Technology – Connecting for Profit

by admin in Advisory

TECHNOLOGY Connecting for Profit WiFi offers new retail marketing strategies. The use of cut-out and email coupons to create consumer awareness of your business and your products has been around for a long time, but their effect on your revenue and profit is notoriously hard to measure. Some marketers are now hoping to get around this problem by offering WiFi services to their in-store customers to get them to stay within the store environment. This idea is based on the well-tested principle that the longer a person stays in the store, the more likely they are to buy something. In fact, a recent survey has shown that 62% of customers will linger longer in shopping environments that provide free WiFi. The same study showed that half of those customers actually spend more money while they remain in the store. Let’s Use WiFi This system works by informing the walk-in customer they have access to free WiFi as an incentive to stay in the store. It does not matter whether the person is using a smart phone, tablet or computer; WiFi is platform agnostic and will work with almost any mobile device. Implementations vary; however, most businesses either post a passcode, […]

Management – The Five Finger Discount

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT The Five Finger Discount Support trained staff with physical theft deterrents. Physical Deterrents the Next Line of Defence Staff training to reduce potential shoplifting must be supported with physical theft deterrents. Ensure every part of the store can be seen by sales staff at all times. Blind spots, dressing rooms and tall shelving units make theft easy. Users of dressing rooms expect privacy, but there can be no such expectation on the store floor. Security cameras should be placed strategically to monitor the floor area. A large monitor at check out will provide live video from every camera to enable cashiers to view suspicious actions. Placing mirrors to view blind spots is an alternative to cameras although not as effective since staff cannot always be watching. Expensive merchandise should be looped through an alarm box or fitted with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices that sound an alarm as soon as the product is removed from its packaging or its shelf space. Please Leave the Store You have the right to ask someone to leave your store. Most merchants are hesitant to do this because they do not wish to create conflict or negative publicity. Nevertheless, you are well within […]

Management – The Five Finger Discount

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT The Five Finger Discount Shoplifting can ruin your business. Fred Tarasoff loves music. In fact, he used to own a record store, but had to go out of business in 1989 in large part because of inventory losses through shoplifting. Then he was assaulted by a shoplifter while he was running a health food store. Since that time, he has devoted himself to researching shoplifting and the retail industry in order to develop training programs to prevent and detect shoplifting. He currently works closely with law enforcement, industry associations and security firms to fight this crime. In the course of this work, Mr. Tarasoff has developed a simple way to calculate the losses suffered from shoplifting. According to Mr. Tarasoff, even if your business has excellent controls, you can expect losses will approximate 1% of gross sales. Thus, if your retail store sells $600,000 a year, at least $6,000 will be missing from your sales figure. But, if your business does not have good controls, losses could be as high as 8% or $48,000 on $600,000 of gross sales. If your store works on a 20% gross margin your business is out $38,400 (i.e., 80% the sales loss of […]

Management – Cannabis 101

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT Cannabis 101  Employment Agreements Employment agreements usually address issues such as alcohol, the use of smartphones while driving and sexual harassment. These agreements reflect management’s due diligence in acting to avoid or mitigate huge losses from lawsuits against the company. Even though both employees and employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace, the employer, its management and directors bear the ultimate legal responsibility. In the matter of marijuana prescribed by a doctor for pain relief, employees may be unable to travel to jurisdictions with criminal laws for possession. Not only does this cause concern for the employer, but it may also jeopardize an employee’s future if arrested, charged and convicted by a foreign government. A prohibition on future travel for work in such jurisdictions may never be lifted.   Drug Testing The employer has a responsibility to establish the grounds for any proposed drug testing. Some businesses have employment agreements that require drug testing to ensure employees are not impaired. The liberalisation of the marijuana laws creates a whole new area of uncertainty as to whether an employee is impaired. Random drug testing of employees can become problematic. If the employee refuses and they are fired, they […]

Management – Cannabis 101

by admin in Advisory

MANAGEMENT Cannabis 101 The pending revision of Canada’s marijuana laws will affect the workplace. Liberalisation of Canada’s marijuana laws appears to be imminent. The Cannabis Act is currently expected to become law in 2018 and will decriminalize certain activities and make marijuana more widely available under a controlled production, distribution and sales system. Whether or not you agree with the intent of the proposed Cannabis Act, the loosening of the laws governing the sale and use of marijuana raises important questions for businesses regarding health, safety and legal liability. Most provincial and territorial occupational health and safety regulations require an employer to take all reasonable means to ensure the protection of their workers. The employer also has a reasonable expectation that employees should not be impaired on the job. The question then becomes when are employees impaired and whether, if they believe themselves to be impaired, they are required to inform their employer. Employer Responsibility All employers recognize that, if an employee is incapacitated to the extent that they cannot perform their assigned tasks, the employer is required to either allow a leave of absence or find a task within the organization that allows the employee to rehabilitate so as […]

