Are you receiving state payments (from IHSS and/or WPCS) to be a care provider for someone that lives with you?

If so, you may be eligible to amend your returns and potentially get a refund back.

IRS Notice 2014-7 states “that wages received by IHSS and WPCS providers who live with the recipient of those services are not considered part of gross income for purposes of federal income tax.”

The Department of Social Services can supply you with a form SOC 2298 Live-In Self-Certification Form. It is recommended that you file this as soon as possible with them so that they can supply you with the proper W-2 and/or 1099-MISC information for the upcoming tax season.

Talk to your tax consultant as soon as possible to see if this applies to you.

Take time out to play too

Stop what you are doing right now! You work 80+ hour weeks. You strive to grow our companies and you give up everything to see them achieve success. That’s what you grew up believing; work hard and long hours and you will succeed.
Is that right though?
Putting a firm foundation down in the beginning of starting a business usually means putting in a few extra hours. That’s to be expected. There are days that take longer than others, even seasons (like tax season) where you cram in as many hours as you can. Also expected. When does it become an issue? When a few extra hours become 24-7! When you realize that you are trying to meet everyone else’s needs and your needs are being ignored.
With today’s computers, cell phones, tablets and the myriad of other electronic gadgets, we are constantly connected to our businesses. Gone is family/friends time, gone are the vacations, gone are the weekends. All work, no play.
Look at your day objectively.
Set up a strict schedule. Schedule certain times of your day to answer your emails, make your calls and have your meetings. Schedule an hour, an afternoon, a day in the week that focuses on the growth of your business.
Learn to prioritize.
Most importantly, decide what time your workday is over and don’t answer your business emails, phone calls and texts after that time unless it is an emergency. Same goes for weekends and vacations!
Time for play is just as important as time for work. If all you do is work, you get stressed. You get stressed, you end up with health issues. You end up with health issues, the business suffers… and on it goes. You time is for the benefit of the business. Taking time out for yourself rejuvenates the batteries, ‘clears out the cobwebs’, helps the creativity to flow and makes going back to your business a pleasure rather than a burden.
Start adding your life into your schedule today!

Are you and your job a match made in Heaven?

We all know that sometimes we take on jobs just to pay the bills and not because we love that particular job.  After a while though, the job becomes more and more of a chore than a joy and that’s when you have to start taking a good look at the situation… and at yourself.

Does your job/career really fit you? Are you happy where you are at? Do you wake up in the morning and think how joyous it is to have this job?  Really?  Are you being honest with yourself or are you just hanging on because you feel there is nothing else? Are you afraid of what would happen if you left?

There are many reasons that a person hangs on to a job or a business even though they know deep down that it isn’t the right fit.  This article is not about the reasons.  Whatever the reason, eventually those that you work for, or that work for you, will start to feel it too and with that feeling comes a loss of confidence in your abilities and a loss of interest in what you can bring to the table.

If the business is yours, make a list of your passions, skills and strengths and compare them to what you need in order to run a successful business in your industry.  Do they seem compatible?  If not, and you absolutely want to stay in the industry you are in, can you do additional training to get to the point where you need to be?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes?  If training sounds like a complete drag or you are doing it begrudgingly and you cannot think of other ways to make it work, then maybe you are in the wrong business. If going the extra mile to be successful doesn’t fit in your schedule or doesn’t take priority, then maybe you are in the wrong business. Look around and see what you really want to do then and change direction.  There is no shame in change, only in not trying.

If you work for someone else, then the same thing applies… with one major difference.  Working for someone else means that if they feel you are nor a good fit, they may eventually terminate the working relationship despite your best efforts.  If your goals don’t match or go in line with the company objectives, or your colleagues’ goals, the fit may be wrong.  If you are the type to believe that they owe you and should keep you on even though you aren’t up to par for the position, you are grossly mistaken.  They are in business to make money, not to help you. You are not their responsibility. If they haven’t let you go yet, and you want to avoid that from happening, then you need to make the decision for yourself; Am I going to move on or am I going to be the best damn ________ (fill in the blank) that this company has ever had?  The choice is yours, until it no longer is.

If you have a pretty good idea that the fit isn’t right, it makes no sense to drag it on.  Don’t linger around because there is nothing else for you… there is always something else but you should not stick your insecurities on your company. Unfortunately, as is often the case, we tend to hang on to what we think we know because to us it’s better than facing the unknown.  You cannot let your fears take over. It affects those you work with and it’s not fair to your colleagues.  Also it’s not doing you any justice.

