If you own a small service business, Housecall Pro could be a life-changer for you. This service management software has a wide array of features focused on streamlining and simplifying your business processes.
Booking/Scheduling/Dispatching: With Housecall Pro, you can easily enable the opportunity for customers to book online outside of normal business hours. From there, you can create a schedule of bookings, which will be sent out to employees quickly and efficiently and eliminate miscommunication. The GPS tracking and automated text message features allow a customer to be updated about when your employee departs/arrives, and you additionally are able to monitor employees’ locations.
Invoicing/Estimating: Housecall Pro aims to eliminate confusion created with paperwork invoice systems. Within the application, you are able to 1-click send invoices and customize them. Another aim of this feature is to aid you in surpassing the competition and creating repeat customers, and this is achieved by allowing customers to submit payment online and automatically receive their receipt. Additionally, you are able to send price estimates to customers prior to services, and they can approve/deny them online, allowing for more efficient customer communication.
QuickBooks: This is good news for all of us! Housecall Pro automatically pushes all invoices and other charges to your QuickBooks account. This eliminates time that would typically be spent manually entering these values. Your finances will be in safe hands, and you won’t need to spend so much time rifling through papers or analyzing invoices; it will all be done behind the scenes!
Housecall Pro was rated the top field service app, and it has received incredible reviews. Its website contains the option to book a free demo, and we recommend doing so if this sounds like something that could be of use to you! It has a range of pricing options to choose from, each which contains different features. Knowing your business best, you’d be able to determine which option is right for you.
There’s a variety of other existing service application, and we recommend checking them out as well. Applications like these can make a world of difference in your business, and there’s so many out there to choose from, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
You may not realize it, but daily habits can be some of the sneakiest practices depleting your bank account. It’s easy to get lost in the comfort and simplicity of following a habit; but don’t let yourself give up so easily. You will see the benefits reflected in your finances if you consider making any of these simple changes.
- Plan your meals in advance.
This may seem silly, but it’s true! Most families visit the grocery store and grab anything and everything that looks good, without giving it a second thought. Before your next trip to the store, consider first sitting down and planning your meals in advance. I guarantee you will see the difference it makes in your grocery store bill!
- Give up a daily pleasure (Break that bad habit!)
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times. But that’s because it works. Take a minute to add up how much you’ve spent on Starbucks coffee this past month, McDonald’s diet cokes this past year, or even cigarettes during your lifetime. Imagine what you could do with that money otherwise. Challenge yourself: Begin cutting that habit out of your day, and instead put that money you would have spent into an investment. It will make a world of difference.
- Skip the lottery tickets.
I’m sorry, but it’s time to be realistic. Face the facts and probabilities: you just aren’t going to win the Powerball. The “harmless” $5.00, $10.00, $20.00 you spend on lottery tickets every now and then will not pay off… Don’t let the small victories trick you into thinking they will (they won’t!). Start avoiding the lottery now, and your future self will thank you for it.
- Check for coupons!
Some people do take advantage of coupons, but there are also many that don’t. This is a friendly reminder to spend a few minutes before the grocery store trip or oil change to quickly search for a coupon. Many people miss these opportunities simply because they’re too lazy to look for them, but don’t let yourself! Giving yourself a constant, small period of time to find coupons will make a difference in how much you’re spending.
Give any (or all) of these tips a try, and I can promise you change will come about. And keep in mind that these are only the tip of the iceberg. You have so many more opportunities to create change in your finances, so don’t hesitate to do your own research and discover other ideas.
Most often, when a person hears the word “investment,” he or she immediately pictures a financial situation involving time and money. There are so many options to choose from: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc.…. it’s so easy to become distracted, and therefore limited, to this list of possibilities.
But what if people were to focus less on the physical, financial investments available, and more on the investment opportunity constantly available within themselves?
No matter your age, you always have the power to better your education. Put aside a small portion of your day to read. Listen to audiobooks during long drives. Even consider taking an online class! You will be surprised how these small changes can have a large impact on your knowledge and competitiveness.
The best and most important investment you can make is (you guessed it!) yourself. Putting the time into furthering your knowledge and skills pays off, and you will see the benefits of your personal investment throughout your entire lifetime.
Rejoice if you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or S corporation. The simplified synopsis:
You can reduce your business profit by 20% if your overall annual income (not counting capital gains) is less than $315K (married-filing-jointly) or $157.5K (single).
If you make more than $315K/$157.5K, then the discussion starts to become complicated – the law was written to try to keep high-earners from converting from a W-2 employee to a self-employed business; so you may not be entitled to the deduction if you make over these amounts.
It appears that the average middle class W-2 wage earner is going to be tempted to convince his employer to treat him as an independent contractor in order to:
- Receive the 20% deduction
- Be able to deduct 100% of his un-reimbursed business expenses (which are non-deductible under the new tax law)
- Create and fund a retirement plan (401k/SIMPLE/SEP) that works for him
- Reduce FICA tax by converting to an S Corporation and paying himself a wage less than his profit
Imagine a married salesman who makes $120K/year. The salesman has $20K of un-reimbursed work-related expenses.
Under the current law, the salesman pays tax on $120K at the following rates:
- Social Security and Medicare tax: 7.65% times $120K = $9,180
- Federal Income Tax: 15% times $120K = $18,000
Total Federal Taxes are $27,180.
If the salesman forms an S Corporation and convinces his employer to give him a 1099 instead of a W-2, then:
- He can deduct the $20K of un-reimbursed expenses
- He then gets a deduction of 20% of his profit (profit is: $120K minus $20K of now-deductible expenses) – this yields another $20K deduction
- His Social Security and Medicare tax would remain unchanged (long story – just trust me) = $9,180
- His Federal Income Tax would now be 15% times $80K = $12,000
Total Federal Taxes are $21,180…a savings of $6,000.
There are, of course, potential downsides/risks to this decision (foregoing the retirement plan matches from employer, foregoing subsidized health insurance from employer, increased audit risk) that have to be weighed.
As with most tax-related issues, the devil is in the details – contact us to make sure you know all of the angles.
In general, the new tax Act provides for stricter limits on the deductibility of business meals and entertainment expenses. Under the Act, entertainment expenses incurred or paid after December 31, 2017 are nondeductible unless they fall under the specific exceptions in Code Section 274(e). One of those exceptions is for “expenses for recreation, social, or similar activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees, other than highly compensated employees”. (i.e. office holiday parties are still deductible). Business meals provided for the convenience of the employer are now only 50% deductible whereas before the Act they were fully deductible. Barring further action by Congress those meals will be nondeductible after 2025.
Office Holiday Parties are 100% deductible
Meals with clients or others (business related): 50% deductible
Event/Sport/Entertainment tickets: No deduction
Employee Travel Meals: 50% deductible
Meals Provided for Convenience of Employer (provide meals to keep your employees working/on site): 50% deductible
A business can no longer deduct as a business expense: golf, skiing, football tickets, basketball tickets, baseball tickets, disneyland tickets