Six Reasons Why Preventive Health Checkups Should Not Be Ignored

Did you know that healthcare expenses in India account for 4.1% of national GDP? In addition, private spending on healthcare (which means costs that the government will not bear) increases up to 70.8% of all country’s health expenditure, according to The Guardian. The alternative then for the common people is quite simple – investing in a small amount of preventive health checkups (which could be totally covered by your insurance) than shelling out large amounts during health crises.A preventive health checkup can help you in many ways. Not only you save yourself from the trouble of having to suffer through the symptoms of the disease, but it also saves money that you would otherwise be spending on hospital expenses. Continue reading to know why a preventive health checkup is worth the effort.Why Preventive Health Checkups?Most health experts agree that the best way to watch out for your health is annual health checkups. Here are some reasons to support the fact why this is important:Even your car is also serviced twice in a year. No one asks why time, effort, and money are spent on ensuring that their car is being serviced with all the necessary checks, on a regular basis. Our body also needs to be serviced regularly and checked for better functioning. Do you value your health as much as you do that of your vehicle?You are living a sedentary lifestyle. The reality is that today people are so hooked up to the digital gadgets & computers that even when you aren’t at work, you are surfing the web and basically spending both your leisure time and working hours sitting in front of some type of screen. Then there are those who drink, smoke and tremble at the very thought of daily exercise.Even healthy people can get sick. While we are young we feel invincible. But as we age, it all begins with random aches, pains and progresses to cholesterol increase, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack, to list the very few serious disorders. If we soon started caring about our health, most diseases can be prevented before they could even occur.Early diagnosis could lead to a cure. There are many diseases and illnesses that have a better prognosis when diagnosed early. This is particularly true for chronic and terminal illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart attack. Regular preventive health checkups help you find the best treatment alternatives as soon as possible, but also give you better chances of quickly recovering back to health.Family history tells more about your future health. Family history means you have more chances to end up suffering from a disease like your immediate family. For example, if your father has a history of heart problems or your grandmother has a high blood sugar level, you are likely to experience the same conditions sooner or later.You Get tax benefits. You also get tax benefits for such health checkups in accordance with Section 80-D of the Income Tax Act. In addition to all other benefits, you may get tax deductions up to 5,000 Rs for health checkups for you and your immediate family.Needless to say, today life is chaotic and stressful, which increases the likelihood of lifestyle disturbances.Despite the necessary care we take for our better health, uncertainties increase with our age, lifestyle and not to mention the habit to take our health for granted. Regular preventive health checkups can set a guideline for our health and help us keep tabs on how time progresses. For those who have major diseases running in their family, health checkups become crucial to have control or to slow down the progression of the disease and prepare a holistic approach to ensure healthy future ahead.

