Benefits To A Business In Using An Online Bookkeeping Service

How to choose a bookkeeper you can trust

Tradies are always pushed for time when running their own business. Hiring a bookkeeper to keep your accounts in line is a good idea so you have one less problem to worry about. Here are some tips to help you choose a bookkeeper you can trust.

Know what you need

The first thing you need to do is to assess your business needs so you know what sort of bookkeeper you need. As a tradie you have unique needs. Consider how many transactions you make and the services you require to keep your business on track.

Hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service

When you hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service, it can save you money. A business that offers a full service does everything from bookkeeping and invoicing to preparing and lodging BAS statements. They should use good software and give you good advice about the best accounting methods for your business and what expenses you can claim as a tradie.

Do they have industry experience?

The single most important thing is to hire a bookkeeper with experience working with tradies. This way they know how you operate and exactly what expenses you can claim. A bookkeeper with industry experience will easily understand your business and what it takes to do a good job. A good bookkeeper can give you good advice on how to improve your business operations to help it grow and become more successful.

Avoid hiring the cheapest bookkeeper

Cheap is not always the best. As a tradie you would already know this. Sure, you are working within a budget but you get what you pay for. If you think hiring an experienced bookkeeper that understands your industry is expensive, hiring a bad bookkeeper will cost you more. Can you afford that?

The beginner’s guide to bookkeeping

While the days of dusty ledgers and paper receipts are becoming a thing of the past, bookkeeping is here to stay. From better budgeting and tax preparation, to planning and peace of mind, good bookkeeping equals good business. But it’s so much more than writing down numbers in a ledger or a software program and tracking money in and out.

Bookkeeping 101

The short answer is that a bookkeeper tracks and records all of a business’ day-to-day financial transactions. That includes handling customer receipts, invoices, payments to suppliers, client billing, payroll, tracking and maintaining budgets, recording depreciation and reporting issues as they arise.

What’s the difference between accountants and bookkeepers?

At this point you may be asking yourself “isn’t that what accountants do?” Well, no. Bookkeepers are primarily concerned with the daily transactions of a business and handle more of the financial administration, while accountants take a more “big picture” approach to your financials, offering insights and information based on what bookkeepers do. Moreover, accountants often help business owners with tax strategy and planning, completing tax returns and financial forecasting. 

Do I need to hire a bookkeeper?

That depends. Because bookkeepers and accountants work in tandem to provide you with a clear picture of your business, having both on staff is important as your operations grow. Initially, many small businesses opt to do it themselves or hire a bookkeeper part-time. 

Get a good bookkeeping program

Explore the types of bookkeeping options available to you, which range from handwritten ledgers to Excel spreadsheets to automated systems, and choose the right solution for the way you work. If you can hire a part-time bookkeeper, talk to them about what they’ve used for similar clients and allow them to help you select the best option for your business.

How to Choose an Accounting Degree Program

Many people consider accounting the language of business. This age-old field remains a vital part of the modern commercial world. Companies across the nation need individuals who can understand numbers and make sense of their bottom line. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accounting jobs can expect steady growth across the next decade. The BLS projects that employment of accountants will grow at a rate of about 6% from 2018-2028, the average rate of growth for all occupations in the U.S. Accounting plays an integral role in the economy, and the profession continues to evolve.

Below, we cover everything you need to know to select the right accounting or finance degree for today’s business world. We explore the different accounting degrees available to accounting majors and examine the many factors to consider when selecting a degree program. We also explore what to look for in an accounting degree curriculum and the various specializations students can pursue. Additionally, we highlight the many accounting degree career paths open to new graduates, as well as the salaries that accountants typically earn in the modern economy. This guide concludes with answers to frequently asked questions about becoming an accountant.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER AN ACCOUNTING DEGREE

Earning a degree in accounting prepares you to enter a growing field that features robust demand. Every organization — whether it is a government, nonprofit, or for-profit entity — needs to know the state of its finances, which makes financial jobs on pace to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Information and data drive today’s economy, and accountants hold the key to an organization’s financial information. Accountants often find themselves moving beyond bookkeeping and into boardrooms to help make decisions that propel companies forward. Some accountants also direct and develop accounting information systems, while others use their expertise to uncover fraud as forensic accountants. In short, an accounting degree opens an array of career possibilities.

HOW TO KNOW WHICH PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Finding the right accounting program requires that you first consider your personal and professional goals. Like other college majors, accounting programs encompass a broad range of topics, and each university boasts its own features and areas of expertise.

Bookkeeper or Accountant?

There is often confusion about the difference between bookkeepers and accountants, but any business requires both bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeeping is the foundation of accounting and while there is often an overlap between what bookkeepers and accountants do, it’s not a matter of one versus the other. Both have specialised experience and knowledge for the tasks they perform

What is the difference between Bookkeepers and Accountants?

Generally speaking, bookkeepers are across the business accounts on a more regular basis than accountants, as their job is to manage the day-to-day financial applications of the business. At the end of the financial year, they hand over a tidy set of accounts to the accountant.

Having a bookkeeper involved makes the job of an accountant a whole lot easier, as they take what the bookkeeper has done, make year-end adjustments for things like depreciation, FBT, home office expenses etc., and prepare tax returns and financial reports

Anything income tax or business structure related is usually the domain of an accountant. One of their responsibilities is to make sure you are meeting your tax obligations. They ensure that the business’s accounts accurately reflect the position of the business, and that you are claiming everything you are legally entitled to. They may also analyse the business’s financial reports, discuss with you its financial health and viability, and advise on how to improve business performance.

Many business owners love the business they are really good at and love what they do.  But, the bookkeeping side of their business often becomes a dreaded chore and is usually not the best use of their valuable time. In contrast, bookkeepers love keeping your books tidy and will do everything they can to lighten your load.  Plus, bookkeepers are much more efficient in processing data because that is their profession.

Ways to Make Bookkeeping Easier

When first starting a business, you’re asked to quickly absorb information on new topics and handle many tasks that you have probably never done before. And, unless you have previous experience with business financials, dealing with the economic side of a business will likely be new to you. With this in mind, we’ve put together tips to make the process simpler for you!

Keep Business and Personal Separate

Maintaining your businesses bookkeeping will be challenging enough without mingling your personal income and expenses. You need to keep your business receipts and invoices for five years, and sorting through a big pile trying to remember if that expense four months ago was personal or business is a waste of your valuable time. Establishing separate files, budgeting systems and bank accounts for your business expenses and income makes tracking and reporting much easier.

Choose the Right Bookkeeping Method for You

If your business is small enough, an Excel spreadsheet might meet your accounting needs for a while. But when your business begins to grow, you’ll need a more powerful solution. Accounting software can be a huge help by organizing your invoices, cataloguing receipts and generating the reports you need to make solid financial decisions with the click of a mouse.

And Keep up With It!

Bookkeeping is like any chore: the longer you procrastinate, the longer it takes to catch up. Unfortunately, ignoring that pile of statements and invoices won’t make them go away! Eventually, you’ll be forced to waste a day that you could be spending with friends or family entering numbers and sending late invoice reminders. Bookkeeping doesn’t have to be a daily chore, but don’t wait until the end of each quarter to pull all that data together.

Pick the Right Time

If you’re most productive and creative first thing in the morning, don’t use that time on your bookkeeping tasks. Determine a time of day or week when you can focus, but don’t need optimal brain function to work. That’s when you should catch up on your bookkeeping. Set this as an appointment in your schedule, and keep to it! If you’re finding this difficult, and that you are behind no matter what, it may be time to add a professional bookkeeper to your support team!

The Importance Of Commercial Roofing

REGULAR ROOF MAINTENANCE EXTENDS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A ROOF

Even though most people believe that they can assess a roof and identify potential problems themselves – this is best done by professionals. Certified roofing companies are also able to identify any problems that you may miss and can additionally make repair recommendations which will save your roof in the long run.

