Getting ready to give your paperwork to your accountant? Here are a few helpful hints to assist you in that process.
- If you have an accounting software or spreadsheets that you use, provide your accountant with them. Some of the questions they may have can be answered by accessing your data without an extra call to you.
- Have all your bank statements for your accountant including the month following your year-end. Also include your software’s reconciliation report to prove that your bank is reconciled and you have accounted for all your expenses and income.
- If you have a business credit card, provide the last month’s statement along with proof that it has been reconciled.
- Provide receipts for all major asset purchases over $500.00.
- Try to avoid using the “Miscellaneous Income or Expense” accounts. These accounts do not provide you or your accountant with accurate information and they may end up questioning the purchase/income, therefore, spending more time on your file=more cost to you. If you don’t know where to categorize it, then put it in a holding account on the balance sheet and include a note or letter with your year-end package to explain why it is there.
- Be organized – be green – a lot of the accounting software programs have the ability to download your reports into pdf formats. There are many green ways to provide information to your accountant – using USB stick, disk, and a secure online data transfer program. Check with them first to see if they would like the year-end in this format.
- Are you a home based business? Give the total square footage of your house and the square footage of the space that is dedicated to your business. Provide a spreadsheet of all utilities, repairs and maintenance, property taxes, interest payments on your mortgage (or rent payments), strata fees and any other house expenses. You can write off a portion of these expenses.
- Vehicle expenses – keep a log of all business mileage – include the beginning mileage and the end mileage. Have all fuel purchases, repairs & maintenance, interest, lease payments and insurance on a spreadsheet.
- Large amounts of unusual expenses or income should be noted – for example, a government grant or money received this year that was from a prior year due to a discrepancy.
These are just a few tips to assist you in being organized and saving you some time and money with your accountant.