Now what?

 – Andy Seliverstoff photo

Update (Oct.22): Libs 157, Cons 121, Bloc 32, NDP 24, Green 3. Tories won the popular vote but Grits form the government.


Okay, I admit it.  This is being written before the election result is known. Bandit can’t wait up. No matter. The odds are it’ll take some time to figure out where power actually lies in a minority government situation. We could be doing this all again in a couple of years.

Here’s what we know.

The Dippers will not support the Cons. Ever. So there’s the chance of a Liberal-NDP coalition government which is (from a financial dude’s point of view) the Sum of All Fears. Potential outcomes include an increase in the capital gains inclusion rate, diddling with dividends, lots more spending (and deficits), a renewed thumping of small business people and maybe even the inklings of a wealth tax.

Or, we could have a Tory-Bloc marriage. The reinvigorated, renewed nationalist Bloc Quebecois party has been the big story of this campaign, stealing the Lib majority and creating a pesky nest of squishy sovereignists. And while Quebeckers tend to lean left in a wind, there’s an element of fiscal discipline there that makes it possible for them to support Conservatives. If they get something out of it, naturally.

A majority win by anyone tonight would be a shock. If it happens, it will be pulled off by T2. And we already know what that will mean. More than $90 billion in new deficits over four years, a 10% luxury tax, the shared-equity mortgage up to $800,000, big increases in social spending and probably no pipeline.

The Greens are toast, missing their one giant opportunity to capitalize on Greta and win ten or a dozen seats. Liz May is a nice lady who’s sat in my kitchen and petted Bandit, but her day is done. As for Mad Max, the best he can hope for is a one-seat party which means he can sit and hate in peace. Of course if the 2% or so that his movement garnered had been added to the Con vote we’d be looking at a different scenario by Thursday. But with Max, ego comes before nation.

Blackface hurt Trudeau. The smear-PPC hurt Scheer. Jagmeet exceeded all expectations. And it’s extraordinary a majority Liberal government lasted just one term, even when headed by a rockstar politician who gave legal drugs to the  masses and cried on camera when Gord Downie checked out. We are in strange times.

Here’s a view from Bay Street analyst Ed Pennock:

It Seems that the 2 major Parties have ended up where they started. Support levels in the low 30%’s. Underneath is a different story. There is resurgent seperastim in Quebec. There is building separatism in the West. The Greens continue to make inroads. The “Greta” effect? This outcome that delivers a minority government. Thus a huge amount of political leverage to the NDP, the Separatists, and the Greens. The fault lies directly with what the electorate has taken to be general mismanagement of the country’s affairs. The current opposition lacks charismatic leadership. As well as some murky views on things like abortion.

That’s succinct. The country may be fracturing. Progressives and paleos. West and East. Quebec et le reste du Canada. Moisters vs wrinklies. Climate changers and pipeliners. And the wealth divide slices through all of it. Too bad the election campaign threw red meat (sorry, Lizzie) at every faction.

The parties were all about picking over the national carcass and giving pieces of it away. First-time homebuyers got tax credits and grants. The Boomers got more CPP and OAS. Billions more for parents. Endless spending with every major party promising to run deficits in order to pay for it – rather astonishing after ten years of economic expansion. The seeds are being sown for two decades (at least) of tax increases, after 40% of voters have been removed from the tax rolls.

Like I said, strange times.

What next?

The immediate market reaction, assuming a minority outcome by tomorrow morning, will be tepid. No surprise there. If the NDP gangs up with the Libs, the budget in February will be the Moment of Truth. Stay tuned and we’ll tell you how to turtle your way through that one.

Of special note will be Alberta and Quebec. No pipelines and steady increases in the carbon tax will make Jason Kenney’s head explode. It’s no stretch to expect Reform-Party-style separatist sentiment to emerge again. What a shame one term of a majority government led by a guy from Quebec who worked in BC has led to this. Maybe it was the socks. Or the sari.

Thirty-one years ago I ran to be an MP for the first time. The election issue? Free trade. Cons said it would guarantee unfettered access to our largest market. Libs warned of absorption by the USA. “This,” thundered John Turner (no relation), “is the fight of my life.” Retorted Brian Mulroney, “You, sir, are simply afraid. I am not.”

