Welcome to
Black Tulip's family

We like to celebrate life's special moments, cheer on our clients, spread a little good news and inspire with a bit of imagination, because we believe these are what brings life true value.


How was your Tax Season?

How did your tax season go? Did you make the deadline? Were you able to locate all those receipts you had been saving during 2013? Did you remember to print off all of your charitable tax receipts from your online donations? How many times did you need to ask your investment advisor for one more document? How about your medical receipts, did you remember to include them?

For many people, April is a stressful month gathering together all the pieces of paper that form your financial picture for the previous year. No matter how well organized, somehow many are left scrambling to meet the April 30 deadline. So why not outsource these tasks to Black Tulip?

Throughout the year, many of our clients will send, drop off or forward to us everything that relates to their taxes. Some will even use our office as their mailing address. We gather, categorize and file it all throughout the year and when the T3s, T4s and T5s start arriving, we spring into action. We will get it all to your accountant early enough to allow these overworked professionals adequate time to ask all the necessary questions.

It’s really that simple, just outsource it to us! And your accountant will be grateful to have one less file to deal with at the last minute!

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How effective are word-of-mouth referrals?

Word-of-mouth has been the driving force in Black Tulip’s success over the past two decades.  Many of our current clients came to us on the endorsement of another client and we too have returned the favour by promoting our clients and vendors to one another.

According to research by Nielsen, this is what makes the world go round!  92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing.

In this day and age, with social media at our fingertips, we can steer the course of that word-of-mouth dynamic.  And it can be a very powerful tool. Neilsen also reports that 43 percent of consumers are more likely to enlist a new service or buy a new product when learning about it on social media.

So how do you approach your social media?  It’s so easy to promote a business or service using Twitter or Facebook but don’t forget to engage your followers.  Asking questions of them, searching out what is important to them, enlisting their assistance, providing them with pertinent information; these are all ways to make sure you’re really making the most of your virtual connections.

Making in-person connections can also be beneficial!  Consider joining a local business association or checking out BNI Canada (Black Tulip joined the BNI, Golden Horseshoe Region) or Meetup.com for other businesses wishing to make alliances.

Ultimately, how can you use word of mouth referrals to your advantage?  Certainly, use your current clients to make connections. Offer incentives to them for great referrals but don’t forget about your suppliers and vendors.  Remind them that by referring sales leads or business to you, you’re helping to build their business, too.

And remember, online or off, sincerity is the key to great word-of-mouth campaigns.  If you are passionate about something it truly resonates with people.

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Happy Earth Day!

This year marks the 34th year of Earth Day celebrations.  Of course, today’s celebrations are meant to highlight and promote earth-conscious behavior year round, but at Black Tulip, we use today as a reminder to look at our business operations, and see where sustainable actions can be taken to improve our foot print on the world in which we live and work.

To mark the day itself, individuals and businesses participate in everything from litter pick-ups to battery recycling to electronics recycling.  To practice environmental responsibility year round, you can dig deeper.  By practicing the 3 P’s; People, Planet and Profit, companies can begin to connect their business with corporate and social responsibility goals.

We here at Black Tulip align ourselves with businesses that are corporate responsibility leaders and take initiatives in our day to day operations that better the planet.  And we make every effort to use recycled materials to facilitate our business needs.  We enlist the support of companies like our vendor, Shred-it, who take our confidential documents and recycle them.  We also support companies like our client, Impakt, that amongst many of their societal achievements, can boast running their business on 100% green energy.  They also work with CVTP (Clean Vibes Trading Post) a not-for-profit organization aiming to educate the public about environmental responsibility and stewardship, particularly in regards to solid waste management.

If you are struggling to come up with ways your business can contribute to a better earth, you can enlist the support of organizations like CVTP or Earth Day Canada who have programs like the Earth Month campaign to keep environmental improvement initiatives at the forefront of our minds all year long.

Happy Earth Day!  And remember that even the simplest of actions can have a big impact!

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Tax Season’s Moral Dilemma

We are in the middle of tax season and we are all facing the annual moral dilemma: “Will I cheat on my taxes or not?” Not those “big” cheats that lead to media scandals and CEOs, CFOs and accountants ending up in jail, but the “little” ones such as the “business” trip to the Caribbean during the worst of the Canadian winter, or… including tips when you calculate the GST/HST portion of your business meals or… adding the cost of health supplements or cosmetic surgery to your medical expenses or… “forgetting” to declare your tips as income.

Will the CRA catch it? Unlikely. Will your accountant “wrap you on your knuckles”? Sometimes. Do random audits happen? Yes. Is it right? No. Can you live with your self knowing you cheated?

So, if your answer to the last question is “yes”, will you also complain about the long wait times for elective surgery or the number of potholes after the brutal winter we have just experienced or the lack of public transportation in some areas? Think about it! That’s what our taxes are for.

At Black Tulip we will err on the side of caution. We will apply the tax rules as best as we understand them. Our Controller is so “straight laced”, we use him as a ruler. But in the end, we work for you, our client. You have the final say and we will do what you tell us to do. But, we will get it in writing, just to cover our behind!

Happy Tax Season!

Tax Season Moral Dilemna

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What Type of Client Are You?

It was 19 years ago last month that Black Tulip in its current format was started. Through a referral we met Youssef Hasbani, owner of L’Atelier, and this “wild ride” started of building a business from scratch. We did not have any pre-conceived ideas about what type of client we would like to find to build our business, but we definitely felt comfortable with Youssef. We “clicked” from the beginning and a bond formed that built into a friendship with mutual trust between Youssef and our Executive Director Joost Pelt.

