As we’ve mentioned in some of our previous blogs, having the right accounting software for your business will not only save you time, but it will save you money.
If you are just starting out, you may think that this isn’t in your budget. We want you to know that there are software programs on the market that have minimal fees. It really is best if you can start off your business with your accounting software in place.
By using accounting software, not only do you have the systems in place working for you, you don’t have the headache down the road trying to switch over.
If you have been working off of spreadsheets up until now, that’s ok too. Now is still a great time to switch over to an accounting software program that best suits your business needs.
Not only do these programs offer you a variety of options that are suited to your business, many are scalable, and can grow with your business.
Different accounting software programs can help you not only keep track of your purchases and reconcile these purchases with your bank account, they can also provide you with information on your income as well as your expenses.
Even better, with most programs now being cloud-based, your professional bookkeeper can access your books remotely, and provide you with the information that you will want, and that you will need. They can also keep you informed when it comes to your cash flow, and they can assist you with your business planning and decisions.
You may be wondering which program is best for you and your business. A few questions you may want to ask yourself include, what is your budget? Many of the programs offer varying prices, depending on the features that you are looking for. Some plans may be free and offer basic service, or you may be looking at hundreds of dollars a month if you are looking for a lot of features.
Are you looking for scalability with your software program? If you are planning on keeping your business small, with only a few people involved, this may not matter to you. If you are looking to grow your business and potentially hire others to work for you, you want to make sure that your accounting software can grow with your business.
What features are important to you? This may be another question that you want to discuss with your bookkeeper. You may be looking for a program that is focused on inventory or invoicing only. If payroll is something that your business needs, or will need in the future, this may be something else you need to look for. You may not need to get payroll functions right away, but you need to know that you have that option in the future.
How are you with technology? Some accounting programs are very user friendly, while other programs can be quite complex. Even if you have your bookkeeper doing all of your entries, you will still need to understand how to access your information.
Following that, how important is accessing customer service when you need help? Of course you will be able to access your bookkeeper, but sometimes you need to contact the software company directly.
We have picked 5 of the top-rated software programs and are going to point out why they are top-rated (their pros). We will let you know some of the cons as well.
This is likely one of the best known and commonly used accounting software programs on the market, and it is also one of the most comprehensive programs available.
QuickBooks features work for not only small businesses, but for larger ones as well.
On the pro side of things, it has a central dashboard where you can access different tools, while still being user-friendly and easy to use. You will not only be able to track job expenses, but you can also accept payments online.
It also has mobile app features, and it can easily integrate with third-party software. Some of these include Bill.com, HubSpot and QuickBooks Payroll.
One of the cons of this program would include the fact that it is considered pricey compared to other programs.
They do have different levels of subscription though, so the monthly payment will vary with what your business is looking for.
As well, even though they have great payroll features if you select that subscription, some other features such as automated tax filing and direct deposit, will charge you extra fee.
Xero is another great software program for the ‘micro’ business that is simple and easy to use.
Their primary target demographic is the small business owner. Xero has flexible pricing plans, so it is accessible to a small business, or one that is starting out. They also have more expensive plans, for when your business is more established.
One of the cons is that it doesn’t offer phone support, though it does offer online support. As well, in some of the less expensive plans, there are limitations on their invoicing and bill payments per month.
FreshBooks is a great software program for basic bookkeeping, and it is user-friendly. It is great for billing, managing invoicing, as well as time and expense tracking. It is known for its more customized, quick and easy invoicing system. It will allow you to customize your invoices so that they align with your branding.
It will also integrate with third party software such as Shopify and Strips if your business has an online presence.
FreshBooks downside it that it does have some limited accounting features, so it won’t be able to do any payroll for you, but it can be integrated with Gusto. As well, it cannot directly pay your taxes through this program, this would also need to be integrated through another program. Finally, if you don’t use all of its available features, it may end up being expensive for you.
Wave is a popular software program because it is a free and easy-to-use accounting software.
In addition to being free, it does have invoice templates for the user as well as billing, payment tracking, credit card processing and receipt scanning.
Wave was designed to help the small business owner streamline their processes. They also have a reconciliation tool, that can manage your bank and credit card information.
Where the basic accounting and invoicing portions of this program are free, if you want it to take care of your payroll this is for an added fee. Other add-ons include payment processing as well as finance management. Payments are also charged out on a pay-per-use basis and payroll is monthly.
Where it lacks is in the fact it has limited mobile apps. This also isn’t a software that will grow with you.
