Employee Leasing Vs Staffing Services – What’s The Difference?

Over the years I’ve dealt with many business owners who confuse Employee Leasing (a.k.a. PEO services) with staffing or temporary labor companies. In many cases those same business owners have had experience with one or the other services, but really aren’t familiar with the differences. So what are they, and how do each benefit employers?

To begin with, an Employee Leasing company’s main benefit to an employer is to relieve the non-profit producing tasks of dealing with employee administrative hassles- such as payroll, employee benefits, human resources and workers’ compensation. By outsourcing these to an Employee Leasing company, the employer can focus on what they do best and grow their bottom line.

Throughout the years, business owners have faced increasingly escalated government rules regarding employment. Employee Leasing companies assume many of these responsibilities and provide expertise in human resource management.

An Employee Leasing company is typically the most cost-effective option for an employer when the business owner has five or more full-time employees. Costs related to workers’ compensation, unemployment tax and payroll administration are much less in comparison to a staffing or short-term employment arrangement. As you can imagine the more employees as a business has, the more time has to be devoted to employee issues- therefore the value of outsourcing this work becomes a more profitable decision.

A business can benefit by using a staffing or temporary help service in variety of ways, as well. The obvious advantage is the ability to access short-term help immediately. Whether it is a construction project with a timeline that requires temporary labor, or a secretary who takes a leave of absence for an extended period of time; accessing pre-qualified help at a moment’s notice is when these services can be an employer’s best friend.

The administrative costs such as payroll, unemployment taxes and workers’ compensation are handled by the staffing company. The employer also relieves themselves of any benefit requirements like health care, vacation, sick or holiday pay. But, there is a premium to pay for these short-term employment services. The overall employee-related costs will be much higher including fees that are added for using staffing companies. The added risks and administrative costs for the services they’re providing is exactly why staffing companies are to be used as a temporary solution.

Just as convenience and grocery stores fill a specific need, the services that Employee Leasing and staffing companies provide (although different) are an invaluable resource for businesses.

Source by Mike Burgelin

30 Points, How Science Has Changed Our Lives

If we look life 100 years ago, and compare that with the today’s life, we will notice that Science has dramatically changed human life. With the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the effect of Science on human life rapidly changed. Today, science has a profound effect on the way we live, largely through technology, the use of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

Some forms of scientific inventions have changed our lives entirely. For example the refrigerator has played a major role in maintaining public health ever since its invention. The first automobile, dating from the 1880s, made use of many advances in physics, mathematics and engineering; the first electronic computers emerged in the 1940s from simultaneous advances in electronics, physics and mathematics. Today we have extra high- speed super computers with 100 % accuracy.

Science has enormous influence on our lives. It provides the basis of much of modern technology – the tools, materials, techniques, and sources of power that make our lives and work easier. The discoveries of scientists also help to shape our views about ourselves and our place in the universe.

Research in food technology has created new ways of preserving and flavoring what we eat. Research in industrial chemistry has created a vast range of plastics and other synthetic materials, which have thousands of uses in the home and in industry. Synthetic materials are easily formed into complex shapes and can be used to make machines, electrical, and automotive parts, scientific, technical and industrial instruments, decorative objects, containers, packing materials and many other items.

1: The use of science in daily life has helped us a good deal in solving problems, dealing with the maintenance of health, production and preservation of food, construction of houses and providing communication and trans-portational (related to transport) facilities. With the help of Science we have controlled epidemics and much other kind of diseases. Now we know the basic structure of DNA and Genetic Engineering is conducting research to find out the right and correct Gene Therapy to overcome all the diseases.

2: Science has changed the people and their living, life style, food habits, sleeping arrangements, earning methods, the way of communication between people and recreational activities. All kinds of music systems, computer games, electronic video games, DVDs, cinema entertainment and communication have been brought to our door with the help of Science. The life of man was very different from what it used to be 100 years back. Science has given ears to the deaf, eyes to the blind and limbs to the crippled. Science has adequately, energetically and productively advanced, changed, civilized, enhanced and progressed human life. Science has brought sophistication to human life.

In short science has changed, improved, enhanced, modified and refined human life in all ways.

3: Today with the help of Science we can explain what was strange and mysterious for the people of the past. The Science of Genetics opening new doors of understanding the human gene and cell.

4: Now human beings have become more critical and less fearful than our fore-fathers and ancestors.

5: Two hundred years ago death rate among children was very high. In those days seven out of eight babies died before their first birthday. Now with the help of vaccines, medications and proper health care system life expectancy has improved. Now people live longer and safe lives as compared to 200 years ago. Biochemical research is responsible for the antibiotics and vaccinations that protect us from infectious diseases, and for a wide range of other drugs used to defeat specific health problems. As a result, the majority of people on the planet now live longer and healthier lives than ever before.

6: After that and up to the age of 12 one used to fall in a prey to diseases like small pox, measles, whooping- cough, scarlet fever and diphtheria. Now Science has defeated these diseases.

7: At a later stage again one was under constant threat of yellow fever, malaria, typhus, cholera, typhoid and influenza. Today we have vaccines and medical aid to cope with these health problems. Further research is underway to find out the causes and treatment of these and other diseases.

8: From one person the disease used to spread among the other people. It is called Epidemics. Now with the help of Vaccines and Medications we have defeated these diseases. But still Science has to do more research and has to fight with other arenas of diseases.

9: Life was uncertain. It was rare to see to somebody thirty years old because due to diseases many people died earlier than the age of thirty. These conditions were prevailing just a short while ago.

10: In everyday life, we have to communicate with different friends and relatives, various official people and for general purposes. And many people to be contacted can be at very far off distances. However, time and distance both have been conquered by Science. Whether we want to communicate or travel, both are possible quickly, briskly and expeditiously.

