Accounting Blogs

Blogging is the new graduate school?

That’s the title of a post written by Ryan Healy for the Brazen Careerist blog. It’s an interesting concept, on that JobsintheMoney’s CareerWire blog picked up on as well:

Blogging is a way to deal with the biggest problem at the beginning of one’s career: No expertise. If you offer intelligent opinions or advice on a credible blog, then you are an expert. This is why more young people should blog. If you have a focused blog, then you can jump from job to job and learn many skills, but the constant will be that you are an expert in whatever area you choose to research and write about.

Plus, the more people who blog about a given subject, say, accounting, the better the conversations between bloggers. More interaction between blogs on the same topic raise the topic’s profile. I actively encourage any young accountant in particular to blog about their experiences, especially going through the UFE process.


Your business needs a Backbone

Backbone magazine is a Canadian bi-monthly focusing on business and technology issues. In their own words:

Our primary focus has been on how technology enhances business processes, markets, profitability and productivity. Backbone magazine’s aim is to provide business people with a tangible tool to enhance the way they do business in Canada’s New Economy.

Compare this to the short bullet describing this blog and its focus:

I’m interested in the future of the profession and how technology is changing the way accountants do their job.

Seems like there might be some overlap there. Perhaps an opportunity to work together and learn a thing or two about how technology is changing the way business is being done here and abroad, not just by accountants, accounting firms, but by any and every company.

So I was thrilled to see they picked up a recent post I made about Facebook and LinkedIn for their blog, Backblog.

I found out about Backbone when I strolled through the lobby of my firm’s office and lo and behold, we have a subscription. Naturally, since I was at work, I sat down on the plush sofa and dove right in. Professional development, I figured!

I hope to contribute more of my writing to their fledgling blog in the future. Check it out:


Shared office space can preserve scarce cash

Smart cash flow management is critical to any business, but especially so for startups. Leasing the building, furnishing it, maintaining it, equipping it with phone and computer systems and networks… These are significant costs that startups would do well to avoid for as long as possible.

So it was with great interest that I read about the Indoor Playground, “a next generation co-working environment … for the entrepreneur who needs an office space on occasion as well as a community centre for collaboration.” They’re even using Ning for their web presence!

It sounds pretty cool. They have 14 smaller meeting rooms averaging 100 square feet, four larger shared meeting spaces, and a breakfast bar with shared room for working.

There’s an article in about the phenomenon called co-working that features Indoor Playground:

One of the newest co-working facilities, for-profit Indoor Playground, opened in Toronto on Feb. 1 with a mission statement focused solely on supporting local entrepreneurial activity. The space’s hanging dividers and movable desks allow for reconfigurable work areas that can accommodate growing businesses as well as community events. Those events are planned by members themselves, both in person and through wikis.

I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up an accounting firm in a similar manner, with both private and shared working areas, but no assigned cubicles or desks. It’s not that far out, since work tends to come in somewhat “discrete units” in the accounting business. It would encourage employees to move around and enable more interaction amongst departments that wouldn’t normally be situated together.

Tell me in the comments what you think of the idea.

(Via Maple Leaf 2.0.)


Incorporate or not: It’s the investment

A small business usually starts out as a sole proprietorship, owned and operated by the founder personally and reporting business income on their annual personal tax return.

But as the business grows, the question of incorporation will always arise, and there are several factors to consider when this happens.

The most important single factor, in my opinion, is the tax savings that can be achieved through the corporate structure. Income earned in the corporation is taxed at a relatively low rate (20%ish) for small businesses (in Canada at least) and is then taxed when it is paid to shareholders as dividends.

Unincorporated business income is taxed at the earner’s highest marginal rate, which, in Canada, is 46%(ish).

The conclusion is that income that will be reinvested in the business (and thus, not paid out as dividends) will be taxed at a lower rate and allow the business to grow much faster than if it remained unincorporated.

If losses are expected, the owner is better off unincorporated, because those losses will flow through to his/her personal return and can be used to offset other sources of income. Losses in a corporation can only be used against income earned in that corporation.

Other advantages:

  • Separating business and personal income
  • Controlling the timing of business (dividend) income
  • Limited liability of the corporation

Casual Fridays become Casual Weekdays

What qualifies as acceptable attire in the workplace has been changing ever since the advent of Casual Fridays. Friday has become every day of the week, and there’s a growing backlash against the slackening of dress codes. Tie Tuesdays are beginning to crop up.

A couple days ago I blogged about going to client’s, which is relevant because I can attest to the fact that in nearly every workplace I’ve visited, the dress code has been very casual. Accordingly, our dress code has been loosened. We’re instructed to dress a degree more formal than the client, which makes sense.

You don’t want to show up at an office where the employees are dressed in jeans and you’re wearing a suit and tie. You’d look like a lawyer, and no one likes lawyers.

(I don’t have a problem with lawyers though, some of my friends are even law talkin’ guys. Although drinking with them is a bit trying at times because they keep talkin’ law.)

The exception for me is when I’m at law firm clients, where the employees are dressed to the nines and it’s literally impossible to dress a degree more formal, short of wearing a tuxedo.

So, is the casualizing of the workplace a good thing? To an extent, I think it is. Comfortable employees are happy employees, and happy employees are productive. What do you think?