Skip to content

The Advantages Of Hiring The Top Accountants In London



If you do not take the time to properly manage your personal finances, it is all too easy to quickly find yourself in hot water. The more that you know about managing your money, the more easily you will be able to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. In many cases, you can gain an advantage by hiring one of the top accountants in London.

No matter what your personal situation may be, you can benefit from the attention of an experienced accountant. For example, if you hope to start your own business, there are many financial matters that you will need to attend to. A good accounting firm can help you get things set up properly so that you are able to track all of the information that you need.

Even if you do not have any entrepreneurial dreams, you may still need help getting a handle on your finances. If you have difficulty balancing your checkbook, or if you find it difficult to plan ahead, then you will need someone who can share their expertise with you to help you get your finances in order.

For example, have you started to plan for your retirement? Do you know how much you will need in the future so that you can retire comfortably? If you are like many people, you may not have given much thought to these matters. However, the sooner that you begin to save, the better.

Even if you can only put aside a small amount, the magic of compound interest will help this sum begin to grow. By putting away as much as you can afford, you can accumulate a sizable nest egg by the time that you are ready to start thinking about retirement.

Finding a way to save money can be a real challenge, especially for people who have a lot of obligations. A good accountant can help you track all of your spending so that you can find some areas where you can cut back and save money. He can also help you come up with a plan of action that you can follow to make saving easier.

For example, you can set up a direct deposit with your bank so that a certain percentage of each paycheck is automatically deposited in a savings account. This way, you do not have to remember to transfer the money yourself. This strategy is just one of the many ways that you can make saving money a part of your regular routine.

A good accountant can also be extremely valuable when it is time to pay your taxes. If you just do them on your own, you might be missing out on some effective ways to keep your tax bill to a minimum. Hire an experienced tax accountant so that you do not end up paying more than you really have to.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is so important to hire one of the best accountants in London. Doing so makes it much easier to get a handle on your personal finances.

Tax Strategies For The Self-employed

Self-employment offers a wide variety of pros and cons depending on the sector. In the case of tax returns, the pros outweigh the cons. All in all, one still has to pay his or her fair share of governmental tax. The trick is to find ways of minimizing tax debt on a personal basis while still maximizing the benefits. The legislature has created several opportunities that could help the self-employed achieve this.

In order to make the most of such opportunities, start by maintaining good records. Most self-employed individuals run SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). As a result, outsourcing professional accounting services is difficult due to the high charges involved. This does not mean such individuals cannot exercise good record keeping. Start by setting up a valid filing system. Once you receive any tax relevant document, immediately file it in place. Do this diligently all year round, and the result will be a well-set record system.

There is a wide variety of tax software available that offer e-filing. Renowned software such as TurboTax and other leading tax tools can go a long way in helping you maintain good records. Depending on your business, make a detailed comparison of TurboTax features before actually choosing a specific version. Pick one that fits your tax needs and offers proper record keeping features. There are several versions available, but most self-employed will want to use TurboTax Home & Business. This allows them to file the necessary Schedule C to report self-employment income.

Along with a proper filing system, always bear in mind the fact that expenses linked to the business are vital. Always keep records of any and all business expenses incurred, no matter how minute they may seem. A good way to manage petty cash is by making diary entries of all daily expenses. Equally imperative is a checking account specifically used to pay out huge costs. I cases where credit cards are used for payments, keep records. This helps you keep track of card payment so as to request for accurate interest deductions.

One aspect of self-employment tax returns that most people never consider is office space. It is always deductible. Tax laws allow for allowances based on office space, be it at a business location or at home. Specifically, the square footage used up, all recent improvements done, as well as, machinery bought for the sole purpose of office operations, are to be considered when filing tax returns.

Other likely factors to be considered include childcare, legitimate hiring of staff and a proper retirement plan. Childcare is always deductible whether or not one operates from the office. In the case of employing family members, go about it legitimately and offer them the relevant benefits such as college funding or healthcare. Lastly, set up a valid retirement plan. Not only will it help you save up for the future, but also lower your tax liability.

Ethics for the Financial Industry

Ethics is a study about morals. Every profession has its own set of morals that must be adhered to. This is to ensure that all professionals offer the best services.

A finance code of ethics informs professionals about rules and operating procedures that they must follow to comply with industry standards, corporate policies and government requirements. Ethics rules vary depending on role, industry, company size and transaction. Some professionals (such as public accountants) must meet annual minimum ethical requirements to maintain active licenses.

The code of ethics for finance professionals serves to promote transparency and honesty. It is used alongside an organization’s code of conduct.

The purpose of this Code of Ethics for Finance Professionals is to promote honest and ethical conduct and compliance with the law, particularly as related to the maintenance of the firm’s financial books and records and the preparation of its financial statements. The obligations of this Code of Ethics for Finance Professionals supplement, but do not replace, the firm’s Code of Conduct. As a finance professional of the firm, you are expected to:

Engage in and promote ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships, and to disclose to the Office of the Secretary any material transaction or relationship that reasonably could be expected to give rise to such a conflict.

Carry out your responsibilities honestly, in good faith and with integrity, due care and diligence, exercising at all times the best independent judgment.

Sourced from: https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/About-JPMC/ab-code-of-ethics.htm

Talking about of code of ethics and code of conduct could lead to the question of which is which. Why should we have a code of conduct when we already have the code of ethics which is the grand pupa of all codes? At this point it is important to clarify what each code does.

