How Bookkeepers can help you with your Vancouver business start-up

How Bookkeepers can help you with your Vancouver business start-up

As a small business owner, you’ve put in the time and research to understand and create your start-up. Like most start-up owners, now what you’re looking for is to have it run self-sufficiently, and to start growing.

No doubt you have worked very hard to get to this point, but you may be wondering if there is something you have possibly missed.

Again, like most start-up owners, we’ve all missed something that would make our lives easier, and businesses better.

Depending on your industry, the Canada Revenue Agency may have forms that you aren’t aware that you need to fill out. So, generally, the best place to look to see if you’ve missed anything is the CRA. However, resources here are not always user-friendly, and they may use terms that you are unfamiliar with.

This is where speaking to, and working with, a professional bookkeeper comes in.

In short, they not only speak the lingo to understand all things accounting and finance; but a bookkeeper also understands those small details of what will make your business grow.

As a new business, you may be trying to start off using lean processes, and you don’t want to have any additional costs while starting off.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of running a lean business, there are many different resources available that discuss what this is. In essence, however, running a lean business is keeping your costs low, having efficient operations, having fewer staff, and optimizing all internal processes.

It’s a common start-up model for many new businesses but focusing on only being lean may hurt your start-up in the long run.

Hiring a bookkeeper, though, can not only help you navigate these CRA forms, but they can also help you make sure your business gets started the right way.

Plus, the opportunity cost of having one bookkeeper in your start-up will far outweigh the agency, consultant, or employee cost for your lean start-up.

By hiring a bookkeeper, you can concentrate on growing your start-up into something more. While you are doing that, the bookkeeper can keep track of all of your financial details in your accounting software. This will not only save you stress, but likely time and in the longer run, money.

In a competitive and fast-paced market like Vancouver, you really want to be focusing on the ways to grow your business. You don’t want to get bogged down in counting dollars when you could be working on business development and gaining a competitive edge.

In a start-up market like Vancouver, a bookkeeper is paramount to your success.

On that note, we wanted to cover the different ways that a bookkeeper could help out your Vancouver-based start-up.

Set up

A professional bookkeeper can help you to determine your business structure. This means that they can explain what it means to be starting up as a sole proprietor, or if you should get incorporated right away. They can tell you the pros and cons of both, and help you get set up.

A sole proprietor is unincorporated, and it is owned by only one individual. This is the simplest kind of business structure. An incorporated business on the other hand, is a business ownership that creates a legal entity that is separate from its owners.

Having put time and effort into your start-up business, you may have had a business plan drawn up for future investors. Even though you do understand your business, perhaps the numbers in the financial section of your business plan look a bit daunting. This is where your bookkeeper can come in and help you to understand all of the numbers there.

They can also help you to choose and implement the software that is best for your business. There are many different programs out there, not only varying in price, but they also offer different features, some more industry specific than others. A professional bookkeeper will not only have experience with different programs, they can help you to decide which program will best suit your needs.

If you are thinking about setting up payroll, they can also let you know about which options are best for you and your new business. As we mention in our blog, ‘Top 5 payroll services for your Vancouver small business’, not all payroll program offer the same functions.

Some can offer basic features for less cost, where others have features such as human resources that you may want as you scale your business. A bookkeeper can not only offer recommendations, but they can assist you in getting it set up.

They can also guide you on how to set up your business bank account, and what expenses and revenues should flow through this account. It is important to keep your business and personal money separate, and your bookkeeper can further explain this to you.

A bookkeeper can guide you on how best to track your expenses and revenues, and what classifies as a business expense.

We mentioned CRA forms, but your Vancouver bookkeeper can help you to understand what else you need to set up when it comes to your business and government requirements and regulations. The different provinces and territories each have their own rules, as do different the industries.

Daily operations

A bookkeeper can help you to organize, record and report your daily financial transactions. This means that they can not only help to navigate the software you are implementing, but they can take care of the work for you.

This means that they can record your day-to-day transactions for you, and with your software linked up to your bank account, they can also take care of reconciling your bank account. This will allow them to keep an eye on your cash flow, so that you can focus on your business, and know where your money is at.

If you did decide to implement a payroll system, or it is simply part of your software, they can take care of your payroll for you, as well as ensuring that payments are made to the government in a timely fashion.

If your start-up business is one where you need to issue invoices, your bookkeeper cannot only issue invoices, but they can also track down late payments for you. By having an independent bookkeeper do this, you don’t need to worry about the relationship between you and your customer. A third party will take care of this for you. By having a bookkeeper follow up on your invoices, they are helping to keep your cash flow flowing.

A bookkeeper can also handle the payments on behalf of your business. As mentioned above, they can make sure that the provincial and federal governments are receiving their payments on time. They can also make sure that your vendors are getting paid on time too.

Having a bookkeeper to keep track of your money going in and out of your business will allow you to focus on your business. By having them take care of it, they can easily keep track of your cash flow and keep you informed as to how your business is doing.

With a new business, and even as it grows, there will always be paperwork, receipts and invoices. A bookkeeper can help you to set up and implement document management techniques. This is very important, especially if you are ever audited.

If your start-up has inventory, they can help you set up the correct processes so that your business runs efficiently. If your start-up is in retail, they can help you to implement a point of sale (POS) system so that you are tracking all of your daily transactions.

Bookkeepers can easily keep you informed as to where your business is at financially. If you have set your business up with cloud-based software, you can also easily access it from wherever you are.

A bookkeeper can not only prepare your financial statements, they can help you to understand them. This includes not only your cash flow statement, but your balance sheet statement and income statement. It’s a good idea to stay on top of these and review the updates monthly and of course, at year-end.

Finally, they can also help you when it comes time to tax payments, or tax planning. They can gather all of the data and submit these forms and payments on your behalf.

Future growth

You likely want your new business to grow. Navigating how and when to grow your company can seem a little daunting. Your bookkeeper can provide you with advice to help you navigate this.

They can explain to you and advise on what your cash flow looks like for possible expansion and potential business financing. By tracking your revenues and expenses, you can ensure the money is there when you need it.

By creating financial forecasts to help you make better decisions, you will have the potential to reach your goals.

Need help from an expert?

Dealing with finances when you are starting up a new business can be overwhelming. 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.

Disclaimer

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.

 

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