Calling all business owners

Did you know that on average, business owners spend up to 100 hours a year JUST on preparing their taxes? (according to the National Small Business Association’s 2017 members survey). Being entrepreneurs ourselves, we know that most of you work pretty long hours. So, assuming a 60-hour work week, that’s like taking two weeks off to sit in a cave while your company fends for itself. Every year.

This is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a business. Don’t forget receipts, invoicing, bills, payroll and all the other wonderful things that are the life and breath of your business - money.

There are many apps, many programs all promising to help… But so many decisions and trial runs with these things end up making you go back to the same old manual entering once the kids have gone to bed and you finally have some time to yourself. This is no way to spend your time…

Let us do what WE love and give you the time to do what YOU love.


At Cloud Accounting and Workflow management, we are here to help you as a whole person and a whole business… together. We want to get to know you, the way you work, what you need and what you don’t so that our tailored package gives you all the right tools and support without wasting time and money.

We’ve been in the business for over 25 years and have jumped on the technology train over 3 years ago allowing us to give you the best and newest apps when it comes to running the financial part of your business. We don’t just provide these apps and say good-bye. Our guarantee is to train you in order to ensure your comfort and understanding when using these apps, making sure you know what you are doing from the very beginning and for the entire time we work together. We want to make sure all the systems we put in place work for you and your business for the long-term.

Make sure to contact us before trying out that new accounting software. Before you open that excel spreadsheet. Before you toss in the towel and call it quits.

The Traveling Entrepreneur

As a small business owner, you may occasionally need to take a business trip or send your employees on one. While you shouldn’t travel frivolously, you also shouldn’t hesitate to travel in cases where it may benefit your business. This includes conferences and conventions, meeting with prospective clients, attending out-of-town training sessions or networking events, and similar types of activities. As you plan these trips, keep the following tips in mind.

Strategies for Saving

If you travel relatively infrequently, use travel websites such as Travelocity or Flight Centre to help you find deals. If you travel on a regular basis, join a loyalty rewards program for frequent travelers. For example, instead of taking a different airline each time you fly, take the same airline and reap frequent flyer miles. Similarly, always try to stay at the same hotel chain and use its loyalty rewards program. This approach saves you time – you don’t have to look for new airlines or accommodations for each trip. In some cases, you may spend more on each individual journey than you would have if you took the time to find a great deal. However, the overall savings you earn through the rewards programs helps to smooth out the difference. Also explore other strategies for saving money, such as shopping for meals at local grocery stores instead of eating in restaurants or having employees share hotel rooms instead of having their own rooms.

Tax Write-Off

The Canada Revenue Agency allows you to claim a business deduction for the cost of business-related travel. In particular, you may write off 100% of public transportation fares and hotel accommodations, but you may only write off 50% of the cost of food or entertainment. Similarly, if you pay for your employees to travel, you may deduct the same expenses on your tax return. In addition, if you travel to a convention, you may write off the convention fees up to twice per year. If you require your employees to travel and cover their own expenses, they may write off these expenses on their personal income tax returns using Form T777. However, you must fill out a Form T2200 stating that you require your employee to incur these costs as part of their jobs.

Tracking Expenses

To make these claims on your tax return, you need to have records and receipts of your expenses. Whether you are travelling on your own or sending your employees out into the world, consider utilizing an expense-tracking app. Depending on the app you select, you may be able to take a picture of receipts, track mileage with GPS, upload receipts, or perform other functions that make it easy to organize your travel expenses. Choose an app with the features that meet your specific needs. For example, if you want employees to pitch travel ideas and submit purchase order requests, you need an app that can facilitate that. Similarly, if you want to track travel spending, look for an app that can generate those types of reports.

If you need help deciding which app will suit you and your company needs best, let us know and we will arrange a free consultation!


Time Keeping

Keeping track of your time sounds easy but what if you are handling two jobs at once? What if you are handling only one and you have 2 staff on board? What if you have more than one and each staff have several as well?? On top of that, what if you have to travel to different locations or your staff have to travel…? There are so many different situations that having a stopwatch sometimes just won’t do.

Time to check out TSheets! This amazing time keeping app is seamlessly integrated with QBO, it can be used from anywhere on any device (even has a GPS tracker on mobile devices!!) and gives you access to real-time business data with accurate, detailed reports to better understand your company’s biggest expense: labor.

It’s essentially effortless and very accurate providing you peace of mind and money in your pocket saving you time from manual entries and fixing mistakes.


Get real-time reports, customize company settings, and manage employee timesheets in one place. Then track, edit, and submit time from the TSheets web dashboard or the TSheets Chrome app.

Employees and admins can use the TSheets mobile time tracking app to capture, submit, and approve time from their smartphones. Push notifications remind employees to clock in and out, and mobile scheduling makes it easy to update and share employee schedules.

TSheets Time Clock Kiosk is a simple way for employees to clock in from one device. A cost-effective alternative to traditional punch clocks, TSheets Time Clock works on any computer or tablet with an internet connection, is biometric, and is optimized for quick clock in.


Save time by tracking it and knowing where it all goes in order to manage it better!

