Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of Accounting software do you use?
I use SAGE (Simply Accounting) and QuickBooks depending on what type of software my prospect client currently uses.
I’m really busy and want to hire a Bookkeeper, but I don’t think my budget can afford it right now. I’m pretty sure I can do my books myself. Can you make some recommendations on how I can stay organized? Oh, and I am not comfortable using a computer.
If you decide to take on your own bookkeeping as well as running the day-to-day operation of your business, staying organized is of the utmost IMPORTANCE!!
If you’re not comfortable working your way around a computer, I recommended that you purchase something as simple as a 12-month accordion folder and put all monthly receipts together for each month. At least this way they are separated by month and somewhat organized. The important thing is that they are all in one place.
I am starting my own business as a Sole Proprietor. How do I get started and make sure I stay on track?
This is a question I get a lot especially from smaller home-based businesses. I always recommend the BC Government’s Website’s One Stop Registry online service. This will take you through the process right from the start - applying for a name for your Business; WCB, PST and GST registration and finally your official business registration number.
I use my vehicle a lot for my business. Is it really that important to track the mileage travelling for Business?
YES! This cannot be stressed enough. CRA is cracking down hard on businesses/persons who claim mileage as part of their operation. Keep a little journal in your vehicle and take the 30 seconds it takes to write down your mileage when travelling for your business. Remember if you’re traveling to see a client, the mileage is counted there and back.
My recommendation is to get a journal or the old-fashioned date book and write down when you’re traveling for business, notes about your meeting, time spent there for later billing etc.
I use my vehicle for business, do I need to carry separate insurance through ICBC to make sure I’m covered properly?
ICBC offers business insurance that is not that expensive to provide coverage especially when you’re travelling in your vehicle for business and/or have clients in your vehicle with you. Confirm this with your favorite Insurance agent.
How do I know if I need to charge GST?
You are not required to charge GST until your gross sales reach $30,000. Track your revenues and when you get around the $26,000 level, this is the time to go back to the One Stop Registry Online Service to register for your GST number. If you’re a sole proprietor, it is typical that CRA will assign you a GST number to match your BC registration number for your business.
Tax Season is here – do you do taxes?
No. Personal/business taxes is one area that I leave up to the talented professionals in our community. However, I can help you get organized before tax season. Whether it’s assisting with bookkeeping services or providing tips on how to get your documents organized to file your taxes and save time for all parties involved.
Should I open a separate bank account for my business if I’m a sole proprietor?
Yes. It is important to keep your business expenses as separate from any of your household or personal expenses as possible. I highly recommend this. If possible, carry a credit card that is separate from your personal accounts as well. It makes everything so much easier for posting receipts, reconciling your books etc.
Is it really that important to keep receipts?
Yes. Keeping track of your receipts can be the difference between paying more tax on that purchase or being able to write off a portion of the tax.
I want to Incorporate my existing business. Can I do it myself?
Before you incorporate your existing business, I recommend making an appointment with an accountant. They will be able to advise you on the benefits and challenges when changing from a Sole Proprietor or Partnership to being an Incorporated Company.
If you’re just starting your business and know you want to be incorporated, you can go to the BC Government website and follow the process through their Corporate Online website.
The current fee as of 2021 is $350.00 to incorporate your business. There may be other fees attached, so I recommend speaking with your accountant.
If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.