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Explore important emerging technologies in accounting, business and finance at this must-attend conference for senior leaders. Connect with peers, experts and pioneers on best-fit technology solutions for your clients or organization.
CPA Canada and 180 Systems
The world is changing, and so is the way CPAs, senior financial leaders, IT consultants and other trusted business advisors approach industry challenges.
The National Technology Forum 2019 is a unique opportunity to network and learn about forward-thinking tech strategies that support innovation, performance and sustainability. It is one of Canada’s leading events for practical guidance on technology evaluation.
Over the course of two days, you can expect high profile keynotes from the tech world, sessions on the latest tech solutions and feature comparisons, plus interactive roundtables, panels and workshops.
Gain a better understanding of how emerging resources, tools and trends across the tech landscape will impact your business – from big data and artificial intelligence to cloud computing, blockchain, new ERP platforms and more.
Check back soon for updates to the 2019 agenda.
New this year: an expanded exhibition floor to showcase more cutting-edge products and services. Post-forum workshop also available.
Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.
Senior leaders, CPAs and other trusted business professionals who are responsible for the technology investment decisions of their organization or clients. This includes:
Thank you to our generous sponsors.
Registration and Continental Breakfast - Vendor Exhibit Area
Registration Sponsored by: Tableau Software
Opening Remarks and Keynote Address
Opening RemarksGeneviève Grenier, CPA Canada and Michael Burns, 180 SystemsOpening Keynote AddressWhat’s Next for Your Business and Your Clients? A Look through the Lens of a FuturistSpeaker: Jesse Hirsh, Futurist, Researcher and Internet StrategistSponsored by: TD Canada
Seeing Through the Fog of Cloud Computing
“Cloud computing” has been part of the technology lexicon since 2007. Yet, there is still considerable confusion as people use the term to refer to things that may not relate to its actual definition and scope. Is it simply web hosting? Is it an old book with a new cover? This session will attempt to demystify cloud computing and examine:• Cloud vs. on premises• Affording leading applications• Basics in migrating to the cloud• How migration can support digital transformation• How migration can enable a mobile workforce.Sponsored by: CalligoSpeakers: Scott Barrett, Mike Turczyniak and Will Shilson, Calligo
Supercharging your Aging ERP: How to extend the life of an Ageing ERP through Digital Strategy
In this moderated session, you’ll benefit from a stimulating discussion, lively debate and interviews about the methods being used to make the right decision, at the right time, to meet the right objectives. Proven, innovative approaches to extend and enhance the life of your current system will be featured, and weighed against reacting to true and tested signs and red flags that have traditionally signalled the time to “bite the bullet”Sponsored by: TreefrogSpeaker: Sean Stephens, Treefrog
AI – Ready for Prime Time?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used to describe various activities ranging from simple automation to in-depth thinking and interpretation algorithms. AI is ranked as the highest level of automation maturity, with the ability to develop ideas and apply continuous learning based on experience, resulting in automation that is able to think, learn, and interpret.In this moderated session, Geoff will lead a fascinating discussion with a group of technology vendors currently testing AI boundaries; embedding and integrating AI enhancements into products and applications in accounting, operations and other contemporary business activities. Sponsored by: Intuit, Mindbridge AI, Prophix and WorkdayModerated by: Geoff Cronin, Grant ThorntonFeaturing: Scott Zandbergen, Intuit; John Colthart, Mindbridge AI; Ronel Marbella, Prophix and Julie Fritz, Workday
Today’s Top Budget, Planning and Reporting Challenges and CPM Solutions
Corporate performance management (CPM) is transforming forward-thinking organizations; using insight harvested from BI systems to align strategy and execution, leading to efficiencies and an improved bottom line.In this moderated session, you will hear from a customer of a leading provider of business performance on his experiences in addressing contemporary challenges in finance functions such as budgeting, forecasting and reporting, and how the implementation of successful performance management programs has improved his company’s key business drivers.Sponsored by: Corporate Renaissance GroupModerated by: Michael Burns, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Dave Birch, Waterloo Brewing Co.
