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The Self-Employed Bookkeeper Forum

When I started this site, my niche was to attract small business owners working from their home office. It didn't take long before self-employed bookkeepers began visiting the site ... which meant I got a different type of question being asked than a small business owner would ask.

As a result, I've compiled all the questions I've received from self-employed bookkeepers since starting this site in 2009 and placed them in one forum.

Internal Business System For A Bookkeeping Practice

The questions from self-employed bookkeepers lead me to search for products that would help freelance bookkeepers run their business more efficiently and more profitably. Here is one I've found ...

You CAN Learn
How To Start Your Own
Profitable Home-Based Bookkeeping Business

IF you are a freelance bookkeeper, feel free to ask a question. I do ask however that BEFORE you submit your question, please use the custom search box at the top of the right hand column to see if your question has already been asked and answered.

I'd like to take a minute to apologize to my readers. While converting this forum to a software upgrade in 2012, I lost 23 self-employed bookkeeping posts. I did get some back while others were unrecoverable. All comments are relating to the lost posts are gone. :0(  I reposted some in 2012 and 2013. I hope to repost a few more in them 2014.

Postings lost :

  • Adjusting Trial Balance and Adjusting Entries
  • Client Owes Money
  • Client Relationships (unrecoverable)
  • Entering Off Of Statements (unrecoverable)
  • Home Bookkeeping Illegal
  • New Bookkeeping Client Checklist
  • Owner Withdrawals
  • PayPal
  • Properly Classify Expense Accounts
  • Retired Bookkeeper
  • Starting a Set of Books
  • Third Party Civil Penalties
  • What are Self-Employed Bookkeepers Allowed To Do
  • Who Owns The Electronic Bookkeeping File

GOOD TO KNOW

CRA IC01-1 Third Party Civil Penalties

The CRA website has the complete publication on third party civil penalties. It contains good examples in the Appendix of situations you may be faced with as a bookkeeper including seven examples of when the penalty would not apply.

Section 33 states that "Bookkeeping services would include recording business accounts and transactions and could lead to penalties".

Section 65 and 66 have guidance to practitioners to minimize the risk of a penalty being applied you may want to take a peek at.

Here are some of CRA's suggestions:

  • Record any information supplied by the client
  • Record the questions you asked and the client's responses
  • Document discussions that clarify inconsistencies or contradictions
  • Document any research conducted.
  • Record any assumptions made and why they are reasonable.

If you are asked to record what you believe are personal transactions as business expenses consider the following suggestions:

  1. Explain the rules to the small business owner. They may not be aware of them. Have the CRA references on hand to back up your position.
  2. Record personal expenses to the owner's draw, owed to owner or shareholder loan account.
  3. Don't record input tax credits for personal expenses or for business expenses that have no supporting documentation.
  4. If you truly feel the client's records could lead to third party civil penalties, remove yourself from the engagement.


Self-Employed Bookkeepers
Questions and Answers

Here are Q&A from freelance bookkeepers. If you find this useful please consider sharing your expertise so others are helped as well.

Remember, I don't know everything ... and I am always learning too!

The Self-Employed Bookkeeper's Forum

Bookkeeping Practice Discussions
In Progress

Self-employed bookkeeping related topics ... that have been covered in The Bookkeeping Forum. Feel free to check them out and give your opinion or share your expertise.

If you think one of my responses is incorrect or there is another way to accomplish the same thing, I would truly appreciate it if you took the time to post your comments ... and source references if possible ... so that no one coming to this site leaves with incorrect information. It will help to keep the quality of information high ... and ensure this free resource is available to all.

