Conference for audit committees

Update your knowledge and strengthen your network at this must-attend conference covering the most important issues and trends affecting audit committee members.

Event Details

Location and date:
Toronto December 6-7, 2016

Save the date for the 2017 conference: November 30 to December 1, 2017

Additional details coming soon.

View the agenda

Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.


Up to 21 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

You will learn about:

  • how the audit process has evolved
  • legislative updates such as privacy law and whistleblower law
  • technical updates such as non-GAAP measures
  • big data, predictive analytics and current technology trends that will impact audit committees
  • cyberattacks and risk management
  • role of the internal auditor

Topics include:

  • how the audit process has evolved
  • legislative updates such as privacy law and whistleblower law
  • technical updates such as non-GAAP measures
  • big data, predictive analytics and current technology trends that will impact audit committees
  • cyberattacks and risk management
  • role of the internal auditor

Who should attend?

  • audit committee members
  • CFOs and others who work with their audit committees

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Registration and Continental breakfast

Welcome: What’s new in the audit committee world?
Speaker: Mike Garvey FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, audit committee chair and executive chair, Kelvin Storage Inc
Mike Garvey

Governance fundamentals: What you need to know
• roles and responsibilities of audit committee members
• relationship of audit committees to the Board
• creating the right environment for quality auditing
• risks associated and how to address them, including differences in NFP versus public sector

Speaker: Christa Casey, CPA, CA, partner, Welch LLP
Christa Casey, CPA, CA


Getting on a Board: How to get asked
• myths and realities
• finding the right match

Speaker: Salvatore M. Badali, FCPA,FCA, Odgers Berndtson LLP
Salvatore M. Badali

Diving into the details: What to look for
• skills and expertise needed (financial expertise alone is not enough)
• reporting and Legal requirements
• dealing with the unexpected

Speaker: Elliott M. Jacobson, FCPA,FCA, ICD.C audit committee chair
Elliott Jacobson, MBA, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D

Concluding remarks
Speaker: Mike Garvey, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, audit committee chair and executive chair,
Kelvin Storage Inc.
Mike Garvey

Registration and Continental breakfast

Welcome and conference overview

Opening keynote address: Beyond trends: Leveraging a new world of opportunity
Managing the fiduciary oversight of organizations in the 21st century requires new approaches and mindsets. The growing fluidity of the global economy, the dramatic disruptions of the digital revolution, and the radical empowerment of individuals through mobile computing and micro-manufacturing have combined to create a challenging future landscape for audit and assurance.

Accounting professionals have turned to monitoring trends in an attempt to make sense of this growing volatility and complexity. Trends tend to keep us connected to what is immediate and surrounding us, but fail to stretch us to see what is changing, what is emerging, and what is possible. Trends need to be balanced with Strategic Foresight for accounting professionals to truly understand the meaning behind them.

Join Yvette Montero Salvatico and Frank Spencer from Kedge Futures to learn how to leverage the tools of strategic foresight to move past trends and discover the future of audit and assurance.

Speakers: Yvette Montero Salvatico and Frank Spencer, Kedge
Yvette Montero Salvatico, BA, MBA ; Frank Spencer, MA

Networking break

The evolution of the audit process
The audit committee, as the Board’s direct link with the company’s external auditors, should understand the changing responsibilities and pressures that its external auditors manage while serving the needs of the company’s shareholders. For example, in addition to understanding the substance and resolving the material issues of each client, audit partners must also ensure that resources are allocated to complete quality-control processes in the proper sequence. The panel will discuss the environment as it is today, its implications on attracting sufficient numbers of the best and brightest from our universities and offer its insight as to expected changes in the next several years.

Moderator: Mike Garvey, audit committee chair, Kelvin Storage Inc.
Panelists: Murad Bhimani, MNP LLP; Elliott Jacobson, audit committee chair; Michael Paterson, PwC LLP; Tracey Riley, PwC LLP

Key performance indicators: A key performance responsibility for audit committees
Audit committee members often identify key performance indicators (KPIs) in Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) as an area of concern, yet they are measures of an entity’s performance that many investors rely on. Along with their responsibility for the financial reporting process, audit committees are ultimately responsible for KPIs. However, they are often not clear on how to best meet responsibilities in assessing whether the performance indicators are appropriate for the entity and whether they are reliability calculated.

