November 2019 Update

December 4, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

We are headed into the last month of the year and there are a number of things to think about to get ready for the new year. The more prepared we are, the smoother the work flow which allows us to concentrate on our clients which is always the priority. New accounting standards, upcoming changes in assurance standards and general quality matters all make preparation even more important. The topics below will help you be prepared for the coming months. Read on…

Retractable or Mandatorily Redeemable Shares Issued in a Tax Planning Arrangement

These amendments have been around for awhile but are finally in effect for the upcoming year. Amendments to Section 3856 Financial Instruments provide new conditions in order for retractable or mandatorily redeemable shares issued in a tax planning arrangement to be classified as equity as well as some changes to measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements. The amendments are effective for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, that is the upcoming year. Not only do you have to think about new shares issued, there are several transition issues that you will have to address in financial statements. Make sure you spend the time to understand the amendments. The resource tool on this topic from CPA Canada along with the handbook section itself, will help you do that.

READ BRIEFING HERE

ASPE Resource Summary

Speaking of resource tools, CPA Canada publishes many resources and tools on a variety of topics throughout the year, all with the objective to assist practitioners. A recent publication is a summary of all ASPE guidance issued over the past year. It is a great publication to have on hand when you are dealing with specific issues. Topics include financial reporting alerts and ASPE briefings that provide implementation guidance on new and/or amendments to ASPE standards. In the document, there are hot links to the relevant resource so very easy to access. It also includes links to free webinars and other ASPE resources. Keep this publication on hand and access when needed.

READ ASPE RESOURCE GUIDANCE TOOL HERE

Focus on Practice Inspection Report

The provincial bodies are the governing bodies of our self-regulating profession; they promote the highest standards of integrity and expertise to their members. Practice Inspections are a key component of the overall regulatory process. CPA Manitoba’s annual report, Focus on Practice Inspections was released this past October and is very similar to the reports issued in other provinces. The report provides a summary of findings in each of the areas of financial statement presentation, audit engagements, review engagements, special reports and quality control. Detailed common deficiencies are included in Appendix 3. The report also includes other matters for consideration in Appendices 1 and 2. The report is worth the read as it highlights key things to think about in the upcoming year. You may even want share this report with staff so they understand common deficiencies and are then able to address these in your client files. If you need to get ready for an upcoming practice inspection or implement an action plan in response to one, reach out for assistance. I can help you through the process.

READ REPORT HERE

How to Price Client Engagements and Increase Firm Profits

With all the upcoming changes, it can be a challenge on how to price engagements. Fees are important and discussions on such are not always easy but we cannot lose sight of the fact that while assisting our clients is of upmost priority, we should be paid fairly for the work that we do. A fantastic article from IFAC covers approaches to fee increases and value pricing.  Included in the article strategies for increasing fees and provides food for thought on value pricing.

READ ARTICLE HERE


As we move into the last month of the year, please feel to reach out at any time to help you be prepared for the upcoming year. As one other year-end reminder, check on your CPD hours as December 31, is coming quicker than we think. Reporting deadlines are January 31, 2020. I am delivering in-house PD courses to several firms over the next few weeks but have some availability left in my schedule before the end of the year if needed. Over the coming months I will continue to keep you updated on new standards, including the recently approved CSRS 4200, as more details become known.  There are so much to think about but I am always here to help provide you peace of mind and save you time.  

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA,FCA
President


October 2019 Update

October 31, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

What a crazy month it has been.  The snowstorm that took down so many trees in Winnipeg and beyond, the NHL Heritage Classic game between the Jets and the Flames and the further changes in standards.  After many months of what seemed like silence, it has been very busy for the standard setters.  This month’s update is a bit more technical in nature as a result of these changes.  I want to ensure you stay up to date.  Read on…

CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements – Standard Approved!!

