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Obama Uses Executive Order to Ensure Contractors Get Paid Sick Leave

On Labor Day 2015 President Obama used an Executive Order to direct companies with Federal Contracts to provide their employees with at minimum 7 days of paid sick leave per year. The Executive Order comes into effect on January 1, 2017, for all contracts awarded on or after that date. The order also stipulates that employers must allow sick leave to carry over year to year for employees.


President's Order

The President’s Order Extends to Family As Well

The President’s order will extend to “a child, a parent, a spouse, a domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood or affinity where the relationship is equivalent to that of a family relationship”. This allows workers to take paid time off to help take care of a sick child or anyone they have a familial relationship with.

This Executive Order Follows with 4 States and 24 Municipalities but Goes a Step Further

While Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon have laws providing paid sick leave for state employees, the President’s Order provides more days of sick leave. The Order stipulates 1 hour of sick leave per 30 hours of work. Also, with the benefit of being able to carry sick days over year to year the President has surpassed State laws that usually limit the time to 40 hours able to be carried over.


Federal Contracting Guidelines

President Obama is Not Afraid of Using Executive Orders to Shake Up Federal Contracting Guidelines

Since taking office in 2008, President Obama has issued 12 Executive Orders that pertain to government contracting. His orders have caused 16 new regulations for Employers to adhere to and have been designed to improve worker’s lives. While his actions have begun to ruffle feathers in the Government Contracting arena, the President doesn’t seem to mind trying to make things equal for workers.

Republicans in Congress Oppose the President’s Efforts

As is the case with most of the President’s policies or orders, this one was met with opposition in Congress. Republican Senators say the order puts undue pressure on Government Contractors driving up their operating costs, and the cost of the goods and services they provide. The United States Chamber of Commerce is looking into lawsuits stating the President has overstepped his bounds with this order.


American Workers

This Executive Order Could Help over 300,000 American Workers

While most of the developed nations in the world offer Government workers paid sick leave, in America it has become a partisan issue. The number of workers this order will help is not in debate. With this order, the President has set in motion the means for over 300,000 workers to receive paid sick leave. It is estimated that over 44 million Americans do not enjoy the benefit of paid sick leave.

The President Hopes Executive Order Will Be The First Step in Better Quality of Life For American Workers

With experts saying the gap between the lowest and the highest paid workers in America at an all-time high, the President is hoping to use his powers to help close the gap. Benefits like paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage are what can help bring the American worker back to the forefront and help to close the wage gap. The hope is that the cost of implementing the new rule will be offset by the ability to retain employees that the new rules will provide.

As an aside, this employment law content was written to inform, educate and protect small businesses from compliance issues. If you have employees, you’ll need quality protection. If you’re operating in Broward County, try one of these labor law posters for complete employer compliance. They have a top notch legal team in-house that reviews their compliance posters routinely for total employment compliance.


Healthy Families Act

President Obama asks Congress to Pass the Healthy Families Act

Following his Executive Order granting paid sick leave, President Obama has asked Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act. The Healthy Families Act would make it so businesses with over 15 employees the work at least 20 weeks a year offer paid sick leave to employees. The act was sponsored by Rep. DeLauro Rosa (D-Connecticut) in 2013. In 2014, the bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

The President Feels the Order Will Improve the Well-Being of Employees

The President stated that this order will “improve the health and performance of Employees of Federal contractors in line with benefits packages of model employers, ensuring they remain competitive employers in the search for dedicated and talented employees. Obama also states that “Contractors shouldn’t have to decide between a paycheck and taking care of a sick child.



Article provided by Neches FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland and Beaumont.

Neches FCU is a Texas credit union and has a courteous and attentive team of professionals ready to provide services to our members. When its doors open at any of the several service centers, the mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the imperative for every employee. They are respected for a personal, dynamic and upbeat work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where members are known by name.

Neches has approximately $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches FCU is considered by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in Texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

18 Employee Appreciation Strategies You Should Consider


Employee appreciation strategies

Employee appreciation strategies


The employees that are in the higher up positions such as the CEOs, VPs, Managers, or Presidents are the ones who get the praise for the business success. Of course, they would not have that success if it was not for the employees that are working hard for them. That is why it is important to show appreciation to your employees from time to time. If you need any ideas, here are a couple ways to show gratitude to your staff.

Free Stuff

Free Stuff


Everyone Loves Free Things

1) Take your employees out for a free lunch. Most people do not turn a chance down for a free meal. Plus better work would be done on a nice full belly.

