Fractional Vacation Ownership: Strengths and Disadvantages

Rising ever more popular since its beginning, and now more than ever because of all the special advantages, is the business of vacation ownership. 

With many benefits to vacation and leisure enthusiasts, more and more travelers cannot withstand joining the increasingly popular trend of possessing a timeshare. Nevertheless, just like the saying “you can’t please everybody”, timeshare isn’t for everyone. Notwithstanding its growing industry, some would rather keep it safe in the curb instead of risking thousands of dollars in having shared homes that are located very far from home, and which they might not make the most of.

And while all of us wish to have that worry-free fantasy vacation that the industry claims, we must always keep in mind that there are inevitable benefits and negatives in getting a timeshare home. And these are factors that we all need to think about before diving into the timeshare trend.

To begin with the positive factors of timeshare ownership, the involvement of money is the first thing to take into consideration. In comparison with buying a piece of real estate property that a person or family will only use once a year, or even forking over for the costs in a hotel, having a timeshare property is smart and cost-effective for frequent vacationers. 

VALUE-FOR-DEAL. Not because you paid much less that means you get less. As a matter of fact, the best part of timesharing is that it presents the same benefits and comfort that you get when you own a property. Hotels and condominiums that can be owned for a fractional price supply luxury guestrooms or suites, fully-equipped kitchens, large common rooms, and access to other amenities and facilities just like your typical luxury hotel or resort.

Other remarkable benefits of maintaining a timeshare include the exclusive perks that go with it, like use of the health spa or golf course and access to exclusive restaurants, and the exclusive exchange system that allows owners to stay in different properties every year if they choose to.

SCHEDULE CONFLICT. One of the common reasons why some would still go for whole property ownership is the benefit of holding your own time. Timeshare companies offer their members benefits of travelling each year; then again, this setup does not work for everybody. Some tourists do not have the luxury of time to take a yearly vacation, or some would favor to travel with flexible dates. In addition, the yearly upkeep fee would be useless if the vacationer chooses not to use up his/her annual weeks, or is not able to trade it.

The business has also become a nest for scams to prosper. Timeshare hoaxes are everywhere, and if you’re not cautious enough you might fall victim to one of these. 

It is common for people to get tired of things or to be tempted to locate something new, and some owners end up selling their timeshare investments. This is an inconvenience since these assets are tricky to sell, especially with the ongoing …

Teaching Jewelry Making Workshops for Profit

Teaching jewelry making workshops is a fun and easy market niche, with the opportunity to earn good money by sharing something you love to do.

You’ll find a ready supply of students waiting to learn from you; currently there’s a big demand for jewelry workshops and classes.

Many people are thrilled with the idea of creating jewelry, but don’t want to invest in the supplies until they’ve tried it. Or they may want to add a new jewelry making skill to their repertoire, or simply enjoy socializing while they create something beautiful to wear.

Teaching is a good way to keep money coming in during the times of year when sales are slower for your finished jewelry. You can even choose to limit your workshops to only those months of the year when you’re not busy selling your own jewelry at shows.

Teaching opportunies abound. A few examples of places to hold workshops include your own studio; in local art, craft, or bead shops; in active retirement communities; in schools or for homeschooling groups; at birthday parties; for women’s clubs; at lapidary clubs; in community colleges; and at RV parks.

You can put together a variety of jewelry kits that your students can purchase from you to use at your workshops, or bring an open selection of supplies for them to choose their own components.

However, the more choices you make available, the longer your students will take to select their components. Your workshops can be much easier for you as the instructor if you simply provide a variety of kits containing all the parts to make something.

The more jewelry making workshops you teach, the more people will ask you to teach. Your students will want to make more jewelry, or they’ll ask you to do a workshop for a group they’re in, or to lead a jewelry-making session with their Girl Scouts.

Your teaching opportunities tend to snowball once you get started.

You probably won’t run out of workshop ideas, because your students will always let you know what they want to make next, or someone will have heard about your through the grapevine and contact you to ask if you can teach them how to make something special.

Here is a list of potential jewelry workshop students – groups who are VERY interested in what you have to offer them:

Girl Scouts
Women’s Clubs / Organizations
City Parks and Recreation
Local Art Galleries
Local Craft Stores
Local Bead Shops
Needlework Shops
Local Lapidaries
Lapidary Club
Women’s Craft Groups
Women’s Church Groups
Country Clubs
Community Colleges
Private Schools
Home-school Groups
Active Retirement Communities
Activity Centers
Women’s Home Parties
Spouses’ Activity at a Conference
Cruise Ship Activity
Summer Day Camps
Mentally / Physically Challenged
Veterans’ Groups
YMCA’s
Retired People’s Organizations
Adult Education Centers
After-School Care Programs
Vacation Resorts
RV Parks

This list should get you started; it’s just a general list, and with a little brainstorming you’ll probably come up with some great ideas for the area where you …

Does Agile Work?

