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ACCOUNTING

Real Tools vs Window Dressing

A few months ago I received an email inviting me to try out Receipt-Bank... The company's marketing was geared towards bookkeepers and small accounting firms.           Would we appreciate eliminating data entry? - Of course! The problem is that simply giving our...

Tax Planning and SR&ED

I'm often amazed that some Canadian technology companies spend a fortune on complex tax planning structures and ignore rudimentary compliance functions to support SR&ED tax incentives. While SR&ED is becoming more difficult and less predictable, it is still the best...

A Brief History of Bookkeeping

In 1494 an Italian mathematician by the name of Luca Pacioli published “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità” (Venice 1494), a textbook for use in the schools of Northern Italy. It was a synthesis of the mathematical knowledge of his time...

SHOULD OUR START-UP OUTSOURCE THE BOOKKEEPING?

Start-ups often ask: Which Online Bookkeeping Software Should We Choose? The future of all software – including bookkeeping software – is online. This allows for much better information sharing and connectivity with distributed teams. With better connectivity and...

IFRS or ASPE for Canadian Startups?

As CPAs we are bound by the pronouncements of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC. CPA firms that provide what are known as "assurance services" are required to have their clients adopt 1 of 2 competing financial reporting regimes: Accounting Standards for...

3 Key Financial Sticking Points for Growth Companies

Companies that are seeking private equity from angel investors or angel groups should understand that they will need to withstand some degree of financial due diligence. Depending on the sophistication of the investors, the degree of rigour applied can vary a great...

Handling GST (and HST) in Wave Accounting

I work with a couple of engineers in a consulting practice. One of my colleagues lives in Ontario which has a different consumption tax regime than British Columbia. About 7 years ago they replaced the 8% Ontario Provincial Sales Tax ("PST") and the 5% Federal Goods...

6 Alternatives for Online Invoicing

Do a GOOGLE search for "Online Invoicing Systems" and you'll come up with an enormous list: About 1,810,000 results (0.33 seconds)  2 Types of Online Invoicing Packages The truth is there are a large number of alternatives to choose from. So many in fact, that you'd...

Why Professionals Say ‘NO’

Both public accountants and  lawyers in private practice depend on new entrepreneurs defying the odds to try and establish new businesses. However they are only too aware of the risks that anyone will face as an entrepreneur. In fact a key role is to understand the...

The Cost of Professional Advice

The best professional advice is expensive, and you have to line up to get it. Hourly rates for highly-skilled professional accountants start at more than $300 an hour for a manager. For senior managers and partners, rates often exceed $600. Large, multinational...

MONEY

Welcome To The Jungle

The Economist put out a great film on Startup Culture Welcome To The Jungle

2017 Department of Finance Proposals Regarding the Taxation of Private Corporations

On July 18th of this year the Finance Department released proposal relating to the taxation of private corporations in Canada. The stated goal was to 'level the playing field' and eliminate unfair tax advantages enjoyed by Canada's wealthiest taxpayers. They have...

Vancouver and Toronto-Waterloo Both Make Top 20 In 2017 Startup Genome Report

According to Startup Genome  2 of the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world are located in Canada. Vancouver (No. 15) The Vancouver startup ecosystem is currently comprised of 800-1,100 startups and shining success stories. In the early days Slack’s founder estimated...

Alberta Introduces New 30% Venture Capital Credit

On January 16, 2017 the Alberta Government has introduced a new Alberta Investors Tax Credit, providing a tax credit for investments in private, early stage companies in Alberta (Dentons). Under the terms of the legislation, the province provides tax credits of 30%...

New “Refundable” Tax Credits for Startups in US.

The US introduced a new "refundable" tax credit for startups. Commencing in 2017, companies will be able to apply up to $250,000 to offset payroll withholdings on behalf employees. According to Miller & Chevalier, CPAs: For purposes of the credit, a “qualified small...

IFRS or ASPE for Canadian Startups?

As CPAs we are bound by the pronouncements of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC. CPA firms that provide what are known as "assurance services" are required to have their clients adopt 1 of 2 competing financial reporting regimes: Accounting Standards for...

Federal Government is Reviewing Effectiveness of SR&ED

Old style politicians tend to prefer direct funding programs because they can trumpet their successes – in other words they provide photo opportunities. Since direct funding programs generally involve a selection process, that also provides opportunities for...

