JENNIFER HALEY, CPA
Hi there, I'm Jennifer Haley, CPA. I'm here to help business owners get a handle on their finances so they can get back to doing the things they love.
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Goal setting can be intimidating and overwhelming, I find the biggest reason people don't set goals is because they truly don't know how to set goals. Below is a framework on how I create my goals :)
Set a timer for 5 minutes, imagine that this piece of paper is your wish fairy and everything your write down WILL come true. Think of what your ideal life is if you could literally do anything, think of this paper as the list of how you will make that happen.
Review all of the goals you have written down and narrow down your list to what you believe is your truth and what must happen for you.
PUT IT ON PAPER
Write each down each goal from above leaving space for further detail.
ACTION PLAN & MAKE IT MEASURABLE
Create your action plan for each goal by ensuring it is SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).. Write out:
Begin the work on your vision board!
Lastly and most important, take action on your goals! Use your goals to help you make decisions in your day to day life, and then CELEBRATE any and all of your successes, no matter the size!
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The only advice you will EVER need when starting or running your business is you MUST open a bank account that is completely designated for business; and separate from your personal account!
I mean if you want to get me going, I’d actually suggest to open at minimum 4 accounts, but I'll get to that on another post, and 1 is a VERY positive start!
I see a lot of people running their business and personal finances through one account, and trust me, it just doesn’t work!
You cannot properly manage your cashflow and the success of your business if you are needing to dodge around grocery, entertainment, medical, and all other personal expenses.
Cashflow is an essential part of our businesses, its honestly the blood line. So when you have business and personal all mixed together you will properly often need to go for transfusions (see what I did there...). When it is together, how do you know when you buy groceries you are taking away from the cash to pay for you business insurance, or when you buy office supplies are you taking away from your mortgage payment?
You will always feel financially overwhelmed and stressed because you will be relying on that brain of yours to keep track of everything happening. I don't know about you but just no thanks!
Canada Revenue Agency
And if the cashflow reasoning wasn't enough, CRA headache should be all you need. If you are selected for an audit and CRA asks for your bank statements (and they will) they are going to make you categorize each expense within your account to state if it is personal or business. And then when there is an expense that crosses over (for instances Home Depot) you bet they are going to ask for the receipt.
How much easier would it be to hand over a statement and say, EVERYTHING is business, done, no more explanation.
You really need to trust me on this one, separate those funds! It will save yourself SO much hair; it won't be falling out from stress and your won't be pulling it out because you are confused and there is so much going on.
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Explicit Content Warning ⛔️ Mileage Log - Create and Maintain one!
Let me guess, your accountant or business advisor has told you that you need to have and manage a vehicle mileage log for tax time.
But the end of year is coming and all you have is a blank page of paper 🗒️...did I catch you?
I’m here to help you through the process and provide some insight and tips on how to manage it.
The Canada Reveune Agency (CRA) provides 2 different methods for maintaining your mileage logbook:
The full logbook is what you would expect, keeping track of all of your mileage for the year, each and every year.
The simplified logbook however allows you to maintain a logbook for a period of 1 year which establishes a base year. Each year going forward you are only required to maintain a logbook for a period of 3 months and as long as it is within a range of 10% from your base year, you are then able to use your base rate as your multiplier. I know, it doesn't sound simplified, but let me break it out in an example:
Mike's Carpentry managed its log and determined it drove a total of 1,000kms in year 1; 200kms were related to personal use. Therefore 80% was business related and 20% was personal.
In year 2, Mike's Carpentry kept a log for only 3 months and determined in those 3 months it drove 400kms and 72kms were related to personal use. Therefore 82% is business related and 18% is personal.
Mike's Carpentry's base log and 3 month sample is within a 2% range and therefore Mike's Carpentry can use the rate of 80% against all vehicle expenses for year 2 and no longer needs to manage a log.
The simplified method can be very beneficial if you typically travel the same each year.
If your travel can fluctuate or you like to just get in the habit of maintaining your log each year here are a few tips you can use to help you:
Mileage logs can be on our side, we just need to utilize the tools available to us, like apps and Google maps :)
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There is always confusion on whether a business needs to set up a GST/HST account. Just because your business is earning money, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to set up a GST/HST account with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If your business does charge GST/HST to its customers on services/products sold, the business is required to remit these funds to the CRA. You will also be eligible to claim the GST/HST your business pays on business related expenses, these are called input tax credits (ITCs).
The $30,000 Rule
This rule is often the beginning of the confusion. If your business makes less than $30,000 in a total of 4 consecutive calendar quarters, you are considered a small supplier and are not required to open a GST/HST account. You would not charge this GST/HST to your customers.
Once your business makes revenue of $30,000 in 4 consecutive calendar quarters or less you are no longer considered a small supplier and are required to open your GST/HST account and begin charging GST/HST to your customers.
Here are the three scenarios that are most common and help you understand when you are no longer considered a small suppler and must open a GST/HST account.
See the scenarios in the below table to determine if you are a small supplier:
Other Reasons to Register for a GST/HST Account
Even if you have not reached the $30,000 threshold there are still other reasons you may want to register for an account:
I hope this was of help to you. Let me know if you have any questions.