How Technology Has Modified an Accounting Firm

How Technology Has Modified an Accounting Firm

How Technology Has Modified an Accounting Firm

In recent times, technology has become an important element of the accounting and bookkeeping industry. Transformation in technology has changed the accounting profession, and it has certainly had a positive impact on many accounting firms.

The first remarkable change in accounting technology took place many years ago when firms started using software for accounting. Thus, the profession started progressing at considerable levels with significant improvements in modern technology.

These days, organizations use software for crunching complex numbers, analyzing data, and monitoring economic activity.

Effect of Technology in the Accounting Industry

Gone are the days when accountants used paper, pens, and calculators to verify ledgers and balance sheets. These days, advances in technology have changed the mindset of outdated financial processes, with remote control sessions and basic desktop software being a norm. This rapid change in technology has occurred to such extent that it has left our offices barren of a single file cabinet. #Hubdoc #ReceiptBank

Specialized Accounting Tools And Software

With a majority of word processing tools and software available in the market, technology has improved the accounting field and reduced margins of error that you would otherwise need to contend with. Even though some accounting firms still use the traditional Microsoft Excel for running ledgers and data entry, most organizations today purchase specialized software for accurate financial reports, simplified business ledgers, and data entry

This benefits the businesses and reduces the margin of error in financially secured firms that are better equipped to stay afloat.

Cloud-Based Systems

A noteworthy change in both bookkeeping and accounting practices is happening due to the introduction of cloud-based systems and software.

Cloud-based technologies allow small businesses and organizations to enter and edit financial information, and make decisions accurately. This technology is convenient for business owners and provides more access to accountants.

 A majority of accounting companies today are using cloud-based systems to streamline their processes. These systems provide firms with greater access to their data from anywhere. You just have to log in.

Mobile Accounting

With advances in technology, the usage of mobile phones has become more prevalent. There are now a number of mobile applications dedicated to accounting. These apps allow you to add receipts, send invoices, and prepare expense claims with just a few swipes on the screen.

These apps improve the connectivity between the clients and the accountants and give you access to your entire data, no matter where you are.

Demand For Strategic Training

By employing specialized software programs in the accounting firm, the need for basic accounting training has decreased. An accountant with access to a computer and accounting software can efficiently work on forecast modelling, statistical analysis and tax preparation services today without any particular training.

Accountants are no longer portrayed as number crunchers like they used to in the past, but instead, they are now considered as professionals working alongside strategic teams. These days, a majority of accountants are creating new processes, giving advice and executing future forecasts that a computer cannot do.

Effective Client Transactions

Digitizing operations and data is not just important for your organization but also for your clients. By digitizing your operations, there will no longer be a demand for on-site consultations, and both your clients and accountants can access the data remotely.

They will also be able to monitor, edit, and comment on their statements, discuss and plan out the operations through video conferencing.

Moreover, applications with customer functionality have authorized non-accounting professionals to understand what is going on with their finances more easily.

Accountants With IT Skills

As an accountant in today’s world, it is important to stay updated with the most current advances in technology to enhance your productivity.

There is a wide range of skills that an accountant should learn before applying at any reputable organization. Besides learning the common accounting practices, and communications, accountants should know how to apply these processes with IT programs.

While there are many professionals out there not capable of using modern Enterprise Resource Planning systems, all the professionals in the field should know how to integrate accounting with IT.

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- Written by: Jag Bath

Back to Basics...What's a Balance sheet?

Back to Basics...What's a Balance sheet?

Back to Basics...What's a Balance sheet?

A Balance Sheet is a financial statement which shows what you own in the business and where the funding for that came from #FollowTheMoney. This statement is easily confused with the profit and loss statement which is like a picture of the business, think of the balance sheet as a video it captures more than just one time period. The balance sheet shows how the total amount of your assets and liabilities is distributed among various line items like plant, machinery, land, building, cash, bank balances, investors’ fund, your own fund and bank overdrafts, etc. A Balance Sheet has two sides Assets and Liabilities , which show the total of all the business assets (what you own) is equal to the claims or liabilities (what you owe) against those assets.  The report is called Balance sheet because its total on both sides always has to match. It just has to match or it drives accountants nuts. Honestly, the quickest way to get a passionate reply from your accountant is to ask them this question…Why does the balance sheet have to match?

Classified into groups - Divide and understand

Assets and liabilities listed in all Balance Sheets are classified into groups based on their common characteristics like frequency, liquidity and intangibility. Assets are recorded on your right hand side of the Balance Sheet in two main groups, such as, current assets and non-current or fixed assets. Similarly, on your left side of the Balance Sheet, liabilities are grouped under three main headings like current liabilities, non-current liabilities, and Equity. The accurate classification of assets and liabilities are very important to craft accurate balance sheets. So please don’t miscategorize your balance sheet it’s quite painful to fix.

What Are the Main Types of Assets & Liabilities?

  • Current Assets are based on liquidity which is based on how quickly the business can convert the asset back to cash. The quicker the time period the more liquid the asset. Examples of current asset include cash, bank balance, accounts receivables from customers, stock-in-trade.  

  • Fixed Assets are purchased for long-term use and the assets are not likely to be converted quickly into cash. Some examples of fixed assets are, land, buildings, furniture, and equipment.

  • Current liabilities are short-term liabilities which are due and payable within one year. Some examples of current liabilities are bills payable, income tax payable, bank overdraft, short term loans.

  • Non-current liabilities are those liabilities which are due after a year or more. Examples include capital lease, long term loans, due to shareholder balances, etc.

  • Shareholders Equity is the total investment made by the owners. This includes the money they have invested in the business and any retained earnings from multiple years of operations.   

Knowing the above categorizations would provide a great handle on how to read the balance sheet. You might even impress your accountant at year-end.

Remember the Golden Rule:

Assets must always, i repeat always equal liabilities…Assets + Liabilities = Equity (A+L=E). That’s it. That’s the formula, the golden rule that keeps the sanity of Accountants. One rule to rule them all.

Reading a Balance Sheet…like a Boss.

Balance Sheets provide valuable information to the reader because they provide a better deep dive into a business. A seasoned reader would be able to pick up the total assets of the company, the assets that have been financed through debt or equity. Whipping out some fancy financial ratios can really spice things up. Understanding the performance ratios and the liquidity ratios can help you gauge the performance of your business.

  • Performance Ratios: Net profit ratio (it is calculated by Net Profit, divided by Sales)

  • Liquidity Ratios: Current ratio (Current Assets divided by Current Liabilities)

  • Solvency Ratios: Cash flow return on assets (Net Profit plus Non-cash Expenses, divided by Total Assets)

  • Profitability Ratios: Return on assets (net income, divided by total assets)

Remember Accounting is the business language and learning to read this can only help propel your business forward.

 Click on the link below to book a meeting.
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- Written by: Jag Bath

Reasons Why Bookkeeping Is So Crucial For Your Business

Reasons Why Bookkeeping Is So Crucial For Your Business

Reasons Why Bookkeeping Is So Crucial For Your Business

There is no denying the fact that bookkeeping is the heart of any business. Sadly, bookkeeping is still neglected, and that can have an adverse effect on the organization’s prospects and functions eventually.

The fact remains that organizations with poor bookkeeping have to suffer the consequences of financial mismanagement, cash flow oversight, payroll complications and a slew of other discrepancies

Since bookkeeping can play a positive role in your business, it is best to understand why it is so vital for, and what measures you can take to ensure that adequate bookkeeping practices are followed.

