The ONE national conference 2018

The ONE is Canada’s must-attend, multi-track CPA event of the year. Stay at the top of your game with future-focused sessions, thought-provoking keynotes, prime networking opportunities and a first-class exhibition floor.

Event Details

Location and date:
Halifax October 1-2, 2018

Join 1,000 CPAs who are making a difference in business, accounting and finance, and don’t miss out on this unforgettable learning experience.

This year’s conference theme is Sustainability through adaptability.

With globalization, new technologies and the rise of significant environmental, social and political issues, business leaders are facing change and uncertainty. It’s critical that Canadian CPAs are able to adapt and help organizations stay ahead of the curve.

Adaptability is also crucial if organizations are to become more sustainable and develop innovative strategies for long-term profitability. The ONE speakers will be addressing these issues and will provide tools, tactics and resources to help CPAs navigate change.

Choose from a variety of sessions and panels in our interactive streams and earn additional CPD hours by adding on a pre- or post-conference workshop.

Presented by CPA Canada in cooperation with CPA New Brunswick, CPA Newfoundland and Labrador, CPA Nova Scotia and CPA Prince Edward Island

See Frequently Asked Questions for the following additional information:

  • pricing
  • optional workshops
  • networking events

View the agenda

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

starting at $1,095.00

14 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Registration and Continental breakfast

Welcome remarks
Speaker: Joy Thomas, President and CEO, CPA Canada
Joy Thomas

Keynote address: Composing Your World
Speaker: Kai Kight, Innovator, Speaker, Violinist

Join Kai Kight, contemporary violinist and inspirational speaker, as he shares stories and insights from the world of music that can be used by CPAs. Kai will be discussing how to tap into your creative potential and how to empower others to do the same. With his skills as an improviser, he will also share how to build the confidence to take action in times of uncertainty and how to resiliently adapt in times of disruption. Come early and listen closely as this will surely be an experience you will not want to miss!
Kai Kight

Session Change Break


The Future-Ready Finance Leader: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There
Speaker: Tom Hood, Chief Executive Officer, Business Learning Institute

What does it mean to be a leader in exponential times? Research shows continued turbulence and exponential changes in the environment that today’s leaders have to be prepared for. The future-ready Leader is aware of the changing context and trends, predictive of where the trends are going and capable of leading adaptation inside the organization. You will learn about how to apply a framework to help you lead with strategic foresight and disrupt yourself before you get disrupted.

Tom Hood

The Buzz Around Blockchain
Speaker: Vernon Joseph, Security Consultant, Network Test Labs Inc.

How many times this week have you heard someone say blockchain?

Blockchain is a topic that is exploding in the technology industry, but despite the hype - a lot of people don't really understand what blockchain is, how it works, and what it means for you and business in general.

We've got this session to cover this exciting new technology, so we're going to start with the basics. We'll be looking at what it is, industry use, and the benefits and downfalls of blockchain technology. It's transforming industries from banking and government to healthcare and logistics, so it's time to up your knowledge on this tech trend.

After this session, you will:
• Be in the know with blockchain basics
• Know how bitcoin and blockchain connect
• Have some industry case studies on hand
• Understand the pro’s and con’s

Vernon Joseph

Accounting Standards Update
Speaker: Linda Mezon, Chair, Accounting Standards Board; Armand Capisciolto, National Accounting Standards Partner, BDO

Through an interactive interview format, learn about the key focus areas, priorities and objectives of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board. Hear about the key standard setting projects for IFRS, ASPE and not-for-profit accounting standards. Learn more about the AcSB’s Framework for Reporting Performance Measures project which is designed to help improve the reporting of financial measures outside the financial statements for not-for-profit organizations, private enterprises and public companies. Find out how you can stay current on technical matters of interest to you.
Linda Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI), CGMA ; Armand Capisciolto, CPA, CA, CPA (MICHIGAN)

Economic Outlook: Challenges And Opportunities Ahead For Canadian Businesses
Speaker: Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist, BDC

Should Canadian businesses be optimistic or pessimistic regarding the current economic situation? Join Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of BDC, as he presents the most up-to-date information on the performance of national and global economies. From challenges related to labour shortage to trends in the oil market and trade relationship with the United States, discover how Canadian businesses should navigate the economy to position themselves for growth.
Pierre Cleroux

Private Business Tax Proposals Part 1
Speakers: Denis St-Pierre, Tax Partner, EPR Bathurst / Péninsule; David Cameron, Partner, Collins Barrow; Kenneth Keung, Director, Canadian Tax Advisory, Moodys Gartner Tax Law

This session will focus on the impact of new legislation on private businesses, traps to avoid, and what solutions the CPA might propose to clients given the new landscape.

Focus on: TOSI Planning, Corporate passive investments, 2018 year end planning, 55(2) issues and planning, use of trusts, and more.

Denis St. Pierre ; Kenneth Keung, CA, CPA (CO, USA), CFP, TEP, LLB, MTax ; David Cameron

Networking Break


Leading A Change Ready Organization
Speaker: Jennifer Gervès-Keen, Consultant, JGK Consulting

The way we work is changing, we hear buzzword like AI, IoT and Machine Learning and the potential it has to transform organizations, but what does it mean for the individuals within those organizations? Change isn’t easy for most people, however, in order to implement any new idea or initiative we need to ensure that our employees and teams are adaptable and poised to embrace environments of rapid and consistent change. Join Jennifer Gervès Keen, award winning executive coach and adult learning specialist as she provides insight on understanding how the brain processes change and how to position your people to be ready to pivot through building their resilience and strengthening and sustaining a proactive organizational culture.
Jennifer Gervès-Keen

Mind the Non-GAAP
Speakers: Cameron McInnis, Chief Accountant, Ontario Securities Commission; Linda Mezon, Chair, Accounting Standards Board; Karen Higgins, National Director of Accounting Services, Deloitte

This topic has become highly controversial and an area of focus for the regulators. In this session, our presenters will discuss the recent changes made by both the Ontario Securities Administrators and the Accounting Standards Board. We will also provide insight on how this impacts the external auditors.