Now we give people mortgage money, and wonder why houses cost too much.

Not with a bang, but a whimper…



@duckwords photo

One more sleep to the big vote. But let’s ignore that. Enough is enough. We’ll get the country we deserve.

But will we get the blog we deserve? That’s the question.

Truth be told, you haven’t impressed me lately. At least the 1% of visitors who leave a comment. Over the last few days, they have sucked. The IQ of this site seems to erode every time the testosterone level rises. That usually happens when we talk about investing.

Most have a profoundly unhealthy relationship with money. It destroys relationships. It turns us ugly and competitive. It flips prudence into risk. People let it define them – how much they earn, possess or how smart they are with it. Investing becomes a contest to be won. Amateurs believe performance is the sole measure of success. Some learn the truth. Many fail first.

In recent days this blog has offered advice, backed by research and history on proven ways to organize, keep and grow wealth. That included contributions by me and two of my colleagues – one a career Bay Street analyst and pro portfolio manager, the other a former v-p with two major banks, including RBC’s capital markets unit on Wall Street. With success, they look after families across the nation. In response, a bunch of DIY cowboys showed up here to insult them.

Makes me wonder. Why do we bother?

You’re familiar with your own accounts or maybe what you BIL owns. In contrast, I see and analyze hundreds of portfolios a year, plus interview the people behind them. I do not manage millions of dollars. Or tens of millions. People have entrusted me with hundreds of millions. And they all have the same two goals. Don’t lose money. Make a reasonable return. Unspoken but understood is the third goal: take care of me.

The wisdom and training I and my colleagues have garnered is distilled and presented to you, gratis. Seven days a week. At least for now.

There’s a reason I preach balance, diversification and liquidity. For almost everyone, it works. It’s the only thing that works, consistently, decade after decade – because people are not algos. They allow a myriad of factors to influence how they deal with money. Most of those are unhelpful.

Why do people fail?

They make emotional decisions. A marriage. Job loss. A baby. Divorce. All these things flood the brain with emotion and lead to kneejerk decisions.

People fail because they consistently acquire assets out of greed (because they’re going up, like houses or gold), and they bail out on fear (like stocks going down). Buy high and sell low is the norm.

We fail because of where we get information. From family or parents – people with zero training, unable to admit mistakes. Or, worse, Mr. Google. The online world teems with sites full of self-serving, sales-oriented, attention-seeking crap.

People fail when they trust [email protected] or a 22-year-old ‘advisor’ with a mutual fund license to give them life or retirement advice. These folks are salespeople.

Failure also comes because of recency bias. The comment section swims in it. People think recent events dictate all events to come, like interest rates will never rise again or real estate values never fall. History is littered with the bones of such believers.

Most people don’t know how they’re taxed, or how to minimize it. Interest, dividends, rent, capital gains, employment income – they are treated unequally. Registered and non-registered accounts. Self-employment cash flow. Income-splitting between spouses or in a family. Commuted pensions. Return of capital retirement income. Trusts. Deductible interest. Probate. IPPs or what kind of insurance to buy.

We fail because we think short-term. Yearly performance is the cowboy preoccupation, instead of achieving life goals – a house, schooling kids or retiring securely. We exaggerate current events, believing we live in a time of unusual turmoil or unprecedented conditions. But we don’t. It’s not different this time. Your life isn’t that special.

Investing is not gambling. Genius isn’t measured in 12-month performance. Reaching for outsized performance involves unwarranted risk. Most people fail when they base decisions on feelings, perceptions and wants. We’ve allowed money to become so personal and defining that husbands and wives will share a bed and offspring and yet not an investment account. Despite being an economic unit, they work at utter cross-purposes.

Wealth’s greatest gift is to enhance time. Erase stress. Grant security. Let you savour each day.

That is the goal. Visiting a blog to brag and fight is, well, sad.


Get ahead for a stress-free tax season

Ask yourself these following questions:

– Did I launch my business for doing business or to become accountant?

– Do I have what it takes to process and updates my books alone, or should I really seek help?

– Would this valuable time not more well-spent on profitable business?

– Can I claim the time I spent trying to fix my General Ledgers towards my business expenses? No.

