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Friday News Roundup 21.02.12: MNP Deloitte deal, Big Four bulking up, accounting games and more

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2021 – The big accounting news of the week, which we covered here, was the federal government’s reversal on CERB repayments and CERB tax debt relief. While there was plenty of punditry on the topic, the Globe and Mail asserted the reversal contradicted legal precedent, with accountants pointing out the reversal was unfair in other ways. There were still some other important stories among the odds and ends from this week in the world of Canadian accounting: 

MNP and Deloitte do massive acquisition deal

Late today, news broke that MNP LLP had acquired 25 Canadian offices from Deloitte Canada, including 70 partners and 900 team members who will head to MNP. Twenty of the 25 new offices are in Quebec, which will greatly expand the homegrown accounting firm’s footprint in the province. The acquisition also includes “selected locations in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario … all provinces where both firms have offices.” Canadian Accountant will delve further into the deal next week, following interviews. 

Accounting firms bulking back up after lean 2020?

David Milstead, a business reporter at The Globe & Mail who regularly covers the accounting profession, says firms are staffing up for tax season. But he acknowledges that the “picture is incomplete,” as several of Canada’s largest accounting firms declined to address or even acknowledge questions about layoffs, drawdowns and more during 2020. It’s entirely possible that some firms are ready to bulk up again; it’s also possible that many will try to get the most of their leaner staffing to make up for lost profits.

RSM adds Stark & Marsh to RSM Canada Alliance program

On Tuesday, RSM Canada announce the addition of Stark & Marsh CPA LLP of Swift Current, Saskatchewan to its RSM Canada Alliance. Founded in 1993, Stark & Marsh offers accounting services for individuals, small, medium or large businesses and agricultural producers in southern Saskatchewan. The accounting firm specializes in succession planning, business valuations, tax advisory and assurance services. Stark & Marsh becomes the tenth member of the RSM Canada Alliance, first announced in December 2018 as an affiliation of independent accounting firms in Canada.

BC health agency CEO fired after EY Canada report

Watch out there, free-spending public sector administrators. When the government calls in the auditors to look at your books, your job is on the line. Such is the case of the CEO of the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), one Benoit Morin, CPA, CMA. The PHSC "decided to part ways" with Morin after the B.C. government called in EY Canada. Reading what happened at the PHSA, as reported by the CBC, might make you feel like you’ve got the flu. 

Is Ontario sitting on federal pandemic funds?

Evidence is mounting that Ontario has not used the money it was given by the feds for pandemic fiscal support. This week, the Toronto Star reported alleged “accounting games” on social assistance spending — numbers which the provincial government does not dispute. 

What happened at Laurentian University?

The first post-secondary institution in the history of Ontario to become insolvent, Laurentian University and its financial practices are under scrutiny. As reported by the CBC, a consultant by the name of Alex Usher has been raising questions not only about Laurentian’s enrolment strategies but says “there are big questions for the school's accounting firm, KPMG, to answer, as well as the university board's financial committee.” 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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