vCFO – Becoming a Virtual Team Member
Some will suggest that whoever controls a client’s data (the bookkeeping function) controls the related compliance and advisory work.In the present and into the near future Virtual Teams are quickly emerging. Many small entities do not have inhouse bookkeeping and financial expertise yet they will require more than a consultant – they require a Virtual CFO (vCFO) – a regular member of the team who is involved in all meetings and decisions like a full time CFO, just not full time.In this session, Janeen will:• Discuss the provision of bookkeeping services (or aligning with a bookkeeping provider)• Explain the differences between a consulting role and a virtual team member’s role• Define vCFO• Illustrate how vCFO can be a profitable “advisory service” to offer• Provide guidance on how do you establish a reliable revenue streamSpeaker: Janeen Stodulski, MNP LLP
How to use Blockchain to Address Today’s Business Issues
Blockchain technology facilitates distributed public ledger that hold unalterable data in an encrypted manner, ensuring transactions cannot be altered. While cryptocurrencies are the most common examples of blockchain utilization, the technology is being used in a wide range of business applications, including real estate, asset management, financial transactions and many more.In this session, Rick will lead a panel including a prominent blockchain technology developer and a blockchain technology advisor, in a robust discussion that examines blockchain in use today. Successful, real life applications across multiple sectors will be illustrated.Sponsored by: DLT Labs, PwCModerated by Rick O’Dell, Manulife FinancialPanelists: Christian Ramirez, DLT Labs; Mark Vella, Advertiise; Christina Wei, Manulife Financial; Rolandi Treska, PwC
Informal Luncheon and Networking – Vendor Exhibit Area
Process and Business Challenges and Solutions – CTO, MTO and ETO Manufacturing
Configure to Order (CTO), Make to Order (MTO) and Engineer to Order (ETO) are manufacturing processes in which actual manufacturing begins only after a customer’s order is received. These environments must employ a flexible, adaptive and demand-driven approach to the manufacturing process.In this moderated session, you will examine the unique challenges facing businesses in the CTO, MTO and ETO marketplaces today, and learn about proven solutions that are enabling organizations to improve business effectiveness and performance and enhance the ability to differentiate and the flexibility needed to achieve business goals in these specialized manufacturing environments.Sponsored by: SAP and IllumitiModerated by: Behram Faroogh, 180 SystemsSpeaker: Andrew Howell, Illumiti
Process and Business Challenges and Solutions - Financial Services
This moderated session will, through the effective use of short business scenarios, introduce you to a number of unique challenges being faced in specific business and process functions within the Financial Services Sector.In a constructive format that combines interview, discussion, dialogue and debate, you will hear how particular solutions address the business challenges put forward, utilizing key product features along the way.Sponsored by: Multiview Financial SoftwareModerated by: Laura Vaughan, 180 SystemsSpeaker: Michael Johnson, Multiview Financial Software
The Realities of Cybersecurity Risk - Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions
Speaker: Sandy Boucher, Grant ThorntonRecent engagements by Grant Thornton have revealed that many companies do not properly understand the threats their businesses face, or the real impact a cyber-attack would have. In this session, based on findings from real breach investigations conducted over the past two years, Sandy will provide practical insights into cybersecurity risk today, and the steps that many organizations are still not taking to protect themselves.Sandy will outline how to get started on the journey to improve your cybersecurity. You will learn about the top cyber security risks facing Canadian businesses; steps you can take to prepare your people, protect your critical information and infrastructure, and improve your cyber security maturity, as well as common mistakes, and tips on how to make immediate changes that can significantly improve the security of your organization. Sponsored by: Grant Thornton
The Definitive ERP Road Map - A Microsoft Perspective
Get a glimpse of the Microsoft version of the future of ERP in this exclusive session. Learn about Microsoft’s current initiatives and how they plan to enhance their products in the short and medium-term.In a wide-ranging and informative session, you’ll discover how some of today’s emerging technologies will be embedded into the next generation of ERP systems.Time will be allocated for Q & A.Sponsored by: Microsoft and ThinkmaxModerated by: Michael Burns, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Sumit Verma, Microsoft Canada
Future Tech - Changing Your World
In this session, Dwayne shares dozens of amazing advances in technology that are changing the world around us. Exponential technologies – like mixed reality, quantum encryption, nanomaterials, AI, human-robotic interaction and more – are affecting the way we build, create, communicate, distribute, organize, share and travel.Through a series of rapid-fire examples, Dwayne will illustrate true disruption happening across multiple sectors, and ensure you are aware of these important trends so that you can participate in the dialogue revolving around them.Sponsored by: BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.Speaker: Dwayne Bragonier, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.
