Recession Economics 101

Alberta is one of the few places you can go from the bottom to the top.


Before arrival in 2006  I examined the austere government under Ralph Klein and I decided this is where I will engineer my place towards the top of Alberta’s trickle: oil and gas.  Over the years, I have watched fiscal policy tilt left each year, and when the oil crash happened –  human nature dictates self-preservation.  The only way politicians are elected is if they pander to the majority.
Lesson in that.

Don’t be at the end of of the trickle

Not everyone can be a producer or service producers. It is easier to be a net consumer – but this does nothing to improve our real-world production. On a micro level, my business produces units of processed accounting. Whatever I spend that does not directly allow me to produce more, is consumption.  Similarly, on a macro level real tangible production that grows the economy is producing something that others want – for Alberta it has been oil, for Switzerland: pharmaceuticals, watches etc. Ultimately, everything else only exists because SOMEONE somewhere is producing something.  While consumption in Alberta continues to overtake production, we will continue this downward spiral.  Increases in government spending which our governments borrows from future generations keeps the majority from the pain of living beyond their means – the piper will be paid.  The more government interferes the longer the inevitable outcome will be. For most, it will get worst before it gets better.  Lesson: don’t rely on things you can not control.

The recovery

By sacrificing productivity for a period of time, time and resources  can be invested.  Innovation exponential increases my end productivity.  This is only possible by under-consumption. By under-consuming one can still feed themselves while they are not directly producing. Here is how the government does the opposite: Artificially low-interest rates make the housing market seem stable (fake accomplishment) – keeping overpriced houses seem affordable.  Over consumption of buying more than what you need, will keep you from being able to invest your precious time/resources (now being consumed to service bigger mortgage, lifestyle, etc.) from opening your own business.  The only way real economic improvement will happen is if this happens on a macroeconomic level.  It is a mistake to think that logic changes from simple household economics.

Which one are you?

  1. Pessimist = Complain about no jobs.
  2. Optimist = Hope the job market improves.
  3. Winner = Creates jobs – or at least one for yourself – follow framework below and throughout blog.

Fun facts

  • Alberta is a monster economy and even during a recession Alberta’s per capita GDP exceeds $80K – on par with Switzerland’s and nearly DOUBLE the rest of Canada and Europe. It takes a million more Norwegians to generate the same money as Albertans.
  • If you live in Edmonton there is money everywhere. PCL Construction generated record revenues of $8.5 billion in 2015 and is on track to reach $9 billion this year.
  • The Swiss have a wealth-based taxation system that is easier on the average worker. While the Alberta system is supposed to be progressive – up to 48% for the highest bracket, business owners can escape these taxes with strategic planning. For example, in 2016, a well executed strategy would have someone pay $16,000 in taxes net of Canada Child Benefits on a $260,000 income, or a tax rate of 6%.  This is a 10% less than what a single income family with 2 children would have to pay on a $50,000 wage.
  • Prior to 2015- 90% of my income came from oilfield.
  • I proudly can say I have never had to axe any employees in this recession and I have rejected all the requests to outsource bookkeeping to India. In my tradition of doing the opposite, I continue to give raises and bonuses.
  • Most people have no political pull so speaking of politics this far from election does nothing.
  • No government can save you. The only way to improve your life is the harder task of honing your skills.
  • Understand that big government will always have inefficiencies, no big deal, business as usual.  Smart ones are taking the money and laughing.

Recommended Framework

  1. Develop and exercise your rare and valuable skills.
  2. When you are ready “productify” your service. Don’t charge per hour, make clear-cut product offerings or sell something you know better than most.
  3. Sell either business to business or online or both. If you sell direct to consumers, remember who spends the money *hint: it’s not necessarily the people who earn it.
  4. Ritualize everything to focus on what’s important
  5. Prioritize efficiency = value created/time spent creating value
  6. Get the right people on board and the wrong ones out.
  7. Hire 2, work them like 4 and pay them like 3.
  8. Don’t try to please everyone. Most people are not worth it. I lose bad customers and obtain good ones. To be polarizing is a good problem to have.
  9. Buy fixer-uppers if you can realistically expect to double or triple your investment (do not count on capital appreciation if you are borrowing money!)

Pour Conclure

Control what you can control and ignore the rest. Manipulate the system to suit your needs. Our new government wants to spend billions on infrastructure, so get your self a piece of the pie, and employ our services so will let you hold on to as much of your hard-earned money as possible.  The smaller percentage of taxes we pay is still our wonderful contribution to a great place I am proud to call home!

The triangle gets smaller on the way up so sooner or later we will meet!

