Archives for July 2013

Reasons Why Businessmen Should Go For Modern and Updated Office Premises

Some people might think that paying attention to office furniture, lay-out, décor, and other physical attributes of the office premises is not worth the time and effort of businessmen. On the contrary, the kind of atmosphere in the workplace actually has an effect on the employees’ productivity and consequently the company’s profitability. Well thought out and planned office premises have positive effects on the perceptions and attitudes of both employees and customers. Business owners with premises that are too drab to stimulate positive energies might want to consider either renovating or moving to another building. Those with limited financial resources can turn to funding options like Denver apartment building renovation loan.

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Employees are motivated to work harder and conduct themselves properly when their work environment looks and feels professional. Walls painted, papered, or carpeted in the right hues as well as lighting fixtures that offer just the right amount of illumination are among the factors that business owners should take a look at. There are studies in the power of color and light in influencing attitude and stimulating mental processes. Vibrant and dynamic colors are great for sales oriented business organizations. Those in the health and wellness industry might have to go for muted shades that are relaxing yet energizing at the same time. Of course, the rest of the decorative elements and the furniture choices will all have to be chosen based on functionality as well. Ergonomic office furniture in different designs and colors are available to fit workplaces in various industries. With money from an affordable building renovation loan, businessmen have the freedom to make the necessary changes to update their office premises.

Modern and updated office premises create a positive image of the company as proactive and responsive in the minds of its customers. The customer’s impression of the kind of service a business provides is formed way before he shakes the company representative’s hand. The moment the customer walks through the door of the office, he is already exposed to various elements that influence the way he thinks about the company. Every business around would want their customers to feel nothing less than comfortable and agreeable when they visit their office premises. Renovating the premises with a more customer-friendly layout and ambiance is a good idea for any business. Even those who are quite irate would most likely be appeased to a certain degree when the feel the warm welcome and enjoy the comfortable surroundings in any office.

Businessmen looking for a building renovation loan can find one that carries affordable interest rates and manageable terms. The best financing instrument that these businessmen can turn to are those that: provide them with ample funds for their renovating project, offers low interest rates, and allows for reasonable repayment periods.

Image Credit:
Rosen Georgiev – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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3 Debts to Look out For: Zombie Debts that Never Die

A life without debt is a very ideal life. This is why many people work hard to settle the debts they accumulated over time, but imagine your surprise and frustration when one of your debt obligations, which you thought was already cleared and done long ago, rises again to pester you.

zombie debts

Here are three of the most common zombie debts that you have to look out for and their possible solutions.

1. Joint credit obligations and divorce. While divorce ideally shifts monthly credit obligations from the ex-spouses, court orders do not really release either from their underlying credit obligations. The only one who can clear this is the creditor. Once an ex-spouse fails to pay a joint credit, creditors can sue both parties for a loan default. If an ex-spouse default a payment, go to court and try to enforce the decree of divorce. It also helps to monitor monthly payments for joint credit obligations and see your credit report occasionally. Creditors seldom releases anybody from this kind of credit obligation, thus be vigilant.

2. Loan Guaranty. Banks and lenders usually require an individual to guarantee a loan. A guarantor cannot solely revoke his or her guaranty. Providing a written revocation of guaranty has very little effect and will only agitate the creditor. Only when the subject loan is paid or, once both parties resolve a loan agreement to mutually rescind the guaranty in writing will it expire. As guarantor, you have to ensure that your guaranty is has specific reference to the date and amount of loan made. This is to avoid confusion once the loan is paid off and the guarantee is extinguished. Zombie debts arise from loan guaranties when lenders attach old extinguished guarantees to outstanding unrelated credit obligations.

3. Bankruptcy repayments. When a debtor files for bankruptcy with a wage earner plan, he or she is required to pay back creditors according to legal formula and court order. Monthly payments and mortgages can be reduced and unsecured debt balances can be lowered up to 10% of the existing balances. However, if a debtor defaults payment according to the court ordered payment plan, the bankruptcy maybe dismissed and all former balances on obligations will be brought back as if nothing happened. A debtor will start paying from the beginning. To avoid zombie debts arising from bankruptcy, be sure that your proposed payment is affordable and be sure to monitor payment history with the court regularly.

