White House for Sale: Just 158 US Families Funded Half the Run for the White House So Far


A recent story in the New York Times uncovers the disturbing reality of politics in America today. The White House is for sale and 158 families are doubling down to own it. These families have contributed nearly half the campaign money needed for Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. And they’ve done so through personal contributions or through the companies they own.

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there are 123.2 million households in the United States. The one percenters may foster outrage but consider the fact that the race for the White House is funded by an even more exclusive group–a little over one millionth of one percent. At an average of more than one million dollars in campaign donations per family for a total contribution of $176 million, they are clearly vested in a political outcome of their choice.

Let’s look at who these families are. They are uber-rich and predominantly white, although there is a representation of immigrants from Cuba, India and Israel. Almost half are on the Forbes 400 list of the country’s top billionaires. The majority live in Florida, Texas or California.

The exclusive demographic share an unexpected (and positive) attribute: most were not raised with silver spoons or a trust fund. The majority of these contributors are self-made. They used their entrepreneurial drive to build successful businesses from the ground up or hedged their bets brilliantly to play in this elite field of contributors.

But that’s where the change in today’s wealthiest elite demographic stops. Predictably, most on the list made their money in energy and finance. And the majority lean right and contributed to Republican candidates.

Their contributions mainly to Republican candidates is the key to their intentions. These private individuals are hoping to buy a White House where the opportunities to become self-made billionaires will no longer be possible. They hope to preserve their wealth and grow it by breaking a system that allows others like them to prosper, too.

They support Republican candidates that will cut entitlement programs, pare government intervention on business and cut taxes and capital gains. In their attempt to protect the wealth they have built, they turn a blind eye to the reality that if such measures were in place before their rise to success, the likelihood they’d be in such a position of power would be almost nil.

There hasn’t been such disparity in who funds and supports presidential campaigns since Lyndon Johnson. Until five years ago, campaign funding was limited and regulated. But the Supreme Court opened the campaign spending floodgates with its “Citizens United” decision, ruling that political spending is protected under the First Amendment. This meant that corporations and individuals could spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities, as long as it was done independently of a party or candidate.

And that’s where the problem lies. Allowing individuals and corporations to donate as they choose to support political parties is not necessarily bad, but when such a small, unified portion of elite Americans does so, our political future is essentially sold to the highest bidder.


Best Accounting Software Systems for Small Businesses


Your business is unique. Your accounting software system should be, too. Not all accounting software systems are ideal for certain types of businesses. There are a few generally good systems that will take care of most businesses needs, but it’s typically just smarter to purchase an accounting software system that’s designed for the specific needs of your business.

A small startup is going to have different accounting needs than a larger corporation that’s expanding into new locations. So your accounting software system should reflect that, and cater to your specific needs and concerns.

For smaller businesses, there are a number of great accounting software systems for you to try. Some fit a tighter budget, but offer fewer features. Some have features that focus more in depth on inventory and assets versus daily sales, and so on.

Here are a few of our favorite accounting software systems for small businesses and their owners:

For the Average Small Business

QuickBooks Online (http://quickbooks.intuit.com/oa/affsignup?priorityCode=3969702399&cid=aff_cj_5703470&cvosrc=affiliate.cj.5703470&cvo_campaign=qbo_trial&aid=10700722) is the best overall option for most small businesses. The nice thing about QuickBooks is that it’ll cover a range of features for small businesses at most stages.

So if you’re just starting out, or if you’re a bit more established as a small business, QuickBooks is a solid accounting software system choice to cover your needs, no matter where you’re at as a small business.

This is a good system that can handle most any type of small business: retail, freelance, online-only, restaurants, service providers, etc. That’s not always the case with accounting software systems. They tend to be more specialized, which can be good.

But if you’re not sure exactly what you need, QuickBooks is a good all-around option to handle pretty much all the needs of the average small business. The cheapest plan starts at just $10 a month, and gives you access to tons of helpful features for small business owners.

It’s the most well-rounded option, and it’s affordable enough that if you test it out and find you want more specific features, it would be easy to switch it up to any one of the following accounting software systems.

For Teeny Tiny Businesses

If you’re running a small Etsy shop to bring in some extra spending money on the side, or operating a small-scale local dog-walking business, this accounting software system might be the best fit for you.

Consider Zoho Books (https://www.zoho.com/books/) for smaller small businesses. It won PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice Award, and was the 2015 Sleeter Awesome Apps Award Winner.

It’s easy on smaller budgets for smaller businesses, too. It’s $24 per month, which is twice as much as the cheapest accounting software options on the market. However, Zoho Books gets you access to all their features (not just some- unlike the cheaper options) and you get an unlimited number of users on your account. It’s worth the money.

