How To Ensure You Receive Quality Accounting And Reporting Services
In today’s fast-moving business environment, the savvy business owner must demand greater reliability to render accurate and timely financial information. The experienced business owner considers the good bookkeeper to be an integral ingredient to success. A dependable bookkeeper will ensure your records are accurate and comprehensive because they understand your success relies on meaningful managerial reports. A great bookkeeper will provide insight and proactive recommendations to add value to your operations. A great bookkeeper will prepare financial statements and offer suggestions for strengthening management procedures and improving operating results.
At Freestone Associates we want to add the most value to stabilize your business and provide the right foundation for growth. To ensure you receive quality accounting and reporting services, consider these key points to help you better understand the industry.
1. Ensure accuracy and consistency of categorization
Maintaining accurate records consistently is a critical piece to supporting meaningful managerial reports. Maintaining accurate records is not just for external entities like the CRA, banks, venture capitalists, etc., but it is essential for major management decisions and control.
There are many factors involved with accurate records. Your bookkeeper must track every bank, credit card, merchant, and e-commerce account. If you have other businesses and inter-company transactions, your bookkeeper needs to diligently track and notate these as well.
You will want to ensure consistency of categorization so you can compare apples to apples. Ensure the income and expense accounts used in your records make sense to your business. Add sub-accounts as necessary to provide further details that can assist with decision-making, but do not over-complicate things because you need clarity to see the big picture.
2. Accuracy in HST documentation
Harmonized sales tax (HST) is the sales tax applied in Ontario. The HST application occurs in the Canadian provinces that opted to combine the provincial sales tax with the federal sales tax. In Ontario, you are responsible for charging, collecting, and remitting HST accurately and on time to the CRA. Goods and services may bear HST or be exempt of tax or may be zero-rated. Knowing what tax code to apply can have a profound effect on your sales tax returns and subsequent audits.
Having a professional bookkeeper on your side can help you establish proper procedures. They will work to ensure that the bookkeeping of your customer and vendor transactions are valid and documented properly and that the HST is tracked accurately. By ensuring that you legally maximized your claim of input tax credits (ITCs) will ensure no unnecessary waste of money.
3. Quality assurance of the reconciliations
Reconciliation is the process of comparing transactions and activities to supporting documentation. Reconciling accounts involves resolving all discrepancies. Discrepancies may include missing information, duplication of transactions, uncleared or unknown transactions. Proper reconciliations ensure your books are clean, comprehensive, and accurate.
A good bookkeeper will reconcile bank and credit card accounts, e-commerce accounts, loan accounts and investment accounts, and any other major account ledgers for completeness and accuracy. They will question and resolve uncleared and unknown transactions quickly and pursue source documents with pertinent information so any audit situation will happen without incident.
4. Make sure your balance sheet matches the CRA’s records
Whether you are a small business or a multi-million-dollar corporation, the most important report on your business is the balance sheet. The balance sheet conveys the health and value of your company. Attracting an investor or lender relies on the credibility of the balance sheet and on how accurate and current the tax liability accounts are.
A good bookkeeper will judiciously track your payroll, sales tax, and corporate tax accounts carefully to ensure they are up-to-date and reconciled to the CRA’s records. You, along with your bookkeeper, should stay proactive with your CRA accounts to avoid the costliest pitfalls. Log into your CRA account and compare the numbers you see there with what is posted in your bookkeeping system.
If you are looking for a bookkeeper in Toronto, ON, reach out to me at Freestone Associates. We provide over thirty years of multi-industry bookkeeping and office management experience. This translates into a pragmatic business sense, keen diligence, timely and reliable bookkeeping services geared to your needs, and savings to improve your cash flow. My team members and I offer customized bookkeeping systems and accounting cycles to yield the most useful managerial reports, training, and ongoing monitoring to ensure best practices, ongoing maintenance of books to trial balance, improved vendor management, reporting of HST, Payroll taxes, WSIB, EHT, T4s, managerial reports that make sense to you, and legally minimized tax liability. These services are available to clients across Etobicoke, Toronto, Mississauga, North York, Oakville, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the services I offer, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here.