Tax season help grow Piikani woman’s business.

Melva Big Swan's career has spanned four decades. She’s been a financial controller for two first nations communities, a finance manager for a fisheries commission, a finance manager for a fisheries Renewal Partnership, a tax auditor for the Canada Revenue Agency. Photo Courtesy of Melva Big Swan.

Piikani entrepreneur approaches tax season in an entirely different way.

Melva Big Swan (Yellow Horn) has been completing T1 individual tax return preparation on the side throughout the course of her career but now turned it into a small business.

“Everyone is a potential client as the Canada Income Tax Act requires every individual to file a personal Income Tax Return,” Big Swan says.

With her thirty years of experience in accounting and her experience has a tax auditor for Canada Revenue Agency, Big Swan has started her own accounting services to help individuals file for their income tax directly out of her home.

Her target audience for her new business is the Indigenous community in southern Alberta, however, Big Swan says that she was able to secure clients as far as Gatineau, Que.

New technology has made it accessible for Big Swan to service clients at a distance through email and phone calls in order to get the cost savings that she’s able to provide.

“Sometimes a client will simply take a phone picture of their documents and text them to me.  I’m able to offer the savings as I do most of my work from my home in S.W. Calgary,” she added.

Big Swan says that because she is not a storefront business she doesn’t have franchise fees, which gives her minimal overhead costs.

“I will be hiring seasonal help this year and full-time permanent help as my business grows,” she said.

Big Swan focuses are on tax return preparation for individuals, businesses, corporations, and US tax return preparation for non-residents, as well as “accounting and bookkeeping for new or existing businesses including accounting set-up.”

You can find Big Swan on Facebook where all of her advertisements are posted.

“So far this has been my only mode of advertising and the response to the ad has been overwhelming,” she said.

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