The Basics of Recreational Towing

The first important thing, ensure that the truck you are using is fully capable of towing your caravan. Study the manufacturer’s guide on the maximum weight and make sure you are not exceeding the limits. A well-maintained, well-equipped, and safe towing vehicle should be the part of your caravan holiday.

Most of the people do not have the option to choose a truck that matches their van. Towing something with a truck is a technical task where you need to pay special attention to some technical aspects. For example, one simple rule is that the tow truck must be heavier than the caravan it is towing.

Four-wheel trucks are powerful, capable machines that can transport heavy objects. They can also tow large recreational vehicles. However, using off-road vehicles without going off the main road does not make sense. It is really a personal preference whether you want a manual or automatic transmission. In the past, people have always liked manual transmission. However, the automatic four-wheel drive should be an option for an off-road venture.

A safe towing operation begins with the right selection of a tow vehicle. If you carefully compare the manufacturer’s vehicle rating with that of your vehicle, you will know what you can accommodate in terms of size and weight. A wrong comparison can lead to alarming problems such as handling issues, failed hitches, and breakdowns.

When setting out on a venture, it is important to have a toolkit with all the necessary tools so that you can carry out minor repairs and replacements. A toolkit should have a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, tow strap, shifter, spanner, and other tools that can help you out in an emergency situation.

Make sure you have an appropriate jack which is in a good working condition and that it fits both your vehicle and caravan. In addition, do not forget to inspect tires before hitting the road. Always carry a good spare tire for your vehicle as well as for the towing truck, especially when you have the plan to travel off the beaten track.

Every city or state has its own towing rules and regulations and you need to be in compliance with those regulations and laws. For example, safety chains are required by some cities. Safety chains should cross under the trailer tongue to stop the tongue from dropping to the road in a situation when the trailer separates from the tow truck.

You should always consult a dependable towing contractor if you do not have the sufficient experience or equipment to perform this activity yourself. You can get your recreational vehicle towed by a professional.

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Healthy Eating – Meal Prep Ideas

If you are like many people, you groan at the thought of doing meal prep. While you know it is something you need to do, it does not mean you like it! Meal prep takes time, but if you look at preparing say your vegetables just once for the whole week, then you will find it easier to eat healthy home-cooked meals each evening. Some foods, some vegetables are easy to prepare ahead of time and save well. There are steps you can take with your meal planning to make the task easier and then you will find you spend less time doing the meal prep and more time enjoying your food!

Let us look at a few meal-prep ideas…

1. One Recipe, Many Variations. Perhaps the most significant time-consuming task with meal prep is trying to figure out what to cook in the first place. You have to hunt down recipes, figure out what will work with your weight loss diet and then purchase all the groceries required. Time-consuming stuff!

Instead, look at finding one recipe offering several variations. For instance, you might make a vegetable stir-fry. You can just alter the vegetables you put in the stir-fry, swap out the chicken for beef as desired, and even change the sauce a little. It is the same meal overall, but with small changes that should be enough to keep you interested in continuing to carry on with your weight loss diet plan.

The more you become accustomed to preparing the same type of meals over and over, the easier it will be to plan your meal prep out for the week.

2. Two Words: Slow Cooker. Slow cooking is super easy, and a method of cooking everyone should get into doing from time to time. Just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, turn it on, and by the time you arrive home from work, the food will be ready to serve. Plus, you can make a significantly sized batch, which means you will be eating healthy meals several times during your week.

3. Buy Pre-Chopped Vegetables. The last idea to consider is buying pre-chopped vegetables. Cutting up vegetables is often one job people dislike doing the most, so make it easier for yourself. Buy them ready to go, so there is little to no prep work involved.

While you will pay a little more for pre-chopped vegetables, it is money well spent.

There you have a few ideas to think about using to help make meal prep easier. If you follow these tips, sticking to your weight loss diet will be easier than ever.

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Information on a Career in Architecture Design

If you are looking for a job in the field of architecture, you should check out careers in architectural design. A job as an architectural designer is especially good for people are creative and more interested in the artistic side of architecture as opposed to the engineering aspect. Architecture designers focus on designing structures that include bridges and both residential and commercial buildings. They are concerned with designing a space that is both functional and aesthetic. The type of work that architecture designers do also differs. Many designers specialize in a specific area such as designing educational institutions or residential structures.

