Pittsburgh’s Constance Lee & Company debuts mobile deposition capability

jcr-publications_high-resThe Military News reported on Feb. 14 that Constance Lee & Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., is rolling out mobile deposition offerings to capitalize on available technology and provide seamless deposition assistance to clients.

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Pittsburgh court reporter celebrates increase in business in 2016

jcr-publications_high-resConstance Lee, RPR, of Constance Lee & Company Court Reporters in Pittsburgh, Penn, announced in a press release issued Jan. 27 that her firm increased its total company production billing by 55 percent in 2016.

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Steno Services partners with Mark Kelly on new search engine campaign

jcr-publications_high-resOklahoma court reporting firm Steno Services announced a new partnership with Spark Digital Marketing and Mark Kelly to launch a new campaign that allows for advertising management, according to a press release issued Jan. 30.

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Wealth & Finance Magazine recognizes Phipps Reporting in 2016 Business Awards

jcr-publications_high-resA press release issued recently by Wealth & Finance International announced that it has awarded Phipps Reporting “Best Reporting & Transcript Services Company 2016 – Florida.” Wealth & Finance International is a monthly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content.

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Set your business up for success in 2017

As entrepreneurs close one year, many use the opportunity to set themselves up for success in the following year. One way to do this is to start looking at maximizing tax opportunities at the end of the year. Some of the top tax write-offs for self-employed people and business owners, according to TurboTax, are IRAs, home-office use, and educational expenses. Work-related memberships, such as to a state or national organization, are also common write-offs for many entrepreneurs.

“I get my court reporting machine serviced before the end of the year, and as a company, we pay our tax bill before the year turns, top off our office supplies, and reorder tchotchkes in our marketing closet,” says Debbie Dusseljee, RPR, CRC, reporter and owner of CompuScripts, located in Columbia, S.C.

Kathy A. Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC, of Crown Point, Ind., had a long list for the end of the year, partly because she’s finding more reporting work even as she continues working as a CART captioner. Her list includes a new laser printer, a scanner, a new lightweight screen for CART, an LED display sign, and a few more iPads for realtime. She also mentioned that she bought a new machine at the NCRA Convention & Expo this past year, which will be part of her tax deductions. When asked why, she responded: “All the kids are gone, which means I don’t have those deductions anymore, so I have more room for deductions — er, toys!”

“I purchased a new scanner/photocopier/printer — it does everything but fly — and we will be purchasing a new telephone system by the end of the year,” says Jan Schmitt, RPR, of Schmitt Reporting & Video in Vancouver, Wash. “We also pay all bills and taxes and attempt to liquidate the checking account.”

“Our server is five years old so we are upgrading to the next level to handle our predicted growth pattern,” says Christine Phipps, RPR, a firm owner based in North Palm Beach, Fla., and an NCRA Director. “We also pay all outstanding invoices, in addition to rents due in January.”

Tax deductions don’t always come in the form of buying office supplies and equipment. For example, Robin Nodland, RDR, CRR, a principal in LNS Court Reporting based in Portland, Ore., says: “We give a sizeable donation to Oregon Lawyers against Hunger, which works in cooperation with the Oregon Food Bank. This is a wonderful way to recognize our clients, many of whom are on the board of this organization, and also make a donation to a worthy cause in our state. It’s a win-win.”

Schmitt mentioned that her company picks out a different charitable group each year. Michael Pace, CEO and president of Argen Blando Court Reporting & Video in Denver, Colo., mentioned that his company plans to give to both Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic and Dolls for Daughters this year. Many charitable contributions can qualify as tax deductions against a business’s annual tax liability.

Pace suggested an article on charitable contributions from the Small Business Administration for those considering making donations.

Since each person’s personal and business situation is unique, it’s important to remember to assess the each individual’s personal situation.

“In all cases, seek the counsel of your tax advisor before making an important decision regarding taxes,” says NCRA CEO Mike Nelson, CAE. “If you do not have someone to provide guidance to you, consider consulting an Enrolled Agent. They are federally licensed tax experts who specialize in tax matters.”

Nominations sought for 2017 Small Business Awards

jcr-publications_high-resThe Small Business Administration issued a call for nominations on Nov. 15 for its 2017 Small Business Awards. Categories include Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award, Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award, and more.

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Register by Dec. 31 and save money on the perfect networking getaway

tucsonThe 2017 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference offers the perfect opportunity to network with the top thought leaders in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video services industry while taking advantage of the lowest registration rates offered for this event since 2012. Book by Dec. 31 and save $100 on registration fees for the 2017 conference, held Feb. 12-14 at the beautiful Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

Set against the backdrop of the Catalina mountain range, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort offers a one-of-a-kind luxury experience for guests. For registered conference attendees, NCRA has negotiated the opportunity for our special room rate to apply three days prior to and three days after the conference. You must be registered for the Firm Owners Executive Conference to take advantage of the special room rate. Our amazing hotel rates also include waived resort fees on self and valet parking as well as fitness center access, classes like yoga, and tennis court rentals. Other amenities include a free shuttle service to Sabino Canyon as well as discounts on golfing, spa facilities, and more.

