Meet Your Private Tutor

Hi. I'm Lake (short for Lake Girl)

I will be your tutor on this site so ... let me get the formalities out of the way before you get to know the real me! I am a ...

CPB-Certified Professional Bookkeeper
Small Business Bookkeeper / Management Accountant
Recordkeeping Concierge For Small Business

My Experience

  • 14 years part-time small business bookkeeping Web Master of this site ... and loving it ... almost more than bookkeeping!
  • 15 years part-time self-employed specializing in Canadian sole proprietor bookkeeping and tax preparation ...11 years exclusively on a virtual basis. In June 2020, I retired and no longer accept clients.
  • 14 years employed part-time as bookkeeper for small business and/or accounting technician private client services and/or seasonal tax professional at H&R Block
  • 8.5 years on strata board for BC not-for-profit condominium complex (I'm learning more than I want to about fund accounting!)
  • 3 years part-time estate executor experience settling estates and distributing the property to beneficiaries
  • 3 years part-time financial caretaker experience for seniors providing assistance in managing their personal day-to-day monetary affairs
  • 3 years full-time self-employed public Canadian small business experience in bookkeeping, management accounting/reporting, and basic tax preparation
  • 20 years corporate head office experience in budgets, forecasting, financial planning, general accounting

My Qualifications

Bachelor of Commerce, University of Calgary

CPB Certified Professional Bookkeeper Member, Certified Professional
Bookkeepers of Canada (formerly Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada) - see Code of Conduct 2009 - 2021. As I  retired in 2020, I let go of my IPBC membership in 2021.

Advanced Certified Pro Advisor - QuickBooks Online Canada

Member, QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program - Canada

Senior Member, Canadian Bookkeepers Association (see Code of Ethics) 2009-2012

Past Member, American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers

Past Member, National Bookkeepers Association (U.S.)

Past Member, National Association of Certified Professional Bookkeepers (U.S.)

In the media, 5 Tips to Manage Your Books Yourself, Mompreneur Magazine, January/February, 2010, p. 18-20

In The Forum column for IPBC's Topics and Tips Newsletter from December 2010 to August 2011.

Editor for IPBC's Topics and Tips Newsletter from February 2011 to November 2011.


Just so there is no confusion ...

While I have taken professional accounting courses through the CGA Association of Alberta and H&R Block ...

I am NOT a certified accountant (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA) and am not engaged in nor provide review or audit services.

I was a CPB Certified Professional Bookkeeper, registered with the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IPBC). Also, from February to November 2011, I worked part-time for IPBC, helping out in Member Services and assisting in the transition to a new website platform and data base.

I do have a Bachelor of Commerce degree and have taken numerous post graduate courses in economics through the University of Calgary, Canada.

I have also, in the past, engaged in formal studies of accounting through the Certified General Accountants Association of Alberta, Canada ... achieving the 5th Level (of 6 levels in the Program 91).

If you are wondering why I didn't complete the CGA Program ... well let's just say that life happened while I was making other plans :0( 

... and leave it at that. Everything worked out in the end ... just not the way I planned! :0)

I am not a tax expert either.

My tax background is limited to the formal study and preparation of very basic Canadian tax returns. In the late nineties, I completed the H&R Block Tax Preparation 1 course (which included capital expenditures, CCA, business 1, employment expenses, capital gains 1 and rental income) in addition to the above mentioned CGA instruction, which included basic personal and corporate tax.

I  worked part-time at H&R Block for the 2009 & 2010 tax season. ALL H&R Block employees are required to annually take tax courses. I completed the H&R Block Tax Course 1 again in December 2009 as part of my professional development, and earned "Tax Professional" status. In December 2010, I completed H&R Block Tax Course 2. I have not been professionally trained in trust taxation, but do have some experience with basic trusts tax filing.

I have attended many small business seminars, and reading about small business online or through hard copy is one of the ways I spend my leisure time.

I have learned a few things over the years and I thought I could share with you what I have learned ... but remember information is not advice.

Always speak with your accountant before implementing any of the information on this site ... as your accountant can give advice specific to your situation.

Whew! Now that's over with, we can have a chin-wag. ;-)

Welcome to my website. I hope you enjoy your visit ... and come back often.