Career Qualifications

In order to get a job in architecture design, you need to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in architecture from an accredited institution. When going to school full time, a bachelor’s degree can be earned in four years while a master’s degree can take anywhere from one to five years depending on how many classes you take at a time. Most states also require some kind of licensing in order to practice architecture. It often takes a while to get established as an architectural designer, so the earlier you start getting experience the better. Many architectural designers start interning with firms while they are still in school.

Types of Work & Wages

Many architectural design workers work in architecture firms alongside other types of architects. Although most designers work for firms, some architectural designers also find work as consultants or in positions working for the government. Additionally, some architectural designers start their own firms after working somewhere to gain experience. Wages for architecture design jobs increase with experience and also differ by location; they will generally be higher in large cities. Job prospects for architectural designers look good as the field is expected to grow at least as fast as the average in coming years. In sum, starting a career in architectural design is a good career choice for people who want to combine creativity and engineering to create lasting works of art.

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Comprehension and Communication – "More Than Being About Technology"

The “Information Age” has been with us for some time now. Jules Vern, Isaac Asimov, and Eugene Wesley (Gene Roddenberry) are just a few of the visionaries that many people ridiculed and laughed at for their dreams and insight(s). Many may well argue that they were just plain crazy. I am not one of them. I have always been an avid reader of Sci-Fi mags, books, articles, etc, and its film varieties. Should they not be believed? Just take a look around you. How many people have noticed that drastic change in the world today? How many of you have noticed people walking around with devices that seem to be glued to the side of their heads; seeming like their talking to themselves or appear to be delusional? However, the down side to mobile communication devices is that people are not properly governing themselves to the various disciplines and responsibilities associated with the use of these tools. Are you driving a car and talking on a cell phone? Are you annoying someone who is nearby and not desiring to hear and/or listen to your conversation(s)? How about not being able to function without your personal communication device(s). Albeit, we need to have the connection to information platforms, we still have a very long way to go.

Data is just raw material until it becomes useful information. Remember my piece on IT and BI? The information was/is intended as a teaching and encouragement format to aid any and all American Information Technology and Computer Science Students in their technology endeavors, be you a person of color or not (“Tech Assimilation and Warehousing of Talent”).

My last entry brought about some interesting opinions and comments. A friend of mine made a profound statement to the article. What he said is so on target; it had to be shared with the aspiring Information Technology, Computer Science, and Business students and those who are not. I left the quote in its pristine state due to its consistency. Two other friends made excellent comments to this teaching platform as well. Their examples portray the direct result of what this reporter was alluding to where it affects and the effects of a non-techie person’s ability to interpret the language and structure within the world of Enterprise Wide Technology Information and Communication.

My friend Irma:

What was the phone call about any way? What I am trying to get at is if it was some form of wrong doing why only a phone call then try to treat you like a misbehaved child of hers to boot?

The next time maybe you should put it on tape or speaker- phone so that the demeaning tone, and words used can become a counter complaint. One should always demand respect as well as give respect…for example, my phone is in my home /my possession as one does not ever (even my children) disrespect a home, be it mine or anyone else’s home!!! ! I am sure by now you have gathered I am from the old school (smile)

Irma’s question pertains to the investigation of my “Enterprise” web site as it relates to people who use the Internet for employment searching and the displaying of abilities for potential employers to view. The telephone interviewer/investigator was from the Unemployment Compensation.

My friend Mozell:

Interesting story, it said little but it said something. It sort of read like a recruitment/poor me piece. I failed to get the point but then again maybe I was not supposed to. Sort of like you say prospective employers…If there is in fact a shortage of qualified IT folk, and this void can be filled by qualified black applicants…is it implied that the schools you mentioned have active recruitment components that you wish us to know? Rhetorical…Like my friend I am at a loss to the reason for the ill-tempered caller. To what end was the call initiated? What information did she dispute, or dislike you sharing on your page. Honestly not being privy to your page I do not understand how this post if related would help you obtain employment other than to say you were informed that IT people are in short supply and …you are qualified to fill a position in the field. If your are an instructor, your students are…I shall await further info to form a solid opinion. In the mean time if your goal is to raise awareness of the plight of IT folk you were moving in that general direction. As far as security is concerned and the sharing of info…that’s a tricky topic. Granted they are supposed to be on the same side. I find it a lil crazy, and tend to think hacking is the undercurrent of your piece. I will retire there until you are forthcoming with more info you are dangerously close to the same behavior that you say the non-compliers you speak about practice. Compartmentalized.