In addition, most of the commercial roof repair jobs come with at least a one-year warranty guarantee which gives businesses added peace of mind and comfort knowing that the job will be done right the first time.

If we transform these facts to numbers, we will see that an exterior and interior inspection of a roof can increase the life expectancy of it by at least 50 years. For starters, interior and exterior inspection includes looking for damage or other irregularities such as:

  • Displaced, missing or loose tiles or shingles
  • Curling at the edges or corners of the roof
  • Damaged caulking and roofing cement
  • Warmed flashing or flashing with holes
  • Discolored streaks
  • Standing water on the roof (the weight of which can make the roof sag and collapse in the future)
  • Obstructions in the attic vents
  • Water stains, moisture etc.

As you can see, all of these scenarios may lead to a damaged roof. More importantly, they are all linked to the safety and well-being of your employees, which is why they need to be carefully considered.

What Is A Roof Maintenance Plan?

A maintenance plan for a commercial flat roof is facilitated by a commercial roofing contractor to perform regular inspections, cleaning, and maintenance to prevent more severe damage from occurring.

Enrolling in a maintenance plan, or contract is an easy way for building owners and managers to ensure their commercial roof remains under warranty and in excellent condition while staying within their budget.

A typical roof warranty requires at least one roof inspection to be performed a year by an authorized contractor. This requirement is beneficial for the property owner and the company that issues the warranty. During the yearly inspection, the inspector will check for not only current problems but areas that could turn into problems in the future. This allows repairs to be made before they grow larger and become costly.

A good maintenance plan will go a step further; they will clean your gutters, mend your flashings and perform minor repairs for the cost of the program. Having a service team visit your roof regularly not only gives you peace of mind, but it expands your roof’s lifespan and keeps you within your warranty guidelines.

In addition to scheduled maintenance, it’s more important to have your roof maintenance team to your facility before and after severe weather (such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail or winter storms) to make sure any damage from the weather is minimized. Keep in mind that you want a contractor that has an emergency line in the event of water entering your building or any other drastic roof damage.

The Benefits of a Well-Maintained Commercial Roof

Preventive roof maintenance is about finding and repairing small roof problems, and stopping them before they cause damage. A well-maintained commercial roof has a longer life span, and can save you a significant amount of money on costly roof replacement. You won’t have to worry about a chronic roof leak causing premature roof failure, damaging inventory, or creating hazardous “slip-and-fall” conditions.  After all, you wouldn’t expect your company vehicles to run well if nobody ever changed the oil, changed the filters, or cleaned their trucks, would you?

When you don’t have to worry about major roof repairs, you start saving time and money. The cost of regularly inspecting and repairing your roof is much less than a full roof replacement. If you want to get the most value out of your initial roof investment, focus on preventing roof problems before they happen. Contact us for an initial consultation, so you can discuss and compare the details of a full roof replacement cost and our scheduled maintenance services.

The Importance Of A Roofing Maintenance Contract

Most business owners think of roofing costs as a one-time expense. After the initial cost of installing a new roof, many owners assume there’s no use in investing any more money until they need a new one. However, a roofing maintenance contract actually saves you money in the long run by proactively minimizing the cost of roof replacement or repairs. If you’re interested in how a roofing maintenance contractor can actually reduce your business’ roofing costs, keep reading.

The Benefits of a Maintenance Contract

Do you know which commercial roof repairs are covered under your warranty? If not, you’ll probably be surprised by how little is generally covered by warranties. By providing a more holistic solution, a roofing maintenance contract protects you from internal leakage that wouldn’t typically be covered by roofing warranties. Additionally, these repairs are generally covered under the terms of the maintenance contract, so you won’t be slapped by any surprise costs to keep your roof in great shape. With a maintenance contract, it’s much easier to understand what will and what won’t be covered in the event of roof issues.

Hiring a commercial roofing contractor provides these additional benefits:

  • We identify significant issues before more critical damage can occur.
  • Regular roof maintenance and inspection can increase your roof’s lifespan by up to 50%.
  • Having a roofing maintenance contract can increase the value of your property.
  • Roofing maintenance contracts can be customized for your unique needs.
  • We provide you with quotes regarding any major repairs needed.
  • Contracts can lower roofing costs on both a short and long-term basis.

Identifying roof issues early allows us to remedy issues more cost-effectively than waiting for long-term damage to occur before repairing. Plus, larger roofing issues can ultimately damage other aspects of your building’s infrastructure, forcing you to spend money on additional repairs.

When managing a commercial space, keeping on top of roof maintenance is extremely important.

  • Protecting Employees and Customers – Commercial buildings need to be constantly maintained in order to provide a safe environment for every employee and customer who enters the building. Keeping on top of roofing maintenance can help you prevent injuries and unsafe conditions at your facility.
  • Protecting Inventory – If you roofing in Scituate, MA fails, your inventory could be damaged or even destroyed. This can cause a huge loss in profits for your business, and can even put the wholes business under depending on the extent of the damage.
  • Keeping Your Doors Open – In order to profit from your business operations, you need to keep your doors open. If you don’t get regular preventative maintenance on your roof, you run the risk of having to close your doors for repairs or even a roof replacement.

How To Prevent Clogged Toilet

Ways to Unclog a Toilet – And Only One Requires a Plunger!

Uh, oh. It’s happened to all of us, but it’s always embarrassing nonetheless. Learn the tricks of how to unclog a toilet and you’ll learn how to do this with minimal mess. You may even get away with it without anyone knowing the clog happened in the first place, which is the goal, right?

1. Create a Volcano in Your Toilet

Remember that model of a volcano you made back in third grade? You combined baking soda and white vinegar, and a foaming substance bubbled out of the top of your fake volcano. Baking soda and vinegar is a marvelous cleaning agent, and when dumped into a clogged toilet, often will break up the clog without you having to do a thing.

This is what you want to do: combine two cups hot water with two cups white vinegar. Pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet, and then chase it with the hot water/vinegar mixture. Leave the volcano mix to do its job, checking in about 30 minutes. In most cases the clog will have come apart, and a simple flush with send it all down the drain. Plus your toilet bowl will be cleaner!

2. Use the Degreasing Power of Dish Detergent to Break Up the Clog

If you hate the smell of vinegar or don’t have enough room in the toilet bowl to do the volcano trick, try this inexpensive and very effective plumbing trick. Pour a half cup of dish detergent (degreasing dish detergent like Dawn works best) into the clogged toilet. Follow this with three to four cups of boiling water. The boiling water and degreasers will break up the clog, sending it right through.

Hint: This is a great way to discreetly unclog a toilet if you ever get stuck with a clogged toilet when you are on a date or at a friend’s house. Look around the bathroom for liquid soap – shampoo or hand soap will do the job almost as well as dish detergent – and dump a liberal amount of liquid soap or shampoo into the toilet bowl. Then follow with hot water from the tap. With any luck, you’ll be able to flush away before anyone suspects anything is awry. Plus the soap helps a little to disguise the smell, which is a plus.

3. Use a Little Petroleum Jelly on the Plunger

Keep a plunger in your home — a durable rubber plunger with a flange works the best. What many people don’t realize is the seal is the key to a plunger working. Just put a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline works well) around the rim of the plunger, press the plunger around the drain so the seal is tight, and add water if the top of the plunger is not submerged (otherwise you won’t get an effective plunge). Plunge until you break up the clog. Add hot water as needed to keep the plunger submerged.

As s side note, for the sake of comfort to guests who use your bathroom, always keep a plunger in every guest bathroom. There are plungers that come with modest and sanitary holders, intended for this very reason. Visitors to your home will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

4. Head to the Hardware Store for a Snake

If the volcano, dish soap, and plunger have all failed, you’ll want to bring out the big guns: the snake.  Talk to someone at the hardware store to ensure you don’t get an industrial grade snake that can do serious damage to your pipes; you want something pretty tame because the cost of plumbing repairs is not low when it comes to damaged pipes.

