Two general principles you should keep in mind: Society works well if there are rules in place, there's a cost to this. People respond to incentives. To run a society, you need a basic level of taxation to enforce the Rule of Law. In addition to your basic Rule of Law, there are activities that your community will decide are favourable or unfavourable. Polluting the air, we can generally agree, is a Bad Thing. Educating the children, by the same token, is a good thing. Charge a tax on activities that cause pollution, apply that to education and enforcement of law. Add on a basic level of taxation to close the gap between what your pollution tax collects and what you need to break even. There, done. Reality is of course several orders of magnitude more complex, but if you get into any more detail, you're making it too complicated. Get things done properly, and move on. Let the "experts" deal with the details. Boom, done. If you're wasting money on frills like entitltements...
If you visit CAmagazine.com - at least between now and the end of 2013 - you'll be greeted with this cheerful message: Welcome to CPA Canada! The CICA and CMA Canada joined together January 1, 2013, to create CPA Canada as the national organization to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the CPA banner. Our integrated CPA Canada website will launch in January 2014. Until that time, all our existing resources, services and information are available through the CICA and CMA Canada legacy sites. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone: the first order of business after any sort of merger or takeover is to start the massive rebranding effort. The Editor-in-chief, Okey Chigbo, spoke to the upcoming changes. I do hope he continues in his role sitting awkwardly in that chair , as the magazine does a fairly decent job despite being an 'industry journal' covering what a common outsider would dismiss as "a magazine for accountants?!"...
I recall many instances where a colleague, client or other external auditor provided me with a PDF. And the partner I was working with would ask for one of the tables in that PDF, except they'd want to change a grand total of two or three words. Maybe the year, whatever. Unfortunately, PDF files are like a piece of paper. If you want to quickly swap out a word, it's like assembling a ransom note with words cut out from different magazines. Cumbersome, ugly, and perhaps even a little creepy. Adobe provides some very rudimentary solutions, but more specialized tools are generally called for. One such solution is a handy program called Able2Extract PDF Converter 8 . I'll stick to calling it Able2Extract, though A2E or PDF-Undo sounds equally tempting! ACS reviews Able2Extract I planned on doing more reviews when setting up the scope of ACS . Never really got around to that, along with many other topics that should get covered one day. Able2Extract opens quickly, and guides you...
The reasons aren't particularly important, but I'm going to acknowledge the fact that there's been an exceedingly long break between postings here. As a reminder, the original "scope" of this site, to use CA-speak, was to track notes and force myself to think more about the UFE . That milestone after three days of writing , and got validation along with an awesome victory poem from a friend along the way. I've meandered away from that core scope with various observations on the profession and whatever else seemed interesting at the time, but it's good to realize that there always is a 'home topic' to return to over time. And the bonus good news out of all this is that my study buddy did end up passing later on a repeat attempt. So did pretty much all my other friends and mentees through the process. We're getting close to a decade since the process started for us, but everyone found their way around or through the challenges thrown up by the exam...
The absolutely masterful takedown by Going Concern of Deloitte's ill-conceived twitter account if worth reading now. That's all for today, go enjoy it if you haven't already. Their account is a weird place indeed. Why post a washed-out cell phone pick of your "chairmen" (sic) anyway?
My stalwart contacts pointed me to a video you can see here (click the link if the embed below doesn't cooperate, it's being fussy with me) showing the new CEO of Ernst & Young Mark Weinberger extolling the virtues of, well, I'd say the Quality in Everything (They) Do, but that tagline's dead and buried. On a very superficial level, note that the official external short name is "EY", dropping the venerable ampersand and getting the firm in line with PwC and KPMG which haven't really been big on that, as well as Deloitte which has been the Big Green Dot but not D&T for most of the past history. The video is trippy in that it shows the vision of a Global Big 4 Accounting Firm but steers wildly clear of the majority of the tough slogging that the Chartered Accountants, CPAs, CMAs, and CGAs battle through on a daily basis. I had to rewatch the video and register the thoughts that impact along the way. The first fifteen seconds is a happy little montage...
I'm pretty careful on the streets. Turns out I have good reason to watch out for those who don't. Pedestrians, may I suggest follow the sidewalk at the furthest point away from the road in order to avoid any out of control cars — Jack West (@SgtJackWest) June 17, 2013 I'm trying to get this site to quote a tweet above : if that worked, the suggestion from the Toronto police is that cars may fly into me so I should always be on guard, well, it's quite the Mad Max world we live in. It would explain the crazy skid marks I've seen on some city streets - still, it seems bizarre that it's the pedestrians that should be cautioned. Wouldn't it make infinitely more sense to say things like, "drivers, don't let your car get out of control. There's X demerit points out there, you'll lose your license, and face the eternal shame and guilt of harming or killing an innocent person?" The "drivers are at fault" crowd would rightly get riled up...
