Whether you’re a writer, a designer, an artist or a photographer, your creative work probably brings you a lot of joy. The bookkeeping and tax-filing side of your business, on the other hand… probably not so much.

The New School of Finance can help. The company provides fee-only financial planning services and resources to help people get a handle on their sole proprietorship business finances. One of those resources is Sole Prop School, a four-part online course that will teach you everything you need to know about finances when you’re self-employed.

CMG Freelance has teamed up with the New School of Finance to offer a limited number of spots in Sole Prop School to new and current CMG Freelance members. If you’ve been thinking about joining the union, now would be a great time to do it. Memberships are just $150 a year, or $15/month on auto-deduct, so when you consider the value of the course ($397.00), along with other benefits of joining CMG Freelance like Lynda.com, it really makes financial sense!

The New School of Finance’s Liz Schieck says Sole Prop School is designed to take the anxiety and tedium out of money management.

“When people come to see us at the New School of Finance I think they often come in thinking of it sort of like the dentist,” she says. “Like, ‘I know I should do this but I don’t really want to.'”

When bookkeeping is boring, she says, people tend to avoid it.

“A lot of accounting makes people feel stupid and then they just don’t want to do it. No one likes to feel that way,” she says. “What happens then is that they just shove all their receipts in a box and they don’t want to think about it. And they put off thinking about it until the last possible moment, which is tax season. Or even worse, sometimes people are afraid to even do their taxes and they get behind.”

That’s why Sole Prop School takes a more colourful approach.

“There’s lots of jokes. It’s very lighthearted. It’s not scary, it’s not dry. So it doesn’t feel like drudgery,” says Schieck.

The course has four modules with video tutorials on taxes, GST and HST, tracking revenue and expenses and financial planning. You can work through them at your own pace, and you’ll also get some downloadable tools and spreadsheets to keep your financial house in order. If you set up the system they suggest, says Schieck, you’ll be able to spend around half an hour a month managing your finances and arrive at tax season relaxed, well-organized and in control.

“It lets people put that part of their business on autopilot to a certain degree and instead focus on their actual work so that they can grow their business,” she says.

The New School of Finance offers one-on-one financial planning services to people across the country via Skype. But Sole Prop School, says Schieck, is a great place to start.

“It really has everything you need to know,” she says. “It’s just a really accessible way to learn about all of this stuff that’s not intimidating, that’s easy to understand, that’s fun, and you get to download the tools and keep them and use them on an ongoing basis.”

The regular price for Sole Prop School is $397.00, but CMG Freelance is offering a limited number of free spots to new and existing members. If you are currently a member in good standing, you can email CMG Freelance branch president Don Genova at freelance@cmg.ca to register for one of the available spots. Non-members can also write to Don and he’ll give you instructions on how to sign up for membership online and then request a Sole Prop School space.

For more information about the cost and benefits of union membership, please see the CMG Freelance website.

 

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