Covid-19 Testing Overview

Testing is important but many are falsely reassured after a negative test. An area of concern is that individuals are being tested without clinical input and an explanation of the relevant test and limitations.

Here’s a summary of the 2 main tests available:

Covid19 Testing Overview

PCR tests – throat / nose swab that test for presence of the actual virus. They are usually accurate when you first start developing symptoms (likely withing the first 7 days) but this is dependent on taking the swab correctly. An incorrect swabbing technique can certainly give a false negative result.

This test can also be positive in those with no symptoms – so called asymptomatic carriers who are still able to spread the virus.

The PCR swab may show as positive in the incubation period, possibly 1 or 2 days before developing symptoms in some cases but this is not completely reliable and therefore despite a negative test you may still be a carrier and able to infect others.

We are unsure how long the test will remain positive for, as once symptoms develop individuals will clear the virus at different rates. Another interesting development is that some people test positive even 4-5 weeks after becoming symptomatic – currently the consensus is they are not infectious at this stage but the swab is being overly sensitive and picking up inactive viral genetic material.

Covid19 Testing Overview

Serology – generally a blood test which looks at the immune response specifically to the SARS-CoV2 virus. Serological tests can look for for both short term (IgM) and long-term (IgG) antibodies. In essence it looks for previous COVID19 infection but is not ideal for assessing acute current symptoms.

Timing of the test is important. The antibodies may not show up as positive in the first few days of having the illness so if tested too early you may get a false result. Most manufacturers state tests are accurate after day 7 – 14 of having symptoms.

The IgG antibody is likely to remain positive for at least a few months. It can show if you had COVID19 in the past but we are unsure if this means future protection and immunity.

As with most tests there are also limitations (discussed in next update) – this is especially the case with point of care / home tests.

General Health & COVID-19

In a world where there seems to be heightened anxiety and panic, we must focus on what we can control.

There is emerging information regarding risk factors – some non-modifiable such as age, ethnicity and male gender. However, in terms of modifiable risk factors, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and lung disease infer an increased risk.

The anxiety around coronavirus is partly due to the uncertainty. Hand washing and maintaining distance from those with flu like symptoms in addition to wider social distancing measures will help reduce infection rates. In addition, although the evidence about wearing masks is not conclusive there appears to be some benefit and many countries have adopted rules for wearing masks in public.

But there’s more we can all do to get our immune systems primed to give us the best chance of fighting infections and a sense of some control. In general:

– getting enough sleep (there are many entrepreneurs that live on 4 hours sleep, which may not cause too much of an issue in the short term but it’s not a good sustainable long term plan!)

–  moderate exercise for approximately 20 mins most days (over exercising can have a negative impact)

– Eating well (whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables)

– Avoiding excessive alcohol

– Avoiding smoking – although there are some reports that nicotine may have a protective effect, the other chemicals present in cigarettes damage the lungs and put you at risk of a more severe infection.

On a more personal level for those with other health conditions it’s important to optimise the numbers. A preventative and proactive approach to healthcare is vital.

Focus on getting parameters such as HbA1c (average sugar levels), cholesterol, blood pressure and weight to target. This can be done through a combination of lifestyle measures and / or medication. Optimising medications for other conditions such as asthma and COPD are also important.

There’s not enough evidence yet to say that this will translate in fewer complications / deaths, however it will improve overall health and logically that should lead to fewer complications.

Understanding CERB and CEWS

Dear Clients:

A large Employer subsidy program CEWS has just started. It will give you 75% of the wages that you pay your employees.

People who have taken CERB will not qualify for CEWS.  You may like to pull yourself out of CERB and go on CEWS. Those who got CERB without being eligible, should also do so.

There are many Assistance Programs to help businesses cope up with Covid-19 damages.  Only some of the programs may apply to your business.  We are helping our clients to maximize their benefits.  We do so by matching program eligibility criteria with your business situation.

A key parameter in matching is your Current Operation (CO) Level.  For example, your CO level may be about 80% of the Regular Operation (RO) level. This represents an almost fully open business.  At 20% level you will be almost fully closed.  A partly open situation may be at 50% CO level. We would like to know your approximate CO level.

We would also like to know your Revenue in January, February, March and April.  We have now prepared the attached Form to get your answers.

Please complete the Form and send it back soon.

Teji Singh, Manager

H&T Accounting Service

T: 905-858-0775

F: 905-858-8645

Site www.hAndT.ca

Tex Returns Documents (Tax Slips)

Dear Clients:

We hope you are in good health.

For business proprietors and partners and their spouses we do have some time before filing their returns.

For others we are running short of time; deadline to file this year is June 1st.

For many of such clients, we have already filed the returns.  But some clients have yet to provide us their documents (tax slips).  We do have your T4s and T5s if we prepared these slips for you.  But you need to provide us other slips you may have.

Tax Planning takes time but can save a lot of taxes, many times hundreds of dollars and sometimes thousands.  If you bring your documents close to the deadline, we will not have enough time to do proper planning.

To save you maximum taxes we request that you provide us your documents soon.  Send these electronically or drop these through our office door slot at any time of your convenience.  Alternatively send these in the mail.  These days we do not meet our client’s in-person for reasons known to you.

Teji Singh, Manager

H&T Accounting Service

T: 905-858-0775

F: 905-858-8645

Website: www.hAndT.ca

3 Bookkeeping Mistakes To Avoid

BookkeepingWhen we start our own business, we do most things ourselves because of the new likeness and excitement which urges us to handle things on our own, even the things we don’t like, including the bookkeeping, and is not a task that comes easy. This is because you would not only have to deal with getting someone who can perform the tasks that you need to be done like keeping your accounting books well-maintained in an accurate manner because you think you have a grasp of the basics of businesses.

Here are 3 most common bookkeeping mistakes small and new businesses often make, along with our handy suggestions about how to avoid them for long-term business growth. 

Putting off Bookkeeping Process:

Sounds fun, but it’s not! If you’ve decided to handle those looming and deadlines tasks, then better be prepared for the consequences. Sooner or later, there will be an overwhelming sort of tasks which you need to update. The things can go even worse when you won’t have a clear idea of what’s happening in your business. And soon VAT and tax deadlines are looming, and you aren’t ready. 

Do’s:

The best thing you can do is put some effort to update your financial information in your dairy and check that you understand what your figures are actually telling you without doing minimum fuss and duplication.

Mixing both business & personal spending:

Thinking of mixing both business & personal spending is actually not a good idea to consider. It’s easy to lose track of what you have done so far as it creates a mess and confusion towards you, and soon you can find yourself out of nowhere. 

In just a few days you will begin to struggle to remember all your relevant bank or credit card statements which were necessary for your business, and wasting a lot of time is another task which will frustrate you from inside. 

Do’s:

Our recommendation is to go for a separate business credit or debit card so that you will always have a clear view, record and track of your business-related spending. Another benefit which you will get is it helps to avoid tax return mistakes.

Intricate Cash Flow:

Not collecting your receipts and purchase invoices might lose you a clear view of tracking your business cash flow. Not correctly coding all your income and expenditure creates unuseful reports for you and your business which will devastate business in the long run.

Do’s:

Well, it is advised to always keep an extensive record for your business receipts from the biggest to even the smallest expenses as it will help to reduce your VAT and tax bills. But it may come handy during scrutiny as HMRC could ask to scan your receipts reports.