You can access it from your smartphone or tablet via their mobile app, and all the data is backed up on the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about something happening to that iPad you use to run your business.

It has all the basic features you’ll want in running a smaller-than-small business; automated banking direct to your account, expense tracking from anywhere, invoice templates and organizational features to improve your cashflow, and it’s incredibly easy to use.

For Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

If you truly just can’t afford an accounting software system yet, it’s ok. Wave Accounting (https://www.waveapps.com/) is a good option for small businesses, and best of all: it’s free.

Sure, you’ll have to put up with pop-up ads, but for a free accounting software system for your small business, a couple annoying banner ads are worth enduring. It doesn’t offer all the features that you’d get with a purchased accounting software system, but it’ll cover the most basics.

You’ll have to pay to access some features such as payroll and customer service, but the overall system is still free, and paying for a couple features you need is cheaper than making a monthly payment on a higher quality accounting software system. Wave also offers unlimited usage of their services, so you can invoice to your heart’s content without having to pay if you exceed another system’s allotted amount.

Wave is another cloud-based system that gives you assurance that you’ll never lose your records. It’s a perfect free accounting option for small businesses with owners who are self-employed entrepreneurs, or have fewer than ten employees. With such a small business on a budget, there’s no need for a fancier accounting software system. Just get yours for free, instead.

Cybersecurity to have 1.5 Million Employee Deficit by 2020 Even as Demand Grows


A lot of people talk about the bad economy and the difficulty of finding work. As a result of the instability, many people seek pink slip loans as a short-term solution.

While layoffs and long spells of unemployment are nothing to be minimized, a lot of unemployment issues have less to do with perpetual bad economic weather and more to do with a constantly changing economy and our own inability to adapt.

This isn’t more apparent than with one of the biggest workforce paradoxes of our day and age: cybersecurity, a highly important industry in the information era, is projected to have a staggering worker shortage of 1.5 million within five years—even though the prospects for employment in protecting data have never been better.

Cybersecurity: The Hot Job of the Future, Today

As society, the economy, government, and nearly every facet of our life become increasingly dependent on the internet, it’s only natural for us want to make sure there are reliable walls of protection in place for our data.

When you make a transaction online, you do so with the understanding that your banking information is kept private. Google and Apple are creating self-driving cars and the military is building autonomous battle equipment—the last thing any sane person wants is these technologies falling prey to malicious hackers.

The need for cybersecurity can be seen in various real-world cases, from the China-based security breach of US government computers to the hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison, which resulted in the suicides of several publicly shamed individuals.

It’s no wonder then, that cybersecurity jobs are commanding top-dollar salaries. A security software engineer can make an average of $233,333 per year. In many cases, they’re making more than the Chief Security Officer they report to.

By 2020, it’s projected that the global need for cybersecurity professionals will rise to 6 million. However, the actual number of employees worldwide will fall short by about 1.5 million unless the current trend changes.

Already, companies are feeling the effects of this discrepancy. Security managers in North America are reporting inadequate staffing, which prevents the full implementation of planned security initiatives.

With so much demand, now is definitely a good time to take up work in cybersecurity. Companies are competing against each other to fill job openings by offering high salaries.

How to Bridge the Gap Between Supply and Demand

Finding enough cybersecurity specialists to meet current and future needs is a major imperative, not only for the benefit of the hiring companies, for for the well-being of all consumers.

It all starts with education. A number of colleges are offering cybersecurity degrees, and others would to well to follow suit.

However, education begins with awareness, and awareness should be promoted in high school, if not earlier. Many young people decide upon their majors before setting foot on a college campus. It’s important to reach out to students before high school graduation to create interest while they’re still considering career and college options.

Also, companies can offer training programs to professionals in IT who want to transfer into cybersecurity. This would help a lot of people who currently may be struggling to find a job.

These solutions require investment of time and money. But for the sake of meeting the 21st Century’s security needs, the return-on-investment is high.


Monthly eBook Subscription Service is Shutting Down


Bad news for bookworms who were also fans of the unlimited reading plan offered by subscription company Oyster: the service is shutting down in the coming months. Oyster was a ground-breaking company, offering “read all you want” monthly plans that started over two years ago. But it seems like a merger with Google is bringing their brand of business to a halt, though the idea of the book subscription service may carry on in the founders’ next endeavors.

Oyster and the Competition

When Oyster launched in 2012, it was revolutionary. Readers everywhere – at least those that didn’t mind reading their books from a screen – rejoiced. Only $10 a month and you could read all the available books on Oyster’s platform, including titles from the five big publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Oyster survived by paying publishers a cut after readers mostly made their way through one of the books on their smart phone, tablet or computer. Supposedly, the service also shared data with reader habits with those publishers, helping them maximize the efficiency of their marketing data.