I want to get started on this short article by mentioning that, at one particular time, I used to be not a proponent of Agile in the slightest degree. I labored over an amount of assignments, which ended up stalled or failing, called agile projects. In a nutshell, they have been definitely a warped standpoint of “Agile”, or what everyone thought was “agile courses sydney”. In reality, these initiatives have been the identical old Waterfall/ SDLC projects, making use of the conferences and terminology of Agile.

Does agile work? Much like any software, when applied appropriately it works. However, all through my profession, I have witnessed it staying implemented incorrectly, whereby a single environment soon after yet another experienced contorted the methodology to fit quite outdated, inefficient processes, instead of re-evaluating the procedure to suit the methodology, which might have rendered an the best possible final result.

Will agile work in our environment? Agile has become thriving in many environments, substantial and compact, like some environments together with the most stringent requirements; for instance, Healthcare, Banking & Finance, Insurance, Technology and Retail with Payment Processing, to name but a few. Agile isn’t always a quick flipping of the switch, nonetheless. This is why I have coined what I refer to as my 35/35/30 rule. When implementing Agile, 35% of the group will jump on board with no question, a different 35% will convert over soon after some period of time, and then there is 30% that will not move and will have to be, let’s say, urged to move over. The biggest issue together with the 30% is that they can drag down the other 70% if executives do not mitigate this challenge promptly.

With all of that becoming said, why is there such a big push towards Agile? I would’ve to say that the biggest advantage of Agile is Quick Course Correction. Agile allows businesses to make changes quickly, reach the market faster and experience a faster R.O.I. 1 of the aspects I like most about Agile is the transparency and inspection. Of course, depending on whom you are speaking with, this may or may not be viewed as strength of Agile.

Why are there teams that do not like Agile? Over the years, I have found that those who are incredibly much opposed to Agile don’t actually have a problem with agile courses sydney itself; rather, they don’t like the visibility and accountability that comes with Agile. Personally, I have become an extremely big fan of the Scaled Agile Framework (Safe) by Dean Leffingwell, because of its ability to scale into enterprise environments, while rendering almost immediate results. Much of these results are attained by clear course of action and accountability that once may have been missing.

What about those environments that are having difficulty with agile courses sydney and its implementation? In my findings, I’ve noticed a consistency among those having difficulty with implementing the methodology. Agile is a methodology that does require full commitment, or there …

Investing properties accounting information

The overall objective of the financial accounting reporting according to the conceptual framework of the International Accounting Standards Table (IASB), is to provide users with the most decision-useful information. Measurement of investment property at fair value according to the IASB more relevant information than the alternative transaction-based historical cost, by presenting a value that represents the market value of the property, ie that it can be sold in a transaction at arm’s length, between knowledgeable, willing parties. The financial statements reflect the company as a direct return in terms of rental income and indirect returns in the form of changes in value of the properties. The goal is to provide users of financial statements relevant information. Unreliable information will not be relevant to a user of the financial statements. Type and extent of the additional information provided must be determined by how reliable fair value can be determined. Investment properties are valued primarily using valuation techniques based on expected future cash flows, the least reliable level measurement hierarchy to the IASB. The greater the extent that it is of judgment and uncertainty, the greater the need for qualitative and quantitative supplementary information in the financial statements.

The main provision of additional information relating to the valuation of investment properties IAS 40 § 75 letter d), which reads: “An entity shall disclose (… ) about the methods and significant assumptions applied in determining the fair value of investment property (… )” formulation is general and the specific requirements for information to be provided and the level of detail associated with these may be unclear. Interaction with IAS 1 is central and this standard requires disclosures about key sources of estimation uncertainty, see § § 116 to 120 Based on the wording, it is not possible to establish a comprehensive and accessible overview of all the information that must be provided when the extent and type of qualitative and quantitative information is situational. Which level of information that adequately protects the user’s account information needs to be evaluated against quality standards of the IASB framework. To assess the requirements of the standard, it would be natural to look to the present best practices recommendations. For example, the International Valuation Standards Committee (IVSC) and the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) has developed best practices-recommendations related to valuation, disclosure quality and presentation. The question will often be what the company should be disclosed and not what they should disclose. The purpose of best practices releases is to ensure comparability between real estate companies, as well as being a professional benchmark for valuers to meet user information needs. The objective is achieved by providing guidance on how information should be provided in accordance with IFRS and what additional information beyond that IFRS should be given (EPRA 2009), and to publish standards for valuation should be carried out in practice (IVSC 2005). But the publishers of best-practices recommendations are not standard setters, and thus has no authority to interpret or oblige companies an enhanced disclosure …

