Small Business and HR – the Basics

Congratulations – your business is moving along enough that you need to hire employees! Here are some tips to keep you sane as you navigate the human resources side of your business.

As an independent or small business owner, it may have been fairly simple to manage your human resource (HR) needs: meet your payroll, make sure taxes and commissions were paid, manage vacations and slow periods.
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Building a Secure Future – Supporting Families With Special Needs

Planning for their children’s financial future is very important to all parents; for families with special needs children, it can involve more complex and emotional decisions. The cost of supporting a special needs child can be more than double the cost of raising a child without special needs. However, some relief may be available to support families to meet their child’s needs. Here are some tips from an investment advisor on how to access those.

While there are many challenges to support your child, the financial aspect can seem daunting to your family. The need to pay for therapies, medical equipment, special programs, along with a parent’s lost income due to time commitments, makes up a large portion of this added cost. If you have a child with special needs, the path to creating a plan to financially support them can be a challenging one that may require the experience and expertise of a financial professional.
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Top Five Small Business Legal Mistakes

Small businesses face many of the same legal issues as their larger counterparts, but often without the cost structure to support engaging legal counsel. If you own a small business, it’s important to understand when saving legal costs up-front can end up costing your business more in the long run.

All businesses – small, medium or large – make legal mistakes. However, a small business may not be as capable of weathering the storm. The effect of a legal mistake on a small business’s bottom line can be so disastrous that it may threaten its very survival. Accordingly, small businesses must pay extra attention to avoid certain legal mistakes up-front.
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2019 Federal Budget Commentary

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s message with Budget 2019 is that, thanks to the Federal Government’s investments over the past three years, things are going well — especially for the middle class: more Canadians have full-time jobs, unemployment is at historic lows, wages are growing, consumers and businesses are confident, economic growth is good, and our debt is manageable.

Nonetheless, says Morneau, more needs to be done to ensure Canadians’ prosperity over the coming years. For the most part, that means adding tax credits and other incentives and enhancing existing ones, giving the Canada Revenue Agency more resources to recover unpaid taxes and to help businesses comply, measures to reduce tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, improving retirement and disability savings plans, and introducing the framework for a national prescription drug plan.
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Bartering, the Internet and Taxation

The normal procedure for business transactions follows the tried-and-true method of selling a product or service and recording the income. The income earned is taxable as earned income. Rather than use the traditional approach, many individuals and businesses may decide to barter their products or services.

Did you know that good business practice would suggest that you treat all barter and internet transactions as you would normal business transactions? If you ever face a CRA audit, it will help spare your corporation, proprietorship or partnership the inconvenience of a long, laborious tax audit and potential penalties and interest – or even being convicted for tax evasion.
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Impending Changes to CPP

In 2018, many owner-managers across Canada chose to adjust staff levels, wages and prices when the minimum wage was increased. For many, it is still too early to determine the final impact on the corporate bottom line as a full fiscal year has not been completed.

With the adjustments of 2018, owner-managers may not have looked at budgets for 2019, but considering changes in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), it may be time to start projecting 2019 and beyond.
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We Owe How Much? … OUCH!

Manage cash flow better by projecting future tax liabilities. Unforeseen circumstances often leave owner-managers short of the cash needed to pay federal and provincial taxes. Unfortunately, many owner-managers consider unpaid tax bills to be the same as unpaid trade credit. They are not. Unpaid taxes can cause a lot of problems. Ensuring funds are available to pay obligations to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) should be a top priority for any business, whether incorporated or a sole proprietorship.
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The Little Black Book of Scams

A few common-sense strategies can protect your business from external fraud. Scams and frauds are probably as old as humanity, but recently they have taken a new turn with the arrival of the Internet and the development of sophisticated telecommunications technology. The Government of Canada has reacted by setting up the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and the Competition Bureau has published a valuable handbook called The Little Black Book of Scams (full text available at, which describes 12 important classes of scam and how to protect yourself against them.
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CPA Canada Federal Budget Commentary 2018

The Federal Government’s 2018 Budget touts Canada’s strong economic growth over the past two years, including real GDP growth of 3.2 per cent since the second quarter of 2016, an unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent, and significant improvements in average weekly earnings, consumer confidence, and household consumption. The Finance Minister expects similar growth in the near-term. In addition, federal revenues increased by more than 11 per cent in 2017, largely from personal and corporate income taxes.
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For the Record

To run an owner-managed business successfully, it is not enough just to track the movement of funds in and out. Statements providing the type of information needed by your external CPA are also essential because the external accountant is the intermediary between your business and the Canada Revenue Agency, creditors, a potential buyer and others who need the special financial statements only your external accountant can produce.
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