How IT Services Can Help in Your Company’s Growth

It is a fact that the client prefers to work with businesses that are capable of keeping up with technology trends. It is important for any company to be aware of the importance of IT support services, along with its cost, demands, reliability, sense, and portrayal of dedication, and particularly the small and big changes in its structure while assuring more streamlined operations. 

Innovative resources, as well as problem-solving that IT services and systems provide are wide. If any high technology apparatus is not functioning properly, it can leave a significant effect on how the business services, as well as its functions, are executed overall. This brief list will give you an answer on how IT services can assist your company to grow, and which benefits you can reap from them. 

Productivity and Profitability are Increased

In case you have old computers or an outdated operating system, the productivity will be slowed down by 30 or even 40 percent. The decrease in productivity can seriously hurt any business. 

To ensure that the employees perform their work to the best of their abilities, upgrading your business system is a mandatory action to take. Having IT experts will allow the upgrade, and as a result, your business will thrive. By giving workers the right kind of business tech, productivity is guaranteed as well as income, as some business gurus will state. Professionals from Summit Advisors IT would agree that these problems can crag your productivity and profitability down. For instance, some companies have invested in an internet network that is private and have provided their employees through their IT service with all the necessary tools they need to make things done. The benefit of this for the company would be faster communication and all workers will be able to share files between themselves. Firstly, the basics must be ensured before the results can be reaped. 

For example, having WiFi connected computers and printers that do not take a long time to load. 

Can a Good IT Service Stop Hackers?

Keeping your data secure would be of utmost importance for any company and business. Outdated technology can put your firm a risk which increases the possibility for files and data to be lost or even worse, corrupted, and used. Older servers are prone to crash which is also a hindrance. All of these problems can cost any firm a valuable amount of time and money.

Cyber attackers, or hackers, are always updating their methods of attack which also increases the overall risks you might encounter. Without having your software regularly updated by IT support, these new methods will easily breach and access your business’s critical and important files that are supposed to be private, for example, your customer data. 

Part of the reason why it is recommended to have new hardware or software upgrades is that older systems are developed in a way to keep up with ever-evolving types of threats and offer the best possible cybersecurity defenses. The data of your company will be vulnerable without proper and modern security measures. 

Optima Tax Relief Provides Tips on Filing an Amended Tax Return

Discovering a mistake on your tax return doesn’t mean that you need to immediately panic. In most cases, errors made on your taxes can be fixed by filling out Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Optima Tax Relief looks into common reasons why people may need to file an amended return:

  • Information on a tax return was entered incorrectly.
  • Claiming credits that a taxpayer wasn’t eligible to claim.
  • Claiming deductions incorrectly.

The IRS can also correct any math or clerical errors on a tax return and may even accept returns without certain required forms or schedules. In any of these cases, a taxpayer is not required to submit an amended tax return. For information on state tax rates, check out the list of states by income tax rate from foreignusa.com.

Taxpayers who are required to file an amended tax return should know the following:

  • Taxpayers can now file an electronic Form 1040-X only for the 2019 tax year. Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns can also be amended electronically if the original 2019 tax return was also filed electronically.
  • For taxpayers that filed a paper 1040-X, they will need to mail it to the IRS. The IRS provides locations on where an amended return can be filed based on location on their website. Taxpayers filing form 1040-X in response to an IRS notice should mail it to the address indicated on the notice.
  • Taxpayers who chose not to file their 1040-X electronically or don’t have the option to file electronically should complete a paper form 1040-X.
  • Tax filers should attach any forms or schedules that have been affected by the change.
  • Form 1040-X should be filed separately for each tax year. Every amended return should be placed in its own envelope. The year of the original return tax year should be entered at the top of Form 1040-X.
  • Additional taxes should be paid in order to limit interest and penalties.
  • Taxpayers should file Form 1040-X to claim their refund within three years from the date they filed their original tax return.