This session will review the audit committee’s responsibility for non-GAAP measures, the challenges and potential steps to dealing with KPIs.

Moderator: Axel Thesberg, Kingston General Hospital
Panelists: Kathleen O’Neill, Audit Committee Chair; Ritika Rohailla, Ontario Securities Commission; Richard Talbot, Board of Directors of CFA Society Toronto

Networking lunch

Cyber incident response: Prepare for inevitable
Today, no Canadian business is immune from a potential attack. It’s no longer a question of if your organization will be attacked. It’s a question of when.

In this presentation, we’ll go through how organizations should:

• quickly understand the nature of an attack—to help answer and address the questions of what, where, how, and how much 

• minimize the costs associated with data loss—in terms of the cost of time, resources, and diminished customer confidence

• introduce a heightened level of management and controls that can strengthen your IT and business processes, helping your organization focus on core activities that deliver value for the enterprise
• how to mitigate and manage the reputational risk associated with a cyber-attack; especially if becomes public and customer personal information is at risk.

Speaker: Robert Masse, Deloitte

Networking break

Fraud and whistleblowers: Insight and practical advice
Whistleblowers play an important role in the detection of fraud, often because of their knowledge of the circumstances and individuals involved. Most companies now have formal reporting channels and whistleblower protections. Regulators, such as the SEC and the OSC, now offer whistleblower programs with financial incentives and protections.

This presentation offers practical advice to the audit committee chair on how to position internal reporting channels relative to external channels such as regulators and the press, and insights on dealing with whistleblower complaints.

Speaker: Mike Savage, Ernst and Young LLP

Legal perspectives
Organizations with sophisticated management and boards have proven over and over that even they can incur financial losses, loss of reputation, and law suits that can damage or potentially destroy their business. Boards of directors continue to face scrutiny from shareholders and regulators, tackle continued volatility and an increase in shareholder litigation. Effective board oversight is crucial in this challenging environment.
Boards grapple with oversight of emerging complex issues such as enhanced shareholder involvement and expectations, climate change and a high risk disruptive technologies. What is the audit committee’s role in this high risk environment and what are the legal implications? Are there legal issues the audit committee should consider in their response to new and emerging risks?
This session will inform the audit about legal issues, how to protect themselves and respond to the many risks they are facing.

• What significant legal risks should the audit committee be aware of
• How can you limit exposure to these risks?
• How can you protect your organization against legal risks?

Carol Hansell

Networking reception - Exhibits open

Registration and Continental breakfast - Exhibits open

Opening keynote address economic updates with Douglas Porter, chief economist, BMO Financial Group
Douglas Porter will discuss the North American and global economies, covering such topics as the outlook for interest rates, commodity prices, housing markets, and exchange rates.
Douglas Porter, BA, MA, CFA

Investor influence: Are you ready?
Any company can find themselves facing pressure from investors. Whether the pressure is friendly or hostile, the audit committees plays a significant role in making sure information communicated is accurate and appropriate. In this session you will hear investor and legal perspectives on what investors want from audit committees, what would cause a progression to activism and how the audit committee can best deal with investors.

• What are the expectations of the audit committee in investor communication
• How can you prepare to prevent relations with investors from becoming hostile
• How should you communicate with passive and activist investors

Moderator: Gigi Dawe, CPA Canada
Panelists to date: Bill Mackinnon, Corporate Director and Former CEO, KPMG; Walied Soliman, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP; Stephen Griggs, Smoothwater Capital Corporation

Gigi Dawe, BASc., LLM

Networking break

Technology Developments: Impact on the audit landscape for external as well as internal auditors
Technology is fundamentally impacting how work is carried out and is a major disruptor to the status quo. The audit process and related challenges external and internal auditors face is no different.

Regulator’s (PCOAB and others), shareholders and the accounting profession are also looking critically at the impact technological innovation is having on today’s traditional audit methodology and execution. The expectation is technology will transform the audit process and will raise questions about existing audit standards and the possibility of certain audit procedures becoming irrelevant, redundant or ineffective.