Linda Mezon, FCPA, FCA, CPA (MI), CGMA ; Karen Higgins, FCPA, FCA ; Cameron McInnis

From A Great Idea to A Great Business: How A CPA Can Add Value
Speakers: Alex MacBeath, CEO and Managing Director, Island Capital Partners Inc., Michael Kravshik, Founder/CEO Luminari Inc..; Nicole LeBlanc, Director, Investments & Partnerships, Sidewalk Labs

Entrepreneurship is the foundation of much of the Canadian economy. Economic growth is highly dependent on new business ventures. CPAs have a critical role in assisting entrepreneurs in their quest to make a great idea a great business.
This session will involve a panel of speakers describing what is required to take a great idea to a great business. The session will focus on CPAs providing practical advice to entrepreneurs. Panelist will discuss how best to attract early investment and mentorship to the new business. The session will include practical tips and examples of how a CPA can assist entrepreneurs in starting and building the business.
Topic areas will include:
- Critical elements to a successful start up
- CPA’s role in providing advice/assurance
- Financing a business idea –alternatives/implications
- Diligence – how to assist the entrepreneur
- Valuation – how value is determined and created

Michael Kravshik ; Alex MacBeath

Managing Risks That Cause Panic: Cultivating Sustainability Through Adaptability
Speaker: David Prime, National RAS Partner, BDO Canada LLP

The business world is being transformed at unprecedented levels in terms of barriers to trade, political climates, and through technology and innovation, opening the floodgates to a risk prone environment. Moreover, a real concern for businesses today is that as innovation is implemented to navigate these risks, it does so at uneven speeds and sometimes differing directions within a company. Businesses that have the capacity to foster and harness innovation to evolve a business and generate value are typically those that are also successful. With over 3 decades of experience helping clients manage their risks, David Prime, BDO’s National Risk Advisory leader will be drawing upon this experience to show how you can ensure risk management practices support innovation, enabling organizations to become more agile and adaptable in today’s business climate.
David Prime

A Collaborative Approach to Effective Operational Planning & Budgeting
Speakers: Mike Haley, President and Founder and Derek Sandison, Performance Management Advisory Services, Landmark Decisions Inc.

Effective planning and budgeting continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing today’s fast-moving organizations. For many, the budgeting process is too time consuming and is often developed as a purely financial exercise in isolation to strategy and operational needs. This session will arm CPAs with a focused approach to collaborative planning that will lead to more timely and relevant budgets. Examples of real world applications from a variety of industries/organizations will be demonstrated. A brief overview of relevant operational planning tools will also help attendees understand the value of technology as a key enabler for this approach.

• Challenges with current planning & budgeting
• Make planning and budgeting a critical value-added process in your organization
• Explanation of a Collaborative Approach – “The Closed Loop”
• Examples of real world applications from a variety of industries/organizations
• Software solutions – the value of technology and overview of market available tools

Mike Haley ; Derek Sandison

Private Business Tax Proposals Part 2
Speakers: Denis St-Pierre, Tax Partner, EPR Bathurst / Péninsule; David Cameron, Partner, Collins Barrow; Kenneth Keung, Director, Canadian Tax Advisory, Moodys Gartner Tax Law

This session will focus on the impact of new legislation on private businesses, traps to avoid, and what solutions the CPA might propose to clients given the new landscape.

Focus on: TOSI Planning, Corporate passive investments, 2018 year end planning, 55(2) issues and planning, use of trusts, and more.

Denis St. Pierre ; Kenneth Keung, CA, CPA (CO, USA), CFP, TEP, LLB, MTax ; David Cameron

Networking Lunch


Accounting Literacy in Your Organization and Beyond: Explaining Financial Concepts to Non-Financial People
Speaker: Mark Robilliard, Co-Founder & CEO Americas, Color Accounting International

Helping people in your organization, on your board or your clients better understand the language of accounting can be a challenge. This session will draw on research with a system called Color Accounting and will explore the surprising reasons why some "non-financial people" don't grasp accounting. You'll hear thought-provoking insights into the structure, language and mechanics of accounting - insights that are key to unlocking the subject for the many who need to understand it better.

Mark Robilliard

The Green Rush: What Should CPA’s Know About the Canadian Cannabis Industry?
Moderator: David Dalziel, Partner Audit & Assurance, Deloitte

Panelist: Mark Castaneda, Chief Financial Officer, Tilray Inc.; Kathleen Keilty, Partner, Blakes

Canada is on the verge of legalization of cannabis. This will bring opportunities and challenges to business leaders.

This session will explore an overview of the Canadian cannabis marketplace, including the accounting and financial reporting aspects of emerging cannabis companies.

