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Financial to dos as 2013 winds up!

As the year draws to a close, looking back at the overall financial report of the year gone plays an important role in effective financial management.  The end of the year gives us a perfect time and opportunity to check the financial books to asses tax strategies for the current financial year. Exploring tax saving options at the last minute are a bad idea and the end of the year offers the perfect window of opportunity to evaluate and change taxation strategies as required.

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Tax preparers accused of filing false returns

BATON ROUGE, La. — Two tax preparers for Quick Tax Services accused of filing false tax returns that cost the state more than $100,000 have been arrested.

The Advocate reports ( ) Ebony C. Martin, 33, of Prairieville, and Shantel Banks, 32, of Baton Rouge, were booked into East Baton Rouge Prison this week, on counts of theft, filing or maintaining false public records, computer fraud and criminal penalty for tax evasion.

Justice Department Investigator Danny McAllister wrote in arrest warrants that the women included false business and fake business loan losses when filling out federal 1040 tax returns for the 2012 filing year.

Martin and Banks would get personal information from people who did not own a business and file business tax returns, the warrants say.

Their clients admitted to getting a higher refund than usual and each would be required to pay back the money, the warrants say.

Martin did not have a tax preparer ID number and would file under Banks’ number, the warrants say.

It was unclear whether the women have attorneys. <

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Free trade with China, a dangerous deal?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is confident of securing a free-trade agreement with China within 12 months. “Its time to sign the agreement,” insisted Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry, at a meeting in Tianjin, China. The Coalition government hopes that Abbot’s first visit to China, tentatively set for May or June next year, will feature a concluded FTA.

The Liberals face stiff resistance from their coalition partners, the National Party, which insists that restrictions on Chinese investment should be increased, not reduced. The Nationals’ resistance echoes popular concerns over Chinese investment.

The 2013 Lowy Institute poll found that fifty-seven per cent of Australians believe that the Australian Government already allows too much investment from China. While t

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The Power of Being Unpopular

 highlights the transformation of passion to a meaningful brand – knowing who you are and developing the reason why someone would care.  Napoletano shares an explanation of why “building a brand is a ton of work” in an engaging mix of facts and realness.

Napoletano argues against popularity in business, noting that the best brands strike a counter-emotion for some people – think Coke vs Pepsi or Yankees vs. Red Sox, she says. The ideas is that taking a branding position provides your business a means to attract target customers around a specific premise:

The builders of unpopular brands are looking to make new inroads. They take

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Waiting Tables Pays in the Experience Economy

The Wall Street Journals Waiting Tables at Top-Tier Restaurants is New Career Path for Foodiescovers how waiting tables, at least at the growing number of expensive restaurants, has become an attractive career option. Key quote on compensation:

Head waiters at top-tier restaurants can earn from $80,000 to as much as $150,000 a year including tips, according to industry executives.

The key reasons waiters are paid so much are (1) the job is very demanding; and, (2) customers expect waiters to be highly knowledgeable about not just the menu, but food and wine in general. Great quote from the article on customer expectations:

Customer expectations of servers are high.

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Ballots are pictured at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 751 headquarters in Seattle, Washington January 3, 2014.

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Accounting and bookkeeping tasks are often a source of frustration for small business owners. Despite the importance of bookkeeping, it can be difficult to stay on top of the company’s daily and monthly accounting requirements. For highly mobile entrepreneurs, the challenge is even more acute, since it can be difficult for on-the-go business owners to achieve reliable online access.

Not surprisingly, improving accounting procedures ranks high on the list of New Year’s resolutions for small businesses.

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- Ford Motor Co and its local partners in China sold a total of 94,838 vehicles on a wholesale basis in December, an increase of 35 percent from a year earlier, the company said on Monday.

That compared to a 47 percent increase in November and a 55 percent jump in October.

In 2013, sales by the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker totaled 935,813 vehicles on a wholesale basis, up 49 percent from 2012, helped by Ford Focus, the best selling model in China last year.

Ford partners with Chongqing ChangAn Automobile Co Ltd and Jiangling Motors Corp in making vehicles in the world’s biggest automotive market.

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