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How do I keep track of income when self-employed

Keeping records of your income when self-employed can be difficult. It’s not just about the money you make either, but your business expenses and all of this needs to be monitored to help you keep the info you need for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when it’s time to file your self-assessment tax return as a self-employed person by January 31st.

So, how do you keep track of your income whilst working in self-employment? Let’s find out below.

self employed woman

Deciding on your accounting method

Your accounting period is the same each year in the UK – from April 6th through to April 5th. The 2021-2022 tax year runs from April 6th 2021 to April 5th 2022, for example.

But that’s all that remains the same in accounting. How you choose to keep your business records for accounting is really up to you. So let’s look at the options.

 

Traditional accounting

Traditional accounting is simply where you record all income and expenses based on when you were given the invoices or bills. Regardless of whether you are yet to receive payments or pay the outstanding bill yourself.

For example, you might have an outstanding bill from a supplier that was given to you on March 18th 2022, but they don’t want payment until April 18th 2022. Of course, you won’t be paying them until the next tax year, but you would still include the payments in this tax year in traditional accounting because you’re concerned with when the bill was given, not when it’s due.

Cash basis accounting

Cash basis accounting is where you record all income and expenses only when the bill has been paid or the money has been received. This is typically used by self-employed individuals and most small businesses earning less than £150,000 per year, as it means you pay less tax in the accounting period as you won’t need to pay income tax on business income that hasn’t been received yet.

 

What records do I need to keep?

Regardless of your accounting method, you’ll still need to keep similar records. Some will be needed for your self-assessment tax return, and others simply if HMRC launches an investigation into your business income.

Keeping inadequate business records can lead to hefty fines of up to £3000, so it’s in your best interest to brush up on your record-keeping and know what exactly you need to keep. A spokesperson from the Darlington Office of Auditox Accountancy said that 80% of self-employed people who came to them after they had started their business rather than before required almost double the workload to get back on track and so ended up costing them more in the long run.

Here’s everything you’ll need to keep records of:

  • all sales and income
  • all business expenses
  • VAT records (if you’re VAT registered, not everybody is because not everybody needs to be)
  • personal income (recording where you’ve put your own personal funds into your business, too)
  • PAYE records (if you have employees)

If you’re using the traditional accounting method, you’ll also need:

  • Info about money owed but not received
  • Invoices received but not yet paid
  • Value of stock at the end of the accounting period
  • Year-end bank account balance
  • Personal investment
  • Business money used for personal use

 

Why is keeping records important?

Keeping accurate records is vital. It will help you fill in your self-assessment tax return but also helps HMRC work out how much income tax you will have to pay and the national insurance contributions you’ll have to make.

Without accurate records, you won’t be able to show every business expense and appropriate accounting records for HMRC to work out the taxable income you’ll pay tax on. You can read more here about bookkeeping.

Because you’re running your own business as a sole trader, you can claim business expenses, tax relief on pension contributions, and other benefits available to you that qualify you for some reduction in the amount of income tax you’ll pay that tax year. That’s because you haven’t taken home every penny of your income like you would do if you were employed by someone else, because some of your money has gone back into the business. HMRC needs to know about all of this.

By keeping accurate records and receipts of your business income and expenses, HMRC will be able to tell you how much tax you actually owe.

 

Business expenses

Below is a list of business expenses you’ll need to keep:

  • Travel and accommodation
  • Legal and financial costs
  • Marketing costs
  • Clothing expenses
  • Utilities
  • Subscriptions

Basically, if you have to spend money as part of your business, you should record that.

 

How long should I keep records?

As a small business or self-employed individual, you’ll need to keep all of your basic records for five years after the January 31st deadline.

That means all receipts, records, invoices, expenses, etc, for the 2021-2022 tax year (which is due by January 31st, 2023) will need to be kept until January 31st, 2028. This is a legal requirement and is non-negotiable.

 

What evidence do I need to keep?

For those five years, you simply need to keep all evidence of your business income and expenses. Evidence would include:

  • receipts for goods and stocks
  • bank statements from your business bank account (showing all account payments and income)
  • cheque book stubs
  • sales invoices (including own invoices you’ve sent out)
  • physical receipts of cash payments
  • paying in slips etc.

All of this information should show the date and information about the services that your business has paid for or your business has been paid for.

 

How to store this evidence

Ideally, self-employed people will store all of their record-keeping electronically, as this makes it much easier to send over to HMRC should they require it. Keeping physical copies isn’t always practical, and can result in loss or damage, which could see you receiving a hefty fine.

As Making Tax Digital is due to take full effect in April 2023, sole traders must get used to using tax software to store all their info for filing their tax returns.

Certain tax software will allow you to take pictures of physical receipts instead too, which just streamlines your record-keeping and makes everything easier.

 

Final thoughts

So long as you record everything (electronically if possible), choose the accounting method that works for you, and keep accurate records of all expenses and income relating to your business for 5 years after the January 31st deadline of the tax year the records relate to, then recording your income whilst self-employed is easy enough.

Then simply use the information you’ve kept to tell HMRC via the self-assessment tax return, and you can be sure that you’re meeting all legal requirements! It really is as easy as that.

 



 

How to Make Money Using Free Apps

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There are several apps that can help you earn side income. From banking to making purchases, we use smartphones for many of our chores. So why not use it to earn a little money as well? Sure, you won’t get rich, but this money may come in handy here and there.

We’ve listed a few of these apps below:

Worthy Bonds

Worthy Bonds lets you invest as little as $10 (or $1,000 if you feel like it) and gain 5% in fixed interest. The company creates and trades U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-qualified bonds that help fuel small businesses while offering a 5% yield to you – with no fees, and with access to your funds at any time. These bonds have a 36-month term.

Through the app, you can schedule how much and how often you want to purchase bonds, and the company can round up your everyday purchases to the next whole number and automatically invest this leftover change in a $10 bond. Bonds have a 36-month term but can be cashed out at any time without being penalized. The company has sold $150 million in bonds, and its 100,000 consumers have made $5.1 million in interest.

Users can also enjoy special deals from insurance to leisure, and exclusive access to financial education resources.

 

Foap

If you’re a shutterbug constantly taking photos, you could leverage Foap to sell these pictures. Foap is a social media advertising platform that lets you upload your photo collection and sell it to well-known brands. Alternatively, you can also go on missions that require specific tasks and earn at least $50. One photo can be sold as many times as you like, and every time you sell a photo on Foap, you get 50% of the commission. Foap also distributes your content through partners, such as Getty Images.

Foap lets you cash out your earnings through PayPal.

 

Gigwalk

Gigwalk pays you to perform small tasks based on where you are located. Simply download the app and find a gig near you. Each listing includes the payment, a short description of the gig and the location. Most of the gigs are typically from retail stores looking for brand audits or feedback on products and product displays, but online gigs like website testing and surveys are listed as well.

Occasionally, a business may ask a screener question, and once you’re accepted, you’ll be notified and provided with instructions. Once you’ve completed the task, there may be follow-up questions for you to answer. The app is linked to PayPal for payments.

 

Field Agent

Audits, research, mystery shopping, and product trials are some of the jobs that can be found on Field Agent. Once you’ve reserved a job, complete it within the time frame and make sure to follow instructions carefully in order to be paid. Jobs generally pay in the range of $3 and $20. Before you graduate to paying jobs, you have to complete ticket jobs. Jobs posted are generally on a first-come-first-served basis so it’s best to check the app often for any new jobs. The company said it has paid more than $20 million so far to its agents.

 

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars pays you for taking surveys, reading emails, completing offers, playing games or shopping online. It has a simple, easy-to-navigate user interface, and the company is transparent about how much you can earn by completing tasks. However, you can only cash out once you have $30 in your Inbox Dollars account, and a $3 processing fee is deducted from your withdrawal amount. The company also offers a $5 sign-up bonus. If you do not use the app for 10 days, your account is automatically deactivated.

Since 2000, the company has paid more than $57 million in cash rewards to its members.

 

Neighbor

Have an unused space in your homes like a shed or basement? You can rent it on Neighbor and earn passive income. As a host, you decide who stores, what they store, and how they access the space. Neighbor runs a verification check and provides a $2 million host guarantee as well as a $25,000 renter guarantee. The peer-to-peer platform claims that it saves renters 50% on average, compared to self-storage and is 14 times safer than storing at a self-storage facility. Hosts are protected from unfair liability, receive guaranteed payouts, and don’t pay to use the platform.

 



 

How To Hire for Accountants in 2022

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Hiring is the most demanding part of any business. Yet, it is also the crucial one. Therefore, the hiring process should be designed to uncover the perfect fit for your company.

It’s important to understand that hiring the right person will enhance your workflow and create better results for you and your team.

In this article, we’ll share some tips on hiring accountants in 2022. From understanding what skills are needed to interviewing candidates, we have answered all of your questions here:

Conduct a thorough job analysis

Before you even start your search, you must know what you’re looking for. The job analysis is a vital part of the hiring process. It can help you find the perfect person more quickly by clearly outlining what skills, qualifications, and experience are needed for each position.

Job analysis is a process by which the recruiters first collect the information about a job and then analyze it. The goal is to know what you have to look for. At the end of the job analysis process, you get a job description and specification.

Some methods to effectively conduct job analysis are as under:

  • Observation: you observe individuals performing a similar/same job somewhere and note their duties and tasks.
  • Interview: you interview individuals performing a similar/same job somewhere and ask about their responsibilities.
  • Questionnaires: you roll out questionnaire forms including the questions about their responsibilities to individuals performing a similar/same job somewhere.