What Startups Should Do When a Software Problem Happens

Fixing a software problem can be a huge headache for many startup owners. However great the technology may be, it’s only great while everything works spotlessly; otherwise, it will just waste your time and resources. If you are experiencing a software problem within your startup, here are some of the steps you should follow to fix it as soon as possible and with the least amount of stress.

Find out What the Problem Is

It doesn’t matter how big or small the problem you are confronting is, as a rule of thumb, there is only one type of approach that will guarantee you success, and that is an “effective problem-solving” approach. To effectively decrease the time needed for the problem to be solved, you must have a fundamental and technical understanding of all the technology your startup uses. The unique perception of your specific startup technology will give you a unique and better insight to solve the problem at hand. Once you have found out what the exact problem with your software is, you will know what you are going up against. Only then will you be able to make the best plan to solve the problem, and you will be able to compare the strategies to decide which steps should be taken.

Work With Your Team

No matter how big or small the business is, there are always different branches within it that work together. One important question that needs to be asked is exactly which branch of your startup is experiencing software problems. A good way to find out if the problem is in accounting or, for example, in the sales department of your startup is to consult your whole team. If you don’t know who is experiencing the problem, you won’t be able to put your best efforts into solving it, and you could end up in an opposite direction that doesn’t even pose a problem. Find out if the problem at hand is experienced by a single user, a whole department, or the entire main office, including the remote branch offices.

Bring in Some Outside Opinions

As we’ve mentioned earlier, sometimes it can become clear that you need to involve someone outside of your company to solve the problem your startup is experiencing. Luckily for you, many experienced services offer you IT support for small business, should you need it. These services come in handy if your startup has a busy schedule, which prevents you from using the expertise of your employers to solve the problem without getting behind on your work. Some additional benefits of hiring experts outside of your office are that they specialize in solving these kinds of problems daily, leaving them with a lot of experience. And experience offers them unique insight into the problem, which allows them to solve it much faster.

IT Troubleshooting

If you happen to be experiencing a severe problem, you might get tangled up in all the possible solutions and the questions that lead to it. Getting ahead of yourself can only irritate you and your employees, meaning the problem is yet to be solved, but with an inconvenience too. To help you improve your troubleshooting skills, the most helpful questions you can ask are when the problem started and whether it’s constant or it happens on occasion. Furthermore, you should ask if some recent changes could potentially be the cause of the problem your startup is experiencing. If you can recreate the problem, take the time to do so because it can be very beneficial in cases where you might need to involve third-party technical support.

Avoid the Same Problem in the Future

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get after you’ve solved the problem that was giving you a huge headache. It doesn’t matter who solved it, whether it was the staff within your startup or you went to help an outside source, the problem is bygones. You should enjoy this problem while it lasts. After all, as you very well know, you need to make sure you don’t go down this path ever again because you’ve spent so much time stressing out, and you probably spent a lot of money. Once the problem gets solved for good, focus your attention on finding the cause and do your best to prevent the same from happening to your startup ever again.

Being at the helm of a startup means there are many aspects for you to handle at once, however, any kind of IT issue should be your priority. Luckily for you, if you follow all these steps, your software problem is very likely to disappear at the speed of light. Be sure to prevent this problem from ever having to occur again.

The Most Useful Software for Startups in the SaaS Sector

Every startup is an adventure. It promises even more challenges for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup due to the revenue model’s peculiarities and severe competition in the industry.

Luckily, the market abounds in software that can help emerging companies address those challenges and manage their growth. These tools help with the critical business areas of product development, communication and collaboration, marketing, sales, payment processing, customer support, and tracking SaaS KPIs (key performance indicators).

This post shortlists ten essential SaaS startup software. Whether you are about to enter the game or are an experienced player, you may come across a tool that will help improve your existing processes and boost your business.