Code of Ethics

A code of ethics is a document, usually issued by a board of directors that outlines a set of principles that affect decision-making. For example, a code of ethics might stipulate that XYZ Corporation is committed to environmental protection and green initiatives. The expectation is that individual employees, when faced with the option, will select the greenest solution. The Caux Roundtable, a business-ethics think tank, argues for codes of ethics by noting that, "The self-interested pursuit of profit, with no concern for other stakeholders, will ultimately lead to business failure and, at times, to counterproductive regulation. Consequently, business leaders must always assert ethical leadership so as to protect the foundations of sustainable prosperity."

Code of Conduct

A code of conduct typically is issued by a board of directors; however, it outlines specific behaviors that are required or prohibited as a condition of ongoing employment. A code of conduct might forbid sexual harassment, racial intimidation or viewing inappropriate or unauthorized content on company computers. These are rigorous standards that usually are tightly enforced by company leaders. Ethics consultant Cornelius von Baeyer notes that, "There is considerable information that codes, along with other measures, have helped pull some companies out of the morass of scandal, and have helped many companies build a healthier work climate and reputation."

Sourced from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/difference-between-code-ethics-conduct-2724.html

There are those who argue that the financial industry does not need a code of conduct but it only needs the code of ethics. This is because conduct depends on context but good morals are applicable everywhere.

A code of conduct will not make a person behave ethically, but a code of ethics might, an ethics expert with over 20 years' experience says.

And it provides a valuable framework for dealing with offenders against it.

Brian Moran, co-principle of Managing Values, told LeadingCompany that ethical breaches are increasingly judged as a business risk.

"Increasingly companies are tying ethics to risk," he says. "That is interesting because risk is seen as a hard system. In the past, people have tended to think codes of ethics as wooly and esoteric, classic 'feel good' documents."

Many leaders have been too slow to catch up with the notion of the "court of public opinion", he says. Ethics are determined by society, and companies that fail to act speedily will find society makes up its own mind. Social media means that such judgments can be swift, harsh and difficult to reverse.

Sourced from: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/leadership/25838-why-a-code-of-ethics-not-a-code-of-conduct-could-work-for-you-business.html

How To Save Money At Home

Saving money does not mean you have to just stay at home and never have fun. You can actually save extra money just by changing a few of your daily habits. Here are some financial tips that could save you a lot of money by making some simple changes.

Switch the thermostat

The heater and air conditioner can be the source of a huge electricity bill. This is why you should use an adjustable thermostat so that your temperature control can be energy efficient. It may be a small thing, but it reduces the energy you use at home. It is also great to switch to the stove rather than heating your foods in the oven at dinner (while your AC is turned on).

Grocery list

Some households never really realize that they go to the supermarket once a week. This is not a good thing for your wallet. You can try to switch to monthly grocery shopping and opt for bigger volume when buying soaps, cooking oils, etc. It saves a lot of money because bigger packaging tends to have a cheaper price than purchasing small ones. When purchasing items in bulk, you can easily calculate the expenses and keep track of it in your bookkeeping software.

Use natural cleaners

When you have kids around the house, chemical products may have harmful effects on them. Not only that, it also takes up some of your budget to buy cleaning supplies each month. You can make these natural cleaners easily using a baking soda, water and vinegar mixture. They work wonders when you want to remove grease and other spots. This all-purpose cleaner is also great for your mirrors and windows.

Use personal finance software

When your taxes get too daunting to handle, you can use software like Quicken that will help you keep track of your money and financial situation. Even a small household needs to make sure they pay their bills on time and balance their checkbook right. The different Quicken versions allow people to choose the right version for their unique circumstance. It is almost as if you hired a personal accountant to help you with your bookkeeping. Many American households have used this type of software at their home due to its superior features and options available. Quicken can help you set up a budget, keep track of your savings goals, pay off loans and debt faster, and reconcile all your bank accounts.

It is necessary that you keep every penny you deserve by using proper budgeting and money saving tricks you can do at home.

How Accountants In Watford Will Help You Budget And Plan For The Future



One of the most important aspects of making your finances work for you is having a strategy and a plan. You must be able to accomplish this without putting yourself in danger of unnecessary debt. Your plan should include several short and long-term income goals. Your goal will help to give you a set direction when dealing with a monthly budget. The accountants in Watford will help you achieve these goals. In the meantime, the following strategies will help you get started.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the main problems people have is simply dreaming about a good future. Without taking the proper action now, you are leaving yourself open to an uncertain future. Your future goals are what must be used to drive forth your monthly budget in the here and now. One of the most important aspects you can start doing today is creating a hidden emergency fund. This money will be available in the event of an emergency. By having an emergency cash funds available it takes away the need to use high-interest loans and credit cards.

Keep Your Goals Centered

While it may sound like common sense it is important to leave reminders of your financial goals in life. This helps to avoid careless spending on items that are not a necessity. Simple reminders like sticky notes, daily text alerts, even a change jar on the countertop will help you realize the need to save money for the future. You will begin to think of your personal finances first and what you need to accomplish by setting these reminders.

Make Your Finacial Goals Personal

Think about what your family needs? Think about what you will need in the future? Talk to the accountants in Watford about what financial goals they believe are important. However, your goals need to relate directly to you and your family. While future goals are important it is also necessary to budget for daily needs as well. Your accountant will be able to help you prioritize your future financial goals as well as your daily living expenses. For example, while saving up for a new car is an excellent goal. If you do not have the need for a new car in the near future, your money would be better spent getting saved up in an emergency cash fund. An accountant will be able to help you determine how much of your cash can be used for savings and the best type of accounts for it.

