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ISSUE 64 • Sept 6, 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 in October.
CGA-BC's Diamond Anniversary

We're recording our thoughts on the Association's 60 Years of Excellence for posterity. Visit our online guestbook and wish CGA-BC happy anniversary, share a memory, reminisce about colleagues, or tell us what the next 60 years might bring CGA.


Check Us Out on Social Media

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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 1,300 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 Summaries

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.

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.
Update on the CA/CMA Merger Discussions

From a series of articles by CGA-BC CEO Gordon Ruth, FCGA, on the CA/CMA merger

Since my last message in July on the merger discussions taking place between Canada's CAs and CMAs, there is little in the way of information to update at this time other than that the two parties are still continuing with their discussions. However, I would like to share a few developments on issues relevant to the merger.

First, the challenge under the Agreement on Internal Trade by the Province of Manitoba on behalf of CGAs against Ontario's restrictive public accounting legislation is moving to a panel phase. The first meeting of the panel is expected in November 2011. The Government of Manitoba provided its submission in late August, with the supporting governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan providing their views in the next few weeks. We will monitor this very closely over the fall and provide updates as they occur.

[Read More...]
Members, Vote for 2012 Board of Governors

vote_now
Four seats on the 2012 Board of Governors are to be decided in this election.

Make sure your voice is heard; cast your ballot online. Our e-voting process is quick, easy and secure. Review the candidates' biographies and vote before the polls close at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 16.

Vote Now.
What's Your Vision for B.C.?

On August 29, CGA-BC was part of a group of business and professional organizations invited to hear a presentation by Premier Christy Clark and Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, on the government's job creation strategy, which is expected to be announced later this month.

The overall focus of the strategy is to implement programs and policy that will enable the creation and protection of jobs in a changing and sometimes tumultuous global economy. The goal of the meeting was to open discussion on the issues and to gain feedback on how to build a stronger, healthier economy.

Premier Clark noted that the province has several natural advantages including our position as Canada's Pacific Gateway which is especially important as our trade and investment with China, India and other parts of Asia grows.

The government is particularly interested in answering three key questions:

  1. What initiatives can government implement in the short term?
  2. What are the barriers to job creation in B.C.?
  3. What is the best way to engage business and other community groups to help facilitate the job creation strategy and to keep it current as the economy changes?

If you believe you have some useful suggestions that will help answer these questions, please email them to publicpolicy@cga-bc.org.

CGA-BC Earns Climate Smart Seal of Approval

VANCOUVER—August 24, 2011—CGA-BC's efforts to track and reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions have been recognized by Climate Smart, which has confirmed the Association's completion of the baseline year of the Climate Smart program.

Climate Smart Businesses Inc. reviews participating business' inventories for adherence to the standards of the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, and found that the Association met its principles of transparency, relevance, accuracy, consistency and completeness.

"We're proud to accept the Climate Sector certificate of completion for our base year," said Association CEO Gordon Ruth, FCGA. "We're also pleased to be the first professional accounting body to be recognized by Climate Smart."

"Energy waste in the small- and medium-sized enterprise sector hasn't received the public attention of the big industrial companies or even the large public sector agencies," noted Ruth, "but it's a huge contributor to GHG emissions, and we are a part of that sector.

"CGAs pride themselves on being efficient fiscal managers and strategic business thinkers. The long-term consequences of the Climate Smart program just make sense-for our business, and for our environment."

[Read More...]
Irene Buys U.S. Citizens (Brief) Respite From IRS
The U.S. 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) originally had an August 31, 2011 reporting deadline. Due to Hurricane Irene, the IRS has extended this deadline to September 9, 2011. The OVDI could affect U.S. citizens living in Canada if they have not previously filed annual tax returns with the IRS. The initiative gives taxpayers the opportunity to report not only taxable income but foreign assets held during tax years 2003 to 2010. Although voluntarily reporting does involve penalties, they are less severe than not reporting at all. Refer to the IRS 2011 OVDI Frequently Asked Questions for further details.
WorkSafe Workout Works Wonders

Worksafe B.C.Joining CGA-BC's Partners in Employment Program offers employers a range of contact with students, CGA students and members. One of the most exciting opportunities for employer and student alike is the PEP Workout, wherein a select group of post-secondary business students is invited to a corporate open house by a single employer.

