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Some Newbie Financial Questions

bgupton

Novice Member
Jun 19, 2010
29
0
I will be signing in about a week or so and want to get all my ducks in a row. I have some questions reguarding keeping up with expenses, paying for shows, etc. I hope some of you can help me. I'm sure I'll have a lot of these questions answered when my consultant kit comes, maybe, but I want to be sure.

  1. Will HO send out something showing the money I earned this year?
  2. I'm new to self employment, so what kinds of expenses can I count as deductions?
  3. Best advice in paying for shows? Separate bank account, debit card, advice on closing shows out, etc
  4. When you accept checks are they made out to you or the hostess? Which seems to work the best?
  5. Lastly, any other tips or advice on the finance end would be greatl appreciated.

Thanks so much!
 
Sep 14, 2009
6
0
I will be signing in about a week or so and want to get all my ducks in a row. I have some questions reguarding keeping up with expenses, paying for shows, etc. I hope some of you can help me. I'm sure I'll have a lot of these questions answered when my consultant kit comes, maybe, but I want to be sure.

  1. Will HO send out something showing the money I earned this year?
  2. I'm new to self employment, so what kinds of expenses can I count as deductions?
  3. Best advice in paying for shows? Separate bank account, debit card, advice on closing shows out, etc
  4. When you accept checks are they made out to you or the hostess? Which seems to work the best?
  5. Lastly, any other tips or advice on the finance end would be greatl appreciated.

Thanks so much!

Brooke,

Congratulations! You are about to start a wonderful journey. It sounds like you're starting off right, getting all your questions lined up and answered before you jump in. I'll give you some information to get you started:

1. HO posts our 1099 on Consultant's Corner in the beginning of the year. We can print it out and put it with our tax paperwork.

2. The best thing you can do is to keep detailed records, starting now, of all your expenses. Your starter kit, business supplies (order forms, catalogs, pens, etc) and the mileage to your shows are tax deductible. You can also claim kit enhancements - items you order for yourself to expand your kit. If in doubt, write it down and your tax preparer can answer any questions for you! I am sure the other consultants will hit some items I have missed as well!

3. You should definitely keep a separate account for your business. Debit or credit card, that's a personal preference, but you will definitely need one. You can find the order form for the PC cards on Consultant's Corner, I believe.

4. Personally, I have checks written out to me, but I live in a VERY small town and I know all of my customers. For anyone not living in a town like mine, it would probably make the best sense to have all checks made out to the hostess. That way, she is responsible for any that may bounce and you don't have to worry about it.

I have the PC credit card and their website is wonderful and easy to use. I pay my card balance online after every show and there are no fees for doing so. I have been really happy with it.

I wish you the very best of luck!

Chera
 

lesliec

Veteran Member
Mar 31, 2010
1,001
6
I am new too, so I am not 100% on all of your questions, but will help where I can. 1. Haven't done this long enough, but my guess is yes, or that you can print something out through P3- the program we use to input shows.
2. Nearly Everything. Gas, home office (portion of all of your house-hold bills based on home office), phone, internet, any office supplies.....
3. I would suggest a separate bank account. You will also need to get a PC debit card, which will link to your bank account.
4. This is up to you people do it different ways. I try to get CC info, b/c to me it seems the easiest. I do tell the hostess at the show, that any outside orders after the show either need to be made by cc or Check made out too her so that we don't have to worry about getting together again and she can give me the CC info over the phone.
5. Lots of info on here, just nose around....
 

raebates

Legend Member
Staff member
Dec 6, 2005
18,357
437
Yes, you'll get a form (I want to say a 1099) that lists all of your compensation--commission, incentives, etc.

Deductions beyond the basics (mileage, postage, products purchased for your kit, show expenses) you can deduct the cost of ingredient for practicing recipes. It might be a good idea to talk with a tax specialist for specifics. You'll find a lot of good ideas here, but we aren't necessarily experts.

It's definitely a good idea to set up a separate checking account for PC. You can get a PC debit card for that account. I like to keep a good $50 to $100 in that account to cover my own errors and the occasional (I've only had 3 in 6 years) guest check that doesn't clear. It's a good idea to close a show as soon as possible. There are consultants who successfully close shows the night of the show as a matter of their own policy. I generally insist on within a few days--a week at most.

I ask that checks be made out to me. There are two reasons: 1) it saves my host a trip to the bank, and 2) if the host flakes on closing (which has never happened to me, but I've heard horror stories), I have the money in hand to close the show myself.