First Year in Business

Here are 10 things to keep in mind when your journeying through your first year in business:

1. Set Your Business Up Properly

Use the right set of tools to launch your business in today’s expanding and changing economy. That means the right app’s for procedures, the right software, registrations, licensing/permits, the right business bank account and cards, the right accounting system and support and a lot of patience. Just like a major painting of the whole house - preparation is key. It may seem to take longer than you think and at some points may seem not useful but trust me, your future self and your business will thank you.

2. Organize For Success

Begin your journey with the right information to move yourself forward with your business venture. The biggest mistake people make is spending all their time working in the business rather than on the business. Budget your time and money for a proper business plan, marketing, accounting, operating systems, management, IT and data security.

3. Cash Flow 101

Monies coming in; monies going out. Know how to evaluate your cash flow situation so that you too can be aware of your cash needs. check out our cash flow blog post for more info!

4. Your Best Business Partner – Your Accountant

The knowledge and expertise of an accountant will help you take those first successful steps in business. Contact us for a free consultation where we will discuss how we can help you set up and manage the accounting portion of your business.

5. Setting Up Payroll

Payroll is complex. It is more than just income tax calculations. Understanding how to pay your staff will save you time and money.

6. Invoicing

Are you billing or invoicing your customers? Expand your awareness of how invoicing affects you and your business. Invoicing seems simple enough but its actually a crucial step that needs to be done right the first time and every time. If you don’t do a good job invoicing, you could seriously damage your small business’s cash flow, which in turn could seriously damage your new small business’s chance of success.

7. Prepare for your Income Tax

Learn what is considered an acceptable tax deduction and leave the shoebox of receipts at home. We can help you set up a system that will leave you with nothing to do once income tax time comes!!

8. Prepare for Year-End Ahead of Time

Year end is stressful enough. Make the job easier on you and your staff by learning how to prepare for your year end. We can show you how!

9. Helping to Audit-Proof Your Business

Audits go wrong when you misrepresent your income or your expenses. Learn how to protect you and your business from a potential audit.

10. Dealing With the CRA

Revenue Canada is a vast conglomerate made up of many departments. Learn how to maneuver your way around the CRA today.

For a more in depth look at any of these points, visit the Quickbooks article!

Budgeting vs. Forecasting: What’s the Difference?

Budgeting and forecasting are two of the most important financial functions for a business of any size. Budgeting and forecasting are often linked together, as they should be, but they have distinct differences.

A budget is an outline of expectations for what a company wants to achieve for a particular period, usually one year.

Financial forecasting estimates a company's future financial outcomes by examining historical data. Financial forecasting allows management teams to anticipate results based on previous financial data. 


Some of the characteristics of budgeting include:

  • Estimates of revenues and expenses for the year

  • Expected cash flows

  • Expected debt reduction

  • A budget is compared to actual results to calculate the variances between the two

Budgeting represents a company's financial position, cash flows and goals. A company's budget is usually re-evaluated periodically, usually once per fiscal year. Budgeting creates a baseline to compare actual results to determine how the results vary from the expected performance.

For tips and more information on Budgeting, creating a budget and budgeting terms, check out this great article on Investopedia.

Financial Forecast

Financial forecasting characteristics include: 

  • Companies use financial forecasting to determine how they should allocate their budgets for a future period. Unlike budgeting, financial forecasting does not analyze the variance between financial forecasts and actual performance.

  • Financial forecasts are regularly updated, perhaps monthly or quarterly, when there's a change in operations, inventory, and business plan.

  • Forecasts can be both short-term and long-term. For example, a company might have quarterly forecasts for revenue. Also, if a customer is lost to the competition, revenue forecasts might need to be updated.

  • A management team can use financial forecasting and take immediate action based on the forecasted data.

Forecasts can help management make adjustments to production and inventory levels. Also, a long-term forecast might help a company's management develop its business plan. 

A great article diving deeper into forecasting can also be found on Investopedia.

In Summary

While budgeting and forecasting are different functions, they are not mutually exclusive of each other. In fact, a good forecast feeds the development of a sound budget. During the year, comparing the most recent forecast to the budget for the rest of the period can help the company make needed adjustments to meet changing business conditions.

Money, money, money

A recent article from Forbes talks about how to avoid making mistakes with money this New Year…. well yeah, its already June but it’s NEVER too late!!!

Here’s the scoop. Basically, even if you are making more money and still have financial issues, you need to look at your actions instead of your hours.

  1. Eating out every day: While $5 here or $20 there may not seem like much at the time, small expenses add up, and they can really make a big difference. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $3,008 eating out each year. Let’s say that you spend $10/day buying lunch at work.  That’s over $2,500 per year, and you haven’t even incorporated breakfast or dinner.  If you find that you are low on money at the end of month, but have eaten out every day, maybe you should change your spending habits.  By not budgeting your food expenses and preparing meals at home, you are wasting thousands of dollars per year.

    To avoid spending frivolously on food in 2019, start setting aside a certain amount of cash each pay period.  You have to get out of the habit of swiping your card every time you eat, and this can be achieved if you only use cash to purchase your food and drinks.  Treat yourself to dinner, but do not make eating out a daily habit.  If cooking dinner is something that you find challenging, you can also try a meal kit service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh.