It is important to discuss how your plans are working with your accountant throughout the year. You simply cannot set a plan in motion and not check in on it occasionally. Your accountant will hep you measure your success and continually monitor the situation for the best results. It is best to keep a personal timeline to ensure you are on track with your financial goals. Once you have completed a financial goal, do not stop. Talk with your accountant about setting up a more ambitious goal. There are many reasons why it is important to save money, so there is a large pool of goals available. Remember though it is important to keep any long-term debt out of your equation.

If you are looking for a way to make your first million dollars, it is time to start setting those goals today. However, on your way to a million, it is necessary to set up those small goals as well. One of the biggest ways people lose money is by having to pay those monthly credit card bills Start by sealing the majority of your cards away and stop with any type of frivolous shopping. Once this has been done you can begin setting up realistic goals and a proper monthly budget. As you see your goals being made, it will help you to carry on and stay on track. While it may be hard to maintain a daily budget, over time it will become ingrained in your daily life. You will see how your hard work pays off in the many financial rewards. Your first step is to set up several short and long-term goals today. Once you have those figured out, talk to a Watford accountant about realizing them.

5 Tips For Choosing Accountants In Watford



Hiring an accountant is a pretty tedious task, especially considering the number of available options. If you don't make the right choice, your business can suffer. Here are five tips that will help you find the right accountants in Watford.

1. Be Clear About Fees

It used to be typical for accounting professionals to charge an hourly rate, but this is not always the case these days. With the rising popularity of cloud accounting software, many have decided to charge a flat fee for their services. There is nothing wrong with either of these payment schedules, but it is important that you are perfectly clear about what you will be required to pay, especially since some accountants in Watford ask to be paid part of their fee before getting started.

2. Look For Someone Who Is Diverse

When most people think about accounting, the first thing that comes to mind is taxes. This is an integral part of the job, but that does not mean that this is all that will be required. While you are in the hiring process, be clear with the professional about their abilities. Always select someone who is well-versed in a number of areas. Otherwise, you will end up hiring someone else to fill in the blanks.

3. Software Knowledge Is Essential

One part of helping businesses get their finances in order involves assisting them in choosing accounting software. There are numerous options available, and you want to make sure that they are able to steer you in the right direction.

Every company will not have the best benefit from using the same software, and a top accountant will be able to understand this. During the process of speaking with them about software, ask about the options that are available. If they seem loyal to just one company, that is not a good sign. It means that they may not be adept at tailoring their services to meet clients' individual needs.

4. They Should Have Advanced Skills

Accounting used to be as simple as performing basic data entry and keeping records in a ledger. This is still part of it, but there are other aspects that are far more technical. Analysis and reporting are two of the areas where advanced knowledge would be required. As was mentioned above, cloud accounting is becoming more popular, so the accounting professional you select should be familiar with the concept.

5. Professional Association Memberships Are A Must

When a business professional is a member of one or more organizations, this shows that they are dedicated to being aware of what is current in their industry. This is essential if they want to provide their clients with the best possible service. Knowing that an accountant is a member of the Certified Public Accountants Association or some other similar body, should place them higher on the list of consideration than those who are not.

Choosing a Watford accountant does not have the be the most complicated thing you have done in quite some time. Using this advice should make it considerably easier for you.

A Brief Guide For Finding Accountants In London



Long gone are the days of the shadow accountant. The one who lurks behind the scenes and only appears once a year to handle the taxes. Accountants in London are taking on a much larger role in the corporate world. Financial management and risk management weigh heavily on the minds of business owners because of set backs that have occurred in the past. The modern accountant is an extremely important piece of the puzzle and for that reason you must take extra care when choosing yours.

Whether you're new to the business world or have been doing this for years, finding accountants in London is equally important. It's a good idea to have an accountant before your business has even started. This way they can help you throughout all of the planning as well, but it's never too late.

Not all accountants are created equal, in terms of experience, qualifications, certifications, specialties, and friendliness. All of these factors must be considered before committing to any one accountant or accountancy team. Ideally, you want an accountant that excels in all of the areas mentioned above. It can be difficult, but here are some tips for choosing the ideal accountants in London that will make the selection process easier.

Know Your Needs.

It's going to be impossible to find an accountant with the right credentials if you don't really know what you need them to do. Different accountants tend to have expertise in different areas. By knowing exactly what you need from them, you know exactly what expertise and history to look for. Whether you need an accountant with experience dealing with leases, taxes, or franchising, there is someone for everyone.

Start With Some Referrals.

The majority of business for accountants comes from word of mouth. Referrals are the perfect place to start your search for an accountant. You can get referrals from a variety of different sources. Friends are okay, but only if you can trust their business sense. Business associates and financial institutions are often a better source of referrals.

On that same note, there's nothing necessarily wrong with getting a bad referral because as long as you do your research you'll avoid the accountant all the same. That brings up the next point: research.

Always Do Your Research.

Even if you've gotten referrals from top notch institutions, you need to do as much research as possible. The internet is the best place to do your research. You can look for the accountant's website, check with sites that specialize in accounting reviews, and find forums where previous clients are discussing their work.

