Top 10 influencers to follow right now

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Inc.com, Business in Vancouver, Forbes, Jennifer Moore, QBO, QuickBooks, LedgerDocs, Mashable, Success Magazine

Get all your ducks in a row with boundless inspiration!

Make work time a happy time, grow your business with industry tips, transform a bad day into an AWESOME day! Homeroom cooked up a little pick-me-up action to help make your day, no matter how sucky or amazing it already is!

Sometimes a self-affirming post-it stuck on your computer screen just doesn’t cut it. And other days you could use some help navigating the small business world.

Here are our favourite go-to blogs (in no particular order) for daily boosts of inspiration. They make us feel all summery inside…

Success Magazine

From goal-setting to positive thinking to reinvention to failure, Success Magazine is our go-to BFL (Blog For Life). A true to it’s word “road to success”!

Mashable Business

Mashable shares all kinds of cool stuff. Small Business tips, Startups, Advertising, Media. And when you’re tired of reading business posts, check out their Entertainment section for hearty LOL moments.

Jennifer Moore

We love to stalk our girl Jennie at QBOadventures.com to get tips on the number one bookkeeping software we use QuickBooks and learn about new apps in the bookkeeping industry.

Business in Vancouver (BIV)

There’s always something to see at BIV! Catchup on daily news briefs and weekly articles. Local company profiles, investments news, and more! Lady in Charge Teya gets hers mailed to her address weekly, and definitely notices when they do not come (it’s a long story, but when she moved addresses they stopped coming for a brief time, and Teya was sad.)

Entrepreneur

We give Entrepreneur a golden star! Highly recommend this for ALL Entrepreneurs  who are interested in growing their business/ launching a business. They even offer daily health tips to get you in the right mindset, so there is nothing holding you back from success, not even YOU!

LedgerDocs

You must have heard us talking about LedgerDocs SO SO SO many times before. But we love it. We use Ledgerdocs daily for inputting receipts into QuickBooks Online (QBO). Our clients use it. They adore it. But we also don’t forget to check out LedgerDocs blog to keep up with the program updates, and see what else is new!

Financial Post

It’s all kinds of awesome. We usually peep the Entrepreneur section. It never, ever fails to impress.

Forbes

Forbes opens up with a quote of the day. Nice, right? A shot of business inspiration in your face from the start! How can you not want to read on? We sure put in some good time reading Forbes.

Fast Company

They’ve got titles that hook, they grab you hard, and don’t let go! “6 thing you’re doing that you’ll seriously regret in 10 years.” Like, how can you not want to click on THAT?

INC.com

While similar to some of the blogs we mentioned above, INC.com is its own gem with lots of GREAT reads, and a definite inspiration booster. Three big YES, YES, YES for all things business, technology and more!

Like us on Facebook to keep up with industry topics and team updates!

What are you reading to get inspired in business and life?

 

Employee or Contractor: CRA checklist


Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, CRA, Canada Revenue Agency, employment, employee, contractor, long weekend

Looking to hire additional help for your expanding business? Last week, we outlined key questions to ask yourself before expanding your sales force.

We noted that deciding between hiring a contractor or an employee is not as simple as figuring out your personal preference.  The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has a very comprehensive checklist that they use to determine if you should be paying your new hire as an employee or if it is OK to consider them a contractor.

This week, we are going over the checklist presented by the CRA  in more detail so that you can make sure you are paying people under the correct category to avoid nasty fines.

Tip: If you own a store or run an office and you don’t want to hire a contractor through a temporary  employment agency then you need to hire an employee and pay the applicable payroll taxes.

Determine who has control

Do you want to have control over the worker? Will you determine when, how and where the work will be completed? Do you expect them to complete the work personally?

According the CRA ‘It is the right of the payer to exercise control that is relevant, NOT whether the payer actually exercises this right’ so basically, if you have the option in any way, shape or form to control the employee’s time and how they complete the work then they are not considered a contractor.

Tools & Equipment

Who provides the tools and the equipment to complete the job?