Difficult Client 
I've been working, or attempting to work, with a new client for approximately 2 months now. It is a small service based business with 6 employees. I have …

Unclaimed ITC's in Suspense Account 
I was reading your section on how to record 'late receipts' for the ITCs (input tax credits). In the previous fiscal year my client had many missed …

Recording Stripe Transaction Fees 
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Just Starting! 
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Share Capital 
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Mac or PC for QuickBooks?  
I've been doing the bookkeeping (self-taught) for a graphic design business for the past 10 years. The business will no longer be needing my services so …

Processing Employee Expense Reports 
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Who is the bookkeeper? 
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BN and GST  
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Owner-Manager Remuneration-Reimbursement of Business Expenses 
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Organizing Incoming Client Papers 
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Billing for Services 
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Unclaimed Business Expense 
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Bookkeeping vs Income Tax Reporting 
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CPP Contributions for Sole Proprietorship 
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Unreconciled Bank Account 
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Opening Balance Entries 
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Personal Transactions in the Company Account 
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Sorting Receipts From Multiple Years 
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Garbage Bag Filing System 
Client brings in loads of garbage bags to do Hello - I just accepted this new client who hasn't done any of their bookkeeping for 10 years, is …

Dealing with Incomplete Documentation 
I currently have a client who is so disorganized that they want me to post their transactions based on bank and credit card statements mainly. I am …

Home Business Insurance Policy 
Liability and E&O Insurance I am just starting my bookkeeping business. Wondering if it necessary to carry the extra Liability and E&O insurance. …

Owners Draw and Personal Consumption 
Owners Draw - over extended - add personal interest? Being year end I am wondering if I should calculate as a personal expense an interest calculation …

Write Cheque Function Used Incorrectly 
Hi, I recently was hired by a company that has been trying to do its own books for the last 2 years. I was brought in to fix them and bring them up …

Click here to write your own.

Owner's Personal Use of Inventory 
I have been making a general journal entry each month to document owner's draw. I understand how cash is to be entered, but not how personal use of …

Owner's Personal Credit Card 
Hi Lake, I wanted to seek your opinion on something. I am setting up the QB company for a client. He uses his personal credit card to pay for many …

Organizing Paperwork From Clients 
Bookkeepers, this posting is asking for your expertise on ... How do you organize receipts clients have given you that you have already entered? …

QuickBooks® Back Work 
Hi - I love your website! I have been taking different Accounting Courses over the past 3 years and recently started working again (home with kids). …

Clearing Account Question 
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Do you need receipts for expenses under $100 
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Groupon Posting 
I have a client who uses Groupon for her business. I am completely lost on how to post the info into Sage 50 accounting. I have access to her Groupon …

U.S. Bookkeeping Certification Programs 
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Company Vacation Trip 
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Fundraising 
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Monthly structure of hours for bookkeeping 
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How To Reconcile Your PayPal Accounts 
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Intercompany Expenses and Transfers 
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Employees Using Personal Credit Cards For Business Expenses 
I have a client who has recently started letting an employee use her personal credit card to make company purchases and then get reimbursed via a check. …

Partial Sale of Business 
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Virtual Bookkeeping Services 
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Cashing versus Depositing Cheques 
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Membership Shares of a Credit Union 
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Sole Proprietor - Trailer Lease Buyout 
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Sole Proprietor Income & Expenses 
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Clearing Accounts 
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Donations of Goods Received 
My client has a second hand goods shop. S/he is not a charity. S/he received donations of items to sell in the shop as well as purchasing goods. I understand …

Opening Bank Balance 
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Recording the Sale of a Business 
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Home Based Business Reporting 
I note with interest that individuals (proprietors) are being advised not to include the business portion of utilities etc (shared personal / business) …

Click here to write your own.

GST Reporting by the Quick Method 
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Vehicle Ownership 
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Dividends 
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Who Needs To Register For PST? 
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T4 Preparation Rules 
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Using Quickbooks Essentials in Canada 
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Annual T4 Summary Reconciliation 
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How to Record and Track Deposits 
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How To Deal With Inaccurate Books 
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Reimbursement for Paypal Using a Cheque 
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Interest on Unpaid Bills 
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AR Reconciliation Mess 
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Unrecorded Bank Deposits 
My question is what if you came across deposits on a bank statement but no invoices were issued. Would a sales log from the client satisfy Canada Revenue …

Click here to write your own.



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Your tutor Lake

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