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Sunday News Roundup 22.04.17: Simu celebrates, Glacier investigates, and more 

Wrapping up the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting news

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, April 17, 2022 – The most popular Canadian accounting story of the past week may come as a surprise to Canadian accountants. It involved actor Simu Liu — formerly of the CBC series Kim’s Convenience and recently starring as the first Asian superhero in a Marvel movie series — who worked at Deloitte in Toronto. 

In a series of tweets on Twitter, Liu celebrated the 10-year anniversary of being fired from Deloitte, laid off from his job at Deloitte, which he thanked: "You did for me what I never had the courage to do myself; you destroyed a life that I was building for someone else, so that I could finally begin to build a life for me." 

That series of tweets, which could hardly be described as an advertisement for the accounting profession, formed the basis of countless stories such as Actor Simu Liu marks 10th anniversary of being fired as an accountant, which were carried by media outlets around the world. If there is a lesson for accounting firms in any of this, it might be to be careful how you terminate employees, lest they become Hollywood actors with global followings. 

And now, on to the rest of the odds and ends from the past week, in the world of Canadian accounting. 

BC media focuses on CPAB inspections of BC audit firms

Glacier Media, which is headquartered in Vancouver, runs a number of community news and trade publications. On Monday, Glacier looked at the 2021 Annual Inspections Report from the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB), and wondered whether a BC accounting firm was responsible for some of the more serious enforcement action. 

Why? Well, they just did the math. In addition to the Big Four, CPAB inspects seven mid-sized audit firms, “five of which are headquartered or have offices in B.C. Those seven firms are: Davidson & Company LLP, DMCL LLP, Manning Elliott LLP, MNP LLP, Smythe LLP — all with offices in B.C. — as well as McGovern Hurley LLP and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP.” 

So which firms are responsible for the dismal results? Well, as everyone know, CPAB is not permitted to name names, and all the firms refused to talk to Glacier. Only the B.C. Securities Commission and CPA BC know the details and they would not discuss specifics either. Good reporting from Glacier. 

More from the Liberal budget’s taxation measures

The Globe and Mail followed up on the federal budget from earlier this month at its wide range of measures against tax dodgers. Erica Alini looked at the complications in overhauling the toothless Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). And Patrick Brethour asserted Ottawa waters down plan to squeeze nearly $12-billion from tax dodgers

In comparing the Liberals’ election platform to the federal budget, Brethour posits: “Both the reduced budget, and the shrinking expected benefits, seem to be an implicit acknowledgment of the limits on how much revenue can be squeezed from a crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion.” 

The article presents just how contradictory the Liberals’ shifting promises on tax avoidance have been. To the list of potential explanations, we would add another: Ottawa’s abysmal track record before the Supreme Court. If the CRA is indeed planning on focusing more on corporations and HNW individuals, we can expect more lengthy and expensive arguments before the chief justices.

Prairie accountant still angry about bank hike

Kudos to Ryan Siever, a chartered professional accountant in Estevan, Sask., who prompted Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail to write about a sneaky interest rate play by the big banks. Siever got in touch with Carrick — who, to his credit, apparently reads reader emails — to remind him Carrick of how, in 2015, the overnight rate fell by 0.5 but the banks only cut their prime rate by 0.3 of a point. 

Siever apparently never forgot that greasy little trick and wants the banks to give it back now. “I see my grocery bill is 30 per cent higher, and now my bank, which shows massive profits, is going to make even more off of me,” Siever wrote. Perhaps the banks deserve that one-time bank tax after all. 

Oakville CPA in messy breakup battle

The Toronto Star reported this past week on a legal battle involving Oakville accountant Grant Gorchynski and Mississauga Centre Progressive Conservative MPP Natalia Kusendova. According to Tory MPP owes me $30,000, ex-lover claims in lawsuit, Gorchynski is suing his former romantic partner in Ontario Superior Court, alleging the Tory politican owes him $30,000. 

Kusendova says her former Gorchynski “got involved with her romantically for the sole purpose of lobbying for the LRT stop … and exploiting her political office to do so.” Gorchynski is actually the COO of Lisgar Commercial Real Estate, a family business started by his grandmother, which owns propertes on Oakville and Mississauga. The Opposition says something smells foul (or fishy).

Quick Hits

The oligarch’s accountants: How PwC helped a Russian steel baron grow his offshore empire (ICIJ)
What you need to know this tax season, and how to plan for the next one (CBC)
Iristel sues CRA for $275-million over GST tax battle (Globe and Mail)
Insurers face double hit from new accounting rules and new taxes (Globe and Mail)
Tax & Spend: Ottawa’s fiscal anchor is all rope (Globe and Mail)
UK regulator to reclaim powers to strike off accounting firms (Financial Times)
UK watchdog to reclaim powers to ban auditors (Financial Times) 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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