Archive of ‘Bookkeeping’ category

What Your Bookkeeper Needs

| Bookkeeping, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business

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Often times, fear of the unknown is what keeps us from taking the next step in business. Whether that’s figuring out a new sales platform, a new social media program, or hiring outside help like a bookkeeper, it can be a real hindrance to getting ahead.

I sometimes come across potential clients that are unsure about hiring a bookkeeper because they’re unsure about what to expect and what a bookkeeper needs from them to be able to do a good job. In this post I want to highlight exactly what a bookkeeper needs from a client and how you can help in the process by keeping files nice and organized.

Full Disclosure

This may be the scariest thing for a small business. But a bookkeeper will need to know all about your business spending habits – where your money goes and who it comes in from. That’s why trust is so important when hiring a bookkeeper. Look for someone reputable and who can easily provide references.

You’ll need to furnish all your bank statements, credit card statements, PayPal transactions, square and/or Etsy transactions. Any type of transaction you make and where that your money flows, your bookkeeper needs to see it and have a record of it.

Being able to provide monthly statements from each bank, including Etsy or PayPal, is one of the easiest ways of doing this. Your bookkeeper won’t need to have access to your accounts, but if you have a really good relationship, you can give account access to them as it will make things easier in the long run.

Sharing

Sharing these statements can easily be done through Dropbox or another file sharing system. Make sure to label each file clearly and that each statement is for the previous month. You can also use a service such as Receipt Bank, which collects and records all of your expenses, but know your bookkeeper will also need to see any additional transactions that are not captured via this service.

Reminder: Canadians need ALL receipts attached to their bookkeeping software. So make sure you keep a copy of your original receipt and create a digital backup. Your credit card statements are not considered receipts. If you’re in the U.S., you’re in luck, credit card statements are just fine.

Set Expectations

It’s best to send your files and transactions on a monthly basis so your bookkeeper can reconcile your accounts at the end of each month. So set these expectations from the start. If you want monthly reports on top of your reconciliation, make sure your bookkeeper knows this, and you’ve discussed a plan of attack and know which files to provide and when.

If you need to report your Quarterly Sales tax, make sure you know who is responsible for filing these. Is it you or your bookkeeper? And what files will your bookkeeper need on top of your monthly transactions to be able to do so? It is best to provide your information each month, instead of every three months. Same goes for your yearly income taxes. Make sure you know who is responsible for filing and that you are providing the correct files at the right time.

Know the Lingo

Not sure what “accounts receivable” is? Many bookkeepers offer group training or one-on-one tutoring to help get you up to speed and on the same page. It’s always good to know the bookkeeping system that you are using so when your bookkeeper talks to you about your accounts receivable, you’ll know they’re talking about your sales. This helps keep you and your bookkeeper organized.

You want to help make their job easier and be able to provide the correct documents as it’s a waste of your time and money if your bookkeeper is searching for documents instead of processing the information.

Ready to get started? Contact me to set up a free first-time consultation.

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How to Budget Effectively for your Business

| Bookkeeping, Budget, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business

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It’s easy to get carried away with spending for your business. There’s always new software, a tech gadget, book or class offering itself up as a panacea to all your business woes. So how do you keep from spending too much and keep your business on track?

Budgeting can help keep your day to day needs on track and help you grow in the long term. Knowing how much you expect to make and what everyday expenses you have is the first step in keeping an effective budget.

Staying on budget can be hard, so here are some tips to help:

1) Pay Yourself First

It may seem counterintuitive, but paying yourself first will help you feel more invested in your business. When you work for someone else, your paycheck easily feels like your own, but when you own a business, paying yourself can feel like a luxury. You need to pay yourself. Take at minimum, five to 10 percent of income earned each week.

2) Pay Your Fixed Expenses Next

Every business has fixed expenses and you should easily know what they are each month. Things such as rent or mortgage and utilities. These will be a constant and what you should pay for next, after yourself.

3) Save for a Rainy Day

Set aside five to 10 percent of your business’ income for emergencies. This will allow you to address any problem if something unexpected comes up. Printer stopped working? No problem! There are funds ready and available. While you do have the option to put the unexpected on a business credit card, being able to use emergency funds can be less stressful because you won’t have to worry about paying off the card.

