Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers.

Brilliant Futures:

During our College wide open house, most new College students are wondering, do we have a future:?

Here is the PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) perspective.

At PwC, the company will help you create your own brilliant future. You’ve worked hard at  College & University to give yourself that head start. We’ll build on your education and give you the technical training and people skills you need to make the most of your career. We work in a team-based learning environment. Most of your development will take place on the job, but you’ll also get plenty of coaching and classroom-based training.

You’ll be mentored, finding yourself inspired and embracing the insights of others. You’ll also begin coaching others early on, developing your own ability to inspire and motivate people. We’ll help you build relationships with your colleagues and clients so you can provide them with the value they’re looking for.

We’re often asked what a career path at PwC looks like

Some people join us looking to specialize in a specific area, becoming an expert in their field. Some of us like to experience one area of PwC and then move to a different line of service to explore other areas of the firm. For others, a career goal is to become a partner.

The path to partnership takes years of hard work and determination. You’ll find that there are opportunities for promotion to the next level as you master technical skills, build internal and external relationships, and gain credentials and experience.

With each step of your career, you’ll take on increased responsibilities and more complex client work. You’ll manage larger teams, become a coach to others in the firm and play a key role in building the practice. You’ll become directly responsible for relationships and services to clients, understanding what value looks like for them and making sure we deliver on their own unique expectations. Reaching the partner level means that you have a history of exceptional performance and commitment to the firm as well as deep technical and industry knowledge.

 

 UFE Preparation Program

As a new employee and CA student at PwC, your preparation for the UFE begins soon after arriving at the firm. Led by highly-trained instructors, the program includes practical training, workshops and practice sessions with questions from actual exams and other reference materials. We provide you with extensive study leave and we even cover all UFE-related exam fees.

To learn more about the UFE and about PWC: visit the PWC website

Discussion questions:

1. Visit the above PWC website, what did you find interesting, have an open discussion with your classmates.

2. Do you find that PWC wants to help you achieve your goals?

3. What do you envision a Professional  Chartered Accountant does on a day to day basis?

Text taken from the PWC website

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers.

Recommend Going Forward

 The CA, CMA and CGA Orders in Quebec recently announced that their respective boards of directors have recommended moving forward with a merger of their organizations. With this favourable recommendation to the Office des professions, the provincial government is expected to introduce legislation in early 2012 that would establish a new professional accounting order representing more than 34,000 Quebec CAs, CMAs and CGAs.

Best Interest for Everyone

As you will see in the news release issued on October 4, the Quebec Orders concluded that uniting the profession is in the best interests of their members and the public, citing the emergence of international accounting standards and the blurring differences among the designations

Significant Development

This is a significant development for our colleagues in Quebec, and one that we have been watching very closely as we explore the merits and feasibility of uniting the CA and CMA bodies across the country.

CICA Mission Statement

 Our mission is to foster public confidence in the CA profession by acting in the public interest and helping our members excel.

 Vision Statement for Canada’s CAs

 “We are Canada’s most valued, internationally recognized profession of leaders in senior management, advisory, financial, tax and assurance roles.”

 Value Statement for the CA Profession

“Chartered Accountants are valued for their integrity and expertise”

To read more on the Unification , please see your source for the CA -CMA merger www.cpacanada.ca, go to the site and listen to the video commentaries.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you believe that the Unification will happen for all CA’s, CMA’s and CGA’s for all of Canada?

2. Do you agree that unification is for the best interest of the public?

3. How will Unification help you the student, from a job market point of view.

4.Can you come up with a new Mission Statement for CPA’s?

Note: Information taken from the CICA website and www.cpacanada.ca

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Taxation & Planning.

Foreword:

According to Benjamin Franklin, taxation was an absolute certainty in this world. Taxation continues to be an inescapable fact of life in our modern global world. For CGA-Canada and our members – business and accounting leaders across the country – taxation has always been a key area of interest and concern.

On an international scale, Canada’s tax system is among the most complex in the world – this hurts our economy and adversely affects small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) as well as individual taxpayers. Canadians want governments to make taxes simpler, fairer and more efficient.

 The Nature of Tax Complexity

 Tax simplification has many dimensions. For some, tax simplification means easier to read and understand tax law. The focus of this view is on the Income Tax Act that has grown from its beginning in 1917, as the Income War Tax Act, an Act of 11 pages in length including regulations, to the ITA today, which contains some 2800 pages, including regulations and commentary. One significant reason for its growth is the simple fact that while a multitude of special measures have been introduced into the ITA since its inception, next to nothing has been removed from it.

 Why is the ITA so complicated for even the seemingly sophisticated tax expert?

The quick answer is that these experts find the ITA complex because it is just that – complex.

