Wishing You All The Best

The partners of Graham Scott Enns LLP wish fellow partners Bill Luyks and Megan Siemens along with manager Michael Helder well, as they leave the firm to form a new partnership, Luyks Siemens Helder LLP.  While we have all greatly enjoyed working together over the years, the time has come to explore new opportunities to meet our mutual goals of providing excellence and quality in client service.

Clients currently working with Bill, Megan and Mike will be contacted over the coming days and weeks to discuss the best path forward to support their accounting and taxation needs.  The change will be effective January 1, 2022.

We thank all our clients for your support during this time of transition and look forward to serving you for many years to come.

Sincerely,

The partners of Graham Scott Enns LLP                   and                        The partners of Luyks Siemens Helder LLP

Michael Stover, CPA, CA                                                                                Bill Luyks, CPA, CA

Robert Foster, CPA, CA                                                                                  Megan Siemens, CPA, CA

James Frederick, CPA, CA                                                                             Michael Helder, CPA, CA

Michael MacKinnon, CPA, CA

Paul Schneider, CPA, CA

Derek Michell, CPA, CA

Ann Marie Perry, CPA, CA

Garth Howes, CPA, CA

Jennifer Buchanan, CPA, CA

Small Business Week

This week October 17-23 is Small Business Week.

Did you know that 98% of businesses in Canada are considered to be small businesses whereby they employ fewer than 100 paid employees?

GSE is a proud member of Elgin County’s small business community!

Springwater Picnic Lunch!

Earlier this week all Firm Members gathered on a beautiful fall day at Springwater Conservation Area for a picnic lunch, lawn games, and a walk. We’ve missed gathering as a large group over the last 18 months and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together away from our computer screens.

Similar to many other employers, we are working on our new “normal” work environment, but what’s important to all of us is to maintain our culture and remain connected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GSE Baseball Day

This past Friday, GSE held their first ever baseball game! This was a great opportunity to meet new staff, and to socialize outside of the workplace. This family friendly event brought together Staff, and Partners from both offices for some fun in the sun, followed by a tasty BBQ dinner! Congratulations Team 2 on your win! Thanks to the Social Committee for putting on such a great event!

 

Sometimes accounting is a walk in the (ball) park!

Good Luck CFE Writers

Today marks the most exciting time of year! The annual CFE begins today running for the next 3 days.
Best of luck to all writers this year, we all know the efforts you have put in over the last month of studying.
Trust in your own abilities and process.

A Day in the Life of a GSE Co-op Student

Name: Allison

Position: Co-op Student (1st term)

Why did you choose GSE: I chose GSE because of the supportive team environment, as well as the Buddy/Mentor program. I was also drawn in by the fact that I would be exposed to many different types of engagements, including Notice to Readers (NTRs), Reviews and Audits; this is very useful not only for my future schooling, but also in helping decide what I will want to do for a future career.

What is a typical day like for you: I will usually start the day out by checking my e-mails. After that, I will get to work on any files that I have on my plate, whether they are NTR, audit or review engagements.  Typically, I will spend my day agreeing account balances to supporting paperwork and adjusting them as necessary, as well as preparing financial statements and corporate tax returns.  If I have a question, I will reach out to either the manager on the file or my mentor, and we will have a quick discussion through Teams (video call or messages since I am working remotely), then I will get back to work on the file.

What type of work do you find most enjoyable: The type of work I find the most enjoyable is expense testing in an audit engagement. I enjoy data entry, which is required to make sure it is clear which expenses are being tested by agreeing the appropriate expense account, date, vendor, invoice/cheque number and amount.  I also enjoy the task of agreeing the invoice amounts and making sure the company’s controls are being used properly.  Sometimes there are cases when the control isn’t working, or the invoice does not match, and this requires additional testing, which can be a fun scavenger hunt.

What type of work do you find most challenging: The most challenging thing for me are the corporate tax returns.  While I enjoy doing them since I appreciate a challenge, there are many different schedules and rules to know. This can make the process quite tedious to make sure that you have everything entered correctly, and I often have questions, but through some searching around I can usually figure out what needs to be done.  When I am unable to figure out the problem on my own, the manager on the file or my mentor can help me out and explain it to me for future reference.

What is one thing you have learnt that you think would be useful for someone looking to join GSE to know:

I have learned that no question is a stupid question when it comes to working on a file.  Especially if you are starting with no real accounting work experience, everyone is happy to help you out to make sure that things are done properly, and you can do it on your own the next time you come across the situation.  Even if you feel like you should know the answer, or it has been explained to you before, it is better to ask if you are unsure to avoid confusion and more work later.

Looking for a New Career Opportunity?

Graham Scott Enns is currently looking to hire for a number of key positions, including, Intermediate Accountant, Senior Accountant, and Tax Manager. We are also looking for an Accounting Co-Op student to join our ever-growing team of professionals.

We are a mid-sized public accounting firm, and one of the largest accounting firms in Elgin County! As such, we are able to provide a wide variety of work experiences across a number of different sectors. Our clients range from agriculture to manufacturing, and from not-for-profit organizations to owner-managed businesses, which allows our staff to gain experience in many different industries.

Graham Scott Enns is an approved CPA Ontario training office, and is part of the Pre-Approved Program (PAP) for the CPA Ontario Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). We have an official Training and Development curriculum to encourage on-going training and to meet your annual CPA Ontario CPD requirements. We also pride ourselves in our formal Mentor program to help support your personal and professional development as you continue to advance in your career. Staff also get ample face-to-face time with the Firm’s Partners, as well as Managers, who are all working to help you meet your career goals.