4) Buy Only What you Need

For your smaller supply needs, like shipping envelopes for example, you should be able to estimate the number of orders you fulfill in a month and order only the minimum you need. It’s not necessary to buy them in orders of 1,000 as the cost savings are minimal. This will help you be realistic on the amount of supplies you really need. For health and beauty products, or food products, keep in mind the expiration dates on your supplies. If an ingredient goes bad before you’re able to use it, you’re wasting money. Buying only what you need will help save you in the long run.

5) Know Your Income Average

Look back over your last year’s income, divide that number by 12 for a monthly average. Your current year’s average should be similar (but hopefully higher.) Of that number, plan on spending no more than 80 percent each month.

6) Reinvest in Your Business

Take your profit and use it to expand and grow your business. This number is what you make after you pay yourself, your fixed expenses, your savings and other expenses. Start a savings account to receive interest on your profit and use it for a new ad campaign or new supply that you’ve been keeping your eye on which will help make your business more efficient and effective.

7) Keep Track of your Bookkeeping

With an app like Wave or Xero, you can have easy access to your income and expense numbers to help you plan and budget. It’s important to keep up with your bookkeeping throughout the year to keep your budget on track and your business running. Let me help you set up your books. Contact me for a free assessment today!

 

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Tax planning Simplified: Business Deductions

| Bookkeeping, Budget, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business

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As I outlined in last week’s post on personal tax deductions, I’ve prepared taxes for all of my adult life and I prepare taxes for clients around my area in Canada. In doing so, I’ve learned a few things that have helped make my refunds grow every year. In this post I’m going to go over the types of deductions you should be taking advantage of for your small business. Again, this information is for Canada only.

As a small business, you should be tracking your business expenses throughout the year. This means, you know what you’re spending to keep your business running. The good news is that most of the money you spend to run and grow your business can be considered a deduction at the end of the year.

Here is a basic list of expenses that every business should be taking advantage of to reduce your gross income. For a full list visit <http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/slprtnr/bsnssxpnss/menu-eng.html> You may find that this list matches up to your list of chart of accounts from your accounting software. This is on purpose so it should be easy to see what type of expenses you are able to claim.

Accounting and  Legal Fees

This includes your bookkeeper or accountant. So when you hire a bookkeeper or an accountant to do your taxes or corporate taxes you can deduct their fees.

Advertising

Did you run an advertising campaign on Facebook or set up an email newsletter? Expenses for Facebook ads, Google ads, print ads or anything you spent money on to advertises your business is deductible. Don’t forget that your Etsy listing fees are considered advertising and should be claimed here.

Automobile expenses

Look at the cost of fuel, motor oil, lubricants, your license, registration fees and insurance but only the portion of use you use the vehicle for business purposes. Be sure to calculate what portion is business use versus personal use. It also helps to keep a mileage logbook of your business travel to help break this down. Remember this expense is for automobile travel only, other travel expenses are calculated under a different heading.

Bad Debts

Hopefully this will not happen to you, but sometimes we will encounter a client who does not pay for our services. That money can be claimed as bad debt.

Bank Charges

Any banking or checking account fees can be claimed here.

Interest Expenses

If you take out a loan to help run your business, more than likely there will be interest on that loan. Interest on loans to start a business is tax deductible.

Insurance Expenses

You can deduct insurance premiums on the building, machinery or equipment you use for your business.

Membership Dues

If you’re a member of any business related organization, these dues are tax deductible. For me, I belong to IPBC and pay an annual membership due. IPBC keeps me certified as a bookkeeper and these fees are deductible on my business taxes.

Meals and Entertainment

Any business related meal or entertainment, such as a social gathering for clients is tax deductible, but only up to a certain point. For example, only %50 can be claimed in certain Provinces across Canada.

Office or Studio Rent

Do you rent office or studio space to run your business out of? This amount can be fully deducted from your taxes.

Office Supplies

This expense is considered for things you purchase to run your business such as paper for your printer, staples or pens. You can expense anything that isn’t involved in the making of your product or service.

Postage and Courier

Anytime you send out parcels through Canada Post, FedEx, or Purolator for business purposes, are considered tax deductible.