Multiple registration discounts are also available as long as they are accompanied by one full-priced registration. These discounts include all education sessions, networking events, and access to the exhibit area.

The schedule for the 2017 Firm Owners Executive Conference is filling fast with an array of informative and entertaining speakers as well as a special networking event that will be hosted by Laurie Forster, one of America’s leading wine experts and author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. Forster has been featured in dozens of publications and has appeared on Dr. Oz., Fox Business, ABC News, and other outlets. She also hosts her own show called The Sipping Point, where she explores recipes, wines, food, travel, and more.

The Varallo Group is also on the schedule and will present “Mobilizing Your Dreams: A 21st Century Strategic Plan,” an interactive session that will teach attendees how to establish a long-term vision for their firm and more, as well as “Journey to the Center of a Client Decision,” which will explore the court reporter hiring decision process.

In addition, Susan Solovic, an award-winning serial entrepreneur and best-selling author, will be one of several dynamic speakers lined up to address attendees. An Internet pioneer, Solovic served as CEO and co-founder of one of the first video-based Internet sites, a company she grew from its infancy to a million-dollar-plus entity. She is also a former small business contributor for ABC News and has hosted the syndicated radio program It’s Your Biz. She appears regularly as a small business expert on Fox Business, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal’s “Lunch Break,” MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, and other stations across the country. She has also hosted her own PBS special called Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World. Solovic is also a featured blogger on numerous sites, including Constant Contact, Entrepreneur, AT&T Business Circle, FoxBusiness.com, MasterCard, Intuit, The Pulse of IT (HP), and Samsung.For more information or to register for NCRA’s most elite event of the year, visit NCRA.org/FirmOwners.

Phipps Reporting merges with Everman & Everman

jcr-publications_high-resIn an early November press release, Phipps Reporting, Inc., announced the acquisition of Everman & Everman, a 40-year-old West Palm Beach court reporting firm. Everman & Everman is led by Judy Everman, RPR, CMRS (Ret.), who began her court reporting career in 1965 and opened her own company in 1976.

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Enter to win a custom-made Luminex from Stenograph

Luminex

Image by Stenograph

Attendees at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo, being held Aug. 4-7 at the Hilton Chicago, can take a chance at winning a custom-made Luminex shorthand machine. This prize, valued at $5,300, has been designed and generously donated by Stenograph for a raffle sponsored by the National Court Reporters Foundation.

The one-of-a-kind machine will be revealed at the NCRF booth. Raffle tickets are $50 each or three for $125 and can be purchased at the booth and from NCRF representatives. The drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, at The Places You’ll Go Gala, and the winner need not be present to win. (The winner may choose from other available colors if he or she prefers.)

While visiting the NCRF booth, convention attendees will learn how they can help the Association’s philanthropic arm do more through the many programs, scholarships, and grants it offers. The NCRF booth will be located in the Expo Hall.

Other treasures that await at the NCRF booth include the 2016 Chicago Convention Commemorative Pin, which will be offered for $5 each, and an array of past convention pins available for $1 each. Visitors to the booth can also become part of NCRA history by signing the Official Convention Register, a time capsule of sorts that has documented convention attendees since the early 1900s and is housed in NCRF’s Robert H. Clark Library at NCRA headquarters between conventions.

Visitors to the NCRF booth can also be among the first of the many NCRF members who will commit to donate $1,000 or more to support the Foundation’s 2017 Angel Drive. The gift provides a great tax write-off and a myriad of benefits, including a listing on the Angels poster at the booth and an invitation to attend the exclusive Angels Luncheon next year in Las Vegas.

Finally, NCRF’s Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute will host Business 101 for court reporters. This session will offer real-world advice from a panel of successful reporters, firm owners, and managers, who will share their hard-won insights and guidance on building a successful freelance career. This session will be led by NCRF Chair-elect Nancy Hopp, RDR, CRR, CMRS, of St. Louis, Mo.

If you are interested in taking a chance on the Luminex machine, snagging your Chicago Convention pin, or becoming an Angel Donor, be sure to stop by the NCRF booth in Chicago or contact April Weiner, NCRF Foundation Manager, at aweiner@ncra.org.

PohlmanUSA Court Reporting earns spot as top workplace

JCR publications share buttonPohlmanUSA Court Reporting has been selected for the second year in a row as one of the “Top Workplaces” in the St. Louis, Mo., Metro-East region for 2016 by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, according to an article posted June 28 by the Madison County Record.

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