CB Blog

CB Blog

December 6, 2017 by Christin Giebelhaus

3 key disclosure areas in your year-end financial statements

If you are a controller or CFO preparing your year-end financial statements for shareholders, regulators and lending institutions, there are several disclosure items you should carefully consider. Over the last several years, accounting and securities regulatory bodies have had a great deal to say about this subject. The following three areas are especially significant.

December 6, 2017 by Michael Barclay

Overcome succession challenges facing your family business

Canada's succession planning rules can make it less costly from a taxation standpoint to sell a family business to a third party than to a family member. However, this depends on how the deal is structured. Typically, when you transfer to a family member, there is some sort of discount and freeze on the shares. For instance, if parents take back preferential shares and the next generation buys common shares at a relatively nominal value, this turns the proceeds for parents into dividend income, as opposed to capital gains. 

November 28, 2017 by Thomas Blonde

9 issues to consider when incorporating your farm business

In a 2012 article, I summarized a few of the major planning items that need to be considered before and after incorporating a farm business. Over the last five years, some of these issues have changed and some have stayed the same. If you have consulted with your Collins Barrow adviser and decided incorporation is right for you, it is important to have an up-to-date understanding of these issues to ensure your corporation is set up correctly. This article offers a refresher on nine important aspects of incorporation, helping your business devise the most optimal tax strategy.

November 23, 2017 by Robert Fischer

How AgriInvest and AgriStability are changing

AgriInvest and AgriStability are two government subsidy programs that have been extremely valuable to Canadian farmers in recent years. AgriInvest allows farmers to put a percentage of their sales into a fund, where these contributions are matched by the government. The idea is to put money away in your best years, creating a cushion if you are ever short of cash or need extra funds to pay for equipment and supplies. 

November 21, 2017 by Denver Nicklas

How good records benefit your farm

Even if you run a successful farm business, there is probably room for improvement in your record-keeping. Good records provide a snapshot of your operation and a more precise sense of where your business is throughout the year. 

November 9, 2017 by Denise Jones

Improving the financial literacy of board members

For board members, understanding the organization’s financial position is a necessity for effective oversight, as well as a fiduciary duty. But when it comes to the financial discussions, we see many board members “zone out.” Without an appropriate level of understanding, the right questions may never be asked, potentially putting the organization at financial risk. Management and board leadership need to collaborate to ensure all board members have at least a basic understanding of how the numbers work, the relevant metrics and the reasons they are important for the organization.

September 13, 2017 by Jason Melo

Non-resident / U.S. companies doing business in Canada

In many cases, foreign companies doing business in Canada are in need of additional expertise to effectively navigate the Canadian tax system. Specifically, U.S. companies find themselves confronting a tax environment that is very different from their domestic system. When doing business in Canada, here are some of the key tax considerations foreign companies should be prepared to navigate.

September 6, 2017 by John Clausen, Michael Rose

A quick guide to platform acquisitions

When growing through mergers and acquisitions, there are generally two distinct types of acquisitions: (1) the platform acquisition and (2) subsequent one-off acquisitions. When a company expands into a new market, the expansion often comes in the form of a platform acquisition, the initial acquisition that a private equity group makes to enter an industry with the intent to roll up (or acquire) other companies in an industry. (One-off acquisitions consist of companies within an industry in which the buyer already operates.) The acquiring company entering the new market usually seeks a business with an already sizeable operations base, which then becomes the platform from which to launch further expansion. The term “platform acquisition” originates from the private equity sector, where platform investments are very common.

August 29, 2017 by Shauntelle Hoffman

Issues facing Canadians selling U.S. real estate

Canadians selling U.S. real estate face a number of challenges, most notably the difficulty in finding someone with special training on this topic. Given the high U.S. dollar, many Canadians are now looking to dispose of their U.S. property, but not many advisors have carefully researched this topic and developed the expertise necessary to help with these sales. As a result, the escrow agent, the real estate agent and the accountant you deal with may offer conflicting advice. In order to make sense of their perspectives and cope with the limited expertise available, be sure to keep the following issues in mind when selling U.S. real estate.

