Friday News Roundup 21.05.14: VaccineConnect, accounting standards, tax evasion and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
TORONTO, May 14, 2021 – With pipelines, lockdowns and vaccines dominating the Canadian news this week, there were still some odds and ends from the world of Canadian accounting news to report on.
Who is using the Deloitte VaccineConnect platform?
When Deloitte was awarded Ottawa’s lucrative vaccine platform contract back in January, we explained why the Big Four accounting firm won the contract, and why it was a game-changer in Canadian accounting. After all, a $16 million contract via a private tendering process far surpassed new annual audit fees, and the platform was deemed “better than dysfunctional U.S. version” by the Globe and Mail.
Now comes word from iPolitics.ca that hardly anyone is using the platform. According to iPolitics, only one province (Saskatchewan) says it has used the system, rebranded as VaccineConnect. Without getting into the specifics, iPolitics explains why it’s “mostly collecting dust to date,” but is meant to outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.
No love for the CRA?
We know you’re all sick and tired of hearing about Tax Season and want to put the past behind you. Looking forward and all that. Totally understandable. But “in a statement to CTVNews.ca, the CRA said it often received “two to three times as many calls” [was it two or three?] this year as it did in February, March, and April 2020.” Sounds like the CRA is playing a little defence here.
Canadian accounting and auditing standards under review
Canada’s accounting and audit standards oversight council issued a press release this week that they had struck a committee to review the profession’s standards. Frankly, it’s a bit of a head scratcher, but the purpose of the committee appears to have something to do with ESG and sustainability initiatives.
Tax evasion hearings video now online
The May 6th hearing of the Standing Committee on Finance into the Canada Revenue Agency’s efforts to combat tax avoidance and evasion is now online and can be watched on ParlVu. The hearing is well worth watching for the testimony of fraud victim Janet Watson and Lucia Iacovelli of KPMG, as well as the calls for reform of the CRA and investment in its tax investigation capabilities. No word yet on when the committee will reconvene.
Q1 2021 insolvency stats released
Something very interesting is going on in the Canadian economy. According to StatsCan, consumer insolvencies were up 22.8 per cent in March — the largest single month of new filing activity since the onset of the pandemic — while the first quarter of 2021 saw the lowest number of business insolvencies in 35 years of records. The divergence of fortunes is stark.
Government support has kept both consumers and companies afloat during the pandemic, but Mark Rosen, Chair of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), says it seems like the backlog of insolvency filings is starting to emerge after a year of record lows.
Penticton accounting firm food drive
Kudos to Long-Haggerty Professional Chartered Accountants of Penticton, B.C., which raised $740 in food and cash donations to a local food bank in an innovative way. The firm gave clients a reduced rate in exchange for a no-minimum donation to the food bank drive.
By Canadian Accountant staff.