  The Reason for Tax Complexity

Complexity arises from the simple fact that we require the tax system to serve a number of conflicting purposes. First, we want the tax system to respond to changing financial and economic circumstances. Second, we want the tax system to ensure fairness for taxpayers. Third, we want the tax system to provide taxpayers with a reasonable degree of certainty. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we want the tax system to preserve government tax revenues.

 The Need for Fairness

The tax system is also committed to fairness. Given the wide variety and extreme complexity of economic and social situations which the tax system must accommodate, it is impossible for the tax system to be fair without being complex.

 Discussion Questions:

1. How many of you have completed your personal income taxes? What was your experience?

 2. Why do you think the Income Tax Act is so complex?

 3. How would you simplify the Income Tax Act?

 The complete article may be read online: The need for Tax Simplification – Challenge and an Opportunity

Information obtained from the CGA website:

About the Authors

C. Scott Clark is currently President of C. S. Clark Consulting and previously served as Assistant Deputy Minister,

Associate Deputy Minister, and Deputy Minister of Finance.

Len Farber is currently a Senior Advisor at Norton Rose OR LLP and previously served as General Director

responsible for Tax Policy in the Department of Finance.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Financial Accounting, IFRS, International Accounting.

Canadian Private Enterprises will soon need to make a choice

Canadian publicly accountable enterprises will be required to use International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for fiscal years beginning January 1, 2011.  What about Canadian private companies?

Canadian Private companies will have an option to adopt one of the two following sets of standards:

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE)

Both standards would be for annual financial statements relating to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

Which standards is the best choice for your enterprise?

When going through the process of which standard to adopt the following decision tree should be used as a guide:

Private companies should consider IFRS if:

1. Plans to issue equity for growth, obtain external financing from Canadian and Foreign Banks, competing with public companies for access to credit, is a foreign subsidiary whose parent reports in accordance with IFRS .

2. A Private company should consider ASPE if it: Has no plans to access the public equity markets, no plans to obtain debt from outside of Canada, wants current reporting that is simple with minimal complexities, prepare financial statements for owners and tax compliance.

The Advantages of ASPE

Canadian Market place is familiar with the framework, more emphasis on historical cost , any private company can use the ASPE standards regardless of size.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you agree with the two separate standards?

2. As a professional Accountant, should we specialize in IFRS or ASPE?

3. Do you feel that the public will be confused by adopting two different Accounting Frameworks?

Article taken from PWC.CA , to read more visit www.pwc.com/ca/private

Posted by & filed under Canadian Economy, Taxation & Planning.

Tapping into opportunities for the students of tomorrow:

Benefits of the RESP

Under the program, both subscriber and government contributions can grow tax-free until the funds are withdrawn to attend an accredited post-secondary institution. Many employers  recognize a post-secondary education (PSE) as a pre-requisite when hiring. Specialized educational achievements are seen as indicators of a candidate’s ability to perform at a high level not only on the job, but also to successfully navigate the challenges of dynamic, modern workplaces.

Increasing cost of education

From 1989 to 2009 tuition fees in Canada more than doubled causing the levels of student borrowing and associated debt to increase.

Existing barriers

Despite the numerous benefits offered by the RESP, many households are not taking advantage of this option. Unawareness of the RESP and the complexity of its definitions and processes were found to be factors for RESP enrolment complacency, especially for the low and middle income demographic.

Low Income Families

It is widely accepted that economically disadvantaged students in Canada are less likely to pursue a university education than students from well-to-do families. While the level of a household’s income may pose a barrier for a student to attend a post-secondary institution, the current financial crisis further hinders a family from saving for PSE through RESPs.

Student Loans

Student loans remain the primary source of funding for costs associated with PSE such as living expenses, tuition and textbooks. In 2008, the average student debt upon graduation increased to $15,466 from $11,250 in 2000. While students may still need to rely on loans, bursaries and scholarships to finance their PSE, RESPs can make a significant impact and reduce the level of overall student debt.

Raise Awareness to the Benefits of RESP’s

Collaboration between financial institutions and group scholarship providers, who can communicate the benefits of RESPs, may be one way to raise awareness and encourage greater participation.

To obtain more information read the complete,Article from the CGA magazine:

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are Youth from Lower-income Families Less Likely to Attend University?

2. Where would you obtain more information on RESPs?

3. Do you find that more students are working today to pay for their education?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Canadian Economy.

 

One in three employers around the world is having a hard time finding qualified talent —

 including accounting and finance staff — according to a survey by US-based global staffing

service ManpowerGroup. Of the employers polled, 90% say available job candidates do not

have the necessary skills and experience, have insufficient qualifications or lack soft skills.

