The title of this blog was taken directly from an email conversation between a mentor and a start-up business owner. This new entrepreneur knew it was essential to seek out a professional mentor that had, as he put it, done this many times before. In this particular email he had two questions for his mentor.
Do you actually charge interest on overdue invoices?
Sometimes I charge interest. I expect that you have been phoning and nagging at least weekly. If not, you must.
I’ve got a student who has agreed to help me out part time – she’s perfect in that she has great skills and is super flexible. Only we haven’t come to any terms about her employment/contract/whatever. I think the easiest thing for me to do is to sub-contract her, but I’m not sure if there are any pitfalls to this idea.
It is my understanding from my bookkeeper that if you hire someone on contract and they do not have other sources of income you may be declared their employer and have to pay Payroll Source Deductions retroactively. If you hire them as an employee, you have to pay Payroll Source Deductions monthly for the previous month’s pays.
Do you have a book keeper?
Didn’t think I’d need a bookkeeper….maybe I do. If only I had time to find one.
- You do need a book-keeper.
This mentor had learned from building a successful business a bookkeeper was needed. Answers to these questions are possible through outsourcing to a professional bookkeeper and implementing a computerized bookkeeping system. It is imperative to invest a little of that start up money on quality and accurate bookkeeping records.
You’ll be on top of the game and the competition with a simple click of a button or a phone call to your bookkeeper. Your financial statement and month end reports fulfill the checklist of a well managed company for all stakeholders. The institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada www.ipbc.ca is a great resource to help you find a qualified bookkeeper.
Monitoring the progress of your business from the beginning stages is critical for new businesses to grow and you need to prepare a cash flow plan. A professional bookkeeper can help you prepare budgets, cash flow plans and a break-even analysis by looking at your projections of revenue over variable and fixed costs.
With accurate bookkeeping you will be able to check on progress such as increased profitability tracking, accounts receivable monitoring, and controlling expenses. How does the data compare with your projections? Are you on track or falling behind?
Clean tax records will keep you and your business in good standing with your banker, investor and Canada Revenue Agency.
Your bookkeeper and accounting software will provide monthly financial statements and reports that provide a precise road map of which direction to take your business in the future. No more sleepless nights wondering if you have made the right decisions. You will feel confident with the numbers to back you up. Start focusing on what matters and hire a professional bookkeeper today. The rest will follow!
Dianne Mueller CPB
Soma Small Business Solutions
The end of the year is here for self- employed small business owners. (Sole Proprietors) A sole proprietor is a type of business entity that is owned by one individual and where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner receives all profits and is responsible for all debts. The yearend profits of the business are combined with all other income that an individual might have and taxes are paid at the current personal tax rate.
Sole proprietors often feel overwhelmed, confused and nervous about preparing for their yearly tax filing; especially those new entrepreneurs that do not have a business or accounting background.
Your business year ends on December 31st each year and steps need to be taken to ensure you are not overpaying or underpaying the tax man. It starts with making sure your bookkeeping is done and up to date. Here is a checklist of task that should be completed every year.
End of Year Bookkeeping Checklist:
Reconcile Your Bank Account. This will make sure that an expense or deposit (sale) is not missing. Don’t forget about those monthly bank fees.
Catch Up On Invoices. Do you have work or product that you have completed but not invoiced for yet?
Record Transactions. – Have you imported or posted into your accounting system all transaction from your bank accounts, PayPal accounts, and credit card accounts. Search your pockets for receipts missed.
Personal Expenses. – are you missing any income or expense transaction related to the business that were deposited or paid from your personal bank account.
Categorize Expenses. – Make sure all of your income and expenses have been properly categorized to the correct business expense account.
Don’t Forget Mileage. – Have you recorded all the time spent in the car? Your daily commute doesn’t count.
Don’t Forget Home Office Expense Allowances. If you are operating your business from your home you may be entitled to expense a portion of your mortgage interest and utilities. Check with your accounting professional for your percentage.
- Pay Your Estimated Taxes. Your tax return must be filed by June 15th of the following year. If you owe taxes and to avoid penalties be sure you’ve paid enough in estimated taxes for the year. If you need to make an additional instalment do it before April 30.
Check your Income Statement. Compared to prior years. Review for posting errors any amounts that have increased or decreased significantly.
Don’t forget to reverse stale dated cheques! 6 months from date of issue.
Record any year end accrual entries –and depreciation if applicable.
Check Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable for accuracy.
Bad debt write offs, if any. (and hopefully there aren’t!)
- Prepare A Budget for Next Year. To start creating a new budget take your profit and loss statement in your accounting software from this year and export it to an spreadsheet, and then you can easily add formulas to increase revenue next year by a percentage or reduce some of your expenses.
Armed with this checklist and the help of your accounting professional your year end will go much smoother. Your business books will be error free and your tax return will be accurate.
Soma Small Business Solutions
Dianne Mueller CPB – Certified Professional Bookkeeper
Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada, Chair
Sage 50 Certified Instructor
You know it is important to lower taxes and increase profits. You also know that it is imperative that you have enough money in the bank to pay the bills, but do you know how to access vital information and the Key Performance Indexes to measure your business progress in Sage 50–Canadian Edition?
Let’s start with the Income Statement and Balance Sheet found in the report center on the home page.
The Income Statement indicates:
- Which expenses are paying you back and should be increased.
- Which expenses should be cut back or eliminated.
- Which products are profitable and which are not.
