Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together a list of some of the burning questions most small business owners want to know about Summa Financials services.

FAQ

How can Summa Financial help me as my business grows? Typically, what can I expect to encounter that I will need help with?

When you first started your business, you may have had one bank account, no employees and not enough revenue to trigger HST requirements. Fast forward to today and your business has grown! Now you might have multiple bank accounts, credit cards and employees. It’s gotten a whole lot more complicated because now in addition to running your business you need to record and reconcile credit card transactions, set up payroll for employees, submit payroll remittances, calculate HST on invoices, record HST on bills, and prepare HST remittances.

These bookkeeping requirements are time consuming and painstaking, especially for those without training. As an entrepreneur, why not let Summa Financial take care of the bookkeeping and accounting tasks while you focus on the growth of your business?

Pricing – How it works

Simply contact us for your custom estimate! We will provide you with options to include your corporate tax, year-end and even your personal tax so you’ll know exactly how much your bookkeeping and accounting services will cost.

Pricing is based on the services you need, the number of transactions you generate per month and how many different banking and/or credit cards are used in the business. Why? We’re trying to understand the time required to process and reconcile so that we can give every customer a fair and accurate monthly fee.

What’s included in the bookkeeping packages?
Our bookkeeping packages can include:

Bank and /or Credit Card Reconciliations:
For all packages, bank and credit card accounts will be reconciled monthly. This will ensure all transactions have been captured correctly. 

HST Remittances:
Your HST filing frequency is mandated by the Canada Revenue Agency and is based on your annual revenue. With higher revenues, the Canada Revenue Agency requires more frequent filings.

Payroll Filing:
Full and partial payroll services are available and include payroll remittances.

Financial Statements (for personal records)
We generate monthly financial reports in Xero so that you can keep tabs on your business numbers. These statements do not replace the Notice to Reader Reports for year-end purposes. They are for your personal use only.

24 Hour (or Better) Response Time for Support Inquiries:
Typically, we respond within the same business day or the next business day to all inquiries.

Consultation with a CPA for Business Advisory:
It will allow you the time to ask questions and seek advice on business-related items.

Which technologies should business owners look at for bookkeeping, accounting and reporting?
First off, we strongly recommend business owners embrace cloud-based accounting software. In fact, we no longer implement desktop software. There are just too many great benefits with Xero cloud online! Our team uses an industry-leading technology stack that we are fully trained and certified in. Here is our go-to technology stack:
Does Summa Financial offer training for its technology stack?
Absolutely! We provide training for our customers and their internal staff who help with your bookkeeping. Our technicians are certified advisors! That means we can make adoption of cloud technology a very smooth process for your business or organization.
What other financial services does Summa Financial provide?

CFO for Hire

If you need more hands-on control in your business, we can offer a virtual or on-site CFO to guide you through the day to day finances. And we can leave them there as long as you need them.

Payroll Services

No matter the size of your business, we recommend using an automated payroll system. Manual calculation of hourly pay, salaries, bonuses and commissions, not to mention the complicated tax that has to be applied can be extremely time-consuming and often inaccurate. And on top of all this, Canada Revenue Agency is not very forgiving when it comes to errors and remittance delays.

We partner with industry-leading payroll services company Wagepoint, and have all the tools to set you up on a system that handles on-time payroll directly deposited into your employee bank accounts, monthly payments of taxes and annual T4 slips. If you’re ever audited, all the records are there. Now that’s the peace of mind.

Financial Statements

Comprehensive financial statements are both a snapshot and a deep-dive into the fiscal position of a business. At Summa, we provide timely and accurate financial statements for your banker, the Canada Revenue Agency and owners/managers.

Well-prepared statement information is critical in supporting decisions with everyday operations, long-term planning and strategic direction.

Summa has a wealth of experience assembling all the information needed for compiling statements that meet industry standards. We will also stick around to interpret results and provide guidance to help you succeed.

Business & Financial Consulting

Growing? Expanding? In need of a turnaround? We can provide the advice you need for a variety of situations.

Our expert consultants have been CFOs. We can work to analyze your business and create a strategic plan that is realistic and achievable. We’ll identify strengths and weaknesses and get you on the right track for success.