The hardest jobs to fill globally this year are:

1. Technicians
2. Sales representatives
3. Skilled trades workers
4. Engineers
5. Labourers
6. Management/executives
7. Accounting and finance staff
8. IT staff
9. Production operators
10. Secretaries, administrative assistants and office support staff.

 Information obtained from the September Issue of CA magazine:

Discussion Questions:

1. Are you considering a profession in Accounting? Why?

2. Do you think there will always be a demand for Accountants, in both good and poor economies?

3. Do you know anyone who works in Finance? What do they do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Corporate Restructuring.

Why are we considering the creation of a new designation?

We are witnessing an irreversible international trend in which forces are converging around three major bodies: the American Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), made up of 11 of the leading accounting organizations in the world, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) of the United Kingdom.

The CPA is already an extremely strong brand, both within North America and around the globe. In fact, it is the most used accounting designation worldwide. This designation will evolve into a globally recognized business credential in the areas of financial and strategic management, business leadership, and auditing and assurance competencies. In our view, it is essential that we align ourselves with the global accounting designation of choice, should a single designation emerge.

The designation

Members are proud of their professional designation. For that reason, they will retain their current designation (CA, CGA, CMA) and add the Quebec and Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant – CPA designation. They will be designated as follows:

First Name Last Name, CPA, CA

First Name Last Name, CPA, CGA

First Name Last Name, CPA, CMA

All members in good standing of the three existing accounting Orders will be granted the CPA designation while retaining their current professional designation.

The use of both designations will be mandatory for 10 years. After this period, members will have the choice of using the CPA alone or of continuing to use the CPA, CA, or the CPA, CGA or the CPA, CMA.

Besides being the most used worldwide, this designation will evolve into a globally recognized business credential in the areas of financial and strategic management, business leadership, and auditing and assurance competencies.

This designation will represent a unique combination of expertise in all areas of accounting, including financial and management accounting and taxation.

Retention of rights

The unification agreement will protect the rights of members of the three accounting Orders, such as public accounting licensing rights and rights under any existing Mutual Recognition Agreements. However, no new rights will be granted and there will be no expansion of current rights.

For example, members of the new Order who would like to practice public accountancy will be required to hold a public accountancy permit, which will allow them to use the CPA auditor designation.

Documentation obtained from the Ordre des comptables agrees du Quebec ordre des comptables agrees:

Discussion Questions:

1. Which professional designation were you considering of obtaining?

2. Would the creation of only one Public Accounting Designation be beneficial to you, from an economic point of view, especially if the Designation is recognized world wide?

3. Will confusion be eliminated by having only one designation?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Financial Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Managerial Accounting.

Small business owners in Canada are a happy group, a new survey says. In fact, 62% of Canadian small business owners would describe themselves as “very happy” with only 1% saying they are “very unhappy.”

These are just some of the findings from TD’s Small Business Happiness Index, which examined the attitudes and behaviour of Canadian small business owners in seven urban centres. It  revealed that nearly 9 in 10 Canadian small business owners are happier owning and running their own business than they would be if working for someone else.

Why are small business owners so happy?
There are several reasons for Canadian small business owners’ high satisfaction levels. These include a sense of pride and accomplishment (97%) plus a deep personal connection to their employees (91%) and their customers (84%).

The challenges
As rewarding as it is, small business ownership also has its difficulties. The top three cited were managing, recruiting and training staff (24%), coping with stress and risk (23%), and financing and cash flow (22%).

  • Keep a close eye on the key metrics that are essential to your business’ success
    “It is impossible to analyze every part of your business every day.  Instead, ask yourself, what are those essential measures that determine the health of your company? Whether it is speed of inventory turnover, utilization rates or total cash in the bank, ensure you have a system in place that provides an easy way to check those numbers in real time.”
  • Understand how to read an income statement and balance sheet
    “Put yourself in the shoes of your investors, the bank where you would like a loan, or a potential buyer down the road and make sure you’re at ease with how to read — and explain — your financial statements.”

Forget the static five-year plan
“Given the speed of business today and the impact of ever-changing technology, a static business plan that lasts five years may be unrealistic. Your business plan should be a living document, updated at least annually with a rolling three-year forecast to make sure your business stays on track. And it’s essential to have both a long-term vision for your company and a series of short-term goals. 

  • Keep a close eye on the key metrics that are essential to your business’ success
    “It is impossible to analyze every part of your business every day.  Instead, ask yourself, what are those essential measures that determine the health of your company? Whether it is speed of inventory turnover, utilization rates or total cash in the bank, ensure you have a system in place that provides an easy way to check those numbers in real time.”

  • Understand how to read an income statement and balance sheet
    “Put yourself in the shoes of your investors, the bank where you would like a loan, or a potential buyer down the road and make sure you’re at ease with how to read — and explain — your financial statements.”