There are a lot of great sites online that target businesses and individuals looking for accountants. They let previous and existing clients share their experiences to help out future clients. It can also be a great tool for finding local accountants in London if you weren't able to get any referrals that you liked.

Take Your Time.

You don't have to rush your decision. You might feel pressured by time, but this is an extremely important decision. Get referrals, do your research, check their credentials, and ask for references.

The Solution To Your Money Problems

What can you do to get out of the money rut once and for all? The truth is that the way money is designed, you will never have enough of it. You see, the characteristic of money is scarcity. If it is scarce, then it is valuable. Though it is hard to get out of the money rut, with the little that you are making, you can have a great time. How?

You cannot live without spending money. However, if you do not have strict discipline, you will always be short of money. Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Learn to keep a record of what you want to spend your money on. This will help you escape issues such as impulse buying. You also have to monitor and know how much income you've got in a month. Have it clearly noted down. Take note of all expenses, big or small. This step is simply emphasizing the fact that you cannot spend what you do not have.
  • List down your expenditures however big or small they could be. The list includes all the outright bills such as electricity, insurance premiums and mechanical costs of your car. Those expenses you occasionally incur such as watching a movie at the theatre or that cup of coffee you have with colleagues after work should also feature in your list. Having a thoroughly done expense list will enable you identify where that money you never have an account of goes.
  • Once you know the amount of money coming in and going out, you are ready to work out a budget that is affordable to you. Carefully examine your expenses list to figure out which item should be reduced or eliminated. If you are keen enough you will notice something that is not worth being an expense to you.
  • Utility bills are a part of your expense list. Have a look at your home appliances. You can seal your windows and doors to cut heating and cooling costs. Ask for the installation of the latest water heating technology for your home. Do not use the dishwasher or the washing machine for a few items.
  • Discard your old appliances and go for modern appliances that have the Energy Star label and you will never regret it at all. Think the cost is too high? How about you look at it in terms of it as an investment that will save you money for the coming ten years.
  • Consider replacing your old roof with a new one. Improve your insulation to reduce utility costs. Such investments could be costly but will save much money in future.

Conclusion
It takes courage to invest in new technologies such as heating systems because they tend to be more expensive than old ones. However, it is worth it when you realize how much you can save in the end and get on top of your private financial planning.

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Acident Lawyers



When searching for truck accident lawyers its best if you take some basic information and join it with common sense to see whether your attorney is able to manage your lawsuit to get you what you deserve. Here are three things that you need to look for when considering an attorney to manage a trucking accident case for you.

Where Do Truck Accident Attorneys Spend Their Money and Where Does the Money Go?

Some law firms spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on advertisements attempting to get the greatest number of people to their law firm. Now there is not anything particularly wrong with this until you discover that more cash is spent by the law firm on this promotion than they do locating all useful info for their client's cases and getting the correct research.

Another issue is that some law firms will try to take on too many cases and will thus spend less time on every case that comes in. You want to ensure that you simply go so that you can be represented by them to their full potential with a law firm that does not take on an intense case load.

Truck Accident Attorneys Must Have Trucking Industry Knowledge

Make no error truck accident lawyers need to have an intimate understanding of the trucking industry will likely have the ability to prosecute your case a lot more effectively than an attorney who has little to no experience with it. Why?

The trucking industry is extremely specialized. The laws change annually and there are certain standards and practices that truckers and trucking companies must abide by. The biggest of which is rest time for the drivers (which is mandated by state and national laws). So in order to tell whether or not a trucker or trucking company has broken those laws but make it seem as though they haven't takes a lawyer who has an eye for details and is capable to do the math, which can only be comprehended by those who really take the time to comprehend the business.

Truck Accident Lawyers Have To Know the Difference in Laws

Another large part of your case is seeing whether or not and/or the motorist the trucking company should be blamed additionally need to do with national and state laws. You see while intrastate drivers will be more impacted by state laws, interstate motorists are definitely going to be changed by state and national laws. This can have an important consequence on your case and your attorney needs to understand the difference between the two.

Great truck injury lawyers must have an understanding of these three things to be able to present you in the strongest way possible and get what's rightfully yours. Get into contact with the truck accident attorneys at: isaacstruckattorneys.com to help out with your case.

Pay The Lowest Price Possible For Your Homeowners Insurance With These Tips

Over the past couple of years the cost of getting a homeowners insurance has increased drastically. While you could easily obtain one for about $300 or $400 per year in the past, you need to spend at least $600 to obtain the same kind of insurance now.

That is the reason why it is more important now, than ever before, to make use of the following tips to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance:

Tip #1: Compare Costs If you want to obtain the most affordable home insurance quotes you can get, comparing offers provided by different insurance companies is crucial. Years ago, the only reliable way to get that done was by visiting your local insurance agencies, or by calling them. But, these days, insurance quote comparison sites let you do the job quickly and easily.

To start receiving insurance quotes from top insurers, all you need to do is visit a good comparison website and then fill up and submit a simple questionnaire that requires a few details from you regarding your house and insurance requirements. Certain websites even let you enter deductible amount and qualified discounts before presenting quotes.

By comparing deals from different insurance providers and switching your company to a cheaper one, you can save as much as $500 per month on premium!

Tip #2: Raise Deductible Raising your deductible amount is one of the easiest and smartest ways to lower your premium. By increasing your deductible to $500 from the standard $100, you can save as high as 15 percent on premium. By raising the same to $1000, $2500, or $5000, you can save nearly 24 percent, 30 percent or 37 percent, respectively.

