How To Prepare For An Initial Intake Meeting With Your Accountant For Your New Business
Preparing for the first meeting with an accountant can be daunting. You may feel the need to bring every document you can lay your hands on but still worry you’ve left something behind. So that you’re not left in the dark about what you will and won’t need, at Summit Strategies Chartered Professional Accountants, we’ve written down some information that will help you prepare for an initial intake meeting with your accountant for your new business.
1. Having a business plan and understanding the structure of the business
This entails a rough overview of the overall business plan and knowing if it is an operating company, holding company, and the percentage of ownership. Be prepared to discuss other topics such as the cost/benefit of incorporating vs. operating as a sole proprietorship, how the company is being capitalized, a list of assets being contributed to the business, and the needs of GST registration, payroll, and a fiscal year-end date that makes sense.
2. Setting up bank accounts separate from personal
You need to understand the benefits of operating a business through its own bank account and the complications it avoids down the road. Who are you going to be banking with, and why? Are the company credit cards going to be needed? How will the company pay for expenses (i.e., cheques, E-transfers, credit cards, cash)? Having a handle on this or at least a game plan before an initial meeting will lead you in the right direction out of the gates.
3. Being prepared to discuss
A. Revenue side of your business
You are going to have to discuss the revenue side of your business. Information regarding the types of revenue by source, locations of work, and if there is GST being collected (you are required to be registered for GST if your gross is in excess of $30,000 in a fiscal year) are going to be discussed so that they can devise an efficient accounting and financial plan for your company.
What are your anticipated operating costs? What are your anticipated overhead costs? Are you planning to lease a building, rent/own, or operate out of home?
C. Compensation planning
This step will likely be led by your accountant. This is the opportunity to educate and discuss with the client discretionary expenses (i.e., auto, cell phone, insurance, private health care, audit shield, etc.) as well as the cost/benefit of Payroll vs. Dividends.
D. Projections and future installment/remittance requirements
Understand what you anticipate future cash flows, profit, etc., will look like. Once that is established, there will be discussion around estimated installment amounts for Federal, Provincial, GST, etc., and consider payroll withholdings and remittance requirements if necessary.
4. Having a plan of attack for bookkeeping
It’s important to have an understanding of this before an initial intake meeting. What does it mean? Which type of bookkeeping software do you use? Do you have a bookkeeper in mind already? If so, who? What is the bookkeeping system? This lays the foundation for good record keeping, and it is important to understand its significance.
5. Ensuring Personal Tax Compliance
Have information prepared regarding the personal tax world for yourself and your family, and be ready to discuss this. Having prior-year copies of personal tax returns is a way to get ahead of this.
If you are looking for tax preparers, accountants, and business advisors in Red Deer, Alberta, reach out to us at Summit Strategies Chartered Professional Accountants. Our belief is that your business requires far more than tax compliance and financial statements. We endeavor to provide advice and services that will not only increase the success of your business but also ensure that your personal goals can be achieved. We are committed to providing close, personal attention to our valued clients. It is important to us that the advice you receive comes from years of advanced training, technical experience, and financial acumen.
We provide accounting, tax, business advisory, and agricultural services to clients across Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe, Stettler, Innisfail, Olds, Ponoka, Central Alberta, Edmonton, Calgary, and surrounding areas.
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