Keeping record of your monthly payments will help you work your way against zombie debts and retired credit obligation that rises as unpaid obligations. Keep track of important dates and amounts, releases and discharges and securing financial and legal documents is vital in your legal and financial planning.

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num_skyman – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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How Does Salary Sacrifice Work?

According to Section 62 ITEPA 2003, salary sacrifice occurs when the employee relinquishes the right to receive a portion of cash compensation owed under the employment agreement. The salary sacrifice is often made in return for the employer’s willingness to provide non-cash benefits. The employer agrees to vary the employee’s ‘terms and conditions’ of employment as these relate to compensation or remuneration. If the employee’s current employment agreement states he receives £40,000 per year (without benefits). The employee negotiates that, in lieu of £5,200 in cash compensation, he will receive childcare vouchers over the year (e.g. 52 vouchers valued at £100 apiece). This exchange is referred to as salary sacrifice under the law. Employees may sacrifice other cash payments from a employer, such as a bonus payment.

Salary sacrifice benefits

Walter Sinclair and E. Barry Lipkin (“St. James’s Place Tax Guide 2012-2013,” 2012) write that salary sacrifice, also called salary exchange, is not the same as other ‘net pay arrangement’ schemes. Salary sacrifice occurs “where salary is reduced in order to boost employer contributions and avoid a liability to National Insurance (because pay is never received as such). Employers may elect whether they wish to operate a relief at source or net pay arrangement for all members.”

According to author Nick Braun, (“Retire Rich With a Self Sacrifice Pension,” 2012)salary sacrifice can help employees increase their pensions by as much as £50,000 whilst saving on taxes and national insurance. Braun recommends structuring a ‘salary sacrifice pension’ can help people live better in retirement.

EIM42780 (Salary sacrifice: contributions to a registered pension scheme: income tax effects, Sections 62 and 308 ITEPA 2003) explains the impact of income tax effects in exchange for an employer’s payment of a certain sum into a registered pension scheme for an employee’s financial benefit. According to law, “potential future cash remuneration is not taxable; the pension contribution made by the employer in return for the sacrifice will be an employer’s contribution.

Successful salary sacrifice

A non-director level, senior employee receives an annual cash bonus. The amount of bonus received is calculated on the employer’s annual profitability. (Therefore, the bonus received is not guaranteed annual compensation.) The employee is advised that the annual bonus payment is £10,000 in a letter. The employee learns he may choose between receipt of the cash bonus or ask the employer to contribute the bonus to a registered pension scheme for the employee’s financial benefit. By agreeing to contribute the bonus to the pension scheme, the employee completes a written authorization. In doing so, he gives up the right to change his mind about receiving cash proceeds of the awarded bonus amount.

According to EIM42760, the sacrifice is considered successful because of proper timing. The bonus would have been booked as taxable money earnings if not contributed to the registered pension scheme. The revised ‘terms and conditions’ of the employer and employee demonstrates that the employee received lesser taxable cash compensation as well as a non-taxable benefit in the pension. Therefore, the £10,000 is not taxable.

Unsuccessful salary sacrifice

EIM42786 demonstrates how salary sacrifice attempts can go awry. An employer maintains a registered pension scheme for a business employing 20 persons. An insurance company manages the scheme. Every employee may opt to join the pension scheme (and determine the amount of salary to be committed towards a monthly pension contribution). The employee agrees to send a personal cheque or arrange for automatic bank withdrawal of funds by the insurance firm. The employer collects all employee contributions participating in the scheme and sends a single cheque for the aggregate employee contributions to the insurer. Alternatively, the employer may agree to automatically withdraw funds from employees’ monthly pay. The employees agree to allow the employer to automatically deduct pension scheme contributions from the wage packet.

