What You Missed in School

Slate is an online magazine covering current affairs, politics, and culture. This week, they published a fascinating piece that, frankly, said nothing about taxes, accounting, or financial planning. Yet it’s well worth a couple minutes of your time to think about the lessons it offers for your business.

Why Are Doctors’ Offices So Badly Run starts with the tale of Katherine White, a busy dermatologist, trying to manage a staff including a nurse, two medical assistants, two receptionists, and an esthetician, while seeing 40 patients per day. Her staff constantly bothers her with questions about billing, prescriptions, and lab refills, which the doctor feels compelled to fix herself.

Does that remind you of anyone you know? Read more…

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

Pardon me while I step up on my soapbox for a minute. A new TaxCoach member asked me a perfectly well-intentioned question on a webinar on Tuesday. It’s a question I get all the time, but it’s based on such pervasive misinformation that I just had to address it here in writing.

I had mentioned a marketing example of a client using a medical expense reimbursement plan to write off the cost of her daughter’s braces as a business expense (rather than a regular itemized deduction subject to the 10% floor on medical expenses). Our member then asked something to the effect of this: “Doesn’t the Affordable Care Act make medical expense reimbursement plans illegal and impose a $100/day fine on employers who use them?” Read more…

Billion Dollar Advice from Mark Cuban

Powerball TicketsAmerica is the land of plenty, which means, among other things, that there are plenty of billionaires to go around. 536 of them, to be exact, according to Forbes magazine. (Wait – GoPro stock just tanked last night, so take founder Nick Woodman off that list. Easy come, easy go…) There are still a few old-fashioned heirs and heiresses on that list. But more and more, it’s made up of the “working” rich… tech titans, Wall Street honchos, media barons, and other entrepreneurial success stories. Read more…

Double Your Referrals This Tax Season

I’m a single dad with three kids. That means we don’t run a very tight ship at Chez Lyon. I’ve never been the tidiest guy around. My oldest daughter, who’s (finally) away at school, has never even met the word “tidy.” (She says her suitemates are even messier than she is, but I have my doubts.) My 15-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son spend every other week with me, and while they do their best to clean up after themselves, they don’t always see the messes around them.

Naturally, being a 21st-century entrepreneur, I decided to outsource the problem. I had a housekeeping service I “inherited” from my ex-wife. But their quality had gotten poor, and even my oldest daughter complained they were dropping the ball. And when my girlfriend pointed out the cobwebs in the corners, I knew it was time to find someone else. Read more…