If you provide your new hire with the tools and equipment they need to complete the job and are responsible for all repairs to that equipment then you need to hire an employee.

Subcontracting Work or Hiring an Assistant

Can the person who is working for you independently hire an assistant or subcontract out the work you have asked them to do?

 If the answer is no, then as you may be assuming by now, you have yourself an employee.

Financial Risk

 Will the worker be financially liable if they do not fulfill the contract? Does the worker actively market themselves? Does the worker perform a substantial amount of the work from their own workspace? Are they responsible for paying their own employees?

If you answered YES to these questions then you may be able to categorize your worker as a sub-contractor, if you answered NO then you guess it, you need to pay them as an employee.

Responsibility for Investment and Management

Does the worker have any capital invested in their business and an established business presence?

If they do then you are pretty safe hiring them as a contractor so long as the also meet majority of the above criteria.

Opportunity for Profit

Can the worker realize a profit or incur a loss? Is the worker paid a flat fee and incurs any expenses as a loss?

If the answer is NO then you need to hire the worker as an employee.

In the end if you are uncertain about your relationship with your new hire or you can’t distinctively answer majority of these questions with a YES or NO response (because the status of your relationship is unclear) then it is best to contact the CRA and get a ruling before you proceed.

This will save you a lot of grey stress hairs, and costs in the long term.

#ThursdayThoughts: Employee or Contractor?

CRA, Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, subcontractor, contractor, employee

Tear. It’s been a year. Your small business is growing before your eyes. You stare at your Profit and Loss statement for the hundredth time like a kid who’s been fervently measuring their height against the wall fixedly checks in on their progress, and your eyes fill with water. You really made it.

Your email  inbox is flooded with fan mail. It’s wonderful and scary. You want to respond to all of them, even the creepy ones, you want to be Superman/Wonder Woman/the Hulk combined, deliver on your promise of top-notch service but you need help.

You can finally afford it, but who do you hire: an employee or a contractor?

We recommend that before you hire anyone as an employee you start them out as a contractor for a trial period. This way you can test them out and make sure they work well with you, are reliable and will not steal business from you before committing to a long-term agreement.

Once the initial trial period is over, ask yourself the following questions to give some clarity when trying to determine the best way to proceed with your expansion:

What is the nature of the project?

Will you need to control the time of those who help you and the sequence in which they complete tasks?

  • Yes- Then you need an employee
  • No- Then you can consider a contractor

Are you supplying all of the equipment?

  • Yes- Then you need an employee
  • No- Then you can consider a contractor

Do you need a very specific task completed?

  • Specialized tasks are often completed by contractors however if it is an ongoing specialized task then you may want to consider hiring an employee.

How long will I be this busy?

Do you have a higher workload because you have taken on a short term, labour intensive contract?

  • Yes- Then you can hire a contractor
  • No- Then you should consider hiring an employee

Financial responsibility

Will the payment of the person you hire depend on you receiving payment for the overall contract?

  • Yes- Then you can hire a contractor
  • No- Then you should hire an employee

Training

Do you plan on providing training?

  • Yes- Then you should hire an employee
  • No- Then you can hire a contractor as they should already be trained.

What are the Financial differences

If you hire an employee

  • You must match your employee’s CPP which is 5% of their gross earnings.
  • You must pay 1.4 times the EI amount that the employee pays.
  • You must remit taxes on behalf of the employee.
  • You must supply your employee with the equipment necessary to complete the job.

If you hire a contractor

  • They are responsible for paying their own CPP and taxes.
  • They supply their own equipment.
  • You cannot fire them without paying out the contract, they also cannot quit without finishing the contract.

As attractive as it may appear to hire a contractor over an employee you must make sure that your contractor is considered a contractor under the rules set out by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or you risk experiencing heavy fines.

Stayed tuned for next week’s post where we will discuss the CRA employee or contractor checklist in more detail.

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 year again! Remember the olden days when you had the cumbersome task of lugging bags of receipts the Homeroom office for your bookkeeping? Well, the FUTURE IS HERE!!!

