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  • Wednesday, March 09, 2022 7:20 AM | Anonymous
    Choosing the right film editing software can be a daunting task. Accompany Edmonton Short Film Festival (ESFF) staff member Chance Brook as we discuss the pros and cons of making your film the best it can be in post production.

    Check out this video for a short and informative tutorial:

    Did you know about the Edmonton Short Film Festival's Red Carpet Gala? This is their 10 year anniversary! For more information click here!

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2022 6:22 AM | Anonymous

    Does TikTok Pay Musicians?

    The short answer: Yes.
    The long answer: Very little for most users. Let’s examine why.

    If TikTok Pays Musicians? How Does TikTok Pay You?

    Your music will generate royalties from both the master recording and the songwriting (publishing), as it does with any usage. If you are a member of a PRO (Performing Rights Organisation) in your territory (SOCAN in Canada, ASCAP or BMI in the USA, etc.), and either work with a music publisher or self-publish your music through a distributor (likely Tunecore, CDBaby or Distrokid), then TikTok will pay you through your PRO on a quarterly basis.

    In 2020, most record labels and distributors agreed to license deals with TikTok. This will compensate artists for master streams on TikTok. Prior to these agreements, the use of music on TikTok went largely uncompensated! Not cool says, Kurt.

    For more on the difference between master revenues and songwriting revenues, see my article here.

    How Much Does TikTok Pay Musicians?

    You get paid a proportionate share of TikTok’s subscription revenue per month. In other words, TikTok adds up its total revenues. Then it calculates what percentage of those revenues are attributable to your amazing content.

    When your music is made available on TikTok through your label or distributor (who would have signed a blanket license agreement), you will be giving millions of users consent to use your music in their videos. Your distributor will collect revenue based on the use of your music, which means you get paid each time your song is used on a TikTok video.

    Sounds lucrative right? Well, not really.

    TikTok was able to negotiate a good deal with the recording industry because when the app launched, it was owned by a music streaming service. Revenues generated by your videos will flow through your distributor and then to you directly or to your record label (and then hopefully to you). But because the videos only use a small portion of your song, the revenues are a fraction of what you’d get paid for a Spotify stream. And don’t get me started on what Spotify is paying you!

    In other words, you will get paid a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. The exact amount will vary by the distributor, and it will fluctuate month to month. In 2021, it’s safe to say that the amount will be very small.

    TikTok’s Creator Fund

    In July 2020, TikTok announced the launch of its Creator Fund, which is a fund meant to compensate the most successful creators on the app. The Creator Fund, in theory, is a great way to support creators on the platform. In practice, it’s much different, however.

    The Fund was criticized upon release for being inadequate: TikTok committed $200M initially for US-based creators, which works out to a few dollars per day for most users. Many creators complained on social media that they were earning only a few dollars a day, even if their videos garnered tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views. TikTok has not provided details on how it calculates payouts under the Fund.

    Part of the issue may be how the Creator Fund was marketed. Some creators mistook the fund for a grant program rather than a more traditional revenue-sharing scheme. Further, creators must apply for the Fund. To be eligible, users must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of 10,000 followers, and have accrued at least 10,000 video views in the previous 30 days before they apply.


    Influencers using the Creator Fund report a rate of $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views. This means that a relatively successful video of 500,000 views would earn you roughly twenty dollars.

    Prolific creators with tens of millions of followers can earn in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 annually from the Fund. For the vast majority of influencers, however, it’s difficult to make TikTok into a full-time income based on ad revenue alone.

    The lack of transparency around the Fund has led to theories and speculation. It has faced the same controversies over monetization and view counts that YouTube faced. Some creators have alleged that they noticed their views drop after they joined the Fund and wondered publicly whether TikTok was intentionally limiting their reach to cap how much they could earn.

    Whatever the case, TikTok announced in late 2020 that they expect this Fund to grow to over $1 billion in the US in the next three years, and more than double that globally.

    Other Revenues

    Many TikTok influencers make their real money not from ad revenue, but through sponsored posts, product placement, and merchandise. The extent of these earnings really depends on a user’s follower count. The number of comments or likes, location, and the type of account.