On July 18, 16 students from SFU's Beedie School of Business and UBC's Diploma in Accounting Program visited WorkSafeBC's Richmond head office to learn first-hand from CGAs employed at the agency.

This was the seventh PEP Workout arranged by CGA-BC's Recruitment team; more telling, it was the first time WorkSafeBC had ever opened its doors to host such an event. Students were introduced to the range of opportunities for CGAs at WorkSafeBC, including several outside the scope of traditional accounting; heard the personal stories and individual career paths of several WorkSafeBC staff; and learned about the internal workings and office culture of the agency.

See a brief video of the WorkSafeBC PEP Workout.

[Read More...]




BFL
Prioritize Simpler Taxes, Says CGA-Canada

Canada's overly complex tax system costs consumers, businesses and the economy more than just tax bills. The time and money spent to comply with our tax system adds up to a significant hidden cost, and today's fragile economic recovery makes it a good time to open the dialogue on tax simplification, says a new study commissioned by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).

The Need for Tax Simplification - A Challenge and an Opportunity highlights key issues around tax simplification. The Association aims to use the study to build awareness and promote discussion among interested stakeholders as a meaningful contribution to an important subject of public policy.

[Read More...]
Convocation Reminders for Graduates

The Convocation Ceremony and Graduates' Banquet & Ball will be held on Saturday, October 15 at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre West (the new building of the Convention Centre), 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver.

Register now for the Ceremony and Banquet & Ball. Email Pardeep Clair if you are not attending either event.

Registration needs to be completed by September 14, 2011.

For more details about the big day, see Convocation 2011.

Join the Convocation Facebook page for updates and giveaways.

See you at Convocation.




Boomer Alert: CPP Contribution Changes Coming in 2012

Starting January 1, 2012, you may have to deduct CPP contributions from the pensionable earnings you pay an employee who is at least 60 years of age but under 70, even if the employees is receiving a CPP or QPP retirement pension.

Under the new rules, an employee who works and receives a CPP or QPP retirement pension will now have to contribute to the CPP if he or she is:

  • 60 to 65 years of age;
  • at least 65 years of age but under 70, unless the employee has filed an election with you or another employer to stop paying CPP contributions (the election will take effect on the first day of the month following the month the employee provides you with a completed and signed election form);
  • at least 65 years of age but under 70, if the employee revoked his or her election to stop paying CPP contributions in 2013 or later.
[Read more...]
Canada Introduces New Anti-Spam Law

New anti-spam legislation by the federal government aims to increase consumer confidence in electronic commerce by protecting Canadian consumers and businesses from spam and related threats.

When the new law is in force, it will prohibit the:

  • Sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient's consent (permission), including messages to e-mail addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone
  • Alteration of transmission data in an electronic message which results in the message being delivered to a different destination without express consent
  • Installation of computer programs without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent, such as an authorized employee
  • Use of false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services
  • Collection of personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law (e.g. the Criminal Code of Canada)
  • Collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission (address harvesting)

Businesses and organizations need to get ready for the new law. Visit Fight Spam to find out how to comment on the draft regulations and learn more about Canada's new anti-spam law.

Register Now for Victoria 2011
Make sure to register early to avoid disappointment as many PD seminars have already sold out.

Conference runs September 21-25.

See Conference 2011 for the Conference program and mail-in registration form, information on accommodations, the Conference schedule, things to do in Victoria, and a video invitation from the Conference Committee.

CGA-BC members and students also have the option of registering online.
Get Ready, IT's Coming...
CGA-BC's 2011 IT Forum Set for November 7 - 8



The business world moves quickly and technological change is a fact of life. CGA-BC's 2011 IT Forum will feature technology workshops that can provide you with practical IT information, technological expertise and the social media tools you require to take your career or business to the next level.

For more information, click here. [PDF - 1.1 MB]

To register, click here.
CGA-BC Hosts Powerhouse Eco Forum on Dec. 1

PowersmartAttend the CGA-BC Eco Forum and learn how to reduce operating costs and save money, all while increasing productivity and boosting stakeholder confidence through environmental reporting.  

