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ISSUE 67 • December 16, 2011
Your e-connection to CGA-BC

Get the latest scoop on CGA-BC's hottest jobs...





CGA-BC PD

See our PD schedule for 2011.


Certificate In Executive Leadership

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.




Chapter PD

See which professional development seminars the chapters are presenting through November.
CPD Reporting Deadline is January 31, 2012

The January 31, 2012 reporting deadline for the 2011 reporting year will soon be upon us. If you still have CPD to do, remember that hours must be completed by December 31, 2011 in order to be eligible for the 2011 reporting year. Your hours for the current cycle can be viewed when you are logged into your Report CPD page by clicking on the Summary tab located in the blue bar in the upper left corner of the screen.


Check Us Out on Social Media

TwitterFacebook

Whether you’re interested as a student, member, potential student, educator or member of the media, you can follow us on Twitter. We're extremely social. With more than 2,100 Twitter followers, CGA-BC has the most followers of any provincial accounting designation in Western Canada.

You can also follow us as a fan on Facebook.


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.

  1. Visit the Chapter Newsletter page of our website.
  2. Select your newsletter.
  3. Click on the orange RSS Feed button on the top right of the newsletter.
  4. 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.

 

Disciplinary Summary

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.

New Routes to Professional Development

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.
Merger Talks Continue
An Update from CGA-BC's CEO Gordon Ruth, FCGA

It has been just under two months since CGA-BC joined talks to unify the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant banner. Since then, CGA-Canada, Alberta, Newfoundland, Yukon and Saskatchewan have also joined the table with our colleagues from the other two bodies. And these weeks have seen extensive talks and meetings as the CGA bodies work to develop a proposal for our members here in B.C. and across the country.

At this time, I can tell you that our discussions are well underway between our national and provincial boards and councils. As you can appreciate, discussions of this type are complex, with several issues that will take time to address and resolve.

We will provide updates to our members as we reach key milestones in the process as we move into the New Year. As always, please feel free to contact me directly at the Association's office or by sending your comments to merger@cga-bc.org.
Eco Forum Hears Auditor General and Climate Change
Experts on Sustainability
CGAs Well Positioned to Provide Value on Energy Management


John Doyle

VANCOUVER – Any mention of British Columbia's Auditor General, even in a room full of CGAs, is unlikely to lead to a discussion about the important role the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) plays in protecting the environment. In fact, until last week, few people even knew that the OAG provided any oversight whatsoever in this little-reported field.

That all changed when Auditor General John Doyle made his keynote presentation at CGA-BC's Eco Forum. More than 200 CGAs heard Doyle deliver an entertaining and enlightening address entitled "Sustainability and the Environment Through an Audit Lens."

[Read More...]
Meet CGA-BC's 2012 Board of Governors
2012 Board Of Governors

A new Chair, Executive Committee and Board of Governors will take the helm of the Association on January 1, 2012. Newly elected Chair Cindy Choi, FCGA, will continue CGA-BC’s participation and leadership in the business and accounting community in British Columbia.

The Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia (CGA-BC) is pleased to announce its Board of Governors for 2012:

Cindy Choi, BAccS, FCGA, has been elected Chair of the Board of Governors for 2012. As of January 1, 2012, Ms. Choi will be a Partner with Chan Choi & Company, Certified General Accountants in Victoria and serves on the provincial government's Small Business Roundtable. She joined the Board in 2007 and represents the Southern Vancouver Island region. Ms. Choi resides in Victoria.

Candace Nancke, CGA, is the Association's First Vice-Chair. Ms. Nancke is the Managing Partner with the CGA public accounting firm Loren, Nancke & Company. She joined the Board in 2009. In 2012 she will chair the Association's Finance and Strategic Planning Committees. Ms. Nancke resides in Coquitlam.

Bruce Hurst, CFP, FCGA, is the Past-Chair and Treasurer of the Board of Governors for 2012. Mr. Hurst is a Director and Senior Shareholder with the public practice firm of Reid Hurst Nagy Inc. in Richmond. He will chair the Appeals Committee and Practice Review Committee in 2012. He joined the Board in 2007 and resides in Surrey.


[Read More...]
CGA CareerFit Attracts Downtown Professionals
to Group and Individual Sessions
CareerFit


CGA-BC's recruiters are renowned for visiting every major campus in B.C., but there are many more people who don't go to school who would consider the CGA program if only they had time during their working day. As the saying goes, if the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. In the case of CareerFit, more than 100 potential CGA students visited UBC Robson Square to learn how joining B.C.'s fastest growing accounting designation could advance their careers.