What Happens In Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is regarded as the process of registering financial transactions of a business and is the basis of another important sector, the accounting process. This includes some vital factors such as:

•       Reporting

•       The classification

•       A complete analysis of all the registered financial data

One can clearly understand that all the tasks mentioned above have no value and can never perform well without precise and organized bookkeeping.

Even though many people would think that the above-mentioned elements are enough to persuade executives about the importance of bookkeeping practices, let us evaluate some reasons and shed some light on the subject.

Management and Financial Analysis

The most important thing to remember: your business needs money to stay in the market, and cash flow management is not an easy job.

No matter how tough and challenging your schedule is, when invoices don’t reach on time, your customers are unable to pay, you can never pay your suppliers, your orders are delayed, and you get a bad reputation.

With precise bookkeeping, you can easily manage your invoicing and follow-ups while making timely payments to your suppliers.

Time For Taxes

 Managing yearly taxes for your company is not an easy job. You must have a bird’s eye view on all your records including profit and loss, an organized balance sheet, and cash flow to make things convenient when you have to file everything.

By arranging everything accordingly, you will not be able to search for information or receipts at the last minute, but instead, will be able to access everything you need at a moment’s notice.

Convenient Reporting To Your Investors

Another advantage of bookkeeping is informing your investors about what is going on. This creates an impact on your performance and gives you an opportunity to collect more funding when you need to procure equipment or make heavy payments.

Adequate bookkeeping suggests that you are able to show your investors charts, graphs, and any other information that they may demand and that too at a moment’s notice.

Stay Informed and Updated

It is vital for any business to have all the information available, especially when meeting with the board members or higher executives.

Without having adequate knowledge, you will not be able to make informed business decisions, allowing your CFO to prepare an analysis on the reports.

Proper Business Planning

With up to date profit and loss statements and balance sheets, you can monitor if your organization is heading in the right direction financially. Based on your financial status, you can easily make efficient business solutions.

Maintain Records As Directed By The Law

With bookkeeping, you can record and monitor your entire financial dealings and keep everything in order, this also include your tax documents. By doing this, retrieving data becomes easier when it is time for an audit.

Bottom Line

There is no question that bookkeeping helps keep the business afloat. This is especially true when you talk about your working capital and cash flow. However, in-house bookkeeping may lead to increased expenses, which is why it is always wise to outsource the task to reputable accounting firms.

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
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- Written by: Jag Bath

Startups need online accounting software...Here's why!

Startups need online accounting software...Here's why!

Startups need online accounting software...Here's why!

You might have heard about this before – an entrepreneur during the initial stages of his business has to become the jack-of-all-trades.

For many years, accounting has transformed and established itself as an official language of business for a reason and without it; no organization on the planet would stay on course.

Some small organizations, particularly the ones that are establishing themselves on the ground believe that accounting helps you a lot in managing your day-to-day business, and is something that is to be used on a regular basis once the business starts shaping with a purpose of monitoring down entire expenses and revenues.

However, this can be a big mistake and no matter how much you are earning and spending in your business, understanding the ins and outs of your finances is vital for the success of your business.

There are many accounting-based softwares out there helping startup firms and entrepreneurs with streamlining and automating tasks; and whether you use them or not depends on the type of process you are running.

With that being said, one efficient tool that can play a crucial role in helping startup firms and organizations is online accounting software.

Accounting Is Not Complicated

Whether you are good at accounting or not, have experience in the discipline or not, it doesn’t matter since most accounting-based software help by managing your entire data, facilitating you with an updated and trustable information to evaluate how your business is functioning.

Back in the day, accounting-based software were used by experienced and knowledgeable accountants and bookkeepers. Now, online accounting tools have transformed in a manner that anyone can use it. With some guidance, and training, the software will help entrepreneurs in the most efficient manner.

The most renowned accounting tools download your credit card and business transactions automatically. You need to categorize them in an appropriate manner and their respective categories.

Streamline, Automate And Go Digital

The most advanced online accounting tools understand that entrepreneurs and business owners have a tight schedule. Due to this fact, new and improved features introduced in the tools help significantly save time. Some of the most widely used features are as follows:

•       Repeated invoices are generated automatically and are directly sent to the customers.

•       The software combines third-party applications and attach pictures of different receipts and bills - reducing paper usage.

•       Establishes general rules around recurring and basic transactions so that the process of bookkeeping is completed on time.

Access Your Data Anywhere

A majority of the entrepreneurs are busy people and spend a significant part of their time planning how they can reel in more customers, communicating with the vendors, establishing storefront spaces, networking and managing the inventory, etc. These online accounting tools facilitate business owners and entrepreneurs with a way to stay ahead on their books while managing other day-to-day operational tasks ensuring that no other part of their business is disrupted.

However, entrepreneurs need to understand that online accounting software is not your everyday computer software. It is cloud-based technology, providing you with access anywhere, any place, and any time.

You can easily monitor or enter your records on your tablet, smartphone, and laptop, desktop from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.

Online Accounting Softwares Help You Make Uniformed Decisions

The points mentioned above will provide you with a clue why entrepreneurs and startups shift their accounting systems online. Ideally, you can amalgamate your decision by employing an accountant online who knows his way around these tools.

Besides that, there are many other advantages of online accounting software, and while it is critical for your business, it provides you with a general idea of how your business is performing.

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

What is Working Capital?

What is Working Capital?

What is working Capital?

Capital is another word for money. All businesses in order to purchase assets and maintain their operations or to produce goods and services must have capital. In the most basic terms, ‘Capital’ is the money invested in a business to generate income. Instead of simply spending it like cash, capital is a more durable concept and it is used to generate wealth through investment. The term ‘Working Capital’ is a part of total capital used (or more technically capital employed) in the business, but it comprises of short term assets and short term liabilities only. ‘Working Capital’ is often defined as the difference between short-term assets and short-term liabilities. In simple words, working capital denotes a ready amount of fund available for carrying out the day-to-day activities of a business enterprise. Capital is the means of investments of an enterprise with long term consequences, whereas working capital is that part of capital used for short term financing like routine operations or for a term not exceeding one accounting period.

Importance of Working Capital in Your Business

Without working capital, you wouldn’t be able to stay in business. A business uses working capital in its daily operations. Any business should have adequate funds to continue its operations and it should have sufficient funds to satisfy both maturing short-term liabilities and upcoming operational expenses. Working capital is a common measure of a company's liquidity, efficiency, and overall health. It is actually a yardstick that measures whether or not the company has enough assets to turn into cash to pay upcoming expenses or debts. Because it includes cash, inventory, accounts receivable, accounts payable, the portion of debt due within one year, and other short-term accounts. A company's working capital reflects the results of a host of company activities, including inventory management, debt management, revenue collection, and payments to suppliers.

How Working Capital is Calculated

Thus, ‘working capital’ is the difference amount between short-term assets and short-term liabilities. To understand this clearly we must have an idea on what are the ‘short term assets’ and ‘short term liabilities. Assets are a company's resources— a useful or valuable things that the company or person owns and which give some economic benefit to a business. Examples of assets (both long term and short term) include cash, accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid insurance, investments, land, buildings, plant and equipment, and goodwill, etc.

