QuickBooks Online Self-Employed

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QuickBooks Online Self-Employed is a thinned-down version of QuickBooks Online with a very specific focus: Sole proprietors and small business owners who mix business and personal accounts, who pay quarterly taxes, and who need to do quick triage on business and personal income and expenses. QuickBooks Online Self-Employed performs its magic with the combination of a Web app and an iOS app and makes it easy to quickly separate your business and personal expenses.

QuickBooks Online Self-Employed is small business focused, which is to say that it’s aimed at business owners who are sole proprietors or LLC owners without partners, and who write off business expenses using a Schedule C when filing their personal taxes. The assumption on Intuit’s part is that the people who own these types of businesses often have a commingling of business and personal credit card and bank accounts and that it is often difficult using traditional accounting applications to quickly and easily separate business expenses from personal expenses.

Getting started
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QuickBooks Online Self-Employed offers a slimmed-down set of features to simplify separating your personal expenses from your business expenses.

To begin using QuickBooks Online Self-Employed you first need to link the bank and credit card accounts you want the application to track. Adding accounts is simple: Use the search field to find your bank, enter your login information, then select the accounts you want to use. As is the case with QuickBooks Online, once you link accounts, QuickBooks Online Self-Employed will continue to automatically import all transactions associated with those accounts.

After your initial import, you have a few tasks. First, you need to categorize your expenses, just like you would in a desktop financial application. Once you categorize an expense from a particular vendor, QuickBooks Online Self-Employed continues to categorize expenses from that vendor in the same way. Every time new transactions are imported, you can verify the expense and make sure the categorization is correct.

The fun begins once categorization is complete, as that’s when you split your expenses into two piles, one for business expenses and the other for personal expenses. (I hereby admit that my “fun” bar is pretty low.) For this task I highly recommend using QuickBooks Online Self-Employed’s iOS app, as it’s much faster and a little like playing a game dealing cards from a deck. As the app presents an expense, you swipe left to mark it as a business expense or swipe right to make it a personal expense. It is possible to perform this same task using the Web app, but I found the process less efficient, particularly when using the QuickBooks Online Self-Employed home screen, as it often hung after one or two clicks.

Once you’ve split your transactions into personal and business expenses, QuickBooks Online Self-Employed hides your personal expenses and only displays your business information. Graphs display your business income and expenses and provide information on your estimated quarterly tax payments. You can also see a breakdown of your expenses by category and a full Schedule C breakdown of your income and expenses.

Instant Checkmate

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Instant Checkmate excels at design. Its website, the graphics and background reports are all clean and attractive, which makes site navigation and understanding a report very easy. The best background check companies focus on accuracy, and Instant Checkmate does offer mostly correct data, though the information is incomplete. If you’re looking for financial information, you will have to pay more to see it. And although an online background check will provide you criminal history, you won’t get all of it without paying an extra fee to see what Instant Checkmate refers to as “highly protected” criminal records.

In the contact information section of the report, there is a list of possible related persons, and in our testing Instant Checkmate did a good job of correlating relatives to the people we searched. You can extend your search by viewing those relatives’ background reports, too, if you would like. If they’re available, you will get social media profiles included with a background report, which can be helpful if you’re looking for more contact information or if you need leads for further investigation. Also included with Instant Checkmate’s background reports are licenses, such as FAA and DEA licenses, if they’re available and applicable. In addition to all of the background information, you also can conduct an astrological compatibility test between yourself and the person you’ve searched.

Conducting a search for a person on Instant Checkmate’s website is easy enough, and you can search using parameters such as name, age and approximate location. You will have a long wait compared to other services, as the site performs searches and shows the progress with loading screens – there are at least three of these. The preview you get contains possible matches and information about each, such as aliases, ages, locations and relatives. Once you purchase a report, you will be able to click each category listed on the left and view personal information, arrest records, social accounts, licenses and more. Each section of the report includes an explanation of what sort of information you’ll find within. There is a dashboard where you access the reports you’ve purchased, and they are organized chronologically. The dashboard also shows your account status with the type of account you have.

Instant Checkmate’s FAQs section includes a variety of information, such as what you can do with the data you find and what you can’t do with that data, among other helpful tips. Customer support is available by phone or by email. When we contacted customer service, we received a reply by email the same day.

Kozzi Images

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ozzi’s format has changed slightly. There are now many premium images that come up in searches. Many times, there’s more premium images than free ones, but there is still a good selection of quality free stock images to choose from. There’s also a new feature for artists and photographers to join and submit their own artwork for sale. If you’re interested in becoming a contributor, just create a free member account, and start uploading. The image library continues to grow and the quality appears to be getting better every day.

