Your Friendly Winnipeg Accountant: Blair Henderson, BCom CPA



If there is one thing you don’t want to cheap out on with your business, it’s your accountant.

All CPAs are accountants but not all accountants are CPAs. CPA stands for Certified Professional Accountant and to obtain this title you need to meet specific education licensing requirements and have passed the CPA exam. Due to this, CPA is a highly sought-after accounting title.

Many businesses that are required to have a financial statement audit or review will need a CPA to perform these services and issue the required reports.

A CPA offers distinct advantages to clients that non-CPAs cannot provide. Many CPAs are more knowledgeable in tax codes as a result of the rigorous CPA licensing examination and continuing education requirements. Another significant factor is that CPAs are eligible to represent clients before the IRS if audit support is required, while a non-CPA accountant is not.

The license is not the only requirement to be a CPA. CPAs are also expected to follow a strict code of ethics and meet the high standards of the profession.

Virtus Consulting is owned and operated by CPA and CGA, Blair Henderson.

Blair personally oversees his team of college educated and specially trained individuals, ensuring that your accounting is done right.

As a business you want more time to spend running your business and less time dealing with the books and numbers. Alleviate that ‘to do’ list and trust the experts when it comes to your business’ bookkeeping and accounting. That is one area where mistakes can easily cost you extra time and dollars you might not have. Our experts care about your financial health, we want to see you succeed.

We take great pride in the success of the business’ we work with because we know we’ve lent a helping hand in their growth and sustainability.

Over the past 3 years the CRA completed 7700 small and medium enterprise (SME) audits per year on average. According to the CRA, out of these 7700 SME audits 5900 audits of small businesses were performed and 1800 audits of medium sized businesses.

For the fiscal year ranging from 2018-2019, the CRA found $625 million owing from small businesses and $560 million from audits of medium sized businesses.

The CRA defines small businesses as those that earn up to $4 million in gross revenue per year, and a medium sized business

How does hiring a CPA effect your chances of being audited?

Simply having a CPA click submit on your return won’t make you less likely to be audited. Where the real benefit lays is in a CPAs training and knowledge. Ensuring the accuracy of a return is the best way to avoid any negative outcomes. Certain activities will trigger an audit regardless of who is hitting submit, but as long as they are properly documented there should be no additional money owing. Selecting a reliable CPA can make all the difference when it comes to making sure you get the return you are entitled to and preventing you from paying more money then is necessary back to the CRA. It can be incredibly easy to overlook or misunderstand some of the information that the CRA looks at.

If a CPA has had previous issues with submitting fraudulent returns, anything they submit may be automatically flagged for a review. This make selecting a trusted CPA even more important as not all CPAs are looked at equally.

Some tax experts have been quoted saying that anyone who uses a free tax software is automatically 30% more likely to be selected for an audit as a majority of these software’s users are more likely to make errors when submitting a return.

Due to the recent environment many individuals have been applying for CERB and CEWS. CERB and CEWS overlap to a degree as CEWS is designed to help employers hire people back who may be collecting CERB.

A recent report by The National Post said that federal workers had been told to ignore fraudulent claims and that approximately 200,000 CERB benefit applications had been flagged as possibly fraudulent. Carla Qualtrough responded by saying these numbers were incorrect but she could not confirm a more accurate number.

When asked if employees of Carla Qualtrough’s department had been told NOT to impose orders to stop paying even if they see suspicious activity, Carla Qualtrough responded acknowledging that this statement follows the guidance she was given.

The CRA has highly encouraged employers to hire back staff with the CEWS benefits, and encouraged individuals to apply for CERB. This could lead to a higher percentage of individuals receiving both CEWS and CERB when they would no longer be eligible for CERB. It should be noted that there are no additional penalties for CERB fraud, individuals will only need to pay the money they received back, and the majority of flagged cases wont be reviewed until 2021.

The penalties for CERB fraud are almost non existent. While the CRA will request the money back if you have been found to have received payments while you were ineligible, there will be no additional penalties or interest.

During one of Minister Morneau’s press conferences it was stated that if an employer is found to have deliberately abused the CEWS program, penalties can reach up to 225% of the amounts received as well as up to five years in prison.
Employers that engage in artificial transaction to reduce their revenue for the purpose of claiming the CEWS will be subject to a penalty equal to 25% of the value of the subsidy claimed, will need to repay the full subsidy that was improperly claimed, and will be potentially subject to other fines and to prison time.