Current assets are short term assets only either in the form of cash or a cash equivalent which can be liquidated immediately or within an accounting period. Examples of current assets are cash in hand and bank, debtors, bills receivable, short-term investments, etc.

Liabilities (both long term and short term) are the obligations or what a business owes to the outsiders. It results from purchasing of goods on credit, bank loan, payable accounts like salary payable, taxes due, etc. Current liabilities are short-term liabilities only of a business which are expected to be settled within 12 months or within an accounting period or a normal operating cycle. Examples of current liabilities are bank overdraft, creditors, bills payable, short term loan, etc.

Working capital is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets. Working capital is the easiest of all the balance sheet calculations to calculate. Here's the formula you'll need:

Working capital = Current assets - Current liabilities

It's that simple. If current assets are greater than current liabilities, the company has a positive working capital, meaning it has extra cash on hand to fund growth projects. It also means the company has a nice safety net in place.

Say, from a company's balance sheet we find that a company has $1000 in the bank, $500 as cash in hand, $5000 as inventory and & $500 receivable from customers. Then its total of current asset is $7000. Now similarly, its balance sheet shows that the company owes $2000 to its suppliers, and it has short term loan amounting $1500. So the total current liability of the company is $3500. Therefore, the Working Capital of the company is $ (7000-- 3500) or $3500.

Why Working Capital Management Matters

If we divide the current assets of a company by its current liabilities, we get a figure which is called ‘Current Ratio’ (or working capital ratio). This ratio attempts to measure the ability of a firm to meet its current obligations. It can be used to make a rough estimate of a company’s financial health. Normally, a ratio much higher than 2 (i.e., current assets double the current liabilities) is a sign that you’re not properly using your funds – either you are carrying too much inventory or not capitalizing on extra cash by investing in growing your business. On the other hand, a Current Ratio below 1 suggests that the company may not be able to meet its obligations in the short run. Each business or industry might have its own ideal current ratio depending upon its practice. Acceptable current ratios vary from industry to industry and are generally considered between 1.5 and 3 for healthy businesses.

Hope this Blog post will help you to understand the importance of working capital and guide you to manage it effectively in your business. However, if you are overburdened with other responsibilities, or need some real professional assistance, we can help demystify and help navigate constant change.

We help our clients looking to get working capital loans to help finance their future growth. Have a question on your growth needs? let’s have a quick chat!

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
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Written by: Jag Bath

Best way to buy an investment property?

Best way to buy an investment property?

Best way to buy a investment property?

After spending many sleepless nights and countless hours into a business the small business entrepreneur would ideally have extra cash saved in the corporation. This cash sitting in the corporate bank account is usually better optimized by investing than keeping in the bank. While meeting your financial advisor the business owner might invest in securities such as bonds, mutual funds and other securities. Others might opt to invest in buying real estate. This blog is for those individuals looking to buy a investment property in the most tax efficient way. Real estate deals add many layers of complexity as different decisions result in adverse tax and legal situations.

Personally Purchasing investment property:
If you purchase a investment property personally that means your name goes on the land deed. You will have to keep track of all the profit and loss that results from this rental property and report it on schedule 776 on your personal T1 tax return. This rental income gets included to calculate your ‘taxable income’ and the respective taxes will need to be submitted to the CRA. Please note that the initial funds used to purchase the investment property are funds that have been already taxed on the personal level.

Corporation purchasing investment property :
If you purchase the property through your corporation it’s the company’s name that goes on the land deed. Any rental income is added to the corporation tax return and the respective taxes are reported on the T2 tax return. Please note rental income is considered passive income and does not qualify for the CCPC small business deduction hence this is taxed at a higher rate than the 14% corporate tax rate for active income.

Bank Mortgages:
Purchasing a property under your personal name generally allows for more mortgage options in the market. Assuming you have a good credit score and have the necessary down payment and the required salary to meet the stress test you can walk on in any of the A list banks and walk out with a mortgage note payable.

A corporation that has not met the 2 years in business will have a tough time getting a mortgage. This is because the banks view the recently incorporated business to be risky and the banks usually avoid lending to corporations for investment properties.

Tax Decisions:
The tax decision really comes down to pre tax dollars vs after tax dollars. Generally keeping the money in the corporation is a better strategy than to take the money out to invest. If your holding or operating company has loads of cash and let’s assume the company earns $500k net profit a year and pays the corporate tax rate of 14% [2018 rates] this would leave after corporate tax income in total cash of $430k. Since this money is left in the corporation and not paid out to shareholders this money is considered to be pre-tax money.

If you want to purchase the property personally you would have to take the $430k out by way of salary and dividend and the personal tax bill can go as high as 54% so your tax bill would be $232k in this case. The total personal taxes are so high that it would make a lot of sense to use the corporation to invest pre-tax dollars ($430k) rather than the after tax dollars personally of $232k.

Personal residence exemption:
Generally, when buying your own home it makes sense to buy it personally. This is because of the Personal residence exemption which states that the gain on any profit from the sale of the real estate property is free of any capital gains tax. This tax exemption is in place to allow Canadians to utilize their mobility rights.

If you buy a property for the purposes of renting it out and the property has not been declared as a primary residence than that property will be subject to the capital gains tax on the sale of the property. Although such a rental property will be taxed for capital gains the tax doesn’t kick in until the property is sold.

Corporations in Canada do not get the primary principal residence exemption so if you are planning on buying a second property perhaps a cottage? It might be better to buy it personally.

Legal
A discussion with your lawyer before buying any real estate property is very important. Apart from the tax decisions there are some legal decisions that also need to be made. If a tenant sues they are suing the extra funds in the corporation as well. If a corporation buys a rental property and adds shareholders or plans to add shareholders than the initial rental property is also being sold part of that deal. You are essentially selling a portion of the rental property to the new shareholders.

If you are planning on buying the property personally than you can lower your liability by moving the deed name to your spouse with a hopefully lower liability than you. This will help to mitigate any potential law suits.

What’s my best option?
As you can gauge from the above there isn’t a cookie cut solution. The tax/legal solution depends on your income, corporate structure and future vision. Please reach out to your lawyer/accountant to consult on the best investment solution for you.

Let’s setup a quick call if you have questions: Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

-Written by Jag Bath

 

Hubdoc – Keeping it Paperless

Hubdoc – Keeping it Paperless

One of the greatest benefits of cloud accounting is the opportunity to take your business from being audit prone to be audit proof. The way Hubdoc helps to do this is by digitizing all receipts by using the smartphone in your pocket. Hubdoc is like your digital cabinet as it stores all your receipts, bills and other bank/credit card statements. It’s super easy to send bills received via email that come in the mail by simply forwarding them to the unique email address Hubdoc provides.

Now to address the elephant in the blog. The most frequent question we always get is ‘why do I need to manage my receipts in 2018?’ Well if you have your own corporation the CRA requires you to keep your receipts and documents for their potential review/audit for a minimum of 6 years. If you don’t do this than any expenses you have claimed will be disallowed and added back to your corporate income and taxed with penalties and interest being backdated. As you can imagine the cost of going through this is quite punitive. Comparing this to the Hubdoc monthly fee of $25 seems more than reasonable for what the app does for you. 