The panel will also consider the implications of doing business with a cannabis company, such as accounting for investments, business relationships and the broader business considerations.
David Dalziel ; Mark Castaneda ; Kathleen Keilty

Why Audit Quality Matters
Moderator: Ismail Akhter, Professional Program Content Director for Audit and Small and Medium Practices, CPA Canada

Panelists: Cameron McInnis, Chief Accountant, Ontario Securities Commission; Malcolm Gilmour, Vice President Inspections, Canadian Public Accountability Board; Blair Cook, Chief Financial Officer, Horizon Maritime

What it means • Why it matters • How to get it

They say a rose is a rose is a rose.

But what about an external audit of your business? Unlike sugar, wheat, or coffee beans, audits are not a commodity — and they’re not created equal. They can differ in their quality.

In recent years, the turbulent events of the global financial crisis have dramatically highlighted the importance of credible, high-quality financial reporting and auditing. And the issue of audit quality has been emerging rapidly, as constant changes from regulatory and standards-setting bodies to improve audit quality have become the norm.

During this session we will explore what is audit quality and if it differs from quality audits. We will discuss who has the primary responsibility for quality audits - External Auditors, Management, Those Charged with Governance, Regulators or Users. We will discuss what are the challenges with audit quality and how to overcome these challenges? Lastly, we will discuss how to measure a quality audit.

Cameron McInnis ; Malcolm Gilmour ; Blair Cook ; Ismail Akhter, CPA, CA

Using AI for Predictive Analytics in A Privacy Aware World
Speaker: Chantal Bernier, Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Group, Dentons

Artificial intelligence, which combines data and quantum computing will become necessary for growth in most industries. Those that aren’t using data to their advantage are increasingly at risk of falling behind the competition. However, The Cambridge Analytica revelations and Facebook controversy in early 2018 once again thrust ethical data use into the spotlight. It is clear that we must strike a balance between privacy regulation and staying ahead in industry using data. Europe has already begun this step with their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in late May 2018. This session will cover how intelligent business leaders can use this opportunity to their advantage; using good data practices and transparency to increase customer confidence, data quality and insights.
Chantal Bernier

Driving Sustainability – The Roadmap and the Journey
Moderator: Gord Beal, Vice President, Research, Guidance and Support, CPA Canada

Panelists: Kevin Dumaresque, CFO, Irving Oil; Nora Duke, Executive Vice President, Sustainability & Chief Human Resource Officer, Fortis Inc.; Jo-Anne Matear, Manager, Corporate Finance, Ontario Securities Commission; Judy Cotte, Vice-President and Head of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment, RBC Global Asset Management

Representing the public, private, investor and regulatory sectors. Panel members will share their perspectives on why sustainability matters, the importance of developing a sustainability roadmap and the evolutionary journey of putting corporate social responsibility into practice.
Nora Duke ; Kevin Dumaresque ; Jo-Anne Matear ; Judy Cotte ; Gordon Beal, CPA, CA, M.Ed.

What Does United States Tax Reform Mean for Your Business?
Speakers: Bruno Godin, Partner and Cheryl MacDonald, Manager, Tax Services, US Tax, Grant Thornton

Bruno Godin ; Cheryl MacDonald

Networking Break

CFO of the Year
Speaker: Nathalie Bernier, Senior Vice President, Strategic and Business Planning and Chief Financial Officer of Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP)

Canada's CFO of the Year Award is given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to business in Canada through vision and leadership, corporate reporting and performance, social responsibility, innovation, and business complexity. Join the 2018 recipient, Nathalie Bernier, as she describes the evolution of her role.

Nathalie Bernier

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Sustainability on an urban planet: Accelerating innovation to trigger transformative change
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Burch, Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation University of Waterloo

Scarcely a day passes that doesn’t bring with it some news of a climate change catastrophe, green technology game changer or contentious policy proposal. The push and pull of these contradictory trends comes at a time of great change for humanity. Everywhere we look, society is being reordered. We’re becoming more global and more urban while information and ideas are exchanged without friction.

But many of the technologies needed to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and pursue a sustainable future have existed for decades. Why has the uptake been so desperately slow? Why are experiments in low-carbon communities so scattered, disconnected and often incremental?

This talk explores the challenge of moving beyond incrementalism towards transformation: imagining and implementing sustainable communities, building on real progress that is already being made around the world. I consider the untapped potential of small businesses, which often face significant capital constraints and human resource challenges, but possess enormous capacity to produce the radical technical and social innovations that may lead us along the pathway to a fundamentally sustainable future. Within both small and large firms, I investigate the crucial role that accountants can play in tracking, accelerating, and making visible sustainability experiments.

Ultimately, this talk pushes us to view the challenge of sustainability as an opportunity to have a deeper conversation about what we value, and the many pathways we can follow to realize environmentally and socially just futures.

Sarah Burch

Networking Reception

Continental breakfast

Optional Early Riser Session #1: The Evolution of Wealth Management
Sponsored by: TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

Speaker: Brad Simpson, Chief Wealth Strategist, TD Wealth

If only investing were simple. If only there were inviolable truths, timeless and universal, that could lead us to investment success. Behavioural economics, contemporary asset allocation and risk-factor diversification offer a more advanced way to navigate financial markets. Boiled down to its essence, investment is about making decisions. It’s not what you think, but how you think on a consistent basis.

Join Brad Simpson, Chief Wealth Strategist, to hear about Risk Priority Management, a set of guiding principles designed to provide a map in a world that's constantly changing, often with dramatic impact on financial markets.

• The market today
• The human condition
• Portfolio strategy
• True diversification
• Managing portfolios

Brad Simpson

Optional Early Riser Session #2: Designing better audit tools to help smaller firms win back time
Sponsored by: Auvenir

Speaker: Pete Myers, CEO, Auvenir

Big shifts are happening right now in the accounting world. These changes are largely due to advances in technology that enable new ways of working. When it comes to audit, many manual tasks can be automated and communication can be streamlined and done from anywhere.

