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e-ccounting
March 2008

in this issue

Business Scenario
- Accounting Software Packages

Answer

Accounting Tip

Did You Know ?

Definition

Sandy's Recommendations

Next Issue - Business Use of Home Expenses

Correction - February issue


 

about e-ccounting

e-ccounting is a monthly newsletter focusing on accounting tips and solutions. Our mission is to educate our clients, students and readers by offering these resources in response to your ongoing questions.

It is our objective to gather information and provide easy access for your current and future needs.
Back-issues are available on the accountrain website.

These tips are not complete answers to complex questions. We therefore recommend, when in doubt, contact the professionals or government agency.

about accountrain

accountrain simplifies the client / accountant relationship.

accountrain offers a unique combination of knowledge and people-skills to solve all your accounting needs.

accountrain specializes in the how's and why's of accounting.

Is accountrain the right accounting team for you? Find out more....


Pass It On !

Please forward this to anyone you feel may benefit from some free accounting tips. They'll be glad you did.



Sandy's Question Corner

Do you have an accounting question? Send it to us at accountrain



UPCOMING WORKSHOP

Understanding How to Read Financial Statements
An interactive workshop reinforced with examples. Quoted testimonials from the Nov 2007 session "fun & informative" and "You made it easy with your simplicity of explanation".


    LEARN:
  • The five key sections of the Financials
  • Who's interested in your reports and why
  • Why there's more to the Income Statement than just the "bottom line"
  • What's so important about the Balance Sheet
Tuesday, May 13th - Ottawa
8:30am - noon
Regular price $199 (if you mention e- ccounting, $149) Location details will be provided upon registration

Limited seating, for more information or to register: contact us


  • Business Scenario
    - Accounting Software Packages
  • One of the first questions our new clients ask us is what software should I maintain my accounting records on? And then the rest of the questions follow:

  • where should I buy it,
  • how much should it cost,
  • what version do I need?

  • Answer
  • There are so many varieties of software that are capable of doing accounting. Like anything else, they range in price and options.

    Before purchasing your software do your homework, or at least speak to someone who can help you understand what it is you need, and just as important, what you don't need.

    May I suggest whatever you are purchasing, ensure there is support available when you need it, and perhaps training options as well.
    For small to medium sized businesses, Sage's Simply Accounting as well as Intuit's QuickBooks have both come a long way and are capable of the following:

  • Journal entries
  • Vendor entries (A/P): Purchases & Payments
  • Customer entries (A/R): Invoicing & Receipts
  • Inventory
  • Payroll
  • Job costing, and
  • Reporting

    Accounting software is available at most places that sell office supplies. The price will depend on what version you purchase. There are various versions with capabilities for Payroll, Multi-user, etc. Make sure you understand what you need and what best suits this. You can always upgrade at a later date.
    An example of pricing, for the basic versions of Simply and Quickbooks, the cost should be under $200. (this is merely a guideline).

  • Accounting Tip
  • Ensure the program / software you purchase is compatible to your computer and it's applications. For example Sage (Simply Accounting) and QuickBooks are no longer available for Mac computers.
    Don't be talked into purchasing a US version, as it won't be able to handle our GST needs!

    Another tip.
    When seeking training, most of my clients prefer the special attention they receive with one-on-one training versus a classroom setting.
    With individual training, you focus on your specific needs and although you may pay more, you probably only need two or three lessons.

  • Did You Know ?
  • Most software packages offer a minimum 30 day free trial offer. Take advantage of this and play with the sample data. See if it can handle some of your typical transactions.

    I always suggest testing a typical week or month to get a sense of your true business activity.

    for Simply - www.simplyaccounting.com/freetrial
    for QuickBooks - www.quickbooks.com (it's more difficult to find, type free trial in the search box)

    For more Did You Knows?
  • Definition
  • Financial Statements

    If you own a business, at some point someone has asked you for your Financial Statements.
    Financial Statements consist of the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement (also known as the Statement of Profit and Loss).

    Financial Statements tell the entire story of a company, how it's performing now as well as it's history. External readers, including bankers, investors, potential franchisees, buyers and even suppliers, are especially interested in how these two reports work together.

    So, what does this have to do with our topic of Software?
    Many small businesses choose to track (record) only their revenues and expenses, thus only creating an Income Statement. By doing so, you will not have the necessary information that a Balance Sheet provides.

    For more information on Financial Statements, check the accountrain website for upcoming WORKSHOPs, one entitled: Understanding How to Read Financial Statements.


    For more definitions ...
  • Sandy's Recommendations
  • When deciding on what software to purchase, base the decision on your specific needs, not because it's what your neighbour uses, it's on sale or it's what the retailer suggests.

    Ask others in your industry or a similar industry for feedback, suggestions and advise.

  • Next Issue - Business Use of Home Expenses
  • What can you write off?

    Learn:

  • How to calculate the portion that is applicable
  • What expenses are included
  • Why some expenses should be calculated separately
  • When and how to handle the bookkeeping aspect
  • How to apply this information to your Income Tax return.
  • Correction - February issue
  • Please note in the last issue - It's Tax Time Again! , in both the Answer and Definition sections, the Statement of Business Activities form was mentioned and referred to as T2120, the form number is actually T2124.

    I apologize for any confusion and thank Bruce C of Ottawa for pointing it out.

    613-789-2623