Hubdoc has a basic proposal which is to organize all financial documents in one place automatically. The key here is automatically. Hubdoc being a smart cabinet uses machine learning-powered data extraction to read the receipt for the key details like vendor name, date, and total amount. These details are extracted and used to ‘file’ the receipt into a folder. All this happens automatically, and the bots do this themselves. It’s quite magical really. #DisneyMoments

Traditionally, Accountants accepted shoe boxes of receipts that clients dropped off which went through quite the process. I think we can create a small film named “the life of a receipt”. Seriously though these receipts were sorted, reviewed and entered in to a desktop based Accounting system. As you can imagine the painful nature of going through this process was not a value addition to clients. Eliminating the need to do data entry switches the focus from administration to strategy. Accountants that use Hubdoc can inherently add more value to their clients by not focusing on receipt sorting but helping a business project and forecast the future performance. Using Hubdoc also helps to work with your Accountant more efficiently by reducing the administration involved in year-end tax preparation. 

Hubdoc plays really well with two main online cloud accounting solutions being QBO and Xero. When a receipt photo is taken, the machine-learning powered data extraction technology kicks in and all the necessary fields are generated by Hubdoc. Within 24 hours from the time the picture is taken the receipts are reviewed by our staff and published. When a receipt is published it gets connected to the transaction in the cloud accounting solution. This creates perfect synergy because now your receipt is attached to the actual transaction from the bank. If the CRA ever target the business for an Audit the receipt is easily found as proof of the transaction is attached to the transaction in QBO/Xero. Hubdoc also has the unique ability to ‘fetch’ bank and credit card statements from the bank which helps with bank reconciliations. The bank reconciliations are extremely important for the purposes of knowing that the pro-forma financials are free of material errors. 

We at Capex implemented Hubdoc as part of our Core app closet. Hubdoc has helped our clients get more organized, keep our clients audit proof and also help us provide a seamless accounting experience. Our goal has always been to provide the Small business owner with high value and low administration. It turns out people love taking pictures with their smartphone because it ultimately saves them tax money. I highly recommend everyone to start implementing this solution for their respective businesses. If you have any questions on how Hubdoc works please reach out to us as we fully support the platform. 

Hubdoc: 
www.hubdoc.com

CRA Receipt rules:
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/long-should-you-keep-your-income-tax-records.html

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

Top 3 questions we get asked. Literally everyday!

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Top 3 questions we get asked. Literally everyday!

If you have a business can’t you expense everything?
This is a common misunderstanding amongst new business owners. There are many benefits of having your own business and having the ability to “expense” business expenses helps to reduce your taxes. This is because the tax act allows for business owners to be taxed on Net Income which is the net of Revenue minus Expenses. You have to be careful here because not all your expenses can be expensed such as personal clothing, Gym memberships and LCBO liquor. Generally, your accountant will provide guidance and restrict the personal expenses so you don’t get burned when it comes time for CRA Audits.

Is my data safe in the cloud?
Your data is actually safer in the cloud than on a PC. On the cloud your data is stored behind servers which are protected by companies like Quickbooks who spend millions of dollars to ensure the security upkeep. Now compare this to your $29.99 antivirus program on your PC. The cloud also has the benefits and ability to safe guard your financial data as no one can walk away with it. With a PC desktop based if someone has the backup of your data they now have complete historical access to customers, pricing and other things. So short answer is yes the cloud is much safer in the long run and also cheaper when accounting for the risks of having a desktop based.

What kind of Support should I expect from my accountant?
It’s easy to make a sale but it’s harder to provide robust support. Client’s almost always leave a business because of customer service and lack of support. Most people are so focused on the ‘next sale’ that they lose vision of the bigger picture. It’s important to adopt technologies like Join.me screen sharing which allows our team to effectively troubleshoot and resolve any issues clients have. The after support is so critical to the success of your business that we consider sales as #2 and support as #1. Our clients become our sales agents because of the awesome support they receive.

Business owners usually rush to hire an Accountant on the basis of them having Accounting and Tax experience. Although having Accounting and Tax experience is critical for a good accountant a great accountant would also have real life business experience. It’s important to decide on a Accountant that has business experience so that they can share those insightful business knowledge with you. Ask yourself this: Wouldn’t you rather have a strategic finance partner than a number cruncher? 

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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How do I take out $800,000+ from the sale of a business tax free?

How do I take out $800,000+ from the sale of a business tax free?

The question on tax free income is always a recurring question we get in everyday practice. This is one of the most exciting Tax techniques used to provide a shareholder of a corporation access to Personal tax free money. The key here is personal tax savings! So let’s get into this.

Let’s say that John Smith has ran his small business with average revenues of $480,000 a year and he pays himself $100,000 a year. He’s now thinking of exiting the business to retire and enjoy other things in his life. There’s a buyer named Andrew in the market who is willing to pay $1,000,000 for John’s corporation. If John sells the shares of his small corporation to Andrew he will have been deemed to have a Capital Gain on the sale of his shares. Assuming John built the company from scratch and the adjusted cost base was $0 the total gain would be the $1,000,000.

Capital gain is basically the government’s way of taxing income which comes from the sale of assets or shares. In this case John has sold his shares and he will be taxed under the Capital gain tax. The great thing about the Capital gain tax is that it’s 50% tax free so that means that of the $1,000,000 only $500,000 of that cash will be taxable for the capital gain tax and let’s assume that $200,000 will be the capital gain tax amount. Once this tax has been paid by the corporation the rest of the money sitting in the corporation would be $800,000.

Maneuvering the left over money in the corporation to John is a tricky task. One of the best ways to take the money out tax free would be to use the Capital Dividend Account or referred to as the CDA account. This account allows a shareholder to not be double taxed when the funds are transferred to the shareholder personally.

Your accountant will calculate the CDA account for you which is a quite involved exercise. Next this calculation will be confirmed by the CRA for the CDA account. This part particularly takes a long time as the CRA are very slow at confirming balances which is usually 6-8 months time. Once the CRA confirms the total CDA balance, your Accountant would file a form referred to as the T2054 declaring the dividend being paid to be a capital dividend. This step is critical to get right as the penalties are punitive.

Penalties for getting the above wrong is highly punitive in nature. If you over reach on the CDA the CRA will assess 60% of the excessive amount declared to be the penalty. So if you miscalculated by $100,000 than the total penalty will be $60,000. As you can imagine trying this at home is not recommended and you should always reach out to your Trusted Tax advisor to discuss this strategy.

The exciting piece of this entire strategy is that John gets to take the $800,000 of money tax free to his personal bank account by only having to pay the $200,000 in corporate taxes he completely bypasses the personal tax. Now, John can invest his $800,000 in different securities that give him a return of 8 to 10% resulting in a net taxable income of $80,000 to $100,000 which matches the initial money he was taking out of the business in the first place minus all the work involved. 

Remember the goal isn’t how much money you make in your business it’s how much you keep from the tax man. Legally of course!

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

How does the taxes work with Stocks?

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How does the taxes work with Stocks?

Most boot-strapped companies with limited cash funding offer stock options in place of higher salaries. This strategy works out quite well where the company is encouraging the employees to stay long term with the organization with no up front cash outflow. It’s important to understand the complex tax consequences. Unlike, Employment income which is source deducted Stock options are not actually taxed when they are handed out to employees.

In order to explain this let’s consider a small CCPC company Snowman Inc. that just hired their new employee Santa in Jan 2013. The option’s offered to Santa was  to purchase 100 shares at $1 per share in four years. On Santa’s T1 personal tax return for 2013 he would not report the stock options as they have not been exercised yet so it will be a regular tax filing with employment income and any other tax slips. The reason for this is because Santa was offered a Option not a Stock of the company. 

