January 2021 Update

January 30, 2021 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

New year, new standards and new baby. What a great start to the year. My son and daughter-in-law just had a little baby girl so I am now a grandma and I can’t be more excited. The excitement of new standards pale in comparison but we can’t lose sight of these many upcoming changes. Read on…  


New Quality Management Standards Approved

At their meeting on January 21, 2021, the AASB approved the new Quality Management standards consisting of CSQM1, CSQM 2 and CAS 220. The final standards will be published in a Handbook update in May 2021. The standards will be effective as follows:

    • Systems of quality management for audits or reviews of financial statements or other assurance engagements are required to be designed and implemented by December 15, 2022, and the evaluation of the system of quality management is required to be performed within one year following December 15, 2022.
    • Systems of quality management for related services engagements are required to be designed and implemented by December 15, 2023, and the evaluation of the system of quality management is required to be performed within one year following December 15, 2023.

These new Quality Management standards were approved by the IAASB in September 2020. Rest assured I will be providing updates and links to guidance on these standards as they are made available. In the meantime, a video from the Chair of the ISQM Task Force provides a clear and concise overview of the new requirements. Very worth the half hour of your time. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE  


Assurance and Accounting Upcoming Changes – Summary

With all of the upcoming assurance and accounting changes, I thought it worthwhile to summarize these for you so you have all in one place. I created a simple document that you can print and keep handy. The key thing to remember is the standards in effect for years ending December 31, 2020 which are CAS 540 Auditing Estimates and Section 3465 Leases. There are many more standards for years ending December 31, 2021 but for now focus on what you need to know. ACCESS ASK KSA SUMMARY PDF HERE  


Accounting Guidance

CPA Canada published two good guidance tools on various accounting issues related to Covid back in May 2020. However, as you start to perform engagements in this upcoming year, many of the factors still exist and therefore I wanted to bring these publications to your attention once again. They include specific guidance on the many accounting issues that may have to be addressed along with practical consideration and the applicable handbook section. READ ASPE GUIDANCE HERE READ ASNPO GUIDANCE HERE  


Providing Business Guidance

Being a trusted advisor is more than the audit or review or tax return. It is about providing guidance and support to your clients. CPAs are asking for insights on how to deal with emerging business issues resulting from COVID-19. Learn about these issues and the guidance available to help your client deal with issues such as enforceability of commercial contracts, business interruption insurance coverage and authentication of documents among other topics. READ RESOURCES HERE


The Year Ahead: 2021 in Numbers

What does the upcoming year have in store for firms? What are your plans? How do you compare to others. In November Accounting Today conducted its annual survey of firms of all sizes polling practitioners on everything from the growth expectations to their plans for tech spending their use of social idea, the new services they are offering and what they expect to happen with the pandemic. The stats are very interesting. How do you compare? READ SURVEY RESULTS HERE


ASK KSA Professional Development Initiative

A key initiative I will be undertaking over the next few months is developing online, on demand professional development courses. Courses will be about one hour in length and cover many topics such as the new Quality Management Standards, practical application of the auditing standards such as performing substantive analytical procedures and journal entry testing, and other soft skills topics such as ethics, coaching and feedback and communicating with clients. As I develop my online course curriculum, I would be very interested in feedback from you as to what topics you would like me to include. I am open to all ideas and would love to hear from you.

What topics are of importance to you? What courses would you like to participate in? What thoughts do you have on what should be included in my online courses? Send me an email.

PD Reporting
Don’t forget provincial PD reporting requirements. Reporting due at the end of this month (NOW!).


It is going to be an exciting year on all fronts. While I will be busy with my new baby granddaughter, I will also be very busy with the many new standards and helping you keep up to date as you implement them to ensure you conduct efficient and effective engagements. I look forward to working with you as needed. As always, I am here to help you save time and achieve peace of mind. Reach out anytime.

 

Best regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President
1.204.228.2529
www.ksaconsultinginc.com


December 2020 Update

January 5, 2021 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,

The end of the year is upon us. My original intention was to send a holiday greeting only. However, there was such an exciting announcement this week that I could not help but to send one technical update – one audit standard for the audits of less complex entities?!?! Crazy. It is an exciting time to be in public practice with so many changes on the horizon. Read on…


Separate Audit Standard?!?!?!

