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  • 25-Jan-2014 11:33 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Contributed by John Foote, Expert Tax Group

    As one of the founding members of RPCN Dave Young put forward many 'behind the scenes' efforts from the earliest organizational meetings to make RPCN a reality.  For many years he has published our monthly newsletter, scheduled and opened the meeting room, brought refreshments, kept our telephone, answered every inquiry with utmost courtesy, and welcomed the efforts of each of us with respect.  In addition, he helped personally with many details of the business which has become known as Expert Tax Group.  He designed and proofread the advertising brochure mailed to over 15,000 Rochester homes for each of three years, created the location maps of our offices (still in use), designed the Look and Feel of all our written communications (pre-Internet), and provided good counsel on various aspects of the business.  Organizations benefit from the existence of a continuing endowment fund, available for special projects, capital campaigns, scholarships, awards, and as a backstop against the inevitable "rainy day".  I believe RPCN will benefit from such a fund and want to use it to memorialize Dave Young's many selfless contributions to our organization.

    I pledge a contribution of $500 per year for four years, with this check of $250 as a down payment on this year's contribution.  All additional contributions are encouraged and welcome.

    John D Foote, Enrolled Agent
  • 09-Dec-2013 2:41 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Dave Young, 79, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, Dec. 4. He is survived by his wife Kathy, daughter Laura Doerrer (husband Craig, and grandchildren Raina and Leila), son Chris, and brother Richard (and Joyce). At his request, no services are being held.

    Leaving Kodak during the layoffs of 1989, Dave and the other RPCN founders were in outplacement services together. When the group's outplacement time was up, some decided to keep on meeting about consulting. This group became the Rochester Professional Consultants Network - RPCN - in 1990.

    As a very active member of RPCN over the years, Dave had a number of formal and informal roles within the organization, among them:

    • RPCN office manager
    • RPCN hard-copy newsletter editor
    • Answered RPCN phone (had a separate line at his house)
    • Served on numerous committees
    • Received and banked member dues, maintained the member roster and consulting skills directory
    • Did all the mailings for RPCN: to members, press, etc., including distributing ballots for RPCN elections
    • Purchased, picked up and brought pastries and coffee to RPCN meetings, even building his own collapsible cart/dolly for the purpose
    • Reserved Brighton Town Hall meeting rooms
    • Wrote "Hiring a Consultant" for the RPCN website (practical, concise advice)

    While some of us remember him as the fellow who kept speakers honest, Dave was more likely to offer suggestions in private than to criticize someone's presentation style publicly. It was a badge of honor to earn his respect.

    Dave considered himself an expert in direct-mailing, vocabulary, spelling, language usage, etc. He had good rules of thumb about overhead (PowerPoint) slides: maximum words per line (seven?), and a limited number of lines per page. He was a prolific writer of articles for RPCN's print newsletter in addition to editing, producing and labeling it, and taking it to the printer and post office.

    Dave published small pamphlets on many subjects: how to be a consultant, contracts, direct-mailing, etc., that he described as chock-full of "meaty" information. He sold them by mail for a few dollars, and often generously gave them free to individual RPCN members. He also assembled, edited and produced the print version of our Member Directory.

    Quite a fellow was that David R. Young. He was not afraid to share an opinion or provide advice; he would talk until he made his point. Above all, he was focused on excellence and service.  

    If you would like to honor David's memory, here are links to the organizations that he found of most value: Sample Soap, samplesoap.org (accepts donations of sample-sized soap), and Literacy Volunteers, www.literacyrochester.org/donate.php.  

    In honor of David's service, we are creating the "David R. Young Distinguished Service Award" for members who distinguish themselves through service to the organization or to the community.  Details pending.

    RPCN will miss him.

    Michael R. Van der Gaag
    President, RPCN
     

  • 28-Feb-2013 4:15 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Paula J. Randall

    Last year another major fraud was reported in the news involving compromised personal information. Thousands of people in North Carolina had their Social Security numbers and financial information stolen off their tax returns by computer hackers.