11: These days there are very little chances of babies catching diseases, because births normally take place in hospitals under the supervision of a team of specialist doctors. Science has invented vaccines for young babies to protect them against future life illnesses.

12: Young people are also given medical treatment in time and these days the man lives for about seventy years.

13: Science and scientific methods have helped in finding out the cause of disease and its prevention.

14: Sanitary condition in the past was deplorable. Now we have better sanitary systems.

15: The city streets were unpaved; there was no proper drainage system. Garbage and other refuse was seen everywhere. Pigs were seen wandering through the streets. People got water from filthy wells. Now filtered mineral water is available to overcome diseases. Solid waste management is not a problem now a days, it is the duty of the city municipal committees to manage and dump it with the latest machinery and equipments

16: Now all these defects have gone. There is cleanliness everywhere. It is illegal to throw garbage into the streets. There is a proper drainage system and new and improved methods for solid waste management as it has been told earlier. There are separate departments that bother about sanitary condition of the towns.

17: A century ago for house hold purposes water was carried from wells outside in buckets. It sometimes proved injurious to human health. Moreover, it was insufficient for the daily needs. But now water filters have become a thing of common usage.

18: Now there is sufficient supply of water in cities. For example Los Angeles gets water through pipes from Colorado River, which is 340 miles away. This water is supplied to Los Angeles after the proper water filtration process.

19: With the help of science there is change in our food also. We get varieties of food. In the past, food could not be preserved. But now the quick freezing methods have made possible preservation possible. Due to modern technologies like dehydration and sterilization there is no chance of food poisoning. We get all kinds of fruits, meats and vegetables. Even those fruits and vegetables which are out of season.

20: Not only our eating habits are changed, but also there are improvements in our houses. Means of transport has also undergone a big improvement and change.

21: Science has also changed our attitudes. Superstitions have been discarded, because there is no scientific basis for them. Now people do not fear cloud thunders.

22: Now people no more believe that diseases are caused by evil spirits.

23: Astrology and fortune- telling have lost popularity as compared to 100 years ago. Nobody now fears black cats, broken mirrors and the number 13. Because science has proved that these kinds of fears are un-scientific and illogical.

24: Science has changed the longstanding false notions of the people, which are not supported by Scientific Facts.

25: Research in the field of science and technology has made people open-minded and cosmopolitan, because the Scientist does not like to travel on the beaten track and he always tries to find out new things, new explorations, new discoveries and new inventions.

26: Science has also brought medical equipments that help to save human life. The kidney dialysis machine facilitates many people to survive kidney diseases that would once have proved fatal, and artificial valves allow sufferers of coronary heart disease to return to active living. Since the 1980s, lasers have been used in the treatment of painful kidney stones. Lasers are used when kidney stones fail to pass through the body after several days, it provides a quick and low-pain way to break up the stone and allow the stones to be easily passed through the body. This technique is called Lithotripsy.

27: Arthroscopic surgery is a technique using fiber optics to probe complex joints such as knee, shoulder, ankle and wrist to evaluate injury. It is a minimally invasive operation to repair a damaged joint; the surgeon examines the joint with an “arthroscopy” while making repairs through a small incision.

28: 200 years ago nobody even knows that human body parts can be replaced or transplanted. Now kidney transplant is widely used to save human lives around the globe. Dr. Christian Bernard first of all invented the method of heart transplant. Eye transplant techniques are used in these days to see again this beautiful world, for those who have lost their eyes. These all are the blessings of Science.

29: Ultra-high-frequency (UHF) waves are allocated for variety of uses, including television, cellular phones, public safety radios, business radios, military aircraft communications, military radar, cordless phones, baby monitors, etc. So, whether someone is watching over-the-air TV, talking on cell phone, having police/fire/ambulance dispatched to an emergency they are experiencing, or having national airspace protected by military aircraft, they all are benefitting from the science that has allowed the use of UHF waves. Even it is used to treat some illnesses.

30: For communication, now we have fixed wire telephones, moveable wireless phone sets, cordless phones, mobile phones, wireless, video conferencing, Internet, Broad Band Internet, E-mail, Social Networks, Satellite Communication and many other ways to communicate. These all are blessings of Science. Today we are better aware of what is happening around the globe due to satellite television channels. The benign and benefits of science for human life are endless.

Source by Rizwan Younus

Beware of Direct Transfer Designations – TOD’s, POD’s and Simple Beneficiary Designations

Direct transfer designations, like POD’s (payable on death designations) and TOD’s (transfer on death designations), and simple beneficiary designations, are mechanisms by which an account or other asset is transferred or paid upon the death of the account holder or asset owner to a beneficiary. They are often recommended by the administrator of the account, such as a bank, broker or life insurance company. While these can be very effective and inexpensive means by which to avoid probate and transfer assets at death, they are not without their risks and challenges. A lack of careful consideration of the risks and rewards of these mechanisms can be disastrous. A carefully prepared estate plan will consider, and resolve, all of the risks and challenges of these mechanisms.

Benefits of Direct Transfer Designations

Direct transfer designations, such as POD’s and TOD’s have several benefits. The most important benefits are that they are cheap and easy. Most institutions will permit you to make such designations as a service, for no additional fee. They are simple to create, and there is no need for an attorney or other professional. Most of these designations are made by account owners without legal or professional advice or counsel. Particularly because of this simplicity, they are very popular.

The second benefit is that the payment or transfer is more or less immediate and direct. Where there is a need to make cash or other liquid assets immediately available to a child or grandchild for some purpose, a TOD or POD appear attractive at first glance. Beneficiary transfers, however, typically require claim forms, and documentation in support of the claim. In reality, the process may take more time and effort than succession of ownership (such as through a living trust or joint tenancy with right of survivorship). Nonetheless, it is the assumption that funds are available immediately that often causes folks to choose direct transfer designations.