    When creators get near the 10,000-follower mark, smaller brands may offer $200 to $500. They may also mention them in a post. This can include a “music integration,” in which a creator gets paid to play a track in the background of their video. As the number of followers increases, more promos are offered and the price per promo rises.

    TikTok also offers the TikTok Creator Marketplace. This is where brands can contact creators directly to negotiate promoted content deals on their channels. Essentially, the site shops around its creators and offers analytics for sponsors who wish to target specific demographics, and then helps these brands decide which creator to work with.

    Is it worth putting your music on TikTok?

    As we’ve seen here, unless you are generating millions of views from your TikTok videos, you aren’t likely to earn much in terms of ad revenue. But perhaps TikTok pay musicians more of a means to an end; a place where you participate, get creative, and leverage that into a record deal or increased fans and listeners on Spotify, YouTube, and the like.

    TikTok is also one of few apps that allows crossing over to share its videos on any social media platform. This includes SMS, Whatsapp, and Email. It can act as an additional promotional tool to help get your brand and your music discovered by more people.

    The impact on Spotify streams and fanbase growth is undeniable. On the industry level, I’ve seen viral TikToks turn into chart-topping singles and lucrative record deals. For now, the royalties should be viewed as an added bonus.

    TikTok may or may not be helpful and/or suitable for your career. From what I’m seeing, record labels continue to invest an incredible amount of capital into TikTok promotion. There is no better way to market to young people right now.

    In conclusion, if you are a musician who wants to reach youth listeners in 2021, TikTok is one of the best tools at your disposal. Whether you choose to embrace it is up to you. And now you know, how TikTok Pay Musicians?

    As always, email me with questions or comments.

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2022 5:33 AM | Anonymous

    Featuring Americana-roots sensibilities and solid songwriting, folk singer/songwriter Laura Brino returns after a 13-year hiatus with a new album, No More Surprises. Featuring a deep sense of maturity and grounding, it arrives alongside new single, “All I Need” — and both are available now.

    After two years of being isolated and learning how to come back together, the new 11-song LP delivers not only the same signature breathy vocals and narrative songwriting as on albums past, but also comfort and a sense of grounding after years of uncertainty.

    Supported by a rich array of Americana-inspired instrumentation such as fiddle, mandolin, banjo, slide guitar, and more, No More Surprises unveils a sentiment Brino is familiar with; having spent her life finding healing through music and art, the Annapolis, Maryland-based artist dedicates her life’s work to provide that same kind of healing to everyone around her.

    Since her release of How We Survived back in 2009, Brino went on to release Snowglobe in 2012 under the moniker Lily and the Pearl — a project with her husband and fellow musician, Sean Jackson (Dracula Jackson).

    In the years following, she essentially disappeared from the music scene as she settled into her home life and began a family.

    ‘Essentially’ being key…

    No More Surprises — including “All I Need,” written about her daughters — is a collection of songs that were written over the last ten years. (Some fans will recognize a song or two that were in heavy rotation years back when she toured up and down the east coast in Philly, New York, and Boston.)

    In early 2018, while newly pregnant with her second child, Brino began recording the release with local musician Ahren Buchheister who, at the time, was working on his own solo album. With a young child and another on the way, they chose to record separately as a way to manage parenthood and their music life. Once recording had started, Brino began bringing session players in to bring her Americana vision to fruition and, having finished recording her guitar and main vocals, she was set to give birth within a few weeks.

    After a very traumatic birth that nearly took her and her daughter’s life, Brino struggled with PTSD and nearly stopped playing music altogether. The next year, she poured all of her energy into being a mother and a wife while the album sat on the shelf.

    Once the pandemic hit, however, she decided to finish the album any way she could and, over the next two years while in and out of quarantine, Brino worked with Buchheister to lay down tracks and work with session players via Facetime in order to capture the sound she was looking for. She even recorded background vocals from the car while Buchheister ran cables from the studio out to the driver’s seat.

    The release of this album symbolizes the end of the way things were and, for Brino, a time to move forward into a more certain and grounded future, while also healing from the past.

    Written about her daughters, the video for “All I Need” features an array of home movies — including Brino’s own mother shown raising her kids, followed by some of Brino and her own, and closing with a montage of videos of moms and their kids submitted through Brino’s website.

