December 1, 2021

How Businesses Can Recognize and Combat Employee Burnout

According to the job site Indeed, COVID-19 has taken a toll on workers even more in 2021, compared to 2020. The survey conducted by Indeed found that 52 percent of those surveyed felt “burned out” in 2021. Sixty-seven percent of those asked said that feeling burned out has become more pronounced as COVID-19 has progressed. It’s more noticeable among remote workers (38 percent), compared to 28 percent of employees working in person. Gallup reported in October 2020 that between 2016 and 2019, worker burnout was already on the radar. Once COVID-19 hit workers in 2020, those working remotely 100 percent of the time are reporting even higher levels than those who work outside the home. Pre-COVID-19, when employees worked remotely […]
December 1, 2021

Venture Capitalism and ‘Unicorns’

Venture capitalism comes from an investor who offers money to start-up companies in exchange for an equity stake – much like you see on the ABC television show, Shark Tank. As a general rule, a venture capitalist (VC) invests after the new venture is up and running and looking for additional capital to further commercialize its product. Once a privately held enterprise reaches a value of $1 billion, it is referred to as a “Unicorn.” This is because new start-ups that reach this level of success are so rare that they are considered comparable to the mythical creature. What is interesting these days is that the current labor market is so disruptive that we are seeing more start-ups, and this […]
December 1, 2021

5 Affordable Ways to Share the Holiday Spirit

The holidays are a season of giving. While much of this involves financial expenditures, you can also give in ways that are more affordable and may hold more meaning. Here are some suggestions about how you can engage in acts of generosity and return to what the season is all about. Cook Food Nothing nourishes the heart and soul, not to mention your stomach, like food made with love from your own kitchen. Baking cookies is always an easy and fun thing to do, but a main dish (with protein) or hearty casseroles are also good options. People who are homebound due to an illness, those going through financial difficulties or even new moms will appreciate the gift of a […]
December 1, 2021

Considerations When Automating Accounts Payables

Accounts payables (AP) is a process in the financial department that can be inconsistent and burdensome. However, today’s workforce has driven AP transformation – especially with remote working. Some businesses do not have much choice but to accept automation while others may have realized the need to automate accounts payables due to the numerous benefits that come with it. Before hastily choosing automation, it’s important to make some careful considerations to avoid mistakes that come with the improper implementation of any business accounting technology. Here are a few guiding considerations: What is the cost-benefit analysis? Any new system comes with its expenses and as such, it is important to measure its return on investment (ROI). This can be calculated using the […]
December 1, 2021

Congress at Work: Infrastructure Spending, Hiring Veteran Health Heroes and Initiatives for Education, Childcare and Immigration

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act(HR 3684) – This legislation authorizes funding for federal highway, transit, safety, motor carrier, hazardous materials and rail programs of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill also addresses climate change with strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of the surface transportation system and facilitate the efficient use of federal resources. It was initially introduced on June 4; it passed in the House on July 1 and in the Senate on Aug. 10. It was passed again in the House in its final form on Nov. 5, and then was signed into law by the president on Nov. 15. A bill to require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on disparities […]
November 1, 2021

Potential New Tax on Stock Buybacks and What it Could Mean for the Financial Markets

President Biden’s latest spending bill could result in a new tax on corporate stock buybacks. In its most recent incarnation, the Senate version of the plan includes a 2 percent excise tax on stock buybacks. Still, this isn’t enough for many critics of stock buybacks, who claim they incentivize short-term behavior in lieu of long-term investment. Short-Term Incentives Stock buyback programs have long been criticized for giving a short-term boost to share prices with funds that could have been used for long-term investment instead. Critics, including the current president, believe stock buybacks come at the expense of capital investment in new or updated factories, research, worker training, etc. These critics believe this type of long-term investment is the key to […]
November 1, 2021