Unquestionably, direct transfers can have unique benefits as a result of this direct payment, whether or not immediate. For example, if you are widowed and want the bulk of your estate to pass to your children, but still desire a particular asset, fund, account or benefit to pass to a significant other or second spouse, without involvement of your children, a direct transfer may be warranted. Of course, such circumstances are specific, unique, and situational. The proper method for accomplishing an intended result depends upon first carefully considering all options to ensure that the proper tool is selected.

The third benefit is that a direct transfer designation may avoid probate, provided, however, that the beneficiary, transferee, or payee is alive at the death of the account holder or owner. If the beneficiary passes before or after, the asset may be probated. Particularly because the avoidance of probate may not be effective, TOD’s and POD’s are of limited utility in a carefully planned estate. Not surprisingly, because they are available at little or no cost, they are often used for the sole purpose of avoiding probate as an inexpensive substitute for more comprehensive planning. Make no mistake that these devices are NOT substitutes for living trusts. If you have utilized TOD’s or POD’s in your estate plan, particularly if you have done so without professional guidance, you may want to consider carefully the many possible disadvantages of these tools, and consider a more appropriate planning technique.

Regardless, these designations do not, at least effectively, accomplish several goals that might be accomplished by proper estate planning. For example, these devices do not avoid estate taxes, reduce the risk of guardianship, or permit management of assets during periods of incompetency or incapacity, and may not even avoid probate of the asset.

Moreover, there are several potential drawbacks to such devices, particularly if they are used without careful consideration or the advice of counsel. The biggest drawback to these plans is that they do not plan for contingencies. Additionally, use of such designations can cause illiquid estates, can lead to or cause unintended disinheritance, can lead to lawsuits or disputes, and can facilitate or encourage guardianship.

The limitations to such planning devices are discussed further below, followed by a discussion of their potential disadvantages.

Direct Transfer Designations Do Not Avoid Estate Tax

If you have any incident of ownership in or to an account or other asset, it will be included in your taxable estate for estate tax purposes. Consequently, direct transfer designations are not appropriate tools for estate tax planning, if your intention is to remove the value of the asset from your taxable estate. Generally, unless some other reason for excluding the account exists, the account will be included in your taxable estate notwithstanding the direct transfer designation.

POD’s and TOD’s May Not Avoid Probate

There are numerous instances where these techniques have been used to avoid probate, and yet the assets of the estate were nonetheless probated. Transfer upon death designations are not typically made for personal property, and may in fact be unavailable to transfer such assets. Under recent Ohio law, a transfer upon death deed was unavailable for real property that was owned jointly with a right of survivorship, as is most real property owned by a husband and wife. Regardless, if there are sufficient assets to probate, the other assets will pass through probate, even if liquid or other property avoids probate.

Moreover, these designations do nothing to protect assets from administration by a guardian or conservator in the event of incompetence or incapacity. They also do not prevent challenges to a will, appointment of executor, or other legal disputes which may ultimately be resolved by the probate court.

Finally, these designations will not avoid probate if the beneficiary passes away either before or after the account or asset owner. A probate administration may be necessitated, whereas property passing by way of trust will not need to be probated in the event of a death of an heir.

Direct Transfer Designations Do Not Avoid Guardianship

Direct transfer designations do nothing to protect assets from administration by a guardian or conservator in the event of incompetence or incapacity. For more information regarding the danger of guardianship, consider he Open Letter to Congress, drafted by the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse.

Direct Transfer Designations May Create Illiquid Probate Estates

One potential drawback to these designations, particularly when placed on all liquid checking, savings, and investment accounts is that an estate can be made illiquid. Lack of liquidity can be a problem where there is real estate, personal property, or other assets that must be probated. Probate administration and estate taxes must be paid, and if the probate estate is insufficient to do so, heirs may be required to return cash to the estate, or property may be sold at fire sale prices to satisfy obligations. It is important to consider that ad hoc asset level planning to avoid probate often leaves assets to be probated.

Direct Transfer Designations Do Not Plan For Contingencies

The biggest disadvantage is that these devises are usually limited, and do not provide for contingencies. These plans very rarely answer the “what if?” questions considered by a carefully prepared estate plan. For example, what if the transferee or payee dies shortly before or after the owner? In most cases, the designation will simply pay the estate of the deceased transferee or payee. If, for example, the payee is your son, and he dies before you, without a will, the account or asset will be paid in whole or part to your daughter-in-law. You may desire that no part of your estate pass to the spouses of your children, in order to protect your grandchildren in the event of remarriage. Moreover, if you intended to avoid probate of your assets, you may fail in your efforts.

There are numerous examples of contingencies that a living or testamentary trust can address which are not typically addressed by POD’s and TOD’s. What if the property passes intentionally or unintentionally to a minor? Do you want the property to be distributed to the minor upon his or her reaching age eighteen or obtaining emancipation, or would you prefer to protect minors from their inexperience and lack of wisdom in managing assets?

What if the heir has financial difficulties, lawsuits, judgment liens, tax liens, or similar problems at the time of your death? If you do not intend your assets to pay the claims of third parties against your heirs, you should consider an alternative to a simple TOD or POD.

What if your heir is undergoing a divorce, dissolution, separation, or other marital difficulty? A TOD or POD may or may not be involved in such a dispute, depending upon a number of factors and your state law.

What if an heir is handicapped mentally or physically at the time of your death. If you want to protect that heir, you may want more than a simple TOD or POD.

