As a company founded on personalized service and knowledgeable advice, we take pride in supporting the success of all our clients. We offer a full range of assurance, tax, business advisory, bookkeeping, estate and financial planning services that can be tailored to address each client’s unique needs and organizational structure.
Our expertise extends across a wide variety of retail, business-to-business, and not-for-profit organizations. This enables us to deliver targeted advice and guidance to clients in a wide range of industries, including construction, land development, manufacturing, fabrication and textiles; automotive dealerships, retail stores, and travel companies; and consulting, information technology and professional occupations.
We take great pride in performing thorough yet efficient audits, which are tailored to each of our clients’ unique businesses. It is our firm belief that audits, when done properly, can add significant value to our clients. We approach each audit engagement with this goal in mind.
While majority of private company and non-profit audits are mandated by lending, funding or shareholders’ agreements, some of our clients opt for an audit to get extra assurance over the effectiveness of their accounting department, as well as to have an independent evaluation of their internal control systems. Each audit is concluded with a detailed discussion of audit findings, suggestions to improve efficiencies and internal controls, and tax planning strategies.
This is the bread and butter of our assurance practice and, in large measure, the service upon which we have built our reputation. While not as intrusive a process as an audit, a review is sufficiently comprehensive to allow us to understand your business, and to provide practical, effective business and tax advice. An integral part of our review process is a detailed examination of the company’s operating results and financial position, both relative to prior performance and also to industry peers. A review is generally the minimum level of assurance a lender will accept and, as a result, we often work closely with our clients’ banks. The fact the majority of our referrals come from financial institutions is a tribute to the quality of our work and the reliance these organizations place on our reviewed financial statements.
Although compilations are not meant to provide any assurance, they are suitable for many small businesses where there is no requirement from a bank for a review report, and where the shareholders are sufficiently involved in the day-to-day operations that the incremental cost of an independent detailed review is not justified. Even with a compilation engagement, however, we do far more than is implied by our Institute-imposed report wording. We work with you to ensure that your financial statements are well presented and meaningful, and we focus particularly on those areas that impact tax planning, such as compensation. If we are to provide meaningful advice, we must have a basic understanding of your business and your goals whether we are engaged to perform an audit, review or compilation.
With a Quickbooks Certified ProAdvisor on our team we are able to provide customized bookkeeping training and support. We can supplement your existing internal accounting resources or outsource your entire bookkeeping requirements.
Preparation of financial statement disclosures and audit working papers
We are well-versed in IFRS and can assist in preparing IFRS-compliant financial statements and disclosures, as well as audit working papers. These services offer a fantastic alternative to hiring a CFO for companies in their start-up stages, whose goal is to become listed in the near future. We can bridge the gap between a management team with no IFRS expertise and a larger, CPAB registered audit firm.
First, a word on our general philosophy regarding taxes. Having worked closely with hundreds of clients over the past 50 plus years, we have been in a unique position to observe the long-term impact of clients’ decisions, attitudes and personal philosophies. We have seen some of our clients become exceptionally wealthy and others who have lost it all. We understand what contributes to long-term success and wealth accumulation. In our experience, those entrepreneurs who focus on what they know best, whether it is house building or selling cars, pay their “fair share” of tax, and prudently invest what is left over, almost without exception are the biggest winners over the long term. This is as opposed to those individuals that obsess about the tax consequences of every decision, dream of putting the family pet on payroll and own every “tax shelter” known to man. These individuals, in general, have not fared as well, simply because there are very few business or investment decisions where the tax consequences are the primary driver.
While it remains one of life’s two great certainties, nobody enjoys paying tax, and nobody should pay more than they have to. That’s where we come in. With an understanding of your business and personal circumstances, we will ensure that tax costs are minimized and that strategies involving compensation, corporate ownership, automobiles and real estate, to name a few, are designed to take advantage of every tax opportunity. We are constantly updating our tax knowledge and employ the most sophisticated research tools available. Perhaps as valuable is our experience in dealings with Canada Revenue Agency over the years, which has given us a reliable sense of the planning boundaries and potential exposure.
Sure we can complete the forms for you. So can pretty much every other accounting firm. But the tax returns should be the culmination of the planning process, not the process itself. By the time the form is being completed, it is far too late to be talking about tax strategy. The most important thing about the forms themselves is that they are accurate and are filed on time to avoid penalties. Our state-of-the-art software and rigorous quality control ensures the former, and our dedication to client satisfaction and exceptional service takes care of the latter.
HST and PST
These consumption taxes impact most businesses and we can help ensure that you comply with increasingly complex rules, steer you through the inevitable audit process and even assist with the completion of the forms.
The adage that it is lonely at the top really does apply to the entrepreneur business owner, who often has to make difficult decisions in relative isolation. We act as a sounding board for our clients, providing input on a myriad of issues, from whether to lease or buy equipment to quantifying the cash flow impact of an expansion. Over the years, we have helped many clients purchase or sell a business, negotiate bank financing, or take the leap from renting to owning their business premises. With many of our clients, we participate in monthly or quarterly management meetings to assist in analyzing results and anticipating potential issues before they become problems. After 50 plus years working with entrepreneurial companies, our wealth of experience is an invaluable resource for our clients.
As our population ages, estate planning has taken on increasing importance and visibility. While mortality is a difficult subject to deal with and talk about, it is important to ensure that your estate plans will achieve your goals. This is a very personal matter, but whether your objective is to spend your last dollar on your last day, maximize the value of your estate for your children or leave a charitable legacy, it is essential that proper planning take place. We work with our clients to ensure that the Will can accomplish settlers bequest objectives and that the estate is settled in the most tax effective manner with a minimum of probate taxes. We also examine opportunities for effectively transferring assets to the next generation during the parent’s lifetime. For business owners with children active in the company, the estate issues can be complex. As a family business ourselves, we are well qualified to provide effective advice that is sensitive to the realities of the family dynamics.
The term “financial planning” means different things to different people and is one of most used but least understood phrases in the financial lexicon. Most “financial planners” are paid a commission or fee based on the products they sell you or the amount of assets they manage. Inherent in this model is some built-in conflict of interest. We have no products to sell and do not provide investment advice. What we can do is provide objective, unbiased advice, regarding plans that have been presented to you by salespeople. We can also ensure that these plans are tax effective. Our managing partner, Steve Farnham, a Certified Financial Planner, has a sound understanding of investment and insurance strategy, retirement planning and income tax and works hand in hand with many of our clients’ investment advisors and insurance specialists to create and monitor sound financial plans.