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Investments: The Benefits of Low-Risk CDs

Posted on June 23rd, 2017

Choosing the right investments can be challenging, especially if you are not willing to take large risks with your savings. Low-risk investments that yield a good return seem like having your cake and eating it too, but this can be possible with CDs or Certificates of Deposit.

With investment advising services, we help clients make smart choices about their money. If you’ve been recommended a CD, read over the following guide to gain an understanding of this option.

What is a CD?

This type of certificate is provided by banks and credit unions. Similar to a savings account, a CD will provide a return on your initial investment, but at a higher yield. Investors should note that unlike a money market or traditional savings account, you do give up the option of withdrawing your money whenever you feel like it. The terms of your CD will include a period of months or years before your investment is considered mature and is then available for withdrawal.

Why Choose Investment CDs or Certificates of Deposit?

Many clients choose this approach to saving and investing as it comes at a low-risk. Any money you deposit with a trusted institution is backed by the FDIC, so you never stand the chance of losing your entire investment. CDs also come with a pre-determined interest rate, so you know exactly what you’re getting into and what you can expect.

Savings and money market accounts can have interest rates as low as .07, depending on the area and which bank you choose. However, CDs can provide .25 to upwards of 2% interest.

Calculating the Return on your Credit Deposit

With the benefits associated with this predictable investment, it’s time to figure out what you actually stand to gain by placing money into one.  Annual percentage rates (APR) vary by the bank, term, and initial investment.  Before getting started, determine how much of a deposit you can put into the account and how many years you would like this money to mature. Consider whether the money is intended for a time-sensitive purpose and plan accordingly. There is a fee for withdrawing early, so be mindful of how long you are willing to let your money sit in a bank account.

To get the best rate and return, check credit unions and local banks, as well as nationwide establishments. The highest yield CDs may have a deposit term of 5 years, or 60 months, and require a greater initial deposit.

Ask Bert Kraus CPA about Investments!

If you’re interested in getting started with a CD, contact our financial firm today. We partner with experienced financial planners and investment advisors to ensure your questions are answered.

The Benefits of Digital Accounting

Posted on June 7th, 2017

Computer software and the widespread use of internet technology have made just about everything easier, including running a business. Online banking, digital payments, and sophisticated software for balancing books and paying taxes are now a part of almost everyone’s lives. When was the last time you saw someone pull out a checkbook or balance their business accounts with a paper ledger?
Bert Kraus CPA is committed to providing business owners with the most beneficial digital technology available to make their lives easier. If you haven’t moved over to in-the-cloud or digital accounting yet, consider the benefits:

In-the-Cloud Software
Even computer software itself and the way we use it has changed since the days of locally installing a program and having to run/troubleshoot it ourselves. While this is still absolutely an option for business owners who want to run QuickBooks or other programs form their back offices, in-the-cloud software supports ease of access and use.

The technology we take everywhere with us, tablets and smartphones specifically, are fast and efficient, but don’t necessarily have the space or the hardware to install and run whole programs like QuickBooks. This has given rise to cloud-based software, which is hosted in a remote location and accessed by your mobile technology. This allows you to easily log into your secure account and see all of your business data, while your accountant can do the same.

File Sharing
Hosting services also extend to storing and sharing vital business data with outside professionals, such as investors, accountants, and advisors. Bert Kraus offers clients a convenient online portal where all documents he has prepared for their companies are available for viewing, saving, and sharing, should you need to pass that information along to others. You don’t have to make a trip to our office to have a document reviewed. If you’re ever confused about your finances, simply add a document to your portal, and contact our office to let us know what we can do.

Data Safety
If you like the idea of convenience, but aren’t sure about the safety of information stored in a third-party location, you aren’t alone. However, companies like QuickBooks and even our CPA firm understand this anxiety and have developed security measures to grow alongside digital technology.

If you have questions about advanced bookkeeping and accounting for your company with the help of efficient technology, ask our CPA firm how we can help!

What to Look For When Investing in New Technology

Posted on May 24th, 2017

Whether it’s hardware, software, or large tools needed to perform a job, it’s important to pick technology that fits your needs and daily business operations.

As a part of his services for small businesses, Bert Kraus works with start-ups to help them assemble everything they need for efficient operations. If you’re looking for important equipment to run your company, consider the following:

Computing Power: What are your Hardware Options or Limitations?

When looking for an accounting program to install on in-office equipment, you should evaluate if your machine can effectively process and store all of the information needed. This may not be a speed bump for someone with a current desktop computer, but if you have a laptop with limited computing power, such as a netbook, cloud-based accounting may be a better solution.
Business owners who want more processing power on machines that run daily operating tasks may need to look into upgrading current computer models. To optimize your business for mobile operation, invest tablets or other portable devices that can go with you to meetings or off-site work.

Who Needs Access to this Technology?

If you have business partners or trusted employees who are crucial to helping you run your business, they’ll likely need access to the new technology you’re investing in. Programs on your desktop computer should be able to support multiple user accounts with varying permissions.

You may also need these programs to be integrated and accessible with smartphone and tablet technology. In the event that an employee is taking a company mobile device outside of the office to do their job, it’s vital to ensure they have access to all programs and information necessary. If you pursue cloud-based data storage, you may allow secure access to members of your team and outsourced professionals, including your business accountant.

What Do you Need these Tools to Do for You?

Some businesses need to run reports at the touch of a button, while others need equipment that can handle postage processing, shipping, or large print jobs. Be sure to evaluate how your business could benefit from a specific technology before investing to ensure it will meet your needs. If you’re looking for fast and easy check printing, a small desktop printer may not do the job. You also need to look into the money it will cost to operate these devices, such as ink, subscription services, and packing materials.

Are Assets Depreciable?

Significant investments in property, large tools, and even cars can be reported on your taxes in way that supports limited liability over their useful lives. Be sure to seek assistance in calculating salvage cost compared to initial investment and obtain accurate numbers on obtainable deductions. If you have questions regarding whether an asset is depreciable, ask our business accountant.

Before you begin growing your company, make sure you have everything you need to support your success. Ask our small business accountant about making the right investments in tools and technology for your venture.