Mozell’s comprehension of the IT BI Community is limited. This example should be made aware to people who are lead to believe that they are computer literate because they have the ability to navigate through a few applications and utilize the script-written software and its’ peripherals allowing the portal entry onto the “Information Highway.” This is not to say that there aren’t many skilled individuals who can operate, navigate, and communicate within the IT world without formal training. One of my sons is so talented in the operations and machinations of software and hardware that I sometimes consult with him. I’m the one who is supposed to have the IT/BI and Business Administration Training. Yes?

Now we get to the crux of this message!

My Friend Clark Maxwell:

First of all, assuming that person that called you about your website was from the unemployment office, she was an idiot. That has not happened to me, but I have heard of that before where it is assumed that because you have a website you are actually working.

Part of the problem with IT in this country is that it is the most misunderstood of all of the “industries.” In most cases the people making the decisions regarding who is hired, what projects get done and how resources are allocated lack the understanding of IT to be making such decisions. Most people like to think they are tech savvy but have little understanding. And most projects are doomed before they even start because of it. The stories I could tell…

First of all, there is no IT shortage in the US. That is a myth that has been floated by corporations who have sought to undercut IT workers here using the H1-B program. H1-B for those of you who may not know is a program that essentially allows employers to hire someone, mostly from India, to perform an IT role within an organization. It first started out where that was allowed only if they could not find a person in the US with similar skills, hence the myth of an IT shortage. The thing with H1-B is that employers pay these people far less than the going rates for IT skills in the US, thus undercutting US workers. At the same time, “outsourcing” became popular, wherein on any given IT project; they would send portions of the project, like the programming, quality assurance/testing and other components to shops in India, where they would charge far less. A programmer in India can be paid $10/hr and that is considered high. That same person coming here will get paid more than that but far less than what a US programmer is typically paid. The perspective of the H1-B worker is I make my money here and send it home. When my H1-B visa expires, I go home and live like a king. Companies would hire H1-B workers over US workers simply because of the up front cost savings.

But long term there has been a cost associated with overuse of H1-Bs and outsourcing. In many cases the projected cost savings were eaten up in rework of application code, in inadequate test plans that produced software with many bugs that required fixing after a system is in production, which is always more costly. This happens mostly because of the language barrier and also in some cases because of the time difference and coordination of meetings with key individuals that don’t happen because of it. I have been called in to “fix” many projects that have been outsourced because of the adverse effects of some or all of the above. The reasons these lessons are not being learned as quickly as one might think is because in most organizations IT is a service and the purse strings are held by those who require the service of IT and not the IT organization itself. They tend to call the shots and in too many organizations it is still not understood that when it comes to some decisions regarding how monies are to be spent, that MUST come from IT, or IT at least there has to be considerable input, if they want that money to be spent most effectively.

I have worked for myself as an independent contractor for over 15 years. In that time I have worked every role there is, from programmer analyst to software engineer to systems analyst and project manager. In most cases I work as a lone wolf, but in some cases contracts I take on require a team in which case I bring in my own people as subcontractors. On many of the projects I’ve worked on I have worked with H1-B workers, and, for want of putting it better, just because the person is from India doesn’t mean they are better, even though for many hiring managers that is what it comes down to. While I have worked with some very smart H1-Bs, I have also worked with some not so smart, and even the cheap rate they accept is not worth it. But the perception is entrenched. On the flip side, I can honestly say that some of the smartest people I have worked with in IT have been African American.

And speaking of hiring managers many of these gate keepers are clueless not only about how to properly evaluate the skills of prospects, but also do not understand the technical requirements for the projects and departments for which they seek to hire. I’ve had recruiters call about projects and ask the most ridiculous questions that have no bearing and indicate that the most they can do is say words and little else. If anyone asks you “where do you see yourself five years from now,” you may as well stop the interview right there, as I can almost guarantee you it’s a waste of time. The changing dynamics of technology and working in general makes that question just plain stupid.

In short, the biggest obstacle to the US IT industry is the US IT industry itself. We have skilled workers here who can fill a lot of these roles but for the desire of corporations to go cheap. We can’t nurture a strong IT workforce here if we continue to put people in a position where they cannot make a living. In a sense, we are ceding our homegrown technical edge for the short-term gain of profit. In the long run it’s not worth it.

That said, here’s the advice I would give to persons of color in the industry or just starting out and seeking to get in.