Starting, Buying or Selling a Business

So, you have an idea and you’d like to start a business. Call us to arrange a discussion on how to proceed. We’ll ask all the right questions, help you prepare a business plan, and assist you with setting up everything from business registration to banking, financing and marketing. We’ll explain the pros and cons of incorporation and sole proprietorships. We’ll discuss share structure and provide tax advice aimed at saving you money. And if you need one, we’ll help you find a lawyer. If you’re interested in acquiring or divesting a business, Summa knows all the ins and outs, including access to a network that can find buyers and sellers.

Family Trusts, Succession & Estate Planning

If you’re interested in finding a structure that’s best for your family and your business, Summa can walk you through the maze of options and guide you on a path to best fit your needs. Taxation for the near and longer-term is a complicated matter. Talk to Summa about how you can set things up for the future.

Small businesses no longer need to work with a local bookkeeper. The internet and cloud technology make’s it easy for bookkeepers to securely access their client’s books anytime, anywhere. Business owners can now select a bookkeeper who truly understands their industry and operations, instead of hiring the local, community bookkeeper by default.

Do I need to clean up my books before I hand them over to Summa Financial?
No, we’ll include clean up for you as part of our work estimate. Your Summa team of financial specialists will set up your industry-specific general ledger in the cloud accounting solution that best fits your needs.
I have multiple businesses, how can you help me?
Summa specializes in accounting and bookkeeping services for multi-unit businesses and franchises. We can manage the books for each individual location and give you insight into your business’s overall financial performance.
Is our business too small to need a bookkeeper?

It doesn't matter what size your business is, a bookkeeper can be an asset to your business. The truth is, on average half of all new businesses fail within the first five years, and the number one cause is financial mismanagement. You need to be aware of the critical role a bookkeeper plays in successful businesses.

Here are a few reasons why it matters to have a professional bookkeeper:

Keeping the CRA Happy – As a business, filing your taxes is a must. And as a business owner, you can’t file and meet your tax obligations without accurate bookkeeping. Handwritten notes in a notebook or on coffee-stained receipts aren’t going to cut it. You need reports that clearly break-down your company’s cash flow at tax time, and bookkeeping is the tool that makes it possible. 

So YOU Get Paid – Without bookkeeping, you won’t know who owes what. Bookkeeping means invoices sent and payments received. In the early days of a small business, this can seem unnecessary because you can juggle that information in your head, but as your business grows you’ll need systems to track things like payables and receivables. Ultimately, how your business manages its cash flow directly impacts what you personally take home! 

So You Don’t \Mess Up Your Bank Account -Accurate bookkeeping makes reconciling your bank accounts and prevents banking errors from causing financial problems. 

So You Know If You’re Making A Profit - Aside from passion, profit is probably one of the top reasons you’re an entrepreneur in the first place. But without bookkeeping it’s going to be really tough to gauge whether or not your business is actually profitable. While your bank account might be in the black at the moment, that doesn’t mean your company will show a profit at the end of the year. Keeping accurate books, on the other hand, allows you to see inflow vs. outflow. And that’s how you know whether or not your business is profitable. 

So You Pay Less In Taxes - If you’re not tracking your expenses in your bookkeeping, chances are your tax bill is going to be higher than you want it to be. Why did you ask? Because expenses reduce your net revenue! (That may sound like a bad thing, but keep in mind that the lower your bottom line, the less your tax exposure.) Sure, your credit card and debit card expenses are pretty easy to track, but little expenses here and there covered in cash can (and will) add up. 

So You Can Get Financing - If your business is growing and you are considering financing to help with expansion, that’s great—until you walk into the bank without any evidence whatsoever that you are actually running a successful business. And surprise, surprise, but accurate bookkeeping is the foundation that generates that evidence. When you do proper bookkeeping, you can easily generate reports such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements that are critical to helping you make your case for financing. Bottom line: no bookkeeping means no loan.

Will I lose control of my operations if I outsource my bookkeeping functions?
No, in fact as a business owner you will attain more control, access, reliability, internally audited financial statements and records that will facilitate a better understanding of your financial status. Outsourcing such services assures that all your information is with a trusted advisor like us, unlike your in-house staff whom can leave anytime without notice.

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