Feed the flexible end of the snake into the problem area and then twist the snake handle to break up the clog. Don’t force anything; if you hit a blockage that seems immovable, be cautious and try backing out the snake and trying to feed it in again. Be careful not to further impact the problem area, making the clog worse.

Don’t let a Clog Turn into Catastrophe: Camera Inspect your Pipes

It’s hard keeping tabs on everything that runs in your home, especially your plumbing. With how often sinks and toilets are used, something can easily go wrong. Whether that’s a clogged drain, backed up toilet, or a leaking pipe, the upkeep can get overwhelming. Sometimes the problem can’t be seen on the surface or revealed with a plunger. Some plumbing problems run deeper than your drain lines. If you’re consistently struggling with plumbing problems, then it’s time for a camera inspection.

When It’s Time for a Camera Inspection

A camera inspection helps to identify problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean it’s always obvious to tell when you’re due for one. Luckily, there are a few warning signs to look for. Clogs, breakages, and other problems that happen deep within your sewer line can end up with particular results. If your plumbing is due for a camera inspection, here’s what to look out for.

  • Drains that are backing up or draining slowly. A slow drain or a drain that doesn’t function, are both signs that there is something wrong with your sewer line. If you can’t unclog a drain with a plunger or other common household methods, then a camera inspection will help detect the blockage that clogs your plumbing.
  • Leaking under the foundation. Finding a leak underneath your home’s foundation can typically be a sign of a damaged sewer line. Finding the source of the leak, however, can be difficult without digging up the line. A camera inspection might find the source of the problem without accessing the sewer line.
  • Inconsistent water pressure. If there is a leak in your plumbing or sewer line, that can cause a drop in your home’s water pressure. A pipe that leaks inside your home is easy to spot, but a leak in your sewer line is much trickier to spot without a camera inspection. A leaking sewer line left untreated can eventually result in some severe and costly damage and is best inspected and treated by a plumber immediately.
  • You just purchased a new home. If you’re interested in purchasing a new home or have recently bought a new home, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your sewer and plumbing lines. A camera inspection is especially crucial if you’re buying an older home that could be more likely to have sewer problems, such as old pipes or tree root incursion.

What are the signs that you have a main sewer line clog?

1. Fixtures are clogged

Usually the most obvious sign of a main sewer line clog is when multiple drains are backed up at the same time. The first drain to experience problems will probably be the toilet, but other main-level fixtures like showers or tubs can also be involved, as well. If you suspect a sewer line clog, check the toilet first, following with the other drains in your bathroom.

2. Check the toilets

Toilets have the most direct path from the main drain and they also have the biggest drain pipes out of all of the fixtures, so this is why you can usually spot the problem here first. The toilet will do things like not flush properly, or make strange noises when water is running elsewhere in a sink, tub, or washing machine. This is a sure sign of a main drain problem.

3. Run sink water

Trapped air in the plumbing system can be a sign of sewer line issues. While running the sink water, you may hear the toilet making strange noises or notice the toilet’s water level rising.

4. Turn on the washing machine

A more unexpected sign of a main drain clog will come to light once you run your washing machine. If the water draining from your washing machine causes your toilet to overflow or backs up and starts to come out of shower or tub drains, it’s more than likely a sign the drain is clogged. Turn off the water supply to your home and call our plumbers for service.

How to unclog a sink drain:

Sure, a plunger is great for a clogged toilet, but what about a clogged garbage disposal or drain? James stands by a few genius DIY methods to unclog your drain in no time:

  • A bent wire hanger: Straighten out a regular wire coat hanger as much as possible, then bend one end to create a hook. Push it through the drain and start fishing. Hair and all other buildup should come out. Finally, run hot water to really clear things up.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Create a mixture of 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup vinegar. After it starts to fizz, pour the mixture down the drain right away to help break down all the gunk. Let things sit for about an hour (or overnight is even better!) then flush it out with hot water.
  • Boiling water: Boil a bunch of water in a tea kettle then slowly pour it down the drain in two or three stages, letting the hot water work its magic for several seconds between each pour. Of course, make sure your sink is empty first.

What is a Toilet Trap or Trap Way?

Look at the back of your toilet bowl and you will see a curving design in the outline. This is the pathway that the water waste flows when the toilet is flushed. In a working toilet, everything goes through the trap way and empties out into the drainage line.

If the toilet fills with water instead of rushing through the trap there is huge probability something is stuck in the pathway. There will be instances when the clog is in the drain. In these instances, you’ll have water backing up into the tubs and sinks throughout the house.

Removing a clog as soon as possible is necessary for various reasons. One, you don’t want to be inconvenienced by not having use of your toilet. Two, it is unsanitary to leave waste stilling in the bowl. 

It is always a good idea to have a plunger, toilet auger, and plumbing snake in the garage. Before you begin to work on the clog try to determine the source of the clog. There is also the option to call a plumber but before it gets to that try these DIY hacks.

What To Look For When Selecting Your Wedding Photographer

Steps to Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Selecting a wedding photographer is an essential part of the planning process, as integral as choosing a venue or finding the perfect dress. But unlike your flowers or catering, the photographs from your wedding live on long after the day. It can be difficult to find a photographer who matches your aesthetic and taste—not to mention someone you trust to really capture the most important moments. Will they take the right shots? Will we work well together? If you’re feeling overwhelmed

Ask around.

“Word of mouth is one of the most tried-and-true methods of finding a photographer you’ll love,” Ashley explains. Going by the old theory, “birds of a feather flock together,” friends often share a common style and similar budgets. If you loved a friend’s wedding, don’t be too shy to ask them about their experience.

Instagram, Instagram, Instagram.

This may be one of the only instances in which social media stalking is highly encouraged. Allow yourself to get lost in an endless scroll. “Start by scanning the feeds of your favorite wedding blogs or magazines,” Ashley recommends. Or trail through a beautiful venue’s geotag. In the process of clicking from profile to profile of accounts that share your taste and vision, you may end up settling on the perfect person that you wouldn’t have otherwise found. “Alternatively, use the ‘Explore’ feature on Instagram and search by popular wedding hashtags, including #weddinginspiration, #weddingphotography, and #weddingdetails,” says Ashley.

Settle on a style.

“Try and form a clear idea of whether you are more drawn to the organic aesthetic achieved with film or the crisp, classic style that digital photography offers,” Ashley explains. Taking the time to browse a photographer’s portfolio can be invaluable to finding the right fit. Are you looking for candid, documentary style or more posed and traditional portraits? “If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, focus on a photographer who specializes in it,” she advises.

Know your setting.

“With so much talent to choose from, it can be easy to hire a photographer simply on the beauty of their work, rather than taking into account what your wedding will actually look like,” Ashley emphasizes. “If you’re marrying in an intimate indoor space in the city, look for inspiration along that vein, rather than being distracted by open, airy outdoor wedding photos,” she adds.

Ultimate Guide to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Although, you can get away with capturing many events on smartphones, for your grand wedding, you obviously want a professional photographer. Wedding is truly a milestone life event and you need to be sure the day is captured successfully

Choosing a photographer is one of the most crucial decisions to make when planning your grand wedding day. There are plenty of things to consider, as extensive options of wedding photographers in Australia can be overwhelming for you

Settle for what you want

Since the ‘firing squad’ style that your grandparents and parents have undergone, bridal photography has come a long way. Starting from the traditional approach where the happy couple along with the in-laws are usually seen posing stiffly by the church door, there’s now documentary, fine-art and many more on the list. Journalistic or storytelling wedding photography has gained much preference in the last decade or so, and there are many pros specialized in this candid and relaxed manner.

Plan your budget

Work out how much you can spend initially as professional photographers cater to every market end. Again, be cautious about false budgeting here. In a local newspaper, you can probably find someone who will shoot your special moments for a few hundred bucks, but you are taking a risk. They might not be experienced with shooting a wedding before, they might not be creative photographers in particular and you end up wondering why they are providing their services at such a low price to begin with. On the other hand, booking a top society photography service can easily blow your financial plan for the entire wedding as well as the honeymoon!