Internal Team Communications

You will find Slack in every top-10 of startup software. This cloud-based tool makes communications among the team members more comfortable, transparent, and efficient. Its plentiful customizable notifications, direct messaging, audio and video calls, conversation archives, and file-sharing features facilitate collaboration. Slack has mobile apps for iOS and Android and can be integrated with your Trello or sales CRM to provide your team with automated notifications about the deals. You may even set up a Slack bot for your office Spotify account and manage your music playback from it.

Project Management Software for Startups

In the area of product development and management, three startup tools are recommended:

  • Basecamp helps every team member stay on the same page and become more organized and productive. It empowers teams to communicate better with fewer meetings. They can assign tasks, collaborate on projects, track each one’s milestones, manage deadlines and workload, receive notifications, and share files from one platform.
  • JIRA’s flexible infrastructure and ease of configuration were designed for Agile technical development teams. The system helps manage the software development and testing cycle, centralizing all tasks and documentation and streamlining the tracking of issues and bugs. Its low cost and cloud-based deployment suit startups perfectly.
  • Trello adheres to the kanban system and facilitates task prioritization, project planning, task assignments, and progress tracking. Trello boards may act as your internal product road map, your customer-facing product road map, content marketing planning tool, and more.

Marketing Tools

Newsletters will be at the core of every SaaS startup’s marketing efforts: emails are a great way to update customers on their news and features. MailChimp is arguably the most effective email marketing service, particularly praised for its ease of use. The software helps create smart marketing campaigns and offers plenty of ready-made and customizable newsletter templates to create appealing emails. It’s free until the company has over 2,000 contacts.

Social networks provide another excellent channel for conveying your product’s message and connecting with the audience. Buffer is one of the best tools to help SaaS startups maintain an active presence across Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. They can centralize multiple platforms, pre-schedule social media posts and presences, and view the analytics of their social media activities.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Salesforce CRM software enables startups to do everything under one roof: partner management, opportunity management, sales data management and forecasting, and marketing automation complete with a contact manager to aggregate the information and assess leads. The contact manager module covers all essential customer information like the company’s history, social status, reputation in the market, and communication details. The reports and dashboard feature facilitates in-depth analysis. Salesforce excels on pipeline reporting and campaign management, and their customer experience management solution also finds out information about the competition and provides deal-tracking functionality.

Financial Reporting

Baremetrics offers metrics and engagement tools for SaaS businesses. This powerful software allows SaaS startups to follow their Monthly Recurring Revenue, Net Revenue, Average Revenue Per User, Customer Lifetime Value, User Churn, Active Customers, and other critical business metrics. The revealed insights will help the leadership make profitable decisions and plan and strategize for growth years down the road.

Customer Support

Customer support can make or break your SaaS enterprise. The cloud-based Zendesk is arguably the most popular help-desk solution. It’s easy to deploy and implement, integrates with a company’s email, website, and social media, and can handle thousands of tickets daily. Accessible on desktop and mobile devices, it provides a handy and flexible solution for small businesses that have a home-based, freelance support team.

Customer and User Feedback Software

Customer feedback is one of the SaaS KPIs: you will need to continuously collect customer feedback, monitor the customers’ behavior, and get actionable insights for enhancing user experience and increasing conversions.

Hotjar is an all-in-one analytics, conversion rate optimization, and feedback tool that visualizes your users’ behavior and helps understand your customers’ concerns and requirements. The tool’s heat maps and screen recordings will show you where your site visitors are facing issues, the site areas popular with users, and what catches their eye. Features like conversion funnels, creation and distribution of surveys, and form analysis will provide additional insight into your users’ behavior.

Final Thoughts

For a SaaS start-up business, software choices largely determine the enterprise’s success or failure. Nowadays, these tools are almost indispensable for day-to-day management, monitoring product and customer success, boosting growth, and strategizing a startup’s future.