  2. Being scared to invest: How long are you going to use fear as an excuse for not building the financial life you truly desire? Are you going to let another year slip by while you make excuses? Everyone has to start somewhere, so begin with small steps.  Look at the big picture, set investment goals, learn, and just jump in.  No one is perfect, but the more you do, the wiser you become.  Your fear of making mistakes and potentially losing money is going to cost you in the end.  Now is actually a good time for young investors to get started.  Think of a market downturn like a Black Friday sale.  It’s a great time to go shopping before prices get high again.  If you want to get ahead financially, you have to think bigger and better.  Start investing in your future today.

  3. Constantly dipping into your savings accounts: If you find that you are constantly dipping into your savings account, it probably means that you are trying to save way too much.  You get an “A” for effort if you have been automatically setting money aside in your savings account.  Automation is the first step.  However, if you find yourself using the money, you have to limit how much you are setting aside. For the New Year, cut your monthly savings number in half.  For example, if you were previously setting aside $100 every two weeks, start setting aside $50 instead.  You will get there, but you have to stop being so hard on yourself.  It is a marathon, not a sprint. Ease up a bit.

    After you cut your savings amount in half, open an online savings account that is NOT connected to your checking account, thereby, making it less accessible.   Open an online savings account, set up the automatic savings plan, and ignore the account. Set it and forget it.

  4. Your obsession with credit cards: Using your credit cards to gain points is a great thing to do, but not if you aren’t paying it off each month.  If your obsession with your credit cards has gotten out of hand, you have an addiction. Like any addict, you need help. In 2019, cut up the cards and build a plan to pay them all down so that you have no more than 30% of your entire limit outstanding.  Credit card companies are not here to help you make money.  In fact, they are here to help you spend money you do not have, so that they can make money off your emotional spending.

    In 2019, if you cannot buy it twice, that means you cannot afford it.  If it’s not in your bank account now, that means you do not need it.  Let go of your obsession with credit cards, or you will forever feel like you’re stuck in a financial hole.

  5. Not paying attention to what’s inside your 401k: The retirement plan offered to you by an employer, whether it is a 401k, 403b, TSP, or 457, is still your money. It does not matter if the money can be used now or later.  It is still yours, so why aren’t you paying attention to it?  Ask yourself, “How much of my money do I care about?” If the answer is “all of it,” then you need to know where ALL of it is. You have to stop investing money each month without knowing where your money is going. Wall Street is possibly projecting a recession in 2019, and there’s a high chance that (if it hasn’t already), your money may take a dip. Start looking into your retirement account and see what is there.  If you have invested in mutual funds, look at the fund fact sheets to see what investments or stocks are inside of that particular fund.  You cannot go into 2019 with the intent to make more money when you are having trouble managing what you currently have.


Automating your Accounting

Understanding the ins-and-outs of small business bookkeeping isn’t always easy. But it’s a vital part of stressing less and earning more when you’re self-employed.

According to the article by CarefulCents, as well as our experience, even though you can (and probably should!) hire an accountant to help manage your bookkeeping, it’s still important to understand how it all works. Small business finances can get complicated quickly and having a good handle on what’s going on every month will give you confidence about your money.

That’s what being a smart and financially savvy business owner is all about. 

Here are 7 simple tasks to incorporate within your bookkeeping for small business tasks every month.

1. Use simple bookkeeping software

Yeah, everyone should use some sort of bookkeeping software but finding the right one, is a whole other question.

It’s important to have a backup, especially if your accounting information is stored in the Cloud or online. Don’t put yourself in the position of losing all your financial information in the event you make a mistake or your program crashes.

If you find the idea of starting and setting up the new software daunting, then give us a call. We can show you the in’s and out’s of the best programs. After that, you can continue to use our services on a monthly basis or we can train you to be able to use the programs on your own!

2. Categorize business transactions

Keep all of your business and personal bank accounts separate, including your savings accounts and credit cards. This way you’re able to organize all of your business transactions separately from your personal bills.

Even if you’re not an LLC, and are only a sole-proprietor, go ahead and open a second account at another bank and mark it for business-only transactions.

Review all of your account balances regularly, so you know how much money you have, and where it’s going.

3. Save and verify receipts

When deducting business expenses you have to be able to prove that the cost was business related. The best way to do this is by saving and verifying your business receipts regularly.

There are multiple ways you can do this:

  • Capture pictures of receipts with the QuickBooks mobile app and upload them to your QBSE account.

  • Store all of your receipts in one box, file or folder to be reviewed every month.

  • Use a scanner, to save all your receipts and link them to the correct expense.

4. Perform a monthly check-in

How much did you earn from client work this week? What big expenses do you have coming up?

Take time to have a quick check-in with your business finances every week. Not so much to check in on the numbers but to see the big picture of things.

5. Send invoices to business clients

A big part of freelancing is actually getting paid. But this is an often-overlooked part of bookkeeping that freelancers easily forget, or procrastinate. This is why automation makes a big difference… having automatic payment reminders be sent out will give the right push to get your money and you don’t even have to think about it!

