Monday, May 15, 2023
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Key Emerging Digital Payment Trends


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 reward 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?



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, 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


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 into 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 an 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 for startups for investment that seem to be promising and have the 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 which is why they only invest in startups that have different business pitches 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 a 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


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 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 on 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 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, 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 the 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 in 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 of 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 investment, 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?


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.”


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


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.


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.


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.


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 receiving and placing 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 of potential expenditures, 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 fulfil 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 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 – The personal loan amount may be used for any purpose you choose. After paying for your phone, if you are still left with funds, you can use them 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.



How to Pursue CPA from the USA?


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 centres. 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 need 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 the 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 the 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 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


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 portals 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 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 in2022 has over 200,000 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

Free vs PaidUdemy 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 with 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.


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

learn on the goAll 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

eligibilitySelf-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, and restarted forever.

Largely there are no prerequisites 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 an Affordable Cost

Some expert instructors on Udemy have a vast array of experience and sophisticated education backgrounds. 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 of 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, which can be useful for freshers 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, which is usually a smooth process.



How to Pay Your Credit Card Bill From Another Bank?


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. Search 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 to 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 in all Required Details

After choosing the appropriate search result you should be able to see a window as shown below. Fill in 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. 



>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.



  • 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.


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



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


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



Frequently Asked Questions on Retirement


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.



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.


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.`



What is SIDBI?

SIDBI – Small Industries Development Bank of India

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is a financial institution which is headquartered in Lucknow, India. It was established in 1990 on April the 2nd and is mainly responsible for promotion and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs). These small enterprises contribute about 45% to manufacturing output and about 40% to total exports, directly and indirectly. SIDBI started as a wholly owned subsidiary of Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) & is currently owned by 33 different institutions which are either controlled or owned by government of India. Its official website is

Since its inception SIDBI has grown from being just a refinancing agency which assisted banks and other local NBFCs indirectly to a lender which now provides loans and other forms of credit directly to MSMEs. It plays a vital role by helping these budding businesses to expand their operations.


SIDBI has created several different legal entities to actively perform associated activities:

  • CGTMSE – Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (
  • SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (
  • SMERA – SME Rating Agency of India Ltd. (
  • ISARC – India SME Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. (
  • MUDRA – Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd. (




Products and Services of SIDBI

Few of the products and services that Small Industries Development Bank of India offers are:

  • Service Sector Assistance – The micro small and medium-scale enterprises which require Loan/Capital for growth can consider SIDBI, this includes service sector enterprises such as IT houses, health care, logistics, retail outlets, clinics etc. It also offers loan facilitation and syndication services to the service sector.
  • Supporting Clean Energy – It has different programs to extend credit to support waste management, cleaner production and similar firms who are helping the planet to reduce the carbon footprint. 
  • Receivable Finance Scheme – It is a scheme devised to mitigate the receivables issue that occurs from the suppliers who are supplying goods to MSMEs and it helps to improve liquidity.
  • Flexible assistance for Capital Expenditure -It provides assistance in scheduling the tenure of your repayment schedule if the investor is investing in fixed assets for example land or building.
  • Government Subsidy schemes – It assists in variety of schemes which are offered by the government to help MSMEs in adoption of modern technological processes & expansion of operations.


Top Benefits of SIDBI

  • Uniquely Designed Products to meet MSMEs needs.
  • Focused attention on Industrial and Service sector.
  • Attractive rates on financial products.
  • Focused managers to assist in entrepreneurial development.
  • Its wide presence across the country.
  • Provision of risk/growth capital.
  • Access to equity and venture financing.
  • Access to collateral free finance.
  • Focused attention on Industrial & Service Sector Funding.



What are Personal Loans?

Personal Loans

You need money for almost everything. To tackle emergencies, to fulfil wishes, to get a higher education, to buy any amenity for your home or to get the best treatment for a health condition, money is all you want. And in these situations, Personal Loan comes to our rescue.


Personal Loans



A personal loan is “money borrowed” from an institution or a person to fulfil the personal requirements of a person for instance, for education, vacation, medical requirements, vehicle repair, etc. They are smaller loans and are of two types:

  • Secured Personal Loan
  • Unsecured Personal Loan

A secured personal loan is protected by collateral or an asset, for instance, a car or a house. Whereas, the unsecured personal loan does not require any kind of protection by any asset or collateral.

If you hold a good credit record, you can apply for a personal loan at any official lender, bank or building agency. As the personal loan is a smaller loan, the amount is also small. It may range from $500 to $10,000, i.e., any small amount based on your requirement, but if you want to borrow a large sum of money, you would have to apply for a secured personal loan.


Personal Loan Application

The procedure of applying for a personal loan is very easy. You need to apply for a loan at a bank or a lending agency. Nowadays, you can also apply online for a personal loan. You first need to fill an application then you may choose to talk to a representative who will explain you in detail, the loan options available for you. You will also be required to provide some personal information to the bank and your financial history and its current status. You also need to provide the proof of employment, the amount you need to borrow and the reason behind application of personal loan. Another important thing that you need to tell the bank is whether you have a co-signer or not.