What if an heir suffers from a substance abuse or other dependency that could affect their ability to manage their affairs? TOD and POD clauses rarely protect a family from such contingencies.

What if an heir joins or becomes a member of a quasi-religious organization, cult, or other organization pursuant to which your heir agrees to surrender or deliver all of the heir’s assets? You may not want your worldly possessions to facilitate or benefit a cult.

What if there is a dispute, contest, or lawsuit? How is the dispute to be resolved, and on what basis?

Regardless which “what if” question concerns you now, you should consider many possible contingencies. As a result, a carefully considered and well drafted estate plan will consider and provide solutions to all of these and many more. TOD’s and POD’s simply have no solutions, because they are not, in and of themselves, “plans.”

Direct Transfer Designations Can Lead to Unintended Disinheritance

Another disadvantage of direct transfers is that they can lead to unintended disinheritance. This occurs because folks often use these to segregate accounts. In other words, a person will select one account with a TOD or POD designation for one heir, and another account for another heir. This is often done to keep confidential account balances which may favor one heir as against another. These can be disastrous in an estate plan. Consider the following example:

Widow Smith has three children and three CD’s. Two CD’s are worth ten thousand dollars, but the third is worth twenty five thousand dollars. Smith’s oldest daughter lives very near, is often helpful in Smith’s day-to-day activities, and is Smith’s designated attorney-in-fact. Smith makes the larger CD payable upon death (POD) to the oldest daughter, but makes the others payable to the other children. Unfortunately, Smith suffers a stroke and undergoes lengthy period of convalescence, including a stay in a nursing home. The expenses require the daughter, now acting through power of attorney, to liquidate one of the smaller CD’s, and to liquidate the larger CD to cash, of which she spends ten thousand dollars. Assuming the only assets remaining at Smith’s death are the checking account, which is now worth only approximately 15 thousand dollars, and the remaining CD which is worth ten thousand dollars, you can see how the POD failed to effectuate her wishes. The checking account is divided equally between the children (5 thousand dollars each) (Widow Smith probably assumed like many people that the checking account will only have a nominal amount of money in the account, which may not be true as the family deals with medical or other crises). Therefore instead of the oldest daughter receiving twenty five thousand dollars, she receives only five thousand. One of the other children receives fifteen thousand dollars. It is obvious the results were not in keeping with the intentions of Widow Smith.

An Attorney-in-Fact May Change Your Wishes

Most people who have utilized direct transfer designations assume that their estate plan is set, and their wishes will be followed. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. A direct transfer designation is typically a contractual right, which can be changed by an attorney-in-fact. Moreover, an asset can be transferred, and the designation “undone” by any person with authority over you or your estate, such as a guardian or conservator. Bottom line? A beneficiary designation is simply not an adequate estate plan for most people.

Direct Transfer Designations May Lead to Lawsuits Or Disputes

For all of the foregoing reasons, and countless others, direct transfer designations may cause your estate to be disputed, and may encourage, rather than discourage lawsuits and litigation. There is no substitute for a carefully considered and well drafted trust to ensure that your wishes are expressed and carried out.

Direct Transfer Designations May Facilitate or Encourage Guardianships

Particularly because they may create expectations in the minds of heirs, and because their use certainly does not discourage, and may encourage disputes, reliance on these in your estate plan might even encourage a guardianship application by an otherwise well-meaning heir as he or she seeks to protect their inheritance from others.

Guardianship may be necessitated by assets passing to contingent beneficiaries, as well, such as underage grandchildren. Since the goal of such designations is, in part, avoidance of probate, carefully consider their use in an estate plan.

Source by Monty L. Donohew, J.D.

Globalization in Accounting

Globalization plays a huge role in the world of accounting. It is a very significant topic because as globalization becomes more and more important, it changes which accounting principles one would use when certain situations arise. There are two sets of accounting principles: the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are mainly used within businesses in the United States, while the International Financial Reporting Standards are used in most international companies. The fact that there are two sets of standards or principles that can be used in the accounting world makes certain scenarios difficult. For example, when investors are choosing a company to invest in, they need to use their financial data to inform themselves and make specific decisions. However, this is sometimes made difficult because if one company uses IFRS and another uses GAAP, it’s challenging to form a proper comparison across the two principles. This is continuously becoming more and more of a relevant issue as companies continue to expand their markets globally. With no sight of a universal system being put into place soon, accountants are forced to expand their knowledge of both forms of accounting principles.

A few decades ago, there were very few international accounting courses offered at universities. Now, there are enough for it to be considered its own major. In today’s world, where all world economies directly affect each other, U.S. accountants must use international practices along with practices in the United States to properly conduct business. Take for example a situation placed in an article written by Paul E. Holt who is an accounting professor at Texas A&M. In Dr. Holt’s example, he states:

What if you buy something that requires payment in a foreign currency or sell something for which you will receive foreign currency? You are immediately challenged with a number of new problems that you don’t have to deal with in domestic accounting. For example, what if the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the foreign currency changes between the date you record an accounts payable and the date you actually make payment in foreign currency? There would be either a gain or loss from the exchange rate fluctuation. (Holt)

This is just an example of the many situations that could arise within the world of international accounting. There are many other instances in the areas of tax, as well as audit, which has drastic effect directly related to the financial status of a company. These new problems and situations are forcing accountants to increase their knowledge and form new understandings of international business. One positive outcome of this aspect is the fact that it also creates more jobs within the accounting field such as international accountants. The area of international accounting offers many opportunities for those who wish to expand their knowledge, skills and abilities to fit the world of international business. Though it may require the learning of new languages or constant travel, one can find endless opportunities in the accounting world for international accountants who are highly sought after.

