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Friday News Roundup 20.11.06: Alberta accounting, MNP mergers, job growth stalls and more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2020 – With all eyes on the U.S. election this week, it was easy to miss the odds and ends from this week’s news in the world of Canadian accounting: 

Auditor General cites reports Alberta accounting blunders

This week, Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie flagged a massive $1.6B in government accounting errors, as well as oversight problems, according to the Canadian Press. The province’s infamous energy “war room,” officially known as the Canadian Energy Centre, was a particular target for its awarding of rich single-source contracts to vendors. The Edmonton Journal spread some of the blame around to past government for contractual commitments to energy projects. 

Homegrown accounting firm MNP keeps expanding

Not a month seems to go by without a new acquisition announced by the fifth largest accounting firm in Canada: MNP LLP. Last week the homegrown firm announced “mergers” in the Maritimes, B.C. and Ontario. Now they’ve kicked off November by announcing more mergers in B.C. That includes The Newport Group CPA of Port Moody, B.C., as well as Masuch + Mellios LLP of Vancouver. Both deals will become effective January 1, 2021. 

The mergers will not be without moves, according to MNP. The Newport Group CPA team will be moving into MNP's Port Moody office. Loui Mellios, Suki Pang and their team will be moving from their current location into MNP’s Vancouver office. 

Canadian job growth slows as pandemic cases surge

October job growth in Canada was disappointing after big gains were reported in September. According to a Statistics Canada report released today, the pace of job growth slowed in October as the economy added 83,600 jobs in the month compared with 378,000 in September. That means the unemployment rate is holding steady at 8.9% as pandemic cases continue to affect the job market. 

The bleak news among the numbers is 450,000 Canadians (nearly one-quarter of Canada's unemployed) are now considered “long-term unemployed,” having been without work for six months or more. Canadian Press quoted CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes, who said the fact the economy posted another gain in October was good news: "It seems like employment readings are destined to ebb and flow over the coming fall and winter months, as governments try to adjust activity in attempts to contain the virus," he writes in a note. 

Peterborough consider KPMG cost-cutting

Big Four accounting firm KPMG seems like the go-to consulting firm for municipal cost-cutting. In 2020 alone, we’ve seen news reports from Lethbridge, Sudbury, St. John’s, Waterloo, Niagara Region and more on local politicians considering service cuts following recommendations by KPMG. This week it was Peterborough’s turn, as reported by the Peterborough Examiner (paywall), including “doing away with services such as parades and running the Centennial Fountain in Little Lake.” 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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