Work-life balance is something we value at Graham Scott Enns, and we encourage all staff to take time to rest and recharge. We have a paid overtime policy for the first 6 months of the year when the workload is heavier, and we have reduced hours over the last 6 months of the year when the workload is lighter, including an option for half-day Fridays, or even Friday’s off! There is also a Flex-time policy, and post-COVID, there will likely be some remote working options available.

If you are looking for a career change and are looking for an opportunity to grow personally and professionally, we would love to hear from you! Come join our growing team of hard-working professionals. Please apply to the Firm’s HR Manager at awoods@grahamscottenns.com and take a look at our Career Page for more information about working at GSE!

Congratulations Bill Luyks!

GSE would like to celebrate the success of a hard-working colleague! Bill Luyks, CPA, CA, who is a partner in our Aylmer office, has been recognized by Jackson McCully as an Outstanding Brock Co-op Supervisor!

Jackson has been a co-op with GSE for all of his co-op terms and has nominated Bill for providing him with a great co-op experience over this time. Bill is a helpful mentor, who supports staff with their career goals by providing them with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Bill is well known for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss workload, provide feedback, and catch up on personal news.

Bill’s strong mentorship and support have helped to reinforce Jackson’s goal of becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant as well as his successful transition into public accounting.

We wish to congratulate Bill and all other recipients on this well-deserved award!

Check out all of the recipients here: Co-op Recognition and Awards – Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (brocku.ca)

Personal Income Tax Season Has Arrived!

For new and existing personal income tax clients, here are some reminders and new information regarding GSE’s personal income tax preparation process.

  1. We continue to operate in accordance with Public Health Guidelines and our own COVID-19 office policies. We are trying our best to accommodate the receipt of your income tax documents in a secure and safe manner.

a) Please upload supporting documents via our Secure Client Portal. We prefer PDF files and recommend the use of an app such as Microsoft Lens (available in your favorite app store) to help you convert image files to a PDF. When in doubt, submit what you have, and we will reach out if the format is not compatible.

OR

b) ST. THOMAS – Access to the building itself is restricted. Please drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box at the front of the County of Elgin building. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. If your item is too big for the drop-box, please walk inside and there is a reception area where you can leave your package. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

OR

c) AYLMER – Please drop off supporting documents to the secure drop box located directly outside of our regular main reception lobby door. This drop-box is emptied daily and allows us to have fewer clients in our reception area. If your item is too big for the drop-box, please refer to c) below. The drop-off hours are 8:30 – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

OR

c) So long as we are in the Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red categories, please call the office and one of our friendly administrative staff will arrange a time for you to come in and drop off your documents. If you need to meet with a GSE Firm Member to review your documents, that must be arranged in advance as well. Due to the current operating environment, we cannot accommodate unscheduled in-person drop-offs.

OR

d) Some combination of the above! Perhaps you have physically dropped off your documents but located one more slip that you would like to scan to your secure Portal – go for it!

 

  1. We have a new Document Library on our website! Here you will find the following documents:

a) 2020 Personal Income Tax Return Checklist – please review this listing to determine if you are submitting all necessary documents to support your reported income, deductions and credits. Within the Checklist there is some helpful information about how some of COVID-19 government benefits will be treated on your personal return, as well as the impact of working from home.

b) T1 Brief Client Questions – Please complete these questions on an annual basis. Either print and drop them off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal. These questions help us to ensure we have accurate information about your current tax situation.

c) T1 Client Questions Form – We highly recommend this Form for new clients or returning clients with changing tax situations. Either print and drop it off with your personal taxes or upload your responses to the Portal.

d) Final Return & Estate Checklist – If you are assisting with the final tax return for someone who has recently passed away, please complete and return this checklist. It outlines some of the additional information we will require.

e) Authorization/Cancellation Request Form – For new clients to allow us to communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf.

f) Decision tree to help you determine your tax deduction from working from home – Information to help you determine whether you qualify to claim home office expenses where you are required to work from home by your employer, or whether you can claim the tax deduction for working from home due to the Covid -19 pandemic and whether to use the detailed or simplified method of claim. Note that employees can only claim a reasonable portion of the following under the detailed method:

  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Utility portion of condo fees (must obtain from Condo Corporation)
  • Home internet access fees (cost of plan only, new for 2020)
  • Maintenance and minor repairs (related to the workspace only)
  • Rent
  1. How do I get my documents and personal tax return?

a) Once your tax return has been prepared and reviewed, you will receive a call indicating that your personal income taxes have been completed.

b) If you have not already told us, we will ask if you would like it back electronically (via our Secure portal) or a paper copy (which can be picked-up at a scheduled appointment time). Prior to us filing your return, we require a signature – this can be done either via Portal (using an electronic signature called DocuSign), via Portal (with a scanned upload of the signed document), via fax, via Mail, via drop-box at our office, or it can be signed in-person at the time of your scheduled pick-up.

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at (519) 633-0700/ (519) 773-9265 or contact the Partner you usually work with.

Happy filing!

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

In response to the difficulties faced by the hardest hit businesses due to COVID-19, BDC in conjunction with the Government of Canada, has developed the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee. This program will provide low-interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000 to cover operational cash flow needs.

To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be Canadian based.
  • Have been financially stable and viable pre-COVID.
  • Have received payments either from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by demonstrating a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least 3 months within the last 8-month period prior to the HASCAP application.
  • The loan will be used to continue or resume operations.
  • The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts.
  • Minimum risk ratings will apply, varying by size of new loan.
  • You can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined).
  • Other conditions may also apply.

Please see the BDC website for more details, including all eligibility requirements: https://www.bdc.ca/en/special-support/hascap?ref=shorturl-hascap

HASCAP will be available until June 30, 2021. If you think this program would be the right opportunity for your business, you are encouraged to apply.