Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 22, 2012 

Legal Insights by Noah Green1 

1 Noah Green lives in Sierra Madre and works as an attorney handling business litigation at the Ryan Law Firm in 
Pasadena, CA. He can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at (626) 568-8808.



 The benefits of 
forming a corporation 
or limited liability 
company (“LLC”) are 
well-known: The law 
creates an artificial legal 
entity that shields its 
owners from being sued 
directly and limits their 
losses to whatever they 
have invested in the business. For shareholders 
in large corporations, this means that the value of 
the stock you own can take a hit if the company 
performs badly – but that is it. For small business 
owners, it means losing a large investment of 
your time and money. 

Nevertheless, even a small business owner is 
somewhat protected. If the business fails, its 
creditors cannot seek additional compensation 
from the owner. This means that if the business 
cannot pay its bills or gets sued and cannot pay a 
judgment, the creditors who are entitled to collect 
are left to squeeze blood from the proverbial 

 Thus, the benefits of this legal protection 
are obvious. Moreover, the steps to create a 
corporation or LLC usually involve nothing 
more than one or two trips to a lawyer’s office 
and a relatively small fee. Once the legal entity 
is formed, the protections are in place and the 
owners can take some comfort and security in 
knowing that their liability is limited up to a 
certain point and their personal property such 
as their homes and bank or retirement accounts 
cannot be collected against. 

 However, many business owners forget 
that there are ongoing responsibilities and duties 
that they are required to perform. Just as even 
the most low-maintenance garden occasionally 
needs tending, so too does a corporation or LLC 
need brushing up from time-to-time. 

In particular, the corporation should have regular 
shareholder and board of director meetings at 
least once per year, document the minutes of those 
meetings, and keep them with the company’s 
books and records. Owners must also be careful 
not to commingle personal funds with business 
funds or use personal accounts to pay for business 
expenses without seeking reimbursement. These 
types of actions create the impression that the 
corporation is a sham and that the business is 
truly nothing more than the owner’s “alter ego.” 
In such cases, a claimant may attempt to collect 
against the owners’ personal property. Indeed, 
many former business owners now have liens on 
their homes and other property because of this 

Business owners must also be diligent about 
paying their state taxes. In California, the state 
taxing authority known as the Franchise Tax 
Board or “FTB” has the power to suspend a 
company’s corporate status if they are delinquent 
on their taxes. Once that happens, the shield of 
limited liability falls away, as does the ability to 
bind others to the company’s existing contracts. 
Those powers may be restored only upon the 
payment in full of the company’s overdue taxes.

To prevent these sorts of mishaps from occurring, 
business owners should perform a “check-up” 
of these issues on a regular basis. Think of it as 
receiving a shiny new gift for your birthday. You 
have been granted a first-rate privilege by the 
law; it is now your responsibility to make sure it 
is properly maintained. 

(NAPSI)—Viruses, worms, Trojans—you’ve 
likely heard or read about them. They’re the nefarious 
“creatures” that can take advantage of vulnerabilities 
in the software applications you have 
installed on your computer—but you can defeat 
them. That’s good news, because if they find their 
way into your computer, they can wreak havoc, 
destroying your files, stealing your personal information, 
even taking control of your computer 
to help with other insidious cybercrimes. 
Chances are, if you haven’t already been a victim 
of some kind of malware, you could be soon, especially 
if you don’t keep your software applications 
current by installing the security updates 
that software vendors provide.

Staying up to date on the latest security patches is 
critical given today’s threat environment. In addition 
to the many security initiatives that software 
companies engage in to keep their products and 
users safe, the single most important advice they 
give is to always stay up to date. “Research shows 
that up to 99.8 percent of successful cyberattacks 
today exploit software that is not current with the 
latest security updates,” says Brad Arkin, senior 
director, security, Adobe products and services. 
“We strongly recommend that users install the 
latest security updates.” 

Recently, Skype, the popular service that lets you 
make phone calls using the Internet, commissioned 
a survey that revealed:

• 40 percent of adults don’t always update software 
on their computers when initially prompted 
to do so.

• Approximately 25 percent of those surveyed 
said they don’t clearly understand what software 
updates do and an equal percentage don’t understand 
the benefits of updating. 

• While 75 percent of adults receive update notifications 
from their software, more than half admitted 
that they needed to see a prompt between 
two and five times before downloading and installing 
the update.

For most people, then, updating software is more 
often than not an afterthought. Many complain 
that the process is intrusive and bothersome. It’s 
just easier to click the “remind me later” button 
when you’re busy finishing up the weekly sales 
report or adding your latest vacation photos to 
your online album. If you do, however, you leave 
yourself vulnerable to threats that could take you 
off-line for a long time-or worse. 

Making Updates Easier

The good news is that times have changed. Companies 
continuously look for ways to make the 
update process less cumbersome for users. For 
example, the very widely used Adobe Reader—
which lets you open and read ubiquitous PDF 
documents—uses a new update mechanism 
designed to keep you current in a much more 
streamlined and automated way. With the new 
updater, Windows users have the option to 
choose to download and install updates automatically. 
You can literally “set it and forget it.” 
Once your update preferences are set to update 
your software automatically, Adobe Reader and 
Acrobat will automatically check for new updates 
and download and install available updates—you 
won’t have to think about it again. 

