My Reading: November 19, 2013

My Reading: November 19, 2013

Here are some of the articles that caught my attention so far this week.

The end of the year approaches and with it comes the yearly concern with limiting one’s tax bill.  For small business owners, here are five tips to reduce your expenses.  I do agree with the tip about outsourcing and avoiding perpetual payments.

For people in Frederick, MD, Cowork Frederick is hosting a Lunch & Learn session Friday at Noon regarding tax tips for small businesses.  Get tickets here.

My Takeaway for Clients: I strongly encourage outsourcing as a means for reducing overhead costs, but take care that the functions you are outsourcing are not your core business functions.

In my long ago days, I worked for a small software company that provided campaign finance compliance software for political action committees and candidates.  One day, just before leaving for Christmas holidays at my parents house, we got a call from a client who was being audited by the Federal Election Commission and the PAC learned of a widespread embezzlement scheme.  One of the key lessons I learned is having multi-person control of finances.  This post has four suggestions for helping prevent fraud.

My Takeaway for Clients:  Work with your IT provider, your accountant, your attorney, your insurance broker, and your staff to constantly review procedures to manage your fraud risk.

I work with a number of clients to manage their outsourcing and independent contractors.  Maryland has some pretty stringent laws regarding the classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors.  But the Internal Revenue Service uses different criteria sometimes called the 20 Factor Test.  This post has some details about the IRS test.

My Takeaway for Clients:  Making sure you have the proper classification of workers as either an employee or an independent contractor is vital, since the consequences can be severe.  Be sure to speak to an attorney and HR professionals about classification of workers.

As a huge soccer fan, today is a vital day as the field of teams for FIFA World Cup 2014 will be primarily set today.  The U.S. Men’s National Team.  But for me, the interesting news is in Europe.  Perennial powerhouse, France is on the verge of elimination, being down two goals to Ukraine, but playing this leg in France.  My underdog rooting team today is Iceland, who is on the verge of qualifying for their first World Cup.  They will be playing Croatia in Zagreb with the teams level after a 0-0 scoreline after the first leg.  But probably the best chance for a quality game will be Portugal and Sweden.