Do You Need an Accountant? Organizing Your Creative Business for Tax Season | Michelle Cornish | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Do You Need an Accountant? Organizing Your Creative Business for Tax Season

teacher avatar Michelle Cornish, Author & Illustrator - Former Accountant

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Required Documents for Tax Preparation

    • 3. Strategies for Organizing Your Documents

    • 4. Why Work With an Accountant?

    • 5. Identify What You Need Help With

    • 6. A Warning About "Accountants"

    • 7. Find the Perfect Accountant

    • 8. How Much Will it Cost?

    • 9. Money Saving Tips

    • 10. Summing Up

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

About This Class

Join writer, illustrator, and former CPA, Michelle Cornish, to learn important tips for organizing your tax documents and working with an accountant to grow your creative business!

Michelle left an almost 20-year career in public accounting to pursue her dream of writing and illustrating. In 2017, she published the book Keep More Money: Find an Accountant You Can Trust to Help You Grow Your Small Business, Increase Profit, and Save Tax. In this course, Michelle shares her insider accounting knowledge and top tips for taking the stress out of tax season.  

Get ready to tackle tax season like the boss you are!

Lessons include:

  •         What you need to prepare your taxes,
  •         Tips for organizing your documents,
  •         Understanding how working with an accountant helps you grow your business,
  •         Ways to find the perfect accountant,
  •         How to save money on your accounting bill, and
  •         More!

This class is for any small business owner, but especially anyone who makes a living as a creative solopreneur. As a creative selling products and services on your own, you are often pulled in many directions at the same time. This course will help you get organized, learn why you need an accountant, and how to find the best one.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Michelle Cornish

Author & Illustrator - Former Accountant



I'm Michelle, a former accountant with a passion for writing and teaching business and personal finance. I worked in public accounting for almost 20 years. I self-published the book Keep More Money: Find an Accountant You Trust to Help You Grow Your Small Business, Increase Profit, and Save Tax as a result of meeting many business owners online that didn't know how to hire an accountant. In 2019, I started a new adventure: writing picture books and financial crime thrillers.

I love the opportunities Skillshare provides to learn AND teach!