Telephone/Telecommunication Expenses

If you have a dedicated phone line for your business this is a tax deduction, otherwise a telephone is considered under Business Use of Home Expenses. You can also claim your internet and cell phone usage here.

Travel Expenses

Any expenses incurred while traveling for business, ie your plane fare, accommodation, taxi fares and meals (up to 50%). Remember to keep your receipts!

Business Use of Home Expense

If you have a home office, instead of a dedicated office space outside of your home, you can calculate how much room in your house you use for your home office and then calculate the percent of utilities, telephone, insurance, property taxes, rent, and maintenance that is allocated for the home office. That number is deductible. Check out this EXAMPLE

Capital Cost Allowances

Capital property such as  buildings, equipment and vehicles you use for your business are deducted here at an annual rate. You cannot claim the full amount on your taxes, instead there is a portion that Is calculated on your taxes each year. Commonly known as CCA. For example if you are a photographer, you would claim your cameras, computers and hardware. You would need to find what it is classified as, and calculate the rate of depreciation, which you can claim every year.

Cost of Goods

This deduction is any raw materials you purchase to produce your products. This is not to be confused with the tools you use, nor are these considered Office Supplies.

And there you have it. A basic list of the business expenses you should be claiming on your taxes for your business. If you have questions about what you can and cannot claim you can sign up for a consultation with me.

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Tax planning Simplified: Personal Deductions

| Bookkeeping, Budget, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business, Taxes

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I’ve prepared taxes for all of my adult life and now I prepare taxes for clients around my area in Canada. In doing so, I’ve learned a few things that have helped make my refunds grow every year. In this post I’m going to let you in on a few deductions everyone should be taking advantage of if you’re not already. Again, this information is for Canada only.

For individuals

As soon as you start earning a wage, open up an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Pension.) When you put aside the maximum amount allowed per year (check your Notice of Assessment) then you reduce your net income, thus reducing your tax owing. Income from RRSP is taxed only when it is withdrawn and will earn higher rates of interest than a regular savings account. You can check at your local bank to open an RRSP.

Home Buyers Plan

For new homeowners, you can take your RRSPs, tax free, and put a down payment on your new house! This is for first time homeowners only and you have five years before having to pay back your RRSP and the good news is that payback is simple. It goes right onto your T1 General under “HBP.” This amount gets subtracted from your TOTAL RRSP contributions.

Child Care Expenses

Whether your child is in 7$/day daycare or private daycare, you can deduct the fees incurred for daycare. To take advantage of this deduction, you will need the social insurance number for the daycare provider.

Donations and Gifts

Did you know that by giving a tithing to some churches you can enter them as a donation? It is also better to claim donations over $200 and you don’t have to claim a donation in the same year. If you have one donation this year of $100 and next year you expect the same, you can claim the $200 on next year’s return. You can also claim any type of charitable donation that gives an appropriate tax receipt and not just churches.

Children’s Arts Tax Credit

You can claim up to $500 of fees paid per child in regards to artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity. This includes private lessons in music, art, and tutoring. For example, I had a tutor for my son to help with speech development and was able to use this credit for those sessions.

Children’s Fitness Amount

You can claim up to $1000 of fees paid per child in a physical education program. This includes hockey and soccer teams, skating, golf lessons, horseback riding, sailing and bowling.

Medical Expenses

There are limits to what we can get our insurance companies to pay for such as dentistry. I keep all of my dental bills and enter them as a medical expense. Here is a big list of eligible medical expenses you can deduct.

These are just a few of the deductions available to Canadians come tax time. Look them over and see if you’re eligible to use them in your tax planning. These expenses are ones that I have used in my adult life and have helped me in getting a refund each year.

Next time, I’ll go over deductions you should be taking for your business.

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Tax Time: Hiring a Tax Professional

| Bookkeeping, Budget, Finances, Small Business, Taxes

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Does the date April 30th, give you the hives? Are you allergic to filling out tax forms? Scared of what you’ll find in the numbers? If you’ve read my last post about filing your taxes yourself and broke out into a cold sweat, have no fear, because this week I’m focusing on hiring a tax professional to do your taxes for you.

