Give yourself the gift of space and organization for 2014.
We’re all using smartphones and tablets by now, right? They’re vital tools when it comes to conducting business … checking email when you’re out of the office, hooking up Bluetooth for a phone meeting while you’re out for a winter stroll on Calgary’s Stephen Avenue, or playing Angry Birds.
No wait … strike that last one. We kid, we kid!
Those mini computers can help us in managing our business, too. They can help us stay organized and on track for tax season in 2014.
Turn your receipts into digital files
The days are almost over for collecting receipts for your business expenses and filing them into a shoebox. (You still have to keep that shoebox and it’s still probably a good idea to keep them all organized but more on that in a bit.)
Canada Revenue Agency now allows you to reproduce your receipts and all business records with electronic images. According to theCRA’s record-keeping guidelines, you are permitted to scan your receipts and other supporting documents as long as the reproduction:
- Provides the same information as the supporting document
- Is well defined and the significant details are not obscured by the limitations such as resolution, tonality or hues
All of your electronic records must be easily accessible and, if they’ve been encrypted, easily decrypted and produced in an accessible and readable format for CRA officials.
The overflowing shoebox
It’s sitting over in the corner mocking you, isn’t it? And you’d really like to toss it in the fire and never have to stuff receipts into a shoebox again, wouldn’t you?
The CRA allows you to destroy paper records and supporting documents if they have been electronically captures in accordance with the Canadian General Standards Board.
If your electronic records are lost or destroyed, you must recreate the files within a reasonable period of time.
And so, it’s a good idea to keep that shoebox … and maybe even sort it every once in a while.
Is there an app for that?
You’re darn tootin’ there’s an app for that! Isn’t there an app for everything?
The big question is, are you an Android or an Apple fan? (Oh, BlackBerry people, just switch already.)
Both platforms have a solid selection of free and paid apps.
OneReceipt has a ridiculously easy interface and you can configure it to read receipt emails from your Gmail or Yahoo. And it’s free.
You can also look at:
Expensify is a superior free app from Android. It doesn’t just scan a picture of your receipt, but it also pulls out the merchant, date and amount of the transaction. You then choose to designate it as a new cash expense or a credit card expense.
It also lets you export a PDF report to share with anyone.
You can also try (they’re all free):
Have you gone digital already? We do recommend you use more than your phone’s storage to save your files. You can configure your phone to automatically upload your receipt images to a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Here to help
A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.
Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.