What to do with Your Ideas

If you’re like me, then you have ideas coming into your head all day long.  And frankly, it can be quite distracting, contributing to the “squirrel syndrome” of chasing ideas and not getting things done on your daily list.  The question becomes, what do you do with all those ideas?

The answer is Vision and Focus.

When you are clear in your vision, in what you’re here to do, what your priorities are, it’s a lot easier to discern whether an idea has a place in contributing to that vision, or whether it should be released into the wind for someone else to pick up.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner, employee, stay-at-home mom (or dad), we all have a greater vision for what we’d like our life to BE like, for what we were born to do here in this lifetime.  For me, that vision is a world that lives in greater joy and harmony that exists today.  Then you choose the vehicle for which you will contribute to that vision.

Until few years ago, my vehicle was a full-time job where I helped my team and clients reduce stress and anxiety over tax laws, allowing them to have more joy and harmony in doing their own job/business.  Currently, my vehicle is my business through which I inspire and empower people to have more harmony and joy with money and finances…which has a positive ripple effect into other areas of their life (health, relationships, family, community, contributing to their vision).  I do have another vehicle – one that involves meditation and writing.  With this vehicle, I inspire others to see greater possibilities beyond their current reality – one with more joy and harmony than they have today.

Just like the car you drive, that vehicle can change over time, but the vision doesn’t. 

So, what is your VISION?  What IDEAS are you generating that are in support of that vision?  And what ACTIONS are you taking to transform those ideas into meaningful contribution to your vision?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money Mindfulness Coach. Her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety people experience around money and taxes, by empowering them with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets that will put them in the driver seat of their business success and financial wellness, so they can have more harmony, joy and abundance in their life.[/author_info] [/author]

For more information on Linda’s upcoming programs and workshops, visit the Events page.

Are You Ready For a Tax Audit?

Are you at risk? The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) continues to audit the following key areas, as these areas seem to be the ones of greatest error or non-compliance by small and medium sized businesses:

Denied expenses – CRA denies unsupported and non-deductible expenses. It is important to have proper and adequate documentation to support the expenditures.
Taxable benefits – CRA scrutinizes automobile benefits and other expenses such as travel expenses and phone and internet usage to ensure taxable benefits are attributed properly to employees.
Shareholder benefits – CRA continues to seek out personal expenses paid for and deducted by the business that should be denied or taxed to the shareholder. Taxpayers should carefully document the business purpose of all expenses and have practices in place to closely monitor shareholder accounts and credit cards to avoid these reassessments.
International compliance / cross-border transactions – Many business are unaware of the tax and reporting implications of conducting business outside of their country and engaging in certain financing transactions outside of Canada, including sales taxes, payroll and employee withholdings, and corporate tax reporting implications. For Canada and the US, there is information sharing and new processes at boarder security to more closely scrutinize cross-border business travel.
Sales & commodity taxes (or Indirect taxes) – There have been a lot of changes in the sales tax rules in Canada over the last few years, with significant changes affecting large businesses, cross-border transactions, pensions, and financial institutions. Many businesses are unaware of how these changes affect them. The CRA also continues to find and disallow ITC claims for expenditures with inadequate or improper documentation.
Non-arm’s length transactions – Whether domestic or international, if there is insufficient proof/documentation for the validity of the transaction between non-arm’s length parties (such as management or administration fees), the expense can be denied (but yet, the income still taxed in to the other party – resulting in double taxation).
Aggressive tax planning/schemes – Aggressive tax planning and abusive tax avoidance schemes are a global concern. The CRA has invested millions in its program to reduce aggressive tax planning or abusive tax avoidance schemes that contravene specific anti-avoidance provisions of the law. The CRA now has the tools to detect, correct and deter the non-compliance of taxpayers using aggressive tax plans, and there will likely be more audit activity in this area.
As part of this scrutiny, the CRA has recently sent notice that it will be increasing its audits of individuals who have claimed business or property losses. If you do receive an audit request letter or request for information, don’t sit on it or stick it in a drawer somewhere hoping it will go away or take care of itself (yes, people do this). Take the letter immediately to your accountant or tax advisor to assist you in dealing with it.

Not dealing with the CRA requests in timely manner can cost you hundreds or thousands or even more in additional taxes, interest and penalties, which can cripple a small business. But CRA auditors are people too – just doing their job, serving you, the taxpayer, as their client. You may have done everything correctly, or you may have made honest mistakes (CRA audits can be a great opportunity to learn and boost your tax management controls and practices). But be prepared. Talk to your accountant and ask them what your risks are and how you can reduce them.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money, Marketing & Soul business coach. Her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety around money and taxes, by empowering heart-centered small business owners with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets to put them in the driver seat of their financial success and wellness.[/author_info] [/author]

3 Small Business Finance Hacks to Improve Your Cash Flow

twitterpost%2feventbrite-template-6 I have found that the biggest concerns of small business owners are Sales / Revenues. Cash Flow, Team and Support, Time, and Risk Management. These are all issues I help small business owners and solo-preneurs more in-depth within my CFO Money Mastery programs, but I’m sharing just a few tips to assist you with generating revenues, increasing your cash flows, and focusing your time and effort.

