E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

Four ways to increase referrals to your business
When it comes to getting referrals for your business, look no further than your existing customer base. There's nothing better than the recommendation of a satisfied customer. If you want more referrals for your business, consider these four suggestions.

Managers: Emphasize employee strengths to engage them
When it comes to unhappy employees, the culprit is often a poor manager. In fact, research by the Gallup organization has found that only one in 10 people are really cut out for management. The key to happier, more engaged employees is to focus on employee strengths rather than weaknesses.

Is your focus on revenues or profits?
Some salespeople can't tell you what the margins are on the products they're selling. They're more focused on revenues than profits. Be sure your employees are tuned in to the difference between the two. Manage your bottom line by teaching them to focus on profits, not revenues.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Do you really get better bargains at outlet malls?
Outlet malls are big business and became even bigger during the recession. During the past eight years, 50 new outlet centers have been built nationwide, compared to only three retail malls. But do outlet centers really give shoppers the bargains they think they are getting?

Home improvement scams: Look for these red flags
Now that the weather is warming, it's prime season for disreputable contractors and scam artists who prey on unsuspecting homeowners. Tens of millions are lost to fraudulent schemes, which are one of the major types of fraud reported to consumer groups.

Financially wounded Millennial generation invests conservatively
The Millennial generation may have suffered more than any other during the recent financial crisis. It's not surprising that this financially wounded generation has developed a highly conservative mindset when it comes to money not unlike those of the World War II generation who grew up during the Depression.

Washington Tax Update

IRS webinars help small businesses learn tax requirements

The Internal Revenue Service provides many different educational products, webinars and videos to help small businesses thrive. Most small businesses employ CPAs to handle their financial needs, but having some knowledge of what is going on regarding the financial side of the business is important.

Penalty relief for late retirement plan returns expires June 2

The one-year IRS pilot program to provide relief to plan administrators who didn't file required retirement plan returns on Form 5500-EZ expires June 2, 2015. So, anyone wanting to take advantage of the penalty relief program should act fast.

Keeping good records pays off in auto expense deduction

A recent Tax Court case shows that keeping good auto mileage records - as well as a little persistence - pays off when it comes to dealing with the IRS.

'Reasonable' business expense varies by case

To be deductible, a business expense must be ordinary, necessary and reasonable in amount. The part of that three-pronged test that seems to give taxpayers the biggest problem is the reasonable amount.

The technical information here is necessarily brief. No final conclusion on these topics should be drawn without further review and consultation.

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