1. The most successful IT person today is going to be one who understands the Big Picture. You should understand the SDLC, e.g. software development lifecycle process, and how your role fits into that, as a programmer/analyst, business analyst, systems analyst, QA analyst or implementation person. That means you understand not just your role but the roles before and after yours in the development process.

2. Strive to not be a one trick pony. Many people will bill themselves as a .Net Programmer, for example. Hiring managers are looking for people who can do multiple things, like write documentation, specifications, understand database design, etc. Focus your professional development on skills that are ancillary to yours.

3. If you are someone in college seeking to get into the industry, the best place to be is a consulting firm where you are likely to be exposed to different technologies. Experience is favored over education. Most managers will take any day, the person who has experience in, Unix shell scripting, vs. someone who just completed a course. The person who has a diversity of skill sets is going to be the person most attractive to hiring managers. If you hire on to a company early on in your career that is wedded to one technology after only a few years your market value may be in jeopardy, as what is “hot” technically changes all the time.

4. Develop on your “soft skills.” I tell people I mentor all the time: the IT industry, more than being about technology, is a “people” industry. People tend to hire those who can demonstrate confidence in their abilities and have the ability to develop trust. Verbal communication and body language is very important. Also understand how to be a team player as well as a leader; someone who can put together and run a meeting, as well as thrive in a team environment. Develop the skills to be a “self-starter” and that is someone who has a clear grounding in #1 such that they do not need to be told what to do in most cases, they already know. Look for ways to “add value” above and beyond your role.

5. Invest time in networking. Join local chapters of IT organizations; create profiles on IT-related sites that promote networking. If someone passes a job to you that is not a good fit, think of whom you can refer it to.

And here is the problem with a lot of the academic programs. The curriculum that many offer for Computer Science degrees are just outdated and/or inadequate. Students come out of some of these schools and they lack the skills to even get in at an entry level. And the vast majority of the people that I have worked with have not had CS degrees. Back in the day before there was such a thing as Computer Science, if someone wanted to get into computing they would seek a degree in Electrical Engineering. I would still recommend that as engineering curriculum better prepares a student for being able to diagnose, analyze and solve problems, which is a big component of what an IT professional does. An IT professional, if nothing else, is a solution provider.

Early in my career I have often been the “only black.” The problems I encountered with that is a big part of the reason why I went out on my own, and in retrospect it’s been the second best decision I ever made (marrying my wife was the first!). But you don’t see much of the overt racism that we dealt with back in the day, although its still there it’s not as blatant. In many if not most cases, the cost of IT services is such that most organizations cannot afford the foolishness of race, and while hire and promote those that can deliver, regardless of race or sex. Speaking of my own experiences, I’m still not ready to say if that is the rule rather than the exception though.

I would advise and encourage the preceding statement(s) as it is (in my opinion) one of the most prolific and profound statement and explanation that I have heard in a very long time. IT/BI students should especially take heed to what my friend(s) have said. One day it could be you that is searched out for the absorbing of knowledge and guidance.

For individuals who have found themselves out of work and receiving UC Benefits, use the Internet to gain employment contacts. Do not allow anyone to sway your diligence in the pursuit to gainful employment. The one thing that U.S. workers have as a financial backup is the Unemployment Compensation Insurance Structure. Thank God for its existence! Many of us would be ruined without it!

How many of you have initially applied to companies and/or the various organizations with a paper application? Today’s job searching platforms just don’t allow it! It doesn’t matter to what organization…everyone is utilizing the Internet for the hiring process! Don’t believe? Try it for yourself…let us know if you can still apply for a job in today’s market without the utilization of the Internet, regardless of the profession, business, and/or industry.

“Sister Irma, Thank you as well. Your sentiments are right-on! The respect of my home is not an option, as I believe to be true of other folk’s homes. The woman made an ass of herself and it makes no sense in arguing with an ass.” Yes?

“Brother Mozell, I hope that Brother Clark has answered your question.”

In reiteration, “I Don’t Know A Lot Of Things But…The One Thing That I Do Know Is…I Don’t Know!”

Til Next Time…


Ms. Irma Robinson, B.I.A.

Mr. Mozell Fleming, B.I.A.


Mr. Clark Maxwell, B.I.A.

Thank you to all my Friends and Visitors at “Black In America”

Thank you Mr. Maxwell, you are a master communicator as well as the meanest tech dude I have ever heard speak. I know this is a open blog but you need to bottle that wisdom and sell it. You are nothing short of amazing in your insight, experience and knowledge. Your words are simple enough for the least educated tech person like me to understand and full enough for the seasoned tech person realize that you are the real deal. Bottle that my brother I think you just built the better mousetrap!