There are solutions though.  You could look into and propose another position if you really want to stay with your current employer or, if the company is yours, hire someone else to do your current job while you focus on another area within your company. In other words, perhaps you don’t like making widgets but you’d really love to sell them.  Ask if that is an option.  Other ideas are to go back to school to learn something you love, start a new business in an area that truly suits you, or work for a company that you honestly share a passion and goals with. Start working on making your dreams come true.

First and foremost, do a little “soul-searching” and just be honest with yourself.

 

 

 

It’s your financial future

“Times like we are facing now, with complete financial uncertainty are perfect times to start on the road to getting ahead financially.” Mark Cuban, Blog Maverick

I love Mark Cuban.  There!  I said it.  Not in that gushy-mushy, lovey-dovey kind of way but as a fellow entrepreneur with that “balls to the wall” attitude.   I love his thought process, his ambition, his drive and the way he connects to the world around him.  This is a man, just like many, that came from humble beginnings.  He’s been there.  He ate the Mac & Cheese dinners to save money, he scrounged, he saved, made good decisions and he made bad decisions… but he always learned, he never gave up and he always believed that he would do well.  End result: he’s in a good place now financially.

Are you one of the many that got the dreaded pink slip?  Have you been able to find a job yet?  Rather than feeling sorry, inadequate or getting depressed, there are other ways to look at this.  You could take the opportunity to start your own business, for example. Become the master of your own destiny and make financial decisions for yourself!

There are support systems out there in place for you to help direct you and get you started.   Surround yourself with people that can guide you and that have already been down this path and are now in a much better place financially than when they worked for someone else.  It is up to you to make the changes in your life that, in the end, will be financially rewarding to you.

Start by looking at what you can do.  Is there a market for what you do?  Is there something you specialize in?  Do you see a lack in your industry and is it something that you can fill?  Do you love what you do?  Can you partner up with someone else who has the skills you lack (and vice versa) to make this work?  Start today.  Every day that you wait is a day further from your financial goals.

I won’t lie to you.  The honest truth is that you will be faced with some hard times.  There are bumps in the road.  Believing in yourself, being motivated, setting things up right, knowing that you are working towards a better future for yourself and your family, and getting the right type of advisors (whether it’s your accountant, a successful business person you know or reading success stories and business related books) will help you to meet your goals faster. The choice is to change your financial future as of today.  It all starts with you.

I’m sure that Mr. Cuban meant so much more in his statement than what I touching upon and some of my readers will see other meanings in his statement as well.  That’s okay because the bottom line remains the same:

Put your future in your own hands and not in the hands of others.

 

Oh no! Hacked!

oh-no-baby

We were hacked!  Apparently we couldn’t see it online but if you looked at our mobile site, there were advertisements for performance enhancing drugs!

Thanks to Google, we were informed of the issue.  We are rebuilding the site so please be patient as we try to get it up and running again.

It’s a work in progress!

Thank you for your patience!

An exciting change!

I am taking things to next level here at Pillai Consulting.  For too long, my dedicated colleagues and I have limited our talents by being what seems like not much more than data entry bookkeepers, plugging in each detail, grinding out a few reports, but leaving us with little or no time to really talk with our clients about their goals for their businesses and how to accomplish them!  This has, in fact, been crippling our business!

To make this change, I will be moving the majority of my clients over to Xero Accounting.  Much like Quickbooks Online, it is cloud-based.  However, it is simpler (more user-friendly) to use, the reporting capabilities are amazing and you instantly have access to your files at any time.  You can also see who the last person was to access the file and when they did so.  Quickbooks is a wonderful program but it’s not for everyone so we  will still be using it for certain clients as Xero is also not for everybody.

The thought process was to set up my clients online with Quickbooks Online (yes, we’ve been dinosaurs here using the old desktop version) but after using it with my own personal accounts, and then comparing it to Xero with the same accounts, it was a no-brainer to me.  I want a program that is simple enough for my clients to look at or even use, yet robust enough for me and my team to be able to give our clients the attention that they deserve and the information to analyze my clients’ accounts and consult them in their business finances.

If you would like me to move you over as well when it’s time, please let me know.