As previously mentioned, I am a member of the Advisory Group to the AASB on the Audits of Less Complex Entities (LCE). A huge announcement was just that has significant implications on the audits of these types of clients. On December 15, 2020 the IAASB announced the approval of the project to develop a draft of a separate standard for the audits of LCEs. The IAASB is developing the the standard on the following basis:

    • Using similar concepts as the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs)
    • Containing all requirements relevant to an audit of an LCE with a “stand alone” standard
    • Divided into “Parts” following the flow of an audit and setting our the relevant requirements for the various components within the audit

The Audit and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) is a part of the discussion and has had input into the approach. I can share with you first hand that our review of the existing standards and where “pain points” exist, the discussion of what the new standard might look like, and concepts to follow have been extensive and in-depth. It is so exiting to be a part of Canadian standard setting. The target date for the exposure draft on the new standard is mid-2021. That is incredibly fast in the standard setting world but there is a recognition that this project needs to move forward at an advanced pace. Our Advisory Group will be reviewing the draft exposure draft in January with the objective of providing further insights on the challenges faced by auditors in the audits of these types of entities. I am honored to be a part of the conversation. If you have any strong views on the separate standard and its basis, I would love to hear them and pass them on in our Advisory Group discussions. You can read more here about the details of the proposed project. Two very good short summaries of what is ahead.

COMMUNIQUE: DEVELOPING A SEPARATE STANDARD FOR THE AUDITS OF LCE

COMMUNIQUE: ADDRESSING UNDERSTANDABILITY, SCALABILITY AND PROPORTIONALITY


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

The year 2020 has been like no other in so many ways. I read an article earlier this week that spoke to me as it had two important concepts that sum up 2020:

  • ADAPTABILITY. The definition of adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. Throughout the year we have definitely had new conditions and I have seen so many of you adapt with grace and speed. Keep up the great work as I have no doubt more new conditions are to come.
  • BRICOLAGE (had to look this one up). Bricolage is connected with resilience and loosely translated it means to build something with whatever you have at hand, even if it is not everything you need. It is about creation with a diverse range of available things, something to always keep in mind.

If we keep these these two important concepts top of mind, 2021 should be a breeze, no matter what it holds. I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in 2021.


From my family to yours, happy holidays. I hope you have a chance to relax and enjoy some time off and for a moment, just sit in peace. The work will be there tomorrow, so focus on what is important to you. As always, I am here to help you save time and achieve peace of mind.

Best regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President
1.204.228.2529
www.ksaconsultinginc.com


November 2020 Update

November 27, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,
Another busy month – where does the time go? As we head into the last part of the year, it is important to stay focused on what we need to get done to be prepared for the new year. One of the key action items is to remind yourself of what is upcoming. Therefore this month’s topics are limited to the near future. Reminders of revised and new standards and details of training courses to help you get ready. Read on…


CAS 540 FAQ Resource

Reminder, reminder, reminder… Revised CAS 540 Auditing Estimates is effective for upcoming December 2020 year ends. This standard will have an impact on all audit engagements, even those clients with less complex estimates. CPA Canada recently released a publication to help you with implementation. Their FAQ provides answers to common questions on the revised standard. A really good tool to help you understand implementation issues.

CAS 540 GUIDANCE


Focus on Practice Inspection Annual Report

Practice inspections are a part of our profession. I have spent a lot of time over the past year either helping firms get ready for a practice inspection or responding to their practice inspection results. The Annual Focus on Practice Inspection summarizing all inspection findings was released this week. It is helpful to understand what deficiencies occurred so you can take action to help ensure the same findings don’t happen in your engagements. The Manitoba results are consistent with findings from other provinces as results are shared and compared across the country. Very worth your time to read.