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my class, Do You Need an Accountant? Organizing Your Creative Business for Tax Season? I'm Michelle Cornish, author, illustrator, and former CPA, with almost 20 years experience in the public accounting industry. In this class, I'm going to cover four main things. I'm going to start by talking about the required documents to repair your tax return. Then I'm going to cover some ways you can organize those documents, not just at tax season, but throughout the year as well to make life easier for yourself. I will cover both paper-based methods and digital-based methods for organizing your documents. Then I'm going to give you some tips as to how an accountant can help you in your business, it's not just for saving tax. Lastly, if you decide to work with accountant, I'm going to give you some tips to find the best one for you and your business. While this course is geared towards creative entrepreneurs, it's really great for any type of business owner. You will benefit from the tips I have to offer regarding working with an accountant and organizing your documents. So I hope you'll join me and get started. 2. Required Documents for Tax Preparation: Let's jump right in and talk about the documents required to prepare your tax return. This is the information that your accountant is going to need to prepare your taxes or if you're preparing your own taxes, the information that you should have nearby when you're doing that. This information falls into four main categories; general information, tax slips, business information, and prior year tax information. Let's talk about the general information first. This information is your standard things like name, date of birth, your tax ID number, number of dependants, name and ages of dependants, birth dates of dependents, and your marital status. If you are using an accountant, you're going to want to make sure that you are comfortable with the person that you are dealing with because you do need to provide a lot of personal information and the reason for this is so they can prepare an accurate tax return for you. Now let's talk about your tax slips. These are things that you're going to receive in the mail before tax season or you might also get them electronically depending on the provider of the slip. These are going to be income slips that you would receive from employment. In Canada, these are called T4s, in the US they are called W-2s. You might also receive statement of contract of payments. You might have slips confirming your deposit into a retirement savings plan. Anything that is related to your tax return that is not from self-employment will come on a slip. It's a good idea to keep track of this during the year, especially for things like tuition. If you are taking a course at a recognized post-secondary institution, or maybe your dependants are, you want to make sure that they have the slip that says how much you spent at the university or other institution and how long you are attending that institution for. The reason for this is a lot of schools are now doing these slips electronically and it's really common for students to forget all about them. In Canada, you can receive tax credits for the tuition amounts paid to whatever institution you will be attending and I believe this is similar in other countries. So make sure that throughout the year, you keep track of any slips that you should be receiving from outside places that are related to your taxes. If you're not sure, you can always check with your accountant and they can tell you what slips you should be expecting. Now, when it comes to your business, you are going to want to provide all the information regarding your business, such as the name of your business where you operate out of and all the contact information, as well as the income and expenses earned during the year. So income earned and expenses paid. It's a nice thing if you can have this summarized and I will talk about this later in the class, how you can organize this information so that it doesn't become such a major task at taxes. If you have investment, you want to make sure that you keep that information handy when preparing your tax returns as well. Often you will receive a tax slip if you've earned any income in your non-registered investments. But if you've done any training throughout the year, you might not always get a slip. So it's a good idea to keep your statements handy and keep them with the rest of your tax information in case you need them. The final category of information that you will need to prepare your tax return is last year's tax return. You might be wondering why last year's tax return. This seems like an odd thing to have handy. Well, here's a little tip when it comes to preparing your tax returns. It's a great idea to look back at last year's to see what income, credit, and deductions that you've had, because you might have them again this year and maybe forgot about them. Taking a look at last year's return will help jog your memory on what you should be claiming on this year's tax return. It's also really, a great idea to take last year's return to your accountant if it's not the accountant that repaired your tax return last year. Maybe you are going to a new accountant or maybe you're using an accountant for the first time. Make sure you take them your prior year's tax return because they are going to look at it and gain some valuable information from that as well, and likely ask you some questions about it too. So it is a very valuable document when it comes to preparing this year's tax return. Later in the class, I'm going to be covering how to organize your tax information to save money. Watch out for money saving tips near the end of the class. Let's move on to the next lesson. 3. Strategies for Organizing Your Documents: Most taxpayers fear the word audit, but it's really not that big of a deal. I know easy for me to say. When your documents are organized, it's easy to find the information that the government is requesting and really that's all an audit is, is your opportunity to provide backup for an expense deduction or credit that you claimed. So of course, if your documents look like this, I could see how you might be scared of the word audit, but I'm going to give you some strategies to be super organized. Whether you file your documents electronically or paper-based, you will be completely organized. So let's start with paper-based organization systems. There are three main ways you can organize your documents when it comes to paper. You can use File Folders, you can use a Synoptic Journal or Ledger, or you can use your Receipts. So let's talk about File Folders first. You can organize this by month. So you would have a separate folder for each month in the year and you would put all of your expenses in that folder and any invoices that you have for income as well. So you would put all your papers for that month in the one folder. Some people like to organize their file folders by expense, especially if you are really busy in your business. So if you have more paper in and out of your house