– Can I claim bookkeeping and accounting fees? You bet!

Most of small business owners approaching a bookkeeper have tried first to save money and delayed professional help until their books became very messy. Getting a tax preparer at the end of the fiscal year may not be enough. If your books are inaccurate, your taxes will be inaccurate, subject to reassessment.

What could go wrong?

Switching off managing your finances has real repercussions, sometimes serious. You may have started with a tiny amount of paperwork that turned into a mountain of unbalanced ledgers, missing justifications a real headache and lost benefits. You should not wait until this happens to you.

Some business owners are getting their personal income tax prepared by professionals even though they have not compiled, processed and update their business books yet. You shake your head…it happens more often than you believe. So, what is left to justify not outsourcing your books?

Saving money?

Your tax preparer may or may not double check your numbers or may convince you to look for a bookkeeper or an accountant in the middle of the tax season to put your books in order before proceeding. Not only that could cost a lot more during the peak season of the profession, but depending on the scope of the catch-up, you may not meet the CRA deadlines then, or will you choose to “take a chance” and live with the consequences later in?

Getting a different perspective on your business

Nothing beat a second layer of perspective. It’s well known that we see what we want to see, and we develop strong denial for what does not match our expectations. A good bookkeeper will be at your service anytime you need it and will provide the best recommendations knowing your books and your financial situation while bringing professional objectivity.

Gain flexibility

With outsourcing, business owners do not commit to payroll and non-core functions staff. Furthermore, outsourcing is flexible and adaptive to your business changes. It will better accommodate growth or cutbacks, as they happen.

Login Bookkeeping provides the full-range of year-long bookkeeping services and is chosen by an increasing number of successful and dynamic business owners outsourcing their accounting, running their business and enjoying the peace of mind they need to focus on the core tasks. And it’s 100% tax deductible!!

Do not hesitate to contact Login Bookkeeping for a free consultation. You will not be disappointed by the quality and the experience brought to the table and the range of tools available at very affordable price. Furthermore, we are firmly engaged into our customers’ business development and their success by sharing a passion for balanced statements and healthy books that will bring you the solid base you absolutely need to better manage your business and your time. Unlimited communications, support, recommendations and software are included in our business packages fit to your budget and needs.

Make yourself and your business a favor, don’t wait the tax season to step forward. It is still time to put everything in order, avoid the tax season deadlines pressure, eliminate the stress and costly mistakes.

More to come on business management tips. Stay tuned!!

Why should start-ups register to the GST/HST?

Most of the business people know they don’t need to be GST/HST registrant before making $30,000 in total taxable revenues annually. Those are defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as small suppliers.

Note that GST/HST registration is mandatory for self-employed taxi driver or commercial ride-sharing driver the day taxable passenger transportation services are supplied, regardless of the total annual revenues amount; in other words, there is no small supplier exemption for these types of commercial activities.

While it looks quite simple, the calculations to meet the small supplier definition could a bit more complex… of course, why not? Unless your books are in good standing, you need to be careful not to pass the threshold during the year. As soon as your total revenue exceeds the $30,000 limit, the GST/HST registration becomes mandatory and the small supplier exemption ceases. Business owners and especially start-ups founders choose to benefit from the small supplier exemption as long as possible, the main reasons being: avoiding the mandatory GST filing hassle and/or paying the bookkeeping fees associated to the treatment and increasing their operational costs.

But even if you are a small supplier, you may still want to register voluntarily. Why? What are the benefits?

Most of the start-ups incur expenses and pay GST on their start-up purchases some time before materializing their first sales. A GST registrant may claim the paid GST on their start-up costs and obtain a refund from CRA. A non-registrant will not be able to claim the GST paid on these business expenses retroactively and will lose such benefit.

As a non-registrant, you will not apply GST to your invoices. Depending how you are acquainted with your customers, it may trigger them a negative signal: do you intend to stay “small” or expand? Are you confident enough in your business? If you want to build long-term business relationship, this is one of the tiny things that may matter. Unless you really enjoyed your math classes and always feel an unequaled happiness at the sight of the debit and credit columns, it is always recommended to get help in the early stage for staying compliant and up to date. If you are not an accounting guru, or you have no time to handle your business finances, sooner or later, you will need some level of accounting assistance, either for the year-end process, income tax or for any decision-making process. More you wait, more it may become costly.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Login Bookkeeping and learn how the GST/HST returns treatment is bundled within the monthly plans. Login Bookkeeping offers free initial consultation that will not hurt to avoid costly mistakes. You can also visit Canada Revenue Agency website:

Start-ups – Survival Tips

1) Facts:

85% of small businesses entering the marketplace survive one full year;

70% survive for two years; and

51% survive for five years.