    No More Surprises also features the song, “Stay”; co-written with Jackson; the track tackles love in the time of mental health struggles, and the official music video features the duo, shot during isolation, in an atmospheric sepia tone.

    “All I Need” and No More Surprises are available now.

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2022 10:34 PM | Anonymous

    A very common question I get asked by my musician friends and clients is whether they should give their producer songwriting credit on songs they’ve produced.

    This question brings up a key distinction to be drawn between the Songwriting Copyright and the Sound Recording Copyright.

    Record Points vs. Songwriting Points

    Rather than give their producer songwriting points, recording artists would traditionally give their producer 2 to 4 points on the record. In simplified terms, this means that 2 to 4% of revenues generated from the sale of these records would go to the producer. So for each $0.99 iTunes sale for example, two to four cents would go to the producer. Only the sound recording copyright is involved here.

    However, I’ve noticed an interesting thing happening in the last few years: as record sales (and therefore producer royalties) continue to decline, many producers are suddenly calling themselves songwriters. In some cases, it’s justified: I know a lot of producers that are also talented writers, and who sit down with the artists they record and help them take the songwriting to the next level. They might help write lyrics, add entire parts to the song, suggest structural changes, or change the chords and melodies.

    If the producer is indeed a co-writer, they would be entitled to portion of the songwriting copyright, for the length of the copyright. Once the producer is a songwriter, he or she will always be a songwriter of that song, likely for a hundred years or more. They will be entitled to revenue from radio play, use of the song on television, at sports games, and any other time the song is performed…for decades.

    Giving up songwriting is a big deal, and a much deeper commitment than giving up points on the record. See my article on The Two Copyrights in a Song for a more in-depth comparison.

    This leaves us with the million-dollar question: where is the line drawn between producing and writing?

    Producer or Producer/Songwriter?

    You as artist are paying – and likely a significant amount – to obtain the various services that a producer provides, such as offering their opinion of the songs, making suggestions on improving them, and suggesting changes to the arrangements. But do any of these things constitute producer songwriting?

    For example, if a producer changes a single chord in the chorus of your song, is your producer songwriting? If they write all the lyrics to that chorus, is your producer songwriting? In my opinion, the answer to the former is no and latter is yes. Unfortunately, most contributions fall somewhere in between the two extremes, which creates a real grey area.

    What does the law say?

    In Canada, the question of whether the producer is entitled to songwriting was settled in the Sarah McLachlan case (see Neudorf v. McLachlan et al, BC Supreme Court). The court ruled that there must be proof of mutual intent between artist and producer that producer songwriting with the artist will take place, as well as evidence that such producer songwriting occurred. What this means is that bands and producers need to sit down before recording begins and discuss this important issue, and agree if the producer will get points on the record and/or on the song, or neither. Unfortunately, 90% of the time this does not happen, and things hit the fan when a song becomes a hit and the producer claims half of the songwriting.

    While the issue of intent might be clear in some cases (i.e. was it discussed or not), finding evidence that producer songwriting actually occurred might prove to be difficult. See my article on What Constitutes Songwriting for more clarity. In the meantime, just know that as an artist, you should not be giving away any of your songwriting unless real co-writing is happening with your producer. And it should all be discussed before the “record” button is pushed.

    Kurt Dahl -- Lawyer Drummer

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2022 10:13 PM | Anonymous
    Are you easily distracted? I know I am! I could watch Rachel Pederson on YouTube all afternoon. She is the Queen of Social Media and has SO many amazing tutorials and hacks when it comes to boosting your social media! I’ve learned so much from her! Neil Patel is another great guy I could watch for hours! I recently jumped on to his marketing school podcast. If you want a great read, he has a great blog post on how to generate 100 blog content ideas in 60 seconds (seriously!), you should bookmark for later! I love sharing the resources I have learned so much from!

    When you're starting your own business there's always so much going on and it's hard to remain focused when you want to market yourself, some days it's easy to get into a mental mind funk and lose your entire day! Your motivation goes out the window and the last thing you want is to sit down for two hours and batch a month of content creation! After a recent health crisis, I’ve been on my path of recovery the past 6 weeks (more on my Insta about this) and it was a very scary and eye-opening time for me and my family. The one good thing that has come out of it has been me gaining clarity on what direction I want to go in my business and in my life in general. Part of that is to help new mompreneurs and at-home small business owners gain tips to SAVE TIME sharing everything I can after my 15 years in the corporate world as a C-Level EA, my marketing background, and my recent experience being a VA. You can replace full-time income and manage to fit in working fewer hours, your kids, your family, and everything else!

