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Sunday News Roundup 21.11.28: Throne Speech, Bridging Finance, inflation, and more 

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2021 – If the work week began with concerns about inflation, it ended with concerns about a new variation of the coronavirus, with an accompanying plunge in the price of gasoline. In between, there was the Throne Speech from the Liberal  government, about which Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) was “encouraged by the government reiterating its commitment to address climate change while growing the economy across Canada.” 

However, CPA Canada is recommending greater fiscal discipline in the future, and replacing the debt-to-GDP target with a "fiscal anchor framework." (The debt-to-GDP measurement has given the Liberals politically positive messaging for years now, so it’s unlikely they would ever give it up.) Finally, in a broader letter to the Prime Minister, CPA Canada has returned to its calls for a tax code review. 

And now, on to the rest of the odds and ends in news from the world of Canadian accounting. 

A look at the books at Bridging Finance

Yesterday, the Globe and Mail ran a feature story on Bridging Finance, a Toronto-based private debt fund company under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission, its receivership managed by PwC Canada. Amid allegations of fraud, the article zeroes in on “multiple parties who either took the [owners] at their word or failed to ask questions at all.” 

“KPMG LLP is central to this line of inquiry,” states the article. “As the auditor of Bridging’s investment funds for the past two years, it’s one of the few external parties who had access to detailed loan information.” For its part, KPMG asserts that the CPA Code of Professional Conduct prohibits it from “discussing client confidential matters.” 

Stop whining about learning French

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but the Globe and Mail’s Rita Trichur published an amusing column on Chartered Professional Accountant Michael Rousseau the CEO of Air Canada, and his contretemps with the French language. 

In CEOs stop whining about learning French. How can you lead if you can’t speak to your people?, Trichur writes: “[I]t must have been quite a shock for him to suddenly learn that being an effective business leader actually involves speaking to people, including Canada’s eight million francophones.” Ouch. 

Accounting firms on the move — up and across Canada

RSM Canada announced this past week that it bought two tax credit consulting firms, one in Guelph, Ont. (Business Improvement Group), and one in Vancouver (Revenue Services Group). RSM has positioned itself as professional services firm to mid-market companies, so the acquisitions will help companies access those lucrative government tax breaks. 

Meanwhile, Deloitte Canada has opened its “radical” new office at Queen’s Marque building in Halifax. Back in 2018, when building the Queen’s Marque was underway, observers were concerned about “sky-high” commercial vacancy rates in Halifax, just as Deloitte had committed to “trading up” to occupy the top two floors of the building. 

With companies still struggling with pandemic work policies and the future of commercial office space, it’s not surprising that the common theme running throughout the piece is flexibility. According to the article, “about 60-70 percent of Deloitte’s 200 Halifax employees envision themselves working partly from home and partly from the office. The rest either want to work always from home or always from the office.” 

Quick Hits

Canada’s car dealers must file for controlled foreign captives, say accountants (Captive International)
Bay Street law firms urge Ontario to fix business registry, tell clients to incorporate elsewhere (Globe and Mail)
CRTC hearings begin on Rogers-Shaw deal that would make Big Three telcos even bigger (CBC)
Inflation is a major headache for households, but not for Ottawa’s finances (Globe and Mail)
Four ways to help out your favourite charity with life insurance (Globe and Mail)

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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