I am a massage therapist first, business owner second. Despite being self-employed for years, I have never learned to love the business end of, well, running a business. Coming into the profession was especially confusing, as I was juggling three different jobs and types of employment. Employee? Contractor? Casual? What about tips and bonuses?
The massage therapy industry has a wide range of types of employment. Your tax preparation might be as simple as picking up a T4 from your mailbox or as complicated as tracking income from several clinics or therapists. Canada Revenue Agency has graciously provided a clear-cut list of distinctions between contractors and employees: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4110/rc4110-e.html This brief overview was also very informative, and the website is full of useful tips for small businesses in Canada: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/taxinfo/a/contractor1.htm
Situations vary from province to province, so we recommend that all therapists and bodyworkers check with their professional associations for more information.
While reviewing your financial statements, you may want to evaluate business goals. Perhaps you are looking to expand, do some leasehold improvements, or upgrade equipment. No matter what stage your business is at, keeping yourself apprised of available resources will put you in the better position when opportunities arise. If you are looking for ideas or planning to expand, check out the following links:
Faced with month end, GST, or tax season, my first instinct is to do what I do best and just massage the numbers. With Revenue Canada not looking too fondly on that, I do the next best thing - hire it out! Armed with a basic knowledge and with a good accountant at my side, I am free to spend my energies on what I love - massage.