throughout the month, then you might want to consider organizing by expense. So rather than have a final folder for each month, you would have a file folder for each supplier that you use. So you would label it with the suppliers name and all the invoices from that supplier would go in that folder and then as every time a new year starts, you start with a fresh file folder for that year. So whether you are filing your business return based on a calendar year or a fiscal year every time a new year comes around, you start with new file folders. The synoptic journal it's basically a notepad with columns and rows so that you can easily keep track of the income and expenses going in and out of your business. So if you're not familiar with how to do bookkeeping using a ledger, it does take a little bit of getting used to. But you have a column for each expense, a column for your income and then you want to make sure that it's balanced going across the rows. So you could google how to use a synoptic journal and it will show you how to make sure that you're doing it properly and that you are balancing every time because that is really the key with using the synoptic journal is you want to make sure that you're balancing. So if you don't want to go through that much work and having to balance every time or maybe you're just not exactly sure how to use the journal, then you can use your receipts and statements. This is really the simplest form of keeping a paper-based system. So what you do when it comes to receipts and statement is you look at your business bank account and your business credit card statements every month staple the receipts that pertain to each expense to those statements so they're right there when you need it, and then you simply file a statement based on the month of the year. The trick with using statements and receipts is that receipt are super important. So if you have statements but no receipts, the government will disallow that expense because when they look at the statement they can't tell what the receipt was or what they expense was actually for. They need the receipt to get those details and see what you actually spent money on and if it truly was a business expense, so make sure that you are keeping your receipts. Now, most countries require that you keep your documentation for up to seven years. So that is a good rule of thumb. Before you decide to shred anything, make sure that it's okay to do so you can check with your local taxes already or your local professional accounting. So now when it comes to organizing your information digitally, you can setup file folders on your computer and what I like to do is have a folder for the year and then within the year folder, have a folder for income and a folder for expenses. Now, if you want to organize it in more detail, you definitely can and within your expenses folder, you can have sub folders for all your suppliers again, to make it that much easier. You can also organize your email into folders so that anytime you get a digital receipt emailed to you, you can simply add it to your tax folder. Now make sure that you have a folder for each year, so it's easy to retrieve that information when it's time to prepare your documents for your tax return. There are some really great accounting apps that are super easy to use. You can even link them to your business bank account so that they download the transactions into the app and then you just categorize them based on expense and tell the app where to put them. So Wave is a really good one that's free, Xero and QuickBooks online, they're not free, but they're also very good and then a lot of people like to use FreshBooks. The one thing I would caution you on with FreshBooks is they used to have a single entry only version. Which means that you cannot do double-sided entries which is actually the proper way of doing accounting. So if you were to make single-sided entries and you cannot create a proper set of financial statements. So if you're ever going to need that in your business, you want to make sure that the app you're using is a double entry accounting app. Freshbooks did come out with a double entry version in July of 2018. So just make sure if you're going to use FreshBooks, make sure that you are using the double entry version. So those are some simple strategies you can use to keep your documents organized, not just out at tax season but throughout the year and I highly recommend that you try to update your bookkeeping or organize your documents every two weeks or so, at least once a month. If you don't have time to do it every two weeks, at least do it once a month so that when taxes and comes along, you're not trying to do the entire year all at ones that can be super frustrating and just a big headache for you, so make sure you keep things updated at least each month if you can. 4. Why Work With an Accountant?: Why work with an accountant? The number one reason is to save tax. Tax laws change all the time and you want to make sure that you are working with somebody who is up-to-date on the current tax laws for your area. This is an important question to ask before you start working with an accountant. Are they up-to-date on the current tax laws? But there are a number of other things accountants can help with to grow your business. What people don't realize that accounts are required to take training in other areas of business as well such as marketing. An accountant can help you figure out the best ways to market your business. They can help you decide which products or services are the most profitable. For an example, let's say you have a few services and a few products and you would really like to focus your time more on those services or products that are bringing you the most bang for your buck. Your accountant can help you figure that out. They can help you determine which is your most profitable product or service so that you can focus your time on that one rather than focusing on everything and feeling like you're working all the time and spinning your wheels. They can really help you to focus on certain aspects of your business that are going to help you achieve the results you want to get. Accounts can also help you identify expenses that can be reduced in your business. An example of this is bank fees. To have a business banking account, often you are charged higher fees than a regular personal account. But it is still a good idea to have a separate business account because you need to have an account with the same name as your business so that people can pay you. Accountants see many different clients and many different small businesses. They see different banks and they can actually recommend ones that seem to have lower fees than other banks. They can also help you identify expenses that seem out of line compared to the amount of revenue you're earning. Accountants will do analysis where they will take a look at your annual expenses and income and they will look at say, for example, advertising. How much advertising did you spend based on your income? If your advertising budget is say, 50 percent of the revenue