    OK, back to it! Time is precious!

    There’s always a strategy to using content marketing as part of your social media, and it’s just as important as the tools that you use for your clients. Adding this to my future blog post list now…

    REMEMBER, always try and think like your ideal client - ask yourself these questions…and write down what comes to mind, these are all IDEAS to expand on!

    • Who seeks out to find your product your service?
    • Why would they look you up on Google?
    • What struggles are they facing?
    • What will make their day better?
    • What solution are they trying to find?
    • What questions are they asking themselves?
    • Why would they seek out your services product?

    In order to keep your social content calendar full and consistent, you need high converting ideas to keep flowing! In order for the ideas to keep flowing sometimes, it helps to break categories down to fit with your industry or business niche. You then have lots more content to work with and it becomes more valuable to keep your ideal audience coming back!

    Here’s what I've broken down for you. 15 social media ideas to promote YOU and your small business!

    Re-introduce Yourself - Consider this every 4-6 months, depending on your new followers and how consistent you are with your posting schedule!

    Feature a Team Member - People want to see what you are all about, who you work with is a great post idea, the more the merrier if you have a team!

    Celebrate a Milestone - always share and celebrate your success stories. Inspires and motivates others!

    Promote a Launch - If you have an E-book, new course, new product or line of items, new service you’re offering - launch it, but plan the launch first, a series of posts leading up to the initial launch!

    Follow-only Flash Sale - Popular on Instagram, this really helps build your following and gets the algorithm working in your favour as you are asking them to follow you, and tag others to do the same!

    Promote a Sale or Discount - everyone loves a good sale, remember to use a high-quality image.

    Run a Challenge or Contest - use a unique hashtag and ask your followers to join in with you on a challenge, asking them to post and tag you. Could be a fitness challenge, seasonal contest, make it fun and entertaining!

    Run a Giveaway - you’ve seen it many times and it works! Everyone loves a good giveaway! Great way to gain more followers and engagement on your social platforms.

    Testimonial - everyone wants to know you are legit and know what you are talking about, so show them by posting words or a short video of a past client talking about working with you. Just get in touch and ask them, they can only say no, but in my experience, they haven’t!

    Highlight a Case Study - Do a post about a client project and pinpoint the problem and solution and how it was a success!

    Most Popular Product or Service - have a look at your insights and analytics, see what post had the most engagement and comments from? Rewrite the post, or share something similar!

    Why You Are Unique - think about what you offer and how do you stand out versus your competition? How are you different? Focus on that and highlight it!

    New Product or Service - do have a new product or service you’re offering? Let people know? Go one step further, ask your audience

    Free Download or Resource - always my first suggestion when trying to build an email list or find clients. You need to give something of value and for FREE.

    Reshare Popular Content - look at your analytics and see which post had a high-performing piece of content and repurpose, rewrite and reshare!

    I’ll be posting different content ideas by categories starting with this one - Promote Yourself!

    So stay tuned and add me to your reading list on your preferred RSS feeder or blog browser like Feedly which I love (and it's FREE) and stay tuned for the next one!

    I love helping out other entrepreneurs and solopreneurs that are just starting out their at-home small business. I’m all about saving time and using it to our advantage in order to live happier, more fulfilled lives and getting the most out of the day, especially being a busy mom of two! Check out my recent blog post, 6 Ways Time Blocking Your Day Will Make You Happier. this is the first step!

    If you found this helpful, save it for later and let me know what else I could help with, I might just include it in a future blog!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • Tuesday, March 01, 2022 8:59 PM | Anonymous

    Big dreams often come with bumps in the road, and award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Alexis Taylor shows us such with her confessional new country ballad “Long Way From Home” — available now.

    Produced by award-winning artist John Willis, “Long Way From Home” is a slow, smooth traditional country jam with an infectious melody, twangy guitar, and warm, enveloping harmonies. Despite its story of dejection and loneliness, the Ontario-born, Nashville-based artist’s voice soars above the feelings, while the lyrics, poetic and evocative, paint a vivid picture of a young woman alone on a dusty road.

