Phone Apps for Traveling G1/Android Users

With all the top ten lists about this and that for Blackberry & Iphone users, I thought I would compile a similar list for G1/Android Users on the go.  These are the apps that I use daily and along with GMail & Calendar… pretty much can’t live without because they keep me on track and on task.  Hope you find a few that may be helpful and useful to you.


PDANet – I searched high and low for an application that would allow me to get on the Internet using my phone/handset as a modem without messing around with the “root system”.  I finally found one that suits the purpose.  It’s free for the first 30 days then it’s $29 to purchase.  ALTERNATIVE:  ProXoid – this one can be a little confusing because you have to “start the tunnel” each time on your laptop before accessing the program on your handset but again…not a bad alternative and it’s f-r-e-e.

Google Voice – I like this one especially if you’re like me and want to have a “super secret” phone number for only friends/family or use it as your “home” number for co-workers and business contacts instead of giving everyone and their brother your cell phone number.  One of the slick features about this program (that I love) is that it records and transcribes your messages AND it will text or email it to you.  Although it is by invite on, the price is right on this one too…as in, free.  ALTERNATIVE:  YouMail Visual VoiceMail Plus – if you don’t care about giving out your cell phone number (some people don’t), YouMail offers some of the same features as Google Voice, like voicemail notification via text & email and, for a fee, transcription.

DubMeNow -When you’re traveling and/or out and about, you have enough to care without having to worry about packing your business cards too.  DubMeNow (or DUB) is an electronic alternative to carrying around business cards.  You can send the person your information from your phone.

GoogleMaps – with the recent upgrade, you really don’t need another app.  Google Maps will now give you driving, walking and mass transit directions AND it moves with you (like the various GPS navigators on the market).  The only thing it doesn’t do is talk to you but I imagine that will be included in future updates.  ALTERNATIVE:  Glympse – the addition cool feature with this one is that you can create a profile and share your location with your friends.  Both apps are free.

PayPal – if you have a need to take payments on the road, PayPal has a free app that will link your phone to your virtual account.  Just that simple.  ALTERNATIVES:  I’m sure there are also apps for Authorize.Net and others… just do a search in the Market.

MoneyManager – last but not least, while you’re on the road (or at home), you need to keep track of the ins and outs of your money, right?  This is a nice app that allows you the categorize your income/expenses, backup and export (to csv file).  Packs a lot of punch…

If you have noticed a trend, I like free apps that work *smile*….hey, what can I say… I’m an accountant some have ads on them but what’s a little ad at the top or bottom of your screen going to do?  Developers have to make their money too, right?

Inspiration:
Phone Applications for the Business Traveler

Related Posts:
Alternatives to Paper Business Cards

 

Tax Tip: Independent Contractor (1099) versus Employee (W2)

This question seems to come up more often than not – Am I (should I be considered) an independent contractor  or an employee?  The answer to this question is critical for both the employee (who could lose benefits, such as the right to claim unemployment, and incur higher tax liability) and the employer (who could incur interest and penalties in the case of misclassification).

So how do you define an independent contractor?  And what do you do if you believe you have misclassified?  Let’s take this one step at a time…and start with the definition of an independent contractor, or at least how the IRS defines it.  The IRS uses three broad categories to determine IC status:  Behavior Control, Financial Control and Type of Relationship.

“Behavioral Control covers facts that show whether the business has a right to direct or control how the work is done through instructions, training, or other means.  Financial Control covers facts that show whether the business has a right to direct or control the financial and business aspects of the worker’s job.  The Type of Relationship factor relates to how the workers and the business owner perceive their relationship.”

What do you do?  As with most things, the lines can get murky so if are unsure about your work status or think that you may have been misclassified,you can ask the IRS to make the determination by filing a Form SS-8 – Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.

You can learn more about the critical determination of a worker’s status as an Independent Contractor or Employee at IRS.gov by selecting the Small Business link.  Additional resources include IRS Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide, Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee, and Publication 1976, Do You Qualify for Relief under Section 530? These publications and Form SS-8 are available on the IRS Web site or by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676 (800-TAX-FORM).