How to Develop Company Travel Policies Post-COVID

According to a recent U.S. Travel Association forecast, only about one-third of companies are requiring their employees to travel. With business travel still at a low, how can companies develop a travel policy that reduces the risk of COVID-19? Occupational Safety and Health Administration When it comes to business travelers, whether employees are traveling domestically or internationally, OSHA recommends employers consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance. Travel Guidance The CDC advises against traveling internationally if someone is not vaccinated, is exposed to, sick with, tests positive and/or is waiting results from COVID-19 exposure. Even for travelers who are fully vaccinated, the CDC reminds us that becoming infected and/or spreading the virus is still possible. Travelers […]
November 1, 2021

Flood Insurance: Insuring Your Home

Did you know that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage? Because of this, homes located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required by lenders to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. However, there are millions of homes at risk that also experience periodic flooding but are not located in the most hazardous zones. Regardless, any homeowner can purchase flood insurance and the good news is that, for some, rates will be reduced this year. Starting on Oct. 1, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) launched a new program called Risk Rating 2.0. This program is designed to encourage communities throughout the country to deploy measures that help mitigate potential damage due to flooding. The lower the risk resulting […]
November 1, 2021

10 Ways to Pay Off Student Debt Faster

If the thought of paying off your student loan causes a bit of anxiety, worry no more. Here are some ways to pay it off faster. Check them out. Sign Up for Auto-Pay This might seem like the most obvious thing to do, and yet, some alums don’t take full advantage of it. The psychology of this works well. When you decide to put your payment on auto-draft, you never miss it. You get used to living on a certain amount of money. Better still, there are lenders who offer refinancing at lower rates, ranging from 1.8 percent to 7.84 percent. But there’s more: Some lenders offer cash-back bonuses. With that said, the catch is you give up important benefits […]
November 1, 2021

Why you should automate your accounts payables

Accounts payable (AP) is a crucial function to any business, as errors in the process put a company in problems. Although many businesses still use manual methods as they find the system to work fine, it requires a lot of precision from the accounts payable team. There are better – and more efficient – ways to manage AP through automation. Challenges of the Process  An AP team is responsible for receiving invoices, reviewing invoices, approving invoices, and paying suppliers and vendors. Some AP departments also handle other functions, depending on the nature of the business. However, AP can be a time-consuming, strenuous and paper-intensive process. An AP team helps a business control costs, maintain a good supplier relationship and analyze […]
November 1, 2021

Increasing the Debt Limit, Extending Government Funding, and Protecting Vets, Veteran Moms and the Capitol Police

Increase of Public Debt Limit(S 1301) – This bill was enacted on Oct. 14 in order to increase the public debt limit. The debt was increased by $480 billion, the amount projected by the Treasury Department to be needed through early December in order to avoid surpassing the public debt limit. Had this stopgap legislation not been passed, it would have created the potential for a severe economic crisis in which the government would have run out of money to pay back existing debts, government salaries and other pre-existing obligations. The bill was initially introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on April 22; it passed in the House on Sept. 29 and in the Senate on Oct. 7. It was […]
October 1, 2021

New Proposed Tax Laws

The House recently released a nearly 900-page proposed bill that would make major changes to current tax laws. The bill is intended in large part to help pay for both the Biden Administration’s budget and infrastructure stimulus bill. It’s important to keep in mind that the provisions and changes outlined below are by no means settled. Changes can (and likely will) still be made as the Senate ratifies the bill; however, the remainder of this article should give readers a good idea of the most significant provisions. Income Tax Rates are Rising The increase in the top income tax rate is probably the most talked about proposed change in the bill, bringing it up from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. […]
October 1, 2021

How Businesses Can Help Employees Improve their Skills

Based upon a recent McKinsey Global Survey, nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of management and above level respondents affirmed they are currently, or within the upcoming five years, dealing with the skill gap among their employees. With the vast majority of businesses experiencing or forecasting a skills-gap, how can they close or reduce this challenge? Due to the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” as the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains, the best scenario it sees is 54 percent of workers requiring “reskilling and upskilling by 2022.” However, the WEF points out that 3 in 10 workers susceptible to occupation disruption due to advancements in applied science obtained additional training in 2018. It’s important to clarify the differences between re-skilling and […]
October 1, 2021

