A young woman doing taxes at a desk

How To Choose the Right Accountant

Choosing the right accountant can be a daunting task but selecting the right accountant is one of the most important decisions you can make. Whether it is for personal or business finances, a competent accountant can help you save money and keep you out of trouble. There are many metrics by which one can measure a high-quality accountant, here we will explore 3 of the most important ones. 

 

Choose A Chartered Professional Accountant 

A chartered professional accountant must abide by an internationally accepted designation which serves as the highest standard by which accountants are measured. Accountants in Vancouver can vary in specifications so it is always better to find someone who is a CPA. When you deal with a chartered professional accountant, you can be sure that you are dealing with the highest standard of accounting. This is very important when dealing with taxation and aiming to avoid problems with the CRA. It is always best to err on the side of caution and go with those who hold themselves to the highest of standards.  

 

Choose An Accountant with Relevant Experience 

Finding an accountant whom not only has experience but relevant experience is extremely important. There is a plethora of subdisciplines when it comes to accounting. From government accounting to corporate and tax accounting, there are numerous fields which an accountant can specialize in. Look for an accountant who has experience in the field that is most relevant with what it is you are trying to get done. If you require an accountant for your business, a corporate or business accountant would most likely be your best bet. If you are behind on your taxes, a tax or financial accountant may be your best choice. Do your research and ensure that the CPA you are dealing with has the relevant experience so that you can be sure to trust their expertise.  

 

Choose An Accountant with Solid References 

This last one may require the most due diligence. Ensuring that your accountant has done good work for others will speak louder than anything else. Studies have shown that most business accountants receive clients through references above anything else. Ask the accountant for references and cross check their previous work. The last thing you want is to work with someone who has a reputation for unethical or illegal behavior. Not only because it would not benefit you but in many cases can make you liable. Speak to people about the accountants you have been referred to and ensure that you are dealing with a competent and diligent professional 

 

Do these three simple tasks and you can rest easy that you are in good hands. For more information please feel free to contact us at 778-989-5280 or email us at shirin@accountant-vancouver.com 

Man in a suit with a burlap sac on his head

Tax Avoidance Vs Tax Evasion

Simply, tax avoidance is the organization of one’s financial affairs aimed to minimize their tax burden. Tax avoidance is NOT ILLEGAL, it is a hallmark of what makes a competent accountant extremely valuable. An intelligent accountant can guide their clients to maximize the amount of income they retain following taxation. This can be done through tax credits, tax deductions, income exclusion & a variety of loopholes.

These legal tax reduction techniques are designed to incentivize certain behaviors such as saving up for retirement or buying a home. While it may seem that it should be frowned upon, governments establish these provisions for the ultimate betterment of society.

On the other hand, tax evasion is the nefarious action of purposely misstating income or inappropriately allocating funds to avoid paying taxes which one is obliged to pay. Tax evasion IS ILLEGAL, and anyone engaging in tax evasion will face stern prison time. Examples of tax evasion include but are not limited to:

– Under-reporting or failing to report income.

– Under-reporting or failing to report income from a specific source such as cash transactions or foreign earned income.

– Overstating deductions.

– Using fake identification to establish businesses and commit GST/HST fraud.

The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion ultimately comes down to the intent of the tax payer. In the case of tax evasion, the tax payer must have clear intent to avoid paying taxes that are known to be owed. Also, it must be clear that the income under scrutiny would clearly be subject to tax. Its fine details like this where an experienced accountant is invaluable. If ever in doubt, reach out to a trusted CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) for help and they will ensure that you don’t fall into any trouble.