Audit firms who are introducing new technological innovation are also facing challenges in the expertise and training their staff require. New techniques in big data and data analytics is changing the way auditors test, assess and conclude on internal business processes and controls; requiring trained staff in the interpretation of data analytics relating to such things as internal control of business processes and procedures.

Audit Committee board members need to stay abreast of these developments to ensure their external, and where applicable internal audit, procedures and methods are incorporating the new techniques to enhance audit quality and addressing areas of risk to the organization.

At this session you will gain insight into:

• How audit firms are making investments in technology, processes and people to bring these desired changes to reality.
• What the next wave of change may bring, including real time collaboration, continuous auditing, controls and process intelligence and data auditing and analytics – artificial intelligence and machine learning.
• Changing skills, experience and mindset auditors of the future will require. How are Audit firms changing the delivery model and what the audit team looks like, including use of delivery centres and specialized teams.

Moderator: Mike Garvey, Audit Committee Chair, Kelvin Storage Inc.
Panelists: Michael Paterson, PwC Canada; Nicole Deschamps, Deloitte

Networking lunch

Internal audit: Your trusted advisor
In this session, an experienced panel of practitioners, board members and consultants involved in internal audit’s transformation will examine the evolving role of internal audit moving beyond the traditional internal audit areas and into provision of value added strategic advisory related services. Stakeholders have been demanding more from their internal audit functions and the profession is stepping up to reach limits supported by senior executive and the boards to which it serves. Are you getting the most from your Internal Audit function?

Moderator: Sheila Smigarowski, Former CAE and IIA Canada Past Chair
Panelists: Jeff Erdman, incoming chair, IIA Canada and CAE for Finning International; Carmen Abela, IIA Canada’s current chair and owner of Windreach; Nancy Hopkins, McDougall Gauley LLP

Privacy: Legislative compliance and beyond
In this segment, participants will learn about best practices and emerging trends to help ensure organizations complying with privacy legislation while leveraging privacy best practices as a means to growing and protecting the business.

Speaker: Brent Homan, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Networking break

Audit committee effectiveness: Key responsibilities
Audit committees are a critical element of good corporate governance and are essential to ensuring robust oversight over a company's financial reporting process. But great audit committees do much more than simply perform a compliance function. They play a key role in such elements of corporate governance as strategic planning, risk management, capital allocation and the setting and monitoring of key performance metrics. This session will tie in the learnings from the conference to discuss how companies and their boards can optimize the role of the audit committee and what audit committees need to do to ensure that they are operating as effectively as possible. A panel of experienced audit committee chairs and CFOs will provide practical insights to help audit committees maximize their performance.

Moderator: Diana Chant, board member and audit committee chair (various)
Panelists: Deborah Rosati, corporate director and audit committee member, Sears Canada; John Caldwell, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON M5H 2M9

Frequently asked questions:


Hotel reservations are the responsibility of the participant. CPA Canada has arranged for a special conference rate of $219 (plus applicable taxes). The Guaranteed Rate is available until November 21, 2016 (or when the room block is sold out). Reservations are accepted on a space and rate availability basis. Book early to avoid disappointment. Contact Starwood Reservations at Tel: 1-888-627-7175 or book online via the Online Reservations link below. Identify yourself as a participant of the "CPA Canada Conference for Audit Committees" to qualify for the special conference rate.

Online Reservations

Advisory Committee:

Angela Holtham, FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D, board member (various)
Geneviève Grenier, FCPA, FCMA , senior principal, Finance, Management and Reporting, CPA Canada
Gigi Dawe, LLM, principal, Corporate Oversight and Governance, CPA Canada
Laurel Murray, CPA, CA, Audit Committee chair, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Michael Calynuik, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, CA-IT Audit Committee chair, Business Development Bank of Canada
Mike Garvey, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D , board member (various)
Paule Bouchard, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, Audit Committee chair, Loto-Québec
Sheila Smigarowski, CPA, CA, CIA, CRMA, A.C.C., past chair, Canadian Board, Institute of Internal Auditors

Sponsors & Exhibitors




Please contact:

Member Development and Support
Tel: 1-800-268-3793

Geneviève Grenier, principal, Finance, Management and Reporting, Professional Learning and Development
Tel: 416-204-3278

Julia Chernin, program manager, Professional Learning and Development
Tel: 416-204-3415