    Fraud is now so pervasive that it takes a toll on everyone, even if you are not directly victimized. For example, we all pay the price by increased health or car insurance premiums and taxes. Today's fraudster is not only the stranger who knocks on your door to sell you a 'good deal' if you pay him now and will do the 'work' tomorrow. They're not just a big business CEO of a company or bank or a politician that we read about. They can be your co-workers, managers, vendors, or even family members. They can be in your golf league, your religious leader, your neighbor, or your health care provider.
    Other fraudulent examples can be bogus medical charges, improper payments to a "deceased person" for SSI, lying about income for food stamps, or private construction company workers contracted to work on county projects but found working on private unrelated jobs on the taxpayers' dime.
    So how do we help reduce our national debt? Some leaders call for budget cuts coupled with reduced spending. In this century, it is also vital to fight fraud at all government levels and with government-funded programs. Michael Sivy wrote in the December 5, 2012 issue of Time magazine, "…savings from eliminating one-quarter of current fraud would reduce cuts from the sequester by more than 10% for defense and by more than 40% for nondefense spending. While that doesn't offer a total solution to U.S. budget problems, it certainly makes sense to go after fraud aggressively before contemplating cuts that would do real harm to national security and the general welfare."

    However, the Office of Inspector General, the Attorney General's Office, the Internal Revenue Service  and the Department of Justice can't keep up with the increase in fraud cases, nor do they examine "smaller" cases. The answer is not in government creating more departments to audit itself. The answer is in the private sector. Contracting out fraud investigation services can be a cost-effective approach that not only reduces the national debt but also has a private citizen "minding the mint" over government entities. Anyway, aren't we supposed to be creating jobs, small businesses/ventures, and buying local to help our economy?

    Paula has worked in government funded programs for over 20 years. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and received her certification as a Fraud Examiner.

  • 22-Dec-2012 2:50 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Don't Do It for the Money...

    By Peter L. Morse AIA

    Years ago, a former neighbor of mine, Jill Morse Menezes and I used to get together and have long chats about everything under the sun. Although we weren’t related, our common family name Morse was a good springboard for us to become kindred spirits of sorts.  Her knowledge of the business world was fascinating and she always had a good eye popping story to tell.

    One of her favorite topics of discussion was business development and entrepreneurship.
    Jill and her husband Fred were successful entrepreneurs in their own right.  They had established an inner city pizza shop; first on Thurston Road, then moving their growing business to Chili Avenue.  Their business thrived in what seemed to be a rough and untenable neighborhood.  Jill had the business savvy to negotiate a tough setting, and make their business thrive.  One of her favorite sayings was that she understood the concept of recognizing a “narrow, but deep market”.  Nothing could be have been more true in her case, recognizing the unique success of her and her husband’s own business.

    Jill had a cousin, Richard Morse, she often spoke fondly of.   Like me, Richard too was an Architect who resided in Massachusetts and was my age.  Jill was very proud of her cousin and really wanted us to get together sometime to compare notes.  Sadly that never happened.

    She told me on day about Richard’s special entrepreneurial skills in a fascinating story. 

    Apparently, Richard also had a passion for Concertinas.  You know, those squeeze box music makers that gypsies play.  You almost never see them in this country unless you see them in the movies.  Richard would collect Concertinas, lovingly fix them up and then sell them.  Doing this while conducting his own architectural practice day to day, he began to seek more and more of them out, fix them up when he could, and then sell them.  As the interest in his project grew he expanded his exposure; this time on the internet. 

    As more and more of these Concertinas were found, fixed up and resold, something happened that Richard was not intending to have happen.  His hobby, love and passion for these unusual musical instruments was growing and thriving.  He set up a small shop in his hometown, and began to formally establish a small store.  One day, he had a surprise visitor drop by.  A businessman from Japan came into his shop and proclaimed; “I’ll take……….all of these”, and bought out Richard’s entire inventory.

    Richard needed to find more Concertinas to replenish his dwindling supply, but the availability of these used instruments was now in extremely short supply.  He then, with the technical knowledge gained of how they worked and were made from his years of experience fixing them up, began making brand new Concertinas for a market that was previously unknown and now discovered.  He hired twelve people and within a short period of time, was grossing more than two million dollars a year in sales.

    Most of us, right about now after listening to this story would have to decide whether or a “hobby turned business” such as this was going to interfere with our own main source of income, investigate it and develop it more, or just pass it over.  Obviously, Richard did respond to the new opportunity.  But he did in the most elemental of ways.  He loved what he was doing, and the market his was presenting his merchandise in, responded accordingly.

    Richard’s original motivation however, was not the money. He had no real original intentions for this to become a business.  He was first driven by his own passion, interest, and love of these musical instruments.  Staying focused on this topic, he became knowledgeable and proficient in building fine quality instruments.

    Opportunity will come to all of us at some point and gently tap us on the shoulder. Whether or not you answer the call to address it is up to each of us.  Remember don’t do it for the money.  Do it because you love it. Love what you do first, and the rest will follow.