It does not have any project management features and has limited time tracking and limited inventory capacity.
Zoho is an accounting software program that will appeal to small and growing businesses. It is not only affordable; it is easy to set up and has a user-friendly interface.
It does allow for other Zoho applications to be integrated and managed from the same account. This could include Mail, Marketing and business tools as well as CRM.
It offers its user some automated processes, such as report scheduling, payment reminders as well as notifications for certain transactions.
Its con is that it isn’t a Canadian company, so you would need to customize it for setting up the correct taxes. Before choosing this software, you will want to make sure that the options that are important to your company are available to be integrated.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, there are a lot of software programs that offer numerous features and different price-point options. Again, you will want to make sure that your software will work for your business not only today, but in the future.
It is always best to speak with your bookkeeper as to which accounting software program they recommend for your business. Since they will be involved with your accounting, including when it comes to PST, GST and taxes, they will be able to offer their advice.
Need help from an expert?
If you need further clarification on which accounting software is best for your business, let one of our experts at Valley Business Centre help. For over 30 years, Valley Business Centre has been providing comprehensive bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to our clients in Whistler, Squamish, the Sea to Sky Corridor and metro Vancouver B.C. areas. Valley Business Centre provides reliable and effective services to all clients.
This article is written for informational purposes only. It is current at the date of posting and changes to laws and regulation may result in the information becoming outdated. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice. It is recommended that readers get advice from a tax professional before making any final decisions.
Payroll is something that—especially today—people are more concerned with than ever.
After all, during this global pandemic, there have been countless people that lost their main sources of income, lost their jobs, and struggled to earn money.
Vancouver is no exception to that rule.
So, as a Vancouver business or business owner; it is immensely important that you focus on making sure that your payroll is consistent and accurate.
Doing so will ensure that your employees don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re going to get their next paycheck, when there’s already so much else to have to worry about.
We wanted to touch on this and give you a simple and straightforward solution as to how you can more effectively ensure your company’s payroll is taken care of.
This solution is your very own, local, Vancouver bookkeeper.
A Vancouver bookkeeper has the knowledge of regulations, accounting best practices and other requirements of Vancouver businesses. Altogether, that means that: when you work with a Vancouver bookkeeper, you are getting the best possible service, from the most knowledgeable professionals.
But, at the end of the day… Why work with a bookkeeper? This is something that we’ve covered in other blogs, and we may also be biased.
That said, however, in this blog we wanted to touch on the various ways that a Vancouver bookkeeper can help you manage your payroll, and the benefits that a bookkeeper can bring your Vancouver business.
So, without further hesitation, let’s dive in.
Bookkeepers can oversee the setup of payroll processes
The first way that a Vancouver bookkeeper can help you better manage your payroll—especially if you’re a new business—is by setting up these processes in the first place.
If you’ve ever tried to set up payroll processes, you’ve likely seen that it’s a fair bit of work. If you haven’t tried yet… Well, understand that it’s a fair bit of work to set up a payroll system for your business.
What’s more is that Vancouver, compared to other Canadian or North American cities, has its own accounting rules that you have to follow for income reporting as a business.
Generally, you just have to follow Canadian laws and regulations, but there are some province-specific rules you also have to follow.
That’s where a professional Vancouver bookkeeper comes into play.
They will have the knowledge, training, and expertise to entirely set up a payroll process that follows all the rules and is easy for you and your staff to follow.
The best part? They don’t have to stop there. Most Vancouver bookkeepers, like Valley Business Center, can help you both set up and manage your payroll.
Reduce labor costs and remove work from internal staff
Building on our last point, when you have a Vancouver bookkeeper set up and manage your payroll systems, software and processes; you’re unintentionally (or, perhaps intentionally) removing time-consuming work from your employees.
As a business owner, or as an employee of a Vancouver business; you’re probably more interested in getting out and earning money or doing your job.
You’re less interested in trying to setup a payroll system.
A Vancouver bookkeeper has the potential to be the person in your business that manages payroll, so you and your employees can get back to running the business and getting paid at the end of the day.
Greater accuracy with lower risk
Not every single person in Vancouver is a CPA, CFA, or experienced bookkeeper.
It also turns out that a lot of these people also happen to people who own and work in businesses in Vancouver and B.C.
This isn’t a bad thing – because if everyone was a CPA, we’d have a whole lot of people to count the money, and fewer people to go out and make it.
But luckily, Vancouver bookkeepers will always bring years of experience, expertise and knowledge to the table to help your payroll get done properly, the first time.
