The Fundamental Traits Of Good Accountants

Is your business in need of a bookkeeping solution? When searching for an ideal business bookkeeper, you should find out the when what, who, how and where of accounting professionals. (That’s because what might be best for you may not work out in another business type.)

In this post, I outline ten critical areas to consider when choosing bookkeepers and the pros and cons of each.

Experience

When it comes to a choosing a business bookkeeper, bear in mind that their experience matters. The reason is that you may think since you run a small business, you need a bookkeeper with minimum experience. What you should know is that you need as much experience as you can get. Bear in mind that for your business to grow, you need the best accounting and bookkeeping to enable you to maximize its profits.

Experience does not always mean you’re hiring the best. That’s because you may find someone who has worked for 20 years as a part-time landscaping bookkeeper. They may have the experience, but they may lack the know-how and depth that needed for a new startup company. It means you need to create a list that specifies the depth, type, and knowledge that you need.

Education

The person in charge of your bookkeeping should have some formal accounting and business information education. A business degree by itself doesn’t qualify someone to be an excellent bookkeeper. Ensure that your person has the right knowledge that matches your business, both for today and for the future.

The best bookkeeper should always be thinking ten steps ahead. Rather than solving problems, they should prevent them. Someone with a formal education in accounting will understand the strategy, ethics, and tactics, policy, and procedure that will help you to grow your business. They should have the desire to stay sharp and focused and always look forward to helping your business become a financial success.

Oversight

You may not be an accountant, which means you may not have the knowledge, resources, and desire to check the work being done by your current solution for bookkeeping. They may have CPA certifications, but remunerating them to do monitoring can be costly. It means you must include monitoring as a consideration.

Oversight has various levels. If you employ someone without training, and formal education of a bookkeeper, the need for control will be a priority. Remember that oversight has many levels. However, if your solution has years of experience and education, monitoring will be less costly and simpler.

Banking Technology

Conducting commerce over the internet is not just a luxury in the 21st century. That’s because for you to stay competitive and healthy, you need to work with third-party companies and your bank to receive payments and pay bills. One key aspect of your business can access any financial data of your business remotely. You should “ensure your accounting and bookkeeping solution can conduct your business online securely and safely.” says ICMS.Online who was kind enough to share such valuable information.

Systems and Software

Do you still write checks to pay employees, vendors, and others? The best 21st-century accounting and bookkeeping solution should be able to carry out a significant part of your business’s financial transactions electronically. We can do some parts of these operations for some time; although the problem is that these “time-saving” technologies haven’t been integrated into some older technologies used by bookkeepers.

The good thing is that a few accounting and bookkeeping solutions have been able to sew them together. The result is an efficient, cost-saving and streamlined means of keeping your business books virtually. Bill.com and QuickBooks, working with online banking platforms, now enable you to have a smooth flow of funds and information from a single access point, anytime and anywhere, to name one example.

Ensure that your bookkeeper assists you in transferring your documents, that’s if you haven’t already set up these systems.

Procedures and Accounting Policies

Procedures and policies are the guidelines that establish how your accounting and bookkeeping should be done in your business, for instance, how bills are paid, how items are posted, who reviews what and when and how you close monthly books.

The bookkeeping solution should set up these simple guidelines. You may follow government loans types or be a nonprofit, which means you have to follow specific procedures to grants, fundraising, and loans. The solution should direct and guide you in coming up with policies. They should also follow them.

Reconciling, Reporting and Data Entry

Bookkeeping is more than entering numbers in a ledger. It involves understanding the business, inflow, and outflow of cash and the daily input of information. These details enable you to respond to situations that arise fast. For instance, if you have equipment that you rely on, and then it stops functioning, you will need to borrow money to replace it unless you have cash at your disposal. It means you will spend weeks or days to ensure your bookkeeping satisfies the lending institution or bank, or you can just print out current details. The days or weeks can mean the failure or success of your business.

Staying up to date on reconciling, data entry and reporting means that you go into the tax season armed with every depreciation, deduction, and expense that you should have, which saves you hundreds/thousands of dollars on your tax bill.