Strategies for Paying Off Student Loans

Today, 70 percent of college students graduate with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt. The average payment is nearly $400 a month and will take about 20 years to pay off. On an individual level, paying off high debt can delay hopes of saving to buy a house, start a family, launch a business or invest for retirement. On a broader level, the national burden of student debt could impact America’s economic future. When young adults are unable to afford home ownership, that reduces spending on all types of consumer products that accompany home buying. It also reduces property taxes used to support local resources and reduces the insurance pool of property owners used to help repair and […]
October 1, 2021

7 Ways to Save for a Home Down Payment

So you want to save for a down payment for your dream house, but you aren’t sure how to get there. It might even feel overwhelming. But take heart, here are some tried and true methods that you can start today that will help you save sooner than you think. Save a Fixed Amount Monthly This is super easy, but first you need to figure out how much of a down payment you want to make. Remember, the higher your down payment, the lower your loan and monthly mortgage payment will be. With that said, put this amount on auto draft and deposit it into your savings account. Once you get used to this, you won’t miss it. Never use […]
October 1, 2021

Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing Business Accounting Technology

Choosing to implement new technology for your accounting needs is a big step toward improving your business. Accounting technology helps streamline the accounting system, thereby offering various benefits. However, poor implementation can impact your business negatively. To make your implementation a success, there are several mistakes that you must avoid. Importance of New Accounting Technology  Before looking at the potential mistakes, it is important to understand why businesses implement new technologies. Technology advancement has played a great role in various life and business aspects. In businesses accounting, technology such as computerized systems help easily track and record financial transactions.  Various types of technologies have impacted business accounting, such as cloud-based systems, mobile accounting, big data, artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotic process […]
October 1, 2021

Enhancing Agency Budget Transparency, Opportunities to Study Science and Environmental Protections

Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2021 (S 272) – This bill mandates that federal agencies must make budget justification materials publicly available online. The Office of Management and Budget will be required to publish details regarding the agencies that submit budget justification materials to Congress and dates the materials are posted online, along with links to the materials. The bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on Feb. 8, passed in the Senate and the House on Aug. 23 and is awaiting enactment by the president. National Science Foundation for the Future Act (HR 2225) – Introduced by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-TX) on March 26, the bill authorizes appropriations for the National Science Foundation for fiscal years 2022 […]
September 1, 2021

Tax Breaks for Helping Relatives

It’s not uncommon for adult children or siblings to act as caregivers for family members or give them financial assistance for medical or long-term care needs. The problem is that all too often those providing the help don’t take advantage of the tax benefits. Types of Care Caregiving happens through many different avenues. For example, family members might pay for services that their elderly parents need, such as housekeeping, meal preparation, or nursing care. Outside the home, they may pay for all or a portion of the cost of an assisted living facility. In other circumstances, individuals could directly provide the care instead of paying for it. This could happen in either the home of the person giving the care […]
September 1, 2021

How and Why to Develop a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy

With the internet available for essentially all employees and remote work becoming a part of more businesses’ operations, developing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is almost necessary to help employees be more productive and safe while working. Research shows there are many reasons why businesses should develop the right type of BYOD policy. According to Intel and Dell, 61 percent of Gen Y and 50 percent of workers 30 and older think the electronic devices they use at home are more capable in completing tasks in their everyday life compared to their work devices. Frost & Sullivan found that connected handheld technology helps employees, making them about one-third more productive and reducing their average workday by 58 minutes. A BYOD policy […]
September 1, 2021

What is a Net Zero Economy?

President Biden re-entered the United States in the Paris Agreement. This is an international treaty first signed in 2015 in which countries around the globe committed to mitigating climate change. Specifically, the goal of the Paris Accord is to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This objective would generate what is called a net zero global economy, which means creating a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount of greenhouse gasses removed from the atmosphere. The main engine that places carbon back into the soil is healthy vegetation that grows all years round, these are called cover crops and reforestation. You can help by using the Ecosia search engine.  […]
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