Forget the static five-year plan
“Given the speed of business today and the impact of ever-changing technology, a static business plan that lasts five years may be unrealistic. Your business plan should be a living document, updated at least annually with a rolling three-year forecast to make sure your business stays on track. And it’s essential to have both a long-term vision for your company and a series of short-term goals.

For more details read the complete the CA magagine article

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is it important for business owners to have financial accounting information?

2.For a business owner, would you conider having both knowledge of management accounting and financial accounting?

3. Would you consider the following ratios: Current Assets and Quick Ratios to be an important tool, to manage a small business?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Careers, Uncategorized.

India, one of the world’s largest economies, has become one of the most critical markets for global Diversified Industrial companies.

 Fast Facts

• India is the world’s largest democracy and the 12th largest economy in the world.

• Among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), countries, India is expected to deliver the highest growth rates over the next 50 years.

• A rise in discretionary income and a growing appetite for global brands means the market is poised to become an important consumption hub as well.

• An over reliance on domestic demand could curb growth. Exports comprise only 20 percent of India’s manufacturing output, compared to 50 percent for China.

 • To address these issues, the Indian government has become increasingly engaged, pushing a series of inward investments and backing policies designed to stimulate manufacturing growth.

 Strength:

With India’s economy continuing its rapid growth, the Diversified Industrials (DI) sector is well-poised to reap the benefits. The country remains a favoured outsourcing hub for many multinationals as well, not just for lower-cost manufacturing, but increasingly as a source of higher value innovation in engineering, materials and design.

 Weakness:

India still faces severe infrastructure issues, with roads, rail systems and airports in need of significant upgrades in order to keep pace with the needs of global businesses. Much depends as well on government commitments to advance policies and make good on its investment promises to support the manufacturing sector.

A history of rapid growth

 Growth accelerated after a series of market reforms opened India’s markets to foreign competition. Today, among the BRIC group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), India alone is considered to have the potential to show the highest growth (over 5 percent) over the next 50 years.

 The Government of India, taxation policies

 The Government is proposing several changes to its tax laws as well in an effort to boost exports and encourage inward investment. These include a simplified tax code that the Government hopes will reduce indirect taxes and lower the overall tax burden. These programs are also expected to ease restrictions on the size of foreign equity investments and trim the number of licenses and other permits formerly required of companies headquartered outside of India.

 Read the complete Article “The India Opportunity” KPMG

Discussion questions:

  1. Do you think that China and India will be the next superpowers?
  2. Does India have the human resources to compete ona world scale?
  3. What do you think will happen to the USA and Canada when the BRIC countries are fully developed economic powers?

Posted by & filed under Canadian Economy, Corporate Restructuring, Taxation & Planning.

To Lower or not to Lower Corporate Tax Rates? Let us look at a few conflicting arguments. We are presently in the mist of a Federal Election, and all the major parties have different arguments to increase or decrease taxes.

All three parties basically seem to get the notion of corporate competitiveness and the link to job creation. The Conservatives, Liberals and the New Democratic Party differ as to where Canadian companies fit in the international landscape and whether chopping what these firms pay to Ottawa is the best way to create jobs. Of course, some of these variations are the result of political calculations by the federal parties, designed to position themselves to get the most votes.

 The battle is joined

 Some like the notion of chopping what firms pay.

 “The recent and planned general corporate rate reductions are good for the economy with a minimal impact on government revenues,” Jack Mintz, Palmer Chair of Public Policy, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, wrote in a recent opinion piece in the National Post. 

 Waving the low-tax flag

 At first blush, the case for knocking down company taxes would appear to be fairly straightforward.

 “To increase after-tax cash flow — leave more money in the hands of business to invest,” noted Jeff Brownlee, vice-president of public affairs and partnerships for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, an Ottawa-based business group.

Simply put, if a company has more cash on hand, it can buy more performance-enhancing machinery or hire new workers.

Conversely, if the government takes away that money, public officials are more likely to waste at least some of those tax dollars on inefficient projects, losing the maximum benefit the money could have on the overall economy.

 Hiking profitability

 Increasing corporate taxes may cause corporations to move to other countries that offer lower taxes and thus lose jobs in the process. The higher cost of paying taxes, may cause corporations to pass on the increase cost to consumers.

 To read more: See CBC News

  Discussion Questions:

  1. If corporations were to pay lower corporate taxes: Who would be the beneficiaries?
  2. Do you agree with the following statement: “Large multinational corporations may move their head offices and place of business to lower tax jurisdictions”.
  3. Thinking question: With the increasing prevalence of the internet, worldwide consumers may purchasing online, in which country or jurisdiction should  corporate profits be taxed?