Posted Monday, June 8th 2009 at 1:35PM

Mozell Fleming

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The Top 7 Mistakes Amateur Motivational Speakers Make

Motivational speakers are gifted to use words to paint incredible pictures of the possibilities of the future and make you want to take action. The best motivational speakers will shock you out of lethargy, make you want to aspire to climb Mount Everest and dig tunnels to surmount gargantuan obstacles. Such is the power of motivational speaking that the best organizations would move mountains to get the best of the best to keynote their retreats, annual conferences and conventions events. And the best motivational speakers don’t come cheap. The top one per cent gets paid as high as $20,000 per 90-minute engagement, with all expenses paid, including limousine services, first class air ticket, and suite in a Five Star hotel.

Such is the allure of motivational speaking that every trainer, teacher, comedian, consultant, and coach today includes motivational speaking as his or her forte. There is nothing wrong with anybody aspiring to become a motivational speaker but don’t allow the top seven mistakes trip you. With all the wars, suicide bombings, kidnappings and other atrocities assailing our world, we need motivational speakers in spades. This article sign posts the key mistakes you need to watch out for, and also serves as a guide anybody aspiring to jump into the motivational speaking band wagon can use to navigate his way to safe harbors. The mistakes are not in any particular order, and as in any field, they clearly overlap, but taken together, they form a powerful yardstick to measure your progress towards mastery of your game. Here we go:

1. Following a guru formula

Peter Drucker once said the word charlatan was too difficult to pronounce and that’s why someone invented the word guru. You have gurus in every sphere of human endeavour, they come in various shapes and sizes. Next to the spiritual world there is no other sphere of human life where you will find more gurus than in the training world, but beware. The guru’s world may be different from your world so don’t just take what you heard the guru say hook, nail and sinker. Weed out the grain from the chaff. Understand the context of the guru’s “must do” before you open your mouth.

2. Not being authentic

Every actor wants to be like Roger Moore, every footballer wants to be like Pele, every boxer wants to be like Muhammad Ali, and of course, every motivational speaker wants to be like Orson Swett Marden, Zig Ziglar and Og Mandino rolled into one. We admire these legends, in fact, we worship them. But note that you are not any of those icons. The only reason someone will come to hear you speak is because of your uniqueness. Trying to mimic the platform mannerisms, voice and anything else others do will only water down your authenticity. Be unapologetically yourself and the whole world will beat a path to hear you speak.

3. Using jokes not suitable for your audience

While the mantra in real estate investing is location, location, location, in motivational speaking, the one and only mantra is audience, audience, audience! Accordingly, your jokes, if at all you need to use them as part of your repertoire, have to be audience specific. And do not be mistaken in thinking that audience laughter is a key attribute of a good speech. How many people laughed when Martin Luther King Jr., the greatest motivational speaker of all time, gave his “I have a dream” speech? Motivational speaking is about moving your audience from a state of desperation to a state of elation, so be careful with jokes. Trying to be funny when not necessary and using irrelevant jokes is the hallmark of the amateur.

4. Using the same speech for different audiences

This is one of the trickiest aspects of motivational speaking: matching speech to audience. Point three above on matching jokes to audience is just a little part of this bigger issue. While your message to different audiences can be the same, your speech must be delivered differently. If you wish to achieve the desired impact, you cannot deliver the same speech the same way to nurses and soldiers, for instance, on the need to be humane while on duty. While being humane is central to the nurses’ vocation, to the soldier, the only thing that matters is valour, so your speech must be crafted accordingly, with careful variation on what to accentuate and where to put emphasis.

5. Acting and not speaking

I recently experienced this first hand at a very high level conference. If the offender had been an upcoming speaker I would not have paid much attention but the culprit was a veteran of the industry. He spent the greater part of the time rolling on the floor to emphasize a point. When speaking, you must use word power to persuade, motivate, and inspire. Whether you are speaking for instance about colour, aroma, scenery, you must use words to capture the vibrancy, pungency, and ambiance, while using body language to drive the message home. Rolling on the floor, crying and boxing your audience members may make you feel good but will certainly leave your audience members sad that you have wasted their time. In motivational speaking, you have only one tool: your voice, to do the job. Body language is the icing on the cake.

