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...
The results came in wicked-fast: earlier this afternoon the viral video-supported campaign by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario bore fruit. They scored the highest ever turnout, a record of 27.6% of the membership, with 85.4% voting in favour. Here's the press release explaining what the ICAO intends to do with its win. I won't bore you with the details, there's more than enough bureacratic bylaw details and associated nerd rage to go around if you're into that sort of thing, especially the counter-argument. The video itself was a pretty good summary of the proposal, though. The ICAO tried a few things to deliver its message. Aside from a series of webcasts and free breakfasts and lunches, the video was no doubt the biggest hit - there's now been over 11,000 views, up from 3496 when I started tracking its virality. Despite it making ICAO Chair Rod Barr feel deservedly silly - he chose not to play it at the breakfast I attended, despite it being in his...
One of the perks coming from working for a large multi-national company is that international opportunities do come up, and relocation services often accompany permanent transfers. I always toyed with the idea, but instead found myself happy to experience short-term adventures instead . There's mounds of paperwork to sift through when you're moving from one country to another - both the internal reviews and approvals you need to process and get blessed by the right people - and in terms of severing your ties with your old home. There are deliciously complicated tax implications - leaving the country often means the tax authorities "pretend" ("deem") that you have sold your investments, so they can capture one more tax bill from you before you go. Selling your home is another adventure in red tape. Fortunately the relocation service may take care of that for you. Unfortunately someone still ends up suffering through some form of madness. Do check out master realtor...
It's good to be proud of your work. If you've done a good job, you can take pleasure in the fact that it's error free. And yet, people may say things like, "are you sure you didn't double-count those items?" You may be 100% correct in saying, "of course I didn't," with a self-righteous huff. That doesn't mean you should , though. Let's assume that you are in fact correct. Rather than scorn those who are helping you by examining your work to avoid embarassing mistakes, thank them for their concern and interest. Then let's assume that the people asking you are very knowledgeable, and they aren't just asking the question to give you a hard time. Now stop and ask yourself, "why are they asking me this?" Is it, perhaps, because your work may in fact be entirely correct, but you didn't present your thought process in a very clear and logical manner? Are you hiding some important facts or assumptions which cause people to second...
Deloitte may want to add " secure the twitter accounts " to their handbook of "things to do when layoffs begin." HMV stores are in "administration," which is a form of bankruptcy in the UK and now the mass layoffs are underway, sadly. In business school one of my favourite professors warned us that if our solution to a problem was to just start firing people left, right, and centre, we were Doing it Wrong, and she wouldn't give us a very good mark. Every scenario is different, but I greatly respected her for pushing people away from the noxious "you're fired!" mindset and towards more creative solutions that recognize that jobs are important and the last thing you want to do is carelessly deprive someone of their livelihood. Anyway, as the news media gleefully reports , while the 190 or so people were being told it was all over, their social media planner Poppy Rose Cleere posted hits like the following: “We’re tweeting live from HR where...
Accountants have found that the internet has things like... online videos. The results are stunning. Rod Barr, the President and CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario delivers a going concern level of delicious snark in the first 25 seconds of this video . He says that we are having an important vote, and "apparently our webinar series is not capturing the excitement of this complex, impending change." He continues, "accordingly, we have to try something new. How about this?" Then the "typography"-ish music video kicks into gear through the magic of a glowing yellow orb that appears in his hand. Apparently senior CAs who become FCAs have magic powers that are poorly understood. Feel free to discuss this madness on ACS' facebook page while I figure out how to upgrade the commenting system here. The video is at 3496 views as of now - curious to see how viral it gets.
A colleague and I chatted about a fancy restaurant today, remarking on how it seats very few people but charges a relatively high price for meals. Could it survive? We ran the numbers out loud - estimating how much it probably makes each night, and what its likely expenses are. Didn't even break a sweat. A byproduct of years of experience in the restaurant industry, or just some good business sense developed from doing seemingly everything? The latter is usually the case. Having made some rather huge assumptions, the restaurant in question may be grossing 20% after the cost of food and labour. Is that enough to cover the utilities, rent and other costs we haven't included? We'll see if they're still open a year from now I suppose.
It's too late for me to edit this down, so here's your summary for the TLDR crowd: accounting internships are awesome because you actually get paid. Journalism internships are tough to survive because they're typcially unpaid. There's some gender politics mixed in here, so read on if you want a rant on the associated economics of the male/female split on pay.
It's the calm before the paperstorm, and the most wonderful time of the year for Chartered Accountants working in firms that enforce a Christmas Holiday Blackout period, where non-essential work is put on hold to let the staff and partners spend some time with family before disappearing into the dank pit known as Busy Season. I hear PriceWaterhouseCoopers is good about not even agreeing to doing special assignments during the Christmas break - hopefully your firm has a similar attitude towards demands for reports getting issued around December 31 or so. It being the calendar year end, there are some things that may be inescapable due to poor planning. Such as inventory counts that have to happen on December 31. Good luck if you're stuck on one of those. IT auditors and anyone else who needs "point in time" evidence will also be scrambling with clients who "didn't feel like" or "were too busy" to prepare evidence of password settings and other information...
The CA students who will soon be newly minted Canadian Chartered Accountants are giddy or recovering from their celebratory parties today. The UFEblog, which I have spoken of highly , has served its namesake well by offering detailed coverage. Links to all the jurisdictions' results websites are available here . There's an interesting inforgraphic here breaking down the details with respect to the winners . 3077 writers passed, compared to a high of 3127 in 2009. Congratulations to everyone who passed!
If you're a Chartered Accountant in Ontario, you're probably already receiving the "eBrief" e-mails from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario with some rather surprising news. They've noted that starting this month it's possible to say "Firstname Lastname, CA, CPA" which is a bit trippy since you get a "free" designation to pre-empt the entire talk of merging CAs with CMAs and CGAs. The certificates you can now hang on your cubicle wall with the CPA designation will be mailed out in the next week or so. If this alphabet soup hasn't thoroughly confused you, you can also sign up for a free breakfast or lunch meeting per the instructions in one of the recent eBriefs at the Hilton in downtown Toronto where the implications will be discussed. There's also an evening session with "light refreshments." I attended the April informatoin session and was blown away by the impressive show of venom from CAs opposed to the...
Make sure your staff know how to demonstrate all the features customers may expect. I've installed Windows 8 out of an insane sense of adventure, and it's running better than you'd expect . "Dip & Squeeze? Pick one, jerks!" What sold me on it was the fantastic $15 upgrade price, for people who recently bought a Windows 7 system. I was planning on dual-booting both Windows 7 and 8 in case things went horribly wrong. Well the installer was so "user friendly" I didn't even find the option to install the dual-boot version, and before you knew it, I was running version 8. Happily enough, the installation was very smooth, no data was lost, and it was time to sleep. Except that I wanted to find the "shut down" command. Hitting my computer's physical power button would've worked, but I wanted to find the "software" method. It was late and I was tired, and it was nowhere obvious, so a quick Google search revealed that the quick...