SwissBooks 2017 Fiscal Review and Outlook


Our new office hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 1pm. If it is inconvenient for you to drop by during our office hours you can also arrange a time for someone to pick-up your documents after 1pm. (Edmonton area only)

Background and Framework for Efficiency

  1. Focused 5 hour work day: We had the focused 5 hour work day from 2010-2013, and started it again with one employee in March 2017. We have seen first hand that our focused 5 hour work day reduces absences, stress and increases efficiency. Shifts under 5 hours, employees are not entitled to any breaks.  Lunch and breaks during the typical work day are not used to re-energize or restore attention.  In our office’s case they are spent eating lunch late at our desks in front of the computer, while other workplaces time is lost strolling in late after getting caught in line at Tim Hortons. Back in 2010-2013, as owners, we worked 10+ hour days and we were much more efficient running two employees on separate 5 hour shifts (8am-1pm and the second person from 1pm-5pm). There was less internal communication and less friction in our system, than having two employees in the office 8 hours at the same time.  The end goal after efficiency is to remunerate employees as much as they did when they had 8 hour days, and to pass savings down to our customers in the form of reduced costs.
  2. Fixed-schedule productivity: Our accountants will be disconnected by phone and internet 8am-noon.  Payroll and administration will be reachable in real-time. If we are allowed to schedule periods of uninterrupted work around appointments, we can focus on what really matters to you.
  3. Unless you are financially independent, you should be working rather than hiring out the work. No one will ever do a better job than you, and no one will ever care about your big picture as well as you. Only farm out things that can be completed more efficiently through unique skills and economies of scale (Accounting, bookkeeping vs. doing it yourself). Due to minimum efficient scale, the cost/technology would not make sense for an individual to specialize in something that is not directly related to their ability to generate revenue.
  4. The most sustainable payroll solution is that if you pay someone $20 per hour, the employee should also “pay you” at least $40 per hour (giving you $20/hour profit). You have to account for the payouts you are responsible when you have staff: statutory holidays, 4% vacation and eventually termination pay.  Profit per employee is an important metric that our 3rd iteration of SwissBooks will measure and report to you.
  5. Consider converting any full-time staff you have to a focused 5 hour shifts. If you are open longer you could consider running back-to-back 5 hour shifts as we did 2010-2013.
  6. Bring efficiency and focus into your life is efficiently articulated in this appropriately titled book: Efficiency: Get Rich Without Giving Up Your Life.  It will also tell you how to start an online business or make money with affiliate marketing.
Two Huge 2017 Negatives

The law of vital few: We only get 1 hour of revenue for 5 hours of man-hours worked in 2017. That means 1 person working 25 hours per week ideally should have generated the same work as 4 people clocking on average 125 hours per week.  Christian prepared 110 corporate year ends and reviewed an additional 67. Seeing hundreds of financial statements a year, this problem is not unique to us, where our founder has been obsessed with efficiency his entire life. Where do we lose our time? It all boils down to lack of laser-sharp focus.

  1. Efficiency needs improvement: Too much work being done that does not create much value for our customers. With people just walking in without appointments at all times, leaves us in a state of frenzied chaos- being unproductive due to lack of sleep and missed lunches over an extended period of time. More than 80% of appointments are reschedules, late, or no show. Accounting is something we need 3-4.5 hour blocks of concentration

  • $500K revenue and $50K profit is worse than
  • $250K revenue and $150k profit
  • Half the revenue is still better if your net is tripled.

General Holidays & General Holiday Pay

For more detailed information about General Holidays and General Holiday Pay please visit the Alberta Employment Standards website here. You can click on the holiday for specific details on that date/holiday (also linked below for 2017) or you can give Employment Standards a call for advice:  Phone: 780-427-3731   Toll Free: 1-877-427-3731

The Employment Standards Code of Alberta designates the following nine days as general holidays in Alberta:

  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Alberta Family Day
  3. Good Friday
  4. Victoria Day
  5. Canada Day
  6. Labour Day
  7. Thanksgiving Day
  8. Remembrance Day
  9. Christmas Day

The Employment Code also recognizes any other day designated as a general holiday by an employer. If an employer designates a general holiday, all rules pertaining to general holiday pay will apply. (This is not mandatory)

Here are some optional holidays.

  • Easter Monday
  • Heritage Day
  • Boxing Day

Do I need to pay my employees holiday pay?

  1. First, employees are either ELIGIBLE or INELIGIBLE to holiday pay
  2. Second, it depends on whether or not the day of the holiday lands on a normal work day for the employee or not
  3. Third, it depends on whether the employee works that day or not

Please refer to the Holiday Fact Sheet  from Alberta Employment Standards to see whether your employees should receive General Holiday Pay or not.