Taxation – The Tax Refund Myth

by admin in Advisory, Taxation

TAXATION The Tax Refund Myth A “tax refund” is really just the CRA giving you back your own money. “The government gave me money back” is a common phrase often heard after the April 30 or June 15 filing deadline. The truth is that the government is not being charitable; it is only refunding the tax that you or your employer had overpaid throughout the year. Because the rate of tax withheld at source throughout the year may be different than the tax rate applicable to your actual taxable income (after taking into consideration all other income and deductions), you might have remitted more money to Ottawa than was necessary. Your “tax refund” is the difference between your remittances and your actual tax liability. One of the biggest misconceptions is that, upon filing of their personal income tax returns, people with a lower income will likely receive a tax refund while people with a higher income will usually end up owing tax. This is not necessarily true because the tax refund/liability is not based on your income level but rather on the difference between the remittances paid compared to the actual tax liability. How It Works For example, assume Mrs. […]

Taxation – Tax Benefits for the Self-Employed

by admin in Advisory, Personal Tax

TAXATION Tax Benefits for the Self-Employed There are many tax advantages for self-employed Canadians who work from home and hire family members in their business. If you are self-employed, you may want to consider incorporating home and family into your business to create tax benefits for both the business and the family. Consider the following opportunities to reduce your taxable income and thus increase the amount of money left over to support your family. Individuals in a 40% tax bracket save $40 on every $100 spent. Hiring Family Members If your business needs employees, why not hire your children or your spouse? Of course, the job must correspond to their abilities and the pay be reasonable in terms of the going market rate for such skills. It is usually more beneficial for a sole proprietor to pay family members rather than a third party for the same work. Suppose, for example, you pay one of your children or your spouse $5,000 per year for performing a task and they have no other income. Because the $5,000 is less than their personal exemption ($11,327 for 2015) they will not have to pay any income tax on the earned amount. Further, the […]

Taxation – Salary or Dividends?

by admin in Advisory, Taxation

TAXATION Salary or Dividends? The way a bonus is paid has a significant effect on corporate and personal after-tax income. You are an owner-manager and you’ve just had a really good year. Profits are up significantly and you want to reward your employee shareholders with a bonus. But how? Salary or dividends? The answer to this age-old question is not as simple as it seems. It is even possible to receive remuneration that is a combination of salary and dividends. However, because every company and its shareholders have different needs, a “one size fits all” approach to remuneration is not prudent. Salary and dividends differ with respect to taxation. A dividend is a per-share payout of retained earnings and is therefore not an expense and thus does not reduce pre-tax income. A salary bonus differs from a dividend in that it is an expense and thus reduces pre-tax income. Corporations, trusts, charities and a wide variety of other entities can also receive dividends. Different Tax Effects Distributing a salary bonus effectively reduces pre-tax income by the amount paid. Thus, if a company pays out 100% of pre-tax earnings in the form of a salary bonus, the corporation may not be […]

Incorporation – Lets Incorporate

by admin in Advisory

INCORPORATION Let’s Incorporate The incorporation process is relatively simple whether you incorporate provincially or federally. As a sole proprietor, you may be looking back at last year’s results and ahead to the time you have to pay your taxes, and wondering whether you might not be better off incorporating to control the income tax expense on earned income. In Canada, a company may be incorporated provincially or federally. Federal incorporation has some advantages: You can carry on business in any provincial jurisdiction using the federally approved name. The head office can be in any province. Books and records can be maintained in any province. Annual meetings can be held in any province or territory. If you are incorporated provincially and wish, for example, to move your business from Alberta to Manitoba, it would be necessary to dissolve the Alberta corporation and reregister in Manitoba or apply for a discontinuance in Alberta and apply for a continuance in Manitoba. If your business is incorporated federally, you need only file Articles of Amendment indicating the head office is moving and register an extra-provincial corporation in its new home province. Whether you are thinking of incorporating provincially or federally, the following are a […]

Technology – Password Management

by admin in Advisory

TECHNOLOGY Password Management Password manager software is an inexpensive way to secure all your passwords. Our need for passwords to access everything in our life has become pervasive. Every agency, every computer, every credit card, every smartphone requires an exponential explosion of letters, numbers, and symbols to secure all information from hackers, whether it is personal data or corporate information. To complicate matters, it is no longer permissible (or advisable) on many sites to use a simple password that is easy to remember, such as a word or name. Instead you must create a password with numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters, and a minimum length. One study suggests the average individual has at least 25 Internet-accessible accounts with passwords, while other sources suggest that number could be substantially higher. Is it any wonder that most individuals will, whenever possible, assign the same password to as many accounts as they can? Hackers know this and once they compromise one account, it often doesn’t take long to gain access to your other accounts. Use Different Passwords The best means of protecting your personal information is to use a different, unguessable password for every account. Most password management software includes […]

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