Category Archives: Tip of the Day

QuickBooks Support – Shop Local

Most QuickBooks users know that the software often comes with support at Intuit via 800 number, available 6 am to 6 pm PST Monday through Friday. What do you do when you have a problem after hours, on the weekend, or a holiday? If you have a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor as a consultant for your company, you’ve got the best support – local, knowledgeable and reachable after-hours if needed.

Paragon Small Business Solutions clients enjoy the convenience of support when they need it. You can too. Call or message today to get started!

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RI Labor Law Poster update 7/1/2014

Rhode Island’s minimum wage increased to $8.00 effective 1/1/2014. New labor law posters are required to be posted for all RI employers. You can find them at no charge on the RI Department of Labor & Training’s web site. I recommend the combination poster. http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/business/post.htm

In addition, the RI Commission for Human Rights has released a new poster “Discrimination is Illegal” with updated legislation that took effect May 2014. The poster was delayed and recently released. Employers must display the poster prominently. “State law also prohibits employers from asking applicants about arrest records, and makes it unlawful to ask about convictions until at or after a first interview (with certain exceptions).” ┬áhttp://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/pdf/DiscriminationPoster.pdf

 

 

Need an expert? Outsource!

Most small businesses begin with the owner doing everything. As my friend and fellow business owner Domenic says, you are “chief cook and bottle washer”. And that’s fine, in the beginning. But as your business grows, you need help. No one person can possibly do everything, and your business will suffer if you try to do it all yourself. Outsourcing is a cost-effective way to get the expertise you need to enable you to focus on what you do best.

Green your office

I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon. Going green is the exception to that rule. Having worked in a variety of industries over the years, I’m constantly amazed at how much paper and other waste is generated in an office. I’m even more amazed at how difficult it is to find paper records after they are filed. Is the filing system to blame? Maybe, but the bigger problem is storing and properly disposing of all the paper records after their usefulness has passed.

 Nearly 5 years ago, Paragon SBS bought its first scanner, a Fujitsu Scan Snap. This is a great little scanner, that converts the scanned document to a searchable pdf. The nice thing about it is you can scan and sort your paper documents, and then shred the hard copy. A simple off-site back-up system protects all your scanned goodies for less than $6/month. I use Mozy.com, but there are many similar companies. My preference for Mozy is the price, currently $6.95/month, and the automatic back-up. I leave my computer running, and Mozy’s software backs up any changes. It’s simple, it’s secure, and it’s completely fool proof since the process is automatic. Paper storage has been cut by nearly 75%, and storage simplified. We were able to eliminate the extra file cabinets and are completely protected in the event of a fire/flood as everything is now stored digitally.

My family and I had dinner one night at Ted’s Montana Grill in Cranston, RI. I was so impressed with the simple changes they made that I was inspired to share my green ideas with our clients. Ted’s claim to fame, besides the amazing bison meat they serve, is they are 99% plastic free. The tables are covered with recycled paper, which is removed and recycled between customers. Their straws are biodegradable paper. Their restrooms use low flow toilets and have instructions to flush up or down, depending on your business in the stall. The sinks are automatic and they use electric hand dryers. They brag about their accomplishments in the nicest of ways so that you can’t feel anything but respect and admiration at such dedication to the environment.

 Your business/home can run the same way. This is not a publicity stunt. It’s a simple change from the usual that makes a big difference. Small steps go far, and doing the right thing will not only help the environment, it will make your office (and home) free of the paper clutter that plagues us all. Reduce, reuse, recycle is critically important to making our planet a better place for us, our children, and for all generations yet to come.

 Stuck on how to start? Paragon now offers an inexpensive 2 hours tutorial on going green. The savings speak for themselves.

Organizing your receipts

Ever feel like you are buried underneath piles of receipts? Are you missing out on deducting expenses because your receipts are too much to handle? Scanning and storing them digitally can help eliminate the paper clutter. We can help if you’re too busy to enter them yourself, and we can enter them in QuickBooks at the same time. There is a light at the end of the paper tunnel, we promise!