Capstone LLP Chartered Professional Accountants http://www.capstonellp.ca Toronto Accounting Firm Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:24:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 When To Have a Business Valuation http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/23/when-to-have-business-valuation/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/23/when-to-have-business-valuation/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 17:16:22 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25821 Having your business evaluated by a Chartered Accountant provides you with an accurate picture of what it is worth in the current market. A business valuation is important for business owners if you are looking to make any changes. Professional Chartered Business Valuators can give you an independent and fair valuation of your business to […]

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Small Business Valuation

Having your business evaluated by a Chartered Accountant provides you with an accurate picture of what it is worth in the current market. A business valuation is important for business owners if you are looking to make any changes. Professional Chartered Business Valuators can give you an independent and fair valuation of your business to help with the process. Here is when you should get your business valuated:

Selling
If you are looking to sell your business you want to make sure that you know how much it is worth. Getting a business valuation can help you determine what valuation you should sell it at. The option for what to sell it at is up to you then, either at the valuation, below it, or above it. Having a valuation done is also a good negotiating factor because you can physically show buyers what your business is worth rather than having them just go on your word.

Buying/Expanding
If you are considering expanding or buying another business, start off by getting a business valuation of what you already have. This could help with securing loans for expanding. It will also help determine if now is a good time for growing your business. If you are acquiring another business consider doing your own independent valuation of it. They may or may not have gotten one done but hiring someone you trust to evaluate on your behalf is always a good idea, especially for such a big decision.

Reorganization
Businesses, big or small, go through reorganization from time to time. If you are adding shareholders or new partners a valuation might be in order. When you know how much your business is worth you can judge what percentage to give to shareholders, partners, or investors based on how much they invest. If you think your business is worth $100,000 but your partner thinks it is worth $50,000, when they invest $5,000 you will end up arguing about what percentage they own. A valuation helps settle those disputes.

Estate Planning
Everyone at some point in their life will settle down to organize and plan their estate. This is usually done for the purposes of a will. As a business owner, you have the option to leave your ownership to someone else upon your death. It’s important to know how much your business is worth while you are planning this out especially if you are giving it to multiple people.

Matrimonial Separation
Unfortunately, marriage does not always work out. During a matrimonial separation, all assets are assessed and discussed. If you own a business, whether you own it together or separately, it will likely be up for discussion. Most likely you will get a business valuation done on it to determine how much it is worth. In most divorces assets are divided somewhat evenly, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets half of everything. If you want full ownership of your business you might exchange it for other assets of equal value.

Conclusion
Having an up to date and fair valuation of your business is never a bad idea. It gives you a good look at how much the business you spend your time running is worth. Contact us today if you would like to set up a business valuation.

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When Is the Right Time to Hire An Accountant For Your Small Business? http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/15/right-time-hire-accountant-small-business/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/15/right-time-hire-accountant-small-business/#respond Mon, 15 May 2017 21:49:12 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25807 A Chartered Professional Accountant can help your business grow at various stages. They do a lot more than handle payroll, bookkeeping, and taxes. The financial advice they can provide can make or break whether a business survives or not. A big question small business owners have is “when is the right time to hire one?”. […]

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When to Hire a Small Business Accountant

A Chartered Professional Accountant can help your business grow at various stages. They do a lot more than handle payroll, bookkeeping, and taxes. The financial advice they can provide can make or break whether a business survives or not. A big question small business owners have is “when is the right time to hire one?”. However, there is a good reason for hiring an accountant at each stage of a company’s growth.

 

In The Beginning

There are multiple reasons to consider hiring a Chartered Accountant at the beginning of opening up your small business – they will be an incredibly useful resource, especially if you have never opened or operated a business before. An accountant can help you create a business plan that will include initial budgeting. If you have trouble figuring out financing they can also be of assistance by aiding you with your loan applications.

