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Frequently Asked Questions
Many business owners wonder if hiring a professional designated accountant to handle their accounting is the right choice for them. Doing so makes processes such as applying for loans or filing for taxes less daunting, with the benefits of professional expertise on your side. Designated accountants are also bound by professional bodies, giving you exceptional confidence in the standard of service you will receive.
Your financial records are crucial for tracking deductions, projecting cash flow, and other important actions. We are able to recommend a variety of checklists and software to assist with this, but as a business owner, at a minimum you should keep records of:
- your balance sheet, listing your business assets, liabilities and equities; and
- income statements, consisting of your business’s income and expenses.
How you choose to finance your business depends on the needs and current financial situation of the business itself. Some options include:
- equipment financing, loans, or leases used to purchase business equipment;
- a business line of credit – a limited cash supply available to borrow against, which functions similarly to a credit card but usually carries lower interest rates;
- loans, including short-term loans, term loans, etc. The type of loan the business uses should depend on what is being financed;
- invoice financing, or “factoring”, which supplies instant payment for outstanding client invoices through a third-party vendor;
- angel investors, i.e., individuals who provide capital in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt; and
- venture capital or private equity, provided to businesses with projected growth.
When tax season arrives, it helps to be as prepared as possible. Throughout the year, you can make the process easier by maintaining records on business expenses you might claim on your tax return. For instance, if you’re running your business from home, you can claim deductions like home office and expenses relating to your business. Staying up-to-date on the bookkeeping of the business throughout the year is ideal.
This is a question we hear often, and though we have used many different software sets, we don’t have a favourite. The most common ones in our office consist of spreadsheets to tally income and expenses (we can provide a template if you like): QuickBooks Online, Xero, Sage, Wave, etc. The important thing is to choose a software or product that works best for your business’s needs – do you need to track receivables or payables? How about tracking inventory? Will you be completing payroll for your staff? Questions like these will help you find the method and tools that work best for your specific business needs.
This question is more nuanced and difficult than it seems, and the answer can vary a great deal depending on your situation and long-term goals. Are you incorporated or a proprietorship? How does your business tie into your retirement plans? What are your preferences for payment and saving? These should be discussed in detail with your accountant each year to ensure your income is done in the best way for you at particular stages of your life.