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ISSUE 59 • January 24, 2011
Your e-connection to CGA-BC
January 31 CPD Deadline Quickly Approaching

Your CPD activities must be reported by January 31, 2011 for the 2010 reporting year. Please note that a NIL report must still be filed even if no hours were earned for 2010. Click here to report.

Remember when entering your ethics course to check off the box that indicates that it qualifies for the four-hour ethics requirement.


T-1 Registrations

If you are a CGA preparing individual
T-1 tax returns, with or without schedules, and charge a fee for this service, you are required to register this limited practice with the Association.

See the CGA-BC website for details on registration requirements.


Chapter PD

See which professional development seminars the chapters are presenting in January and February.


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.


Check Us Out on Social Media

TwitterFacebook

To find out what’s happening with the Association right now, 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.

You can also follow us as a fan on Facebook.


Give Blood as a Group Effort

     Give Blood

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.

  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.


 
CGA Information Session (CGA-BC Office, Vancouver)
January 25

Career Day at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey)
January 25

UBC Business School Showcase (Vancouver)
January 25

"Careers In" Event at UBC (Vancouver)
January 25

Information Session at UBC (Vancouver)
January 26

CGA/CA/CMA Information Session at Douglas College (New Westminster)
January 26

UBC TACS Welcome Session (Vancouver)
January 26

Spotlight on Accounting at Okanagan College (Penticton Campus)
January 31

CGA Information Session (CGA-BC Office, Vancouver)
February 1

Spotlight on Accounting at Okanagan College (Salmon Arm Campus)
February 1

Spotlight on Accounting at Okanagan College (Vernon Campus)
February 1

Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 (Vancouver)
February 1

Spotlight on Accounting at Okanagan College (Kelowna Campus)
February 2

Okanagan College Career Fair (Kelowna Campus)
February 2

UNBC Accelerate Career Fair (Prince George)
February 2

Trinity Western University Career Fair (Langley)
February 3

CGA/CA/CMA Information Session at UBC Okanagan (Kelowna)
February 3

Careers in Accounting at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey)
February 4

CGA Information Session (CGA-BC Office, Vancouver)
February 8

Office Hours at UBC (Vancouver)
February 8

UNBC's Business Banquet (Prince George)
February 9

CGA Information Session (CGA-BC Office, Vancouver)
February 15

Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada Conference (Vancouver)
February 15-17

CGA Information Session (CGA-BC Office, Vancouver)
February 22

Career Fair at Selkirk College (Castlegar)
February 24

Career Fair at Douglas College (New Westminster)
February 28


For more information, please contact Lisa So.
 
 

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.

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



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.
CGA-BC Sponsors Economic Outlook Forum
Vancouver Board of Trade audience told Canadian businesses must change pre-2008 strategies to reach 'behemoth' markets of the developing world.

CGA-BC Sponsors Economic Outlook Forum

By Daniel Pi

Scotiabank Chief Economist Warren Jestin launched The Vancouver Board of Trade's 22nd annual Economic Outlook Forum as keynote speaker with an optimistic announcement stating the Canadian and U.S. economies are past the recovery stage and now in a phase of "renewed expansion."

However, he cautioned Canadians not to expect a return to the boom times before the 2008 economic collapse.

"We are on the road to recovery, we're just not going back to where we were before the recession," Jestin told the crowd of nearly 500 attending the Board of Trade's first event of 2011.

In recent weeks, CGA-BC has maintained its busy schedule of business and government events, participating in presentations with the Vancouver Board of Trade, BC Chamber of Commerce, BC Business Council, and the Future Premier Business Panel, among others.

This is part of the Association's ongoing commitment to represent its members to all levels of government, regulators, and the business community.

The forum, co-sponsored by CGA-BC, also featured a panel of industry experts who weighed in on topics covering the provincial economy, the labour market and U.S. politics.

While Canada and the U.S. are past the recovery phase, Jestin said the North American growth rate is still predicted to be about 2.5 per cent, while China, India and Brazil are expecting growth of 9 per cent, 8 per cent and 5 per cent.

Jestin called on businesses to adopt new strategies to tackle new markets in order to take part in the tremendous shift in the global economy from developed to emerging nations.

[Read more...]
CGA-Canada Publishes Personal Tax Planning 2010/2011
Personal Tax Planning 2010/2011 Personal Tax Planning 2010/2011 is an indispensable guide to navigating today's complex maze of tax rules and regulations.

This year's edition includes:
  • A summary of the major 2010 federal and provincial/territorial changes affecting individuals
  • Tax-planning tips to minimize or defer income tax payable
  • Current information on business and self-employment income and expenses
To order your free copy today, email Julie Spankie. Please include your name and mailing address in the email.
CGA-BC Asks for Member Input on Red Tape Commission
Personal Tax Planning 2010/2011 The federal government has created a Red Tape Reduction Commission to address the burden of red tape on small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The Commission is very similar to an initiative by the B.C. government that led to a dramatic reduction in regulations and barriers to business. CGA-BC members provided a great amount of feedback to that undertaking. See B.C. Stuck to Red Tape Pledge.