This post presents only a drop in the ocean of economically viable and useful Saas Companies to try. The key to success is to research, pick the ones that meet your business needs best, and use them regularly and for a long time. In that case, they will tremendously improve your business processes, boost the teams’ efficiency and effectiveness, and help the entrepreneurs focus on growth.

A Black Friday Sale Guide To Help You Get All the Gadgets You Need

Black Friday is an exciting time of year because of all the amazing savings you can find. This is a time when you are able to score those amazing gifts for yourself or your friends and family at significantly reduced prices than you would find on normal shopping days.

With all of that in mind, Black Friday can still be hard to navigate for the less savvy buyer. There are a few tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind to make sure you actually get the deals you want on those special gadgets. Check out this short guide on getting the gadgets you need this Black Friday.

1. Compare Your Options 

You really need to be a more savvy tech shopper by focusing on the comparisons between offers. Not every retailer is going to give you the same savings on the same product. A pair of headphones could be $200 on one site, and $230 on the other. While $30 isn’t a huge amount, it adds up when you start buying more and buying gifts, either for yourself or others. Shop around as much as possible to double-check if the deals are even, and look for things like free shipping or extras thrown in.

2. Find Coupon Offers

Coupons are a lifesaver for Black Friday deals and shopping in general, but for gadgets and tech products, that percentage of savings could really help you out. Even NordVPN coupon codes can help you save, so it’s not just on physical products. These coupons can help you save on software bundles, tech gadgets, and just about anything so you have to channel your inner saver and search far and wide for in-store coupon offers and online coupons. Adding up these savings can help you cut down the final sale price enough that you can spend on other deals.

3. Wait For More Deals

Black Friday is usually about a week-long for most retailers or at least the American Thanksgiving weekend, but the deals don’t start and end in this week. There is another special day called Cyber Monday where tech deals become much more prominent. Being patient can help you score better deals with a little special know-how. There could be some eye-popping savings, but that doesn’t mean you need to jump on them right away. If you take a little time to compare prices, as mentioned earlier, and wait for more retailers to offer savings then you can be sure to keep your budget in-tact on any tech you want.

4. Check For Used Products

Not all used products are a good deal, which is a fair disclaimer for you heading into Black Friday shopping. Still, it can be fruitful for you to be a little more frugal and find deals on tech products that are in-store certified used. There are usually two types, open box and refurbished. Open-box is a product that could have been quickly returned with no problems, or refurbished, which is a little more used but still very much operational. These gently used or returned items could be your ticket to saving money on gadgets.

5. Find Price Matched Gadgets

Another trick is to find price matching tech products. A lot of retailers will use price matching to allow you to compete with other shop prices. If a laptop is $1200 on another site and the retailer you are buying from has it for $1500, sometimes they can match the price to keep you as a customer. This doesn’t work all the time, but many places do it to ensure that you spend your money with them.

6. Wait Until Next Year

The last piece of advice is not what everyone wants to hear but could be useful if you don’t want to get buyer’s remorse. Sometimes it could be simply better to not buy that new gadget and save your money until next year when a new version comes out. Technology is improving at rapid rates so by next year, it could be even better and you can spend your money on other gifts for yourself. If it is for a family member or friend, then by all means go for it, but if it’s for yourself, then think if you can wait until next Black Friday for a good deal.

Black Friday is once again here and for all your gadget needs, you should use these tips and tricks to help score those amazing deals and come away happy with your shopping experience.

Awesome Gmail Features You Probably Didn’t Know

A lot of people have one goal when it comes to their email. They just choose the right email service, set it up and that’s it. Most of them are not even interested in many different features one has to offer.

On the other hand, there are those curious users that are always looking for something hidden and at the same time beneficial for their email. It can either be an interesting feature or an overlooked trick that makes things much more exciting.

This type of obsession may lead you to some spectacular discoveries. If you are currently using Gmail and you haven’t uncovered anything interesting yet, check out our list of things that cannot be spotted easily.