These efficiencies can mean significant time and cost savings for firms and may open up new opportunities such as the ability to provide higher value permissible advisory and strategic services to their clients.

Even without automating certain processes, planning and managing projects efficiently makes a big difference. Reporting, communication, and resource management are three key areas that present challenges for firms.

Working with small accounting firms, Auvenir has built a solution that will help accounting firms tackle these three key pain points, and as a platform, brings together sophisticated tools to streamline the audit process from planning to completion.

Pete Myers

Optional Early Riser Session #3: Discussing Solutions to the Business Challenges Faced When Budgeting and Forecasting for the Enterprise
Sponsored by: True Sky

Speaker: Alan Whitehouse, Chief Software Architect, True Sky

As the organization grows, as more people are involved, and as the complexity increases, the challenges faced grow exponentially. This session will discuss some of the common pitfalls experienced when budgeting and forecasting and provide insights into how to avoid them.
Alan Whitehouse

Keynote Address: The New Evolution: Wildly Uncompromising Business Success
Speaker: Julien Smith, New York Times bestselling author and CEO, Breather

When Julien Smith gets up on stage, something happens in the room. It's a subtle but powerful shift. People start to pay attention. They really listen. Because Julien isn't your typical speaker—he's an insight machine. In this fast-paced, hyper-informative talk, he takes on our current business environment and reveals why the prevailing strategies for innovation and disruption aren't enough. As CPAs, you must adapt to the changing future. Sustainability through adaptability is key. Julien shares the foundation of his process—knowledge, versatility, and courage—and explains why you must first understand the evolution of nature and human beings to begin to master the evolution of business. When you hear Julien speak, you begin to understand the hidden reasons behind your actions and why the CPA industry may be suffering. You learn precisely what's getting in the way of larger success. And you walk away with the tools you need to transform who you are and what you're doing, all with the goal of making you better.
Julien Smith

Session Change Break


Volunteering – A Building Block For Personal And Professional Growth
Moderator: Tashia Batstone, Senior Vice President, External Relations & Business Development, CPA Canada

Panelists: Joy Thomas, President and CEO, CPA Canada; Amanda Whitewood, Chief Operating Officer at IWK Health Centre and Vice-Chair CPA Canada Board of Directors; Micheline Reneault, Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

4 CPAs, 4 diverse volunteer journeys.

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. For many, it’s a chance to connect with future leaders and organizations that inspire them.

Today’s panellist’s will share their stories, answer these questions (and more.)

Are your personal social responsibilities worth-while? How do you measure the impact of your service? What do you get beyond personal satisfaction of contributing to a cause that you are passionate about? What about value to your employer -- How do you communicate that? How (and when) do you get started and “find” that perfect match with so many diverse opportunities?

Amanda Whitewood ; Tashia Batstone, FCPA, FCA, MBA ; Joy Thomas ; Micheline Renault

Digital Currency: The Third Frontier of Value Allocation
Moderator: Deepak Upadhya; Vice President, Risk Advisory, RSM Canada

Panelists: Bennett Moore, Assurance and Blockchain Innovation, RSM US LLP; Betty Soares, Chief Financial Officer, Blockchain Power; Geoffrey Cher, Partner, WILDEBOER DELLELCE LLP

This panel will discuss the use of digital currency for conducting business and investments. They will examine the evolution of crypto currency and its adoption, examine risks and advantages, discuss the regulatory, tax and accounting implications, and provide insight into current and foreseeable future of digital currency and payment processing.
Bennett Moore ; Deepak Upadhya ; Geoff Cher ; Betty Soares

Public Accountant 2.0: Your Practice In The Cloud
Speakers: Jules Hawkins and Allison Hawkins, Partners, Hawkins & Co. Accounting

Allison and Jules Hawkins are the founding partners of Hawkins & Co. Accounting Professional Corporation. Join them as they outline the full range of new technology that is available to your clients and how it can revolutionize their business. They will also discuss how it transforms your client relationships - and your own practice. They will discuss what you need to have in place with respect to systems and processes to support your staff, your clients and your growth.
Allison Hawkins, CPA, CA ; Jules Hawkins

Small to Large Private Business: What’s YOUR Exit Strategy?
Speakers: Nikki Robar, Partner, PWC; Peggy Gates-Hammond, Director, Tax Planning, BMO Wealth Management; Natalie Woodbury, Partner, BOYNECLARKE LLP

The roads of business strategy, personal wealth, legal and tax all converge when you are planning for the transition of a business. Many entrepreneurs are effectively managing 'today' without a view of 'tomorrow'. Whether the goal of transition is a succession to family or employees, a third-party sale or some combination of options, developing a plan and being agile and ready to consider opportunities for exit as they present themselves may make for a smoother transition for the entrepreneur and the business.

A coordinated team of professionals will add value to the bottom line for you and your client. This team of presenters with their depth and breadth of practice experience will share some ideas around developing a strategy, and planning and execution of a successful transition.