READ PRACTICE INSPECTION SUMMARY HERE


Verifiable CPD Reporting Reminder

The year end deadline is fast approaching! Often it can be a challenge to find good, practical and worthwhile PD courses. ASK KSA has several upcoming on-line workshops to help you meet those required verifiable PD hours. We can also deliver tailored in-house courses as needed. Reach out to me directly. Current live online workshop offerings are as follows:

Path to Implementation – CSRS 4200
(3 hours verifiable CPD)
January 6, 2021 @ 1:30 pm
January 21, 2021 @ 1:30 pm $600

What’s New? 2020 Assurance and Accounting Update
(3 hours verifiable CPD)
December 18 @ 1:30 pm $200

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR CURRENT COURSE OFFERINGS


Many practitioners are reaching out to me these days for assistance on many topics. We are facing many challenges in our current environment. Results of practice inspections, financial statement disclosure matters, file efficiency reviews, monitoring, implementing the new compilation standard… the list goes on. Please feel free to call with whatever is on your mind. I am here to save you time and provide peace of mind.

Best regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President
1.204.228.2529
www.ksaconsultinginc.com


October 2020 Update

October 30, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

Greetings,
At the beginning of the month I was still golfing and now there are several centimeters of snow on the ground. It reminds me that winter is coming, if not already here. This month’s update includes a technical topics that are relevant in the near future and planning now will help you be more efficient later. Also included are topics to help you continue to build your business. Read on…


CSRS 4200 Implementation Guidance

Even though the new compilation standard is not effective until 2021, I continue to encourage practitioners to think about implementation matters today. There are many activities you can undertake between now and then to lessen your work effort. CPA Canada has published a good implementation tool. You may also want to consider participating in one of the upcoming on-line PD workshops I am offering (link below). As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

CSRS 4200 IMPLEMENTATION TOOL


PEG 2020 Further Updates

The Professional Engagement Guide (PEG) has released the second and final phase of the 2020 update. Volume 2 has now been updated for CAS 540 (Estimates) and CSRS 4200 (Compilation Engagements). New Volume 3 which include case studies and filled-in forms has also been released.

ACCESS PEG HERE (LOG INTO KNOTIA)


Section 3065 Leases – Relief in Amendments Due to COVID

The Accounting Standards Board is amending Section 3065, Leases, in early November. This amendment is good news as it provides relief for both lessees and lessors on accounting for lease modifications received or granted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendments apply to annual financial statements ending on or after December 31, 2020, with earlier application permitted.

READ EXPOSURE DRAFT HERE


New T4 Reporting Requirements

For the 2020 tax year, the CRA will be introducing additional reporting for T4 slips. The additional reporting requirements will apply to all employers and will help the CRA validate payments under CEWS, CERB and CESB. Be aware of these requirements if you prepare T4 slips for your clients or as your client asks for assistance.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE T4 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS HERE


Marketing Priorities to Keep Your Firm Relevant

Firms can be challenged by marketing at the best of times. While referrals are a good source of business, it is important to not forget about marketing. Where to begin? Accounting Today outlines five marketing priorities to help keep your firm relevant. The tips are practical and simple to implement.

READ ARTICLE HERE


Turn Your Website into a Rainmaker

Your website is the first priority identified in the article above and therefore you want to make it relevant, especially in today’s landscape of limited face-to-face meetings and working remotely. Websites are becoming increasingly valuable business tools, especially for business development. This article has some good ideas on improving your website and is worth the read.

READ ARTICLE HERE


Why You Should Change This Dangerous Wifi Setting

I never thought about changing my wifi settings as I am out and about working from various locations until I read this article. Now that people are working from home or other locations, the tips on protecting your data are more relevant than ever.

READ ARTICLE HERE


ENSURE YOU MEET YOUR CPD REPORTING REQUIREMENTS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR – UPCOMING ONLINE PD COURSES:

Path to Implementation – CSRS 4200
November 12, 2020
November 23, 2020

Putting Ethics into Practice
December 18, 2020

 


I believe this will be a busy fall, continuing the busy summer we had. The more you plan for the upcoming months, the easier it will be. As always, I am here to help you save time and achieve peace of mind. Reach out anytime.

 

Best regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President
1.204.228.2529
www.ksaconsultinginc.com


September 2020 Update

September 30, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter
Greetings,

Fall has officially arrived and I think it will be a busy one. There is a lot on the go from every aspect of running a practice. Planning engagements, practice management and professional development all seem to fall (pun intended) into this time of year. This month’s topics will help you get ready for everything that needs to get done. Read on…


Agreed Upon Procedures

The new Agreed Upon Procedures standard (CSRS 4400) has been approved and is effective for engagement terms agreed upon on or after January 1, 2022. There are many improvements to the new standard and it is consistent with other recent changes, therefore you may want to consider early adoption for upcoming AUP engagements I don’t believe the transition will be difficult in this case. A blog by CPA Canada will help you understand the new standard and its implications.