that came in, they might say to you that that seems high and then they'll investigate and help you to look at why that expense is so high and then you'll be able to make some changes to reduce it. A common area where businesses spend a lot of money is recurring fees. These would be like monthly fees for software or apps that you use. You want to check and make sure that you actually need all those apps and that there's not an area that you can save money on that every month. If your business has employees, accounts can help you prepare the payroll. They can also help you with other outsource services like your monthly bookkeeping. If you would rather focus on actually doing the work in your business, doing the stuff that you love, creating your art, writing your novels and those things and you'd like the accountant to take over the administrative side of your business, they can definitely do that. Some accountants will also help you find the best employees to hire. It's not uncommon for businesses to outsource their HR department to accountants. This is something that people don't generally think about, but really accounts can do so much more than help you file your tax returns. 5. Identify What You Need Help With: Now you know what accountants can help you with. It's time to identify where you need help. There's a workbook in the project section that will help you work through this. It covers the main areas where accounts can help you. It's segregated based on the stage of business that you're in. For example, accountants can help you start a business from scratch. They can guide you through the process as far as, what you need to register for? What you need to have in place before you start your business and those kinds of things. They can help you with purchasing a business. They can look at the financial statements and give you an impression if they think that this a worthwhile investment for you or a business that's going to be profitable in the future. They can help you with the day-to-day operations like bookkeeping, preparing payroll and of course, the obvious one they can help you save tax, but they can also help you increase your cash flow. Often if you've borrowed money to start your business, sometimes things can be tight because you may be making money, but you have loan payments to make as well. This can often put a little bit of strain on a business. Accountants can help you figure out your cash flow and come up with a solution so that you have more cash coming in and find it easier to make your payments. Accounts can also help you when you're ready to sell your business. If you've been at it for awhile and it's time to cut back or maybe you just want to bring in a partner accounts can help you set that up as well. Go through the workbook, have a look at all the various ways that accountants can help you and identify your top three goals when it comes to working with an accountant. Goals are important because they will tell you what you're striving for and then that will give you an idea of what you need help with from an accountant. Take a look at the workbook. This is the first step in your project. Identify your goals, and post in the project section and let me know what you've come up with. 6. A Warning About "Accountants" : I wanted to share a word of warning with you about the word accountant. In many countries, the word accountant is not regulated, which means that anyone can call themselves an accountant even if they don't have the same training as a professional accountant. What you want to look for to make sure that you are hiring a professional, and not a fly by the night operation that calls themselves an accountant, is you want to look for a professional designation. Many countries use the letters CPA to designate a professional accountant. You will also see different initials, like EA for Enrolled Agent, or ACCA is common overseas in the UK. You want to check and find out what the certifications are for your area, and make sure that you are hiring somebody that knows what they're doing. Another thing you can do if you want to check up on somebody that you're thinking of hiring, if you want to make sure that they're legitimate professional accountant, you can ask the associations. If somebody is a CPA, or an ACCA, or an EA, they will have a related association that you can contact, and make sure that there have been no complaints filed against that person, and that they are definitely registered with that association. The best way to find this out is to Google your local professional accounting associations. It's different for different countries. For example, in Canada, we are called Chartered Professional Accountants. In the United States, they are called Certified Public Accountants, and it's different for other countries as well. If you Google the professional accounting association for your country or your area, that will tell you where you can go and check up on somebody. 7. Find the Perfect Accountant: Now that you know what accountants can help you with as well as some of your goals for wanting to work with an accountant, Let's talk about finding the perfect accounting for you and your business. There are a few questions that I recommend everybody ask when they're interviewing accountants. These are things like whether or not they are up to date on the current tax law, what their certifications are, so you want to make sure that they do have a professional accounting certification of some sort. You also want to ask them what types of software and applications they use in their business especially if you think that you might need help using the one that you've decided to use for your business. For example, if you've decided you're going to use the Wave accounting app, it's handy if your accountant also knows how to use that app because they can help you get around in it, help you figure out where to print off reports and you can also give them access to your wave account so they can just grab the reports for themselves, which is really handy. Wave has a feature where you can give access to a book keeper or your accountant and you don't have to give them your password to the program. They actually set up their own which is really nice. A lot of accounting apps also have this same feature. Another common thing to ask accountants is if they're paperless or not. If this is something that's important to you and you're trying to use less paper in your business, you might want to choose an accountant that is also doing the same thing. It also is going to affect things when you're giving documents to the accounted or receiving final prepared documents back from them. If they are paperless, you're going to be getting electronic copies, you're going to have to login to a secure portal and maybe if you don't like those things, maybe you want to go with an accountant who is paper-based. Given that more and more businesses are going paperless, that could be hard to find these days, but it's a good question to ask. As a part of your project, so the second part of the project is going to be going through a workbook that I have