Financial Health

Finding Your Financial Advisor in Hawaii

Are you having a hard time sticking to your budget each month? Find it hard to get ahead financially? Perhaps it’s time to seek guidance from a financial advisor in Hawaii. There are a few easy ways to find this particular advisor in your life – so do not overthink it or stress to find the perfect person to ask. Seeking this support and advice can give you the motivation and information you need to get on the right track each month.

financial advisor Hawaii

Your bank may offer complimentary sessions with a financial advisor if you are qualified. This advisor may walk you through the process of investing wisely, setting realistic budgets and managing your money better in general. You can also look to them for assistance on making big financial decisions – like purchasing a car or investing in a college fund. Check with your bank today to see if you this service is available to you.

If you have friends who are successfully running their own business, you may want to look to them for advice. Many entrepreneurs can provide their savvy financial expertise to those in need. They’ll help you manage your resources successfully, as they have learned to do. If you are unable to meet with them directly, request the titles of books or other resources they may have relied on to help get them where they are today.

Another avenue you may pursue is an online mentoring program. There are several organizations that offer a mentoring program online for those seeking expert financial guidance. In most cases, these programs charge a monthly fee for you to access your mentor and work through educational materials like workbooks to help you set up an action plan for a positive financial future.

Contact a trusted financial advisor in Hawaii like Michael J. Yuda today to learn more about getting on a healthy financial track in 2016!

Hiring a Bookkeeper for Your Business

Running a small business takes a lot of time, effort, and focus. Getting caught up in aspects of your business that require more focus than others, such as computer software or employees, can cause you to lose sight of other important factors of your company — namely your financials. accounting services

There are many tax professionals servicing the great state of Hawaii, but when it comes to hiring someone to handle such a sensitive aspect of your business, you’ll only want the best person on the job. Hiring a bookkeeper for your company will serve you with numerous benefits.

Instead of trying to handle your financials by yourself, hire a professional bookkeeping and accounting service. This aspect of your business is too important to take on by yourself.

When tax season rolls around, you don’t want to be stuck paying fines or penalties from the IRS that you weren’t aware of in the first place. A professional bookkeeper has the experience necessary to properly examine and analyze your data so that you’ll be prepared for tax season. Hiring a professional to handle your accounting can also ensure everything is handled correctly in payables and receivables. A trained professional will be able to save information accordingly, so when it’s time to mail out tax forms, all the records are on file and easily accessible.

Michael J. Yuda, CPA, LLC is not only an experienced bookkeeper, but his firm offers top-notch accounting services to all of his clients in Hawaii. Schedule an appointment with Yuda to discuss the future of your personal or business finances today.

Student Loans: Should You Pay Them Off Early?

Student LoansIf possible, paying off any debt early may seem like a good idea – But when it comes to student loans, it could be more beneficial to put your money elsewhere. There are some calculations you should consider before making your decision to pay off your student loans early.

Today, students are graduating with immense student loan debts as college tuitions rise to unsustainable levels. We all know the deeper you are in debt, the harder it is to get out – so if you have some extra cash, should you pay down your student loans early? Due to interest costs, it sure can save you money. If you pay your debts early, think of it as an investment – You’re paying more now to owe less interest over time. It can also help free up your monthly cash flow. If you have a plan to pay $150/month for ten years, and you pay your balance early, that’s $150 more you’ll have in your pocket each month.

On the other hand, you may be able to earn a better rate of return investing in the stock market than you can by paying off your loans. (The exception to this rule is if your student loan has an interest rate higher than 10 percent.) When prioritizing your money, you should first pay off any high-interest credit card debt. You should also invest in mutual funds, like your company’s 401K. Of course, still make your regular student loan payments each month. Honolulu accountants also agree that paying off your student loans in full is not recommended if it means draining your savings account!

Detecting and Preventing Accounting Fraud

No matter the industry, location or size of your business, it is possible to become a target of fraud. Fraud can be inflicted by employees, managers, and vendors in a variety of ways. Prevention and detection are fraud preventioncrucial to reducing fraud, and every business should have a plan in place. Remember, preventing fraud is much easier than recovering the losses!