You will receive a gift card equal to 1 month of service of your referral. Up to to $600 for every successful sign up through your share or like. Save a business taxes today.

As a result of improved efficiency – made possible by savings, innovation and investment – our prices are down and the benefits of THUT are available to a wider pool of entrepreneurs.

What was once a luxury for Edmonton’s elite is now available to all. Quality, reliability, and precision: THUT is a reflection of 21st-century Switzerland. Like all things Swiss, our customers rely on us in the long-term. Generations ago we decided that it would be easier to explain price one time than it would be to apologize for mistakes forever.Our offerings are worth what it can do for you and not what you have to pay for it. It is better to pay a little more than you expected than less than you should when dealing with something as serious as taxes. Another Edmonton accountant could cost you millions of dollars more.

Bad Accountants & Management Fees

Willkommen to the first article on our series on terrible accountants and what you need to watch out for before they waste your money and time.

There is 1 of 3 ways to pay money out of an operating company:

  1. Repayment of shareholder loan (not an option when they were already repaid)
  2. Dividends based on shareholdings
  3. Management remuneration (based on fair market value of services rendered)

The shareholders of an operating company in Calgary wanted to pay themselves from their operating company in Edmonton (Op Co) and they paid themselves proportional to their shareholdings.  The 50% shareholder in Calgary took 50% of the payout while the 3 shareholders in Edmonton took 16.67% each.  They have done this consistently over the last 2 years.

The Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) for the Calgary shareholder called yesterday and insisted that I amend 8 corporate tax returns and 14 GST returns to change the dividends to management fees.

I will have no part in such nonsense as the deductibility of management fees is often reviewed by the Canada Revenue Agency.

  1. Management fees must be invoiced detailing the services rendered at a fair market rate. The 50% payout his customer received is 3X the fair market rate of the actual management fees issued to the Op Co by our Edmonton shareholder.  How could this be possible, when the Calgary shareholder is in Calgary running a different Op Co?
  2. You can not simply invoice the Op Co more than a year later for a round $150,000 including GST with no periodic invoices consistent with the payments received.  The invoice should be the rate x the hours and subject to GST.  There should be a service contract between the Op Co and the shareholders and CRA will look for specific proof of how your management fees were determined. This means detailed descriptions of the work performed for the Op Co.
  3. If the Calgary Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) got his way, anti-avoidance rules will kick in and the $150,000 management fees will be denied along with more than $50,000 in unnecessary taxes + penalties and interest on the avoided tax.  Arm’s-length management fees that do not meet the requirements of the sections of the Income tax Act can lead to double taxation for which no relief is available.
  4. All regrets in life involve wasted time. This is the only thing you can never get back so never waste a second giving people second chances.  Poor choices reveal poor character.

Below is a link to an article written by me detailing the reasons to use a holding company. This is how we can legitimately save taxes without breaking any laws and end up losing more than you ever bargained for.

Our goal at SwissBooks is to secure our customer’s future and the future of their loved ones. Our business offers a comprehensive services to customers.  We will never sacrifice the long-term well-being of our customers for any ill gotten short-term gains.   We will work with you  to minimize your tax obligation, preserve and protect assets for future generations.  Accounting is beautiful a series of debits and credits that must balance.  There is no such thing as bad accounting- only bad accountants.

Like all people with no value, bad CPAs should be avoided at all costs.  Join my personal vendetta against all the bad CPAs in Canada that hide behind their designations or hide behind their high fees. Their customers automatically associate authority based on the high fees they charge. Bad CPAs: please start behaving or I will start lighting you up on this blog.

Upcoming topics for bad accountants:

  1. Inflating expenses to “minimize” your taxesfake accomplishment, will bite you in the end. I know you can not compete with me, but putting your customers at risk by reporting bogus numbers should put you in prison. ($12,000 dollars of office expenses for a little shop that provides a beauty service? How much pens and papers can you buy for $12,000?)
  2. Paying employees as contractors: learn the difference
  3. Encouraging mindless spending to increase tax-write offsfake accomplishment. Congratulations! Your customer pays no tax; they will also be in financial ruin. Only acquire corporate vehicles or leases if they are required for conducting business.  Ferrying kids around to school? Personal. Get familiar with the metrics, keep business – business.
  4. “Investing” under $500,000 in individual stocks: inefficient waste of time. If you could beat my index fund your time is worth more working on Wall-Street.
  5. Franchises: not worth pursuing unless you are the franchisor.

We can’t be responsible for other accountants irresponsibility.  Our responsibility comes from 10 years of delivery quality, completing files on time, servicing memorably and saving our customers far more money in taxes than any small price difference.

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