prepared. I actually prepared it as part of the book that I wrote to keep more money. It's fairly comprehensive, it's 26 pages long, but it goes through and asks you a number of questions and so you can answer yes or no to these questions to decide if you are going to need to ask an accountant about these things a or not. As you work through this, you'll get a better sense of other questions that you can ask when you're interviewing potential accountants that you might want to work with. How do you know if an accountant is going to have your best interests in mind? Some things that I recommend you look for are things that are actually quite obvious, and you'll probably know by going with your gut whether or not this accountant is going to have your best interests in mind. There are things like eye contact, do they make eye contact with you when they're talking with you? Do they shake your hand when they meet you? Are they taking notes when you're talking? Do they ask questions set, show they're genuinely interested in your business? These are all important things to watch for. Some of red flags to keep in mind when you're looking for an accountant. If you fall in the office and they never have time to meet with you, even though they say they're accepting new clients, that's a big red flag. You want somebody who's going to have time for you, time to talk with you on the phone, time to meet with you in person. That is a big thing. If they don't understand your industry, this is also another red flag. For example, when I had my own accounting practice, I focused on service based businesses. For me it wouldn't make sense to take on a client in the manufacturing industry because I just didn't understand how things worked in that industry, was much more comfortable with service-based businesses. You might want to ask this question when interviewing accountants is if they have experience in your industry. This is becoming more and more important as people are running their businesses online. You're going to want to look for an accountant too. Maybe they also run their business online, but who is definitely familiar with how online businesses work? That is super important. Another red flag when it comes to interviewing accountants is if they don't know the accounting app or software that you're using or if they've never heard of it before. It's not a big deal. If they're willing to learn it, that's fine. But if they're not willing to learn it and they try to force you into a program or app that they're using, that's not always a good thing. If you're open to considering another app or program that is completely different. But if you like the program that you're using and they try to force you into something else that can often cause problems down the road. That is a red flag that I would watch out for. As I mentioned in a previous video, you can always check up on an accountant based on their association. Once you know what their designation and certifications are, you can follow up with that association and makes sure there have been no complaints against them and that they are definitely registered with that association because that is super important, especially when it comes to filing your tax returns, most accountants actually need to be registered to file those returns on your behalf so you want to make sure that they definitely are. Now it's your turn to go through the workbook. Part 2 of your project, you're going to go through this workbook and come up with a number of questions that you want to ask when you're interviewing accountants. I'll see you in the next lesson where I'm going to talk about how much this is all going to cost you. 8. How Much Will it Cost?: How much is this all going to cost to work with an accountant? It's a commonness that accountants are expensive. If you feel like your accountant is expensive or after you start working with them, you feel like they are really expensive, they are not the right accountant for you. If you are receiving benefits from them and they are saving you money and saving you tax, you should feel like they are well worth the price that they are charging you. There are three main ways that accountants charge. The first one and most common is by the hour. This is pretty straightforward. They have a standard rate per hour which can range very widely depending on where you live, and depending on who's working on your file. Sometimes accounting offices will have more junior staff that do organizing of documents, preparing the tax return and doing bookkeeping, and things like that, and then the senior accountant will review the file and make sure that everything is the way it is supposed to be. A junior staff member, their hourly rate may be somewhere in the 50-$65 and hour range, whereas a senior partner can be up to hundreds of $ per hour. The problem with hourly billing is you really never know how much it's going to cost you upfront. For starters, you don't know how long the work is going to take, so you don't know how long it will take them to actually prepare your file. Whether they are preparing financial statements or a tax return, this can vary greatly and it's going to vary depending on who is actually doing the work because the rates are different as well. I always recommend if you are going with a firm that bills by the hour, makes sure that you get a quote upfront. Because this will give you a much better idea of how much it's going to cost you. A second method of building that is becoming more popular in the accounting industry now is flat rate billing. This is basically a rate per project. If you are going to have, say, bookkeeping and a tax return prepared, they're going to charge you one flat fee for that whole thing, and this is nice because you do know up front the cost to have that work done. Sometimes a flat fee can also be on a monthly basis. Even if you are having, say, your annual tax return prepared, some accounting office will actually bill you monthly for that. For example, a tax return that was going to cost you $600 for the full return, they might break that down into a fee of $50 per month rather than the full $600 at the time they prepared their return. It really varies depending on the firm, so it's a good reason to ask this upfront. Don't feel bad asking how much it's going to cause accountants are used to that. They don't get offended. They know that you are just trying to budget and plan for the cost. If you do find that someone's seems to get upset when you ask how much it's going to cost, that might be another red flag for you to consider and think about hiring someone else instead. The third method that accountants use to chart is called value-based pricing. This one is, again, you would know the amount upfront, but it's a little less straightforward how they actually calculate the fees. It's depending on what they perceive the value will be to you in hiring them for their services. This can vary depending on the type of business. For example, let's say that your business and another business that is not a creative business, maybe they run a grocery store or something like that, so