We’re excited to introduce Curtis Gabinet as a new Partner at True North Accounting. Curtis has been with us for a couple years, so our clients know him well. But to everyone that hasn’t met him yet, we did a little Q&A with him.
Matt: Tell me why you often come to work injured? Just off the top of my head, you’ve walked into the office with a broken wrist, broken toes, cracked ribs, and a swollen face.
Curtis: I’m very competitive. I say yes to every opportunity to join a slo pitch team or beer league hockey team. I’m on 2 ball teams and 2 hockey teams. I was on the sub list for slo-pitch, and probably played on 15 different teams this summer. I’ll show up to a game with people I don’t even know, and put my body on the line to make a play.
Matt: I know, it's a big reason we got the long-term disability package last year. So what keeps you busy when you’re not working towards amateur athlete of the year?
Curtis: Fantasy hockey. Watching the Canucks. Flipping pickup trucks. My dogs also keep me fairly busy.
Matt: Cool, so how did you end up in Calgary?
Curtis: Well I grew up on Vancouver Island and moved out to Alberta in 2011 for a job at Endeavor Chartered Accountants, where I did my CA. I love the island, but there’s just not a lot of career opportunities out there. I’m proud to call Calgary home now.
Matt: What are some of the biggest challenges you see small business owners struggling with?
Curtis: There are lots. Small business owners have so much on their plates, so staying organized is a common struggle. With so much paper, it’s hard to know what needs to be kept and what can be tossed. Payroll can be tough for people, as it’s something that needs to be done monthly. It’s too easy for accounting related issues to find their way to the bottom of the to-do list. Nobody likes dealing with this stuff, that’s why we exist.
Matt: Tell about some of the small business horror stories you have seen over the years.
Curtis: You name it and I’ve probably seen it. One guy accidentally incorporated multiple companies and didn’t realize it until years down the road when the CRA came asking about them all.
I’ve seen a couple people incorporate their business, but then register for GST personally rather than for their company, and for years they unknowingly filed GST returns personally, which didn’t need to be done and nothing ever got filed for the corp. That was a good DIY disaster.
I’ve seen a couple report all of their business income properly for their company, like on a corporate tax return, but then they again claimed it on their personal tax return. For a couple years they paid twice as much tax as they needed to.
The most common one though, and this happens way too much, is people unintentionally over contributing to RRSPs and TFSAs. This creates such a mess, is super expensive, and is so hard to resolve. (You can read more about this in our FAQs.)
Matt: What’s one thing every small business owner should do immediately to save them time on their books & taxes?
Curtis: Sit down with one of us and we can show you how to get organized. We’ll give you some simple steps and routines to help you eliminate unnecessary work and stay on top of things. Because once you let the paperwork get out of hand, it isn’t easy getting caught up.
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