Four Stories - Real Life Case Studies in Migrating to the Cloud
This moderated session will consist of three fascinating accounts of real-life business scenarios from small panels consisting of your peers and senior representatives of a major service provider. Customers will detail their experiences in migrating on premises infrastructure into their computational platform into the Cloud. The service provider representatives will provide explanations along the way of technical requirements and process.This is a unique opportunity to hear three different real-life stories with strong backgrounds, and different - even unusual – drivers, with significant examples of ROI.It is recommended that you have a basic knowledge and understanding of cloud computing, or have attended the earlier session called “Seeing Through the Fog of Cloud Computing”Sponsored by: CalligoModerated by: Gerry Wilton, BAIWaySpeakers: Scott Barrett, Mike Turczyniak and Will Shilson, CalligoFeaturing: Howard Lerner, SBLR; Vinay Khosla, Bateman Mackay; Marco Simone, Parker Simone; Dave Straughan, MacGillivray
Networking Reception – Vendor Exhibit Area
Immediately following the technical sessions, you’ll benefit from a special gathering of today’s key vendors and developers of technology solutions; products designed to help your organization and your client’s businesses remain at the top of your marketplace. The Vendor Exhibit offers you the unique opportunity to network with your peers and the exhibitors and assess the best new ideas and what’s coming in future from the developers; leading edge technology solutions! You can see and feel some of the most innovative products available in today’s marketplace!Exchange ideas, share knowledge and develop the right technology solution strategy that’s right for you.Please note that the Vendor Exhibit will be also be open during breakfast and lunch on Day One and Day Two(Please note Food and Beverage Service ends at 6:30 p.m.)
Registration and Continental Breakfast - Vendor Exhibit Area
My ERP Journey from Selection to Implementation – Not for Profit
This session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading ERP developer specializing in the not for profit marketplace. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new ERP solution in their not for profit organization; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: SparkrockModerated by: Beata Domanska, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Rena Zhou, COSTI Immigrant Services
RPA Moves to the SME/P Mainstream
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology application that automates manually repetitive tasks, thereby creating efficiencies in a company’s operations. RPA “removes the machine from the person”, freeing them up to focus on more value-add work.This moderated session will feature a leading RPA vendor along with a major tech advisory firm in a lively panel discussion and debate:• What RPA does and doesn’t do• Why RPA is not the same as Artificial Intelligence (AI)• How RPA can deliver ROI in a short time by building upon existing applications and systems• How RPA can result in faster cycle times and reduced errorsThe session will also feature a competition, pitting an RPA Bot against humansSponsored by: UiPath, PwCModerated by Asif Qayyum, PwCFeaturing: Nick Wein, UiPath
BI Hands-on Workshop (8:00 am start time)
In this Tableau-focused workshop, you will benefit from:1. An overview of Self-Serve Visual Analytics & Business Intelligence powered by Tableau Software2. Examples of real-world success stories featuring speed to insight and innovation3. Hands-on workshop exercises using Tableau to go FROM DATA TO INSIGHTIn addition, you will need to:1. Bring your own laptop2. Download Tableau Desktop available at www.tableau.com3. View Tableau Getting Started (Recommended) https://www.tableau.com/learn/tutorials/on-demand/getting-started Presented and Sponsored by: Tableau SoftwareSpeakers: Derek Nogiec and Saad Ansari, Tableau SoftwarePre-registration required, limited seating(1.5 Hours, Begins at 8:00AM)
My ERP Journey from Selection to Implementation – Entertainment and Hospitality
This session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading ERP developer, focused on the manufacturing and distribution sector. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, ERP investment experiences; their journey towards a new ERP solution for their manufacturing & distribution operations; including identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: Microsoft and ThinkmaxModerated by: Josh Szakal, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Joe Aschaiek , Woodbine
Learning Lab: Your HR Automation Check list
RPA is empowering organizations to put the "Human" back into HR while ensuring all the important but tedious tasks are efficiently carrying on. In this moderated session, you will hear from a power packed panel discussing the game changing impact of the digital workforce in the HR function and pick up the essential tips for automating HR processes.Sponsored by: Automation AnywhereModerated by: Behram Faroogh, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Cay Gliebe, One Source Virtual; Nancy Hauge, Automation Anywhere; Julie Fritz, Workday
Mandatory Breach Notification
As of November 1, 2018, organizations subject to The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) will be required to report breaches of security safeguards involving personal information that pose a real risk of significant harm to individuals, notify affected individuals, and keep proper records of all breaches.In this session, you will learn the essential steps to enhance your organization’s and client’s breach response plan to address the recent legislation.Speaker: Carlos Chalico, EY
Hit the ground running - Practical advice in implementing new technology
A unique panel of independent consultants in an open forum offering valuable advice, sharing knowledge and expertise, and providing insights gleaned from years of experience. Come prepared with your toughest questions, your important concerns and pressing issues….AND, be prepared for candid answers and innovative observations that may completely change the way you look at implementing new technologies in your organization or your firm, and how you advise clients on technology issues.Your questions and concerns will determine the direction of these session.Featuring: Michael Burns, 180 Systems; Geoff Cronin, Grant Thornton and Steve Litwin, Litcom Consulting Inc.