what you pay and was a grocery store pays are going to be different based on the value that the accountant perceives to you, even though you might be having the same work done. Generally, how it works is if an accountant feels like you're going to get more value out of their service and they are going to charge them more. For example, let's say that you were doing your own bookkeeping and you're doing just fine with that and you don't need any help with it, but you could use a little advice on where you could save some money and maybe you want your tax return prepared. You might value their services a little bit less than somebody who also needs a bookkeeping portion of that. Of course, the client that's going to need bookkeeping as well, they're going to be charged more based on a value-based pricing model because the accountant sees them as getting more value out of their services, so they're going to charge them more. Once you have decided on an accountant that you would like to hire, when they start working for you, they are going to have you sign what's called an engagement letter. An engagement letters sets out the terms of service and I talk about this a little bit more in my class, Accounting for Creatives, if you want a little more detailed explanation of it because as a creative, you should also have engagement letters for your clients when you are agreeing on what work you're going to do for them. But what the engagement letter has in it is essentially what they're going to be doing, what they're not going to be doing, how much they're going to charge you and it's a legally binding agreement. Don't be worried when they say that they need you to sign an engagement letter, it's a standard procedure. In the next video, I'm going to be talking about some money saving tips. If you are worried about how much it's going to cost you to hire an accountant you can take advantage of some of these and save a bit of money. 9. Money Saving Tips: Money saving tips, I cannot stress this enough. I know I mentioned earlier about how it's good to stay organized throughout the year and try to keep up on your bookkeeping and sorting your receipts and everything at least once a month, and not just at tax season. The reason for this is it can actually save you a ton of money. Let's think about this. A good example is the accountant that charges by the hour. If your information is not organized or if it's organized in a way that is not helpful to the accountant and they have to reorganize it. That is going to take time, which means that's going to increase your bill and they are charging by the hour. Try to stay as organized as possible. Look at your receipts and your statements every month and go from there. There are also two other things you can do that make a big difference when it comes to your accounting fees. The first one is to ask your accountant how they like the information organized. Let's say that you have all your slips and receipts and you decide you're going to staple them all together, but they're not organized in the way that the accountant likes them. They are going to have to take some time to unstable those, reorganized them in the way they want them, and again you're back to increasing your bill because it's taking the accountant time to do this. Ask them upfront, how do they want you to bring them your documents? This works both for digital documents as well as paper-based documents. Just ask them how they like the information organized. Another thing you can do is just tell them up front that right now you really budget conscious in your business and you want to save some money and you would like to know what tips they have for sieving on their accounting fees. Don't worry that this is going to offend them. You are asking them essentially how you can help them, because you're going to make their job easier by organizing the documents in the way they want it done. A tip that I like to tell people is you can actually use the business expense form from the tax return to organize your documents. I would check with your accountant though before you do this in case they don't want you organizing it in this way because again, you're going to cause them more work if you organize it this way and they're going to take your documents and split them apart and organize it in a different way. On the tax form, I know for sure in Canada and the US, the business tax form has a breakdown of your business expenses. It's a line by line item of all the different expenses you can claim in your business. If you use this form as a way of organizing your documents, you can actually sort your receipts based on the type of expense, even total them up for your accountant, if you want to do that. Again, ask them first because if you charge tax, they might want it before tax or after-tax. You want to make sure you find that out before you go to all the work because you're going to waste your time as well as theirs. But using the business expense form is a good starting point for organizing your business expenses. If you'd like to learn more about what business expenses are eligible to deduct in your business, you can check out my bookkeeping boot camp course, eligible business expenses where I talk about exactly that. 10. Summing Up: I want to thank you so much for joining me in this course. So what do you think? Do you need an accountant? I hope I have convinced you that you do. Unless, of course, you are an accountant yourself, or you know tax law or, you maybe have a business degree or a business background or something like that. But I hope you will consider hiring an accountant to help you out in your business. If the only thing you take away from this course is that accountants should not be expensive, I hope you will remember that. So the key is if you feel like your accountant is expensive, they're doing something wrong. You should feel like they are saving you tons of money and they are well worth the price they're charging you. When I worked in public practice, I often saved my clients on average about $3,000 in taxes, and I never charged there near that much for a personal tax return. So you will probably find this as well. If you don't know the tax law and you're not claiming all your deductions and all your credits, you will find that the amount you paid your accountant in fees is far less what they're saving you in tax. So I've covered a lot of things in this class, organizing your documents, whether they are paper based or digital, different ways that accountants can help you, and as you know, that is not just saving tax, but that's often the one that we focus on, as well as why hiring an accountant is an important consideration. I hope that if I haven't convinced you that working with an accountant is the right thing for you and your business, that you still learn some tips regarding how to breeze through this tax season. It doesn't have to be so stressful. The biggest thing I can say is stay organized and it'll be so much easier for you. I hope you enjoyed the class. Thanks for watching, and I hope you'll check out my other classes here on Skillshare.