Accounting/Tax preparation software. Mac + Canada + idiot
July 26, 2013 12:42 PM   Subscribe

I have looked at previous questions but truly don't understand what I am actually needing enough to judge suitability. Here's what I have and what I need. I don't know what to track (in the finer sense) or how best to track it but I have a fair bit of money coming in and out and I'd like to know if I am ahead this year and also whether I have (for instance) enough tax room to upgrade stuff that I can write off (ie new Macbook Pro, specific software for my stuff, specific hardware etc.).

What I have:
Self employed tax idiot in Canada. I have work expenses I need to track, income (day rate although some hourly if it matters) and would like to not have to do all this again come tax season. I don't know how best to track them, whether I need one solution or a couple or how I can make taxes a little easier come January.

What I need:
Business cost tracking and categorisation income and outgoings/expenses
Something to help me come Tax season so Canadian Taxes suitable - I don't know as I need a direct tax export function (or do I? first time self employed), but I'd like an easy method to plug in numbers and track things in an intelligent manner.

1: I have been on salary the rest of the time I have been in Canada, and before that my accountant father made all complicated tax-type paperwork disappear in a flurry of efficiency (and tax rebates) when I was in the UK. I've never been self employed in a way that meant I had to keep an eye on anything, especially in Canada. I'd like not to get screwed by my own ignorance at tax time.

2: Probably other stuff I need to know about and allow for, but I don't know what it is. Ask for as much additional info as you think would help you answer and me be answered.

3: Easy as possible. I'm not averse to a complex spreadsheet and am pretty tech savvy but I worry that if it is time consuming I'll not bother or procrastinate and have the exact backlog of receipts and notes that I have now. I want to get it ALL in a system and file the paperwork and be DONE.'

Additional notes:
I use Mint for personal stuff and that is GREAT. But it doesn't track my business side of stuff.
I don't mind learning to use a proper full-on tax/accounting software package if it will be better for me in the long run. Please persuade me if you think that is the best option.

Yegads this is all a bit impenetrable. Racing cars are easy compared to this.
posted by Brockles to Work & Money (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've used Freshbooks before and found it really easy to use. It does tracking, invoicing, expense records, etc. and touts itself as loved by accountants. I don't know if you have a billing solution already or not but this does a lot of stuff and then it's all in one place. It has the same look and feel as Mint.

But in addition, any self employed person who describes themselves as a tax idiot needs an accountant. They can also tell you where you are in terms of how much you can spend on upgrades, etc.
posted by bleep at 5:15 PM on July 26, 2013

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