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Sunday News Roundup 21.10.03: ISSB, Laurentian, Lightspeed, deficit elephants, and more 

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, Oct. 3, 2021 – As we transition from our traditional Friday News Roundup to a Sunday News Roundup (and Sunday delivery of our weekly newsletter), we will continue to report on the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting news, in our occasionally irreverent way. 

CPA Canada calls for Canadian home for ISSB

Speaking of CPA Canada, there was an Op-ed in the Globe and Mail this week, penned by Mark Little, CEO of Suncor Energy and Charles-Antoine St-Jean, president and CEO of CPA Canada. The two authors argue that Canada’s reputation for international accounting standards, sustainability reporting, and our “varied economy” make us the perfect place for a global ISSB headquarters. 

It was certainly an interesting strategy to have a fossil fuel producer co-author a call for the new HQ. Canada is vying with Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK for the ISSB headquarters, which will be announced during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in November. 

CPA Canada appoints new positions to Board

Richard Olfert and Beth Wilson were appointed to CPA Canada’s board of directors this past week as chair and vice-chair respectively. Both are Big Four figures — Olfert as a senior partner at Deloitte and Wilson as a former managing partner at KPMG who is now the CEO at Dentons Canada (as profiled in Pivot). 

Wilson is interesting. As we’ve mentioned previously, her appointment at Dentons was seen in some quarters as a sign that the Big Four was moving in on Big Law, but years later it’s yet to happen. Not a week goes by without M&A news of tech firms, cybersecurity firms, SME accounting firms and even — we’re not kidding — the occasional marketing firm. But law firm? Nah. 

Ontario Auditor General fights for Laurentian financial documents

The fiscal fiasco at Laurentian University is now under the scrutiny of Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk. The bankruptcy of a major Ontario university has raised all kinds of questions about the financial goings-on at Laurentian, but the University says the Auditor General has no right to privileged financial documents. 

Laurentian’s court-appointed insolvency monitor, EY Canada, pretty much says the university has bent over backwards to give the government access, and LU should be granted relief. Lysyk is taking the case to Superior Court to get her hands on the documents. 

The two elephants of the federal deficit

Allan Lanthier, who occasionally writes for Canadian Accountant, had another Op-ed in the Financial Post this past week. With another Liberal minority government in power, the federal deficit has little hope of decreasing, and the federal government will borrow to finance spending promises. You’ll have to read Allan’s article to learn more about the two elephants that may crush Liberal plans. 

Ontario accounting firm markets Bill C-208 services

We admire chutzpah. This advertorial in the Toronto Star, paid for by SB Partners LLP of Burlington, Ontario caught our eye. “Your business: Bill C-208 helps keep it in the family” advertises the accounting firm’s services for intergenerational business sales, with the caveat that future amendments to the Bill may occur. 

Canadian Accountant has covered the evolution of Bill C-208, with Allan Lanthier predicting the Bill would be a “legislative tax fiasco.” Because the Liberals didn’t get the majority government they wanted, the window of opportunity has been thrown open much wider for accounting firms and their clients. 

Alphabet soup: PWC US WFH

As the United States passed the gruesome milestone this past week of 700,000 deaths due to Covid-19, Big Four accounting firm PwC US announced it was embracing permanent remote work, allowing all its 40,000 U.S. client services employees to work virtually and live anywhere they want in perpetuity. If your immediate thought was “the devil is in the details,” you’re absolutely right. 

Employees would still need to come into the office for meetings, salaries will be reduced for thouse in lower cost locations, and partners whose teams choose to work in the office will need to come in to work. PwC beancounters are probably poring over the HR guidance. For us, TLDR. 

Lightspeed plunges over shortseller’s allegations

The shares of Montreal payment tech firm Lightspeed plunged with lightning speed this week after Spruce Point Management alleged the tech company had exaggerated its finances. Because the stock is listed on the NYSE, multiple American class action lawsuit firms are circling the roadkill, eyeing SPM’s allegations of “worrisome auditor oversight by PwC under a concerning CFO,” while they vye for certification. 

Quick Hits

Tax receipts for American land donations 'major coup' for P.E.I. conservation group
Ottawa’s pandemic spending spurs tax-revenue windfall in Ontario
RSM Canada welcomes Dr. Tu Nguyen as new economist and ESG director
Three years after legalizing cannabis, Ottawa’s tax structure is killing the buzz for small producers 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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