"We called the event CareerFit because we wanted to highlight the flexibility of the program," said CGA-BC Recruitment & Employment Manager Jas Randhawa, CGA.

[Read More...]
UK Researchers Survey Roles of Accountants
as Sustainability Advisors
Earlier this month at the CGA Eco Forum, Auditor General John Doyle spoke at length of his office's evolution as a performer of environmental audits. That evolution of clients and sustainability topics began with the Office of the Auditor General itself and advanced to reports on groundwater management, ecological integrity, the Agricultural Land Commission, and the Environmental Assessment Office, to name a few.

Now Professor Laura Spence and Dr. Gloria Agyemang of the Centre for Research into Sustainability at Royal Holloway, University of London are working with CGA's global partner, the ACCA, on a research project that examines the possible role of accountants as advisors to small firms on environmental sustainability issues.

Their project involves interviews with accounting practitioners and small and medium sized enterprises. They are interested to understand the potential market for accounting practitioners in this area. If you provide this sort of work on behalf of small or medium sized enterprises, the Centre in Research into Sustainability would like to interview you. Please email Paul Brar, CGA, Public Practice Coordinator, CGA-Canada, to learn how you can take part.


ProFile

CRA Announces Indexation of 2012 Personal Tax and
Benefit Amounts
The Canada Revenue Agency has released specific 2012 personal income tax and benefits amounts indexed to inflation. Most amounts will take effect on January 1, 2012, with certain exceptions occurring as of July 1, 2012. See the chart comparing 2011 and 2012 indexed amounts. The amounts reflect an indexation increase of 2.8 per cent for 2012.
IT Forum Marries Technology to Productivity
Two-day PD bonanza inspires members to make the most of their high tech tools

November 7 - 8, 2011

"You always remember your first," goes the time-worn adage to the lovelorn.

True, but nor will those lovers of technology who took part in the first CGA-BC IT Forum soon forget their experience.

Whether measured by attendance figures or aha! moments, the two-day professional development extravaganza was a success, as 167 attendees made the most of the 14 workshops.

"Whenever you put on something new, you are taking a risk," noted CGA-BC PD Manager Yasmine Moulin. "But with the ultra-high quality of speakers and the topicality of the seminars, members clearly saw the value in the IT Forum."

Moulin called the inaugural two-day affair a special accomplishment—so much so that the second IT Forum is already in the works for February 2013.

Highlights from the forum included a seminar from one of B.C.'s most successful bloggers, Rebecca Bollwitt, aka Miss 604; Blackberry tips and tricks from Darcy LaRocque, Founder of Swirl Solutions; increasing productivity with Outlook from K2 Enterprises Canada CEO and author of the annual CGA-BC Accounting Software Review, Alan Salmon; and a fun look at digital trends and hot gadgets with Gabriel Vitus, Vice-President of Business Information Systems for CGA-Canada.



BFL

Accounting Software Survey Needs Your Input
The Fall issue of Outlook magazine includes the comprehensive annual accounting software review by Alan Salmon. To help members gain a better understanding of software practices and trends, we ask you to complete the survey linked below. It should take no more than three minutes.

The software review is an exclusive service of CGA-BC that covers all of the major accounting software solutions.

All respondents will be entered in a draw for an iPad2 and one of three $100 gift cards for gas.

See the survey now.
Planning to Prepare T1s?
If you are a CGA preparing individual T1 tax returns, with or without schedules, you are required to register this limited practice with the Association. See the Register in Public Practice page for details on registration requirements.

Effective September 2011, members and students preparing T1s on a voluntary basis are not required to register as long as the services are provided to family and close friends only. Otherwise, registration is required.
Register for Per Diem Services During Tax Season
Members and students, if you have Canadian public practice experience, consider registering in the Per Diem Listing Program. This service provides temporary workers to our CGA firms during times of excess work that cannot be handled by their normal staffing levels. To qualify, you must have working paper file software experience and have a member or student status that allows you to be working. Submit your registration form to be considered for this program.
Member Benefits: Coast Surrey Guildford Hotel
10410 158th Street, Surrey, BC
T 604-930-4700; F 604-930-4702;
E j.tee@coasthotels.com

The Coast Surrey Guildford Hotel is conveniently located off Trans Canada Highway 1 exit 50, in the Guildford area of North Surrey. Nearby attractions include the Guildford Town Centre Mall, Tynehead Regional Park and the Guildford Golf and Country Club.