Globalization has massive effects upon the accounting world. New and emerging technologies are making it easier for all businesses to expand internationally. As businesses are expanding internationally, accountants must prepare and adjust for international accounting. Without a universal accounting standard to follow, the world of accounting is drastically affected. Every single part of accounting is affected as businesses are moved internationally. On top of that, the knowledge that accountants are expected to have increases every single day due to the expansion of international business. Therefore, if globalization and businesses continue to expand, the world of accounting will continue to grow and evolve.

Works Cited

Holt, Paul E. “What Is An International Accountant?” What Is An International Accountant? New Accountant USA, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. < http://newaccountantusa.com/newsFeat/ip/ip_international.html >.

Source by Anthony J Pugliese

Free Grants and Loans For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a package of joy for the expecting mother, but concerns over financial matters can be quite perturbing and troublesome. The prenatal and postnatal period can prove to be highly expensive, especially for single or income earning mothers. Expenses like food or baby supplies, medical care, housing, college, nutrition, paying debts and others require financial assistance. The U.S. government thus, provides social programs, loans, grants for expecting mothers through several federal, local and state agencies for the best aid possible during these crucial periods.

Housing Grants

For birthing or expecting mothers and their children, the U.S. government offers housing assistance for an affordable and secured living. Moreover, the government also helps pay off housing debts, overdue mortgage or rents. The Florida Department of Children and Families extend aid to pregnant mothers to pay their due mortgage, to secure funds for rent and afford a living. You may also check the Home Energy Assistance Programs, HUD and Grants.gov site for the multiple grants offered. Moreover, several nonprofit organizations, charities, local and state agencies and women care associations also offer many housing options to choose as per your requirement.

Educational Grants

Several married women, single mothers and pregnant mothers are looking forward to attending college to attain higher degrees for a financially secured living. However, it can be an expensive decision and cost prohibitive for the mothers handling multiple responsibilities. Birthing mothers can now apply for federal student aid affiliated by the U.S. Department of Education under the grant Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. government has initiated several other grant programs to help them attain their educational qualifications with the financial assistance required to meet the expenses of learning.

· Scholarships For Moms

· Patsy Takemoto Mink Program

· Emerge Scholarship Program

· Academic Competitiveness Grant

· Julianne Malveaux Scholarship

· R.O.S.E. Scholarship

· Pell Grants

· Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

· The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships

· American Association of University Women

· SWE Scholarship Program

Health, Nutrition and Food Grant

Pregnant mothers often need medical, nutritional and health care for both, the child and herself. The country offers a plethora of federal and state government programs that meet the expenses of the prenatal and postnatal care. The ‘Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to the States’ provided by the Department of Health and Human Services endows pregnant women with health care benefits. Being an expectant mother you can now look for pregnancy, health, nutrition, insurance and other such programs with ease in your state and avail the benefits. Another important grant – ‘Commodity Supplemental Food Program’ offers food to below or low income pregnant women through the state agencies. Just contact your State Department of Health. Some essential agencies offering health resources are:

· Child Welfare Agency

· Food Stamp Program

· Child Nutrition Programs

· Women Infants and Children Program

· Child Health Insurance Program

· Department of Education

· Food Banks

· Breast and Cervical Cancer Detection programs

· Medicaid

Personal Grants

Pregnancy period can prove to be challenging for mothers with low income or financial crisis. You may require a potential source for grants or loans that will help to meet with the expenses and the extra costs of your personal needs like medical, baby care, health, equipment purchasing, shelter, baby supplies etc.

Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) offered from the Office on Adolescent Health (OAH) provides support for expectant and parenting teens and women. The funds are provided to programs offering support for completion of secondary and higher education, improve planning in pregnancy, impart parenting training and improve health of mothers and babies. Maximum amount of $1,500,000 are provided for such programs.

Pregnant Women Support Act is another such source of funding for agencies which offer programs to educate women, help clinics in procuring ultrasound equipment and also offer alternatives to abortion.

If you are an expecting mother with tight financial condition then look for the multiple grants and loans reserved for you and your baby. Approach your local or state agencies for grants for pregnant women and have an unstressed and happy birthing experience.

Source by Kaushikee Sanyal

Are Peat Briquettes Environmentally Friendly?

Peat briquettes remain the domestic fuel of choice for many as they are economical, slow-burning, give off tremendous heat and little smoke. They are used commonly in Ireland and Scotland where peat is plentiful, however many are suggesting that peat briquettes are not environmentally friendly and their continued use should be closely monitored.

In many parts of Ireland and throughout the UK, peat briquettes are used for starting and maintaining a fire in the home as well as for barbeques and other outdoor fires. They are sold as a solid fuel and as the name suggests they are stacked up in the fire and layered like a brick wall in order to create a solid source of slow-burning heat. Manufacturers dry out shredded peat and then compress this down into a compact brick, which, when lit, burns slowly with little flame and in some cases, a pleasant aroma.

This domestic fuel is often marketed as an environmentally friendly and safer fuel because they typically have a low ash and low sulphur content. Modern manufacturing methods mean that toxins are extracted, making the emissions from the bricks safe for the environment. This also means that they are a carbon neutral fuel. They neither contribute to nor reduce the amount of carbon that goes into the atmosphere.

However strong opinion is forming, which suggests that not all are environmentally friendly. Some binders and additives used in the production of peat briquettes mean that they are not all carbon neutral. Some manufacturers will claim that their range is fully carbon neutral, however this won’t always be the case.

As the popularity of this domestic fuel continues to grow, peat bogs are diminishing in size at, some say; a rate quicker than the Amazonian rain forest. If this rate continues without aggressive replenishment, natural peat bogs may disappear from some parts of Ireland and Scotland over the next 25 years. Environmentalists are claiming that peat bogs are home to important species of organisms as well as other plants and that the destruction of this habitat is having a big impact on indigenous wildlife.

