Sunday News Roundup 22.07.17: Cheating, acquisitions, software and more Canadian accounting news
Wrapping up the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting news
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TORONTO, July 17, 2022 – By far the biggest business story of the week was the surprise decision by the Bank of Canada to front-load its interest rate-hiking campaign because Canadians "are getting more worried that high inflation is here to stay." Instead of the three-quarters of a percentage point anticipated by most economists, the Bank of Canada hiked the benchmark rate by a full percentage point to 2.5 per cent, which was ahead of even those high expectations.
Inflation and supply chain concerns were already the top two challenges to the growth of the economy, as cited by Canadian accountants in the 2022 Q1 CPA Canada Business Monitor. Don’t expect much to change, other than the risk of a recession, when the results come in for 2022 Q2. And now, on to the rest of the news from the past week in Canadian accounting.
Tell us how you’re not cheating, Big Four
It’s never a good thing when an international news agency name-checks you in a negative story. But on Friday, Canada was mentioned as another culprit in cheating practices on internal exams at Big Four accounting firms. In UK accountants told to show how they prevent cheating in exams, Canada is mentioned alongside the US and Australia as being the target of penalties for cheating by regulators.
Earlier this year, PwC Canada was fined over one million CDN by US and Canadian regulators, when the Big Four accounting firm voluntarily disclosed to regulators that its employees shared answers on mandatory internal training courses. Now the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates accountants in Britain, has sent letters to the major accounting firms and accountancy associations, asking what controls they have in place.
KPMG goes off-island in latest Quebec acquisition
The most interesting battleground province for accounting firms in the past two years has been Quebec. And why not? It’s economy is strong and diversified. It has a large public sector and a culture of SME entrepreneurial success. So it came as no surprise this past week that KPMG has acquired Fournelle Marion Beaudoin Trussart, otherwise known as FMBT, in the off-island suburb of Montreal known as Terrebonne.
This new acquisition is the latest in a series of acquisitions that began in 2018 to expand the KPMG brand throughout Québec. The Big Four firm is competing with MNP, which made a blockbuster deal with Deloitte Quebec in 2021, and one of the strongest Francophone accounting brands, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, itself the product of a merger in 1998, with more than 100 offices across la belle province.
Microsoft is reversing course on blocking VBA macros on downloaded documents by default. The news was first broken by BleepingComputer, which explained that VBA macros are a popular method to push a wide range of malware strains, and cybersecurity experts were pleased with the move.
Apparently there was a lot of pushback from unspecified stakeholders but Microsoft is remaining mum on the subject. The software giant says it is still planning to block VBA macros in the future but will temporarily suspend its plans.
Canadian Press reported this week that thousands of tech workers were laid off in the second quarter of 2022 — but are being quickly snapped up by established players. That includes accounting software provider Intuit Canada as it plans to hire 250 people over the next fiscal year.
"Some (workers) are looking for more meaningful roles or you're in smaller startups that....don't have the stability and you hit an economic bump like we are in right now, so suddenly their jobs are redundant," said David Marquis, the company's country manager.
Departing financial controller latest to flag concerns around Charlottetown finances, review process (CBC)
Taxpayer relying on CRA website info gets hit with penalty for contributing too much to TFSA (Financial Post)
Canadian Muslim charity asks Supreme Court to review CRA suspension (Global News)
Opinion: Before he leaves, Kenney must erase stain on his tax record: bracket creep (PostMedia)
Global tax deal imperiled by Manchin's balking at minimum corporate levy (Politico)
Will Canada go it alone on a digital tax? (Politico)
EY break-up plan could see firm lead industry shake-up (AccountancyAge)
Tax & Spend: Worries about tax cuts at the pump are just so much vapour (Globe and Mail)
Inside Amazon’s strategy to shield its profits from Canadian taxes (Globe and Mail)
B.C. speculation tax brings 20,000 units back to rental market (Globe and Mail)
By Canadian Accountant staff.