Narrow down your list

If you want to pick a wedding photographer blind, primary considerations are clearly how long they have been in the business and how many wedding events they have shot. While you can avail the services from not so skilled photographers at a cheaper price, you may be welcoming more of a hazard. It is a good sign if the photographer is a member of a professional establishment, but seek someone with a distinction award.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Do you NEED a photographer?

I won’t lie and say that every couple needs a photographer at their wedding.  Wedding photography is a luxury!  Having a dedicated photographer allows friends and family to relax, put their phones down, and know that these moments are being artfully recorded

Having a cultivated gallery put together by someone who was there just to observe and create art through cultivated photographs, is a beautiful thing!  Being able to relive your entire day through the art of photography might not matter to you at all, and in that case, save your money and BUY A BIGGER CAKE!

Do you NEED a professional?

Not everyone who needs their wedding day documented needs to hire a professional either! Many factors such as image quality, reliability, knowing your photographer knows when and where to be taking photos without you babysitting them, insurance, back up equipment, back up photographers (you know in case, they break a leg the night before), artistic ability, editing ability, image storage, and technical photography skills (they might be able to nail photos in a controlled lighting environment, but what about when the sun goes down? or when you have to move inside due to rain?) all of these factors come into play when making this decision.

The work

THE most important factor for hiring a photographer to shoot your wedding is their STYLE!  If you don’t like their work, why on earth would you hire them!  Be choosy in this department

When you’re looking over their gallery, pay special attention to which images are from styled shoots and which are from actual weddings.  It’s much easier to make models look AMAZING  with stellar locations and unlimited time, than it is to make actual couples look PERFECT in a rushed 10 minutes behind the venue in a back alley somewhere. A good professional can do both, and make magic with a little sliver of good light and a few minutes with a couple in love.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

Your wedding is a momentous occasion that you’re going to want to remember forever. That’s why capturing the day through photography is such an important task.

You don’t want to just get anyone to do it for you. Instead, you need a photographer who has the skills and experience to capture the best moments of the day.

Photography Style

Are you partial with artistic photography with magnificent backgrounds? Perhaps you prefer natural movements over planned poses? What about lifestyle photography to show more emotion?

Availability on Your Wedding Date

To choose the right wedding photographer, the next step is to find the photographers who still have bookings available on your wedding date.

The Photographer’s Profile

Your next consideration should be the photographer’s profile. Look at each photographers website and Facebook account.

Outstanding Portfolio

You must do your own review if you want to choose the right wedding photographer. Look at each vendor’s gallery of past projects. Don’t settle for those posted on the website because they are usually a hand picked selection of their best work. Instead, ask for full-galleries of two or three weddings they’ve serviced.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer?

“How to choose a wedding photographer” is an essential question that many couples need to ask themselves at some point. You can get lost with many amazing wedding photos being posted every day on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and co.

There are many great and exceptional wedding photographers out there, and most of them will do the job. However, there might only be a handful of photographers that can pull it off at your wedding. Check out our “Photographers Near Me” list for example!

Moody or airy?

The style should be your #1 thing to be aware of when looking for a photographer specifically. If you do not like the style, then there is no real reason to even think about contacting the photographer. Do you prefer your images to look moody? Maybe you prefer them to look airy? Just be aware of what you want so you can exclude thousands of photographers right away.

A perfect match

No matter how good the photos are, if you do not click together, then there is no way you should work together. Being a wedding photographer is a pretty intimate thing.

You will spend the majority of your day with the photographer; this is why you need to be on the same wavelength. The better your connection is, the more trust you can build, the better the images will get in the end.

Documenting An Electrical Installation

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Electrical Work

There are few aspects of home improvement that can be as fraught with danger as that of “Do-It-Yourself” electrical repairs. And while it may be a tempting prospect to forgo calling an electrician with the idea of saving a few bucks, then end results can be catastrophic. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t DIY with electrical work.

Electrical Shock

It is no secret that one of the foremost concerns when working around electricity is the danger of being shocked. Electrical shock can be deadly at nearly any voltage level, and this is especially true when working with higher voltages.

In most residential homes the average voltage for lighting and power outlets is around 110 volts. That’s certainly enough to give you a nice jolt, but the voltage levels for certain appliances, such as ovens and dryers, can reach 240 volts – a deadly amount of current. It is for this reason that residential electricians go through years of training to learn how to safely work around electricity. Sure, you can always turn off the power at the breaker box, but all too often DIYers either neglect this step or switch off the incorrect breaker and this leads to a dangerous situation.

Fire Hazards

As with electrical shock, the danger of causing a fire due to faulty wiring is a real concern for DIYers. With so many different electrical components to work with, it can be confusing trying to solve wiring issues. All it takes is the placement of a single wire in the wrong spot and the chances of an electrical fire significantly increase. And unlike electrical shock, where the results will be immediate, electrical fire hazards can remain dormant for months. This can lead electrical DIYers into a false sense of security after completing a project, and then weeks later the wiring shorts out causing a fire. This is why you should always hire an experienced electrician when there are problems with the electrical system.

Use of wires and cables that are the incorrect size 

A variety of sizes of electric wire are available (referred to as its ‘gauge’) and the size of the wire determines how and where it should be used. If an incorrect sized wire for the electric current is selected and installed, this may result in overheating or a shorting of the fuse or circuit breaker. It is imperative that only the wire and devices that are rated for the proper amperage are used.

Incorrect fitting of outlets and switches:  If outlets and switches are loosely installed, a hazard is presented when appliances are plugged in. Arcing and overheating may be the outcome of wires coming loose from their terminals.

Faults in electrical box connections:  The purpose of the electrical box is to provide protection from external elements. In light of this, it is dangerous to attempt to make electrical connections outside of the electrical box and similarly, electrical boxes should not be added to or filled beyond their capacity; this can cause overheating or short-circuiting.

Replacement of fuses:  One of the most common causes of fires in the home is that fuses that have blown or tripped are replaced with larger sized fuses or breakers. The reason for the fuse blowing or the breaker tripping is often the result of a fault in the circuit wiring. For this reason, the complete system should be looked at and checked by a professional electrician.

Your Insurance Company Will Not Cover Electrical Damage Costs

If a fire does occur in your home or any other kind of electrical issue, your insurance company may not cover the damage costs if the work is not done to code by a certified electrician.

Therefore, if you are thinking about having a DIY electrical work weekend it is best to call in the professionals. It will end up saving you time, money and even your home in the long run.

Serious Injury or Death Can Occur

Working on fixing up the electrical wires and fuses in your home without knowledge of what you are doing can lead to serious injury or death. You could cut the wrong wire with electricity flowing through it and end up with a serious electrical shock, or put fuses in the wrong spot causing them to spark a fire or overheat leading to serious burns.

You could also forget to ground the electricity elements properly, which could cause you or a love to receive an electrical shock that could be potentially fatal. These reasons alone are enough to keep from making the repairs yourself.

Faulty installation of a three-slot outlets.

Most older homes do not have ground wires at outlet locations. Rookies have been known to switch out the 2 prong outlet for a 3 prong without a ground.  Not only does this violated code, in the event of a short circuit the cover plate will become energized with electricity and cause a deadly shock.

Confusing hot and neutral wires when installing an outlet. 

If the hot wire is connected to the neutral terminal of an outlet you could get a serious shock.  It’s difficult to detect this mistake until someone is dangerously hurt because lights and other electrical devices will still work.

Code violations and building permits

Nearly all communities require you to have a building permit for any significant electrical work. This isn’t just to keep track of the taxable value of your home or office! It’s also to make sure that any work done meets the local building and safety codes. In most cases, the permit must be requested by a licensed, professional electrician or an electrical contractor who employs licensed electricians.