Some specific industries have a higher failure rate, such as restaurants with about only 41% of surviving rate in the first 3 years. Also, the odds of failure correlate to revenue: companies with revenues under $30,000 per year had a failure rate of almost 64% after five years. (Source: Industry Canada)

2) The primary reasons of start-ups’ failure are:

– Poor market research leading to an inaccurate understanding of the target customers wants and needs: the number 1 reason why businesses fail is because the business owner, impatient, did not take the time to conduct a feasibility analysis, market and business plan;

– Insufficient funds and inability to manage the financial aspect of the business: the number 2 reason of businesses failure is inadequate funding, lack of financial literacy, weak financial planning and cash flow management: a clear and consistent finding of researches is that businesses face the highest failure risk when they are young and small, with a mismatch between resources and capabilities. In analyzing the root causes of small business failure, a survey conducted in Canada on 2,598 business failures indicated that 96% of them were due to poor management, twice as much as external factors (Market, competition, products) and turned out to be the management inefficiency of owner-managers;

– Trying to go it alone and failure to recognize own strengths and weaknesses: the number 3 reason is trying to do everything alone and not seeking external help. Whether this external help be as simple as a web and social media guru or professional services such as a lawyer, accountant, banker or business coach/networking.

3) How to avoid being a casualty?

Follow these tips to avoid or reduce the odds of being a statistics casualty:

– Develop a good marketing and business plan that consider customer needs, competition, pricing and promotional strategies: While this is a short sentence, this is the cornerstone of your success; it will take a substantial amount of your time but you will not regret it. When developing a strong business plan, you will cover all areas. Determine realistic strengths and weakness, your product/services, is it unique or competitive? Get answer to the killer question “Why should I buy from you and not your competitor?”, the pricing policy, your target market, your marketing plan, your advertising means, your personal financial situation assessment; make sure you have enough cash reserves and/or a line of credit (over 80% of start-ups used personal financing to finance their new businesses and this through personal savings, personal line of credit and credit card) to help you get through the launching period and until sales start to pick up, the money you have really available, your cash-flow projections (worst case scenario, breakdown scenario, positive scenario), your legal structure. And believe it, this is not a waste of time, but time well invested. Plan every part of your business from start to finish, don’t under-estimate your expenses and over-estimate your revenue, leave no stone unturned. Once your business plan is complete with your findings, determine realistically, if you want to proceed or not and the reasons? Short in financing or financing cost too high? Products/services not attractive, not competitive enough? Anything you could do to change your findings? Adjust your initial belief? Review your copy and initial plan if necessary.

Even if you strongly believe in your idea and the commercial success of your products or services, do not underestimate the below points:

– Get advice from the beginning with a lawyer, or an accountant, proper networking and acquaintances expertise you could rely on. Down the road, they could save you money, time and detrimental mistakes;

– Set up your business finances to reach your goals; make sure you are registered where you need to be (Sole proprietor or corporation, GST, PST, WCB, Payroll, business licence, trade certification if required, professional insurance);

– Get your books organized from the start, and get help to understand your business finances, the handling of cash-flow, credit, inventory management, accounts receivable and payable policy, personal and business taxes remit and all CRA deadlines and other fiscal obligations;

– Compare your actuals to your business plan (Variances). If it has been conducted correctly, this is one of your management tools. However, market, technologies, economy change. So, even though your business plan findings, 6 months ago, indicated different output, it’s not carved in stone. Be flexible and stay adapted, that’s where the full power of management takes over.

More to come on business tips. Stay tuned!

#startup #smallbusiness #tip

Post-Tax season Lessons learned


Alright!! Tax season is over, you feel relieved and it is perfectly understandable that you want putting the stress away until next year.

