The One for CPA Canada

One thousand professional accountants from all legacy accounting bodies gathered in Toronto for CPA Canada’s first-ever national conference.

It was more than 1,000 to one. That’s not a statement of odds. It’s the number of participants at CPA Canada’s first-ever national conference, aptly named The One.

The historic event, which brought together all legacy accounting bodies, was held on Sept. 22 and 23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Professional accountants from coast to coast were treated to world-class presentations, thought-provoking panels and good ol’ networking. It was standing room only in some sessions. During breaks, attendees chatted, checked out exhibits and caught the latest conference updates on the Twitter wall.

"Our conference advisory committee included representation from the three legacy bodies, which played a key role in developing the impressive agenda," says Frank Colantonio, CPA Canada’s director, professional learning and development.

The conference’s five tracks — leadership, finance, management accounting, financial accounting and reporting — reflected the varied interests of today’s CPAs.

Putting on a conference of this size (imagine a sit-down lunch for 1,000) was no small feat. "It’s two thumbs up for the conference organizers, who did a wonderful job," says Tashia Batstone, CPA Canada’s vice-president, education services. "The volunteer conference advisory committee and staff put in a lot of hard work to deliver an outstanding result."

If you were there, chances are you picked up some valuable insights and met really interesting people. And we bet you’ll be back next year.

The Attendees

"It was great to see CAs, CGAs and CMAs together for the first time as CPAs and it led to some interesting conversations. The opening remarks by Jeremy Gutsche of were definitely memorable. We can’t stand still or stick with the status quo if we want to be successful. It holds true for our profession, as well, which is why we are now ‘one.’"

— Noeline Chipun, CPA, CMA, Markham, Ont.

"The conference was a great learning experience. The key take-away for me was that the profession is moving from unification to integration to become ‘one.’ It was fantastic to see the extensive advertising with the new CPA branding. The CPA billboards were practically everywhere in Toronto, from the airport to the hotel to the convention centre. Nicely done!"

— Martin Mbanga, CGA, Edmonton

"The conference gave me a chance to re-energize my thought processes. We often get bogged down doing daily tasks and forget about the important things, such as creatively managing people and ensuring we bridge generation gaps. Thanks to the speakers, in particular, I’m thinking about my daily tasks to see where I can improve both the time spent and value of the work."

— Mark Orphan, CPA, CMA, London, Ont.

"When I heard that the industry standard to get a garment in a clothing store is 12 months and retailer Zara is able to do it in 14 days because the owner started with a blank slate, I stopped and thought about my clients and my practice and what could be achieved if I had no preconceived notions of how things have been done."

— Colleen E. Gibb, FCPA, FCA, CFE, LPA, Burlington, Ont.

The Keynotes

"Obsess about your next customer, not only the ones you have."

— Jeremy Gutsche, innovation expert and CEO of

"Who are the most privileged advisers to boards? CPAs. They can influence and educate."

— Daniel Muzyka, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada

"Crafting a vision requires some dreaming."

— Bonnie Brooks, Vice-chair of Hudson’s Bay Co.