QuickBooks Online (QBO) Shortcuts and Learning

QBO Learning BadgeQuickBooks Online (QBO) is accounting software accessible by being completely online!  It eliminates the need to have a centralized “accounting computer” and enables users to access it from anywhere they have internet access, at any time.

Shortcuts to Streamline QBO

Part of the enjoyment of learning QBO is also learning about the shortcuts to increase efficiency.  I’ve spoken to a number of QBO users and they weren’t aware there were these shortcuts.  So I thought it would be a great idea to share them with you.

To use any of the following shortcuts simply press CTRL + ALT +  “ “ the key below:

QBO Shortcuts

I seldom use the following shortcuts but they can be very handy for some users. These are date shortcuts that you can use by placing your cursor in a date field in QBO:

  • T – enters today’s date
  • W – enters the first day in the week
  • K – enters the last day in the week
  • Y – enters the first day in the year
  • R – enters the last day in the year
  • M – enters the first day in the month
  • H – enters the last day in the month

QBO Learning Options

You might be wondering what your QBO learning options are? QuickBooks offers some great videos that can help you at various stages. And of course there is YouTube, along with generic type classroom environments.

QBO One-on-One Learning

What we offer at The Montana Group is one-on- one personalized training.

Usually the customer comes in with their documentation, or access to documentation through such ports as Google Drive or DropBox.

Together we develop an agenda of what we want to accomplish in the two hour session, then get started.  This alone creates the benefits of learning, getting work done and having a reference of what was learned.

Here are a few aspects that make learning with The Montana Group unique:

1. We work together in a clean, comfortable and private boardroom, centrally located in Newmarket.

2. We use a large internet connected monitor so visuals are bright and clear. No leaning in to try and share a laptop monitor, or sitting side by side at a desk.

3. Everything we say and do is being recorded. The end result is a 2 hour video that will be emailed to you within 2 hours of the completed session.

No more writing numerous notes, while trying to learn! Then hoping you can read and understand those notes once you get back to work. And the video helps you share the experience with staff and partners, creating a greater learning reach.

4. If learning is required from a distance, or ongoing learning is required in shorter time frames, we can work together virtually. No need to leave the comfort of your office or home.  With a shared screen and everything being recorded you have the benefits of learning, accomplishing work and having a video reference of HOW TOs and WHYS.

Montana Group Boardroom QBO LearningEmbrace technology and the possibilities are endless!

So if you’re new to QBO and need to start from the beginning, or need help with what you’ve done or need to do – contact me.  I would be happy to meet with you in person or have a telephone call or virtual meeting to determine if we can help you with your needs and create your successes.

You can connect with me by clicking the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Or you can leave your information in the form of a comment right here on the site.

Until next time,

Maureen

5 Tax Changes for 2016 That May Affect Your Tax Return

27504965 - tax word on money background

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has many new services and changes in-store for us this coming tax season.

Here are 5 of the changes that might affect your 2016 personal tax return:

1. Income Splitting Tax Credit

In prior years the Family Tax Cut was a considerable benefit to spouses when one spouse had earned significantly more money than the other.  For 2016 and future years it has been eliminated.  Thankfully the ability to split pension income with your spouse or common-law partner is still available.

2. Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

The maximum amount of eligible fees in the year has been reduced from $1,000 per child to $500.  The amount for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed

3. Children’s Arts Tax Credit

This has also been reduced, this time from $500 to $250 per child.  The amount for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed

4. Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)

Starting in 2016 you can claim a non-refundable tax credit for eligible expenses incurred for work performed or goods acquired for a qualifying renovation.  For an explanation and examples of what is eligible see CRA link here.

5. Principal Residence Rules

Effective January 1, 2016 you are required to report the basic information on your tax return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.  Basic information is; the date purchased, proceeds of the sale and the address. I wrote about this in a previous blog posted October 13th if you would like more details and the reasoning behind this new rule.

The CRA is also expanding its Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).  This service helps Canadians with modest income and a simple tax situation complete their tax returns, while ensuring all eligible credits and benefits are received.  CRA is currently still recruiting more organizations and volunteers for participation.  Here is a link to determine if you might be eligible for this free service, and current locations near you.

And if your tax return is complicated, your circumstances have changed from prior years or you started a business, talk to a tax professional.  Contact us for a consultation to help determine eligible expenses to offset your income. You don’t want to give more money than necessary to the CRA!

You can connect with me on Facebook, or by clicking the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Or you can leave your information in the form of a comment right here on the site.

Until next time,

Maureen

Principle Residence Exemption – Reporting of Sale to CRA

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House

Last week Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a number of changes in an effort to limit foreign money into Canadian real estate and ensure borrowers can afford the mortgages they want to take on.  One of these includes reporting the sale of residences to the CRA and including any capital gains.

The 3 most discussed changes are:

  • Effective October 17, 2016 there is a stress test used for approving high-ratio mortgages, that will be applied to all new insured mortgages
  • Effective November 30, 2016 new restrictions will be imposed in providing insurance for low-ratio mortgages
  • The launch of consultations regarding lender risk sharing

But I think the 4th item, also effective in 2016, is what everyone selling a home in Canada should be aware of:

  • Previously when selling your principal residence any financial gain was tax-free and it was not necessary to report the income on the sale. Now, the capital gains tax is still waived, but the sale of the primary residence must be reported to the CRA when filing your personal tax return.