Nikki Robar ; Peggy Gates-Hammond ; Natalie Woodbury

Cybersecurity: Threats And Compliance Issues You Can’t Afford To Ignore
Speaker: Imran Ahmad, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

In Canada, the average data breach costs $6 million and is a top concern for businesses regardless of size. We will begin by assessing the current state of cybersecurity in 2018; as automation and internet of things are becoming more prevalent in business and everyday routines, we are only as strong as our weakest link. We will then move on to examine major compliance changes taking place for your organization to be aware of. These changes include impacts of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Canadian businesses and the harmonization of Canada’s Regime with new Canadian data breach obligations. This session will provide practical advice and tangible takeaways to help you practice sound cyber risk management on an enterprise wide level.
Imran Ahmad

CRA and CPA Canada: Working together to improve Tax Administration in Canada
Moderator: Bruce Ball, Vice President, Taxation, CPA Canada

Panelists: John Oakey, Partner, Collins Barrow; Harry Gill, Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Directorate, Domestic Compliance Programs Branch, CRA; Mark Mayer, Manager, Assessment, Benefit, and Service Branch, Business Returns Directorate, CRA

CPA Canada’s SMP Tax Committee works closely with the CRA, to help identify issues relevant to small-medium businesses in tax administration, and provide suggested solutions to the CRA. This session will review some of recent key accomplishments the SMP Tax Committee and the CRA have achieved together. You will also learn about new issues the Committee is working on with CRA including: updates from CRA with regards to the new private corporation taxation rules; new CRA services geared for the SMP, and much more.

Bruce Ball, FCPA, FCA ; John Oakey ; Harry Gill, CPA, CMA ; Mark Mayer

Networking Break


Followership for Millennials
Speakers: Samantha Hurwitz, Chief Encouragement Officer and Marc Hurwitz, Chief Insight Officer, FliP University

Millennials want to make a difference. They bring lots of ideas, enthusiasm, and an eagerness to learn. They are digital natives and naturally collaborative. But they’ve been told their entire lives that only leaders are valued. As a result, when their leadership aspirations are frustrated, they disengage and/or leave. Paradoxically, research suggests it is followership that makes the difference to early career success, yet millennials are the generation least prepared for it.
In this session, you will get:
· Guidance on how to coach, mentor and hire for followership
· The benefits of followership to organizations and careers
· Practical takeaways to enhance employees’’ skills after the conference
Samantha Hurwitz ; Dr. Marc Hurwitz, MBA, PhD

Internal Audit-The Shift from Compliance to Trusted Advisor
Speakers: Andrea Coish, Partner, Advisory, KPMG; Mark Bradbury, Board Member and Audit Committee Chair, College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University of Newfoundland, Formerly Nalcor Energy, Corporate Treasurer and Chief Risk Officer; Leo D. McKenna, Chief Financial Officer, Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

As our world evolves, so do the risks that our organizations are facing every day. Management and audit committees must keep abreast of these changes and manage the multitude of risks in a proactive manner all while respecting their roles within the entities governance structure. So where does the internal audit fit in? Historically the role has been seen as a compliance function performing tests and reporting errors and weaknesses identified within the organization. Tensions can arise between the various roles without a well-defined reporting and accountability model.

As the complexity of the risks and management processes has grown so has the need for the role of internal audit. The IA function has evolved to that of a trusted advisor within a well-functioning governance structure.

This session brings together the various stakeholders of the internal audit function to discuss their experiences and thoughts on this journey from the historic compliance function to trusted advisor.

Andrea Coish ; Leo McKenna ; Mark Bradbury

How AI Makes CPAs Better
Speakers: Michael Paterson, Partner, PwC; Susanne Katus, VP Business Development, Datamaran; John Colthart, VP of Growth, MindBridge

It has been said that artificial intelligence will automate work taking many jobs away from humans. But it can augment the work we do, making us more effective in our roles. From how entity’s gather information to make business decisions, to how they report their performance, and from how information is audited to how it is analyzed for and by investors; machine learning and natural language processing are impacting all facets of business. This session will explore how AI augments the role of a CPA, making them more effective. You’ll hear from different perspectives, the benefits and challenges associated with using AI and learn how you can use it in your role as a CPA.
John Colthart ; Michael Paterson ; Susanne Katus

The Underrated CFO Mandate: Effective Lender Management
Moderator: Sharlene Locke, President, Personal Insurance Hub international

Panelists: Fred Burke, Former CFO, Treasurer and Officer for Hamilton Specialty Bar Inc.; Jean Macdougall, Vice President, Business Banking, BMO; Nabeel Baig, Controller and IT Manager, La Rocca Creative Cakes Inc.

Today’s CFO’s have a broad mandate, one which has expanded over the last 10 years to encompass additional accountabilities, for example in risk management specifically related to cyber security, data analytics, strategic and succession planning. Businesses are currently operating under increased market volatility across North America and globally due to uncertain political and economic risks. This uncertainty results in increased pressure on the financial markets and risk tolerances for bank lenders.

Managing the company’s primary lenders is for the most part an under rated and sometimes overlooked mandate of the CFO or Finance Lead. For the majority of capital intensive companies who rely on lender financing against inventory and receivables as well as capital financing, effectively managing cash flows and banking covenants in the immediate short term as well as forecasting medium and long term requirements is extremely critical to the success of all strategic goals for the business. And when companies are in transition mode, refinancing, re- negotiating existing primary lending agreements, restructuring, preparing for merger, sale or acquisitions the importance of managing their lender expectations is significantly increased and in most cases can make or break the success of completing the business transition.

This session explores the specific components CFO’s require to effectively manage their lenders expectations, especially in transition situations. Participates will benefit from the speakers’ real life experiences and learnings.

