The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

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Archive for June, 2015

Is Your Money Safe In A Bank?

Within the last 24 hours, there have been two stories that are causing the world markets to shudder.

The first involves Greece, which shut down its banks for six days to help them get a handle on their economy, as they’re about to default on their debt payments and could possibly be thrown out of the enrozone exchange.

looking up in Singapore
Jim via Compfight

The second involves Puerto Rico, which announced that it can’t pay its $72 billion debt. This one definitely hits closer to home since Puerto Rico is in essence part of the United States.

When we read about things like this, it makes us question our own economy and wonder just how safe our money is, especially the money that’s sitting in the bank. After all, if a country can shut down its banks, what do we do when we can’t access our money besides write checks and use credit cards?

This was a big issue back in the Depression era. Banks shut down and even the richest clients didn’t have access to their money. For many of them, the money no longer existed, and many people were suddenly broke.

That led to the passage of the Banking Act of 1933, which launched the FDIC, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Its purpose was to offer insurance for banks by guaranteeing them access to at least $250,000 per bank within an organization. This means that if a banking system has 10 locations, each bank has at least that much for its consumers.

The FDIC protects around 6,700 institutions throughout the country, and because of them no depositor has lost money since the program began. Even banks that fail, which leads the federal government to take them over and try to find new owners, are granted enough money to protect consumers actual funds. This relieves a lot of stress on those of us with checking or savings accounts.

Not only that, but if you have invested in a bank plan that helps you grow your money, that’s protected as well under its own plan. So, if you have $250,000 in savings and another $100,000 in investments, you’re covered for all of it. However, if you have multiple checking accounts (which some businesses have), they would all be combined and only $250,000 would be guaranteed.

So, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative of not having access to your money at all.

Four Ways To Help You Stay Organized With Your Business Expenses

Those of us in business know it can be a challenge to keep tabs on everything we need to so we can increase our expenses to go against our income for taxes. It definitely takes a conscious effort just to do it. Yet, it doesn’t have to be the struggle it seems to be with a few tips behind you.

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One, purchase a small file pocket of some kind to toss your receipts in. You can decide if you want to carry it around with you in your car or not. In any case, having a place to throw them in and knowing that’s what it’s for is a lot easier to deal with than throwing them in a box where you might throw lots of other things.

Two, if you’re always losing receipts, a great idea is to take a picture of them with your smartphone. Many accountants do that for themselves. It doesn’t matter what a receipt is for or how it looks; it’s having a record of it that makes the difference. Having it on your phone means you can always access it, which means you can either email it or save it to your computer at a later time.

Three, you need to have something relatively small to keep with you that might not only help you in charting your mileage but to take business notes if you need to. I recommend a spiral 3×5 index card system. Usually they come with 50 sheets in them. Since they’re lined it’s easy to use them for the notes and since it’s spiral bound it’s hard to lose any of the pages.

Four, do you have places you go often? If so, you can either write these places down in your notebook or calendar, and then track their distance once. After that, all you have to do is write down the name of the place you went and you’ll already know how many miles you’ve driven. No one cares where you go; they’re more interested in the mileage itself.

These four ways might seem a bit simplistic, but the truth is that most things that are cumbersome have simple ways to make them easier. Give them a try and let us know how they work for you.