READ BLOG HERE


New Quality Standards Approved by IAASB

Last week the International Standards setters approved the new suite of quality management standards replacing ISQC1. Why do Canadian practitioners care about these new standards? We care as the AASB has exposed draft standards on the same topic to replace CSQC1. I wrote a LinkedIn article on the expected changes and the issues faced by the AASB as they consider the unique aspects of the Canadian market. 

READ ARTICLE HERE


2020 PEG Update Reminder

Phase one of the 2020 version of PEG released in August. Practice Aids and Volume 1 are now available on Knotia (soon to released in Jazz-it and Caseware). Changes are classified as Major, Moderate or Minor. Phase two which includes Volume 2, case studies and other content will be available in October. Highlights of the significant changes included the release of letter and practice aids related to CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements practice aids related to CAS 540 Estimates. The What’s New Section has a good summary of all the changes.

LOG INTO KNOTIA HERE TO ACCESS THE PEG


Quality Can Help Firms Grow

Having a proper quality control system in place, especially with the upcoming changes, can help a firm be successful and grow. “Firms love to land new clients and keep their current clients happy. After all, acquiring new business and retaining it is the key to growth” says author Cheryl Meyer (Journal of Accountancy). Revenue growth can cause problems if a firm does not have the proper control system in place.  The article includes a number of tips on implementing a solid system of quality management.

READ ARTICLE HERE 


5 Missteps to Avoid when Evaluating Internal Controls

Auditors are required to obtain evidence related to the design and implementation of controls, whether or not controls are going to be relied up. This is an area where practitioners often struggle, especially in the audits of less complex entities. An article in the Journal of Accountancy outlines five missteps to avoid in the process of evaluating internal controls A good article to help you be effective and efficient.

READ ARTICLE HERE


Understanding Your Client:  COVID-19 Implications for Internal Controls

COVID-19 related events and conditions have likely caused changes to entities’ operations and internal control further complicating design and implementation requirements. Changes in operations may result in new or changed risks, processes, and controls. Listen to this special, and practical, practitioner’s webinar from CPA Canada to learn more. 

REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE


Professional Development Courses

Path to Implementation – CSRS 4200
October 16, 2020
October 28, 2020
November 12, 2020
November 23, 2020

Putting Ethics into Practice
November 19, 2020
December 18, 2020

Assurance and Accounting Updates
In-house offerings available. Contact me for details. 
Online dates coming shortly.


How do you like the new monthly update format? I would love to hear your feedback. There are a number of new initiatives I have recently undertaken. In addition changing the format of my newsletter, I am now delivering professional development sessions online. ASK KSA PD courses are unique in nature as they are interactive and engaging and very practical. As always, I am here to help you save time and achieve peace of mind. Reach out anytime.

Best regards,
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA
President
1.204.228.2529
www.ksaconsultinginc.com


August 2020 Update

August 31, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

In this Update:  Professional Development; Standards Update; AUP Engagements; PEG Updates

Greetings,

This has been a busy month; despite the fact it is August. From my discussions with many of you, it seems we are all still catching up from the past few months and trying to get organized for the upcoming months. There has been a lot of activity related to Handbook updates along with related tools and practice aids, so much so I sent out two special updates earlier this month. I included the information again in this month-end update as they are so important I don’t want you to overlook them. Other topics this month are to help you get ready for fall and beyond. Read on…   


Path to Implementation – CSRS 4200 (ASK KSA Professional Development Course)

You have been reading information about the new standard for months now and it is time to act. The standard is effective periods ending on or December 14, 2021 – that is only 18 months from now!! What are you doing to get ready? I will be leading a Professional Development Course to help you understand the requirements and develop an implementation action plan between now and the effective date. The course is unique as it is practical in its approach and focuses on application, not technical.  

You will leave the course with a solid understanding of the standard and an implementation action plan. Tools and templates will be provided including a draft action plan, a scoping spreadsheet, basis for accounting template notes and documentation guidance.  