Sharlene Locke ; Fred Burke ; Jean MacDougall ; Nabeel Pabani

Organizational Strategies For Dealing With Uncertainty And Assessing Agility
Speaker: Dr. Wendy R. Carroll, PhD, Saint Mary’s University, Sobey School of Business, Department of Management, Associate, Professor, EMBA Program Director

Expert predictions about the impact of exponential technology suggest that change is not only inevitable but promises to disrupt and transformation organizations. Whereas conventional organizational change tends to be a controlled, phased process that is designed around incrementalism, this next wave of technological advancement suggests the need for a different kind of organizational response to cope with change that affects multiple systems at the same time in unpredictable ways. During this session we: use Kolter’s 6 Ds of disruption as a guide to consider past failures and successes; examine practical strategic frameworks to assess your organizations readiness and agility; and discuss approaches to “taking the longview” that rely on management competence in data analytics, evidence-based decision making, and cross functional communication as foundational to future success.
Wendy Carroll

Tax - Transforming Through Technology
Speakers: Jay Goodis, Co-Founder & CEO, Tax Templates Inc.; Gerry Anderson, President, Logicon Solutions
Jay Goodis, CPA, CA ; Gerry Anderson

Networking Lunch


CFO As A Trusted Advisor
Speaker: Arun Thangaraj, Assistant Deputy Minister And Chief Financial Officer, Global Affairs Canada

The skills required as a CFO in today’s economy are evolving. The CFO is no longer seen as a traditional accountant but a well-rounded individual with a varied business skillset. To be effective leaders, CFO’s are increasingly having to develop proficiencies and think critically beyond just accounting performance in areas such as strategy, risk, operations, IT and overall leadership skills to grow and sustain their organization.

Today’s CFO is evolving into a trusted business advisor that must think holistically and understand how all aspect of a business work together cohesively to achieve desired outcomes for stakeholders. This session will provide two perspectives from both the public and private sector as to the central role each of these trusted advisors plays in their business and how you can foster a relationship with your senior team and develop the skills needed to become a go-to advisor.
Arun Thangaraj

View from the Street: Leveraging Investor Insights to Improve Disclosure
Moderator: Greg Dilworth, VP, Investor Relations, Sun Life Financial

Panelists: Rob Sedran, Managing Director and Head of Equity Research, CIBC; George V. Loughery, Chief Portfolio Officer, SEAMARK; Patrick Bonebrake Managing Director, Public Fixed Income Credit Research, Sun Life Investment Management

As the complexity of disclosure requirements continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly challenging to provide shareholders with clear, concise and relevant information about their business to maintain investor confidence and support investment decisions.

In this session, you’ll hear directly from investment professionals on the current state of company disclosures, how disclosures influence the investment decision-making process and emerging disclosure themes.

Additional areas of focus are expected to include:
• Importance of non-GAAP measures
• ESG and climate-related disclosures
• The evolving role of technology in disclosure practices

Greg Dilworth ; Robert Sedran ; George Loughery

Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics in the Finance Function
Speaker: Dr. Shantanu Dutta, Associate Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa

Finding new insight to better manage costs and increase profit are all part of the ever expanding finance mandate to drive enterprise performance. Many businesses still rely on descriptive and diagnostic analysis, which deals with transactional data to make decisions.

To remain relevant and competitive in today’s rapid change environment, business and finance professionals need to embrace predictive and prescriptive analytics, which combines machine learning and data science in order to provide valuable insights to anticipate future events and in the case of prescriptive analytics, how we can make those events happen.

This session will explain predictive and prescriptive analytics and how it can drive growth and adaptability using real-world examples. We will also discuss quality data and how it’s not always the volume of data collected but the quality that can drive results.


The Evolving Finance Professional
Moderator: Martin Ruben, Public Sector Consultant

Panelists: Michael Lemmer, President, ML6; Darlene Dasent, Vice President and CFO, University Health Network

As the finance function transforms, so does the required skillset to continue to grow your career. This session will discuss changing marketplace needs such as the demand for data analytics and STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) in finance. From the perspectives of a CFO, consultant and a member of the public sector as moderator, our panelists will share their firsthand experiences and discuss growth and learning opportunities for finance functions today. This includes; a varied path to the C suite that will continue to require a broader skillset and rethinking human talent in the finance function.

Michael Lemmer ; Martin Ruben ; Darlene Dasent

Effective Partnerships with Your Tax Advisors
Moderator: Rob Jeffrey, Executive Vice President, Armco Group of Companies

Panelists: Paul Festeryga, Partner, Stewart McKelvey; Brenda Belliveau, Partner, PwC; Geoff Baldwin, Secretary & Treasurer, Bragg Group of Companies

This panel discussion will provide information on how to ensure you get the best value on your relationships.

Rob Jeffery ; Geoffrey Baldwin ; Brenda Belliveau ; Paul Festeryga

Networking Break

Keynote Address: Predictions for 2018 and beyond: the CPA version!
Speaker: Duncan Stewart, Director of Research, Technology, Media and Entertainment, & Telecommunications, Deloitte

Join Duncan Stewart, co-author of Deloitte's annual Predictions report, as he discusses the trends in tech, media and telecom that are most relevant to CPAs in all industries. Duncan will be discussing the shifting device landscape: what hot new device will replace the computer and smartphone? He'll also do a deep dive into machine learning and what changes in that field mean for our profession and for our clients. But he will also offer some sneak peaks at topics he will be covering in Deloitte's 2019 Predictions report. #nospoilers, but you may end up learning more than you want to about quantum computing!
Duncan Stewart, CFA