6. Dressing casually

The message you convey to the audience when you dress shabbily is simply that you should not be taken seriously. In some cultures, dressing carelessly is regarded as an insult to an audience. While your voice is the primary tool you require as a motivational speaker, the most important secondary tool you need is your dress sense. Your dress sense forms part of your body language and sets the tone for you to mesmerize and magnetize your audience. While you must match your dress sense to the audience, a good rule of thumb is to dress a shade better or more formal than the audience. In short, never put your guard down – dress properly. Err on the side of impeccable sartorial savvy at all times as you never have a second chance to create a great impression.

7. Not preparing well

I deliberately left this point for last. By logic, it should be point number one. The best motivational speakers prepare for every assignment as if their life depended on the assignment at hand. From investigating the audience, the venue, past speakers on the subject, and the microphone, they leave nothing to chance. Darren Hardy, the Publisher and Editor of Success Magazine, once commented that most audience members don’t understand why motivational speakers get paid up to $10,000 for an hour’s speech. He then went on to say, “that one hour speech may have taken three or six months to prepare.” As with any other line of serious business, preparation is the key to success. As Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink and many other iconic best sellers, pointed out, you need 10,000 man hours (about 10 years) of preparation to reach the tipping point. Having arrived there, you cannot rest on your laurels but must keep perfecting your act. Thoroughly prepare before you mount the platform.

Having read to the end, I want you to renumber these points in reverse order, with number seven being number one and number one being number seven, in that order. If you guard against these mistakes, and keep honing your style, dress sense, elocution, diction, platform manners and elevate preparation to the status of catechism, it will be a matter of time before you move to the top ranks commanding mouth watering fees as some of the greatest orators of old.

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MYOB – Frequently Asked Questions – Part Two


Q. A Customer paid us too much but as they are a regular, would like us to put their account in credit but when I enter the payment the additional amount goes into the finance charge box. Is this O.K. or is there another way to process it?

A. No that’s not O.K. – it’s a nightmare to undo incorrect finance charges and it won’t actually put their account in credit. Avoid finance charges unless they ARE finance charges. Sorry about the tone but I have a thing about Finance Charges as you can tell!

When a Customer overpays you actually over type the amount in the amount applied column with the actual amount you received. Any field that turns blue can be over typed. When you record the transaction a pop up window will appear that will say “This payment will result in 1 credit memo. Use settle credits to apply the credit to an open receivable or to write a refund cheque”. Click O.K. When you generate another Invoice for your Customer you can apply this credit amount.

Q. My Bank Reconciliation doesn’t balance with my Bank Statement – what do I do?

A. Firstly – don’t panic. In the Bank Reconciliation window, print the reconciliation. Find a quiet corner where you won’t be interrupted and mark off transaction by transaction using your bank statement and matching to your bank reconciliation. You will probably find you have either transposed a transaction ie 1200.63 instead of 1200.36 or you have left off a transaction altogether. You could also have ticked a cleared transaction off in error but the bank statement will be correct so just take your time and locate the out of balance amount.

Q. I recorded a Purchase and entered the wrong amount – can I change this?

A. Yes you can providing you are on a Payment GST filing basis or if on an Invoice GST filing basis, are in your current GST accounting period. If you have already filed a return using the Invoice GST basis with the incorrect transaction, you will need to credit the transaction in the current period and also re-enter it in the current period.

Q. What is the difference between the Invoice Basis and Payments Basis when filing a GST return?

A. The Invoice Basis is where you claim or pay GST on Sales and Purchases made even if they have not been paid in your current GST period. The Payment Basis or alternatively known as the Cash Basis is where you claim and pay GST on payments made on payments received in the current GST period. For the Payments Basis the Bank Statements are an absolute record of all these transactions.

Q. I want to enter a new Account Code but don’t understand what is different about a Header Account and a Detail Account – I suppose I need to put it in the right place – what do I need to know?

A. Yes you do need to know the difference between the two. A Header account is the total of all the Detail accounts that fall beneath it. For example, you may have a Header account called Income that has Detail accounts breaking down how that income was made. The Income Detail codes could be made up of Product Sales, Service Sales, Miscellaneous Sales, etc, which are all Income related accounts but are recorded as individual Sale Account codes to give a total to the combined Header account total.

Click here to view more FAQ’s about MYOB accounting

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Why Use A Health Insurance Broker

Why use a health insurance broker, you muse? Don't brokers cost more money, after all they have to make a living too. Why spend more money for something that can be easily done on ones own. Well, there are certain advantages to be had from using the services of a health insurance broker and your insurance premiums don't go up as a result. You will pay the same price whether you use a health insurance broker or you go directly to any health insurance company.