    Sadly, Richard Morse died of Cancer in 2009.  His Concertina business however survived him.  You can read more about his business “The Button Box” on the web at: http://www.buttonbox.com/Rich.html.


    Peter L. Morse is a local architect, interested in business development and entrepreneurship.

  • 20-Dec-2012 4:43 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Times are changing

    By Lawrence R. Berger

    Thanks to the RPCN annual tax presentation, I’ve learned some things that mean more to me than the ”fiscal cliff.”  Some of them have had me unable to sleep since the presentation. One reason is Form 1099–K (Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions). We were told that this form would be issued by companies who receive credit card payments to the vendors who charge them. Pay Pal was specifically mentioned as was Visa and Master Card. The example given was this: a florist accepts credit card payments. That florist will now get a 1099-K from Visa saying just how much he made through them. He’d also get one from Master Card and maybe about 20 other service providers, depending on how many he accepts.  Does anyone else see the danger in this?  We already have about five banks in America controlling everything (Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and one other)! Will this be the death of the credit card? There was a lot of other information and discussion, but what really got me going was a question by RPCN member Lynn Dessert asking what the presenter knew about a new Law on the books stating that e-books were not taxable under New York State Law.

    Now I’m no lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a writer and I work with a lot of other writers. Some of them have produced e-books for which they have been charged sales tax in New York State. I also follow the writers’ trade magazines (Publisher’s Weekly , Poets and Writers, The American Book Review etc.) If there was any truth to this, there would have been articles in these magazines because it would be the first such legislation in the country. It would be all over Yahoo, Google, and Amazon.com for sure! Yet, I had seen nothing. So, I figured that it simply was not true. RPCN’s presenter said that he hadn’t heard of the law either, but if an e-book were sold through Amazon.com, it would not be subject to sales tax in NYS.  However, it might be subject to a usage tax. After the meeting, I talked with Lynn, who showed me an article from an on-line magazine showing me that there was a law on the books that said e-books would not be subject to taxation if they met certain very specific conditions as outlined in the article. I couldn’t sleep for two days. Finally, on Sunday I was able to go online and find a Google Tax Exemption for e-books in New York State. I also located an article from Forbes magazine stating that “The petitioners’ e-books will not be subject to New York State Taxes.” I began to feel better.

    Clearly, somebody had gone to either court or the Tax Board directly for a ruling and there was in fact no blanket law that changed everything yet. But again the articles said “New York State Exempts E-books from sales tax.” I also found the specific article Lynn had shown me. Now that I was a little calmer I became curious as to what was actually going on so I went directly to the New York State Department of Taxation Web Site. There I found that on April 7th 2011 the department issued form number TSB-M-11 indicating that it was still working on legislation regarding e-books. However, as stated in the form, they were issuing an interim policy stating that if e-books met all of the conditions specified in the memorandum and do not constitute the sale of information services as defined under section1105(1) of the tax code, they may not be subject to sales tax. This tells me three things:

    1. There is no separate law specifically covering e-books (I couldn’t find anything indicating there had been any updates since April 7th 2011).
    2. The Tax Board has instituted a policy to deal with e-books pending legislation.
    3. This may change at any time.

    Let’s take a look at that policy.  It specifically states that an e-book cannot contain any embedded computer codes and must meet all of six very specific criteria. Those criteria are

    1. The purchase of the product does not entitle the customer to any additional goods or services and any revisions done to the e-book are specifically for correcting errors.
    2. The product is provided as a single download.
    3. The product is advertised as an e-book  
    4. The product is not designed to work with software other than the software necessary to make it legible on a reading device (the memorandum specifically mentions Kindle, Nook . Ipad, Iphone, or personal computer as examples).
    5. It cannot contain information which would constitute informational services as defined by section 1105(c)(1) of the New York state tax code.
    6. If the intended or customary use of the product requires that it be updated or that a new edition or revised edition of the product be issued from time to time (example: an almanac). Those updates are not issued more frequently than annually.

    As I mentioned, I’m no tax attorney! You can look up the code in form TSB-M-10(7)s for yourself, I will tell you it covers all printed materials including previous history’s and historical information, Technology, Self Help, News,  Advertising and Marketing “and all related materials,” educational materials (including “How To”  books) and more.

    So let’s take a look at a few of these conditions:

    • The product is provided as a single download: Ever get an e-book as a PDF file? Ever forward it to anyone when you did?    That’s at least two downloads right? Clearly if any of your customers forward the e-book to a friend you’re in trouble!
    • The product cannot contain information which would be covered as an information service.

