Do I need a bookkeeper if I have an accountant? What’s the difference between the two?
Contrary to popular belief, accountants and bookkeepers perform distinctly different tasks for the businesses they serve. Bookkeepers are responsible for on-going maintenance of their clients’ general ledgers. A bookkeeper’s common responsibilities consist of:
- Compiling data on a daily basis
- Categorizing expenses in the general ledger
- Reviewing the general ledger for accuracy
- Reconciling bank statements against the general ledger
- Generating financial statements
Accountants use the accurate and up-to-date general ledger maintained by the bookkeeper to provide advisory services, such as:
- Analyzing the company’s financial data
- Preparing income tax returns
- Providing tax planning advice
Why is bookkeeping important for a small business?
Bookkeeping has a few important benefits to a small business. First and foremost, keeping your books up to date is essential in the event your business gets audited. It also allows you to analyze and plan based on your collected data, helps minimize accounting costs, and saves you time during tax season since you’ve done the work to keep your finances updated throughout the year.
Is it cheaper to hire an external bookkeeper rather than hiring an in-house bookkeeper?
For small businesses, the answer is yes. This is because, with an in-house bookkeeper, the employee must be given insurance, a salary, and benefits. This is more costly in the long run than outsourcing to an external bookkeeping service.
Do you work with a team, or is it just you?
While Meaghan oversees all of the business affairs and is your main point of contact, Meaghan’s Bookkeeping Service consists of a small team that assists with routine bookkeeping tasks and administrative duties.
Do you serve businesses with under 100k in annual revenue?
Absolutely. We offer bookkeeping packages for small businesses of small and mid-sizes!
I have multiple businesses. How can you help me?
Meaghan’s Bookkeeping specializes in bookkeeping services for multi-unit businesses. We can manage the books for each individual location and give you insight into your business’s overall financial performance.
Do you handle Accounts Payable?
Yes, definitely. Accounts payable is more than just paying incoming bills and invoices. Examples include invoices, purchase orders, payroll, etc. Meaghan’s Bookkeeping will ensure that your bills are paid on time.
Do you handle Accounts Receivable?
Yes, definitely! Proper management of your Accounts Receivables will directly impact to your business profit because of its ability to reduce bad debt. The benefits include a better cash flow and higher availability of liquidity for your business’s investments and acquisitions.
Do I need to clean up my books before I hand them over to you?
No, we’ll include clean-up for you as part of our work estimate. We will setup your industry-specific general ledger in the cloud accounting solution that best fits your needs.
How do I locate receipts needed for my taxes?
Knowing which receipts to save and which to toss will help you maximize your tax refund, while minimizing the amount of paperwork you have to collect. You should keep all receipts for incurred expenses that are related to your business. If you can’t find a receipt, review bank statements and credit card statements. They are usually a good list of what you paid. They may also be a good substitute if you don’t have a receipt. Vendors and suppliers may also have duplicate records.
What does a bookkeeper do at year end?
A good bookkeeper will ensure all transactions are recorded properly. This includes current year bills and invoices even if they haven’t yet been paid. Bookkeepers also review your supporting documents (receipts, bills, invoices etc.) to make sure that you’ve recorded everything. If your accountant does your taxes for you at year end you need to provide them with all the receipts, invoices, and bank statements for the year. A bookkeeper can gather all the information needed.
Can you do catch up work from previous years?
Yes. Catch up work involves gathering up all records such as invoices to customers, business expenses, vendor invoices (bills you have paid), records of bad debt, etc. As your bookkeeper, I will sort and organize this information and reconcile all bank statements retroactively.
Do you do payroll?
Yes. Meaghan’s Bookkeeping can assist with payroll in several ways.
When you are just starting out, we can assist by:
- Setting up your small-business payroll system
- Collecting relevant employee tax information
- Choose a payroll schedule and customize your payroll schedule
On an on-going basis, Meaghan’s Bookkeeping assists with payroll by:
- Calculating gross pay
- Determining each employee’s deductions
- Calculating net pay
- Paying your employees according to your customized pay schedule
- Remitting deductions to the CRA
Do you handle sales tax?
Meaghan’s Bookkeeping can help you track the sales taxes you collect so you’re prepared to file and report at the correct times.
What is the deadline for paying taxes?
It depends. If your tax year ends March 31, your filing due date is September 30. If your tax year ends August 31, your filing due date is February 28. Generally, corporations have to pay their taxes in installments. The balance of tax is paid two or three months after the end of the tax year depending on your balance-due day.
How do you secure my files and financial information?
Meaghan’s Bookkeeping takes the protection of your personal information and files very seriously. We maintain privacy, confidentiality, and security of client information by:
- Keep all our computers and devices updated and password-protected
- Ensure all computers have encrypted hard drives
- Actively use a VPN and update anti-virus software
What software can help me automate my bookkeeping?
There are a variety of different software and technology tools that can help to automate your bookkeeping and accounting. These services can make a big impact on your business—they help reduce human error, improve efficiency, and save you time and money during tax season. A few of our preferred tools include QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage. But these tools can only take you so far; you still need access to someone who can help manage the software and analyze the resulting data.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Credit card, e-transfers and cheques are all accepted.
How do I contact the Canada Revenue Agency?
There are two ways to contact the CRA:
- You can go to their website and create an account. You can also call them personally or have an authorized representative contact them for you.
- For more information (in either English or French), please click on the following link, http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/.
- For personal income tax questions, call 1-800-959-8281.
- For corporate tax questions call, 1-800-959-5525.