Year End Preparation for Independent Business Owners
Does the fall weather have you feeling a bit squirrely? Business has been humming along all year, but now the end of 2017 is in sight and you haven’t really touched your paperwork. Anxiety starts to set in about all the pieces of information you must find and assemble in some sort of sense to take to the accountant for income tax. Questions about what to claim as an expense, how to record asset purchases and remitting sales tax start to boil up inside. Here are some helpful tips to get you organized and confident NOW, so when it comes time to visit the accountant, you are calm and collected with a clear picture of your last year of business operations. Of course, you can always call or stop by our office for a personalized consultation.
- Start with your statements for all bank accounts and credit cards.
Have you ever tried to complete a puzzle without using the picture on the box – it makes things way more difficult. Your bank and credit card statements act as your puzzle picture showing what pieces of information you need to collect. Go through them line by line and find the corresponding sales invoice or purchase receipt to back up that deposit/withdrawal.
- Sort by month.
Have a separate folder for each month. Sort your source documents and statements accordingly. Every line item on your statement should have supporting documentation (invoice, deposit slip, cheque stub, bill). Make sure original bills and invoices are included as well, not just proof of payment, for GST purposes.
- Give your Client Specialist a head start.
There’s no need to wait until the end of the year to bring your paperwork to your Client Specialist. Bringing us what you have and allowing us to enter the rest when the year is up creates workflow efficiencies and avoids a big year end bill for data entry and reconciliation. Giving your Client Specialist more time with your file is also beneficial to your accountant. We can flag areas requiring their expertise, compile a list of client questions and concerns, and provide a clean file for your accountant to work from to process your income tax filing.
- Access to CRA and TAXcess Accounts
Both CRA and Manitoba Finance provide online portals to access your filing information so you can check and reconcile accounts at your convenience. Giving your Client Specialist access to these accounts as well allows them to ensure there are no surprises at year end, especially if you are needing T4’s issued for employees.