Understanding and Embracing Your Team Members’ Personalities

– By Guest Blogger, Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching, LLC and Women’s Conference speaker

TameraLoerzel

Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching, LLC and speaker at the 2015 Women’s Conference in Malvern on Wednesday, May 13.

Have you ever wondered why you act (or react) the way you do, or why others act (or react) differently than you? Many contributing factors affect our unique approach to life, work, and relationships, but one of the most powerful is our inherent personality.

Understanding your personality and how it relates to others will enable you to build empathy in your teams and develop communications and processes that best fit the unique differences that exist. Many great personality assessments are available, but in this article we will explore the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as a means for you to gain insight and ideas about how to use it to enhance team communications and effectiveness. Continue reading

Can I Shred It? Small-Business and Self-Employed IRS Record Retention

By Guest Blogger, Mark Sullivan, CPA

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Mark Sullivan, CPA is the Controller at K&I Sheet Metal, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA.

For small business and those who are self-employed, space to store records might be tight. It may require additional server space or offsite storage, which can be costly. With the increased use of document scans and electronic storage devices, some of the space issues have been resolved. Still, the questions linger, “What records do I need to keep for the IRS, and how long do I need to keep them?” The most direct answer, it depends.

Records You May Need

Even though your small business likely maintains an electronic ledger, there other key records you will want to maintain until the period of limitations expires for that tax year. Supporting documents need to be maintained for gross receipts, inventory (Publication 538), expenses (specific records for travel, transportation, entertainment, and gift expenses — Publication 463), employment taxes (Publication 15), and assets. They should include your checkbook, daily summary of cash receipts, check disbursements, depreciation worksheet, and employee tax records, among other items that can substantiate your filing. Continue reading

CPAs Offer Tips on Managing Money: The Top 10 List

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How to build a good credit history is one of many financial literacy lessons CPAs provide.

April is financial literacy month in Pennsylvania thanks to the efforts of Rep. John Maher (R-40 ) and the introduction of House Resolution No. 205. Though resolutions and special events shine a much needed spotlight on the importance of financial literacy, CPAs work on this effort day in and day out. Several ways they offer consumers advice all year long are through articles, brochures, and videos.

Here are 10 samples of some of the most pressing subjects for which consumers turn to CPAs seeking advice: Continue reading

Are You Managing Change?

– By Guest Blogger, Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching, LLC and Women’s Conference speaker

TameraLoerzel

Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching, LLC and speaker at the 2015 Women’s Conference in Malvern on Wednesday, May 13.

Are you managing change, or are you just letting change happen around you? I know this time of year is full of change for a lot of people and organizations as new hires start, another round of deadlines approaches, and transition and leadership development issues need to be addressed. A lot is going on, so here’s a quick review of some change management must-do’s.

Instead of just letting change happen and take its course, which could cause undue stress and not achieve the results you’re committed to, consider these tips for managing change. Continue reading

3 Ways to Take Care of Yourself After Busy Season

– By Guest Blogger, Karen Ann Kennedy, certified health coach at The Caring Coaching Center LLC and Women’s Conference speaker

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Karen Ann Kennedy, certified health coach at The Caring Coaching Center LLC and speaker at the 2015 Women’s Conference in Malvern on Wednesday, May 13.

For busy professionals, self-care seems to be the first thing that goes out the window, especially for women. When we are busy working, caring for our families, and keeping the home running, taking time for ourselves seems impossible.

Self-care is not selfish; it is a true necessity. We cannot take care of others when we have not taken care of ourselves. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Just as a car can’t run without gas, oil, and routine maintenance, we cannot run when we are worn down and out of fuel. I understand that sometimes it seems impossible to find time for yourself, but it can be done. It just takes a little planning.

Here are my three tips for finding time to take care of yourself: Continue reading

401(k) Tax Deferral Can be Fun, but Tax-Free Retirement Income Is the Real Party

– In honor of April being Pennsylvania’s Financial Literacy Month, guest blogger, Tami Noll Russo, CPA provides consumers with clarifications on Roth IRA contributions.

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Tami Noll Russo, CPA, CFP, CLU is a Certified Financial Planner at Noll Financial Services in Middletown, Pa.

As I read the Q&A section to Michael Kitces’s blog, “IRA Notice 2014-54 Acquiesces on Splitting After-Tax 401(k) Contributions for Roth Conversion,” one question kept coming up: “Can I make after-tax contributions up to the annual defined contribution limit and perform an in-service distribution of only the after-tax amounts to a Roth IRA?” Essentially, this would give some taxpayers the ability to make an annual Roth contribution of up to $35,000 per year, regardless of income!

The answer, which should be a trademarked CPA catchphrase, is “it depends.”

Clarification and discussion of the potential benefits of Roth contributions can be found in Ashlea Ebeling’s Forbes article, “Roth Road to Riches.”

Who wouldn’t want $30,000-plus of annual Roth IRA contributions? Continue reading

Biggest Workplace Trend for Women in Leadership Roles

By Guest Blogger, Lyn Kremer, publisher of the Philadelphia Business Journal and Women’s Conference speaker

Lyn-Kremer

Lyn Kremer, publisher of Philadelphia Business Journal and speaker at the 2015 Women’s Conference in Malvern on Wednesday, May 13.

Authenticity. Lots of women are speaking out about this and pushing for it. The idea is that women shouldn’t try to adopt leadership traits that are not innate in order to succeed. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be firm, even if your inclination is to be a peacekeeper; it’s that women don’t need to act like men to be effective leaders. There’s a lot of good that stereotypically feminine qualities bring to the workplace, including being collaborative, listening, and compromise. There’s also nothing wrong with women being firm and assertive, and those types of leaders should not try to bend to unconscious desires for women to be more nurturing. Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris had some good thoughts on this topic.

One often-referenced viewpoint about how women get ahead is that we need to be more visible within the organization. Continue reading