VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia is pleased to announce that Cindy Choi, CGA, of Victoria, B.C. was elected Second Vice-President by the CGA-BC Board of Governors on June 19, 2010. She now joins the CGA-BC Executive.
CGA-BC President John Pankratz, FCGA, welcomed Ms. Choi's election. "Cindy has been an outstanding member of our Board and she brings great experience and new ideas to the leadership of the province's most dynamic professional association," said Mr. Pankratz.
Ms. Choi, who sits on the Small Business Roundtable with the provincial Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, was clear about what she believes is the primary focus of the Association. "I want to build on the tremendous work our Association has done to raise the profile of CGAs with government, the business community, post-secondary students, and with the general public," she said. "I will continue to support CGA-BC's long-term goal of seeing CGA recognized as the accounting designation of choice in British Columbia."
CGA Ontario Celebrates the Right to
License CGAs as Public Accountants
The Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario (CGA Ontario), has been granted the authority to license CGAs to practise public accounting.
Those seeking the services of an independent accountant will now have more choice and better access to those services.
"Certified general accountants can now be licensed as public accountants — which includes the right to issue audit reports in Ontario — a function CGAs in the rest of Canada already perform," Doug Brooks, FCGA, Chief Executive Officer for the CGA Ontario, said in a June 23 media release.
"Our authorization to issue these licences speaks to the professional expertise and skill that CGAs bring to their work in all sectors of the economy and to the rigour of the professional requirements that they must meet."
CGA-BC President John Pankratz, FCGA, hailed the news as historic and long overdue. "This is a great day for CGA Ontario, for consumers in that province, and for our designation as a whole. For the first time in our history, CGAs from coast to coast to coast will be able to offer audit services to public companies. On behalf of our Association, congratulations to the men and women of CGA Ontario who have worked long and hard for this day."
CGA Ontario, which represent 20,000 CGAs and 8,000 students, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario are the only two accounting bodies in Ontario authorized to license their members to practise public accounting.
In its media release CGA Ontario said it "is proud of its contribution to reforms in the regulation of public accounting, resulting in licences being awarded based on qualification, not designation, and better access and more choice for those who use public accounting services."
"CGAs offer a broad range of services to clients and employers in all areas of professional practice," said Frank Mensink, FCGA, Chair of the CGA Ontario Board of Directors. "The fact that CGAs are entitled to fully practise in whatever segment of the profession that they choose is a significant point in history, one that will benefit the province of Ontario."
CGA-Canada's President and CEO agreed.
"This decision means that businesses and consumers in Ontario will now benefit from the same competitive marketplace and high standards for public accounting that are in place throughout the rest of the country," said Anthony Ariganello, FCGA, President and CEO of CGA-Canada. "True competition leads to better accountants, better professional services, and higher standards of regulation."
CGA-BC members interested in becoming licensed public accountants in Ontario should contact Sarosh Contractor, CGA, Manager of Professional Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finance Minister Expresses Confidence in Lead Up to G20
Call for Nominations - CGA-BC Board of Governors
Your Association is looking for qualified leaders to serve as members of the Board of Governors. If you or someone you know is right for the position, please complete the nomination form linked below.
NOTICE OF VACANCIES
There are FIVE vacancies for the 2011 Board of Governors.
A candidate must reside in the electoral district for which he or she is nominated.
LOWER MAINLAND REGION - District 1
Candidates are requested for FOUR vacancies. All vacancies are for terms of three years commencing January 1, 2011.
- The incumbent Board member Brian Friedrich, whose current term has expired, is eligible to stand for re-election.
- The incumbent Board member C.Y. Tay, whose current term has expired, is eligible to stand for re-election.
- The incumbent Board member Joanne Pulis will retire having fulfilled the maximum term of service.
- The incumbent Board member Gordon Clissold will retire having fulfilled the maximum term of service.
OKANAGAN/KAMLOOPS REGION - District 4
Candidates are requested for ONE vacancy for a term of three years commencing January 1, 2011.
The incumbent Board member Patrick Keller will retire having fulfilled the maximum term of service.
Members are encouraged to bring qualified leaders forward as nominees. The deadline for nominations is Monday, July 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm.
To learn more about the nomination process and to fill out a nomination form, click on this link:
CGA-BC Board Nominations
A Really, Relay Good Showing
The CGA running team made a little bit of history at the 2010 Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay this past weekend. A little history and a lot of money.
