Should Your Online Business Have an EIN?

Should Your Online Business Have an EIN?

If you run an online business and are wondering if it would be necessary for your company to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), then this article will help clarify things for you. Whether it’s a legal requirement or not, the author Deborah Sweeney informs us on why you should have an EIN along with the benefits that come with it. EINs are typically needed if your company plans to hire, or is in the process of hiring, employees. ECommerce businesses that don’t plan on hiring anyone may dismiss an EIN without realizing all of the other benefits it can provide their business — many of which your company really needs. From protecting your social security number to opening up a business bank account, here’s why it’s handy to have an EIN. Protect Your Social Security Number In order to identify your business, you are legally required to use your Social Security Number or an EIN. While sole proprietors often use their SSN on official documents, many are now opting to file for and use an EIN instead. Why is that? An EIN is much less sensitive than your SSN which could easily be stolen in a case of identity theft, wreaking havoc on your personal matters. Don’t worry that you’ll need to safeguard your EIN either since these are only used as a federal identifier. If you know that you’ll be using your SSN frequently on forms related to your eCommerce business (Editor’s not: like a sales tax registration!), then it’s a smart move to file for and use an EIN as a precaution. Federal Tax ID Numbers...
Pre-Shift vs. Before-Shift: What’s the Difference?

Pre-Shift vs. Before-Shift: What’s the Difference?

After reviewing some information that was sent to us from HR Pilot, we thought it would be useful to other companies that have questions regarding on whether an employee should be compensated or not. Employers are using pre-shift meetings as an effective tool to increase communication in the workplace, but it is important to know the difference between “Pre-shift” and “Before-shift” duties when considering work-time. Any time the employee is “suffered or permitted” to work is considered time that must be compensated by the employer, even if it is a “quick” meeting, and even if the employee is not clocked in. Examples of other duties that can be done “Pre-shift” and must be compensated include: Reading, giving, or getting instructions to perform a duty; Logging into a software system; Attending “roll-call” or reviewing daily duties with a manager; Donning protective gear; Completing pre-shift inspections; and Gathering necessary supplies for work. Examples of the employee’s duties that might be permissible “before-shift” (this includes any activity that is not considered a benefit to the employer), such as:* Parking a car; Resting in the break room or using the bathroom before a shift; Putting a meal in the refrigerator or hanging up a coat; and Making a call to plan how to get home from work. * Always consult with your EPLI HR Professionals if there are any questions as to Pre-shift duties. Contact them at 800-980-2988 or hrdirectors@eplaceinc.com. If you have questions regarding this or any other policy, contact your HR representative today. If you don’t currently work with a company, feel free to reach out to us for referrals to...
Now’s the Time to Take a Long, Hard Look at Busy Season

Now’s the Time to Take a Long, Hard Look at Busy Season

Do you have busy season cycles in your industry? As you are probably aware, we have come out of the busiest time of year and found a great article on what we can assess after making it through a busy season. If you want to analyze your business after a busy season, read the information below by Marsha Leest of Goingconcern.com. Although it sounds like she is writing to employees of organizations, we as business owners can look at her questions and see how well our company did in these areas. Busy Season Assessment Training. Were you given adequate training, if it was needed so that you could work as effectively and efficiently as possible? If you were struggling, were you able to ask questions? IT Support. Were issues resolved quickly? If not, did you have to take matters into your own hands? How did that work? Exposure to Clients. Did you have the opportunity to meet with clients, or were you mostly in the background? If it was your first busy season, keep in mind that you can learn from even the most mundane tasks. Data Mining. Were you able to learn from clients’ data? Are there opportunities for initiative? How does that change how you look at your assignments? Overall “Firm Feel.” What was the atmosphere like at the firm? Were you able to take the time you needed to handle personal or family business during busy season? Did the firm do things to make your life easier, like bringing in lunch or dinner or sponsoring fun events? Firm Leadership. Were firm leaders visible or absent? Supportive...
3 Reasons Small Businesses Must Innovate or Perish

