About Alissa Bryden

Entrepreneur, Accountant and Business Coach.
Thanks for reading! To connect you can email me alissa@vhaccounting.ca or follow me on LinkedIn.

Making Billable Expenses Work for You Using Xero

By | January 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|

Billable expenses are when you pay for services or products (expenses) that you then invoice to your customers. Using billable expenses as part of your accounting and invoicing software can help you ensure you don’t miss out on getting reimbursed for these costs. This discussion will be based on using Xero to track this but many other accounting software also have this option. This can be great for a variety of businesses. I have seen it work wonders for contractors but I have also seen it in professional service businesses. The bottom line is if you have a contract or agreement [...]

Blog 10 Let’s get Personal – on Taxes!

By | January 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Tax Time Tips Normally, my blogs are dedicated to small business owners everywhere. As my first blog post of 2017, I wanted to get a little more personal – on taxes! Small business owners whether they are incorporated or operate as a sole proprietor need to think about personal taxes too. As we creep closer to the dreaded tax season, I wanted to provide a quick summary on some changes you will see when filing your personal tax returns for 2016. Child Fitness Tax Credit / Child Arts Credit The Liberal budget of March 2016 announced that these credits will be [...]

Best Practices of Cash Controls in a Small Business

By | November 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Cash controls are the controls used in a business to protect a business from cash theft and mismanagement. In a previous blog (Fraud in Small Business), I discussed how a front desk / bookkeeper stole cash from the business. Ultimately, the reason this occurred was a lack of cash controls. Each business is different and each should assess their own cash controls. However, I wanted to provide a quick guide on cash controls that could assist a business owner in looking at their own processes. Cash Controls Separation of Duties This is a big one but is also the hardest one when [...]

Why I became a Cloud Accountant (3 minute read)

By | November 22nd, 2016|Uncategorized|

Cloud accounting is when the accounting software you use is accessible by the internet and not downloaded onto a specific computer. In my practice, I am a Cloud Accountant (also called a Virtual Accountant) and work only with cloud software. Before I outline the main reasons why I became a Cloud Accountant it is important to understand what cloud accounting is. Cloud software is software that is stored on someone else’s server (Amazon or Google are the two main providers). Individuals access it through an internet connection.   Ease of Use – Apps on your Phone I love that I can [...]

Fraud – Three Examples of Fraud that Hit Small Businesses (4 min read)

By | November 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Fraud is not a common topic in small business but when it does occur the results can be devastating. Fraud can take many forms and be difficult to identify. Every business owner must ensure they are taking precautions to protect themselves. To give business owners and idea of what can happen, I will tell you three real world examples that I have come across. The details have been kept vague to maintain privacy. Two stories are from my work as an Accountant and one dates to my University years. In that case, speaking to students about wrongful doings was part of the fraudsters [...]

Is Delaying Paying Suppliers Good for Cash Flow or Just Bad Manners? (3 Minute Read)

By | November 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|

By Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA In September, I was part of a twitter chat that discussed cash flow for start-ups (StartupCanada Chats). There was a lot of great advice given by the panel of experts. My twitter name is @vhaccounting and I have been involved in a few of these. The next one is coming up on Friday November 11th at 9am PST. There was a lot of discussion around delaying payments to suppliers while trying to collect accounts receivables asap. This cash flow technique is not new, if you get the money from your customers upfront but don’t pay your [...]

Should I Incorporate my Small Business? (3 min read)

By | October 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|

By Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA, Owner of Virtual Heights Accounting Many small business owners are very excited about their new business and think that incorporating is the first step. Incorporating too early can be a costly decision. I would estimate a corporation costs (on average) about $2,000 more per year than a sole proprietorship in accounting and legal fees. My first advice is to talk to a professional. More than this, get them to explain why they think you should incorporate or not. This decision should be based on the facts of the situation and no two businesses, or owners, are [...]

How to Move from a Concept to a Business (4 min read)

By | October 18th, 2016|Uncategorized|

How to Move from a Concept to a Business (4 minute read) By Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA As I write this it is small business week, and I want to celebrate both small business owners and the work it takes to get the doors open. Not all ideas or concepts can or will turn into a healthy business. You must first determine if you have an idea worth pursuing. Some do this on the fly, but planning and forethought will save you both money and stress. Preliminary research can give you a better idea on how to move from a business concept [...]

How to Charge GST on Your Materials – The Contractor (3 min read)

By | October 11th, 2016|Uncategorized|

 By Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA Contractors often ask me about how to charge GST on the materials included on their invoices. There are two main ways contractors can create their invoices. One where the materials are paid for by the client as a reimbursement and one where the materials are part of the sale price. It is important to note that GST charged on your invoices is called “GST Collected”. GST paid when you pay for the materials are called “ITC’s”. When you remit a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency you net these two. Reimbursement When a client is paying the materials as [...]

4 Signs Your Bookkeeper is Costing You Money

By | September 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|

4 Signs Your Bookkeeper is Costing You Money (4 min read) By Alissa Bryden, CPA, CA […]