Hidden Gems Of Gmail

Switching Accounts

This option is available to iPhone users for quite some time, but now, those who have Android phones accounts can do this too! This is a great alternative for those who have more than just one account.

The feature is called swipe-to-switch which means that it enables you to swipe (both up or down) on your Gmail Account avatar that can be seen in the top-right corner and to switch between Gmail accounts. Once you do this, the icon on your first profile will be changed.

Free Phone Calls

There are many applications, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook messenger, etc. Even Microsoft allows you to do this, through Outlook, however, you have to leave the program and go straight to Skype.

With Gmail, things are much simpler. All you have to do is to press ” Make a call “, at the bottom of the screen and just insert the number you wish to contact. Then you’ll be connected through your webcam microphone. All calls to Canada or the United States are free for the time being. 

We Bet You Didn’t Know This Either!

Restore Things

Many people have accidentally deleted something they weren’t supposed to. Don’t worry. Even if this happens to you, those deleted events can luckily be restored. How, you wonder… There are a few easy steps that have to be taken.

  1. Go to your Calendar and open My calendars list
  2. Hover over the calendar and next to the name, press the Down arrow Trash
  3. Go to the box that is placed next to the event you want to restore and do one of these things: click Restore selected events if you want to restore deleted event or click Delete Forever if you want this event to be gone forever
  4. If you want to remove every single event, just press Empty trash now that’s placed at the top

Mute Fiddling Conversations

Most of us are constantly bombarded by boring, insignificant spam emails or at times someone may send you an email chain with a bunch of people you do not even know. Then you start receiving their replies and you suddenly realize you are stuck in a never-ending cycle.

How can you escape from it? Fortunately, Gmail allows its users to simply silence any conversation that is irrelevant to them. All you have to do is to select that boring email and tap on the three-dot icon on the bar above. If you do this, you never see these emails again because they will go directly to the archive. 

Undo Sent Messages

How many times have you unintentionally sent a message to someone? It has probably happened a lot. Well now, thanks to Gmail, you can easily correct this mistake by utilizing the undo-send button.

This is probably one of the biggest benefits that Gmail has to offer. Firstly, it was just a tester from Google Labs. In the meantime, it has received a lot of positive reviews and comments from the user, hence, they decided to turn it into a feature.

If you want to use it, just go to the “General” option and press the “Enable Undo Send” button to cancel the message. Once you send an email and you will notice an undo link in a yellow floating box. Just click on it and you will be presented with two options – to delete it forever or to re-edit it. 

So Many Wonderful Features!

It’s easy to see based on this list that Google (Gmail) is taking care of its users by simplifying email management. Now, you do not have to spend hours and hours searching for different options.

Additionally, Gmail is great because it is packed with numerous amazing features. And to think we named only a couple of them. Needless to mention, that you can use them in your marketing activities, all you need to do is to get a few established Gmail accounts, Accsmarket might help you with that. All these elements make this service even more outstanding than it appears at first glance. So what are you waiting for? Go and explore it!

6 Tips for Creating a Comfortable and Effective Workstation

Various studies have shown that a person’s workstation can affect the quality of their work by a sizable margin. This has pushed employers to exert effort to provide the best possible work environment for their employees to thrive and thus increase productivity and work quality in the office. There are different factors to take into consideration when thinking of ways to increase workplace efficiency and productivity. Having some tips to help you through the process can make it much easier and more organized.

1- Organizing a Workstation Layout

Speaking of a more organized process to make your workplace more efficient, the first tip that you can use is properly organizing your workstation layout. A person’s environment greatly affects their thinking patterns. If you are surrounded by any kind of clutter or have a messy workstation in general, you will have a hard time focusing on work. You will find yourself becoming distracted and you will feel frustrated. You might even decide to take more breaks than necessary just because of how frustrated you are because of the mind-blocks that you have. Decluttering your workstation and keeping it minimalistic can help clear up your mind and help you focus on the tasks at hand. This is because your brain is assaulted by hundreds of different stimuli at once, so it cannot really focus on the task you want to get done.  