Registration will go live later this week but in the meantime, mark your calendars for the date that works best for you. The following sessions are currently available: 

  • September 17: 9 am – 12 pm CST  
  • September 23: 9 am – 12 pm CST 
  • September 24:  1:30 pm – 4:30 CST 

Each session will be live via Zoom and limited to 10 participants to allow for interactive discussions. As these sessions fill up, more will be added. Cost for the 3-hour verifiable CPD session is $600 plus GST. If you would like to arrange a separate session for your firm only (either in-person or on-line), contact me directly and we can arrange.  

READ COURSE DETAILS AND REGISTER HERE


Handbook Updates

The first special update of the month covered the CPA Canada Standards and Guidance Collection. There were many significant amendments and revisions in both the accounting and assurance sections of the Handbook. The accounting updates were for changes in standards for both ASPE and ASNPO. The assurance updates were revisions to certain CASs and the new standard CSRS 4400, related to Agreed-upon Procedures.  

ACCESS KNOTIA HERE (LOG IN)

READ ASK KSA DETAILED SUMMARY HERE


New Agreed-Upon Procedures Standard

Speaking of the new Agreed-Upon Procedures standard, CPA Canada published an article about this new standard which opens the door to a broader range of agree-up procedures (AUP) engagements. The new standard is effective for engagements for which the terms are agreed on or after January 1, 2022. In this case I believe early adoption is a good thing. The article covers the key differences between the existing standards (Sections 9100 and 9110) as well as things to watch out for when performing AUP engagements. Implementation tools will be coming but in the meantime, take a moment to understand the implications of the new standard. 

READ CPA CANADA ARTICLE HERE


Knotia PEG Release 

The second special update related to the 2020 PEG release. This year, the release will be in two phases. Practice Aids and Volume 1 are now available on Knotia. Volume 2, case studies and other content will be available in October. Highlights of the significant changes included the release of the new CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements and CSRS 4400 Agreed Upon Procedures letters and practice aids and practice aids related to CAS 540. There were other changes that were classified as Major, Moderate or Minor. Read the What’s New Section to understand the updates or give me a call.  

READ ASK KSA DETAILED SUMMARY HERE


While we are busy these days, please take a moment to breathe and enjoy these last few dog days of summer (where did that saying come from anyway?). Remember, things will get done. I promise. I am here to help as needed. Have a great week. 

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


July 2020 Update

July 31, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

In this Update:  CSRS 4200; Professional Development; Firm Risk Management; ASPE Standards; PSAS Standards;

Greetings,

Here it is already at the end of July. It seems that only last week I was waiting for March to end. Where does time go? And why does it go so quickly? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers to these questions so have decided to focus on the future and what needs to be done to manage a practice in an efficient and effective manner. The theme for this month is being prepared. Read on…

CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements (CSRS 4200)

The new compilation standard is effective for periods ending on or after December 14, 2021. While that may seem like a long time away, in fact, it is only 18 months from now. Talk about time moving quickly, the effective date will be here quicker than you think but there are many things you can start now to get ready. CPA Canada recently hosted a Practitioners Pulse Webinar on CSRS 4200 and the real-life experiences of three practitioners who have implemented the standard and their experiences in doing so.  They had very practical responses to the questions posed on implementation. It is worth spending an hour of your time listening to this one.  

ACCESS WEBINAR HERE

Professional Development

I believe it is critical to develop a project management plan over the next 18 months as the new standard could have a significant impact on your practice. I will be delivering an online training course to help practitioners learn how to implement the new standard in an effective and efficient manner through recognizing where business decisions are required, determining the approach to meeting requirements and developing an action plan between now and the effective date. There will be several sessions available starting mid-September. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, you can check out a detailed description of the course on my website. I will let you know when dates have been finalized and registration is open. 

READ COURSE DESCRIPTION HERE

Risk Management (Firm Risk Management)

Another area to be prepared relates to practice liability.  Even though we may prefer not to think of it, it is important to think of risk as we continue to serve clients through these time. As much as we don’t like to think about it, unfortunately claims are a part of business. CPA Professional Liability Plan Inc. believes there will be increased and unique claims risks that will arise over the next months and years. They have a unique perspective in their recent article on this topic which includes issues to consider as you perform engagements.   