If on the other hand, if you want to file your own taxes, take a look at last week’s post for how to go about it in a calm and timely manner. And while there are many similarities between the U.S. and Canada on how to hire a tax professional, this post is focused on how to go about it in Canada. Let’s get started!

While hiring someone to do your taxes can be a stress relief, you still want to do your due diligence when hiring a tax professional. You’ll need have your 2014 bookkeeping closed out and you’ll need to be prepared to answer questions about your business activities.

If you have a bookkeeper already, they are a great place to start in terms of looking for a tax professional. More than likely they are willing and able to file your taxes for you. After all, they already know the ins and outs of your finances and it could make the process a whole lot smoother.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, a great place to start looking for a tax professional is via your friends. Ask for referrals from people you know. Chances are your friends have a tax professional they trust. You can also inquire of your business peers who they use to file their taxes. This is another great place to get a trusted referral and more than likely one who already understands your type of industry which can be a boon when discussing business activities.

When you hire a tax professional, you will be paying for a service, so keep this in mind and within your budget. You want to make sure that the person you are hiring is reputable and knowledgeable. You don’t want to have your Grandma or Uncle Phi file your taxes because they’ll do it for cheap.

You’ll also need to start looking for a tax professional as early as possible. You don’t want to wait until April to try and find someone. If you do, it will be much harder as April is a very busy time and they may not have room in their schedule to fit a new client in. You may also end up having to spend more money since April is right up on the filing deadline.

It’s best to start looking for someone at in February and no later than March. If you weren’t able to get a referral from a friend or business colleague you can look online or in your phone book for tax preparers. You’ll need to make sure that the tax preparer has a tax filer number, which means they are registered with the government and are allowed to do this type of work and every tax preparer in Canada needs to be registered for E-file to file taxes.

You may want to inquire of their schooling and look for an accounting diploma, but know that even H&R Block preparers may not have a specialized accounting diploma. They will have had extensive training though and be certified through their company.

You will also need to know what type of relationship you will want with your tax preparer. Will you want an ongoing relationship? Then you may want someone who you’ll meet with one on one and know that they will be doing the work. On the other hand, a service center such as H&R Block will have a handful of people trained in tax preparation, but you may not know who actually performs the data entry.

Compare price vs services. Do you need more than just tax data entry? For example, do you have a business to report? Do you also want advanced tax planning? You need to know what you need as some tax preparers only do just that, prepare taxes. You must ask if they will also advise you on tax deductions if you need that type of service. You’ll also need to look for a preparer that will be able to do business taxes, as not all preparers will be knowledgeable about business taxes.

Once you find a tax preparer that you like, you’ll need to come into your meetings with them prepared. Have all papers ready, like your T4’s, RRSPs, investment income, rental costs, and Statement of Business Activities if applicable. Most tax centres and possibly some tax preparers will have a form to fill out with questions about your situation, and have suggestions on which forms to bring. You’ll also need to know about your previous year’s filings. If they don’t ask about your previous tax year, that is a red flag.

You may have several meetings when you hire a tax professional. You’ll make an initial appointment to go over all your documents. Then another meeting once the tax has been prepared. You’ll have to go in to sign and file the final forms. Your tax preparer will explain your tax return process and they’ll file your return in front of you.  If you’ve picked a professional for their advanced tax planning services, they will advise you on your retirement calculator and discuss any further tax planning for next year and possibly beyond.

Your tax preparer will be able to send your return electronically, via E-file. But you always have the option to take the return papers yourself, and mail them to the government. Keep in mind though, that refunds are generally received a lot sooner if filed electronically. You will also be able to receive a refund quicker if you have applied for Direct Deposit!

Once everything has been signed and sent off to the government, you should receive a Notice of Assessment, which will have your limits for RRSP deductions, and the assessment of the return itself. The government will determine if your return was prepared properly and whether a refund or balance due was declared.

Don’t forget! You must also keep all your papers for 6 years after filing. The papers for your current taxes don’t get sent through Efile, so keep those handy in case the government asks for them. Your tax preparer will only keep a copy of the return – so you should keep all of paperwork, including a copy of your return.