When opening a small business, a lot of people do not think about the legal structure of it. Not all businesses are built the same, especially in terms of legal organization. Each type of legal structuring has its advantages and disadvantages. A small business accountant will be able to advise you on what type of structure would work best for you. They can also help you figure out other legal aspects like how to pay yourself, how to set up business accounts, and how to hire employees.

Hiring a Chartered Professional Accountant during the early stages will help you in the long run. They have financial knowledge, experience, and advice that could end up saving you a lot of time and money.

 

After It Is Set Up

If you have already established your small business, or do not need help doing so, then consider hiring an accountant once you are settled. Small businesses take a lot of work to run, with owners usually taking on a lot of the responsibility themselves. Doing the finances for any business is a big job, especially if you are not trained in accounting.

Hiring a small business accountant means they can keep track of your finances, catch bookkeeping errors, manage payroll, and set a budget. Do not worry about the cost of an accountant as most of them more than make up for their price due to the money they save you. When you hire an accountant you get to spend less time on bookkeeping and more time actually running your business.

 

During Tax Season

For experienced small business owners sometimes an accountant is only needed during tax season. Hiring an accountant for small business taxes can end up saving you a significant amount of money. They will be able to catch any bookkeeping or other financial errors you might have made. They can also find you tax breaks and deductions you might not have known about.

If the government ever audits your business the first things you should do is hire an accountant to get things on track. A Chartered Accountant is trained to deal with audits and can help you recalculate figures, budget for paying more money and prevent you from getting audited again. The best way to not get audited though is to always use a chartered accountant when filing your small business taxes.

 

Business Changes

Anytime your business is undergoing a major change it is a good idea to speak with an accountant. If your business is expanding that is a good sign, but it almost means there is more to handle. An accountant will be able to guide you through the process. They can also help you with financing new locations, hiring more staff, and expanding your service/products.

Hiring a Chartered Accountant is also a smart move if you are downsizing or selling. They can prepare any financial reports and records that will be needed for the government and buyers. A small business accountant will also help you get the best value for your business.

 

There is never a wrong time to hire a small business accountant to help you out. They can provide valuable advice and services that will only aid your small business. So whether you are just starting out or firmly established, consider hiring a Chartered Accountant. Contact us for any of your small business accounting needs.

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Outsourced CFO For Small Businesses http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/09/outsourced-cfo-small-businesses/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/09/outsourced-cfo-small-businesses/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 21:48:48 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25804 Many businesses could benefit from hiring a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), but unfortunately, most small businesses cannot afford to do so. In this instance, outsourcing a CFO might be the answer. Businesses outsource CFO services when they need a more in-depth understanding of their finances or need financial advice but do not have the funds […]

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outsourced cfo services

Many businesses could benefit from hiring a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), but unfortunately, most small businesses cannot afford to do so. In this instance, outsourcing a CFO might be the answer. Businesses outsource CFO services when they need a more in-depth understanding of their finances or need financial advice but do not have the funds for a full-time CFO.

CFO Responsibilities

A CFO handles most of the financial responsibilities that come with running a business. They report and interpret the financial information necessary to manage and grow. In order to get the benefits of a CFO without the hefty price tag, many small businesses hire a professional chartered accountant to act in the CFO position. Outsourced CFO’s tasks will depend on what you need them to do for your business. They might prepare scheduled reports, do financial analysis, advise you on business changes, develop budgets, manage cash flow, and provide guidance.

An outsourced CFO has many benefits. Here is how a CFO can benefit your small business:

Save Money

Getting financial advice and financial services can be expensive. Luckily, it is easy to fit an outsourced CFO into any budget. You start saving money right away when you outsource by not having to pay the high salary that most CFO’s require. This allows you to reinvest that money into other aspects of your business. An outsourced CFO is usually a chartered accountant. They are experienced and skilled so they will not only require a lower fee but they are also able to provide advice and guidance on how to save money in the running of your business.