2- Investing in Adjustable Office Furniture

Convertible standing desks and swivel chairs with adjustable back support can accomodate the needs of the individual using them depending on their height, weight, and preference (whether they prefer to work in a standing or sitting position). Forcing yourself to do a time-consuming task in one position can be physically straining, especially if you’re compelled to stay seated for long hours. Purchasing padded and height-adjustable chairs will ensure that you’re always sitting in the correct posture. Further, monitors should always be placed at eye-level, so it’s also a good idea to invest in monitor stands to position your displays in a way that would not strain your eyes or neck.

3- Having the Right Workstation Furniture

A tip that could prove to be really helpful in making sure that you are productive is getting the right office furniture. Being comfortable gives you the benefit of being able to do work for long periods of time without getting tired or feeling irritated. One of the basic workstation furniture pieces that you need to get a hold of is a good-quality desk. If you want an added boost in productivity. The design of the Desky dual ergo edge sit stand desk gives you an idea of what an ideal ergonomic desk should look like and how its design allows you to work comfortably without having to damage your back and neck. Getting a desk that allows you to work when you are sitting down in a chair, or standing up will make a bigger difference in your productivity than you might ever think. If you are not the type of person who can concentrate on work while standing, then you can invest in a high-quality chair that gives you the support you need while working.

4- Adjusting Monitor Settings

If your work requires constant use of a laptop or computer, then it might be a good idea to adjust your monitor settings. Eye strain is one of the side effects that many office workers face when they have to do work on their computer for hours at a time. Eye strain is caused by the intensity of the light being emitted by the monitor as well as fonts that could cause you to constantly squint at the screen. Adjusting your screen’s settings to ensure that you can work without harming your eyesight is important if you want to be productive.

5- Having Enough Space

If you still haven’t set up your workstation, then this is your chance to ensure you start off on the right foot. Make sure that you have a productive time at work by giving yourself the space you need to move around. If you have limited space to work with, get smaller furniture pieces so that you have space to roam or to move around without bumping into things or other people going about their day.

6- Having Better Access to Equipment

Having better access to equipment will help you get your work done faster because there is less of a chance of getting distracted by something else. Studies have shown that when employees need to navigate through the workplace carefully just to reach the equipment they have to use, they are less likely to do the task quickly. They get more easily distracted, not to mention that having limited access to office equipment such as printers or office supplies can derail work since they are necessary for most tasks.

Using these six diverse tips, you will be able to have the most productive and effective workstation ever. You do not have to worry about going home at the end of the day dissatisfied with the amount of work you finished. Better yet, you will have an easier time exercising your creativity and innovativeness so that you can be more efficient and productive.

Tech Upgrades to Modernize Your Business

Staying up to date is hugely important no matter what industry you are in as this allows you to stay competitive, streamline your business and satisfy the changing needs and expectations of your target customers. Those that fail to modernize will inevitably get left behind, but it can also be hard to stay current when there are so many developments and trends changing in every industry. Technology is one of the most effective ways to stay current, especially in a time when many astonishing developments have taken place in the tech industry. With this in mind, here are a few tech upgrades to make that will help to modernize your business.

Cybersecurity

First, you need to make sure that you are current when it comes to cybersecurity.

It is unfortunate, but this is an enormous and growing problem that affects businesses of all sizes and in all industries so you need to make sure that you have the best possible protection in place with antivirus software, a VPN, firewall, password managers and other cybersecurity solutions.

Remote Working Tech and Tools

Remote work was steadily becoming more common prior to the pandemic, but is now considered the new normal with many businesses planning to stick with remote work even once the pandemic is over as it can bring many perks for all. In order to take advantage of these benefits, a business needs to have the best remote work technology and tools available, including screen sharing software, video call software and anything else that will help to make remote work easier for staff.

