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Fall back into bookkeeping mode with three tips from the Number Cruncher

back to school, bookkeepers, bookkeeping, catching up on bookkeeping, entrepreneurs, financial organization, personal finances, September, small business owners, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Quickbooks, Ledgerdocks, Tax Return Service Vancouver, Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Spiderman

Summer weather is a slowly-fading memory. Your bookkeeping needs some TLC. Spidey senses tingling…..

Look at the pile of receipts grinning sheepishly from across the room. Stare super hard. Concentrate. Envision the end result of turning it into a neat, categorized little accordion file your bookkeeper will love you for, and focus. Still there? Leave it to us, your cool and keen Bookkeeping Super Heroes!

Slay your bookkeeping this fall (before the holiday craze kicks in November), and be ahead of the ball for tax season 2017.

Whether you’re a small business owner or an awesome human living your life, here are three tips on how to catch up and stay organized, from Homeroom’s very own super hero Allysia Lewis, the Number Cruncher:

Allysia-

  1. If you are NOT already utilizing the fabulous LedgerDocs to take care of all your receipts digitally and you feel like you’re living inside of a bill blowing booth, do this: Get a swag organizational folder. That is, anything to hold all your documents neatly together. Preferably, with separators/ pockets. The Number cruncher recommends you hit up Dollar Store, Staples, London Drugs or Walmart.
  2. Collect ALL your documents (expenses, sales, bank and credit card statements). Look HARD to ensure no scrunched up bill welcomes New Year 2017 in between your car seat. Your tax preparer will not want late receipts once your tax return is in progress or has been finalized.
    1. IMPORTANT: Small business owners: Separate your business expenses from your personal expenses. 
  3. Organize all your receipts by category: Meals. Utilities, Auto (Gas, Repairs, Parking), Office Expenses, etc.

We file tax returns for self-employed and employed individuals! We might have the power to revive even the sloppiest bookkeeping, file 12 years worth of tax returns, but you will save money by following the steps above, and help yourself stay up to date with your bookkeeping! The true power lies in you!

Contact us today here to learn more about our bookkeeping services, or request an e-return here.

It’s time to reclaim the winter blues!

winter blues, motivation, Blue Monday, exercise, health, wellbeingThe third week of January has often been labeled as the most depressing week of the year, starting with Blue Monday. The initial verve and optimism that comes with a new year has faded, holiday bills are coming in, and the rainy days seem here to stay.

But how true does this have to be? It turns out the myth surrounding Blue Monday is just that — a myth without much scientific research behind it. So turn that winter wallow into a winter win!

Use this time to reassess your goals and set short-term tangible ones. With tax time fast-approaching, getting your bookkeeping organized and taxes filed should be on the top of your list! Although procrastination may be in your genes, by tackling your bookkeeping bit by bit, you can make things easier on yourself and your tax preparer. If you need help with your bookkeeping and taxes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!

In the next couple of months, we’ll be reclaiming the winter blues and posting about getting into financial shape (with tips on what to write-off and CRA deadlines); physical shape (with exercises you can do at your desk); and mental shape (with ways to de-stress and unwind after a busy day). Scotiabank investment specialist Ken Cotiamco will also provide taxplanning, RRSP, and TFSA advice in an upcoming guest post.

You’ll come out of the season in your best. shape. ever. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and look out for the #HomeroomHealth hashtag.

Motivational reading list

7 ways the Liberals’ majority affects you

CRumD2EUsAAgUCjOut with the old, in with the new. Monday night’s unpredictable election results overwhelmingly proved that Canadians wanted change.

And change we will get. With the Liberals in power, there’ll be changes to the country’s economy and your personal finances.

Besides having a Prime Minister the rest of the world seems smitten by, here are some ways the new government will affect you:

  1. TFSA limit: The Liberals will likely change the annual contribution limit back to $5,500.
  2. Tax cuts and increases: Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has pledged to give greater tax cuts to the middle class (those earning $44,700 to $89,401) and increase income taxes on higher earners (those earning over $200,000).
  3. Family affairs: The Liberals will get rid of the Family Tax Cut and replace it with the Universal Child Care Benefit that provides about an extra $2,500 per year for a typical family of four.
  4. Students: Grads won’t have to start paying back their student loans until they’re earning at least $25,000 per year.
  5. Seniors: The age of eligibility for Old Age Security will not be raised. The Liberals have also talked about increasing Canada Pension Plan benefits.
  6. Small business: The Liberals promised to reduce the small business tax rate from 11 per cent to nine per cent and to improve access to skilled labour. However, president of the Canadian Federation for Independent Business, Dan Kelly, has expressed concerns that payroll taxes will be raised in order to find increases to CPP.
  7. The economy: If the Liberals legalize recreational marijuana, the industry could turn into a $5-billion market. The infrastructure building sector will also see growth, as Trudeau pledged to spend $60 billion to update Canada’s roads, bridges, and railways.

Get your ship in order before tax season!

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks, Jennie Moore,

Photo of Jennie Moore courtesy of TD Accounting Services

(Guest post by Ontario-based bookkeeper Jennie Moore)

Yes, for those of you who are candid like me, the title is a play on words!

And I’m sure you get the message: Organize your stuff before giving it to your income tax preparer. Let me guess, you vowed last April that you would get your books in order and be a good little taxpayer.

But you didn’t, right? I’m not going to shame you. You’re likely already feeling guilty. But now it’s time to report to Sergeant Jennie Moore. You are now entering Bookkeeping Boot Camp!

Are you up for the challenge? Grow up and take control. Follow these steps and your income tax preparer will become your new BFF.

  1. Day One: Collect all of your source documents (i.e., sales, expenses, and home office expenses, if applicable)
  2. Day Two: Start with your sales. Organize them by date. Total them and sign off on the tabulation page or spreadsheet to attest they are accurate.
  3. Day Three: Find every expense receipt. Every one! No more excuses. You are not allowed to give your tax preparer more receipts once your tax return is in progress or finalized. Take it seriously.
  4. Day Four: Organize by date and tabulate all of your home office expenses by expense category, like Utilities, Telephone, Office Supplies, Advertising, etc. If you aren’t sure if an expense is deductible, categorize it as “Unsure”. Be sure to include details.
  5. Day Five: Write a list of any changes in your personal life since your last tax return. Your tax preparer isn’t physic! He or she won’t know you had a new baby that keeps you up at night unless you say so. The list is endless. So be detailed: you never know, you might be entitled to a tax credit or deduction.
  6. Day Six: Realize that that was a lot of work! Think of ways to make it easier next year.
  7. Day Seven: Make an appointment to speak to your tax preparer or schedule a drop-off, but understand this is a busy time for him or her. Your tax preparer cares deeply about your personal bookkeeping story — as well as everyone else’s. Avoid drop-ins or multiple emails and calls. Organize your thoughts, document them, and forward a nice package with a lovely bow on it. You may find the turnaround time is much quicker.

Congratulations! You have survived Jennie’s boot camp.

Your challenge: Evaluate every bookkeeping transaction you do and find an easier way of doing it…automatically! Talk to the people in the know. We have the answers. The solutions may surprise you. Stop being afraid!

Now do 20 push ups.

Just kidding.

This post originally appeared on QBO Adventures. Jennie Moore is an Ontario-based bookkeeper. Find out more about her and check out some of her other posts on her blog.