Friday, August 16, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Out & About in our Community This Week

While in Community this week,  our team had the opportunity to tour one of the newest schools in our local School District, Capistrano Unified School District.    Our team was quite impressed by innovations including built-in projection gear, flexible seating and other innovations underscoring a student & teacher-centric approach to teaching. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): On Stepping Up Journalists' Safety

Our team has made an editorial decision to feature this newsflash courtesy of the team at the Committee to Protect Journalists which will be featured on all our key Virtual Properties for the Week :

Stepping up journalists’ digital safety know-how
CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team released in July an updated Digital Safety Kit to provide journalists with the latest information on how best to protect themselves and their sources through secured digital accounts, devices, and online communications. The kit also provides practical advice to help journalists navigate digital threats like phishing attacks and specific concerns related to crossing borders, when authorities may seek to inspect devices.
Available in English, FrenchSpanish, and Russian, journalists and media organizations may freely use and share the text under the terms of our Creative Commons license. News of the kit was well-received on social media, garnering hundreds of likes and retweets, and was distributed to partners, who welcomed the resource and shared it through their networks. 
Separately, CPJ went to CĂșcuta, Colombia, in July with a partner organization to educate Venezuelan journalists on digital safety. Journalists working in Venezuela have been facing rampant harassment both online and offline, and CPJ has been advising individual journalists and media outlets on the ground on how to strengthen digital security practices. The three-day meeting in CĂșcuta, a safe location that is relatively easy for Venezualan journalists to reach, was designed to build expertise in a small group of journalists that they can then share with colleagues inside Venezuela.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): The Daily Stoic Reminds Us....

We are pleased to feature this courtesy of the team at the Daily Stoic with many ideas to remind us all of the righteousness at hand:


What good is the weekend if we don’t use it for some quiet reflection and recharging? That’s why we’ve designed this new feature: the Daily Stoic Weekly Recap. In one convenient post, you’ll get the best of what we sent out during the week, as well as links to some other helpful stuff to think about and meditate on over the next few days. Make some time, pull out a journal, or sit down with friends and family—and pursue the good life!






Friday, August 9, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): On Equifax

Some 147 Million People have been impacted by the Equifax Breach--members of our team here at the Daily Outsider are among those affected.   We commend the team at Technilious for putting this together that we are pleased to present for all :

With payouts expected to drop substantially, 10 years of credit monitoring may be the better deal.
If you were a victim of the Equifax data breach, you were probably looking forward to the $125 payment the company offered because of a recent settlement with the FTC. There’s just one small problem: there isn’t enough money to pay everyone.
The settlement only includes $31 million to make those payments, but the Equifax breach exposed the personal information of 147 million people. If every person affected by this data breach asks for a cash payout, the settlement money amounts to less than a quarter per person. And apparently, a lot of people want their cut of the cash, because the FTC is now warning that you won't get $125.
If you aren’t looking forward to cashing a tiny settlement check, you have another option: 10 years of credit monitoring. We take you through how to switch your claim to credit monitoring (and how to make your claim if you haven't already) in our story on Techlicious.
Read more
Suzanne Kantra
Founder, Techlicious

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Notations From the Grid : On Local Affairs in Our World

Please enjoy the following on Housing courtesy the team at CalMatters and on the future of Transportation courtesy the team at CityLab:

Charges may apply: Since 1956, the United States has collected a federal fuel tax to contribute to the Highway Trust Fund, pairing money to help build and maintain roads with the gasoline and diesel that vehicles burn on them. But the tax has stayed flat as cars have become more fuel efficient, and the growing number of gasoline-free cars threatens to further deplete the fund, which has been running a shortfall for many years. How will the feds fund future road repairs?

California, Washington, and Illinois are each mulling a “mileage tax,” where drivers pay based on the miles they drive rather than the gas they consume. That raises a dilemma, though: Charging electric vehicle drivers a mileage fee might slow the adoption of EVs at a time when cheap gas is fueling a climate catastrophe. Does it make sense to make these drivers pay up? CityLab’s Laura Bliss reports on a new attempt to weigh the tradeoffs: Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay Per Mile?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Mid-Week Edition): Out & About in California

It is the dawn of the Census here in the United States.    One of the key things it will determine is Representation.   Our home state of California is at the forefront of making this process non-partisan. This is an update from California on this as we urge other states to consider what has been done here in California: 

The California State Auditor is tracking applicant demographic data on a daily basis by gender, ethnicity, political party, region, and county. Here are the latest results:

As of Monday, August 5 at 6:00 a.m.
Total Initial Applications Submitted: 13,735
Tentatively Eligible Applicants: 11,662
Updated Citizens Redistricting Commission application data is available to the public at

About the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission

Every ten years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters FIRST Act authorizing the creation of an independent Commission comprised of 14 members. The 2020 Commission will include five Democrats, five Republicans, and four who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The Commission is responsible for drawing the lines of each district. The initial application period for new Commission members began on June 10, 2019, and will now run through August 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.   

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): A "Tipsheet" on Accouting Systems

As part of our mission here in our Education Property, we are pleased to present the following on Cash vs. Accrual Accounting courtesy the team at KPMG Spark:

Not sure what Accrual means? Unsure if Cash or Accrual based accounting is better for your business? Then this is the email for you...

One of the issues facing any business, but especially a startup, is how to deal with accounting issues. Both cash and accrual accounting strategies are beneficial under specific sets of circumstances, so it’s important to have a basic grasp of each method.