That’s why the next way that a Vancouver bookkeeper can help you manage your payroll is because these individuals will have greater accuracy with a lower risk of mistake while doing it.
Help to register with provincial and federal agencies
As we have said in various other blogs on our site, most federal and provincial agencies are not the easiest to work with.
In fact, if you don’t have experience working with them before, it can be downright confusing and frustrating.
However, when you’re setting up payroll for your Vancouver business, or you’re trying to pay your employees… You’re going to have to deal with federal and provincial agencies—depending on what sort of payments you need to make.
You need to set up EI deductions, CPP deductions, and salary payments, on top of income tax dedications for your business, potential Worker’s compensation board (WCB) payments, benefits payments, and much more.
Most of these different components of payroll all have to be coordinated with some local, provincial, or federal agency.
Without training and knowledge, this can be a time-consuming task that may seem impossible.
However, Vancouver bookkeepers are specifically trained and have countless hours of training dealing with these groups and setting up payroll services for your business.
Oversee interactions with the CRA
Of these various agencies that businesses have to deal with to make payroll happen is the CRA. They also happen to be one of the most complex agencies to deal with.
There are countless forms, documents, dedications, remittances, and other services that have to go through the CRA to make payroll possible.
The easiest way to manage all of these different services with the CRA is to have an online business account with them.
A Vancouver bookkeeper can be an invaluable resource that will take the time to properly set up your CRA account, and make sure that any sort of deductions, payments, remittances, or forms are properly submitted to the CRA on time.
This will keep you out of heaps of trouble come tax time, and make sure your business runs smoothly year after year.
Gather and organize employee info
Another part of payroll that is often time-consuming (and, has the potential to be quite troublesome) is collecting employee information.
This includes collecting Social Insurance Numbers, Address information, Contact information, benefits information (and, when there are dependents or other family members, you need their information), and much more.
Although at the surface level this may seem like a quick and simple task, that’s really only the case for smaller companies.
If you have a company of, let’s say, 100 people, that means that you need to collect information for all of those people.
For most businesses and business owners, collecting all of that information is just time that could be better spent elsewhere in the business.
So, a bookkeeper is a person (or, group) that can help you streamline this process, and that can collect and record all of this information on your behalf—allowing you to get back to running the business.
Calculate wages, deductions, contributions
In the last few sections, we mentioned that a bookkeeper can help you figure out how to make deductions and payments to federal and provincial agencies; and also help you figure out what sort of dedications and payments you need to make in the first place.
Beyond this, however, they also can help you calculate exactly how much these payments, dedications, and wages will cost your business.
Hiring a bookkeeper to collect employee information and set up payroll processes allows them to have a finger on the pulse of payroll in your business.
This way, they know exactly how many people are getting paid, how much they’re getting paid, how much dedications are for each person, and how much employees are making for contributions.
Knowing each of these amounts exactly allows bookkeepers to make precise payments and deductions, and make sure that your business never ends up in trouble with the taxman.
Generate and share T4
Speaking of tax time, a bookkeeper will not only make doing business taxes a less painful process, but they can also make sure that employees have an easier time doing their own income taxes.
What we’re talking about is T4s. Without the proper accounting and tax knowledge and software; accurately creating T4 statements.
A bookkeeper can make sure that these T4 statements are properly completed and provided to all employees on time, well before they have to do their income taxes for the year.
Reconcile, oversee, and pay salaries
This is one of the more obvious benefits of hiring a Vancouver bookkeeper, but it’s arguably the most important way that Vancouver bookkeepers help you manage your payroll.
Beyond doing reconciliations, calculating dedications, and providing you with insights into your payroll processes, a bookkeeper can make sure that your employees get paid correctly, and on time.
Once again, the actual paying of employees is something that—if done incorrectly—can cause headaches and is easy to do wrong.
A bookkeeper will make sure there are no issues with this process from start to finish.
Need help from an expert?
We understand that payroll isn’t always the simplest process. So, let one of our experts at Valley Business Centre help. For over 30 years, Valley Business Centre has been providing comprehensive bookkeeping, tax, and payroll services to our clients in Whistler, Squamish, the Sea to Sky Corridor, and metro Vancouver B.C. areas. Valley Business Centre provides reliable and effective services to all clients.
This article is written for informational purposes only. It is current at the date of posting and changes to laws and regulations may result in the information becoming outdated. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice. It is recommended that readers get advice from a tax professional before making any final decisions.