  1. Pay yourself FIRST

When was the last time you looked at how much your business is paying you (or you’re paying yourself), compared to what you’d like to be paid (or at least need to be paid to cover your cost of living)? Pay yourself and your business first – build up a cash reserve policy and practice so that you can deal with repairs/replacements when they arise.  Here are some things to look at:

  • Try putting at least 10% of every dollar you bring in into a savings or special purpose account. If you feel you can’t do 10% right away, try 5%, something, anything, that is automatically put away each month/week into a separate account that earns more money (interest, dividends, capital gains).  You’ll see how quickly that account starts to grow and how much you can accumulate in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Know what you’re paying yourself for your time, and what you would like to get paid for your time. The simple formula for finding what you’re paying yourself in your business is to take your revenues, less all your expenses, divided by the number of hours you spend in your business.  What is that?  What percentage of revenues is this, is it what you’d like to receive?
  • Review at your pricing strategies – this ties into paying yourself. Make sure that your pricing strategies include paying you for your time and effort.  Understand what products and services are most profitable, or which ones could be more profitable.  Review your profit margins and give yourself a raise.

2.  Streamline your profit model You’ve all heard, jack of all trades, master of none?  While it’s good to have some diversification, when you have so many offers that are not streamlined with each other, you could be spreading yourself thin trying to market all of them.  But, when you start with your top end offer, and have everything else streamlined to that offer, your attention and efforts are more focused and aligned with selling the top end product. But how do you streamline when you have so many great ideas coming to you?  There certainly are ways to do this, and I offer a half day session on brainstorming ideas and putting them into streamlined offers, but here are a few key questions when you find yourself coming up with a ton of ideas and wanting to serve them all:

  • Is it even for you to create and run with? Or should it be passed on to someone else? This happens to me – I get a ton of ideas, but realize that some of them are not for me and will end up having a conversation with someone who I’m supposed to pass the idea on to.
  • Is it asking to be created/offered right now, or later? If later – park it in your idea book and review it later. If it’s asking to be created now, through you, run with it.
  • Is it aligned with the bigger picture for your business? Is it something that can be added to what you’re already offering – as a bonus or as a side dish that you charge for?

If you have a ton of offers, but seem to be spinning your wheels trying to generate revenues with all of them, try focusing on just 3 things that give you the most profits and cash flow, at least for 90 days.  You’ll see with more focused attention and marketing/selling efforts, your revenues may actually increase.

3. Track your money daily! Why daily?  It allows you to spot trends in your revenues and sales numbers so you know what your numbers are telling you.  That way you can  take corrective and inspired action right away to create more flow and hit or exceed your bold money targets. In my experience, in the months I don’t track what’s coming in daily, I have less revenues than the months I do track what’s coming in daily.  Tracking my money daily (which takes less than 5 minutes a day) gives me focus to do what I need to do to have more coming in, to hit and even exceed my bold money goals. It IS best practice (and good management) to keep your bookkeeping up to date and review your financials at least monthly.  Managers at large corporations review financial data almost daily (even hourly in some cases) to allow them to spot trends and take action to align their efforts to their targets.  As a small business owner, key metrics that you’ll want to look at are sales and profitability, cash in bank accounts, cash tied up in AR, amounts coming due (AP, Payroll, Taxes) in the next week/month, expense trends (which you can find benchmark data on Statistics Canada (or other similar statistical database for your area) to find out how your metrics stack against other businesses in your industry), and anything that is important/relevant to your particular business that will enable you to make timely and smart money decisions for your business.


What you track, expands. We’ll be going into more depth in these 3 hacks and SO MUCH MORE in the CFO Money Mastery 8 Week Jumpstart program (which kicks off Nov 22nd with a special bonus session). If you would like clarity and assistance with creating more flow in your business, contact me to book a complimentary Business Clarity Breakthrough Session.  Or check out one of my upcoming workshops or group programs on the Events page.


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Linda Spencer is a CPA, CA, Canadian Tax Specialist and Money, Marketing & Soul business coach. Her mission is to eliminate stress and anxiety around money and taxes, by empowering heart-centered small business owners with the tools, knowledge, strategies and mindsets to put them in the driver seat of their financial success and wellness.[/author_info] [/author]