Flexibility

A small business is dependent on flexibility. In order to run a small business, you need flexibility with cash flow and resources, taking money from some areas to invest in others as needed. An outsourced CFO provides that by taking the pressure off you to pay another salary. You can hire them as an on needed basis, adjusting the scope of services you require as needed.

Wider Skillset

The great thing about an outsourced CFO is that they are usually trained and experienced accountants. This means they have more external knowledge and experience than a regular CFO might have. They understand small business finances and can help you in whatever aspect you need them too. The knowledge they gained from working with other businesses, especially those similar to yours, will greatly benefit you.

Efficiency

An outsourced CFO generally works more efficiently than an in-house one. An outsourced CFO is used to working with new businesses so the learning curve will be conquered quicker. They tend to meet deadlines quicker and do things more efficiently. These are skills they learned and perfected while being a professional chartered accountant. Outsourcing a CFO also means that you can get back to focusing on managing your business, and not just stressing over the finances.

 

Contact us today to discuss how an outsourced CFO could benefit your Toronto small business. They will not only help with the day-to-day finances but also be there to guide you through larger business changes like expansion and investment. An outsourced CFO has all the benefits of a regular CFO just without that large price.

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What Happens If You File Your Taxes Late? http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/01/filing-taxes-late/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/05/01/filing-taxes-late/#respond Mon, 01 May 2017 21:17:57 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25794 What happens if you missed the 2017 tax deadline? The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) puts hefty penalties on those that file their taxes late. That is why Chartered Accountants always recommend filing and getting started on your taxes as early as you can. However, if you do file late, what exactly happens?   2017 Tax […]

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Filing Taxes Late 2017

What happens if you missed the 2017 tax deadline? The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) puts hefty penalties on those that file their taxes late. That is why Chartered Accountants always recommend filing and getting started on your taxes as early as you can. However, if you do file late, what exactly happens?

 

2017 Tax Deadlines

Mark it on your calendar, April 30th. That is the deadline that income tax returns have to be filed by. Any balance owed to the CRA also has to be paid by that date too. Any payment sent in the mail needs to be postmarked on or before that date also. For self-employed individuals, there is a bit more room. You have until June 15th to file your taxes. There’s a catch, though. Any balance owed still has to be paid at the normal time, April 30th.

 

Penalties for Filing Taxes Late

There are penalties for filing late, and they can be pretty steep for those that owe a balance. The CRA will charge you a penalty of 5% of your owed balance plus an additional 1% for every month that your tax return is late. These penalties can go up too, doubling in fact, if you continuously file late. Even if you cannot afford to pay the entire balance owed to the CRA, Chartered Accountants recommend paying at least a portion to avoid late filing penalties. It is always a good idea to file your taxes on time even if you cannot pay on time to avoid some of the penalties.

 

Benefit Interruption

In additional to financial fees and penalties, people that file late may have their government benefits interrupted. To receive certain federal or provincial benefit payments one has to file an annual return. If you file late, or not at all, these payments may be interrupted. Taxes are used to assess eligibility for programs so if you file late your information won’t be processed in time meaning you will receive your benefits later.

Programs that are affected by this include:

•    Canada Child Tax Benefit
•    Universal Child Care Benefit
•    Working Income Tax Benefit
•    Guaranteed Income Supplement
•    GST/HST Benefit
•    Ontario Trillium Benefit

 

I Filed Late: Now What?

File your taxes as soon as possible once the deadline has passed. Your penalties get steeper each day past the deadline. Make sure that all of your information is correct to avoid causing even more trouble. There is something called voluntary disclosure. It means that if you did not file in the past or filed late and then submit the forms before the CRA audits you or asks for the documents, you will not get in as much trouble. In this case, you will only be required to pay the amount owed plus interest.

 

How to Avoid Being Late

The best thing is to avoid filing taxes late at all costs, as there are heavy penalties for those that do. Start getting all the information you need for taxes early to avoids stress and last minute scrambling. Do not wait for the deadline either – file your taxes as soon as you are ready and able. Hiring a Chartered Accountant is always a good idea as well. They can help you find the right documents, make the calculations, and make sure you make the deadline.