Related: 
Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Ten Tips for Business Owners
Publication 1779 
Publication 15-A
Form SS-8

Publication 1976

Disclaimer:  This blog post/article is not meant as tax advice.  Please consult a tax professional regarding your specific situation.

 

How To: Correctly Setup Sole Proprietorship

Before delving into the topic, I think it would be helpful to actually define what is a “sole proprietorship”.  It is a business represented by a single individual without benefit of a separate legal entity (for example, corporation).

This business “entity” type tends to be somewhat popular because of the ease in which it can be “formed”…

  1. Determine if you will use your name (example John Doe) or a fictitious one (JD Photography).
  2. If you will be using a fictitious one, you will need to register it with your state (or city, if required) by filing a “DBA/Doing Business As” or Tradename form.
  3. Apply for a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) – go to www.irs.gov.  Not necessarily a requirement per se but your accountant and/or tax preparer will thank you later.  (If you are a contractor of some sort, you will use this number when filling out W4 Forms).
  4. Open a separate bank account.  Again not necessary but extremely helpful when managing your company finances…your accountant/tax preparer will thank you.
  5. Acquire any necessary licenses.  If your business is one that requires it, make sure you are compliant from the beginning (for example, hair salon requires cosmetology licensing).

As with any business entity type, you should review the pros & cons to decide if that is what is right for you and your business. I thought about going into the pros & cons for this particular business type but decided against it.  Instead I have provided a few related topic links that should cover that base pretty accurately.

Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney nor is this to be taken as tax or accounting advice.  Please seek the advice of a professional for specific insight on your particular business situation.

topic suggested by Malik Alex:  Painter & Aspiring Gallery Owner

Related Topics:
Why You Should Never Operate Any Business As a Sole Proprietor
Sole Proprietorship:  The Right Business Structure?

 

Change of Focus – 2 Cents Blog

Not literally a change, per se, but more like an expansion of focus…

As I have grown as a business owner and grown as a blog writer, I have found that I’d like to write more about growing a small business, as a whole, instead of just the accounting/financial aspect of it.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I’ll still write about accounting, finance, tax preparation/planning issues, payroll vs independent contractor issues, etc but going forward, I plan to write more about the journey of building a business and the things/tools that can help us along the way.

So why the change?  I started my business 7 years ago with the primary aim of providing affordable accounting solutions to small business owners.  That expanded to tax preparation for businesses & individuals…then that expanded to payroll services for small business owners.  Now, I haven’t expanded because I think I know everything or can do everything, out of vanity or any desire of my own.  In the past, as now, I have expanded because i took the time to listen to my clients & fulfill their needs.  As their trusted advisor, I have been asked to point them in the right direction.  So I will use this blog, this platform to do just that… point my aspiring entrepreneurs, microbusiness owners, small business owners in the right direction.  It is my hope that you will look to my blog & my website as an invaluable resource and that you will visit often.

With my expansion of focus, I look forward to having guest bloggers in the near future.  If you have an area of expertise that can help growing small business owners & aspiring entrepreneurs (especially law, marketing & branding)… I want to hear from you!

Cheers!
Joyce

Questions & Comments… as always, are welcomed!

 

End of Summer Reading List

I tend to read a lot (or at least I try to). Lately, I have been reading more thing online instead of off-line but I wanted to remind my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners that learning does not stop when you get a diploma or a degree. Learning continues until, well… you know. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites that I thought would be helpful to others as they begin/continue their journey of independence.

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
Duct Tape Marketing – John Jantsch
Get Clients Now – CJ Hayden
How To Sell Without Being A Jerk – John Klymshyn
Successful QuickBooks Consulting – Michelle L. Long, CPA MBA (this one is good for consulting in general)

These are books that I have read and re-read…hope you find them as helpful as I have.

Do you have a small business, marketing or branding resource that you have read & refer back to over and over again? Please share your literary choices. Thanks & Enjoy.

 

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