What You Should Know

The Damaging Effects of Inaccurate Information

The Damaging Effects of Inaccurate Information

The Damaging Effects of Inaccurate Information

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OpenAI is facing a defamation lawsuit due to false information generated by the AI system. A radio host is suing OpenAI after ChatGPT wrongly stated that he had defrauded and embezzled funds from a non-profit organization. This case highlights the issue of AI systems, like ChatGPT, generating inaccurate information that can potentially harm individuals. This is probably the biggest downfall, particularly for researchers, and one you should not forget! ChatGPT can quickly produce plausible-sounding but completely incorrect, misleading responses.

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, just like all the other tools in our toolbelt, 🔨 that can boost the writing process for researchers. When using any resources for research, individuals can follow several strategies to avoid using inaccurate information that could potentially harm others. 

Here are some helpful tips:

Evaluate the source and use credible sources

Evaluate the source and use credible sources

Pay attention to the credibility and expertise of the information source. Look for reputable websites, official sources, or articles from trusted organizations. Avoid relying solely on personal blogs or forums that may lack credibility. Rely on experts, professionals, or reputable organizations with subject-matter expertise. They have the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to provide reliable information in their respective fields. Relying on their expertise ensures that you access accurate information that has been vetted by knowledgeable individuals or institutions.

Updated and relevant information

Credible sources prioritize staying current with the latest developments and research in their field. They regularly review and update their content to reflect new information or changes. By relying on these sources, you can access current and relevant information, avoiding outdated or inaccurate data that may harm individuals due to its irrelevance.

Trust and reputation

Credible sources have earned a reputation for their reliability, accuracy, and trustworthiness over time. They often have a track record of delivering high-quality information and maintaining ethical standards. Relying on such sources helps build trust in the information you consume and reduces the chances of unintentionally harming individuals by spreading misinformation.

Cross-reference multiple sources

Verify information by consulting multiple reliable sources. If the same information is consistently presented across reputable websites, it is more likely to be accurate. Be cautious if information appears only on a single source or if it lacks supporting evidence.

Check for authorship and credentials

Assess the qualifications and expertise of the author or the organization behind the information. Look for their credentials, affiliations, and relevant experience in the field. Established experts or institutions are more likely to provide accurate information.

Examine the date and relevance

Confirm the currency of the information you find. Outdated information may not reflect the latest knowledge or developments. Ensure that the information you use is relevant to your specific context or situation.

Be critical and skeptical

Develop a healthy skepticism when encountering potentially controversial or sensationalist information. Question the source's motives, potential biases, or conflicts of interest. Look for supporting evidence, logical reasoning, and a balanced presentation of facts.

Utilize fact-checking tools

Fact-checking websites can help verify the accuracy of specific claims or debunk misinformation. Platforms like Snopes, FactCheck.org, or PolitiFact provide reliable fact-checking services for various topics.

Consider peer-reviewed research

peer-reviewed research

If you require scientific or academic information, prioritize peer-reviewed articles published in reputable journals. These publications undergo a rigorous review process, ensuring higher accuracy and reliability.

Engage in critical thinking

Develop your critical thinking skills to assess information critically. Question assumptions, consider alternative viewpoints, and evaluate the strength of arguments and evidence presented. Be cautious of logical fallacies or emotional appeals that may undermine the accuracy of the information.

Seek expert opinions

Seek expert opinions

When dealing with complex or specialized topics, consult experts or professionals in the field. They can provide insights based on their expertise and help validate information or guide you toward reliable sources.

Report and flag inaccuracies

If you come across misleading or harmful information, consider reporting it to the search engine or the platform hosting it. Many search engines and websites have reporting mechanisms to address misinformation and protect users.

By following these strategies, individuals can reduce the risk of relying on inaccurate information from searching online and make more informed decisions while safeguarding themselves and others. It ensures access to accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information from trusted experts and organizations, allowing for informed decision-making and responsible dissemination of knowledge.