2010 marked the 25th consecutive year a CGA team suited up for the overnight relay. That was one of several accomplishments Team CGA was recognized for at Swangard Stadium early on Sunday morning. Co-captains Gary Mah, CGA, and Ted Prutton, CGA, made several trips to the infield stage as the team was also recognized as:
More than 20 CGAs, friends and family ran, cheered, organized, and raised money. CGA-BC's web team took part, led by Communications Director Edward Downing, who ran the 4.5 km circuit three times. The team was supported by generous donations from the CGA-BC Board and staff.
- Most improved fundraising over $10,000
- Top accounting and finance team
- Fifth largest overall fundraiser - $20,500 ( a 105 per cent increase over 2009 and a team record)
- Raising more than $200,000 over team history.
SFU Business Students Throng to President's Address
More than 110 SFU business students, CGAs, PEP employers and Association staff gathered to hear CGA-BC President John Pankratz, FCGA, discuss the B.C. economy and opportunities availed to those who gain the CGA designation. The June 7 networking event, held at SFU's Diamond Alumni Centre in Burnaby, is a highlight of the CGA-BC President's speaking series and a key recruiting event.
Play your cards right. Simon Fraser University business student Yvonne Chen makes a connection with PEP employer Rod Fung, CGA, Senior Analyst, Finance for Overwaitea Food Group, at the SFU President's Address function.
See the photo gallery.
Accounting Among Highest-Demand Occupations
Despite the recent (or ongoing) recession, employers need to work harder than ever to attract and keep top-flight talent, especially in science, technology, and accounting. That's the word from the Conference Board of Canada's report, "Valuing Your Talent: Human Resources, Trends and Metrics," which surveyed 167 human resources leaders in Canada.
The aging workforce, a smaller pool of workforce entrants, and a swifter-than-predicted economic recovery have combined to make leading talent a flight risk.
"A growing economy and an aging workforce mean that it is just a matter of time before pressure in labour markets begins to build again," said Ruth Wright of the Conference Board. The statistics bear out her report. While the national unemployment rate peaked at 8.7 per cent in August 2009, the rate for people in high-demand occupations—including accountant-is less than three per cent. As the economy recuperates, restraint measures taken during the recession such as wage freezes, unpaid leaves, and cuts to employee education will have to be dropped and reversed, said Wright.
in the Vancouver Sun.
How to Fix Interprovincial Disputes
By Anthony Ariganello, FCGA
From the June 2 issue of the Financial Post
The recent signing of the New West Partnership by the governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan is the latest positive step -- albeit a regional one -- toward enabling Canadians to work and conduct business across provincial borders. However, when Canada's trade ministers meet to discuss interprovincial trade in June, there will still be room for improvement.
Trade and labour mobility disputes can sometimes seem absurdly bureaucratic, like the case of a man from Alberta who was denied an embalmer's licence in Saskatchewan unless he first completed a one-year internship in the province. This, despite the fact he had trained as an embalmer in Saskatchewan and had worked for 15 years as an embalmer in Alberta. To top it off, he lived in the town of Lloydminster, which straddles the provincial boundary, meaning he could legally serve clients from the west side of 50th Avenue, but not from the east side.
Thankfully, most of the sillier laws and tariffs restricting trade and mobility have been corrected and disputes like the Lloydminster example are usually easy to rectify. But there are trade and mobility disputes that are much more complex involving concerns of public interest such as safety, health and environmental issues.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments have made significant progress over the past two years to improve the movement of both goods and services across the country. For example, recent improvements to the labour mobility provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) are commendable and welcomed advancements.
However, governments themselves have admitted more work needs to be done. One area provincial premiers have highlighted as needing improvement is the person-to-government dispute resolution mechanism of the AIT, the process by which individual Canadians or Canadian businesses and organizations can directly challenge what they perceive to be unfairly protectionist measures of a province or territory.
The free movement of goods and services across the country is a matter that is in the best interests of all Canadians. Effective interprovincial trade and labour mobility helps to build a stronger, more resilient economy, which is better able to respond to the unpredictable nature of global economic pressures. Labour mobility also helps to provide employment opportunities for Canadians, fills gaps in skills and improves access to the services Canadians demand. Enabling professionals to operate across provincial borders makes business transactions seamless.