Remember that unlicensed electrical work is against the law so individuals guilty of this can face severe fines of up to $100,000, while companies can be penalized up to $500,000, depending on the state or territory. You can also serve a prison sentence of two years. If your violation causes deaths, you’ll have to deal with larger penalties and a lengthier prison term.

Expensive repairs

Even if you are able to avoid a fire or other safety issue when performing DIY electrical repairs, connecting your wiring improperly can cause it to fail. Having to pay a professional electrician on top of the money and time you already spent to attempt DIY electrical wiring—will cost you more money in the end.

However, in every instance, a certified and professional electrician should be sought to complete all electrical service work. It is simply too dangerous not to use a skilled and qualified electrician. Always make sure you hire a professional electrician. Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractor requires that all our electricians are licensed and certified; we do not hire electrician helpers.

Move Out Cleaning Recommended When You Are Moving Out

Tips For Offering Move-In, Move Out Cleaning Service

Move-Out Cleaning

If you’re moving out, it’s always a good idea to clean up your house or apartment, either to make it spotless for the new occupants or to ensure you get your security deposit back. It’s also important to clean the house if you are putting the home on the market and need it spotless for pictures and open houses. No matter the reason, your former home should be just as clean as when you moved in, if not more.

The cleaning experts can visit your current house before you move out to give it a General or Top-to-Bottom Deep Cleaning. We will make sure every nook and cranny gets cleaned so that the entire home looks flawless. You’re ready to start the next chapter in your life, and cleaning up your current home is the perfect way to ensure a new beginning.

Why Should I Offer Move-Out Cleaning Services?

Move-out cleaning services are going to help your company grow. Yes, they’re more work than a residential clean. But they’ll bring in new clients, new referrals, and more experience for you. 

Word-of-mouth is important when you own a cleaning company. If you do a great job cleaning someone’s house when they move out, they’re going to refer you to a friend. They’ll also use you again when they move out. If you can work with a realtor, you may be able to offer your move-out services on a regular basis for home-showings. 

These kinds of cleaning services are also a useful source of income. You will get paid more for these services because they’re more detailed and they take more of your time. If you advertise for move-out cleaning services, you’ll be targeting a useful market. 

3 Reasons to Utilize Move-In and Move-Out Cleaning Service

One of the biggest peeves for most people moving from a home or apartment Is the clean-up process. Not only does one have to worry about packing their things nicely, but they also want to leave a home in the best condition possible. That is where residential movers that offer move-out cleaning service options come into the picture. Here are our 3 biggest reasons why you should hire residential movers that believe in cleaning out while you’re moving in.

You Can Ensure Cleanliness of Both Properties

Apartment movers and residential movers that offer move-out cleaning services often offer move-in cleaning services as well. Most property managers require that tenants clean a property once they move out. Everyone has a different definition of the word ‘clean’ so one person’s move-out conditions may differ from another’s. By hiring residential movers to provide their cleaning services as well as moving, you are able to make sure that your move-out location is thoroughly cleaned to every standard that a property manager would look for. Likewise, most of these moving companies also focus on the cleanliness of the move-in location. This would definitely take some pressure off of a move because now the customer would know that the property they are moving to is ready to be lived in.

It Prevents Allergies

By hiring a move-in cleaning service you are essentially hiring to prevent allergy attacks in your new home. A move-in cleaning service is going to be very thorough and will use cleaning products and equipment that are HEPA approved. A cleaning service will be able to clear the majority of dust and allergens from your new home or apartment. A move-in cleaning service also help s you know what types of materials are being used to clean your new home. This helps you know for sure that they are using safe cleaning products that will not leave remnants of chemical contamination in your new home.

You Have More Time For What Matters with Move-Out Cleaning Service

Cleaning your old home and new home can be a task that is as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. By hiring residential and apartment movers that offer cleaning services you are essentially killing two birds with one stone and freeing up your time to enjoy the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life.

Simple tips and techniques for move-in/move-out cleaning services.

  • Begin cleaning by removing all large trash pieces. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. Vacuuming will be quicker and more efficient not having to stop, pick up or move large waste materials.
  • Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand.
  • Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, ceiling vents, heat registers, and along the baseboards.
  • Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.
  • After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral pH floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.
  • Windows and glass entrance doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Window frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.
  • Provide appropriate dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) and safety training when working with chemicals.
  • If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – scrubber pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.

Schedule Apartment Move-Out Cleaning for Success

Move-out cleaning can be sporadic. You may hear nothing from a client for a week, then suddenly get a call when several apartments all need to be cleaned within a couple of days.

Of course, apartment managers are often under pressure to get units move-in ready quickly, since unoccupied apartments represent lost income. Be mindful of this, but also realistic with scheduling. The last thing you want is for your cleaning quality to suffer because your staff is overworked or cutting corners to get jobs done hurriedly within the allotted time.

Rushing your work can harm your reputation with your clients as well as employee morale in the long run. You may have to stand your ground—firmly yet politely—but you’ll gain the respect of all involved if you strive to create reasonable expectations while still getting the job done.

Getting Rid Of Silverfish

Silverfish Top Five Favorite Things to Eat

Silverfish are a common problem in many households. These tiny silver insects are commonly found in libraries, attics, and storage areas in people’s homes. Silverfish look like tiny fish, which is where they get their name. They are notorious for eating and destroying items in people’s homes. Knowing what attracts silverfish and what they like to eat is important if you are trying to get rid of a silverfish infestation or you want to eliminate or protect the type of items they like to eat.

Paper

One of the biggest things that silverfish like to eat is paper. They are attracted to and will eat all kinds of paper. This is why silverfish are often found in the libraries and studies of people’s homes. Silverfish are in need of starch in their diet, which is why they like to eat paper. Silverfish particular like older paper, as it is starchier and easier for the silverfish to digest.

Glue

Silverfish love to eat glue, particularly the kinds of glues that are used in binding books and in photo albums. Once again it is the polysaccharides in glue that attract silverfish, particularly a type of polysaccharide called dextrin.

Clothing and Cloth

Linen, silk, and cotton are particular favorites of silverfish. They enjoy eating the polysaccride in these types of materials, making costume shops, attics, and closets popular places to find silverfish. While these types of material are their favorite, silverfish have also been known to eat leather and synthetic materials if cotton, linen, and silk are not available. They have also been known to cause damage to wall tapestries.

Human Food

Like many insects, silverfish also like to eat human food. Because of this, kitchens are another popular infestation site. In particular, silverfish like to eat sugar and coffee. Other human foods that silverfish enjoy eating include dried pasta and dried meat, flour, and rolled oats.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another non-food item that silverfish love to eat. It is full of polysaccharides including starches and dextrin. Silverfish have been known to eat toothpaste out of the tube or off the rim of your sink. Silverfish’s love of toothpaste is one reason to keep your bathroom clean

Tips to prevent silverfish

Here are some tips to keep silverfish from becoming a problem in your home:

  • Keep all dry food in your cupboards in sealed containers. This will keep them free of moisture.
  • Dust your home often. This will keep silverfish from particles that may contain starches or saccharides that they like to eat.
  • Remove items with adhesive from your home. This includes stacksof paper, laundry, cardboard boxes, or other items that silverfish could be attracted to.
  • Store clothes in a dry environment. Store clothes you won’t wear for a while in containers that silverfish can’t get into.
  • Clean up any food particles around your home. This is especially important right after a meal. Use a HEPA vacuum that can also suck up silverfish eggs and keep them from reproducing and multiplying.
  • Use caulking. Cover up cracks, holes, or openings to keep silverfish out and stop them from laying eggs.

Identifying Silverfish

Since silverfish are nocturnal, you might not realize you have an infestation in your home unless you chance upon one when turning on the light in a darkened room. These wingless insects, Lespisma sacchrina, received the name silverfish because of the silvery-brown shade of their scales. Silverfish mature at about 3/4 inch in length. Their heads sprout two long antennae, while three long “tails” appear on their other end. Juvenile silverfish look just like adults, but smaller.