 

Once you have chosen the job analysis methods, you can follow the following steps to conduct it thoroughly.

Step 1: Plan the job analysis

At this stage, you set the objectives of your job analysis process. As an HR person, you also involve the top management to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Step 2: Introduce the job analysis

At this stage, you set the methodology for the job analysis. First, you have to choose either to observe or interview. You can also have a blend of multiple methods. Then, you need to communicate the preferred method(s) with the people involved.

Step 3: conduct the job analysis

At this stage, you perform the methods mentioned earlier. First, you compile the gathered data and then review it.

Step 4: create job descriptions and specifications

By utilizing the collected data in the previous step, you draft the job specifications and descriptions. The involved persons and top management then review this initial draft. At last, you finalize a job description and specification to be rolled out for the hiring process.

Step 5: maintain and update job descriptions and specifications

Creating a job description and specification is not the end. In this age of disruptive technologies, you need to keep them up-to-date as per the new changes. Hence, you must revise the job description and specifications continuously.

Once done with the job analysis process, you will have its product at hand—job description and specification.

This job description would highlight the need for accounting skills as well as expertise in managing a team or providing financial assistance.

Knowing precisely what you want before you start interviewing candidates will save both time and money—and help you find the best candidate.

 

Start your recruiting process

For hire image

After a thorough job analysis, you exactly know what you are looking for. Hence, now is the time to start your hunt for the right candidate. How do you find them? There are three common ways as under:

Internet Recruiting

The age of the internet has made it easier for employers to reach potential candidates. With the help of the internet, you can use the following ways to attract potential hires for application.

  • E-recruiting: You use internet recruiting tools, such as blogs, websites, or Twitter, to post your job description and specification.
  • Online job boards: There are special online job boards that facilitate the interaction of employers and their potential employees. The websites such as Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, etc., allow you to post your job description and specification.
  • Employer website: You can also have a ‘hiring’ page on your website dedicated to this purpose. A good website will not only lure active job seekers but also passive job seekers.

 

Internal Recruiting

Employers can also find potential hires from the sources within their organization. Some of them are as under:

  • Employee-focused recruiting: you get suggestions from your current employees about the right accountant to hire.
  • Current-employee referrals: if the employees know the right accountant within their acquaintances, family, and friends, they refer it to the employer.
  • Re-recruiting former employees: if you had previously excluded a good accountant from their position, possibly because you were downsizing, you can now recall them for the vacant position.

 

External Recruiting

Another source to find potential hires is external recruiting. Some of its ways are as under:

  • Media: Media sources include newspapers, television, magazine, billboards, digital ads, videos, webinars, and more.
  • Employment Agencies: you can take the help of an employment agency within your region. They function to connect employers and employees.
  • Job Fairs: you can either organize a job fair yourself or participate in one. Oftentimes, organizations put their stalls in job fairs and conduct walk-in interviews of the potential candidates there.

 

Conduct an accounting test

After the potential hires have applied for the position, you must take them to the next significant step—testing their technical knowledge. The first condition of the right person is that they must have a thorough understanding of accounting.

To assess it, you must conduct a test. It can be online or on-site. If you go with the online testing option, we recommend TestGorilla’s accounting test. It is a predesigned test by accounting experts, so you don’t need to worry about creating a new one from scratch.

It assesses a candidate’s knowledge of the accounting process, terminologies, debit/credit calculations, the creation of financial statements, and more. Simply put, it would assess all of the necessary accounting skills of a candidate. 

Or, you can also go with the on-site testing option. However, it would be costly. You will have to set up an examination hall, purchase examination stationery, hire invigilators and checkers. 

Before all of it, you will have to design the test first. In a nutshell, the onsite testing option will cost you both money and time.

 

Design a perfect interview

The interview should be designed to get to know the candidate’s technical accounting knowledge, work ethic, communication skills, and other essential qualities.

It’s essential to ask specific questions about what they’ve done in their past that are relevant to your position. The questions you ask should relate to the job you’re hiring for. Make sure you pay attention to their body language as well as how they answer your questions.

Here are some examples of good questions:

  • What is your accounting background?
  • Which inventory valuation method should the businesses use: LIFO, FIFO, weighted average?
  • What is the Operating Profit Ratio?
  • Describe one time when you could improve efficiency at a previous job.

 

The right interview environment

If you want to find a great accountant, the interview environment is the key. In order to have a successful interview, it’s essential to understand some of the qualities of a good accountant. One way to start would be by looking for an accountant with a positive attitude.

In addition, you should also look for someone who is dependable and reliable as these skills will make them a better fit for your business.

The best way to assess these qualities is through an interview setting where both parties feel comfortable talking with each other.

If you’re hiring remotely over the phone or video chat, make sure you speak up and articulate what you need from them.

When you’re looking for an accountant, it’s important to understand what skills and abilities are needed. For example, if you’re looking for someone who specializes in auditing your company’s records and tracking numbers, you’re going to need a candidate who is detail-oriented and detail-driven.

To find such a candidate, you’ll want to make sure they have the following skills:

  • They can work on their own with minimal supervision
  • They ask questions when they don’t know something
  • They can follow directions well
  • They stay calm under pressure
  • They have good multitasking skills

 

Wrapping up

As your company grows and your accounting needs change, you’ll have to be prepared to hire a new accountant. But new skills and technologies will create a whole new set of challenges as you look for new talent.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take today that will help ensure that your search for the perfect accountant is successful.

In this article, we’ve covered the key steps to hiring an accountant in 2022, including conducting a thorough job analysis, conducting an accounting test, designing a perfect interview, and preparing questions before the interview. 

Now it’s time to put these steps into action and find the best accountant for your business.

 



 

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money by Hiring an Accountant

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As a small business owner, there is no doubt you are very mindful of the money being spent. Small businesses don’t always have a lot of excess cash flow, and expenses need to make sense for the company. Trying to save the company money could be one of the reasons why you’ve been doing your own bookkeeping up until this point, rather than hiring an accountant. However, did you know that doing your bookkeeping could be costing you more money than actually hiring a professional?

Here we’ll take a look at four ways in which a company can save money and benefit by hiring a small business accountant. It may surprise you just how useful an accountant can be.

 

Reduce the Errors Being Made

Unless you are a trained professional, there are bound to be errors in your bookkeeping. Even seemingly small errors can end up costing the company money, and they add up over time. By hiring a professional account, you’ll reduce the errors being made, making sure that expenses and profits are carefully tracked and recorded.

Besides accurately tracking everything, this will also give you a more complete picture of your business. You can see where the money is being spent, trends that are happening and potential areas in which you can start to cut costs.

 

An Accountant Knows the Tax Laws and Regulations

There are also plenty of tax laws, regulations and even loopholes that business owners should be aware of and take advantage of, but again, unless you are a trained professional, you won’t know these essentials. An accountant will make sure everything is on the up-and-up, and if there are any places for tax savings or breaks, they will find them. If you’re looking for a small business accountant, check out Sanjay Gupta and Associates.

 

Never Incur a Tax Penalty Again

How many times have you filed your taxes late because, let’s face it, it’s a lot of work? Unfortunately, filing late means you incur tax penalties and this is an added cost. Rather than face these penalties yearly, hire an accountant to make sure you file by the deadline.

 

They Can Help You to Plan for the Future

Then there is the fact that an accountant can offer valuable advice and insight for the future of your business. Perhaps you are thinking of expanding into new markets in the future, maybe you want to invest in new assets and equipment, or even purchase additional office or warehouse space? An accountant can help you to make those financial plans and set targets and goals you can follow. Careful planning means you won’t make costly mistakes.

If you’re on the fence about hiring a small business accountant, the facts are very clear; not only will they take a load of responsibility and work off your shoulders, but they can also help your company to save money in many different ways. It just makes smart business and financial sense to hire one.

 



 

The Digital Transformation and Benefits of Online Lending

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Traditional lending is generally a long and drawn-out process, as most borrowers can relate to. Completing all required documentation and going through approval processes within a financial institution could take weeks or even months. The stringent requirements often leave out small borrowers who don’t have collateral, a good credit score, or the income stream required by these large institutions. As a result, they often ended up going to loan sharks who are not licensed or registered, putting them at risk of predatory interest rates and even harassment.

 

From Traditional to Digital Lending

Digitalization, or the use of digital technologies to change a business model, has spawned a whole new wave of lending options in recent times. With the exponential growth of financial activities in the digital space, many financial transactions that used to require a visit to a financial institution and submission of pages of documentation are now being conducted over the internet. 

Potential borrowers were able to browse the websites of different financial institutions, compare their rates, and fill in an application form from the comfort of their homes. As the popularity of apps arose, Silicon Valley, and online technology companies in other countries, began developing lending apps that further added to the convenience of a loan application.

 

Benefits

Online lending brings several benefits for an individual needing emergency funding or an entrepreneur seeking finance for business expansion.

Increased financial inclusion

While there are still many underbanked and unbanked individuals, the growth of mobile use has allowed these people to go online, download lending apps, and apply for credit. 

Faster processing time

A Federal Reserve Bank survey conducted in 2019 found that 46% of respondents found the waiting period for their credit application too long while only 12% of those who used online lending platforms complained. 

