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Sunday News Roundup 24.06.09: Capital gains vote, Bondfield auditors, and more Canadian accounting news

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

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, June 9, 2024 – We are less than 24 hours away from changes to the taxation of capital gains being introduced in Parliament on Monday. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to introduce a ways and means motion, the first step to be completed before tax change legislation can be tabled, the motion proposing that a particular financial measure be considered by the House. 

Whether the Liberals have bent to the will of business interests and the leading lobby group for doctors will not be known until details have been disclosed in the motion. But in a speech in Toronto on Sunday, Freeland said the motion will follow the “broad outlines” of the government’s proposal, and the Canadian Medical Association has already stated its disappointment.

By the way, in its article Inside the Campaign to Kill a Step Toward Tax Fairness, The Tyee noted that few media outlets other than Yahoo Canada published the results of an Abacus Data “push poll” paid for by the CMA. In our Sunday News Roundup a few weeks ago, we too noted that few outlets were interested in a Nanos poll commissioned by Bloomberg Business, as “the question asked by the pollster was not a binary one, but rather one based on public statements by ‘some people.’” You see a pattern here. 

The Liberals do have a history of bending to political pressure from interest groups and have shot themselves in the foot on recent tax changes such as bare trusts and the UHT. But the government seems fixated on forcing the Conservatives to declare their position on taxation of the wealthy as early this week as possible through a vote on the motion. Perhaps this proves the point made by Steve Suarez (whose writing has appeared in Canadian Accountant) in his Globe and Mail article, Merits of capital-gains tax hike are debatable, but we deserve better implementation

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois have already signalled support for the changes.

And now, on to the rest of the news from the past week in Canadian accounting. 

CPA Ontario to hold discipline hearings involving Deloitte partners

The extremely messy case of Bondfield Construction and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto has now ensnared partners at Deloitte Canada. David Milstead at the Globe and Mail was the first to notice that CPA Ontario had opened discipline cases against Felice Iorio and Steve Kostich, over their audit of Bondfield, after PwC Canada had resigned as Bondfield’s auditors. 

The Bondfield scandal has everything — bankruptcy and allegations of corruption; a Supreme Court of Canada hearing involving the former Bondfield CEO and EY Canada, the bankrupcy monitor of Bondfield; and a court date coming up in November involving the figures at the centre of the allegations. Last February, the Globe and Mail, which has taken a special interest in the case, reported that the OPP closed its probe into procurement allegations, after a government agency told the force it would handle the investigation on its own. 

If you read the discipline notices, you have no idea that auditors worked for Deloitte, or were involved in Bondfield, which is simply identified as “B. Limited.” Even Going Concern, the popular accounting blog based in the US, thought that omission interesting. While CPA Ontario gave the Globe a sound reason for not identifying the firm, if you talk to practitioners (as we do), you sometimes hear the opinion that regulators treat the Big Four — with their seemingly unlimited financial and legal resources — with kid gloves. The sense, right or wrong, is that regulators are far more likely to go after the smaller firms.

That opinion may not square with CPA Ontario’s recent regulatory fines against Big Four firms, but a change in the governing legislation of provincial regulators might provide more transparency in cases like this one. 

Climate warrior talk misses the mark

The Financial Post published another opinion piece recently on “warrior accountants” and coming Canadian substainability standards. Any piece with a first paragraph that includes a whiff of climate denialism is just perfect for the Post, of course, with its ties to the oil and gas industry. And the author weaponizes a phrase, “warrior accountant,” that was originally meant positively (as CPA Ontario explains), into a term of culture-war contempt, similar to the loaded word “woke.” 

Much has been made of the author’s background and expertise by media outlets but the article is not without merit. It also misses the mark. A quick glance at the CSSB’s voting members reveals a roster of executives from the oil and gas, mining, and agriculture sectors, as well as financial companies with a track record of fossil fuel investment. Not an eco-warrior in the bunch. 

Furthermore, one could argue that Canada faces far more of a threat from the possibility of tariffs imposed on exports from our carbon-intensive industries than a set of financial reporting standards. The consultation period for the proposed standards ends in just a few hours: Monday, June 10.

Accounting Dealbook: MNP closes May with another acquisition

“There are still a few days left in May so maybe MNP will surprise us yet again,” we said back in our last Sunday News Roundup and, lo and behold, MNP has indeed surprised us again. On May 30, the homegrown national accounting firm announced it had picked up Halpert Monsma Chartered Professional Accountants in its hometown province of Alberta. 

Halpert Monsma, which is based in Edmonton, has been around since 1989. Loretta Monsma and her team will remain at their current location for the present time and will work closely with MNP’s existing teams in Edmonton to service business across the region. 

Software News: QBO, Sage Intacct

Two minutes for boarding, QBO

Intuit QuickBooks has struck a partnership deal with the NHL. In a multi-year deal, the NHL has named Intuit QuickBooks the “Official Small Business Accounting Software of the NHL,” granting the software platform “a number of exclusive League marketing rights and designations to use in national advertising, marketing, and promotional initiatives.” 

What does it all mean to the average hockey fan? Well, for one thing, you will likely see QBO advertised on the dasherboards during games — the lower part of the boards where advertising has become ubiquitous. But this is different. While virtual advertising is now commonplace in many sports, the NHL took longer to adopt the new digital technology due to the question of whether the dasherboards could withstand physical contact with the players and pucks. 

Sage Intacct unveils new updates to advance productivity and control for SMBs

Sage has rolled out a number of enhancements in its latest Sage Intacct product release. For Canadian users, these include PwC Control Insights; bank transaction assistant file import; AI timesheets; Sage Fixed Asset Management - Purchasing integration; boosted revenue management; construction enhancements; and supplies inventory. 

Quick Hits: Articles of Interest 


New webisode of Life in the Tax Lane for June 2024 (Video Tax News)
Canada has 99 problems but a high tax regime ain’t one (Globe and Mail)
‘Don’t over-pivot’: KPMG Canada’s CEO on walking the tightrope of AI adoption (The Logic)
CRA pushing back on Maple Leafs’ John Tavares signing bonus tax claim (Toronto Star)
Canadian securities regulators propose changes to assurance report requirements for designated benchmarks (Press Release)
Vancouver accountant ditches corporate life to throw lavish events and weddings (Venture) 


Understanding the PCAOB's stricter quality control rules (CFO)
Another big client ditches PwC as firm faces fines over Evergrande audits (SCMP)
U.S. President Biden Vetoes Resolution Overturning SEC Guidance (Yahoo Finance)
Labour to close tax loophole for thousands of private equity investors (Yahoo Finance)

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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