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Ho, Ho, Homeroom Christmas Hours

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Quickbooks Online, QBO, QBO Vancouver, Christmas, Christmas 2016, Holidays Vancouver, Vancouver Christmas Market, West Coast Photo Booth

“Grab a prop”.  And so we did. The result were three hilarious photos jam-packed with Christmassy goodness. Homeroom Christmas party brought us to the magical Vancouver Christmas Market where we enjoyed mulled wine, pretzels and carousel rides. The team continued the fun at  Chambar with laughs and toasts! Photo courtesy of West Coast Photo Booth

 

With Christmas on the brain, a lot of our clients are asking about our hours of operation over the holidays.

While we will remain in full hustle mode (working from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday) for most of the days like cool little bookkeeping elves, we will take some time off to guzzle down jugs of eggnog and insert funny family photos into lively Jib Jab videos.

So if you’re yearning to drop off your bookkeeping before the celebrations commence, please keep in mind the following changes in our hours:

  • Friday, December 23: We close the doors early at 3PM
  • Monday, December 26: CLOSED
  • Tuesday, December 27: CLOSED
  • Monday, January 2: CLOSED

We hope your holidays are merry and bright, and you welcome 2017 awesome-style, wherever you are!

Contact us here or call us at 604-739-9536 if you have any questions about your bookkeeping and ridding yourself of the last bit of 2016!christmasemojis

Think tax time before you go gaga over Black Friday shopping deals, no matter how fluffy

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Black Friday shopping, Black Friday, #BlackFriday, QuickBooks Online, QBO

If you’re like us at Homeroom, you’re feverishly pulling names for Secret Santa with your workmates, and thinking about snatching all the tantalizing Black Friday shopping deals.

We aren’t saying that those things are not important.  

However, there are a few more things that we recommend you think about before you body-surf your way to the cash counter or Jackie Chan your way through the mad crowds to that magical trinket that’s calling out to you,  to ensure that tax time doesn’t hurt your wallet (or your body) as badly as the holidays can.

Unless you’re  like the shoppers in the photo above, lugging human-sized plush toys through the packed fluorescent store aisles….. because teddy bears are forever-friends that can make everything better, even tax season!

Business Owners

If you are a sole proprietor and corporation owner it is time to start making sure you have everything in place to minimize your tax payable and to ensure a smooth transition into 2017, as December 31st is rapidly approaching.

Large Purchases

You should determine what business purchases you may want to make in the beginning of 2017. Once you have written your list take the time to consider if you can afford to make any of your listed purchases before December 31st.

If you can it will increase the amount you can write-off when completing your 2016 tax return.

Check Your Payroll

Take the time to look through your 2016 payroll liabilities.

Determine if there are any unpaid balances or discrepancies that you can remit/reconcile by Jan 15, 2017 (the date when final liabilities are due for 2016).

Failure to do this could result in your business being charged a penalty to rectify any errors that are found after your T4’s are submitted.

Note: Good bookkeepers will be doing this on your behalf.

Work Out Your Net Income

It is good practice to spend this time of year figuring out a rough estimate of what your net income was for the year.

This will allow you to determine if you have put aside enough savings over the year to pay your income taxes and if you haven’t it will at least buy you enough time to write a letter to Santa begging for money to be left in your Christmas stocking.

Personal taxes are on April 30th and corporate taxes are due March 31st so if Santa doesn’t pull through you still have a chance to save.

We recommend that you complete this task even if you are a salaried employee of your company as it will allow you to determine if you should hold off on paying yourself a bonus or if you should defer any salary payments.

Deferring some payments until January may help you stay in a lower tax bracket or at a minimum defer additional tax payments for another year.

If you need help getting your year end in order Teya our business consultant and tax expert is the lady to help. You can make an appointment by calling us directly on  604 739 9536  or by requesting an appointment through our contact us page.

Save money on your bookkeeping, Wonder Woman-style!

Wonder Woman Super Hero Vancouver

When you are juggling a small business or start up and your life…. every penny counts.