3 Reasons Small Businesses Must Innovate or Perish

Brainstorming and thinking of new ideas to help your small business to grow are incredibly important, because without growth, your company’s success may start to decline. In an article written by Isaac O’bannon, he quotes Mayur Ramgir who gives some useful advice for why you should keep innovating. It’s often said that all it takes to change a person’s life – or the life of a business – is one big idea. While it’s true that many individuals and businesses have gone a long way on the strength of a lone idea, plenty of others prospered even further because they are constantly innovating – coming up with one good idea after another. “Businesses usually start out with an innovative idea,” says Mayur Ramgir (www.mayurramgir.com), president and CEO of Zonopact, Inc. “But they soon lose that innovative edge as they just try to survive with their day-to-day operations.” Ramgir has seen the problem often while working with the clients of Zonopact, which provides companies with software products that help them streamline their processes, carving out more time for innovation. “It’s easy to lose sight of your vision, and the kind of innovative thinking that got you to where you are, when you become bogged down in solving each day’s problems,” he says. So why it is important that companies keep innovating? 1. Other companies can claim your market share. Apple has become a perfect example of what a gap in innovation can leave. There hasn’t been much game-changing innovation from Apple since it released the iPad in 2010, thus giving its competition time to make up the ground that separated...
How to Leverage Your Small Business for Financial Success

How to Leverage Your Small Business for Financial Success

Is financial success for your small business a dream of yours? Paul Sydlansky wrote an article on how to make your dream come true. Whether your company is large or small, read here to find out how to leverage your business for you financial success. Small-business owners have great tools to secure their futures: SEP IRAs, Solo-401(k)s and Simple IRAs. Here’s how to put them to work. Owning your own small business is a popular notion in the United States. With more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S. representing over 50% of the working population in this country, it’s perhaps safe to assume that it’s a proven paradigm in our culture that will only continue to increase over time. And while many small businesses have found their stride and are thriving, there are still a staggering number of Americans who aren’t doing enough to secure their financial futures. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average savings of a 50-year-old is only $42,797. And over 80% of people between the ages of 30 and 54 don’t believe they will have enough money put away for retirement. As a small-business owner, you have a tremendous opportunity to not only turn a dream into a reality and create jobs for others, but you also have the ability to set yourself up for financial success. It’s not enough just to be profitable. You also should be saving money toward your future. Whether you’re a small-business of one or of nearly 500 employees, here’s how to leverage your small business for your financial success. Put Yourself First Let’s face it. As...
7 Steps to Planning a Successful Not-For-Profit Audit

7 Steps to Planning a Successful Not-For-Profit Audit

Are you a not-for-profit organization preparing for your annual audit? Tim McCutcheon wrote these 7 steps so you can prepared. Year-end financial statement audits serve a valuable purpose in helping maintain the financial integrity of not-for-profit organizations so they can successfully complete their missions. These audits can be more effective and less challenging with a little bit of preparation and planning on the part of the not-for-profit management and finance team. This preparation starts with your accounting system, because everything you do on a monthly basis will pay dividends as you gear up for your year-end close and the audit. Chances are your accounting system is very good for everyday things, such as processing customer/donor billings, receiving payments, paying bills, and making payroll. And you probably do other things every month in the normal course of your monthly closing cycle, such as review and reconcile various accounts. Having these processes in place provides a good start in preparation for your year-end audit. Here are a few more ideas to help your year-end audit go smoothly: Analyze, review, and reconcile significant balance sheet accounts. Use a roll-forward schedule to capture all the account activity. You and your auditor can agree as to the exact form and layout of the schedules to ensure they serve the dual purposes of the year-end close worksheet and audit schedule: Beginning balance + additions – reductions +/- adjustments = Ending balance Completing the schedule ensures that the account balances roll forward from the prior year end to the current year end, which provides assurance that the income statement effects of the changes have been properly...

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