2) Give your employees a gift card to one of their favorite stores.

3) Working for long hours on the job can sometimes cause body pains. It would be a nice suggestion to offer an employee a certificate to a spa. That way they can get their muscles relax, after all they deserve it.

4) For the employee who has been working for many years, a free vacation would be awesome. This would show that employee that you truly value the time and effort that they put in their job over all of those years.

5) Buy your employee a gift such as a customize cardholder or mug. This shows not only were you thinking about them, but you even put the effort into shopping for a gift for them and had it customized.

Staff Promotions

Staff Promotions


Raises and Promotions

6) Give your employee that raise that they have been working so hard for. That would also motivate them to do work even harder.

7) If a salary raise is not enough, how about giving that employee a promotion. Not only will that employee feel appreciate, but it will also give them a confidence boost.

Small gestures

Small gestures


A Little Gesture Can go a Long Way

8) Sometimes just acknowledging that an employee is during a good job can go a long way. Show appreciation by bragging about that employee in front of everyone, so the entire office would know how good of a job they are doing.

9) You can show appreciation to an employee by making them the employee of the month.

10) You can honor an employee by creating a certificate that reads how much you appreciate them, and how they are an asset to the company.

11) You can also just write a little note telling them how much you appreciate all of their work and efforts, and that you are extremely grateful to have them to be a part of the team.

12) Another kind gesture is giving them a pay day off from work so that they can rest a bit. They would feel appreciate, and they will be prepared to take the next work day head on.

13) Instead of taking your employees out to lunch, you can bring the lunch to them at the office.

14) Sometimes employees can get drained of during the same kind of task every day. They would feel so much of gratitude if you take some of the load off them for a day.

Work relationships

Work relationships


Bring Your Employees Closer

15) Hosting a fun contest can be a way to show employees your appreciation to them. This would give employees a break from the hard work, and it will also give your staff a bonding experience.

16) One thing you should never forget is to celebrate your employees’ efforts in the business throughout the year when holiday time comes around. You should prepare corporate holiday cards, business holiday cards or work anniversary cards ahead of time to show them they are critical to your enterprise’s success.

17) Sometimes employees do not feel appreciated because their boss never listens to anything that they have to say. You would be surprised by how just simply listening to your employees will make them feel appreciated.

18) Christmas time is the most giving time of the year. It would be a nice gesture to give your employee an extra Christmas bonus or that special gift that they want but cannot afford. They would forever be grateful and feel appreciated.

Remember it takes a team of people to make a business stay afloat. A company could not be successful without every individual that is part of that team during their job well. Showing appreciation to your employees will ensure them that they are doing a good job, and it will motivate them to continue to do well. So never forgot to show appreciation to your employees, they are the ones that help you stay successful.


This great Human Resources post contributed by, a leader in technology for growing companies.

Take a moment and think about how you handle your staff’s attendance issues and ongoing PTO management. What’s your current strategy? Are you using employee time and attendance software? What about paper products you’ve heard peers tout? Is there someone you’ve outsourced your HR needs to? With the day to day hassles of running a business, modern day managers are changing their strategy to using employee scheduling software to simplify tasks related to staff time tracking management. Leave us a comment below, and we’ll share the most common answers on the next post.

Boost Your Conversion Rates with These 5 Tips

Selling online can be a lucrative experience if your conversion rates are high. An engaging landing page and a thriving social platform are great, but if no one clicks the “Buy Now” button, it’s all for naught. You don’t have to be an SEO guru to boost your conversion rates. With these five simple tips, anyone can clean up the clutter and increase conversion rates.




1. Give People a Few Choices

Everyone likes to have a few choices, and “few” is the key. Placing too many choices on a page can overwhelm the buyer. Opt for fewer products and a single service per page. This will encourage the buyer to make a choice and remove the fear that they missed out on other choices.

Post multiple images of a product. Including photos from different angles, sides, and distances gives customers the details that one image can’t. With one large focal point and smaller thumbnails to choose underneath, the page remains tidy while still offering plenty of choices.

Use the power of “three” for buttons. Especially when offering packages or services, using a row of three buttons gives the person a variety, instead of an “either-or” decision. They can opt for what appears as basic, elite, or somewhere in between.


design contrast

design contrast

2. Create Contrasting Color

Color influences a person’s decisions. While a theme adds to consistency in a website’s design, the call to action should be distinct. By adding contrasting colors to direct attention, conversion rates can skyrocket.

