Two of our team members recently travelled to Barbados to develop business opportunities for MRSB Consulting Services
Contributors: Stacey Evans, Business Development Officer and Brenda Wedge, Principal & Senior Consultant with MRSB Consulting Services
Since our last blog post on MRSB Consulting Services’ international work, there have been some exciting developments in this area that we’re happy to share. Just a few weeks ago we participated in Trade Team PEI’s latest trade mission to the Caribbean. This trip provided an excellent opportunity to meet new potential partners, identify upcoming opportunities and to strengthen existing partnerships with professionals in the region. Our consulting team has now doubled the number of business engagements in the Caribbean and has tripled the number of Caribbean countries where we are providing consulting services. As we build our experience through these projects it becomes increasingly clear that there are many similarities in the opportunities and challenges faced by countries in the region, but there are also unique realities that can only truly be appreciated through working hands-on in specific countries or in partnership with professionals there.
So, what kind of work have we been involved in, exactly? Three of MRSB’s consultants have now been engaged to provide business planning and advisory services to entrepreneurs through the Inter-American Development Bank’s Compete Caribbean Program; Kathleen Townshend and Don Currie are working with innovative entrepreneurs in Haiti while MRSB partner Lloyd Compton is working on an exciting project in Belize.
These missions have played an important role in opening new doors of opportunity. For instance, as part of the trade mission, MRSB was invited to attend a regional Technical Vocational Education and Training Conference. It became evident from the presentations that governments and post-secondary institutions in the Caribbean are at an important crossroad as they realize the importance of building partnerships with industry and ensuring educational curriculum reflects the needs of the national and regional job market. We also had the opportunity to learn about current initiatives as well as upcoming projects that will seek to address these labour market gaps. Our team’s experience working on similar projects with Holland College and the University of Prince Edward Island have provided us with best practices to assist with these types of initiatives in Barbados and across the region.
Looking ahead, MRSB anticipates welcoming an inbound multi-sector mission from the Caribbean to Prince Edward Island in spring 2014 and to further grow our connections and expertise in this promising international market.
The MRSB Bookkeeping & Reporting team gives a quick run-down of your options as a small biz owner
As the owner of a small business, you are probably planning to spend at least a few hours huddled over your desk this month, working out payroll deductions for your employees, or perhaps just for yourself. Payroll has come a long way over the years and there are many options in terms of tools and programs to help you. There is still the manual ledger, but these days that requires you to look up the deductions on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website using the Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC). What if it’s storming and you can’t get into the office on payroll day? Or it’s summertime and you’d really rather spend your day on the beach?
Well, these days you can pack up your laptop and use one of the many accounting programs with integrated payroll. Our personal favorite is Sage 50, formerly Simply Accounting. QuickBooks is another option. These programs allow you to generate paychecks for your employees, using the most up-to-date payroll tax calculations.
If you are looking to further heighten your efficiency come payroll time, you can opt for direct deposit software which enables you to electronically transfer funds into employees’ bank accounts. This not only saves time, but also gives you flexibility to pay your employees from any location. Sage 50 has an add-on called Sage 50 EFT which can perform this function. Other examples of this type of service are Telpay and Beanstream. Your bank may also offer a direct deposit solution for your payroll.
If you require additional information, we are proficient in all of the above and can help you set up your system. Or, if your beach chair takes priority, we can just take over your payroll process and let you work on your tan!