As noted in my special update earlier this month, the AASB approved Canadian Standard on Related Services (CSRS) 4200, Compilation Engagements on October 7, 2019.  CSRS 4200 replaces Section 9200 and is effective for compiled financial information for period ending on or after December 14, 2021.  The AASB concluded that the revision to the standard were significantly different from the proposals in the Exposure Draft however they decided not to re-expose the changes as they do not significantly increase the practitioners’ work effort and responsibility.  However, we have not yet seen the actual standard.  It is expected CSRS 4200 will be issue in the February 2020 CPA Canada Handbook Assurance Update.  I will send a link when available. In the meantime, you may want to participate in the CPA Canada Practitioner’s Pulse Webinar on November 21, 2019 that will discuss the new standard.

ACCESS AASB PROJECT PAGE HERE

SIGN UP FOR CPA PRACTITIONERS PULSE WEBINAR HERE

CAS 315 (Revised)

On September 16, 2019 the IAASB approved the revisions to ISA 315 (Revised) along with conforming changes.  The revised ISA will be effective for audits of financial statement for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2021.  What this means is that Canada will not be far behind in approving the revisions to CAS 315 (Revised) Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement though Understanding of the Entity and its Environment. The changes are significant and will impact your audit approach and documentation.  I expect there will be implementation tools and guidance to come – I will send out links as they are available.  In the meantime, if you want to read ISA 315 (Revised), follow the link below.

READ ISA 315 (REVISED) HERE

Redeemable Preferred Shares Issued in a Tax Planning Arrangement

I have spent a lot of time raising awareness of assurance standards but do not want to forget about important accounting standards.  With that in mind, I wanted to remind you about amendments to Section 3856 Financial Instruments specifically related to preferred Shares issued in a tax planning arrangement.  These changes were approved in back in September 2018; the updates are expected to be in the December 2019 release of the Handbook updates.   In the meantime, here are a number of podcasts recently released to discuss implementation questions. 

ACCESS PODCASTS HERE

Ethical Dilemmas

Ethics continues to be a very hot topic these days with the new CPA PD requirements and the recently released International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.  I have delivered my Putting Ethics into Practice course to firms and the resulting discussions have been very interesting.  In developing the course material, I came across this article which may be of interest to you.  Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas with Confidence reminds us that professional ethics is fundamental in our industry.  The article points out that the reality of making the right call is often not straightforward and provides a framework for moral prudence.

READ ARTICLE HERE


There is a lot to think about in the upcoming months and I am here to save you time and provide peace of mind on all the upcoming matters as well as day to day other matters.  I will be at the Rev Up Your Practice conference in Ottawa this upcoming week and maybe will see you there.  In the meantime, enjoy your week and let’s hope the snow holds off just a bit more.

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


September 2019 Update

September 30, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

This month marked a change in both weather and standards. One can feel a bit of a nip in the air and things are finally starting to move on the standards front. Decisions have been made over this past month, and we can expect a few more next month. While most changes are not imminent, they will come quicker than we think and it will be important to plan so you can keep your practice running effectively and efficiently. Read on…

Standards Update – AASB Decisions

As noted above, decisions were made on standards over the past month. Exposure drafts were finalized, timing was discussed and next steps are under way. The following are highlights from the AASB’s (the Board) September meeting:

  • On September 20, 2019 the IAASB approved the final draft of ISA 315 (Revised) Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement. The AASB provided input on the draft before it was released and has stated Canada will follow suit very shortly. Expect to see further updates in next month’s newsletter.
  • The Board discussed key issues related to the project to revise compilation standards, CSRS 4200 Compilation Standard. They expect to approve the final standard at their October 2019 meeting. Key topics discussed included the description of the basis of accounting, subsequent discovery of facts, amendments to the glossary and the effective date. Stay tuned for further updates on this one too.
  • The AASB provided input to the IAASB on feedback from the Exposure Drafts for quality management at the firm and engagement level. This topic is still under discussion and will appear again on their October agenda. This Exposure Draft will have a significant impact on a firm’s system of quality management, including policies and procedures documented in their QAM and engagements impacted.
  • The Board unanimously approved amendments to CAS 700 Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements. This change only impacts auditors of listed entities; these auditors will be required to communicate Key Audit Matters for periods ending on or after December 15, 2022.

