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.

Top 5 Reasons to Have a Business Plan

By | March 20th, 2017|Business Coaching|

A business plan is a written document that explains what the business is, how it operates, what it’s goals are and how it plans to achieve those goals. Many think that only those seeking financing need a business plan. They consider the business plan a necessity for the bank – that’s it. They could not be more wrong and here are five reasons why. 1)     Benchmarking – A good business plan identifies what are called Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the business. A business can then use these KPI’s to measure its success moving forward. This can help when you are looking at specific [...]

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What is a business coach?

By | March 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|

What is a business coach and why do I need one? When you start a business you hear a lot of recommendations to get a business coach. I have run into a lot of independent business coaches in my years as an Accountant. Many business owners do not really know what they do and thus I have decided to explain a little bit about business coaching (at least how I see and do it). As a business coach, I help business owners take their ideas and put them into practice. We define steps they can take and ways to measure those steps. I also [...]

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Giving Back

By | February 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

We are all busy. Then we see Not-for-Profits and groups that need help. Then the guilt comes as their never seems to be enough time. This week I was cruising the book fair at my daughter’s school with her one evening and saw two moms manning the checkout as volunteers for the Parent Advisory Committee. Two busy moms doing their part. Insert guilt here – and guilty confession: I have not yet volunteered for PAC.   A few days later, I had a canvasser come to the door. A fellow mom friend who was canvassing for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. [...]

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What can I deduct for meals?

By | February 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Throughout the year, I get a lot of questions around what can be deducted when it comes to meals for tax purposes. However, as we enter personal tax season I get these questions almost daily! I have decided to write a blog that answers some common questions. For further explanations, see Canada Revenue Agency website as they have some great resources. I travel for work - can I deduct meals? If you travel for work and are self employed you can deduct meals in the business (whether in a corporation or on your personal tax return for sole proprietors). However, the [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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