    The song reveals the vulnerable side of pursuing stardom; when Taylor started writing “Long Way From Home,” she hadn’t finished writing a song in months and was having a day where she felt like giving up on her music career. “I felt so defeated,” she says. “I felt like it was time to pack my bags, go home, find a regular 9-5 job, and quit chasing these crazy dreams of mine.

    “I wanted to really capture everything I was feeling in the lyrics and melody of the song,” she continues. “So I sat in my living room and just started writing, and poured my heart out onto paper, and the song seemed to write itself.”

    The song was recorded in Nashville, where Taylor has been living ever since she decided to leave her small hometown in Ontario to pursue her dreams. And those dreams have clearly already materialized in a big way — the song was produced by John Willis, who has worked with Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Willie Nelson, and many other musical greats.

    “At the end of the day, I know music is what I was born to do, and even though I go through days of uncertainty, I was able to create this song as a reminder of how far I have come and to not lose faith,” Taylor shares.

    Since first stepping onto the scene in 2016, Alexis Taylor has racked up over 350,000+ streams across all platforms, played Canadian Music Week, CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, and opened for the likes of Marshall Tucker Band, Love and Theft, Meghan Patrick, Doug Seegers across his Scandinavian tour, and more.

    She’s won ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ at the 2018 Tennessee Music Awards and was nominated for ‘Modern Country Vocalist of the Year’ at the 2020 Josie Music Awards.

    “Long Way From Home” is available now.

    For more information, please contact:

    Eric Alper
    Publicist  I  Music Commentator  I  Shameless Idealist

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 10:50 PM | Anonymous

    Laced with delicately placed melodies shrouded in what appears to be chaos, Canadian experimental pop artist Celogen creates an entirely unique listening experience with his new single, “The Red Lips Called Snowfinch” — available now!

    The brainchild of Calgary-based musician Dominic Demierre, the song is the latest to land from Celogen’s most recent LP, Wastebasin Lake — an unleashing of industrial electronics combined with guitars, keyboards, strings, and horns… All of which make their heady debut in “The Red Lips Called Snowfinch.”

    Certain melodic elements tempt to lure the listener into a final resting place while counter melodies and dissonance remind you that this is a journey that is just beginning — for both the main character of the story and the listener.

    A tale of two young lovers out for a drive at night, “The Red Lips Called Snowfinch” is a sonic adventure through limbo; one falls asleep at the wheel and, when he awakens, his lover, Snowfinch, has transformed into a silkworm. “In shock, he drives his car into Wastebasin Lake, and the album goes on from there,” Demierre explains.

    “I wanted to explore the ability of an album to tell a story beyond a simple emotional arc,” he continues. “This album represented a change for me… The words are deeply personal.”

    While “The Red Lips Called Snowfinch” is a stimulating production of its own merit, Celogen prolifically conveys a story that will sit deep in the listener’s gut long after the song ends, leaving them immersed in dramatic and alluring worlds.

    ‘The red lips called Snowfinch / The air smelling cleaner, you touch her skin.’
    ‘But warm blood meets cold, long white body spews red flow / you jerk the wheel to the lake below’

    Through hauntingly familiar melodies inspired by pop and driven by chaos, the notion is further underscored throughout the release.

    “This is a strange album,” he nods. “It has many recurring motifs and a reality-bending story…

    “Despite my longing for experimentation, I never intended to be numbingly avant-garde,” he continues. “At its core, Celogen is — and will always be — a reaching to touch others via the magic of pop songwriting.

    “After all, no matter one’s wanderlust, the gift of human connection remains paramount.”

    For his start on the scene, Demierre found himself playing in a handful of post-punk and emo bands during his years in university; as time went on, however, he found himself boxed in. The chaos of people being drawn into their own separate genre corners drove Demierre to break out — to seek out something unique that he could call his own.

    Reaping the benefits of prior experience, Demierre created Celogen: a boundary-stretching solo project.