Setting Up Quickbooks – Entering Accounts Part One

IntroductionAdding accounts to Quickbooks is very easy, the warning here is that it is so easy that making a mistake either in placement of the account or the identification of where to put it may be a little deceiving. It is always advisable that you consult a professional to help you as once you add these accounts and begin using them, it can be a long procedure to correct mistakes. And because each business is unique in it’s accounts, it may take a little creative maneuvering to best fit your type of business. Having said that, let’s look at your different options in adding accounts.I. Income AccountsThere may be several ways that your business receives income. (this is where the help of a ProAdvisor comes in) For example if you are a service industry business, let’s use a lawn care company as an example. The overall easy way to handle this is to enter ALL income into one account. However, this doesn’t help you as a business owner decide which of your services is more profitable than another. You may not care about that, but it only takes another few minutes of effort to get it right, so let’s make sure we do so. Create an account for income for lawn maintenance, another for landscape design and yet another for pest control or another similar service. Create a parent account named Lawn Services and a sub account for each of the areas you earn income in. Upon entering these sub-accounts you will see a box labeled sub-account of, check that box and type Lawn Services. The description, note and tax-line mapping boxes are optional, for the best results however, at least utilize the tax-line mapping and an income account will more than likely fit the first category listed which is Income: Gross Sales or Services. Consult your tax professional for more help with this area.II. Expense AccountsThe expense window looks identical to the income in every way. I highly recommend a wise use of sub-accounts in the expense accounts area as well. For example, grouping your electrical, water and phone bills under utilities is what a lot of businesses do, however, what happens when you add a cell phone?I would create a parent account for utilities and sub-accounts for power, water, phone, and other utilities. I would also suggest doing the same with advertising expenses, having one parent account for advertising and sub-accounts for signs, yellow pages ads, internet ads, and more so you can keep more careful track of your cash flow.When you get to payroll expenses, you are definitely going to need to use sub-accounts appropriately and create sub-accounts for FICA payable – Company, Social Security Payable – Company, Worker’s Comp, etc. If you do not use Intuit’s Payroll services, that’s okay, but it increases the risk of mistakes in transmission of information from the payroll companies’ to the Quickbooks files.III. Fixed AssetsThere is a step by step procedure in entering fixed assets into Quickbooks and a detailed explanation of how to categorize your fixed assets. Fixed Assets include buildings, land, Machinery, vehicles and Accumulated Depreciation. The only difference in the Fixed Assets window is that the Tax-Line Mapping is automatically entered for you.IV. Bank AccountsIn Quickbooks a Bank Account isn’t always necessarily an actual bank account. When entering a regular bank account whether it’s checking or savings, Quickbooks will ask for the opening balance as of a certain date. (If this is a new account, the opening balance isn’t necessary, it will be $0.00) For a more accurate picture of your business’ financial situation, and to ensure an accurate reconciliation of your bank account, enter the opening balance, which will be the ending balance of the previous month. If this account was used for any business transactions prior to the date you install Quickbooks, it would be a good idea to have a Professional help you enter these transactions accurately.When is a bank account NOT a bank account? If your business is using petty cash system, (to make change for customers, etc) it is best to set up Petty Cash as a separate bank account so that you can transfer funds from Petty Cash to Undeposited Funds when necessary.What if you have a customer with whom you have an agreement to trade your services/products with theirs? In this case, you can create a bank account called Trade or Barter and deposit the value of your products/services to offset those of your customers. Neither one are actually bank accounts, but they make it easy to keep track of those ‘creative’ transactions.V. LoanA Loan account keeps track of the amount you owe on loans from those who you owe money to. This is NOT a long term liability account, this is money lent to the business by others and which you intend on paying back within the year. You have use of the funds, which is an asset, and you owe the loaner, which is a liability. If you need to enter a loan for a vehicle, building, etc, it needs to be in the Long Term Liability accounts.VI. Credit Card AccountsYou must add a credit card to your account list to gain access to the Enter Credit Card Charges feature on the Quickbooks home menu. Credit Cards can be used to pay for expenses, items or bills. When using Credit Cards to pay bills, one common mistake business owners make is not choosing the correct account to pay the bill out of. If you are using more than one Credit Card, take it slow and make sure that your payments and credits to the account are appropriately applied or reconciliations will be a nightmare and a half.You are given the option of being able to enter the account number, expiration date and more as you are entering the card for the first time. As long as you don’t have a situation where innumerable people have access to your Quickbooks files, it is perfectly safe to enter this information, if you do have that situation, consider hiring someone else or restricting access to others on your Quickbooks network.VII. Equity AccountsAn equity account includes owner’s draw, owner’s contributions, etc (these categories change names but not function, depending on the legal formation of the company). This is the money the business owner invests in order to begin the company and the subsequent money they have to draw from in order to keep the company running. The retained earnings account is an equity account that is added by Quickbooks at year end when the revenue and expenses are calculated. The description that is given this account by Quickbooks is “undistributed earnings of the company”. In the case of a company just beginning to use Quickbooks, the account can be created manually for previous years balances in another accounting software system by creating the account manually and entering in the opening balance from the previous year.The rest of the accounts are going to be examined in a separate article where we will discuss common mistakes made in entering these accounts and the occasional symbiotic relationship these accounts have with one another.