Hopefully the process of finding and filing your taxes with a tax professional is smooth and easy. Keep up the good work by getting a jump start on tax planning for 2015. In next week’s post I’ll go over some deductions that you should be taking advantage of.

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Tax Time: Filing Yourself

| Bookkeeping, Budget, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business, Taxes

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It’s almost that time of year again: tax time. Instead of making it one of stress and pain, let’s try and see it in a positive light. You’ve done all your bookkeeping from 2014, so that means you’re in good shape to power through completing and filing your taxes. Your books should be up to date as of December 31, 2014, if your fiscal year is the calendar year. If you’re still completing your 2014 books, you should do that first before moving forward with filing your taxes.

If you need a refresher on how to close out your books for 2014, I recommend going through all of the End of the Year Wrap Up posts to catch up.

Next you’ll need to decide if you’re going to do your taxes yourself using an online software like H&R Block or uFile, or if you are going to hire a tax professional to do your taxes for you.

In this post, I’m going to focus on how to do your taxes yourself. In the next post, I’ll go over how best to hire someone to do your taxes for you. I should also note, that this post is going to talk about filing taxes in Canada. While there are many similarities to the U.S. process, I’m going to cover my country only.

To get started doing your taxes yourself, you’ll need to decide which software you want to use to file electronically. You could choose H&R Block or uFile. uFile is the system that I prefer. You are able to file your taxes using the paperwork that is available at most Canada Post outlets, but lets save the trees eh?

Once you decide which software you will be using, you will need to gather a couple of things. First, have all of your bookkeeping from 2014 handy. You are going to be referring to the numbers here. You will also need to fill out form T2125 “Statement of Business or Professional Activities.” If you are on payroll from other work, you will also need all of your T4 slips, which will be mailed to you by your employer. And lastly, you will need your RRSP or Retirement Registered Saving Pension receipts, mailed from your participating bank or fund.

Now that you have everything, the software will guide you through your taxes. Follow step by step entering the information the software asks for including your employment or business income, personal activity numbers and any other information the program requests.

At the end of the program it will check for errors and will give you a chance to correct them before you send. Once you’ve done this, you will need to tell it to submit your taxes to the appropriate government (Canada or Quebec if applicable). The transmission via Netfile will verify that it was received as accepted or not.

You won’t need to submit any physical paperwork, unless asked but it is important to keep all your records for at least 6 years.

At this point, if you haven’t already, you should go online and register for “My Account.” It will let you know the status of your taxes. You will also receive a Notice of Assessment stating the status of your return. Here is where you will also see if there are discrepancies between your calculations and their calculations. See “How to obtain a copy of your notice of assessment or reassessment” You will also be able to see how much money you will receive as a refund or the amount that is due. My Account is also where you can see your RRSP limits. You don’t want to go over the amount you are allowed, otherwise you will owe more money.

If you do end up owing money, it behooves you to pay right away (by April 30th). If you don’t, the government will add interest on any unpaid balance. So you want to pay off your tax burden as soon as possible.

If you are expecting a refund, it will take a while to receive unless you apply for direct deposit which will come in under four weeks. It can take six weeks or longer if you opt to receive your refund by check.

If you are due a refund, congratulations. Now it’s time to think about what it is you want to do or get for your business that you’ve been holding off on. This is a great time to invest back in your business or take a vacation. I usually get the one thing I’ve been saving for all year and a tax refund is the perfect way to go about it.

Do you have any tax preparation questions? Let me know in the comments.

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3 Ways Hiring a Bookkeeper Will Save You Money

| Bookkeeping, Business, Creatives, Finances, Small Business, Tutorial

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If you’re like most small businesses, cash flow is tight and if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to think you need to do all the administrative work yourself. This line of reasoning is especially true if you’re from the handmade community. The urge to DIY can be so strong, it wipes any notion of extra help from your mind. Because hiring a bookkeeper is an expense you think you don’t have.

So you sign yourself up for what looks like the easiest software and make half-hearted attempts to keep track of expenses. Perhaps you keep your receipts in a shoebox. Or forget to keep them at all. Maybe you check in on your software once or twice a year. Everything looks like its working?  Maybe you don’t even look.