Once you manage to get the personal loan, you can pay it back by paying an equal amount every month. The rate of interest and the loan fee may differ with different banks and lending agencies.


  • It is the easiest type of loan available at your disposal.
  • You can directly apply for a loan in a bank without any need of an agent.
  • The processing time is very less.
  • This is the least troublesome loan. The paperwork is a minimum.


  • You cannot apply for a personal loan unless you have a bank account.
  • You must qualify the criteria set by the bank to get the loan.
  • Good credit history is a must.


Example of some personal loan providers in the world are:

  • Citibank
  • Santander
  • HDFC Bank
  • Money Lender Singapore –



What are Moneylender Loans?

Moneylender Loans

Moneylender loans illustration

 Moneylenders provide small personal loans for a short time period at high rates of interest. In other words, risks and repayments are high. There are many different types of moneylenders. Some give a small number of loans that are to be repaid over a number of days. Some offer a heavy sum of money with a high-interest rate. Others may offer credits on furniture or electrical goods.

Moneylenders don’t count for your good or bad credit history. They even lend money to the gamblers who often get into a debt circle. However many countries are governed by the Money Lenders Acts of particular states.


Repayment and Interest Rates

Moneylenders will collect money from you in cash by reaching your doorstep and you will have to bear their collection charge. If you cannot pay the collection charge, you need to repay (principal+interest) at the moneylender’s office. The moneylender should carry his identity card so that he has permission to call you for repayment, any day between Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm. If you are comfortable, they can also call you from 8 am to 10 pm, but you must give it in writing beforehand. Also, they don’t have the permission to contact you on Sundays or any of the bank holidays or Contact your family members without your agreement.

Moneylenders are more expensive when compared to a bank or credit institution. The APR is a minimum of 23% and higher in other cases. The total credit cost tells the extra amount or the interest to be paid on the amount you borrowed. Moneylenders cannot charge extra interest, except for the collection charge. So make sure that if you miss paying the repayment, the total amount to be paid should not go up.


Consequences of Non-Payment

If you miss repaying the loan amount, contact your moneylender as soon as possible. If you fall short of payments, the moneylender cannot charge any kind of penalty and cannot give you another loan to pay the first loan. If the matter is still not resolved between you and the moneylender, you can contact the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). They give free and independent advice to people in debt. They will give you various suggestions such as drawing of budget, finding your entitlements, try to work out new loan arrangements with your moneylender. It will help to fulfil your commitments.


Some examples of moneylenders are,




What are Foreigner Loans?

Foreigner Loans

A foreigner loan is a type of loan which can easily be accessed by someone who is not the citizen of the country from which he/she is acquiring the loan. Let us say if you need money to set up your business, buy some goods etc. however, you don’t have enough cash then there are some institutions which are specialized to give you financial help. You can avail that by applying for a foreigner loan to meet your needs. You just need to meet certain requirements to get your money.


Foreigner Loans


Foreigner Loans Vs Other Loans

The key difference between a foreign loan and another type of loan is the interest rate and the duration of repayment it offers. The banks and other credit institutions generally offer short-term loans. But foreign loans can attract higher interest rates, as the foreigners don’t have to go for collateral securities. So this means that foreigner loan is a high-risk loan. The duration of this loan is shorter when compared with standard loans. The less you borrow, the shorter the duration of repayment. Before going for this loan, a proper detailed study must be done taking various lending institutes into account.


Documents Needed to Obtain a Foreigner Loan

To obtain the loan from a moneylender, you are required to submit the following documents:

1. Work permit
2. Personal Information
3. Identification Documents
4. Payslips

*Specific requirements vary among different lenders.


Miscellaneous Points & Examples

Some moneylenders will try to exploit a high-interest rates from you if they know how badly you need a loan or if you don’t have sufficient knowledge. So explore and know more and more moneylenders and find out a suitable deal.

If you don’t want to obtain a loan from any of these sources, you can go for private lenders. All they need is your credit history and creditworthiness. They have less strict policies.

So before you apply for any loan, make sure that you take a glimpse of your income. Also make sure to study different sources of obtaining loans and keeping in mind your creditworthiness and future prospects, choose the most effective and efficient option.


An example of a foreigner loan provider is Power credit money lender Singapore.



What is a LLP in India?

Limited Liability Partnership – India

In India, a business organization can take many forms such as an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), Private Limited Company, Public Company etc. On 7th January 2009 with the assent of the President the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 came into effect. LLP has been a successful business vehicle since then as it combines the benefits of a partnership with that of a limited liability company, making it a lucrative option for start-ups. It keeps the personal wealth of partners safe and on the other hand, it helps leverage the benefits of a partnership.