Here are our top four tips for saving money on you  bookkeeping:

 

1. Organize your receipts

 

Keeping your receipts well organized can sometimes be difficult when you are busy running your business. As bookkeepers we are never surprised when a new client brings in bags or boxes of mangled receipts. However, if you are looking to make your bookkeeping as cost effective as possible then the easiest way to save money is to make sure your receipts are well organized so that the bookkeeper does not have to sort them for you.

In addition to sorting them, make sure they aren’t scrunched up into little balls. You may laugh but a lot of people do this and it takes a lot of time to un-scrunch them. Additionally scrunching them up can cause the ink to wear off which means that you are paying us to un-scrunch receipts that turn out to be blank pieces of paper.

Also if you want to claim the GST you paid on a meal as well as the tip (in addition to cutting down the amount of time we spend entering your data) make sure you staple together the original itemized restaurant bill to your credit/debit slip.

Sole Proprietors:

A common mistake a lot of first timers make is arranging their receipts by month instead of by category.

The fastest way for your bookkeeper to enter your bills into Quickbooks is if they are sorted by category. If you want to go one step further and really limit the amount of time a bookkeeper spends on you file, organize your receipts by company eg. Translink.

Corporations:

If you are incorporated then you need to organize your receipts by payment method (eg. Visa account, cash, business savings account) rather than by category so that it makes it faster for your bookkeeper to enter your bills and reconcile your accounts.

2. Keep your receipts/documents in one place

Create a filing system for your receipts/ documents and utilize that system so that you can ensure all paperwork is easily accessible.

Keeping your receipts all over the place can result in two issues.

  1. You will lose some receipts. This means your reporting will be inaccurate and you may miss out on including significant write-offs in your tax return.
  2. You will need to keep contacting your bookkeeper to let them know about additional receipts you have found or to ask them to hunt down important documents for you. This means that you will utilize more of their time and your fees will increase.

3. Save your online receipts to a flash drive, or upload them to LedgerDocs

These days a lot of businesses send email receipts. Although you have the option to forward all of your email receipts to your bookkeeper we recommend that you download your invoices and save them onto a flash drive that you can submit with your paperwork. This saves your bookkeeper time as they do not have to sort through all of your emails, in turn saving you money.

It also means that if your email crashes you have all of your important documents saved elsewhere.

If you’re using LedgerDocs, snap pictures of your receipts and forward them to your unique email address in real time. We’ll take care of the rest! Contact us here if you are interested in signing up!

4. Don’t keep receipts you can’t claim

Know what you can and cannot claim and know your categories. For example: in most cases YOU CANNOT CLAIM CLOTHES as an expense unless they are branded with the company logo or required safety wear.

Additionally, you cannot claim haircuts, facials or any other kind of personal maintenance even if you are a TV personality or the face of your company.

Placing receipts into your file that you can’t claim just means that your bookkeeper spends extra time sorting through receipts, remember time is money.

 

Regardless of what state your bookkeeping is in we are happy to help you. That said, we always recommend that you consider these points because it not only helps you save money it keeps your bookkeeper happy and guarantees that you will be added to their secret list of favorite clients.

If you need help getting organized contact us today.

Bravo Dog: Fun and smart coaching proves a treat for dogs and humans alike


Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Bravo Dog, Dog Training, Puppy classes, Dog Coaching, Entrepreneur, Quickbooks, QuickBooks Online, Intuit

Renée Erdman, Owner of Bravo Dog, implements fun and effective coaching techniques for dogs and humans to create a healthy and happy living environment for all. Whether you are in puppy-training mode or tackling deeper aggression-issues with your canine, Renée is your go-to-gal! Photo courtesy of Bravo Dog | Words by Anja Konjicanin

 

Bravo Dog keeps tails wagging, and people jumping (out of joy!)

 

After 15 years of meticulous and grueling graphic design work, Renée Erdman, Owner of Bravo Dog and Certified Behaviour Consultant and Trainer, woke up with a realization: I don’t HAVE to do this for the rest of my life.

“I have always wanted to have my own business. Something to create and to call my own. I grew very tired of working for other people to help them reach their goals,” said Erdman. ” I wanted to do something in my life that gives back and makes a difference, even if it’s a small one.”