The bottom line is that your bookkeeping solution should give you regular updates and reports that will ensure you make the right decisions every week.

Any Business Can Be Made or Broken By Cash Flow or Lack of It

The best bookkeeper should understand your business’s financial needs from day to day up to month-to-month. Your accountant should foresee problems and assist you in making the best decisions.

Planning and Tax Preparation

An ideal bookkeeping solution should warn you about red flags, for example, regarding unforeseen tax burdens.

Strategy and Credit Management

Your following the bank’s terms. The business bookkeeper should exercise discipline, planning, and consistency to ensure you prevent business-threatening scenarios from happening. A good cash management and bookkeeping solution should make sure that your credit lines are a priority, the reason being if you screw your credit rating, it may be impossible to recover.

Top Five Reasons to Opt for a Chartered Accountant

There are a lot of people who believe that it doesn’t make a difference if one’s accountant is chartered or not, but it does make a huge difference! You want your finances and taxes to be handled in a professional and ethical manner at all times to avoid serious consequences from arising. The following are the top five reasons why you should opt for a chartered accountant.

Top Five Reasons to Opt for a Chartered Accountant

1. To Obtain Adequate Advice

You need advice that is informative and accurate, which is what you can obtain when you are dealing with a chartered accountant. This type of accountant can keep your money safe, as they must comply with professional development standards. Due to this, you can rest assured that their skills and knowledge are always up-to-date.

2. Regulated

When you deal with a chartered accountant, you will rest assured knowing that they are a qualified individual that follows the code of ethics and every professional standard set by the CPA Association. They abide by procedures and policies that have been established by the law. They undergo quality reviews and have professional indemnity insurance.

3. Backed by Meaningful Experience

To qualify as a chartered accountant, your accountant first has to undertake work for a lot of different clients across a variety of different industries. By doing so, accountants build strong personal judgement and business awareness. It’s important that you choose a chartered accountant that specialises in the industry or field you currently find yourself in. If you do this, you will obtain the services of an accounting firm with the type of expertise that could aid you in great measure.

4. Meaningful Integrity

You need to have confidence that your accountant can be discrete and trustworthy, and he or she will be handling your business and personal finances separately. Since this type of accountant is bound by a code of ethics to follow professional principles to put their clients’ interests first, it makes them your best bet. They come accompanied with integrity, which is definitely what you should be looking for when looking to hire an accountant.

5. Can Aid in Different Areas

A trusted accountant can help you in many different areas, from keeping records up-to-date, filing tax returns, manage your risk, help you grow your business, etc., which is one of the top reasons why so many people are opting for them.

Consequences of Hiring an Unregulated Accountant

With an unregulated accountant, you are a greater risk of mistakes on reporting, indiscrete practice, missed deadlines, building a poor reputation, etc. All of these elements can damage your business down the road.

You can easily become a victim of an unlawful practice. Just so you know, not following accounting standards and practices is not an acceptable form of defence when it comes to false reporting; thus, you might be held accountable for utilizing the services of an unregulated broker. If you stop to think about it, it is definitely better to hire a CPA because they are regulated and bound by the law.

Major Differences between Bookkeepers and Accountants & CPA's

Certified public accountants (CPAs), accountants, and bookkeepers share similar qualities. For one, they share financial responsibility for the organizations or companies that they work for, but when it comes to the tasks that they perform, they differ in different aspects.

Tasks of Bookkeepers

Bookkeepers who tend to conduct freelance bookkeeping work for small businesses that are in need of recordkeeping of finances. They maintain daily accounting records, post credits, posit debts, handle payroll, generate checks for vendors, and create invoices for clients. When they first start out, this professional lacks the type of education that CPAs and accountants do, but they become professionals in the field when they begin to undergo certification programs of skills and abilities.

Tasks of Accountants

An accountant has a 4-year degree from a regionally accredited college or university. This type of professional tends to get hired by companies that make more than one million dollars in sales every year. Accountants can handle the fiscal responsibilities of the businesses or organizations that they work for. Accountants work with accounting technicians or clerks who handle financial entries on a daily basis. They perform or oversee billing, review accounts payable activity, handle payroll, make general ledger entries, etc. They report to accountant managers, financial directors, or company controllers. They are always on track to know how a company is doing financially so those in charge of making decisions can be aware of how to adequately handle their business or organization in the months to come.