So Santa has been with Snowman Inc. for the four years now and the vesting period is up. This means Santa can exercise his options. Snowman Inc. has been producing great income returns over the past couple of years and as such have been able to secure investments where the valuation of the shares were deemed to be $10/per share. Remember, Santa had the options to exercise at $1 regardless of the price in 4 years when he bought it back in 2013. Now in 2017, Santa can turn around and buy the shares for $1 per share for a total of $100 cash which would generate a benefit of $900. In 2018 the founders announce that GrassCutters Inc. have acquired Snowman Inc. and Santa can cash out on his shares. During the take over preceding the payment per share is deemed to be $100 per share and Santa cashes out on this offer. 

There will be a total of two types of taxes reported. 

Taxable Benefit: 
In the T1 tax return for 2017 Santa exercised his options for the $1 per share which was valued at the time for $10 per share. The difference between the exercise price and the market price is called a taxable benefit. This is because people outside the company do not have access to the same benefits. Snowman Inc will include this part of his T4 and add it as a taxable benefit of $900. Assuming he is in a tax bracket of 30%, Santa will end up paying $300 in tax for the use of his options on the shares for 2017. 

Capital Gains: 
As the company was sold for $100/per share and Santa’s stock options were worth $10/share the difference will result in a capital gain. This is calculated by taking the shares valuation price ($10) minus the exit sales price ($100). The great thing is that Capital Gains are taxed at 50% of the gain so that means 50% of the gain would be exempt from the capital gain tax. Unlike employment income which is taxed at 100%, capital gains are restricted to 50%. This would mean that Santa will end up paying taxes on $100*100 shares = $10,000 *50% restriction = $5000 minus the Adjusted cost base of $100) = $4900. Santa will pay additional taxes on the additional income of $4900 on his next personal tax return with a rate of 30% that would be $1,470. 

Consultation:
There are many complexities with stock options and how to execute on these for your employees. It is advisable that you meet with a Tax advisor to ensure you are tax compliant but also to build the right compensation plan for key executive members. Please remember that the rules for CCPC are different than public companies. Timing is critical when you are planning the sale of stocks and your investment advisor can definitely help with this! 

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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3 Tips for Succeeding with an E-Commerce Business

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3 Tips for Succeeding with an E-Commerce Business

Most business owners will tell you that just starting out is the most exhilarating and stressful time of owning a business. The excitement and anticipation run high, but the funds run low. How can you make ends meet and ensure success for your new business? Our e-commerce tips will help.

1. Rely on E-Commerce to Boost Your Business
You may have heard that e-commerce can boost businesses, but you might not know exactly what e-commerce is. According to BigCommerce, “Essentially, e-commerce (or electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods (or services) on the internet. From mobile shopping to online payment encryption and beyond, e-commerce encompasses a wide variety of data, systems, and tools for both online buyers and sellers.” Because e-commerce is one of the fastest-growing aspects of retail today, business owners turn to it as a solution for growing their business. In fact, many find that they are more successful online than they are in a brick-and-mortar store because they can reach so many more customers.

There are several other reasons to rely on e-commerce, according to The Balance:

●      A website and online store establish your presence and improve your company image.
●      You can sell 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year; you never close, and your customers             can always buy.
●      You can provide better customer support by creating videos, sharing frequently asked questions (FAQs),          offering product spec sheets, and making it simple for customers to contact you using a contact form.
●      You will have low start-up costs if you are starting from scratch online; you won’t have to purchase or                 lease a building, buy or rent vehicles, or hire excess staff.
●      You take advantage of the fact that the internet was built for business; customers are one click away                 from your online store, and you can accept orders and payments directly.
●      You have the flexibility of living and working from anywhere when you sell online. Simply set up your                 home office with any special equipment you might need, and you’re ready to go.

2. Put Your Business Online in the Right (Inexpensive) Way
The trick to relying on e-commerce is creating a website that appeals to customers and delivers a seamless shopping experience. Thankfully, there is a plethora of online website builders and services that help small business owners build their websites, even if you don’t have any web design know-how or experience.

Many small business owners who are just starting out choose a free website builder and then hire a website designer when they can afford it. These designers and developers have the experience needed to migrate your original content to your new site and to make the transition without affecting your existing customers.

3. Use Information Available Online to Boost Your Business
Today, customers rely on online reviews to make purchase decisions more than ever before. In fact, 84 percent of people now trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends, and 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Because online reviews matter, you need to give your customers a way to leave reviews for your products and services. Consider emailing customers after they make a purchase to entice them to write a review, give you a star-based rating, or complete a customer satisfaction survey.

You also can create social media profiles for your business to give customers another avenue for finding you, and writing and reading reviews. Also, link to your social profiles from your website to make it easy for customers to start following you, and so they can share news and reviews about you with their followers. In fact, social media marketing is one of the best ways to increase sales and drive more traffic to your site.

You also can decide which products to sell and ensure you meet more customers’ needs by using information available online. For example, read reviews on Amazon or your competitors’ sites. Uncover what people like and dislike about the products, services, and companies and what they would improve. The more insights you can gather online, the better positioned you will be to meet needs and grow your business.

To succeed in business, you should rely on e-commerce. Put your business online by creating a website, online store, and social media profiles. Then, use other information available online to make sure you have found your niche market and are meeting customers’ needs.

Written by - Larry Mager

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

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Top changes from the 2018 budget for Corporations

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Top changes from the 2018 budget for Corporations

It’s been a wild year in the tax world. Another year brings another Tax budget from the government. The 2018 Federal budget was announced on Tuesday Feb 27th and much expected relief to most small business owners. Some of the tax changes that were proposed from July 2017 were not present in the current 2018 budget. This was great news but only after the country wide uproar on the changes. 

Here’s a list of some notable changes in the budget that will be impacting some of our clients: 

Passive Income
What is passive income? it’s basically not active income which means it’s not transactional income. Passive income best described would be something like mutual funds or shares held by the corporation. The change that comes to Canadian Controlled Private Corporations (CCPC) is how the passive income will be taxed. Companies currently earning or projected to earn more than $50,000 of investment income will be affected adversely. It is recommended to speak to your tax advisor/accountant on this. 

A typical CCPC corporation earning active business income is taxed at corporate tax rates which are lower than personal income tax rates. The tax savings generated by leaving the money in the corporation allows the small business owners to invest more after tax dollars into their respective corporations. Any income earned on Passive income is taxed at a higher rate than the corporate rate to make the tax payable similar to those who invest personally. When the corporation pays out a taxable dividend to a shareholder a portion of that “extra” investment tax is refundable in the corporation’s RDTOH - refundable dividend on hand account. Think of this account as a claw back account for the taxes paid. 

Now that we have gone through some of the history the major change is to the small business deduction which is a preferential tax rate charged on the first $500,000 of taxable income. As a go forward a corporation can earn up to $50,000 of passive income without affecting this small business deduction. For every $1 on top of the $50,000 of passive income the small business limit will be reduced by $5. This means if a corporation earned $51,000 in passive income this would reduce the corporation’s small business limit from $500,000 to $495,000. Once the corporation reaches $150,000 in passive income there will be no small business deduction available.