Draw attention to “buy” buttons by using a bright contrasting color from the website’s theme. When using a row of three buttons, highlight the middle button with a bright color and dim the color of the other two. This will make the brighter option more desirable and customers will be more likely to click.

For single products or services, clearly define the buying area by placing a red or other contrasting color border around the area. This singles out the selection button and drives the eyes to focus there. This grabs attention and keeps it.


Start a Conversation

Start a Conversation

3. Start a Conversation

Going social plays a crucial role in boosting conversion rates. Make it easy on customers to sign up and log in to your site with social media accounts. This saves their time by avoiding long opt-in forms and gives them a sense of privacy. In return, it’s easy for them to promote your business because they’re already linked in.

Make it simple for people to share your site by displaying social media buttons. If they know you’re connected, they’ll be more likely to connect. Plus, when they see that others have liked, tweeted, or pinned, it provides credibility for your company. More credibility equals more conversion.

It works on the other end, too. Providing the ability to check out with social media gives buyers yet another opportunity to start or continue a conversation about your product. “I just bought,” turns into “You need this, too.”


Build a Relationship

Build a Relationship

4. Build a Relationship

Building sales starts with building trust. Let people know that you’re real, too, by using photos of real people, not stock photos. When a potential buyer sees that your business is more than just a website, it makes it more personal.

Include contact information on the website. Providing an address takes your business from the virtual world to the physical world. An email address lets people know they can contact you quickly and easily. The ability to call a real, live person on the phone shows that questions can be answered. Contact converts.

Make it pop with a chat box. Availability is everything and if your buyers know that they can get immediate assistance through chat, they’ll be more likely to click “buy.” Email might be viewed as “stock” content, but chat is real time contact. A visitor can quickly become a customer when they know they can get answers right here, right now, through chat.


Engage with Video

Engage with Video

5. Engage with Video

Text is nice but video is better. Embedding video into the sales page engages viewers and keeps them on the page. The longer they’re on the page, the more likely they are to stay on the site.

A video is an easy, dynamic mode of explaining a process, demonstrating a product, or putting things into perspective. Appealing to the eye and the ear, video entertains and informs with very little effort on the part of the consumer. All they have to do is watch and listen.

When the video is embedded on the site, the customer can simply click to buy when the video is finished. This not only increases sales, but also prevents shopping cart abandonment by keeping the customer on the website. Add some short testimonials and a clear call to action, and the conversion rate will increase even more.




Conversion Is Possible

With these five tips, higher conversion rates won’t just be possible, they’ll be probable. Point people in the right direction and they’ll follow your lead. Take the time to engage visitors, forge relationships, and answer questions, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how fast your sales will grow.

Care to comment on our post? Leave it here:, and

Year-End Tax Planning: Soar Above Partisan Politics


The Republicans have retaken control of the Senate and expanded their majority in the House of Representative following the recent mid-term elections. So, how does this change of leadership affect tax reform in the United States?

Tax code

Tax code


Both the Republicans and Democrats are working to overhaul a tax code that is bloated and confusing for many businesspeople and regular citizens alike. A spending bill is also in the works in both houses. At the same time, businesses around the country are eagerly anticipating an extension of certain tax benefits.

This package could involve extending perks like bonus depreciation as well as credits for research and development across an array of fields. Businesses are looking forward to these extensions partly because these benefits will affect 2015 tax filings. To make matters more convoluted, though, the extension of these benefits could complicate comprehensive tax reform in the coming years.

Pivotal Considerations

Bonus plan limitations as well as offering an alternative minimum tax (AMT) are pivotal considerations as Congress mulls over plans to extend these benefits to businesses. For all of those businesses negotiating year-end tax planning, bearing in mind permanent benefits like delayed debt forgiveness and declared special dividends is extremely important. It may also be helpful to decide whether to pay all of your bills in 2014 or delay payments until 2015.

alternative minimum tax

alternative minimum tax


Auditing and possibly altering any accounting method changes before 2014 comes to a close might be an important step to take before the new year brings further extensions and tax reform. Make sure to carefully scrutinize bonus depreciation as well as bonus plan limitations and passive shareholder involvement. With respect to passive shareholder involvement, make an extensive log of hours to get the best return for your time and energy.

