Accounting is the language of business. So, to speak it can open many doors. However, it seems that most people know just enough to get by — but not enough to thrive. To help you better understand the world of accounting, we've compiled this guide to accountants and the various titles they can hold. It's not a clear-cut distinction, but understanding the differences between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant, or even a Controller or CFO, can come in handy when deciding who to hire for what kind of job - or when to outsource. So stick with us! Your understanding of accounting will be much more sound by the time you finish reading this article.

What is a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers are responsible for the day-to-day accounting activities of a company. They're the ones who record income and expenses, prepare financial statements, reconcile bank accounts and track receivables and payables.

Should I hire a bookkeeper? Yes, I would. When it comes to deciding what to do about the bookkeeping operations of your company, you should probably consider hiring a bookkeeper and not a person who is simply a skillful accountant.

Our previous post Why You Should Hire a Cloud-based Bookkeeper in 2021 is a great place to start.

What is an Accountant?

Accountants are often more experienced than bookkeepers. They're highly skilled at analyzing financial transactions, performing audits and interpreting tax laws. Accountants also provide more generalized accounting services, such as financial planning, management consulting and payroll management.

Should I hire an accountant? That depends on the size of your company and your accounting needs. As you may have guessed, the bigger your company is, the more complicated your needs and transactions become.

What is a Controller?

Controllers are the financial managers of a company. They oversee bookkeepers and accountants who are directly responsible for financial record-keeping. They also make sure that staff members follow policies and procedures, compile regular reports and generally help run the accounting department. Controllers usually have broad supervisory experience, including experience in accounting or business management. They may have responsibility for multiple departments — finance, sales and marketing, operations, IT or customer service — depending on the size of their organization.

What is a CFO?

The acronym CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer; this person is typically the highest ranking accountant within an organization. CFOs are responsible for preparing the annual budget, communicating with outside investors and determining the company's staffing needs. Like controllers, CFOs are also financial managers. However, their main focus is to provide strategic advice and financial guidance to the CEO and other senior management team members.

What's the bottom line?

We know that running a small business comes with wearing many hats. On a daily basis, businesses around Canada are managing cash flow, trying to plan ahead, and need legal and tax support - and often do not have the in-house resources to hire for that. So they look to outsource. But where to start? What if a company needs help with one or more of the following:

Virtualise the business model
Support International Expansion
Advice on diversification
Assessing impact on supply chain
Business operations
financial management
General business planning
Increase data integrity
Operational decision making

One answer is to hire a Cloud-Bookkeeper - someone who can help grow your business with right-fit solutions, is comfortable with most aspects of a finance role, and who works within the framework of a larger firm which would normally have more resources and fractional (part time) capacity to help better steer your business.

Yes, it is a new and exciting idea. But it's not a new idea at all. In fact, if you think about it from the perspective of a CFO, there are obvious advantages to using hiring an outsourced virtual accountant - namely:

#1 - Avoid the risk of stretched resources resulting in poor service delivery or lost knowledge and expertise.
#2 - Widen your search for the best accountant with the most appropriate experience.
#3 - Target an increasingly mature and professional talent pool, many of whom have international experience.
#4 - Match the skill-set and experience of your business with those of virtual accountants who use cloud software applications to support you in making informed business decisions.

The majority of Canadian companies outsource one or more of their accounting services. In most cases, the extent of outsourcing is determined by your own in-house resources. If you have a full-time accountant on staff, it may be more cost-effective for you to simply outsource bookkeeping activities and focus on your core accounting skills. However, if your company is small and cannot justify hiring a full-time accountant, consider hiring an outsourced virtual accountant.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch with Eric at eliebmann@welchllp.com for a free initial assessment of where you stand and what you need. The good news is that with today's technology and online resources, as well as the virtual outsourced work model, we are seeing a leveling of the playing field between SMBs and large corporations.

Local bookkeepers are typically recommended because of their proximity, as they are in the same city and can come to your office or home for a meeting. That being said, the advent of remote bookkeeping and cloud-based services has made it easier than ever to work with professionals online. For businesses, this means greater security as there is no sensitive information on their local machine.

Have no fear; you can work remotely with the best cloud-bookkeepers online without feeling apprehensive or risk-averse! Here are 9 reasons for working securely online with a professional Elevate cloud-bookkeeper:

#1 - Work remotely with your favorite cloud-bookkeeper

If you're looking for a local bookkeeper, it's worth considering that the distance between you and the bookkeeper may not matter at all. There are bookkeepers that work remotely, and while there may be a few more steps involved, with proper procedures you can work with your favorite bookkeeper without leaving the comfort of your own home or office, and still be more secure than working with someone local.

#2 - Work with a cloud-bookkeeper for peace of mind

There are no secrets safe on your local machine! A cloud-based service means that there is an added layer of security to protect all personal data on the cloud. The data is protected in several ways - encrypted at all times (on every step of the way), expertly managed and backed up daily. You don't have to worry about losing data if your computer is stolen or damaged, because most cloud-bookkeepers will have you covered in a heartbeat.

#3 - Get a remote bookkeeper to work with you as your partner to provide solutions

Some small business owners are extremely overwhelmed with the amount of work they need to get done each day. A local bookkeeping & tax professional can be a great asset but they're typically working with other clients as well, so adding more pressure or stress is certainly not what you want. Instead, find yourself a bookkeeper & tax professional who can support and help you grow your business. A cloud-bookkeeper is different than a bookkeeper near you - they are committed to working with you as a partner, to provide you with all the solutions you need to help your business grow.

#4 - Use a secure online payment system for peace of mind

There are several secure payment gateways that provide a safe and secure way to pay for services. Many small business owners who choose an online bookkeeper usually use such a system, so it's worth checking out if you're getting started, too!

#5 - Keep records in the cloud for digital audit trails back up as well as ease of access from anywhere any time

Digital records are easier to access and maintain while backed up in the cloud. Cloud-bookkeepers provide not only cloud-based bookkeeping, but are also extremely knowledgeable and experienced staff when it comes to being able to quickly assist clients with any issues or needs they may have with digitizing all of their source documents, records, and company & employee files. And for businesses who do not have a full time staff, this serves as an added benefit.

#6 - Select your cloud bookkeeper based on the services they offer

Most cloud-bookkeepers will offer services such as a secure payment gateways, remote access programs, online payroll with dedicated employee portals, advisory services using state-of-the-art reporting tools, as well as support other small business owners in growth through blogs and other resources.

#7 - Create a comprehensive budget that keeps you accountable

A cloud-bookkeeper will provide you with the tools and services you need to be able to create a budget, so you have no reason to not adhere to it. Cloud-based bookkeeping software is extremely easy to use and will keep you organized and in compliance with all of the most up-to-date accounting requirements, giving you a comprehensive record of all income and expenses in real-time.

#8 - Get your bookkeeping online before or after your fiscal year-ends

Bookkeeping software is known for its user-friendliness and simple design, and since it can be accessed from anywhere, even if you begin working with a cloud-bookkeeper right before or after the end of the year you will still be able to take advantage of that.

#9 - Understand the value of outsourcing

Hiring a professional bookkeeper can be intimidating for some small business owners and entrepreneurs, and most business owners do not have the time or budget to bring on a full time bookkeeper. No matter how tired you are of doing your own bookkeeping or how much you think that you can handle it yourself, bookkeeping is not something that should be left to chance. As long as you consider a few of the above points, then starting to work with your cloud-bookkeeper may just be the best decision you ever made.

Whether you are a business owner, partner or board member of a small business, bookkeeping & taxes can be daunting and confusing. You may not know where to begin, or you may be concerned about the details. Fortunately, your cloud-bookkeeper can help by providing tax planning services and/or reviewing your past year's taxes to ensure that you are on the right track. Your bookkeeper will also provide his or her expertise in preparing and filing the necessary tax reports required by all tax authorities. Want real-time data & information? Entrust your business to an Elevate Cloud-Bookkeeper -

"One-on-one personal service, a fresh approach to accounting solutions—no gimmicks, no pressure, just great service and great results. That’s Elevate by Welch", says Sean Duffy, CPA, CMA, and Senior Manager at Elevate by Welch, a cloud-bookkeeping service that supports small business owners with their bookkeeping & tax needs.

“Anita is a fantastic professional to our fast-growing cloud-bookkeeping service,” says Sean Duffy. “She is very professional, knowledgeable and has an eye for detail. I highly recommend Anita as a bookkeeper for any business.”

Anita will be available to assist you with all your accounting needs from an accounting point of view as well as with QuickBooks Online.

Anita and her team of Cloud-Bookkeepers provide many types of services for small business owners including financial planning, taxes and payroll services, sales strategies, as well as cloud-based bookkeeping and cash flow forecasting reports/tools for your business growth.

Book some time with her here anadeau@welchllp.com

What is a bank reconciliation?

In a nutshell: the accounting records on your company’s books and the figures on your bank statement should match up, but if they do not then this is what triggers the need for a bank reconciliation. The process of completing a bank reconciliation is important because it helps to identify any errors and mistakes so that they may then be rectified.

There are a number of possible causes for this discrepancy. This could be because fees, interest or charges have not been recorded correctly. It may be due to an error or mistake in the accounting records. This could also be an indication that someone has fraudulently altered the figures on the statement and recorded them as part of your company’s records.

There is no need to worry if managing your accounts is a little tricky. There are many online systems and software packages that make bank reconciliations somewhat simple, but a well-trained accountant that understands the intricacies of accounting should always be used.

The process of completing a bank reconciliation could take up to two hours, but can be completed within half an hour on some occasions. The main things are to make sure that the figures on both statements match and there is nothing unusual or suspicious recorded in the transaction history.

How can I simplify this important bookkeeping step?

There are a couple of ways in which the process can be simplified.

“Always contact your bank immediately if you experience any issues with your statements or any unexpected changes to your accounts” – says Eric Liebmann, CPA, CA. Eric has spent more than 10 years in audit and assurance, frequently helping his clients detect anomalies and inconsistencies – saving them countless headaches and thousands of dollars

Why don’t the balances reconcile? If the balances do not reconcile, you can check through your accounting records to see where the discrepancy is. There could be many reasons why the bank statement does not match up with your accounting records.

It could be that there has been an error in one of the statements or a mistake in recording transactions. If so, then they should both be corrected and revised until they are consistent. You may also need to adjust your accounting records to bring them back into balance.

You should also compare the figures on your accounts to the figures on the original bank statement. This will make sure that nothing has been recorded incorrectly.

How do you complete a bank reconciliation in QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online offers many features that make accounting easier, including the ability to reconcile bank accounts. However, many people do not know how to use this feature. This guide will cover some of the basics about reconciling bank accounts and how to do it.

The first step is ensuring all transactions for the month have been processed either manually or through QuickBooks Online bank feed. Once that is complete, let the fun begin!

#1 - Make sure you have the bank statement for the account you’ll be reconciling at hand

#2 - Top right-hand corner, click on the Gear Icon, under Tools, click on Reconcile / or go to navigation menu on left-hand side and click on Reconcile and select the account you’ll be reconciling

#3 - Verify that the beginning balance matches your bank statement

#4 - Enter the ending balance from your bank statement

#5 - Enter the bank statement’s ending date

#6 - Click the green Start reconciling button

#7 - Check off all transactions that match with your bank statement

#8 - The difference should be $0.00

#9 - Click the green Finish now button in the upper right corner

What if I do not reconcile monthly?

No matter how well-organized your books are, it's important to reconcile at least once a month in order to catch mistakes before they happen or risk losing control of your business.

It's challenging because you have to reconcile some accounts manually. You may be required to use paper and pencils, which is so last century. Reconciling an account can take hours, while every minute counts when it comes to running your business. There are apps for doing bookkeeping, like QuickBooks Online, but they don't replace critical thinking and years of experience that you can get when outsourcing to an accounting firm.

Not sure you are up for it? Want to spend your time better? Get in touch with the team at Elevate – we do this full time and we have helped countless clients save thousands of dollars in mistakes.

Drop me a line here: sduffy@welchllp.com

"How bookkeeping works" is a common question asked by business owners and those who need to understand how accounting works. Double-entry bookkeeping is the most common form of bookkeeping because of the way it tracks money in an organization - and it essentially has remained unchanged for centuries. It is also the simplest form of bookkeeping, making it easier to master. You can start using double-entry bookkeeping as soon as you know what to do with debits and credits.

The early development of accounting dates to ancient Mesopotamia, and is closely related to developments in writing, counting and money and early auditing systems. By the time of the Roman Empire, the government had access to detailed financial information. In the Islamic world, ninth century commercial arithmetic and algebra was further standardized by Al-Khwarrzim.

Double-entry bookkeeping - Luca Pacioli

In the 1400s, Luca Pacioli published Summa, an illustrated guide to bookkeeping with double-entry accounting. This first book on financial accounting is seen as a major turning point in the history of accounting. Pacioli's work influenced merchants and modern accountants for centuries.

“All the creditors must appear in the ledger at the right-hand side, and all the debtors at the left. All entries made in the ledger have to be double entries—that is, if you make one creditor, you must make someone debtor." - Luca Pacioli

Pacioli's time is seen as a period of transition from the medieval economy to one governed by merchants and bankers. In the Middle Ages, Italian merchants had been the most influential group of bankers in Europe. The concept of double-entry bookkeeping is more closely associated with medieval accounting practices than with modern accounting standards. However, Pacioli's Summa was influential in establishing the double-entry method as a standard for financial transactions and for later historians to use as a frame of reference.

The Joint-Stock Company & The Birth of the Limited Liability Entity

Moving on from Pacioli, a history of accounting would not be complete without mention of the advent of the predecessor of the modern corporation: the joint stock company. A joint-stock company is a business that has ownership divided between multiple investors, who each take delivery of a share in the company. The public issues shares so that more people can buy them and thus become shareholders. These shareholders then have a vote on how the company should be run, with different numbers of votes attaching to different sizes of shares owned by an individual shareholder.

Although joint stock companies had existed before 1600 across Europe, it was in England at this time that these businesses began to develop into what we would now recognize as a modern day limited liability entity; where one person could own shares without fear of being responsible for the debts or liabilities of other shareholders if the company failed.

When do we see the birth of modern professional accounting?

The birth of modern professional accounting can be traced back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The period from 1850–1880 was a time of considerable change in both accounting practice and education, where the concepts of specialization and professionalism were introduced.

Today, it’s regulated and standardized by the various international accounting standards that provide exclusive frameworks for internal accounting policies. The strict regulation imposed by these guidelines ensures the reliability and comparability of financial statements worldwide.

2021: To Automate, or Not to Automate?

In 2021, we are often asked "Will bookkeeping be automated". Answer: To some extent it will, and to some extent it will not. Historically, bookkeeping has been done manually, with paper and pencil. The birth of the modern computer has created a demand for accounting software. Accounting software can automate some data entry tasks and help accountants - and their clients - in many ways. In other ways, software is making manual accounting obsolete.

The bookkeeping industry - as has occurred in every recent accounting revolution - will be affected by some aspects of the technology revolution. The theoretical basis of accounting - double-entry bookkeeping - is well established and remains a common thread throughout time. As long as we have written records, double-entry bookkeeping has existed. Relatively new concepts of automated accounting are changing how we think about accounting, and our financial system, which in turn will affect how we go about keeping record of it.

And how would Luca Pacioli feel about the pace of innovation happening right now in cloud-bookkeeping? it is our strong opinion that even if Pacioli had started the modern era of accountancy - in the 21st century - he would be surprised by what is happening today. Cloud-accounting is now a reality, and companies are realizing all the benefits.

Equally, Pacioli would be excited by the advent of automation in bookkeeping. He would have seen the benefits of technology and would have been eager to take advantage of it in an age where bookkeeping was manual. And like the many different approaches to double-entry he has seen, there will be a number of ways that people approach business solutions and record-keeping.

What we can say with confidence though, is that he would have loved the convenience of cloud-bookkeeping, something that should not be underestimated. The benefits of automation and cloud-bookkeeping are clear; they are extremely valuable.

The main takeaway from this article is that how we track money in organizations - whether through double-entry bookkeeping or otherwise - will always change and adapt. The accounting industry is a fast-moving one, and Luca Pacioli would have been surprised by it all. Whether he would have embraced the changes is another matter altogether.

Stay tuned to this series for information on some recent technological changes which are underway. Curious about innovation in accounting? Ask one of our Cloud-Bookkeepers how their careers have evolved over the last few years.

If you would like to learn more about how cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting services can help elevate your business in 2021, contact Chris at cmeyers@welchllp.com

More from the Bookkeeping & Accounting series

Keep an eye out for the paper airplane taking off from the green runway for our next piece in the series.

#Doge To The Moon! So, you invested in crypto. By most accounts, you are not alone. And while this is a hot topic, many people still don't fully understand and grasp the consequences of investing in cryptocurrencies. The guides on Reddit and the internet just don't explain everything you need to know. So, we created this easy-to-read guide to help anyone who is either just about to buy their first crypto investment or are looking at diversifying their portfolio.

What's all the buzz about?

Cryptocurrency has become one of the hottest investment options in the last year. Many people are attracted to the exciting potential of this pioneering, decentralized technology. However, there is one major thing holding people back: The Unreliable Income Tax Conundrum.

For tax purposes, crypto is not currency. Crypto is property and a business asset (like stocks). The CRA has issued guidance on how taxpayers should report transactions involving virtual currency. When you buy or sell cryptocurrency, it's taxable just like most property transaction.

Taxes For Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency creators (Bitcoin, Dogecoin) set up these currencies as systems separate from any central bank, central authority, or government influence. However, cryptocurrencies are still considered commodities for the purposes of the Income Tax Act.  In other words, when you receive Dogecoin and use it to purchase goods or services, the CRA considers this as a barter transaction. The CRA requires you to report any earnings or losses from these transactions on your income tax return.

The Key Tax Questions

How do I calculate capital gains or losses?

When you sell a cryptocurrency for more than what you paid, the difference is considered a capital gain. If you sell for less, then this difference is considered a capital loss.

If you are the one who has sold a cryptocurrency for more than what you paid, then you owe taxes on this capital gain. If you are the one who paid less, then this is considered a capital loss. Capital losses are deductible against other capital gains.

What if I bought a cryptocurrency from someone else?

When you buy a cryptocurrency, either directly or indirectly from someone else (for example, on an exchange), then the CRA treats this as a barter transaction. Since the value of the cryptocurrency has increased, any capital gains will be realized on the date you sold it.

If you are the one who bought the cryptocurrency and sold it for more than what you paid, then you owe taxes on this capital gain. If you are the one who paid less, then this is considered a capital loss. Capital losses are not deductible on your tax return like income losses.

What if I trade cryptocurrency for another type of cryptocurrency?

When you trade one cryptocurrency for another type of cryptocurrency, the CRA considers this a barter transaction. Since the value of the cryptocurrency has increased, any capital gains will be realized on the date you sold it.

If you are the one who traded cryptocurrencies for another type of cryptocurrency and sold that one for more than what you paid, then you most likely owe taxes on this capital gain. If you are the one who paid less, then this is considered a capital loss. Capital losses are not deductible on your tax return like income losses.

Let’s look at some examples pulled from the CRA’s Guide for cryptocurrency users and tax professionals:

Let’s move along into other aspects of cryptocurrency.

Crypto mining

Crypto mining is the process of verifying transactions on a blockchain ledger by solving mathematical problems. In this way, a miner creates new cryptocurrency, which is then added to the digital ledger.

To mine cryptocurrencies, you need a powerful processing unit like an ASIC, or Application Specific Integrated Circuits. The processing power that ends up being used for this purpose is called hashing power (commonly expressed in megahashes per second). The faster your computer can compute hashes, the better chance you have of earning more bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.

When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, it's a good idea to keep your capital loss and income loss separate. Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains, while income losses are deductible against any type of taxable income.

OK. So, what about taxes when earning cryptocurrency?

“The income tax treatment for cryptocurrency miners is different depending on whether their mining activities are a personal activity (a hobby) or a business activity. This is decided case by case. A hobby is generally undertaken for pleasure, entertainment or enjoyment, rather than for business reasons. But if a hobby is pursued in a sufficiently commercial and businesslike way, it can be considered a business activity and will be taxed as such.” - from the CRA’s Guide for cryptocurrency users and tax professionals

Individuals who are income tax residents of Canada are taxed on their worldwide income, including any income earned from cryptocurrency mining. Be aware that due to the large fluctuations in daily activity across trading platforms, tax authorities may take the average of the opening and closing values of the day, and also average values across a number of major exchanges.

What is income tax for business activity and does it apply to my mining operation?

The Income Tax Act describes income as the total of all amounts, monetary or not, that a person receives for any purpose. What this means is that all amounts are subject to income tax, even if there is no cash involved. This applies to cryptocurrency mining.

Since every business activity has to report income and expenses, the first step in determining your tax liability is to determine whether your cryptocurrency mining activity is a business activity or not. Therefore, you need to determine whether:

Your cryptocurrency mining activities are carried out in a sufficiently commercial and businesslike way; and You have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge that would allow you to carry on these activities as a profession or business.

What is the income tax treatment for crypto miners?

The CRA has indicated that cryptocurrency mining is a taxable business for Canadian tax purposes due to the fact that miners generate revenue from the sale of cryptocurrencies.

For additional information on how you can calculate your mining expenses and determine what kind of income tax treatment you should receive, please contact us today.

What about GST/HST?

From the CRA's Guide for cryptocurrency users and tax professionals:

"Where a taxable property or service is exchanged for cryptocurrency, the GST/HST that applies to the property or service is calculated based on the fair market value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the exchange.

If your business accepts cryptocurrency as payment for taxable property or services, the value of the cryptocurrency for GST/HST purposes is calculated based on its fair market value at the time of the transaction.

Keep all records that show how you calculated the fair market value."

For additional information on how you can calculate your GST/HST, please contact us today.

What about bookkeeping?

"If you acquire (by mining or otherwise) or dispose of cryptocurrency, you have to keep records of your cryptocurrency transactions. This also applies to businesses that accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services." - from the CRA Guide for cryptocurrency users and tax professionals

From the same CRA guide, please see below:

You should maintain the following records on your cryptocurrency transactions:

If you are a miner, also keep the following records:

To sum up, the CRA expects you to keep track of all your cryptocurrency transactions. Get in touch with us today should any of the above speak to you - or if you just need help with understanding your specific situation. If you would like to learn more about how Elevate by Welch can help with bookkeeping and tax services for cryptocurrency, contact Sean at sduffy@welchllp.com

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for general purposes only. It does not constitute legal or tax advice and is not intended to provide specific answers for any individual situation.

In this series of posts, we will explore core bookkeeping and accounting concepts. Have you ever wondered who invented the double-entry system of bookkeeping? Do you want to know how to keep track of your finances and expenses? How to set up your bookkeeping system? You'll be glad to know that you can learn how in this series.

Where to start?

The first step is always the same: register for a reputable bookkeeping software. Though they vary in price, features, and style, they all provide more or less the same things: they help keep track of your transactions and make managing them easier.

The next step is to start using the software. This requires studying the documentation, spending some time reading blogs about bookkeeping and even typing the transactions you already have committed to memory a couple of times.

Then, your final step is to create your accounting system. Write down all your purchases/sales and all your expenses in a notebook/document where you can always refer back to them, should you need to. This may seem tedious at first but it actually helps save time later on, as knowledge of past transactions develops speed and efficiency. Understanding your system will take time, most bookkeepers say it takes an average of 2–3 months to fully get the hang of it. You may even have to consult one of the experts who have already done all the tedious and labor-intensive work for you: accountants and bookkeepers.

Most importantly, focus on building your knowledge about accounting and keep doing that daily. You can never know enough and you will always need to refresh your memory.

This blog series is written especially with the beginner in mind. It doesn't mean that experts won't find it useful; on the contrary, expert bookkeepers often find it hard to understand why someone would want to take on bookkeeping without first learning a few things about it.

The 5 most important tips for beginners

#1 - Understand the importance of using a bookkeeping software

Many people make the mistake of starting to manage their finances without setting up a functional and organized system which will help them keep track of everything, as well as organize their financial processes. You wouldn't try to build a giant house without blueprints, would you?

#2 - Take your time with it

The idea that bookkeeping can be learned very quickly is quite common. But truth is it takes time and dedication to learn. A good bookkeeper or accountant can be hired to do all the grunt work for you, unless you have a special interest in the subject like many people do.

#3 - Focus on building your knowledge about accounting and keep doing that daily

You can never know enough about bookkeeping and there are always new things to learn, so build an effective learning routine that works for you.

#4 - Don't forget to read other blogs about bookkeeping

They are an excellent source of information and tutorials, as well as a place where you can ask questions about your financial process, which is very useful if you want to improve your skills.

#5 - Not for you?

This may be the most important tip of all: leave it to the pros. Reach out to us and let us know how we can help. Let us focus on your finances so you can focus on what you do best: running a successful business.

After all, we can't do what you do. But we can definitely take care of what you don't want to do or don't have the time for. Bookkeeping and accounting are essential parts of any financial system and as such should be taken seriously.

Never underestimate the importance of bookkeeping in the success of your business, no matter how big or small it is. Build a plan that works for you, keep your focus and go after it.

Stay tuned to this series for information on some recent technological changes which are underway. Curious about innovation in accounting? Ask one of our Cloud-Bookkeepers how their careers have evolved over the last few years.

If you would like to learn more about how cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting services can help elevate your business in 2021, contact Sean at sduffy@elevatebywelchllp.com

More from the Bookkeeping & Accounting series

Keep an eye out for the paper airplane taking off from the green runway for our next piece in the series.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”, says Melanie, quoting Ferris Bueller. Why is this such a great quote? It takes a sombre look at life and reminds us that we never know what will happen tomorrow.

This is the perfect attitude to adopt, as Melanie Aumont, a qualified bookkeeper with over 10 years experience, reminds us that life should be lived for the moment. Melanie started her career in bookkeeping and has never looked back. “It’s as if I’ve been born to do this job!” she exclaims.

Let's meet Melanie:

#1 - What's your earliest childhood memory?

I remember being at the zoo with my dad. I was probably around 4 and it must have been our first trip there because I distinctly remember being so excited to see all the animals, but being disappointed when we couldn't take them home.

#2 - What's your favorite Podcast?

My favorite podcast is The Ongoing History of New Music by Alan Cross because he tells amazing stories about the history of music.

#3 - What's your favourite book?

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown. The story is so rich and interesting, and I love how the plot is composed.

#4 - What is your favourite movie?

I have to admit, I’m very much a movie person. Some of my favourites are The Princess Bride and Back to the Future.

#5 - What is your favourite thing to do on a lazy Sunday?

I love to spend a relaxing Sunday morning reading and drinking coffee. I also really enjoy knitting while watching HGTV.

#6 - What is your favourite drink?

I’m not such a big drinker, but on hot days I love a nice Shirley Temple.  

#7 - What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I’m a mom of 2 boys and love spending time with them, whether it’s building Lego, play Nintendo Switch or riding bikes. This pandemic has certainly brought us closer together. In all of my other spare time, I love knitting and sewing (check out my projects here @cozycochonhandmade  @sewmelticulous ).

#8 - What is something clients have to deal with that you want to fix?

I love the trend of ditching the need to print everything. I’m excited about the new technology and apps available to make it easy to transition to a paperless business environment. 

#9 - What do you like about working at Elevate by Welch?

I love the team atmosphere and communication. Every day we have conversations about how we are going to achieve our goals and our clients’ goals. It’s a great way to stay focused on what is important.

#10 - How would the bookkeeping profession change if you could see the future? Anything specific?

I think that there will always be an element of chance with bookkeeping, but I think we will see more technology available to help us do our jobs better. The internet is also going to change people’s lives every day in a big way because they can communicate better and more easily than ever before.

Let's finish it off on a light note:

#11 - Who was your first celebrity crush?

Thanks to Titanic, Leo DiCaprio. And still is, I think! 

#12 - If you were put in charge of a country for a day, what country would you choose?

Croatia as it is today is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and I would love to be able to take care of it for the day.

#13 - If you were given a time machine, when and where would you go?

I’d love to go back and see what life was like during the Renaissance period.

#14 - And finally, which superpower would you want?

I think I’d pick telepathy to read people’s minds. Would make life much easier!

#15 - Who is your favourite super hero?

Captain Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies… he’s just so cool!

Bookkeepers are the unsung heroes of businesses, yet they are always present and look out for their clients best interests. They look at numbers not with dollar signs attached but with numbers not as just a source of income or profit margin, but as an important way to measure how we live our lives.

Elevate by Welch is committed to providing bookkeeping solutions for businesses throughout Canada.

With these insights into Melanie's world, we hope you get a taste of who she is and the enthusiasm she brings to her work. The best way to get in touch with Melanie is emailing her here maumont@welchllp.com

“If you are going through hell, keep going”, said Winston Churchill. The same mantra applies to bookkeeping, says Anita Nadeau. “You have to keep going, you have to stay focused on the big picture”, she adds. This inspirational quote has led her to pursue multiple career paths, from being an entrepreneur to helping other business owners with their finances as a bookkeeper. She has been working as such for the past 30 years and is dedicated to supporting other bookkeepers and helping them achieve success.

When asked how she feels about her job, Anita replied, "I really enjoy what I do as a bookkeeper because I am very analytical and love numbers." Also, she said that she is very proud of the work that she has accomplished. “I love seeing all the hard work paying off for my clients”, Anita says.

Let's meet Anita:

#1 - What's your earliest childhood memory?

Dancing with my brother to “A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles.

#2 - What's your favorite book?

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. I enjoy the political aspect of the play and how it could be interpreted today.

#3 - What's your TV Series?

The Crown because it depicts the lives of the British Royal Family during their prime and it's very interesting to see how their political and personal lives intertwined.

#4 - What's your favorite drink?

A Malbec with a steak dinner.

#5 - What are some of your hobbies/interests?

I am an avid reader and love to hear other stories. I also love to be around people, so being a bookkeeper has helped me meet all kinds of people from all walks of life.

#6 - What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Coffee shop hopping! I just love finding a great place to work on my laptop and enjoy a relaxing cup of joe.

#7 - What was your favorite subject in school?

English and I’m still a bookworm.

#8 - What do you think is the most underrated virtue?

Honesty.

#9 - What’s one thing most people don’t know about your job?

Bookkeeping really is a “people’s job”. You have to be patient and enjoy helping people. I love meeting new people and that's one of the perks of what I do.

#10 - What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I am a huge believer in the saying “work smarter, not harder”. That being said, I must also say that you have to stay on top of your accounting and bookkeeping. It is essential to monitor your income and expenses on a weekly basis to make sure that you are not over or losing money. Also, I think it's important to read through your tax documents at least once a year to make sure that all the information is accurate, especially given our current tax laws.

#11 - Why is bookkeeping important for small business?

Bookkeeping is an essential part of a small business. The bookkeeper keeps track of all the finances of the company and ensures that all transactions are correct. Without good records, it is difficult to prove that you have stayed within budget or exactly what your expenses are. A good bookkeeper helps make sure that the business has the tools and resources it needs to be successful.

#12 - What's your work routine like?

This varies depending on the job, but in general I try to get to my work every day at 8:30 AM so I can have a productive day starting out.

#13 - What's your favorite thing about working at Elevate by Welch?

Elevate is the most positive, inclusive company I’ve ever worked for. The environment is friendly and accepting. I can be myself and that makes me a better bookkeeper.

#14 - What are some skills every bookkeeper should master?

I think they should be able to do basic math and have a sense of urgency. There may be urgent needs that come up during the course of a day that end up delaying your schedule and can throw you behind. So being able to handle these challenges is imperative.

Let's finish it off on a light note:

#15 - What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Haggis and Blood pudding pizza, delicious.

#16 - Who was your first celebrity crush?

Captain Scarlet (but not the Mysterons).

#17 - If you had a magic ring, what would be your first wish?

I’d wish for world peace. There is no easy way to do this and I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but it does help to start small and get people at least talking about solutions.

#18 - Where are your favorite places to visit?

Alaska is my favourite place in the world. It’s a very special place. The best way I can describe it is that once you set foot on the ground there, you never want to leave; and it sets such a wonderful energy that it makes me feel alive.

#19 - And finally, which superpower would you want?

Time travel because then we wouldn’t be stuck in the same loop and I could travel the world a little more, actually get my hands dirty and bring meaningful change.

Bookkeepers are the unsung heroes of businesses, yet they are always present and look out for their clients best interests. They look at numbers not with dollar signs attached but with numbers not as just a source of income or profit margin, but as an important way to measure how we live our lives.

Elevate by Welch is committed to providing bookkeeping solutions for businesses throughout Canada.

With these insights into Anita's world, we hope you get a taste of who she is and the enthusiasm she brings to her work. The best way to get in touch with Anita is emailing her here anadeau@welchllp.com

Were you eligible for the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy and you accounted for it during 2020? If you did and you have a payroll account with the Canada Revenue Agency, you have to complete and submit Form PD27. As an employer, filing your TWS information on time is important. Elevate and Alex Mitrovic, CPA, CA, of Welch LLP will guide you through this important process.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel as to the global pandemic and the havoc it has caused for Canadian business owners”, says Alex, he continues “it’s important to remain compliant with CRA regardless of your situation. My team, along with Elevate, want everyone to be as audit-proof as ready. We have helped countless businesses stay afloat and thrive despite the upheaval – let’s get to the finish line together and ensure all is in order”. Alex has provided the following information to help you get there.

Do any of the following apply to you:

Form PD27 Due Before Filing of T4s

CRA has indicated that the PD27 must be processed by them before the TWS credits claimed by the employer will be posted to the source deduction account. Consequently, the PD27 needs to be filed before the T4s are filed as it informs CRA of the discrepancy between the remitted amounts during the year and the tax deductions reported on the T4s. Failure to do so may trigger a Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER) by CRA.

Part D of Form PD27 requires the employer to provide details of the calculated wage subsidy, and also provides a box for written comments to provide further details not included in the calculations. CRA will use this form to verify the TWS claimed as well as reconcile to the CEWS claimed, if applicable. Eligible employers who only claimed the CEWS are still required to file Form PD27, indicating in the comment box the lower percentage claimed.

Claiming the TWS

If you have not yet reduced your remittances with the TWS, you can still calculate and apply for the subsidy using the Form PD27. Employers should indicate in the Additional Comments section of the Form how they would like to apply the subsidy. The three options are:

If you are not sure where to start, click on the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/temporary-wage-subsidy.html

Completing Form PD27

For each pay period identified on the form, the employer will need to provide the following information:

The self-identification form can be submitted online, by mail or fax. Online submissions are filed through CRA My Business Account. Parsing through payroll guidance can be daunting. If you are unsure of where to start, need help moving it along, or want to entrust us with the work, please reach out to us at sduffy@welchllp.com

Resource: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/temporary-wage-subsidy/tws-reporting.html

In the business world it’s not unusual for entrepreneurs and owners to manage their own business bookkeeping and accounting. The reasons for doing so are relatively simple. Many business owners believe the DIY approach saves them money, or that it keeps them closer to the business and therefore more informed.

This isn’t necessarily true. And, as we move into a second year of business overshadowed by COVID-19, handling your business bookkeeping in-house may actually cost you money and further separate you from your work. Even medium and large-sized companies with dedicated administrative and accounting personnel may want to consider bringing in a little extra help.

Here’s why you should consider hiring a cloud-based bookkeeper in 2021.

You might miss out on government subsidies and credits

To anyone who’s tried to decipher the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website this year, we salute you. The reality is that navigating the ins and outs of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), along with the various loans and tax credits available, has been a challenge for many businesses—to say the least!

The job of professional bookkeepers and accountants is to stay current so that they can apply their knowledge to elevate your business. As we head into 2021, a year of uncertainty but also of recovery, there will undoubtedly be further policy adjustments made to bolster the economy. A qualified bookkeeper with a leave-no-stone-unturned mentality can evaluate your operations and identify which subsidies and tax credits are relevant to your business. They can also flag new opportunities as they arise, enabling you to act quickly and proactively.

A BOOKKEEPER CAN:

You might claim something your business doesn’t qualify for

Even if you’re financially savvy (or have a member of staff who is) chances are you aren’t dedicating 100% of your time to tracking shifts in government assistance and tax policy. At best, this means you could be missing out on subsidies, tax credits, or other forms of assistance that could help your business. At worst, you may be receiving assistance that you will have to pay back down the road.

Bookkeepers who are CPA certified, or who work closely with CPA-certified accountants, can help that you’re colouring within the lines and have the necessary documentation to prove it. And regardless of how many times a policy shifts, a bookkeeper truly worth their salt will help

you to track, organize, and maintain the documentation required to ensure that your business is and remains CRA compliant.

A BOOKKEEPER CAN:

Your bookkeeping may need to pivot as much as your business has

Plenty of businesses have pivoted their operations this year. Consider an example. Let’s say you’re a brick and mortal retail operation. You’re popular, but being too small to compete with the likes of Amazon you’ve shied away from e-commerce in the past. The pandemic pushed you to launch a 100% contactless online purchase and delivery option in order to stay in business—and it’s working. So much that you plan to maintain an e-commerce platform indefinitely. We couldn’t be happier for you! But if you’ve been brick and mortar for a long time, chances are your old bookkeeping system just isn’t going to cut it in 2021.

You need integrated and automated systems that track, cost, and synchronize sales across your in-store and online inventory, not to mention an online payment system that syncs seamlessly with a top-notch bookkeeping/accounting software. And the latter ideally needs to automate sales orders, invoices, receipts, etc. Have you even taken a look at your new expenses evaluated the old ones, and examined your claims potential? It’s a lot, we know, but a bookkeeper well-versed in cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting can help you establish the right infrastructure to support your newly evolved business.

YOUR BOOKEEPER CAN:

You need a better budget and financial forecast

None of us were prepared for the impacts of COVID-19, but the experience of the pandemic has presented an opportunity for business owners (aided by their bookkeeper and accountant!) to create a better plan for tomorrow. Your bookkeeper can help you to establish an operating budget that accounts for the payback of loans, the eventual cut-off of government subsidies, the replenishment of reserve savings, and much, much more.

Moreover that tidy, up-to-date, detailed, and accurate ledger your bookkeeper maintains will make it far easier for an accountant to offer you the high-level financial advice and performance data you need to make informed business decisions. Your bookkeeper can also help you to develop tools and tracking systems that tabulate everything from day-to-day transactions to the relative value and profitability of your products and services (useful when evaluating which COVID pivots to keep over the long term).

IN 2021 YOUR BOOKEEPER CAN:

You don’t need the stress—your time is better spent elsewhere

Administration, bookkeeping, and accounting inevitably take up far more time than most business owners anticipate (as much as one day a week or more). We have no doubt that you’re capable of wearing many hats (and masterfully, we might add), but the hat you wear best is not a green eyeshade. Whether you’re managing the ledger alone or assisting an in-house bookkeeper or accountant, you must come to accept this truth:

In 2021, your time will be better spent growing your business and exploring the new opportunities and potential that COVID pivots and a post-COVID era provide. The creative inspirations, networking connections, and strides in business development you can make will far outweight the cost of paying a bookkeeper to handle the nitty gritty.

For you, reconciling accounts and issuing payroll is an added stressor, and if you fall behind, well, let’s just say your staff don’t need the stress either. A qualified bookkeeper can support you and your staff by ensuring that the ship runs smoothly. They can help existing administrative staff who may be out of their depth when it comes to keeping up with COVID-related policy changes. They can also help streamline and even automate processes like payroll to ensure that all employee benefits and subsidies are properly accounted for and that your obligations are met.

IN 2021 YOUR BOOKKEEPER CAN:

The new world is digital, and your bookkeeping can be too

COVID-19 work-from-home edicts were easy to adapt to for those of us who’d already been working in cloud-based accounting (or any cloud-based, digitally nomadic industry). But for those businesses whose operations, record-keeping, and administrative interactions were largely conducted in person or on paper, it was a substantial obstacle to overcome.

If you got your digital feet proverbially wet in 2020 - It’s time for the canon ball! Cloud-based accounting apps and software make it possible for you to outsource your business bookkeeping to skilled bookkeeping and accounting professionals. Moreover, a well-designed and fully integrated digital financial bookkeeping and accounting infrastructure gives you 24/7 access to the most up-to-date and accurate financial data on your business. And that data is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Never before have business owners had so much information at their fingertips. It’s time to take advantage. The services of many outsourced, cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting firms, like Elevate by Welch LLP, allow you to customize the level of service and input you require, enabling you to seamlessly integrate cloud bookkeeping and cloud accounting solutions into your business.

If you would like to learn more about how cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting services can help elevate your business in 2021, contact Sean at sduffy@elevatebywelchllp.com

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