(Original Post:)
As a Graphic Designer, I often find myself needing to use stock images and illustrations to complete my designs. Going to iStock is always an attractive option – they have a huge library of quality images and their pricing is reasonable. Sometimes, however, either there isn’t an image that’s quite right, or it may be quicker and cheaper to create the artwork yourself. I recently came across a stock image website that might help fill the gap.

Kozzi takes a different approach. Anyone can sign up for a free account. When I did, the free account allows 1 free download of any image resolution per day. This didn’t include vector graphics though. After only using the site for a couple of days, Kozzi sent me an email stating that all free accounts would be given access to unlimited downloads of all content – photos, vectors and videos. Keep in mind that the free account is only for personal use. Any commercial use of the content would require a paid membership.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t floored by their selection of images. But, the library is expanding and all the content is exclusive to Kozzi – they wont appear on other stock sites. Kozzi is the first advertiser supported stock website, meaning their prices are very reasonable. A business (commercial licence) is $4.95/month and $24.95/month for extended licenses. Get all the details on their website.

SDA Bocconi, the Best MBA in the World in Terms of Return on Investment

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With an average time of 2.25 years, the SDA Bocconi MBA places 1st in the world as the investment in MBA training which pays itself back most quickly. This is according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s new ranking of return on investment (ROI, the average time graduates need to earn back tuition fees) for the best MBA programs around the world. The result was reached by dividing expenses (including the cost of the program, room and board expenses and the absence of the average salary during the attendance period) by the average increase in salary after graduating from the MBA.

“This result illustrates that our MBA is a great choice, combining a high quality education with a quick and profitable reentry into the job market, thanks in part to various excellent relationships that the school has with recruiters and the business world” said Alberto Grando, Dean of SDA Bocconi.

With this placement, SDA Bocconi, the only Italian school on all the major international rankings, continues to add to the positive results obtained in 2010. In business school rankings, SDA Bocconi, placed 17th in Europe in the Financial Times rankings, climbing seven spots, and is now included in the Bloomberg Businessweek rankings placing 18th for schools outside the United States.

Top ten schools in Bloomberg Businessweek International ROI Rank 2011.

SDA Bocconi School of Management is the leading Business School in Italy and also stands among the top-ranked European Institutions. Founded in 1971, SDA Bocconi offers a Full-Time MBA in English, a Global Executive MBA in English as well as a modular Executive MBA and Evening Executive MBA both in Italian. In addition, the School offers 5 Full-Time Specialized Master Programs in English, two Executive Specialized Master Programs in English, and 9 Specialized Master programs in Italian (5 Full-Time and 4 Executive). For more info: www.sdabocconi.it/sdamaster. Furthermore, the School offers a large variety of short-term executive courses and custom programs each year.

The school is positioned at the heart of Milan, a major capital of industry, finance, arts, media and, above all, fashion. Milan is a real-life laboratory for SDA Bocconi. The city is home to a myriad of companies and stock markets to which students are directly exposed.

Bloomberg Businessweek Review

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The Businessweek magazine of today is very different from the magazine just a few years ago. After becoming part of the Bloomberg empire, the renamed Bloomberg Businessweek is a fantastic American weekly business news publication.

I’ll provide my own review to explain the ins and outs of the magazine, the content, and what you get from the last remaining business-focused weekly magazine.

The Content

One thing I love about Businessweek is that it is predictable. The weekly magazine can be broken down into eight sections:

1. Opening remarks – Quick commentary on two topical issues that can be best compared to a brief Op-Ed section of a newspaper.

2. Global economics – This section highlights interesting and engaging pieces about the world economy. This is one of my favorite sections, as it focuses on single data points and how they play into the headlines that week. For example, if oil prices are up, you can expect an article on the minimum price various Middle Eastern countries need for their oil production.

3. Companies and Industries – Readers will find business profiles on up and coming businesses and business models in this part of each weekly edition. This section might as well be renamed competition, since it spends a lot of its time comparing rival companies within an industry.

4. Politics and Policy – This is fairly straightforward news on suggested policies from political foes. This section is most interesting during election seasons, but otherwise not that much better than any other news source.

5. Technology – Businessweek’s technology reporting is one of the best outside niche tech magazines. Articles are written with a different perspective than you’d get in a magazine like Popular Mechanics or Wired – Businessweek focuses on what technology can do for business, not the consumer.