As long as we are chatting ... you should know that I dislike shopping ... I find it exhausting ... and I used to like to rearrange furniture a few times a year. In my new digs, the condo doesn't have a lot of options with regards furniture placement ... and many of the pieces are too heavy for me to move without help. It sucks! But I've found other stuff to move around to keep me happy ...

I'm telling you this because I don't want you to be upset when I continually move the navigation buttons around on you ... it's just what I do ... I can't help myself ;0)

Here's how I see it. The navigation bar at the top and bottom of this site are like store front windows or store displays. No store would leave the same display year after year, season after season. So during the summer, I will likely put the "T4Box 24 and 26" button on the bar from November to March ... and remove it after T4 season is over. You get the idea, don't you?

You can also expect information to move around on different pages sometimes. Why? Two reasons.

First off, I really don't like sites that put just a small amount of information on a page which means I have to keep clicking to continue reading the article ... I know it keeps search engines happy which is important ... but so are the visitors to my site of which I'm one. Many of my pages are long because I discuss what I have to say on the topic all on one page ... no clicking.

Second, I have grouped like information together on a page ... and add to it as I find information on the subject. After a while, there is too much information on one page ... even for me. When this happens, I pull a certain segment of information and give it its own page.

In 2011, I switched the site from a two column format to a three column format. In the fall of 2012, I converted all my pages to an new version of SBI software called BB2. Then in January 2014, I switched back to a two column format but with the navigation at the top and bottom instead of the side.

I apologize if you don't like change and tinkering. :0( ... but sometimes I just can't help myself. Just think of my quirky habit like the weather. It changes all the time ... and you can't control it! :0)

I took a break from maintaining this website between 2020 to 2022 while I retired and moved. You can expect more changes in 2023 as I decide what direction I want to take this website. Some of the content, such as Q&A, is not of value now that there are so many Facebook groups where bookkeepers answer your small business questions in real time. Bookkeeping has become more automated over the past 13 years, making it more complicated at times than it needs to be for a small business. I will do some research and decide how to change the content to better meet today's small business owner and all the new bookkeepers who had to move to virtual services during COVID-19 to survive.

Why do I have pictures depicting lake life or teacups on this site ... instead of pictures that relate to the topic of money and bookkeeping?

An important website design concept is to have images that match your topic ... but here's the thing. We bookkeepers often have our noses buried in numbers.

We forget to lift our heads up and take in our surrounding environment. We work from home so have less interruptions in a day ... and interaction with other people.

Forbes' article on Designing Your Home Office With Productivity In Mind recommends the view from your office window looks at nature or water. Why?

"Look at nature or water. Whoever’s working at this desk has a great view of nature, which is important, because looking at green, leafy scenes helps us destress and restocks our mental energy, something that gets depleted when we perform knowledge work. "

When you come to visit my website, I want you to feel like you've had a good chat, a cup of tea (or coffee) and a bit of break to boot ... Of course I want you leave with whatever information you dropped by for too!

I also want you to feel like you've actually met me ... as opposed to those web sites where you have no idea who is behind them.

The Forbes article pointed out something I already knew ... pictures of lake life help me to exhale and relax ... and helped me reach my goal of semi-retirement while living at or near the lake. I've finally accepted the reality that I am unlikely to be able to fully retire in my sixties ... but it turns out it is a good thing as it keeps me busy. 

In 2013 I moved to south eastern B.C. Now instead of being on the lake (my dream), it is twenty minutes away but the hot pool is only 7 minutes down the road ... and the weather is better. Summers actually gets weeks of hot weather; winter has less snow and is a lot shorter. Living in a small village surrounded by mountains, I get to walk everywhere and have tons of stuff I can participate in now, especially since this is a tourist area. Restaurants in Radium are owner operated, not franchises, and good. Life was just as good here as it was the lake ... but I do miss living on the lake especially on hot, sunny days.

In 2021, I retired to southern Alberta to be closer to a hospital and family. While I enjoy being back in a city, I continue to miss the lake and now the mountain valley.

Pictures of tea cups remind me to take a "Tea Break" ... because I actually use this website as my reference "goto" site too!

So my bad for breaking the rules around good website design!

Submit pictures of your view from your desk ... or your favorite tea cup

I'd like to start displaying pictures of the views bookkeepers have from their desks.

