Chartered Accountant: What to Look For

Hiring a chartered accountant can benefit both your business and personal finances. It’s important to know that not all accountants are the same, though. This person is going to have access to your financial data so you want to make sure you’re hiring the right person. When you’re hiring a Toronto chartered accountant, look for the following things.

Referrals

Word of mouth referrals is how most chartered accountants get the majority of their business. Getting a referral from family, friends, colleagues, and others are the best way to know if an accountant is good.

Determine Your Needs

Before you can hire an accountant you need to determine what you need them for. Chartered accountants can specialize in different areas of finance, from small businesses to personal. You don’t want to hire a corporate accountant for your personal taxes.

Licensed Professionals

The first thing you should verify before hiring any chartered accountant is that they are fully licensed to practice. You should also make sure they are licensed for what you need them for since there are variations of accounting certifications and degrees.

Accessibility

You want to hire an accountant that will have time for you and your needs. If you like in person meetings make sure you can access their office or if you prefer remote communication make sure they’re available to answer your calls and emails. If you don’t have access to them, what is the point of hiring them?

Price

Ask the chartered accountant about their pricing structure before hiring. Is there a set fee or is it hourly? You want to know exactly how much they’re going to be charging you and why.

Technology

We live in a technological era so it’s a good thing to ask about what technology the chartered accountant used. Ask them about digital filing, cloud accounting, and remote communication. They can also provide recommendations for accounting programs and software.

Likeability and Trust

You want to be able to trust the person you’re hiring to handle your financial information. If you’re going to be working closely with them it could also be important to make sure you like them as well.

Contact us today to talk about hiring us as your Toronto chartered accountant.

Advertisements

Qualities Needed to Excel As a Chartered Accountant

To make it as a Toronto chartered accountant there are a few qualities, traits, and skills you need to excel. People put trust in their accountants to handle their confidential and important financial data and they expect quality services in return. Having the following qualities will help you as a chartered accountant.

Organization

As an accountant, you have to keep all the figures, data, and paperwork in order. An effective organization system that helps you maximize productivity is vital to excelling. A good Toronto chartered accountant will have top-notch organization skills so that their clients never have to deal with you misplacing vital paperwork.

Time Management

As a chartered accountant, you will have to keep track of schedules, deadlines, and meetings. Many accountants not only file financial data but they also have the additional tasks and roles of providing financial advice and decision-making. Getting a reputation for filing data late or missing meetings will not help your reputation.

Creativity

You might be surprised to learn that a good chartered accountant also has to be creative. No every case or client will fit into a standard textbook solution. Toronto chartered accountants need to be able to think out of the box.

Attention to Detail

Chartered accountants have to have good attention to detail. The smallest mistake can have extreme consequences when it comes to accounting. You have to be able to catch not only your own mistakes but your clients as well.

Communication

To excel as a chartered accountant you must be able to communicate effectively. You’ll have to communicate with colleagues as well as your clients. Miscommunications can be as detrimental as accounting errors.

Trustworthiness

Bottom line, if people don’t trust you they won’t hire you. As a chartered accountant, you are dealing with confidential, important data. Whether the client is a large corporation, a small business, or someone’s personal finances, they have to trust in your integrity and abilities.

Patience

A Toronto chartered accountant has to have patience. You will need it when working through endless numbers when you wait seemingly forever for a client to get back to you, and when you’re explaining how to fill out a simple form for the hundredth time.

Professionalism

Being professional at all times, even when others are not, it an important quality in a chartered accountant. Keep emails and phone calls cordial and even when you’re getting blamed for something you didn’t do you must take it in stride. Nothing will make you lose clients faster than being unprofessional.

Being a Toronto chartered accountant is hard work, but by working toward gaining and honing these few qualities you can excel at the job. Contact us today if you have any more questions.

 

 

 

Why You Should Get QuickBooks Online For Your Small Business

Bookkeeping is one of the most time consuming and stressful parts of being a small business owner. It’s seemingly never-ending and can become overwhelming. Luckily in this age, there is accounting software such as QuickBooks Online that can help you better manage your financial data. Here’s why we recommend you getting QuickBooks Online to help you manage your small business accounting.

Price

Even the most basic QuickBooks Online package offers everything you’ll need to manage the books. Every key feature you could want or need is offered even at their cheapest plan, unlike other software, which can be pricey especially as you add more on. Every package of QuickBooks Online can be customized to your pricing and accounting needs.

Easy To Use

QuickBooks Online is extremely easy to use. With its navigation and dashboard, you can see the financial health of your business at any time. This software also boasts a friendly and professional customer service team to help you with any needs or concerns you have along the way.