6. Finance and Markets – A weekly recap of the biggest deals in the finance space. One part, Bid and Ask, records the largest transactions (mergers and acquisitions) in the past week. This section looks at the big ideas – macro ideas. An article on housing, for instance, wouldn’t be about one homebuilder, but the macroeconomic view of the housing market.

7. Features – Businessweek’s feature stories are incredible, well-written and lengthy articles that will fulfill anyone’s desire for real investigative journalism. There are usually three in each edition, though on occasion the magazine runs a pullout special feature on a huge issue; their features on the budget deficit and battles in Washington are incredible.
8. Etc – A weekly roundup of short articles on what’s happening in sports, pop culture, new publications, and interesting new study results. This section is most fitting for light bathroom reading.

All told, each edition contains 25-30 full-length stories alongside several briefs for a total of nearly 100 pages.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Style
Businessweek is a no-nonsense magazine. Articles are short, packed with the important information, and usually less than 10-12 paragraphs. Writers also include a single sentence at the end of each article summarizing the content for anyone wanting just a simple and quick overview of the topic.

The magazine also makes excellent use of charts, graphs, and infographics to break up the text. Here’s a an example in a recent piece about CEO succession in which Businessweek uses a image to provide historical context to Ford’s CEO succession plans and their progress. These are littered throughout each article.

This is one of the few periodicals that is written for both skimmers and cover to cover readers. If you’re the kind of person that likes every detail and data point, the content provides insight and depth. If you’re one to pick and choose articles, the graphics and bottom line summaries will provide you a quick 15 second overview of the most important parts of each story.

Daily vs. Weekly

At first, I thought Businessweek’s articles would be stale, disinteresting stories that were simple summaries of every bit of news that had already been published elsewhere days before. That original bias couldn’t have been less true.

Despite being a weekly publication, Businessweek manages to report after the fact but with detail that is lost in daily newspapers, which have to gloss over the details to make a deadline. I find that Businessweek’s depth of reporting and attention to the facts, not stories, is what differentiates it from daily newspapers while still allowing it to be timely when it comes in the mail each week. Writers are sure to at least provide news from a different angle, which makes even “old” news seem new and unique.

Hightail

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Never heard of Hightail? You might recognize its former name, YouSendIt, which was changed to Hightail in July, 2013. According to the company’s website, this was done in order to better compete with cloud storage giants Dropbox and Box, a decision made shortly after CEO Brad Garlinghouse joined the team and spearheaded some major changes.

Located in California, USA, with offices in Campbell and San Francisco, Hightail was founded by Ranjith Kurmaran. Kumaran has managed to grow the company from one simply providing a way to share large files to today’s incarnation offering unlimited online sharing and storage capabilities for both personal and enterprise-level needs.

The company is active on social media. Their Facebook page has well over 100,000 likes, but most of the content is geared toward advertising and promotion. Their Twitter page mostly rehashes the same content from Facebook, although there are a few interesting sidelines for their followers. The same holds true for their LinkedIn and Google+ company pages. Hightail’s Vimeo page lists quite a few videos including helpful how-tos mixed in with promotional pieces. On the company’s blog, you’ll find interviews with customers that provide ideas on innovative ways to use their products as well as key personnel spotlights.

Stock Market Quotes

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The stock market is the only place of its kind where anyone can come with a fist full of cash, utilize it using his wits and expertise and can turn that money into a million dollar game. In all this process, researching on stocks and reviewing their quotes carefully plays the major role. Now here, a neophyte may ask, “What is stock quote”.

In alluring or warning tone, it may be said that stock quote or stock market quote is a reflection of the net worth of an investment and has an important role to play while we take our decisions related to stocks that we want to buy or sell. Generally, all the websites dealing in stocks, stock market and especially financial sector have a specialized tool of stock market quotes. Every tool of this type provide the users with their very own stock market quotes calculated by them and mind you again that your profit or loss depends a lot on stock market quotes.

In easier way the term “stock market quote” may be understood as the cost on which a broker and you decide to make a deal or buy and sell some number of shares. Generally a stock market quote is classified into portfolios. To get a quote on stock market, you only have to do is the put the ticker symbol in to the space provided on the website and click the “Go” button. In case the condition arises where you do not know the ticker symbol of the security or the stock, you want to get quote of, you can use the “ticker symbol search tool” provided in the websites. After you are done with all this you will see the stock quote of the desired stock in seconds’ time. Along with the quote and the ticker symbol, there are four other important things given in the stock quote page.