12 Accountant's Jargon Phrases Explained

If you are a new business and have not had the experience of accountancy, you may come across some terms that are regularly referred to by accountants. The terms used can seem confusing at first so we have prepared a jargon buster list to help give you some understanding of what the terms mean.

1. Accountant – An accountant is a person who looks after the business finances of companies. Services accountants offer may depend on the needs of individual clients. Accountants can provide analysis and advice and prepare financial reports, manage financial data and submit tax returns on behalf of their clients.

2. Actual Accounts – Actual accounts show a true and accurate record of a company’s business at year-end and this usually includes all assets and liabilities.

3. Audit – An audit is an official inspection of financial accounts for a company. Audits are usually done before the submission of the end of year accounts. It is worth noting that you should not ask your own accountant to complete an audit of your business account, this should be done by another accounting company.

4. Audit Trail – An audit trail is a set of documents that provide historic evidence of the transactions of a business. The main purpose of an audit trail is to help the auditor to verify all business transaction over a set period.

5. Balance Sheet – The balance sheet gives a snap shot of a company’s financial status at different points in time. It shows what a business is worth and includes all assets and liabilities.

6. Bookkeeper – A bookkeeper keeps an accurate record of all business transactions by recording them in ledgers or by using computer software. Bookkeepers can produce reports for submission to a client or accountant.

7. CIS Sub-contractors – The initials CIS stand for Construction Industry Scheme and applies to contractors and sub-contractors. The scheme applies to all payments made to the construction industry such as builders. If you have not used this scheme before it is best to seek advice from HMRC.

8. Capital Gains Tax – Capital gains tax is applied to any profit that has been made when assets have been disposed of by transferring the asset, selling, receiving compensation for the asset or by giving it away. HMRC has full guidelines to help clarify any exemptions from this rule.

9. Filing and Submissions – Filing and submissions are terms used for getting accounts to HMRC. This is done by either filing out a returns form or submitting the details on the HMRC website. Penalties can be made on those businesses who fail to file or submit their tax returns in the given time period.

10. Payroll – Payroll deals with accounting for wages of employees. This includes tax deductions, national contribution payments, and absence due to sickness or holidays. The details are submitted to HMRC using various forms such as a P45, P46, P35 employer annual return, P11d employee expenses including class 1A National Insurance …

Virtual Assets Marital Property?

Written by Wyckoff Nissenbaum [ www.MAFamilyLawBulletin.com]

A great tech blog, Gizmodo, recently featured an article titled “Virtual Assets Are Not Community Property”. For those who do not know, online gaming worlds have virtual goods for sale that cost real money. The article discussed a recent divorce ruling in China addressing whether virtual assets are includable in the marital estate.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 34 lists 14 factors to consider in determining an equitable division of marital assets. While it is important to understand how the Court will ultimately divide the assets, first it is necessary to determine what is as a marital asset. The Court determined that “A party’s “estate” by definition includes all property to which he holds title, however acquired. Therefore, this provision gives the trial judge discretion to assign to one spouse property of the other spouse whenever and however acquired” See Rice v. Rice, 372 Mass. 398 (1977).

At the time of the Rice ruling, the Court most likely did not contemplate that there would be an online world containing virtual assets. So does this mean that assets in virtual land are not subject to division? The assets can probably be considered marital assets and these assets are worth big bucks. TechCrunch.com estimates that in 2011 sales of virtual goods will be approximately 653 million dollars and the social gaming industry will be worth over 1 billion dollars. When getting divorced everything either party owns may be considered marital assets, so it is important to find a lawyer that understands how to make the facts work for their client.

​…

Accounting Services are Very Handy in a Lot of Ways!