    This covers History, Education, Technology, Self-help, How-To books and more. What’s left for your e-book to cover and still be tax exempt under New York Law? Even Poetry e-books and e-novels cover at least some of these topics!  I’m sure the others have holes that are just as big.

    One last item. What happens if your customer decides to print out the e-book? Clearly it is no longer a single download or using only the software necessary to read the e-book on the computer. I did not check on US federal Law that affects e-books but if you want you can go to http://www.loc.gov/index.html and look it up under the section of the New Millennium copy write act addendum for e-books. Clearly this policy is a thinly veiled way for The New York State department of taxation to actually charge taxes for the sale of e-books and still comply with the judgment that e-books are not taxable in New York State.

    Again, the memorandum covering this is form TSB-M-11(5)S and the form covering the current laws concerning information services is form TSB-M-10(7)S.   You may want to read both before considering doing an e-book. Special thanks to Lynn Dessert for bringing up this matter. 


    " Laughing" Larry Berger is a Writer , Author and Marketing Consultant working with Writer's, Literary Agents, Publishers , Movie Studios and the venues where people in the industry can be found . Examples include theaters, colleges , coffee houses and more.

    Contact Larry to set up a meeting.

  • 18-Dec-2012 3:17 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, www.writerruth.com

    It’s a new year, and that means we’re all making New Year’s resolutions. Along with those perennial vows to lose weight and otherwise aim for self-improvement, consultants – or people thinking about becoming consultants – can set goals that will help make their professional efforts more successful.

    Here are some possible 2013 resolutions. Don’t expect to accomplish all of these; just see them as possibilities for building your business, and give yourself points for any you do achieve. Please feel free to adopt or adapt these for your efforts – and chime in with your own if I’ve left out anything!

    • Learn at least one new program, tool, skill, or other resource that could enhance my skills and help build my business.

    • Put aside a few dollars a month toward attending an event that could help my business, such as a conference relative to a service I provide, offering a new skill, sponsored by a potential client, or aimed at consulting in general.

    • Research and query one prospective new client a month.

    • Review my written materials to see if there is the making of a booklet/book (print or electronic), blog, or other way of capitalizing on work I’ve already done.

    • Mentor a student or colleague.

    • Look into professional organizations to join that might help me build up my business.

    • Attend more RPCN meetings and events, as well as those of other groups that could benefit my business.

    • Check with local colleges, universities, public school systems, nonprofits, etc., to see whether I can teach a class on whatever my skill set includes and my business does.

    • Join a Toastmasters club to develop my public speaking skills.

    • Volunteer with a community organization, because it’s good for my soul … and might lead to business contacts.

    • Create or enhance a LinkedIn profile and page for my consulting business, and keep it up to date.

    • Get someone to help me create a website – and learn how to do my own updates.

    • Start a blog about my business niche, and/or contribute regularly to a colleague’s blog, either by posting new information or commenting on colleagues’ posts.

    • Be (more) active in social media, but only when I have something substantive to share.

    • Try to find time for a creative/artistic endeavor.

    • Make time for fun, family, friends, and exercise.

    Long-time freelance writer/editor Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a newsletter expert and member of the RPCN Communications Committee.



  • 18-Dec-2012 3:11 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    by Chris Swingle

    Lori Cohen joined Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) in 2005 when she was considering starting her own business.

    She quickly saw pluses. Her first client, a commercial printer seeking an internal quality auditor, found her through the member directory on the RPCN website (rochesterconsultants.org), and Cohen has learned strategies and tips to develop as a consultant from the meetings she attends. “I call it professional development,” says Cohen. “I always walk away with something I find useful.”

    Cohen’s Greece-based business, Compass Quality Solutions, helps small manufacturers improve their processes. She also helps clients develop and implement quality management systems and achieve ISO 9001 certification, and provides training and internal auditing.

    What has kept her in the group is the rich depth of benefits. She has gained good information from RPCN’s conferences and monthly question-answer forums on business issues and technical issues. She has enjoyed chances to network and opportunities to work with people and hold leadership positions, and has benefited from referrals to clients from other members. That works both ways: When she’s had too much work, Cohen has been able to refer clients to other RPCN members. “I have a group of people I know that I can call,” she says. “That’s part of the value you offer to clients. If you can’t do it, you know people who can.”

    She became treasurer, vice president, and then, in 2011–2012, served as president of RPCN. While she previously tended to avoid conflict, holding leadership roles challenged her to work on those skills: “That was an opportunity for me to grow.”