But effective trade agreements need good enforceable dispute-resolution mechanisms. The Committee on Internal Trade, the federal, provincial and territorial Cabinet ministers who supervise the implementation of the AIT, will meet in Saskatoon this month to consider options for strengthening the Person-to-Government dispute resolution mechanism. It is time to move this issue forward.
The New West Partnership agreement provides another possible model for reaching consensus. It also includes a dispute resolution mechanism, one that applies equally to both governments and people, and includes compliance processes and the provision of monetary penalties.
The history of person-to-government disputes since the AIT was implemented in 1995 is sparse. Unfortunately, even in instances where a dispute has been upheld, the lack of a truly effective enforcement mechanism means the ruling provides little more than moral comfort to the complainant. The government has no obligation to actually correct the wrong. Canadians deserve a process that acts in the public interest to resolve matters of perceived unfairness in trade and labour mobility.
There is some urgency to this matter as well. Canada is currently negotiating with the European Union on a trade deal that could open up attractive new opportunities and markets for Canadian business. The EU effectively speaks for 27 different countries and expects Canada, its provinces and territories to speak with a unified voice. If Canada is to compete successfully on the global stage -- and there is really no option on that matter-- it must demonstrate that it can function as an efficient economic union which includes dealing with trade disputes in an efficient, equitable and expeditious manner.
Anthony Ariganello, FCGA, is president and CEO of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.
CGA-Canada is part of a national business coalition advocating for a revitalized AIT, which includes the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Dairy Processors Association of Canada and the Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada.
June Outlook : No Dry Cleaning Required
A professional image and wardrobe can be powerful tools in a CGA's business arsenal. Find out how you can make style an asset in this month's special focus-on-style edition of Outlook. The June issue will highlight the chic elegance of six CGAs, provide guidance on style and tips on fashion, and include a feature article by Sylvia Tishler on how to make lasting impressions.
In addition, Ed Kroft returns with a Taxmatters column on proposals that could impose further compliance burdens on both taxpayers and practitioners, and Gabriel Vitus' Techview column will review all the latest in portable computing, from laptops to the sleek new iPad. Finally, with summer upon us, get inspired to play outdoors by reading about Gary Mah and his "long-running" involvement with the Easter Seals 24-hour Relay.
CGA Reviews Presentation of Fashion Statements
All Jo-Ann Johnston wanted was a few dress ideas for an upcoming wedding. But after seeing nothing but undernourished 20-somethings modeling fashions that she would never wear dominate the Vancouver Sun's style pages, the fed up Coquitlam CGA and BCIT accounting instructor called the newspaper to task.
What she got in return was much, much more than she bargained for.
After sending the paper an email in which she said, " I'd love to see an article on somebody my age with a closet full of clothes to illustrate what should be thrown out and what should be added for this spring and summer season," the editors turned the tables on her.
Would she be willing to volunteer? they asked.
After some thought–not everyone is willing to share the foibles of their wardrobe with the world, after all–Johnston agreed.
"I'm very private so I had to think hard about it. I don't follow the trends and wouldn't wear most of them [the latest fashions] if I did, but who doesn't want to look good?"
The paper sent fashion consultant Diana Kilgour to Johnston's home, specifically, her walk-in closet to do a closet makeover. Kilgour told her what to throw out and what to keep, what styles suited her and which did not, and took her on several shopping trips. On the upside, Johnston received some solid advice and updated her entire wardrobe; on the downside, she was outed as the owner of '80s garb with a penchant for velvet and a blouse boasting "Star Trek-like shoulders that could go on someone two sizes larger."
Johnston blames her closet. "Look, if I didn't have such a big closet I wouldn't have the space to keep all the old stuff," she laughed.
In the end, Johnston, an MBA who sat on the CGA-BC Board of Governors from 1993 through 1999 and has been the Student Advisory Board Chair for the past 12 years, got a two-page, seven-photo spread in the
June 18 issue
of the paper. Not bad for one email. Better still, she has received plenty of positive attention in the halls and classrooms at BCIT, and a wardrobe she knows looks good on her.
"The reaction has been great, but now it's like, wow, talk about feeling the pressure to look good in the morning! And I've got lots of requests from people who want my "Star Trek blouse."
In keeping with this summer's sartorial sensibility, the June issue of Outlook magazine will feature a cover story about fashion in the workplace. Our supermodels: six stylish CGA-BC members.