Tip #3: Be Loyal Purchasing all your insurance policies from only one company ensures you more than just the convenience of having to deal with a single agent and company. When you prove your loyalty to your insurer, you can usually avail between 5 and 15 percent discount.

Tip #4: Tighten Safety Most homeowners insurance providers easily give you a premium discount of 5 percent to 20 percent if you install safety features in your house. Security systems, fire extinguishers, window locks, fire alarm systems, security lightings, security doors, smoke detectors are all well and good.

Tip #5: Avail Discounts Make sure that you know what discounts you qualify for before purchasing your policy. In case you are 55 or older, you may be eligible for obtaining a senior discount of 4 percent to 10 percent. If you do not smoke, some insurers can give you a discount of as high as 10 percent. There are many other kinds of discounts insurers provide, too. For instance, if you work as a fire fighter or security personnel, you may be eligible for additional discount.

Note that, in addition to the above tips, there are many others you can rely on to successfully lower the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. However, in most cases, the above tips should be enough to greatly help you.

As A Truck Driver, Why Should Work With A Truck Accident Attorney

You need to remember that when you're involved in a truck accident, the prices are on you, when you work as an independent truck driver contracted to an organization, then. They contain insurance fees and the lawyer fees. As you would with insurance coverage when you've got a good truck accident lawyer behind you, then you may enjoy the exact same sort of benefits. There are really so many reasons why you ought to consider having a truck accident attorney when the need arises and some of the rationales are highlighted below.

-- A lawyer (like isaacstruckattorneys.com) can help you resolve problems which could appear in terms of whether you are a contracted worker or a regular employee. The fact is that suits can get ampler for drivers who are mistaken for direct workers in making sure that such confusions usually do not happen to stay away from the hefty suits that could favor the plaintiff, but an attorney helps.

-- A truck injury lawyer is useful in coping with the special stipulations as far as big truck insurance proceeds. These are stipulations which you would otherwise not know about when working for serious accident injuries particularly without the professional assistance of an excellent lawyer.

-- A lawyer can help you understand your options as far as the litigation goes and you can in fact do with some consultation for cases that therefore don't demand the representation by an attorney in court and are not that serious. He can guide you on how to deal with the specific situation successfully for less serious truck accident cases on your own.

Without doubt a truck accident lawyer is important and you should make certain that you pick the most reputable and experienced attorney if at all you are to achieve success in the representation. Before anything else, ask yourself whether the case is serious enough to need an attorney. Minor clear fault issues may be handled well even without the intervention of a lawyer. Nevertheless if it's a serious accident problem or you are not too certain of how exactly to handle the method then here are some of the factors you need to be sure you consider before you hire a truck injury attorney.



Reputation - What ratings does the lawyer have in the public domain as much as success can be involved? You ask amongst your friends to find a reputable truck injury attorney who has possible to represent you or can use reviews. If picking out a law firm, go for one that has an impressive standing and has a team of reputable lawyers and attorneys working collectively.

Experience - The more experience as well as success the lawyer has the simpler it will be for him to approach your case from a successful strategy and hasten the process every way possible.

Price - Remember you are hiring the attorney services to save you some money in the litigation. You thus should never settle for an attorney whose service fees are clearly exorbitant.

What To Expect When Applying For A Construction Loan



mortgage broker

When someone has an interest in building a house or fixing up a new one, obtaining the finances to have the project done properly becomes a major concern. If a new home construction project is going to be done or if major renovations are in the works, a construction loan can be a great way to get the money needed to do the work done quickly and properly. There are several tasks that need to be completed before the loan is awarded.

Before someone applies for a loan, they should have blueprints made out showing exactly what the new home is proposed to look like or what the remodeling project will entail. This information can be obtained from the builder the applicant intends on using to do the work. Before they can be awarded a loan, the blueprints will be assessed along with any monetary estimates given to the applicant by the builder.

If the project is not comparable with the amount of the home improvement loans the company has available to borrow, it may not be approved. The amount of the loan should cover the repair, but it should not be substantially more than the amount of the work being done. The home should be used as a primary dwelling or summer home and not for a quick turnaround in the real estate market, or the loan may be denied.

Financial stability is a must when applying for a construction loan. The applicant will need to have a good credit score to obtain the funds needed. In most cases, loan companies will look at the top three credit score corporations, Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. From these credit scores the middle score will be used to determine if a loan will be awarded.

If there is a co-applicant, the process is done for each person. The lower of the middle scores will be used to make a decision. The score will need to be 680 or above for remodeling loans covering $1,000,000 or less. For projects costing more than $1,000,000 to remodel or build, a score of 700 or 720 will need to be met to get a loan.

Many loan services require the applicant has had steady employment at the same company for at least two years. Any debt the applicant owes will also be taken into consideration. Monthly debt amounts should not be in excess of 45% of the amount of pay made each month.

While applying for construction loans can be nerve-wracking, most people find if they have a solid income and low debt, they will be approved. As long as the home will be used for their residence, and the credit score of the applicant is in the right range, they will soon be able to build or remodel their dream home.

The Value Of Credit Card Insurance Cover

There are two specific cases when you could benefit from credit card insurance cover:

1. Credit Card Theft

In the event that your credit card is stolen and used to purchase goods, you can call your credit provider and inform them of the loss of the card as well as the transactions that were not made by you. It is important to report the theft or loss of your credit card as soon as possible. You may also need to report the theft to your local police station and provide your credit card company with a case number.

