Keeping Good Records is Good Business

Maintaining good records is important to help meet your tax and legal obligations. The right record keeping system not only helps satisfy these obligations, but it may save you money and time. Here’s what to consider for your record-keeping system.

What Records Do You Need to Keep?

The first step is identifying the records you need to maintain. The obvious examples include leases, contracts, payroll and personnel records, and a range of accounting and finance information, such as invoices, receipts, checks, payables, and inventory. Please consult a professional with tax expertise regarding your individual situation.¹

How Do You Want to Keep Them?

Record maintenance can take three basic forms:

  • Paper-based—It’s old school, but maintaining records in file folders stored in a metal cabinet may be sufficient. However, there is a risk of files being damaged or destroyed with no back-up.
  • Computer-based—Maintaining records on computers saves space and makes management easier. Consider backing up files and keeping them off-site.
  • Cloud computing—Storing and managing records on the internet offers possible savings on software, reduces the risk of lost data, and provides access from any location.

What Software Should You Use?

The right software can make life more productive; the wrong software may cost you time and money.

When shopping for software, consider:

  • What is the size of your organization? Do you want an easy-to-use package, or are you able to hire a dedicated employee to take advantage of a more sophisticated alternative?
  • What sort of training and support is provided? Without the right measure of either, your software may not be the productivity tool you envisioned.
  • Is specialized software available? The needs of different professions can vary greatly. Specialized software may have capabilities not available with more generic software.
  • Do you need mobile capabilities? If you operate your business from the road, you may want your software to have robust mobile features.
  1. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Four Great, Unexpected Places to Raise a Family

Many factors contribute to a great place to raise a family, but a great education system, a safe environment and diverse activities are common elements to family-friendly cities. With that in mind, consider these four stellar sites to bring up your brood.

Newton, MA

Located just seven miles from Boston, Newton has no single city center but consists of a patchwork of 13 villages. Newton offers classic New England architecture and beautiful parks. In addition, it provides students with educational partnerships with Boston College and nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cost of living in Newton may be on the high side, but the services and proximity to a rich historical, educational, and cultural heritage is included.

Middletown, NY

Perhaps you can have your cake and eat it too. Middletown is located in the Hudson Valley region of New York, providing the quiet life of an earlier era — and it is still only 90 minutes away from New York City. So you can spend a Saturday with the family in the Big Apple visiting the Natural History Museum or taking in a Broadway show, and on Sunday you can hike and picnic in one of the 34 state parks in the region.

Appleton, WI

Located on the Fox River, Appleton offers a low cost of living without the sacrifice of amenities. The city has 24 neighborhood parks and four community parks, the largest of which is 139 acres. It offers small-town living at its finest with a release-fish pond, indoor ice skating rink, outdoor hockey rink, summer concerts, fireworks on the Fourth of July and an annual Christmas parade. Adults can enjoy the annual Art in the Park event and the yearly Appleton Old Car Show and Swap Meet.

Omaha, NE

Though better known for Warren Buffett and great steaks, Omaha has a wealth of culture and history for all ages. It is home to the largest community theater in the U.S., a robust offering of performing arts, and the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame. Children may prefer the Children’s Museum or Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, considered one of the finest in the world. Its vibrant downtown is anchored by the historic Old Market, which is populated by shops, restaurants, bars, and art galleries.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Best Vacations: By Car, By Ship, By Foot, Once in a Lifetime

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”¹ – Unknown
If travel for you is less about escaping life and more about living it, then consider these vacation ideas:

By Car

East Coast of Australia: There may be no better way to experience this amazing continent than by driving along its east coast, stretching from Melbourne in the south to Cairns to the north. This 2,500-mile drive carries you through rainforests, cities, mountains and the outback, with the blue waters of the Pacific as a constant companion. Be sure to carve out time for the Great Barrier Reef, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking along the way.

By Ship

Northwest Passage: For hundreds of years explorers tried, and failed, to find the fabled Northwest Passage. Travelers can now discover what eluded so many brave adventurers. Begin your journey in Greenland, sail pass its fjords, and you’re on your way. As you penetrate deep into the Arctic, you’ll scrape against icebergs and marvel at the harshness and sublime beauty at the top of the world. But, it’s not just ice. See the remains of explorations that came before you and the polar bears that call this home.

By Foot

Camino de Santiago, Spain: Sometimes adventure is a journey to discover ourselves. This medieval pilgrimage through France, Spain and Portugal to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain can take you weeks or months. Travelers can recover from a day’s walk at one of the some 300 refugios that offer food, drink and a clean place to sleep. It’s a mystical experience that gives you time to reflect on life, learn about yourself, and connect with kindred spirits.

Once in a Lifetime

Botswana, Africa: One of the most sparsely populated nations on earth, Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Okavango is the ideal spot to safari as its waters attract a richness of wildlife that is unmatched on the continent. The country’s focus on minimizing human impact means that your African experience will be both primal and transcendent.

  1. http://www.travelgoalgetter.com/famous-travel-quotes.html

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Top New Digital Tools for Small Businesses

Technology has not just shrunk the tools we use, but it has allowed small businesses the power to operate like a big business. These tools can help small businesses get better organized, efficiently manage their finances, or support customer service and win new business.

New Digital Tools that Can…

Organize You

  • Evernote: For the creative mind, this app allows you to capture great ideas and track them to completion. This tool can help you collect, discuss and present information important to you, your staff and your clients. Visit site
  • Tripit: Consolidates all your disparate travel itinerary information in one place, regardless of what website, or how many you used to plan the trip. Tripit also provides delay alerts, weather updates, maps and directions. Visit site

Managing Finances

  • Expensfy: This app keeps track of business expenses and mileage and can file receipts and expense reports with the click of a button. Visit site
  • InDinero: Syncs up your bank accounts and credit cards and provides a real-time financial dashboard to help track cash flow and manage finances. Visit site

Build Your Business

  • LocalVox: A marketing app that helps you build your brand online. It allows you to publish to online channels and optimizes organic searches. Visit site
  • Perka: This app helps local businesses promote and reward customer loyalty. Visit site
  • Desk.com: Helps you keep a pulse on your customers and work with your staff to track and respond to customer issues. Visit site

And Stay Connected to Those Closest to You

  • Couple: Business owners can sometimes forget about their first love. Use this app with your spouse or partner to stay connected and remember important events. Visit site

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.