There is a growing sense of social responsibility being adopted by many producers and suppliers of peat briquettes with awareness and adoption of environmentally friendly practices becoming more common. This is being lead by Bord na Mona, the biggest producer of peat briquettes in Ireland and semi-owned by the Irish Government. They are investing in the production of blended peat briquettes, which use 40% sawdust and 60% peat to create a 100% natural and heavily reduced carbon product.

So while peat briquettes aren’t always 100% environmentally friendly, when manufactured in a sustainable manner, they represent a much more attractive, and safe, domestic fuel. With Bord na Mona leading the way with an environmentally friendly approach to its production, the future is looking more bright for this essential domestic fuel.

Source by Damian Carvill

The Risk to Investor Wealth From Inflation

Many of us investors out there have different needs that may come as: capital growth, retirement at a certain age and with a certain life style, paying down a mortgage before maturity, changing cars, paying for child tuition or giving to family members or charity. In some of the countries the salaries are indexed with a percentage close to the inflation rate. For instance Luxembourg, the country I live now, is one of them.

Why is it important to account for inflation? Let me give you a flavor and let’s assume that you are a bond investor. Current Barclays Aggregate, which is a benchmark for bonds, points south for US with an yield YTD of – 3,34% and a modest gain of 0,15% for EU investors. Now if you add the latest annual inflation published by the US government of 2% in July 2013 and 1.6% HCIP for Europe you would have a negative return. Some of you may argue that you don’t mark-to-market your bonds and that you would keep them until maturity. Fair enough but, is the coupon you’re receiving covering the current inflation or, especially the future inflation? Let’s not foul ourselves with the current environment, modest inflation and low interest rates. The billions printed by governments will have the effect expected by many of us: sooner or later they will produce inflation. And high-rates of inflation will be tackled with rising interest rate and so on and so forth.

So, what can we do to protect our portfolios from inflation? Many investors are still remembering the extremely high volatility in the stock market that came after the fail of Lehman and many of them have since, stayed on the sidelines. Let’s not forget the risk-averse investors who detest more a loss than they cheer for a gain of equal amounts. These two patterns of investor’s psychology and behavior made many investors miss the rebound in equities started March 2009 until today. This brings me to the topic:

The two assets that I like are: stocks and real-assets.

But first let’s talk about gold because most of us learned in school that commodities tend to perform in the same direction as inflation. Some investors believed that gold will protect their portfolio returns from being eaten by inflation but the latest volatility in gold price showed that it can’t be relied upon as a safe-haven asset anymore (as neither government debt). And of course if the price will go below $ 1.200 an ounce, many of the companies out there will have to close their activity and put a lock on the door but this is another story. Bottom line is: don’t use gold as a measure of protection against inflation because it doesn’t pay a dividend, doesn’t have an IRR and the price of it can’t rise forever! Other commodities are not favored as well. In a few words, playing with commodities should be handled and made ONLY by professionals. I will speak about commodities in another post.

Instead of gold, what I really like are Real-assets. Whether we are talking about retail/commercial real-estate, agricultural land etc. it provides a steady stream of income just like coupons do for bonds and most of the times it comes above the coupon yield but foremost it can appreciate in value when inflation lifts off.

With stocks, the math is simple, I always suggest than an individual investor with no adviser or portfolio manager taking care of his portfolio, should invest in no more than 5 to 10 stocks which he can keep track of. Yes, you should be able to do a proper due diligence and your homework on 5 to 10 stocks, add them to your portfolio and keep a close eye on them. Now, the stocks that you choose should be in accordance with your objectives: growth stocks, value stocks, speculative stocks.

Source by Alexandru Hermeneanu

Basic Differences of APA and MLA Formats

Citing your paper in Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) formats depend mostly on the subject you are writing on. Mainly, APA style citations are used to cite writings that have a social science focus: Psychology, Business, the Social Sciences, Economics, Medicine, and Criminal Justice and Law. On the other hand, MLA style citations are used to cite writings that have humanities focus: Literature, Mass Communications, Media Studies, etc.

Basic APA/MLA Differences

1. A paper written in MLA format has the author’s name and page number displayed in the top right corner of each page. In APA format, the first few words, usually the first three, of the title with the page number runs on the top, right corner of each page.

2. In a MLA formatted paper, the author’s name, both first and last name, is spelled out on the bibliography page. In APA, only the last name of the author is spelled out while the first name is an initial.

3. The in-text citation is slightly different. In MLA, the last name of the author and the page number from which the reference was taken is displayed. In APA, the last name and the year of publication are displayed (separated by a comma).

4. The title in MLA and APA style formats has differences in its capitalization. In APA, only the first word of the title is capitalized and in italics. In MLA, all the major words of the title are capitalized.

5. In an MLA formatted paper, there is no abstract required. APA formatted papers does require an abstract.

6. The source page that list the bibliography information is called “Works Cited” in MLA and “References” in APA format. The source page should be the last page of the paper. “Works Cited” and “References” must be centered in both formats.

The differences between MLA and APA citation formats are minor. But writing in either format will ensure that papers are properly cited and the author’s chances of plagiarizing are reduced. There are several websites available, via the popular search engines, which give detailed requirements for both APA and MLA style formats.

Over the years, many changes have been made to both formats. When searching for format samples, you must be aware of outdated versions. I have found that by looking for the “Last Updated” dates on web pages, you can reduce your chances of following a version that has been outdated for several years.