It is not only the application process that is sped up, but also the payment of loan proceeds. In traditional lending, a loan check could go through several signatories before it can be released to the bank account of the borrower. Then the check has to be cleared before the borrower could get the money. With online lending, the loan can be approved as soon as 24 hours and the borrower’s bank account is immediately credited.

Easier comparison across lending companies

With many lending companies accessible through their websites and/or apps, it is so much easier for borrowers to compare interest rates and other information such as fees, penalties, and documentation required. Quick loans that do not require collateral have much higher interest rates than secured loans so comparing across different companies can get one the best terms.

Greater chance of loan approval

There are now licensed and registered online lending companies that cater to the borrowing sector that often has no collateral and poor credit scores. Traditional lending would likely reject these people. However, they have a greater chance of getting a personal loan when applying with an online lending company. It’s important to check that the lending company is duly registered, but there is now an opportunity for this sector to readily borrow online.

As new technologies expand what can be done online, it is also expected that online lending platforms will likewise grow. If we are to go by the current trends and as we see a digital transformation happening in many companies, there is more to look forward to with online lending platforms.

 



 

Key Emerging Digital Payment Trends

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In recent years, there has been a shift when it comes to the use of digital payments. Reuters highlights how the use of digital wallets and payments has been steadily rising since 2017. Today, these alternative payment options are now being used by billions of consumers from all over the globe. Because of its success, more and more companies have developed a number of alternative options for consumers within these channels.

Increasing adoption of cryptocurrency and digital currency

Cryptocurrency has slowly become part of everyday life. So much so that we even listed cryptocurrency as one of our ‘Hot Stocks to Watch in 2019’. This is promising as there are several reasons why cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, can be a game-changer. Firstly, cryptocurrency appeals to the younger generation while providing greater security. Cryptocurrency can also largely reduce and potentially eliminate any additional transfer costs, leading to savings for consumers. In addition to all of this, they also benefit those in third-world countries who don’t have access to traditional bank accounts. These factors have to a more mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrency. In fact, the Supreme Court has even lifted The Reserve Bank of India’s ban on dealing with cryptocurrency.

The growing popularity of branded credit cards

With the rise of online shopping, customers are turning to credit cards as a popular payment option. A feature on how to build a good credit score by Petal explains how most major retailers often have their own store credit cards, which offer store-wide discounts at the cost of higher interest rates and lower credit limits. While they can promote greater brand loyalty, they offer limited benefits for consumers compared to regular credit cards due to their lack of flexibility. This is because they can only be used in certain locations and with certain brands. On the other hand, being co-branded does away with this problem. If the card is co-branded with Mastercard, Visa, or American Express, it can be more widely used. This is why co-branded credit cards are steadily growing in popularity, drawing in consumers with desirable rewards options.

The rise of e-wallets and mobile payment apps

Unlike bulky physical wallets, e-wallets and apps can be electronically stored on your mobile phone making them much more convenient for travel. Entrepreneur summarizes the various benefits of digital wallets, noting how they are rapidly evolving to adapt to the needs and lifestyles of their consumers. Unlike card payments, they allow instantaneous payments online and make it easier to keep track of your spending. They also come with promotions, and cashback rewards, and enable you to avoid expensive transaction fees. One innovative feature of e-wallets is their seamless integration with fitness wearables, such as the Apple Watch and Garmin models that enable you to make payments with these devices as well. Something that users should be aware of is the possibility of cybersecurity threats when it comes to inadequate password protection or poorly encrypted payment channels.

When it comes to keeping yourself updated with the latest digital payment trends, it’s all about being careful with regard to any security threats and hidden fees that accompany these platforms. Being mindful of your spending habits and maintaining your safety and privacy are paramount to the convenience that these cashless methods provide.

 


 

 

How to save money on transferring your funds between countries?

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We store our funds in different places, whether it be banks, financial platforms, currency exchanges or stock markets. In today’s age of globalization, we can easily use platforms from other countries. Therefore, we start moving our money between different countries and make frequent international transactions. It generates high transaction fees, which can quickly affect our total gains.

Try online remittance platforms

Bank fees for international payments

First of all, it may be worth to research some remittance platforms. Regular international bank transfers are very expensive compared to other online alternatives. The same applies to receiving the funds, as for example some banks charge you just to get money from an overseas account. It may come in handy if you have bank accounts in few countries and want to move your money between them in a convenient and cheap way.

On average the banks charge their users $10-$25 for international SWIFT transfers. Now, sending let’s say 100 USD and exchanging it into EUR through one of the most popular online payment platforms – PayPal, costs around $4.99. The same transfer through other platform called TransferWise would cost only $1.71. At the same time, Lloyds Bank, which is one of the top British banks, charges around $12 for an international money transfer and an international wire from Australia’s ANZ bank costs around $16. You see that the difference is quite significant.

Which money transfer platform is the best?

But as you can see from our quick example, the prices can vary even between two randomly picked platforms. So, which company is the best to handle your money transfer? Well, there is no direct answer to this question. The final transaction cost depends on many factors, such as the currency, your and your recipient’s location, exchange rates, transfer method.

A good way to find out the final costs and choose platform with the best rates at given moment is to use a compare tool. For example Wirly.com, which specialize in gathering information about various remittance companies, created a neat calculator. All you have to do is type in how much money you need to transfer, in which currency and to what country and the platform will show you how much your transfer costs in all of the available money transfer companies. That way, you can either simply choose the top position, or research the lower entries if you are interested in other features.

Some companies may offer cheap transfers, but they might be very slow. In that case, you can simply sort the list depending on the estimated transaction times. If you are looking for the most trusted service for important payments, click on the safety and customer satisfaction categories.

It’s important to research some reviews and real user experience before giving your money to some company. Google Reviews or TrustPilot seem like the places to go. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of particular platform.

 

Watch out for exchange rates

Be careful with “free” transfers

Some transfer companies, as well as banks trick their customers by providing “cheap” transaction fees. In the meantime, they provide unfavorable currency exchange rates. For example, if 1USD is equal to 0.9EUR, they may exchange your dollar for only 0.6EUR, eating that 0.3 as a hidden fee. Try to use currency conversion services, which offer rates the closets to mid-market rates (which are the rates that financial institutions use to trade currencies among themselves).

Try different currency pairs

When talking about transferring funds internationally and exchanging currencies, it’s worth noting that some currencies are cheaper to transfer than others. For example, transferring GBP to EUR might be simply cheaper than sending the same amount in USD. If you own a few currencies you can research some combinations to find the perfect configuration. When talking about these pairs, the next point is also important to have in mind…

Find local services

Some companies specialize in handling money in particular regions or countries. If you look for offers to transfer your funds between specific countries, you may find a great bargain. For example, TransferGo offers transfers between UK and Poland. Their rates in that case are significantly better than any other general remittance platform. There are many other similar examples. Remit2India, as the name indicates has a good connection with India.

To sum up, if you are handling all of your international transfers through your regular bank account, it may be worth checking some online alternatives. The remittance market has grown in recent years and these companies already process millions of transactions each day. If you have at least a few dollars on each transfer, it can add up to bigger amounts in the long term.
 



 

Types of Business Investors You Need to Know

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Different Types of Business Investors

The idea of being your own boss is so exciting, but the point where this idea seems like crashing is when you think about money to kick start your startup. Unless you are born in a millionaire family, or you have served on a higher post for a multinational company, it is difficult to imagine that you would have enough money to see the dawn of your entrepreneurship. That’s why most startups lookout for investors to fulfil their funding requirements.

 

But finding an investor is also not as easy as you imagine. You will not get an investor just by pitching your idea. Moreover, considering that there are so many types of investors, picking the right one for you is also so confusing. But you can’t select an investor randomly because your selection of investor determines whether your venture will be a hit or flop.

Here are some types of investment you need to consider for receiving your funding:

Personal Investors

Personal investors are people close to you, your friends, family members, or anyone in close acquaintances can turn into your personal investor. What can be better than getting a helping hand financially from your acquaintance? Most probably, all the policies and paperwork will be flexible here, but you need to consider a few things.

Personal investors might not be able to lend you a huge amount of money, and involving a personal relationship in the business can be risky. Consult a lawyer and go for detailed documentation of all matters to avoid the creation of any bad blood between you two.

Venture Capitalist

Venture capitalists are people who look out startups for investment that seem to be promising and have a potential for tremendous growth. Usually, people with a lot of money, banks and other established financial institutes are venture capitalists. They know their investment can be a risky affair that is why they only invest in startups that have different business pitch and look different from their competitors. So, to approach a venture capitalist, you really need to have a firm idea.

A VC invests in the early stage and remains in the loop throughout the process, unlike private equity – that’s the main difference between venture capital and private equity. The venture capitalist asks for equity in return for the investment and holds a say in the company.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are the most sought after type of investors in the world of startups because they invest in startups and small businesses for the sake of giving them boost. Due to their intention of wellness, they usually offer to fund on favourable terms and conditions. They are the best option for those who don’t want to see someone else dominating in their company, like in the case of the venture capitalist.

As you can see that there are diverse types of investors, you will encounter while looking out funding for your business. All these types have their own pros and cons. Make sure you consider all the dimensions before choosing your fighter because – the right selection of investor matters!

 



 

How to Put Your Business on Facebook

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Procedure to Put Your Business on Facebook

You know by now that Facebook is one of the most active social media platforms. With almost two billion active monthly users, it has a great potential to turn into a jackpot platform for your business if you hit it right on point. Now, Facebook is no more an option for your business; it has become a necessity. Despite the huge buzz surrounding the significance of Facebook, many businesses still consider it merely a fancy marketing tactic. But it is a lot more than that! If you are missing it from your marketing strategies, you are missing out on a big-time potential to capture a wide customer base.