READ THE AASB’S SEPTEMBER SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS HERE

Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Amendment Act

A reminder to those who issue these reports. A notice went out mid-year to all publicly-funded bodies reminding these organizations that the threshold for salary disclosures increased from $50,000 to $75,000 effective January 1, 2019. In addition, the notice stated that the publicly-funded bodies are no longer required to have the compensation reports audited. One matter of interest, while the notice says the audit is no longer required, the Act still has this requirement (I am trying to follow up on this discrepancy). Make sure you talk to your clients about the new requirements and the timing of implementation.

NO LINK AS THE LETTER WENT DIRECTLY TO ORGANIZATIONS, NOT THE FIRMS – ASK FOR IT FROM YOUR CLIENTS

Enhancing Firm Credit Control and Fee Collection

  • This is the third (the second was in last month’s update) of a three-part series from IFAC addressing challenges small- to mid-sized practitioners (SMPs) face in dealing with increased fee pressures. This article covers credit controls, collection techniques and dealing with conflict. There are very good tips in this article which is very worth the quick read.

READ ARTICLE HERE

Enhancing Culture

  • Building strong relationships with your clients and motivating your staff starts with the attitude within your firm. Creating a strong culture is important, especially as you prepare for the many changes to come. An interesting article by Jean-Guy Talbot of ReveNew outlines crucial things to think about as you strengthen or improve your firm’s culture. You also may want to check out details of his upcoming conference in Ottawa this November. Rev Up Your Practice is a unique event which will cover this and many other important topics related to practice management. A conference like no other.

READ ARTICLE AND CONFERENCE DETAILS HERE


I have a sense it is going to be a very busy fall. Changes in standards, fee discussions with clients, updates to quality, meeting professional development requirements – the list goes on. If you are interested in a professional development course tailored to specifically to your firm, let me know. I have a course curriculum that covers everything from standards update, performing efficient and effective engagements and ethics. My fall schedule is starting to feel up so please reach out. I am here as needed to help you save time and provide peace of mind.

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


August 2019 Update

August 31, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

The end of August is upon us and it has been a busy month. Summer is winding down (even though I don’t want to admit it) and minds are turning to fall and the planning that it brings.  This month’s topics include matters that will help you get ready as you continue to think about upcoming standards changes, new PEG forms, quality management and discussing fees with your clients.  Read on…

Standards Updates

No significant news to report but wanted to provide an update so you stay informed; changes are coming, that is a known!  Exposure drafts being deliberated as response deadlines have passed.  The key topics that will impact your practice include Quality Management (CSQM1 and CSQM 2), Identifying and Assessing Risks of Material Misstatements (CAS 315 Revised) and Compilation Engagements (CSRS 4200).  A summary of the status of these is:

  • CSQM1/2 – The AASB agreed to perform further consultations with stakeholders on the proposed scope of Canadian Standard on Quality Management (CSQM) 1, Quality Management for Firms that Perform Audits or Reviews of Financial Statements, or Other Assurance or Related Services Engagements, in the fall of 2019.  Standards expected in 2020.  READ QM UPDATE HERE
  • CAS 315 (Revised) – The AASB provided input to the IAASB on issues that are relevant to Canada.  The Board will continue to discuss this project at future meetings.  There is no proposed timeline on when the final pronouncement is expected but anecdotal evidence suggests early 2020.  READ CAS 315 UPDATE HERE
  • CSRS 4200 – The AASB is deliberating feedback received on the Exposure Draft.  The new standard is being developed and is expected to be approved by the end of 2019 and effective for years ending on or after December 15, 2020.  READ CSRS 4200 UPDATE HERE

Other assurance exposure drafts still being deliberated include Key Audit Matters, for public companies, along with Public Sector Auditing Standards and Reporting Controls at a Service Organization.  Responses to the Discussion Paper of Less Complex Entities were due this month and are now being deliberated.  Finally, accounting exposure drafts on Agriculture and Revenue are still out there. 