Cloud Migration

Cloud computing can bring a wide range of benefits to a modern-day business, including reduced IT costs, access to virtually limitless computer resources, easier collaboration remotely and reduced IT maintenance. So, it is easy to see why so many businesses are migrating to the cloud. What is cloud migration? This is the process of moving your digital assets from old infrastructure to cloud infrastructure and it is an important way to modernize that could transform your business and improve daily operations.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is a type of tech that is becoming widespread and is no longer just seen as a futuristic type of technology in sci-fi movies. One of the best aspects of AI is that it can be used in so many ways, so getting to grips with this technology can help your business greatly and allow you to improve many areas. A few of the best uses of this type of tech include:

  • Data analysis
  • Process automation
  • Chatbots
  • Streamlining logistics
  • Predicting behavior
  • Improving marketing

Any business looking to modernize and stay current should consider these tech upgrades. Technology is one of the most effective ways to modernize a business and can help firms to succeed in several different ways, but it can also be challenging to keep up to date when there are so many impressive developments constantly being made. Starting with these will make a big difference and help your company to stay current.

How To Be Effective In Managing Your Expenses While You’re Out Traveling

When you are traveling, your whole routine gets disrupted – It can be difficult to stay organized. Although many of us associate traveling with taking time off, going on holiday and enjoying ourselves, others are required to travel constantly as part of their jobs.

When you travel as part of your work, you may be required to pay for everything yourself and keep track of your expenses so that you can claim your money from the company at a later date. This can be a headache considering that you are doing your job that has required you to travel, and also have to keep note of everything you spend your money on, not only to ensure that you can receive it back, but also making sure that you do not spend more than you should. In this article, we will advise you of how to be effective in managing your expenses while you’re out traveling, by keeping track of where the money goes and also by ensuring the amount spent remains as low as possible.

Understand Your Company’s Expense Policies

If your job requires you to travel often, whether you work for a company or are self-employed, you will have to submit expenses that are associated with the job that you do. It is crucial that you understand your company’s policies around expenses and reimbursement when you travel. Although this may sound like an obvious tip, not everyone knows exactly what type of expenses the company will cover and what the process of claiming your expenses entails, particularly if this is a new job for you. This is essential if you want to increase your efficiency and ability to manage your expenses while you’re traveling.

Keep All Evidence

You cannot forget that most companies will require evidence to go with the expenses claim submission to prove that you have indeed made that payment and that it was necessary as part of your time away for work. This evidence comes in the form of receipts, itineraries and invoices. Always ensure to keep all of these documents as well as make notes of where you spend the money and how much. This may seem a difficult chore at first, but it will quickly develop into a habit that will significantly improve how efficient you are at managing your expenses.

Put Evidence into Different Categories

We have discussed the importance of keeping your receipts safe. No matter how long you are away for, it is very likely you will have many different receipts for a diverse range of categories. It is a good idea to have different folders or envelopes, where you can keep all your receipts, invoices and any other evidence separate. This will make a significant difference when managing your expenses.

Get an Expenses Tracking App

Keeping track of your expenses is not an easy task when you are away. The experts behind Keeper Tax suggest using a mobile expense tracking software so that all the information is kept safe and in one place. This will make it much easier to manage all expenses and to submit the claim to your employer. Most of these apps even enable you to add the receipts and evidence of expenses so that it is less work for you.

Submit Your Report ASAP

Doing the expense report can be overwhelming, particularly when you are not organized to begin with. For this reason, many people end up losing money due a poorly written expense report or they simply find it easier to lose the money completely rather than submitting an expenses claim at all. This is why it is so necessary that you are organized from day one at managing your expenses, as it will ensure that you can submit this as soon as possible. You do not have to aim to have it done on the same day but at least within 48 hours.

