From all of us at Hawkings, Epp, Dumont, we wish all of you — our current clients, past clients and clients to-be, our colleagues and their families and friends — a joyous holiday season full of laughter, love and peace.

For your accounting needs, please note that we will be closed on the following days during the holidays:

We will be closed beginning at 12:00 p.m. noon on Christmas Eve (December 24th), and will reopen on December 29th.

The spirit of giving grows stronger and stronger as we approach the holiday season — and with the end of the 2015 tax year you may be thinking about how those charitable donations affect your taxes. Before loosening those purse strings, it's important to do some sleuthing. For example, instead of asking, "what should I give?" start by asking your accountant, "how should I give?"

It’s back to school time, but for many people a full-time course load involves working a 9 to 5 career with little room for advancement. There is always room to grow, but many large companies want to see an “M” with that “BA”. If going back to school seems like a pipe dream, it might be worth it to crunch some numbers. In the long run, going back to school might just give you a better shot at landing your dream job, or at least adding more zeros to that pay cheque.

Mark down July 1st, 2015 as another historic day for both Canada and Alberta. This month marks the official start of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) designation in Alberta. What does this mean for the general public and Edmonton’s business community? Not too much, but our clients now no longer have to try to understand the differences between a CA, CGA or CMA designation. It’s business as usual here at Hawkings Epp Dumont.

Whether it's meeting with clients or delivering product, there is money to be made out on the open road — especially when it comes to tax write-offs like gas, maintenance, and even insurance. Everyday, thousands of Edmontonians are cashing in on the drive to work. And while some employees are lucky enough to have designated work vehicles, the majority balance their wheels between work and play.

It's amazing how a business's entire fiscal year can fit in a shoebox. But many small companies keep twelve months of receipts shoved in a box just large enough to hold a pair of size-9 Nike Zoom Air sneakers. And sure, it's easy enough to hand off your shoebox to your accounting firm, but we wanted to let you know there's a better way (and we're not just saying this because tax season makes our office look like a Payless Shoes). 

You've watched your business mature over a number of years. It's grown with experience, increased its profits, and expanded its staff. But whether your business is so fresh you can still smell the paint from the office's outdoor marquee, or so seasoned your boardroom chair has conformed to your body shape, it's never too early to think about succession planning.

The process can take up to five years to complete, and things can get more complicated if it's a family business. And a botched succession transition can bankrupt a company without the necessary planning.

We know how strenuous tax season can be. Especially when your situation isn't as simple as receiving just one T4. But while it's not necessarily easy, it's definitely worth knowing the ins and outs of your situation so you can claim as many of your expenses as possible, and know what you should be paying.

For example, did you know that if you have a gluten allergy you can claim the difference between gluten free food and regular food?

The difference between profit and cash flow has been described as the difference between success and bankruptcy, especially for businesses that are just starting out. However, even wildly profitable businesses can succumb to bankruptcy because of issues with cash flow.

January is the month when many of us make, and maybe break, a few resolutions. But if one of your resolutions was to tidy up your document storage, procrastination could be a good thing.

Being too quick to destroy documents could get you in hot water with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Here are a few pointers to help you decide what's good to keep and what can actually hit the shredder.