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July 5, 2017 by Terry Booth

Financing options for early stage tech companies

If you are trying to find financing for an early stage tech company, you’ve got three main options: government grants, equity investment, and/or bank loans. In most cases, companies try to survive off government grants and maybe some equity funding from friends and family for at least the first two years. The criteria are different when trying to get equity investors involved as opposed to a bank. Traditionally, banks want to see at least two years of business history before seriously considering financing. On the other hand, angel investors don’t really care how long you have been in business. They tend to be more concerned about how much traction you’ve been able to achieve with your customers. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the financing options available.

May 23, 2017 by Greg Hemstad

Business advisory: Bridging the gap for success

Traditionally, accounting firms have focused on providing assurance and taxation services for their small business clients. Discussions often center on historical results. While these are useful and an important base discussion to have, we also want our clients to be looking forward, actively planning and pursuing their future. This is the bridge that business advisory builds to take clients to the next level.

May 15, 2017 by Jennifer Hollis

Salary vs. dividend for medical professionals

For medical practitioners, the choice between salary or dividends is usually a conflicted one. The general sense is that the grass is greener on the other side. As tax rates change both federally and provincially, it’s necessary to consider the pros and cons of each option, as well as other aspects of pay, such as retirement savings, in order to make sure the right strategy is implemented.

Here is a closer look at some of the key issues involved.

May 10, 2017 by John Clausen

Negotiation strategies for selling your business

Negotiating the sale of your business isn’t easy. The ability to negotiate is vital when entering into a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction. However, it’s difficult to stay objective when parting with a company you’ve dedicated years of your life to. For many people, this is an emotional process. It’s important to enter M&A negotiations with an understanding of your priorities for your future and the future of your company. Keep the following strategies in mind and you are far more likely to get the deal you’re hoping for.

May 3, 2017 by Sara Detweiler

It’s never too early to crisis-proof your business

From fires to the destructive floods in Alberta, we have experienced a variety of unexpected disasters in recent years. People often think something like this will never happen to them, but we’ve seen that anyone can be affected. Statistics show that small businesses are often not prepared for emergencies and rarely think about disaster recovery – in the same way many people postpone writing a will or planning their funeral.

March 6, 2017 by Janet Currie

Incorporating a proprietorship business

When an individual operates a business without having a corporation it’s referred to as a proprietorship business. But when is the right time to incorporate?

If there’s income in your business that you don’t need to spend personally every year, you should seriously consider incorporating. Not only will you potentially limit liability and protect personal assets, but the tax rates for a corporation are lower. You can also leave money in the corporation for many years and get tax savings that way. 

February 16, 2017 by Bill Camden

Strategies for Dealing with the New SBD Rules

Some taxpayers utilize corporate groups, which have been structured to multiply their access to the small business deduction (SBD). The SBD allows a company to pay a lower tax rate on the first $500,000 of income each year. Access to the SBD is sometimes limited as it must be shared by associated corporations and corporate partners. To avoid having to share the SBD, some businesses that naturally work in groups, have structured their affairs in a way that allows more than one $500,000 small business deduction. In reaction to this multiplication strategy, the government introduced legislation in the 2016 federal budget to end the effectiveness of such structures and, in effect, increase tax rates for companies in such groups.

January 19, 2017 by Peter Spratt

The changing face of workplace harassment

In 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario) was amended to include the definitions of workplace harassment and workplace violence, as well as associated requirements for employers. Prior to that, harassment fell under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and was limited to the prohibited grounds as defined by the OHRC. However, since 2010, employees have had another avenue to bring forward concerns about workplace harassment and violence: the OH&S Act. 

January 10, 2017 by Tyna Jallet

Protecting seniors from fraud

As the baby boom generation ages, the balance of young and old is shifting, resulting in a disproportionate number of seniors. This is a new phenomenon, one that has made the complicated problems facing the elderly more prevalent than ever before. One area that is often overlooked when people consider caring for seniors is their financial needs and the ways that they are vulnerable to fraud. Committed by strangers, as well as unscrupulous friends and family members, this activity could include the illegal theft and misuse of a senior’s money or property and the concealing of assets that belong to the elderly individual. If you are a friend, family member or advisor assisting a senior, be sure to take the time to protect them from the many risks they are facing.

December 27, 2016 by Mark Mooney

5 lessons to make inclusive leadership work

To me, inclusive leadership, means consensus building – so that every member of your team feels like they’re part of the process. But it’s never as simple as it looks. For instance, it can be easier to achieve consensus with just a few partners, but the bigger you get, the more difficult and time-consuming the process gets. With that in mind, here are some key lessons to remember when implementing inclusive strategies.