 
Contact us today if you have any questions, concerns, or are interested in our tax filing services.

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Audit, Compilation, & Review Engagement: Understanding the Differences http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/24/audit-compilation-and-review-engagement/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/24/audit-compilation-and-review-engagement/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:34:06 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25787 An end of the year assessment is important for any company. It is the best way to give you an accurate and updated picture of your company’s finances. There are three types of end of year engagements: audit, compilation, and review engagement. Each differs in terms of scope of work performed and level of assurance […]

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Audit Compilation & Review Engagements

An end of the year assessment is important for any company. It is the best way to give you an accurate and updated picture of your company’s finances. There are three types of end of year engagements: audit, compilation, and review engagement. Each differs in terms of scope of work performed and level of assurance provided. Here are the differences between them.

Audit

People always panic when they hear the word audit. This is thanks to the fear surrounding CRA audits that can sometimes lead to people needing to pay large amounts of money or facing criminal charges. An audit engagement is not that though, so rest assured. In this instance, an audit is done so that an independent accountant can take an honest look at company finances and give a fair opinion on them.

A Chartered Accountant will look through financial data to make sure that it fits with government standards and is free from errors and misstatements. An audit is the most intense and thorough end of year assessment. It also provides the most assurance. An accountant will look through documents, assets, and make inquiries. The purpose of an audit is simply to make sure that everything is as it should be.

Review Engagement

An audit is meant to look for misstatements in a thorough manner, but a review engagement is only meant to assess whether a company’s financial statements are believable or plausible. Unlike an audit, a review engagement does not offer as much assurance about whether a company is fully complying. Instead, they offer what is called negative assurance. This just means that the Chartered Accountant is providing assurance that nothing is jumping out as wrong. This differs from an audit, which provides a positive assurance by stating that everything is right. Review engagements tend to be more popular since they are easier, cheaper, and most companies do not require a thorough look.

Compilation

A compilation, also known as a notice to reader, involves an accountant compiling information into financial statements. There is no assurance provided in this instance since the client provides all of the information. A compilation would only be used if a company does not need assurance about their financial data. In this instance an accountant will not be giving an assessment or opinion about the financial data nor do they modify it, they simply compile it into the necessary reports.

Which Do You Need?

Certain industries, businesses, and companies require different end of year assessments. In some instances, these are specified in the legal by-laws. If it is up to you to decide, consult a Chartered Accountant. They will be able to advise you on which would be best for your situation. Contact us today to discuss the end of year assessment options available.

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Common Myths About CRA Audits http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/17/common-myths-about-cra-audits/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/17/common-myths-about-cra-audits/#respond Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:56:44 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25772 Tax season is upon us and that means that everyone is focused on gathering their financial data. Filing taxes can be stressful, but the thought of a financial audit by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) can be worse – mostly due to the myths about them out there. However, with a Chartered Accountants to accurately […]

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CRA Tax Audit Myths

Tax season is upon us and that means that everyone is focused on gathering their financial data. Filing taxes can be stressful, but the thought of a financial audit by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) can be worse – mostly due to the myths about them out there. However, with a Chartered Accountants to accurately prepare and submit your taxes, if an audit does occur, you will not have much to worry about.

 

Myth 1: Filing Online Increases Your Chance Of Being Audited

This is not true. When you file your taxes online, you cannot file paper receipts or tax slips as you could when you file on paper. Instead, the CRA will send a request for certain supporting documents for people who file online. People often mistake this document request as an audit. In fact, this is just a simple routine verification for claims you have made.

It is up the individual whether or not they want to file their taxes online or not, but there are many benefits. You get your returns quicker and it is easier to catch mistakes, which lowers your chance of being audited.