3 Key Financial Sticking Points for Growth Companies

Companies that are seeking private equity from angel investors or angel groups should understand that they will need to withstand some degree of financial due diligence. Depending on the sophistication of the investors, the degree of rigour applied can vary a great...

The Cost of Going (and Being) Public

Recently I spoke to one of the founders of a medical device company who was looking to go public in order to fund the development and regulatory approvals for their new products. Assuming that the company accurately projects their capital needs at $4 million I thought...

How Good is Business Advice?

A few years ago I watched as a young colleague with an MBA took it upon himself to advise the proprietor of a crepe stand about operations and business strategy - in exchange for a free crepe. As a former journeyman chef I was amused by the exchange. It was clear to...

PROFESSIONALS

Professional Advice Isn’t Scalable

Terms like "Pivot", "Lean Startup", "Minimum Viable Product", "Product / Market Fit", "Gazelles", "Unicorns" and "Scale Up" are ubiquitous. However that doesn't mean that these concepts are key to each and every small business. In fact all of the writers, investors...

SR&ED

Tax Planning and SR&ED

I'm often amazed that some Canadian technology companies spend a fortune on complex tax planning structures and ignore rudimentary compliance functions to support SR&ED tax incentives. While SR&ED is becoming more difficult and less predictable, it is still the best...

Finance Minister’s Advisory Panel on Economic Growth Report Based on Flawed Analysis

On February 7, 2017 Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth Released its report: UNLOCKING INNOVATION TO DRIVE SCALE AND GROWTH Unfortunately at least one of the key underlying assumptions is demonstrably false and therefore may have led the council to reach the...

Open Letter to The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

I understand that your Minister of Science launched a review of innovation policy on June 13th of this year, and that you are now responsible for that review. As a CPA and income tax practitioner my clients will be very much affected by changes to Canada’s existing...

New “Refundable” Tax Credits for Startups in US.

The US introduced a new "refundable" tax credit for startups. Commencing in 2017, companies will be able to apply up to $250,000 to offset payroll withholdings on behalf employees. According to Miller & Chevalier, CPAs: For purposes of the credit, a “qualified small...

Federal Government is Reviewing Effectiveness of SR&ED

Old style politicians tend to prefer direct funding programs because they can trumpet their successes – in other words they provide photo opportunities. Since direct funding programs generally involve a selection process, that also provides opportunities for...

Ontario Budget Reduces SR&ED OITC

The February 25, 2016 Ontario Budget introduced changes to the provincial SR&ED program. The Ontario Innovation Tax Credit ("OITC") was reduced from 10% to 8%. At the same time the non-refundable ORDTC was reduced from 4.5% to 3.5%. While the combined R&D credits...

Asset Sale vs Share Sale

Technology companies - in fact most small businesses - often have difficulty taking advantage of the recently enriched lifetime capital gains deduction. When first introduced the capital gains deduction was targeted the first $500,000 of capital gains on family farms...

SR&ED Documentation

SR&ED DOCUMENTATION and CLAIM PREPARATION   In recent years the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has increased the rigour of SR&ED reviews. 2 recent court cases (Highweb & Page Group Inc [2015 TCC 137] and Hypercube Inc [2015 TCC 65}) found in favour of the CRA on the...

Is Contemporaneous Documentation Essential?

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: 2 Cases Decided in 2015 under the informal procedure rules: High Web & Page Group Inc. (2015 TCC 137) Hypercube Inc. (2015 TCC 65) ...each had a completely different result than "Les Abeilles". Thankfully they were decided under informal rules and...

STARTUPS

Welcome To The Jungle

The Economist put out a great film on Startup Culture Welcome To The Jungle

Real Tools vs Window Dressing

A few months ago I received an email inviting me to try out Receipt-Bank... The company's marketing was geared towards bookkeepers and small accounting firms.           Would we appreciate eliminating data entry? - Of course! The problem is that simply giving our...

What Governments can Learn from Startups

What Governments Can Learn from Startups Every few years the electorate votes the ruling party out of office — often in favour of a new, reinvigorated opposition party. Effectively we vote in a ‘startup government’ led by a few individuals with political experience,...

A Brief History of Bookkeeping

In 1494 an Italian mathematician by the name of Luca Pacioli published “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità” (Venice 1494), a textbook for use in the schools of Northern Italy. It was a synthesis of the mathematical knowledge of his time...

Professional Advice Isn’t Scalable

Terms like "Pivot", "Lean Startup", "Minimum Viable Product", "Product / Market Fit", "Gazelles", "Unicorns" and "Scale Up" are ubiquitous. However that doesn't mean that these concepts are key to each and every small business. In fact all of the writers, investors...

