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Friday, July 06 2018
Accounting Perspective: Knowify vs. Co Construct - Putting Contractor Software to the Test

We recently put two cloud based contractor software to the test; Knowify vs. Co Construct. 

How did both score? 

What were the strengths and weaknesses? 


Lets Begin.....


Our Rating:

We scored Knowify at 8 / 10 and Co Construct 7 / 10 Based on the following factors


Knowify definitely scored higher on the this feature. Proposals can be generated and sent out for E-signatures in Knowify vs. Proposals are generated in Co-Construct and exported to a word document. The ability to create, send and track proposals within one platform streamlines the contract process and ensures that all contracts are signed and found in one spot. 


Knowify again scored higher with the ability to invoice within the software. Co construct does not have this feature at all. 
We found it imperative for our clients to know total committed contract values, billed portion and unbilled portions in the pipeline in real time, and Knowify does the job.  Both the invoices and payments are synced between Knowify and Quickbooks vs. Co Contract, no invoice, however payments are synced with Quickbooks. 


Co-Construct won this feature over Knowify. We found it helpful to template job budgets and able to expand on each phase of a job and budget for both materials, multiple subcontractors, freight, and misc. supplies. 

Change Orders

Both software creates change orders and sends out to client for electronic approval. Nice! 
Again, Co-construct does not have an invoicing feature, so it would be imperative to ensure your Accounting team invoices the change order after its been approved. Where as Knowify will track the approved invoice as an unbilled portion of the change order. 

However if your change order is an addition of an entire scope which requires additional budgeting, Co-Construct would be the software we recommend as Co-constructs's budgeting feature is more detailed and flexible compared to Knowify. 

Job Costing

With Co-Construct, scopes can be templated and cost accounts assigned to each product / item. 
With Knowify, same costing can be templated and is done through the Plan & Track module, however, lacks the ability to assign multiple sub contractors to each phase and for that reason Co-Construct wins slightly here. 



Posted by: AT 07:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 03 2018
How to Set Up Payroll?


Congrats! You are ready to onboard your first Employee! 


Step 1: Obtain a CRA Payroll Number. 

You can do this by simply giving CRA Business a call  and a rep will issue a payroll number immediately.
The account number will be your business number followed by RP0001. 


Step 2: Select Your Payroll Service Provider

There are ample payroll service providers available, such as Ceridian, Payworks, ADP to name a few.
Each of these providers offer an online platform to process your payroll, track vacation accruals, manage employee details, facilitate direct deposit, and issues ROE's upon termination.... for a fee.  Fee structures varies between providers so read the fine lines! Late payroll or extra runs can cost up to $150. OUCH.

Another option is Quickbooks Online Payroll.  If you are using a bookkeeper or DIY, you can add on the payroll module for ~$20 per month. QBO also facilitates direct deposit, however does not file your PD7A remittances for you.  Your bookkeeper or yourself will need to do this monthly. 

If you are wanting the FULL Service options which includes filing and remitting the monthly remittance to CRA, Quickbooks now offers Payroll Advance which costs ~$40 / month. 

Regardless of which service provider you choose, its important to have someone knowledgeable to process your payroll as he / she will need to still calculate the statutory holiday pay if eligible, vacation pay, bonuses, commissions etc. 


Step 3: Sign Employment Agreement & TD1 CRA forms

After extensive interviews and arriving at your employee of choice, it is customary to lay out the terms of the employment on paper and have both parties sign an employee agreement along with TD1 CRA Federal & Provincial forms.  


Step 4: Process Payroll

Log in to the service provider  chosen, process the payroll, cut check or process by direct deposit. 
If you are using one of the full service providers, you will not need to issue pay stubs as your employee can log in to the self serve portal and access.  If paying by check(s),  pay stub(s) are printed and attached to the check(s). 


