June 2nd, 2020
As the province of Saskatchewan moves into Phase 3 of the re-opening plan, Stark & Marsh will also be making changes in our COVID-19 policies as well. We are excited to open our doors to you again although it will still come with some restrictions as we continue to balance business as usual with safety for our clients and colleagues.
You will now be able to meet with your Stark & Marsh advisor in person again, but through scheduled appointment only. We will be screening clients to ensure they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days, and have not travelled outside the province or to areas of the province experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks in the past 14 days. Our in-person client meetings will be held in our Boardrooms…not in our advisor offices as usual. This will limit the number of in-person meetings available daily, but also allows us to ensure that we have proper social distancing for our meetings and can thoroughly sanitize our meeting rooms throughout the day. Our client services personnel will begin scheduling appointments this week for meetings the week of Monday, June 8th and beyond.
When you come for your meeting, you will be asked to wait in your vehicle until it is time for your appointment. You will receive a text or phone call, as arranged by our Client Services staff, informing you when it is time to enter the office.
Phone or video conference meetings remain available and will continue to be encouraged given that most of our work can be completed through these means.
You will now be able to enter our offices again for bill payment, records submission, or records pick-up; however, each comes with continued restrictions. Bill payments, using credit or debit cards, will be allowed at the front desk. Cheque payments and records submission will continue to be accepted in a specific drop-off location. Paper information will remain quarantined for 3 days as per Sask Health recommendations. Records, not suited for mail distribution, will be available for pick-up in a designated location in our front office; however, we ask that you contact our office in advance to arrange timing for records pick-up so we can have that ready for you. Items that can be distributed by mail will continue to be handled in this manner.
We will have restrictions on the number of individuals allowed in our offices at one time for social distancing purposes. We will have signage in our front entrances to guide you on this.
Bill payments will continue to be accepted and encouraged through on-line banking, cheque submission by mail, and credit card submission by phone. Records submission will continue to be accepted and encouraged through electronic means, and we would be more than willing to walk you through this process.
We will continue to restrict the travel of our people to your places of work or to our day offices in Kyle, Leader, and Maple Creek. We are targeting Phase 4 of the province’s re-opening plan for a change in that regard.
We are not requiring you to wear masks for meetings with your advisor or for entry to our building; however, we will have hand sanitizer available for you when entering and leaving the building, in our meeting rooms, and at our front desk. Our front office area will be regularly sanitized throughout the day.
We are hopeful that this is the beginning of getting back to normal. If there is an outbreak in our region, we will make changes as required if that occurs and will inform you accordingly. Until then, we look forward to getting back to serving you in a more regular manner. Thank you for your patience over the past 2 1/2 months.
Stark & Marsh CPA LLP
April 27th, 2020
We received positive news on Thursday as the province announced their 5-stage plan to re-open the Saskatchewan economy. Not surprisingly, it is a cautious approach, but it gives us a sense of what the next few weeks/months may look like. It also gives us a sense that our own personal discipline in social distancing, hand washing, and staying home has had a positive impact. Good work!!!
While the changes are positive and will allow many of our community’s businesses to re-open, it will not have an immediate impact on how Stark & Marsh conducts business. We will continue to accept paper records at our three offices, but they will be quarantined for 3 days after submission just to be safe.
We are also encouraging electronic records submission. It is the safest way to get your information to us. Click here for directions on how to submit your records electronically.
Meetings will continue to be scheduled by phone or by video conferencing. In-person meetings remain on hold until further notice. Most of our accounting personnel continue to work from home.
The personal tax deadline has been extended by Canada Revenue Agency to June 1, but that will come quickly. Please submit your records as soon as possible and we will take care of your filing needs.
On the corporate tax front, the filing deadline for October & November year-ends is June 1st (rather than April 30th and May 31st respectively). The filing deadline for December year-ends remains June 30th. We are here to help to ensure that your corporate filing needs are met.
Just one note, our office will be closed this Friday (May 1st). We will be back open on Monday, May 4th for regular business hours.
We will continue to monitor the provincial health department and Province of Saskatchewan recommendations and continue to provide updates on how these recommendations impact our operations.
In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy the warm weather.
Chief Executive Officer
Stark & Marsh CPA LLP
April 14th, 2020
As the world around us is shifting by the minute in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing likewise inside and outside the walls of the building.
Our first change was to discontinue face to face meetings to reduce the risk to our clients and colleagues. In lieu of in person meetings, we are conducting meetings over the phone or through video conferencing. If or when you need us, we’re still open for business and available.
Our second change was to limit public access to our building. We are still accepting paper records and information but have eliminated face to face contact. Our drop off locations provide you with a safe way to submit records. The unfortunate consequence is that it takes away the personal contact that we want to provide, but this allows us to continue to serve you which takes priority for the moment. Electronic submission is also available through our website. This is the safest way to get information to us. If you have questions, we can help you through the process.
Our third change was to move most of our people to home-based offices. This has allowed us to continue business as close to usual as possible. This will likely be our ‘new normal’ for a while. It’s a change for our people, but still effective thanks to technology. For you, it shouldn’t be that noticeable of a change. We’re glad we can continue to help, and we’re pleased that we can continue to work while keeping our people safe as well.
For personal tax clients, there are a few items to note at the end of our process. The ‘pick up your T1 package and pay at the counter’ option isn’t available to us right now. We are now sending out T1 packages electronically or by mail depending on your wishes. As for payment, you can pay on-line through your financial institution if you have that set up, you can call our office and pay by credit card, or you can send us a cheque. While different, none of these present challenges that can’t be overcome.
It’s difficult to say what will happen next. We’ll continue to adapt as required. In the meantime, take care of your health and we’ll do likewise with our people.
Chief Executive Officer
March 16th, 2020
With the provincial government instituting a state of emergency this week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are changing our service delivery model accordingly.
We will continue to accept client records at our Swift Current, Shaunavon, and Assiniboia offices but in a way that insulates our clients and colleagues.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept client records submissions at our day offices in Maple Creek, Leader, and Kyle until further notice. Clients in those regions will still be able to submit records at our Swift Current office, electronic submission, or by mailing records to Box 128 Swift Current, SK S9H 3V5.
In addition, most of our personnel will now be working from home. We are fortunate that we have technology in place that allows our colleagues to work electronically away from the office, and we will maintain the security of your information during this time. We will have a limited staff complement in our office to continue day to day duties and ensure workflow continues. This will include individuals to accept and process records, individuals to take phone calls and messages, and individuals to process completed packages for distribution.
Upon completion of your tax filing (personal or corporate), packages will be sent to you by mail or electronically. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide paper copies at our office due to the restrictions in place. Similarly, we will only be able to accept payment through on-line banking, by credit card over the phone, or by cheque until further notice given our limitations on public access to our respective offices.
It goes without saying that we are facing unusual circumstances in providing our services at a crucial time of year for you. Our focus will be to remain as efficient as possible in delivering services during a trying period. We will remain available by phone to answer questions that you may have. We will continue to monitor risks and rely on Health & Government bodies for direction. We will communicate further changes to you as they arise.
Chief Executive Officer
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