Labour Mobility Barriers Still Hurting Canada: C.D. Howe Institute
Barriers to labour mobility in Canada remain a problem, even though Canadian governments have taken steps to reduce them, according to a study released June 3 by the C.D. Howe Institute.
In “Who Can Work Where: Reducing Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada,” author Robert Knox says Canada’s regulated professions and skilled trades, which represent about 11 per cent of the workforce, face barriers to mobility that have negative implications for the country’s productivity, labour supply and future economic prospects.
“Like the rest of the world, Canada will face a labour crunch in the next 10 years. Unless Canada ensures that its professionals and skilled workers can work anywhere in the country, it could limit our ability to attract the people our economy needs,” said Robert.
While Canadian governments have made progress in addressing the issue through revising the relevant chapter in the Agreement on Internal trade (AIT), problems remain. Diverse certification and occupational standards are still obstacles to mobility across provincial borders. For instance, registered psychiatric nurses are not recognized east of Manitoba; foot specialists, podiatrists and chiropodists are recognized in some provinces but not others; and Certified General Accountants and Certified Management Accountants who practice public accounting outside Ontario cannot be licensed as public accountants in Ontario.
These are just three examples of professions that are recognized in some provinces but not others. Provinces can, and have, sought exceptions to the qualifications that they otherwise mutually recognize, and these exceptions are difficult to change. And professionals and workers in skilled trades who are certified in one province, but not another, have no low-cost, timely method of appealing the rejection of their qualifications in the second province.
Knox makes several recommendations to broaden the AIT’s labour mobility chapter and make it more effective. He says governments should establish a national administrative appeal tribunal to resolve disputes between applicants and regulators. The tribunal should be accessible, transparent, low cost and quick, he says.
See the study at http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/backgrounder_131.pdf.
Canadian Companies Struggling to Meet IFRS Conversion Deadline
With only six months to go, half of public companies are less than 60 per cent through their IFRS conversions; just one-third of private companies that will adopt IFRS have completed 60 per cent or more of the transition.
Adapted from a May 26 press release by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundations.
With just over a half a year to go before converting to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), many Canadian companies are falling behind in the race to meet the January 1, 2011 deadline, according to a survey by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundations (CFERF), the research institute of FEI Canada, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Bookkeeping and Other Related Services May Require Public Practice Registration
At the September 2009 CGA-BC Annual General Meeting, a motion was passed that changed the definition of public practice. This change means that certain additional activities, including certain aspects of bookkeeping services, now require registration in public practice. In order to accommodate this, a second limited registration category has been established: "Limited Registration - Other."
Members are required to register in this category if they are providing any of the following:
These members will be exempted from public practice registration requirements with the exception of the following, which must be provided at the time of registration:
- forensic accounting, financial investigation and financial litigation support services; and/or
- an accounting service insofar as it involves summarization, analysis, advice, counsel or interpretation but excluding an accounting service which is incidental to the provider's primary occupation which is not public accounting; and/or
- statutory filing services (e.g. preparation of GST, PST, T4s, T5s, payroll withholdings)
To assist members with their understanding of the new definition of public practice, a Frequently Asked Questions listing is being provided. This listing includes a link to the registration form.
- payment of all applicable fees; and
- proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.
CGA-BC Members Score Deal on Lions Tickets
The BC Lions are offering CGA members and students a roaring good deal: discounted tickets for two games, with $3 from each ticket sold going to the CGA-BC Educational Foundation.
Discounted ticket prices:
- Friday, July 16 vs. Montreal at 7 pm
- Saturday, August 7 vs. Calgary at 7pm
To purchase tickets, call Jeff Hill at (604) 930-5453 and mention that you are with CGA-BC.
- $30 for Bronze seats (incl. taxes)
- $40 for Silver seats (incl. taxes)
(Save $5 per ticket & approx $6 in fees)
Public Practice News
Fees and Insurance Deadlines
Public Practice registration fees are due on or before July 1. Renewal of professional liability insurance is due on or before August 1. Invoices for the Public Practice registration fee were mailed on May 1 and the Association's insurer (AON Reed Stenhouse) sent out their renewal notices in early June. An administration fee of $150 will be levied for public practice fees unpaid by July 1. A separate administration fee of $150 for failure to renew and maintain professional liability insurance by August 1 will be levied.