    What would she say to someone thinking of joining RPCN today? “I think it’s an excellent value,” says Cohen. “It’s like a board of advisors. You have questions, you have issues; you can bring them up to the group.” RPCN is especially valuable for people starting a solo business, who will learn things that they hadn’t even thought about, she says.

    Don’t go to meetings expecting to get clients from within the room, Cohen adds. But by being involved and demonstrating your professionalism, you’ll get to know others who can connect you or refer you.

    For a video about Cohen, see http://youtu.be/S_QVFSW0HxE.

    Do you have an RPCN success story to share? E-mail chris@chrisswingle.com.

  • 25-Jul-2012 3:03 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    By Dave Young

    Things I've Learned
    by Dave Young
    July 25, 2012
     

    I've learned that H. Jackson Brown, Jr. books are worth buying and reading more than once. CAge 60

    I've learned that very few things are black or white; most are somewhere on a long continuum that joins these extremes. Consider sane/crazy, up/down, smart/ignorant, good/bad, love/hate, hot/cold, and heaven/hell.    CAge 60

    I've learned that there would be a lot more peace in the world if we would simply tolerate people who look or behave (or believe, or dance, or speak, or whatever) differently from  ourselves. We must give people space in which to be themselves. CAge 60

    I've learned that there's more to achieving success and a satisfying old age than being kind, helping others, keeping an open mind, raising a family, showing appreciation, studying like hell, becoming good at what you do, keeping your nose to the grindstone, and believing in God. There's also an element of dumb luck. CAge 60

    I've learned that any ten-minute household repair will take at least 4 hours to accomplish. CAge 60

    I've learned that any home repair that could be done for $15 by the local handyman can readily be done by a homeowner who is willing work half a day and buy a tool that costs $50 at the hardware storeCbefore calling the handyman. CAge 60

    I've learned that whatever you charge for a product or service, someone will think it too much and someone else will think it a bargain. Value is in the eye of the buyer, and is governed by his cash resources. CAge 60

    I've learned that unexpected notes of appreciation are treasured long after birthday cards are discarded. CAge 60

    I've learned that people really do notice when you're nice. They just don't say anything because they're afraid of appearing sentimental. Someone should set them straight. CAge 60

    I've learned that dogs are better listeners than cats. CAge 60

    I've learned that dogs are more appreciative than cats. No cat has ever run to meet me with a wagging tail as I came in the door after a hard day's work. CAge 60

    I've learned that Aanal retentive@ does have a hyphen, but only when used as an adjective; not when used as a noun. CAge 60



  • 30-Jun-2012 1:45 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Contributed by Diane Marcus

    Introduction

    There are many Islamic countries in the Middle East and in Northern Africa. You will find that customs will vary from country to country. Therefore, do not attempt to travel in any Islamic country without doing research. If you know of anyone who has personally been to one of these Middle Eastern or North African countries, it is a great idea to check with them first. Next check for articles written on the internet, buy books about the culture of these countries, and as a last resort check with the American Embassy in that country before traveling there. It would be a great loss of time and money if you traveled for business and did not get a sale because of a faux pas which could easily have been avoided.

    People that live outside the United States and come to this country to do business, have hired an outside firm to thoroughly explain the way we do business here.  They spend much time learning our language and customs. We should do likewise. 

    Religion

    Traveling to an Islamic country will be the most culturally different area   compared to other parts of the world that you may ever travel to.  The first thing to know is that the Islamic religion permeates the country including the business area. Muslims need to pray five times a day. If this happens when you are in their company, you will need to be aware of this and be very respectful. You are not expected to pray but should just sit still and wait until they are finished.

    Greetings and Introductions

    When you are introduced to someone, realize that their handshake will not be as firm as an American handshake and it may last much longer. Do not be the one to end the handshake first. You may be greeted with the phrase, “And peace be with you.”  Americans like to “keep their space” but in the Middle East, people may want to get much closer. You will want to back up as it is our first impulse, but this is considered rude, so stay in place.  A man should never extend his hand first to a woman to shake hands. You would only extend your hand to hers if she offers her hand to you.

    When you present your business card, always do so with your right hand. You should never use your left hand to present a card.  Take a good look at the card and slowly put it in a card holder in your suit pocket, never in your pants pocket.  If it is possible, have the back side of your card translated into Arabic before you travel.

    Attire

    American businessmen should never wear a short sleeve shirt or wear shorts.  During the day and evening it is appropriate to wear a long sleeved shirt or a suit.