RDTOH - Refundable Dividend Tax On Hand Account
Currently, a dividend refund is available to corporations at roughly 38% of taxable dividends paid to the extent that there is an available balance of RDTOH at the corporation’s year-end. The RDTOH balances are typically increased where a corporation earns passive investment income. Prior to this Budget, a corporation would receive a refund by declaring an eligible dividend which carries better personal tax treatment than ineligible dividends. 

The budget proposes to introduce measures that will generally allow the CCPC to recover the RDTOH only on the payment of the non-eligible dividends before it can obtain a dividend refund from its eligible RDTOH. There is a exception arising on the payment of Part IX of the tax on eligible portfolio dividends. Such RDTOH will be recoverable on the payment of the eligible dividends. 

TOSI - Tax on Split Income (Income Sprinkling changes) 
Prior to the changes TOSI only applied to minors which was taxing certain types of income at the highest marginal tax rates including taxable ineligible dividends. The new rules stipulate that they will apply to any Canadian resident regardless of age. Fun times I know. Many types of income can be targeted by this new change including taxable dividends, interest on debt obligations. This means that taxable ‘dividends’ paid to a spouse will now be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate unless one of the following exclusions apply.

  • TOSI will not apply for payments made to a spouse who is actively involved in the business. This means for the purposes of taxes the individual engaged in the corporation must be on a regular, continuous and substantial basis. This means the TOSI rules will not affect true family owned businesses where everyone is involved. However, the key word here is “regular, continuous and substantial basis”. This interpretation is based on judgement and it is advisable to see your Tax Advisor to discuss on this exclusion further.

    1. TOSI rules will not affect “excluded shares”. To meet this the following conditions must be met

      1. All or substantially all of the corporation’s income cannot be derived from a related business in respect to the individual.

      2. The corporation cannot be a professional corporation. Also a requirement to be a professional corporation.

      3. The corporation must earn less than 90% of its income from services. This one was to discourage Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and other professionals from splitting between spouse/professional partner.

      4. The individual must own at least 10% of votes and value of the corporation.

Fortunately, TOSI will not impact the arms length sale of QSBC shares that qualify for the lifetime capital gains exemption. 

There have been many other changes that the Budget brings but the above 3 affect majority of our clients who are small business owners. If you feel that some of these rules are not clear we can definitely help. Please reach out and book in a meeting with us to discuss any detailed questions you might have! 

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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Financial Spring Cleaning: How to Get Control Over Your Money

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Financial Spring Cleaning: How to Get Control Over Your Money

For many Canadians, financial planning remains a stressful and elusive task. It’s not just about creating a budget and sticking to it; it’s also a matter of seeing into the future, in a way, to ensure you and your family are on the right track. That can be difficult to do when there’s never enough money to add to a savings account or when unexpected expenses drain what you have.

Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to give your finances an overhaul. It’s important to keep up with spending for the entire family, not just for the sake of your checkbook, but for your own mental health. Money is a top cause of stress for Canadians and it doesn’t seem to matter how good or bad the economy is, because there are always bills to pay. That stress can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, or unable to function at the level you need to, and it can even lead to substance abuse in some cases. For more info about the link between mental health and addiction, read on here.

Keep reading for some tips on how to get control over your finances this year.

Look at your spending
The first step in taking control over your finances is to look at your spending carefully. Sit down with your spouse or partner and go over your bank statements for the past two months. Look at where your money goes, and don’t forget to factor in cash transactions. Outside of utility bills, rent or mortgage, and necessities like gasoline and groceries, what did you spend the most on? Remember that sometimes seasonal factors are at play too, such as having to buy school clothes for the kids.

Cut back
If you see a chance to cut back on your monthly spending, talk it over with your family members. Many families choose to get rid of cable in favor of a less expensive streaming service, or to get rid of a landline phone since they already have cell phones. You don’t have to be brutal with your cuts; if it’s something you enjoy, think twice before getting rid of it or simply cut back. For instance, if you subscribe to a streaming video service and receive DVDs in the mail as well, consider using only one of those.

Set a budget
Creating a budget can be tricky, but it’s important to sit down with your family and talk about spending and how to save. Your household budget should begin with a look at your necessary spending. Once those numbers are added up, look at what’s left and lay out the best ways to use it. You might decide to allot a certain amount for clothing or to start saving for a vacation or a new car. Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate it to the entire family so that everyone is on the same page. Doing this will help give you peace of mind as far as knowing what to expect each week and will help relieve some stress at the same time.

Look at your credit card use
Many of us rely on credit cards to get through the month, but if you can’t afford to pay more than the minimum balance, you’re only digging yourself deeper into debt every time you use it. Come up with a solid plan on paying off your cards and resolve to resist the temptation to open up new accounts when they are offered at retail stores.

Getting your finances in order is rarely an easy thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary if you feel your family is overspending. Come up with a plan before making any big decisions, and talk to your loved ones about the best ways to stay on the right track.

-Article by Larry

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https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

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5 Tax deductions for the small business owner 

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5 Tax deductions for the small business owner 

As a Canadian small business, the focus is so heavily on sales that many business owners don't take advantage of the many write offs that are available to small business owners. Writing off applicable business expenses under your business income can reduce the taxable income which reduces your taxes payable. 

Pro tip - always keep your receipts #Hubdoc and your logbook #mileIQ these are necessities. These solutions are more proactive than reactive in case of a audit. 

1. Vehicle expenses:
Many small business owners always inquire on leasing a car or financing a vehicle for business. Each decision carries it’s own decisioning and will require a consultation. 

  • Calculate your total km’s from the total km log and multiple the first 5000km by $0.55 = $2750 + each additional km add in $0.48. So if you drove a total of 10000KM for the business your total deduction would be $5150 + HST = $5819.50 (Which becomes tax free car allowance).

  • Lease the vehicle which is capped at $800 a month but the total km’s you drive for personal will result in a standby charge which is included as a taxable benefit on your personal income.

2. Meals & Entertainment: 
Taking your clients out for working meetings is a acceptable expense. Please remember that all entertainment related expenses are 50% tax deductible which includes expenses related to sporting events, restaurants, gratuities, entrance fees, rentals etc. 

There are a total of 6 meals and entertainment expenses reserved for when all staff events/parties which is 100% deductible. So that Christmas party you are planning it’s on the house! 

3. Furniture & Equipment: 
If your a small business owner who just opened a business and you brought your own laptop and or other necessary equipment. You can sell your equipment/furniture to your corporation at fair market value and take back a due to shareholder note. This movement of assets into your corporation creates the ownership to be held in your corporation however you always hold possession to the furniture & equipment. 

Additionally you get to take depreciation write off for year’s to come against future income.

4. Operating expenses: 
Expenses attributed to create a smooth sail for your business can be written off. This includes your office rent, office supplies, accounting fees, legal fees, computer software etc. You can deduct the cost of these used directly for the business which helped to earn income.

5. Business Insurance premiums: 
Often in business school they teach that the cost of doing nothing is often higher than doing something. That being said you can write off your entire business insurance expense as a eligible expense for your business. Some of the insurances that you should consider are 

  • General Business liability insurance - basically to protect you from potential lawsuits

  • Business property insurance - in case of destruction or theft of your equipment.

  • Business Interruption insurance - to cover business losses in relation to natural disasters and fire.

As always we offer free 30 mins consultations for other in depth questions you might have. Feel free to book us in for a quick call and setup. 

