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Friday News Roundup 21.03.19: CRA lockouts, Saskatoon scammer, Maritime AGs, and more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, March 19, 2021 – The biggest story of the week in Canadian accounting news was the cancellation in Central Canada of the May 2021 Common Final Examination (CFE), which we covered here, but the odds and ends from the past week (and some from the week before) in Canadian accounting still included some facinating stories: 

Canadians locked out of CRA accounts

The week did not begin well, with the news that the Canada Revenue Agency had taken the “preventative measure” of locking out another 800,000 Canadian taxpayers from their online accounts, just weeks after a similar lockout occurred in February. (Watch for our interview next week with the new Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson on this topic and more.) 

Multiple sources have reported that IDs and passwords were hacked from other sources and are being auctioned on the Dark Web. We can’t confirm that because, as Dr. Seuss once wrote: “You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care./About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." 

Are scammers using accountants’ contact information

Don’t be surprised if a client calls you in distress about CRA scams. A Saskatoon woman reported receiving a CRA scam call that CAME FROM HER ACCOUNTANT’S PHONE NUMBER! That’s kind of the adult version of the old ghost story about the voice coming from inside the house. Charles Mowat of Charles A Mowat Public Accountant says “he was frustrated and concerned to hear that scammers were using his contact information to add credibility to their scam.” 

More moves in the Maritimes from auditors general

Kim Adair-MacPherson is leaving her post as New Brunswick's auditor general to become the first woman to hold auditor general post in Nova Scotia. Adair-MacPherson made her mark (and headlines) in NB over issues such as Atcon and VestCor. Terry Spicer, the acting Auditor General in Nova Scotia, is retiring, after taking over the job from Michael Pickup, originally from Sydney, N.S., who accepted a new role as auditor general of British Columbia. 

Securities watchdogs issue guidance on crypto assets disclosure

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published guidance late last week to improve the quality of disclosures provided by issuers that engage materially with crypto assets (crypto asset reporting issuers). “This guidance is meant to support crypto asset reporting issuers in providing the information necessary for investors to make informed investment decisions." It’s about time, as some accounting academics have pointed to the challenges of auditing crypto assets, with the implied criticism of harm to the fintech sector as a whole. 

New chair at KPMG Canada a constant reminder of inclusion and diversity

Rob Davis, the new chair of the board of directors at KPMG Canada, is Black. He was nine years old when his parents emigrated from Jamaica to Canada in the 1970s, and started at the Big Four firm in 1989. Davis has a great story to tell about unconscious bias and his travels through the private sector before returning to KPMG as a partner. Kudos to the inclusion and diversity initiatives (I&D) at KPMG. 

New chair at the AASB

Bob Bosshard has been appointed as the new chair of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.  He replaces the current AASB chair, Ken Charbonneau. Bosshard is a retired PwC partner. He will lead the AASB as it finalizes its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, “focusing on diversity, inclusion, and stakeholder feedback.” 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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