Signs of Fraud

Fraud perpetrators often display behavioral traits that can indicate their intentions. If you find that an employee is working excessively and denying assistance, they may not be working extra hours because they’re a model employee – especially if they are still producing poor accounting records. Other red flags include managers performing clerical duties when they normally would not, and employees who display different behaviors with their peers than with management.

Fraud Prevention

There are simple steps that every business owner should implement to prevent fraud. When hiring, do not solely rely on a recommendation, even if from someone trusted. Perform background checks on employees, and be sure that everyone is taking some time off. This way, employees can review each other’s work and there are fewer chances to keep secrets. Perform periodic inventories and maintain accurate accounting records. Most importantly, create a fraud-hostile environment!  If employees are encouraged to be on the alert for fraud, other employees will be much less likely to attempt it.

When you’re in need of financial guidance, visit the premier CPA in Honolulu! Request an appointment with Michael J. Yuda, CPA, LLC in Honolulu, Hawaii today!

Financial New Year’s Resolutions

dollar-163473_640Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? Were they related to your financial health and well-being? As we finish up the first month of 2015, many of us seem to have abandoned our resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reinstate those resolutions, and secure a healthier financial life. Here are some helpful ways to keep your financial resolutions in the New Year:

  • Set specific, measureable, realistic, and attainable goals! Creating a broad goal like paying off all debt, or just simply saving money is a recipe for failure. Making goals like saving $200 per month or $5,000 this year are more attainable and easier to maintain.
  • It’s important to figure out how much you can actually save per month. Calculate your monthly costs and income to figure out a number that you can put away and still be able to live day to day.
  • Revisit your goals often and adjust as needed. Every so often, it’s important to take a step back and see how you’ve been doing with meeting and maintaining your goals. It’s important to adjust your goals as needed, to ensure you can actually reach them.
  • Review things like your 401(k), meet with a CPA, and review retirement plan contributions to help ensure a financially healthier life beyond the New Year. There might be things you can be doing that will help you save more money.

When you’re in need of financial guidance, visit the premier CPA in Hawaii! Request an appointment with Michael J. Yuda, CPA, LLC in Honolulu, Hawaii today!

Common Misconceptions about Credit

credit-card-509326_640It’s no secret that a credit card is a great financial tool that if used wisely can help you learn better spending habits and financial responsibility. However, there is a sense of mystery surrounded by credit. Knowing the facts about credit cards can help you avoid significant pitfalls towards your financial health.

  • Did you know that regularly applying for new credit cards can actually hurt your credit score? Only apply for a new line of credit when you actually need a new line of credit.
  • If you don’t make at least the minimum payment on the card, the payment will count as missed. Some people believe that if you pay at least something, you won’t be affected by a negative credit score.
  • If you manage your credit cards wisely, a high credit limit is a very positive thing. Some people believe a high credit limit can lead to financial crisis quite quickly, but as long as you’re responsible and have a repayment strategy in mind, a high limit can actually be advantageous.
  • People think that having more than one credit card can lead to a higher credit score. You don’t need to stick to having just one card, but opening credit cards too frequently can actually negatively impact your credit score.

These basic facts should help you gain more knowledge of credit cards, as well as clear any misconceptions. Whether you need guidance or more tools on managing your credit and maintaining a strong credit history, visit Michael J. Yuda CPA, LLC today.  Michael J. Yuda is the premier CPA in Hawaii and can help keep you financially healthy.

Paying Off Credit Card Debt Fast

money-trap1-771882-mThe holidays have come and gone, and for many, a cloud of credit card debit hangs overhead. However, you can pay off the debt quickly by utilizing the following strategies. The secret to paying off debt fast is to develop a plan and stick to it.