Things to Remember

  • Payroll Remittances are generally paid monthly, by the 15th of the following month.
  • T4 are issued by Feb 28th of the following year. T4 Summary must be filed by Feb 28th of the following year.
  • Worksafe reports are filed either quarterly or annual depending on your business. 
  • ROE's must be issued upon termination of an employee and filed with Service Canada.
  • Vacation & severance if any, must be paid out upon termination.
  • Not sure if employee qualifies for stat pay? See POST:







Posted by: Josephreen AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 28 2018
CRA Deadlines


CRA Deadlines in a Quick Chart




T1 Individual Personal Tax


Due April 30




Self-employed persons (T1 Return)



Due June 15, 2018 (tax payment due by April 30)



T2 Corporate Tax


Due 6 Months after Year End



GST Filings


Due 30 Days after filing Period

Monthly / Quarterly / Annual


PST Filings


Due 30 Days after filing
Month End



PD7A / Payroll Remittances


Due 30 Days after Month End

T4 / T5 / T3 Slips & Summaries Due February 28




Posted by: Josephreen AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 08 2017
Cloud Accounting 101


There is, in-general, a lot of thinking involved when people or businesses need to adopt to a work module which is considered more effective than the ones they are comfortable using. But a mechanism that eases work pressures and assures for greater accuracy is always a smart option to switch to. The inception of cloud accounting has revolutionized the accounting industry and has helped businesses operate much smoothly and more efficiently in Real Time and Less Time.


What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud accounting is pretty much an ONLINE accounting system. Like many online software, the software has security measures and requires user log in authentication.  The two major providers are Quick Books Online and Xero, both allowing for bank connections and automated bank feeds, online payment solutions, electronic invoicing and much more.  Cloud accounting solutions are partnered with the use of phone apps and are scalable to track multiple users and multiple business locations.  


Partner Apps Categories

The potential to customize an accounting software to a specific industry is quite robust with the use of a Cloud Accounting Software. Both QuickBooks Online and Xero have partnered with other CRM, Construction Project Management, Time Tracking, and many more Software Tools that can integrated to its central accounting software. Below are categories of apps which can be integrated: 


  • Commission Management
  • Contact Management
  • CRM
  • Data Security/Backup
  • Data Sync
  • Document Management
  • eCommerce
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Expense Management
  • Field Service Management
  • Human Resources
  • Inventory Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Payment Processing
  • Payroll
  • Point of Sale Solution
  • Project Management
  • Reporting
  • Shipping
  • Tax Tool
  • Time Tracking
  • CRM

Some of Our Favorite Apps & Partners


Smartvault is an online document management system which integrates with QuickBooks online. It allows for the organization and filing of virtual documents and helps businesses adopt a paperless system.  Each Vault is secured and can be designed to allow for access by only specified individuals within an organization.  Project and retail managers are then able to locate past vendor invoices in a few clicks without inquiring with the accounting department and  without digging through paper file folders. Software comes with a phone app allowing for documents to be loaded with a snap of a photo. 


Hubdoc also serves as an online document management with added abilities to retrieve and centralize all online statements including banking, check images, and vendor bills automatically every month. Hubdoc also reads documents and can push accounting entries through to the cloud accounting software while attaching a copy of the document for source reference. 


ADP is a cloud based, user friendly payroll platform with many added features to grow an organization's human resources department including an online employee self-service portal to retrieve pay stubs, and T4s. 


Knowify is an online CRM, Job Planning, and Invoicing software which integrates with Quickbooks Online specifically designed for the construction industry. With Knowify’s estimating tool, you can plan jobs, itemize material budgets, and schedule staff to create comprehensive cost estimates. These estimates can be translated into bid line items with a single click, create bids and contracts business letterhead and send them through Knowify for electronic signature. System also is able to create service tickets and schedule technicians on work orders.

MindBody Online  

MBO's cloud POS and CRM software is tailored to businesses with recurring membership broken down into time series and class count packages. A good match for yoga, dance, and fitness studios. It has the capacity to track customers purchases, inventory, classes, visits and much more. For a full review of MBO, please refer to our blog post here:  


At Bloom, we are always on the look out for the latest accounting apps and software to help streamline an accounting department workflow while still maintaining the internal controls necessary to run your business.

If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear about it. 


Josephreen Luk, CPA, CFP



Posted by: Josephreen AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, October 08 2017
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Posted by: Josephreen AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 25 2017
Payroll: How to Calculate Stat Pay in BC - 2017


If an employee worked on a statutory holiday, does he/she receive statutory pay? The answer is not always, and depends if the employee is eligible. So in other words, it is possible to have an employee work on the statutory day, and be paid at normal rates. 