Can't think of anything you haven't asked, but someone else might. Best wishes. You're thinking ahead, and that's a good thing.
 

raebates

Legend Member
Staff member
Dec 6, 2005
18,357
437
Clearly a few of us were typing at the same time.
 

cochef

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jul 8, 2007
1,012
18
One thing I would like to add regarding the 1099 form. It will list incentives you have earned throughout the year and tax you on those (other income). Three or four years after I started my business, I learned that if those were things I used for my business (products, apron, tablecloth, etc., etc.) I could turn right around and use them as an expense - helps the bottom line! Also, I'm sure you already know this, but the cost of your kit is also tax deductible :)
 

cookingwithdot

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Oct 20, 2009
587
0
  1. Will HO send out something showing the money I earned this year?
  2. I'm new to self employment, so what kinds of expenses can I count as deductions?
  3. Best advice in paying for shows? Separate bank account, debit card, advice on closing shows out, etc
  4. When you accept checks are they made out to you or the hostess? Which seems to work the best?
  5. Lastly, any other tips or advice on the finance end would be greatl appreciated.

Thanks so much!

Hi there and welcome! Great questions! I have only been doing PC for 8 months and I know that when I started, most of my questions were re: financial things!
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)
I don't have a separate business account - haven't really had the need for it - I've thought about it, but for me my personal acct is fine. It's really a personal preference. :)
I have all checks made out to the host and then they cover it when the show closes. One less thing for me to do. I haven't had a complaint yet! When people write a check, they usually have a debit card, so I let them know that a debit card is much easier if they have one & most do. If they are friends or family I would probably take a check - I took one from a neighbor the other day.
Keep track of everything! I write little notes on post-its and put them in my PC folder that I keep by the computer. Probably a good idea to enter all receipts & mileage into p3 fairly often - I was really good at first, but have not entered anything for this year! YIKES! :eek: I'd advise you NOT to do that!
Good luck and have fun!
 

BlueMoon

Advanced Member
Apr 30, 2010
646
0
Hi there and welcome! Great questions! I have only been doing PC for 8 months and I know that when I started, most of my questions were re: financial things!
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)!

Dottie, as long as you are offering, I'd love a copy!

Thanks in advance!
marghi
(if you prefer, you can email it to me at [email protected])
 
Last edited:
May 10, 2010
20
0
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)


I would love a copy, too. [email protected]
Thanks
 

ChefCKHall

Advanced Member
Jan 30, 2010
682
13
  • #11
Hi Dottie, please email me a list of what your AD gave you. I have an idea but would like to compare. Thanks, CK [email protected]
 
Apr 22, 2010
145
0
  • #12
Hi there and welcome! Great questions! I have only been doing PC for 8 months and I know that when I started, most of my questions were re: financial things!
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)
/QUOTE]

can I have a copy too please and thank you, [email protected]
 

kcjodih

Legacy Member
Gold Member
Feb 20, 2005
3,408
2
  • #14
Uh oh, look what you've started Dottie :D
 

BethCooks4U

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
13,007
42
  • #15
I ask that checks be made out to me. There are two reasons: 1) it saves my host a trip to the bank, and 2) if the host flakes on closing (which has never happened to me, but I've heard horror stories), I have the money in hand to close the show myself.

3. if the host pays with one big check and IT bounces you've got a much bigger problem than if one order did.


Don't let us scare you! I have had about 5 or 6 bounced checks in 8 years and every one of them made good as soon as they learned it happened so I really don't consider it a major risk.
 

babywings76

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jun 19, 2008
7,289
59
  • #16
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy.

The best thing is to try to upload it here on CS, or copy and paste the message directly into the thread, that way everyone can see it and you avoid all the "send it to me, too" posts or PM's that you'll get bombarded with. ;)
 

babywings76

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jun 19, 2008
7,289
59
  • #17
  1. Will HO send out something showing the money I earned this year?
  2. I'm new to self employment, so what kinds of expenses can I count as deductions?
  3. Best advice in paying for shows? Separate bank account, debit card, advice on closing shows out, etc
  4. When you accept checks are they made out to you or the hostess? Which seems to work the best?
  5. Lastly, any other tips or advice on the finance end would be greatl appreciated.

Thanks so much!

2. P3 (Pamp. Partner Plus) has a way to track your expenses. You can even create new categories. Keep track of your mileage to host's homes, Cluster Meetings, trips to the bank/post office/office supply store, etc. I save receipts from the grocery store for when I'm trying new recipes and definitely when I'm hosting my own show. I write down on the receipt the names of the recipes so I don't forget that it was an important receipt vs. our normal groceries. Every month, we get $2 deducted from our paychecks to cover the insurance of being a consultant. I also add that to my expense list.

