Lean Six Sigma at Your Firm: Extra/Over-Processing

Lean Six Sigma at Your Firm: Extra/Over-Processing

According to Debbie Foster, a partner with Affinity Consulting Group in Tampa, businesses need to implement a policy of Continuous Improvement. This means periodically re-evaluating processes to ensure that they are not extraneous or outdated. Foster says value is anything a client is willing to pay for. Waste is the opposite. She cites the textbook definition of over-processing as doing more than necessary to get a job done. While it’s important to do everything needed to complete a job for a client, it’s important not to spend excessive time and resources on extraneous things that, in the long run, add […] Read more

First-Time Abatement: An IRS Hidden Treasure

First-Time Abatement: An IRS Hidden Treasure

Have you received a notice from the IRS, stating you owe money and/or have had penalties and interest applied? The IRS sends thousands of these letters to taxpayers every year. At Nichols & Company, we always recommend you send a copy of your notice to us and let us handle the matter on your behalf.

Occasionally, notices address issues such as failure to file, failure to pay, or failure to deposit. Any of these issues are eligible for resolution using a first-time abatement (FTA).  There are certain circumstances where an FTA will be honored, and we are well aware of what […] Read more

I moved — Are any of my expenses tax deductible?

I moved — Are any of my expenses tax deductible?

Good news! If your move was job-related, you could be looking at some tax deductions. Here are some helpful tips to determine what is relevant:

-The move must be within a year of your start date at the new job.

-Your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home.

-You need to work full-time at your new job at least 39 weeks in the first year. (If self-employed, you must work full-time for at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new location.)

Also, remember to keep track of all move-related items, such as receipts, bills, […] Read more

Estate Planning: Does it make sense to hire Cut-Rate Counsel?

Estate Planning: Does it make sense to hire Cut-Rate Counsel?

One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is the peace of mind that comes with a will and estate planning. In fact, at Nichols & Company, we encourage all of our clients to, at the very least, have a last will and testament.

These days there are a plethora of legal documents available online; but, do these documents really fit your needs? According to Mike Mahoney of Columbus CEO, using online legal tools and documents might end up causing unwanted problems—and those problems may only surface at the reading of your will. While online sites might work […] Read more

Are you really in business?  Racing enthusiast lacked profit motive for racing business, finds Tax Court

Are you really in business? Racing enthusiast lacked profit motive for racing business, finds Tax Court

Your hobby or your for-profit business venture? Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate how the government classifies what you are doing. Roger Russell at Accounting Today spells out the nine specific criteria used by the government to evaluate whether your business is really a business or a hobby. The criteria include: 1) the manner in which the taxpayer carried on the activity; 2) the expertise of the taxpayer or his or her advisors; 3) the time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity; 5) the success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities; […] Read more

Entrepreneurs– Commit Yourself to the Turn

Entrepreneurs– Commit Yourself to the Turn

Much like downhill skiing, changing direction in business requires “committing yourself to the turn.” If you stick with the turn and work through it, you’ll find yourself heading the right direction. However, if you waiver, you might find yourself facing a steep downhill slope—literally or metaphorically. To keep your organization moving in the right direction, stick with your decisions and see them through, even if there are some consequences. Once you work through the hard parts, your journey could be down gentler slopes.

Read more at costcoconnection.com

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New Business? Which Entity Type is Right for me?

New Business? Which Entity Type is Right for me?

When establishing a business, it is important to consider what type of entity your business will be. Aren’t they all the same, you ask? Why no, they are not. Your accountant can be very helpful in determining what type of entity your business should be, as well as helping you to file the proper paperwork. According to Kelly Phillips Erb at Forbes, “entity choice can determine shareholder & partner numbers and identity; equity structure, control & management, as well as what kind of funding you might be eligible to receive.”

The following are types of entities:

Sole Proprietorship
General & Limited Partnerships
Limited Liability […] Read more

When Paper Beats Cash—helping executives measure the value of stock options

When Paper Beats Cash—helping executives measure the value of stock options

Employees these days have a number of factors to consider when going into a new job and negotiating compensation. Is it better to have a higher salary and fewer stock options? Or a lower salary and more stock options? According to an informal survey conducted by Forbes magazine, most employees have no idea how to place a value on options and make a clear decision. Factors to consider are:

Vesting (will you still be with the company by the time your options vest?);
Expiration (the options probably expire if a private company never goes public while you are there);
Liquidity (it’s possible your […] Read more