A simple bookkeeping spreadsheet in Google Drive

I developed a simple Google Drive template that will allow you to keep a set of books for a simple business.  This will work for a simple business that has a few similar transactions a month.  You can access the template here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuBVuYUx84SfdHh2TW52d0Jmd3FINmQ0TGlUUXp4dlE&usp=sharing This is a view-only file in Google Drive. It cannot be edited. […]
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Extraordinary gains and losses almost never happen

Extraordinary gains and losses are gains and losses that are considered both unusual and infrequent. Unusual, in the sense that you wouldn’t have reasonably expected this event to happen.  Infrequent in the sense that you don’t expect this event to happen again.  US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are highly restrictive about extraordinary items; these […]
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Why a $10,000 gig might not yield you so much

If you are self-employed,* then your income will be subject to two forms of federal taxes (not to mention state and local taxes): federal income tax and self-employment tax. Federal income tax Federal income tax is assessed at the rate on your income tax return.  This varies based on your family income. In the US, […]
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The Costco Delusion

“Look at how much I saved at Costco!” Costco has some of the lowest markups in the retail industry. That, combined with the huge company’s buying power, allows the company to offer super-sized products at very competitive prices.  Those low prices are real. My favorite Costco purchase happened when we were renovating our backyard.  To […]
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How much TurboTax actually cost me: $22.27 above budget

As I wrote before, I was planning to use TurboTax to prepare my taxes.  I’m quite cynical about all of the extra charges that Intuit hits you with and figured that it would cost me $73.97. I wound up using TurboTax for the iPad.  Federal filing (including e-filing) cost $49.95.  State filing (including e-filing) cost $39.99. […]
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Go paperless

Save the planet. Don’t keep drawers full of paperwork.  Instead, scan whatever papers you need into your hard drive.  Benefits: Save trees Find your files more easily Avoid losing important papers in a disaster Takes up less physical space More convenient access to your files Develop a simple filing system. Set up folders to naturally […]
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Your tax fantasy

Imagine an IRS rule that allows you to immediately deduct the cost of almost any asset you need, regardless of the asset’s useful life. Computers?  Deductible.   Furniture? Deductible. Software?  Deductible.   Section 179 allows you to buy assets and deduct them immediately on your tax return this year. Now, be forewarned that the IRS set limits […]
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Take advantage of your constraints

Typically a body-builder would focus on whichever muscle is weakest, and work, work, work that muscle until it is strong. So, too, for the entrepreneur.  You should know all about your business’s challenges and constraints, isolate them, and focus on them.  This is where you will make the most progress. Suppose that your business is […]
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