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Sunday News Roundup 21.12.12: Fiscal anchors, full of beans, Alta opinions, and more 

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2021 – Parliament is trying to tie up loose ends prior to the holiday break and this week (December 14) the Trudeau government will provide its Economic and Fiscal Update. CPA Canada got ahead of the game by saying “the ongoing need to support those hardest hit by the pandemic is recognized and applauded. However, the federal government must also signal a willingness over the longer-term to fiscal prioritization and discipline.” 

CPA Canada has been promoting the adoption of a fiscal anchor framework. “Such action would help to establish greater confidence among the public, business community and investors in Canada’s abilities to address its significant deficit and debt, much of which has accumulated due to the economic fallout of the pandemic.” 

In case you missed them, you can also read CPA Canada’s Throne Speech statement and the current issue of the CPA Canada Business Monitor. And now, on to the rest of the odds and ends in news from the past week in Canadian accounting. 

Push continues for Canadian sustainability standards board

This past Wednesday, the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada, released a consultation paper  on its review of the Canadian standard-setting system and its governance model. Chief among its priorities is the creation of a new Canadian sustainability standards board and the current governance and funding of the various boards. 

A made-in-Canada ESG board “would work alongside Canada’s existing standards boards and liaise with the new International Sustainability Standards Board, ensuring that the Canadian perspective is part of international decision making.” And the paper is asking whether a new legal entity, separate from CPA Canada and its funding, is necessary to ensure independence. You have until February 28, 2022, to respond. 

CRA goes voluntarily offline due to cybersecurity threat

Yesterday the Canada Revenue Agency — along with a number of other federal and provincial government bodies — announced it was taking its services offline as a precaution against a cybersecurity threat. According to the Globe and Mail, “Cybersecurity firms said companies and governments were scrambling to patch their systems, with some calling it the worst computer vulnerability in years.” And a Merry Christmas to you! 

Corcorcan full of beans with counting farts

In ESG trouble? Call in the fart counters, a largely incoherent rant in the Financial Post, libertarian curmudgeon Terry Corcoran (actually a favourite read of many CPAs) goes off on the Canadian accounting profession, conflating the Big Four’s move away from actual accounting to capturing the market for ESG reporting. Writing that is full of beans! 

But for a more serious read on ESG-related matters, read Climate change will cost us billions — and then it will get even worse, in which Toronto Star economics columnist Heather Scoffield looks at a recently released report from Ontario fiscal accountability officer, in which the FAO says that just the cost of maintaining government buildings alone in the face of climate change will cost Ontarians a billion or so. 

An Alta-opinion: Toothless tax avoidance rules

Speaking of the Financial Post, Allan Lanthier had another column this past week, looking at the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Alta case. Lanthier has a talent for putting complex cases into plain language, calling on the government to fix our “toothless” tax avoidance rules. 

Of course, tax lawyers at Bennett Jones and McCarthy Tétrault have a more favourable take on the ruling, noting the “taxpayer” complied with “object, spirit, and purpose of the Treaty.” 

Accountants and bookkeepers recognized by Sage accounting awards

Sage announced its 2021 winners of its 3rd annual Circle of Excellence Accounting Awards this past week. It was nice to see that Sage presents an annual lifetime achievement award in the name of Alan Salmon, who wrote for Canadian Accountant prior to his passing in 2020. The award was presented to Clyde Harris of Alwyn Enterprises in Scarborough, Ont.  

The 2021 award recipients include:

  • Alan Salmon Lifetime Achievement Award: Clyde Harris, Alwyn Enterprises (Scarborough, ON)

  • Accountant Partner of the Year: Laurie Rauk, Lauranne E Rauk Professional Corporation (Calgary, AB)

  • Bookkeeper Partner of the Year: Debrah Burleigh, Debrah Burleigh & Associates (West Kelowna, BC)

  • Innovator of the Year: Emmanuel Lucas, CDEC de Québec, (Québec City, Québec)

  • Trainer of the Year (tie): Shelley Rudiger, Leashing Your Ledgers Bookkeeping Inc. (Edmonton, AB)

  • Trainer of the Year (tie): Christine Hontoy, Tout Compte Fait Consultants (Montréal, Québec)

  • Rising Star of the Year: Jennifer Desiar, DESIAR Accounting & Bookkeeping Services (Fort St. John, BC)

Quick Hits

MNP LLP buys Babin Consultants (press release)
Challenges remain as IFRS 17 implementation approaches (Canadian Underwriter)
Is it time to make ‘natural capital’ an asset class? (Globe and Mail)
This B.C. millennial, 32, quit his corporate job in search of a ‘stress-free life’ (Globe and Mail)

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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