Simplify Holiday Retail Employee Scheduling Using 7 Simple Tweaks

Simplify Retail Employee Holiday Scheduling Using Seven Simple Tweaks


Holiday work shift

Holiday work shift

Scheduling your employees can be a challenge any time of the year, but when the holidays come around, that challenge is greatly intensified. Accommodating employees who are going out of town, those who want to take time off to be with family or those who simply like to take their annual vacation before Christmas can be tough. Fortunately, you can take control of the schedule as the holidays inch closer by using the following seven tips:

1 – Know Their Availability Before the Holidays Approach

One of the things you can do is to find out about an employee’s availability before the holiday season approaches. Most people will know their plans for the holidays before they actually arrive, so this can be a great time to take advantage of this knowledge. Ask them to put in their requests for time off at least a month in advance so you can be ready.

Employee incentives

Employee incentives

2 – Inform Employees of Holiday Incentives

Some companies offer incentives, like holiday pay, for working on major holidays. If your company offers this, make sure that everyone knows about it. You might find that there are plenty of people who want to work as they want the extra money.

3 – Find out What Needs to Be Covered

Since there will certainly be people on your staff who want to work on and around holidays, find out as soon as possible who these people are. When you do this, you will have an idea of what shifts can be covered and how many people you will need to schedule on top of that. Again, the sooner you find this information out, the better off you will be.

Fairness with employees

Fairness with employees

4 – Be as Fair as Possible With Your Holiday Scheduling

The two main holidays that people want off are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some businesses, however, will still need coverage on those days. In this case, be as fair as you can and try to schedule employees on Thanksgiving or Christmas instead of both. You may find that a sign-up sheet will help, too, as you can see who prefers to work on which holiday.

5 – Don’t Book Employees on Too Many Shifts

The last thing that you will want to do when it comes to holiday scheduling is to get overzealous with your schedule. This means that you want to avoid booking employees for too many shifts, if possible. What does this mean? It means that you should not schedule an employee to work on Thanksgiving, and then expect them to work on Black Friday unless it is unavoidable.

Working overtime

Working overtime

6 – Watch Your Overtime Hours

It isn’t just your employees who need to pay attention to the holiday schedule; you will need to do it, too, as you will want to watch your overtime. Many times, employees will rack up hour after hour of overtime and holiday pay, and that can cost your company a lot in wages. Do your best to work hard and track who is working a lot of overtime and who is working the holiday time-and-a-half hours. You might have to start limiting some of your employees’ schedules.

7 – Get Your Schedule Posted as Soon as Possible for the Holidays

Finally, you want to make sure that you are posting your holiday schedule as soon as you can. There will inevitably be changes to the schedule as people switch shifts and try to accommodate their personal schedules. You can avoid most of the call-offs and no-shows, however, by posting the schedule as soon as you can.

Employee work schedule

Employee work schedule

Though you likely won’t find it to be fun when scheduling your employees’ shifts for the holidays, hopefully you will find it a bit easier this year than it has been in years past. By using some or even all of the above suggestions, you should definitely see an improvement.  If you have ideas on this topic to share, hit our Twitter page and leave your comments or suggest some useful links to explore on

this topic.

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Brands in E-file Tax Software You Can Trust

Who are the Most Well-Known Brands in E-file Tax Software?

Online tax filing is inexpensive and the instructions are easy, so many business tax preparers will be choosing to e-file  their taxes in 2015. If you would like to use e-filing to file your taxes but are uncertain as to which company has the best software, the following information should help you make an informed choice.

e-File Tax Software

e-File Tax Software


Top E-filing Tax Software

TurboTax is currently the number one tax-filing software out there. They have the highest accuracy and best support out of all tax programs. TurboTax has been around for many years, and most who file their own taxes  choose to use this software.

Cons of TurboTax
The only con of using TurboTax is the fact that you can’t import your tax information from other software. Other than that, this software is nearly perfect for any tax return. Many other tax programs are not as user-friendly as TurboTax, so it’s highly recommended to choose this software first, when filing your own returns.

This software is a very good one, second only to TurboTax. It’s fairly easy to use when filing your own tax returns. You can file a free federal return and pay as little as $14.99 for a state return. Even if you don’t have all the knowledge needed to file taxes, this software makes it easy.

Cons of TaxACT
Unfortunately, TaxACT does not provide free telephone support, in case you run into trouble and need help. You also cannot use a mobile version of this software yet to file your taxes. Either way, this is a great software to choose when you want to file taxes online.

H&R Block
Although this company is well known for filing taxes in person, they now offer software do you can file your own taxes online. They have made the online version easy enough to use that you don’t have to go into the office to file your taxes.

Cons of H&R Block
You can file very complicated returns using H&R Block’s online filing, but their returns are more costly than some other programs. Because they have implemented their experience with tax filing into the software, they can charge more money. The cost may still be worth it if your tax return is complex but you still want to file online.

This company is well known for their online e-filing. They offer audit assistance if needed. Individuals in the military can file for free; otherwise, their e-filing is very low cost. Prices are listed on their site, so there is no guesswork for what you’ll owe. The software is easy enough to use, so anyone can file, even with very little e-filing knowledge.