Feeling motivated to land your business in the world of Facebook? Good, we are here to help you! The best thing is that putting your business on Facebook is also not rocket science. Here are given simple steps of how to create a business Facebook page without a personal account. It is just a matter of a few steps, and you will be closer to your customers – much closer.

Create a Page

The first step is to create your business page. Type facebook.com/business on the search bar and click on Create a Page written in the top right-hand corner of the page. Once you click it, several options will unfold, including the type of business options, services you are offering and cause, etc. Select the required option for each category, and in case you think that your business type can be categorized in more than one mentioned option, then select the one through which you want to register your business among customers.

Fill in the Required Information

Once you select your business type, a box opens that requires you to mention the name of your business, your business address, and the category of your business page. These categories are sub-types of your main business category. After mentioning all the further details, click on ‘Get Started’. You can also check out Facebook’s terms and conditions for running a business page before clicking Get Started because once you click on it, it means that you agree to them no matter what.

Nevertheless, after clicking on ‘Get Started’, you officially get your Business Facebook Page. After that, only a few steps are left.

Set Up a Profile Picture

Next, choose a profile and cover image for your page. Don’t forget that these pictures will be a visual representation of your brand, so you can’t go with random images. Choose the picture wisely, like your brand’s logo can become a great profile picture and your products an amazing cover picture. They will not only be relevant but also give details about your brand personality the moment your customer will land on your page.

Add Details for Users

Now, you already have the basic skeleton of your brand’s Facebook page. But what if your customers need to know more about you and your services? Obviously, merely your profile and cover picture can’t help them. For this, click on Add a Short Description and pitch your brand’s essential features to your customers in max. 155 characters.

Whereas, in the About section, at the top left corner, you can edit the starting date of business, contact information, and details of other social media accounts if any. If you are running a restaurant business, you might also be able to add specific details like menu and prices.

After doing all this, you are all set to update your first post. And starting from here, you need to have a robust Facebook marketing strategy to ensure that your social media venture writes a success story for your business.

 



 

How to turn Money into Gold

Turning money into Gold is pretty simple this day and age. There are countless ways to buy gold coins and bullion online. However, when doing so, be sure you are buying from a highly rated website. Do your research on where are the best places and what are the best practices. Gold is not all the same, there are gold items that are made with different %’s. Gold comes in coins too and you need to understand what they are and their actual worth.

The most important thing you can take away from this is, do your research! Gold coins are all over. There are old coins that were found from the ruins of sea ships and coins that are produced in modern-day mints. The rarity of a coin, as well as other things, determine the worth of a coin. How much gold is in the coin is another factor, for example. So, coins are not just an investment, but they are more of a collectable as well. This is a fun hobby for some and also a great investment at the same time.

There are some gold coins that are much easier to buy and sell. This is an important aspect that should be understood if you plan to trade a lot of coins. Do your homework and find reputable dealers. Understand what the dealers charge to sell gold coins as well.

The Various Ways

There are many ways to turn your money into gold. We have been speaking about turning your money into physical gold, however, there are other ways as well. You can purchase gold certificates or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) for example. These are not the same as the physical gold option but they are essentially trading in your cash for gold.

It really depends on what you are trying to do when turning your money into gold. Are you looking to diversify your portfolio then paper gold such as the certificates and EFT may be what you need? If you are looking to protect yourself and your assets from a falling government or falling money value then you will want the actual gold coins and bullion.

These will need to be stored properly in your safe or bank to ensure you have access to it at all times. Most like to store it in their own safety so that they feel safer and can access it should there be any sort of a crash in the market.

Today you have a couple of options for money. You can use the typical currency issued by banks or you have hard assets like gold. Having all your wealth in currency leaves you vulnerable to attacks. As the governments become unstable or they borrow and make even more debt it makes the value of money very unstable. To help with the stability of wealth, it is important to diversify your funds into assets such as gold.

As with any investments, be sure that you do your homework and research. Ensure you know and understand what it is you want to achieve and how to possibly achieve it. As with any investment, there is some risk. However, without risk, there is no reward.



 

What to do when another business is interfering with yours?

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Steps You Can Take When Another Business Interferes With Your Business

In today’s competitive business market, businesses are vying for lucrative contracts. What happens when another business interferes with your lucrative contract? You may hire a business lawyer and sue them for interfering with economic prospective.

You can sue them for intentional interference with your prospective business advantage if the other business – let’s call it BAD CORP –  disrupts or diverts the business relationship by improper methods which fall outside the boundaries of fair competition.

 

What are the elements of Intentional Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage?

A cause of action exists for intentional interference with another’s prospective business advantage if the defendant disrupts or diverts the business relationship of another by improper methods which fall outside the boundaries of fair competition.

 

Existing Prospective Business Relationship

You must show an existing business relationship or the existence of a “prospective business relationship.”

Examples:

In attempting to prove a prospective business relationship, the “interference with the market” theory is speculative and insufficient as a matter of law.

A podiatrist failed to allege an existing business relationship and, thus, stated no cause of action against the operator of a medical building who induced others not to lease space to the podiatrist.

An expectancy in obtaining a government license to do business was not sufficient because it was not a commercial dealing.

 

Prospective Business Advantage

You must show a “reasonable expectation of economic advantage which would otherwise have accrued to you. There must have been a “probability of future economic benefit” from a business relationship, which means more than a mere “hope” or “desire.”

It must have been “reasonably probable” that the economic advantage would have been realized but for the interference. If a compelling public policy is at stake, the court may permit a greater degree of speculative advantage.

 

Injurious Interference

Injurious interference occurs through an intentional disruption or diversion of the business relationship of another. The loss of potential future referrals and contacts was not sufficient to constitute injurious interference.

 

Wrongful Conduct

You must show that injurious interference did, in fact, occur. As a safeguard against intruding on lawful competition, the act or conduct must be wrongful by some measure beyond the fact of the interference itself. BAD CORP must have engaged in wrongful conduct, separate from the interference itself, that falls outside the boundaries of fair competition.

The conduct must violate a statute or other regulation or a recognized rule of common law or an established standard of a trade or profession. The plaintiff has the burden of pleading and proving that the defendant’s conduct was independently wrongful and not privileged; the defendant no longer has the burden of proving in an affirmative defense that his conduct was privileged.

Wrongful conduct may be the use of unlawful means or means otherwise lawful but without justification. Transactions creating security interests in tort claims are not unlawful per se and not “wrongful” for purposes of the tort of interference with prospective economic advantage.

 

Knowledge and Intent

Bad CORP must have known of and intended to interfere with another’s prospective business advantage. You must show that the interfering business conduct was designed to disrupt the business relationship. The court may infer the intent to interfere from a defendant’s intentional performance of an act substantially certain to result in interference.

 

Money Damages

You must show that BAD CORP caused your business to sustain money damages. Damages must not be speculative; there must be a foreseeable harm to the plaintiff caused or to be caused by the interference.

 



 

Outsourcing Your Businesses Bookkeeping: More Profitable Than You Think

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Outsourcing Your Businesses Bookkeeping

I think we can all agree that accurate accounting is a vital ingredient in a company’s success. The daily requirement of recording this information is often a low priority for those involved in running a business.

Bookkeeping is a skill that many entrepreneurs do not have or realize they need until the burden of keeping accurate financial records starts to take its toll. It’s a large expense to have a bookkeeper in your company so here’s why it’s a great idea to outsource that task.

Priority

Small businesses have small needs but with the potential rapid expansion, the owner will need to access full bookkeeping services. With an outsourced bookkeeping service, there is no need to train or hire a bookkeeper before one is needed. The outsourced service will have full-service tailor-made to the needs of the business.

Business Sense

All businesses need to conserve costs. It is a false economy to try and do it yourself or delegate it to another untrained co-worker. They will be wasting valuable time learning new skills instead of using their critical role in the efficient running of the business. If you outsource the bookkeeping then they are free to do what they are trained for.

Training

When you outsource your booking you are sending it to a trained individual. Like so many aspects of business, the laws and rules are being updated constantly, A professional bookkeeper will keep abreast of all the changes ensuring your business is being looked after.

It would be very difficult to learn about all the latest software solutions and packages used in accounting today. It is simply more effective to outsource this to a trained bookkeeper who knows which solution is best for your business.

Ready to Pay your Taxes

It is so much better to be prepared when you have to file your statements with the IRS. Similarly, your bank and your accountant will be much happier to read professionally recorded financial data.

Your outsourced data will be readily received and the burden reduced. There will be no question of the integrity of the information you provide as it has been verified by a professional bookkeeper.

Privacy

There is always the worry for any business that data is kept private. If you outsource your bookkeeping to an approved bookkeeper with impeccable references than you can rest assured of your business’s privacy. Networking in your community to find a service is paramount to finding a reliable service with a good reputation.

Why should you outsource?

There are some expenses a business can save on but financial well being isn’t one of them. There are too many parties that need to see your accounts and it is better to have a fully accurate record of all your transactions readily available than to struggle to keep track of your money.

If you do not have an experienced in house bookkeeper you should be searching for a company to outsource this role today.

