ISSUE 55 • August 24, 2010 Your e-connection to CGA-BC
Promote Your Volunteer Work
If you are a volunteer, we want to know about your good work. Just fill in our seven-question survey and we'll post the results on our website. We'll learn how diverse our volunteer efforts are and you'll have a chance to promote the charities and institutions near to your heart as we link to the sites of those not-for-profit organizations.
As word spreads and our volunteer database grows, we'll feature a Volunteer of the Month in each issue of CGA Update. Get the ball rolling by telling us about your Volunteer Work and what it means to you.
Advance Your Career
Make the most of your leadership potential and take your career to the senior executive level. Check out the CGA-BC Certificate in Executive Leadership—where leaders are made. Learn all you need to know about this exciting opportunity here.
CGA HST Brochure Available
The July 1 implementation date for the Harmonized Sales Tax may not bring harmony to the political front, but it is focusing the minds of B.C.'s CGAs. A sound primer on the new tax is our very own brochure, HST in Canada-BC Edition. View it now.
We've also collected useful HST resources from other sources.
To find out what’s happening with the Association right now, you need to follow us on Twitter. We’re tweeting daily. You can track what we’re up to whether you’re interested as a student, member, potential student, educator or member of the media.
Our aim for 2010 is to donate far more blood and blood products than in previous years. With members, students, staff and our friends and family, we can save more lives.
As rewarding as donating as an individual feels, donating as part of a team is a powerful way to bond and create a strong sense of connection with peers and friends. When you donate together as an office or a chapter, don’t forget to sign in under the CGA-BC Partners for Life team.
Please call 1 (888) 2 DONATE, or visit www.blood.ca to find out how you can give the gift of life.
Subscribe Now to
Your Chapter Newsletter
The best way to stay up-to-date on your chapter's activities and news is by subscribing to your online chapter newsletter. It's easy.
Click on the orange RSS Feed button on the top right of the newsletter.
Select the 'Subscribe to this feed' button to automatically receive new posts via email.
Now you won't need to remember to visit the newsletter online, the news will come to you.
Convocation Moves West
CGA graduates and their supporters: mark your calendar for Saturday, November 27. That's the day Convocation 2010 is coming.
For the first time, we will be holding the ceremony at the new West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre at 1055 Canada Place. This is the highlight of the student calendar and a day of tremendous pride and great memories. Registration forms will be sent out to new grads in August. We will post details such as times and rooms in the near future, so check back to the Convocation page under Events on the website.
DIVERSEcity Workshop (Surrey)
UBC Business Week & BBQ (Vancouver)
Student Recruitment at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey)
CGA-BC Conference (Whistler)
SUCCESS Workshop (Burnaby)
Uvic Workplace Skills Conference (Victoria)
CGA Golf Classic (Kelowna)
TRU Professional Accounting Night (Kamloops)
SFU Career Days (Burnaby)
SFU Graduate & Professional School Fair (Burnaby)
HRMA Regional Golf Classic (Richmond)
PEP Workout with Reid Hurst Nagy Inc. (Richmond)
Content not available.
Under policies developed and approved by the CGA-BC Board of Governors, disciplinary notices expire in the greater of two years or until all discipline requirements have been met. As a result, this newsletter has been edited to reflect that change.
Maintaining Public Trust
As part of CGA-BC's commitment to upholding our high standard of conduct, members and students are reminded to visit the
Protecting the Public section of our website on an ongoing basis. Open to the public, this section relates to our commitment to transparency and full disclosure. It explains our ethics process and provides up-to-date information on public advisories and the latest disciplinary summaries.
Free In-person Tax Seminars
Did you know you can attend free events and seminars held by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to help you understand your tax-related obligations or those of your client?
The CRA's popular tax seminars are held across Canada and give individuals, businesses, and their representatives important information about how to manage their tax affairs. Seminars for individuals include such topics as: seniors and income tax, the Child Disability Benefit, and newcomers to Canada. Seminars for businesses include topics such as: registering for a GST/HST account, payroll requirements, T4 slip preparation, and more.
Go to B.C. events to register for an event in your area.
If you’re interested in webcasts, video seminars and online courses, it’s time to check out PD Net. Visit today and discover a wealth of opportunities on a huge variety of topics. You’ll find seminars on ethics, taxes, leadership and more. And all of these seminars are designed for working CGAs like you.