Tasks of Certified Public Accountants

Certified public accountants obtain a focused education in accounting. They cannot undertake this profession until they pass the CPA Certification Program. If this examination is not passed, then this type of accountant cannot lawfully perform tasks. CPAs either create their own company or work within a company, offering accounting services. Every two years, it is expected for their certification to be renewed. This professional has more of a responsibility than accountants and bookkeepers. Due to having a certification, they can perform taxes, auditing, and other financial services for nonprofit organizations, corporations, individuals, or just about any business.

Differences among Them

Bookkeepers are not considered as accounting professionals, by CPAs and accountants. Even so, when a bookkeeper handles payroll or signs checks, he or she has the same liability as a CPA or accountant with equal responsibility under the CRA law. In an accounting department or organization, duties tend to be segregated to reduce misappropriation of funds, errors, fraud, and to ensure financial control under permitted accounting principles. When working for a small organization, bookkeepers might undertake tasks of several jobs that would be isolated in a corporate or accounting environment, making them have a lot of similarities with accountants and certified public accountants. Even so, as you can already conclude, all of these professionals conduct several different tasks, which is what gives them their unique edge.

Prepping And Filing Tax Returns: A Quick Guide

Tax preparation does not have to be the daunting task it has been labelled as. Five simple steps can make preparing your taxes simple:

  1. Plan early
  2. Keep good records
  3. Collect all tax information slips
  4. Determine if you need help
  5. Organise and summarise

As soon as tax season begins, look through your finances and things organized. The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) provides tips to help you prepare early to ensure you keep your tax bills to a minimum.

If you realize that your tax situation is complicated, then it may be worth hiring a professional to make sure nothing gets missed and to recommend strategies. With conditions like income investments and being self-employed, a professional can help you save money. In fact, their bill may be paid for with those saved funds. Seek out accountants that specialize in tax income and possibly lawyers in the event you need to draft documents.


Keeping good records all year will save time when it comes to filing taxes. Organizing receipts as you get them as well as filing bills, credit card statements, housing or business rental agreements, any stock transactions and home office or business expenses will be an asset. It will only take a small amount of your time if you do this throughout the year rather than rushing to sort through a mess of paperwork right before your return is due.. Early organization will help ensure nothing is missed, and no mistakes get made during filing.

Verify that you have all relevant tax slips including any receipts for charitable and RRSP contributions. All slips are issued by February 28th, so you have time to make sure you have all that pertains to your situation. The T4 is required if you are an employee and the T4A if you have received any of the following; annuity income, lump-sum payments, pensions or self-employed commissions. The T3 form is for any income from a trust and is the only form released at a different time, usually 90 days after the end of the trust’s tax period. Finally, the T5 is for any income from investments.

Once you have all your forms and supporting paperwork, you will have a full picture of your taxes and determine if you will need a professional. If your situation is relatively straightforward and only has employment income and perhaps an RRSP, then you will be able to file yourself using any of the expert-approved software programs available. The CRA even offers clinics for lower income clients who have simpler tax circumstances.

Professionals are better used when tax and financial situations are more complicated and detailed. You can get help from an accountant or tax professional who will most likely charge by the hour but can make sure your return is in order and complete. You can also choose to work with a tax preparation service, such as H&R Block. The fees here can vary so its best to get an estimate the first time you go for a consultation. Be prepared before seeking out a professional. Have all paperwork organised and list all your income sources, deductions and credits. The more you have done ahead of time, the less time gets wasted for all parties.

The deadline for filing the standard T1 Tax and Benefit Return is April 30th of the year following the tax year. The returns can be filed by mail or electronically online. If you are self-employed, you must pay any amounts owing by April 30th, but your filing deadline is June 15th. If a deadline falls on a holiday or weekend, filing and any payments are considered on time so long as it is received or postmarked by the next business day.