Why has it worked and lasted so long? It definitely had to do with the mutual trust that was developed, but also because of the type of client he was. L’Atelier sells antiques and decorative objects and at each of Joost’s weekly visits to the store, he continued to be amazed at the creativity of being surrounded by beautiful and high quality items.

Our business has grown nearly exclusively through referrals and it all started after meeting Youssef. Referrals often are linked through individuals that move in the same circles, with similar interests or outlooks on life. Most of our clients are connected through a common thread of high-end quality, creativity and a desire and need to provide the best possible service to their clients or customers.

This common thread has resulted in a great variety of types of clients: Fashion Designers, Interior Designers, Artists Management, Photographers, Jewelry Design and Sales, Software and Game Developers, a Pilates Studio and a Kinesiology Practitioner, Limousine Companies, Engineering Firm, IT and Business Consultants, and a series of high-net worth individuals, who like nothing better than to receive personalized quality service.

Joost has often remarked, while commenting on the types of clients we have, that it would be unlikely that we would ever work for a business selling “widgets” or a gas station. But now upon reflection, we actually would work for them as long as they sell high-end “widgets” and high quality gas!

So…what type of client are you? If you fit with the types of clients we have been providing our services to, we bet we would be able to build a bond of mutual trust and work well together. So….just call us!

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Spring has Sprung-Joe Fresh Sample Sale!

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Take Flight with Black Tulip and TTI Travel!

We are pleased to announce that Black Tulip has now partnered with TTI Travel, one of Canada’s pre-eminent, family-owned travel agencies with a “high-touch”, personalized service, which closely matches and compliments our own approach to client satisfaction.  This means we can now also offer you a fresh alternative to arranging your travel plans. Business travel, leisure travel or just a quick flight to wherever, just let us know what you are looking for and we will assist you in making the arrangements.

TTI Travel is amongst a select few Canadian agencies with Virtuoso, an invitation-only association of the world’s top luxury leisure travel agencies. They are also a member of the Air Canada Circle of Excellence and are Canada’s only affiliate with BCD Travel. They are Preferred Suppliers to Four Seasons, Fairmont, Belmond and Ritz Carlton Hotels to name a few, affording us rare access to special rates, complimentary upgrades, VIP recognition and other privileges.

For Curtain Rising, our performing arts travel business, we needed to find a partner in the travel industry that has the same high standards that we aspire to. We now have direct access to a worldwide network of the best hotels and resorts and access to a wealth of experience through the travel experts working for TTI. They will help us design fascinating packages that will make our performing arts excursions even more enjoyable.

Have a look at the TTI website TTI Travel , visit Curtain Rising, or contact us for more information!

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We employ bureaucracy slayers!

In today’s complicated technology-based world one the biggest headaches is dealing with large bureaucracies. Setting up new services or changing existing services has become an exercise in frustration or futility for small business owners and individuals alike. Navigating the phone trees, reaching the right person or the right department, filling out on-line forms, setting up passwords and security questions, all this for the privilege of allowing the bureaucracies to provide you with services that you of course have to pay for. And if finally you reach an actual “live” person, you just have to hope that they speak and understand the same language you do. And how about those automated systems that answer all your questions, as long as you ask the questions in the way they are stored in their database!

Black Tulip employs a couple of individuals who are experts in navigating these systems, have the patience of Job and have enough other projects on their desk to keep them busy while they listen to “elevator music” or “we appreciate your business” or “the estimated waiting time is……”.

So the next time you need to change or set up a service or need to have a question answered, call us first and our friendly receptionist, an actual live person, will immediately connect you with one of our “bureaucracy slayers”. And we even deal with government departments!

We employ bureaucracy slayers!

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QuickBooks Remote Access

QuickBooks is used by many small businesses, from one person consulting or design firms to multi person professional or retail operations. Many QuickBooks users only utilize one or two of the software’s multiple features such as preparing invoices, tracking inventory or printing cheques. But how about the bank reconciliations, shareholder draws/advances or the HST reports? Many users simply don’t have the time, interest or knowledge to ensure the QuickBooks file is complete and up to date, prior to forwarding the information to their accountant for yearend preparation. As a result, our remote access to our clients’ QuickBooks file has become one of our most popular services.

By transferring your QB file to our server, we can ensure all the transactions you record are correct and up to date, while we post all of your other financial transactions, even those baffling general journal entries. We work in the same data file you are (even at the same time if necessary) so there will no unnecessary duplication, file transfers or flipping disks. You have 24/7 remote access, even from a Mac, while you continue to use all the functions you are used to. And of course we are backing up all of our files on a daily basis in three different ways.

As a bonus, our staff would be delighted to answer your questions, trouble shoot or show you the many useful reports that will help you run your business better and more efficiently. What are you waiting for? Call or email us and we will set up a demo and show you how easy it is!

QuickBooks Remote Access

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Black Tulip can be your office!

Are you administratively challenged? Black Tulip can be your business office, your office-away-from-home, or your business address!

Do you simply not have space to keep all your records? Do you keep on missing the courier delivery? Now that you are fully mobile, where do you print those documents you have to sign? Do you want to have a business meeting in a quiet office, not at your local coffee shop?

With Black Tulip as your business address, we can receive your mail and deliveries, file and store your records, and organize the day to day paperwork that comes by mail, so that you can focus on what matters to you! We also provide personalized business centre services from our location in the heart of midtown Toronto, steps from Yonge Street – book our meeting room for your private meeting to enjoy a quiet, professional trustworthy environment where coffee is free.

Our office is fully equipped with all of today’s technology, to allow you to run your business professionally without needing to invest in all those overhead expenses.

Come check us out and make 407-124 Merton Street your business address!

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