Gordon Ruth, FCGA, Appointed as CGA-BC Executive Director
On behalf of the Board of Governors of the Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia, I am pleased to announce that Gordon Ruth, BA, FCGA, has been appointed as our new Executive Director. Gordon has occupied several roles in the public sector ranging from the federal government to BC Hydro. In addition, he spent some 15 years with the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver) where he became the Chief Financial Officer and helped steward the financial affairs of this regional federation of 22 member municipalities and one electoral district.
Gordon has an extensive background volunteering with the CGA Association at the provincial, national and chapter level. He served on the CGA-BC Board of Governors from 1998 to 2005 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2000. He then served as President of the Association in 2002. Nationally, he served on the CGA-Canada Board of Directors from 2000-2004 as well as on the CGA-Canada Executive Committee. He was active in both the Vancouver and Southern Vancouver Island chapters. He has received a number of awards recognizing his contribution to the Association, including the J.M. Macbeth Award, a Fellowship Designation and a Life Membership.
This is a new and very significant chapter in CGA-BC's history and I am delighted that Gordon is going to help guide us as Executive Director. His passion for the CGA designation, and the leadership experience gained supporting large organizations with multiple stakeholders, will serve CGA-BC well as it addresses the changing needs of the profession and its members and students.
Gordon is married to Miki and lives in Burnaby. He is a long-time member of the North Shore Hikers Association and he and Miki spend as much time as possible hiking and trail running in the south coastal mountains of B.C.
The Association's Annual General Meeting will be held in the Mount Currie Ballroom of the Whistler Hilton Resort in Whistler on Saturday, September 18, 2010, beginning at 9 a.m.
The Notice of AGM, Agenda and Agenda Package (including the President's Report, Financial Reports and all Notices of Motion) will not be mailed. Please go to the Association’s website to access this information.
The official Proxy Form is available on the CGA-BC website as a downloadable PDF. It will not be mailed.
Like several CGA-BC staff Ted Tanaka, Manager, Regulatory Practices, is taking a few days off at the end of August. That's not news in itself, but Ted's idea of vacation does differ somewhat from his coworkers.
"I'm off to Haiti to see how the reconstruction is going," says Ted through a summer cold.
Ted, unbeknownst to many of his CGA-BC co-workers, is the President and Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Red Cross Society, a two-year position he began on June 20 of this year after serving the Society for 16 years.
Ted will be overseeing the progress the CRC and Haiti in general has made since the massive Jan. 12 earthquake reduced most of the impoverished nation to rubble. Specifically, he'll be interested in the advances made and obstacles still confronting the CRC in the cities of Leogane and Jacmel, where Canadian volunteers have taken the lead in building houses for the homeless. And he's also looking forward to meeting the people the Red Cross is helping.
Although his itinerary isn't finalized yet, Ted knows he'll have meetings with the Haitian government and Haitian Red Cross in the capital Port au Prince and make field visits to Leogane and Jacmel, the sites of the CRC's major construction efforts.
"Time is always tight on these visits and there are always meetings with government and NGO officials that one cannot avoid, but I like to go to as many field missions as possible."
The Canadian Red Cross's construction efforts are focused on completing 15,000 homes in Leogane and Jacmel as soon as humanly possible. With the arrival of September comes hurricane season in the central Caribbean. The CRC has come up with a portable, partially preassembled house that can withstand winds of 240 kph.
See a six-minute video on the work of the CRC's Emergency Response Unit in Haiti.
Starting on August 29, Ted will be writing a special blog from Haiti for CGA-BC members and students. Join us for his daily updates and learn his impressions of how Haiti's people are coping seven month after the earthquake.
To learn more about Ted's work with the Red Cross, his vision for the future of the organization, and what motivates him to volunteer, see our Parting Shot profile of Ted in the September issue of Outlook magazine.
Donate online to support the Canadian Red Cross Society's work in Haiti, help victims of the Pakistan floods, or give to the Red Cross and let them decide where the money can be best spent.
CGA-BC's 2010 Conference is just a few weeks away and the sense of anticipation is building.