July 31, 2017 by Leanne Alexander

Using replacement property to defer capital gains on farmland

With replacement property rules, you can purchase farmland to replace a previous piece of farmland sold – as long as it’s used in the same (or a similar) business – and elect to defer any capital gain that might be incurred. Replacement might occur for the following reasons:

(a) farmers swap land with neighbours due to proximity to their farm business
(b) land is expropriated by government bodies and farmers find replacement land to continue their operations
(c) succession planning

July 24, 2017 by Rosa Maria Iuliano

HST challenges physicians face

Many doctors work their entire career without needing to collect HST for their services, but there can be many exceptions to this rule. For a medical service to be exempt from HST, (a) it must be rendered to a particular individual, (b) the doctor must be licensed under the laws of the province to practise the profession of medicine (or dentistry), (c) it must be a consultative, diagnostic or other health care service that is a qualifying health care supply and (d) it must not be a cosmetic service supply, nor a supply in respect of a cosmetic service supply not meant for medical or reconstructive purposes. Doctors doing work outside these paramaters should keep the following HST rules in mind.

July 10, 2017 by Jay Anstey

Small businesses, you need these financial controls

Most small business owners aren’t aware there are financial controls they should be putting in place, but if they operate a business without them, they may be vulnerable to a number of risks, including fraud and lost profits. To ensure that no problems are overlooked, small business owners need to learn to think from an auditor’s POV. They need to rely on the kinds of tests an auditor would implement and have their business manager perform those tests. Here are some of the key risk areas to keep in mind.

July 5, 2017 by Terry Booth

Financing options for early stage tech companies

If you are trying to find financing for an early stage tech company, you’ve got three main options: government grants, equity investment, and/or bank loans. In most cases, companies try to survive off government grants and maybe some equity funding from friends and family for at least the first two years. The criteria are different when trying to get equity investors involved as opposed to a bank. Traditionally, banks want to see at least two years of business history before seriously considering financing. On the other hand, angel investors don’t really care how long you have been in business. They tend to be more concerned about how much traction you’ve been able to achieve with your customers. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at the financing options available.

May 23, 2017 by Greg Hemstad

Business advisory: Bridging the gap for success

Traditionally, accounting firms have focused on providing assurance and taxation services for their small business clients. Discussions often center on historical results. While these are useful and an important base discussion to have, we also want our clients to be looking forward, actively planning and pursuing their future. This is the bridge that business advisory builds to take clients to the next level.

May 15, 2017 by Jennifer Hollis

Salary vs. dividend for medical professionals

For medical practitioners, the choice between salary or dividends is usually a conflicted one. The general sense is that the grass is greener on the other side. As tax rates change both federally and provincially, it’s necessary to consider the pros and cons of each option, as well as other aspects of pay, such as retirement savings, in order to make sure the right strategy is implemented.

Here is a closer look at some of the key issues involved.

May 10, 2017 by John Clausen

Negotiation strategies for selling your business

Negotiating the sale of your business isn’t easy. The ability to negotiate is vital when entering into a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction. However, it’s difficult to stay objective when parting with a company you’ve dedicated years of your life to. For many people, this is an emotional process. It’s important to enter M&A negotiations with an understanding of your priorities for your future and the future of your company. Keep the following strategies in mind and you are far more likely to get the deal you’re hoping for.

May 3, 2017 by Sara Detweiler

It’s never too early to crisis-proof your business

From fires to the destructive floods in Alberta, we have experienced a variety of unexpected disasters in recent years. People often think something like this will never happen to them, but we’ve seen that anyone can be affected. Statistics show that small businesses are often not prepared for emergencies and rarely think about disaster recovery – in the same way many people postpone writing a will or planning their funeral.

March 6, 2017 by Janet Currie

Incorporating a proprietorship business

When an individual operates a business without having a corporation it’s referred to as a proprietorship business. But when is the right time to incorporate?

If there’s income in your business that you don’t need to spend personally every year, you should seriously consider incorporating. Not only will you potentially limit liability and protect personal assets, but the tax rates for a corporation are lower. You can also leave money in the corporation for many years and get tax savings that way.