Conference Closing

There’s Been a Cyber-Security Breach. Now What Happens?
Speakers: Kevvie Fowler, Partner, Cyber Risk and Andre Gargaro, Partner, Risk Advisory, Cyber Risk Services, Crisis Management, Deloitte

A simulated example of a cyber hack where your corporate systems have been compromised. As Board members you will be briefed on the situation, asked to discuss how you propose to initially deal with it and further developments as they are presented throughout the session. The situation will evolve to explore different issues and outcomes.
Andre Gargaro

Choose one of the following:

TGIF: Transform, Grow, Innovate Your Finance Function
Speakers: Blair Cook and Jennifer Nicholson, Executive Finance

Over half of finance teams are operating at the compliance level. The basics are getting done – books are closed, taxes are paid and financial statements are prepared but that is about it. Finance is struggling to provide insightful information to the leadership team to make strategic decisions which are essential to the organization’s success and is seen as just a back office cost centre.

In this hands on workshop learn how to diagnose what level your organization is operating at and how to ensure you have the right people, processes and systems in place to make finance the strategic partner it is meant to be!

Workshop Outline:
1. Diagnosing your the level of maturity of your finance function
2. Setting the finance mandate
3. Dealing with the people issues first
4. Strategies to transform your finance function from a back office to a partner in business
5. Strategies to transform your finance function from a partner in business to a value creation centre
6. Embody the role of today’s CFO

Blair Cook ; Jennifer Nicholson

Data analytics: Powerful Excel tools for today and tomorrow
Speaker: Carlo Lisi, Senior Audit Manager, TD Canada Trust

The purpose of this workshop is to help participants understand the power of excel and learn to utilize some of its most useful and powerful tools. This will be a practical workshop where you will have an opportunity to practice the excel tools presented to you.

By attending the workshop, you will:
• Be Data Smart by using MS Excel to transform data into insight
• Learn everything about spreadsheets you were afraid to ask
• Be the MS Excel Superhero of your team

Specific topics covered - Excel Tips and Tricks, Pivot Tables, Fuzzy Lookup and comparing workbooks using the Inquire Add-in

Carlo Lisi

Professional Ethics: New Challenges and How to Meet Them
Speaker: Karen Wensley, Adjunct Lecturer In Professional Ethics, University of Waterloo

During this workshop you will help sharpen your ability to identify ethical issues and work through sample case studies dealing with various ethical scenarios. In addition you will learn about strategies for improving the ethical cultural of your organization.
Karen Wensley

Tax Planning from Times Forgotten
Speaker: Trevor Daigle, Financial Security Advisor, Eastport Financial Group

Private company tax planning has been flipped on its head. This 3 hour workshop will discuss old fashioned tax planning techniques, such as:
-Deferred comp arrangements,
-Insurance products,
Trevor Daigle

Become a CPA Brand Ambassador and help build the value of your profession
Note: This workshop is free but does not qualify for CPD hours

Workshop Leader: Heather Whyte, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs, CPA Canada

The Canadian CPA is the only Chartered ‘Professional’ Accountant designation in the world. It leverages the esteem and value of the globally respected Canadian accounting profession that sets it apart in the world of business and accounting. We are looking for members who connect with the profession – feel pride, live the brand, and want to engage their energy and minds in a movement to enhance economic and social wellbeing as part of the CPA Canada volunteer network.

This is where you come in. Your unique experience, perspective and expertise would add a great deal. Come and join us in this interactive workshop, it promises to be an incredibly stimulating and engaging morning of exploration, discussion and collaboration and will provide you with the tools to define your own CPA story to share and help build recognition of the value of the Canadian CPA profession.

Heather Whyte

The Future Ready Leader – Leading with Strategic Foresight
Speaker: Tom Hood, Chief Executive Officer, Business Learning Institute

What does it mean to be a leader in exponential times? Research shows continued turbulence and exponential changes in the environment that today’s leaders have to be prepared for. The future-ready Leader is aware of the changing context and trends, predictive of where the trends are going and capable of leading adaptation inside the organization. You will learn about how to apply a framework to help you lead with strategic foresight and disrupt yourself before you get disrupted.
Tom Hood

Thank you to our advisory committee members
Financial Reporting and Accounting

Taryn Abate, Director, Audit and Assurance, RGS, CPA Canada
Leslie Batterton, Commercial Account Manager, RBC
Isabella Bertani, Partner, Collins Barrow Toronto
Jennifer Clement, Audit Partner, KPMG
Gregory Dilworth, VP, Investor Relations, Sun Life Financial
Karen Higgins, National Director of Accounting Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Ron Keefe, Counsel, Stewart McKelvey
Wendy Kei, Corporate Director, Ontario Power Generation
Laura MacLaughlin, Principal, Grant Thornton
Jim Medeiros, Lead Principal, Financial Reporting, Audit and Assurance Member Development and Support, CPA Canada

Management Accounting/Finance

Fred Burke, CFO, HB Steel in Hamilton
Richard Danis, Director, Finance, Defence Construction Canada
Karen Gosse, Vice-President Planning & Forecasting, Fortis Place
Jeanette Hill, Principal, Member Development and Support, CPA Canada
Erin Kelly, President & CEO, Advanced Symbolics
Raelene Kennedy, Director of Finance, Skinfix
Mike Kennedy, CFO, Common Good Solutions (CIC) 
Lana Littlejohn, Director of Corporate Services, Association of Registered Nurses
Davinder Valeri, Director, Strategy Risk and Performance Management, Research, Guidance and Support, CPA Canada