Time Saving

Most small business owners will tell you they spent more time on bookkeeping than they’d like. With QuickBooks Online you don’t have to anymore. This accounting software is a huge time saver. Tasks can be automated and financial data between bank accounts can all be synced to make everything easy for you. QuickBooks Online allows you to spend less time working on your books and more time actually running your business.

Accountant-Approved

Most accountants already use QuickBooks so whether you already have an accountant or are looking to get one in the future chances are they already know how to use this software. Sharing vital and necessary data with your accountant also becomes significantly easier and safer with QuickBooks Online as your accountant can sign in and see everything you need them to.

Cloud Accounting

QuickBooks Online is a cloud accounting software, meaning your financial data is stored in secure and remote cloud servers. This data can be accessed anywhere at any time through encrypted passwords. Real-time changes and updates make it easier for you to run your small business. There are even more benefits to cloud accounting which you can read about here.

If you own and run a small business consider getting QuickBooks Online today. With this software you’ll have an easier time with bookkeeping and more time to focus on what really matters, running your business. If you would like to know more about QuickBooks Online or want to talk to an accountant contact us today.

 

Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents

The boom of the real estate market can be enticing to newcomers. Make sure you follow these tips as you enter the business to make sure you make the most of your time and money.

General Tips

  • Meet an accountant: an accountant will tell you what documents to keep and for how long. They’ll be able to answer all your questions and help you with claiming tax deductions you might have not otherwise known about.
  • Organization: Organization is a good idea for everyone, but especially if you run a business. Consider getting online accounting software to keep track of everything.
  • Separate business bank account: This is a no brainer but you should always have separate business and personal bank accounts. It makes keeping track of the different kinds of expenses easier and it makes things cleaner for tax purposes.
  • GST/HST: The GST/HST you collect throughout the year doesn’t actually belong to you- it all has to be paid back to the CRA. We recommend putting it all aside in a separate account so you don’t have to scramble at the end of the year.

Deductions and Write-Offs

  • Standard Expenses: All the standard expenses such as advertising, promotions, and meals can be deducted from your business taxes. Double check on how much you can claim for each expense.
  • Commission Rebates: Commission rebates are 100% deductible for real estate agents.
  • Real Estate Tuition Courses: Real estate courses are deductible and can be claimed either as a tax credit or an expense. Factors such as whether you have your license or how long it’s been impact which way you should claim these courses. Talk to your accountant to make sure you are claiming it the correct way.
  • Vehicle GST/HST: The GST/HST on vehicle purchases can all be claimed. If the vehicle is sued 90% or more for business purposes all of it can be claimed but if it is used for less than 10% none of it can be. There is a certain formula used to calculate GST/HST claims if you call somewhere between.

The real estate market can be tough and stressful. Hopefully these tax tips, deductions and write-offs can alleviate a little stress and save you a lot of money. Talk to an accountant before filing to make sure everything is correct and up to the CRA standard.

 

Incorporating Your Business: What To Do After

After taking the big leap of incorporating your business and wading through the questions that come with that, you might be left wondering what to do next. Often, business owners have just as many questions after as they did before. It’s always important to keep your business legal so make sure to follow these steps after you’ve incorporated.

  1. Obtain a Business Number from the CRA

A business number is how the government keeps track of your business. The CRA will main you’re an official business number but if you need it right away you can always call them at 1-800-959-5525.

 

  1. Determine if a HST number is required

A HST number is required for businesses that earn over $30,000 annually. You can register for a number by calling the CRA at 1-800-959-5525.

 

  1. Open a Corporate Bank Account

A separate corporate bank account is important to running a legal corporation. It’s required in order to receive cheques or pay yourself and employees.

 

  1. Track all Business Income and Expenses

Keeping track of all income and expenses for your business, whether you’re incorporated or not, is vital. Talk to your accountant on the best way to keep track of all your financial data and in determining what receipts need to be kept and for how long.

 

  1. Determine How to Pay Yourself

There are two main options to paying yourself from your incorporated business, salary or dividends. You accountant should be able to advise you on which is best for your situation.

 

  1. File Corporate Tax and HST Returns

Corporate taxes have to be filed annually, just like personal ones. HST returns on the other hand are filed based on selected frequency, usually either annually or quarterly.

 

  1. Obtain Required Business Licenses and Permits

Certain businesses or industries may be required to obtain certain licenses or permits. Even if you are a registered corporation you might not legally be allowed to operate without certain licenses and permits.

It’s always a good idea to research online and contact your accountant to make sure you are meeting all the legal requirements for your newly incorporated business. Follow these tips and guidelines and you’ll be on the right track.