PEG Updates

This month the 2019 Edition of the Professional Engagement Guide (PEG) was released.  I have spent time understanding the changes and would be happy to discuss them further with you to determine what is most efficient and effective to implement in your practice.  Key changes include:

  • A new chapter on data analytics in Volume 1.  New chapters in both Volumes 1 and 2 have been added to provide guidance on assurance engagements to comply with specific requirements.  These engagement are effective for reports dated on or April 1, 2019.  This guidance covers either attestation or direct compliance engagements where either reasonable or limited assurance is being provided in a written report.
  • Sample assurance reports (finally!).
  • Some minor and a few major changes to the PEG audit forms, customized review forms for NPOs and new forms related to compliance reporting. 
  • In addition, an alternative set of review engagement forms has been developed.  The idea is to use either all of the new forms, or all of the existing forms.  It is not appropriate to mix and match sets. 

ACCESS PEG ON KNOTIA HERE (WILL HAVE TO LOG IN)

Ten Steps to Successful Firm Risk Management

Since quality management is top of mind with the CSQM1 and CSQM 2 Exposure Drafts, I thought you may be interested in an article to help you address quality matters in your firm.  This is the second article of a risk management series and covers 10 steps for successful risk management. The first article is 8 steps to Establishing a Firm Risk Management program (link within).   These articles are a result of discussions at recent IFAC SMP Committee meetings, the committee that is focused on practice management for small- and medium-size practices (SMPs).

READ ARTICLE HERE

How to Price Client Engagements and Increase Firm Profits

With all the changes coming, another topic that is top of mind is how to price engagements and discussing fee increases with your clients.  The attached link is the second of a three-part series addressing this critical area; it covers approaches to fee increases and value pricing.  The first in the series, the Importance of client Selection and Relationship Management (link within), features client classification and the importance of engagement letters and the third instalment will highlight credit control, collection techniques and dealing with conflict.

READ ARTICLE HERE


Lots to think about in the upcoming months but I am here to assist as needed to save you time and provide peace of mind.  But first, enjoy the long weekend. Work will always be there, it is more important to spend time with your family and friends.  I know I will this weekend. 

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


July 2019 Update

July 31, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

We are in the middle of summer and many of you are taking the opportunity to take some well-deserved time off.  With that in mind, this month’s update is “summer-lite”.  Only a few topics to reflect upon during this slower time of the year.  Read on…

Less Complex Entities Discussion Paper

As mentioned in a previous update, the IAASB issued a discussion paper “Audits of Less Complex Entities:  Exploring Possible Options to Address the Challenges in Applying the ISAs”.  The discussion paper focuses on challenges that have been identified relating to applying the ISAs in the audits of less complex entities and possible actions that could be undertaken to address the identified challenges.  Options include scalability of the current standards or even a new set of auditing standards.  Because the AASB has committed to adopting the ISAs as CASs, Canadian standard setters are actively involved in this matter.  

This is an important topic which may have a significant impact on the audits of small clients.  Over the past few months I have participated in webinars, round table discussions and conference calls to provide input.  I am preparing a formal response which will incorporate thoughts I have heard from many of you.  Auditing small clients efficiently can be a challenge and there are many CASs that just do not make sense.

The IAASB is gathering as much input as they can and has issued a brief survey to obtain information directly from those practitioners who audit less complex entities.  The survey has only 6 primary questions and 3 demographic questions so takes less than 5 minutes to complete. You don’t even have to read the discussion paper before taking the survey but I have included the link just in case you want to.      

READ IAASB DISCUSSION PAPER HERE  

TAKE SURVEY HERE

Eight Steps to Establish a Firm Risk Management Program

Summer is a good time to think about monitoring, file inspections and updating your quality assurance manual. However risk management is more than just these things; it is important to establish a risk management “culture” in the firm.   This becomes even more critical with the recently issued exposure draft Canadian Standards on Quality Management (see June update). IFAC published a thought-provoking article on this topic highlighting steps to establishing a risk management program along with the benefits it provides.

