Being organized in my business as a contractor is important to me. I have developed a format that is easy to follow and is less time consuming for my accountant. Many contractors struggle in this area and since this is the dreaded tax season, I thought it timely to speak directly to contractors in my first issue of Contractors Corner.
Below are some tips that I find helpful in my business, and at the bottom you will find links to click and download easy contractor templates for income and expenses.
Here are a few simple tips to help manage your time and your books.
- Set a schedule for your business and plan time to do a daily and weekly accounting of the basics.
- Get a day timer book for logging appointments, quotes, notes, calendar etc. If you are smart phone user there are a few apps out there that are free that you might find helpful.
- Keep an accordion folder in your truck for your weekly receipts and invoicing. Separate the jobs you are working on into the slots in your folder.
- Note on all receipts which job it is for and sign off on each one to confirm the billing matches your orders. Any shortfalls or differences in materials received are noted for follow up with suppliers and added to your daily log.
- At the end of every day, go through your notes and tick off what has been completed from your list for that day and carry forward anything not completed to the next day.
- Income and expense ledgers are simple time savers if kept up daily, weekly and monthly. This will help when doing your HST and WSIB, as well as your year end.
- Keep your personal pay records in a file folder and sort into separate folders your allowable deductions.
- For paying your trades, sign off and log hours. This then gets filed and sorted for payroll.
- Log your mileage throughout the week – keep your log book in your vehicle and discipline yourself to keep it up to date.
If you took the number of hours that you would normally spend at tax time and go make money instead, you will come out far ahead and you wont miss a thing. None of us have hours to spend on this, so let the professionals do it!
Below are some resource files to assist with tax preparation – you can download them for free.
Corporate Tax Checklist
Sole Proprietor or Partnership Tax Checklist
Bookkeeping Spreadsheet – Income and Disbursements Summary Sheet – 2016 (Direct Download Link)