Ask a Tech Expert – An SMP Focus
A open forum offering valuable advice, sharing knowledge and expertise, and providing insights gleaned from years of experience. Come prepared with your toughest questions, your important concerns and pressing issues….AND, be prepared for candid answers and innovative observations that may completely change the way you look at implementing new technologies in your organization or your firm, and how you advise clients on technology issues.Your questions and concerns will determine the direction of these session.Featuring: Dwayne Bragonier, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc.; Janeen Stodulski, MNP LLP; Gerry Wilton, BAIWay; Mike Turczyniak, Calligo
Lunch and Networking - Vendor Exhibit Area
My ERP Business Case – Fact or Fiction?
Sometimes you have no choice in the investment of a new system. For example, the existing system is supported by 1 person about to retire. However, some organizations do not want to proceed unless there is a compelling business case. But is the business case fact or fiction? It is often fiction if the preparer of the business case was also highly motivated to obtain a new system. It’s easy to know whether the costs are accurate. But is there any evidence that the benefits were realized? In this moderated session, you will learn whether actual, real life business cases from TMX, that were used to justify ERP investments, were fact…fiction…or somewhere in between.Sponsored by: WorkdayModerated by: 180 SystemsFeaturing: Frank Di Liso, TMX; Yuwei Liang, Workday
Frank Di Liso
My RPA Journey from Selection to Implementation
This session will feature an interview and dialogue between an independent technology consultant and a customer of a leading RPA developer. You will hear from a peer about their real-life, RPA investment experiences; their journey towards a new RPA solution, from identification of business issues and needs assessment, research and selection, implementation and ongoing support.Sponsored by: UiPath and PwCModerated by: Ryan Pictor, PwCFeaturing: Scott Murray, IBI Group and Holly Whalen, UiPath
How Does CRM Drive Growth and Increase Access to Capital for your Customers
Speaker: Ashu Avasthi, Grant ThorntonTraditionally CRM is thought of as a sales tool. In this session, Ashu will explain how ever increasingly, CRM is being leveraged for multiple uses in an organization including to predict financial results and gain access to capital. Financial professionals who do this are able to provide more insight and value to the organization and thus directly impact the growth of the business. Why, because looking at leading performance indicators of a business informs actions that can be taken to impact the business in real time vs. simply reporting on lagging results at which point, we cannot change the result.Sponsored by: Grant Thornton
Organizational Change Management – A Technology project Imperative
The road to digital transformation is littered with failed projects and those that do not meet their objectives. In this moderated session, you will examine the need and the best practices for Organizational Change Management (OCM), and learn how you can design and launch your “change project” in a manner that ensures that you answer the key question “What’s in it for me” for your stake holders and subject matter experts.Sponsored by: EpicorModerated by: Michael Burns, 180 SystemsFeaturing: John Preiditsch, President of Six S Partners Inc
Today's Business Process Challenges and HR/Payroll Solutions
This moderated session will, through the effective use of short business scenarios, introduce you to a number of unique challenges being faced in specific business and process functions within the HR function.In a constructive format that combines interview, discussion, dialogue and debate, you will hear how particular solutions address the HR system challenges put forward, utilizing key product features along the way.Sponsored by: LeadingEdge Payroll GroupSpeaker: Ian J. Mise, LeadingEdge Payroll Group
Ian J Mise
Leveraging Edge Computing
Edge computing is about identifying, collecting, and analyzing data closer to where data is generated rather than in centralized servers and systems (the Cloud). While not yet mainstream, it’s estimated that by the end of 2020, 5.6 billion enterprise and government owned IoT devices will be using edge computing to collect and process data (Business Insider Report). In this moderated session, you will be introduced to one such platform offered by mimic, to illustrate how you can extend central cloud functionality to the edge.You will discover how to reduce bandwidth usage, communication latency, and hosting costs, and improve data privacy by using tools that are developer ready today. See how applications like IoT, robot communications, connected cars, eSports and others can benefit from decentralized architecture available through a decentralized cloud platform.Prepare your organization and your clients for the improved operations that will come with leveraging edge computing.Moderated by: Behram Faroogh, 180 SystemsFeaturing: Fay Arjomandi, mimik