 



 

Using Your Businesses Cash Flow For Loans

Businesses Cash Flow For Loans

Are you looking for a loan to keep your business ‘s cash flowing? Sometimes you need help to keep your business fluid and it may be that you need a cash flow loan. There are many quick collateral-free loans available to help you. There is no risk to your business assets with a cash flow loan and it can only make things better.

 

Are There Different Types of Loans?

Yes, there are four main options with a cash flow loan. Whether you need an invoice loan, a short-term loan, a cash advance loan, or a business line of credit it is vital that you investigate the options available to you. They all have a variety of terms and conditions and with careful consideration, you should pick the one most suited to your needs.

1. Business Lines of Credit

Quite simply one of the most flexible options around. The lender will allocate you a set amount which you can draw from when you need it. Once you repay the debt in full it refills and you can keep using the funds as you see fit. It has the feel of a credit card loan in that as long as you repay the minimum stated amount on the time you won’t incur any penalties.

These loans can be secured or unsecured in that they do not need collateral to obtain one. This is a good option if you need to boost your cash flow. If your financial records are up to date you may receive the cash the same day you apply.

2. Short-Term Loans

Similar to a traditional business loan but with a shorter-term repayment plan these also allow you to access funds immediately. You may have to start the repayments on a daily or weekly basis but a quick repayment can give the business owner peace of mind.

This might be the perfect solution during the busiest months of the year when a sudden injection of funds is required. If your business grows suddenly then this short term loan might just help with the flow.

3. Invoice Financing

This is the perfect solution if you are waiting for invoices to be paid. With an invoice finance loan, the credit company will check your creditworthiness and offer your terms based on the quality of your invoices. It would be a shame if you missed out on buying parts for a large order because you were waiting for someone to pay you.

You should receive around 85 % of the value of the company’s invoices which you can repay as your invoices are paid. The typical fee for this service is 2-3% plus a time related “factor fee”. This loan is collateral-free.

 

4. Merchant Cash Advance

This type of loan is a good option if your business receives money from credit cards. The merchant advance company will loan you money which you will repay as part of your daily credit card sales.

This daily repayment might mean that you have to change credit card providers if you do not work with a company on their list. This option is a little more costly than the others so a thorough investigation in all options is advisable. Ultimately you will make the best decision for your own business.

 



 

The Reasons Why Buying a Smartphone on EMI Is a Good Idea

Few Reasons For Buying a Smartphone on EMI

Smartphones have become a necessity for many people throughout the world. Today’s technically advanced smartphones are capable of doing much more than just receive and place phone calls. And its potential is not restricted to just connecting you on social media platforms; you can use the technology to store data, take pictures and do a lot more.

Are you finally considering upgrading your old mobile phone to a new technology-advanced smartphone, but don’t have the money to buy it? We get it.

Mobile on EMI Stock photo

Your meticulously planned monthly budget, your list potential expenditure, and some unexpected expenses may leave you not enough money to splurge on the latest smartphone. But, if you must own the phone, you can easily buy the smartphone on EMI.

The evolution of the lending sector has made it easier for people to fulfill their dreams without causing financial unrest. If possessing a high-end, feature-rich smartphone is your dream, then you can easily buy it on EMI. There are a lot of financial institutions and fintech lending platforms, such as MoneyTap that provide you with the option to purchase a mobile on EMI. Simply buy the phone on a loan and repay the loan in affordable EMIs spread over a certain loan tenure.


Why You Should Buy Your Next Smartphone on EMI?

1. It’s a shame not to pick up a great bargain
Retail and online stores lure buyers like you and me with amazing bargains and deals. It would be a waste not to use such massive discounts to buy the phone you want. Wouldn’t it? Don’t get discouraged by your low account balance, buy the smartphone on EMI.

2. You get closer to luxury
Since you won’t be paying from your own pocket, you can think of buying a premium segment smartphone on EMI.

3. It’s simply convenient and fast
Standing in line, gathering the documents, and applying for a loan with a traditional bank to buy a mobile phone may not be your thing. Buying a smartphone on EMI gives you the convenience of applying for a loan online with a loan approval done within a few minutes.


Why Buy a Smartphone on EMI Using a Personal Loan?

Because of the benefits it provides.
1. Hassle-free loan application process – You get to enjoy a fast, hassle-free, convenient loan application experience.

2. Get access to funds instantly to buy the smartphone you want – Unlike traditional loans, you can get instant approval and quick disbursal so that you can take advantage of bargain deals and buy the smartphone before the deal expires.

3. A better option than using Credit Cards – Using a credit card to buy a smartphone means taking on debt at a high-interest rate. You can get a personal loan at a much lower interest rate. That means you get to save money on interest.

4. Affordable EMIs –Depending on your financial capability, you can choose to either pay high EMIs over a shorter loan tenure or low EMIs spread across a longer duration.

5. Flexibility in its usage – You can use the personal loan amount on whatever you please. After paying for your phone, if you are still left with funds, you can use it to buy mobile accessories you’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.

6. Flexible repayment tenure – Most personal loans have flexible loan repayment tenure ranging from 2 months to 5 years.

7. Pay interest only on the amount you use – A lending platform like MoneyTap offers its consumers a unique feature that is not available with traditional personal loans. The personal loan or mobile loan is offered to you in the form of a personal line of credit. You can withdraw as much as you want up to your approved credit limit. The best part is that you pay interest only on the amount you withdraw from your credit line and not on the entire credit limit that is approved.

 



 

Hot Stocks to Watch in 2019

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Stocks to Watch in 2019

The stock market can be extremely complicated to keep track of, with huge shifts in sentiment and abrupt changes being the norm.

When political turmoil like Brexit, US-China tariffs, or US-Iran tensions come about, the situation only gets more unpredictable. In fact, if there are any stock facts that are 100% guaranteed to remain true, it’s that you never know what could happen next.

However, by keeping track of the industries that have a bright future ahead of them, we can more easily make sense of the stock market and what could happen next.

Let’s take a look at some recommendations for stocks and industries to keep an eye on in 2019:

 

What is the Stock Market Like in 2019?

Unfortunately, the end of 2018 brought with it the return of volatility after a decade-long bull run.

This, combined with the political uncertainty mentioned above has been making a lot of investors hesitant. If the current tensions and competing superpowers develop much further, financial markets will feel the sting.

Despite this, some new blossoming industries such as cryptocurrency and CBD related health products present some interesting possibilities and some evergreen mainstays like communication should certainly be watched too.


Cannabis Stocks in 2019

With cannabis being legalized across Canada and multiple US states, and CBD products being legalised across the UK and countless other countries, companies involved in the growth, research, production and marketing of cannabis-related products are going to have an explosive year.

Of course, with such a boom comes multiple competitors, many of which will fail, so this is still a risky business.

Our recommendations for the top pot-related stocks to watch in 2019 are Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC), Aleafia Health (NASDAQOTH: ALEAF), and Charlotte’s Web Holdings (NASDAQOTH: CWBHF).

Canopy Growth has become one of the leading players in this emerging market. In fact, it’s the largest legal cannabis company in the world, and recently made $4 billion in financing via an equity sale. Bruce Linton, the CEO who spurred the company’s explosive growth, has recently stepped down in the hopes of finding a new, more investor-friendly CEO. If he succeeds in finding the right person, the following sell-off could be a perfect on-ramp.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings stock grew 117% last year and is up over 30% this year so far. With hemp production and retail locations both increasing dramatically this year, this company is in for an interesting time.

Aleafia Health is trying to become #1 of the pot world and is making a good try of it, with an already excellent stock turnover ratio. Several recent acquisitions, stakes in other major cannabis medical service providers, and several joint ventures with European Pharma companies make this one to watch in the near future.


Communications Stocks in 2019

Whereas cannabis stocks are important to watch in 2019 because of their huge growth and the fact it’s a completely new industry with a lot of interest, some industries are worth watching this year because, well, they never really stop growing.

The same can be said for tech as a whole, but communication has some potential winners this year:

Vodafone is a major UK network provider with a new CEO from late 2018 who is prioritizing a simplified business and aiming to prepare the company for the future more than ever. Vodafone has also recently purchased assets from Liberty, leading to good cash flow and some chunky dividends. If all goes well with the new CEO, Vodafone’s stocks could have a very bullish year.

BT is also a popular one to watch in 2019 as it’s a safe and stable company that was once a monopoly and is still by far the market leader. It might be a relatively boring investment, but safe and stable is exactly what most investors are looking for this year.


Insurance Stocks in 2019

Insurance is something that every single motorist requires, from private drivers to company fleets. This makes investing in insurance companies a great potential source of profit.

Prudential has seen a lot of growth across the Americas and Asia in the last 12 months and is fairly low risk.

Admiral is an example of a company that’s managed to keep a capital-light business plan without succumbing to undercapitalization. Admiral also pays out the majority of its profits as dividends, including special dividends beyond the regularly scheduled ones, making them a good potential buy-and-hold. The company’s profits grew by 45% in 2017 and a huge chunk of this went to investors. While this growth has now slowed down, Admiral remains a highly productive company with good growth and dividend potential.

 



 

How to Pursue CPA from the USA?

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Becoming a CPA from the USA

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States has become more challenging in recent years for several reasons: the type of content tested on the CPA Exam has changed to focus more on the type of real-life tasks CPAs perform; the scope of content on the exam has expanded, and the educational and experience requirements to become certified have increased. This article talks about various aspects of getting a CPA from the USA.