So, you're now saying to yourself, what 'the catch? How do these people get paid? The answer is that insurance companies pay these independent brokers a commission the cost of which is covered by inclusion in all health insurance premiums. In other words you're paying for this broker's advice anyway so why not take advantage of it!

The Three Sources of Insurance

There are three sources of insurance and two can reasonably be accessed online.

1. Captive agents are those selling for a single company.

2. Telephone agents sell only over the phone and again avail you of the insurance perks of a single company.

3. Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers represent numerous insurance companies offering a variety of options in coverage and cost. They spend the time and effort accomplishing the task of researching and acquiring the necessary information in order to offer you the best combination of price, coverage and service.

OK, enlisting the services of a health insurance broker seems like a good idea. Now the next question arises, how does one find such a broker who is qualified to do the job and how does one know who are the effective ones and the ones that are less so. There are certain criteria that these people must meet in order to be in business. They must be licenses by the State, and unlike an agent who represents an insurance company, health insurance brokers represent you the client only.

Many of the best health insurance companies are based online. The trouble is with 100's of different health insurance companies to choose from, only by using an individual with knowledge of the whole market, can you make an informed decision.

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The Impact of Motivational Speakers

One of the great things about motivational speakers is that they have the ability to trade a positive impact on the lives of many people. Although many people can see this profession as somewhat cheesy, this is one of the few professions that can create a change big enough to literally change the world. The reasons are many and that is what this article will be about. You will see the many benefits that these types of speakers bring, the impact they can make, and the life-changing effects they can have on an audience. Hopefully by the end of this article you'll look at the speakers differently.

If you look throughout history, many of the most memorable moments came down to a speech that was given by someone famous. Words such as, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" and, "I have a dream." Think of the many times during a sports event where a losing team miraculously comes back and wins the game after the players are exposed to some motivational speech. You see, what these speakers deliver are words. You may think that words are just words but you must realize that words have power in them. Words can move mountains. Words can bring people to tears, make them laugh, and even fall in love. Words are one of the most powerful things that we have. Motivational speakers are in essence, masters of the spoken word.

There so many stories of people who heard a motivational speech and got inspired to make a change in their lives. People have literally transformed their lives from one of mediocrity to one of success and happiness after listening to the words of a motivational speaker. Although the effects of motivation can be short lived, while it's still there, it can get a person to do things that they never would have done before. It can cause them to get out of their comfort zone and really go after their dreams.

In order to really take advantage of any type of motivation that these speakers can provide for you, you must be able to take action when that feeling of motivation strikes. Otherwise, you will just be merely entertained by the speech and will not have your life changed as a result of listening to it. The next time your company hires one of those motivational speakers, make sure you listen well because what they have to say can change your life forever.

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Life of an Offshore Business Analyst

This article details on the role as an offshore business analyst and the changing role of offshore business analysts.

With the boom in outsourcing and the focus of firms shifting to add efficiency at lesser cost, more BA roles are being created offshore. Not to say that all jobs are being shipped offshore, but we definitely see firms being more receptive to not restricting a business analyst role being only a client facing role. The world of outsourcing has now evolved to the hybrid model (on site / offshore model of outsourcing and in some cases near shore for strategic reasons). In fact I know a lot of firms that have as a mandate for deals a 40:60 rule when it comes to projects. 40% on site and 60% offshore to better leverage the capabilities offshore and of course manage the project margins better. Organizations, project managers and leads often struggle to increase the offshore numbers and reduce the on site number (70:30) or so in the interest of margins.

Traditionally in the IT and the ITES sector, the offshore roles were restricted to development. The growth of Offshore Development Center's (ODC) in India in the software export zones are a testimony to this fact.

How does it impact you as a business analyst?

If you are a developer or a programmer, then this could be your golden opportunity to scale up to a BA role. Today there is a big gap between the demand for BA and the supply of quality BA candidates in market. While organizations are looking for quality resources that can scale up from being mere programmers and software developers or testers to take up the roles of solution designers and solution providers. While requirement gathering may be one part of your role, BA roles are expanding to include more responsibilities in the name of optimization.

If you are a programmer or a developer looking to scale up to the role of a BA, keep in mind, the task is not simple. I have in the past had emails from readers, who just send me their profile and ask me to do a magic to get them into a BA role. People always tend to take the easy way out. With a business analyst role, this is a "no-no."