Outdoor Nest Areas

Outside, silverfish nest under rocks or tree bark or in moldy places. Birds’ nests and those of rodents are also home to silverfish, as are the nests of other insects, including termites. Silverfish often nest in the crawl spaces of buildings. Since they prefer temperatures ranging between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the onset of cool weather often sends them seeking shelter indoors.

Indoor Nest Areas

Indoors, silverfish prefer damp areas with high humidity. That’s why you’ll often find silverfish in basements, kitchens, laundry rooms and around heating and water pipes. They nest and lay eggs in cracks and crevices in those locations. Kitchen cupboards are another favorite nesting locale, since crumbs and other dried foods are so readily available. Silverfish also frequently infest attics and closets, where they feed on books, clothing, paper and other carbohydrate sources.

How to get rid of silverfish

The thought of tiny little silver insects crawling all over your bathroom, pantry and closet can be enough to send you running to the phone to call pest control. While pest control can ensure that you are rid of these unwelcome guests, there are some steps you can take that can lighten your load of silverfish. Here are 5 ways to effectively get rid of silverfish from your home.

  • 1.) Dry them out – Silverfish thoroughly enjoy wet areas. First, you will need to fix any leaking water around sinks, refrigerators or toilets. Any stagnant water will provide a nice breeding ground for silverfish. Use a humidifier in suspected areas to help remove excess water or damp areas.
  • 2.) Offend their sense of smell – Another good remedy to remove silverfish is to place moth balls around areas where silverfish have been spotted. Silverfish can’t stand the smell of mothballs. Mothballs will not kill silverfish; rather serve as a deterrent from areas where they are placed. Spices such as sage, bay leaves and cloves also serve well as good repellants.
  • 3.) Seal your food – Silverfish make their way into your pantry for carbohydrate sources, their favorite snack. Seal all of your cereals and grains in plastic containers with airtight lids.
  • 4.) Clean up your mess – Vacuuming often can be a great way to get rid of any food crumbs or stuffs around your home. Vacuuming can also help remove egg clutches and prevent further silverfish infestations.
  • 5.) Chemical power – Chemicals such as boric acid are common in killing silverfish. By spraying in areas that may be suspect to silverfish traffic, you can effectively get rid of silverfish. The use of powdered boric acid on top of sugary or starchy foods is an effective bait tactic.

Silverfish repellents that DON’T work

You may notice a few regular names not appearing in the above list, and that’s because they’re actually not useful in repelling silverfish and find themselves mixed up with other pest repellents by accident. Here are silverfish repellents that just don’t work…

Cucumber

For example, cucumber is often slated as being a fantastic natural repellent for silverfish but in actuality it doesn’t really do anything at all. In fact, cucumber is a fantastic source of moisture for insects and bugs.

Salt

Salt, too, is often mentioned in conjunction with repelling silverfish, but again this is not true. In actual fact, the opposite is true: the salt attracts silverfish and provides a tempting source of food for them.

The bonus is that, obviously, the salt dehydrates them and can often lead to death, which can make it handy bait for traps and the like, but not a good repellent.

Parsley

Bizarrely, parsley is also commonly mistaken as a repellent recommended for silverfish. There’s very little evidence or argument to back this up; it’s much more likely that folk are mixing up parsley’s effectiveness in repelling red ants with its complete impotency surrounding silverfish.

Have The Best Plastic Surgery Prices

How to Find the Right Cosmetic Surgeon for You

Your choice of cosmetic surgeon will be a choice you live with for years, if not your entire life. A successful procedure will make you feel more like yourself and give you greater confidence for years to come. On the other hand, ending up in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon increases your chances of having poor results, which can lead to additional costs, time, and heartache

Make sure the cosmetic surgeon is board certified

Many people think they can depend on state medical boards to ensure that surgeons are qualified to perform the procedures they advertise, but that fact is that the government does not require a surgeon to be specifically trained in the procedures they offer. This problem is most acute in the area of cosmetic surgery, as many doctors with general surgery or other medical training hop on the cosmetic surgery bandwagon in pursuit of greater profits.

Our view is that patients need a dependable way to know if their surgeon is properly trained and experienced in cosmetic surgery. That’s why we at the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) formed a board exclusively dedicated to cosmetic surgeons’ education, training, and certification.

Confirm the surgeon’s experience in the specific procedures you want

Each area of cosmetic surgery requires different skills: you can imagine how operating on a nose with bone, cartilage, and breathing passages would be quite different from operating on a breast, which is primarily comprised of soft tissue. Given this, cosmetic surgeons can have subspecialties within the field. Choose a surgeon who is board certified in cosmetic surgery and has substantial experience in the procedure you are considering

Choose a surgeon whose aesthetic sense appeals to you

We all know that what one person finds beautiful may be unattractive to another. For this reason, you can’t just trust a friend’s recommendation or solely depend on the cosmetic surgeon’s experience. You need to look carefully at the results for each surgeon you interview.

Insider Tips for Finding a Plastic Surgeon You Can Trust

Victoria Cross, a 57-year-old from Montgomery Village, Maryland, considers her breast reduction the best thing she’s ever done for herself. “When I woke up from the surgery and sat up, it was the first time in a very long time that I didn’t feel any pulling in my chest and my shoulders weren’t hurting,” she tells SELF. Cross, who had the procedure at the age of 45, was a D cup in high school and a G cup by the time she had her surgery. Now she’s a proud C cup and has never looked back.

But one of the reasons she waited until her 40s for the procedure was because of the difficulties involved in finding the right surgeon for the job. “Part of the reason for the length was convincing some of the offices that I wanted to ‘interview’ the doctor,” she explains. In other words, she wasn’t willing to sign the paperwork and meet her handler while she was lying on the operating table. This, experts agree, is a very important part of the process, and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

The number of women and men having plastic surgery is on the rise, with over 17.1 million cosmetic procedures taking place in the year 2016 alone, which means more and more people are trying to get into the aesthetics game. But you have to be careful about choosing the right professional to do the job. As plastic surgery attracts a growing base of eager patients, a number of unqualified physicians and even non-physicians are jumping on the cosmetic bandwagon, donning white lab coats and all. In addition to meeting the surgeon in person, it’s also strongly encouraged to check their background to make sure they’re certified to handle the exact procedure you’re looking to have.

Talk to friends, family members, and acquaintances who’ve had work done to get recommendations.

First, consider those close to you. Has anyone had work done? If you’re comfortable, reach out to him or her for advice. “A trusted friend or family member can give you an honest rundown of the entire process, from the consultation with the doctor and the surgery itself to the recovery process,”

Do your homework by reading up on reviews of surgeons in your area.

As one does this day in age, Issy Ryan, 38, of New York City, took to the Internet before settling on a surgeon to carry out her liposuction procedure. “For me knowledge is power, so I read review after review to get a sense of previous patients’ experiences and help me get to know a little bit about how each surgeon ‘operated,’ both in and out of the operating room,” she tells SELF.

Choosing the Right Cosmetic Surgeon

These guidelines can help you find the right cosmetic surgeon for your needs. First, you should interview two or three surgeons whose specialties match your needs.

There may be qualified surgeons in other professional organizations, but these are the primary groups that certify that doctors are qualified to perform cosmetic surgery.

Personal recommendations are important. Ask friends for referrals if they have gotten a similar procedure. Get opinions from your family doctor and other doctor acquaintances. Surgical technicians and operating room nurses are an excellent source for information about a surgeon’s skill in the operating room

Remember, cosmetic surgery is a highly competitive field. Don’t be confused by groups claiming to be “the only” or “the best” because this excludes many surgeons who may be better choices for your particular issues. Ask about their fellowship training — specialized training in specific procedures. Check with your state’s medical board to verify the surgeon’s board certification, education, and license. And check whether disciplinary action has been taken against the surgeon.