 

Nevertheless, the CPA credential remains a sought-after goal with proven long-term benefits associated with its achievement. Here is a summary of what you need to know if you want to become a CPA

Who oversees the CPA Exam?

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) jointly manage the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (the “CPA Exam”).

NASBA is responsible for administering and scoring the CPA Exam within the 55 separate U.S. licensing jurisdictions—which include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The AICPA oversees updates to the CPA Exam. The exam is administered at Prometric test centers. There are over 10,000 Prometric test sites in 160 countries.

 

Eligibility Criteria for the CPA Exam

Any candidate wishing to sit for the CPA Exam must meet certain educational requirements, though these do vary by jurisdiction so it’s best to verify with your state board.

Typically candidates must have completed either a bachelor’s degree or 120 college credit hours to be eligible. Most states require a minimum number of credit hours in specific business and accounting subjects.

In addition, nearly all states now require that candidates have 150 credit hours (this is sometimes referred to as the “150-Hour Rule”) to become certified, though most states still only require 120 hours to sit for the CPA Exam. Most states also require verified work experience to become licensed, but not to sit for the exam.

 

CPA Exam structure and scoring

The exam consists of four separate sections;

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  3. Regulation (REG)
  4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

Altogether, the exam sections add up to 14 hours of testing. To pass, you must score at least 75 in each of the four sections within an 18-month period.

In recent years, the AICPA has restructured the exam in an attempt to test higher-level skills like evaluation and analysis rather than just testing your ability to memorize. In addition to multiple-choice questions (MCQs), the exam now includes Task-Based Simulations and Document Review Simulations, which are designed to replicate real workplace situations and require that you leverage your knowledge and experience to answer them.

Simulations make up 50% of your total score on the exam, so it’s critical for you to practice them as part of your exam prep.

 

CPA Exam “Testing Windows”

Candidates may take the CPA Exam during the first two months of each calendar quarter. These are often referred to as the four “testing windows”:

  1. January 1 – February 28 (or 29, if it is a leap year)
  2. April 1 – May 31
  3. July 1 – August 31
  4. October 1 – November 30

 

How to Apply for a CPA Exam section?

To start the testing process, you need to schedule your test at least 5 days before you wish to take a test, though NASBA recommends scheduling 45 days in advance to ensure your space (sometimes even farther out, depending on demand).

To register for the exam, contact your State Board of Accountancy. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a Notice to Schedule (NTS), at which point you may contact Prometric to schedule your exam session.

You may take any or all of the sections on your scheduled test day. However, if you do not pass a portion, you have to schedule to retake that exam in the next testing window.

 

How do I take the CPA Exam if I live outside the U.S?

If you’re a CPA candidate who wishes to take the CPA Exam in an international location, you must:

  • Select a participating jurisdiction (note that Alabama, California, CNMI, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, and the Virgin Islands do not currently participate in international CPA Exam administration)
  • Contact the Board of Accountancy in your chosen jurisdiction and ensure you meet its eligibility requirements (some, but not all, states require that candidates be U.S. citizens)
  • Submit a completed application and any required fees
  • To review the requirements to sit for the CPA Exam as an international candidate, click here.

 

How and when will I get my score?

The AICPA grades all exams and sends the results to the State Boards of Accountancy. Your State Board or jurisdiction will send you your results.

Typically, the AICPA will process test results and release the scores within 30 days of test date, though this can vary, especially soon after the CPA Exam has undergone changes.

 

How difficult is it to pass the CPA Exam?

Due to many of the factors covered in this article, such as the additional type of content and the ever-expanding scope that it covers as legislation change and grow, CPA Exam pass rates have declined in recent years.

National pass rates exceeded 50% for many years, but pass rates for individual sections now average between 45% and 50%, according to AICPA. Students often pass one or two sections but struggle to pass all four sections within the 18-month time frame.

 

How to increase my chances of passing the Exam?

Because it is so challenging to pass all four sections of the CPA Exam, most students seek the help of a prep course. The most popular CPA Review courses are now online and/or self-study based, versus classroom-based.

Most follow a traditional “linear” learning approach, where students are instructed to study every topic in the order in which the course presents it, from the first chapter to the last chapter. Becker is a well-known example of this kind of traditional, linear course.

More modern CPA Review courses, such as Surgent CPA Review, use adaptive learning technology to streamline the study process and personalize studies to each student’s specific weaknesses.

Rather than trying to study every lecture, textbook, and test bank question—which most candidates simply don’t have time to do—students using adaptive learning technology focus their study time on the specific topics they don’t know well, which typically saves many hours of study time.

In the end, as the low CPA Exam pass rate indicates, the road to becoming a CPA can be long and difficult. But studies have shown that CPAs make, on average, $1 million more over their career than non-CPA accounting professionals, so the effort can certainly pay off.

Be sure to research eligibility and experience requirements and be diligent in selecting a CPA Review course that you’re confident will help you pass all four sections the first time.

>Read How to become a Chartered Accountant in India



 

6 Reasons to do Accounting and Finance Courses from Udemy

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Accounting and Finance Courses from Udemy

For those of you who are not aware of Udemy, as of today, it is one of the top online education portal and learning platforms in the world. In this article, we will explain why you should consider enrolling in accounting and finance courses from Udemy.

Udemy has a plenty of online courses where you can learn almost anything from bread baking to accounting. In today’s fast-paced life online courses are not just convenient but they are not affordable to

1. Industry Leader in Online Education

Man studying onlineFounded in 2010, Udemy in 2018 has over 80,000 courses and plenty of instructors offering both paid and free courses in form of video lectures combined with other media. It has some great teachers with heaps of students who have benefited from it.

Udemy has a variety of online courses that can help you learn almost anything. Accounting and finance courses from Udemy cover topics such as Financial Management, Taxes, Trading, Auditing, MS-Excel, and many other related areas.

2. Free and Paid Courses

Udemy offers both free and paid courses. You may choose any of them as they both have their own benefits and drawbacks. A free course might be tempting, however, a paid course might end up providing you more value for money.

It is highly suggested that you do your due diligence before enrolling in a course. Don’t forget to research the course, author, author’s background, reviews, etc.

List of Accounting Courses at Udemy

List of Finance Courses at Udemy

3. Reviews and Ratings

Reviews are availableAll courses have real reviews and ratings provided by actual students who are enrolled in the course. This is also applicable to accounting and finance courses from Udemy and it is always advisable to look out how the course has been rated and reviewed.

The review system on Udemy is really helpful for new users and aspirants looking to enrol in the course. An ethical review system is a good indicator of the overall quality of the course.

4. Start Instantly & Learn On-the-Go

All Udemy programs are available for consumption immediately after the purchase. As a student, you can choose when and how to start learning as per your own comfort.

The Udemy platform is built on modern web infrastructure which enables the students to learn anytime, anywhere and on any screen size. This means all accounting and finance courses on Udemy are available and mobile, tablets and PCs.

5. Self-paced and No Eligibility Criteria

Self-paced instruction means that the content of the program is based on the learner’s response. In simple words, the content can be paced as per the student’s requirement so it can be paused, replayed, restarted, forever.

Largely there are no pre-requisites that prevent you from enlisting in accounting and finance courses from Udemy, however, there are few courses on Udemy which expect you to have some prior knowledge in the concerned area.

5. Great Instructors at Affordable Cost

There are some expert instructors on Udemy with a vast array of experience and a sophisticated education background. If you were to hire a CPA, CMA, etc. their professional services would cost at least 10-100 times as compared to their online courses.

Udemy has made it affordable for candidates to avail high-quality online education by paying a fraction of the original market cost.

6. Certification and 30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Many courses provide a certificate of completion this can be really useful for freshers who are starting their careers as this can go on your resume under the head “Trainings & Courses”. It is any day better

In rare cases when you’re unhappy with the course material you may request a refund from Udemy and it is usually a smooth process.

 



 

How to Pay Your Credit Card Bill From Another Bank?

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Pay Your Credit Card Bill From Another Bank

Are you still old-fashioned when it comes to paying your credit card bills? Visiting the bank and waiting in queues? Well, you’re due for an upgrade and this article explains how you can pay your credit card bill from another bank using net banking.

It is advisable to use this payment option if there are at least a few working days left before the due date. In case of an immediate payment requirement, you may want to check with the receiving bank before making a payment.

 

Step 1 – Go to Credit Card Issuer’s Bill Desk

Almost every major bank has an online portal to make a credit card bill payment from another bank’s savings account. Seach online for receiving bank’s “bill desk”.

  • Google receiving bank’s “payment bill desk”.
  • Type > Receiving credit card’s bank name + Bill Desk
  • Most often this search query would bring the required bill desk on the top.
Search bill desk on google to pay your credit card bill with a different bank
Assuming that the Credit Card to be Paid is Issued by Standard Chartered Bank

Out of the search results, choose the relevant link & move to Step 2.

Here is the link we used in this example

 

Step 2 – Fill all Required Details

After choosing the appropriate search result you should be able to see a window as shown below. Fill all necessary information along with some personal details such as your mobile number and email id.

*These payments are usually safe and secured by a 128 or 256 bit SSL encryption.

Pay Your Credit Card Bill Online using a Different Bank Account

 

Step 3 – Your Credit Card is Almost Paid!

After step 2 you will be redirected to your bank’s net banking interface. It is all self-explanatory from there, just like you would make any other payment using your bank’s net banking gateway.

Fast forward, once the payment is made you will see a “Success” message along with a payment reference number. It is advisable to save this reference number till the payment confirmation is not received or the payment is reflected in your records.