If you wish to be a business analyst, you need to be willing to put in the efforts to scale up from your current role and expand your area of ​​responsibilities with limited to no supervision. You will need to think out of the box (Think outside the bun as it says in Taco Bell ads) and look at adding value to the project and organization. These are sure shot ways to success. I would rather stick to these time-tested methods than trying my feet on short cuts.

What can you do to position yourself better as a business analyst?

Simple – Scale up. Take on more responsibilities in your offshore role. I know it is easier said that done. But that is your only solution to move up the chain to be a business analyst. Please also keep in mind that a business analyst role comes with its own challenges, responsibilities and of course rewards. If you are looking to be an offshore business analyst or are currently in an offshore business analyst role, then a few pointers below might help you.

  • Communication Challenges – An offshore business analyst often gets struck in the web of communication. Being offshore is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage because you are more affordable translating to more options and opportunities. It is a dis-advantage because you never truly know what the client is thinking, how he / she is reacting to your comments and what is lost in translation and interpretation over the phone.

So you as an offshore business analyst will need to put in twice the amount of effort to manage client perception than an onshore business analyst. Make no mistake – Onsite business analyst roles are equally hard if not much harder at times. I could be a perfect example. As someone who has been the face of the project for the client, being chewed and crushed in managing perceptions yet swimming through to save face, I had the privilege of being an on site and an offshore business analyst / management consultant. Listening and communication is your core to be great at an offshore role. Work on it.

The effectiveness of the process is always in question depending on the complexity of the business requirement but with time and effort we could evolve to be better in the offshore business analyst role.

  • Standardization of processes – Traditionally it is only the development and testing phase of the projects that were typically done offshore. But things are changing progressively. Now clients require that even the requirement gathering be done offshore through phone and other modes of virtual communication. Though a big challenge, it is well adapted by the industry.If you are an offshore business analyst, look at standardizing your requirement gathering process. Based on your industry and past project experience, come up with effective questionnaire's that could help the client answer as many questions as possible to provide clarity on scope and requirements. If you do not understand an answer, ensure you do what is needed to get clarity from the client on the question. Never assume an answer irrespective of how logical the answer might seem.
  • If you wish to be truly pro-active, I would in fact, go one step ahead and start circulating questionnaires to industry leaders and to your past clients in your respective industry seeking their inputs on the current challenges in a specific area. This would turn out to be great inputs to help launch your product or service to the client. I'm also certain that the client appreciates the fact that you still think about them and their problems though you are not working on their project at the moment.

Organizations are now looking to bridge the demand / supply gap of business analyst by promoting senior programmers and solution designers to the take up business analyst responsibilities. Are you up for it?

Your resume, experience and expertise could make all the difference between you being a BA or remaining a programmer. Do visit the services page on our website – "The Smart Consultant" to understand what we could do to help you with your resume and transition to your dream business analyst role.

As always, I wish there was a perfect black book to help you. But there never is.

For those of us who believe a BA role is to necessarily only meet with clients and gathering requirements, I hope this article is a wake up call. Welcome to the changing world of business analyst.

For more information on business analyst certification, please refer to the IIBA website.

If you are an offshore developer or a BA or a BA working onsite then, please share your thoughts and experiences through the comments section of my blog.

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Architectural Design and Drafting

To be fully qualified in their work, the architectural drafter needs to have training and experience in a wide range of subjects related to drawing and construction.

1. He or she must be completely familiar with the principles of orthographic projection. This would include the relation of views, projections, sections, developed views, reflected views, Intersections of members of a structure, etc.

2. They have to know the Architectural Symbols, and the methods of representing various forms of construction.

3. They have to be acquainted with the history of architecture. This includes building practices that have succeeded as well as those that have failed the test of time.

4. They have to know the principles of pure and applied design.

5. They need to know various construction materials, their strengths, characteristics, limitations and various uses.

6. They should have a working knowledge of creating perspective drawings, how to shade them with shadows, and rendering so that a design can be better understood out side of the 2 dimensional plane of drafting.

Architectural drawing is not just a mechanical operation and neither is it a subject to be learned separately from architectural design. The subject of architectural placement and arrangement of visual elements of a building must go hand in hand with the ability to mechanically draw these elements. And those that study this art are indeed exceptional people because they are of the few that can relate something imagined and transfer it into an accurate visual representation known as architectural construction plans.

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