What is Cash Accounting?
The majority of smaller businesses use cash basis accounting when starting out. When cash accounting systems are in place, transactions are recorded as they happen. In other words, income is recorded when a customer pays their bill. This applies whether the business is a small merchant selling goods in a brick-and-mortar shop or a service provider like a plumber or mechanic. When a customer makes a payment, that payment is entered as income.
Expenses are handled in much the same way. When a business receives an invoice, that invoice is simply a piece of paper until it’s paid. Bills owed are not shown on the company’s books until they are paid. Only when the payment is actually sent to the vendor is the amount entered as an expense.
For example, assume an electrical contractor agreed to upgrade a home’s wiring during a remodeling project. The contractor purchased a new electrical panel, wire, and other materials for a total of $2,000. The supplier charged the electrician’s account for the materials and delivered them to the project site. At the same time, the electrician received a deposit from the property owner for $2,500 as partial payment for the materials and the electrician’s labor.
So, how are those transactions entered in the electrician’s books? The check from the electrician’s client would be entered as income, but no entry would be made yet for payment of the materials, as the invoice hasn't been paid. That means, at this point, the electrician would show a profit of $2,500.
If the $2,000 invoice from the material supplier was paid, the net profit would now be reduced to $500. Once the project was completed, the electrician would bill the client for the remaining labor charges. If that amount was an additional $1,000, that amount would not be entered until the customer actually paid the bill.
The cash system is simple for smaller businesses, and the majority of business owners have no problem keeping up with this type of system. Most small business owners use some type of accounting software that’s relatively uncomplicated. Accounting experts generally recommend software that doesn’t include a long learning curve as most small business owners have no desire to delve into complex accounting issues.
How Is Accrual Accounting Different?
In many respects, accrual accounting is quite similar to cash accounting. Income and expenses are still entered into the bookkeeping system, as every business must track their costs to determine how much income is generated (find this type of arduous? reach out to one of our bookkeepers today).
The primary difference is when the data is entered. Remember that, under cash accounting, income is entered when a customer makes a payment and expenses are entered when the vendor is actually paid. That changes under accrual accounting. When accrual accounting is used, income is entered when the product or service is delivered to the customer. By the same token, expenses are entered when an invoice is received, not when it’s paid.
Now, let’s revisit our electrical contractor. If the contractor generated over $5,000,000 of business per year, he or she would be required to use the accrual method of accounting. That means the way the income and expense from a project would be entered differently.
Again, let’s assume the contractor obtained a $2,500 deposit from the client. That amount would be entered immediately as income. Now, the cost of the materials would also be entered as soon as the invoice was received. So, we’re still at the same $500 profit at this point. The difference comes at the end of the project.
Remember that $1,000 additional invoice for labor at the end of the project? It would be entered as income as soon as the invoice was generated even though the client had not yet paid that bill.
If you’re accustomed to cash accounting, using the accrual method will probably appear to be counterintuitive, as the method appears to consider the invoicing to be more important than the actual payments made. However, there are reasons larger organizations typically use the accrual system.
When the Government Gets Involved
Every business is required to file taxes. That means all the financial data collected throughout the year will be needed to report income and expenses accurately. Those businesses that use cash accounting simply look at their totals and use those figures to file their tax forms.
Guess what? Businesses using the accrual system do basically the same thing. But, again, the figures used are based on billings and invoices received, not actual cash. In a way, that may seem unfair, but even if the cash flow isn’t always accurate, the amounts will balance out over time.
The government actually requires larger firms to use accrual accounting, as it’s commonly believed to more accurately portray the overall profitability of an organization. If a business generates in excess of $5,000,000 of sales per year, the organization must use accrual accounting. The use of accrual accounting also makes it far easier to audit a company.
When accrual accounting is used, it’s far easier to determine if a company is profitable over a longer term. That’s vitally important information when there are investors involved who need to know their current investment is safe or if additional funds should be invested in the future.
Understanding Cash Flow
One issue created by using accrual accounting is understanding cash flow. When cash accounting is used, it’s pretty easy to see the business’s cash flow. However, when accrual accounting is used, there is no easy way to determine if a business is actually generating cash.
On the other hand, cash accounting makes it more difficult for outsiders to develop an accurate picture of a small business’s financial picture, as cash accounting skews profit-and-loss issues in the short term. A business can look incredibly profitable one month and yet have no money the next.
Which Accounting Option is Best for Your Business?
In every instance, it’s a good idea to work closely with an accounting professional to determine which accounting system to use. However, the vast majority of small business owners will opt to use cash accounting simply because it’s perceived as the easiest way to track their income and expenses.
Smaller businesses generally do fine when using cash accounting, and it’s intuitive for most people because it’s similar to the way people track their personal finances. Accounting software geared to cash accounting is also easy to use and inexpensive to obtain.
If you expect your business to cross that $5,000,000 in revenue benchmark, discuss the issue with an accounting expert. While it’s possible to change from cash accounting to accrual accounting later, doing so requires filing additional paperwork.
Most small business owners can easily get by using cash accounting, and they don’t feel intimidated by the nuances of the system. However, don’t hesitate to get professional advice if there are unusual circumstances involved or your company is growing.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Monthly Edition): As a New Month Dawns

As we welcome all, we decided to headline our notations with this from Henry Ford--that's why we began our Journey as we look forward to the privilege to serve.

We present this snapshot courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office on a window into US Finances: 


CBO’s Projections of Federal Receipts and Expenditures in the National Income and Product Accounts: 2019 to 2029

Federal receipts and expenditures in the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) differ in certain ways from revenues and outlays as shown in the federal budget. This report presents CBO’s May 2019 baseline projections using the NIPA framework.

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