This full-day public forum will explore how energy conservation can play an integral role in improving your company’s bottom line, while meeting corporate sustainability objectives. You’ll learn the requirements for building a persuasive business case for conservation. We’ll also share stories and tips to help get you started and review practical examples of what’s possible. 

You’ll come away with the knowledge you need about programs and incentives that will help pay for energy-efficient projects and reduce paybacks.  

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Location: Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver
Program: Conference and Trade Show - 4 workshops totalling 7 CPD hours, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks
CPD: 7 CPD hours
Cost: $447 member, $536 non-member
Participants: Open to CGAs, business professionals

Register now, seats are limited.

For more information or to book your seat for this event, email Pardeep Clair.

Toronto Passes Vancouver as Most Expensive City in Canada

Originally published on BIV OnlineTuesday, July 12

According to Mercer's 2011 Cost of Living Survey, Toronto has surpassed Vancouver to become the most expensive Canadian city.

Toronto, ranked at 59, rose 17 points to overtake Vancouver at 65, due to higher rents, as demand has increased in that city.

Other Canadian cities on the list include Montreal (79) and Calgary (96). Ranking 114, Ottawa is the least expensive city in Canada.

The global ranking covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Rising Food, Gas Prices Take Toll on B.C.: RBC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rising food and gas prices are continuing to affect B.C. residents and change their spending plans, according to an RBC report released this morning.

The July RBC Canadian Consumer Index found that 44 per cent of B.C. residents feel increasing costs have had a significant impact on their budget.

The report shows a rise in that impact since earlier this year, when RBC's quarterly Canadian Consumer Outlook Index found that 33 per cent of B.C. residents stated they were feeling a significant impact on their budget from rising food and gas prices. (See: "B.C. residents feeling the pinch of rising food, gas prices" - BIV Business Today, April 12).

The report released today found, that going forward, 54 per cent of B.C. residents plan to comparison shop, 52 per cent plan to stick more closely to a budget, and 36 per cent plan to use their vehicles less. It noted that, in light of rising fuel prices, 32 per cent are delaying the purchase of a new vehicle.

The study further found that managing debt remains a priority for B.C. residents, with 31 per cent planning to reduce their debt this year.

"B.C. residents are taking practical steps to counter the impact that higher food and gas prices are having on their budgets," Graham MacLachlan, RBC's regional president, B.C., said in a press release.

The report also found that three in 10 British Columbians (29 per cent) are more likely to forego a vacation this year due to changing economic conditions. Quebec and Alberta (26 per cent) are the least likely to delay vacation plans, while Ontarians (34 per cent) are the most likely to.

As to B.C.'s economic outlook, almost two-thirds of B.C. residents rate the current economy as good (65 per cent), one point below the national average, but 46 per cent of West Coasters expect the national economy to improve, compared to the national average of 42 per cent.

Minister Urges Small Business to Look Beyond B.C.'s Borders

July 21, 2011

In his first meeting with the Small Business Roundtable, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell challenged members to focus on export markets and expand B.C.'s trade.

He asked the roundtable to work with key sectors and regions that can take advantage of growing export markets and expand the province's trade.

"All small businesses thrive when the economy is running on all cylinders, so I've asked the Small Business Roundtable to help us zero in on those key economic sectors and regions that will power our province's future," Bell said in a press release.

The roundtable, formed in 2005, focuses on economic development and trade opportunities and advises government on issues, strategies and potential actions to make it easier to do business in B.C. Among its members is Cindy Choi, FCGA, the Association's First Vice-Chair.

"Small business is a huge economic driver in our province and it's important that we consult with the leaders in the sector and continue to draw on their expertise for growing the economy," Kevin Krueger, co-chairman of the roundtable and Kamloops-South Thompson MLA, said in the release.

"We will continue to make it easier for small business to grow and operate because over one million British Columbians support their families with paycheques they draw from small businesses."

B.C. Exports Rise in Most Sectors: BCStats

August 16, 2011

According to a BCStats report, there was a 13.7 per cent jump in the value of B.C. exports in 2011's first half compared with the same period in 2010.

