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Friday News Roundup 21.08.06: Mandatory jabs, CPAB, Allan Inquiry, Muslim charities and more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2021 – Is your accounting firm demanding you get the jab before returning to the office? No? Not yet? Well, better get ready for the executive memo. The Globe and Mail reported this week that accounting firm Crowe Soberman was among several organizations with mandatory vaccination policies. Given how anxious many firms are to get back to the old ways of auditing, we expect more of these kind of announcements to come. 

Now let’s get to the odds and ends of news from the world of Canadian accounting: 

Is CPAB getting ready to name names?

There was an interesting interview with Carol Paradine, head of the Canadian Public Accountability Board, in the Financial Post this past week. For those who don’t know (and how could you not?), CPAB is the “audit watchdog” that reviews the audit work of public accounting firms. Mostly that’s the Big Four, which hoover up the big corporations, plus a handful of medium-sized firms, which largely audit companies on Canada’s other two stock exchanges. 

Anyhoo, it certainly looks like CPAB is laying the groundwork to disclose which accounting firms got which results, something it never did previously. Why now? Well, audits haven’t really improved in years, and other countries having increased their regulatory scrunity. Also, thanks to news organizations like Canadian Accountant, the stark differences in oversight between Canada and other countries is finally getting discussed. Let’s see where this goes, however, before making any further assumptions. 

The CRA and Muslim-led charities

This past week, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson opened a “systemic examination” into allegations by Muslim-led charities of being targeted for audit by the Canada Revenue Agency. The OTO is doing this at the request, apparently, of the Minister of National Revenue. This all goes back to the Harper years, when it certainly appeared that the CRA had been weaponized by the federal government, specifically to investigate groups (e.g., environmental) that dared to oppose government policy. The examination will begin with a “listening” exercise and charities will be invited to “share their experiences.” 

Alberta’s Allan Inquiry draft report

Speaking of the politically motivated, it certainly looks like Alberta’s pricey Allan Inquiry is a fiasco. We mention it here because the head of the Inquiry, Steve Allan, FCPA, FCA, is a past president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (now CPA Alberta), and Deloitte did the forensic auditing. 

After multiple deadline extensions, a draft copy of the report appears to be walking back the anti-environmental rhetoric, and the CBC says that less than five per cent of foreign green funds targeted Alberta oilsands. The final copy was handed in at the end of July and the government has three months to release it. 

Dext launches Dext Commerce

Accounting software provider Dext (formerly known as Receipt Bank) has added a digital sales product to its growing platform: Dext Commerce. It allows accountants and bookkeepers to take on more digital sales clients by simplifying the collection and categorization of sales data from 16 e-commerce, POS and payment platforms including Amazon, PayPal, Shopify and Stripe. 

It also integrates with Xero and Quickbooks Online, enabling accountants and bookkeepers to accurately submit eCommerce revenue into the largest accounting platforms. The solution solves the challenge of manually fetching and consolidating sales data from multiple commerce and payment platforms in different formats. 

Xero launches the Xero App Store

The Xero marketplace has undergone more than a facelift. This past week, the global small business platform company launched the Xero App Store, a software ecosystem to support small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers. With more than 1,000 business-related apps, it reminds us of the Apple ecosytem. 

With a new design, new search capabilities, and app reviews, the Xero App Store can also be accessed by customers from a single Xero login, making the process of purchasing an app a seamless experience. The Xero App Store streamlines discovering, choosing, and buying apps to support SMBs with everything from ecommerce to cash flow management, and other industry-specific needs, while easily managing app subscriptions in one place. 

Quick Hits

Canadian regulators to create new watchdog for investment industry, replacing IIROC and MFDA
How much does it really cost to ship all of your junk across the ocean? 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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