Skyline of Montreal City with gardens in foreground
The Profession

News in Brief: Montreal named new home to an ISSB office

CPA Canada applauds establishment of ISSB office in Montreal; the importance of narrowing the audit expectation gap; and more news from the accounting world

Skyline of Montreal City with gardens in foregroundThe ISSB’s Montreal office will provide key functions to the board as it develops global sustainability standards and strengthens accountability in the transition toward a net-zero economy (Getty Images/Peter Under)


The recent decision by the IFRS Foundation to set up an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) office in Montreal positions Canada as a world leader on sustainability governance. 

As a member of the Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards, CPA Canada welcomed the news earlier this month, as one among the broad group of institutions and organizations, including the federal government, backing the country’s offer to host the ISSB headquarters. The ISSB will feature a global and multi-office structure; in addition to the Montreal office, Frankfurt, Germany will be the seat of the board and the office of the chair.   

“Selecting Montreal to host an office of the new international board demonstrates that the IFRS Foundation recognizes this country’s strong commitment to sustainability governance, something showcased by the extensive support behind the Canadian bid,” explained Charles-Antoine St-Jean, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “It is a significant achievement and we look forward to seeing Canada’s role evolve as the ISSB takes shape.”

The ISSB will establish global standards for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, critically needed to unify varying sustainability reporting frameworks around the world and for consistency and comparability for investors, businesses and other stakeholders.   


Eight CPAs are among the winners of the 2021 Canada’s Most Powerful Women list, released by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in October.   

The list—which recognizes 105 outstanding women across Canada who advocate for workforce diversity and inspire tomorrow’s leaders—spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors across 13 categories, with winners selected by WXN’s Diversity Council of Canada. 

The CPA winners include: 

  • Azra B. Hussain, CPA, CGA
  • Winnie W-Y Shi, CPA, CA
  • Sadaf Masood Parvaiz, CPA, CA
  • Deborah Rosati, FCPA, FCA
  • Tammy L. Brown, CPA, CA
  • Marnie Renee Dawson, CPA, CA 
  • Catherine A. Logue, FCPA, FCA
  • Nathalie Fagnan, CPA, CA

“When I look at this year’s winners, I see a group of radically authentic women who remind us all of what it means to stand up with courage, for themselves and those around them,” said Sherri Stevens, owner and CEO of WXN, in a press release. “By recognizing and celebrating the strength, fearlessness, resilience and heart these women demonstrate, we can inspire more of the same in generations to come.”   


A new report, released in October, addresses a key concern, the audit expectation gap, when it comes to public perception of financial statement audits.

According to the report, Closing the expectation gap in audit—the way forward on fraud and going concern: A multi-stakeholder approach, the audit expectation gap is defined by three components: knowledge, performance and evolution gaps. 

Issued by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Canada and the Canadian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, the report addresses developments affecting the audit profession most likely to have an impact on fraud and going concern, and includes outcomes of roundtable discussions, conclusions and recommendations. 

“Ensuring the long-term resilience of the audit profession cannot be done in isolation. It is vital that discussions occur within the full financial ecosystem to ensure that auditing practices, skills and standards evolve as required to meet the needs of an increasingly complex operating environment,” said Charles-Antoine St-Jean, president and CEO, CPA Canada.


Mental strength and resilience are not just tied to athleticism but accounting as well. 

That’s the message CPA Alexandre Bilodeau shared with 300 international CPAs from 34 countries during a free virtual webinar hosted by CPA Canada in October.

A freestyle skier from Quebec, Bilodeau won gold medals at both the Vancouver and Sochi Olympic Games before he retired from skiing in 2014, going on to earn his CPA designation. He has since worked in advisory roles for KPMG and now Walter Capital Partners. 

“Comparing a CPA’s role to that of an Olympic athlete may not be intuitive to most people,” said Nikita Bayne, chair of the CPA Canada Barbados Chapter Advisory Council. “But Alexandre really made the point that building mental strength and resilience are the keys to success in any role.”


If leaders want their feedback to resonate, they should focus on the future, an executive coach shared with international CPAs during two free virtual CPA Canada webinars earlier this month. 

Session moderator, Jeff Smith, founder and CEO of the SupportingLines Institute and a certified executive coach, told his audience that feedback that focuses on past actions is often emotion-based, leading to a battle of who is right, rather than strengthening relationships and creating a better “future story”. 

“During the webinar, we took a deep dive into the three-story feedback method, which helps leaders pinpoint the source of their frustration or challenge and then communicate their feedback clearly, while creating space for the other person to share their perspective,” explained Smith. 

Attendees learned how to provide balanced feedback clearly, sharing personal experience based on facts instead of emotions, while incorporating organizational values to encourage objectivity and mutual agreement into the discussion. 


Here’s what CPAs considering an entrepreneurial path need to know, plus stay on top of the latest rules related to anti-money laundering and take a deeper dive into the journey that lies ahead for open banking in Canada.