Friday News Roundup 21.03.05: Missing millions, farewell PAC, CPA complaint get personal and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
TORONTO, March 5, 2021 – This week’s roundup of the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting will include a few stories from the previous week (because we didn’t publish a roundup last week):
Vancouver tax evader fined and sentenced
It’s pretty rare that a Canadian taxpayer actually goes to jail for tax evasion. How rare, you say? Well, according to tax accountant and lawyer David Rotfleisch, only 21 taxpayers were sentenced to some form of criminal sentencing for tax evasion in the year 2020. But that didn’t help one Michael Curt Helmut Scholz of West Vancouver, who was sentenced last month to 29 months in jail and fined $644,975.71.
Ottawa auditor complaint to CPA Ontario turns personal
Here’s a bizarre one. According to the Ottawa Sun, Ottawa Councillor Rick Chiarelli made a complaint to CPA Ontario over alleged overstatements of the budget for the office of former City of Ottawa auditor general Ken Hughes. Then it turned personal: “Hughes denies all of the allegations, but also goes into great detail about sexual misconduct complaints made against Chiarelli.” Yikes. Our understanding is that investigations by provincial regulatory bodies are supposed to be confidential. So who leaked the documents to the Ottawa Sun?
Farewell PAC. We knew ye only too well
It’s impossible to understate the controversial role that the Public Accountants Council of Ontario played in the history of the Canadian accounting profession. Yet, in another sign of the unification of the profession, the Ford government is quietly “proposing to eliminate unnecessary duplication and oversight by dissolving the Public Accountants Council and transferring its functions to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.”
Fifth Estate: Where is CINAR’s missing millions?
When most Canadians think of the Isle of Man, they think of tax evasion. Not Caillou and Arthur. But in a follow-up to the Cinar fraud story (the company was later sold and rebranded), the Fifth Estate asks what happened to missing millions of dollars diverted to offshore accountants and the taxes owed to the CRA. One question: How come the CBC was able to find offshore accounts when no one else could? Watch the whole show online.
Provincial auditors general pick up more fights
Canada’s activist auditors general are always in the news. This week it was Michael Pickup in B.C., who says B.C. government is actually billions, rather than millions, of dollars in surplus, all due to accounting differences/standards. And in New Brunswick, Auditor General Kim Adair-MacPherson wants to open the books on Vestcor, the very odd private pension company that manages maritimers’ money and used to be a Crown corporation.
Go ahead, google anything. It’s open book.
Is google a noun or a verb? A professor at UBC emails the students in her second year accounting class and says the midterm exam is “open book.” The students are free to "use [their] textbook, notes, Google, anything." Oops. So the commerce students “google anything” and are accused of cheating. Too bad, because the Sauder School of Business has a good reputation. Perhaps an ethics course could be introduced next year.
KPMG picks up Kanata office
Just a couple weeks after the big deal between Deloitte and MNP, KPMG has picked up Vanguard Professional Corp., based in Kanata, Ontario—just outside Ottawa. Vanguard “caters to small and medium-sized businesses … in a competitive marketplace.”
Watch out for fraudsters says CPA Canada
Just in time for fraud prevention month (March), CPA Canada has come out with the startling statistic that fraudsters targeted almost three in four Canadians in 2020. Even here at Canadian Accountant we get at least one call a day purporting to be from our credit card company, the CRA or even Microsoft.
By Canadian Accountant staff.