Questions to Consider Before Selecting Your Cosmetic Surgeon

At this point, you may have narrowed your choices to one or two cosmetic surgeons

Tips to Pick the Right Plastic Surgeon

What is the doctor’s training and certification? Any practicing physician may call him- or herself a cosmetic surgeon or may advertise that he or she performs cosmetic procedures. Only physicians who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have received years of specialized training in plastic surgery (both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery) and have passed rigorous examinations to demonstrate their competence in the field. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons Web site has a feature to help you locate plastic surgeons who are board certified in the field.

What is the doctor’s experience with the particular procedure you are considering? Ask how many times he or she has performed the procedure and if he or she has received specialized training in the particular area. How long has the physician been performing the particular operation? Remember that not all surgeons will be experts in every area. A doctor who is an expert in breast augmentation surgeries may have little experience with nose reshaping.

At which hospital does the doctor perform the procedure? Are you comfortable with being treated in this hospital? Is the hospital accredited?

Does the doctor ask you about your reasons for having the procedure, and are you comfortable talking openly with this doctor? A good cosmetic surgeon will explain all alternatives to the procedure and will not pressure you into making a rapid decision.

Does the doctor answer all your questions clearly and fully? Your doctor should be frank about issues such as recovery time, potential side effects, risks, and realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. While “before and after” photos make a convincing statement, be sure to ask if the photos represent typical results.

Tips for Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

A Personal Decision

Having reconstructive or cosmetic plastic surgery is a big decision. It can change your life by correcting a defect or improving the way you look and feel about yourself. Choosing a plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions you can make. How do you find the best plastic surgeon who is right for you? Here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Get Referrals

Start by asking your primary care doctor for a referral list of plastic surgeons. You can also ask family, friends and other healthcare providers for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on Healthgrades.com. As you narrow down your list, call each plastic surgeon’s office to see if he or she is accepting new patients. If so, ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the plastic surgeon.

Research the Plastic Surgeon’s Credentials

Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a plastic surgeon. It tells you that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to perform plastic surgery. Also confirm that the plastic surgeon has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the plastic surgeon’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on Healthgrades.com and state websites.

Consider the Plastic Surgeon’s Experience

Experience matters when you’re considering plastic surgery. The more experience a plastic surgeon has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Such experience allows the plastic surgeon to prevent surgical complications and promptly recognize them if they occur. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the plastic surgeon has treated. If you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.

Consider Gender

It’s important to feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. When it comes to plastic surgery, your own gender is also an important consideration. Cosmetic plastic surgery has traditionally focused on female patients. However, men also seek the benefits of plastic surgery and their needs are often different. Ask the plastic surgeon about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender.

Outsourcing Your Payroll Service As A Small Business Owner

How to Choose a Payroll Service

Choosing the best payroll service for your needs can help you save you time and money. A good payroll service will pay employees and file and pay payroll taxes.

The only thing more conventional than “keeping the books” is screwing them up. In fact, the two typically go hand-in-hand, as the IRS penalizes about one out of every three business owners for payroll errors. Choosing the best payroll service for your needs can help you to reduce bookkeeping and other errors.

Even if mistakes weren’t so commonplace, doing your own payroll can still cost you. The valuable time and energy you spend figuring out how much money you have to give away could be spent actually making money.  That’s why so many businesses are turning to outsourced payroll services.

“One of my rules is if you have one employee, get a payroll service,” says Rhonda Abrams, president of the business services site The Planning Shop and author of the guidebook Hire Your First Employee. “The penalties for screwing up are so much more expensive than the cost for payroll.”

A good payroll service will, at the very least, get checks to both the IRS and your employees on time, taking most of the weight off your shoulders — but not all of it. The paychecks themselves may be out of your hands, but this is still sensitive information that’s immensely important to your company, so it’s critical that you pick the right service for your small business.

Tips for Choosing a Payroll Service

When payday rolls around employees automatically assume they will not only be paid but be paid the correct amount. An easy way to ensure everyone is receiving payment and the IRS is not on your back is to use a payroll service. Use these tips to evaluate and choose a payroll company to handle your small business needs

Recommendations:

One way to find a payroll service is to ask other small businesses for their recommendations. A recommendation from someone you know means that chances are they will be honest about their level of satisfaction with the company. Once you have a few services you are interested in ask if they can provide you with two or three references from clients who have businesses similar to your own. Recommendations are the best way to discover the reputation and quality of the firm.

Also find out how long the company has been in business, and check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau, as well as by searching online for the term, reviews, along with the name of the payroll company. These are important facts to know because ultimately it’s your company, not the payroll company that’s responsible for reporting and paying in payroll taxes. Should a payroll company you deal with fail to remit your payroll taxes to the government (and perhaps go out of business), you will have to pay the money owed to the government yourself, even though the payroll company took it out of your account

Prices and Hidden Fees:

The first question on everyone’s mind and the first question that need to be asked is: How much? They may charge a flat-fee with an additional charge per check or a charge based on the frequency of payroll. You may want to pay your employees every week but find that every other week will save you money. This is something that should be taken into consideration. Also, be sure to see a detailed breakdown of the bill to discover those hidden fees that some companies may “forget” to mention. For example simply changing an employee to direct deposit or adding a new employee might accrue additional charges. You may also want to ask if the charges and fees you were quoted are subject to change and if so, do they increase frequently?

Special Services:

In addition to paychecks, payroll services often offer other special services for businesses. These special services include direct deposit, customized reports, as well as the administering of employee benefits, retirement plans, and pre-tax deductions for medical insurance or childcare. Some companies are capable of developing customized software tailored to your specific needs. If you have employees in different states you must make sure the company has national coverage capabilities.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A PAYROLL PROVIDER

Are you considering converting to a new payroll provider, but hesitant to make a change? You may be concerned about missing payroll periods or data errors during the transition, but it doesn’t have to be chaotic. The key to a successful payroll conversion is a streamlined conversion process that meets the unique needs of your company while minimizing the amount of work required to get started. When you’re ready to make the switch, here are six things to consider when choosing a payroll provider.

TIMING OF A PAYROLL CONVERSION

Deciding when to implement a new payroll solution is important. If you are considering a mid-year conversion, Quarter 2 is a good time to start the process. Another option is to convert at the end of the year. The ideal time to begin a year-end conversion is October so it doesn’t conflict with any year-end processing you need to handle.

DATA CONVERSION

When considering a conversion, it’s important to also look at whether the payroll system is unified with core HR and attendance. When payroll, core HR, and time tracking data are stored in a centralized database, this provides many benefits

Look for a provider who assigns a dedicated implementation manager with the experience to translate the differences in the systems and suggest improvements that will increase productivity, reduce the potential for errors, and drive down costs

DATA INTEGRATION CAPABILITIES

Many companies have existing business investments for benefits, such as general ledger software, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and retirement packages. The ability to integrate these existing systems with an online payroll system is a huge benefit as all of the data is accurate and up-to-date.

How to Choose the Right Payroll Service

Consider factors like cost, features, ease of use, and more as you shop for a payroll system. Running payroll might not be your forte, but it’s a necessary part of being an employer. To ease your responsibilities, you could try a payroll service, a type of software as a service (SaaS).

How much do I know about payroll?

If you aren’t a payroll expert, you need an easy-to-use software solution. Payroll software automates a complex process, and the point of automation is to free your time, not take it up.

Which basic features should a payroll software have?

First, let’s go over the key parts of running payroll. Running payroll is the process of entering the hours employees worked during a pay period, calculating their gross wages, determining deductions, and giving employees their net pay.

Payroll software saves you from manually running payroll. Here are a few basic features you should keep an eye out for when shopping for payroll software:

Taxes: Payroll software automatically withholds taxes from each employee’s paychecks. If you want the software to go a step farther and file taxes for you, opt for a full-service payroll software.

Accuracy: Mistakes on payroll result in penalties for your business. Find a provider that guarantees accuracy.

Multiple payment options: If you want the option of paying employees with direct deposit or paychecks, find a provider that accommodates both and offers free direct deposit. According to the National Automated Clearing House Association(link is external) (NACHA), 82% of workers receive their wages via direct deposit, so try to offer this payment method.