See the Peak to Pique Conference newsletter to keep updated on additions to the agenda, notices of special events like this year's breakfast speakers Arlene Dickinson and Dr. Laugh, aka Chris Johnson, the Chocolate-Covered Diamond Derby at the Tradeshow, the Friday Fun Night, and much more. For example, did you know we're opening Conference at 7 pm on September 14 with the Welcome Reception in the Grand Foyer at the Whistler Conference Centre?
Conference is also a great way to keep up with developments that affect your professional and personal lives. The extensive PD schedule includes exciting speakers and stimulating professional development sessions. These seminars are filling up quickly, so, if you want to secure your place in a PD session, do not wait much longer. Register for PD now.
Members intending to provide public practice services are required to meet the rules for entry into public practice. At the core of these services are the standards of the accounting profession. Increased standards over the last few years have placed a demand for more intense development of the competence of public practitioners. This has resulted in the need for registrants in public practice to have training and resources available to them early in the registration process.
Most public practice entry requirements are determined at the national level through CGA-Canada. Over the past year changes to these requirements were made and will now become effective for CGA-BC members in early 2011. With the exception of the Case Study, all changes listed below are being implemented to meet the national standard.
As of January 1, 2011 the requirements for full registrations to entry into public practice will change as follows:
a) Full registrations will be separated into two categories:
Compilation and Tax.
b) In addition to attaining competence in assurance engagements, the category will require an experience assessment based on:
1,250 assurance hours and
200 tax hours.
If a member does not have sufficient competence and hours of experience prior to registration, he or she will be required to engage a mentor.
c) Tax 2 or the Tax 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) is mandatory and must be done as a prerequisite.
d) Auditing 2 or the Auditing 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) is a new requirement, to be completed:
as a prerequisite for those registering in the Assurance category;
on a post-registration basis after registration for those registering in the Compilation and Tax category.
e) A comprehensive Competency Assessment Process will be used to determine a registrant's experience level.
f) The Case Study requirement, which examines a registrant's ability to research legislation impacting clients, will become a prerequisite rather than a post-registration requirement.
For further information, contact Karen Fiorini, CGA, Manager, Quality Assurance, at (604) 730-6231 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 ext 231.
CGA-BC MLA Luncheon Makes Big News During Small Business Month
Cindy Choi, CGA
Minister Iain Black
The Association is making a very big splash during this year's Small Business Month, hosting an MLA luncheon in the provincial capital that will feature an address from Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. The luncheon takes place October 4 at the Hotel Grand Pacific.
Attending the event will be MLAs from the Government and Opposition, representatives of Victoria business organizations, small business owners, Vancouver Island CGAs and the news media.
One CGA will perform two roles at the luncheon. CGA-BC Second Vice-President Cindy Choi will represent the Association as a member of the Board of Governors, and, as one of the Premier's Small Business Roundtable advisors, will present Black with the Roundtable's annual report on the state of small business in B.C.
Communications Director Edward Downing says the event is a great profile builder for the Association. "We've worked closely with several government ministries over the past several years on behalf of our members. We've made great progress on issues such as inter-provincial labour mobility for CGAs, reducing red tape, and providing a balanced perspective on the HST, but the luncheon is a great way to meet MLAs from all ministries, ridings and parties."
Choi said she was especially proud the government had selected CGA-BC to host the Small Business Roundtable's presentation. "Naturally, we're delighted. It's a clear acknowledgement from this government that CGAs are the leaders when it comes to financial and accounting expertise for small and medium-sized business, which is BC's greatest economic driver and its largest employer."
The permanent Small Business Roundtable, established in 2005, was created as a forum for partnership between government and small business owners and operators to provide ongoing dialogue and input on issues and opportunities to ensure small business success. Each year the Roundtable conducts six to 10 consultations in communities across B.C. and has met with hundreds of small business owners, operators and association representatives.
Public Practice News
CRA Issues a Working Paper Policy Statement
The CRA website now includes the Agency's policy regarding the approach used to acquire information and documentation for the purpose of administering the Income Tax Act and the Excise Act.
