Business Musings of a Burbank CPA: Protecting Clients’ Credit Card Numbers

Does your business ask your customers for their credit card numbers at any time during the sales process? If so, it’s essential that you honor the privacy of your customers’ private data as well as stay in compliance with the Payment Card Industry rules.   Every business that has an account with a merchant services vendor is required to follow PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance when collecting and storing credit card data. There are many different levels of compliance depending on the technology you use to capture and store credit card data. These levels depend on whether you use a point of sale terminal, the customer hands you their card, orders are entered through an online shopping cart, or a combination.   In all cases, there are several no-no’s that you’ll want to share with your staff to make sure they are properly trained: Never ask a client to send a credit card number via unsecure email. Never take down a credit card number over the phone on paper before entering it into your system. If you do, you need to shred the paper immediately. Don’t ask clients to take a photo of their credit card to send to you. [...]

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Tax Musings From a Burbank CPA: Do You Really Like Loaning the Government Money?

This is a reprint of a blog I wrote over three years ago, but it still makes sense today.  So, you have filed your income tax return with the IRS and your state, and are now waiting for the refund the government(s) owe you. You are thinking of all the things you can do with that money when you get it. Here are some things to think about as you wait:  1. These refunds are in effect interest-free loans you have made the government(s) over the year through excess withholding. They are just paying you back the money you earned over the previous year that won’t even earn interest unless you file an extension and wait even longer for your money. This is even worse than that bet that your buddy owes you because at least you know where to find him if he doesn’t pay you right away. With our government you call on the phone and wait an hour for them to tell you that the refund is being processed or go on their website and find out there is a problem and you have to call anyway!   2. You could be earning some income on this [...]

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Musing of a Burbank CPA: My Top 50 SciFi Movies of All Time

Here is my Top 50 SciFi Movies of all time: Feel free to comment – these are the ones I truly enjoy watching (again and again). My Top 50 SciFi Movies of All Time 1   The Terminator (1984) 26 The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 2   Star Wars Ep 4: A New Hope (1977) 27 Source Code (2011) 3   Oblivion (2013) 28 Star Wars Ep 7: The Force Awakens (2015) 4   Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) 29 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 5   Jurassic Park (1993) 30 Frequency (2000) 6   The Martian (2015) 31 Wall-E (2008) 7   Super 8 (2011) 32 Planet of the Apes (1968) 8   ET The Extra-Terrestial (1982) 33 Avatar (2009) 9   The Fly (1958) 34 The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 10   Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 35 War of the Worlds (1953) 11 Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1982) 36 The Time Machine (1960) 12 The Fifth Element (1997) 37 Galaxy Quest (1999) 13 Arrival (2016) 38 Jurassic World (2015) 14 Star Wars Ep 5: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 39 I, Robot (2004) 15 Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) 40 Terminator 2: Judgement Day [...]

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