Friday News Roundup 21.08.27: Election promises, auditor shopping, online business registry and more
Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news
TORONTO, Aug. 27, 2021 – Election campaigning is in full swing, with the usual tax promises and fiscal pledges party leaders hope will sway voters. This past week, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole released his party’s election platform, which promises billions of dollars in new spending, plus a month-long GST holiday, changes to the disability tax credit, and a child care tax credit; NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in addition to a wealth tax, has promised to eliminate interest on student loans; and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to impose a three per cent surtax on earnings at Canada’s big banks and insurers.
BNN Bloomberg had perhaps the best take on the week, stating: “It’s all building up to be a disappointing turn of events for business, which worked hard in the run-up to the election campaign to make growth and productivity a priority. Instead, the two big parties appear to be taking pages from the left-leaning New Democratic Party.”
Now on to the odds and ends from the past week in the world of Canadian accounting.
Business Registry opportunity for CPAs?
In October, Ontario will launch a new online business registry that will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Accounting firms can continue to complete transactions on behalf of businesses and not-for-profits via authorized Service Providers or by mail, but they will soon have the ability to complete transactions by email. That should save some workflow time!
CPA seeks federal seat in St. Albert-Edmonton riding
Greg Springate, CPA, CA is tenured assistant professor at MacEwan University who is running for the Liberals (for the second time) in the Edmonton. “I've got a financial background, and I'm also someone with a social conscience,” says Springate. The professor is on a sabbatical doing research on intergenerational equity and financial sustainability.
Auditor shopping to hide financial misstatements
We came across a fascinating new academic study, published in the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, on the practice of “auditor shopping.” The study is co-authored by Zvi Singer, an associate professor in the department of accounting at HEC Montréal, which can be read in review form online.
The study explored situations in which “A company seeking to hide a financial misstatement will replace its auditor if doing so will lower the probability the misstatement will be discovered (i.e., shopping by replacement), or retain the auditor if a new auditor is more likely to discover the misstatement (i.e., shopping by retention).” It’s such a good read we hope the authors will write an article on it for The Conversation.
Accountant becomes toy maker
Toronto Life has a wonderful profile of Sara Feldstein, who launched her own toy company, Barumba Play, during the pandemic. Like many accountants, Feldstein was juggling long work hours during tax season and child-care duties during pandemic school closures, and was suffering from burnout. So she took and leave of absence and started making modular kids furniture.
What the article doesn’t say is that Sara Feldstein is the daughter of Mark Feldstein, of Mark Feldstein and Associates, a three-generation family firm in Markham, Ont. “My new business is stressful, of course, but at least now I’m in control,” says (Sara) Feldstein.
CPA Canada and Canada Life team up on financial literacy
CPA Canada and Canada Life have launched an online series of free financial literacy workshops aimed at school children. The fully downloadable workshop materials for parents and teachers can be used to inform and educate young children and students about six money management topics.
Geared to specific age groups, those topics include: Savings and bank accounts; “pet shop,” focused on the responsibilities of pet ownership; earning income; goal setting; earning income – advanced; and credit cards and debt. Learn more here: cpacanada.ca/flvirtualschool.
Sage Accounting improvements for small businesses
Sage has announced new improvements to Sage Accounting in Canada to better serve the needs of small business customers. For scaling businesses, inventory management capabilities in the new Sage Accounting Plus tier supports businesses trading internationally and managing stock, with multi-currency banking coming soon.
Additionally, AutoEntry in Sage Accounting automates and streamlines data entry across accounting and bookkeeping functions by eliminating time-consuming, repetitive and error-prone manual data entry tasks.
By Canadian Accountant staff.