Of particular interest to public practitioners is CRA's ability to access working papers. This is stated in two sections of the policy:
In the "Requesting Information" section it states:
"For example, since accountants' and auditors' working papers relate to a taxpayer's books and records, they may be necessary, although not routinely required, in the determination of a taxpayer's liabilities and entitlements. Officials may narrow the scope of their review, or expand the scope, depending on the existence and nature of compliance issues identified."
In the "Inspections" section it states:
"Large or complex cases may include thousands of transactions and numerous audit issues. Although not routinely required, officials may request tax accrual working papers. These documents are often prepared by the taxpayer's internal tax or accounting personnel but can include, where necessary, those prepared by an independent auditor or accountant."
Form T661 and its guide have had minor changes made, but effective June 1, 2010 a new guide was issued called The SR&ED Technical Review: A Guide for Claimants (Draft). The guide provides an overview of the claim review process to help claimants preparing for the technical review.
The CRA has also produced their Claim Review Manual, to be used internally by their research and technology advisors. It outlines their requirements concerning review procedures.
You're Invited to the Annual Public Practice Meeting
Practitioners, you and your professional staff are invited to attend the Annual Public Practice Meeting held each year during the CGA-BC conference. This year's meeting takes place in Whistler on Thursday, September 16. You will have the opportunity to learn and discuss how to have a healthy dose of profitability while maintaining a balanced life. Topics include marketing, systems and technology, client relations/communications, billing/collections and retirement/succession. Questions, ideas and comments from participants are highly encouraged.
Deadline for Public Practice Advisory Group Nominations is October 15
Members in Public Practice who wish to volunteer for the 2011 Public Practice Advisory Group (PPAG) are invited to submit their names for consideration. Eligibility is based on being a CGA-BC member engaged or employed in the practice of public accounting.
Criteria for selection are partially based on regional representation, as follows: three candidates from the Lower Mainland, one from Southern Vancouver Island, and two to represent the balance of the province.
The PPAG advises the Director of Public Practice on matters relating to the practice of public accounting and the policies regarding registration and operation of public accounting practices. In addition, this group recommends policies to ensure that the public interest is adequately protected.
Please contact Brigitte Ilk, CGA, for your Advisory Group application form. Submission deadline is October 15.
Next Tax & Financial Strategies Course Begins January 12, 2011
The next session of the Tax and Financial Strategies Program (T&FS) starts January 12, 2011. This real-life case study approach to tax and financial planning for owner-managed businesses addresses the life cycle of a business from incorporation through to business succession and includes dealing with a CRA audit and the death of a shareholder. Participants address topics that include income tax, HST and GST, the accounting treatment of advanced tax issues and correspondence with lawyers.
This 10-month program consists of semi-monthly teleconference discussions and five case study assignments. Participants obtain up to 40 verifiable CPD hours from the comfort of their own office or home. T&FS will be of interest to both new and established practitioners seeking to upgrade their skills and improve their practices in the area of taxation, by providing value-added services while minimizing the risk of professional liability.
The course takes an extended break during tax season.
Ken Eng, CGA, of Smithers, had this to say after completing the 2009 session:
"As a member new to public practice, I found the T&FS course an excellent introduction to the complicated and potentially costly tax issues for proprietorships, small businesses and estate planning. Deborah Graystone presented the course materials in a comfortable and knowledgeable manner. They also were a great resource during the program and now serve as reference guides."
Two Public Practice Speed Interview Nights are planned for this Fall. These free evening events are designed to provide CGA firms with the opportunity to employ quality staff.
If your firm needs to find quality staff quickly, consider participating in these events. The next Vancouver Speed Interview Night will be held on October 18; the Fraser Valley Interview Night takes place in Surrey on November 4.
To register your firm for either event, contact Anita Fortune. Job seekers interested in attending should check CGAjobs.org for registration start dates.
Are You Ready For The New Estate Planning Rules?
Carmen S. Thériault, Q.C
Emma A. McArthur, LLB
It's axiomatic that one can't change death or taxes, but that hasn't stopped the provincial government from trying to revise the meaning of both. The Wills, Estates and Succession Act, expected to come into force in 2011, will consolidate a number of separate succession-related
enactments and modernize the statutory and common law of succession to property on death in British Columbia.
Register today for a special breakfast seminar on October 5 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, "Overview of Significant Changes to the Law Governing Wills, Estates and Jointly Owned Property."