READ ARTICLE HERE

Withdrawing from an Engagement (Firm Risk Management)

Speaking of business risk and being prepared, no matter how perfect the partnership between a firm and its client may seem, as with all things in business, sometimes the partnership does not work out. This can leave both parties questioning whether a practitioner can withdraw from the engagement. An article from Accounting Today explores several scenarios in which an auditor might withdraw from an audit and the implications of doing so. While the article focuses on audit engagements, the principles are similar for other types of engagement.  

READ ARTICLE HERE

Public Sector Accounting Standards Deferral (ASPE Standards, PSAS Standards)

Finally, you have a longer period of time get prepared on certain public sector accounting standards. The Public Sector Accounting Standards Board met late in June/early July to discuss several upcoming changes to accounting standards. Among other topics discussed, they decided to defer the effective date of all upcoming accounting standards by one year. These include:

  • PS 3280 Asset Retirement Obligations – previous implementation date changed from fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2021 to April 2022
  • PS 3450 Financial Instruments/ PS 3041 Portfolio Investments/PS 1201 Financial Statement Presentation/PS 2601 Foreign Currency Translation – previous implementation date changed from fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2021 to April 2022 however some public sector organizations may have already adopted these standards
  • PS 3400 Revenue – previous implementation date changed from fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2022 to April 2023

As a reminder, the May update highlighted the deferral of effective dates for ASPE standards including 3051 Investments, 3465 Income Taxes and 3856 Financial Instruments

READ FULL DECISION SUMMARY HERE

READ MAY UPDATE HERE


Enjoy your August. There a lot of things to look forward to in the upcoming month, the most exciting of which is the 2020 release of the PEG checklists.  Along with the typical revisions and updates, the important documents will be the new checklists related to CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements and CAS 540 Accounting Estimates. I look forward to reviewing all of the updates in detail and providing my views to you to help you make the business decision on implementation. In the meantime, feel free to reach out any time with any questions. I am here to help save you time and provide peace of mind. Have a great long weekend. I look forward to enjoying the sunny warm days, watering my flowers and golfing, a lot. 

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


June 2020 Update

June 30, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

In this Update:  Less Complex Entities; Technology; Dealing with Clients; COVID-19 Challenges

Greetings,

Slowly businesses are ramping up operations, but it seems that practitioners have been busy all along. Despite the extended deadlines, many challenges have been faced, and solved, over the past few months.  Standard setters also continue to be busy with interesting discussions including the potential for a new standard for the audits of less complex entities. This month’s thought leadership covers important topics as we continue all to move forward. Read on…

AASB Decision Summary – New Standard for Audits of LCEs?

Exciting news. At their June meeting, the Audit and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) provided input on the IAASB Audits of Less Complex Entities (LCE) Working Group’s proposal to start developing a separate standard on this topic. Matter discussed included the overarching principles to be used when developing a separate set of standards. The IAASB is clearly headed in the direction of setting a separate standard for the audits of LCEs which will have a significant impact on the profession.

I previously communicated that I am a member of the AASB Working Group on the Audit of Less Complex Entities providing insights and recommending solutions to the challenges faced by SMPs in auditing these types of entities.  There is a long way to go but I feel we are headed in the right direction. Do you agree with me? Feel free to reach out with your views directly so I can provide further input to the Working Group and the direction we should head.

The other topic of interest at the AASB meeting included discussions on Quality Management. The IAASB project to revise standard for quality management at the firm and engagement level continue. The IAASB expects to approve the final ISQM 1, ISQM 2 and ISA 220 at its September 2020 meeting. In turn, the AASB expects to approve the Canadian equivalent at its January 2021 meeting. However there are several Canadian issues yet to resolve, the main one being if the new standards apply to compilation engagements or not. Stay tuned. 

READ DECISION SUMMARY HERE

Innovation in Audit:  It is not Just About Technology

Auditors love JELLY. Just Exactly Like Last Year. And to hang out with SALY.  Same As Last Year. However these can limit our ability to innovate in an audit. Innovation in an audit is more than just changing technology. It is about thinking differently about challenges faced, and thinking about them before you jump into a solution. While it is important to conduct high quality audits, conducting engagements efficiently is just as important. This article from Accounting Today was a thought-provoking read for ideas in how to innovate the audit. File efficiency reviews are another great way to make changes to your engagement process. I would be happy to assist you in performing such a file review to help you avoid JELLY and SALY.

