Murray Mikulak: Championing the needs of SMPs in tax

Canadian accounting standards and our tax system have evolved thanks to the long-term commitment of many volunteers. Meet one volunteer who has contributed countless hours to this evolution.

Murray Mikulak has been a volunteer with us for decades and has become a leading voice for positive change in both accounting standards and the tax system on behalf of small and medium-sized practitioners (SMP).

A founding partner of Mikulak & Hill, a Calgary-based firm, Murray first volunteered as a council member and later became president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA). He has also represented the ICAA on the Council of Presidents of the provincial institutes and contributed to the council’s work in a number of areas, including the development of new independence standards.

Starting in 2004, Murray’s work created opportunities for him to volunteer at the national level, first as a member of the Accounting Standards Differential Reporting Advisory Committee (which led to the development of the current accounting standards for private enterprises) and also as a representative of SMPs on a task force which focused on developing a consistent policy to govern Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) auditors’ access to tax working papers.

Murray has been instrumental in the evolution of our tax advocacy initiatives and our trusted advisor status with the CRA’s leadership. He continued to represent the interests of SMPs as the task force changed from a single-issue group to our current Tax Policy Committee (TPC). As the TPC’s activities expanded and specialized subcommittees were established in 2012, Murray was the natural choice to lead our new SMP Tax Committee, a position he continues to hold today.

Meanwhile, the ongoing dialogue between CPAs and senior CRA officials continued to improve, with mutual understanding and trust growing steadily on both sides. Murray, together with other members of the SMP and TPC, dedicated countless hours in helping the CRA develop solutions to persistent problems in tax administration.

These efforts culminated in the formal collaboration agreement signed between us and the CRA in November 2014. The agreement sets the framework for seven specialized joint CPA-CRA committees. When it came time to appoint our chair for the new joint committee on compliance, again Murray was the natural choice. With this improved structure for cooperation, combined with Murray’s energy, dedication and passion for tax reform, we can expect to see our tax system continue to evolve for the better to the benefit of SMPs, their clients and all Canadians.