Payment confirmation screen when credit card bill is paid from another bank

Note – Usually when you pay a credit card bill from another bank using net banking the payment is credited to your bank within 3 working days, therefore it is always advisable to pay in advance.

 

Billdesk of Top 5 Banks in India

State Bank of India BillDesk
HDFC Bank BillDesk
ICICI Bank BillDesk
Axis Bank BillDesk
Kotak Bank BillDesk

 



 

10 Tips to Follow for Freshers Before an Accounting Interview

Last updated on March 14th 2022

Tips to Follow for Freshers Before an Accounting Interview

Initial finance and accounting interviews can be hard-hitting and you don’t want to be caught off-guard. Here, we’ve compiled top 11 tips to follow for freshers before an accounting interview.

For obvious reasons we have not added the must-haves such as “hard work” & “dedication”. This list has been curated from real-life experiences and hopes to help you to achieve more out of your accounting interviews.

 

10. Revise your basics

Top grades in academics do not guarantee success in accounting and finance interviews. This is the main reason why we strongly suggest that you revise fundamentals of accounting and finance before your next encounter with an interviewer.

The idea is to avoid taking it for granted and never be complacent with yourself. You can subscribe and receive a free eBook with top 40 accounting interview questions asked by major companies around the world.

Revise Finance and Accounting Fundamentals

 

9. Know Your Job Profile – Don’t Be Trapped

This is one of the most important tips to follow for freshers before an accounting interview. A lot of freshers are prone to getting into the WRONG type of jobs because of not being able to handle the anxiety of starting a professional career.

A finance student getting into marketing, human resources, customer care, operations, and other unrelated work profiles is not the best way to kickstart a career.

It is highly advisable that you research your role & job profile. What are you expected to do 9 to 5? how are you going to spend a regular day at work? etc. Trust us, you don’t want to feel trapped and be sorry for your decision later on. It is also important because it allows you to anticipate questions and prepare precisely for the technical rounds.

 

8. Exhibit Stability

You may not have applied for the exact role you’ve always wanted, however, this isn’t something you need to convey to the interviewers. Talking about IJPs (Internal Job Postings), future plans, anything which shows that you’re not going to stay in this role for long is a strict NO!

Be careful about revealing your future plans, a lot of students get excited and start talking about fancy courses such as CPA, CA, CMA, ACCA, CFA, etc. that they are pursuing. Don’t get amazed to know that this is only a red flag in the eyes of the interviewer. There are however exceptions to this scenario where a specific course may be a plus for your role. Only reveal if you’re 100% sure about it.

 

7. Stay Motivated

You may have the best preparation and extraordinary educational background but on the day of the interview, you still need the unseen & intangible forces to work in your favour.

add motivation to the right attitude and the see the magic happen!

To reduce nervousness, stress, and anxiety related to an interview, we recommend that you try to watch motivational videos or do anything that makes you feel confident and positive.

 

6. MS-Excel

Most finance and accounting roles require you to work extensively with MS-Excel. Therefore, most of the accounting and finance interviews have at least one round related to Microsoft Excel.

Few functions we recommend every fresher should be comfortable with are Sort, Filter, Concatenate, Vlookup, Hlookup, Pivot (basics), Conditional Formatting, Text to Column, Charts, Sumif, Countif, Left, Right, Mid, Trim, etc.

The above is not an exhaustive list but covers most of the major functions. Also, consider learning some basic excel shortcuts.

 

5. Journal Entries

For accounting students, this is your holy grail. There is almost no way that an accounting interview can exist without journal entries. Not only are you expected to be good with accounting fundamentals but you are also required to display superior journal entry skills.

We have a list of journal entries here that can help you prepare. Along with basic entries, the operations manager love to ask accrual related entries don’t forget to prepare them.

 

4. Don’t Overtalk & Embrace Smartwork

Overtalking rarely helps, more often than not we end up saying things that we didn’t want to or we reveal more than required. Please avoid this.

Staying Quiet at the right time is an uncommon tact

Nothing beats a combination of Smart Work and Hard Work. For example, if you are anticipating a group discussion in your interview make sure you’ve researched the best practices, to-dos, etc. related to a GD. Don’t be shy to Google and learn something new.

 

3. Communication Skills

More than 70% of rejections happen in the preliminary rounds where the people from the human resource department churn out the applicants. The biggest reason for rejection in Non-English speaking countries still remains “Poor Communication Skills”.

Few resources for improvement we recommend are; watching movies, reading, youtube channels, online courses on UDEMY, online certifications at COURSERA, etc. This is one area that requires persistence and constant practice.

 

2. Research About the Company

Don’t forget to research about the company, mainly, its main line of business, history & top management. The best way to do this is through Wikipedia or the company’s own website.

Be ready with a crisp and natural answer to this question “Why do you want to join our organization?”

 

1. Rejection isn’t the end of World

Last in our list of tricks and tips to follow for freshers before an accounting interview is related to handling rejection. There is always a chance that your entire interview experience may have been really awesome and all your answers were perfect, but, you will still be rejected.

Accept that you can’t control everything and sometimes the reason for failure isn’t you at all. There are numerous behind the scene management-related decisions that can impact your success in an accounting interview. A few of them are – reduction in no. of positions, the job is filled up by an IJP, budget constraints, hiring manager’s personal choice, etc.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s founder was REJECTED! by KFC. 

~Goodluck~

 

>Read Accounting Interview Questions for Freshers



 

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana – Details and More..

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana


SSY Account Girl ChildSukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a scheme exclusively for girl children, started by the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi on 22nd January 2015 in Panipat, Haryana. The scheme mainly assists parents of a girl child to create a reserve for their education & marriage-related expenses. 

SSY scheme proposes a deposit plan for a girl child which offers a high-interest rate on deposits. Till October 2015 under Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana there were more than 7 Million active accounts with a total fund of about US $420 Million. 

 

Benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

  • SSY account matures after 21 years from its inception date & the amount is disbursed to the account holder. An exception to this can be availed if the girl child is above 18 years old and intends to marry.

Sukanya Samriddhi Account Maturity Amounts

  • From the year 2016-17, the rate of interest provided in this scheme is 8.6% (P.A) compounded annually. Click Here for latest Interest Rates of SSY.
  • Now 100% withdrawal is allowed from the scheme when the account holder has attained the age of 18 years.
  • Investment in Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana scheme is exempted from Income Tax under section 80(c). Principal, interest and outflow all three are exempted from tax.
  • An SSY account can be transferred to another bank/post office on request.

 

Eligibility & Other Criteria

  • The account can be opened by a guardian in the name of a girl child from her birth until she becomes 10 years old.
  • Only one account is allowed per girl child.
  • The maximum number of accounts allowed are 2 by a legal guardian for two different girl child, only exceptions provided are in case if the first or the second birth are twins or triplets.
  • A minimum of *Rs 250 needs to be deposited in the Sukanya Samriddhi Account in a financial year else it is discontinued and can only be revived with a penalty of Rs 50 per year with the minimum amount required for a deposit for that year.
  • Investment in an SSY account can be increased in multiples of thousands with a cap of Rs 1,50,000 in a financial year, a regular investment is to be made for 15 years (earlier it was 14 yrs).
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna account can be opened for an adopted girl child as well.
  • Loan facility is not provided against this scheme.

 

How to Open an SSY Account & Documents Required

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account can be opened at any Indian Post office or at a branch of an authorized bank for e.g. SBI, ICICI Bank etc.
  • SSY Account Opening Form
  • Identity proof
  • Residence proof
  • Birth Certificate of the girl child

 

*Amount reduced from Rs 1000 to Rs 250.



 

Atal Pension Yojna – Details and More..

Atal Pension Yojna – Securing the Unorganized Sector

Atal Pension Yojna

On 9th of May 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launched the Atal Pension Yojna (APY) which is a government supported pension program in India and is meant for workforce in the unorganized section. The scheme is managed by PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) with the help of National Payment Scheme’s design.

Under this scheme, for every contribution made towards the pension fund, 50% of the total contribution or Rs 1000/- whichever amount is lower, will be co-funded for up to 5 years by the central government.

Government’s co-contribution is only available for those who are not covered by any statutory social security schemes and are not Income Tax payers. Pension starts once the person becomes 60 years old hence the requirement is for a person to pay for at least 20 years under the scheme.

 

Eligibility

  • APY is available to all citizens of India between 18 – 40 years of age
  • KYC compliant Bank account is a mandate

 

How to Enroll for Atal Pension Yojna

  • Walk-in to your nearest bank (All PSUs would offer this scheme)
  • You may either download the application form beforehand from a bank’s website or ask for one at the branch
  • Fill the form appropriately, ensure to mention a working mobile number & submit the form at the branch
  • Lastly you will be asked to submit a photocopy of your aadhar card along with form

All existing Swavalamban scheme subscribers, if eligible, may automatically be migrated to Atal Pension Yojna with an option to opt out.

or

Alternatively, you can download the form directly from govt. website by clicking Here

 

Payout and Contribution

Under Atal Pension Yojna (APY), there is a guaranteed minimum monthly pension for subscribers, it varies between Rs 1000 and Rs 5000 per month depending upon the contribution.