1] Last price- this information refers to the price on which the particular stock was traded. It also symbolizes that you can also have the chance to buy and sell shares at that very price. In websites providing this information this data given, is generally not the freshest price quote. It is generally up to 30 minutes old data and prices that are shown. For the latest updates on the quotes of the particular share, you can ask the broker directly.

2] Price Indicator-a red arrow or the green arrow, just below the “last price” is an indicator. Red arrow signifies that the stock for which you are searching quote is trading downwards at that present time as compared to last market session. A green arrow symbolizes exactly the opposite that the stock is doing business of higher price than last market session. No arrow means the prices of that stock is stable and unchanged.

3] The third important thing given is the comparison chart of the price at which stock is trading right now and the price at which it was traded in the last session. If it is going towards your profit, it’ll appear in green else in red. If it is neutral, no color will be shown.

4] The fourth information given in the page is the percentage by which the stock price has dwindled or augmented in both the last session and the current session.

Websites like yahoo finance, NASDAQ, Quote.com, CNN/Money, PC Quote Online, BigCharts, MSN Money, INO.com, ADVFN, eoddata.com, reuters.com, trading charts, and barchart.com are some that provide the stock market quotes to the public and the investors in very enhanced yet simplest way.

Quality Health – A Matter Of Global Concern

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Health defines an individual’s state of physical, mental and social well-being. It is an undeniable fact that the issue of health has gained global interest, and the efforts contributed by world leaders and governments towards the achievement of quality health for all, cannot be overlooked. The fact that health is gaining such global concern attests that it is a very important facet of human existence. No wonder it is constitutionally a fundamental human right in every nation.

World leaders have come to know and understand the importance of quality health, and so strive to implement good health policies in the various countries for the good of the populace. The reasons for such policies are not far-fetched. The productivity of every nation is keen to national development and the lack of quality health will mar the socioeconomic development of the nation. With good health, workers are able to work at great outputs. Quality health serves as a source of motivation and enthusiasm, without which productivity is seriously affected. Furthermore, quality health ensures that one is happy and at peace with oneself. This can be ascertained considering the famine situation currently in Somalia, where the happiness and peace of both once vibrant young and old have faded into thin air. Quality health is, furthermore, needed to ensure continuity of creation. That is to say the world can only ensure the continuity of procreation when parents are strong and healthy, so as to bring forth likewise healthy offspring who would take over from them.

Having quality health is great, but it also comes with its own challenges. A major challenge is the failure of individuals to pay particular attention to self-care strategies. All over the world, awareness is made as to the need for us to adhere to self-care strategies. In various countries, outreach programs are usually embarked on by the public health sector to educate the populace on self-care strategies. Such programs seek to prevent and manage diseases, injuries and other health conditions through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors, communities and environments. The self-care strategies promoted by these programs are not far-fetched. These are basically personal hygiene practices such as bathing and washing of hands with soap; proper preparation and safe handling of food; brushing of teeth, to mention but a few. Indeed these programs are usually sponsored by various governments throughout the world, so as to ensure quality health globally.

It is a matter of conspicuous conclusion that good health is vital for good life and productivity of the world as a whole. Furthermore, world leaders are relentlessly doing their best to ensure that the whole world is a healthy place to live. It is important to note that despite the efforts of our leaders, we as individuals are responsible for our own health. Adopting good self-care strategies will ensure quality health for all, and will go a long way to make the world a wonderful place to live.

Amoako Richard is a freelance writer. Beyond freelancing, I also write to freely inform, so as to help make the world a better place

Nextiva Fax Review: Internet Fax

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Nextiva, the big name in business VoIP also offers an Internet fax service. It’s an inexpensive plan, particularly if you choose the annual one. It’s $8.95 per month for the former, and only $4.95 per month for the latter. This is the cheapest annual plan available.

Nextiva doesn’t skimp on the faxes either. Users will enjoy an allotment of 500 pages per month that they can use for either sending or receiving. As usual, when an Internet fax company says “pages” they mean “minutes.” While most faxes generally take one minute per page, a full-page graphic could take fifteen minutes or more to transmit. You can opt for a toll-free number as well, which is free.

Setup

Setup with Nextiva is very easy. You start out on an opt-out 30-day-free trial; if you don’t want to continue with the service, just cancel it and you won’t be charged. After you enter your credit card info you can choose your area code and three-digit prefix. After you sign up, expect a call from your friendly Nextiva fax representative welcoming you to the service.