Source by Jimmy Walker

Creating a Chart of Accounts for a Small Restaurant

Independent restaurant owners often do their own bookkeeping. Even if they hire a professional accountant at year’s end, they may save considerable money by handling the weekly tasks themselves.

Setting up a chart of accounts to fit the restaurant needs generally requires customizing the default choices of any accounting program. The selection of sales and cost of goods accounts on most systems does not provide for the separation of food and beverage categories that are needed.

Even the leading bookkeeping program for small business, while it has a default selection for restaurants, fails to provide all of the accounts that most restaurant owners require. In addition, many of the expense accounts that are added are rarely used, leading to confusion during data entry, and don’t help with the overview of the business finances.

The National Restaurant Association publishes a book titled Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants. The book provides detailed descriptions of the application of generally accepted accounting principles to the restaurant industry.

That book includes a sample chart of accounts, but notes that “the codes used here are not the only method for classifying the accounts”. It points out that most restaurants will not use all of the categories listed, and it also notably lacks breakdown of inventory and cost categories beyond “food” and “beverage”. Many restaurant owners want further separation of those categories to include sub-categories such as “meat”, “seafood”, and “produce”, and possibly “beer” and “wine” for beverage categories.

While many programs do not require the use of account numbers, the NRA book states that some type of account numbering system must be used. If your program is not showing account numbers, it should have an option on a set up screen to activate that feature.

Any account numbering system is generally grouped so that accounts of a particular type fall within a specific range of numbers. For example, assets may be in the 1000 range, and income accounts in the 4000 range. On systems with many detail accounts, 5 digit numbers may be used to allow more sub-categories, but that is rarely needed for a small restaurant.

Typical number ranges that are used by many accounting systems are as follows:

Asset accounts: 1000-1999

Liability accounts: 2000-2999

Equity accounts: 3000-3999

Revenue accounts: 4000-4999

Cost of goods: 5000-5999

Expenses: 6000-8000

“Other” accounts: 8000-9999

Asset Accounts

Asset accounts include cash, bank accounts, inventory, and everything else that is owned.

It is common to assign the first account number, 1000, to Cash, since they are usually ordered, within each group, by liquidity (ease of converting to cash).

A separate account should be used in the chart of accounts for each bank account maintained for the business. If merchant deposits take a few days to reach the bank, a merchant account can be used. Also, if checks are accepted and not processed electronically, an account should be created for checks to be deposited.

New accounts are normally numbered 10 digits apart, so your first two bank accounts may use 1010 and 1020 as account numbers in the chart of accounts. Leaving gaps between the numbers makes it easy to add another account later and squeeze it in to the sort order in any position.

The asset accounts can be numbered as such:

  • 1000 Cash
  • 1010 Primary Bank Account
  • 1020 Bank Account #2
  • 1060 Merchant Deposit Account
  • 1080 Checks Received
  • 1100 Accounts Receivable
  • 1200 Food Inventory
  • 1210 Meat Inventory
  • 1220 Poultry Inventory
  • 1230 Seafood Inventory
  • 1240 Dairy Inventory
  • 1250 Produce Inventory
  • 1260 Bakery Inventory
  • 1270 Frozen Inventory
  • 1280 Grocery Dry & Canned Inventory
  • 1320 Beverage Inventory
  • 1330 Liquor Inventory
  • 1340 Beer Inventory
  • 1350 Wine Inventory
  • 1360 Merchandise Inventory
  • 1380 Bar & Consumable Inventory
  • 1400 Prepaid Expenses & Advances
  • 1450 Recycle return value

Assets that have a lifespan of several years or more are referred to as Long Term Assets. This also includes any real estate.

  • 1500 Fixed assets
  • 1510 Land & Building
  • 1520 Automobile
  • 1530 Furniture Fixtures & Equipment
  • 1540 Leasehold Improvements
  • 1600 Accumulated Depreciation
  • 1700 Capitalized Start Up Expenses
  • 1800 Security Deposits

Liability Accounts

Liability accounts includes things like credit cards and payables to vendors. It also includes money that has been received for things like tax that is due to the state, tips due to the employees, and gift cards sold but not yet redeemed. Real estate loans and other major financing is sub-categorized as long-term liabilities.

Liability accounts can be numbered as:

  • 2000 Accounts Payable
  • 2110 Credit Card
  • 2120 Credit Card #2
  • 2130 Credit Card #3
  • 2140 Credit Card #4
  • 2210 Sales Tax Payable
  • 2220 Second Tax Payable
  • 2250 Payroll Liabilities
  • 2260 Second Payroll Liability
  • 2280 Tips held
  • 2300 Gift cards & certificates
  • 2350 Customer Credits
  • 2400 Notes Payable
  • 2500 Other debt

Equity Accounts

The owners’ investment in the company is represented in the equity accounts. For a corporation, this includes the shareholders equity. It is effectively the money that the business owes back to the owners. When an accounting period is closed, the balance of the income and expense categories is transferred to Retained Earnings, which is also an equity account.

The most basic equity accounts could be numbered:

  • 3000 Owner Capital
  • 3100 Common Stock
  • 3300 Retained Earnings

Income Accounts

Sales fall into the general category of income accounts. A restaurant will obviously want separate categories for food and beverage sales, and may want further separation of beer, wine, and liquor sales.

Typical income accounts are:

  • 4000 Sales Revenue
  • 4200 Food Sales
  • 4320 Beverage Sales
  • 4330 Liquor Sales
  • 4340 Beer Sales
  • 4350 Wine Sales
  • 4360 Merchandise Sales
  • 4500 Catering & contracts
  • 4700 Other Operating Income
  • 4900 Discounts

One difference between the NRA recommendations and many other lists involves the placement of the “other income” accounts. This can include income from sources such as cover charges, games or vending machines, and banquet room rental. Most lists place these accounts in the 8000 range, above expenses, but the NRA list places them in the 6000 range.