READ ARTICLE HERE

Understanding Reports on Financial Statements

As a practitioner you understand the differences between an audit, a review and a compilation.  However there are many of your clients who may not clearly understand those differences, especially not-for-profit clients with volunteer Board members.  CPA Canada issued a good publication to help clients learn about financial statements and the different levels of engagements you can provide.  The publication succinctly outlines the concept of applicable financial reporting frameworks, explains the terms assurance and materiality and highlights differences between audits, reviews and compilations.  This would be a good tool to provide to new Board members and other clients.  One caution, the exposure draft on Compilation Engagements (see June update) most likely will change the Compilation Report in the near future.

ACCESS REPORT HERE


In the above topics, I alluded to two important exposure drafts – Canadian Standard on Quality Management and Compilation Engagements.  When issued these will have a big impact on your practice however for now, there are no updates but rest assured I will provide information as it is available.  For now, enjoy the rest of summer and take advantage of the opportunity to catch up on matters.  Whether it is monitoring, file efficiency reviews, file inspection or general consultation, I am here to assist as needed.

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


June 2019 Update

June 30, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings, 

For many, the focus for the month of June has been completing year end engagements and getting tax returns out the door.  Now time to take a breathe and think forward to the next few months; as there are many upcoming changes that will have an impact on your practice, this month’s update focuses on a summary of those changes and resources to support you getting ready for them.  Read on…

Summary of upcoming changes

Below are some of the current projects the standard setters are addressing.  This is not a comprehensive list but rather the key ones that I think are important to small and mid-sized firms.  Within each section I have provided the link to the Financial Reporting and Assurance Standards Canada (FRAS) site which includes further details and a listing of all active and completed projects.

Standard Status and Impact
Canadian Auditing Standards
READ CAS UPDATES HERE
CAS 315: Identifying and Assessing Risks of Material Misstatements Exposure draft issued September 2018 and feedback being considered.  Impact:  Significant changes to audit approach and documentation. 
CAS 540: Auditing Accounting Estimates Final Handbook material issued and standards in effect for periods on or after December 15, 2019. Impact:  Minimal impact unless complicated estimates in your clients financial statements. 
CAS 700 et al:  Auditor Reporting Final Handbook material issued and standards in effect for periods on or after December 15, 2018.  Impact:  Now issue new auditor’s report. 
Audits of Less Complex Entities Discussion paper issued June 2019; response deadline August 14, 2019.  Impact:  Not sure on this but goal is scalability for small audits so that not as onerous as is today.  
Canadian Standards on Quality Controls
READ CSQC1 UPDATES HERE
Quality Management Exposure draft issued April 2019 and feedback being considered.  Impact:  New QAM required to address changes and compilations could now be covered by these standards. 
Other Canadian Standards
READ OTHER STANDARDS UPDATES HERE
CSRS 4200:  Compilation Engagements Exposure draft issued September 2018 and feedback being considered. Impact:  Significant changes including documentation, accounting framework and report.  
Public Sector Auditing Standards Exposure draft for guidance on performance audits currently being developed.  Impact:  Significant changes but only if you do compliance reporting. 
CSAE 3000/3001 et al:  Assurance on Compliance with Agreements, Statutes and Regulations Final Handbook material issued and standards in effect for periods on or after April 1, 2019.  Impact:  New auditor’s reports for special engagements such as compliance, public sector compensation and other government required reporting. 
Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises
READ ASPE UPDATES HERE
Agriculture Exposure draft issued July 2018 and feedback being considered. Impact:  Significant changes for farming clients. 
Accounting Standards for Not-For-Profit Organizations
READ ASNPO UPDATES HERE
Contributions – Revenue Recognition and Related Matters Public outreach since January 2016 and is continuing.  Impact:  Not sure since a long way away from being finalized. 

I am happy to discuss any of the changes above further with you if you have additional questions.  

Resource Roundup:  Implementation Support for Small- and Mid-Sized Practices

Keeping up to date with standards poses unique challenges for small- to mid-sized practices (SMPs), especially as the changes are coming fast and furious (see topic above).  Canadian Standards are basically now driven by what is happening with International Standards.  I am here to help keep up to date on standards and will provide you updates as the changes are announced.  The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is another great sources of information and tools.  To support SMPs, IFAC has developed extensive implementation support for international standards and offers an extensive suite of material.  The link below is to a nice summary of available information.