Then comes tax time when you have to really look at your accounts and records. Surprise! It’s a mess. Maybe the software stopped working. Maybe there are double entries you have to fix. Perhaps you find lots of expenses miscategorized. You’re not sure how much money you made or what expenses you can claim.

That’s time and money out the window you weren’t expecting to spend to clean up the mess.

Here’s how hiring a bookkeeper will save you from this headache and save you money to boot!

1. Help Set up a System

A bookkeeper will help find the right accounting software for you. Be it desktop or app, a bookkeeper will train you on how to use it and when and how to input your account information, expenses, and invoices. If you’re a small business you don’t need the biggest or most powerful system; you need one suited to your individual needs and a bookkeeper will do just that.

A bookkeeper will also train you on how and where to save your receipts. One way to organize your receipts is to use Receipt Bank. This app allows you to quickly take a picture of your receipt and it helps track your expenses.

By having an accounting system in place and the knowledge on how to use it, you’ll be better prepared to keep track of your incoming and outgoing money.

2. Prepared at Tax Time

Imagine tax time as a stress-free time. If you’ve set up that system with your bookkeeper, it can be. A bookkeeper can help keep you organized and on track with your accounting system throughout the year, so this dream can be a reality.

Instead of scrambling for lost receipts and unpaid invoices, a bookkeeper will have helped you reconcile your accounts, (where you match your bank statements to your transactions), and remind you of your unpaid invoices and help ensure that there are no unaccounted expenses.

This is beneficial for quarterly or annual sales tax filing, as well as income taxes. Your nicely organized files can simply be downloaded and sent to your tax preparer, stress-free.

3. Saves you Time

Time is money. If you keep on top of your accounting system and do a little bit throughout the year, it adds up to big-time savings. For you and for your bookkeeper. If you don’t, disaster can happen.

After vacation one year, I came back to a client’s year-end where you reconcile accounts for the year. I quickly learned that their files weren’t up to date. I spent a month to get the work done. Not only did it cost the client more because of the extra time I had to put in, but it was super stressful for the both of us.

Hiring a bookkeeper to help you set up a system and working with them throughout the year to keep your files organized helps save you money in the long run.

It may seem like a big expense, but it will be an even bigger expense to hire one during the busy seasons to tidy up a big accounting mess.

Free Bookkeeping Assessment

Worried you may be losing money because of your accounting set up? Not sure if your system is running properly? Let me review it. I’d like to offer you a free assessment of your current accounting systems.

Contact me today for your FREE assessment

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20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

| Bookkeeping, Personal

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Last week I read on Blacksburg Belle about sharing this post and I thought it would be a good idea. I’ve been working behind the scenes, and not really paying attention to my blog. All that is going to change, starting with this post!

Question 1: How tall are you?

4″11 technically. I tell people I’m 5 Feet.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

I’ve recently started playing flute again, after 14 years.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Having to go through hoops just to make a comment on a blog.

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?

Cutting of toe nails/finger nails beside my open drink.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

I go through stages of favorite songs.. right now it’s Say Something sung by Pentatonix

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?

Pixie Bell I love the designs

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

I will watch Hemlock Grove on Netflix.

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

Anything chocolate. I will go so far and eat Nutella on toast.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

1 dog, Sasha, who we adopted from my brother-in-law due to “problems” with the dog barking. She doesn’t bark, the “problem” is the neighbor.

Question 10: What are your number one favorite fiction book?

The Stand by Steven King, which I first read when I was a young girl.

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

Ummm.. I don’t wear makeup. I’ll sometimes put on the stuff that makes your face nice and smooth.

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?

Context: I was part of concert to help raise funds for a church to replace some stain-glass windows.

So I was sitting in the audience, waiting for my turn, and after the song ended, I said “psst! Bill!” thinking it was his turn to announce the next song. He quietly pointed to the big screen and I saw we were still on the group songs. I felt like an idiot, and I know I flushed.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If it was healthy, I would drink Pepsi.

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

Little Mermaid

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Band Geek all the way.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Probably New Zealand. It looks nice  there.

Question 17: PC or Mac?

PC.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

A back rub after hubby got home from work.

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?

Patrick Stewart. Love him and Star Trek.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

Jessika Hepburn. I look up to her and am afraid to be in her presence because she’s a successful blogger + writer. I do hope she sees this, and I hope she doesn’t!  I am a shy person by nature.

