Author Topic: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.  (Read 2503 times)

ElleFiji

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Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« on: August 22, 2017, 07:56:38 PM »
Hey!

So my main job is being self-employed, and today I am frustrated beyond belief with the paperwork side.

In Canada, you have to charge HST and pass it on to the government once you make $30 000 over 4 quarters. Last year I was just over, I got an HST number, filed HST for the first quarter, and then got a letter that I owed money. According to their phone rep, they had misapplied my payment to 2018, it's a common mistake, and I shouldn't be upset. (I paid using an online payment system linked to my online return). I asked for reassurance that it would be fine.

I decided to upgrade to real, grown up, business lady software. Freshbooks is in my next-door neighbour city, had great reviews, and is $15/month. Gnu cash made me cry when I used it. Bookkeepers have to charge enough that they can eat. I got Freshbooks. On the payment screen, surprise! it's USD.  I contact Freshbooks and they say

"Thanks for reaching out. You are right our payment plans are billed in USD while we operate from Toronto. This is because a majority of our users are from the United States. "

In further email discussion, they offer a discount, but not enough to bring it down to CAD pricing, even if we ignore my 10% pre-payment discount. I'm not a fan of subscription based software, and this is out of my budget, and offensively billed in another currency. So I'm cancelling.

If I am willing to spend $180/year or $400 all at once, what are some amazing options for software? I am really hoping for a software that can act as my PA. even a personal finance software might handle it.

AND, to make me further want to cry, I got my second HST NOA. I paid the same way...they misapplied the payment again. They charged me interest again. I am a medical professional. I'm good at assessment, treating, charting, compassion. And I feel like the government wants me to give up and either go into debt hiring out these pieces of 'work' or to make under 30 000/year.

If anyone has suggestions to help with the bookkeeping or the government relations I'd really appreciate it. If not, pictures of cats would be great too.

okits

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 09:17:29 PM »
It's a greater outlay of cash, but could you pay more than one quarter's HST (so, prepay an extra quarter, or more than one), so when you have to wait on hold and navigate the phone maze to get CRA to apply it properly, you'll be taking care of more than one quarter's HST per call?

When you call CRA this time I'd explain that this is the second misapplication in a row and nicely ask if there's an employee's extension you can call or who you can e-mail so you can get this cleared up quickly when it happens again in the future.  They might say no, but if you can cajole out some contact details it would save you so much future hassle.

Sorry for the frustrations, EF.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 09:52:49 PM »
I'm sorry I have no solutions. So much of the small business admin stuff is just really crappy. Big work to honour fiddly, convoluted demands by govt.

A lot of little businesses like Quickbooks. I could never get the hang of it (or anything else) so record transactions in YNAB and do most of the weird stuff manually and via an accountant. It's quite the slog every year, though.

People skilled in one thing (e.g., massage or writing or housepainting) can't just be expected to excel at all this fussy financial crap too. Bah.

Freedomin5

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 12:59:55 AM »
Another plug for QuickBooks. It takes a while to learn, but my parents, who have been running their own small business in Toronto for over 20 years, swear by it.

ElleFiji

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 05:12:56 AM »
Freedomin5, do your parents do a lot of the stuff themselves? Do you think that they would be open to meeting with me and talking things over?

Thanks guys! Things seem better after a night of sleep. I was scared of QuickBooks because of my gnu cash experience.... But in general open source software has a steep learning curve.  I know a business that uses it, I'll ask if I can get a little demo and research prices.

Okits, one of the parts that frustrated me most yesterday is that revenue Canada removed their phone numbers and put in 2 URLs on my paper notice. So I'm going to:
Call or go to those websites
And
Follow up on paper
And
Put in writing that I want my previous phone call reviewed by a supervisor, especially the parts where I request to escalate the call and request to have the matter investigated to prevent it happening to others.
And request an ongoing review of my file
And copy whoever the face of revenue Canada and small business enterprise Canada are.

I think I have an option to file paper returns and paper cheques, so that could be an option.

None of it should happen. I should click 3 buttons, choose my payment method and be done. But I'm going to keep fighting

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 08:34:08 AM »
Quote
But in general open source software has a steep learning curve.