ACCESS RESOURCES HERE

12 Common Technology Mistakes You Should Avoid

Not only can it be difficult keeping up with standards, keeping up with technology creates its own challenges.  A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy addressed several questions such as could your company survive a data breach or could your company withstand a server crash?  The author identified 12 common technology mistakes and offers recommendations for avoiding them.  I found the article very interesting and more importantly, very practical.  

READ ARTICLE HERE


I hope you had a nice long weekend and were able to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had.  While the summer months typically slow down, it is also a good time to ensure you are prepared for the next few months.  This is a good time to undertake such activities such as planning, completing file reviews and monitoring.  I have recently joined the CPA Canada PEG Task Force Committee.  Over the past few years I have had conversations with many of you about the PEG and now have the opportunity to bring those views forward.  Stay tuned in for future updates. I am here to support you as needed, feel free to contact me at any time. 

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


May 2019 Update

May 31, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

It is ironic the standard setters are so busy yet there is nothing new to report.  Over the past few months, I provided you details about exposure drafts for auditing standards (CAS 315), compilation engagements (CSRS 4200) and quality management (CSQM 1 and CSQM 2) among other technical topics.  But the standard setters are still deliberating on comments received so there is no new news on any of these fronts.  I will continue to track status and let you know as soon as there are developments.  So, in the meantime, I have highlighted other random topics of interest I have come across. Read on…

Ethics

With the new professional development requirement to have at least four hours of verifiable PD specifically related to ethics, this subject matter is a hot topic these days.  In fact I am developing an Ethics WEorkshop to be delivered to firms to help meet this requirement in an interesting and unique way.   Feel free to contact me about delivering “Putting Ethics into Practice” to the members of your firm. While preparing this workshop I came across an article that I think may be of interest to you.  “Paying Professional Ethics More than Lip Service” provides guidance on building trust in business and how to be anchored by fundamental ethical principles. 

READ ARTICLE HERE

Rising Revenues for Sole Practitioners and Small Firms

As a sole practitioner or a partner of a small to mid-sized firm, it can be challenging to gather competitive information on how you are doing compared to your peers.  “Rising Revenues for Sole Practitioners and Small Firms” summarizes the results of the 2019 Accounting and Bookkeeping Operations and Technology.  According to the survey, 36.2% of respondents earned more than $150,000 in revenue for 2018 compared to only 31.8% in 2017.  How do you compare?

READ SURVEY RESULTS HERE

Succession Planning

This past month I led a practitioner forum on the topic of human resources.  It was a very interesting session with a variety of topics discussed including recruiting, retaining, compensating and motivating staff.  One topic we did not cover in detail but is very important is building your team is succession planning.  To secure the future succession, and success, of your firm, it is important to start with what kind of team you must create.  An article from Accounting Today provides an interesting perspective on building teams and how planning for such breaks down to two categories:  composition and development.

READ ARTICLE HERE

Compliance Reporting

I have included Compliance Reporting as a topic in previous months but as I have received numerous questions on this topic over the past month I thought it worthwhile raising again.  Often government (such as Manitoba Housing), and other oversight, agencies will include the type of report they want issued in the agreement.  However these agencies are not the standard setters and do not understand our requirements as practitioners.  It is important to educate these agencies on the types of reports that can be issued.  The new standards 3530 Attestation Engagement to Report on Compliance or CSAE 3531 Direct Engagement to Report on Compliance are the reports to be issued related to compliance with lease, funding or other debt agreements.  These standards are effective for compliance reports dated on or after April 1, 2019.  If you want a pair of fresh eyes to read your report before you release it, just reach out.

READ AUDIT ALERT HERE


As mentioned in the introduction, I will keep you updated on technical developments as they happen.  In the meantime, if you have any questions on any topic or would like further information on the Ethics Workshop, please feel free to contact me.  We are headed into the time where practice inspections are taking place and it is a good time to ensure you have the right processes in place to address quality and other matters.  I am here to help as needed.  Have a great weekend. 

