Monday, November 16, 2009

Finanical Tools and Calculators

Did you know that McDaniel & Company's website has helpful tools for you to use for free? Here are just a few of our financial tools that can help in your business and personal life.

Mortgage Refinancing -

This calculator will help you decide whether or not you should refinance your current mortgage at a lower interest rate. Not only will this calculator calculate the monthly payment and net interest savings, but it will also calculate how many months it will take to break even on the closing costs.

Mortgage Payoff Goal -

This calculator will show you the additional monthly payment you will need to make on your current mortgage in order to pay it off within a specified number of years. It will also show you how much interest you will save if you make the calculated additional payment each month, from now until your mortgage is paid off.

Net Worth -

This calculator was designed to help you to “take a picture" of your current financial condition whereas an income and expense statement shows you your financial picture for a period of time (month, year, etc.); this Net Worth Calculator will show you your financial picture at a single point in time (a specific date). This way, if you compute your Net Worth now, and then again 3 months from now, you will be able to tell whether your financial picture is improving or worsening.

Cash Flow -

Since cash inflows and outflows vary in amounts and intervals, it can often become quite confusing to try to determine how much we can afford to spend or save during any given month. Just because you have left-over cash this month does not mean the cash is actually available for spending.

This calculator was designed to convert all inflows and outflows into their monthly equivalents making it easier to see how much you can really afford to spend during any given month. And because your household is just as much a business as any traditional business, the various sections have been set up in the same way most businesses would set up their cash flow worksheet.

Expense Percentage -

This calculator will help you to determine what percentage of your income you are currently spending on each of your various expense categories (food, clothing, etc.). This calculator is determines expense percentages on either a monthly or an annual basis.

Wage Conversion -

This calculator will help you to quickly convert a wage stated in one periodic term (hourly, weekly, etc.) into its equivalent stated in all other common periodic terms. This can be helpful when comparing your present wage to a wage being offered by a prospective employer where each wage is stated in a different periodic term (e.g., one is listed as an hourly wage and the other is listed as annually).

Credit Card Minimum Payment Interest -

This calculator will show you how much interest you will end up paying if you make only the minimum required payment on your credit card bill -- that is, assuming you stop charging any more to it. As you will see from the calculated results, it is not just the interest charges you are losing, you are also losing the interest you could be earning on those charges if you were investing them rather than paying them to the credit card company.

This calculator will also tell you how many minimum payments you will make before your balance is paid off (up to a maximum of 600 payments).

Average Interest Rate -

This calculator will help you compute the average combined interest rate you are paying on up to fifteen of your outstanding debts. This can be very helpful when deciding whether or not to move the balances of several credit cards to another card or to another form of debt (loans, etc.).

Transportation Savings -

This calculator will help you to determine any savings that might occur if you were to choose an alternative form of transportation (walking, biking, bus ride, etc.) as opposed to driving your car. You can either compute your savings for a one-time trip or for multiple reoccurring trips over any number of years. Plus, you can choose whether to compute the savings using the Gasoline Method (cost of gasoline only) or using the Mileage Method (average cost per mile to own, operate, maintain and insure your car).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Independent Contractor Articles

    We recently found some helpful articles and information about independent contractors, and wanted to post them for our visitors' convenience. Please leave your thoughts, responses, and comments about these articles in our comments section following this post. If you have further questions or if you need clarification about independent contractors or information in these articles, please call our office at (336) 996-3338 , and our staff will be glad to assist you.

Independent Contractor Rights

Self-Employed vs. Independent Contractor - What is the Difference?

Small Business/Self Employed - IRS website

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dell Plant Closing

Last week, officials at the local Dell plant in Winston-Salem made the announcement that the plant would be closing. Only 4 years, almost to the day, after the plant opened its doors for production, the question at hand has become whether or not the incentives spent on luring Dell to the Triad area were well spent.

In 2004, the North Carolina General Assembly approved $242 million in incentives, the City of High Point approved $8.8 million, Guilford County and the City of Greensboro approved $12.4 million, Forsyth County approved $18.3 million, Davidson County commissioners approved $23.1 million, Winston-Salem City Council approved 18.9 million, totaling $323.5 million in incentives. Not only is there a monetary loss, but more importantly, a loss of 905 jobs. At its peak, the Winston-Salem Dell plant employed around 1,400 people. Earlier this year, layoffs began, and rumors of the plant’s closing soon began to look like reality.

In a recent edition of The Triad Business Journal, Andrew Brod, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNC Greensboro, commented on the issue, "It's government trying to influence business, and while I don't think we can say government and business have to completely disengage, its a reminder of the risks of putting taxpayer money up for private interests."

One would hope that local government officials have taken note of this experience. What will happen in the future if a similar business proposition comes along? Will our local government decide to ask taxpayers to pay for more incentives? And will you, a local taxpayer, support those decisions?

-Michael B. Blevins, Marketing Coordinator

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

North Carolina Sales Tax Increase

Effective September 1, 2009 the sales tax rate increases by 1% and will be in effect until July 1, 2011. The general State rate of sales and use tax will increase from 4.5% to 5.5%. Taxable sales, purchases or services that are subject to the general State rate of tax are also subject to the 2.25% county tax in all counties except Alexander, Catawba, Cumberland, Haywood, Martin, Pitt, Sampson, and Surry where the county rate is 2.5%. Mecklenburg County has an additional 0.5% county rate.

Please visit the North Carolina Department of Revenue for more information on the state sales tax increase. Below is a link to the document posted by the North Carolina Department of Revenue with information regarding the sales tax increase.

If you have questions or need assistance updating your software program with the new sales tax rate, please contact our office at 336-996-3338 or send an e-mail to and we will be glad to assist you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Top 10 Survival Tips for

Surviving a Recession
Adapted from the article “Managing Through a Crisis: The New Rules,” Business Week

  1. Take advantage of the current situation of the economy.
    • “History has shown that crisis breeds opportunity.”
    • “Look for prospects.”
    • “A recession creates winners and losers just like a boom.”
    • “On the whole, U.S. businesses face a $238 billion wave of debt maturities that will come due by the end of 2009.”
  2. Executives have to lead “their people out of a psychological funk and at the same time tailor their business to focus on a new reality.”
  3. Change your tactics.
    • “You can’t rely on a peacetime general to fight a war. The wartime CEO prepares for the worst so that his or her company can take market share away from players who haven’t.”
  4. Get the funds needed to help a business grow.
    • “Only those with strong balance sheets stand a chance.”
  5. Strive to increase your market share.
    • “The pie is getting smaller, and less nimble rivals are getting weaker.”
    • “Don't wait for your competitors to fall to the ground.”
    • “Take steps to solicit new customers at a time when others are cutting back on service.”
  6. Ensure the stability of your workforce
    • “Hire away their best people while taking steps to make sure they don't grab yours.”
  7. There are deals to be had out there – take advantage of them while you can.
    • “Buy assets from cash-strapped rivals on the cheap.”
  8. “Abandon strategies or products that don't fit the core business.”
  9. “If you have to cut costs, start at the top.”
    • Top executives should know that “the last thing you want is for people to perceive that you're in it for yourself.”
  10. “If you have a product you believe in, now is the time to make a bigger investment—not a smaller one.”

To learn more about McDaniel & Company, PLLC, please visit our website!

To read the FULL ARTICLE from Business Week, please click here.

Thornton, E (2009, January, 8, 5:00PM EST ). Managing Through a Crisis: The New Rules. BusinessWeek, Retrieved January 9, 2009, from