December 21, 2016 by Ryan Kitchen

The advantages of leasing farm equipment

Historically, farmers running successful businesses have preferred buying equipment to leasing, as it allows them to own assets with value that they can sell in the future. Many farmers also believe there is a stigma associated with leasing, as it suggests that that they can’t afford to buy farm equipment and, therefore, don’t have a healthy farm. However, there are many overlooked advantages to leasing, rather than buying. For farmers who are struggling to obtain financing – or simply want to consider the alternatives – leasing is usually a viable option.

December 16, 2016 by Jim McEvoy

Multinational companies, minimize pesky (higher) U.S. taxes

For multinationals with branches in both Canada and the United States, there’s one big tax challenge that’s impossible to ignore: U.S. tax rates are generally higher than Canadian tax rates. Companies wrestling with this issue are always looking for ways to reduce U.S. income and maximize Canadian income (within the existing rules), lowering their overall tax burden. Some strategies include financing, transfer pricing, inter-company charges, and reducing tax liability through tax planning. To make the most of these options, it’s important to take the following steps.

December 14, 2016 by Kenneth Tammadge

Make consensus work for you – and your team

Whether looking for full or majority consensus, leaders know in theory that working closely with their team before making big decisions is more positive for both outcomes and work culture. Effective leaders rarely run a one-person show. With that in mind, it’s important that you train your team to develop realistic expectations about consensus as well as best practices on how to achieve it. These five guidelines can help you achieve the consensus you need, without overlooking your team’s greatest assets.

December 13, 2016 by Chris Russell

7 questions you should ask a valuation expert

Every business owner should engage a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) because they are professionals specifically trained in the field of valuation. This gives them the skills necessary to appropriately consider all the nuances of your business, including the quantitative and qualitative factors that influence your value. However, it also helps if clients have some understanding of the relevant issues, as this puts them in a better position to get the answers they need. But before you can get those answers, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions.

November 29, 2016 by Luther VanGilst

Changes in quota rules for corporate farming businesses

For farmers, the quota system is in place for supply-managed commodities. In Canada, that includes milk, eggs, chicken, turkey and hatching eggs. Essentially, you have to own a license to be able to sell any of those commodities. Under the current rules for corporate businesses (which are still in effect until January 1, 2017), half of the gain is tax-free and the other half is taxed like it’s business income. For the 50% that is taxed, you’d probably pay at a rate of 26.5% under the current rules (all rates in this post are Ontario rates). As of January 1, 2017, you will still pay tax on the same amount of income, but instead of it being considered active business income, it will be considered investment income. In light of these changes, here are a few issues farmers planning to sell quota should keep in mind.

November 22, 2016 by Peter Hobb

6 steps to improve strategy execution

Companies attempting to develop realistic, achievable strategies – and execute them – often rely on SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You want to mitigate your threats and take advantage of your opportunities, leverage your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Once you have identified those, you will make far greater progress toward defining your strategies. However, simply defining your strategies is only the first step. You also need to take measures to help your team execute on those strategies. Here are six steps to ensure that your strategies succeed.

October 24, 2016 by Noël Cantin

Make the most of millennial employees

As millennials have become a large part of the workforce, those of us in leadership positions are discovering new management strategies. For both succession planning and to create a work culture that keeps younger talent engaged, here are four key ways to ensure your millennial employees are ready for the future.

October 11, 2016 by Yuriy Tyshchuk

Got a travel business? 7 TICO questions you can’t afford to ignore

TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario) is a governing body of the travel industry in Ontario. It’s a government organization that oversees Ontario travel agents and travel-related businesses. If you’re not registered with them, you’re not allowed to have a travel business in Ontario. Once your business is registered, you must present your financial statements to TICO once a year and meet certain financial requirements in order to retain this license.

September 14, 2016 by John Bujold

Succession planning? Here’s why you want to gift the farm

There can be a significant amount of wealth tied-up in farm businesses—including partnerships and corporations—and there are opportunities in the succession process to distribute that wealth on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis. Much of this wealth is eligible for capital gains exemptions, allowing it to pass on to the next generation, so that they can continue farming without a heavy debt burden. If you’re in the process of planning the succession of your farming business, it’s important to consider taking advantage of gifting, as it allows you to apply tax benefits to farming assets.