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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How to Protect Yourself & Your Wallet As You Venture Out On Your Own

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How to Protect Yourself & Your Wallet As You Venture Out On Your Own

Whether you’re just submitting applications to college or finally stepping out into the world, gaining personal and financial responsibility is vital if you want success in life. Unfortunately, many young people are instead finding themselves burdened by finances due to irresponsible use of earnings. However, there are several ways you can secure your future by saving, implementing smart money management techniques and protecting yourself from life’s uncertainties. 

Acquire Self-Control
When it comes to your money, a little self-control goes a long way. Instant gratification seems fun but cumulatively can cause trouble for you in the future. Not taking care of your bills and other necessities can also cause great arrears which can lower your credit and put you at high risk for increased debt. 

According to Creditcards.com, consumers are more willing to spend a considerable amount of money when using a credit card over handing over cash. By doing so, you aren’t actually saving any money at all. In fact, you can get into serious debt if you aren’t paying back those costs on time. When that debt accrues and isn’t paid back, this can put you at risk for garnished wages, bill collectors going after you, and even being sued. 

 Instead, stick to a budget, like the 50-20-30 rule which allows you to see exactly how and where your budget should be allocated. This rule builds a customized financial plan on a unique level since we all have various wants and needs with differentiating incomes.

Shake Off Leeches
Just because you need to save doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun. However, it’s important to become aware of money leeches, entities or people that drain your financial resources. A money leech ties itself to you and tries to stick around, but it’s up to you to no longer feed it. 

As a young adult, you will come face-to-face with various forms of temptations; some not so harmful, while others may be dangerous. However, not giving bad habits the time of day will help you to gain control of your own life. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance and alcohol abuse has risen for college-age students, due to peer pressure. An addiction or unhealthy habit can send you into a downward spiral with financial hardships, so become aware of how such practices can also send you into debt. 

Gaining the confidence to just say no to money leeches will give you the confidence to say no to other activities or things that don’t serve you. Save yourself headache (and money) in the long run by learning what constitutes a necessity versus an option.  

Financial Planning
With the right tools, anyone is capable of setting themselves up for a great future, financially. However, not everyone learns the proper way to manage money. Unfortunately, schools don’t teach financial management and money-saving skills are rarely taught at home, which is why so many young people today are accruing more debt than they can handle. However, it’s never too late to learn how to become a financially independent adult, which can keep you from living paycheck-to-paycheck and also puts you in the position to help others.

 One way of acquiring knowledge about money management is to utilize devices, apps and websites which not only teaches you to budget wisely, but helps you to see where your money is going and has long-lasting effects on how you view money and ways it’s distributed. You may even find speaking with a financial counselor to be useful. Financial counselors are there to help you avoid investment and tax mistakes as well as provide you with a deeper knowledge of how finances work. However, finding one that has your best interest in mind is of the utmost importance. 

While money is a valuable asset, your life is even more precious. Secure it by making the right decisions and creating a viable financial plan that will help you go far beyond your wildest dreams.

Article written by - Larry 

 Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

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Firm of the Future 2017 - CapexCPA 

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Firm of the Future 2017 - CapexCPA 

Firm of the Future 2017 - CapexCPA

Quickbooks just released the newest firm of the future accounting firm winners who have been recognized for leveraging the key trends in the Accounting industry. The four major elements being the cloud, service, technology and power reporting. When these four elements are put together, they allow us to create a strategic partnership with our clients and become a Firm of the future.

CapexCPA applied for this contest, where a total of 15 firms worldwide were selected with 4 from each country being Canada, USA, UK and Australia. In Canada, Quickbooks ranked our firm as one of the top 3 cloud accounting firms. We feel honoured to be recognized as one of the firms of the future. At CapexCPA we strongly believe in our signature DNA elements to help our clientele. Below is our take on how we became a Firm of the future. 

The first DNA element is Cloud. 
We feel that using the same cloud accounting platform like Quickbooks allow our clients to understand the numbers better. The cloud eliminates confusion and helps with timely decision making. Keeping transparency is critical in establishing a trusting relationship with our clients.  

The second DNA element is Service.
We make every effort to respond to all emails, phone calls, texts and social media to help communicate with our clients. Providing speedy responses to questions is essential to play the Virtual CFO role. 

The third DNA element is Technology. 
Using technology in every facet from client on-boarding to the tax year-end and repeat. We only use the best in class software providers. Our app closet essentials include Quickbooks, Hubdoc, Wagepoint, and Plooto. We wouldn’t be able to run our Cloud practice without these software platforms. 

The fourth DNA element is Power-Reporting.
Providing our clients with strong analytical reports that extend the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet is what helps to differentiate us from traditional accounting firms in the industry. Our clients love getting weekly/monthly cloud reports which help resolve real operational issues before they become problems. 

We look forward to working towards introducing a completely paperless and cloud based accounting experience for our future clients. It’s been an amazing ride thus far, and we look forward to growing and helping to pioneer the future of Cloud Accounting. 

Choose Change. Choose Capex.

https://www.firmofthefuture.com/content/intuit-announces-2017-top-four-global-firms-of-the-future/

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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Starting your Business after a Career setback where to begin?

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Starting your Business after a Career setback where to begin?

Starting your own business may seem like an overwhelming decision, but if you’ve recently suffered a career setback, it may be the best path for you. Not only will you be able to dictate what your responsibilities are, you may be able to set your own hours, find a business that you enjoy being in every day, and hire your own set of employees who will work hard to make your dream come true.

There are lots of details to consider, but with a good plan and some preparation, you’ll be ready to tackle anything that comes your way. The first step is to think about what type of business you want to start. Consider your hobbies and things you’re skilled at; if you have a college degree, you can apply it here. Your new business should be something you really enjoy, because it takes a lot of hard work to get up and running and you want to ensure that you’ll still be invested years down the road.

Here are some of the best tips on how to get started with your own business.

Think about the consequences first
Starting a business takes a lot of planning, and things don’t always go as planned. Think a few steps ahead and picture running your business on your own. Will you have the fortitude to handle it? Most small business owners work very long hours and don’t see much return on their investment in the first year or even two years; do you have enough money saved to get you through the lean times? Will your schedule allow for it? Write down all the pros and cons before taking any steps to ensure you won’t have any nasty surprises down the road.

Think hard about the type of business you want
All successful businesses start with a good idea. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into a business concept that may only be a passing fad; instead, develop a solid plan and work from there. Ideally, it’s something you’re passionate about and/or have experience with so that from the beginning, you’re ready to jump in with both feet.

If you don’t have enough experience in any one field, think about becoming self-employed. This will give you the freedom to set your own hours and choose the type of business you want to break into, such as real estate. Becoming an agent will give you valuable experience and will allow you to work with people who might be able to refer you to new clients, meaning your money-making possibilities will only expand.

For more info on becoming a real estate agent, read on here.

Do some research
Test out the current market for the product or service you want to provide in your community and work your way out to see what the demand will be, and also to find out what competition you may be dealing with. If there is a similar business in your neighborhood, do some research to find out how they do things, what their customer base is, and what their price points are. This will help you decide how to proceed with your own concept.

Establish a budget
One of the most important steps in starting a business is to establish a budget and figure out if you’re going to need investors. Sit down with a financial advisor so that nothing is overlooked and think about what your startup costs will be, as well as how much you’ll need to get through the first several months to a year. Include funds for a storefront, if you’ll be buying one, as well as taxes, licenses, and funds for employees.