Cons of TaxSlayer
If you prefer to download software directly to your computer, TaxSlayer does not provide downloadable versions of their program. You must purchase a CD-ROM from their site or another store, which will take additional time. This may be a problem for some, but overall, it’s still a good choice for e-filing online.

eSmart Tax
This software is actually a part of Liberty Tax, which is a well-known name in the tax industry. If you’re doing 1040 filing, you can get do so for free or for a low cost, depending on certain factors. The best part is that free chat support is available for all customers, whether you are paying for your services or not.

Cons of eSmart Tax
There is no telephone support available,  only chat support. You must create an account before being able to utilize chat support, making it impossible to ask any questions at all, unless you open up an account. Depending on the complexity of your taxes, you may or may not be bothered by their limited customer service choices.

e-Filing in The Cloud?

If you want to file 1099 forms online, but don’t want to use desktop software, there are options.  You can use the latest cloud technology. The industry terminology is SaaS, or Software as a Service. Basically, it’s highly secure web software that functions as good as desktop software – and most time better. Why? It’s really simple. It shortcuts some of the process with transferring your data between software applications that may have “communication issues” and become an IT test for you.

Typically, these SaaS services are available via a website address, which means you can typically do your filings from anywhere. Software updates and support issues are typically non-issues because the website software is constantly updated and scrutinized for improvements. The bottom line is that e-file services are a massive time-saver and a productivity booster for any company that needs to do tax filings.

We’ll go over some of the industry leaders in another post, but here’s the video for one of the industry leaders – They file 1099 online for you – as well as W-2’s – and deliver printed copies to the recipients. Check them out, even if you’re just looking for criteria to do a wider comparison of providers to choose from.


Many are choosing to do their own taxes through e-filing as opposed to going to an expensive tax preparer. E-filing is significantly lower in cost than using a professional tax preparer, and may cost as little as a tenth of the cost of a professional preparer. If you’re looking to save money, you should choose to file your taxes online.  Stop by our Delicious page, and post your comments or resource links to debate this matter further.

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Do You Really Need Labor Law Posters Littering Your Office?

Labor laws and running a business.

If you run a small business, there are basics you need to be aware of. There are several rules and regulations you must comply with, to operate legally. The authorities require you to display labor posters that relate to your industry. Meaning, you must display the correct posters offering information your employees need. These requirements are enforced by U.S. laws, and should be taken seriously. Lack of adherence these guidelines could result in your business being fined, or shut down.

Labor Law posters help you comply with the rules and regulations.

Labor Law posters help you comply with the rules and regulations.

They’re designed to protect both you and workers.

Labor postings provide valuable details your employees need to know. They show information regarding their rights or safety procedures when in the workplace. Labor laws change frequently, and this becomes a critical detail for you as a business-owner.  Unless you are checking on these changes daily, you could be at risk and not even know it.

Find the right labor law service for you.

Finding a provider that alerts you of new posting changes and updates is a good idea. More specifically, search for one with in-house legal staff to offer detailed info. A good long term supplier will have competent customer assistance as well.

Labor postings provide safety details employees need to know.

Labor postings provide safety details employees need to know.

The repercussions of not having the right posters can be steep.

Businesses that fail to comply usually ended up with large fines. Worse yet, they can be shut down until they are back in regulatory compliance. Posters are designed to protect both you and your employees.  They share vital information, and make the workplace a safer environment.


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The Purpose Of The HCFA CMS 1500 Form

The most significant medical billing form today.


If you’re in a medical office position, typically, insurance reimbursements come from submissions of specific forms. There are so many that they can become downright confusing. In most offices, the HCFA CMS 1500 form is the most widely used document submitted for reimbursement.

The form was previously known as the HCFA 1500 but has since been named CMS 1500. The name change came as a result of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Most medical offices use this form to bill some of the Medicaid State Agencies.

All insurance paid treatments require the CMS 1500 for payment

All insurance paid treatments require the CMS 1500 for payment

Usually used by non-hospital patient care providers and medical suppliers.

The rule is that you must file the form with the payer within 365 days of providing the service to your patient. Cms 1500 Claim forms can only be used if they are printed with a specific ink. This makes getting downloaded or photocopied copies of the form unusable for turning in claims. The forms are scanned using a specific technology called Optical Character Recognition.


Scanning errors happen – often.

Almost 100% of the time, if the ink is not the needed quality on the form, scanning errors result. It’s critical that you have the form with the exact ink and information on it to have a successful form submission. You can ensure your form submissions are accepted by using the latest form edition, along with the correct ink color and quality. Omit these 2 simple guidelines, and it could result in form rejections, and delayed reimbursements. Obviously, you should only buy cms 1500 version 02/12 forms from a source with a reputation for quality products.


A chance you could not get paid at all.

What’s worse is that if you wait too long to re-send the corrected form, there’s a chance you may not be paid at all. So make sure when purchasing this form, you are buying from a company that is reliable, and has the exact ink that is needed. The result of this diligence is a stream on timely insurance payments for your services rendered. The alternative to using the paper format of this is to use 1500 claim form software. It’s typically more expensive, but for large companies, it can save a great deal of time and money.


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