It’s not always easy to talk about money, or enforcing clients to pay you for work you’ve completed. But it’s a very important part of valuing yourself and your services.

6. Set aside money for quarterly taxes

Another important bookkeeping task to do every month is set aside money for quarterly taxes. Although these are only due every quarter, your freelance business may be at a point where that tax bill is several thousands of dollars.

It’s a good idea to calculate each month instead of waiting until the end of the quarter.

It’s also a good idea to set up automatic weekly or monthly transfers from your business checking account to a savings account to cover this payment.

7. Plan ahead for the next month

It’s extremely difficult to plan ahead when you have irregular income, but there are things you can do to help ease the inconsistency.

  • Create monthly income and expense reports

  • Review pending payments from invoices

  • Look over your profit and loss statement

  • Calculate upcoming bills and projected income

  • Categorize all transactions in your bookkeeping software

  • Review all types of income and adjust

  • Calculate quarterly taxes to make sure you’re on target

  • Do an audit of all biz expenses and cut back

  • Keep a time journal to see how your time’s being spent

There are more ways to look back at the current month and plan ahead for the next month, but these are the basics. And going back to the importance of a software program; all these summaries and budgets and cash flows can be easily seen with a click of a button!!

You’ll be surprised how just keeping tabs on your money will really help increase your cash flow and your bottom line. The more you know about your finances, the better decisions you’ll make and ultimately be more successful.


Are you afraid of money?

It’s not just the fact that taxes were due over a week ago and you haven’t gotten all your ducks in a row… It’s more that you don’t even know how many ducks you have and where they are! Do you worry about money and how much you have and if you will make it through the next month? This is not right and it absolutely should not be this way…


Well, According to Money Coaches Canada; The good news is that you’re not alone. Many people have a crippling fear of finances, and it’s no wonder:

Every time something catastrophic happened in life, one of the first thoughts you probably had was how you were going to pay for it. You might even have felt that devastating feeling: the sinking realization that you can’t afford the crisis at hand.

That can make you want to keep as much distance between you and your finances as possible.

There’s just one problem: That’s the wrong move.

This Fear Gets Better When You Face It

When you avoid your financial situation, it can only get worse. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t understand what the problem is in the first place.

The closer you look at your money, the more you’ll realize it’s not a terrifying force that’s out to crush you, controlling your life. Money behaves in very predictable ways. It can be managed and understood. It’s not a monster with a mind of its own; it’s more like a household pet.

Here are 3 Steps to take provided by Money Coaches Canada:

Step #1: No Judgment

Wherever you are is where you are. It’s likely that one of the reasons you’re so afraid of money is that you’re embarrassed or ashamed about where you think you might be right now. You might be in a less-than-ideal place, and you think that’s a dirty little secret you should hide. You feel that people are going to be judgmental.

Here’s the truth: No one needs to know about your financial situation but you.

You can keep this information entirely to yourself and never tell a soul.

You’ll still know where you are, money-wise, whether you tell others or not. And when you know where you are, you can start to move forward to where you want to be.

Step #2: Know the Truth (the Whole Truth)

It’s tempting to guess at how much debt you have and call it a day. It’s close enough, right?

If you do this, the problem is that you’ll always know that the number is maybe not quite what you thought it was. You’ll worry that it’s worse than you thought. You’ll still be hiding from the truth.

We want to face that fear, not run from it. That’s the only way to stop fearing money in the first place.

Start by writing down the number that’s in your checking and savings accounts right now. If you have investments, write down the totals in those accounts as well. If you own a house, include the equity you’ve paid on the house. Tally all of those numbers up into one big number.

These are your Assets.

Then go through and check the balance on all of your credit cards, and write those totals down in a separate column. Got a mortgage? A car loan? Student or personal loans? Put down those numbers as well, along with the interest rate you’re paying on each loan or debt.

Tally up those numbers. These are your Liabilities.

Now take a deep breath, and subtract your Liabilities from your Assets.

That’s where you are with your money right now.

Step #3: You Can Do This

The number you’ve arrived at may worry you. If you’ve been scared of looking at your finances for a long time, it’s very likely that where you are with your money is in the negative. It may even be a pretty sizeable negative number.

That’s okay.

That’s okay because now you know – and knowing where you are is always better than not knowing.

You have something to work with. You can turn that number from a negative into a positive. You can do this with your own attention and care and ingenuity. And you can do it for yourself – to make it possible for you to enjoy even more of the things you truly want in your life.

Money Coaches Canada has created the Money Map Coaching Program, and this special, interactive program is entirely dedicated to YOU and your financial success.  You’ll learn about managing your money in a way that completely takes away all your fears and sets you on a confident path to success. Check out the program: Money Map Coaching Program! Do not miss out on the opportunity that will impact the rest of your life.

Paperless Bookkeeping

So it’s that time of the year again. What is the saying… “Nothing is certain but death and taxes” lol According to the Phrases Finder: This phrase draws on the actual inevitability of death to highlight the difficulty in avoiding the burden of taxes.

But there is still hope!

If you are trying to shuffle through and sort that shoe box jammed full of receipts and paperwork then you may want to talk to us…

Can you imagine just simply making a receipt digital, tossing the shoe box away and calling it a day??? Imagine, this time next year, there is NOTHING you have to do with any receipts or documents!