The credit card will immediately be cancelled and any transactions performed after the loss or theft will be removed from your transaction history. This means that you will not be liable to repay these amounts. This type of insurance is normally a fixed part of your credit card agreement. However, you may need to select this option when applying for the credit card or take out additional insurance to ensure that you are covered.

This insurance can also provide you with cover in the event of identity theft. However, you will need to provide proof that you are a victim of identity theft.

2. A Payment Protection Insurance Plan



In the event that you lose your income, your credit card insurance cover will make payments on your behalf for a specified period of time or until you are able to afford the repayments. Loss of income could be due to an injury, loss of employment or death.

It is important to read the terms and conditions of this type of insurance policy carefully. Some insurance policies will not provide you with this type of cover if you were fired or if you resigned from your job. In addition, they may not provide cover for some types of employment. For example, free lance workers, consultants and commission earners who do not receive a regular salary or wage may not be eligible for cover. Check out PPIGuru.co.uk for more information about how to claim back your mis-sold payment protection onsurance.

The financial institution or credit card provider in-house should offer loss of income credit card insurance. Alternatively, you can find an external insurance provider that offers all types of credit card insurance.

If you opt for an in-house insurance policy, the premium will be deducted from your credit card on a monthly basis. You will need to make monthly payment arrangements if you are using and external insurance provider.

Tips For Managing Your Money The Right Way

Many people find it hard to manage their money. The only thing that seems to pop into mind when they see money is spend it, and then some. However, that is not right. You need to know a few things about personal finances and money management. Continue reading this article to understand what we mean.

You cannot make a proper budget if you do not know how much money you spend and how much money you make every month, every week or so. Note that, if you are smart, your expenditure should be less than your income.
Usually, a smart person will seek to know the total expenses that he has to face every week, every month, every day or at a given time span. That is what you are going to do. Take a pen and paper and list all the expenses that you have to take care of. How can you even start writing a budget if you do not know how much money you spend.

Now, listing the expenses and the income is not enough. You still need to do much more. For example, you need to revisit the expenses and find out what you can do to cut them out. For example, do you really need that Starbucks coffee every day? Try making some at home? You will save more money that way. When planning your budget, take care of everyoneâs needs in the family, all of them. You know how much you spend, that is, per person in the family. We now have to look at the amount of money that you spend on the home itself. How much do you pay in utility bills per month? A lot? A little? Let us look at it.

Old appliances do not use electricity; they guzzle it! Thus, you need to take care of them. Thus, if you can get rid of them and get new ones that are Energy Star rated, you will be amazed at the amount of money that you can save every month.

If your doors and windows are poorly sealed, if your roof needs repair, then it means that your HVAC could be using much more energy than it should. Thus, you need to look into it. Get a professional, a technician to look at the windows and doors and if they need resealing, let them do it. Add more insulation to the roof and the windows if there is need for that. You will have an easy time with the electricity bills.

But, you may ask, why should you spend all that money on the new appliances and insulating your home, if your intention is to save money? The truth is that it is better to spend more money in one year and then save money for ten years. It makes more financial sense, doesnât it?

14 Creative Financing Methods for Startups

For entrepreneurs with a lot of money saved up, the only obstacle to starting a business is coming up with a viable idea. But many aspiring business owners have the opposite problem — the idea is there, but the capital isn't.

Clearing the startup financing hurdle is made even more difficult by the fact that brand-new entrepreneurs are often turned down for business loans. Traditional bank loans have always been tough to secure, and although loans funded by the Small Business Administration are typically more accessible, it's getting more competitive: The SBA's biggest lending program, the 7(a) program, recently maxed out its funds, and was on hold until July 28 after Congress raised the lending limit, ABC News reported. While business owners are in the clear for now, the growing number of SBA loan applicants means there's a good chance of the program reaching its limits again.

So what's a would-be small business owner to do? There are plenty of other options to help you fund your new venture. Here are 14 options beyond bank loans for financing your startup.

Online lending. Recently, online lending services such as OnDeck and Kabbage have become a popular alternative to traditional business loans. Online lenders have the advantage of speed: An application takes only up to an hour to complete, and a decision and the accompanying fundscan be issued within days. In contrast, the traditional loan process can take weeks, or even months, to complete.Because of this, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said at the 2015 Lend It conference that he expects online lenders to eventually reach more than 70 percent of small businesses.

Factoring/invoice advances. Don't want to take out a loan? Services like factoring and invoice advancing may help ease growing pains for small businesses. Through this process, a service provider will front you the money on invoices that have been billed out, which you then pay back once the customer has settled its bill. Eyal Shinar, CEO of small business cash flow management company Fundbox, says these advances allow companies to close the pay gap between billed work and payments to suppliers and contractees.

"By closing the pay gap, companies can accept new projects more quickly," Shinar told Business News Daily. "Our goal is to help business owners grow their businesses and hire new workers by ensuring steady cash flow."

Product presales. Selling your products before they launch is an often-overlooked and highly effective way to raise the money needed for financing your business. Entrepreneur Priska Diaz was able to raise $50,000 for her company Bittylab with a presale of her Bare air-free baby bottles. The money Diaz was able to raise helped her pay for inventory, and also helped to open some doors in retail and learn about her website's visitors. Though Diaz was able to benefit greatly from this means of financing, there were still some difficulties to overcome.

