Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question here? Call or email us!

Accounting

I'm a new client, can I come in to your Kitsilano office for a meeting to discuss my taxes/questions?

We are happy to provide you with a free telephone consultation but no in-person initial info meeting.

How do new clients initially contact you?

We ask new clients to email us or leave a telephone message. We promptly respond to all email / voicemail new business enquiries, typically within 1 business day.

If you don’t pick up unknown calls (or schedule new client info meetings), what is your new accounting client intake process?

Our intake process for new accounting clients involves initial email or telephone dealings to understand the scope of what the client’s needs are and what solution we can provide.

We then give a fee quote and, if acceptable, an engagement letter so that they understand up-front what we will charge and what to expect.

Our new clients bring their information / payment to the first meeting at our Kitsilano office and we get right to work.

How do you charge your fees? How long do you take to get your work done?

We are paid by cheque (or exact change cash) but do not accept credit card or E-transfer payment.

For self-employed tax filings, clients pay us at the start of the assignment. We typically complete within 3 business days of receipt of all necessary information.

For corporate bookkeeping/tax filings, clients pay us monthly during the corporate tax year and attend in person every 2-3 months at our offices to meet with us/provide their information. We typically complete within 1-2 weeks of receipt of all necessary information.

For unfiled back-taxes/voluntary disclosure, clients pay us at the start of the assignment. We typically complete within 1-2 weeks of receipt of all necessary information.

I’m self-employed, can you give me an estimate of your fees for my personal tax return?

We’d be happy to provide you a fee quote if you email us:

Description of your business
If GST registered
Whether expect to claim home office/motor vehicle
Details of any overdue tax returns

I’m a small business owner, can you give me an estimate of your fees for my corporate bookkeeping and tax filings?

We’d be happy to provide you a fee quote if you email us:

Description business
Number bank/cc accounts
Number monthly transactions in each account
GST filing frequency
Whether employees/outside payroll agency
Details of any overdue tax returns

It’s my first year and I set up my corporation myself without a lawyer (using my credit card at Corporate Online) so that I can be a contractor. I expect that my corporate taxes are straightforward as I only have a few customers and not many bank transactions. What is bookkeeping and why does my incorporated contracting business need it? Why can’t you just use my Excel summary?

We commonly encounter commonly possible clients who have, on their own, incorporated without first having knowledge of the compliance costs associated with running a company. Unlike operating as a sole proprietorship [where only income statement information (i.e., sales / expenses) is reported to CRA each year)], a corporation must report its balance sheet as well as its income statement to CRA each year which means that a corporation is required to have double entry bookkeeping and reconcile its bank balance(s) monthly.

Bookkeeping is required reflect your corporation’s transactions such as:

The amount paid on subscription for shares
The $351.50 / $31.50 paid to the BC Registrar of Companies for fees to form and reserve the name for the corporation

All of your corporation’s invoices as revenue / accounts receivable

Using your corporate bank statements, applying the deposits against the accounts receivable (to show payment of corporate invoices) and recording all your withdrawals as being for expenses or Due to shareholder

Working from loose original source receipts, compiling all of the corporation’s business expenses for items which did not go through the corporate bank (such as telephone, travel, meals / entertainment, internet, computer) and record these against your shareholder loan

Reconciliation of your corporation’s bank account so that the amount shown in QuickBooks software matches what is shown on the monthly bank statements

Client prepared Excel summaries do not contain sufficiently accurate information for us to perform a compilation level assignment which requires, a minimum, that the corporation’s bank be reconciled correctly.

I’m a small business owner who does my own bookkeeping using accounting software, will you assist with my corporate financials/tax filings?

Provided you accurately reconcile your bank monthly, we can work with reports from your accounting software to prepare your year-end financial and tax filings. However, where many transactions have been incorrectly recorded / accounts need to be reconciled, our fees will increase for the time required to re-do your bookkeeping. In this case, it may have been better for you to have had us perform the bookkeeping rather than try to do this yourself.

I’m a small business owner, will you work with my current bookkeeper and assist with my corporate financials/tax filings?

No. We directly performing clients’ corporate bookkeeping (rather that the practice common to Vancouver CPA firms of working with external contract bookkeepers) so that we control quality and educate our clients during regular working meetings throughout their tax year.

I didn’t files taxes last year, can you help?

Yes, and you may be eligible for penalty and partial interest relief under CRA’s voluntary disclosure program. We’d be happy to provide you a fee quote if you email us:

Whether CRA phone/letter contact
Number years tax returns overdue

Law

Do you offer free in-person initial consultations for ICBC matters?

Yes, at our offices or at a location convenient to the new client (such as their home or in the hospital).

Do you offer legal advice over the phone?

While we do have preliminary discussions regarding new clients’ legal matters (including to scope out what type of assistance we could be engaged to provide), these verbal phone dealings are not advice upon which a client should rely. If engaged, we follow up to document the nature of any verbal discussions regarding significant legal matters and clients can rely on this written advice.