Below is a chart showing different contributions at different life stages, such as if you’re 25 years old and you wish to earn pension of Rs 5000 at the age of 60 your monthly contribution will Rs 376 per month.

atal pension yojna payout and contribution table

The contributions are debited automatically from the subscriber’s bank account. Under APY, the monthly pension is available to the subscriber, and after their death to the spouse. In case if the spouse also dies the pension corpus as accumulated at age 60 (of the subscriber) would be provided to the nominee.

 

Defaults and Discontinuation of Payments

Banks are authorized to collect a penalty amount for delayed payments, such amount will vary from Re 1 per month to Rs 10 per month depending on the contribution amount.

  • Re. 1 per month for contribution up to Rs. 100 per month
  • Re. 2 per month for contribution up to Rs. 101 – 500 per month
  • Re 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501 – 1000 per month
  • Rs 10 per month for contribution beyond Rs 1001 per month

 

If you discontinue to make payments this is what happens to your account:

 After 6 Months  Account is Frozen
 After 12 Months  Account is Deactivated
 After 24 Months  Account is Closed

 

All amendments & further details can be found on the official website for this scheme www.jansuraksha.gov.in

 



 

New Accounting Standards in India: A Step Up to Ind AS

Ind AS – New Accounting Rules for Companies

As per the new Accounting Standards in India (Ind AS), for companies having a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more it is mandatory to adopt the Indian Accounting Standards from April 1, 2016.

New Accounting Standards in India

In the 2009 G-20 summit, India had committed to take required steps to “restore the momentum of growth in the developing world” with the convergence of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). After which the Ministry of Corporate Affairs devised a road map to implement the convergence of Indian Accounting Standards with International Financial Reporting Standards from April 2011.

It was meant for all Indian companies; however the insurance, banking and non-banking finance companies were exempted. The step taken was unsuccessful because of a few glitches like unresolved taxes but the FY 15 Budget had once again proposed to adopt the Ind AS. The Honorable Minister for Finance also clarified that the dates of implementation of the particular regulators for banks and insurance companies will be notified separately. A separate notification for standardized tax computation in accord with the budget will also happen on a set date.

 

The Implementation

The execution of new accounting standards in India will happen in two phases:

Phase I applicable from April 1, 2016 onwards

  • It is obligatory for all companies either listed or unlisted, having a net worth of more than Rs 500 crore to apply Ind AS.
  • It is also applicable for all the holding joint ventures, associates or subsidiaries of such companies.

Phase II applicable from April 1, 2017 onwards

  • Any company whose debt or equity securities has been listed or is going to be listed within India or outside — having a net worth of less than Rs 500 crore.
  • Unlisted companies whose net worth is more than Rs 250 Crore but less than Rs 500 crore.
  • Holding, subsidiaries, joint ventures or associates of such companies also need to apply Ind AS.

The net worth of a company has to be calculated in agreement to the company’s stand-alone financial statement as on March 31, 2014 or the audited financial statements which are first for accounting period after March 31,2014.

 

The Impact

There could be either positive or negative impact on the net income and net worth of the companies because of the areas like taxes, financial instruments and revenue recognition. Furthermore there could also be an impact on arrangements with lenders, vendors, customers, internal control systems and changes to IT system. More than 350 companies from BSE 500 are predicted to migrate from FY17. Besides delivering more disclosures application of Ind AS will also bring material changes to return ratios and operating metrics of companies.

 



 

What is RBI’s Unified Payment Interface?

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) – Instant and Cashless

Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) the Reserve Bank of India launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Money transfers will not only be easy to send but more instantaneous and secured.

Unified payment interface is a common system across retail systems designed to enable all account holders to both send and receive cash with the help of smartphones using Aadhar, Mobile Number etc.

The Unified Payment Interface could change the money micro-payment process throughout the country. Sending money will become as easy as sending an SMS or making a phone call. As per a report, around 65 percent in value terms and 95 percent of consumer transactions in volume terms happen in cash. For an advanced economy, transaction in volume is higher than 40 to 50 percent and 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of value.

Reserve Bank of India along with the government has been working together on techniques to diminish cash in the economy. Since the mobile industry is thriving, the number of smartphones in the country is predicted to go up from 200 million to about 500 million. There is definitely going to be a boost in mobile money transfer.

Unlike online banking which takes some time to transfer cash, UPI completes a cash transaction instantly. Presently, only some banks offer the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS); the lone way available to customers using which they can send cash across banks instantly. IMPS transaction requires details like bank account number, IFSC code, and email id for proof of identity.

UPI has eliminated manifold identifications and will accept the mobile number or Aadhar card number to complete a transaction. Phase one will have 29 banks operating the platform. It will permit instant money transfers inter-operable across many banks.

 

Unified Payment Interface

 

Key Benefits of Unified Payment Interface

  • Every consumer with a bank account can avail the benefits of this service.
  • Consumers will not require details such as account number, IFSC code etc. to transfer money.
  • Application providers can gain from integrating multiple channels, innovative features & swift authentication services.
  • Unified payment interface will lighten the burden on banks and other payment portals which deal with a huge number of mobile transactions on daily basis.

 



 

Startup India Campaign

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Start Up India Campaign

Startup India Initiative to Boost Entrepreneurship 

On the Independence Day, 2015 at Red Fort, Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi recited the slogan, “Startup India, Stand up India”. Startup India campaign aims at promoting bank financing for start-up companies to encourage entrepreneurship and eventually leading to more In-house jobs for people of India. On 16 January 2016, Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, this campaign kick started and plans were laid out officially to ease out the hurdles hindering the path of start-ups.

 

Start Up process simplified – A mobile app was rolled out by the government on April 1, particularly for start-ups. Setting up and registering for a start-up will be abridged by this app.

Launch of Atal innovation mission – The Mission has been declared to aid incubate start-ups. The funds will be utilized to grant seed funds and will also fuel the incubation facilities that are already running. It will also train the pre-incubation entrepreneurs.

Compliance regime based on self-certification – Initially the start-ups will self-certify their compliance with the labor and environment laws. There will be no inspection for the first three years.

Protection & rebate on patents – In order to protect the patents, government will set up a panel of legal facilitators who will help in filing the patents. For the first year all the patents filed will be given a rebate of 80 percent.

Funds to be invested – For the registration process to happen smoothly the government the startups have been granted a 90 day open window to close down their businesses if they do not work out. A Rs 10,000 crore with an infusion of Rs 2,500 crore every year has been planned for the growth and expansion of the start-ups.

Tax exemption – From the 1st April, 2016 all start-ups will be relieved of both capital gain and tax in profits for the first three years. The exemption will be only for the ones who have invested in the capital gains of government recognized funds.

New Research Parks & Incubators – The government has planned to set 13 startup centers and 18 technology business centers, besides there will be 31 innovation centers to be set up at national institutions, 7 research parks, 150 technology transfer offices, 50 bio-technology incubators and 20 bio-connect offices.

Promotion of New Ideas – In order to avail these facilities, your company turn over should not exceed Rs 25 Crore. The product of the start-up business should be new and of value to the customers. This will help in new innovations rather than copying an already existing product.

For students – A Grand Challenge Program will award Rs 10 lakhs to twenty innovations done by students, starting with 5 lakh schools to target 10 lakh children for innovation program.

Easy exit policy – Convenient bankruptcy rules to be put in place which will allow a company to exit within 90 days.

 

More details on Startup India Campaign can be found at their official website www.startupindia.gov.in

 



 

Frequently Asked Questions on Retirement

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The Answers To Your Retirement Questions

As a pre-retiree in your 50s, you may be facing some challenging financial choices and some of them may be the most important ones you make in your lifetime. Here we’re diving into some of the most common situations you may be looking at and providing retirement planning solutions.

If you’re late to the game in terms of saving, you can still make a huge difference in your overall portfolio thanks to the catch-up provision. This IRS rule lets anyone who is 50 and above to contribute an extra $6K to their 401(k) plan, where everyone else is capped at $18K for 2015. This higher limit can really help you grow your money.

 

Retirement

Many people are dipping into their retirement accounts; 1 in 5 are taking loans from their 401(k)s. If you leave your job before you finish paying it back, you have to finish within a certain period of time or you are forced to take a distribution that not only raises your taxable income but is taxed more as well.

3 out of 4 people are claiming Social Security at 62, but this leaves a lot of money on the table, especially as people are living longer. Every year you delay filing, your benefit grows by 6.5-8%, depending on your age. 

If you claim Social Security at 62 for a $750 monthly payout, over your lifetime your benefit will be worth $297K. Waiting until 70 and living to be 95, your benefit jumps up to $1,320 per month or $396,100 over the course of your lifetime. 

There are other misconceptions about Social Security too when it comes to eligibility.

For example, it can serve as a resource for people younger than 62. If a 51-year-old couple has a 14-year-old son still living with them and his father were to pass away suddenly, his mother would be entitled to SS. Unfortunately, many people fail to claim their benefits because they’re unaware they’re eligible.

Long-term care insurance is worth the price. The average cost is $2,500 per year, but most of us will need LTC late in life and the optimal time to buy is in good health between 50 and 64.

Perhaps the most challenging financial situation pre-retirees in their 50s face is underestimating how expensive retirement really is. Figuring out how much you need to save and how to invest those savings to build financial security for the rest of your life is vitally important, and those who sit down and do the math end up saving a third more than those that don’t plan ahead.

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Planning for retirement is not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of unknown variables and a lot of decisions to be made. If you are interested in learning more about your options for retirement planning and you live in the Everett, WA area, then contact a local Everett retirement planner or local financial planner.`