Believe it or not this is actually possible!

What is hub doc.jpg

Hubdoc is a program that allows you to free up the time and minimize the stress of gathering and going through all your receipts. All you have to do is take a photo of the receipt and Voilà! Let the program and Cloud Accounting do the rest! Using a quickly growing technology (OCR), the photo of the receipt is automatically deciphered for the date, amount and vendor, uploaded into Quickbooks Online and stored in the clouds. The best part is that it is fully audit-proof so you can literally toss that receipt in the trash!

Do you get receipts in your e-mail? Many stores now offer receipts to be e-mailed so save paper... this works too! Do you have bills and statements that you need to enter on a regular basis? Hubdocs takes any size documents and with just a snap of a photo, it's done! Even better, ask for those bills and statements to be e-mailed and you will save the step of taking a photo! 

As a Hubdocs Certified Quickbooks Online ProAdvisor, we can easily set up and manage (if required) the system to help you refocus your energy and give you time to do other things you want in your business! 

To find our more about Hubdoc and how it works, visit the Hubdoc website! Or just give us a call and we blow your mind away with how easy this whole process can be!

The End of Tax Season is Upon Us...

Have you collected all your documents to file your return? It’s that time again and we have updated our Tax Return Form so that you don’s miss any documents which could get you a bigger refund.

Please ensure to get all your documents to us by April 23rd!

A lot of people cringe at these few words…. Income Tax time… but it’s important to understand how it all works and why we need it.

The Purpose of Income Tax

The federal government uses income tax to fund a range of services and projects. It uses it for everything, from health care, to infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, to paying for the military, to covering the pay cheques of politicians or civilian servants.

In addition, provinces and territories also collect income tax return. The amount they collect varies, as they also set different income tax rates, but they also use the money for the public good.

Without Income tax, the government would not be able to operate.

Below are some changes (credits and deductions that have been introduced or eliminated; doesn't include any changes to tax rates or tax brackets) which may impact how you file your taxes:


  • The federal public transit amount has been eliminated.

  • The employee home relocation loans deduction has been eliminated.

  • The first time donor's super credit has been eliminated.

  • The "tax on split income" (TOSI) rules now apply to certain adults who earn income from related businesses. Learn more.


  • The Climate Action Incentive is a new, refundable credit for residents of certain provinces (including Ontario). Most people can claim this credit.

  • Ontario tuition and education amounts (and transfers) have been eliminated. However, you can still claim any unused provincial amounts from prior years

If you are unsure about what you need to get started or if you get stuck in the process, do not hesitate to call us with any questions or comments!


Have you claimed the climate action incentive payment yet?

Pollution has a cost – it impacts the air we breathe, our children’s health and our economy. That’s why the Government of Canada has put a price on carbon pollution.

The Government of Canada has introduced the new climate action incentive payment. If you are a resident of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario or New Brunswick, you can claim it when you file your income tax and benefit return.

Protecting the environment and growing the economy go together. In 2016, the federal government worked with provinces, territories, and with input from Indigenous Peoples on Canada’s first comprehensive climate action plan, which includes a stringent, fair, and efficient price on carbon pollution.

As part of Canada’s plan, provinces and territories had the flexibility to maintain or develop a carbon pollution pricing system that works for their circumstances, provided it meets the federal standard. The Government of Canada worked with provinces and territories on this for over two years.

On July 3, 2018, the Government of Ontario ended its climate plan, including its cap-and-trade pollution pricing system. This has resulted in a projected annual increase of emissions of approximately 48 million tonnes of carbon pollution in 2030, equivalent to the emissions from about 30 coal-fired electricity units. The province has also cancelled their investments in energy efficiency and low-carbon projects that help schools, businesses, and hospitals reduce emissions and reduce costs, therefore costing Ontarians money and good jobs.

The federal carbon pollution pricing system will apply in Ontario.

How will the funds collected be used?

  • Climate Action Incentive payments: Under the proposed approach, most of the proceeds the federal government collects from Ontario through the fuel charge will be returned directly to Ontario’s individuals and families through Climate Action Incentive PaymentsFootnote 1.

  • Support for particularly affected sectors: The remainder of fuel charge proceeds will be used to provide support to the province’s schools, hospitals, small and medium-sized businesses, colleges and universities, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous communities, which will help save money and create good jobs. In Ontario, this amount is estimated at $1.45 billion over the next five fiscal years.

  • Direct proceeds from industrial facilities under the federal output-based pricing system will be directed to supporting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.

Click Here to download the firm and claim your return!

Climate Action Incentive payments enable the Government to encourage lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without imposing a financial burden on households. For more information visit!

Find your unclaimed money at the end of the rainbow...

An old but interesting article from the GlobeNews caught my attention. It talks about how overtime people have forgotten about their money. I know what you are thinking, how can you just forget you have money in the bank? It happens for many reasons, and apparently a lot!

According to the GlobeNews; The Bank of Canada is holding approximately 1.8 million unclaimed balances worth a whopping $678 million - and this was in 2017!