Yeah. I have friends that love it and urge me to use it. They (programmers, by the way!) don't know how much they know going in, and how good their brains are at that stuff. I know nothing and my brain isn't. (Exception: Open Office. That's just fine for me.)

CareCPA

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 06:49:16 PM »
If you're considering Quickbooks (online, I assume), Xero is another good option. Similar, but more user-friendly in my opinion.
The benefit to QBO is that you can send invoices, and accept payments directly through Quickbooks. With Xero, you would need another processor such as Stripe or Paypal. I'm guessing you already have a payment processor, since you're already in business.

If you choose either of these and want some help setting it up, just let me know. I'd be happy to jump on a Hangout to help you through it.
Always happy to help with tax or accounting questions - feel free to private message me.

I am a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania. However, any tax advice I give should be considered general information and not used in the avoidance of tax. There is most likely information about your situation that I do not know, and thus you should do your own additional research.

Yes, in case it confuses you, I did change my forum name.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 07:42:50 PM »
I think the first thing I would do when weighing small business accounting software is ask:

Will it sort out GST?
...HST?
...send invoices?
...send reminder invoices when unpaid?
...export to my accountant (or tax prep software)?
[and whatever else you're having to do]

ElleFiji

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 08:29:31 PM »
If you're considering Quickbooks (online, I assume), Xero is another good option. Similar, but more user-friendly in my opinion.
The benefit to QBO is that you can send invoices, and accept payments directly through Quickbooks. With Xero, you would need another processor such as Stripe or Paypal. I'm guessing you already have a payment processor, since you're already in business.

If you choose either of these and want some help setting it up, just let me know. I'd be happy to jump on a Hangout to help you through it.
Wow and thank you! I checked out Xero - it costs even MORE than freshbooks but more honest and upfront about everything. A software review company tweeted to help me, and suggested a few companies (including quickbooks) to check.

I don't need any payment accepty magic. I'm basically a subcontractor in healthcare, people pay the clinics, I invoice the clinics, the clinics give me paper cheques or a direct deposit. When I very occasionally bill a client directly, I get cash, cheque or e-transfer.

- I think right now I'm between quickbooks desktop (via costco) or quickbooks online self-employed. It's cheaper in REAL (CAD) money than freshbooks was in their pretend money. I think the desktop one will be a little trickier, but one of my office managers will help in exchange for wine and cookies.

I think the first thing I would do when weighing small business accounting software is ask:

Will it sort out GST?
...HST?
...send invoices?
...send reminder invoices when unpaid?
...export to my accountant (or tax prep software)?
[and whatever else you're having to do]
Yep! My big thing was HST and tracking income and expenses. Not even the real invoices, because I only send 5-10/month and I can make them in word. and apparently, quickbooks lives walking distance from me, while freshbooks is a whole other area code. So clearly this is why quickbooks is willing to bill properly and seems to sort out stuff.

This export to my tax prep software - that's a feature? I didn't even know I COULD look for that. I'm buying quickbooks to be my bookkeeper, we need to grow a little before I get an accountant. And my retired mother declined being my bookkeeper, even for miniscule bits of money.

Freedomin5

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Re: Discouraging Day - Solutions Needed to my whiny self pity.
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 11:29:46 PM »
Freedomin5, do your parents do a lot of the stuff themselves? Do you think that they would be open to meeting with me and talking things over?

Thanks guys! Things seem better after a night of sleep. I was scared of QuickBooks because of my gnu cash experience.... But in general open source software has a steep learning curve.  I know a business that uses it, I'll ask if I can get a little demo and research prices.

Okits, one of the parts that frustrated me most yesterday is that revenue Canada removed their phone numbers and put in 2 URLs on my paper notice. So I'm going to:
Call or go to those websites
And
Follow up on paper
And
Put in writing that I want my previous phone call reviewed by a supervisor, especially the parts where I request to escalate the call and request to have the matter investigated to prevent it happening to others.
And request an ongoing review of my file
And copy whoever the face of revenue Canada and small business enterprise Canada are.

I think I have an option to file paper returns and paper cheques, so that could be an option.

None of it should happen. I should click 3 buttons, choose my payment method and be done. But I'm going to keep fighting

I'll PM you.