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. Download the LedgerDocs App and use it to snap pictures of receipts and income invoices with your phone OR scan your docs and email them to your unique email address.
  2. Save yourself a trip to our office and relax knowing the rest is being taken care of by your bookkeeper!

LedgerDocs integrates with QuickBooks Online (QBO) allowing us to publish all of your expenses and income to your QBO file instantly.

You can even throw away your receipts once they are in LedgerDocs. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) officially accepts PDFs as supporting documentation.

We will also provide you with a back up of ALL your receipts if you decide to move on down the road.

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 to submit your photos or scans.
  2. Download the FREE app and use your cell phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc) to take pictures of and upload your receipts.
  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!

 

Incorporation Series: I’m incorporated. Now what?

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Quickbooks, Incorporation, Incorporating Small Business Vancouver

Big yellow sign, you feel me, bro….

You did it. You put months of heavy contemplation into concrete action and incorporated your small business. *Confetti drop*

Now what?

We hope that this post will help guide you to successfully move forward with your new corporation.

First things first

You need to pick a date when you will start operating under the corporation. Usually the 1st of your chosen month is recommended. Once you have picked a starting date you need to allow around 2-4 weeks to get the following accomplished;

  • You need a completely new set of books/accounting records.

    • Your old books cannot be rolled over to your new company, no if’s but’s or maybe’s. The time of the year when you were a sole proprietor will be included in your personal tax return, while any business expenses that were incurred after you became incorporated will be included in your corporate tax return.

  • Figure out how you are going to organize all the new paperwork

    • Now that you are  incorporated the amount of paperwork that you will need to deal with is going to increase tenfold so you need to have a good filing system in place to manage everything.

What you need to change

There are three very important areas of your business that you will need to change.

  1. Since a corporation is a separate entity, you now need to apply for all new tax registration numbers including GST, PST & payroll numbers.

  2. You will need to apply for a new WorkSafe BC account. Make sure to include your current WCB number so that you get your rate information transferred over.

  3. You will need to open new bank accounts and apply for a new company credit card.

TIP: While doing this we recommend that you utilize this time to develop a relationship with your banker as it will come in handy later.

Other Important Reminders

  • Remember to put your new GST and PST numbers on your invoice template

  • Track your accounts receivable and accounts payable separately before and after your designated start date for using your corporation.

  • Inform your insurance company to update the policy with your corporate business name.

  • You may need to put some of your personal cash into the corporate bank account. Make sure that you track this.

If you are considering becoming incorporated and would like to discuss your options face-to-face with Teya our business consultant and tax expert you can make an appointment by calling us directly on  604-739-9536  or by requesting an appointment through our contact us page.

Incorporation Series: Should I Incorporate?

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Small Business, Grumpy Cat, Quickbbooks, Incorporation, Small Business Incorporation

To incorporate or not to incorporate?

The answer is not so clear-cut. And the looming questions can buzz around your head like fruit flies at a gravesite of a discarded lollipop. It’s enough to turn even the jolliest person into Grumpy Cat.

There are several factors to consider, so before you turn into a furry creature cursed to look like the angry emoticon (>_<) for all eternity , let us provide you with the tools you need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of incorporating. Let us answer that lurking question experienced by most successful business owners ‘should I incorporate?’ and help easify your life!

Positives of incorporating

Limiting Liability

When you are a trading as a sole-proprietor your personal assets can be seized to pay your business debts which is a scary thought that can place unwanted stress on you and your family.

If you incorporate your business it becomes it’s own separate entity in terms of liability and financial responsibility.

This means two very important things. Firstly, it means that although your business is still liable for any debts it incurs, as a shareholder you are not personally liable unless you have given a personal guarantee.

Secondly, it means that the business essentially has an unlimited lifespan. Unlike a sole proprietorship which begins and ends with the owner, corporations can continue to exist regardless of ownership changes.

Tax savings

Additionally businesses that trade as a corporation are taxed at a lower rate of only 13.5% which is a great incentive for sole proprietors that are earning between $60,000-$100,000 on their personal tax returns.