In a Limited Liability Partnership, a partner is not bound by another partner’s acts; it can be due to negligence, misconduct etc. In other words, LLP can also be defined as a corporate entity that combines professional as well as entrepreneur behaviour to operate in an effective, efficient and flexible manner by providing the benefit of limited liability and larger financial resources.


LLP in India



Requirements and Benefits of an LLP

  • The formation of an LLP requires a minimum of 2 partners and at least one of them shall be an Indian resident. Each partner will only be liable to the extent of its capital in the business unless found to have acted with fraudulent intentions and deceiving purposes to cheat creditors.
  • It is a separate legal entity formed under the LLP Act 2008 therefore It shall now possess the power to sue and be sued. Also, both an individual and a body corporate may become a partner.
  • Duties, rights & shares of each partner are governed by an agreement among partners or between the LLP and partners subject to the act. Law gives the freedom to formulate the agreement per choice.
  • There is no minimum capital required to form an LLP, moreover, the creation of a limited liability partnership is inexpensive as compared to other forms of business.
  • When paralleled with regular partnership an LLP is a preferred choice of lenders hence making borrowing easier. Also, it has less stringent compliance and regulatory requirements making it easier for the business owners to focus on operations.


Disadvantages of an LLP in India

  • A Limited Liability Partnership is not allowed to go public this means that it can not be listed on the stock exchange and is not allowed to raise money from the general public.
  • Actions of any partner related to the LLP will have an impact on it and the entity will be legally held responsible for any liabilities thus created.
  • Winding up an LLP can be a tedious and expensive task.


You may Download/View a PDF of the complete LLP Act – 2008 here LLP_Act_2008_India

To get details on the steps to register an LLP go to the official MCA India Website.



What is REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust)?


REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust)

REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust, it can be seen as a mutual fund that instead of investing in stocks invests in real estate. It is an organisation that deals in securities which may be sold like shares on major exchanges. REIT invests in real estate either directly or through mortgages by making a combined pool of money from investors which can range from small retail type to large accredited ones.

REIT own income-producing real estate which are in form of offices, apartment buildings, warehouses, hospitals, hotels, shopping malls etc. It benefits investors in several ways such as helping them attain regular income streams, long-term capital appreciation, diversify their investment portfolio, invest in real estate with relatively small capital etc. REIT’s prove to be strong income vehicles because they pay out almost 90% of their taxable income to the shareholders in form of dividends and shareholders pay taxes on those dividend. As Real Estate Investment Trust receive special considerations regarding tax, so high yields and liquid methods are offered to investors.


REIT - Real Estate Investment Trust


Types of Real Estate Investment Trusts

1. Equity REIT – In this type, investment is made in owning properties or a part of it thus generating their core income either by property rents or  by selling their long-term properties. Equity REITs are tilted towards specializing in owning certain building types such as apartments, shopping malls, corporate offices, hotels etc. Few concentrate on owning & generating revenues from a single type of building while others diversify.

2. Mortgage REIT – In this type, revenue is generated from investing not directly in the property instead investing it in mortgage related to a real estate. Money is either lent directly to the owners of real estate in form of a mortgage or existing mortgage is acquired or a mortgage-backed security is purchased. This may be done for both residential & commercial properties. Prime source of money is earned in form of interest generated on mortgages.

3. Hybrid REIT – It is a combined outcome of equity REIT’s and mortgaged REIT’s. This investment is done carefully in both properties and mortgages thus getting benefits of both the dimensions.


REIT – Common Qualifications

Different countries have different internal criteria(s) to qualify a company as a Real Estate Investment Trust, below mentioned are few common points across various nations:

1. Invest about 75% of assets in the field of real estate.

2. About 75% of gross income should be generated from real property or interests from mortgages.

3. Pay approx 90% of its taxable income to shareholders as dividends every year.

4. Should be controlled and managed by Board of Directors or Trustees.

5. At least have 100 shareholders.


Benefits of a REIT

1. High Yields – For most people, main attraction of this scheme is the income earned which usually outperforms the broader market making this a lucrative option. 

2. Easy Tax Procedure – Tax issues with REIT’s are more straight forward when compared to other schemes or partnerships. A form 1099-DIV is sent to shareholders which contain the breakdown of dividends. Each year dividends are allocated from capital gains and ordinary incomes. So it becomes easy to invest here.

3. Liquid Asset – Since REITs can be listed as stocks on major exchanges hence they are easy to buy and sell. This makes them liquid & hassle free.

4. Diversification – Research has shown adding REIT’s to any investment increases returns and diminishes risk as they have very little correlation with the stock exchange(s).

5. Leverage – Usually a small investor with less to moderate initial capital can not buy real estate easily, they may never be able to get the benefits of investing in high potential commercial real estate such as shopping malls, office spaces etc. Such investors can leverage their investment and get the benefits they otherwise may never be able to get.