Most smaller locations will only need a single category for other income. Since “cost of goods” is a general sub-category of expenses, it makes sense to avoid placing an income category in the middle of the range from COGS through expenses. A single account has been placed in this list within the 4000 range.

Putting the discounts into the revenue category implies that this will be a “contra” account. Where most of the sales categories will have a credit balance, discounts will normally have a debit balance.

Cost of Goods Accounts

The Cost of Goods accounts, also called Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold, represent the food and beverage purchases to provide the meals. Other expenses directly related to sales may be included, such as merchant fees or consumable cups and napkins.

The numbers used here also provide consistency across all accounts, as the last 3 digits of each COGS category is the same as the last 3 digits on the associated inventory account.

A cost of goods list could include:

  • 5000 Cost of Sales
  • 5200 Food Cost
  • 5210 Meat Cost
  • 5220 Poultry Cost
  • 5230 Seafood Cost
  • 5240 Dairy Cost
  • 5250 Produce Cost
  • 5260 Bakery Cost
  • 5270 Frozen Cost
  • 5280 Grocery Dry & Canned Cost
  • 5320 Beverage Cost
  • 5330 Liquor Cost
  • 5340 Beer Cost
  • 5350 Wine Cost
  • 5360 Merchandise Cost
  • 5380 Bar & Consumable Cost
  • 5600 Delivery & direct labor Cost
  • 5700 Merchant Fees

Expense Accounts

This example separates the expense accounts into three primary categories: payroll expenses and other expenses. The payroll expenses are grouped in the 6000 range, with the other operating expenses in the 7000 range. Overhead like rent, taxes, and amortization are bumped into the 8000 range.

While accounts must be broken down at least far enough to separate tax lines, combining rarely used accounts will make the overview much easier to understand. The following list combines several categories that are often separated on other charts.

You should check with your accountant or tax preparer to ensure that anything you combine does, in fact, share the same tax line.

The Inventory Loss/Waste account has been slid in under the 6000 marker, as some may consider it to belong with the Cost of Goods categories.

  • 5800 Inventory Loss/Waste
  • 6000 Labor related expenses
  • 6100 Management Wages
  • 6200 Staff Wages
  • 6300 Contract Labor
  • 6400 Commissions paid
  • 6500 Employee Benefits
  • 6600 Workers Comp Insurance
  • 6700 Employers Payroll Taxes
  • 6800 Payroll processing expense
  • 7100 Direct Operating Expenses
  • 7110 China – Glassware – Flatware
  • 7120 Restaurant & Kitchen Supply
  • 7130 Cleaning Supply & Expense
  • 7140 Decorations & Guest Supply
  • 7150 Laundry – Linen – Uniforms
  • 7160 Fees – Permits – Licenses
  • 7200 Pest – Security – other contract
  • 7250 POS – Tech support – Online serv
  • 7300 Marketing
  • 7310 Media & Print advertising
  • 7320 Promotional events
  • 7400 Automobile & travel
  • 7500 Music and Entertainment
  • 7600 Repairs and Maintenance
  • 7700 Utilities
  • 7750 Telephone & net connection
  • 7800 General and Administrative
  • 7810 Bad Debts – Over/short
  • 7820 Bank fees
  • 7830 Insurance
  • 7840 Interest
  • 7850 Professional fees
  • 7890 Misc. Office expense
  • 8100 Rent and Occupancy costs
  • 8200 Equipment Rental
  • 8600 Sales tax paid on purchases
  • 8700 Amortization
  • 8900 Other expense
  • 9000 Income Tax

Other Accounts

The only remaining items to account for are the sale of major assets, other income from sources besides restaurant operations (such as investments or sub-letting space), and a placeholder account for transactions where the business owner needs their accountant’s assistance.

  • 9500 Gain/Loss on sale of assets
  • 9900 Other Income (not from operation
  • 9999 Ask My Accountant

Source by J G Breeden

Cars Owned by Indian Celebrities

Luxury cars are the most preferred choice of the celebrities and the charts top by Bentley, Lexus, Mercedes and BMWs. Starting with the star of the millennium, Big B; Amitabh Bachchan owns more than a dozen of cars, among them the most expensive one is Rolls Royce and the others are RR Phantom, Bentley CGT, Mercedes Benz S600, MurciéLP640, Porsche Cayman and the list goes on.

Trivia: Amitabh Bachchan: all the car number total adds up to 11, because his date of birth is 11th October, SRKs car numbers add up to 6.

Stars are crazy about the cars and so is Sharukh Khan- the King Khan owns the most expensive fleet of BMW cars which includes BMW 7 Series, BMW 6 Series, Audi A6 and Bugatti Veyron. Sharukh khan is not only good at owning the luxurious cars, but he also loves gifting the luxury cars; SRK gifted Farah khan a Mercedes Benz S350 and he gifted and Audi A6 to his son.

Other favorite bollywood stars like Amir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Govinda, Sunny Doel, Hrithik own a Mercedes, and some of them like Aishwarya, Ajay devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Rani Mukheerjee own a Lexus. Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan and Hrithik and are proud owners of the sporty Porsche. Sunil Shetty owns a Hummer; a civilian version of the Humvee, used by the US military, Kamal Hassan owns a Hummer.

The hottest of Bollywood actresses, Katrina Kaif, owns a luxury SUV Audi Q7, and boyfriend Salman has BMW 3, BMW M5, Audi A8 and a Mercedes.

These cars cost a fortune, but these cars are a symbol of elegance, pride and status. Fans always dream about driving such luxury cars at least once in their life time.

Source by Deepthi Alvares