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


April 2019 Update

April 21, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

April 30.  Another tax season is officially passed.  Knowing how busy this month can be, I wanted to keep this update light.  There has been a lot recent activity by the standard setters therefore this month’s updates includes topics I will cover in more detail in the coming months as matters become more relevant but they are important enough to bring to your attention today.  Read on…

Exposure Drafts on Quality Management

An exposure draft Canadian Standards for Quality Management (CSQM 1) was issued April 5, 2019.  CSQM 1, along with the new Engagement Quality Reviews (CSQM 2), will replace the existing CSQC 1. Why do you care? While there are many changes in the exposure draft which I will provide details on in the next update, the biggest change is CSQM 1 will apply to all assurance and related services including compilation engagements and agreed-upon procedures engagements. CSQC 1 never applied to these types of engagements as CSQM 1 will now.  CPA Canada issued an Audit and Assurance Alert further detailing these exposure drafts and the reasons for the changes.

READ ALERT HERE

Other Exposure Drafts

The Audit and Assurance Board is still deliberating feedback on comments received on the Exposure Drafts for Compilation Engagements (CSRS 4200), Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization (CSAE 3416) and Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement (CAS 315).  Exposure Drafts for Group Audits and Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements are being drafted.  Why do you care?  It is important to keep up-to-date on standards.  I will provide updates and the impact as these Exposure Drafts are released, re-exposed or become effective the Handbook.  

Other Information (CAS 720)

As you turn your attention back to your audit engagements, it is a good time to remind yourself of the new reporting requirements related to Other Information (CAS 720).  This topic is getting a lot of attention as it is not always clear what constitutes “other information”.  CPA Canada  issued further guidance on other information considerations as it is not always just a formal, glossy annual report put out by the organization.  Why do you care? It is a subjective area which requires discussions with management and Those Charged with Governance.

READ ALERT HERE

Audits of Less Complex Entities (LCE)

The audit of Less Complex Entities has been a topic for discussion for both the IAASB and Canada’s AASB over the past several years; we are finally seeing results from those discussions. This past November, I participated in an outreach session hosted by the AASB to discuss the barriers to effective and efficient audits of less complex entities.  I have heard many comments of the challenges faced by small to mid-sized practitioners and was able to pass these on to the AASB directly.  The results of this session will be released in a Discussion Paper shortly. 

In the meantime, the IAASB has released their Discussion Paper exploring how the IAASB and others could further support auditors working in increasingly evolving environments.  The IAASB is asking for feedback on their paper and I plan to respond by the deadline of September 12, 2019.   Why do you care?  This is an important topic for practitioners who audit smaller (or less complex) clients and more efficient and effective engagements may be the final result of these discussions.  It will be interesting to see what comes next.

READ IAASB DISCUSSION PAPER HERE


Lots to think about in the coming months but for now, take a breathe.  Rest assured there is time to deal with all of these matters in the coming months and I am here to assist you as needed.  In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


March 2019 Update

April 1, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

The March update is being sent this first day of April, but I promise, no April Fool’s jokes within, only a few focused topics this month.  For most, April is a time for heads down to work as it is a very busy month.  A few critical items to be aware are included below.  Read on…

Dedicated Telephone Service – CRA Tax Help for Income Tax Service Providers

CRA is continuing their Dedicated Telephone Service (DTS) for the 2018 filing season.  The DTS was a three-year pilot project started last year which offers free technical help for small or medium income tax service providers.  There is a very simple registration process after which you receive a telephone number and a personal telephone access code to connect with DTS.   The definition of a small to medium sized firm has expanded from the prior year.  This is a good service that may help you save time.  

REGISTER HERE

New Compliance Reporting Standards Effective Today

In addition to an audit or review report, you may be requested to report on compliance with lease agreements, funding or debt agreements or other agreements.  The new standards CSAE 3530 Attestation Engagement to Report on Compliance and CSAE 3531 Direct Engagement to Report on Compliance are effective for compliance reports dated on or after April 1, 2019.  CPA Canada issued an Audit and Assurance Alert about the new requirements including understanding the difference between the two types of engagements.  The report has changed so it is important to ensure you have the right processes in place to ensure the right report goes out the door.  