Statutory Pay Eligibility

In order to qualify for statutory pay rates both of these conditions must be met:

1) Must have been employed for at least 30 days before the statutory holiday; AND

2) Must have worked at least 15 of the 30 days before statutory holiday

For example, a part-time employee who worked less than 15 days out of the 30 days before the holiday and ended up working on the statutory holiday would be paid at normal rates. 


How Much is Statutory Pay?

All eligible employees receive an average day's pay regardless if they worked on the statutory holiday. So if they did not work on the statutory day, they receive a day of paid time off. 

If an employee works on the statutory holiday, he/she receives an average days pay PLUS 1.5 times wages for the day.

For example if Margaret's regular rate is $20 / hour and she meets the eligibility requirements above. On Canada Day she worked 8 hours.

Her Statutory Pay is calculated as follows:
$160 (average days pay) Plus $240  (8 hours x $30 ($20 x 1.5)) = $400 
Works out to be $50 / hour, or 2.5 Times Regular Pay


Table of Statutory Holidays in BC for 2017

The chart below displays a list of national and provincial stat holidays observed in Canada.

Holiday Day Observed Observance
New Year's Day January 1 Nationwide
Islander Day Third Monday in February PE
Family Day Third Monday in February (2nd in BC) BC, AB, SK, ON
Louis Riel Day  Third Monday in February MB
St. Patrick's Day  March 17 NL
Good Friday Friday before Easter Sunday Nationwide except QC
Easter Monday Monday after Easter Sunday QC
St. George's Day   April 23 NL
Victoria Day
National Patriotes Day in QC
Monday preceding May 25th Nationwide except NB, NS, PE, NL
National Aboriginal Day  June 21 NT
Féte Nationale 
St. Jean Baptiste Day
June 24 QC
Discovery Day  June 24 NL
Canada Day
Memorial Day in NFL
July 1 Nationwide
Nunavut Day July 9 NT
Civic Holiday First Monday in August AB, BC, SK, ON, NB, NU
Labour Day First Monday of September Nationwide
Thanksgiving Second Monday in October Nationwide except NB, NS, PE, NL
Remembrance Day November 11 Nationwide except ON, QC, NS, NL
Christmas Day December 25 Nationwide
Boxing Day December 26 ON



Posted by: AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 01 2017


What are Deferred Revenues?

Deferred Revenues are funds collected for goods or services not yet delivered. 
Examples includes portion of annual memberships, premiums, or subscriptions that have been paid up front however, have not been used yet. 

What does this mean to your business? 

If you sell annual packages, subscriptions, or licences, your business can defer the portion of revenue which is unearned, which means you defer the tax otherwise payable on that income.  Let's go through an example.

For simplicity, assume you sold $1M of annual memberships in Jan and your year end is in June. $500K can be booked as deferred revenue. @ 12.6% small business tax rate, that's $63K  taxes deferred. 

3 Tips

1. Have a system to track your deferred revenues 

2. Make sure your accountant is booking this at year end 

3. Reinvest the deferred taxes, baring in mind that you will recognize the revenue next year







Posted by: Josephreen AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 01 2017
MindBody Online Review - Accountant's Perspective

