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Ronika Khanna is a Montreal acccountant who helps startups, small business and self employed individuals with their income tax, accounting and financial needs. Do not hesitate to contact her with any questions or to set up a consultation.

 

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Wednesday
Nov162011

The William Shatner Guide to Business Diversification

 

I recently spent “an evening with William Shatner” in Montreal , courtesy of a Groupon deal which offered tickets at less than half of the face price. Not being a trekkie or a rabid fan, I was not intimately familiar with his body of work.  I had however seen enough of him to know that he was a funny and charismatic man, so I was interested to see what an “evening” with him would entail. 

The show, which was 3 hours long (far exceeding my expectations) had the 80 year old Shatner recounting carefully selected stories about his past, while an interviewer occasionally prodded and guided him.  Mr. Shatner did not disappoint – he was self-deprecating, eloquent and entertaining.  And, while the stories were meant to reflect positively on his life, his career and choices were also indicative of an extremely ambitious individual who had spent a lifetime seizing opportunities.  The results of his attitude of saying “Yes”, which he is trying to inspire in others through his show and latest book "Shatner Rules", have contributed to a fascinating, multi-faceted career and, perhaps unexpectedly, have led to a very diverse set of properties and holdings, some of which include: 

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Thursday
Nov032011

8 Top Notch Information Resources for Small Businesses 

As a small business owner, business blogger and service provider to other small business, I’m always looking for resources that will help me improve my own business, and provide insight into the latest developments, innovations, tools and guidance on financial and tax matters.  Over time, I have bookmarked a list of the resources that I visit frequently:

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Friday
Oct212011

CPP/QPP Obligations for Self Employed Workers

When you are self-employed, you are essentially taking on the role of employer and employee.  As such self-employed individuals are required to remit both portions of the CPP or QPP to Federal or Quebec respectively, which is calculated on your earnings for the year.  This only applies to unincorporated business as if you are an incorporated business, you are an employee of the corporation regardless of whether or not you own the business.

The QPP rates for 2011 for self-employed persons is 9.90% of your net business/self-employed income for the year.  The maximum amount payable for 2011 is $4.435.20, which means that if you earn more than $48,300 of net business income, your QPP will remain $4,435.20 and there is a basic exemption of $3,500 i.e. if you earn less than $3,500 you do not have to pay QPP.

EXAMPLE #1: Income is less than maximum

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Sunday
Oct162011

The Importance of Staying on Top of Your Tax Obligations

Revenue Canada recently put a press release about a Sarnia businesswoman who pleaded guilty for failing to file 23 individual, corporate and sales tax returns from 2003 to 2009.  She ended up being fined $1,000 per count for a total of 15 counts (Penalties were not applied to the 8 outstanding GST returns).  She has 12 months to pay the total $15,000 fines and was ordered to file the outstanding tax returns before November 6th, 2011.  In addition to this fine, she is also responsible for any taxes payable and related interest and penalties that would be imposed by the CRA for late filing and payment.

As an accountant I frequently receive panicked calls from business owners who have received ominous letters from the tax authorities requesting that overdue tax returns be immediately filed.  Others receive notices of assessments for significant amounts (Revenue Quebec will often slap an $8,000 assessment on a corporation that has yet to file its corporate tax returns).  In more extreme circumstances, the tax authorities have the power to freeze your bank accounts or initiate tax audits.  This can be debilitating to a small business.  

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Saturday
Oct082011

19 Features to Consider When Selecting Small Business Accounting Software

When selecting accounting software for your small business it helps to have an understanding of what you want your accounting system to do for you.  This involves analysing the key aspects of your business, determining what you must have and what you would like to have.  Then, like any good cost benefit analysis, narrow it down to what works within your price point.  Below is a checklist of questions you should ask yourself about your business financial needs before selecting a software:

Cost:

Assessing how much the software is going to cost you is perhaps the most important consideration.  Some accounting software are free, some charge a one time fee and some are based on monthly or annual (recurring) billing.

Platform /Apps:

Determining whether you need your accounting software to work on a Windows or Mac platform or whether you would like to access it from the cloud can be an important consideration.  For example Quickbooks Canada does not currently offer their software for Macs or online. 

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Friday
Sep302011

Quickbooks Online Banking: Setting Up, Deleting Matched Transactions and Manually Uploading Web Connect or Excel Files

Using online banking can be real time saver for businesses with numerous bank transactions.  It is primarily a tool to help you reconcile your bank accounts by matching the transactions that have already been entered in QuickBooks.  It helps to avoid the painstaking process of checking each transaction against your bank statement and the maddening frustration when you something goes wrong and you have to redo it. 

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Tuesday
Sep202011

4 Alternatives for Preparing Your Small Business Payroll

Paying employees (or yourself) requires more than just knowing the amount that you are going to pay.  The Canadian tax authorities requires that employers calculate a variety of taxes on the salaries paid, remit them to the federal and provincial governments and prepare annual reports demonstrating that the calculations are correct and all amounts have been paid.  This can be a lot of work for business owners whose time is more valuably spent generating sales and building their businesses.  Luckily there are many options that help simplify and guide business owners through the process:

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Monday
Sep122011

15 Canadian Small Business Facts and Figures

 

Canada is a nation of small businesses.  In fact the vast majority of business in Canada are technically defined as small businesses i.e. less than 100 employees.  Industry Canada keeps track of the facts and figures as they relate to small businesses, some of the more interesting ones are enumerated below:

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Friday
Sep092011

How to Pay Dividends: Completing the T5 Slip and Summary

 

If you are the owner of a corporation, you can choose to pay yourself (and other shareholders) dividends instead of a salary, or they can be paid in addition to a salary.  If you do decide to pay yourself dividends, it is important to ensure that you prepare the proper documentation for Revenue Canada (CRA) and if you live in Quebec, Revenue Quebec.  The documents are due by February 28th of the calendar year following the year in which the dividend was paid.  And although no taxes are due at the time of filing with the government, interest and penalties apply for late payment.  The documents that need to be filled out and returned to the CRA and MRQ are discussed below:

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Friday
Sep022011

Is Wave Accounting Software a Good Fit Your Small Business

Most small business owners understand, in theory, that they should have an accounting system.  The problem arises when trying to select accounting software when often you are not really sure what your accounting software should do.      Every business has its own unique accounting and reporting needs.  The ideal accounting software should be able to record your transactions, report on them and provide for analysis on the different facets of your business.  If you are a freelancer or a small service provider, who prefers to do their own accounting, and is looking for a simple and cost effective accounting solution it is definitely worth taking a look at Wave Accounting.

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