On January 21, CGA-BC's CEO Gordon Ruth, FCGA, attended a meeting hosted by the federal government to provide some suggestions on reducing red-tape. Several members were able to provide CGA-BC suggestions in advance of the meeting, but the Association would like to give the government a fuller response from members in a variety of regions and industries. Please take a few minutes to identify specific regulations that need to be addressed and then summarize any regulations or issues that you or your clients may be facing at the federal level.

The Association will organize member input along the responses to two principal questions:
  1. What are the top red tape irritants from federal regulations on business and how can they be reduced?


  2. What lasting solutions can government undertake to keep red tape from creeping back into regulation in the future?
Please email your response to Edward Downing, CGA-BC Director of Communications, by February 18, 2011.
CGA-BC Sponsors Breakfast With Minister of Energy & Natural Resource Operations, Feb. 9
Steve Thomson, Minister of Energy & Minister of Natural Resource Operations The Association is proud to sponsor the latest installment of the BC Chamber of Commerce's Cabinet Ministers Breakfast Series with the Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Energy & Minister of Natural Resource Operations.

The minister will speak about his new cabinet portfolio, which combines Energy and Natural Resources into one Ministry, setting land use policy for the entire province and making B.C. a more attractive place to invest.

The Hon. Steve Thomson was elected to represent the riding of Kelowna-Mission on May 12, 2009. Thomson previously served as Minister of Agriculture and Lands. Minister Thomson is the former executive director of the BC Agriculture Council and has served as general manager of the BC Fruit Growers' Association and the BC Milk Producers Association. He is the former chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

When: Wednesday, February 9
Location: Terminal City Club, 837 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Time: 7:00 am - 7:30 am Registration & Networking

7:30 am - 9:00 am Breakfast & Presentation


[Register now...]
Canada Revenue Agency T1 Letter Campaign
Canada Revenue Agency T1 Letter Campaign

As was experienced in 2010, CGA members and clients of CGA public practitioners may soon be receiving a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as part of their 2011 letter campaign.

One of two types of letters may be received:
  1. Information will be provided about eligibility criteria for certain deductions the taxpayer has claimed on recent income tax returns.


  2. Similar information may be provided as above with additional notification of the possibility that the taxpayer's income tax returns may be selected for audit.
Members or clients are being asked to self-review their claims regarding income and expense claims related to rental and/or business activities. If warranted, income tax returns can be amended by completing an adjustment request in cases where deductions were claimed in error or inaccurate information was provided.

Requests for adjustments can be made online by accessing My Account using the change my return option, or by mail with form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request, available from CRA at www.cra.gc.ca/forms.

Questions regarding the CRA letter or help making any changes to previously filed or current tax returns may be found at www.cra.gc.ca/audit or calling the individual income tax enquiries line at 1 (800) 959-8281.
Public Practice News
Reminder of Interprovincial Mobility Procedures

Reminder of Interprovincial Mobility Procedures
Public practitioners are reminded that if they intend to engage clients or open an office in a province other than B.C., they must follow interprovincial public practice mobility procedures. Refer to the Interprovincial Public Practice Mobility section of our Public Practice Policies for further details. If you have any questions, contact Karen Fiorini at (604) 730-6231 or toll-free 1 (800) 565-1211 ext 231.
B.C. Income Taxation Branch Updates
January 18, 2011

The British Columbia Training Tax Credit brochure has been revised. The changes are to the Tax Credit Table for Employers to show the provincial rate in effect after June 2, 2010, and to provide challengers with a reference to more information.


January 13, 2011

Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit

Information on how to complete the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Application for Registration (FIN 568) form is now available here.


International Business Activity Act

The forms and web pages have been updated for the changes announced in Budget 2010 that expanded the types of international businesses and the types of specialists that are eligible under the International Business Activity Act. For more information on these changes, please refer to the IBA Forms page and the IBA program page.
Ethics in Focus: CGA in Bind With Two Headstrong Bosses
In the December issue of Outlook we met CGA Colin Simpson, the recently hired chief accountant at Headstrong Imports, a medium-sized partnership.

In reviewing the company's books, Colin notices weaknesses with internal controls that have led to overpayments to some overseas suppliers. The overpayments could cause Headstrong problems with its debt service coverage ratio with the bank. Colin points this out to the partners, Max and Ludmilla Headstrong. They tell Colin he is overreacting, and insist that the issue is just a minor cash-flow problem. Besides, they argue, the company can't afford the internal control system Colin recommends.

Colin should not worry, they say, because they have a potential investor lined up. Betty Blue will be able to inject a significant amount of new capital into the partnership. Ms. Blue is a fairly naïve investor who recently came into money through a lottery win.

The Headstrongs ask Colin to meet Betty to discuss becoming a partner. Colin tells them that as a CGA he will have to be honest about his recent findings. Max and Ludmilla tell him to restrict his discussion with Betty to the previous audit and the potential of the company. After Betty invests, says Ludmilla, then they will be able to afford Colin's internal control system. They remind him that he works for them, not for Betty, and that it is up to Betty to do her own due diligence.