So the next time you get a pop-up window telling 
you to update that software application, your best 
move is to do it right then. If your software offers 
an automatic update option, enable it. Don’t wait. 
It’s too easy to forget and it’s too easy for cybercriminals 
to get to you. 

If your software reminds you again a few days 
later (and maybe again a few days after that), it’s 
just doing its job, reminding you to do yours. It’s 
not another update, just a friendly way to tell you 
how important it is to stay up to date.


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

resource manager) add-on that provides two levels of service and price. The 
GROUP EDITION includes a 14 day free trial and then a subscription of 
$28.00 per user per month fee. Then there is the PROFESSIONAL EDITION 
that includes a free 30 day trial with a subscription of $70.00 per user per month fee. 

Salesforce for QuickBooks offers you the #1 sales app with built in integration to QuickBooks. 
Salesforce user’s experience: 40% more leads; 30% increase in lead conversion; 33% increase in sales 
productivity; 30% increase in sales revenue.

Salesforce CRM Overview

Group Edition - Includes basic sales and marketing features, ideal for smaller companies.

Professional Edition - Get access to more advanced features including inventory and item tracking 

Integration Overview

Group Edition - View QuickBooks customer details in Salesforce including open balance, credit 
limit, estimates, sales orders and invoices.

 Professional Edition - Create transactions in QuickBooks from Salesforce

QuickBooks financial information in Salesforce

Sales people have access to Open Balance and Credit Limit so they can have a more informed 
conversation with their customers.

Sync with Other Applications

Easily sync Salesforce for QuickBooks with other applications including Google Calendar and 

Create transactions in QuickBooks from Salesforce

When an Opportunity is changed to Closed Lead, Won Contract in Salesforce, it triggers a transaction 
to be created in QuickBooks. (Professional Edition only).

Online Blog Review of Group Edition (8/26/12)

“Beware – there’s a catch!!! The cheap ‘Group’ version is very limited. As soon as you realize how 
limited it is, or as soon as you have 6+ staff, you are forced onto the Pro version, where it triples in cost 
per user. Ridiculous. If you aren’t prepared to go to Pro now, don’t ever start with just Group, you’ll be 
sorry you did - everything is designed to entice with the lower price and later force you to pay the big 
bucks. This isn’t small business friendly”. 

After learning about the lead center within QuickBooks you might ask “Why would I want an add-
on”? Personally I wouldn’t, but you might! By using the lead center everything is in one place. The 
drawback is that your sales people will have access to customer balances through the customer center. 
You can setup the security so that they do not have access to any other parts of QuickBooks, see 

You can also synchronize contacts between Outlook and QuickBooks enabling the user to send 
forms directly from QuickBooks, keep contacts current and demographics organized. Just make sure 
that you backup both programs before you synchronize so that you are prepared for unintended 
consequences’. I decided that for me I would rather export my Outlook contact into a .csv (comma 
separated vales) file so that I can open it in Excel and then copy and paste the information I want into 
the lead center. 

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, or

Social Media Questions and Answers

QUESTION: Won’t people get sick of me posting the same thing if I recycle my content on 
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Emails, Blog, Web Site?

ANSWER: To think that one person will carefully read everything you post, all of the time on every 
tool is expecting way too much from social media marketing. I don’t want to sound harsh, but the 
reality is that we are just not that important to the average internet/Facebook/Twitter user. The idea 
is to keep your brand top of mind and every once in a while you might get some of your audience to 
stop for a second and engage further with your content. (A good reason to write content that engages 
but we’ll save that for another article.) 

We think it is a good idea to recycle your content. The idea is to try to catch your audience when 
they are traveling through one of the online communication tools (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc.) 
Think campaign. If you could afford a billboard campaign in Los Angeles, wouldn’t you want your 
billboard to be on the 405, the 10, the 605 and the 210? For the most part, you would use the same 
message and art – there might be times you change it to fit a demographic or culture. It’s not much 
different for web marketing strategies. 

Think traffic. Just like a billboard, you have to catch your audience when they are on the freeway. The 
reality is that you won’t hit 100% of all your connections all of the time. That’s just the way it is! On 
Twitter, you might need to recycle your content several times because it moves so quickly. The average 
post on Facebook reaches about 16-25% of connections. The average open rate for email marketing 
is 22%. Those numbers might seem low but if you build large quality lists, it starts to pay off! Bottom 
line, cover more territory and recycle your content everywhere. Keep in mind, there might be times 
that a Facebook or Twitter post won’t fit the culture of LinkedIn and vice versa. But for the most part, 
if you have a message you want to get out there… get it out there!

QUESTION: Do you think social media is a fad that’s going to go away?

ANSWER: I know that some of our Baby Boomer clients who’ve come into social media kicking and 
screaming would love for me to give this a “yes” answer. But, these are modern communication tools 
that allow us to be connected in a way that has never been done in our history. In 1877, some people 
were skeptical of the telephone and said it was the instrument of the devil. It turned out to be the 
gadget that can save your life in an emergency. Who knows what we’ll say about social media in the 
future. But I think it’s here to stay and will evolve just like that “evil” phone!

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that 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 their upcoming classes and presentations at: