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Most Canadian small businesses face the same headache around tax time. How do you keep track of changing tax requirements? How do you keep your business organized? With tax season upon us, getting organized to close your business’ books for the year can be time consuming and even frustrating; but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these simple tips from Sage North America, developers of Sage 50 Accounting—Canadian Edition and Sage One—Canadian Edition. Remember: by streamlining business processes, small business owners can get more time to grow their business and focus on what they do best.
1. Are you working with an accountant? If you’re not, and you’ve struggled in the past with taxes and financials, now’s a good time to get recommendations from friends or other small business owners for a financial professional to help you manage your books. Once tax season is in full swing – as it is now – it will become increasingly difficult to secure a professional.
2. Start gathering all of the information required to prepare and file your taxes – the sooner, the better. This can include: previous returns, financial statements for the year, a record of the vehicles and equipment that you have bought and sold, the mileage logs for your vehicle, and the records of food and entertainment expenses.
3. Keep track of your monthly bank statements as you go through the year, archive them online, or if you prefer paper, all together in a folder. This will make it easier when it’s time to reconcile your GL accounts at the end of the year as you get ready to do your taxes. Consider asking for your statements to be delivered electronically so it’s easier to file and keep track of them.
4. Make it easier for next year by keeping detailed records of what you’re paid, what you’ve spent, and with whom. Consider a feature-rich accounting software if you’re not already using it, but whatever your system, be sure you’re keeping track of your financial details throughout the year.
5. How do you keep your books? If you’re using a shoebox, it may be time to invest in a system. There are lots out there—easy, low-cost or no-cost solutions to help you manage throughout the year, so that you aren’t experiencing headaches at tax time. Some of those systems, like Sage 50, even help you to stay abreast of changing tax and payroll requirements. Others solutions, such as Sage One, can help you keep organized throughout the year so when it comes time to prepare and file your taxes, a lot of your information can be found in one place.
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