Starting your own business is a big job, so reach out for help from professionals or from people who have experience in the field. Garner support from friends and family, as well, so that the process isn’t so scary.

Article written by - Larry Mager

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

 

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Top 10 Federal Budget 2017 changes

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Top 10 Federal Budget 2017 changes

On Wednesday March 22nd 2017, our Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau introduced the 2017 budget. Out of the many changes a few were spared including the personal tax rates, corporate tax rates and capital gains rates.

  1. Innovation Credits the Canadian government would like to provide new financing support in the realm of $1.4 Billion for clean technology firms to grow and expand. Over the next coming months the application process for these programs will be finalized and companies can apply.

  2. Tax Planning using corporations is under review by the Canadian government. Corporations were effectively used to avoid or minimize the tax that corporations and shareholders would pay. The main areas of tax planning within a private corporation being targeted is a) Incoming splitting, b) Passive investments and c) conversion of regular income into capital gains.

  3. CCPC Status stands for Canadian controlled private corporation which carries many benefits. Budget 2017 has proposed changes where the status of the CCPC which is entitled to the small business deduction of $500,000 will have to pass additional tests. Although a tax payer may not having voting control (Common shares) of a corporation but they can still have influence over the directors where such a case can be established the small business deduction will have to be shared amongst the corporations.

  4. Stop loss transactions: Before Budget 2017 a taxpayer could enter into two transactions where the first transaction would trigger a loss prior to the tax year and as such reducing the taxes for the current year. The second transaction would trigger a gain preceding the year-end in which the gain would not be taxed for a whole year. If parliament agrees to eliminating this tax technique than all future transactions will be disallowed and taxed under the new measures.

  5. Accrual basis Accounting: As many of you would know there are two methods of accounting being cash and accrual. The primary difference between the two relates to revenue timing. The Accrual method will calculate the tax owing position based on revenue generated and the cash basis accounting method would calculate the tax based on cash collected. The professions being impacted with the new budget will eliminate the choice of choosing between the methods and force Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers and Accountants to use the accrual basis. A letter is expected clarifying this but it will allow for a 2 year transitional period.

  6. Caregiver credit system: Budget 2017 proposes to simply and streamline the caregiver credits. The infirm dependent credit, caregiver credit and family caregiver tax credit will be phased out and replaced with the new Canada caregiver credit. Where the credits will apply to the families that live or don’t live in the same household.

  7. Medical tax credit: Individuals who incur medical intervention to conceive a child will be eligible for the medical tax credits. Prior to the Budget 2017 these expenses were limited to those who would generally be eligible for medical infertility.

  8. Public Tax credit: This tax credit used by many will be phased out as it hasn't encouraged people to use public transit and reduce green house emissions. It's unfortunate as this was one of the few credits that students and commuters would claim.

  9. Ride sharing: Your Uber will be taxed with the GST/HST taxation and have the same rules applied to taxies to be applied to the ride sharing companies. Basically your Uber will cost you more now but be just as safe as taxis due to the added regulations.

  10. Increased funding for CRA: The budget announced that half a billion dollars will be used to fund the CRA over 5 years in an effort to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance. It means we will be having many more auditors being hired and policing tax evaders. Ensure you always report everything to the CRA and always keep your receipts as they can go back by 6 years to audit/review your books.

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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We are your Accountant 2.0

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We are your Accountant 2.0

Change is the only constant in the new age of technology. Technology changes companies and even entire industries might get wiped out. The days of looking at a set of financial statements to see how the business is performing are long gone. Small businesses require more relevant information on their business to help make the decisions of tomorrow.

In the past Accountants have played the role of what we call historians. Accountants would typically speak to the historical financial performance and assume that to be a viable representation of the future growth of a business is inherently flawed. Let's think of a practical example, If Rogers Communication loses 20 million in revenue it wouldn't be such a big deal had they lost 20 million cellphone subscribers. Take that in for a minute basically the market now reacts to new information such as the subscriber base which isn't represented in the traditional financial statements. The understanding here is that focusing on the bigger pictures leads to the bigger results i.e. higher subscriber base will bring in the higher revenue.

As such each business has what are called key productivity indicators. It's important to study these metrics as you can not make something better and bigger if you don’t measure it. Measuring can be a lot of administrative work and can be counter productive unless you use the cloud. The cloud can shape your business and empower you the business owner with just in time information. Imagine having the ability to check how your business is doing above and beyond the business bank account.

Imagine being able to run the Profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements all by yourself or just running simple dashboards to see how you did from this month versus the last month? Being able to do projections and set sales targets with a few clicks of the mouse and done. Setting up targets is critical for growth and understanding why you didn't hit those milestones is what financial information should be used for. Reading past the numbers is what business owners require and need and delivering this in a robust and efficient way is what the new breed of accountants will need to adopt.

The 21st century business owner wants a new breed of accountant who plays as a linebacker while they play the quarterback. The days of seeing your accountant once a year are coming to an end and for accountants being a benched player are slowly drifting away. It's game time and it's a exciting opportunity to help each business grow and flourish.

Embrace the silver lining of the cloud and feel the difference!

Choose Change. Choose Capex.

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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'Free' Personal Tax Filing

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'Free' Personal Tax Filing

It's that time of the year again and here we are another year staring at our T4 slips and asking that question….Where did all the money go? It's important to have your taxes filed on time and every year because there are some tax breaks that you can qualify for and receive rebates. These rebates won't make it to your mailbox if you don’t do your annual tax filing.

The perfect website to use to file your personal simple income tax returns is www.SimpleTax.ca. It's a friendly, fast and efficient way of having your personal taxes filed this year. Paying someone to do a simple tax return can be money used to invest in your RRSP or TFSA account. #SaveTheChange

In case you owe money to the CRA outstanding tax owing amounts can rack up penalties and interest. In case your curious the penalty is 5% of your 2016 owing amount plus 1% for every month that it's late for a maximum of 12 months. So a pro tax tip is to file your tax return even if you can't pay the total amount so you can avoid the late filing penalty.

If you choose to skip out on your taxes for multiple years you get yourself into deep waters where the penalties get really expensive. The penalty will be lesser of the 10% of the amount you did not file and or 50% of the difference between the understated tax and or related to the amount you failed to report.

False statements on your tax returns is serious and if it carries it's own set of tax troubles. However, the Canada revenue agency understands that mistakes happen and if you catch this mistake before the CRA than you can get away with just a simple slap on the hand! The program is called the voluntary disclosures program.

Key things to remember when filing your personal tax return this year.

  1. Did you report all your T4, T4E, T5 and other tax slips received in the mail?

  2. Remember that Presto and TTC passes are tax deductible not your regular trips. (i.e. the actual cards).

  3. Did you pay any rent for the year? That's tax deductible

  4. Did you take care of your parents and or child? That's also tax deductible.

  5. If you had any tuition or professional fees paid you should claim those expenses.

  6. One of the expenses rarely claimed is medical bills (i.e. prescriptions).

  7. Did you sell your primary residence in 2016? This is a new requirement and needs to be declared

  8. Do you own any foreign property? Please ensure to claim this on the form T1135.

Please use the following resources:
Interest & Penalties
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/ntrst/menu-eng.html

Deductions:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/menu-eng.html

Tax Software to use:
https://simpletax.ca/

Click on the link below to book a meeting.
https://calendly.com/capexcpa/phone-call-with-jag

- Written by: Jag Bath

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