 

Myth 2: Amending Your Taxes Means Getting Audited

If you have already filed but realized you made an error, put something in wrong, or forgot to add something, your best bet is to file an amendment to your taxes. Many people do not do this because they are worried it will trigger an audit.

Any amendment or second return you submit will get screened, just like the first one, but at most it will get looked at only slightly harder. It is always better to file an amendment with a detailed explanation why you are, rather than just letting the error go. You are more likely going to get an audit for not amending your error than you are if you do.

 

Myth 3: The CRA Will Show Up At Your Door

This myth is only a little bit true. The CRA will sometimes schedule appointments to examine your workplace or home. However, they will never show up unannounced knocking on your door. Most audits take place entirely through the mail. Do not trust anyone that shows up at your home, workplace, or even through email, claiming to be a CRA agent if you have not received a written letter in the mail. This is a common sign of a CRA scam. Contact your Chartered Accountant immediately if you are not sure if something is legitimate before proceeding.

 

Myth 4: Getting Audited Means You Did Something Illegal

Most tax audits happen because of simple, honest mistakes. To avoid getting audited over avoidable mistakes, consider hiring a Chartered Accountant to file your taxes.

There are many other reasons people get audited besides errors. An audit is just your chance to defend why you claimed what you did. The CRA also does secondary audits to confirm information on the main audit of someone in your life like a spouse, family member, or employer. If your business made more than the industry average it could also trigger an audit, and sometimes the CRA conducts audits at random.

 

Myth 5: Audits Are Horrible Experiences

This is a myth that stems from history. In the past, government tax agencies were ruthless and harsh. The fear around getting audited was legitimate. Today, after years of complaints about over the top actions, the CRA is more focused on working with taxpayers rather than against them. Not only do most people who are audited never even see a CRA agent in person, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to work together cooperatively.

Audits can be stressful, but a lot of the fear surrounding them comes from myths. To reduce the likelihood of being audited or to make the process of being audited smoother, consider working with a Chartered Accountant. Having an accountant by your side will make collecting the requested documents, recalculating data, and building an argument for claims easier.

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Xero vs. QuickBooks Online http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/06/xero-vs-quickbooks-online/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/04/06/xero-vs-quickbooks-online/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 17:45:12 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25763 For the past couple of years, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been dominating the accounting software market and have also become a household name with a reputation for reliability. It has only been recently that competition has started to arise. Xero has quickly become QuickBooks Online’s biggest competitor. Within the last year, both have been growing […]

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Xero Vs Quickbooks Cloud Accounting

For the past couple of years, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been dominating the accounting software market and have also become a household name with a reputation for reliability. It has only been recently that competition has started to arise. Xero has quickly become QuickBooks Online’s biggest competitor. Within the last year, both have been growing at the same rate. While QuickBooks still has the market share advantage, Xero has presented itself as a top competitor and contender in a way that no other company has before.

Small businesses are left with a question about which cloud accounting software to choose. Upon the first inspection both seem to offer the same things. To help make it easier for you, we have explained all the differences and similarities between Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Cloud Accounting
Both Xero and QuickBooks Online are cloud accounting software. Cloud accounting is the latest progression in accounting. Cloud-based programs are when your financial data is stored in a remote cloud server. This has multiple benefits, including but not limited to, increased security, remote access, and real-time updates.

Users
One of the biggest differences between QuickBooks Online and Xero is the number of users allowed for an account. With Xero cloud accounting, there is an unlimited amount of users allowed, no matter what subscription plan you have. With QuickBooks Online, the user limit is one, three, or five depending on the size of the package. So if you have a small business in which multiple people need to access the accounting software, Xero might be the option for you as adding additional users to QuickBooks Online can become pricey.

Use
It would be hard to make it in the accounting software industry if your product was not easy to use. Both Xero and QuickBooks Online provide a relative ease of use, which is great for small businesses as many owners are not trained accountants. However, Xero stands out as the one with better ease of use. The layout and navigation are easy and the tools are comprehensive and well organized. QuickBooks Online has a nice layout as well, but some users complain about unnecessary navigation steps and minor bugs.

