Vancouver Tax Tips: Business Expenses With Best ROI

Pre-requisite Expenditures For Business Success!

Professional Vancouver Chartered Accountants have the privilege of seeing the detailed financial information of many profitable and sometimes not so profitable businesses. First and foremost, in order to be profitable, you need to be in an industry whose products and services are in demand. For example, the best TV repair guy cannot survive today regardless of the strength of his marketing efforts. Competition, however, is high in high-demand industries and the players have to constantly find ways to stay ahead of the next competitor.

One of the fun parts about being an accountant is the opportunity to be a part of my clients’ discussions on how they plan to expand their businesses and/or grow their revenues. Only business owners have the intimate knowledge of their industries, which is needed to market their products and services effectively. The accountant’s job is to perform the less glamorous tasks of ensuring proper financing for a marketing plan and for future projects; analyzing performance ratios to ensure the company is on the right track, and of course, effective tax planning with the profits of the business.

Vancouver Tax Tips for Business Owners

The following is a list of “must” expenditures for businesses wanting to stay ahead of the pack:

• Branding. A well branded business is beyond description. It belongs in the same world with ice cream on the beach, iced coffee after a long bike ride, or the fresh morning dew. When I walk into my client’s business that is well branded, I feel creative and inspired to help them because they care about their business. So imagine what your potential customers are thinking. Branding is expensive but compared to the business you may be losing because of poor branding, it is well worth it. This expense is tax deductible.

• Web Marketing. This expense goes hand in hand with branding. No business can get by without a webpage these days. Consumers make purchasing decisions by browsing through the internet at night or through their palm devices during their commutes. People look for resources and information on everything – a place to drop the dog off for the long weekend, a recipe for a chicken dish, the weather next week in a foreign city, a doctor in the area, and so on. People also seek information on tax advisors and other professionals to help them or their partner’s growing retail business. Your web page needs to be found amongst the billions. Only a web marketing specialist or also known as SEO specialist (search engine optimization) can make sure you are consistently a top ranked page in Google. This expense is tax deductible.

• A Solid Marketing Plan. “Solid” means that you have to engage with your customers, stakeholders, and the broader community – attend weekly networking groups, host semi-annual wine and cheese parties to showcase your retail products, enter the annual talent competition for hairstylists and fashion designers, give discounts at mid-season to attract customers and move inventory, send monthly email campaigns, write weekly blogs, etc. The secret to these activities is that they have to be consistent and repeated frequently to make it a solid and resilient marketing campaign. Consider hiring a marketing specialist to make above activities happen. These expenses are tax deductible.

• Employee Benefits. A happy, secure, well trained employee is a profitable employee. Employees need to feel that they will be rewarded for the company’s success. Offer them a great benefits package and access to training programs. Take an interest in the employee’s personal growth and wellness. A well-trained employee can also reduce your work load. Most employee benefits are tax deductible.

• Hire a Professional Tax Advisor. Yes, I have put myself fifth on this list because the four items above are to increase revenues and profits. I can only assist with tax planning when there is profit. Tax advisors and professional chartered accountants are necessary as the business expands. We ensure that you have adequate financing for future projects, we track operational statistics, and of course we help you retain your profits for further expansion. Most accounting fees are tax deductible.

• Personal Well Being. Perhaps this item should come first but I have addressed it last to make a point. Examples are costs of a personal trainer, health club membership, meditation retreat, sports camp, volunteering on a charity board, etc. These activities contribute greatly to our well-being but the cost to stay emotionally and physically healthy are not tax deductible for the most part. Regardless of the tax status of the expense, well being is the prerequisite for financial success, not the other way around. So splurge on yourself – always!

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