The Balance Sheet indicates:
- What your business owns – Assets
- What you business owes – Liabilities (or financial obligation)
- Shareholder or Owners Equity – ROI (return on investment)
They also provide Key Comparisons information like:
- Last month vs. current month.
- Last quarter vs. current quarter.
- Year to date. Year to date by month.
- Current month to same month last year.
- Current quarter to same quarter last year.
Combining these two statement numbers will indicate important ratios you can use to manage your success.
Increase your profits by utilizing the Business Performance Monitoring feature:
The key financial ratios of liquidity, efficiency, operating, financing and profitability are all at your finger tips in Sage 50–Canadian Edition. The software provides a detailed performance measurement explanation and graph to help you analyze the information in an easy to understand format.
You will find this Key Business Performance information in the Daily Business Manager under the Business Assistant Menu on the home page. Click on the radio button indicating Business Performance. To get a complete list of all ratios available go to the view menu and chose options. You are able to add any that do not appear on the main page to your customizable list. (See screen shots below)
It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, manage spending and credit. Have money when you need it. These are all important ratios that Sage 50 helps you to reach and manage greater success.
Dianne Mueller CPB
Certified Sage Trainer
Soma Small Business Solutions
Soma Small Business Solutions would love to invite you to come find out whats new with Sage 50 Canadian Edition (formerly Sage Simply Accounting). Soma wants to assist you with this transition to the new name Sage 50 and get you informed and up to date with the new features and how they benefit your business. We will have ongoing demonstrations throughout the evening. Soma has Sage Certified Consultants and a Sage Trainer on Staff to help you!
We are very privileged to be able to host this “Sage 50 whats new in 2013” launch party at the North Shore Business Showcase put on by the West Vancouver Chamber. This event will Feature guest speakers on a variety of Business Topics. Call 604-926-6614 or visit above link for Chamber event Details.
Soma will have door prizes, refreshments and a demonstration of Whats New in Sage 50 2013 at our booth.
Looking forward to seeing our existing clients, and meeting everyone.
Park Royal North Mall 4:00pm-8:00pm Booth # TBA
Please Register to attend by following this link below
- 1. Reconcile Your Bank Account.
- 2. Catch Up On Invoices.
- 3. Record Transactions. – Don’t forget about the credit card purchases. Search your pockets for receipts
- 4. Categorize Expenses. – Make sure all of your income and expenses have been properly categorized.
- 5. Don’t Forget Mileage. – Have you recorded all the time spent in the car? Your daily commute doesn’t count.
- 6. Pay Your Estimated Taxes. To avoid penalties when taxes are due on April 30th, be sure you’ve paid enough in estimated taxes for the year.
- 7. Check your Income Statement. Compared to prior years?
- 8. Don’t forget to reverse stale cheques!
- 9. Record any year end accrual entries – and depreciation!
10. Check Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable for accuracy
11. Bad debt write offs, if any (and hopefully there aren’t!)
12. Prepare A Budget for Next Year. One quick way is to take your profit and loss statement from the year that is ending and export it to a spreadsheet, then you can easily add formulas to say you want to increase revenue next year by 10% or reduce costs by 5%
Simply Accounting by Sage allows small businesses to keep track of inventory stored at more than one location, for example, at home in the basement, or at different store locations. Some businesses will have regional warehouses to cut back on shipping costs. It can be very helpful to know what inventory is where to expedite deliveries, shipping and re-ordering of goods. Drop shipments become manageable by creating a supplier as one of your warehouse locations allowing you to ship direct from factory to customer. Inventory Reports can be grouped by location and transferring between locations can be done using the Inventory Adjustments & Transfers window. This fantastic feature is in the Premium or higher versions.
Be careful with this powerful feature, once a location gets used in a transaction, it cannot be removed or made inactive. Locations cannot be turned off. If you want to edit location codes, be sure to do so before performing any transactions for them. You can set up as many as 100 locations. Sage recommends a max of 10 locations as the database would have 10 times as many inventory items as they all get duplicated per location even if you don’t have any stock in a particular location.
Soma Small Business Solutions
While Simply Accounting by Sage 2010 represents many enhancements, one of my favorite features as been around for quite a few upgrades now.
The Daily Business Manager can help you complete routine bookkeeping tasks more efficiently. If you choose to have the DBM open up whenever you start the program, you can complete many transactions right from that window saving a lot of time for the small business owner! You might even have time to take on another client.
To automatically display or hide the Daily Business Manager when starting Simply Accounting or after changing the session date:
- In the Home window on the Setup menu, choose User Preferences.
- Click the “View” tab.
- In the Daily Business Manager section, check either “At Startup” or “After Changing Session Date” (or both) to add or remove the check mark that indicates that the Daily Business Manager will be displayed.
Under the “Business Assistant” tab on the Home page you will find a drop down to open the DBM. Once the DBM opens up, look under “View” then “Options” and put a check in the boxes for the events you wish to perform right from the DBM screen.
Whenever you start up Simply Accounting, review the items on each tab of the To-Do-List.
- All payments due can be processed by putting a check mark in the post column. This posts the payment in seconds and sets it up to be batch printed. (Remember to turn on batch printing.)
- Any Recurring Sales Transaction can also be checked, printed, and processed in one easy step.
This is an incredible feature for rent rolls or membership renewals to be preformed quickly and efficiently on the first day of each month.
To make any adjustments that you need with payment invoices or sales invoices, click on a particular transaction while in the DBM, the window will open up, make the adjustment you need and process the transaction. Simply will return to the To-Do-List for the next task.
Soma Small Business Solutions