What should Colin do? Would your answer differ if Betty were a more sophisticated investor?

Email your responses to edowning@cga-bc.org by Feb. 14.

We will accept anonymous messages provided we can verify that you are a member or student. Readers' answers will be included in Professor Michael McDonald's next Ethics in Focus article.
CRA's Tax-Free Savings Account Tips
The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is an important investment vehicle that can be used for many different savings objectives over an individual's lifetime. Since the introduction of the TFSA in January 2009, over 4.8 million Canadians have opened one or more TFSAs. To get a TFSA working for you, here are a few key points to remember:

A TFSA can be made up of an array of investments. Your TFSA can contain different types of investments, similar to those in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), bonds, mutual funds and stocks. Contact your financial institution for more information concerning eligible investments.

TFSA contribution room accumulates every year. The maximum TFSA contribution room for an individual was $5,000 for 2009. For 2010 and 2011, your available TFSA contribution room is made up of three components:
  • Your annual TFSA dollar limit of $5,000,
  • Your unused TFSA contribution room from the previous year, and
  • The total amount of withdrawals from your TFSA made in the previous year.
[Read more...]
News from Business in Vancouver Online
Your Association is pleased to bring you business stories from Business in Vancouver.

To see all of BIV's breaking news, see our special RSS feed to BIV Direct.

Member Benefit: Manteo Resort - Waterfront Hotel & Villas
Kelowna's Manteo Resort

Kelowna's Manteo Resort is beautifully located on the shores of Okanagan Lake, only minutes from downtown, championship golf courses, estate wineries, and only one hour from legendary powder snow at Big White and Silver Star Ski Resorts.

At Manteo, amenities are plentiful with indoor/outdoor pools and hot tubs, kids water park, steam rooms, saunas, movie theatre, fitness centre, tennis court, putting green, playground, private beach, boat moorage, and water-sports and boat rentals.

Accommodations are superb and provide the highest standards of comfort in spacious deluxe guestrooms, premium one bedroom suites and in private two and three bedroom villas, located only steps from the lake.

See our special corporate rates.
CGA Only Canadian to Earn Prestigious OAS Fellowship
Linda Ambrosie, CGAFrom an article originally published in CGA-Alberta's e-Advocate newsletter

Researcher develops balance sheet to demonstrate how natural capital such as reefs, beaches and mangroves serve long-term well-being of communities.

Linda Ambrosie, CGA, looks at tropical beaches and marine parks in a much different way than do most sun-starved Canadians. Her research on the socio-economic viability and environmental sustainability of dedicated tourism sites such as Cancún, Mexico has earned her recognition as the only Canadian recipient of a prestigious Organization of American States (OAS) fellowship.

The Edmonton native, Certified General Accountant, and PhD candidate at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business, is one of 109 graduate students from 32 countries across the Americas to receive an OAS award, which helps recipients defray the costs of research and studies.

Ambrosie is in Mexico working under the guidance of Dr. Irene Herremans to study issues related to forms of a balance sheet to account for vital natural and social assets that are the true sources of community well-being. In preparation for the broader topic of Cancún's municipality, Ambrosie is currently working on a pilot project involving Cancún's marine parks.

"Much of my research looks at the imbalance of current budgets and priorities due to the narrow focus that most nations have on gross domestic product (GDP) as a monitor of economic growth and well-being," she explains.

"Because GDP measures flows such as consumption and production, it encourages nations to allocate budget to economic growth rather than to the maintenance of important assets that ensure growth. The focus on income rather than assets has led to natural resource depletion, severe pollution, climate change, and social strife. I think that nations need to look at a balance sheet that combines natural, social and economic capital if they are serious about maintaining their unique resources, especially the natural environment and their community identity."

A balance sheet approach could help address some of the unintended consequences of narrowly focused budget allocations. Ambrosie cites the example of a $20 million beach 'nourishment' project recently undertaken to reverse hurricane damage on Cancún's heavily touristed coastline. "It's an example of economic myopia," she says. "While the one-time project sounds great, the Cancún Marine Park service - which cares for the reefs that produce sand and shelter $2 billion of neighbouring hotel real estate - receives a miniscule annual operating budget to ensure the ongoing health of the beaches and coastal resources."

An example of 'asset maintenance' is the recent construction of an underwater museum as an alternative snorkel and dive site near Cancún. A small park fee is charged to visitors frequenting any of the area's 8,500 hectares of marine parks, but park staff does not have the budget or equipment to monitor tour operators, some of whom may profit from charging tourists the park fee but not paying the park.

Ambrosie's research uses the case of Cancún as an example of how to develop a balance sheet to demonstrate the importance of natural capital such as reefs, beaches and mangroves to a broader community, and to highlight the important linkages between natural, social and economic capitals. The OAS fellowship will provide her with living and travel expenses for the next year while completing her doctoral dissertation.