READ MORE HERE

CPA Manitoba Practitioner’s Forum 

CPA Manitoba’s Practitioner Forum on May 15 (5 pm-7pm) will be facilitated by none other than yours truly.  This round table event series brings together CPAs in public practice to learn and discuss relevant topics.  This month’s topic is related to HR.  I will be leading a discussion on attracting, retaining, developing and motivating staff.  The results of a provincial salary survey will also be presented to better help you understand the competitive market.  Please join me if you can.

REGISTER HERE

Other Standards Updates

In researching topics for this month’s update, I perused the Financial Reporting & Assurance Canada website as I always do.  Nothing of significance to report back to you as of yet.  The AASB boards are still deliberating comments on the various exposure drafts including Compilation Engagements, Agreed Upon Procedures, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization and CAS 315 Identifying and Assessing the Risk of Material Misstatement.  I will provide further update on all of these when issued.  The only other matter of significance was information on the fact that the International Standards Board is developing an exposure draft on standards on quality control, now being referred to as Quality Management.  This means the Canadian Exposure draft is to follow shortly.  When issued I will provide you a summary of the impact this may have on your practice.  


One last item.  Don’t forget CPA dues are payable as of today and if paid after April 15, late charges will apply.  You should have received a notice from your provincial CPA body as applicable.  I hope the month is a good one and not too chaotic.  As you work through the month, please feel free to call with any questions you may have.  I am here to help you as needed.  In the meantime, happy spring!!

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President


February 2019 Update

February 28, 2019 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

February is a month where work ramps up as we get busier and busier with clients.  At times, it may seem easier to let things slide in order to just get things done and out the door but that approach has its cost in the end.  This month topics will help you to ensure that you are meeting standards in an efficient and effective way.  The links below provide you a number of resources to help you along the way, including how you may want to consider using technology in your practice.  Read on…

Auditor Reporting Guide:  Reporting Implications of Canadian Auditing Standards

Have you issued your first auditor’s report under the new standards yet?  From a few I have talked to, it is not quite as straightforward as before and takes some time to get it right.  CPA Canada has issued the 3rd edition of the Auditor Reporting Guide.  This is a very good tool which provides guidance with respect to commonly occurring reporting circumstances.  There are many illustrative reports for such things as going concern, qualifications to the opinion, emphasis and other matter paragraphs.  I would be happy to consult with you if needed to ensure you get it right.

ACCESS GUIDE HERE

Enhancing Documentation

Documentation is critical in all assurance engagements.  The mantra “if not documented, not done” comes up over and over again.  There are simple things to keep in mind as you work through your assurance engagements files over the next few months.  This short two-minute video from the Global Head of Audit Quality at Grant Thornton provides recommendations on strengthening audit quality.  You may want to share this video with you staff.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Observations Regarding the New Review Engagement Standard

CSRE 2400 has been in place for a year and practitioners are now entering their second season performing engagements in accordance with the standard.  CPA Canada worked with a task force of practitioners to build resources to support the effective application of the standard.  In addition, they gathered observations from practice inspectors from across the country and provide reminders for practitioners in applying the standard.

READ MORE HERE

Technically, Your Practice Could be Better

These days it seems that technology is top of mind whether in your personal life or in business.  As practitioners it is important to keep up as the world changes.  Knowing which technologies are best for your practice can be complicated, but ignoring the value technology can add to your practice carriers a heavy price in lost efficiency and opportunity.  An article from AICPA addresses these issues from a financial planning practice but many of the fundamental ideas apply to practitioners.

READ MORE HERE


Before sending out this monthly update, I did a quick check on the status of a number of exposure drafts including the Compilation Standard (CSRS 4200) and Assessing Risk (CAS 315).  Right now the Standards Boards are deliberating feedback received so no updates as of yet.  I will continue to keep you abreast of changes as they become known.  In the meantime, if you have any questions on existing standards or need support, please feel free to give me a call at anytime.  I am here to provide you peace of mind and save you time. 

Best Regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President