You have this fabulous idea to start a business, and you go for it…yea! But then the reality sinks in that running a business is so much more than just selling your product and service. There’s HR and Marketing and IT and ugh worst of them all….accounting!
As an accountant I see small business owners making a few critical mistakes all the time. And the result is they either pay too much in taxes, do not have money to pay themselves, or worst of all go out of business. Unfortunately accounting is as important to a small business as any other aspect of running a business; and it has a direct financial impact to your business! Here are some the top mistakes made by small business owners:
Not having a budget
You obviously do not start a business thinking it will fail, but in the beginning there WILL be more expenses than income. Until your brand and client list grows your budget is extremely important to sustain you. There will be tough calls to make but without a clear budget, you won’t know how to spread out your expenses.
Not keeping up-to-date records
A budget is fine as a guide but how do you know if you are sticking to it if you only do your bookkeeping once a year for tax time? At a minimum doing your bookkeeping quarterly (monthly is ideal) allows you to track progress and adjust your path accordingly. By doing your bookkeeping ONLY at tax time means it is often too late to make any informed decisions and corrective action.
If they walk, talk and look like an employee…they are an employee
Employee vs contractor is a huge area of audit with the CRA. Many employers will classify workers as contractors to avoid paying into CPP & EI when in reality they are employees and subject to payroll deductions. There are a few factors to consider when making this difference but a big red flag is control – who controls their work and schedule? A legitimate contractor likely will not be reporting to someone else who is controlling and reviewing their work.
Not recording all the personal contributions (properly)
If you ask most entrepreneurs how much money have they put into their business the answer is usually “a lot”…but when you ask them how much they cannot quantify it. This can have significant tax impacts when both taking money out of the business to pay yourself and when you are looking to sell the business.
“Behind Every Great Business is a Great Accountant”
For more information on how to keep your business tax efficient, or to get a consultation on whether you are making all the right tax choices for your business, contact Dharna CPA. www.dharnacpa.ca. Info@dharnacpa.ca