03. The 12 Edicts of 5 Star Bookkeeping

You are part of an accounting team now. We all need to pull together and follow simple guidelines to achieve useful 5-star accounting records.

If you keep our “12 Edicts of Bookkeeping” top of mind, you, we, your bank and the CRA will all be happy.

1. Keep business & personal transactions separate – bank accounts, credit cards – everything.

  • No personal expenses should come out of your biz accounts – none, zero, nada.
  • Due to shareholders and owners – we need to ensure that this account is neither too high nor too low.
  • Get a handle on your bills & payments. Plan accordingly. Keep the transfers to & from to a minimum.

2. Run all business transactions through business bank accounts and credit cards.

  • Money in and money out!
  • Unless you are a retail operation, don’t do business in cash.
  • You must have online banking and eStatements for us to do your books.

3. Hubdoc  (yes, it’s a verb) receipts for everything business-related – every stinkin’ one of them!

  • Ensure the payment method is on them.
  • Business meals and entertainment, who & why written on them.

4. If you buy something significant, finance something or loan out money, we will need a copy of the paperwork to post it correctly.

Surprises are for birthdays, not for bookkeeping.

5. Mileage log – for goodness sake, use an app.

  • It’s tax-free money in your pocket!

6. Ensure you are dealing with above-board, compliant businesses and subcontractors.

  • Do they issue professional bills (none of this handwritten stuff)? Do they have a business number, WCB/WorksafeBC/WSIB registered…?
  • Don’t hire anyone if they want cash “off the books” – it’s illegal.
  • Same deal with your customers if you are B2B.

7. Have new hires fill out employee forms when they arrive – on day 1 – the minute they enter your door.

  • This goes for you and your family, too.
  • Same with your subcontractors, have them complete a subcontractor form to collect important tax information.

8. File (or have us file) your GST/HST and payroll source deductions a few days before the deadline.

  • If you can pay them, do it on time!
  • If you can’t pay them, file them to avoid penalties and raise red flags.

9. The tax you collect is not your money; put some aside to pay your taxes on time.

10. Communicate in a friendly, timely manner with us.

  • Don’t make us chase you around for documents, answers and responses. We will do the same.

Let’s save the nagging for our families.

11. Review your reports and respond to us within seven days of receiving them.

If you see errors or things that seem out of whack, let’s clean them up immediately.

  • We cannot go back to closed periods for clean-up; check carefully – right now.
  • We are human; make sure we haven’t made a mistake. You are human; make sure you haven’t made a mistake.
  • Review your Chart of Accounts often. Your reporting, how you know about your company’s financial health, is based on it.

12. Assign the duties clearly that you or your staff will handle. Communicate that chain of command to us.

  • If you are too busy to work with us, please designate an alternate contact you trust for us to ask questions, obtain documents, etc.
  • If you don’t have an assignee and aren’t keeping up, we may need to re-evaluate and increase CV Bookkeeping’s role in your bookkeeping.
  • We know these rules seem simple enough, but that does not mean they are always easy to follow.

You are paying CV Bookkeeping your hard-earned money to provide you with top-notch books – accurate, timely data that is key to the financial health of your company – information that can help you grow and prosper.

Don’t throw your accounting dollars away by not following our “edicts”.