Helping Canadian Businesses beat the odds through planning, reporting, and analysis!
One flat monthly fee for services designed to maximize your success!
Incorporation & Corporate Reorganization
Starting with your accountant instead of your lawyer corporate registries can save you tax.
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Financial Plan & Tax Plan
The price of a good accountant can help often help you save more in tax than the accountant will cost.
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Businesses with a business plan are 50% more likely to grow revenue. It’s easier than you think.
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Bookkeeping & Financial Statements
Whether you need bi-weekly bookkeeping or annual financial statements we have a plan to keep you ready to make decisions.
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Payroll & Payables
We can prepare all your payroll and payable bill payments so you can approve and pay digitally in one click.
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Consulting & Coaching
Your success is our success. Good advice does not cost extra. Utilize your professional accounting & business advisory team without the meter running.
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Watch the Video
The failure rates for small businesses in Canada are approximately:
- By year 1 15% of businesses fail
- By year 2 30% of businesses fail
- By year 5 50% of businesses fail
We believe the accountants job does not end with preparing annual financial statements and the required tax returns. The true measure of success for an accountant is to help the business owner succeed in business and minimize tax.
August 2011 – Josh Spurrell Professional Corporation incorporates and begins operating as a sole practitioner in Edmonton from Scotia Tower | March 2012 – The firm hires a second team member | April 2012 – Begins to digitally process payroll and payables for clients using electronic cash disbursement software | January 2013 – Introduced a cloud server to collaborate on QuickBooks Desktop files in real time, concurrently with clients | July 2015 – Re-brands to Spurrell & Associates Chartered Professional Accountants to reflect the merger of the 3 Canadian accounting designations and our growing team | May 2015 – Begins using web based QuickBooks Online to replace the QuickBooks Desktop files hosted in the cloud | August 2015 – Purchases commercial space and moves to Railtown in Edmonton for more space for the growing team and better parking for guests | January 2016 – Team completes QuickBooks Online advanced certification program and the firm is designated as a “Platinum Level ProAdvisor Firm” | March 2017 – Deploys 9 monitor team workstations to facilitate improved collaboration between teams and improve speed | April 2017 – Institutes flat fee monthly billing to encourage more client interaction and facilitate implementing automated systems for clients | December 2017 – The firm has grown to 10 staff members | August 2018 – The firm starts publishing #askspurrellCPA videos to help entrepreneurs Canada wide
SPURRELL & ASSOCIATES PROBLEM VISION MISSION & VALUES
50% of all small businesses fail in the first 5 years
To help 1,000 businesses for 5 years or more
To help businesses beat the odds through planning, reporting, and analysis
- Bring a positive attitude and integrity to all situations
- Stick to the schedule, show up early, finish strong, document your progress
- Even when life is hard, show up early, use scheduled time off for activities worth sharing
- Stick to focused solitary work in the mornings and collaborate in the afternoon
- Prioritize, understand the big picture, execute, review big picture, repeat
- Quickly document off topic objectives and refocus, don’t switch tasks until completion
- Immediately pull others back into the game when they get distracted or discouraged
- Continually learn, develop talent, and promote from within
- Use knowledge from prior years, other clients, & other proven strategies to help clients
- Continually make incremental improvements by refining and following processes
- Balance professionalism, humor, empathy, rapport, and enthusiasm
- Take calculated risks and remember the worst decision is indecision
- Celebrate the wins and learn from the losses
- Present complete solutions, not incomplete work. Keep going when it gets hard.
- Collaborate in person or by phone and then confirm in writing
- Precise, concise written communication that completely addresses all issues
- Be relentless in maintaining organization and reducing clutter
- Provide timely progress updates and keep all relevant parties informed
- Promote the health of our employees and their families
- Overdeliver and when you get knocked down, get up and keep moving forward
50% of Canadian small businesses will fail within 5 years. The entrepreneurs who stay in business are often never paid fairly for their efforts. The impact that this has on Canadian families is often minimized. It’s not uncommon for failed entrepreneurs to lose significant savings, accumulate crippling debt, suffer from depression, or experience marital breakdowns. 94% of failed entrepreneurs list lack of demand, running out of cash, or inability to find the right team as one of the reasons for their failure. Thus, it’s unsurprising when entrepreneurs who are still in business but struggling, list one of those 3 key pain points.
When you begin to face these statistics head on, it’s difficult to ignore the existence of proven strategies available to mitigate these common risks. However, the mere involvement of a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) on its own, does not effectively mitigate these risks. Further, the limited involvement of an accountant often lulls the business owner into a false sense of security.