    Three EPs and three full-length albums have been released under the moniker since 2018 – a manifestation of the desire to cut loose from so many readymade aesthetics and seek out something unique. These include 2020’s Celogen Was Built by Ghosts, for Ghosts, 2019’s Goodnight Childsprite, and 2018’s Stonehome, Tameplane, and Doveflood.

    “The Red Lips Called Snowfinch” and Wastebasin Lake are available now.

    For more information, please contact:

    Eric Alper
    Publicist  I  Music Commentator  I  Shameless Idealist

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 9:54 PM | Maggie Tate (Administrator)

    We love the Grindstone Theatre and want to help both them - and you! - by sharing that they are hiring for a part-time House Technician (HT) Canada Summer Jobs position, who will be responsible for operating the sound/lighting boards & other multimedia equipment for all Grindstone & Independently Produced shows. The HT will ensure the theatre is in safe working conditions and will report any issues to the Technical Director. The HT will provide excellent customer service to patrons of the Grindstone Theatre and will scan and seat guests upon arrival as well as answer any questions about the performance. 

    The theatre is looking for individuals with 1-2 years experience in Theatre Production/Management who have up to date knowledge of lighting systems, control apparatus, equipment and its maintenance. You should have experience working with OBS, Zoom, Crowdcast and other online streaming platforms and be confident in manual-handling/heavy lifting of theatre equipment, climbing ladders etc. and able to do so safely. You need to have strong interpersonal and customer relations skills, and the ability to create and sustain positive working relationships with theatre companies and staff. Strong organizational and time management skills, and demonstrated attention to detail with the ability to manage competing priorities at work. You must be self-directed with the ability to take initiative. 

    You must be available nights & weekends. To submit an application please email Jocelyn at with your Resume and Cover Letter. Please note House Technician in the subject line. No phone calls please.

    As we are not the original poster of this listing, we highly recommend that you confirm all information at the Grindstone website before applying! 

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 9:50 PM | Maggie Tate (Administrator)

    A lot of small business owners look at their bookkeeping as almost an ‘unnecessary expense’. In my experience I’d say about half of all small business owners don’t start bookkeeping until about their second year. The other half do hire a bookkeeper but since they recognize the need to hire one, it means they don’t know much about it themselves and expect the bookkeeper to have the knowledge. Here’s where you as a business owner might get into trouble that can potentially cost you money. Let’s break this down into a couple different scenarios so we can cover a variety of different ways you can go about your bookkeeping when you open a business. Please keep in mind that the scenarios I bring up will be based on numerous real-world experiences.

    The most common client we get is one who’s just started a business, operating for only about 6 months to a year.  They typically have either not done any bookkeeping or tried starting themselves to save costs. They then then realize the task is more time consuming than they anticipated as they struggle with having the time to run their business. These are the clients we love! This type of client shows both great initiative in starting the process themselves, and showing the willingness to learn, while also recognizing the importance and value of hiring a bookkeeper. This type of client usually receives a very low cost ‘set up’ invoice and receives free training to enhance their knowledge with the bookkeeping department of their company. Before hiring us, this type of client also asks a lot of questions about our experience, our process, and how we can help them.

    Another common client is one who has been around for a year or two but has only contacted us because, perhaps, the CRA has started contacting them demanding information. This type of client is also fantastic to work with because they like to just give us the work to do and therefore, they usually want limited to no training. Since we offer training for free, it saves us on a lot of payroll costs. However, because the books have not been done for a well over a year or two, these types of clients have a much higher ‘set up’ invoice.

    You see, regardless of when you decide to hire a bookkeeper, the work will still need to be done.

    Another type of client is one who has hired a bookkeeper, has been in operation for any given amount of time; maybe less than a year, or maybe several years. The assumption is that this type of client, like all other new business owners, was unfamiliar with bookkeeping so when they hired someone, they hired someone that didn’t quite know what they were doing. In cases like this, the client is usually very frustrated in the beginning yet also very relieved. They learn they’ve been paying months, sometimes years and expecting this work is done only to find out there’s been compounding mistakes, so we have to redo the work for them. I think I love these types of clients the most though. They’ve made a mistake, they’ve learned from it, and once we show them the basics, they realize it’s easier than they thought and are able to take on a chunk of the work to help keep the costs down. This provides great relief for the client as they now get hands on experience on the bookkeeping side of their own business thus offering them the ability to pick up some of the workload on a monthly basis to further reduce their ongoing bookkeeping fees. The knowledge these types of client’s gain is invaluable to their business and other then force majeure; you could nearly guarantee they will be successful!

