Monthly Archives: January 2013

How to Choose a Start-Up Accountant

One of the first things to think about when you’re starting your own business is hiring a good accountant. Whether you’ve always been an employee or this is your first business venture, doing all your own finances can be scary. It makes sense to hire outside expertise for a task that is central to your business success. So what should you be looking for in a good accountant?

Accountant

Accountant

  • A Good Rate

When it comes to accountancy, picking one based on their rate may not be the best idea. What matters more are the services they offer – will they work hard to save you money wherever they can? Get a few quotes from accountants in your area to get an idea of the average price you’ll need to pay and go from there. An accountant is meant to save you money, so even if they aren’t the cheapest they may work out to be the best deal for you in the long term.

  • Relevant Experience

Does the accountant have experience in your business sector? Accountancy may seem like a totally general task, but having knowledge and experience specific to what you do can be a great advantage. Especially when it comes to things like online businesses that are relatively new, an accountant that’s up to date with all the developments in your sector can be a good asset to have.

  • Other Services

You might want an accountant to help you with your tax return, but what about the other services they offer. If you hire an employee you may need help with your payroll for example, so try to find someone who can offer more services as your business grows.

  • Technology

Many accountants now offer online services, allowing you to upload your business accounts over the internet directly to them. This means that they can give you advice much faster and there’s a lot less paperwork involved. It also means that the whole process costs less, and they may be able to pass the savings onto you. It’s a good idea to ask if your accountant is on-board with the latest technologies.

  • Setting Up Your Business

Whatever your start-up does, getting a good accountant involved from day one can mean your business is set up properly and you’re paying the right amount of taxes straight away. A good accountant can help with cash flow and offer business advice, so keep the points above in mind when deciding who to hire.

7 Steps You MUST Take To Get Out Of Debt

There are no magic bullets for getting out of debt, and in most cases the process requires discipline, planning, and time. Having gone through this process myself I’m happy to share my must-win steps on how to get out of debt faster than you ever thought possible.

get out of debt

get out of debt

Step 1 – Decision Time

The word decision comes from the Latin, decidere, which literally means ‘to cut off’. This idea really helped me when I started my debt-free plan. Making a decision to get out of debt means to literally cut off the possibility in your mind that you can stay in debt. There are many gray areas when dealing with money, but DECIDING with 100% certainty that you will get out of debt is an immensely powerful action.

Step 2 – No More Borrowing

It’s a bit clichéd, but you can’t get out of a whole by digging. Continuing to borrow money while you’re trying to get out of debt will crush your motivation and slow down your progress. So you have to set yourself up so that borrowing is no longer necessary. This might take a bit of time, but it’s essential.

Step 3 – An Emergency Fund Is Your Friend

You’ve probably heard this advice a million times, and for most people the idea of having some money ‘just in case’ is almost laughably unrealistic. Here’s what I’ve found. Even a small emergency fund reduces headaches and stressful events. Just knowing that it’s there can be a huge relief, and when something DOES happen, you know you have the money to fix/replace it.

Start small – even $500 or $1,000 is enough to cover many emergencies. Do this before diving into your debt repayment and you won’t have to go further in debt when something happens.

Step 4 – Add It All Up

You have a goal, now you need a plan. To make a plan you have to really understand your situation, so get to work adding up all your debts. You’ll need to know:

  • How much you owe
  • Who you owe it to
  • How much you’re paying in interest

Step 5 – Highest Interest Or Debt Snowball?

There are two schools of thought for debt repayment. Mathematically, paying off your highest interest loans first will save you money. Others argue that behavior is more important, so start with your smallest loan amount and pay it off first, then move to the next (like a snowball). I used this method and found it extremely effective.

Step 6 – Look Ahead

Sites like www.debt.ca/ have a ton of tools and calculators which can help you map out your debt repayment timeline. These tools are also great for understanding how lump-sum payments and small increases in monthly amounts will make huge dents in your debt.

Step 7 – Get Excited

This is a game, and you’ll do better if you’re having fun. Every sacrifice you make now is a victory in the long-run, and enjoying those as much as possible will help during this challenge you’re facing.

Helpful article:  http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca00038.html