Auto-fill is a new service offered by the CRA which allows you to request and receive all available tax information that the CRA has on you. They will most likely have information slips, and other pertinent documentation such as T4, T5 or RRSP information and these details can be automatically transferred into your current return. You need to be registered and have access to the approved software to take advantage of this time-saving system. It is advised that you still check through all forms before filing to ensure that everything was transferred accurately.

Once your tax return has been filed, it is highly recommended to keep all documents for at least six years. This includes the return as well as receipts and supporting paperwork. It is ideal to keep them organized by year for easy retrieval should they be needed or in the event if an audit or request for information from tax professionals.

Take care to ensure all documents are collected, and all information is entered, because filing too early, before you have everything can result in a CRA review. Missing information is a trigger to them and will end up costing you more time and money. Once filed, you can easily keep track of the status by setting up an account with the CRA, allowing you to make changes, track any refund as well as check RRSP deduction limits and benefit or credit payments.

Tax preparation and filing does not have to be a painful venture. By staying ahead of the game and taking advantage of the tips and help offered by the CRA and tax professionals, filing a return can be a pain-free procedure.

Should I Really Hire An Accountant For A Tax Return?

Tax season already causes stress, and often uncertainty and people question whether accountants are needed. Attempting to do taxes yourself, however, can create more problems and more stress for you.

Not every taxpayer will need an accountant. For the more simple cases consisting of a few T4 forms from employers, there is software and online services that can assist with filing. Most tax lawyers, tax preparation services and accountants will agree that in these cases there is no need to work with a professional.

More complicated returns are a different story. If you have sold property or perhaps are self-employed, there is more that goes into a return then you probably anticipate. Capital gains exemptions for property and business incomes and deductions for the self-employed are just the surface of items that need to be considered. Taking the time to learn what these are and how to include them is better spent having an accountant handle them.

Another benefit of accountants, perhaps the greatest one is how well they know and can deal with audits. Being audited is any taxpayer’s worst nightmare and avoiding them all together would be ideal. Accountants can be considered as the superheroes of the audit world and are worth having around just for those situations. Not only can they ensure that every detail is covered since they know what is considered a red flag, but they can also help you work with the Canadian Revenue Agency as an intermediary in the event you are chosen for audit.

There are, however, certain times when it is more advantageous to work with tax lawyers that not many people will think of. Since the government decided to reward those who reported any tax cheats, it is a solid idea to have an accountant to disclose these to. As any lawyer will deem the conversations between accountant and client as privileged, this is the best way to handle any possible illegal activity.

Experts that have dealt with offshore accounts and admissions of former tax evasion insist that having a person with tax law knowledge in your corner will be to your benefit for sure. The law recognises the confidentiality of the relationship and communication between tax lawyers and their clients, so while it is not acceptable for lawyers to lie in court, they cannot be forced to testify against their clients. The only exception to this rule is if the client admits they are about to commit a crime.

In the meantime, the lawyers can work with their clients on how best to deal with those trickier and potentially illegal situations. Circumstances may exist where a client will need to get money from an offshore account, as an example. They decide to disclose the details to their lawyer, but when they are informed of the costs involved with rectifying the situation, they continue to avoid it as they have previously done. A tax lawyer can only advise them of the right thing to do, and if ignored, they are still bound to keep communications private.

There is no need to be alarmed because, for the most part, an accountant can handle your returns. Most audits are not looking into potential evasion but rather concerned with shy things were filed in a certain manner. For these great number of situation, the accountant who prepared the files is best suited to provide the answers the government is seeking. While a lawyer can help you with sticky situations, accountants are better equipped for long term relationships and a clear and personal understanding of your financial life.

Divorces, deaths, business expenses, financial statements, securities and larger transactions are all events that are best handled by an accountant. A tax lawyer will not have the detailed knowledge to get these files in the best and most efficient manner, giving accountants the upper hand. Unfortunately, accountants will have their conduct codes regarding confidentiality, but these are not recognised in a court of law as privileged. So while they are better for your average filing of returns and tax-related advice, legal matters are still best handled by a tax attorney.

