Sunday News Roundup 21.09.26: Election news, M&A, Mailchimp, Techathon and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2021 – Now that the hubbub from the federal election is over, we can get back to reporting on the odds and ends of news from the world of Canadian accounting — including news that we missed from the previous week.
But before we do, let’s talk about the prescience of our election article, 2021 Election Poll: Conservative support slips among Canadian accountants. “While the majority of chartered professional accountants traditionally vote Conservative,” we wrote, “pandemic restrictions may hold clues as to why Conservative support has slipped among Canadian accountants.”
How true. It turns out that leakage of loyalty to both the Liberals and People’s Party of Canada among accountants presaged the voting of the general population — the Tories lost two seats compared to 2019. If you haven’t had a chance to read that article, it’s still worth your time — even if you’re totally over politics for the time being.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a “chartered accountant” who opposes vaccination requirements to enter businesses or work in government jobs says he is entering the race to replace Brian Pallister as Premier of Manitoba. According to the CBC, Ken Lee describes himself as a proponent of "common sense conservatism," espouses libertarian ideals, and counts People's Party of Canada supporters among his own.
Accounting mergers and acquisitions
Not a week goes by without another merger or acquisition in the Canadian accounting profession. This week it was MNP picking up MacAlpine and Company, which is based in Woodstock, Ont. And PwC Canada picked up an Ottawa tech firm, Avaleris, in a bid to boost its cybersecurity offerings. “About 35 Avaleris employees will now join PwC, which is absorbing the Ottawa firm’s operations into its existing 300-person Canadian cybersecurity team.”
No Muslims before Tax Court Justice
The saga of Tax Court Justice David Spiro has been well-documented in the media, from the fallout at the University of Toronto over a hiring scandal involving human rights, to the slap on the wrist from the Canadian Judicial Council. Suffice it to say that reputations have been tarnished on a global scale; never have the actions of a tax court judge come under such scrutiny.
On September 13th, the Globe and Mail reported that the Tax Court has been “screening counsel and litigants to prevent members of the Islamic faith from being involved in cases before [Justice Spiro].” Not surprisingly, “The policy has prompted criticism in the legal community.”
Accounting gorilla acquires Mailchimp
The 800-pound gorilla of accounting software companies — Intuit, the maker of TurboTax and QuickBooks — has bought Mailchimp, the popular email distribution program. (Disclosure: We use Mailchimp for our weekly newsletter.) Apparently, Intuit has done remarkably well during the pandemic — its stock has gained 47 per cent in the past year, so it has the money to make a big purchase.
The $12-billion with a “B” offer is a windfall for Mailchimp founders. For Intuit, the deal is all about expanding its digital services to small and medium-sized business users of QuickBooks, although we hope they don’t raise subsciption prices.
CPA Canada Techathon terrific
Kudos to CPA Canada for its virtual Techathon competition involving CPAs, students and stakeholders and featuring some big-name sponsors, such as AWS, Deloitte, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Tableau. The Canadian accounting profession has undergone some criticism in recent years from both thought leaders on both the professional and student side who have called for more data training in the profession.
Held over two consecutive weekends from September 11 to 19, the Techathon featured twelve teams that competed to solve business problems that CPAs face today, from helping companies reduce carbon footprint to recommending an expansion strategy that optimizes store performance or improving risk assessments on a loan portfolio. Organizations interested to get involved next year are invited to contact Techathon’s organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alberta accountant facing fraud and theft charges
Jeff Borschowa is something of a brand name in Alberta accounting, an author, business coach and even a podcaster. CTV and other media outlets report that the accountant has been charged with one count of fraud and one count of theft while serving as executor of a widow’s estate. Borschowa is no longer a member of CPA Alberta; his standing was cancelled, though the CPA Alberta website does not state when or why.
Xero launches new business leadership podcast, “What Led You Here.”
Wagepoint wins Silver Stevie® Award win for Employee Engagement
Are you ready for the changes in IFRS 17? (Canadian Underwriter)
The Liberal party’s bank tax: Canada should tax bank debt, not bank equity (Toronto Star)
La Salle, KPMG partner through new endowed accounting professorship
The cannabis collapse: Why weed stocks are crashing again (G&M)
By Canadian Accountant staff.