Negatives of incorporating

Although incorporating your business may seem very appealing thanks to the promise of lower tax rates and limited liability there are some downsides that need to be considered, which are::

More government reporting

Don’t think for a minute that you will get lower tax rates without having to pay the price with government paperwork.

Increased accounting costs and responsibilities

If you were concerned about the cost of managing your books and taxes as a sole proprietor chances are high that you will find the increase in cost quite shocking once you incorporate.

More tax returns.

Once you incorporate you will have to file a corporate tax return AS WELL AS a personal tax return

The cost of incorporating

If you have weighed up the positives and the negatives and decided that incorporating your business is the way forward then you will need to budget in the following costs.

Setting up the corporation

This will cost roughly $1000 through a lawyer, which is recommended if there are multiple shareholders or assets to transfer. Alternatively you can incorporate on your own through the BC Corporate Registry for $350 using their online facility.

Maintaining the books

Annual Accounting costs ranging from $2,000 for a simple corporation that experiences minimal activity to $5,000 for an average small incorporated business.

Although this may seem high you really shouldn’t underestimate the value of a good accounting team. This is one area of your business you need to make sure is solid.

We hope that this overview has given you a stronger understanding of why businesses incorporate. In the end we recommend seeking professional advice before taking the plunge and incorporating your business. It is in your best interest to make sure that you incorporate at the best time and set everything up correctly so that you avoid paying penalties or experiencing issues in the future.

Stay tuned

In our next post we will be discussing what happens after you incorporate your business and the steps you need to follow.

If you are considering becoming incorporated and would like to discuss your options face-to-face with Teya our business consultant and tax expert you can make an appointment by calling us directly on  604 739 9536  or by requesting an appointment through our contact us page.

Incorporation Series: If you like it, put an Inc. on it

Vancouver Small Business, Vancouver Bookkeepers, Vancouver Small Business Bookkeeper(s)

Recently, a lot of people contacted us about whether or not they should incorporate their small business. So, we are turning to our trusty Homeroom blog to provide you with handy tips and advice with weekly posts on just that: the ABCs of incorporating your business.

While there are many advantages to adding “Inc.” to your business name, there are also a myriad of risks when you take the Inc. plunge at the wrong time, including costly mistakes that can hurt you financially if you don’t fulfill  all of your responsibilities with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

In order to help you gain a better understanding of this topic we will discuss the following topics over the next few weeks:

Should I incorporate?

This post will discuss the costs involved, the criteria you should consider before taking the plunge and the common mistakes people make when deciding to incorporate.

I’m incorporated. Now what?

We will help you understand the process, what decisions you need to make and what reporting needs to take place.

How do I pay myself if I’m incorporated?

This topic is pretty self explanatory. Paying yourself is really important and once you incorporate you want to make sure you do it correctly.

We hope that our series on becoming incorporated will allow you to gain a better understanding of what being incorporated means for you as an individual business owner and for your business.

If you are considering becoming incorporated and would like to discuss your options face-to-face with Teya our business consultant and tax expert you can make an appointment in July by calling us directly on  604-739-9536  today or by requesting an appointment through our contact us page.

 

Teya Mali talks books with Globe and Mail

small business vancouver, slamm business, bookkeeping, Quickbooks, income tax return, taxes, efile, business, sole proprietorship, corporation, books

If your box of receipts is shapeshifting into a pot of paper flowers, exuding a musty book smell, this article is for you. Use the most cost-effective and fast categorizing approach so that you can account for every receipt when it matters the most, and save some dough for real flowers.

Paul Attfield’s article points out the key to winning your bookkeeper’s heart

“It’s actually faster to sort that way as opposed to trying to find the date on each receipt,” said Homeroom’s Lady in Charge Teya Mali in the recent Globe and Mail article on the importance of record-keeping in business. Teya was not talking about the throw-and-forget approach illustrated in the above left photo.