  • Concentrate on one credit card at a time. Of course if you have multiple cards it’s important to pay at least the minimum on them, and concentrate on paying more on one card at a time. Make sure to check the interest of each card, and concentrate on paying the card with the highest interest first. Of course, you can also pay off the card with the smallest balance first.
  • Always try to pay more than the minimum! Pay a bit extra each month. Every time you go over the minimum payment, the money will go toward the balance, which will lower the balance, and result in less interest being paid.
  • If you feel as if you’re in a considerable amount of debt with multiple cards and bills piling up, consider consolidating your debt.
  • Start categorizing and organizing your monthly spending. Look for areas where you can cut back on monthly spending, and use the money that you’ve freed up to apply to your debt.

If you find yourself completely overwhelmed with debt, consider seeking out a CPA in Hawaii. Visit Michael J. Yuda CPA, LLC today.

Money School – Teaching Kids to Manage Finances

Father training the son to the financeMoney management skills are vital to success in life. The best time to cultivate these skills is during childhood and adolescence, but (unremarkably so) public schools are virtually void of personal finance classes. This means that it is up to parents and guardians to instill this knowledge in future generations.


As your CPA in Hawaii, we suggest you take charge of your child’s knowledge by making continued efforts that support the principles of money management. To start, think of ways you can demonstrate and allow your little savers to experience:


  1. Waiting for things they want
  2. Making decisions on what they can have
  3. Saving for the things they want
  4. Spending based on the funds they have


Learning to wait for what we want and how to choose what is most important are the foundation of savings. The child who learns these lessons early, perhaps picking out a toy and saving for it, is better equipped to handle more difficult financial decisions in the future.


Piggy banks are a classic tool for teaching money management. Today, these tools have plugs in the bottom, so you don’t have to break them to get money out. That sounds like a lesson credit card companies want kids to learn—just taking it when you want it.


Don’t let your children lose sight of what is most important. Instead of one, set up two banks. Label the first savings and the second one spending. When your little financier or adolescent investor earns income, help them divide it into the two banks. Then, let them manage both, making decisions, learning to wait, and effectively manage their hard money.

Is Saving for Retirement Important?

Jar of coinsWhile skimming through financial articles, we ran across the Fifth Annual Wells Fargo Middle-Class Retirement Study. Most of the statistics this study shows are more or less expected. It reports that, of those surveyed:


  1. 34% are not saving for retirement
  2. 19% have no retirement savings
  3. 68% find saving for retirement harder than expected
  4. 61% say they are not making sacrifices to save for retirement


Though we advise and want people to retire securely, we understand the difficulties. What really caught our eyes though was this statistic: 22% would prefer to die early than run out of money. As your dedicated CPA in Hawaii, this hit us hard. Traveling through retirement comfortably is important, but it isn’t as important as living. Moreover, you can do both.


If you have yet to start your retirement plan, start it. You can start small and work your way up. The important thing is that you start a plan. The earlier you begin, the easier it will be. If you are worried, rest assured you are not alone. According to the study, 48% of non-retirees surveyed are not confident their savings are enough to retire.


Do what you can now to remove or further remove yourself from the negative portion of these statistics. Call an expert when you need help. If you would like to discuss this issue any further, please let us know.

Saving Money for Children

family savingsCreating a financial base for children at a young age is a great investment for their future! Putting money away for the child will help them greatly as they embark on their college career and further along into adulthood. As the child grows older, getting them involved in the saving process will educate them on the importance of good spending habits and savings practices. It teaches them valuable lessons about money and how money works. Here are some simple ways to kick-start a child’s finances:

  • Open a savings account with a bank or other financial institution on behalf of the child. If possible, start the account when the child is just a baby. As time goes on, and the child is old enough to understand the concept, encourage them to deposit birthday or holiday money, such as checks, into the account for safekeeping.
  • Implement a college savings plan. A 529 college savings plan allows parents to put money away tax-free for their children’s education. Savings in this type of account can be used at any accredited college in the United States for undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Create a jar or piggy bank for storing any money the child wishes to save in their presence. Sometimes the child will want to watch the money accumulate or feel how heavy a piggy bank will become over time, driving them to want to save more and more.

If you want to help make a difference in a child’s life and are looking for the guidance of a professional, don’t forget about the best CPA in Hawaii.  Visit Michael J. Yuda CPA, LLC today!