READ ARTICLE HERE

Small and Mid-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Need Small- to Mid-Sized Practitioners (SMPs)

Businesses are ramping up operations however they continue to make hard decisions about their employees and payroll along with other operating decisions. They need the support of accountants whom they know and trust. With candid and empathetic discussions and a flexible approach, SMPs can enable SMEs with the right tools to bridge the gap between crises mode and action mode. An article in Accounting Today focuses on three guiding principles as practitioners help clients navigate disruption. 

READ ARTICLE HERE

Reporting and Fraud Risk Arising from Covid-19 Pose Significant Challenges

In response to the current crisis, many organization have had to quickly change working practices and protocols to enable remote working, which present an increased risk of fraud of internal controls can by bypassed as a result. These changes can create challenges for practitioners in conducting engagements. An article published by IFAC highlights the need for auditors to have increased awareness and the importance of exercising professional skepticism.  This is an excellent article and well worth the read. 

READ ARTICLE HERE


Tomorrow is July 1 and no fireworks this year but I am okay with that. I would rather move forward at a steady pace then take two steps forward and one step back. So, move forward we do. Please feel free to reach out at anytime with any questions you may have to help you save time and achieve peace of mind. In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming month, it is summer you know. 

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


May 2020 Update

May 29, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

In this Update:  ASPE Standards, CSRS 4200; SME Accounting; Auditor Considerations

Greetings,

This month flew by for me and I am not quite sure why. Maybe it is because the new routines have become familiar, maybe it is because I am busy with a few special projects or maybe it is just because it has been nice out and I have taken time to enjoy the backyard and my flowers. In the end it doesn’t matter, all I know is I have started focussing on the future once again instead of trying to get by day by day. This month’s updates are also mainly about the future. Read on…

Deferral of Effective Dates for ASPE Standards

At its meeting on April 15, 2020, the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) made the decision to defer the effective dates of the following amendments effective for years beginning on or after January 1, 2020 by one year to January 1, 2021:

  • Amendments to Section 3051, Investments (related to clarifying guidance related to the cost method also applying to jointly controlled enterprises)
  • Amendments to Section 3465, Income Taxes (related to removing requirement to present FIT as current and non-current when future income taxes method applied and other minor updates)
  • Amendments to Section 3856, Financial Instruments (related to accounting for related party financial instruments, amending risk disclosure requirements and classification of Redeemable Preferred Shares)

The biggest takeaway from list above is the postponement of the effective date for financial instruments related to the amendments on Redeemable Preferred Shares Issued in a Tax Planning Arrangement. Due to the amendments, it was expected many preferred shares may now have to be classified as liability versus equity. The postponement allows practitioners more time to perform the analysis of classification and clients more time to discuss the impact on covenants with their lenders. Good news all around.  

The AcSB is also deferring the effects dates of the new Section 3041, Agriculture and amendments to Section 3400, Revenue, effective for year beginning on or after January 1, 2021 by one year to January 1, 2022. Early adoption of each of the amendments and the new Section continues to be permitted.

READ DECISION SUMMARY HERE

CSRS 4200 Guidance

Unlike the accounting standards, there has been no discussion on deferring the effective date for this standard. CPA Canada is hosting a special Practitioner’s Pulse on the new compilation standard. The webinar, to be held in July, will help you learn about the new compilation standard, CSRS 4200 and cover implementation guidance available. Listen to practitioners share practical tips and answer questions on how to implement the new standard. I already have been working with a number of practitioners on implementation as there are many activities you can undertake well in advance of the effective date (periods ending on or after December 14, 2021).

REGISTER HERE

Small Businesses Need Small Accounting Firms

In times like these small businesses turn to their advisors for assistance.  It is important to be there for your clients as that is what keeps your firm growing.  Business owners are making hard decision about their employees, struggling to maintain ongoing expenses despite losses in revenue and deciphering confusing information about which government programs might be able to help them. With candid and empathetic discussion and a flexible approach, practitioners can enable their clients with the right tools to bridge the gap between crisis mode and action mode. In this article from Accounting Today there are three guiding principles to focus on as you help clients navigate disruption. 

