In part 4 of our 4-part Money Mini-series, we get accounting advice from Hannah Smolinski. Hannah and Shannon discuss accounting software, the difference between a bookkeeper, accountant and CFO, which expenses are deductible and much more to help you feel confident about the money side of your business.

Hannah has had an entrepreneurial spirit since grade school when she set up her first business making friendship bracelets. She loved counting her money, coming up with business strategies and even considering supply and demand.

So, it was no surprise she ended up working with numbers. Hannah studied accounting in her undergraduate studies and moved on to receive her Masters in Accounting at the University of Washington, followed by her CPA licence. After working in her field as an auditor and a chief financial officer of a small business, she felt the need to help people build their businesses up. Hannah decided to start her own business; BrightenUp Financial, a company that specializes in small business accounting and finance management.

As a takeaway from the Money Mini-Series, we hope tackling your money-related issues seems less overwhelming. When broken down into small steps financial mastery is within your grasp.

[7:00] Hannah’s journey into accounting and small business financial consulting

[11:10] Accounting software recommendations

[14:00] Difference between accountant, bookkeeper and a CPA

[15:30] When to hire a bookkeeper

[17:45] Having a business bank account is a must

[20:30] What expenses are tax deductible?

[36:35] What statement gives us a good idea of how our business is doing? Look your profit and loss statement and the difference between profit and revenue.

[38:55] You can increase your profit in 2 ways- increase revenue or decrease your expenses

[39:55] Keeping track of taxes you owe- ask for help from bookkeeper or accountant, or use an Estimated Tax form so you don’t end up having to pay more taxes than you can afford at the end of the year

[43:00] Monthly check-in for your business

[44:20] Cost of goods sold

[48:40] How to work with Hannah

[49:25] Shannon’s closing thoughts

Expenses you can usually write-off on your taxes :

  • Yoga teacher training and other courses related to your business
  • books
  • music
  • props
  • marketing
  • software
  • office supplies
  • custom labour (cleaner, accountant) – if specific to business
  • meals & entertainment
  • insurance
  • rent

Check with your tax professional about:

  • home studio
  • utilities
  • mileage & fuel
  • auto expense
  • cell phone
  • computer – listed as a business asset
  • gifts – check limit


Accounting Software:





For the US: IRS Estimated Tax for Individual

Hannah’s Website: BrightenUp Financial

Brighten Up Financial on Facebook

Resources from Brighten Up Financial -e-book, articles, links to helpful tools

Other Money Mini-Series Episodes:

041: Generating Profit with Natalie Eckdahl

042: Money Mindset with Geraldine Carter

043: Minimum Viable Income with Steph Crowder

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