The Hotel features 77 guestrooms, two meeting rooms up to 750 sq ft, a fitness centre, all year-round heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi, complimentary breakfast buffet with hot items, high-speed wireless internet, complimentary local calls, complimentary parking, and an ABC restaurant onsite.

Room Category Present - Dec 31, 2011 Jan 1 - Apr 30, 2012
Oct 1 - Dec 31, 2012
May 1 - Sept 30, 2012
Comfort Room
- 2 Queen Beds
$87
$87
$107
Superior Suites
$107
$107
$127
Premium Suites
$127
$127
$147


Please book online at http://www.coastpromos.com/21y or toll free at 1 (800) 663-1144 and quote: CGA.
Public Practice News
Inaugural CGA-BC Practitioners Symposium

Practitioners, join us May 25 - 26, 2012 at the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport, for CGA-BC's inaugural Practitioners Symposium. Friday, May 25 will be an evening of networking followed by a day of seminars. Featured presenters are Ronald Baker and David Cottle. Both speakers have been featured in Outlook since 2009. Ron Baker's self-proclaimed mission is: "to once and for all bury the billable hour and time sheet." David Cottle, author of four books, has found definite features common to most highly successful firms. For more information and to register, contact Anita Fortune at (604) 714-2350, 1 (800) 565-1211, ext 350 or email afortune@cga-bc.org.


Updated Guide to Understanding Financial Statements Now Available

Here's a marketing resource that practitioners will want to provide to their clients—CGA-BC's updated brochure, "Your Guide to Understanding Financial Statements." This guide explains the purpose of each type of financial statement engagement and provides a corresponding sample communication report. Formerly only available in hard copy, the guide is now in an online version and includes an area for your firm to promote itself.


Competency Testing Has Begun for US Tax Preparers

The Internal Revenue Service is now in phase two of its three-phase process to regulate the tax return preparation industry. Phase one, which commenced in September 2010, required all tax preparers to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) for the 2011 filing season. Renewals of this number for the 2012 filing season commenced in October 2011.

Competency testing is phase two and began in late November 2011. The timing of the exam will vary for individual tax preparers:

a) if you received your PTIN prior to October 2011, you have received a provisional PTIN and have until December 31, 2013 to pass this exam, providing you renew your PTIN annually.

b) after October 2011, if you apply for a PTIN for the first time, passing the competency exam and background and tax compliance check will be required before the PTIN is issued.

Testing is done in-person and is not yet being administered at international locations.

Phase three involves continuing education requirements. They will begin in 2012 and do apply to tax preparers with provisional PTINS who have an extension to pass the competency exam to December 2013. The annual 15 hours of continuing education requirements include:
  • 3 hours of federal tax law updates
  • 2 hours of ethics
  • 10 hours of other federal tax law.

Firm Staffing for T1 Season

Sometimes the best way to expand your staff is to hire members or students on a contract basis for the short term, especially for the T1 season. To help firms locate these individuals, CGA-BC has developed a Per Diem Listing Program.

Here's how it works:
  • Practitioners contact the CGA-BC Public Practice Division to describe the position that needs to be filled and their requirements.
  • We determine which members and students registered on the Listing best meet the firm's criteria and supply their profiles. Practitioners decide on the final selections and contact the candidates directly.
  • All contract terms are agreed upon by the practitioner and Listing registrant. Please note that CGA-BC does not provide any assurance as to whether individuals are an appropriate match. All registrants have Canadian public practice experience, and some also have industry familiarity.
If you're gearing up to staff your firm for T1 season, consider the Per Diem Listing Program and email Anita Fortune, Coordinator, Advisory Services, or call her at (604) 714-2350, toll free at 1 (800) 565-1211 ext 350.


Practice Management and Networking Resource for Practitioners

Small Business BC is a multi-faceted resource centre for the small business community, offering knowledge-based business products and services. Funding is provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development.

This resource may be of assistance to CGA public practice firms and their clients.

Its website includes:
  • articles/blogs on topics such as branding, domain names and networking with other professionals;
  • products and services including a bookstore for business publications, and free resources and tools such as an overview of financing programs;
  • seminars and other events of interest to the small business community;
  • a free newsletter; and
  • in-person training courses throughout the province.
Recruitment Events for December, January
December 21 Information Session at CRA (Victoria)
January 13-15 JDC West (Edmonton)
January 25 Information Session at UBC, Accounting Club (Point Grey campus)