Pricing
A big factor when it comes to determining which software to use for your small business accounting is the price. Comparing the two is a little difficult, as their packages don’t always offer the same thing. If all you need is the bare minimum for company bookkeeping, then QuickBooks Online is the best option. For more comprehensive packages, Xero is the clear winner. They offer more features at a lower rate than QuickBooks Online.

Customer Service
A company’s customer service and support team say a lot about how much they care about their clients. Both QuickBooks Online and Xero do a lot to prove that they care about the small businesses that use them. Many people had some problems with QuickBooks Online’s customer service in the past but Intuit has listened and made a real effort to fix it. Both do a great job when it comes to answering minor questions or issues. Xero tends to do better with more serious problems, having quicker response times, and representatives that understand and can fix issues better.

Security
One of the biggest worries small businesses have about cloud accounting software is security. As accountants, we always tell people that cloud accounting is actually safer than traditional software. Both QuickBooks Online and Xero excel at making sure your financial data stays safe. Data is heavily protected both physically in secure data centers and remotely with encrypted passwords and authorization.

Verdict
The truth is that you cannot go wrong with either program. Xero pulls ahead in many categories but QuickBooks Online has more experience, clients, and a better reputation. If you are still struggling to pick between Xero and QuickBooks Online, talk to one of our Chartered Accountants to determine which accounting software would be better for your business.

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What Happens When You Get Audited http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/03/30/what-happens-when-get-audited/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/03/30/what-happens-when-get-audited/#respond Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:31:41 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25759 Everyone’s worse nightmare is to get audited by the CRA (Canadian Tax Revenue). There are multiple reasons why you may have been chosen for either a personal or business audit. However, the best thing to do when you are hit with an audit is to comply, be honest, and seek the help of a Chartered […]

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Tax Audits - Toronto Accountant

Everyone’s worse nightmare is to get audited by the CRA (Canadian Tax Revenue). There are multiple reasons why you may have been chosen for either a personal or business audit. However, the best thing to do when you are hit with an audit is to comply, be honest, and seek the help of a Chartered Accountant.

Audit Reasons
There are many reasons you could be getting audited, including: at random, if you run a cash business (such as a restaurant) your chances are higher, if your business claims to make more than the industry norm, because you are a spouse, investor, supplier, or subsidiary of a company or individual that is already undergoing the main audit, or if your recorded information does not match up with other records.

It is important to remember that just because you are audited does not mean you are in trouble or that you will have to pay more. Simply be compliant and honest and things will go smoothly.

Audit First Steps
The CRA will contact you if you have been selected for a financial audit. Make sure you receive a written notice to make sure it is not a scam. Ask them for a detailed list of all the documents they want to review. The first thing you should do then is contact your Chartered Accountant. You and your accountant should then compile all of the requested information, including receipts, bank statements, and supporting documents.

Documentation
When the CRA audits you they will require certain documents. Sometimes they will ask for only a few specific ones and other times they will request everything. Records should show that you have included all income, and any claimed expenses should be documented with receipts. You may have to request bank statements or additional documents.

Be prepared to have an auditor review everything. Receipts, invoices, cheques, bank statements, tax calculation, and bookkeeping. It is best to hand over everything that they ask for, as withholding information can make things worse. If everything is in order and verified the CRA will not dive any further or request more money.

Addressing Problems
The CRA should tell you what issue they want to be resolved with the audit. Maybe you claimed income or expenses that the auditor does not believe is justified, or you claimed car expenses but did not accurately prove usage and mileage. The key to a smooth and successful audit is to show the CRA valid reasons, supported with documentation, for your claims.

Including your accountant in an audit will help you. They can help you find the correct documents, recalculate expenses, and help you negotiate with the auditor.