When a Canadian-dollar accountdeposit or negotiable instrument held or issued by a federally-regulated bank or trust company has been inactive for 10 years and the owner cannot be contacted, it is considered an “unclaimed balance.”

Once a year on December 31, unclaimed balances are transferred to the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owners.

And the numbers keep growing:

  • At the end of 2018, approximately 2 million unclaimed balances, worth $816 million, were on the Bank's books. Over 93 per cent of unclaimed balances were valued at under $1,000, representing 26 per cent of the total value outstanding.

  • In 2018, the Bank paid out $11 million to balance holders.

  • The oldest balance dates back to 1900.

Retention period

  • The Bank of Canada holds unclaimed balances of less than $1,000 for 30 years.

  • Balances of $1,000 or more are held for 100 years.

  • Balances that are unclaimed at the end of the prescribed custody period are transferred to the Receiver General for Canada.

Finding an Unclaimed Balance

To find an unclaimed balance to which you may be entitled, you can do either of the following:

  • Search Bank of Canada’s Unclaimed Balances Registry, free of charge. The registry displays information on balances greater than $2.00, as submitted to the Bank of Canada by the financial institution or trust company.

If you are unable to find an unclaimed balance, it may be because your account has not been inactive for more than 10 years or your unclaimed balance has not yet been transferred to the Bank of Canada, as this happens only once a year on December 31. In these cases, you need to contact your financial institution to retrieve your funds.

According to the Bank Act, federally-regulated banks and trust companies have a legal obligation to send written notification after two, five and nine years of inactivity. If balance holders do not respond to this communication, the balance is transferred to the Bank of Canada as an “unclaimed balance.”

  • The Bank of Canada does not initiate contact with balance holders to notify them of unclaimed balances.

  • The Bank only contacts a claimant once it has received a claim request.

Maybe it will be your lucky day! Making a claim request doesn’t take long and perhaps you will find that little pot of unclaimed money at the end of the rainbow! Good luck!!


Sources of retirement income you need to know about...

Remember that your retirement income is about much more than simply an RRSP or RRIF. There are hopefully many sources of income for you, but the more sources of income, the more complex some of the tax and planning issues become.

Ted Rechtshaffen writes a great article on retirement income many of us don’t know we have.


1. Government Pensions — CPP, Old Age Security (OAS), GIS. For some individuals this can be more than $18,000 a year. It can be even higher if delayed receiving until past age 65.

2. Your Investment Portfolios — RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, Defined Contribution Plans and Non-Registered accounts. The key is to determine which ones to draw on and when to minimize taxes. It will be different depending on your age, your health, your relationship status, and your current and expected level of income.

3. Your Defined Benefit Pension Plan — You may be one of those who have a plan through your work that pays you a fixed monthly amount — that may or may not increase based on inflation.

4. Your Corporate Investment Account — If you have a Corporation, pulling money from here will likely be considered as ineligible dividend income, but could possibly be tax free due to the size of your capital dividend account or shareholder loans. Often there is an opportunity to use insurance for estate planning or even in some cases for Retirement Planning where funds can come out tax free.

5. Annuities — These are essentially lifetime GICs with a locked-in rate that becomes a monthly source of cash flow. They have been less popular due to low interest rates, but for those who bought Annuities thirty years ago and are still alive, they will definitely sing their praises as an option for retirement income.

6. Your Home — If you own a home you can use a Home Equity Line of Credit to draw down cash over time, or maybe a downsize or sale of real estate is a key source of funds for your retirement. In some cases it may even allow for rental income.

7. Insurance Policies — This is sometimes an option and usually a forgotten one. Policy holders can often access cash through the cash surrender value of a policy without hurting the core insurance coverage. Sometimes you can borrow against the policy, or for those in their 30s to 50s, you might even be able to take out a policy on your parents as a form of retirement planning.

8. Your Kids (or other family) — This is usually not a preferred option, but depending on your needs and the family situation, this can be an important source of income.

It’s important to do some research and find out what suits you the best. A great source to read up on is Savvy New Canadian’s fairly detailed overview, or check out Ted Rechtshaffen’s firm, TriDelta Financial, which recently put out the 2019 Canadian Retirement Income Guide which provides further insight into how best to manage your various forms of retirement income.

Click here to read the full article from the Financial Post!

Future of accounting. Where is this all going...

Accounting has been around a long time (as you can see in our previous blog post) and since, even in the past year, the way we manage accounting and money has come such a long way.

Did you know?

According to Kashoo: “Cloud Accounting Software Will Overtake Desktop Applications by 2025” And this was a prediction from 2017. According to other articles such as from CalCPA Education Foundation: “Majority of Small Businesses Will Have Adopted Cloud Accounting in 2018”

Technology is growing fast and its important to keep up with all the trends as they help make the users work faster, more efficient and sometimes renders certain tasks obsolete! This is great news. As a business owner, we have more demands and less time and when it comes to managing cash flow, we want to be as precise, efficient and up to speed as possible. The more that things can be automated, the quicker and easier it is to let business owners run the rest of their business.