That's despite exports to the U.S., B.C.'s most significant trading partner, increasing only 0.1 per cent.

Substantial increases in shipments to destinations such as mainland China (+52.4 per cent), Japan (+10.5 per cent), South Korea (+34.5 per cent), Taiwan (+40 per cent) and the European Union (+27.4 per cent) were the main contributors to the overall growth in exports.

Of the major commodity groups, energy products saw the largest rise in exports, with shipments increasing 17.5 per cent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2010.

Metallic mineral exports climbed 13.5 per cent year-to-date. Exports of wood products (+12.5 per cent) and pulp and paper (+12.9 per cent) showed strong growth. Exports of agricultural and food products (excluding fish) increased 15.9 per cent.

Public Practice News
Deadline for Public Practice Advisory Group Nominations is October 14

Members in Public Practice who wish to volunteer for the 2012 Public Practice Advisory Group (PPAG) are invited to submit their names for consideration. You are eligible to volunteer for the PPAG if you are a CGA-BC member engaged or employed in the practice of public accounting.

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.

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 contact Brigitte Ilk, CGA, for your Advisory Group application form. Submission deadline is October 14.


Next Tax & Financial Strategies Course Begins January 10, 2012

The next session of the Tax and Financial Strategies Program (T&FS) starts January 10, 2012. 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.

Casey Laven, CGA, of Laven & Company in Lantzville, B.C. had this to say after completing the 2010 session:
"As a new public practitioner, the T&FS course has been my excellent guide to the complicated and potentially costly tax issues of proprietorships and small businesses and for estate planning. The course format, covering the lifespan of a client's business, has prepared me for dealing with similar issues with my own clients. And the question and answer sessions at the end of each conference call allowed for a variety of tax concerns to be addressed, including those outside the scope of other tax courses."
Visit the website to obtain your copy of the course brochure and registration form.

Contact Sandra Domeikiene for a course outline or FAQ list.
CGA Principals in CA Firms Must Register in Public Practice
It has been noted that some CGAs who are principals in Chartered Accountant (CA) firms are unaware that they must register in public practice with CGA-BC. When a member is a principal or partner in a CA firm, he or she is classified as an "Exempt" practitioner. This means that the member is exempt from the CGA-BC Practice Review Program, as the Institute of Chartered Accountants practice reviews their firm. However, the member must still go through the registration process, including the pre-requisite and post-requisite requirements.
Member Benefits Program: The Adara Hotel

Adara
The Adara Hotel is located in the heart of Whistler Village. The hotel offers guests a stylish, trendy and contemporary lodging experience. Relax in the two-level rundlestone lobby with its inviting fireplace and lounge area; enjoy the outdoor pool; year-round hot tub; and mountain views. The hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway as well as small meetings, retreats and weddings.

The Facts….

  • 41 guest suites - studio, one bedroom and two bedroom
  • Intimate meeting space for up to 10 people
  • Located in the heart of Whistler
  • Direct access to Kypriaki Norte (Greek & Mediterranean cuisine)
  • Room service provided by Ric's Grill (breakfast only)
  • Complimentary wireless Internet throughout the resort.

Check out the great deals on the CGA-BC website.

For more information, visit us at www.adarahotel.com.

For reservations, please call the hotel directly at (604) 905-4009 or 1 (866) 502.3272. Use the booking code CGABC.

Recruiting Events
Sept 7 Burnaby Board of Trade Golf Tournament
Sept 9 Kwantlen Polytechnic University BBA Orientation
Sept 8 - 14 UBC Okanagan/Okanagan College Big Bang Frosh
Sept 12 - 16 UBC CUS Business Week)
Sept 16 UVIC Workplace Skills 'Networking Luncheon'
Sept 19 TRU Professional Accounting Night
Sept 20 SUCCESS Information Session
Sept 20 - 21 UVIC Coop & Career Fair
Sept 21 - 25 CGA Conference
Sept 23 UBC Ignite
Sept 27 - 29 SFU Big Fair
Sept 29 CGA-BC Evening Info Session (office)
Sept 30 Langara Business Association Golf Tournament