Are We a Good Fit? Pre-Screening Potential Clients With Kindness and Respect

Are We a Good Fit? Pre-Screening Potential Clients With Kindness and Respect

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Recently I reached out to a company through their calendar link to inquire about their bookkeeping services. While booking the appointment, they asked me several questions about my income. The income ranges were broad. I do not know much about this company, so I am eager to find out if they are someone with whom I can trust my financial information. After the booking was completed, I was encouraged to watch a video to “prepare” for our meeting. The presenter mentioned that they only accepted income levels beginning at a specified amount and used the phrase “good fit” in the video so many times I didn’t even complete watching it.

I’ve been a thriving woman-owned home-based business for over 20 years. I’ve worked with several Fortune 50 companies, which did not happen due to incompetency or lack of business acumen. After 20 years, I’m more selective in my work. 

I earned my income for the first quarter of this year intentionally. The questionnaire did not involve any inquiries about the number of transactions I conduct, which I presume is significantly lower than most other businesses. I don’t have payroll, which is a time-consuming part of bookkeeping. Neither did they ask about the length of time my business has been operating. I would have been an easy client for this firm. I can afford their rate.

Pre-Screening Potential Clients

I work with several accountants as I help with forensic accounting research. I could be a strong referral base for them by letting them know about my accountant clients who refer business owners who need bookkeeping.

After hearing “good fit” one too many times, I canceled my appointment. The person who had scheduled my appointment contacted me via email. She said she reviewed my website and questionnaire answers and believed her company could assist with my bookkeeping requirements. She requested additional information from me to determine whether we would be a good fit. Oh, that phrase again. We’ve already spent the same amount of time in this exchange that we could have spent conversing in a Zoom call.

Research shows good reasons for qualifying the best-suited type of client for our businesses. However, reading through the results, you will find many ways that experts suggest you determine fit, and most of those require more conversation than this company asked of me before warning me we might not be a good fit.

Reasons for Not Pre-Screening Potential Clients

Reasons for Not Pre-Screening Potential Clients

There is nothing wrong with getting to know a potential client to understand if they will fit into your ideal client avatar.

There are several advantages to not screening potential clients before you get to know them:

Increased client base:

By not pre-screening potential clients, you open yourself up to a larger pool of potential customers.

A larger pool of potential customers can lead to more business and greater profits.

More diverse clients:

When you pre-screen clients, you may unintentionally exclude certain groups of people. By not screening, you can attract a more diverse range of clients, bringing fresh perspectives and ideas to your business.

Increased trust:

When you don't pre-screen potential clients, you show that you trust people to do the right thing. This can increase their trust in you and your business, leading to more positive relationships.

Reduced administrative burden:

Screening potential clients can be time-consuming and expensive. By not screening, you can reduce the administrative burden on your business and focus on other areas that require attention.

More growth opportunities:

By not screening, you may attract clients looking for something unique or different. This can lead to new opportunities for the growth and expansion of your business.

Alternative Methods for Pre-Screening Potential Clients

I agree that prescreening potential clients is a necessary process to ensure that you are working with individuals or organizations that align with your business goals and values.

Here are some unique methods for prescreening potential clients:

Online quizzes:

Create an online quiz that asks questions related to your business goals and values. This can help you assess whether potential clients share similar beliefs and interests.

Initial consultation:

Offer a free initial consultation to potential clients to discuss their needs and goals. This can help you determine if they are a good fit for your business. Personally, I would not make it as apparent as it was in my experience.

Referral program:

Develop a referral program that requires current clients to refer new clients. This can help you attract clients who have already been prescreened by someone who knows your business well.

Social media screening:

Check out potential clients' social media profiles to understand their interests, values, and behavior. This can provide valuable insights into whether they are a good fit for your business.

Collaboration projects:

Consider collaborating on a project or working on a smaller scale with potential clients to test out whether your working styles and values align.

Thoughtful Ways Of Prescreening Potential Clients

To sum up, prescreening potential clients can help you avoid working with individuals or organizations that may not align with your business goals and values. It's essential to approach this process with kindness and respect for potential clients.