Rob Jeffrey, Executive Vice President, Armco Group of Companies
Kelly Kolke, Partner, Grant Thornton
Vivian Leung, CPA Canada Program Director, Tax Education, Professional Learning and Development, CPA Canada
John Oakey, Partner, Collins Barrow
Denis St-Pierre, Partner, EPR Canada

Taryn Abate CPA, CA, CPA (IL) ; Leslie Batterton, BBA, PFP, CPA, CGA ; Fred Burke ; Jennifer Clement ; Richard Danis ; Greg Dilworth ; Karen Gosse, CPA, CA ; Jeanette Hill ; Rob Jeffery ; Ron Keefe ; Wendy Kei ; Erin Kelly ; Kelly Kolke, BBA, CPA, CA ; Lana Littlejohn, CPA, CMA ; Laura MacLaughlin, CPA, CA ; Jim Medeiros ; Denis St. Pierre ; Davinder Valeri ; John Oakey ; Karen Higgins, FCPA, FCA ; Isabella Bertani ; Raelene Kennedy, CPA, CMA ; Mike Kennedy ; Vivian Leung

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Halifax Convention Centre
1650 Argyle St., Halifax, NS B3J 0E6
t.:(902) 421-8686


Halifax - Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
1919 Upper Water Street, Halifax, NS B3J 3J5


Homewood Suites by Hilton
1960 Brunswick St, Halifax, NS B3J 3J8


Delta Hotel Halifax
1990 Barrington Street, Scotia Square


Hampton Inn by Hilton Halifax Downtown
1960 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2G7


Conference hotel room blocks are now SOLD OUT. If you require hotel accommodations, please note additional accommodations within proximity to the Halifax Convention Centre per Discover Halifax.

Frequently asked questions:


New pricing structure:
Members: $1095
ACAF holders: $1145
Non-members: $1195

Group discount:

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a 10 per cent conference registration discount. Please contact our customer service team to book.
Please note that this discount cannot be combined with other offers.

Optional workshops available:

Pre-conference workshop (Sunday, September 30):

  • There’s been a cyber-security breach. Now what happens? (Fee: $395)
Concurrent post-conference workshops (Wednesday, October 3):
  • TGIF: Transform, Grow, Innovate Your Finance Function (Fee: $395)
  • Data analytics: Powerful Excel tools for today and tomorrow (Fee: $395)
  • Professional Ethics: New Challenges and How to Meet Them (Fee: $395)
  • Tax Planning from Times Forgotten (Fee: $395)
  • Become a CPA brand ambassador and help build the value of your profession (Free. Note: This workshop does not qualify for CPD.)
  • Additional full-day post-conference workshop: The Future Ready Leader – Leading with Strategic Foresight (Fee: $795)

Participants must attend the 2018 conference in order to attend a workshop.

Networking Events

Sunday, September 30

Pre-Conference registration will be held in the Ballroom foyer of the Halifax Convention Centre from 12-4 p.m., Sunday, September 30, and is required for all activities taking place prior to the conference. At the time of registration, you will be provided with your name badge and ticket(s) which are required for access to any of the following:

Pier 21:

Step into the past and experience what it was like to immigrate to Canada through Pier 21, the entry point for one in five Canadians between 1928 and 1971. Complimentary to conference attendees and their families with early registration. Spaces are limited.

Designated tours are scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. You may explore the exhibit at your leisure as well.

Pre-conference reception at Alexander Keith’s Brewery:

Network with conference attendees while enjoying the one-of-a kind, award-winning theatrical tour of Alexander Keith's original Brewery! Experience, a “Real Nova Scotia Good Time” with songs, stories, and - of course - a fine variety of Mr. Keith's ales. Pre-conference reception from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Complimentary to conference attendees only with early registration. Spaces are limited.

Monday, October 1

Conference networking reception:

Following the day’s sessions, join attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors for The ONE’s epic networking reception. Sample Atlantic food favourites and enjoy a beverage or two while visiting conference exhibitors and meeting fellow CPAs. Complimentary to conference attendees only.


Glen Arbour Golf Course: Enjoy 20 per cent off green fees and power cart seat pricing at Glen Arbour – an expertly designed and meticulously maintained public course for golfers of all abilities, offering challenging greens and beautiful scenery.  Please call 902 835 4653 ext 8 OR book online and use promo code CPA20.
Complimentary to conference attendees and their families.

Enjoy 15 per cent off at restaurants located minutes away from the Halifax Convention Centre between Sunday, September 30 and Tuesday, October 2, including Antojo, Stubborn Goat and Durty Nelly’s, when you show your registration badge and mention CPA Canada.

Additionally, receive exclusive special offers by showing your badge at participating local businesses.

Sponsors & Exhibitors


ADP Auvenir - A Deloitte venture Beamworks Blackline Canadian-Payroll-Association logo CaseWare Grant Thornton Integrim Intuit Robert Half RSM Sage True Sky Xero


Adiagio ADP Athabasca University Auvenir - A Deloitte venture BAASS logo Beamworks Blackline Business Learning Institute logo Cam-i Canadian-Payroll-Association logo CaseWare Chartered Business Valuators CPA-New Brunswick (bilingual) logo CPA Nova Scotia CPA Prince Edward Island logo D&V-Phillipines FEI Canada Grant Thornton Integrim Intuit IR-Win Mercedes-Benz Mircosoft Payworks Robert Half RSM Sage Saint Mary's University - Sobey - School of Business TD logo TeamDiscovery True Sky University of Guelph University of Waterloo Wolters Kluwer-slogan Xero


Please contact:

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