Vancouver and Toronto-Waterloo Both Make Top 20 In 2017 Startup Genome Report

According to Startup Genome  2 of the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world are located in Canada. Vancouver (No. 15) The Vancouver startup ecosystem is currently comprised of 800-1,100 startups and shining success stories. In the early days Slack’s founder estimated...

Alberta Introduces New 30% Venture Capital Credit

On January 16, 2017 the Alberta Government has introduced a new Alberta Investors Tax Credit, providing a tax credit for investments in private, early stage companies in Alberta (Dentons). Under the terms of the legislation, the province provides tax credits of 30%...

Open Letter to The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

I understand that your Minister of Science launched a review of innovation policy on June 13th of this year, and that you are now responsible for that review. As a CPA and income tax practitioner my clients will be very much affected by changes to Canada’s existing...

SHOULD OUR START-UP OUTSOURCE THE BOOKKEEPING?

Start-ups often ask: Which Online Bookkeeping Software Should We Choose? The future of all software – including bookkeeping software – is online. This allows for much better information sharing and connectivity with distributed teams. With better connectivity and...

Fake News and Fake Expertise:

Misinformation in a “Post-Truth” World We’ve all seen the proliferation of lists and comparisons designed to grab our attention on the internet:   3 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to do this Holiday Season (Forbes.com) Someone in the communications department makes a...

TAXATION

Tax Planning and SR&ED

I'm often amazed that some Canadian technology companies spend a fortune on complex tax planning structures and ignore rudimentary compliance functions to support SR&ED tax incentives. While SR&ED is becoming more difficult and less predictable, it is still the best...

CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program Needs an Overhaul

Our tax system is referred to as a "self-assessment" system, meaning that it relies upon taxpayers to self-assess their taxes. This approach is far more efficient from an administrative perspective than the alternative, and results in a much lower administrative cost...

What Governments can Learn from Startups

What Governments Can Learn from Startups Every few years the electorate votes the ruling party out of office — often in favour of a new, reinvigorated opposition party. Effectively we vote in a ‘startup government’ led by a few individuals with political experience,...

Taxation of Employee Stock Options

When a company issues stock options to employees, there may be taxable benefits either when the stock option is exercised (in the case of a public company share), or when the resulting share is sold (in the case of a Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation "CCPC"). If...

Is the CRA Out of Control?

I received a link to the following article from LEDGERS.COM. Their experience pretty much mirrors our own: As Canadians, we have an inherent obligation to pay taxes; we also have rights under “The Taxpayer Bill of Rights” CRA however, does not seem to believe in a lot...

Changing Tax Environment for Canadian Small Business

The Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") is becoming increasingly process-driven. While the Income Tax Act is by far the most complex piece of legislation in the country, the people administering it are not up to the job. The reason is simple. Skilled tax practitioners are...

Tax Fairness for All Canadians

The Federal Government recently embarked on a review of certain provisions of the Income Tax Act, presumably in an attempt to deliver on a campaign promise to address issues around perceptions of tax fairness during the 2015 election. Unfortunately they failed to...

Do Government Employees Earn More?

According to a study by the Fraser Institute this year, public sector workers in Ontario enjoy a 13.4% compensation advantage over their private sector counterparts. "Using data on individual workers from January to December 2015, this report estimates the wage...

Paul Labarge (Labarge Weinstein, LLP) Speaks out on Proposed Tax Changes

Innovation Leaders Speak Out on proposed tax changes: Paul Labarge, Co-Founder & Partner, Labarge Weinstein from CATAAlliance on...

TECHNOLOGIES

Using WordPress to Build a Private Intranet

WordPress.com allows users to set up a private web address for members only and invited guests. Effectively you can build a private intranet and use it to share information with collaborators, employes or professional advisers. We've set up an example - of course it...

MEDIA 2o PRODUCTIONS INC NOMINATED FOR THE CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS

Media 2o – an exciting new digital marketing agency working out Vancouver’s edgy rail town district – received a Canadian Screen Awards nomination for its work on their GROW INC video for Telus Optic Local. Using a lot of creativity, leading edge skills in digital...

DropBox Security Breach – Or Is It?

Original Article A couple of weeks ago, Dropbox users began to complain about receiving spam in email accounts created exclusively for the service. After investigating the issue, Dropbox confirmed that a small number of accounts were affected by a recent security...

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