Results
All issues should be resolved at the end of an audit. You might have to pay an outstanding balance if you made a mistake or the CRA found you did not have proper documents to support a claim you made. If all documentation is in order and there were no mistakes than there will be no additional taxes due.

The CRA auditor will advise you of their findings and confirm them to you in a written letter. You will then have 30 days to respond and either accept or question the findings. Consult your Chartered Accountant before you respond and make sure you still keep all your records for a minimum of 6 years, even after being audited.

Conclusion
As scary as a CRA audit can seem, it is not the end of the world. The best thing you can do is stay calm, be compliant, and be honest. It is a good idea to consult with your accountant and ask them for help during an audit. Remember that just because you are being audit does not mean you did anything wrong. A lot of people get audited for simple, honest mistakes. As long as you are cooperative and work with the CRA, you will not be in any trouble. Contact us today for help with a personal or small business audit.

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Is Hiring an Accountant Worth it For Your Small Business? http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/03/09/is-hiring-small-business-accountant-worth-it/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/03/09/is-hiring-small-business-accountant-worth-it/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 16:05:43 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25754 If you run a small business you have probably been faced with the dilemma of whether or not you should hire an accountant. Often times, small business owners will try to handle everything themselves. Some people would rather hire a Chartered Accountant just for tax purposes. Others want one to handle all the bookkeeping.  So […]

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Is Hiring a Small Business Accountant Worth It?

If you run a small business you have probably been faced with the dilemma of whether or not you should hire an accountant. Often times, small business owners will try to handle everything themselves. Some people would rather hire a Chartered Accountant just for tax purposes. Others want one to handle all the bookkeeping.  So how do you know if hiring an accountant is right for your small business?

Skills
The first thing you should consider is your own skills. From management to bookkeeping, many small business owners do it all themselves. However, if you are not trained in accounting or bookkeeping this can be a mistake. Even the smallest of errors can be detrimental. Hiring a chartered accountant to do your small business accounting can prevent mistakes from happening.

Time
As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate – why add more if you do not have to? Hiring an accountant can save you time and stress. Spending three hours doing the books as a small business owner means that is three hours not spent running the business. An accountant will allow you to focus more on your business and less on the books.

Money
The reason most small business owners do not hire a chartered accountant is due to expense. The fact is though that a good accountant will provide you with a return on investment. Accountants will find bookkeeping errors, will prevent you from missing tax deadlines, help you find tax breaks, and will help you budget better. All of these things will more than makeup for the initial cost of hiring an accountant.

Stress
Running and owning a small business is stressful. You are required to wear many hats, often at the same time. Hiring a chartered accountant will remove some of the stress from you. The process of trying to do small business finances can be frustrating and time-consuming so why not let someone else deal with that?

Advice and Help
Dealing with numbers can be tedious and confusing if it is not what you are trained for. Luckily, Chartered Accountants are. An experienced accountant can provide small business owners with much needed financial advice and help. They can make a budget, give strategic advice, and help your business expand and grow. Accountants can also provide a second set of eyes to help you see the best ways to spend money and investment options. Hiring an accountant for your small business means you are hiring a financial advisor as well as a bookkeeper.

Taxes
There is nothing wrong with hiring an accountant just during tax season. Taxes for small business owners can be overwhelming. A Chartered Accountant will be able to sort through the books, fill out the paperwork, and be sure to get you all the eligible tax breaks. In fact, we highly recommend that at the very least you look into hiring an accountant for your small business taxes. They will be able to catch any mistakes you might make, file by the deadline, and they will know multiple tax breaks you might have missed.

If you are wondering if hiring an accountant is the right move for your small business, we say that it is. A Chartered Accountant can save you time, money, and stress. They allow you to focus on running your business and not the books. Accountants will catch bookkeeping errors, provide you with financial advice, and generally help you out. At the very least hire an accountant for your small business taxes. They will find accounting mistakes, help you file on time, and find hidden tax breaks.

