Birch Accounting and Tax Services is a boutique bookkeeping firm operating out of Leduc in Alberta. Their services include bookkeeping, personal taxes, corporate taxes, payroll services and business planning.
“We have an office in Leduc, but we provide services virtually,” says Amanda Birch, who founded the firm in 2006. While most of their clients are based in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, Birch Accounting does business across Canada and the world. “We have clients as far as Pakistan,” Amanda says. The firm currently has six employees.
Birch Accounting and Tax Services has been a Peninsula client since January 2020.
Amanda says she signed up for Peninsula’s HR services as her company was growing and she wanted to make sure she was doing things correctly when it came to HR management.
“Most of my knowledge [about labour law] comes from reading the employment standards web pages of the different provinces, which doesn’t necessarily give us a full picture of what can go wrong,” says Amanda.
“I wanted to ensure that I wasn’t a detriment to my client and eventually to myself,” she says.
“I lived in BC for 30 years and in Alberta for 7 years now,” says Amanda who moved to Leduc in 2013. “I am more comfortable with the legislation in BC and Alberta by far. But the legislation keeps changing,” she says.
“Since we moved to Alberta, the legislation here has changed three times,” Amanda points out. “It is hard enough to keep on top of the tax changes, never mind everything else. So, having a professional make sure that I was covered was important,” she says.
“Also, my clients are constantly asking me HR questions and I thought I could refer them to Peninsula. It seemed like a good partnership,” Amanda says.
A few months later when news of the pandemic broke, Birch Accounting contacted Peninsula and signed up for their Health and Safety service as well.
Amanda says she found Peninsula’s health and safety documentation to be particularly useful while working from home and while returning to the workplace during the pandemic.
“Our business has grown since COVID-19 began,” says Amanda. “We’ve brought on three new staff members. But when the pandemic first broke, we had gone back to working from home. I’m grateful that we’re able to work from the office again. It’s hard to onboard a new employee when you’re not actually with them,” she says.
The Peninsula service
“Everything was taken care of. I didn’t have to request anything,” Amanda says of her experience with Peninsula. “COVID-19 starts and that very day we get an email from Peninsula saying here’s the policy that you need to post up. I found that to be amazing.”
Amanda says their new hires are quite impressed with their HR documentation and with Peninsula’s online HR management tool, BrightHR. “We’ve used the contracts provided by Peninsula for the new employees. They’re quite amazed that we have such a wealth of documentation that they’re now having to read through,” she chuckles.
“I love knowing that I can call on the 24-hour employer advice line whenever I have a problem,” says Amanda. “I haven’t used that service yet as most of my interaction has been Peninsula reaching out to me and asking, ‘what can we do to help you with this situation?’. It’s great.”