monthly hosting fee to firms like Host My Site. Does that go under equipment rental?  Office expense?

Which do I choose: Advertising, Utilities, Equipment Rental or Office expense?
Recommendation: Advertising or Utilities

According to Jeanné, this expense is similar to business cards in that it is likely used to help attract customers and drive revenue.  However, Cheryl sees it a bit differently: “Web Hosting is a service and with a detailed P&L you would list it as Service Provider but on a simple P&L you will list it as a Utility.”

3. Stock photos/icons (and other digital media)
Which do I choose: Cost of Goods Sold, Office Expense, Supplies, Legal & Professional Services?

Recommendation: Cost of Goods Sold, Advertising, or Supplies

In this case, it depends on how the items are used.  As Cheryl explains, “A web designer or graphic company that has signed up for unlimited access to stock photos available online would expense the monthly or quarterly fee to supplies for Cost of Goods Sold.”  However, in the case where the images are being used for your business web site, “you could easily classify the expense as Advertising or Supplies”, says Jeanné.

4.Getting a DBA/Fictitious Name
You’re now in business for yourself, so you get a super cool name to use.  How do you treat the costs of doing that?

Which do I choose: Taxes & Licenses or Legal & Professional Services?
Recommendation: Both, unless you file everything yourself

According to Cheryl: “Formation Fees should be broken into two categories:  The portion of the fee that is paid to the state and the annual renewal fee should be recorded as taxes & licenses and the portion of the fee that is for professional services provided should be classified as legal & professional fees if you contracted a licensed professional to complete your formation documents.”

5. Payments to web designers (and other independent contractors)
How do you treat the graphic designer who created the look and feel for your web site?

Which do I choose: Legal & Professional Services or Contract Labor?
Recommendation: Contract Labor

“Professional services is generally used only for legal, accounting/tax/payroll and business consultancy,” says Jeanné.  Better to use Contract Labor – and “be sure to get a completed W-9 so you can send 1099s where appropriate.”

6. Desktop Software
You fork over the money to purchase the latest version of Adobe’s CS4.

Which do I choose: Supplies?  Office Expense?  Depreciation/Section 179?
Recommendation: Depreciation/Section 179

As Cheryl states, “Software Purchases are a depreciable item unless the program has a useful life of less than one year. In most cases you would not replace your software each year so it should be listed as a depreciable item.”

7.Web-based software subscriptions
Being the fan of web-based software that you are, you have monthly subscriptions to FreshBooks  for your invoicing.  But where do those expenses go?

Which do I choose:  Utilities, Office Expense, or Taxes & Licenses?
Recommendation: Utilities or Office Expense

Here we get different opinions.  For Cheryl, “In a simple set of books I would classify payments to a Web Services Provider to utilities as you are utilizing their program.”  However, Jeanné recommends placing them under Office Expense.

8. Postage
There are still times when you have to send this by snail mail.  And that does in fact cost money.

Which do I choose:  Supplies, Office Expense, Other Expense?
Recommendation: Office Expense if small, Other Expenses if significant

According to Jeanné, you would place the costs under “Office Expense if it is a few rolls of stamps or the postage meter for letters.”  However, for large shipping costs, place them under Other Expenses.

9.Coffee machine, coffee and filters
You need your caffeine, we know.  But what kind of deduction is that?

Which do I choose: Supplies or Office Expense?
Recommendation:  Office Expense

“Office Supplies are physical widgets and stuff you use up (paper clips, pens, sticky notes, toner, legal pads, thumb drives, computer supplies, planners and calendars, etc),” says Jeanné. “Office expense might be more substantial or service related  (janitorial supplies, cleaning service, coffee supplier, water cooler, etc.)”

Bonus expenses: Using the “other expenses” category

The following are very common self-employed expenses that should be placed under the “other expenses” category:

* Bank/ATM fees
* Survey and research costs
* Professional “How To” Books (web design, programming, etc.)