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    We want to give you as much value as possible. Our blogs and newsletters cover everything from T slips and tax deadlines, to tips on staying organized, and recommendations on great resources for small business owners.

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    Posts by Matt Peterson

    Should you pay yourself dividends or salary?

    As a small business owner, choosing how and when to pay yourself is one of the most important financial and tax decisions you’ll make. You may have questions about this topic, including:  

    • Should you...
    Oct 15, 2022

    How to use Xero for your small business

    As a small business, we use the same tools we recommend to our clients. Because everyone — including us! — wants to save time on everyday tasks so we can focus on innovating and building our...

    Sep 27, 2022

    Step-by-step guide to setting up Xero for your business

    At True North, we’re all about using the right tools to help your small business work smarter, not harder. That’s why we love using Xero — it’s an accounting software specifically designed for small...

    Sep 16, 2022

    Receipts and record keeping: What to keep and how to organize

    As a small business owner, bookkeeping is an essential part of your business. But recording and categorizing all of your business transactions when you’re focusing on building a successful business...

    Aug 16, 2022

    Sole proprietor vs. incorporation: Learn when to incorporate

    When you start a business, should you become a sole proprietor or incorporate? We get this question a lot, and it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each. In this blog, we explain the tax...

    Jul 08, 2022

    Tax tips for separated parents: who claims child care expenses?

    If you’ve recently separated or divorced, you may be wondering how this affects your tax benefits and credits. For tax purposes, you are considered “separated” after living separately for 90 or more...

    Jun 05, 2022

    Child care expenses: the ins and outs of hiring a nanny

    Working parents juggle a lot. Finding the best child care for your kids means you can rest easy while you focus on building your business. Many families choose to hire a nanny for one-on-one care or...

    Jun 05, 2022

    Alberta government small business grants and programs

    Note: For the latest in Alberta government small business supports, consult the Government of Alberta website. 

    May 23, 2022

    Small business loans and grants in Alberta and Canada

    Capital is vital to starting your small business and helping it thrive. Which route is best to raise money for your small business — loans, grants or something else? In this blog, we share the...

    May 16, 2022

    How to file taxes in Alberta

    Tax season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With True North Accounting as your small business accountant, we provide support with everything from investment income and capital gains to...

    Apr 15, 2022

    How to calculate business-use-of-home expenses in Alberta

    Now that we’ve looked at some of the grey areas in reporting expenses, let’s focus on how to calculate some of those expenses when using the home as your office. 

    Apr 12, 2022

    Can a grandparent claim child care expenses in Alberta?

    We’ve shared information on claiming child care expenses, including what qualifies, how to determine eligibility and which parent should claim come tax season. But what if you have a family member...

    Mar 04, 2022

    Tax tips: Claiming child care expenses in Canada

    As the world continues to change and office life comes back into mainstream culture, enrolling kids in child care is once again a reality for a lot of working Canadian families. This has implications...

    Feb 10, 2022

    Cryptocurrency in Canada: Considerations for a small business owner

    Do you know Changpeng Zhao? He’s the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and has a net worth of US$96.9 billion. This number makes him the wealthiest Canadian, as well as the richest crypto...

    Jan 25, 2022

    6 easy steps to bookkeeping for sole proprietors

    Bookkeeping is the task of recording all the day-to-day transactions of your business, like sales invoices, cash receipts and expenses.

    Jan 10, 2022

    How does capital gains tax affect you?

    It’s natural to speculate about rising tax rates with every government shift. Over the last few years, Canadians may have wondered whether they would see an increase in the capital gains inclusion...

    Dec 08, 2021

    A small business owner’s guide to maternity leave in Canada

    “Competitive advantage” may not be the first words that come to mind when you think about your employees requesting parental leave. But as it turns out, flexible benefits that support new families...

    Nov 14, 2021

    Strengthening your balance sheet

    Whether you’re looking for financing or an investment in your company, one thing is certain – your balance sheet matters. Find out why having a strong one is crucial, and how to strengthen your...

    Nov 02, 2021

    Personal finance 101: Calculating your net worth

    When it comes to money, it can be hard not to compare yourself to others — and this is especially true with the big ticket items, like your car and house. But, before you start beating yourself up...

    Oct 17, 2021

    Preparing for divorce as a business owner

    No one wants to plan for the worst-case scenario, and when you're married you certainly don't want to be worried about anything as terrible as divorce. After all, you're in love and you want your...