The new act will bring about significant change. The rules of survivorship, spousal rights, beneficiary designations and what constitutes a will–these are just a few of the issues professionals advising clients in estate planning will need to plan for prior to the implementation of the new Act.
Other topics covered in this seminar include:
How the Pecore decision changed the law
The importance of documenting intention regarding jointly owned property
Gifting the "right of survivorship."
Our keynote speakers are leading figures in the Canadian wills and estates field: Carmen S. Thériault, Q.C., partner at Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP, Vancouver, and Emma A. McArthur, a lawyer also practicing in Bull, Housser & Tupper's Wills, Trusts & Estates Practice.
CPD HOURS: 2
PRICE: $108 CGA-BC members and students, $130 public (prices include HST).
Registration and breakfast - 7:30 am - 8 am
First presentation - 8 am - 8:30 am
WESA – Significant Changes to the Law Governing Estate
Planning and Administration–Carmen S. Thériault, Q.C.
Second presentation - 8:30 am - 9 am
The Fallout From the Decision in Pecore–Implications
for Jointly Owned Assets–Emma McArthur, LLB
On Tuesday, May 10 CGA-BC's recruiting team called eight SFU business students on the carpet...and on tile, hardwood, laminate flooring and even on area rugs. No, the students weren't in trouble, far from it; instead, they were special guests of End of the Roll's PEP WorkOut session.
The students, who are all considering the CGA program as the next step in their accounting careers, learned first-hand how influential a door-opener the CGA designation can be from the End of the Roll head office accounting department in Surrey. The students heard CFO Ted Cartier, CGA, extol several virtues of the CGA program training, including its practicality, thoroughness, flexibility, and the way it prepares CGAs for careers in industry accounting and finance positions.
One student said she most appreciated meeting the staff at End of the Roll. "Everyone was very nice, and you can get a feel of the work environment and atmosphere of the workplace."
End of the Roll is a B.C.-based multi-million dollar company with 55 local operations in six provinces, from Duncan, B.C. to St. Hubert, Quebec. All of its accounting and finance functions are handled in the Surrey headquarters.
End of the Roll is one of more than 100 companies participating in CGA-BC's Partners in Employment Program.
Member Benefit Partner: Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
Shangri-La's legendary hospitality has arrived in North America with the opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver. Located in the vibrant downtown Vancouver business and shopping district, this 119-room luxury hotel occupies the first 15 floors of a 61-storey landmark building, the tallest in the city.
Guests at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver will find luxurious guestrooms and suites decorated in a contemporary Asian style, with many rooms featuring private balconies and stunning views of the city.
Most Finance Executives Confident in Business Growth
Financial executives are more optimistic today than they were this time last year, according to the annual Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor. The vast majority (83 per cent) of financial leaders surveyed worldwide are at least somewhat confident in their companies’ growth prospects. In Canada that figure was 91 per cent. Respondents also reported challenges locating skilled professionals for certain jobs.
But while a healthier business environment and rising recruiting difficulties suggest the job market in accounting and finance may be improving globally, employers today seem less concerned about keeping top performers than they were one year ago. Forty-five per cent of those surveyed said they are at least somewhat worried about their ability to retain staff in the coming year, down from 53 per cent in 2009.
However, more than a third (35 per cent) of Canadian finance employers are at least somewhat worried about their ability to keep top performers.
The Vancouver Chapter has arranged for discounted tickets for the fair at the PNE for members and students and their families.
Fair Admission tickets are $15 (regular $20), Fair Senior Gate passes are $7 (regular $8), and Fair Gate & Ride Jr. combinations are $38 (regular $49.75).
To receive this special pricing, you must purchase the ticket online using the special CGA promotional code. Please email us with your member or student number at firstname.lastname@example.org for the code. Payment can be made with credit cards but you must have a printer in order to print out the tickets purchased. Click on www.pne.ca/groupsales to purchase your tickets.
When Your Startup Gets Bought
What do B.C. tech entrepreneurs do after their first big success? Brent Holliday reports.
Rogers, Cellphones Wreck Relationships
Rogers customer sues when cell phone bill reveals illicit affair.
The Boom of BC Addiction Treatment
One quarter of all Canadian treatment facilities are in B.C. And there's little evidence the boom is helping.