3. You have to submit shows either by a PC debit or credit card. You can apply for it right away once you have your consultant number. For new consultants, there is a window of time where they do allow you to use your personal ones. I have a separate business account. I wanted to be clear that my business is fully funded by my business. I didn't want to risk spending more than I earned accidentally. By having it separate, I can keep track of it and my spending more easily. I don't have to sift through lots of entries of our personal finances to find the business ones. KWIM? My bank doesn't charge me any fees for having the account and there's no minimum balance requirement. (Wachovia/Well Fargo)

I use the credit card to submit shows. I'm not the best at getting checks deposited RIGHT away and I also worry about if for some reason a check didn't clear. That's why I don't do the debit card. I don't want to not have the funds in my account on the day that HO would deduct it. I feel safer having the cushion of the CC. Plus, I pay it off in full each month, and even get rewards from the CC. But, you have to be disciplined with a credit card. I ONLY use it for business items. I keep track of it and pay it off right away. (Well...except for Conference last year. I took a few months to pay those expenses off.) :blushing:

Closing shows question:
I try to close shows right away. I rarely can close a show the night of the party. It always happens that some people end up not being able to come after all and want to order something. Since they were planning on coming, they didn't take the time to shop the catalog and aren't ready with their order. I leave the party telling the host her ball park show total. Then I give her 2 days to round up any other orders. If we are waiting for a pay day or something, I'll extend it a little bit. I don't like to leave shows open long. PC usually has incentives for us which require shows get submitted by certain dates. I want to stay on track for those incentives if at all possible. It's also important to get things submitted quickly because the people will be eager for their orders to arrive.

4. I have people write checks out to me. I don't want my host to have to deal with the extra hassle. And if their friends check bounces and they don't get things squared away, I'd hate for the host to be turned off from ever hosting again. I do encourage guests to use their debit card rather than a check, if they don't mind, because it's so much easier. It saves them a check, too. ;) (And if they don't have enough money in the bank, it gets declined. That is much better than dealing with bank fees for you and the guest!)

After the night of the show, I ask the host to have friends pay by debit/credit card, or pay them and we add that amount to the host's total. Then she can collect money as she delivers products or something. If they don't pay her, she keeps the products or she can always have them returned and she'll be reimbursed. But this makes it much easier to close the show over the phone with her just giving me a credit/debit card number.

Sorry, that ended up being WAY longer than I intended. :blushing: :D
 

MarineGurl020412

Novice Member
Sep 20, 2010
35
0
  • #18
Hi there and welcome! Great questions! I have only been doing PC for 8 months and I know that when I started, most of my questions were re: financial things!
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)
I don't have a separate business account - haven't really had the need for it - I've thought about it, but for me my personal acct is fine. It's really a personal preference. :)
I have all checks made out to the host and then they cover it when the show closes. One less thing for me to do. I haven't had a complaint yet! When people write a check, they usually have a debit card, so I let them know that a debit card is much easier if they have one & most do. If they are friends or family I would probably take a check - I took one from a neighbor the other day.
Keep track of everything! I write little notes on post-its and put them in my PC folder that I keep by the computer. Probably a good idea to enter all receipts & mileage into p3 fairly often - I was really good at first, but have not entered anything for this year! YIKES! :eek: I'd advise you NOT to do that!
Good luck and have fun!

I know that this thread is a bit olf but I am new and just hit upon it. Would you mind sending me a copy of you deductions list? My email is [email protected]
 
Mar 2, 2010
18
0
  • #23
Dottie, have you uploaded the list to chefsuccess somewhere? I would really like a copy too!
ashleychaka @ hotmail [dot] com
 

Tracie

Member
Gold Member
Dec 6, 2010
72
0
  • #25
Does anyone have a copy that they can post on this thread?
 
Oct 14, 2011
13
0
  • #29
Sorry, I know this post is super delayed but I'm a newbie and new to this site as well. Can I please get a copy of this if you still have it. [email protected]

Thank you!!!!:)
 

Brenda.the.chef

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Jan 11, 2011
899
15
  • #30
I'm curious about this document too. It would be way, super cool if it were uploaded here on CS!

If not, could you email one to me? [email protected]

Thank you in advance!
 

wycohibito

Silver Member
Sep 1, 2011
19
0
  • #31
Hi there and welcome! Great questions! I have only been doing PC for 8 months and I know that when I started, most of my questions were re: financial things!
I have a print out of deductions that I received from my director - very helpful for me! Let me know if you'd like a copy. You can pretty much write off EVERYTHING (well, within reason). :)

Can I get a copy of that deductions list? Thanks!:balloon:

[email protected]
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
Staff member
Sep 8, 2008
7,895
146
  • #32
Let's try this again! site crashed on me before I could post....

Here is what my director sent me the last two years.
This may be the same thing you are looking for.
 

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NooraK

Legend Member
Gold Member
Feb 6, 2008
5,871
26
  • #34
Dottie hasn't posted on CS since February, I'm not sure if she still actively uses the site. It's unlikely she will see your request.
 

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