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario released results from the 2013 election. 60% voted in favour of the new "CPA, CA" concept and the candidates running for Council who expressed opposition to the merger process were defeated. The winners for seats on council are: Michael Banks, CPA, CA Kathleen Bell, CPA, CA Chris Boland, CPA, CA Georgina Daniels, CPA, CA Renzo Francescutti, CPA, CA Michel Lavigne, CPA, CA Catherine Russell, CPA, CA Dave Vert, CPA, CA I have no idea how long the biographies of all candidates will stay up, but you can compare a winning and losing candidate profile by hitting up this link . 26% of all Ontario CAs voted, which is not a bad result - historically response rates were in the teens or worse. Given that the voting period was extended due to technical issues with the voting site, the turnout was decent.
There's nothing like checking your inbox after hours and seeing a message from a vendor along the lines of: "WONDERFUL NEWS, we're done our report, would you like to get EVERYONE to meet with us at 4:30 pm on a Friday? In the summer? Before the start of a long weekend." If only I was joking. Yes, it's still during work hours, and perhaps some people might be available. But if it's not a fire requiring immediate attention, that time of the day, on that day of the week, is just a Bad Idea. If I have to explain why, well, perhaps I should make this an interview question for new hires. "What problems do you anticipate when proposing a meeting at the end of a day on a Friday before a long weekend?" Anything in addition to "it sounds idiotic" would score points for certain. After all, it might be board game night.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario lured its members today to the Toronto Hilton with free breakfasts, lunches and refreshements to capture the morning, lunch and after-work crowds, to explain the merits of the proposal to merge all the Canadian accounting designations into the Chartered Professional Accountant designation.
One day the long convoluted merger from the Chartered Accountant designation to the new Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant may in fact arrive at completion. Until then I'll occasionally use the tortured device of "CA or CPA" to keep the advice and good ideas here relatively timeless. Today's gem stems from the wild world of interviewing for new hires. When you go to a job interview and have a wild story to share, stick to words. Pictures are not necessary. If you have ever been shot, the bullet may have left an exit wound. You do not need to show off this wound no matter how cool the story about fending off feral cats at a Turkish shooting range. I didn't actually experience madness at a shooting range of the sort I allude to, but if you did, try and find a way to relate the story back to accounting if it's an accounting job you're applying for. Last year I took an undeclared vacation from writing here in July. I suppose that means May was 2013's...
There's a small decrease in the professional fees you or your firm is paying for the privilege of calling yourself a Chartered Accountant: the full member fee for 2013-2014 came out to be $22.60 lower than the $1107.40 that was charged last year. Savings of 2%. The total fee is still a hefty $1084.80 including taxes, and breaks down to $520 paid to Ontario's ICAO, $440 paid to the overall Canadian CICA, and $124.80 in HST, and it represents the "on time" payment amount - late fees of $100 extra are charged if you pay after June 1, 2013. The ICAO kindly explained that the savings are courtesy of a $20 decrease in the CICA portion of the fee. At least CAs can't complain about rising fees this year. Curmudgeons are welcome, however, to scoff at the following warning message that is plastered on the bottom of the ICAO's website. " The ICAO website is optimized using Microsoft's Internet Explorer and it's use is strongly recommended to ensure that all...
Yesterday I noted that the nomination period for the next ICAO council election is now open. One of my friends noticed that the original invitation to vote was signed by "Michael K. Banks, CA, Secretary". Today, a curious second e-mail came out with the subject line "Legal Notice - Official Call for ICAO Council Election Nominations". I didn't pay close attention to it, with a busy day not giving me a lot of time to look careful - but it really seemed odd they repeated the notice a second time. That same friend, being a good auditor, took a good look at the second e-mail and noted the enhancement: the second invite is signed by "Michael K. Banks, CPA, CA, Secretary". I wonder whether someone within the ICAO quickly noticed the missing "new" CPA designation, or whether this was in response to someone outside the Institute calling them out on the oversight? I'm guessing an insider called them out on the mistake - a silly little oversight, though...
Chartered Accountants of Ontario interested in serving as members of the Council that oversees the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario have another chance to influence the direction the ICAO is taking: the next vote for positions is coming up soon, with 8 spots open, each for a two year term. The deadline to apply to run in the election is Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. The application must be accompanied by candidate statements that'll be due on May 31, 2013. You need two get at least two CAs in Ontario to sign your nomination papers, and submit the other needed documentation explaining who you are and what you've been up to. Given the entire Canadian "CPA, CA" issue that's been front and centre throughout the year, I'm sure this election will continue to generate a fair deal of attention. In last year's election, for the first time I'm aware of, there were roughly twice as many candidates as their were openings on the Council, with opposing...
In the "olden days," the only way to become earn your Chartered Accountant designation was by 'paying your dues' and working through your 'slave years' at a CA firm. Didn't matter if it was a small shop or one of the Big 4 (or 5 or 6, or 8, depending on when you started), they got a solid lock on you for the first two or three years of your fledgling career, until you had "put in your hours" at your "CA Training Office" before you were free to fly off. Well, the market demand for qualified young blood to deliver all that advisory and analytical goodness continued to push for more people, and the accounting and auditing shops could only accomodate so many newbies. The ICAO decided it'd make sense to open the field to other companies willing to subject train new grads to the UFE process. Hence came "CATOs" outside of the core accounting profession. New places are announced with regularity - the latest list includes the lovely...