QuickBooks Self-Employed for Canada: The New Kid on the Block
If there is one thing that you have to say about Intuit® and the QuickBooks® family, it’s that they think outside of the box. If you sit and look at all the companies out there that are servicing the small business of today, you see a full spectrum of programs aimed at providing bookkeeping. This spectrum ranges from programs aimed directly at the accounting professional, to programs that focus their message, to the small- to medium-sized business. Interestingly enough, no one had thought to focus his or her attention on the "Micro Small Business," or “gig market,” until now.
In Canada, QuickBooks just launched a new application based program called QuickBooks Self-Employed, which makes it easy for the new business owner to quickly track the expenses of their business, right from their phone. To test this new app and the features, I thought it best to download it to my phone to test out why this application is different than all the rest. Here are the five major highlights for anyone looking to automate their expense management today:
1. Mileage Log
The least favourite, and most often neglected, part of business ownership is tracking the mileage of your vehicle for business use. It’s not uncommon to forget to track for sometimes days, or even months, at a time. And, then the panic attack sets in at tax time. QuickBooks Self-Employed has a mileage tracker that reminds you each time you stop driving to track why you drove the car. Did you drive for work or personal? Describe the reason for your trip, and save. Not only do you have a map of start to finish, but you also have a detailed record as to why you took the trip.
2. Expense Organization
Knowing what you can and can’t expense in your business isn’t always easy. QuickBooks realizes that you do not have the time to call your tax professional, or visit the Canada Revenue website, to get the answer. You now have all the tax expense categories available to you when you are processing your receipts. With a few clicks, you are ready to review expense transactions and categorize them to the right business expense category.
3. Connect Your Bank Account and Don’t Miss a Receipt
Keeping track of your expenses is as easy as connecting your bank account to the app. Reviewing the expenses from this point is very smooth. Personal? Swipe the expense to the right. Business? Swipe left, and choose what type of expense it was. Did you buy both business and personal items in the same purchase? No problem – you can easily split out what is personal and what is business. And, here is the pièce de résistance … snap a picture of the receipt and upload it to the app to attach to your purchase transaction. Now, you have a digital copy for your records that you can always refer back to at tax time, or if you were reviewed by Revenue Canada.
4. Create Invoices
To make money, we need to bill our customers. QuickBooks Self-Employed has got you covered. You can create an invoice, within seconds, to send to your customer. With these four easy steps, you have sent your first invoice to your customer:
- Add the information about your customer, or choose a contact that you may have already set up in your phone.
- Add the work, or bill the item that you sold to your customer.
- Do you want to be paid in today? Or in 30 days? You can adjust the due date quickly and easily.
- Review and send the invoice!
QuickBooks Self-Employed notifies you when your invoice has been viewed, and you can show that the invoice has been paid with just a click of a button.
For any business owner, knowing if your venture is making you money is important. Are you spending more than what you are bringing in? You could track this on an excel spreadsheet, but with QuickBooks Self-Employed, you now have a report that shows you, in seconds, if you have earned a profit in your business. And, what about that pesky mileage? Reporting is now simply push the button and send yourself the excel report directly to your email.
Currently, you cannot file your personal taxes directly from this application to TurboTax or any other software, but now the convenience of printing a report, and no longer spending hours digging for receipts, has been eliminated. Your accountant or tax preparer will be able to spend time helping you focus on tax savings, instead of sorting the proverbial “shoebox.”
I had fun learning what QuickBooks Self-Employed was all about, over the course of the last week. QuickBooks Self-Employed really is focused on a unique demographic that currently isn’t serviced by any mainstream platform today. If you are someone that is supplementing your family’s income by direct selling, or if you are casually employed driving for your local Uber or taxi service, this is the app for you. Download today from Google Play for your Android, or iTunes for your iPhone, and start making your taxes easier.