Closing Keynote Address - What Now? A Post-National Tech Forum Action Plan
After 2 days at the Forum, we’re certain that your head - and your note-taking device – are filled with trends, slide decks, strategies, guidance, opinion, and inspiring stories. So now what? Taking some time to organize the “conference overload” before your first meeting with colleagues and clients is a good first step. Some aspire to the idea of running your ideas through a prioritizing filter based on the 3 Rs of Implementation – Relevant, Realistic, Refined. Does that make sense when dealing with the topic of technology? Is there time for this when the technologies may very well evolve before your next working day?In this must-attend Closing Address, John Colthart will get you started on a short-term and medium-term action plan, designed to make sure you get the most out of your experiences at the Forum. John has been there; all pumped up after a couple of days of amazing sessions and productive networking, itching to revamping his entire company's strategy. The energy and momentum is not the problem; the lack of a plan is the problem.Join John for his session and kick start your own “Post- National Tech Forum Action Plan”.Speaker: John Colthart, VP of Growth, Mindbridge AI
Geneviève Grenier, CPA Canada and Michael Burns, 180 Systems
The Hitchhikers Guide to Technology Solutions
Led by Michael Burns, 180 Systems Whether in industry or in a professional services firm, this workshop will help you prepare for your organization’s investment or your upcoming client technology investment engagement.In this full-day session, you will benefit from insights gathered over many years by a team of leading experts who will provide you with guidance based on their extensive experience and real-life engagements.Learn today’s best practices; what works well and what doesn’t:• What is best practice? Examples and cases will be discussed• The Business Case• Effective Contract Negotiation, with proven strategies• Smart Software Selection - how to document needs and secure a good fit• Successful Implementation• Project Management Methodologies• Lean Management• Change ManagementHeld at CPA Canada offices - 277 Wellington St West
Thank you to our advisory committee members
Dwayne Bragonier, President, BAI Bragonier & Associates Inc. Michael Burns, Principal Consultant, 180 SystemsFrank Colantonio, Principal Consultant, FC AssociatesGeoff Cronin, National Advisory Service Line Leader, Grant ThorntonBehram Faroogh, Consultant, 180 SystemsRick O’Dell, Managing Director, Global Real Estate Operations, Finance and Transformation, Manulife FinancialMaura O’Shea, VP Finance Improvement and Controls, Bell CanadaGeneviève Grenier, Director, Professional Programs, Member Development and Support, CPA Canada
Westin Harbour Castle
1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6
Data can be beautiful and complex. It’s also changing the way businesses make decisions. Learn how to use data to produce financial insights that drive results in this five-course program focused on data management.
As the capabilities of modern-day technology evolve and advance, this will change the way CPAs work and think. Listen to industry experts discuss the power and implications of technology.
Cybersecurity is a complex part of today’s business landscape, but CPAs can help. Explore the latest issues in cybersecurity and learn how to reduce digital risk for your organization.
April 2, 2019
Are you a senior professional who manages core elements of your company’s IT audit, governance or security responsibilities? Come explore the latest challenges and opportunities in technology that are transforming the way we do business.
Member Development and Support
Joanna Boutasis, Program Manager
Frank Colantonio, Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities; technical program
Michael Burns, Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities; technical program
This event has multiple dates and locations. See event details for more information.
Join this hackathon and challenge yourself to harness data and technology to disrupt traditional financial analysis. Gather with diverse and innovative professionals and students. Work in teams and win cash for creative ideas.
September 23, 2019
Canada’s dynamic, must-attend CPA event of the year is heading to Montréal with the theme of innovation for sustainability.
October 28, 2019
If you’re a senior financial professional in the public sector or work for a not-for-profit that follows PSAB standards, this annual event in the nation’s capital is the place to be.