This is an example of an unsuccessful salary sacrifice. Unfortunately, the necessary revision of compensation terms and conditions does not occur here. Each employee is still entitled to cash compensation levels as before. The employee asks the employer to automatically debit a portion of cash remuneration on behalf, in order to make the employee’s pension contribution. Each employee participating in the scheme is taxed on the continued level of cash compensation. Of course, full tax relief is available on employee contributions in the pension scheme, up to a maximum amount of 100 per cent of employment remuneration.

Jessica Noonan writes on various personal finance topics including salary packaging and novated leases. Connect with Jessica on Google+ now!

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Secrets to Success: Investment Tips from Successful Investors

Start up investors today look up to some of the most successful investors who made it big in stock trading. Idealistically, they believe that they can also make it big when luck is on their side, but unknown to many, some of the most successful investors have come a long way in the business. It is not merely about luck, but a series of experiences and learnings that made them experts in the field today. There are no sure-fire investment tips and young investors can expect a couple of rough days in the beginning. Of course, successful investors also share their secrets and some investment tips they’ve learned over the years.

They trade brokerage accounts regularly. Over time, you will realize that even the good stocks have very little or no movement at all. While traders buy and hold stocks for some time for it to appreciate, expert investors trade some and hold on to some depending on the potential of the stocks to appreciate. Bottom line is, you have to sell, trade and hold on to your stocks to make money.

They study their investment. Experts have painstakingly learned the risks attached to stock investing. Thus, they spend time and effort to study the companies and performances for specific period of time before deciding to invest in their stocks. Doing this helps minimize their risks and profit more from their wise investments.

They build a diversified portfolio. Different companies have different risks and susceptibility to changes in economic trends. Not all are affected in certain trends because of their different niche, this is why expert investors suggest choosing a diversified investment portfolio. If a specific market is slow-moving, the others could be picking up, ensuring that your total investment is not subject to the same economic vagaries at once.

They patronize companies with products they love. Expert investors buys-into companies whose products they love. They are confident that if they love the product, others will too and the potential of the company’s stock to appreciate is high in the market.

They play with penny stocks. An alluring quality of penny stock is that they have very low costs and you can acquire large quantities with a little money. On the other hand, these stock also some with high volatility and risks. Experts’ investment tips include being bold, taking risks and playing around penny stocks because you can make good profit with a marginal upward shift of its value with your large stock quantity on-hand.

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Globalization and Its Influences on Project Management Styles

Project management has become a highly-sought after executive skill in today’s global market. Offices and workplaces now utilize advance technologies that makes life easier – and the world, smaller than ever. Several years ago, work trends are limited to communication within the same workplace, and the vendors, suppliers and clients are all in the same region. But because of globalization and the wider reach of communication setup, work settings now spreads out to different corners of the world. This trend will most likely persist into the future and bring in better and more reliable methods of communication to accommodate the changes brought about by globalization.

With this, management’s main concern is to cope with growing complexity of projects and organizational culture which is also influenced by borderless work settings. Executives now deal and work with people from different countries, cultures and work habits, but with the right project management styles, they can adjust and accommodate changes without sacrificing the organization’s core values and work ethics.

While globalizations have changed the way people communicate with each other and now work across different locations and function, organization’s culture and style still plays an important role in determining how project management is planned, initiated, implemented, monitored and controlled. Thus, it is very important for a manager to understand the influences of globalization to his organization’s culture and determine the management styles that needs to be tweaked or adjusted to cope up with the occurring changes. A management technique applied correctly will be welcomed and applied by the team, while those that do not seem appropriate will directly get feedback from them. In a more traditional environment, some people may be hesitant to apply and use new management styles in techniques.

When it comes to project management, there is no single set of methodologies that can be applied for all situations. What is effective in a manufacturing company will not be applicable to an organization under an oil and gas industry. You have to realize that each project is unique and adjustments will also rely on the kind of organization you have, your organizational culture and on how globalization affects you. These changes do not happen overnight, but over time, people will slowly accept new techniques to adapt and sustain the organization.

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