Sunday News Roundup 22.02.27: Big Four time off, accounting and economic reports, and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
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TORONTO, February 27, 2022 – The story that dominated the week’s headlines was of course the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One aspect of the dire situation that many accountants are aware of is the SWIFT banking communications system. While there have many primers on the SWIFT system, the CBC had a nuanced report on the system and why some countries would be reluctant to include SWIFT in their sanctions.
But in Canadian accounting news, as we head into another busy tax season, two of the Big Four accounting firms made summer time-off announcements. On February 10, KPMG Canada announced its Summer Splash Initiative, which gives employees (seven) Fridays off for the entire summer. This past week, PwC Canada announced spring and summer office closures, “giving everyone five extra-long weekends this spring/summer to step back.”
Time will tell as to whether Deloitte Canada and EY Canada will follow suit, but employee retention during the ongoing pandemic has been a challenge for all businesses, including accounting firms. For now, according to their press releases, at least two of the Big Four accounting firms will be closed on Fridays this summer. And now, on to the rest of the news from the past week in Canadian accounting.
Report: State of accounting firms
Caseware International recently released two reports on the global accounting profession: the 2022 State of Accounting Firms Trends Report and the 2022 State of Internal Audit Trends Report. (Both reports are free to download once registered.) Both reports reflect the seismic shifts in workplace culture that has occurred since the pandemic began, from fraud to remote working, to finding and hiring the right talent.
“As long as COVID-19 persists, technology, virtual collaboration and visibility will continue to be top priorities for accounting professionals,” says Scott Epstein, Chief Product Officer at CaseWare. “Given the efficiencies the cloud brings and the headaches it eliminates, accounting firms that stay rooted in pure on-premises technology approaches are almost certain to fall behind their cloud-enabled competitors.”
Higher inflation a temporary phase in the real economy
Accounting firm RSM Canada released its latest economic report, The Real Economy, this past week. According to RSM, inflation will hit five per cent in 2022 before approaching three per cent by the year’s end, and the labour market remains a drag on the trajectory of Canada’s otherwise steady economic recovery.
One pleasant aspect of The Real Economy is its business predictions. For example, in this issue, RSM predicts greater competition may be on the horizon for Canada’s telecommunications market. Canadians pay some of the highest internet subscription rates in the entire world and, if licences to smaller providers can set in motion meaningful price wars, Canadian consumers will be the beneficiaries.
CPA Canada fraud study: Canadian victims
According to a new survey from CPA Canada — released in advance of Fraud Prevention Month —almost half (46 per cent) of respondents report having fallen victim at some point in their lives. CPA Canada’s 2022 Fraud Study found that credit card fraud remains the leading type of financial fraud, followed by email or phishing fraud, of which eight per cent have been a victim. A background document can be found online at cpacanada.ca/fraud.
Tax debts and consumer insolvencies, together again (Globe and Mail)
U.S. warns Canada, again, that it’s not happy about proposed digital services tax (Toronto Star)
The 50 per cent inclusion rate on capital gains benefits mostly the rich. It’s time to bump it up (Toronto Star)
How Quebec became Canada’s economic powerhouse in the middle of a pandemic (Toronto Star)
Lazaridis School ranked among top 10 schools in Canada for accounting research (Laurier)
By Canadian Accountant staff.