If you are like many other business’ owners and think that you should not start to worry before January next year, you more likely will end up with another stressful experience next year and so on. After all, paying tax is not so bad, it means you run a profitable business and it certainly does not need to be painful. It can be planned in advance by estimating your next year tax bill. While putting money aside, think about short-term strategy investment to keep this reserved money working. With this peace of mind, you know exactly how much cash-flow is really available to drive your business. Regardless of your business industry, stay organized and updated throughout the year and always keep the Big Picture in mind.

Login Bookkeeping, not only will keep your business books organized all year-round, but, among other management reports, will provide insights to help you plan ahead, including your tax bill.

Personal Motor Vehicle Use for Business

If you use a motor vehicle for business and personal use, you can deduct only the part of the expenses that you paid to earn income. To support the amount you can deduct, a record of the total kilometers you drive and the kilometers you drive to earn income (Log book) is required. The detailed records in your log book will be used to calculate the deductions for expenses you are entitled to. It is also part of the records reviewed during an audit and must be detailed enough to support the vehicle expense claims.

What is claimable?

Only expenses related to earning an income; they must be reasonable and substantiated by original invoices/receipts:

  • Gas

  • Insurance

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • License fees

  • Parking fees

  • Capital Cost Allowance

  • Eligible interest

  • Leasing costs

For more information and any assistance, please contact us.

Why small businesses should outsource?


The booming world trend observed and confirmed by the leading accounting firms consists for 7 companies out of 10 to turn to outsourcing solutions in areas such as IT, security, warehousing, accounting, inventory management, payroll, HR, logistics, management and advisory team in order to reduce fixed costs associated with non-critical functions, gain more agility and competitivity to face changes and increase their profit margin, by using concepts such as “As-a-service” contract at the expense of the traditional source of technology, infrastructure and internal workforce.

Recent Market researches confirm that the trend observed the past recent years on steadily increase of business outsourcing will continue. As large and mid-sized businesses try to become more efficient and streamlined for improving corporate profit, the demand for outsourced Payroll, Bookkeeping and related services will continue to grow as online systems provide more convenient and potentially lower-cost services than maintaining fixed overhead with costly in-house workforce and related non-core functions.

The advantages once were only enjoyed by mid-sized and large companies, are available to small businesses, thanks to the aggressive development of advanced technologies with cloud integrated business software and their multiple add-ons. Without scarifying a substantial part of their financial resources to in-house labor costs, sick leave and staff replacement, desktop software purchase and updates, IT maintenance and repairs, security breaches and potential internal frauds, small businesses are offered real-time access to their books and financial reports, safe data storage and secured backup, unlimited evolving needs, simple user interfaces, frequent updates at a fraction of the fixed costs they were facing. Further, these solutions allow advanced data manipulation and use of smart tools that do not need to be expensive to be effective and that are just as beneficial, no matter the size of the company, its strategy and the economic environment.

Outsourced services pros and cons:


Cost savings

Redirecting financial resources to core business functions

Solving capacity issues

Access to specialized human capital

Flexibility to manage organizations change

Focussing on the company’s growth and vision Improving business results

Objective input and recommendation

Reducing potential books fraud


Ensuring clear and in-depth onboarding (clear expectations)

Need to establish a communication schedule

Less control (requires trust in the outsourced partnership)

The Pros overpass the cons? You bet!

The 2018 NextGen outsourcing survey will be published by Summer 2018

BC PST on Software

In British Columbia, accounting services are subject to GST (5%), not to PST (7%). However, interpretations are required for cloud services providing access to their customers. In accordance with BC Provincial Sales Tax Act, Bulletin PST 105 indicates that if a customer purchases a right to access software and the functions go beyond viewing content, i.e. the customer can use it to manipulate files or create new files, the PST applies.

A good example is a service provider entering into an agreement to manage payroll processing. If the agreement provides the customer with the right to complete particular tasks such as creating new employees’ files, the customer will be subject to PST. If the customer logs in only to view his company payroll and his employees connect to view their pay stubs, the PST will not apply.

The same way, if a service provider gives access to an accounting software and the customer only view available reports and financial statements without manipulating any data, the PST does not apply; if the customer enter data, such as creating invoices, the PST will apply.

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