User Interface

Faxes can be sent via email, web interface, or any windows program that uses print drivers. Email faxing works fine. The web interface for fax sending is not one of our favorites, however. It’s not terrible, but one has to click through four steps to send a fax. We prefer when it’s all on one web page. The interface for faxing from Windows documents suffers from the same problem. Mac users will have to use email or the web interface. On the other hand, we love the method for viewing your sent and received faxes. It’s visually engaging and rather intuitive. Too bad the fax-send didn’t follow the same user interface.

In regard to HIPAA compliance: Since Internet fax companies themselves cannot control where the user sends or receives faxes and information, none of them can legally state that they are HIPAA compliant. However, Nextiva customer service representatives informed us that they do follow HIPAA requirements. If you want to know what HIPAA is, please visit our FAQ page.

Adapter

Nextiva also sells the Nextiva Fax Adapter which allows you to use your fax machine through Nextiva’s Fax service. The adapter is $150, and was back-ordered at the time of this review so we were unable to test it. This is a novel, if slightly pricey feature that somewhat mediates the biggest disadvantage with Internet faxing: having to use a desktop scanner to fax paper documents.

Conclusion

Nextiva’s transmission times were fast at an average of 2 minutes for send and 1 minute 11 seconds for receive.

While we didn’t consider customer service particularly important with these services, we did have cause to contact Nextiva’s. Our email request was turned around within the hour. We’ve found them very friendly and responsive to our questions. Their call response was also really quick and pleasant.

Nextiva Fax is best for those who primarily will use email to send their faxes, as the web interface is not great. While it did not bowl us over with any particular features, its price and free included pages make it a real value.

Ship Wholesale Products

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What Is Doba?

Doba is a drop shipping company with a unique blend of product sourcing, shipping and education.

The advantage of using Doba is you don’t need to negotiate with wholesale suppliers yourself nor do you need to get a reseller’s license. You have the convenience of accessing multiple suppliers through Doba.

Doba is not a wholesaler and they do not warehouse any products. They simply act as the middleman between Doba members and their drop shippers. Doba does not make money from product sales. Their profit comes solely from membership fees.

Doba is a eBay certified service provider with tools that integrate with eBay and allow you to immediately post auctions.

How Does Doba Work?

Doba offers over a million top selling products from over three hundred reliable and competitively priced drop shippers and manufacturers from around the world.

Some of the largest retailers such as Sam’s Club, Costco and Amazon use drop shipping as a means to fulfill their customer’s orders. Drop shipping increases their profit margin by reducing the amount of time and money required to manage inventory and pack and ship products.

With Doba you can place orders from any of their drop shippers from one easy to use interface. They allow you to place orders for individual products which gives you the opportunity to test products to see if there is a market for them and if it’s lucrative.

The majority of products Doba features in it’s extensive catalogue are real, name brand product. The products are new and come in factory sealed boxes.

Doba guarantees that they have lowest prices among Internet drop shippers. If you happen to find a better wholesale price Doba will waive your monthly fee for two months.

What Are the Benefits Of Drop Shipping

1. With drop shipping the setup fees are minimal.
2. The supplier stores and manages the inventory.
3. The supplier packages and ships products directly to the customers.
4. You pay the supplier after the customer pays you.
5. You can test markets with little or no risk.
6. You can focus your time on profitable activities such as marketing, advertising and product research.

How Much Does Doba Cost?

Doba offers a 7-day free trial. Afterwards the fee is $59.95 per month.

Is Doba A Scam? Find Out What Others Are Saying…

While searching the web for Doba reviews and Doba scam I came across many complaints about Doba. The number and scope of the complaints were very alarming.

Here’s a list of some of the complaints filed:
1. Doba products are over priced. In fact many members discovered the prices are closer to retail than they are wholesale. This is interesting point considering Doba’s guarantee.
2. A large number of products were out of stock.
3. Some had problems cancelling before the free trial was up and were billed the monthly fee.
4. There were complaints from several people who paid for an annual membership with Doba. They also paid to have products listed on eBay and 6 months later still hadn’t made a sale.
5. Some dissatisfied members had difficulty getting their money back from Doba. Most had to go through their credit card company for a refund.

Doba’s reputation online should raise an alarm to anyone who is considering joining the company. The WFHW team recommends doing your own research before you give Doba your credit card information.

If you are a member of Doba or you were a previous member we would like to hear from you. Tell us about your experience with Doba by commenting below.