If you want to share a picture of your view ... and you would like to see it published on this website ... or a picture of your favorite tea or coffee cup ... or anything that adds balance to your life

... just go to The Bookkeeping Resources Forum ... and submit it. I'll publish it ... or not if you say you don't want it published but just want to share it with me.

If your picture is of a place, it would be great to know where the picture was taken. Here's my new view from my desk in south eastern British Columbia. As I said above, the lake is now 20 minutes away. That's the Rocky Mountains in the background.

A bookkeeper's break - tea and shortbread served in Grandma's teacup!

Tea and shortbread served in my Grandma's teacup!

My new view while dong my bookkeeping ... The Rocy Mountains from Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

Speaking of life balance and breaks ...

Because I work from home, one of the things I try to do ... and I'm not always successful ... is to have what Julia Cameron calls "An Artist Date" ... an excursion. Julia's dates were meant to be solitary but I use them to have contact with other people.

I can do whatever ... as long as it gets me out of the office and my home. Here's what happened during an excursion in the summer of 2010.

Our Excellent Adventure ... One Perfect Summer Day

Here I am taking a stroll along the shore of Stuart Lake ... I was taking a vacation day and playing tourist with one of my neighbours ... we called the day "Our Excellent Adventure". It was like taking a trip back in time ... down memory lane to my summer days growing up at the lake.

When I was a kid, we used to spend a lot of summer days strolling along the beach, skipping stones, going to look at all the fancy boats moored at the marina.

We also had to ... no ifs and or buts ... take Red Cross swimming lessons. It didn't matter if it was pouring rain, windy with the waves coming at you, cold ... you were not allowed to miss your swimming lesson. I often came out of the water with purple lips, the rest of me turning blue and shivering.

If the weather was cold and rainy ... and we weren't taking our swimming lesson ... all the kids on our block could make a monopoly game last a week if we had to! We also hung out reading the Hardy Boys ... as the boys outnumbered me, I didn't get to read Nancy Drew ... or the mounds of comic books stored in the old ice box.

Flash forward again to "Our Excellent Adventure". In addition to a few local stores, we also visited Fort St. James National Historic Site, an old Hudson Bay outpost.

My favorite parts were the penny candy that isn't a penny anymore, the old fashioned homemade lemon drop cookies made in the old wood stove, and the swing.

Sometimes as adults we take ourselves so seriously ... at least I do. ;0) Swinging made me remember what it was like to just take in the moment with not a care in the world ... when the biggest challenge was how high could you make your swing go. I used to swing for hours ... standing, sitting, doubles ... but my swing went a lot higher than this one. Loved it!

The only thing missing were the paper cut out dolls ... do you remember them? All in all, our excellent adventure was ... a perfect summer day.

I'm learning to build my own website through Site Build It! You'll see ads about SBI! scattered throughout this site.

The majority of the information on this site comes from my desire to gather all my own personal reference notes and place them all in one place for easy access.

While learning to get this site up and running, I do my best to ensure my "notes" are accurate, complete and do not infringe on others' copyrights ... but I am still learning. I am the first to admit my graphic design skills are definitely not on par with the pros!

I make these pages available for your use with the understanding that I cannot be held liable for errors and/or omissions. Please make yourself familiar with my site policies prior to relying on any of the information on this site.

It is my sincere hope that this site provides you with useful, practical information to assist you with your business.

Stay tuned .... there will be more to come ... at some point ... on a day when I feel like sharing / talking about myself.

So until I'm in a chatty mood, I'll share a picture of three of my best friends.

They originally started working at Lakeshore Bookkeeping Services as bookkeepers-in-training. However, it soon became evident that their talents leaned more towards the people side of the business. They were happy in their positions as Greeters but have now retired. ;-)

And as long as I'm sharing, here's a picture of my office supervisor (RIP) hard at work!

Welcome to my website. I hope you enjoy your visit ... and come back often.

from Rainbow's End
"where heaven and earth sometimes touch"

Your tutor, Lake

Are you asking a bookkeeping question? Then you MUST select "yes" to publish. Please note that as of 2020, it is unlikely to be answered anymore. I recommend you go to one of the many live bookkeeping  community groups found on Facebook. They answer small business bookkeeping questions all the time.

Your email address will be kept private. I will never publish your email address. It will only be used for the purposes that you intended. It will never be sold, rented, or traded.

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