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Friday News Roundup 20.09.18: Tax Court complaints, audit quality, ZBB and more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2020 – This week’s Friday news roundup of the odds and ends from the world of Canadian accounting includes: 

Did a Tax Court judge exert influence on UofT hiring decision?

Both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star reported this week on allegations from members of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law that the law school rescinded a job offer after influence on the decision was exerted by an unnamed judge who sits on the Tax Court of Canada. Several faculty have resigned in protest, and official complaints have been filed with the Canadian Judicial Council, which has the authority to investigate and discipline judicial misconduct. 

Dean Edward Iacobucci denies that the position of director of the law faculty’s International Human Rights Program was rescinded “after a sitting Tax Court judge — and major donor to the faculty — allegedly expressed concerns over [the candidate’s] academic work on Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories.” 

OSFI and CPAB co-host audit quality roundtable

Representatives from the audit community got together virtually to examine the state of external audit quality in Canada. The roundtable comes at a time of extreme scrutiny on audit regulators and audit quality around the world following a string of audit scandals, the latest being that of Wirecard, a mea culpa from EY, and a forced split of audit and consulting arms in the UK. 

Jeremy Rudin of OSFI and Carol Paradine of CPAB issued a joint statement: "At a time when the global financial system is under stress, strong financial reporting is paramount.  The Canadian financial system is recognized as a model for clear and reliable financial reporting supported by high quality audits. We continue to engage industry stakeholders and coordinate our collective efforts to support the proactive advancement of audit quality in Canada." 

Sudbury rejects zero-based budgeting

This week, Sudbury Council rejected a motion to implement zero-based budgeting (ZBB), a radical management accounting technique often used to reduce costs, as explained by Deloitte. Perhaps the most (in)famous Canadian example of ZBB was its use by Brazil’s 3G Capital when it took over Tim Hortons. The takeover has been widely derided as disastrous for one of Canada’s most valuable brands. Councillors asserted that they found the motion misleading in multiple ways. 

As COVID supports end, MNP expects more Canadian debtors

A new poll by Ipsos carried out on behalf of MNP LTD has found that four in ten (43%) Canadians are still experiencing disruption to either their own work situation or that of someone else in their household in the form of lay-offs, reduced pay, or fewer working hours. Two in ten (21%) homeowners who are currently receiving government financial support say they will need to defer their mortgage payments if government financial support ends. 

“Short-term financial relief is ending, but household finances are still disrupted. And on top of that, creditors will soon be looking for ways to catch people up on deferred payments. While jobs have slowly begun returning across the country, that does not necessarily mean relief for all working Canadians,” says Grant Bazian, President at MNP LTD, the country’s largest insolvency firm. 

Wagepoint’s maritime origin story

Payroll software provider Wagepoint, which was founded in Halifax, was the subject of a nice profile this week in The ChronicleHerald: “Originally from Dubai, [Wagepoint CEO] Rao came to Canada as a business and accounting student at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, always with a plan of becoming an entrepreneur. 

“After graduating university, he moved to Halifax and in 2012 Rao, accountant Bill Murphy and Ryan Dineen co-founded Wagepoint with the help of a $500,000 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.” 

Forensic accounting merger

And finally, Williams & Partners Forensic Accountants Inc. and Meaden & Moore International (Canada) have merged their firms, according to Canadian Underwriter. The new firm will be called Williams Meaden & Moore Inc.

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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