by Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
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“Maad” Rants & Other Stuff

This is a collection of articles that just don’t seem to “really” fit into any one category or topic. These include just plain old “rants” about things that no one ever told me about owning a business, stuff that drives me insane, miscellaneous construction news, articles on social media, and news that you might be able to use.

Happy New Year!

Many people make New Year's resolutions, goals or plans to change things in or about their personal lives that they don't like or just feel aren't working. We all need to stop and make this sort of assessment.

One area that we often forget about in this assessment is our professional lives - and really we shouldn't, as our professional life does take up a great deal of our time.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day. - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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What Are DB File Fragments and Why Do I Get Them in My QuickBooks File?

DB file fragment is basically a measurement of how much your company file changes. It reflects how much and how often QuickBooks messes with it. This is not something peculiar to QuickBooks files. With any file in Windows, as changes to the file happen on the hard drive, Windows sometimes keeps segments of data together, and sometimes Windows will assign segments of data somewhere else on the drive. That “somewhere else”, in QuickBooks, is a DB file fragment.

When you restore a portable copy, it basically plops your file’s data into as much contiguous hard drive as it can find. Then when you do stuff in QuickBooks, the data changes and expands as new records are added or even modified. So Windows pushes the file out into new sectors of the drive and creates a new 'file fragment'.

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QuickBooks 2013 – Where Have the Colors Gone?

QuickBooks 2013 has an entirely new look and I have to admit there are many things about the product redesign that I really like, however, the biggest issue that I have with the redesign is the fact that Intuit has removed the ability to change the color scheme of the software.

Where oh where can my QuickBooks colors be, Intuit took them away from me…….ya, I know that sounds like a really bad rendition of an old song - but color is an important part of our daily lives and is said to influence our mood. What do you think of the new grey-on-grey look of the QuickBooks top icon bar?

Apparently Intuit is hearing all of the negative feedback on the lack of color and are proposing a change - if you would like to see what they are proposing (and I think it's pretty lame) take this survey at https://survey.intuit.com/survey/survey_page.cfm

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EEOC Reports & Government Funded Construction Projects – Q & A

An EEOC Report is really nothing more than than a report that includes how many employees you have that work under specific work/trade classifications by race and gender; including any apprentices or on-the-job trainees.

State agencies can require that you submit an EEOC report on a weekly or monthly basis, if the construction project is funded with State money.

If you perform work on Federal-Aid Highway Construction projects, you may be required to submit monthly reports - using either a Federal or State DOT specific form as well as an Annual Report such as Form FWHA-1391 . Federal-Aid Highway Construction Contractors Annual EEO Report.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 7/27-8/2/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 7/20/2012 – 7/26/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 7/13-7/19/2012

(Technorati claim token 3JSYVT43VAMQ). Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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The First Summer Harvest

Hi, HAPPY Summer! I realize that I haven't been as good about blogging lately as I normally am. I have a lot on my plate and I thought I would share what I've been up to - just in case you've been wondering where I am. My vegetable garden is incredible this year and canning season has started already - it's about 3-4 weeks early this year.

So, on Saturday I made pickled beets and I've included the recipe in this blog post. Enjoy!

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 6/22/2012-6/28/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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Yards & Gardens Are Like Children

Yards and gardens are like children - they require pretty much constant attention. They don't care if you should be testing a product release, working, attending or hosting a webinar, or attending a various number of on-line social media functions. The only difference between a yard or garden and children is that the yard or garden doesn't keep you up all night because it's crying!
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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 6/15/2012-6/21/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 6/8-6/14/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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Worker’s Comp Increases 45% in California, Beginning 7/1/2012

Worker’s Comp and payroll taxes take a huge bite out of a contractors profit when working on Public Works construction projects – especially if the contractor is paying the full fringe benefit rate of the prevailing wage to the employee in cash and not to the Union Hall or into bona-fide plans.

Public Works Construction and Prevailing Wage projects require advanced financial planning methods and tools along with an understanding of the ever-changing compliance requirements — so that you can reduce your overhead and get paid on time.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 6/1-6/7/2012

Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I'll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.

See what caught my attention this week in these topics: Accounting & Taxes, eBooks/Webinars/Videos, Payroll/Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, QuickBooks, Small Business/Organization/Productivity, Construction, and Social Media/Marketing/Website Design.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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