Again, I am going to make this a short post. With everything being as busy as it is, you would think that I would have a great deal to share with everyone. However, the things that we have been doing involves working on the ‘guts’ of the business and there isn’t much to really show you.
I am still writing though, because I need to stress the importance of this type of maintenance on your businesses. While it isn’t glamorous and may not be as fun and exciting as seeing new projects come to life, without taking this time to accomplish things and tidy up your files, I would be living in a world of chaos and stress. You could all see how that would interfere with being creative and having fun.
Yesterday we spent the day in Yarmouth. Our main objective for heading there was to meet with our accountant and go over our figures so she could prepare our taxes for us. I used to do my own taxes, but since coming to Canada, it really is a bit more complicated and having a professional that knows what they are doing can really help. Because my business is based in the United States (and the fact that I am a US citizen) I need to file in both countries. There is no way that I would be able to figure both tax systems out, so hiring a professional is the only way for me to feel good about things and have confidence that everything is done properly and I stay out of trouble with both the IRS and also Canada Revenue. That way – even if a small error is made, I have someone to fall back on for answers to questions and help me get things back on track.
Another reason to hire a professional to do your taxes is that even though you may only have a small business, there are many ways you can take advantage of being self-employed at tax times. While some of you may only consider your ‘extra income’ small, there may be ways that you can have it work for you in other ways at tax time. Professional accountants can be very helpful in finding you legal ways to find deductions and other benefits of being self-employed or having a small business on the side. To me, it is well worth the money to have someone who is knowledgeable in these areas working for me. Hiring a competent accountant is one of the best investments you can make for your businesses.
Again, keeping clear records is the easiest way to stay on top of things. In the past I used to just keep my receipts in one place and then at the end of the year I had a mountain of things to go through. This past year, I have been far more diligent with not only keeping my receipts, but posting them to a ledger and categorizing them as I did so. Making a simple spread sheet is really helpful and a great way to keep track of not only your spending, but also your income. It takes only a short time each month and at the end of the year, it takes much of the anxiety of doing things. Sloppiness in record keeping can also cause you to lose track of valuable deductions that you are entitled to by law, costing you more in taxes in the long run. The best way to be certain you receive all the credits you are entitled to is to post your expenses as they occur. This small habit could wind up saving you a lot of money.
So with everything turned into the accountant, I feel much more relaxed and at ease. It feels good too put closure on the year 2012 and it clears my mind completely to look ahead to 2013. My idea book has been filling up with many new projects that I plan to do and now I should be able to run full steam ahead and concentrate on creating.
We are looking to the beginning of the week for another site update and I have a couple of new things to get ready for that. We are also finishing up our submissions for the July issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine and hope to send those projects and articles on their way by Monday. And finally, I have to do some computer maintenance tomorrow and my computer will be tied up for a while.
It is going to be a busy weekend.
With that said, it is time for my day to begin. I woke up to a blanket of snow today and about 3 inches have accumulated on the ground. I don’t know how long it will last, but apparently winter isn’t quite over yet. I am happy that we don’t have to drive anywhere today besides our usual errands. I am looking forward to a good and productive couple of days.
Happy Friday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"