Time and attendance integration: Some software providers offer a time and attendance add-on to help with attendance management. This lets employees enter the hours they worked. All you need to do is approve their hours.

How much do I want to spend?

Deciding how much to spend on payroll is challenging since many factors go into the cost. To get started, learn what other businesses spend on payroll services.

Considerations to Make While Choosing A Payroll Service

Determining how to choose a payroll service for your business can be difficult. There are many payroll software providers and features from which you can choose. Whether this is your first time looking for payroll software or you want to switch software programs, you need to know what to consider. Knowing what to look for in a payroll service can help you make a good purchase.

What will you find in this guide about how to choose a payroll service?

Our guide includes 10 points you should consider while choosing a payroll software solution. A few of the points you can learn about in this guide include types of payroll software, software costs, and software security.

In each of the 10 sections, we provide you with a list of questions to ask yourself. The questions are helpful tools to assist you in thinking about your needs and what type of software will work best for your business.

At the end of the guide, there are related articles about small business payroll service options. You can use the articles to further your learning and improve your business’s payroll program

When you download and read our guide to choosing payroll software, you can prevent a bad payroll software decision. You don’t want to be locked into a contract or discover hidden fees for the features you need. You should purchase payroll software that you like on the first try.

Is Your Residential Roofing Ready for Winter

Tips to Help Homeowners Choose the Right Roofing Contractor

The biggest obstacle homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right person to do the job. After a damaging storm, they need to quickly get back to normal and perform the necessary roofing repairs. But that doesn’t mean they should just choose the first contractor who knocks on their door. Finding a contractor who is trustworthy, honest, and professional may sound difficult – but that’s where you come in. Contractors should share these 10 important tips with homeowners to show them that your company is reputable and can be trusted to protect their home and their wallet.

Get local referrals. There is less chance of potential issues or scams when you choose a contractor from your community. They are more familiar with local rules and code regulations and have a relationship with area crews and suppliers.

Look for manufacturer designations. Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory-certified (although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others). GAF strictly enforces their top designation by only allowing 2% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. (Unlike other manufacturer designations, Master Elite® Contractors cannot use this top designation in another territory, only in the location of the storm. Find a Master Elite® Contractor near you.

Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Some contractors blow in (no pun intended) right after a storm looking for work, so it’s important to look them up on the BBB website and make sure they have a good score. Stay away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org. GAF Master Elite® Contractors are required to maintain satisfactory ratings with the BBB in order to retain their certification.

Get an extensive warranty. Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it (or worse, has gone out of business), your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself. A Master Elite® Contractor can offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market—the Golden Pledge® Warranty.

How to Choose a Residential Roofing Contractor

When it comes to choosing a residential roofing contractor, it’s important to select an experienced contractor who can give your roof the quality it needs to keep your family and personal belongings safe from the outside elements. When choosing a roofing contractor for your home, you must seek out multiple candidates with the proper licensing and a great business reputation in your area. Continue reading to learn how you can choose a residential roofing contractor for your home

Contact three roofing contractors. Treat this step just as you would if hiring a new employee. Making a bad decision regarding which contractor to hire will be very painful

Verify that the roofing contractor you hire has the required applicable business licenses for your state or local area.

If you are unsure of the business licenses required for roofing contractors in your area, contact the licensing board or Department of Professional Regulation for your area or state.

You may also visit the Contractor’s Licensing website featured in the Sources section of this article to determine the licenses required by specific states

Verify that the roofing contractor or business is legitimate by asking for their tax identification number, a business address, business website or email address, and contact phone number

Ask the roofing contractor to provide you with proof of insurance, including worker’s compensation and liability coverage.

Not all areas or states require roofing contractors to have insurance, but you may want to hire a person with insurance to protect yourself from lawsuits if the contractor is injured while working on your property.

Check with the contractor to verify that the insurance covers the entire time-span during which the roofing project takes place

Tips for Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor

Replacing your roof is a big decision. It goes without saying that you want the best roofing contractor for the job. But how do you know what to look for? Most people will only replace a roof once in a lifetime. It’s a big investment, and you want to make sure you choose the right company.

Ask How Long the Roofing Contractor Has Been in Business

You probably wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic who has been on the job for two weeks. And you probably wouldn’t sign up for heart surgery with a doctor fresh out of school. So why pick a roofing contractor that doesn’t have a long track record of doing high-quality work?

In many cases, homeowners allow price to dictate the contractor they choose. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you go with a roofing company that can give you a bargain price but can’t provide a list of happy customers, you’re probably going to end up with a substandard installation.

Double Check Licensing and Insurance

Roofing is a dangerous job, which is why we never recommend homeowners take it on themselves. It’s important to have the right tools, materials and safety equipment. It’s also important to have experience. Reputable roofing contractors hold the requisite permits and licenses for every job they perform

Look at Past Work

For most businesses that provide a service, reputation is everything. Think about the last time you went to a new restaurant, or even visited a new hair salon or dentist’s office. In past years, you might have asked a friend or relative for the names of a good place to grab dinner or get your teeth cleaned. Today, however, the internet provides unbiased, third party reviews from people who have used a business’s services in the past. In fact, 81 percent of consumers say they research online before they make a purchase. Before you spend money, it pays to do your homework.

TIPS ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT RESIDENTIAL ROOFING CONTRACTOR

The right roofing contractor can ensure the success of your roofing project, whether it’s a minor repair project or a complete roof replacement. When choosing a contractor, don’t make the mistake others did by settling for the one with the lowest price. The following are tips on how to choose the right roofing contractor

Choose Among Local Contractors

Local roofing contractors have the advantage of being in close proximity, which can be handy in case of roofing emergencies. But more importantly, local roofers are more familiar with local building codes and regulations, which lessens the risk of having compliance issues that lead to unwanted delays (and possible expenses) correcting these issues. You also get the added benefit of knowing that we mean to stick around the area as long as you do and then some. Your warranty doesn’t mean a thing if your roofer has already packed up and left town.

Ask if They Have a Contractor’s License and Proper Insurance

A legitimate contractor in North Carolina must have a valid license issued by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Note that this is different from a business license. A contractor must have insurance coverage for both accidental property damage (liability insurance) and bodily injury (workers’ compensation). Like their references, a legitimate contractor should have no problem providing verifiable proof for both. You can call your contractor’s insurance company and check up on them. Ask if they’d had any recent complaints, and ask if they pay their bill on time every month. If they haven’t paid their insurance, then their insurance is no good, and could leave you footing the bill for costly repairs to your property, or worse.

Always Ask for References

When it comes to the quality of work, don’t take the contractor’s word for it. Talk to their past clients. Reputable contractors should be able to readily provide the contact information of at least three recent clients, whom you should call or visit to see if the contractor truly provides quality roofing services.  References also means reviews. Check out the company’s reviews on Facebook and Google .

Ask About Their Warranty Coverage

Regardless of which roofing manufacturer they represent, a roofing contractor should have warranty coverage for both materials and workmanship; the latter is especially important as most roofing problems in the first few years are due to installation errors. As a GAF Master Elite® contractor, we are authorized to offer the full range of GAF’s industry-leading warranties, including the Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty, which features  50 years of material coverage and 25 years of workmanship coverage. When it comes down to it, The warranty anybody gives you is only as good as the company giving it to you!

Tips for Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Insurance is a must

Make sure that your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid

Choose local contractor

Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community.

Price isn’t everything

Never choose a company based on price. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs.

Avoid storm chasers

Steer clear of the knock-on-the-door, “We were in your neighborhood” roofers. This is just canvassing and selling. Pick a roofer from a referral or a sign in your area that has a satisfied client on the other end.

Get job details in writing

Both belong to you and you should be in control. We suggest that you don’t give funds until the work is complete. Make sure that you are satisfied with the result and that the terms of payment were discussed prior to the job and adhered to by both parties.