How Tech Investors are Failing on Due Diligence

This last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a due diligence team looking at a potential investment. As the only accountant on the team it can get pretty lonely. In September Noam Scheiber of the New Republic published an interesting article on how due diligence really works for a great many early stage investors. […]

Subordinated Debt (aka “sub-debt” or mezzanine financing)

WHAT IT IS according to Wikipedia:   In finance, subordinated debt (also known as subordinated loan, subordinated bond, subordinated debenture or junior debt) is debt which ranks after other debts should a company fall in to liquidation or bankruptcy.   Such debt is referred to as ‘subordinate’, because the debt providers (the lenders) have subordinate status in relationship to the normal debt. A typical example for […]

Creating Customer Value

What is Value Anyway? (Why Creating Customer Value is at the Heart of Building a Business) The following is Part II of a multi-part series on value, segmentation and pricing by guest contributor Steven Forth, Partner at Rocket Builders and eFund Member. Read Part I here. The founder of modern management, Peter Drucker, famously said […]

Using WordPress to Build a Private Intranet allows users to set up a private web address for members only and invited guests. Effectively you can build a private intranet and use it to share information with collaborators, employes or professional advisers. We’ve set up an example – of course it isn’t private since our goal is to share it – URL […]

Are Tech CEOs too Focused on the Exit?

A 2014 survey by PwC indicates that most Canadian tech CEOs are focused on an early exit by way of acquisition. While PwC concludes that more companies should plan to grow their companies, for my part I am pleased to see that CEOs are becoming more realistic. The fact that only 7% believe that an […]

Handling BC Provincial Sales Tax in Xero Online Accounting

With the return to the old regime in British Columbia, businesses are now forced to comply with the complexity of 2 separate consumption taxes (i.e. PST and GST). What prompted this discussion were the challenges faced by one of our clients – a software developer – in complying with the new regime. To begin with […]

GST Registration Essential for Many New Businesses

Depending on where your business is located, GST rates can vary from 5% to 13% of all taxable supplies that your company purchases. For startups that expect to be in a loss position for a year or 2 after incorporation, that can mean a significant amount of cash donated to the federal government as a […]

The lower the CEO salary, the more likely a startup is to succeed

According to The Next Web the founders of successful startups pay themselves very modest wages. The data comes from a new tool called COMPASS from the people behind the STARTUP GENOME PROJECT. It can be set up to pull in data automatically from the likes of Google Analytics, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, Mixpanel, PayPal and Stripe, and it also accepts directly input data […]

Convertible Debt or Convertible Equity for Early Stage Companies

An article by Leena Rao – a senior editor at – suggests that while convertible debt may be getting popular with early stage investors, it can cause a lot of problems. This is especially true where Series A funding doesn’t come along before the notes become due – putting start ups in default. This […]