A Big Job

Architects often must accept full and unlimited liability for the integrity and viability of a particular structure, since human lives, and comfort, depend on it. That’s why architects seek Lohn Caulder to help them deal with the details and protect their accumulating wealth as efficiently as possible.

Credit control, interpretation of contracts, and release of holdbacks; all of these are commonplace financing issues that face architectural firms.

British Columbia architects are world-renowned, and are often engaged outside of Canada. Lohn Caulder has rare in-house expertise to guide architects through the maze of regulations that doing business in other countries can involve.

We also have full access to the worldwide resources of the independent firms of BKR International. Thus, an architectural contract in China, or Peru, for example, would not present an unusual tax or compliance challenge for us, as we are accustomed to the issues that such situations usually entail.

Personnel and Incentives

Architecture is a profession that features a number of unique aspects. One is staff retention. Not everyone can be a boss, but it’s often important to ensure that key players in the organization, who may have face-to-face involvement with important clients, feel integrated and connected to the firm – and it’s important that they have the satisfaction of knowing that their ‘extra’ efforts are recognized, and rewarded, usually through some form of bonus or ‘phantom stock’ program. Other techniques involve direct stock ownership programs, deferred compensation plans, RRSP savings plans, or individual or general pension plans. All designed to keep the person “chained” to the firm with “golden handcuffs” – i.e., nice things to have that are subject to loss, should the person leave the firm.

Project Budgeting and Monitoring

There are a number of sophisticated computer software packages that can assist architectural firms to capture employee time on a particular project, cost out that time, and accumulate unbilled time records that can support future invoicing. They can also report on the efficiency of the task being performed.

Lohn Caulder has been involved in the installation and effective use of such programs, since we have first-hand experience with programs that do rather similar things, for our own accounting practice. The key element for owners of an architectural firm is to exploit the power of this software to effectively use the reports that these computer programs are capable of producing. All too many firms fail to take maximum advantage of the potential they have already paid for.

Gordon Caulder has been a great resource to me personally and professionally over the last 15 years. His expertise and up to date knowledge has assisted in the controlled growth of our company brand. Further to our growth, Gordon has been instrumental in the succession plan of Gustavson Wylie Architects to ensure the continued success of my company and the new partners.

John Gustavson, President and Managing Partner, Gustavson Wylie Architects

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