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@HansMast In a perfect world a help desk style interface would be best, I agree.  Unfortunately Cranky's business is not large enough to likely be able to afford such a program, IIRC info from his blog tells me that he has about eight employees total.  I don't know what he clears monetarily a year but I would guess from reading his blog and perusing his website for information that implementing a help desk style interface would cost more than he can afford (likely hiring a programmer to create that interface would cost over $10K, probably way over that amount).

8 months, 3 weeks ago on In the Trenches: Team vs. Individual Customer Service

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The accrual method is more appropriate for most businesses IMO (actually I can't think of a scenario where cash accounting would be more appropriate).  What if someone cancelled their request for services after paying?  With the accrual method it isn't an issue as you haven't recorded it as revenue yet (the unrecorded revenue would be sitting in a suspense account waiting for you to actually perform the service).  Same issue with large expenses which usually require accrual method in order to depreciate assets or record incremental usage of large amounts of non de minimus supplies (de minimus is the term we use to describe small transactions/ assets not likely to skew financial statements such as pens, paper, coffee, etc., I usually figure purchases not made to sell for profit and under $100-$250 qualify as de minimus for a small to mid size business) accordingly (cash method would decrease profits in one month and theoretically increase them for months on end until you need to buy more, repeating the cycle all over again).  With cash accounting it isn't so simple, you just inflated your profits for one month and deflated them for the next, misleading your stockholders and lenders (especially if a large purchase such as a mainframe computer or expensive machine/computer program is involved).  Most (if not all) banks require accrual accounting for this reason on financial statements required for taking out a loan as a business could theoretically use the cash method to inflate financial statements to mislead shareholders, banks, etc (or it could just happen as mentioned above about expense and asset accounting).  In my accounting classes we barely even discussed cash accounting since GAAP (governmental standards for businesses that issue stock and/or get large loans at government insured financial institutions) and GAAS (essentially GAAP for governments) require accrual accounting for all businesses and governmental units subject to the standards anyway.   The IRS requires use of a modified form of accrual accounting for tax returns as well.

9 months, 1 week ago on In the Trenches: Cash vs. Accrual Accounting

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Actually an exempt position must pay at least $452 (IIRC -- it is four fifty something) a week.  Most exempt positions come with bennies such as health insurance and vacation as well (this is not required by law but would be expected by any employee worth his time).  If his employee lives in California (where Cranky is based) there is also the task of setting up an account with the state for their required disability insurance program and paying the appropriate state taxes.  Other states have requirements for state taxes as well, all but Texas, Alaska and Florida IIRC.  The law says nothing regarding whether the employee works at home using an internet connection or using an employer-provided office and equipment regarding an exempt position.   An exempt position must also be one in which the employee makes business decisions without the guidance and decision by decision permission (other than general oversight) of the employer.  I am sure such a position as Cranky wants and needs to create would pay well over the minimum and the main issue is finding someone that he trusts to make life or death decisions of the business without his explicit guidance and actually has experience in the travel related field (including enough knowledge for creating a reward and fee structure for Cranky's business).  Please take this post as general information and not legal advice, I am a retired banking compliance officer and not an attorney.

2 years, 1 month ago on In the Trenches: Making the Case for a Full-Time Employee

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