    Women should never wear a short sleeved or sleeveless blouse. In some countries it is better to wear a pantsuit and in others a suit would be preferred. A woman will have to wear an abaya or a head covering. It would be best to get one before you go and practice wearing it. Make sure your hair does not show.  You may need this as soon as you get off the plane. 

    Punctuality

    In Middle Eastern and Northern African countries, time doesn’t have the same value as it does in the United States.  Although you are expected to be on time, don’t be surprised if your client shows up late. If this happens, do not show that you are irritated and offended. After all, the reason you are there is to get the sale. Being late is part of their culture and just accept that it may happen.

    You should never look like you are in a hurry to do business. You may be wined and dined all week long before business is discussed. Be aware that everything you say or do from the time you get off the plane, you are being watched and they are deciding if they want to do business with you.

    Avoid looking at your watch no matter how late in the evening it is getting. You do not want to give any impression that you are in a hurry to wrap up business.

    Alcohol

    Alcohol is forbidden in Islamic countries. Do not attempt to put any small bottles of liquor in your suitcase or in your pockets. You will be stopped at customs, you could be arrested, and you will be lucky if you are allowed to contact the American Embassy for assistance.  You will be wasting a lot of your time and your company’s money if you do not follow this guideline.

    Invitation to a Home

    If you are asked to the home of your client, consider it a great honor. Be careful about bringing a gift. Definitely check on this to be sure. You normally would not bring flowers or anything at all.

    You may be asked to take off your shoes and put on a pair of slippers. Do not refuse this request. Shoes are considered very dirty. Please refrain from putting your feet up on the furniture. Never show them the soles of your feet as this is considered a great insult.

    If you are offered any food or drink, do not refuse as this is also considered very rude. If you are invited for dinner, be aware that dinner time may start very late.  You should leave a little food on the plate. Doing this will show your host that you are full and you do not want any more food.

    Doing Business

    When you finally get down to business, be aware that bartering is very common in that part of the world.  Be prepared to go back and forth on price a bit but do not overdo it. Bartering is expected but going overboard here is another deal killer.

    Closing

    There are many countries in the Middle East and customs will vary from one to the other and they will even vary within the country.  It is absolutely necessary to do your research before you leave the United States. Hopefully the travel department in your company can help out with this information. If you do not have a travel department, check with some local travel agencies. If they do not know, check with the American Embassy in that country before you leave.

    Your company has spent a lot of money sending you so far away. It takes a huge amount of time to travel to the country. You may want to allow more time than in most other countries.  This is because they are just not in a hurry to do business with you. Your clients want to know all about you before doing business  with you. Everything you say or do is being watched.  Following these guidelines will decrease your chance of making a faux pas and increase your chances of getting their business. It will also differentiate you from those who have not taken the time to find out this information.

    Keep in mind that it is never appropriate to bring up or try to discuss the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Avoid this topic all together.

    Finally, if there is any chance you can learn any Arabic at all before you travel that will be another plus. However, if you cannot speak the language well, do not try. Find out ahead of time if you will need a translator. If you do, your company should pay this expense. This should be set up ahead of time.  There is a chance you will not need one as English is taught in their schools.  However, do not leave this last detail to chance.
  • 14-Mar-2012 2:20 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Mary Anne Banke

    I'm thinking that perhaps if your tax returns are not yet completed, you don't have a bookkeeper who brings your numbers up-to-date at least monthly.  Even if you're lucky enough to be expecting a refund and therefore you haven't "filed" your returns yet, none-the-less, if you are on top of your business operations, you probably should have your tax returns completed by now. By the end of January, my clients have the business operating numbers which they need to have their tax returns prepared.

    You might be thinking that we do the bookkeeping so that we'll be able to prepare our tax returns.  My feeling is, that's actually the very last reason to do the bookkeeping.

    If we aren't receiving monthly reports detailing our written sales, our completed sales, our incurred expenses for the period, our month-end accounts receivable aging and balance, our month-end accounts payable aging and balance - then I'm sorry, but you probably aren't on top of your business.  And, importantly, you are incurring unnecessary stress and strain because of it.  If that's the case, you are probably reacting rather than acting in the management of your business operations.  If you're reacting every month, you probably can't be doing the sales, money management, investment and tax planning that you need to do to comfortably operate and manage a profitable business.

    Happy and profitable sales and business operations to you all!


    Mary Anne Banke
    The BOOKKEEPER for your service business.

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