Keeping track of business finances is a part of your job you can excel at with a little guidance and help from others. Handling these tasks yourself means you don’t need to add a full-time accountant to your staff. By taking advantage of the resources available to small business owners, you can feel confident taking care of your own financial records — and help conserve the resources of your growing company.
Go Directly to the Government for Assistance
Start by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) online self-employed resource center. There, you find information and step-by-step guides for the necessary tax filings, compliance, and regulatory requirements that self-employed and small business owners need for every stage of their business. Also available are checklists and links to additional information to keep your finances in tip-top shape.
Use a Small Business Tax Service
Numerous small business tax services in cities all across the country offer assistance on your tax issues. While tax is just one specific financial service area, a specialist can help you with complicated tax filings and ensure you have accurate financial statements. These services also help you maintain organized records throughout the year and provide aid if you face a CRA audit.
Hire an Intern From a Local University or College
Accounting majors from universities and colleges are often seeking internships to fulfill a degree requirement or gain experience to add to their resumes. You can tap into a burgeoning business accountant talent to assist with all types of financial needs for your business at a free or greatly reduced rate by hiring an intern from a local school.
Hiring an intern also helps your small business give back to the community, as you help a young person meet degree requirements. It’s your chance to act as a mentor and introduce a student to the working world.
Go Back to School to Earn a Degree as a Business Accountant
You may wish to consider taking your own college courses and even getting a degree in accounting or finance through an online university. This ensures you have all the basics and a working knowledge in place to make the most educated decisions about your company’s financial record keeping and forecasting.
Attend Local Money Management Seminars for Business Accountants
If going back to school doesn’t interest you, consider attending workshops, seminars, or conferences to bring you up to speed on accounting basics. Many of these meetings also provide information about tax documentation, financial planning, payroll, and money management.
Visit Online Business Accounting Forums or Social Media Platforms
Online forums and social media platforms offer advice from financial consultants who are eager to answer your questions and concerns. These experts can help you with general information or a specific problem.
Be Smart About How You Track and Record Financial Information
Staying on top of your financial records is one of the best ways to act as your own accountant. By using self-employed accounting software, you can log all purchases, keep detailed notes on expenses and cash flow, and store current financial information all in one place, making monthly reconciliations more manageable.
Avoid Common Accounting Mistakes
As your own accountant, you may miss some of the common mistakes that small business owners often make. By knowing what these common errors are in advance, you can avoid the need to hire a professional to fix the problems you created. Common accounting mistakes found with the self-employed include:
- Mixing personal and business expenses
- Not establishing the best credit terms
- Not staying on top of outstanding invoices
- Avoiding tax payment processes
- Not forecasting the future business result
By following these tips, you can act as your own accountant, helping conserve the resources that you’d need to invest in hiring a full-time accountant. As your business continues to grow with more clients and employees, you need to reconsider the benefits of having an accountant on staff.
Until then, stay on top of your financial data, keep good records, get help on specific and technical tasks related to your financial records, and continue to educate yourself to enhance your working knowledge of accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage your business on the go. Download the app and take control of your future.