About Me

Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA

I’ve been involved in the restaurant business for 30 years, both as a chartered accountant (now CPA) advising restaurateurs and as an owner operator.  I started two hospitality blogs to fill the need for useful tax and business advice for restaurateurs.  The first one provided tax advice, especially in regards to CRA tax audits.  The other, Canadian Restaurateur, aimed to provide  restaurateurs with practical advice to improve their operations and profitability .  Originally, these blogs were found on wordpress.com.  These have been merged and moved to their new home at CanadianRestaurateur.ca.

While I have advised on a variety of different restaurant operations from fast food to fine dining, my focus is mostly in the area of licenced, full-service restaurants.

My CA practice focuses on helping restaurants and small businesses maximize their profitability and minimize their taxes.  I offer cost-effective solutions that generate consistent, profitable results.  If I may be of assistance in helping you solve vexing problems in your business, please contact me.  I may be reached at: Paul@PaulSHewittCPA.ca.

This blog is written for Canadian restaurateurs.  My research indicates that there is very little useful information about the administration of taxes that apply to restaurants.  In particular, I am most concerned about tax audits of the Goods and Services Tax (GST/HST) and income taxes.

This blog site will be updated regularly and will provide invaluable assistance to help you protect your restaurant against the unfair audit methods used by Canadian tax authorities.  In my experience, it is possible to protect your restaurant from these insidious practices, but it requires a fair amount of meticulous recordkeeping.   Most of the information on this blog will be applicable to U.S. restaurateurs, especially for State sales taxes.  However, I recommend that U.S. restaurateurs seek their own professional advisors to tailor the procedures to fit their own tax laws and situations.  The best time to start is right now!

If you own a restaurant in Canada, you must take these warnings very seriously.  Your survival depends on it!  Too many restaurants are put out of business by over-zealous tax auditors.  I have a short presentation that covers the major issues surrounding tax audits and explains how you can protect your restaurant from future audits.  Please contact me, if you would like to arrange for this presentation.  At this time, there is no charge for this.  For 30 minutes of your time, it could save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes.

If you need assistance, I also provide a unique service, which I call the Proactive Tax Audit Check-up.  This service involves a comprehensive review of your operations, policies and procedures, to correct anything that could hurt you during future audits.  I document all controls over the accuracy and completeness of your accounting records (essential for audits), and recommend practical controls to improve profitability and prove the accuracy of your margins.  It’s a proactive approach that has been proven to prevent tax audit reassessments.  In fact, it is the only cost-effective way to minimize the impact of tax audits.

For additional information about the services I provide, please visit my website at www.PaulSHewittCPA.ca.

I’ve started a Linked-in Group for Canadian restaurateurs to discuss important issues.  You can join by visiting Linked-in and searching for “Canadian Restaurateur”.  I also author the Canadian Restaurateur blog, which focuses on practical advice for improving restaurant profitability.

I welcome your comments and questions.

Paul S. Hewitt, CPA, CA

4 Replies to “About Me”

  1. Hello – I’ve been asked by the management company of a dozen clubs here in San Francisco to review our protocols to detect and prevent zapper software on our Aloha POS systems.

    Since we have no such protocols, my review starts now. I’m having a difficult time finding “white hat” information on zapper software, how to detect and prevent.

    If you have any resources you used in your blog story about zappers I’d greatly appreciate it.

    No worries if you can’t reply I realize this is a pretty random question to put to you.

  2. Rather than discuss private information on this blog, you can reach me at: bartaxca@gmail.com.

    Essentially, you’ll need controls to ensure that unauthorized software has not been installed. You’ll have to set up controls over day end procedures and cash control. You’ll need to monitor margins regularly. There are a few others. Also, you can send in shoppers and have them pay cash. Then, check to ensure that the check register matches the physical receipt.

    Hope this helps.

  3. bleh…aloha…did you know there is a GAPING back door into the software?

    I was asked to do some custom programming on aloha systems for a chain of 22 restaurants. I was shocked when I found a completely unguarded backdoor to the software and underlying database.

    This backdoor allows unrestricted editing of any and all information.

    Pretty simple really….press ALT + X when logging on…you will see ‘random’ numbers appear in each of the 4 corners of the dialog box.

    If you take each number, and….wait a minute…..

    Maybe I should charge people a consulting fee for this.

    🙂

  4. Oh…hey Paul…great site by the way. I really like what you have done. I will be passing on this link to several others.

    The customer I was talking about above made it 3 years before his first audit. The penalties were so high…he was forced to close 9 of his locations.

    Ouch.

    If only he had read your blog…his downfall….

    controlled tips.

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