You will need to supply to CRA:

  • Date of purchase
  • Proceeds of disposition
  • Description of the property

Why the changes?

  • Ottawa is responding to extensive media reports indicating foreign investors are flipping homes in Canada and falsely claiming the primary residence exemption
  • Ensures families only claim an exemption on one home a year, and the home owners must live in the property
  • Certifies that if an individual was not a resident of Canada in the year they purchased the residence, and they disposed of that property after October 2, 2016, they are not eligible to claim the exemption for that year

This is also a fact and history-gathering move for Ottawa.  Did you sell a cottage during one of the years, and not pay tax on the capital gains, while you were claiming another address as your principle residence? It could be also be a way flagging a possible “lifestyle audit”.

Do you think this change will curtail foreign investment, or homeowners trying to claim more than one property as a personal residence? Or do you have other concerns regarding this change? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

You can  connect with me by clicking the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website or you can leave your information in the form of a comment right here on the site.

Until next time,

Maureen

Goal Setting – 3 Intention Words for 2016

Maureen Burleson

I was recently consulting with an associate and asked her if she made New Year’s resolutions. Her response was no that she didn’t actually make resolutions but usually came up with 2 or 3 keys words that spoke to her about how she wanted the next year to unfold. During that conversation I thought about my own challenges of keeping New Year’s resolutions and wondered if it was time for a different approach. Once I let go of my pre-conceived thoughts on “resolutions” I easily came up with 3 key intention words which I hope will guide me towards achieving my goals in 2016. Here they are: Read more

QuickBooks® – Education not Training

QuickBooks education York region

I receive numerous calls monthly from prospective customers that want QuickBooks® training. They want to know how to “do a set of books” so they can put it on their resume, or they’ve just started a new job and need to know how to use QuickBooks® , FAST. I don’t do QuickBooks® training, I do QuickBooks® education, for both QuickBooks® Desktop and QuickBooks® Online.

You can train a puppy, muscles in your body and sometimes a spouse but I look at learning and teaching QuickBooks® as educating. That is why I only work with customers that have their own businesses, or their representatives responsible for the bookkeeping. By working with the actual documentation that is managed on a day to day basis, the customer is getting work completed, and leaves knowing they have a reference they can look back on if the process comes up again. I don’t believe in working with sample companies; it’s not the customer’s real world. Read more

3 Bookkeeping Apps to Make Life Easier

bookkeeping services Newmarket

Last week I attended the 4th Annual IPBC conference. IPBC is the acronym for the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada. As a Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) it’s imperative that I stay up to date on the ever changing information, rules and guidelines as they impact accounting, software and the law. From this conference there are 3 bookkeeping apps to make life easier that I want to share with you. Read more

Buying a Franchise? – 4 Key Financial Considerations

bookkeeper newmarket

I currently have two customers that are at different stages in buying a Franchise. They have asked me for my opinion on the purchasing and financing of the businesses. One customer is buying a Franchise that has been in operation for almost two years, so they’re purchasing from the Franchisee. The second customer is buying the Franchise from the Franchisor. This involves determining the location, rental agreement, leasehold improvements, purchasing equipment, computers, software, hiring etc., before the doors are even opened. Despite the differences there are numerous issues in common that they need to consider. Buying a Franchise? Then read on to see these 4 key financial considerations. Read more

Career Focus – Contacting Service Canada, One Way or Another

bookkeeping services Newmarket

I recently had to contact Service Canada about a Career Focus grant one of my customers wanted to apply for. Since there was no telephone number on the online application to call regarding questions and clarification on some questions I had, I searched online for a number for Career Focus. No number was listed, but the website said I could get assistance at my local Service Canada storefront location. Now considering the government wants to eliminate cheques to us by only using direct deposit, email us for tax follow-up and allow us to search for our personal and business history with them online, the concept of traveling for information seems pretty old school to me. But I packed up my documentation and questions and drove to my closest Service Canada location. Read more

CRA Taxes – Know Your Rights

bookkeeping services Newmarket

We’ve filed a large number of personal tax returns in the last few months, and customers for the most part have received their Notices of Assessments. But something else could be coming in one of those brown envelopes in the next few weeks – a request from the CRA for documentation or additional information. So whether the demand relates to personal or business taxes – know your rights.

Usually at this time of year Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is looking for receipts to substantiate deductions and credits. The most common are: Read more

Tenant & Landlord Rent Receipts – What you Need to Know

bookkeeping services Newmarket

I covered this topic briefly a few years ago but all through this past tax season numerous questions and situations continued to arise as to what is acceptable and what to do if audited by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) when it comes to tenant and landlord rent receipts. Here is some information on what you need to know and what you will need to supply if requested.

Since the credit varies by province I will address what the CRA across Canada requires and then for the province of Ontario only. Read more