Category Archives: Uncategorized

Self-employed people have so much to keep track of. Myself, I run a bookkeeping and tax-filing business, freelance write and somehow manage to get my son to school each day, mostly remember library days and generally keep my house in a state of only semi-disarray. My life is an organizational feat! And while what I do works well enough, some days, my well-worn day-planner looks like the notebook of someone in the throws of madness. I keep wondering whether adopting a digital method of managing my time might ultimately make my life run a tiny bit more smoothly. Would going digital going to actually make my life easier – or will it simply mean more time spent staring at a screen, yet another application demanding my attention, something I feel overwhelmed for not keeping up to date?

I put up a Facebook post asking people what they use and the first few answers are The Secret Weapon, WunderList and Google Calendars.


my dayplanner

Oh my heart!


(Image clipped from Site Pro News)

So, a computer virus has shut down the Canada Revenue Agency’s e-services. Clearly the heartbleed bug was named for all the bookkeeping and accounting firms who depend on tax season income!




Getting ready for tax filing

Yes, it’s another list. This time it is a checklist to help you get all your paperwork ready for your tax preparer.

tax and wine

Here is a basic list of the information to put together:

a) personal details: name, address, sin, date of birth and marital status (name and sin of partner if common-law or married)

b) information about dependents – birth dates, full names, plus any eligible expenses including childcare, arts and sports expenses (contact me if you need more information about what is eligible)

c) all income information including:
T4, Statement of Remuneration Paid
T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
T4A(OAS), Statement of Old Age Security
T4A(P), Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
T4E, Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
T4RSP, Statement of RRSP Income
T5007, Statement of Benefits
T5, Statement of Investment Income
RC62, Universal Child Care Benefit statement
RC210, Working Income Tax Benefit Advance Payments Statement

d) any student loan payments (you should receive a statement which details how much interest and principal were paid off over the year.)

e) Your Notice of Assessment from your most recent tax return

f) Details about any RRSP contributions made

g) Details about any charitable donations made or moving expenses (over 40 km for work or study)

h) Self employed people – see my previous post

i) If you have rental income – hold tight, as I am working on a post about that. In the meantime, contact me for more detail if you need it.

What’s in a name? (And what to do when I choose one?)

Naming your business can be as time consuming as naming a child. You want to find the right moniker, something that communicates the essential nature of your business, and something that will stand the test of time. You want a name that is both unique and memorable, something that sounds, well, right. And you need to find a handle that no one else is using.

Firstly, think about what you want your business to be. You may want to look for a name that suggests the nature of your business, or the location. But try not to be too limiting. You want to have the opportunity for your business to grow and adapt without having to change your name.

If you are a writer, artist or a bookkeeper, for example, something where your business is you, you may want to do business under your own name. (NB. If your legal business name is your own name, you do not need to register your business.)

When you have an idea, do a quick internet search to find out if any other businesses are using that name. I suggest starting with a domain name search. Ideally you want to get the domain name for your exact business name. Even if you don’t plan to set up a website right away, once you have settled on a business name, buy the domain name.
I also recommend doing some market-testing with your name. Ask as many people as you can what they think of your name. Do they find it memorable? What kind of impression does it give them of your business? For me, this was the most valuable part of the process of choosing ,my business name.
If you are a sole-proprietorship you do not necessarily need to register your name, though you will want to if you plan to get loans, open business bank accounts or to incorporate in the future.

To register your business, you first need to get your name approved by  B.C. Registry Services. They will check your proposed name against the list of BC registered corporations to make sure your name is unique. However, they do not check against other proprietorship or partnership names, so that initial Google search can be helpful to find out if anyone else is using the name you want.

Once  your business name has been approved, you have 56  days to register your business name.

As a sole proprietorship or partnership you can register online at the OneStop Business Registry in person at Small Business BC or by mail to the B.C. Corporate Registry.

In most municipalities in BC, you also need to register for a local business licence. Contact your city hall to find out which permits you require

Depending in the nature of your business, there may be additional licensing or other requirements. Be sure to confirm your obligations with local, provincial and federal authorities.