Professional matters: news and views for members — August 2014

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Andrew Smith wins big along with Health Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat at CPA Canada’s annual Public Sector Financial Management awards ceremony. Plus, three provinces move closer to unification, while recent surveys indicate that senior CPAs are optimistic about the country’s economy.


We tooted the public sector’s horn

There was a bit of a traffic jam on the stage at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa last May, as CPA Canada recognized the best and brightest in public sector accounting.

Judges couldn’t decide on a single winner for the prestigious Innovation Award, which recognizes financial management services that lead to higher productivity or cost savings, so they declared a tie between Health Canada’s Procure to Pay initiative and the Treasury Board Secretariat’s cabinet submissions project.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Andrew Smith of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Smith has spent his 34-year career mentoring colleagues, developing managers and contributing to the success of numerous complex projects.

Formerly known as the Award of Excellence for Comptrollership in the Public Sector, the Awards of Excellence in Public Sector Financial Management is an annual celebration of exceptional financial management work by federal public servants. For more on the awards, see


Ontario votes yes

On June 18, CPAs and CGAs in Ontario voted to unify the province’s accounting profession. The leadership will soon sign a unification agreement and begin working to integrate the organizations.

Nova Scotia moved one step closer to unification when all three legacy bodies voted to enter a merger agreement. The May 24 vote followed two months of consultations with members and other provincial stakeholders.

New Brunswick’s Chartered Professional Accountants Act received Royal Assent on May 21. CPA New Brunswick will be officially created on Sept. 1, 2014. Read more at


Glass half full

More than half (55%) of the Canadian professional accountants in senior roles surveyed for the Q1 2014 CPA Canada Business Monitor were optimistic about the country’s economy. That’s a jump from the end of 2013, when only 34% of survey respondents felt optimistic.

In the Q1 findings released in June, 6% of survey participants were pessimistic and the rest were neutral. A strong majority of the Canadian professional accountants surveyed (73%) also said the US economy is growing. Find out more at


CPA ads speak pro

Chart: When I see a CPA ad