Bonus Depreciation and Year-End Review

It’s crucial to note that bonus depreciation expired for all industries except for the non-commercial aircraft sector. Bonus depreciation effectively expired in 2013. The latest legislation features an ex-post-facto bonus depreciation provision once a business tax return is filed. All taxpayers are expected to send in a return statement electing to forgo the accelerated depreciation system in lieu of amending their tax returns.

You should take the steps listed above if you’re feeling especially uncertain about future legislative action.

If your taxable income is likely to be negative, then taking the aforementioned steps might also be a wise move. Lastly, if your net operating loss will not materialize until sometime in the far-off future, then there might be more benefits for you vis-a-vis ameliorating the depreciation deductions over a longer time frame. A return filed prior to a finalization of legislation could obviously be changed to encapsulate any additional expensing.

Depreciating assets

Depreciating assets



Year-end review might be a good option if a client of yours plans on taking on bonus payments this year and making those bonus payments at the start of 2015. Checking determinable and fixed rules, and whether you’ve met those or not, is essential.

All year-end tax planning should include considerations of the alternative minimum tax. If you fail to factor in the alternative minimum tax into your year-end tax planning, then making an appeal later could hurt you. It’s often the case that alternative minimum tax considerations fail to fully materialize until after the return is set up.

You also shouldn’t forget about permanent benefits like Section 199. Taxpayers and tax specialists who look forward to positive taxable income in 2014 should realize that Section 199 offers tremendous benefits to clients.

Section 199 and IC-DISC

Section 199 is offered to manufacturers in the United States. This benefit features a deduction of nine percent vis-a-vis the lesser of taxable income or qualified production activities income. Whereas the bonus depreciation benefit reverses and fails to offer actual cash savings, Section 199 stays constant and offers a cash benefit.




Section 199 might still be applicable to certain manufacturers who have component parts created in the United States. In other words, one part could be produced exogenous to the U.S. and another part could come from a U.S. manufacturer and Section 199 would still be implicated.

For those currently planning to get the Section 199 deduction, IC-DISC is another permanent benefit that could be obtainable. The interest charge domestic international sale corporation (IC-DISC) cannot be applied after the fact, so the IC-DISC might not be applicable for 2014 filing. Exports for 2015 can receive a benefit as long as this plan is actualized at the beginning of the year.

Although comprehensive tax reform is an increasingly looming issue in the background of partisan politics, there are ample chances to actualize the changes listed above right now. A consciousness of the tax code, deductions and benefits can help you sidestep dead-ends and bring value with staying power.

Quick Tax Filing Tip for Small Businesses

Tax season is always a critical time of year for businesses.  Regardless of your filing method, e-filing is a smart option because of the time efficiency, the paper reduction, and the simplicity of record-keeping.

There are countless e-file solutions out there. If you’re using someone outside of your office make sure they choose a reliable platform for their e-filing.  If doing your taxes in-house, search for an efficient way to prepare all the forms and deliver them to employees and contractors. If you need to file a 1099 online, one of the industry leaders is eFile4Biz.  If you have ideas on this topic to share, please visit our other WordPress page here and leave your comments or suggest some useful links to explore on this topic.


They simplify the process. They will file 1099 online for you, as well as print and deliver the paper copies to recipients. Check them out this season.

Working in a doctor’s office

You probably use specific forms for billing insurers. The most vital insurance form is the Hcfa Cms 1500 form. Offices use this form to bill some Medicaid Agencies. The Cms 1500 wasn’t always called that. Starting off, it was named the Hcfa 1500. It was named after the centers for medicare & medicaid service.

Insurance Forms used in medical offices.

Insurance Forms used in medical offices.

Patient care and medical suppliers often use this document.

They must be submitted inside a year from the date of service. Downloading any Cms 1500 Claim forms is not recommended, as it’s printed in a unique ink type. The insurers typically use Optical Character Recognition to scan the data, and process payment requests. Choose a poor quality form – and you’ll receive rejections. Successful payment requests only happen when you use effective cms 1500 version 02/12 Forms, with the correct details.

Most surgical operations require insurance billing forms.

Most surgical operations require insurance billing forms.

A simple tip…

Use the most recent form edition, with the correct ink quality. Ignore these steps, and delayed payments are virtually inevitable. Wait too long to re-send the correct form, and there’s a chance you won’t be paid. Ultimately, you need a quality form from a quality provider. This will your cash-flow continues, un-impeded.  Visit our Twitter and let us know what you though about this post.