MindBody Online ("MBO") Review

Mindbody has more than doubled its share price from $11.56 back in June 2015 to now worth $25.25 today.
That's quite impressive and reflects the success and demand of their software used in managing the fitness and wellness businesses.
Its a unique niche cloud POS and CRM software tailored to businesses with recurring membership broken down into time series and class count packages. A good match for yoga, dance, and fitness studios. It has the capacity to track customers purchases, classes, visits and much more. 
Staff / Payroll / Scheduling
MBO contains a staff module allowing for easy class scheduling and time tracking which then forms the source for payroll processing. The class schedule can be integrated with the businesses's website so that customers can view class times, class types and teachers online. MBO also allows for online class registrations or through the MindBody Mobile App.  
The reporting functions are more than enough. I've worked with this software for 5 years going on 6 and have only used about 1/2 the reports offered. One of my favourites as a CPA, is the "Deferred Revenue " report. This represents revenues collected, however not earned yet. For example a student purchased a 20 class card and has 5 classes remaining. The 5 classes should be reported as deferred revenue, thus deferring the income tax payable.  What would take hours of work to track, now can be reported in a few clicks of a button. A marketing manager may favor the "Client Acquisition" and/or "Retention Marketing Dashboards" offered or the new customers report. Other reports include "Sales by Category", "Daily Close Out", "Inventory on Hand", "Cost of Goods Sold", "Gift Cards Analysis" and much more.
Inventory & Purchase Orders
For businesses with retail merchandise sales, MBO contains a purchase order module which integrates with the inventory count and cost of goods sold report. It serves as a good internal control to first ensure you receive what you ordered, and then tracks your cost and sales of your products. A periodic count of inventory on hand is easily done and can be adjusted within the software.
AutoPays / Recurring Membership Billings
The ability to monitor and process monthly memberships is one of the key features in MBO. This automated billing system saves time and money.  Options to suspend and/or terminate accounts are available and can be done prior to the next billing cycle and  according to the business's policies. A list of declined cards can be pulled and AR collection calls can be made from the same list.
There are many more bells and whistles with Mind Body Online software and I highly recommend it for any business in the yoga, dance, fitness industries.
Josephreen Luk CPA, CGA, CFP
Bloom Accounting Services
Posted by: Jo AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, April 01 2017
How Yoga / Dance Studios can Save PST on Mat / Towel Rentals


Towel & Mat Rentals = GST & PST taxable

Classes = GST taxable only 

What does this mean for your business? 

If you want to place 7% back in to your students pockets in form of savings and keep your pricing affordable, you can package your classes and rentals into one package, rather than selling these two components seperately. 


For Example

Scenerio 1) Seperate Components 

Monthly Unlimited Classes = $100 per month + $5 GST = $105

Monthly Mat & Towel Rentals = $40 per month + $2 GST + $2.8 PST = $44.80

Total Student Pays = $149.80


Scenerio 2) Combined Package

Monthly Unlimited Classes with Towel & Mat Rentals = $140 per month + $7 GST = $147

Total Student Pays = $147


Its a small savings, however might make that little bit of a difference to your students and your business.


Josephreen Luk, CPA, CGA
Bloom Accounting 

Posted by: Josephreen AT 03:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Accounting Services for Yoga or Dance Studios



Autopay Membership Processing

Automate your monthly recurring memberships with MindBody Online payment processing. If your students prefer to pay by pre authorized debit, we will handle the back end and process the electronic funds transfers monthly and update the student's profile in MindBody Online. Need help with collections? We can help make those calls as well


Daily Close Out Reconciliations

We can help train your front desk staff to close out the day's transactions and prepare the nights cash deposits. We will reconcile the daily close outs to ensure accuracy, and verify that funds were deposited into your business bank. In addition to cash sales, we also reconcile terminal POS deposits and transactions ran though Mindbody Online.  



Accounts Payables Processing

Send us an electronic copy of your supplier invoices and we will process either by credit card, check(s), or EFT. Your files will be saved and neatly filed in our secure online storage management system at no extra cost. You can access your files at anytime to look up prior vendor history and to view status of pending payables. 


Process Teacher Payments and Payroll

We can help with processing subcontractor payments for teachers based on number of classes taught and any other arrangement you have with each teacher. We can also run payroll for your studio staff and prepare the government remittances as well. Do you offer extended health benefits? We can also help with group benefits administration. 



Bank and Credit Card Reconciliations

To ensure accurate monthly bookkeeping and recording of your business transactions, we will reconcile your business bank accounts(s) and credit card(s). We utilize transaction downloads to minimize the data entry time and will retrieve your statements online as part of our paperless system efforts. 


File GST, PST, Payroll Taxes, Worksafe and other Government Compliance reports

We will keep your corporate governance in check by filing the necessary sales tax, payroll tax, work safe reports, T4 summaries, T5s, Roes and other regular corporate governance reports that pertain to your business. 




Budget Vs. Actuals Reports

Let us help with planning and monitoring your budget. We can provide a weekly and monthly variance reports which measures and identifies your business's revenue and expenditures so that your business can adapt quickly to any financial changes and achieve its financial goals. 



Posted by: Josephreen AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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