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Fraud Prevention

If you read the newspapers every day you see evidence of a disturbing consequence of the economic downturn. Identity theft, white collar crime, fraud and many other similar crimes are on the rapid rise. We mention this NOT because we think everyone is being robbed blind by their staff, neighbours and or some crime syndicate but because the old adage “forewarned is forearmed” definitely applies here.

The most recent occurrence we noticed was a Engineering Company had $1.5 Million stolen by an employee that was buying computers through the company’s purchasing system and was then selling them and pocketing the cash. Next time you get a request from our office to provide copies of fixed assets purchased during the year think of this case and understand why we ask and review fixed assets every year for our business clients.

We have listed a few broad stroke points below. They apply to everyone whether they are in business, employed, in university or retired. Admittedly, most are focused on small business but they can and do apply to everyone:

  1. Make sure the bank has your correct mailing address
  2. Pick up, open and examine all of your mail YOURSELF!!!
  3. NEVER be in too big a rush, when signing cheques, to carefully examine the invoices the cheque is paying (they should be attached to the cheque you are being asked to sign) and ask questions about them BEFORE you sign the cheque.
  4. NEVER sign blank cheques.
  5. Do not use bank accounts that do not offer to return copies of all withdrawals from your account either in electronic or original paper format.
  6. ALWAYS examine the cancelled vouchers in your bank statement every month to ensure the front, back and payee signatures match and are valid.
  7. Always make sure the signature on the front of the cheque is yours.
  8. Carefully examine your credit card statements and attach the original charge slips to each one. If something doesn’t look right REPORT it to the credit card company IMMEDIATELY!!!
  9. Bad guys are sending what look like invoices and bills that say you owe them money. If you are not sure that you owe them for goods and or services, call them, or call us. Happy to help
  10. Even if you have a bookkeeper you should do the above at least every second or third month. You are NOT doubting them. They have a serious responsibility and are your trusted staff. Looking after yourself occasionally is a good thing.

Do everything above and if all is well and your staff is doing a great job give them a slap on the back and say thank you, if there is any problem or something confuses you, talk it over with them and clear up the problem now rather than later. If you think a second set of eyes is necessary give us a call and we will help point you in the right direction.

Tax Alerts

Tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) have been around for a full decade now, having been introduced in 2009, and for most Canadians, a TFSA (along with a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)) is now a regular part of their financial and tax planning.


In most cases, the need to seek out and obtain legal services (and to pay for them) is associated with life’s more unwelcome occurrences and experiences — a divorce, a dispute over a family estate, or a job loss. About the only thing that mitigates the pain of paying legal fees (apart, hopefully, from a successful resolution of the problem that created the need for legal advice) would be being able to claim a tax credit or deduction for the fees paid.


As the baby boom generation ages, members of that generation must switch their focus from the accumulation of retirement savings to creating a structure which will ensure a steady flow of income throughout that retirement. Those individuals face a particular deadline when their 71st birthday arrives, as they must, by December 31st of that year, collapse their RRSP and convert it into a source of retirement income.


When parents separate and divorce, it is frequently the case that they are able to agree on an arrangement to share custody of their children. Such a shared-custody arrangement is often to the benefit of all concerned, especially the children of the marriage.


Canadians are fortunate to benefit from a publicly funded health care system, in which most costs of care ranging from routine visits to a family doctor to intensive care in a hospital setting are paid for by government-sponsored health insurance.


The Canadian tax system is a “self-assessing system” which relies heavily on the voluntary co-operation of taxpayers. Canadians are expected (in fact, in most cases, required), to complete and file a tax return each spring, reporting income from all sources, calculating the amount of tax owed, and remitting that amount to the federal government by a specified deadline.


By now, news of yet another data breach resulting in unauthorized access to personal information — especially financial information — has become so frequent as to seem almost commonplace. Notwithstanding, the recent data breach affecting Capital One was, in many ways, a singular event.