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Health Care Reform is here!  We’ve invited a special guest to discuss what to expect.  The rest of this post is written by John Heaton of JMH Insurance Solutions.  This is a MUST read for any small business, especially if you are in California!

 

It is finally here.  We are three weeks into open enrollment.  The Affordable Care Act has definitely seen its detractors but it has survived up to this point.  No matter what happens in Washington D.C., the exchange in California is here to stay (that is, at least for 2014).

So after 3 weeks what have we learned?

  • While it has had it’s issues, Covered California has been the most ready exchange in the country
  • The federal exchange has been a train wreck
  • Pricing is higher, but not as much as expected
  • Qualifying for a tax subsidy seems to be a moving target

And finally:

  • Most people still don’t know much about the Affordable Care Act and the mere topic scares them to death

For those of you who are still in the dark about “ObamaCare”, you are not alone.  Here is a quick rundown …

Covered California is the new state run exchange that serves as a market place to shop for and purchase health insurance.  On the exchange you can see the different carriers, plans, and if you qualify for premium assistance.  I was asked the other day, “Do I have to buy on the exchange?” The answer is no.  You will be able to purchase health insurance on or off the exchange.  As a matter of fact, the only reason to purchase on the exchange is if you want to qualify for a premium subsidy or a tax credit if you are a business owner.

Here a couple of highlights about the new health care law:

  • All plans starting in 2014 are guaranteed issue (meaning no one can get decline insurance coverage)
  • Everyone will be required to have health insurance or face a penalty
  • Businesses with 50 or more employees must offer health insurance (the enforcement of this has been pushed back to 2015)
  • All health insurance plans will have minimum essential coverage

As the short history of this legislation has shown, I anticipate more changes to the program in the next few months as we get closer to the actual roll-out of coverage Jan.1, 2014.

 

November 7th we will be hosting a special webinar dedicated to explaining what health care reform means to the small business.  Stay tuned for more info on how to sign up!

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Cloud-Accounting

 

So you’ve heard the buzz about the “Cloud”, and maybe even about how you should do it.  But now you’re wondering why you should do it!  If you’ve looked at our website, you know that we’re fans of computing in the Cloud.  So we’d like to give you the top 10 reasons why we think you’ll like it too:

  1. You can access your systems from anywhere.  You don’t have to be a “road warrior” to appreciate this.  How about taking the family on vacation while still having access to everything you need?  Or maybe, you want to use a different computer in different places?  Cloud systems allow the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. No costly servers to maintain.  This can be a large section of your expenses.  Did you know that maintaining your own server can cost anywhere from$5000 and up per year?  Cloud systems are usually just one monthly fee.  Annually, you usually end up saving lots of hard earned cash.
  3. Don’t have to worry about product updates.  Those pesky updates!  Everyone has them, and eventually you have to do them.  Not with Cloud systems.  The Cloud companies do them automatically and the only thing you have to worry about is a service outage at 1am on Saturday night!  Who’s working then?
  4. Don’t have to worry about paying extra for additional features from year to year.  A lot of traditional software packages make you purchase their new version from year to year to get new features.  Cloud systems follow a Software as a Service model, otherwise know as “SaaS”.  They’ll give you new features for the monthly fee you pay.  So no new fees for new features.
  5. Don’t have to worry about data backups.  Let’s face it, everyone is concerned about not losing their important records.  If not, you should be!  Generally, Cloud systems use monstrous server farms that are provided by companies that safe guard these farms from natural disasters, power loss, etc.  Chances are that if you house your own data backups, your data is way more susceptible to loss.
  6. Can easily share information.  Whether it’s with investors, or your accountant, sharing information is as easy as giving them access to your service.  No emailing spreadsheets or lengthy lists back and forth.  Talk about a time savings!
  7. Simpler interface.  Since Cloud systems are built to run in a web browser, most of the time the interface is cleaner, easier to use, and overall better functionality.  Which in turn means that you will spend less time learning a new software and more time using it.
  8. Are often part of more efficient workflows.  When you look for efficiency and time savings, Cloud systems are always in the top ranks.  Just like the points we mentioned above, Cloud systems are easier to use, and the user interface is just plain nicer.  Also, if you use one Cloud system, it’s just a hop skip and a jump to move to others.
  9. Adds to your bottom line and increases profit.  Times savings directly effects your bottom line.  When you can save time in using your business systems, you have more time to spend on income producing activities.  And, since Cloud systems are easier to use, you don’t have to clog  your brain with unnecessary stuff–which in turn gives you more brain power to spend on more important things–like growing your business.
  10. Allows you to spend more time with loved ones.  Since you’re saving all this time, you get to do more of what you love.  Whether it’s spending more time with the family, escaping to the hills for hiking/camping, or some much needed R & R at the beach, using Cloud system leads to more of whatever you like to do!

Here it iAccounting Solutions, we love Cloud systems!  By using Cloud systems like Xero Accounting, Vend, Freshbooks, Google Apps, & SmartVault, you can make things very easy, while adding to your bottom line.  Give it a chance, you just may be surprised!

Have questions?  Call, email, or chat with us anytime to find out how we can help you implement Cloud systems.