Plan Ahead

One of the most important tips when managing your expenses, is to be organized and to plan ahead as much as you possibly can. This cannot be stressed enough. If you know that you will be away, make sure that you have an app where you can input your expense and keep track of these, ensure that you remember to get evidence with every expense, and that you separate them as we discussed above. The better prepared you are, the more efficient you will be when managing your expenses.

Managing your expenses can be demanding when you are away. When it comes to money, companies often want to ensure that they are not being tricked and that the expense made was essential. Make sure to follow some of the tips above, which will hopefully support you to effectively manage your expenses while you’re out traveling.

What Can You Do With a Self Directed IRA?

The prevailing belief towards getting wealthy and accumulating strong self-worth is through hard work. While this may be true to an extent, the real way to build wealth is by creating multiple streams of income and earnings. Investing is one of the quickest ways to start setting your future self up for bigger gains and a better life.

The best way to be able to retire comfortably is by building a retirement portfolio through income investing sooner rather than later. How exactly do you start investing? Well, one of the safest options around is a Roth IRA, which works as a retirement account of sorts, but obviously, it is a little more complicated than that. There are also self-directed IRAs that have their own unique advantages, and here are some of the things you can do with a self-directed IRA.

More Portfolio Diversification 

Investing in many different retirement plans or other investing portfolios limits you to a select few assets. Common ones include mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds. While these are usually safe and proven ways to help build your money, there are so many more options out there to focus only on these few. Being able to diversify your portfolio with rare Earth metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum), REITs, land trusts, start-ups, equity, and emerging assets like cryptocurrencies helps create a much broader and potentially more lucrative long term investing. Self-directed allows you more freedom to choose what to invest in.

More Control Over Investing

Just like you have more control over how to diversify your portfolio, you can expect to be able to grow your knowledge of investing and financial literacy regarding assets as you continue to grow your self-directed IRA. Learning the basics is always important for opening a Roth IRA, but you also need to understand that you have to do it yourself eventually. Financial advisors are great at what they do, but the information is out there, and learning while you invest is always an option that is available.

As a word of caution, investing is not a game, and people can lose a lot of their money when they take risks that are emotionally driven instead of backed by knowledge. It can be incredibly hard to build wealth when you are investing without knowledge, so self-directed lets you have more control over what you do and how you learn, but it does not mean your investments will always go up.

Long Term Wealth Planning

Back to the beginning, making your money solely through income will be able to sustain you, but it will never get you rich unless you are earning a doctor’s salary, so for that, you need to invest. The same applies to building wealth that you can pass down. Generational wealth, as it is called, is lost after just two generations because there is no educating the youth of a family on the power of things like compound interest. Being able to set up your grandchildren one day with a strong portfolio of investments should be something to consider now while you have the time, or at least pass it down to your own children eventually.

Building generational wealth can be done with other types of investing accounts, but a self-directed IRA has an interesting benefit. There is a provision that allows the tax-free gains from the IRA to be passed down, which helps set up your beneficiary with the growth you made. Over a long period of time, the right assets can lead to the planning that helps a family become sustainable and self-dependent with their money.

Better Protection of Assets

It is somewhat of an oxymoron to say that a self-directed IRA provides better protection for your assets, but there is a reason to make that claim. While you are in charge of your investments and there is no hand-holding from a financial advisor or brokerage firm to help you, you are able to move around your assets to protect from downturns much easier than some other types of accounts.

During an economic downturn, your stocks may be stuck losing value, and selling them would be a bad way to reposition yourself. With a self-directed IRA, having a diverse portfolio that allows you to shift your assets around provides some extra protection against volatility. Of course, it requires savvy investments in the first place, but having multiple exit strategies is better than being funneled into net losses for your assets.

Using a self-directed IRA is not for everyone, but it does allow you to do some interesting things with your investments to grow your wealth and your future generation’s wealth. Now that you know some of the things you can do with a self-directed IRA, you can make a better choice on what type of investing account to choose.