"The biggest challenge was in coordinating the inventory delivery times from our supplier so that we could start fulfilling orders," Diaz said. "Another challenge was forecasting the number of units we were going to presell, resulting in a shortage. We've now passed the presale stage and sold more than originally anticipated, resulting in back orders."

Friends and family. If you have a friend or relative with some spare cash, you have another potential way to finance your business. Borrowing from friends and family presents an interesting alternative to traditional forms of financing, and can have some unique advantages, including low- or no-interest payments and avoiding the hassles of bank contracts.

Debra Doran, managing partner of the Seattle branch of financial consulting firm CTC Consulting | Harris myCFO, recommended open, frequent communication with potential friend and family lenders to avoid damaging relationships.

"Having a well-thought-out game plan will increase the odds of family members and friends agreeing to be your financial partners," Doran said. "Business success is not assured, but by professionally approaching your family and friends to support your efforts, and communicating frequently on the progress of the business, the chances of maintaining good relationships are significantly higher."

Side business. New business owners can try "double-dipping" as a means of funding their startup. Entrepreneur Alex Genadinik used his revenue from tours he organized on ComeHike.com to launch Problemio.com, which builds mobile apps for planning and starting a business. After receiving donations for some of the free hikes he led, Genadinik began to charge for events, where he marketed his new site to hikers.

"I tried everything else before that, including monetizing with ads and becoming an affiliate reseller for outdoor gear, but it didn't quite work," Genadinik said. "This allowed me to work on my project without the distraction of looking for investors."

Home equity loan. For homeowners who have equity —the home's value minus what you owe —a home equity loan is a great option for financing a small business. These loans generally offer interest rates that are both flexible and lower than traditional commercial rates.

"Home equity loans are very cheap, rate-wise," said Al Engel, executive vice president of consumer lending at Valley National Bank. "It is a low-cost form of borrowing that is very controllable by the entrepreneur as far as when he pays funds and redraws funds. The flexibility is tremendous. The risk is, you are putting your home on the line. If the business fails, or you fail to maintain the terms and conditions of the home equity loan or line, you risk foreclosure."

Selling assets. Sometimes, you may have a financing method and not even realize it at first. That was the case for entrepreneur Hamid Saify, who was able to fund his opinion-sharing community, ChoicePunch, by selling a car he had wanted to pass along to his children. Though it was a tough decision, Saify was able to make $30,000 from the sale of the car. That money, in turn, went toward some very important aspects of the fledgling startup.

"I used some of that money to help with the last payments to our design and development contractors," Saify said. "The rest I put into our account and used to help support marketing during our beta launch months."

Credit cards. Business credit cards are among the most readily available ways to finance a startup, and can be a quick way to get your business up and running.

"One of the few advantages is that the minimum payment on a credit card is very low," said Ken Nickel, senior vice president of community lending at Valley National Bank. "If you are a new business who is just starting out and you don't have a lot of money coming in, or you don't have a ton of expenses, you can put it on a credit card and pay the minimum payment."

However, there are some serious drawbacks to consider before using plastic to fund your startup, Nickel said. If a new business gets started and then has trouble making the payments, the interest rates and costs on the cards can build very quickly, and carrying that debt can be detrimental to a business owner's credit.

Angel investors. Those looking to finance their business can always look to an angel —an angel investor, that is. Angel investors have helped to start up many prominent companies, including Google, Yahoo and Costco. This alternative form of investing generally occurs in a company's early stages of growth, with investors expecting a 20 to 25 percent return on their investment.

"The principal advantage of an angel investor is generally that you have a friendlier atmosphere and a quicker decision-making circumstance for a smaller amount of [money]," said Mark DiSalvo, CEO of private equity fund provider Semaphore. "You are likely to get an investor who has strategic experience, so they can provide tactical benefit to the company they are investing in."

Venture capitalists. For small businesses that are beyond the startup phase and already have revenues coming in, a venture capital investment may be appropriate. Fast-growth companies with an exit strategy already in place can gain up to tens of millions of dollars that can be used to invest, network and grow their company quickly.

Brian Haughey, assistant professor of finance and director of the investment center at Marist College, said that because venture capitalists focus on specific industries, they can generally offer advice to the entrepreneur on whether the product is going to fly or what they need to do to bring it to market. However, venture capitalists have a short leash when it comes to company loyalty and often look to recover their investment within a three- to five-year time window.

"They have to make a return and usually have a five-year time horizon," Haughey said. "If you have a product that is taking longer than that to get to market, then venture-capital investors may not be very interested in you."

Winning a contest. Sometimes, businesses can benefit from a bit of luck. That was the case for Roberto Torres and Luis Montanez, who funded a portion of their startup costs for apparel company Black & Denim with winnings from a business-plan competition.

"We utilized the funds to purchase manufacturing equipment that allowed us to scale our products and meet demand," the owners said. "This advantage gave us the opportunity to increase our production and get into bigger players like Stein Mart and Walt Disney World. The competition also gave us access to business experts that asked us the tough questions while allowing us to retain our equity —a perk that would have been very difficult to obtain otherwise."

Renting out your home. Cutting out liabilities is another creative way for new business owners to fund their startups. For Fay Johnson, founder and editor of deliberateLIFE magazine, that meant renting out her apartment. Johnson was able to do this by placing her San Francisco apartment on Airbnb and renting it out for anywhere between five nights and a month at a time. The decision has been successful for Johnson, who has used the money raised to fund the costs of the first few issues of her magazine. Though the move has allowed Johnson to finance her startup, it has not come without its share of headaches, including tight time restraints.