Here are some thoughtful ways of prescreening potential clients:

Ask open-ended questions:

Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask open-ended questions that allow potential clients to express themselves fully. This can help you understand their needs and goals better.

Offer helpful resources:

Provide potential clients with helpful resources and information related to your business. This can demonstrate your expertise and build trust with them. In all honesty, the firm did offer me a link to an audio course.

Be transparent:

Communicate your business goals and values to potential clients. This can help them determine if your business is a good fit for their needs and goals. This firm should have offered me information about the ability to keep my information secure, their knowledge about bookkeeping, or why they were asking me the questions.

Use positive language:

Use positive language when communicating with potential clients. This can help build a positive relationship with them, even if they may not be a “good fit” for your business.

Offer referrals:

If potential clients are not a good fit for your business, offer referrals to other companies or organizations that may better meet their needs. This can show that you care about their success, even if it's not with your business.

Remember, businesses prescreening potential clients should do so with kindness and respect. These approaches can help you build positive relationships with potential clients, even if they may not ultimately become clients of your business.

What You Should Know If You Are Getting Married

What You Should Know If You Are Getting Married

What You Should Know If You Are Getting Married

What You Should Know If You Are Getting Married

Getting married? The arrival of summer is also the start of the wedding season. Marriage changes many things! Our research shows there are a few things you should know about tax and legal considerations as you are getting ready to tie the knot!

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Couple Taxes

The IRS provides a tax checklist for newly married couples:

Name and address changes:

Name – When a name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration. The name on a person's tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn't, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, taxpayers should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office.

Address – If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, people should send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or their local post office.


After getting married, couples should consider changing their withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance within 10 days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax. They can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. Taxpayers should review Publication 505, Tax Withholding, and Estimated Tax for more information.

Filing status:

Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly or separately each year. While filing jointly is usually more beneficial, it's best to figure the tax both ways to find out which works best. Remember, if a couple is married as of December 31, the law says they're married for the whole year for tax purposes.

When you get married, your tax filing status changes for the whole year. Before you file, take the time to learn the different filing statuses and which one is best for you: https://go.usa.gov/xdpXb

Legal Issues

The writers at Findlaw suggest that it is also always important to check the marriage requirements in your state and/or to speak with a family law attorney because each state is different when it comes to marriage-related issues such as the legal requirements for marriage and the specifics of pre-marital agreements. How many couples do not think of this as they make marriage arrangements?

Legal Marriage Requirements:

Each state has its own requirements for couples wanting to get married, including marriage licenses, blood tests, residency requirements, among others. Make sure you and your future spouse have fulfilled all marriage requirements in your state prior to the big day.

Marriage Ceremonies:

Most states have legal requirements pertaining to the marriage ceremony itself, including who may perform the marriage ceremony (i.e. a justice of the peace or a minister) and whether witnesses to the ceremony are required.

Prenuptial Agreements:

A prenuptial (or “pre-marital”) agreement can help define the property and financial rights and obligations of marrying spouses, including what will happen if the marriage relationship ends. If you're considering entering into a pre-marital agreement, law experts say you should be aware of legal requirements that must be met in order for the agreement to be considered valid and enforceable. More information on prenuptial agreements can be found here.

Changing Your Name After Marriage:

Although neither spouse is legally required to take the other spouse's last name after marriage, many new spouses choose to change their name for traditional and symbolic reasons. There are a number of steps you can take to make a name change quickly and effectively. Here's a list compiled by Findlaw.

Marriage, Money, and Property:

When you get married, your property and finances will (to a certain extent) merge with those of your spouse. You should become familiar with what is and is not considered marital or “community” property, and understand how to keep certain assets as separate property if you wish to do so. Other financial issues to keep in mind before you get married include pre-existing debts and tax considerations.

Related FindLaw Resources

Visit the Findlaw links below for specific information on the following marriage-related topics:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.