Find the best way to categorize receipts, why you should keep a mileage logbook, and more handy tips, to run a healthy business in the full article, “In record-keeping, consistency is king,” by Paul Attfield.

 

You get a raise! BC’s minimum wage jumps to $11.25 by 2017

Raise Vancouver
While the petition to raise the minimum wage in British Columbia to $15 still seems to be an active fight for change, BC’s minimum wage is climbing out of the chart dumps. Dubbed, ‘Lowest in Canada,’ the 80 per cent increase will place our beautiful BC in the whopping seventh place, with an additional small-business tax rate reduction of 40 per cent in 2017-2018.

Nice, eh!

What does this mean for you?

The increase will come in two stages:

  1.  The current minimum wage in BC of $10.45 per hour will go up by 40 cents to $10.85 in September 15, 2016
  2. Then it will raise to $11.25 in September 15, 2017

Liquor servers (who get  $9.20 per hour ) will get the same wage increases on the same dates.

Though the wage hike is not being celebrated by everyone, it’s a definite step up!

office-raise-the-roof

Raise the roof to that!

 

 

You can do it: File your taxes on time!

baby crying tax

Wah, scream, scratch. Tax season can make the best of us rip out our hair in a deadline frenzy, then hurl our bodies into a dark corner, where no one (*cough* CRA *cough*) can ever find us, ever, ever again.

Do this instead.

File and pay your taxes on time otherwise you risk serious consequences, especially if you owe the CRA money. And while the task can seem daunting at best, the CRA can be pretty reasonable, but, just like a hungry baby, they do NOT like to be ignored.

Income Tax CRA Deadlines

  • The personal income tax deadline is April 30 IF you have taxes owing. If you don’t have taxes owing, you are not required to file a return. However, we recommend that you do so anyway to get your refund and stay eligible for government benefits such as GST cheques, child tax benefits, premium assistance for MSP and Fair Pharmacare.

  • The income tax deadline for self-employed individuals is very deceiving. If you don’t owe taxes you have until June 15th to file HOWEVER if you owe taxes you need to pay them prior to April 30. without doing your tax return you have no idea what is owing, so we recommend that you file your taxes for the April 30 to avoid interest.

GST

  • Annual GST payment and filing for  incorporated companies is due March 31st, 2017

  • Annual GST payment and filing for sole proprietors is due  April 30th, 2017 despite the fact that your remittance form will say June 15 as the due date. Please see above regarding deceiving deadlines for self-employed individuals.

Employer Deadlines

  • T4’s must be filed with the CRA and given out to your employees before Feb 28, 2017, if you want to avoid late penalties, which are $25/day.

What are installments??

So you have filed your taxes and discovered that you owe the CRA a lot more money than you expected. You feel your heart sink, you cry for a while and you curse the government for ruining your life.

Just as you finally begin to accept your fate and begrudgingly drain your bank account to pay off your mammoth bill, you receive an installment notification from the CRA. This notification informs you that due to the fact that you owed the government more than $3000 on your previous tax return you are now required to make quarterly tax installment payments (pay your taxes in advance) for the current year. If this isn’t bad enough the fine print will notify you that the first payment is due right away and that failure to pay the amounts requested by their due dates will result in interest being charged.

Although not every person with a bill over $3000 will receive this notification, you should plan to receive it so that you are mentally AND financially prepared.

Important Information about Installments

  • If you DO NOT get an installment reminder, you DO NOT need to pay installments, unless you would like to voluntarily.

  • Installment payments are typically due in March, June, September, and December.

  • You will get a statement of installments paid from the CRA that you will need when you file your taxes.

  • Installment interest will be charged if you receive an installment reminder and you fail to pay the amount owing in full by the due date.

Exceptions to the Rule

If you anticipate your income for the year is going to be much lower than your previous years’ income eg. you are going on maternity leave and won’t be working for 5 months of the year.

Contact the CRA and discuss this with them. If your tax owing at the end of the year is below $3000 then you won’t be penalized for not paying the installments.

If you need help filing your income tax please don’t hesitate to contact Homeroom SBS today.

Happy tax season!