Let’s consider an entrepreneur who hires a CPA right out of the gate to assemble year end financial statements and a corporate tax return. The CPA may or may not be engaged to provide analysis on those numbers at year end. Even if they are engaged to provide analysis at year end, there is a greater than 15% likelihood that the client will be out of business before the year end is even completed. Those who do make it through the year, have likely made some costly mistakes as a result of limited guidance.
Our firm exists solely to provide comprehensive, yet affordable service offerings that maximize the chance for success. We believe it’s not good enough to simply issue limited year end services and hope the client is still in business next year. Thus, we refuse to provide inadequate service offerings for the same reason why a reputable auto maker would refuse to sell you a car without a seatbelt.
This process starts with big picture tax and financial planning for the entrepreneur. Small businesses do not exist in a vacuum separate to the business owners’ personal circumstances. Ultimately the owner’s personal circumstance will affect what resources they can put into the business and what resources they require from the business to sustain their standard of living. This is of particular concern when considering that one of the 3 primary reasons that businesses fail is that they run out of cash.
The average Canadian ends up paying 43% of their gross income to one form of taxation or another. By comparison, the average Canadian only uses 37% of the remaining after-tax funds on shelter, food, and clothing. Although often not considered, tax is ordinarily the single biggest expense of your life. For most non-business owners, the ability to reduce this level of taxation is limited. However, there are a number of strategies to reduce this level of taxation for business owners. Unfortunately, these options become limited if the entrepreneur waits until the year end to execute these initiatives.
Often the entrepreneur looks for the cheapest accounting option available. The reasoning is that a lower accounting fee means more money in their pocket. However, our experience is that the cheapest fees, usually result in inadequate planning, and the highest rate of taxation. Thus, any savings on accounting fees are dwarfed by unnecessary taxes paid. Capitalising on these savings are critical for the entrepreneur to stay in business and reach their financial objectives.
Unfortunately, some firms who focus on year end and tax preparation are not equipped to handle small business tax planning efficiently and consistently. Although the firm might have the expertise, they lack the processes to execute the tax planning efficiently and consistently. Thus, the client’s ability to obtain a tax minimization strategy is dependent on their ability to get the right information, to the right person, at the right time. Unfortunately, most client’s as the saying goes, “don’t know what they don’t know”. Thus, they don’t alert the CPA of the relevant circumstances. Moreover, even if they do alert the CPA to the relevant circumstances, the firm does not have an efficient set of processes to execute the calculations and analyze alternative strategies efficiently. Thus, the costs for tax planning becomes highly variable or the process is simply forgone entirely. Given our firms focus, we have been continually refining a repeatable process to maximize the chances that all of our clients get an efficient tax strategy each and every year.
The saying goes that “you plan to succeed, or by default, you plan to fail”. This can be applied to business plans. The number one reason given for failed business is lack of demand. In other words, the business could not generate enough revenue. However, business owners who complete a business plan are 50% more likely to grow revenue!
Our experience is that most business owners don’t complete annual business plans because they don’t know how to do so efficiently. Further, those who do complete plans fail to address key areas adequately. This stems from business owners personal experience which is ordinarily limited to a handful of companies. Throughout our firm’s history we have been developing a system to create business plans in an efficient manner. Our experience with hundreds of businesses allows us to identify likely pain points for the business owner and recommend strategies to overcome these challenges before damage has been done.
The question that get’s asked is why should you engage your accountant to assist with a business plan? The answer is normally 2-fold. Firstly, your accountant has seen hundreds of business strategies unfold. Thus, they are in a good position to determine if your vision will likely create enough value and differentiate you enough from your competitors to generate revenue. After all, this is the main risk in most businesses. Secondly, most business plans that are not created by CPA’s have significant financial projection deficiencies. Assembling financial projections is generally more complex than assembling year end financial statements. Thus, we find it makes little sense to assume that a person who is not qualified to generate professional financial statements is likely to make accurate financial projections. We routinely see that the projections made by non-CPAs are highly deficient. We believe that this is a root cause for businesses running out of cash, which is the second most common reason for business failure.
At Spurrell & Associated Chartered Professional Accountants we believe reporting alone does not sufficiently mitigate the risk for business owners alone. Our experience has shown that effective planning and analysis is necessary to help business owners maximize their chances for success. Thus, our service offering is not based solely around what profitable services we can offer in the short term, but rather what set of comprehensive services are likely to foster long term success and an ongoing mutually beneficially relationships with our valued clients.