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Friday News Roundup 20.08.14: KPMG, Grant Thornton, rehiring stats, and fraudster jailed      

Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news

Author: Colin Ellis

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2020 – In the return of our weekly news roundup, here are some of the accounting-related stories that you may have missed: 

KPMG acquires female-led Quebec accounting firm

On Tuesday, KPMG announced it had acquired Allard Matte, Chartered Professional Accountants, a public accounting firm on Montréal's South Shore. The firm is noteworthy for it leadership by two women: France Allard, CPA, CA and Paule Matte, CPA, CA. The two women formed the firm in 1993. "We are delighted to join an organization with the size and scope of KPMG — which shares our values and our commitment to small and medium-sized private companies," explain Ms. Allard and Ms. Matte. 

Six of 10 small businesses now rehiring

A survey by Wagepoint, creators of online small business payroll software, says 58 per cent of small businesses that laid off staff due to COVID-19 are now planning to rehire in the next three months. "Small businesses employ more Canadians than any other part of our economy. So, when they got hit hard by COVID-19, we all got hit hard," explains Shrad Rao, CEO of Wagepoint. 

Findings from the small business survey suggest a growing awareness of the need for speed and flexibility in payroll. Seven in ten (72%) of small business owners believe payroll is important (on par with sales, invoicing, and general accounting), and two in five of those (40%) that reduced headcount agreed that payroll needs to be flexible enough to accommodate quick changes to their workforce. Furthermore, over a quarter (26%) of small business owners said paying employees quickly and accurately has taken on a whole new meaning during COVID-19. 

Snapshot: Grant Thornton restructures Henry’s

Camera retailer Henry’s is practically an institution among photography buffs in Toronto. The store was founded in 1909 but the company filed for creditor protection in May 2020 after being severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm clicked with accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton to act as its insolvency trustee, which helped it focus on keeping Henry's a Canadian, family-owned business.” 

Maritime “accountant” faces prison for fraud

Finally, as a follow-up to the story of the Maritime “accountant” facing fraud charges, Mark Christopher Raymer of Prince Edward Island, the former bookkeeper was sentenced this week to two years in prison for defrauding clients. A repeat fraudster, he avoided prison time previously by settling out of court, and has had a profund impact on his victims.  

Colin Ellis is a contributing editor to Canadian Accountant.

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