    Sep 12, 2021

    4 tips for preventing burnout as a business owner

    Picture this: it’s 6 AM on a weekday, and you’re already on your second cup of coffee. You worked late last night, and you know you’re in for another long haul today. The business you love is...

    Aug 21, 2021

    Planning and saving for retirement as a small business owner

    Thinking about the future and retirement planning can be overwhelming for anyone. This can even be more daunting as a small business owner. Without a pension plan or matching program from an...

    Aug 08, 2021

    Personal finance 101: How to create a budget for your lifestyle

    “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” 

    Jul 19, 2021

    Small business accounting terms you should know

    From brainstorming and research to strategizing and finally getting your idea off the ground, starting a small business is a long (and sometimes intimidating) process. And while accounting is an...

    Jul 03, 2021

    The federal home retrofit program and Alberta small business

    Have you heard about the new federal home retrofit program for Canadians? If you’re a home business owner planning to do some renovations in the foreseeable future, read on. Even if you’re just an...

    Jun 21, 2021

    How to apply for a small business loan in Canada

    If you own a small business, you know that it can be challenging to get everything you’ll need to start, or continue, through an unsteady economy. For that reason, learning the ins and outs of small...

    Jun 06, 2021

    Small business ideas: Q&A with Covet Sips & Sweets

    Meagan Layton and Whitney Smith are the co-owners of Covet Sips & Sweets — a cookie and specialty drink drive-thru (coming soon!) that has evolved from their original Covet Cookies concept. The pair...

    May 25, 2021

    6 common bookkeeping mistakes made by small business owners

    As a small business owner, mistakes happen – that’s life. We’re here to help you understand why they happen and how you can avoid the common ones, at least when it comes to bookkeeping.

    Apr 20, 2021

    Small business bookkeeper vs accountant: what do I need?

    A bookkeeper, an accountant and a CPA walk into a bar — wait, what’s the difference? The terms “CPA,” “accountant” and “bookkeeper” are often used interchangeably and often all three are just...

    Apr 06, 2021

    2020 personal tax changes in Canada

    Wondering what's new with your 2020 personal taxes? From T slips to working from home, we’ll walk you through some changes you should know about this year. We’ll also cover various deductions: how to...

    Mar 24, 2021

    Your home office: how to get organized and claim small business expenses

    If you’re like most of us, you’ve been spending a lot of time in your home office lately. Whether you have a makeshift setup at your dining table or dedicated space with a fancy standing desk, there...

    Jan 17, 2021

    Does your company need an advisory board?

    Here’s what I learned from creating one for my business. 

    Jan 08, 2021

    Real-time bookkeeping made easy: Xero’s new starter plan

    We’ve always been fans of Xero’s accounting software. On November 9, they’re launching a new starter plan that’s tailor-made for consultants, freelancers and small businesses. At just $15 CAD/month,...

    Nov 05, 2020

    COVID-19 info for small business owners

    We have outlined the different programs offered by the government to help you understand what initiatives apply to you. Our goal is to explain everything in plain language, so you can find the...
    Oct 20, 2020

    Getting through a CRA audit

    Nobody likes the idea of an audit — we’re here to demystify the process for you. This post will shed light on why you might get audited, what will happen if you’re audited and, if the CRA decides you...

    Oct 20, 2020

    B-Corps & building a purpose-driven business: On Tap with Jay Baydala

    This is an excerpt of our On Tap interview with Jay Baydala on September 24, 2020. Questions and responses have been edited for length and clarity. Thank you to Village Brewery for being this month’s...

    Oct 04, 2020

    How to register for CRA My Business Account and My Account

    Setting up your business and individual Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) accounts is not only important, it makes your tax life a lot easier. If you run a business, you’ll need both business and personal...

    Sep 13, 2020

    Cybersecurity tips to protect your small business

    Cybersecurity is a big topic, and many small business owners might be surprised to know that your own people are your biggest security threat. Today’s hackers try to lure people into giving secure...

    Jul 27, 2020

    10 questions with Mel McKay: how to build community

    Mel McKay is a freelance ad writer, instructor at AUArts and the founder of Camp Hoo-Ha, a social and skill building club that now spans 12 cities in 3 provinces. The Hoo-Ha journey started in 2017...

    Jul 10, 2020

    Why you need a business plan and how to write one

    Have grand plans for a start-up? Before you quit your job and throw all your energy into starting a business, you should establish a vision of where you want your business to go and how you’re going...

    Jun 08, 2020