If public practice registration fees and/or professional liability insurance premiums remain unpaid 30 days after the due date, the member is without notice, deemed to have resigned from public practice unless written notice of extenuating circumstances is received within 30 days from the original due date.
Note that member dues are also payable on or before July 1 each year, after which a $150 administration fee applies. In accordance with Bylaw B114 (a), if annual dues remain unpaid after July 31, the member is without notice deemed to have resigned from membership unless the Board has accepted a written notice of extenuating circumstances. Members who have resigned are automatically deregistered from public practice as a Certified General Accountant.
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 event 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 budgeting, 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. Please submit your name and a short biography by October 15 to Brigitte Ilk, CGA.
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 to accommodate workloads at that time of year. To obtain your copy of the course outline or FAQ list, email Brigitte Ilk, CGA.
Tools to Help with Transitioning to Canadian Auditing Standards
New Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) are effective in Canada for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 14, 2010. They apply to the audits of all financial statements, including those of large and small companies, public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations.
To help make this challenging transition, practitioners have been provided with:
The CICA's Guide to the Canadian Auditing Standards [PDF]
This is an online guide highlights–areas of similarity and difference between CASs and existing Canadian standards as set out in the CICA Handbook - Assurance.
Canadian Auditing Standards Support Tool
This tool identifies standards relevant for each phase of the audit process and compares them to existing audit standards. It also links to a range of practice support resources and learning opportunities.
CRA Wades in on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
By Deborah Graystone, CGA
This article is general in nature and should not be relied upon to replace specific professional advice.
Much has been written on the global convergence towards a single set of high quality accounting standards for use throughout the world. The Accounting Standards Board of Canada (AcSB) has adopted a strategic plan to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by publicly accountable enterprises (PAEs) in Canada. For fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, IFRSs will replace Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) currently applicable to PAEs. It is still not known precisely how IFRS will impact owner-managed business and not-for-profit entities.
Demand Spawns Five New Leadership Seminars
The newly launched Certificate in Executive Leadership program is quickly making friends and influencing some hard-to-impress professionals: namely our members.
To date, those inquiring about and signing up for the certificate program include:
Due to popular demand, we have added five additional core seminars that qualify for the Certificate in Executive Leadership. Four have been added to our November PD Series 2010 at the Hilton Metrotown, Burnaby as follows:
- Directors and VPs of Finance
- Senior Managers in Accounting and Finance
- Public Practitioners.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
NEW Public Speaking for the Executive Leader
Friday, November 19, 2010
NEW Sustaining Strategic Initiatives -
Maintaining Employee Focus on Vision, Strategy, and Values
Monday, November 22, 2010
NEW Strategic Decision-Making
Friday, November 26, 2010
NEW Leading Change
A fifth stand-alone seminar, Stepping Up to Leadership: Leadership Skills and Team Development for the Executive Professional, takes place over November 4 and 5, 2010.
New Partner Offers Stylish Getaways
Nita Lake Lodge and Cable Inn Cove
Located on the quiet shores of Nita Lake, Nita Lake Lodge is a luxury boutique hotel nestled just steps from the base of Whistler Mountain. Its lakeside location, convenient proximity to the train station, and retro-themed restaurant makes Nita Lake Lodge a unique experience.
Cable Cove Inn is a boutique resort situated on Tofino's waterfront that caters exclusively to couples and those wanting to break free from life's daily routine. The Inn's seven contemporary rooms have either in-room Jacuzzi or outdoor hot tubs. Unwind at the Inn's therapeutic spa and indulge the senses while dining at the water's edge cabin.
Nita Lake Lodge and Cable Cove Inn are offering the following specials to CGA members and students:
To make reservations at Nita Lake Lodge, call 1 (888) 755-6482 (NITA) or book online and use the "CGAN" code. To make reservations at Cable Cove Inn, call 1 (800) 663-6449.
- 15 per cent off room rates
- 10 per cent off food and beverage and spa services
- Three-for-two deal (pay for two nights and stay for three) anytime based on availability at Nita Lake Lodge from March through December 15 and September through March at Cable Cove Inn.
Pan Pacific Summer in the City Special
The Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel is currently offering a summer special to members and students. Reservations can be made by contacting the on-site Reservations Sales Department at (604) 662-3223, or toll-free at 1-800-663-1515 and asking for the Certified General Accountants Association of BC corporate rate. Alternatively, reservations can also be booked online.
CGA-BC Summer PD Seminars