An accounting service provides various forms of assistance a business or an individual might be in the requirement of. These comprise but are not bounded to external auditing, managerial advisory, final accounts preparation, system design and normal tax services. Development of an accounting system works best for corporations and companies. It is done by analysing and evaluating the present control systems taken under use by the organization, finding out any areas that need improvement and then designing a system that match well the organization and its procedures. External auditing, in contrast, tops the line of services required by organizations and companies when they employ an accounting service. This normally entails an independently working as well as Certified Accountant who inspects an organization’s and company’s financial statements in the most serious manner to make sure that their contents are absolutely fair. Moreover, advisory services are offered by an accounting service for organizations that require help in managing their finances, budgets and all other policies, procedures, systems and each of the business activities that influence, indirectly or directly, the financial situation of the corporation or organization. In addition, tax services can be managed by an accounting service that manages the tax preparations as required by the organization and serves as a representative at the time of tax, investigations, assessments and similar events.

Further Benefits of Such Service

In general, an accounting service offers people a chance to save huge amount of money. While there are people who can do the task by themselves, there is no guarantee that they are capable to do that successfully. Accounting is a very complicated and taxing matter. It involves many details that can effortlessly be manipulated and may give rise to problems at some point. Having an educated and trained individual, or group of individuals, to manage everything can assist save time, money and related other resources.

These individual’s expertise in accounting reduces the chances of mistakes during and even after the complete accounting procedure. An accounting service provider company is made up of professionals who have finely taken training in the field of accounting and are always up-to-date with the most modern developments in the field. Due to these, they are most proficient of handling accounting matters. Moreover, these professionals are bound to have years of experience backing up the efficient services that they provide, giving one assertion of the job carried out the way it is expected to be done.

Apart from the kind of assistance one receives, there is the savings in terms of a lot of resources naturally utilized in accounting processes. Some companies and organizations prefer to hire and have their personal accountants on board. Though this might look cost-efficient in several cases, it is however sensible to choose outsourced accounting service provider company most of the cases. Employed or personal accountants charge more with the time. There are employee compensation to pay for, monthly salaries at less busy seasons and insurance, medical and the likes. Getting a accounting service outsourced …

Improving Employee Engagement to Drive Business Performance

A New Strategic Wave 

The Employee Engagement Revelation

Executive leaders and human resources (HR) practitioners are more frequently recognizing the importance of an engaged workforce and its potential to drive business performance and impact the bottom line. Engaged employees are people that are highly motivated and vested in the success of their organizations and are willing to make an extra, discretionary effort in their daily work.

Academics, consultants, psychologists, and even financial analysts have written much on the subject of employee engagement during the past fifteen years. Most of their focus has been on what drives engagement, with empirical research identifying several factors. These factors range from the employee-manager relationship, to a challenging work environment, a company’s focus on customers, outstanding performance recognition, and career development opportunities. By understanding the most important factors that drive engagement, HR leaders are able to develop effective engagement programs.

A more compelling outcome of engagement research, however, shows that an engaged workforce impacts business performance, and ultimately, shareholder value. Put simply, companies with higher percentages of engaged employees perform better than their industry peers. Indeed, researchers at the CIPD, Gallup, and Towers Watson have validated the impact of employee engagement and HR best practices on business performance. 

Equally interesting, financial analysts have taken notice. For instance, a recent equities report focused on a large international bank cited that employee engagement scores are highly correlated with shareholder returns. Further, the report highlighted that the engagement score difference between the bank and its nearest competitor is costing the bank approximately 26 Million USD additional profits per year. As a result, the financial analyst downgraded the bank’s stock.

Given the mounting evidence, it should come as no surprise that CEOs, CFOs, and senior HR officials are taking serious notice of employee engagement. Companies that fail to engage their staff face significant risks – including financial ones – relative to their competitors that have established systematic engagement strategies.

Demand Increasing for Talent management

In a 2010 study by SumTotal across 300 global organizations, 59% of HR practitioners indicated that their personnel were not adequately prepared to meet their companies’ future goals, a perception that has been on the rise for several years. This alarming trend has created a sense of urgency among organizations to develop holistic talent management strategies.

Leaders in all business functions – including CxOs, HR practitioners, and line-of-business managers – need accurate and accessible workforce information to make the right decisions to support their business objectives. To provide this level of visibility, organizations are integrating their HR processes and information into holistic talent management systems.

These systems encompass numerous strategic HR processes that enable companies to effectively plan, hire, align, develop, reward, manage, and analyze a high-performing workforce. The goals of talent management are straightforward – hire great people, ensure they are properly trained, align their goals to corporate strategy, reward top performance, and provide timely motivation to retain the best employees.