Oyster has never let on how much money they made while in their hey-day. But it must have been enough to get the competitive juices flowing, as Amazon followed suit and launched a competitive $10 a month subscription, available on all Kindle devices starting in July 2014. And of course, Oyster’s interface does not integrate with Kindle, which probably contributed to their decision to sell out. While Oyster was estimated to have about 100,000 subscribers, Amazon’s service is estimated to have more than 2 million.

The End of Oyster

Oyster’s founders and CEO, among other former workers, are now going to be working for Google Play and their developing bookstore. While Google has not announced their own plans to issue a book-reading subscription service, it sure looks like that’s going to be the case. Amazon and Google seem to have a consistent, healthy rivalry – Amazon released a music streaming service, so did Google. Now they have to match on the book-reading end, a corner of the market Amazon has been dominating for quite some time with their ever popular Kindle readers.

While Oyster will continue offering services to subscribers for the rest of the year, you can request a refund if you’d rather end your ties now. Only time will tell if the brains behind Oyster can help Google compete with Amazon in the publishing world, and if people will buy in over time. One thing is for sure, the Oyster team is not giving up on its dream of instant reading access from connected devices. In its blog post announcement concerning the shutdown, founders stated, “We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade.” Oyster’s team is changing their name, but they aren’t changing their vision. Keep an eye on Google – the competition is sure to keep heating up between Oyster’s new home and Amazon in the coming years.

Financial Accounting Reporting


AccountsNext believes that back office efficiencies are key to driving profitability. The efficiencies of the finance reporting function can be a real source of competitive advantage to your firm in changing times. Financial Reporting function can effectively outsourced to provide unbiased, fair, & transparent financial disclosures.

AccountsNext provides full spectrum of financial reporting services you need. We prepare complete set of reports each month that provide you an accurate picture of your financial position.

We provide the following Reporting Services.

AP Reports: AccountsNext provides payable reporting services like vendor invoices input to payable system, invoices classification to proper G/L account, report aged payables and cash requirements to the organization etc.

Accounts Receivables Reports: AccountsNext provide AR follow up services and but also regular reporting for the health of your account receivables Including reports like are Aged Receivables, Customer reports, Invoice/Sales reports etc.

Bank Reconciliation: AccountsNext enables you to monitor and control your bank accounts, on a daily basis. Materials like cancelled checks and bank statements can be sent directly to us, so we can immediately reconcile the account & alert you regarding any matters that require your attention.

General Ledger Reports: Our accountants provide and support the entire finance back office function of your companies General Ledger Maintenance. These include month-end and year-end general ledger reports, Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Trial Balance, Ledger report etc.

Inventory Reports: We provide inventory reporting and help you with reports like stock status reports, item master lists and item costing reports. We also assist you to process receipts, withdrawals; reorder levels, average monthly usage, inactivity and current value etc.

Payroll and Check Registers: Complete records of all your company checks written during the month to show you exactly where your money is going

Financial Statements: We can prepare a complete set of financial reports for you, including (but not limited to) balance sheets, and income and cash flows statements.

Customized Reports: Feel free to ask for additional customized reports that will further help you manage your operations for greater efficiency and profit. These include budget preparation and compliance issues.

Payroll & Staff Accounting


payroll_imgAccountsNext can take care of your Payroll needs, providing you with a immediate cost reductions of upto 40-50%, and minimizing your risk of penalties and also saves a lot of time to focus on your core business more efficiently.

We can relieve you of time taking and tedious numerous work such as keeping track of Time cards/sheets, leave forms, attendance records, deadlines, reports, Prepare employee earnings statements complete with current pay period and year-to-date wages, taxes, and adjustment, Prepares timely and accurate notifications of tax liabilities and deposits, Complete Year end W-2 forms , Respond to requests for employee verifications, Prepare, file, and pay all Federal, State, and local payroll taxes, Reconcile health insurance payments and make payroll deductions when required etc.

We work as your accounting back office, to provide you with accurate, timely, with minimized risk all your payroll related activities. These repetitive activities once outsourced to AccountsNext will deliver cost savings, from hiring, training and managing the in house staff, and also enable you to focus on your core business besides always having your employees satisfied with timely and accurate payments.
We also offer customized payroll processing solutions to fit your requirements, Please feel free to ask us, how we can assist you.

Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll Services to AccountsNext

– Cost benefit to the tune of 40-50%.

– Reprieve from repetitive, tedious administrative work

– Timely and Accurate Payments

– No risk of penalties or fines on accounts of mistakes or delays

– Complete compliance of regulations

– No Staffing requirements, no hiring, recruiting or training needed.

– More time to focus on core competencies

– Present staff is free in taking more responsibilities.

– Payroll taken care by experts.

– Quick Turnaound.