Lott in the News

November 28, 2013

20th Anniversary Celebration and Open House

Ribbon Cutting

At our open house on November 28, 2013, we celebrated our 20th year in business as well as the move to our new office space.

View photos from the event.

March 17, 2012

Lott Receives Business Achievement Award

On March 7, 2012, Lott & Company, Chartered Professional Accountants was awarded the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award for growth and client service in the 6 to 15 employee category. Congratulations! View our photos from the evening.

March 21, 2011

Consumers, business clash on HST

Consumers are skeptical about the HST's so-called net saving effect. Glenn Lott explains that large enterprise is profiting from the HST.

Read the full article on the continued clash over HST.

January 5, 2010

Impact of HST: Focal Point Panel

Glenn Lott joined panelists Andrea Prieur (Ontario Athletic Therapists Association), Michael Pearson (President, Contax Inc.), and Paul Baily (President, Police Pensioners Association of Ontario) to discuss the impact of the HST and how it will affect both consumers and businesses.

Watch the debate.

Getting Out of Holiday Debt

The holiday season is a wonderful time, but paying for it can turn the new year into a financial nightmare. How do you conquer that post-December debt?

The first step is to determine exactly how much you owe. “Check your receipts and overdraft balance and add up the total debt,” says Chartered Accountant Kurt Rosentreter, Senior Financial Advisor with Berkshire Securities Inc., in Toronto. “Don’t wait for your bank or credit card statements to arrive in January because you will have lost a month of repayment time.”

The next step is to develop a payment plan. “A good plan sets a realistic budget for expenses and the sources of cash to make payments,” says Chartered Accountant Glenn Lott, a Partner with Lott & Company Chartered Professional Accountants in Markham.

Make sure your payment plan is set up to make regular payments and that you are making a dent in the principal owing, not just paying interest.

“Many credit cards are set up to pay the interest only, but it you do that you aren’t making any progress in paying off your debt,” says Rosentreter. “Your payment plan should also be designed to pay off your debt in a year, not five years. And while you are paying down your debt, keep your new spending under control.”

Consolidating all of your debts into one can be a good idea. “It is much easier to manage one payment, and you should make sure the rate of interest on that debt is as low as possible,” says Lott. “Typically, a line of credit or term loan carries a significantly lower rate of interest that most credit cards.”

If you are a homeowner and your mortgage is your lowest-interest debt, it may make sense to refinance it and pay off your credit card debt, adds Rosentreter. “Whichever option you choose, the point is to figure out your cheapest debt and move the other debts into that.”

As you pay off your post-holiday debt, be sure to reduce your spending in January and for the rest of the year. “Critically review your spending habits and reduce non-essential spending,” says Lott. “Go without your daily special coffee and pack a lunch instead of eating out. Pay your credit card balances off every month and, if you are short of cash, don’t use your credit cards.”

If you can’t resist the temptation to overspend and charge items, consider destroying your credit cards. “If this isn’t practical, then consider reducing the number of credit cards you have and lowering their spending limits,” advises Rosentreter.

Of course, the best way to deal with post-holiday season debt is to avoid it altogether.

“Budgeting and planning is the way to avoid debt in the first place,” says Lott. “Look at your cash resources before you start shopping and determine the amounts you will spend for gifts, decorations, entertainment, etc. Then stick to your budget.”

Avoid last-minute holiday shopping. “If you don’t give yourself sufficient time to shop, you tend to spend first and worry about the bills later,” says Rosentreter. “Along with shopping early and setting a budget, try to use cash or a debit card for holiday purchases. That way you are working with real money all the time, not incurring debt.”

If you need help setting up a budget and a plan to pay off your post-holiday debt, talk to a Chartered Accountant.

“A CA can help analyze your expenses and spending habits,” says Lott. “CAs can also help arrange a line of credit or a term loan to consolidate your debt.”

For more information contact us.

Brought to you by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.

Download a printer-friendly copy of Getting Out of Holiday Debt.