With the increase in options that are available for tax preparation and the sometimes specific need for a tax lawyer, there are questions regarding the need for accountants. Tax lawyers handle the more complicated situations in the event something illegal may have occurred. Tax software and preparation firms can handle most tax situations and some companies, like H&R Block, offer tax schools to their clients, letting them learn how to do their taxes themselves.

So what exactly can an accountant deliver? Taxes are their life, and their intricate knowledge and expertise for the system allow them to bring you a service of high efficiency that you cannot bring yourself. With taxes being such a nightmare, accountants can bring you an ongoing trusted financial relationship, and they deliver confidence and peace of mind. Money matters to everybody so all you need to ask yourself is, what better person to have by your side?

Why Should Entrepreneurs Hire an Accountant?

Successful entrepreneurs continue to work with professional income tax accountants for several reasons.

Hiring an Accountant is Less Expensive than Doing it Yourself
Every minute you spend on accounting is the time you could have otherwise spent on more productive tasks. You can save money and time by hiring an experienced accountant to deal with your accounting needs. This will also allow you to concentrate on what matters most to you.

Objective Analysis of Your Business’ Financial Health
A second reason is objectivity. It has been found many a times that entrepreneurs who take help of accounting services end up discovering that they are not doing as well as they thought they were. And reality checks are important when you are in business. You can hire a CPA (CGA, CA, CMA are now unified under CPA) to provide you with an overview of your company’s financial at regular intervals.

General Advice on Your Business
Though software is good, it still cannot replace accountants. An accountant does more than crunch numbers. He or she is your reliable advisor whose job goes beyond filing your taxes. He or she gives you regular advice on how best to manage your finances – and this is something neither you alone nor your software can do.

Although accounting technology has improved, it is still safer to hire accounting services for three big reasons: it is less expensive, it is good for your business health, and you get more than you pay for.

Speak to a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) to Avoid These Tax Return Mistakes

It is never too late to prepare to file your income tax. Although the safest method to pay your taxes is to work with a CPA, you can also decide to do it yourself—albeit, with some risk. Because when business owners decide to file taxes on their own, they often make these mistakes:

Calculation Errors

You can avoid calculation mistakes by consulting a professional. The mistakes are costly if you overpay your taxes, and can put your business in future tax liabilities if you underpay them when audited by CRA.

Deductions

Though there are some excellent software tools available, you cannot solely rely on them. Some software tools will claim to catch missing deductions. This is true to some extent, but not entirely. For an accurate estimate for deductions, you will need to consult a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

Overlooked Income Sources

In your tax form, you need to add all your income from all sources—part-time jobs, interest from wealth, investment returns, and others. You can get penalized if you do not include every source of income in your tax return. It is here that the experience of a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) can help you. But be sure to inform them of all your income sources.

Claiming Dependents

When filing your own tax, you can make a mistake of not claiming all the dependents. But talking to a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), like CP Lehal & Company, can help you claim credits for children and elderly parents. This can result in an increased tax refund or reduced tax liability.

Benefits of Working with CP Lehal & Company

Getting help from CP Lehal & Company, a certified professional accounting firm in Surrey can help you stay on course with your financial goals while minimizing financial risks. Serving all of Metro Vancouver, CP Lehal & Company strives to provide the highest quality of accounting services.

Running a small business means making multiple smart decisions everyday. Business owners are extremely talented when it comes to their business. An accountant can provide the financial expertise and deep knowledge of accounting to keep a business running smoothly. Keeping a professional income tax and accounting consulting services provider with you can help you a lot.

CP Lehal & Company, CPA can assist you with all aspects of business finance. For instance, it can give you useful advice on strategic planning and financial structures if you are starting out in business. It can also suggest techniques to achieve efficiency in everyday business procedures.

A professional accounting services provider can standardize your business payroll and organize your budget if your business employs several people. It can also suggest alternatives to replace current, expensive options.

Bookkeeping is essential for all businesses. It is a legal record of your sales and purchases. It contains details on your bank balance and regular expenses; besides other financial events. It is impossible to draft a sound and accurate budget if you are not getting true data on where your money is going and how much money you are making. To sum up, you can have more time to focus on expanding your business and still have more accurate bookkeeping if you hire an accounting services firm. It can give a boost to your business.