Automation can be a scary thing if not set up properly or if it is unclear what you are automating. It’s the crucial step into making everything work as it should. Make sure you hire a knowledgeable professional, like us, to help with this laborious and often confusing task. We can help! We are always keeping up with the latest accounting technologies to keep ourselves and small business owners stay ahead of the curve!

So how are all these tech trends going to evolve? Check out this cool infographic from GetApp Lab:


These are truly exciting times we are in. Technology is only growing faster and faster. We strive to keep up with the best technology and understand it in depth in order to be able to set you up and teach you how to use it properly. Contact us anytime to find out how we can help!

History of accounting. Where it all began...

Since the very beginning, going back to tablet record keeping in ancient Mesopotamia to blockchain in the 21st century—technology has been a key enabler in addressing accounting challenges. Only a few challenges stand in the way of small business owners not taking the leap and keeping up with the curve.

Some of those challenges include:

  1. Being overwhelmed at the vast amount of options for app’s and technologies already available. We at Cloud Accounting are always keeping up to date with the latest technologies in the accounting field and build custom service packages to get rid of pain points and ease your workload.

  2. The misconception that all this tech stuff is too expensive and unnecessary for a small business owner. At Cloud Accounting, we will work with you to figure out a budget friendly option to streamline and automate certain tasks, only giving you what you need saving you time and essentially money!

  3. Going cloud based with all your financial’s and information is unsafe. Check out our previous blog about online safety and how we debunk this myth.

In this interesting infographic from GetApp Lab, we take a look at the history and evolution of accounting technology from ancient civilizations all the way to the potential use of quantum accounting in the not so distant future:


Christmas is right around the corner!

It’s time to spend and make special memories with the ones we love. One thing you may not want to do over the holidays is call your accountant. Don’t worry, we’re not offended! However, businesses still buy and sell, file their HST and pay their workers so entrepreneurship never really goes silent. But, things slow down and we find ourselves (hopefully you have finished all your holiday shopping and preparations by now!) with some extra spare minutes.

The following suggestions will not take too long but will make a big impact and you won’t have to think about them for the rest of the year!

  1. RRSP’s: Call your bank or go online and starting in January, set up a regular monthly contribution, by automatic transfer. Making automatic monthly contributions (amounts are different for each individual) allows you to forget about making the payments. You may not even notice them coming out of the bank!

  2. Emergency Records: You don’t often think about it, or want to think about it but it does happen. Fires, floods, an death or illness… If any of this would happen, would you or your loved ones know where all your accounts were, who you were insured with, what credit cards you have available? And the account numbers for all of these? Heres what to do:

    • Go through your filing drawer.

    • Photocopy the latest statement/ renewal for each account/ policy you hold, or grab an old one if the account details haven’t changed.

    • Photocopy your passport, driver’s licence, OHIP and SIN card.

    • Repeat for each household member.

    • Put in a sealed envelope and write contact details for your executor, lawyer, and accountant on the front.

    • Give to someone you trust that doesn’t reside in the same location to keep safe.

    • You can also create a digital copy of all of the above and store in a password protected folder in the clouds and give the password to a few select people.

    • Do the same next year.


  3. As you know, the tax year ends on December 31 – for all individuals, and for many corporations too. All the big firms publish “Year-end guides for tax planning”, although many of them are broader tax planning documents, rather than what to do in December. These guides are worth reading at some point however they me be a little heaver of a read… Here are some pointers to get you started:

    • If you need to take money out of savings – say, to pay holiday bills – take it out of your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) in December. That way, you can put it back in 2019. If you wait to 2019 to withdraw, the headroom isn’t topped back up until 2020. [Flip side: Money taken out from RRSPs are taxable withdrawals. Push these withdrawals back to January, so they’re taxable in 2019.]

    • Review your debts. The interest paid on money used to earn business or generate investment income can be used as a tax deduction.

    • If you need to purchase a car or musical instrument for work, do so at the end of the year to enjoy the benefit of accelerated capital cost allowance claims.

    • Donate shares instead of cash. Not only do you get the charitable donation deduction, but by donating the shares you’re not subject to capital gains tax.

    • Check out this year-end tax planning checklist via pwc Canada.

From our family to yours, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cash Flow

So what is cash flow anyways?

In short, cash flow is the money that is moving (or flowing) in and out of your business. But there is more to it than just that.

If you are in a “positive cash flow” situation then you are making more money than you are spending. You have enough to pay your bills etc. If more cash is going out than coming in, you are in danger of being overdrawn, and you will need to find money to cover your overdrafts. This is why new businesses typically need working capital (like a loan or line of credit) to cover shortages in cash flow.

Lack of cash is one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail.

A great video summarizing cash flow and a real world sample can be seen here, click below (thank you Investopedia!):

Cash Flow When Starting a Business 

Dealing with cash flow issues is most difficult when you are starting a business. You have many expenses and money is going out fast. And you may have no sales or customers who are paying you. You will need some other temporary sources of cash, like through a temporary line of credit to get you going and on to a positive cash flow situation. 