"As an entrepreneur, time is one of your most valuable resources," Johnson said. "When renting, I have to keep in mind that I need to clean and reclean the apartment, and since I work from home, I also have to find a place to work during those days."

Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding on websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can give a big boost to the financing aspirations of small businesses. These sites allow businesses to pool small investments from a number of investors instead of forcing companies to look for a single investment. Many sites allow companies to raise money in exchange for rewards or products. Others have an equity-based model in which businesses give up a bit of their share.

Before choosing a crowdfunding platform, be sure to read all the fine print and know what you're getting into. Certain sites require businesses to raise their full stated goal in order to keep any money raised on the platform. Other sites will allow companies to keep any money they raise. Additionally, sites can claim a percentage of any money raised on the site. Sites often also charge a payment-processing fee for money raised.

Grants. If your business focuses on a scientific or research-oriented field, grants from the government may be able to help fund your company. The SBA offers grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Grant recipients are required to meet federal research and development goals, and to have a high potential for commercialization.

Shinar said there are not many downsides to a truly no-strings-attached grant. However, you should carefully read the fine print because grants may require that you give up part of the IT or other intellectual property, Shinar noted. Grants also can be time-consuming, and depending on the sector, the ratio of time expenditure to the odds of payout may be too high. Nonetheless, if your company could be eligible, it is wise to review the options.

Precautions and next steps

While the plethora of lending options may make it easier than ever to get started, responsible business owners should ask themselves how much financial assistance they really need. Companies that receive more income than they truly need should be prudent in how it is used. Shinar urged such companies to make — and stick to — a disciplined budget.

"It's hard to go back later and try to exert fiscal discipline," Shinar said. "It's better to start from the beginning with good corporate governance."

Companies that have received a large cash infusion may benefit from bringing in an experienced partner or board member to help ensure accountability, Shinar added.

As an alternative, bootstrapping your company — building it with existing resources and earned revenue — offers companies a low-risk way to test out their product. If you and your partners are able to work toward creating a functional product in your spare time, you may be able to begin to sell that product with minimal or no cash.

"The advantage of bootstrapping is that you stay the boss," Shinar said. "More importantly, you get relatively quick validation from the market about whether you have a good business plan. Bootstrapping helps imbue a company with operational discipline."

Owners who bootstrap retain exclusive control over their company for a longer time, allowing them to better influence its culture and goals. As your company grows, funds can be put directly back into enhancing the business, rather than into servicing your loans. In addition, they avoid less-than-favorable conditions and terms that might be imposed by lenders or additional partners.

If you bootstrap, however, be prepared and open-minded about moving to the next step. If you remain without external funding for too long, you may be unable to take advantage of market opportunities. Moreover, you risk creating a business that has failed to integrate more experienced minds.

"At a certain point, you need smart partners around the table, and those partners are commonly investors," Shinar said. "If you want to grow really fast, you probably need outside sources of capital. And if you are only bootstrapping, you are missing some of the advantages of corporate governance. You may also miss some lifestyle advantage — you can go on bootstrapping for years without making money. So taking on debt may actually mean that your company can move forward."

get more information http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1733-small-business-financing-options-.html

Interest rate options

Interest rate options allow businesses to protect themselves against adverse interest rate movements whilst allowing them to benefit from favourable movements. They are also known as interest rate guarantees. Options are like insurance policies:

You pay a premium to take out the protection. This is non-returnable whether or not you make use of the protection. If interest rates move in an unfavourable direction you can call on the insurance. If interest rates move favourable you ignore the insurance.

Options are taken on interest rate futures and they give the right, but not the obligation, either to buy the futures or sell the futures at an agreed price at an agreed date.

Using options when borrowing

As explained above, if using simple futures the business would sell futures now then buy later.

When using options, the borrower takes out an option to sell at today’s price (or another agreed price). Let’s say that price is 95. An option to sell is known as a put option (think about putting something up for sale).

If interest rates rise the futures price will fall, let’s say to 93. Therefore the borrower will buy at 93 and will then choose to exercise the option by exercising their right to sell at 95. The gain on the options is used to offset the extra interest that has to be paid.

If interest rates fall the futures price will rise, let’s say to 97. Obviously, the borrower would not buy at 97 then exercise the option to sell at 95, so the option is allowed to lapse and the business will simply benefit from the lower interest rate.

Using options when depositing

As explained above, if using simple futures the business would buy futures now then sell later.

When using options, the investor takes out an option to buy at today’s price (or another agreed price). Let’s say that price is 95. An option to buy is known as a call option.

If interest rates fall the futures price will rise, let’s say to 97. The investor would therefore sell at 97 then exercise the option to buy at 95. The gain on the options is used to offset the lower interest that has been earned.

If interest rates rise the futures price will fall, let’s say to 93. Obviously the investor would not sell futures at 93 and exercise the option by insisting on their right to sell at 95. The option is allowed to lapse and the investor enjoys extra income form the higher interest rate.

Options therefore give borrowers and lenders a way of guaranteeing minimum income or maximum costs whilst leaving the door open to the possibility of higher income or lower costs. These ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ benefits have to be paid for and a non-returnable premium has to be paid up front to acquire the options.

See more at http://www.accaglobal.com/ie/en/student/exam-support-resources/fundamentals-exams-study-resources/f9/technical-articles/hedging.html