Tracking Assets, and storing the original invoices digitally in the cloud can really save time and money down the road at disposal time.
An Asset Register is an important part of a not-for-profit’s financial records.
It’s used to record the details of all the fixed assets that your organisation owns or leases. This can include assets you bought new, second hand or were given. The types of assets you might include are:
- office equipment
- motor vehicles
- communications systems
So by fixed assets I mean assets that you use in your organisation over the longer term to produce income, but not assets that you would sell as part of your day to day operations (eg inventory).
A simple Asset Register may look as follows:
Include all costs incurred in making the asset usable – for example installation costs, computer cabling and delivery/transportation.
An up to…
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TAX filing is fast approaching 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 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 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.
- 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 a spreadsheet, and then you can easily add formulas to increase revenue next year by a percentage or reduce some of your expenses.
- Do a review of your current insurance coverage. Life, business and equipment insurance, Is it adequate.
Armed with this checklist and the help of your accounting professional your yearend will go much smoother. Your business books will be error free and your tax return will be accurate.
Dianne Mueller FCPB – Certified Professional Bookkeeper
Soma Small Business Solutions
Very common mistakes indeed. We at Soma Small Business Solutions are always encouraging our clients to follow this simple rules to protect their business.
You may have been doing your own business bookkeeping for many years, or maybe you are just starting a new business venture. Have a browse through these top 4 common bookkeeping mistakes and see if you recognise anything that you have been doing in your business.
1. Combining personal and business finance.
Don’t get too caught up in the early stages of starting a new business to overlook this one – it’s an important one! Even for sole traders, not separating your finances can cause serious headaches. Get a separate bank account organised and ensure all business income goes in here from day one.
2. Not reconciling bank accounts
Reconciling your business bank accounts is really one of the basic fundamentals of good business bookkeeping. Where I work it is done daily – that way any data entry errors are picked up whilst everything is easy to recollect. You may…
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met·a·mor·pho·ses – A marked change in appearance, character and or function.
This professional metamorphosis from processor of historical business information to strategic business advisor yields great opportunities and some challenges for us bookkeepers. We must evolve through this change in function and definition in order to go forward and be successful.
Redefining the bookkeeper role in a business and the fundamental services provided by bookkeepers is underway and evolving. The initial key drivers that brought about this change in the traditional role were the small and medium size business owners seeking ways to improve inefficiencies to stay above the competition. They need information in real-time and fast data collection to help make business decisions quickly.
Working in the day to day operations of small business, we bookkeepers have always been the first responders, and in many cases providing daily management advice to our customers or employers. We are perfectly positioned to provide this real-time information by taking on an expanded role.
Today’s Professional Advisor Bookkeeper will provide ease of access, collaboration, security, data protection, needs analysis, data mining, compliance and advisory management services. In order to deliver these services in real-time will need the right tools, we need cloud based accounting solutions and all the add-on connected services and apps that are available today.
A company’s accounting should not be apart from the business, but rather be an integral real-time reliable component. In order to achieve this objective, the Professional Advisor Bookkeeper should provide co-developed solutions and services by collaborating with other solution providers and IT specialists. This will add value both for the financial information, and for the business process efficiency.
A Professional Advisor Bookkeeper will be sure to help reduce cost for the company by finding cloud base solutions to increase performance. Companies need unlimited storage, safe secure backups, automatic upgrades and data sharing in real-time. Mobility is a priority for all members of a company’s sales team.
It is more important than ever for the Advisor Bookkeeper to be engaged with technology and provide needs assessments services that will differ for each customer.
A great place to start is in our own businesses by implementing a few essentials like remote access and cloud accounting software. Modernize your own business and your customer’s by looking at technology options to increase speed of gathering business information and documentation. Create team collaboration opportunities with connective tools bringing YOU inside THEIR business and making it easily accessible. This will have a good ROI.
Small business owners tell us all the time; cash flow is what keeps them awake at night. The cash flow projections and real-time dashboard are valued roadmap for the business owner. This is future focused advisory work.
To build a Professional Advisor Bookkeeping firm we need to move at the same rate as the disruptive changes that are impacting the profession. A never-stop-learning mindset builds resilience.
Continuous education or constant learning is the order of the day. Developing and improving our skills and knowledge is essential to perform and adapt to change. Look for learning that is flexible, diverse and available at different times. The social web is a great place to acquire new skills. Collaborating with other professional bookkeepers in industry forums and social networks can be a fantastic learning tool. Mentoring provides invaluable one on one support and learning.
We will need support and help to thrive in this new environment and in Canada, The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada – http://www.ipbc.ca is the leading NFP bookkeeper’s organization providing certification and continuous upgrading of your skills.
This business model is sustainable and makes the Professional Advisor Bookkeeper future relevant. From the caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly that can fly to new heights.
Dianne Mueller CPB – Chair of The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada.
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#Bookkeepers – SA-55 is the session number to add to your agenda @Sage_Summit. Critical Changes to make to your business model.
The Bookkeeper’s AdvocateR
Bookkeepers in the past have been reactive. We waited for our clients to tell us what needed to be done. The customer either dropped off a shoebox of receipts and documents for us to process or we showed up at their office to an in-box that was full. We hounded them for the information we needed to file their government compliance requirements and waited patiently for it to appear. We worked well into the night to make sure they stayed out of trouble and didn’t payout all the profits in penalties and interest.
We, professional bookkeepers, transform the bottom line of small business every day, yet are rewarded not by the value our work produces but by the number of hours we bill. The number of keystrokes we do are counted in the time it takes, not for the value in the financial information it gathers. Typing faster makes us less money.
That is in the past now, the inbox is almost gone for good. No more data entry, No more waiting for the client, No more shoebox, No more tracking our time.
WE ARE FREE!!…………………………………………………………………….. TO DO WHAT!?!
To do what we have always done, reclassify entries, analyze the numbers, spot trends, and of course, be compliant.
While small business owners recognize that new technology will make a difference in the success and growth of their company, it is confusing about how and what to implement. The job of a good advisor is to stay ahead of the customer. Improve processes, reduce cost, and manage risk by helping to recommend what should be done, not stand by waiting to be told what to do. Understanding your customer’s technology options will be critical moving forward.
We will help build systems that integrate technology options for daily record keeping, processing, capital planning, cash flow forecasting and internal controls. We will monitor the validity of procedures like payroll and inventory control. We will help implement new work flows and document storage systems. The methods that we use to convert operational results to financial information will change and the result will be improved financial information for our customers.
As more small business make the switch to cloud based solutions, those bookkeepers that position themselves as leaders will thrive in this new world. Real time professional bookkeepers who understand the platforms ahead of us will come out on top.
Stop billing by the hour. Clients that used to take four hours per month to complete monthly books will now take two. Charge your customers an amount equal to the value they receive and go play with the other two hours! Get away from your desk and enjoy some work life balance or spend the time learning all about the next dashboard tool. Technology is allowing us to combine work and play. Work from anywhere, process transactions on a tablet or smartphone while attending an industry conference for example.
Get on board to educate yourselves, be better prepared for the future and understand the benefits and shortfalls unique to each customer and this will make you the professional record-keeper of the future.
Act like a servant! No not I, said the Professional Bookkeeper.
Dianne Mueller CPB – The Bookkeeper’s AdvocateR
Chair of the IPBC Board of Directors
“Trademark owned by The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada – used under license.”
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