Contact us today to talk about how we can help you with your small business accounting needs.

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How to Spot a CRA Scam http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/02/21/how-to-spot-cra-scam/ http://www.capstonellp.ca/2017/02/21/how-to-spot-cra-scam/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:42:28 +0000 http://www.capstonellp.ca/?p=25738 For the past couple of years, people have been falling victim to the CRA scams. No, the Canadian Revenue Agency isn’t scamming people out of their money. Rather, people are pretending to be the CRA to scam others out of money and sensitive information. It is easier then you’d think to fall trap to these […]

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For the past couple of years, people have been falling victim to the CRA scams. No, the Canadian Revenue Agency isn’t scamming people out of their money. Rather, people are pretending to be the CRA to scam others out of money and sensitive information. It is easier then you’d think to fall trap to these ploys. Many of these scammers go to great lengths to be convincing. They use fake CRA identification numbers, sound polite, and make almost mirror image copies of official websites and forms. Here are some ways to spot a CRA scam and what to do when you identify one.

CRA Calls
A common scam that people pull is calling individuals claiming they owe tax money and that they need to pay immediately. The CRA will not call, at least not without having mailed you a bill first and they will never call demanding an immediate payment. It is easy to see how people fall trap to this scam, though. The threat of an audit or overdue payment to the government can be scary and if one hasn’t used an accountant for their taxes they may begin to second-guess their bookkeeping. Don’t trust a phone call from the CRA unless you have already received written and mailed warning.

Payment Demands
If you have ever gotten a call, email, or piece of mail demanding you pay an amount in taxes without an opportunity to question or appeal the amount, this is a scam. The CRA isn’t nearly as demanding as scams make them out to be. A real CRA representative will take the time to answer all your questions and discuss payment options and timelines with you. If you get a payment demand like this, be sure to ask your accountant and call the CRA from the official phone number.

Required Payment Methods
For scam artists, certain payment methods are preferred over others. This is why CRA scams will require you to pay taxes using a specific method. The CRA has a long list of acceptable payment methods and they would never narrow it down to such a specific requirement. Wire transfers, cash, and prepaid debit cards are a favourite among scams, since it is easiest for them to cash in on and harder to track.

Credit Card Numbers Over the Phone
The CRA will never ask for you to give your credit or debit card numbers over the phone. You should also never give out this information over the phone unless you are 100% certain you know who is calling.

Threats of Law-Enforcement
If you do not pay your taxes or have committed fraud you could potentially face legal repercussions. However, the CRA will never call and threaten to call in police or law-enforcement for not paying. There is a lengthy and legitimate legal process they go through for situations like that. CRA scams frighten people into paying immediately with such threats.

Email Phishing
When a scam happens through email it is referred to “phishing”. In this case, scammers will send out official looking emails to trick people into thinking they are the CRA. They often seek out personal information that can then be used against them. They may ask for PIN numbers, social insurance numbers, and credit card numbers or send you to sites that install malware on your computer. Show your accountant any emails such as these and always call the CRA official number if you have any questions.

Tax Refund Scams
Releasing information in regards to tax refunds is a big scam tax payers fall victim too. They release personal and financial information in hopes of getting their money. The scams then use this information against them. If you are going to receive a tax refund you will be mailed an official notice from the CRA. Double-check everything with your accountant before giving out any information.

What To Do If You Come Across a Scam
If you come across what you think is a CRA scam there are a number of things you can and should do. First, double-check everything with your accountant. Your accountant will be able to tell you if you owe anything, if you’re owed anything, or if something looks fishy.

If you think you might owe something but aren’t sure about it call the CRA’s official number for help. If you think you’re being targeted for a scam, report it to one of the official CRA hotlines and file an official complaint. Always remember that the CRA doesn’t use unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or any social media to get personal and financial information from you.

To learn more talk to your Chartered Accountant or contact the Canadian Revenue Agency today.

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