Now here’s a list of people I want to see answer these same questions:

1. Nicole of Mercentile 519 We’ve been online buddies, pen pal buddies, and who knows, maybe we’ll meet one day.

2. Lucinda of Mont Tricot. She’s my local yarn shop owner. She’s fun and we have fun knitting together. She’ also taught me a lot.

3. Jessika of Oh My Handmade. She’s the genius behind a great community, but I’d like to know more about her (after all she’s my secret best friend).

4. Eric of That Bookkeeper. Eric was one of the few bookkeepersI contacted at the beginning of my career. He’s helped me along the way, and I can’t thank him enough.

5. YOU! I hope that you’ll come back with your blog post so that I can get to know the people who read my posts ;)

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New Service Offering: Receipt Bank

| Bookkeeping, Finances

Back before internet, people used to collect little slips of paper called receipts and organize them (or not) into a shoebox. Eventually one shoebox became many..

Forward to internet days, we had our receipts sent to our email, print them and organize them into shoeboxes.

Forward to NOW, we receive our receipts to our email and then we forward them to the cloud.

I love the cloud. I send everything there that I don’t want to lose.

I’m also happy to say that Receipt Bank is one of the top services for cataloging expenses and invoices. What’s even better than that, I am a Receipt Bank partner! I can now offer Receipt Bank to my clients, which in effect, saves you money.

I’m offering the multi-user account for $18, whereas a regular user would pay $25.

Saves time too- sending receipts to Receipt Bank is simple, just forward your email to Receipt Bank via a specialty address. When you have a good bookkeeper on your side, (like me), the entrepreneur part ends and the bookkeeper begins, taking care of your precious info and exporting it to your online accounting software. That allows you to do what you do best: create.

Get 15 days trial, when you sign up today, and receive an introductory price of $15/month (Regular Price $18/month)

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How to Connect Woo Commerce to Xero Tutorials : OpenSSL

| Bookkeeping, Tutorial

I bet you didn’t know that you could connect your woo commerce site to Xero.

I have an online retail site, Knits and Notions, and I wondered how I could make orders import themselves to Xero. After searching WooThemes, turns out they have a plugin XERO to install for $79.

I, of course, read up on the docs to know how to set it up, but I didn’t anticipate the lack of clarity in the instructions. Unless you are a coder and deal with old-school Command Prompt, get ready for a headache!

So I decided to give my own little tips on how to make it easier to install. Here goes!

Step 1: Get OpenSSL

For windows: http://www.slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

For Mac: OpenSSL comes with Mac OS X

Step 2: Using OpenSSL

This is where I will differ from the Woo Doc, and the Xero Blog

A) Find your CMD – start menu – search “cmd” – right click it – Run As Administrator.

B) The default directory is or is similar to c:\windows\system32 and what you want is c:\, which is the root directory. To change it, type cd c:\ AFTER the prompt, so visually you’ll see c:\windows\system32>cd c:\

Note: cd means Change Directory

Now you should be seeing c:\> (all code to be entered is in BOLD)

c) You need to find where you saved the OpenSSL and type in the exact file folder where the keys are in (bin)

c:\cd openssl-win32\bin

openSSL

D) Now enter in the code:

c:\openssl-win32\bin>openssl genrsa -out privatekey.pem 1024

PrivateKey

E) Enter the next code:

c:\openssl-win32\bin>openssl req -newkey rsa:1024 -x509 -key privatekey.pem -out publickey.cer -days 1825

PublicKey

If it worked, there will be 7 fields to type in about your business. Fill them in, and you should be able to see a new file in your BIN folder, and it should be called Security Certificate.

Congrats, you now have a Security Certificate. I don’t know how to open it yet, or even if I need to.

I think the rest of the instructions are pretty good to follow, so I won’t get into the rest. There were a lot of people experiencing the same error code, “unable to write to random state” and I believe it is because I wasn’t in Administrator mode.

The first thing to try is Run As Administrator, instead of going into the BIN folder and using the OPENSSL cmd.

I hope this helps! At least this post will serve as a reminder of my efforts!

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