Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 28, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday July 28, 2012 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA


Measurable outcomes are the only true measurements of whether all of your activity is 
resulting in anything meaningful. Far too many business owners and managers awake 
throughout the workweek to tackle a Matterhorn of tasks, and at the end of each workday they 
find themselves asking, “What did I really accomplish?” They scurry about from meeting to 
meeting in between reviewing and responding to numerous phone calls, e-mails, texts and 
Twitters. Our misuse of the current communications technology is contributing to a mound 
of unfinished projects that contribute to a pattern of dysfunction that we incorrectly regard 
as productivity.

Reflect on the following questions to determine if you’re truly productive, or simply very 

1) What are the three major goals that you indicated (in writing) at the beginning of the 
prior three month period? 
2) Did you achieve at least one key milestone toward each of the goals?
3) If you had to pay someone else for what you accomplished during this time period, 
how would you rate their performance? (Note: This is not a score for your level of “activity” 
in your efforts to achieve the goal, rather a score of the final outcome from your personal 
4) Do you have more than three important goals or key tasks that remain as unfinished 
items after more than 30 days?
5) If you function in the same manner for the next 30 days, as you have done in the past 
30 days, do you anticipate that you will be satisfied with your progress?

Of course, these five items are not the end-all-be-all for the questions helpful to help you 
focus on what is important. However, an honest response to each of the questions will help 
you determine if productivity might be increased by finding a different approach to how you 
work, and most importantly, the tasks to which you apply your time and energy on a routine 

Productivity is not measured by the number of hours worked, e-mails answered or meetings 
attended. Tangible or measurable results, based on pre-established goals and objectives 
are the true indicators of whether you’re truly making strides or creating a dust cloud of 
activity, which serves to cloud the reality that you’re simply engaging in a web of self-created, 
overlapping activities. Improving your productivity is a matter of identifying and planning 
for specific goals. You cannot adequately measure your progress or attainment of a goal that 
you have not identified in advance. 


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
40 percent of all American workers will 
be self-employed by 2019. Working for yourself 
and starting your own business seems to 
be the trend. 

I’ve been self-employed for 15 years and I 
love helping others who want to have their 
own business too. We meet a lot of people at 
our social media education seminars that are 
starting a business and leaving a corporate 
job (by choice or by pink slip). They often 
ask how we’ve managed to stay in business. 
The answer boils down to one thing…people 
and the relationships we’ve built along the 

Today’s on-line tools make it possible to stay 
connected with all kinds of people. If you 
look at social media tools as a way to stay in 
touch with people who are important to your 
business, it makes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn 
and Pinterest easier to digest. 

Think about connecting with people you’ve 
worked with in the past who know your 
skills and your work ethic. I’m not saying you 
have to invite them all to Thanksgiving, just 
add them as a “friend” or “connection” and 
let them know you are still there! 

I’ve often received messages on Facebook 
from people I worked with in the past who 
want to refer business. I once received a 
message from someone I went to school 
with 30 years ago who needed some business 

Building a good social media presence makes 
it easy for people to find you so that they will 
think of you the next time they need or want 
to recommend your product or service.

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own 
HUTdogs, a creative services business that 
also specializes in Social Media Education 
for business owners. Join their conversation 
on Facebook and get good tips and tricks 
about social media,

Sign up for this event or view other upcoming 
classes at:

KNOW…………….. By Patricia Richardson, M.B.A

…Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, offers several options for payroll. As 
an employer, you have specific payroll responsibilities that are required by 
government agencies. These agencies can be federal, state, or local. Some of 
these responsibilities include, but are not limited to, withholding amounts 
from your employees’ compensation to cover income tax, social security, 
Medicare, and other payments. Reporting and depositing payroll taxes to the 
appropriate agency in an accurate and timely manner is vital to your business. Late or inaccurate 
deposits may result in penalties and interest charges. These complex payroll tax requirements may 
seem intimidating but by learning a few simple concepts, you will be able to understand your payroll 
responsibilities and choose the best method for meeting them. 

Intuit Online Payroll is a perfect companion for QuickBooks online because it does not require the 
actual purchase of QuickBooks because it allows “Anytime, Anywhere Access”. The Desktop payroll 
versions include Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Enhanced for Accountants and Intuit QuickBooks 
Payroll Enhanced. These two payroll options require the purchase of QuickBooks software and allow 
integration between the programs. This includes employee Direct Deposit and updated financial 
statements. Intuit Assisted Payroll and Intuit Full Service Payroll include several important functions 
of payroll (reporting and electronic filing) provided directly by Intuit. You can bet that Intuit will be 
ready come January 1st to implement all Federal and State tax changes.

…Straight from the IRS

Employers will be required to withhold an extra 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes for high-income 
earners.[i] The following questions and answers provide employers, employees and payroll service 
providers information that will help them as they prepare to implement the Additional Medicare 
Tax which goes into effect in 2013. The Additional Medicare Tax applies to individuals’ wages, other 
compensation, and self-employment income over certain thresholds; employers are responsible for 
withholding the tax on wages and other compensation in certain circumstances. The IRS has prepared 
these questions and answers to assist employers and payroll service providers in adapting systems and 
processes that may be impacted.


• When does Additional Medicare Tax start? Additional Medicare Tax goes into effect for taxable 
years beginning after December 31, 2012.
• What is the rate of Additional Medicare Tax? The rate is 0.9 percent.
• When are individuals liable for Additional Medicare Tax? An individual is liable for Additional 
Medicare Tax if the individual’s wages, other compensation, or self-employment income (together 
with that of his or her spouse if filing a joint return) exceed the threshold amount for the individual’s 
filing status:

Filing Status


Married filing jointly


Married filing separately




Head of household (with qualifying person)


Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child


• What wages are subject to Additional Medicare Tax? All wages that are currently subject to Medicare 
Tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax if they are paid in excess of the applicable threshold for 
an individual’s filing status. For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare Tax, see 
the chart, Special Rules for Various Types of Services and Payments, in section 15 of Publication 15, 
(Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide.
• What Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) compensation is subject to Additional Medicare Tax? All 
RRTA compensation that is currently subject to Medicare Tax is subject to additional Medicare Tax if 
it is paid in excess of the applicable threshold for an individual’s filing status.
• Are wages paid to employees that are nonresident aliens or U.S. citizens living abroad subject to 
Additional Medicare Tax withholding? There are no special rules for nonresident aliens and U.S. 
citizens living abroad for purposes of this provision. Wages earned by such individuals that are 
subject to Medicare tax will be subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the 
$200,000 withholding threshold.

For additional questions and answers this publication can be found at

[i] Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), §9002

Patricia Richardson the owner of Monrovia Computerized Business Service and is a local accountant, educator and 
trainer working to help business owners realize their business mission and vision by empowering them with tools 
and training in areas that may not be their core competency. For additional information,


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