Royal Bank IT issue follow up

cheque pro

Literally 1 day after my post Cheque-Pro was up for about 2 days until they did a further shut down for maintenance. Since then every thing is back to normal. No communication other than, Royal Bank would waive the January and February fees associated with the product.

Also, amid several complaints including mine about how the new on-line banking screen had too much wasted space and was more time consuming than the original version (which was fine), they compressed the layout and made it fit on the screen. Handy when you don’t have to scroll to see all your accounts (like the original).

At least Royal finally listened. Some companies do not. The moral of the story is “listen to your customers, and if it works don’t try to fix it.” Businesses are here to make customers happy and make money, in that order.

Till next time




How not to handle an IT issue-Royal Bank Cheque-Pro

cheque pro

I have been a Royal Bank customer for decades, and I refer quite a bit of business their way from many of my clients. Usually they are on top of both technical and financial matters when it comes to serving their most profitable business segment (retail banking) until now. Take the recent facelift of their on-line banking makeover. It wastes a lot of space and makes me do twice the work to find out what I need to know. The old format was compact, easy to navigate and work with. The new interface in my opinion just plain sucks. Interestingly enough, Direct Investment and Business Banking has not changed, thank God for small miracles.  When I called in to complain the person at the call center said that Royal had used focus groups and surveys to mold their new design. I responded in kind “were the focus groups made up of hand-picked individuals or actual high volume users?” The rep responded that they would pass my thoughts along and also said that they were fielding a lot of similar calls.

This brings me to their latest blunder. Like many I liked the idea of depositing cheques remotely and avoiding driving to the branch. It would fund the account immediately and save time and money. The math was simple enough. I introduced it to many of my clients, some of which had to invest in scanners. About one month into their roll out the system was shut down. The only explanation I got was that they were having problems with an update.  It’s going on 3 weeks of down time and no update from Royal, despite still promoting Cheque-Pro on their site. All users get is this message:

cheque pro 2

As Canada’s Biggest Bank I would have expected more. Heads should roll and compensation needs to be addressed as well as doing the obvious and quit promoting a product that doesn’t work.

This is why competition from the Fintech industry is so important. Leaner, meaner and hungrier startups need to come in to save the day.

Royal, get your act together and get this fixed, or some Fintech company will fix it for you.

Till next time,



Unfortunately, the trend is not our friend-The awful truth

Many potential clients start a conversation with me  like this, ” My last accountant/bookkeeper didn’t know a damn thing and was never available.” My first question usually is where did you find them? 9 times out of 10 it was a referral from a family friend or someone they knew. The other question is how much are you paying them? This is where the conversation takes an awkward turn. When they realize they never took the time or effort to look at what they needed and skill set required , coupled with their unwillingness to pay more than a basic wage, then they usually get what they pay for.

Most small business bookkeepers tend to be glorified data entry clerks that know how to work a program. Accountants are professionals who dig deeper, prepare adequate and detailed documentation, and make sure the books are balanced and make sense. Many times the awful truth is that business owners don’t want someone who knows or is willing to enforce  ASPE/US GAAP/IFRS and CRA rulings. So they hire a bookkeeper who doesn’t ask questions. Little does that bookkeeper know that any information that is not in compliance with CRA policy gets linked to them and recorded in CRA’s database for follow up.

The moral of the story is, make sure you find the right accountant. They may cost more, but in the end they will do a better job and let you sleep at night.


Your Friend,

Rick Barbosa



The Road to Prosperity: Step 1 Take Responsibility


Prosperity however you define it, either being happy, healthy or financial stable, all comes about by what I’ve learned is the first and most important step in getting there. Taking personal responsibility means you take ownership for your situation. Don’t wait around for someone else to make things happen, instead, realize that you and you alone are the one who needs to take steps if you want to be financially stable. Successful individuals all have this in common. Those who rose to the top or have great jobs realized that only they could get themselves there. It’s easy to be lazy and just do the bare minimum and get by in life and just pay the bills. Wouldn’t you rather have little to no debt, a paid off house, savings and better vacations with your family?  Taking responsibility or being “accountable” for your life is going to get you there. Don’t rely on employers, government agencies, friends, family etc… These as many of you know can be unpredictable and can lead you into a false sense of security.

The road to prosperity is not a quick one, it takes time, effort, focus and patience. But when you start seeing the results of your actions and how empowering responsibility for one’s success can be, you won’t look back.

Here are some “Areas of Responsibility” that you need to take ownership for.

  1. Education-Go as far and as financially feasible as you can. Make sure you are “investing” in the right career path
  2. Learn your job well or start your own. Being OK at something just doesn’t cut it anymore. Be Great at something.
  3. Learn about money. How to handle it and make it work for you. Don’t be its slave, be its master
  4. Take care of yourself and your family.
  5. Be an example for those around you. Help others like those who have helped you. We all depend on one another.


Thanks for taking the time to read this, and stay tuned for Step 2 on the Road to Prosperity.


Take care,

Rick Barbosa





Welcome to my Blog…Finally

It’s been a long but educational process in finally putting together this web page. I originally started by hiring another firm to design my static page and then started to use AdWords to draw attention to my site. I had mixed results, but fate pointed me in the right direction. I was working with a client who had introduced me to WordPress. I was amazed by how simple it was to set up a page, add features and monitor traffic. After learning some basic HTML and Photoshop skills I finally set out to create my own page and blog.

When you do things yourself and learn to rely on yourself the rewards are twofold. First you get the benefit of increased knowledge and confidence, second you get the sense of control and accomplishment. My Blog will attempt to help the average person understand and control their finances, with the two goals of avoiding debt and building wealth. Money whether we like it or not is the great facilitator in life. It is the means by which pretty much all things get done. Understanding how to manage your finances ranks just below Health and Family. Money does not bring happiness but does facilitate it.

I hope that by bringing a fresh and non-biased or solicited approach to discussing money that in some small way I can help those who need it the most.


Take care

Rick Barbosa