The best way to keep track of cash flow in your business is to run a cash flow report. We can do this for you! Click here to see more or ask us how. Sometimes cash flow reports need to be done on a weekly or even daily basis…

Cash Flow vs. Profit 

It's possible for your business to make a profit, but have no cash. How can that happen? The short answer is that profit is an accounting concept, while cash, is only the amount in the business checking account. You can have assets, like accounts receivable (money owed to you by customers) but if you can't collect on what's owed, you won't have cash. 

Your accounting system may also show a difference between cash and profits. If your business runs on accrual accounting, you recognize income when the invoice is sent, even though the customer hasn't paid. In this case, you might show a profit but not have the cash. 

Check out this Tip:

A tip from The Balance Small Business website;  A quick and easy way to perform a cash flow analysis is to compare the total unpaid purchases to the total sales due at the end of each month. If the total unpaid purchases are greater than the total sales due, you'll need to spend more cash than you receive in the next month, indicating a potential cash flow problem.

To dig deeper into this tip: 

1. At the end of this month, look at your total sales.

2. Add up the purchases you have made that still need to be paid for. 

3. The difference is what you will need to bring in as income to stay even. 

If this monthly cash shortage continues for several months, you'll get further and further behind. 

So how do I solve my cash flow issues?

There are several ways to tackle cash flow issues. Especially for a start up business, a budget is very important to understand how much you need and where you stand financially. at Cloud Accounting we have all the tools to work with you to create a budget, analyze the budget and also forecast the future budget so that you can have control over your finances all the time. Click Here to see more information on our services or contact us anytime to discuss further.

Looking to do more research on your own? The Balance Small Business site has a great article with more information on how to solve some cash flow issues!

Reach for the clouds… But is it safe?

One of the most common questions about online software is security. If I can’t see the server that runs the program under my desk, how do I know if my business information is safe?

According to DigitalFirst, all software, whether it runs on your desktop or online, is vulnerable to security threats. A security company once said the only safe computer is one that has been switched off. This doesn’t stop businesses from using software. Software is indispensable to running an efficient, modern business and communicating with your employees, customers and suppliers.

Instead of asking, “is online software secure?” a better question is, “is online software more secure than desktop software?”

For the vast majority of small and medium businesses the answer is yes. To understand why we need to look at the vulnerable points in the process of using software.

Desktop software

The points of vulnerability with desktop software are all located in one place, the desktop or laptop computer. It is the point of access for the user, the point of storage for the accounting software and the user’s data file, and the point of connection to the internet.

The level of security for desktop software comes down to the initiative and budget of the user.

Most businesses spend very little on security, whether electronic measures such as firewalls and anti-virus protection or physical measures such as locked doors and anti-theft cables. They also tend to spend little time or money on educating staff about best security practices.

The reality is that an office computer is usually vulnerable to a greater range of internet-based attacks than online software. And it is much more vulnerable to physical risks such as fire, flood or theft.

Not only is the software often poorly protected, the emergency processes to restore the software are usually lacking too. Backup is the great Achilles heel of many businesses who usually treat it as an afterthought. When something does go wrong it can take many hours or even days to return to full operation.


Online software

The points of vulnerability for online software are split between the vendor and the user. The point of access for viewing the software (whether laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet) is still the user’s responsibility to secure.

Storage of the accounting software and the data file is not the user’s responsibility but the vendor’s. Software companies run their programs from enterprise-grade data centres with highly sophisticated, layered defences.

These enterprise data centres are patrolled by guards and access is controlled by keycards and fingerprint and iris scanners. Other physical defences include firefighting systems (gas and sprinklers), large diesel generators to supply power during blackouts, and flood-resistant locations.

Data centres usually have multiple, redundant, extremely fast internet connections. The networks are protected by the latest security technologies and 24-hour monitoring by a team of IT security experts.

There’s also security in obscurity; the data for one business is stored on the same server as hundreds of other businesses.

If a server fails in an enterprise data centre it can automatically push an online  business application from one group of servers to another.

Online software companies have detailed backup procedures for restoring their applications if a software bug causes a crash. The average amount of downtime for the best-known online business programs is several hours in a whole year.

So how hard is it to secure?

Whether the threat is theft, natural disaster, a virus or a hacker, online software is generally far better protected than a desktop program. If a thief steals a smartphone they won’t be able to access the online software without entering a password.

A business owner could log in from another computer and change the password in their online accounting software and it would be impossible to access from that smartphone again.

If a thief steals a laptop they have a much greater chance of opening data files in any desktop software it contains.

You can minimise the risk of attack in several ways.

Use a unique, difficult to guess password and keep it in a very secure location.

A password manager is a very handy tool for creating and storing long and difficult passwords for many websites. Of course, you need to have a very secure password to access the password manager but at least it’s the only one you need to remember.

Never reveal your password to anyone, even if they are allegedly calling from the bank or software company. If someone does ask you for your password it is almost always with malicious intent.

Only use your own laptop or computers rather than public computers.

Public wifi networks in cafes and airports can be compromised. For maximum security use your smartphone or tablet, or tether to them with your laptop, to access your online accounting software. Telcos tightly control access to their networks which makes them more secure.

One specific area of concern deserves its own chapter. What happens to your company file when you move from desktop accounting software to online? DigitalFirst has some answers for you: Read Chapter 8: Looking After Your Data to find out more.