Sunday News Roundup 21.11.14: More Rousseau, Allen, Ontario economy, and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
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TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2021 – The Michael Rousseau soap opera continued this week in La belle province. For anyone who doubted our take on the severity of the issue for the CPA CEO of Air Canada, this past week featured the spectacle of a deputy prime minister telling the national airline to include French language lessons in the man’s performance review. Talk about humiliation.
And speaking of CPAs on the hot seat, the Globe and Mail kicked off the week with Steve Allen’s defence of his “widely criticized Alberta public inquiry into the funding of environmentalists.” Allen, as we have mentioned previously, is a forensic accountant and former head of CPA Alberta, was the head Premier Jason Kenney’s highly politicized inquiry.
Allen’s defence? “I think the industry and government have really failed,” he stated, saying environmentalists ran a “brilliant” public relations campaign, and somehow outflanked the billions in public relations spent by the oil and gas industry. Allen was careful not to condemn environmental activists but blamed a lack of disclosure around “foreign money.”
What’s perhaps most intriguing is that the comments section of the article is overwhelmingly critical of Mr. Allen, his report and his refusal to appear during the release of the report, and, due to “legal advice,” declined to discuss the specific findings of the report. And now, on to the rest of the odds and ends of news from the world of Canadian accounting.
Forensic Accountant: Ontario saving budget windfall, mum on costs of Highway 413
Charles Smedmor of Smedmor & Associates crunched the numbers in the most recent budget update from the Ford government in Ontario. Emerging from the pandemic, the province is benefitting from receiving more money from Ottawa, as well as a hot real estate market and a rebound in cannabis sales.
But Smedmor says the province’s debt is in dangerous territory and Doug Ford’s highly controversial commitment to the building of Highway 413 and its proposed bypass (around a golf course co-owned by the dad of the associate minister of transportation), will add billions to the burden of Ontario taxpayers — and the government won’t say how many. You can compare Smemor’s analysis to the analysis provided by Patrick Brethour in the Globe and Mail, which says Ontario’s growth pace is “blistering.”
Dext reveals where companies are spending their operational budgets
As Canadian businesses cut back on rent in the post-pandemic economy, they are investing more in staff expenses. Global accounting software program Dext (formerly Receipt Bank), analyzed 100 million business transactions globally throughout the pandemic, and has released some revealing figures. While businesses cut spending on sales (-9%), philanthropy (-55%) and travel (-100%), health (+68%) and staff expenses (+18%) became priorities for survival and recovery in 2021.
Obviously, investment in remote working continues to be a priority for businesses, with spending on Zoom increasing as much as 390% in some countries. In Canada, year-on-year spending on staff expenses overall increased by 53% from 2019 to 2020. Recorded staff expenses rose from $5,000 in January 2020 to $20,000 in April 2020, and now sits at $10,000. As businesses cut back on rent (-49%), they invested into staff to provide the tools needed to operate remotely. Read more here.
Sage Intacct update announced at Sage Transform
At Sage Transform 2021 in Las Vegas, Sage has announced an update to its Sage Intacct product family. New features include streamlined workflows that enable customers to eliminate repetitive, manual steps so they can focus more time on higher-value work; deeper, vertical-specific product capabilities and embedded best practices with pre-configured workflows, reports, and dashboards; and a broader product solution portfolio, with more product offerings (from both Sage and its partners) that fully integrate with Sage Intacct.
Xero announces Shopify integration and more
In the past week, announced a new Shopify integration and that it has joined the Shopify Plus Certified App Program (PCAP), available in the Shopify App Store and the Xero App Store. The accounting software company also acquired LOCATE Inventory, a US cloud-based inventory management provider.
Employees and their workplaces set to face surge in payroll taxes in 2022 (Globe and Mail)
Sylvia Kingsmill named KPMG's global cyber privacy leader (Consulting.ca)
Domestic equity returns bolstering Canadian DB pension plan solvency: report (Benefits Canada)
Overhauled Auditing Watchdog Expected to Boost Industry Scrutiny and Focus on Investors (Wall Street Journal)
Elizabeth Warren’s War on Accounting
By Canadian Accountant staff.