“It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'! ”

Audrey Hepburn

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”

Carl Bard

Business Advisory, Personal and Corporate Taxes, Business Start-Up, Bookkeeping

Are Your Accounting Bills Too High?


You might find a really good deal on an accountant, but it would probably be a good idea to keep in mind the old saying: “You get what you pay for.”

As with most industries, there are a range of fees that accountants normally charge; someone falling outside of this range is likely to be outside of this range for a reason. If they charge more than the average, this might be great—they might offer services that other accountants don’t offer, or they might be extremely experienced and well-qualified. 

On the other end of the scale, if they are charging significantly less than the average, that could raise a number of questions before hiring them.

Extra fees can add up quickly and turn a low fee into a huge one. A quality accountant might charge a bit more up front, but won’t typically add other hidden costs. If you want to avoid a “bait and switch” situation on pricing, look to the higher priced firm.

At Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants, you have the option of signing up for one of our accounting packages. These packages vary in price and include all accounting services that will help your business grow and meet the targets you have set. The best part is the fees are paid monthly and include everything—unlimited phone calls and emails, in addition to the work, and there are never hidden costs. You will know what you are paying month by month in order to budget.

A good accountant will also do their best to work in as efficient and cost-effective a manner as possibly for you, saving you money in the long run.

Along the lines of “you get what you pay for,” a more expensive accountant will usually be more experienced and qualified. They will be more knowledgeable about their field of expertise, and that is why they are charging more than the competition. They will make every effort to keep up to date, which is critical for accounting since legislation changes every year. They will go above and beyond to ensure they have met and exceeded the requirements to retain their accreditations.

A good accountant will catch things that might otherwise end up costing you money. Ensuring that you claim all eligible deductions, meet deadlines, and receive good advice will save you money in the long run. This quality work will also help you avoid owing extra taxes, penalties, and interest to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It could also help you avoid being audited, spending your time and money on the audit instead of running your business.

A good accountant is concerned with their reputation and yours—they will never advise you to do illegal things. Having received bad advice from your accountant is not an excuse with CRA—business owners are still responsible for the returns that they file, regardless of who prepared them.

Per the Financial Post, CRA has been known to impose punitive gross negligence fines on business owners found guilty of not being as knowledgeable about their tax returns as they should have been: “… [If] you fail to disclose income on your return, not only will you be liable for the tax owing on this undisclosed income, plus arrears interest, but you could be hit with a “gross negligence” penalty.” 

As the 2017 winners of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Award for Business Ethics, you can rest assured that Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants will never steer you in the wrong direction.

Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to help you out with your financial needs and tax planning and to give you the advice and services that will take you from where you are to where you want to be with your business. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.