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


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


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