Improving Employee Engagement With Talent management

Since employee engagement has a direct impact …

Office Makeover – How To Do Things Properly

Is a makeover for your office in the wings? While it is normal to feel excited at the prospect, remember that office makeovers are generally hectic and stressful affairs. There are a lot of things that can and do go wrong. Having been in the commercial fit out industry for quite some time now, we know what mistakes most businesses make during a make over.

In this post, we’ve outlined the five most common mistakes that businesses tend to commit during office makeovers. Avoiding them will make a lot of difference to the final look your office make over gives your Sydney office.

1.  Diving in – headfirst: An office makeover needs to have been analysed, budgeted and planned out before you start work on it. Remember that you’ll be investing time, effort and money on the makeover. Diving in without having formulated a concrete plan of action will give you results that are far below your expectations.

2.  Scourging the market for the lowest price: Some businesses want office fit out companies that will give them the best quality fit out work at the lowest price. While there is nothing wrong with trying to keep costs down, do bear in mind that there are multiple purchases that keep cropping up along the course of the makeover. Settling for the lowest price, may also lead to the lowest quality.

3.  All by yourself: Some businesses choose to do their fit out designs by themselves. Office fit out companies know how to best utilise spaces to create designs that give offices a professional look. Several businesses which decided to go solo ended up exceeding their budget and time constraints.

4.  Too many cooks: Don’t involve too many people in the office makeover process. Appoint someone who knows your business and employees extremely well to overlook the fit out work. If you get too many people pitching in with their opinions, it will slow down the makeover considerably.

5.  A very tight budget: Some businesses try to cut costs by compromising on one or more components during an office makeover. For instance, a business chose to buy used furniture to keep costs down. However, incorporating “old” furnishings in a “new” décor led to a look that was far worse than what they were looking for.

Office Fit Out Sydney Pty Ltd is one of the office fit out companies that has been around for long enough to know what can go wrong. We see to it that those mistakes never make an appearance when we take over a project. If you’ve got an office makeover project lined up, contact us today.…

21% In Pima Now On Ahcccs

One in every five Pima County residents is now enrolled in a state health-insurance program for Arizona’s poorest residents.

As the economic downturn persisted in 2009, the state’s version of Medicaid added more than 200,000 people, including nearly 30,000 in Pima County.

It’s a significant, historic jump, state officials say. No state program in Arizona has grown faster than AHCCCS, the governor’s office says.

Between 2004 and 2008, the number of Pima County residents enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System jumped by 27 percent.

During that same period, the local population increased by about 13 percent.

AHCCCS is for extremely low-income individuals and families in Arizona – in general, for people living at or below the federal poverty level. That would mean an annual income of less than $10,830 for an individual, or less than $22,050 for a family of four.

The income caps are so low that many people existing solely on unemployment insurance are earning too much to qualify for AHCCCS, program officials say.

As of Dec. 1, there were 213,876 Pima County residents enrolled in AHCCCS – 21 percent of the population.

Statewide, enrollment jumped 19 percent between Dec. 1, 2008, and Dec. 1, 2009. It’s now at 1.4 million.

“Programs like Medicaid are countercyclical and are linked to the unemployment rate,” said Monica Coury, assistant director of intergovernmental affairs for AHCCCS. “In June of 2007 we were somewhere at about 3.5 unemployment, and as we went from 3.5 to 9 percent our enrollment figures have increased in a similar fashion.”

Though there was a modest decrease in enrollment from December to January, Coury said it’s not significant enough to indicate a downward trend.

“Think about the fact that our state’s economy is heavily focused on real estate and construction, and those industries are disproportionately affected and not expected to bounce back anytime soon,” she said. “A lot of people are struggling right now.”

Longtime Tucson resident Lorie-Anne Peltz enrolled in AHCCCS in September after becoming ill with kidney stones.

Peltz lost her job as an administrative assistant for a brokerage firm in January 2009. The single mother of one also lost her health insurance, and eventually her home and vehicle, too.

She applied for jobs constantly, all the time working toward an associate’s degree in criminal justice. She’ll graduate this June.

But all she has ever been able to find are temporary jobs, most of them paying less than $10 per hour.

Except for a brief two-month period of unemployment in 2004, Peltz had always been able to find work, she said. Her first job was in a doughnut shop when she was 14.

But this past year has been different.

She’s not sure when she’ll get steady work again. Until that time, both she and her son will remain on AHCCCS.

“I want a job. I need to pay my bills,” Peltz said. “It’s very frustrating. I’m busting my butt, always putting out applications.”

What’s also frustrating is that a lot of …