Bravo Dog joined Homeroom’s growing bookkeeping client roster this summer, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about this amazing super woman entrepreneur and her business. Instantly, we had a light bulb moment: we will revive our Client of the Month series, starting with Bravo Dog!

We caught up with the awesome dog trainer last week. She dished on everything, from how she maintains a healthy work/life balance to tips for new entrepreneurs.

There’s even a training tip buried somewhere in there……

When did you open your business?

Bravo Dog is now two years old!

What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?

I can control whether my business is successful or not, whether I take on certain projects and, most of all, being proud of what the work can achieve for dogs and their people.

What do you like about the dog training/ coaching industry?

I meet some of the most fantastic people on the planet. They want to help their dog and their family to ensure everyone is happy and healthy. They are open to changing what they were doing that wasn’t working and they make themselves vulnerable a lot of the time by confiding in me about what is going on in their lives that is possibly affecting their dogs’ behaviour.

What’s your #1 motivator?

To reach the dogs and the people out there that have used questionable training methods and done more harm than good, that come to me with no hope. When I can help them change behaviour using scientific, reinforcement-based protocols proven by years of research and their dogs are happier and THEY are happier. That drives me to do what I do.

What’s your vision for the business?

To continue to build strong relationships with my clients and those that work in pet-related businesses. I do a lot of volunteer work with Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) and the BC SPCA and I really enjoy coaching and working with volunteers and staff. I would like to do more work with veterinarians in the future.

What advice do you have for other people who would like to start their own business?

Even with all the preparation in the world and money you need to have passion and drive for what you do. My motivation for Bravo Dog has nothing to do with money. Although I have to make a living, it’s something I would do for free if I could. If you can say that about your vision for your business then I can’t see how you CAN’T be successful.

How do you achieve a work/ life balance?

Ha, ha! That’s my biggest challenge. My work bleeds into every aspect of my life, it’s wholistic. It can be emotionally draining at times and burnout in this field is high. I took a vacation this year so I am going to try and do that every year. I take one day off a week NO MATTER WHAT. That means no appointments, whether I use it to catch up on work-related things is up to me but just ensuring I don’t book clients is healthy for me.

FUN FACT: Bravo Dog is the first company in the Lower Mainland to officially offer Canine Concierge Wedding services. YES!!!

Who could benefit from your services?

If you are thinking about getting a dog or already have one and you’re facing some challenges, I can likely help you.  A big portion of my work surrounds behaviour issues such as fear-aggression, but I also do a lot of work with puppies and the average dog that needs some help with manners.

TRAINING TIP: A new puppy can bring so much joy to a new family. But the start can sometimes be ruff. Here’s Dog Etiquette Made Easy.

Learn about Bravo Dog’s  training programs, puppy kindergarten, or one-on-one private sessions online here, or visit the store at 1493 Crown Street, #2, North Vancouver, BC.

Case Study: LedgerDocs integrates with QuickBooks Online for smarter data entry

LedgerDocs, QuickBooks Online, QBO, Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver

Imagine wedging a 10-hour bookkeeping project into two hours. That’s the dream, and it’s happening!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

At Homeroom, we are always on the lookout for smarter ways to save our clients time and money (and save paper because we’re hella hot that way!)

Enter LedgerDocs.

We’ve been using the program for around a year and have since had to upgrade our account at least five times to accommodate our growing client base. We currently have 11 active companies on LedgerDocs who’ve chosen to utilize the app to simplify their document management and stay on top of their bookkeeping in real time. It’s truly proven to be the ideal time saving integration for our clients.

This week, we put the magnifying glass on the LedgerDocs app:

The Hitch

  • Lack of automation with posting bills through LedgerDocs app
  • Slow loading issues
  • Page rotation problems

What we did about it

We were frustrated because we were spending too much time and didn’t know what to do, or if anyone would listen to us.

  1. We contacted LedgerDocs and said, “Hey, we got some suggestions on how to make your app better and help us run our business better.”
  2. We got a response we weren’t expecting: LedgerDocs invited us to their office to discuss our suggestions.
  3. Teya, Lady in Charge, went to the meeting.
  4. The LedgerDocs team showed a beta test that executed a major suggestion we really wanted.

