Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Simplify.

How is Simplify different from other accounting firms?

We’re not just an assembly line, but are constantly seeking to improve your experience by investing in technology and people.

We offer you peace of mind by:

  • Optimizing your taxes;
  • Answering your questions within 1-2 business days (usually within a few hours);
  • Increasing the timeliness and accuracy of your tax return(s) filed which reduces or eliminates potential interest and penalties; and
  • Mitigating CRA audit exposure through a searchable electronic database of receipts.

If you’d like these benefits, then we recommend going on a monthly accounting plan and being actively involved. If you take the time to read what we send, answer our questions and ask us questions then we’ll be able to deliver a better experience.

If we’re only providing annual year-end services then we aren’t able to offer pro-active tax advice and have less control over the timeline and quality of inputs which impacts your taxes.

How does our pricing compare to competitors?

Do you want fast, cheap or good? Pick one or two because you won’t be able to get all three.

Our pricing is competitive for the quality and speed that you’re getting.

If you’re looking for the cheapest option then we won’t be the right fit.  You’ll often end up dealing with lack of communication, CRA headaches and paying more taxes/interest/penalties (sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars) by choosing the cheapest option.

What does your "Unlimited Access" include?

We want you to ask questions and be involved, so we include “unlimited access” with select monthly plans.  This feature gives you access to our team, with peace of mind knowing that you won’t be billed for talking to us.

This covers unlimited phone/email support from our team to discuss bookkeeping and tax matters related to the services we’ve agreed to.  This does not include additional tax research/filings, CRA review/audit assistance, custom reporting, business consulting or services requiring additional work outside of the scope of of your monthly plan. 

What does "Audit Insurance" cover?

Audit insurance is an optional product that typically provides up to $10,000 of coverage for Simplify to deal with the CRA on your behalf.  As long as you have the insurance in place, it covers any tax years (both corporate and personal), even if we didn’t file them.  It doesn’t cover pre-existing audits/reviews or personal tax pre-assessments.  When you get audited or reviewed, we track our time and bill the insurance company instead of you.  You’d still be on the hook for any taxes/interest/penalties, but we do our best to eliminate or reduce potential taxes based on your backup.  

CRA keeps hiring more agents and conducting more audits/reviews.  You can get audited/reviewed even when you follow all the rules and do everything right.  It can often take more time dealing with the CRA than filing the actual tax return, so we typically recommend getting the insurance for peace of mind.  Audit Insurance is covered through Accountancy Insurance via their Audit Shield Fee Waiver Service (underwritten by Lloyd’s) and is subject to any terms and conditions stipulated under their program (which may change from time to time).  We’re happy to send you the terms and conditions if you’d like to review them. 

Is Simplify a licensed professional accounting firm?

Yes we are! We’re licensed with CPA Alberta and CPA BC as Simplify Professional Corporation.

Why is this important? If you’re a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and want to provide accounting services, you need to formally register a professional accounting firm and:

  • Meet extensive training & experience requirements;
  • Have adequate professional liability insurance; and
  • Adhere to strict professional standards.

Keep in mind that if someone is not a CPA, they can call themselves an accountant or tax expert and file tax returns without any formal training. And you likely won’t have much recourse/protection if they mess things up.  Anyone can be “CRA certified” and standalone bookkeeping/tax courses don’t go very far without formal training. We’ve seen a lot of horror stories of non-CPA’s filing incorrect tax returns, resulting in excessive taxes/interest/penalties owing, so be careful!

How does Simplify protect confidential client data?

We take data security very seriously. Here are a few of the security measures we take:

  • Internal data is stored on professionally managed secure, redundant servers and is end-to-end encrypted with zero-knowledge open source software;
  • We use physical security encryption keys as two factor authentication for third party apps / websites and our computers;
  • Every team member is required to use a password manager, resulting in long complex unique passwords for all logins;
  • Laptops are encrypted;
  • We perform regular encrypted backups, in addition to the backup redundancies built into the servers being used; and
  • We vet the security protocols of any third party applications or websites that store your confidential data.