    The problem with bookkeeping is that it is an unregulated industry. Anyone can buy a copy of Quick Books for $20/month and call themselves a bookkeeper. It’s exactly how I started my company 7 years ago but only after 15 years’ experience and several university courses in Business Management, Accounting and Strategic Measurement, Accounting 1 & 2, Managerial Accounting, Organizational Behavior, Canadian Tax Principals and many more. You could also buy a membership to the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada or Certified Professional Bookkeepers of Canada. I had originally bought into the IPBC myself. The issue I had with organizations like these is that, sure, they did their due diligence but only by charging you to take a test first, prove some experience, and provide 2 letters of reference. I eventually cancelled my subscription realizing how easy it would have been to get into one of these for-profit organizations. My resume alone towered over any designation I could buy. However, I don’t want to discredit these organizations. I would certainly recommend a member of the CPB or IPBC over a non-member even though I myself am not a member. The reason is because I’ve experienced so many clients with cousins who have mother-laws that do their taxes or books for them and have cost them a lot of money in both mistakes and lost credits. I feel most empathetic for these clients. They are only trying to help their family member out who in fact is only trying to do the same, but their limited knowledge and specific or technical experience causes a lot of problems.

    I once had to clean up over $6 million dollars’ worth of transactions in less than 3 months before taxes were late. The client had unfortunately hired a friend of the family who claimed to know what they were doing. They were paid a full-time salary in excess of $50,000 per year and made sure to invoice clients, buy inventory, pay bills, and pay employees. The problem? Every month you need to reconcile your books to your bank statements.  This bookkeeper was unaware of how to do it properly, which forced the client to then pay someone else to do the exact same work again, but properly so the Accountant would accept it.

    Other scenarios, which can be the most devastating as they usually involve a CRA auditor, are Bookkeepers who have purchased software like Turbo Tax or maybe even (hopefully) buy a per-file license from Profile and claims to know how to file your taxes. Besides almost being guaranteed to lose potential credits, it should be noted that annual returns are out of scope for most bookkeepers. Your annual corporate taxes MUST be reserved for professionals such as Accountants or extremely qualified bookkeepers such as ourselves, who have both education and experience on the subject. However even we will escalate a return in the case of assets on the balance sheet such as buildings, or revenues in excess of $500,000/year. I once had a client whose returns were filed using over the counter software that you commonly see Walmart or Staples. Due to the insane amounts owing to the CRA we audited several years’ worth of returns and were able to get balances owing from $11,000 down to about $6,000. We then negotiated a plan with the CRA that it would be done in 12 payments over 1 year. We call this Representation. Representation is another service some bookkeepers will provide but may charge for it. Representation is a process that allows your bookkeeper to access your CRA account and take over communications with the CRA on your behalf, should you need this service. This means that you’ll never have to deal with the CRA again. We believe that this service is necessary for all taxpayers who made not be fully aware of the Canadian Income Tax Act and include this service for all of our clients.

    So how then do you hire a bookkeeper and know you’re getting a good one? Well, some of my favorite clients have put me through a rigorous interview process. I always know on my end that they are unfamiliar with the processes based on some of the questions they ask. At the same time, I realize that they aren’t asking me those questions because they care about the answer. They are asking me those questions because they want to see how I respond to them. This helps to start driving conversation and usually I end up taking over while further explaining more details to this potential new client. The point is that you want your bookkeeper to be able to explain their job to you not only in detail, but with confidence. Ask them about their experience, how long have they been a bookkeeper for, what are some of their biggest challenges they’ve overcome? I always end the interview by telling people that a good bookkeeper will save their client more then they charge them. This is because a good bookkeeper will not only understand enough of the process to get the job done efficiently (speed + quality = efficiency), but they will learn more about your business to the point where they can start to recommend cost cutting measures through things like bank fees, merchant services, utilities, insurance, and all of those little nitty gritty things that nickel and dime you every month. But time and knowledge are where they will save you the most money. Listen to them and learn from them. Understand and respect what they do. Having our knowledge will have astronomical benefits to you and your business as throughout your growth.