The Fix

Teya was blown away that even before the meeting, LedgerDocs implemented one of our suggestions. She had a great experience at the LedgerDocs office and said the team was awesome!

Here is how LedgerDocs listened to its customer (us):

  • Able to manually enter the date numerically as opposed to clicking through the calendar: MM/DD/YY. No dashes needed. Simply, tab through.
  • Program will remember all previous receipt information and the only thing we have to change are the date and amount fields. This saves us 20 clicks per receipt.
  • More manual entry allows us, with our complex tax codes in BC, to post things with 100 per cent accuracy because it’s not Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  • Rotating receipts before they fully load doesn’t cause the page to freeze (resolved the kill page problem).
  • Option to rename documents by hitting the Enter key.

Wish list for LedgerDocs:

  • Pulling bank/credit card statements automatically (automatic fetching)

Exciting upcoming  LedgerDocs feature: Ability to easily transfer Master Admin if necessary.

LedgerDocs is committed to creating a better user experience and listening to their customers to continuously improve their product.

Great job, LedgerDocs! We’re super happy to have a partnership with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save big on your bank fees

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Plooto, QuickBooks Online, QBO,

Plooto: It’s out of this world.

Do you want to save big bucks on your bank fees? You’d be saving more than just money. Tons of precious time goes into deciphering cryptic e-transfers that turn up on your monthly statement. Well, no more!

We were recently introduced to a new app Plooto, an online payment solution that takes the guesswork out of determining unknown e-transfers and saves valuable time and money. We were dazzled by its impressive features and functionality.

So we are shouting it from the rooftops: This is an invaluable, must-have program for all small business clients who process cheques, email money transfers and wire transfers regularly.

We strongly recommend this quick and seamless online payment option for ALL our clients.

Here is why:

Plooto is every business’ and bookkeeper’s dream come true:

  • Pay anyone, anywhere, anytime in one integrated cloud platform.
  • Receive payments faster: Your money gets deposited directly into your bank account in two to three business days.
  • Cross-border payments: You can send money online to any bank or credit union in the US with just the routing and account numbers of your payee.
  • Your bookkeeper will never ask you about unknown e-transfers.

Why you should get it:

  • No monthly fees. Just pay when you use it.
  • No setup or any hidden fees
  • No minimums
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited payees (contractors, suppliers, etc.)
  • Unlimited users and bank accounts

Pricing:

  • Payments in Canada: $1.00/ transaction
  • Payments to US: $9.99/ transaction

Click here to see how much you’ll save.

Below is an example of how much you will save if you process 50 wire transfers in a month:

Plooto

 

Contact us here to learn about getting started today!

Oh, snap! Submit your receipts electronically

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, LedgerDocs, receipts, bookkeeping, Quickbooks Online, QBO, Quickbooks

Got a receipt? Capture it. Send it. Leave the rest to us, your #1 bookkeeper!

It’s that time of the month. Remember the often cumbersome task of lugging bags of receipts to drop off your bookkeeping at the Homeroom office? The days of collecting paper are over.

We now have an option to submit your receipts electronically to us using the LedgerDocs app, while still getting regular accurate and timely reports.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Snap pictures of receipts and income invoices with your phone OR email them to your unique email address.
  2. Save yourself a trip to our office.

Keep in mind, you only need to get documents to the inbox and our bookkeeper will take it from there. LedgerDocs works great with QuickBooks Online (QBO). We’ll sync your LedgerDocs account and publish all your expenses and income to your QBO file for instant use.

You can even chuck the receipts once they are in LedgerDocs. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) officially accepts PDFs as supporting documentation. We will provide you with a back up of ALL your receipts if you decide to move on down the road. Hey, bookkeeping just got WAY cooler.

Three ways to get your documents to LedgerDocs:

  1. Upload within LedgerDocs. Log in at www.ledgerdocs.com with your user ID and click on the green “upload to inbox” button.
  2. Use your cell phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc) by taking a photo and emailing it to the necessary email address. Download the LedgerDocs app on your phone for free.
  3. Forward attachments directly from your email (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc) using your unique LedgerDocs email address, which we will provide.

Contact us here if you would like us to set this up for you.

Happy snapping!