Managing Home Sales in India in 2018

The year 2017 was considered as watershed year for real estate industry in India. After the trilogy of Demonetization, GST and RERA, the sector was reeling in despair. However, the indomitable spirit of Indian real estate developers didn’t fade a zilch. They rose to the occasion and started to repackage the product, the price and the promotion of their unsold home inventory. From a sales and marketing stand point, they tried to push the envelope to appease the discerning customer. Some of the initiatives which caught attention were in the form of upselling the product, adding the service element to the product, dove tailing technology with homes, bundle up offers with home finance. The home developers also tried superlative adjectives, spiced things up with bollywood and sports celebrities endorsing various residential projects. Projects got rebranded by international brands and innovative launches were executed in line with global best practices. Many developers even completed micro level infrastructure abutting their projects and took over the government’s role of providing external and internal work. The Government continued to follow a lackadaisical approach to urban planning and infrastructure which hurt the customer sentiment further. Many a times, a home buyer got homes but without a motor able road leading to her home. While all of this was going on, Government also tried to get their act together, albeit, at snail’s pace. The Central Government announced RERA (Real Estate Regulation Act) and the states started its implementation in third quarter of 2017. It pushed developers to fast track completion of projects and a certain deadline date was announced. Many residential projects got completed in this rush of deadline, however the sales velocity didn’t match up the speed of completion of these projects. Eventually, RERA implementation failed miserably in most of the states and could not fulfil its objective to provide transparency to the home buyer. It rather deteriorated home buyer’s confidence and hope in Indian real estate. The home buyer, therefore further delayed decisions to purchase homes and felt comfortable being a “fence sitter”. Due to this conundrum, working capital issues reached to unsustainable level with most of the home developers. Many a times, the monthly sales were still not even matching to meet /clear even the lenders liability. The government came up with certain impetus to announce the affordable housing policy and hoped that this might turn the tables for the customer and for the developers. The intent was to ensure faster delivery at a good price to the customer and in turn achieve good working capital for the developer. Many developers diversified into this space and many new entrants also emerged in this space, including some corporates. However, the product suffered immensely as these new affordable homes were too small and were in far flung areas. Therefore, the affordable home policy could not sustain interest of the buyer, after initial euphoria.
So, after all the hoopla of innovative marketing, government compliances and regulations for last couple of years, the sales further nosedived. The inflation in construction cost created the double whammy for the industry. The construction costs took an upward trajectory, thanks to inflation in cement and steel prices. The regulator also continued with its risk weightage on real estate. Therefore, the financing cost of real estate projects especially in residential side continued to be in the range bound of 15%-24% per annum. With increasing construction costs, depleting sales, increasing lending cost, the home developer was pushed to the limit.
While all this happened, the old age mantra of “reduce prices and sell more” took a rebirth. The residential home prices which were chasing Manhattan prices started their journey back home. The home developers who followed this mantra created huge success, broke record of sales while others continued to sweat. Sales velocity became the buzz word and everything else took a back seat. Some of the home developers started to understand the sales velocity equation in a more pragmatic way. Rather than increasing the pipeline and increase the sales activity, the focus changed to win rate and reduction in sales cycle. Once the focus changed from increasing the sales activity to increasing the win rate, the sales velocity started to increase at good pace. Among the various associations of real estate developers, such sale successes were initially ridiculed as “black swan events” and such developers were termed as “outliers”, in a negative way. There were corridor talks that such developers are killing the industry. The lenders however, welcomed this step and are now gearing up to back up these developers more in such trying times. A sense of appreciation is now being seen among many quarters for these developers and the corridor talk died its natural death. It is expected that many other developers in last quarter of 2018, will follow suit and focus on reducing sales cycle and thereby increasing sales velocity. After all, nothing succeeds like success.
This article is written to appreciate such entrepreneurs in the real estate space who took the call to correct their pricing to achieve higher sales velocity. This article is an attempt to also encourage others to follow suit. Let there be a sustainability in prices for the home buyer. It is an important way to achieve reasonable growth in real estate business in India. Once that’s achieved, the economics will start to favour home developer again and there will be Happier Sundays!As they say, a fish always rise after striking its head at the bottom of the sea. Its time therefore to rise up and act aptly as per the changing landscape.Disclaimer: The views presented in the article are personal views of the writer and not of any organisation/company. For any queries/comments/feedback, please write at [email protected]