    Perhaps at the end of the day you could ask just one simple question: “Will you save me more then you charge me?” and listen not only to what their answer is, but how they answer it. I know I’d respond immediately with something like “Absolutely; and here’s how…..” while listing off all the ways I could save you money even though I’d still have to charge you a couple hundred bucks, maybe up to a thousand a month depending on how big your company is.

    If successful, your corporation will outlive you and leave a legacy for your children, grandchildren and even beyond; I guarantee it. Just look at Toyota, originally Toyoda Automatic Loom Works founded in 1926 by Sakichi Toyoda, now ran by the founder’s great grandson and manufacturing one of the world’s most popular vehicle brands. I drive a Corolla myself!

    If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to teach you! Visit our website for more information!   

    Dave Stock

    Founder/CEO Aloe Tax

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2022 7:27 AM | Anonymous

    Parsing through the endless avalanche of head-spinning data and around-the-clock updates, Toronto-based electro post-punkers AUS!Funkt get you up and grooving to pandemic-overload with the release of their new dark, danceable single and video, “Information YEAH!” — available now!

    Landing alongside the release of their freshly minted EP, Post-Stagnation, “Information YEAH!” begins with distortion and a tinny beat. From there, the bassline comes in, followed by rhythmic guitar, and then pulsing percussion that evokes a heartbeat; it builds and builds, and then come the vocals — spare and spoken and monotone, evoking a feeling of detached isolation and the quiet, repressed desperation of the modern age.

    Information YEAH
    Regurgitation YEAH
    Information YEAH
    Information YEAH
    No inspiration YEAH
    Rumination YEAH

    The song conjures the computer-nerd New Wave idiosyncrasies of DEVO or Talking Heads, and brings in some dark, dance-y New Order elements. Then, as soon as the listener has become accustomed to that particular vibe, the song morphs into a driving ’90s techno hypnosis with energetic female vocals. It’s both a journey and a mishmash of all the elements that have led us here, and even though it’s overlapping and trippy, it’s ultimately a ton of fun.

    Both the single and the EP were written and recorded prior to the pandemic, spanning from 2017 to 2019. But the band felt that now was the perfect time to release it, especially considering how relevant the message is to the current state of affairs.

    “’Information YEAH!’ hits all the keywords that marked this last year and a half: information, regurgitation, constant negation, no inspiration, indoctrination, suffocation and many other ‘-ations’ that we struggled with as a band,” AUS!Funkt says. “But, at the same time, the whole world did as well. It’s not that these things did not exist before the epidemic hit, it’s just that they became much more palpable in the time of crisis.”

    As an EP, Post-Stagnation is an exploration of and a journey through many sounds, from the minimalist post-punk of “Signal To Noise” to “She’s Right Behind,” a dark, pulsating psych-rock jam that examines the distrust and fear of our own minds. “Take Your Sense Back” is a call to reclaim a sense of purpose, a sense of moving forward, and a sense of making sense.

    AUS!Funkt is a Toronto based art-disco/post-punk quartet comprised of Miroslav Miskovic (aka Jozzef Ladovina), Evan Henderson, Olivia Korwan, and Hugo Frutuoso. The band rejects the lyrical and musical excesses of rock music by combining the groove of electronic music with the subversive aggression of post-punk. The lyrics, spoken and sung, provoke the mind with their realism and repetition. Electronic beats seduce the body into movement, freeing it from its torpor, while the guitar spurts out clouds of noise and the bass supplies the melody. AUS!Funkt assaults the senses and uneases the mind while you dance to its unsettling disco beats.

    Their single and video for “Information YEAH!,” and EP, Post Stagnation, are available now.

    Parsing through the endless avalanche of head-spinning data and around-the-clock updates, Toronto-based electro post-punkers AUS!Funkt get you up and grooving to pandemic-overload with the release of their new dark, danceable single and video

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Muse Canada Inc is founded in on Treaty 6 territory in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan — the traditional and ancestral territory of the Nehiyawak/Cree, Tsuut'ina, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Dene Suliné, Anishinaabe/Ojibway/Saulteaux, and the Inuk/Inuit. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Regions 2, 3 and 4 within the historical Northwest Métis Homeland.

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