READ ARTICLE HERE

Auditor Considerations

Okay, one topic that is back to the current environment but included as it helpful as you complete current engagements. It is hard to keep track of all the guidance, articles and resources to help auditors address the risks in performing their engagements in relation to the impact of COVID-19 operations, financial results, operations and cash flows of organizations.  However, CPA Canada’s latest resource does a good job in bringing it all together. This publication covers most of the topics auditors should be thinking about and links to other resources available. Almost a one-stop shop, almost. 

READ GUIDANCE HERE


This was also a big month in that Revised CAS 315 (Identifying and Assessing the Risk of Material Misstatement) was formally released in the Handbook. The Revised CAS 315 is effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 31, 2021. I will provide you more guidance on this CAS in the coming months but I wanted to bring this to your attention as it is indicative that standards are still changing and it is important to keep up and not fall behind so you do not have to scramble at the last minute to keep up. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. Feel free to reach out any time. I am here to help save you time and provide peace of mind. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

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


April 2020 Update

April 30, 2020 / Monthly Newsletter

In this Update:  Dealing with Clients, COVID-19 Support; Standards Update; Reminder

Greetings,

Life continues to change. With the announcements of the province opening, we will slowly move into a “new normal”. I recently read that phrase is in competition for being the highest used phrase of the year – right up there with “flattening the curve”. It will be interesting to watch in the coming months what the new normal entails and how we adapt. Working remotely, social distancing, conducting client meetings, delivering training will all evolve as we settle in. In the meantime, the focus is, and always will be, the client and how we work with them in completing engagements and providing support. This month’s update includes information on things to think about as we move into our new normal. Read on… 

5 Steps for Advising Clients

There is so much information to weed through these days, emergency funding options, new working environments, government guidelines, the list goes on. After dealing with the immediacy of your own operations, supporting clients is most likely one of your top priorities. An article from the Journal of Accountancy explores five strategies to navigate advisory, and sometimes difficult, conversations with your clients to help them cope.  If there is ever a time when clients needed your guidance, expertise and care, it is now. The strategies are straightforward and may give you useful ideas to help manage through this time. 

READ ARTICLE HERE

Areas of Focus Due to COVID-19

Global developments relating to the current situation have impacted the work of auditors. Uncertainty and unpredictability may create risks of material misstatement that are new or heightened. Auditors have to adjust how they obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence on which to base the audit opinion amid the many challenges they are facing. IFAC has published an Alert that highlights many of the items that auditors need to focus on in a clear and concise manner. The publication refers to ISAs but Canadian auditing standards (CAS) are substantially the same so this is particularly good tool to help you assess risk and document your conclusions. 

READ ALERT HERE

COVID-19 and Going Concern Impacts

Even though business may now be able to open, COVID-19 related event may cause a deterioration in an entity’s operating results and financial position, affecting its ability to continue as a going concern. An article from CPA Canada provides guidance on learning how to address the challenges that arise from these conditions. Whether the engagement is an audit or a review the issues are the same and must be considered. 

READ ARTICLE HERE

Coping with Standards Changes

There have been some delays in the effective date for some US GAAP and IFRS standards. However, for all my research, I have seen no discussion on delays for any Canadian standards. That means throughout all this we still must be cognizant of upcoming new standards. Nothing is imminent but throughout this time we cannot forget about the future. It is a challenge to keep up. The Journal of Accountancy has tips on how to “stay the course” and deliver high quality engagements.

READ ARTICLE HERE

Reminder

CPA Canada’s COVID-19 information page CPA CANADA COVID RESOURCE PAGE is a good resource for guidance on financial reporting and other issues. FRAS Canada also has an information page FRAS CANADA COVID RESOURCE PAGE although this one is a little more IFRS focussed.


I promise there will come a day when we are not talking about the pandemic and flattening the curve (although in my case, I am eating so much baking I feel like I am “fattening the curve”). In the meantime, whatever challenges you face, remember that I am here as a resource as needed. Feel free to reach out at any time. Take care and stay healthy.

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