Recap: 2017 Accounting Academic Symposium

The Chartered Professional Accountants’ Education Foundation of BC (CPAEF) held its biennial 2017 Accounting Academic Symposium on May 25 to 26.  More than 100 BC accounting faculty members attended the symposium which was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Robert Bruce CPA CA and Jennifer Reed CPA CA leading session on The CPA Way

The symposium started with a morning session on the new CPA Way covering student assessment, teaching techniques, education design and pedagogy. This session was led by Jennifer Reed CPA CA, principal, education services at CPA Canada, and Robert Bruce, CPA CA, an instructor at Capilano University and member of the CPA Canada Professional Education Program module development team.


The CPA Way is a methodical approach for addressing professional problems.  It starts first with the CPA mindset, assessing the situation, analyzing major issues, concluding, advising and communicating the results.  At each stage, various CPA enabling competencies are required to be applied and demonstrated.

Kenneth Wong of Queen’s University led discussion on Integrating Marketing into Performance Management

In the afternoon, Kenneth Wong, an associate professor and distinguished professor of marketing at Queen’s University, demonstrated how accounting academics can integrate marketing concepts into their teaching of performance management topics.  His presentation focused on how to detect and destroy margin depleting activities using various performance management techniques.

Wong’s session was followed by a presentation from Chief Shawn Atleo, a hereditary chief from the Ahousaht First Nation on Vancouver Island and former chancellor of Vancouver Island University, and Heather Squire, president and CEO of A-in-chut Ventures Ltd., who provided insights about how academics can engage with first nations’ youth.

Atleo and Squire’s presentation was filled with many compelling stories which supports the importance of education for the youth of the future. “Their work has had and continues to have significant impacts across the province and country” said Chris Burnley FCPA FCA, chair of the Symposium Planning Committee and CPAEF Board Chair.  He added, “[As an educator] I feel a heightened sense of purpose as a result of your comments regarding empowering all of my students but especially indigenous students.”

(L to R): Judith Watson FCPA FCMA, Heather Squire, Shawn Atleo, and Chris Burnley FCPA FCA

Day 2 of the Symposium began with a short update from David Chiang, CPA, CA, CPABC’s VP of member services and the Symposium’s emcee, about the various programs supported by the education foundation.   He was followed by Dr. David Dick, PhD, assistant professor of philosophy and fellow in the Haskayne School of Business’s Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business, who discussed moral theory and materiality. Dick suggested ways to integrate ethics into various professional and post-secondary course curricula.  Said Burnley, “David Dick has set a new bar for ethics education in BC.  His discussion on “rule-less materiality” will be thought-provoking for audit students.”

(L to R): David Chiang CPA CA, Dr. David Dick, and Chris Burnley FCPA FCA


Anthony Scilipoti FCPA FCA CPA (IL), CEO of Veritas, on Rise of Non-GAAP Metrics

Anthony Scilipoti FCPA FCA CPA (IL), CEO of Veritas, then presented on the rise of non-GAAP measures and the impact of these measures in financial reporting.  His presentation surveyed the state of Non-GAAP measures and its emerging importance in today’s business environment.  Anthony provided his insight on non-non GAAP measures in a direct and humorous way.

Jan Sampson FCPA FCA and Simone Leonard CPA CGA update the audience about the ACAF program

The symposium’s final session was an update on the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) by Jan Sampson, FCPA FCA, EVP Education and Member Engagement and Simone Leonard CPA CGA, VP Education and Professional Development.

During the two days, symposium attendees also had the opportunity to attend information sessions on the CPA Practical Experience Requirements (PER) by Ella Bohinska CPA CA, and listen to a CPAWSB update by Lara Greguric, CPA CA, EVP learning development and outreach, as well as an insightful perspective of the future of the profession by Robert Strachan FCPA FCMA, former chair of CPA Canada, governor of the CPAEF and recipient of the 2016 CPABC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lara Greguric EVP CPA Western School of Business

Bob Strachan FCPA FCMA, former chair of CPA Canada, and 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient on the Big Picture of the Profession

To close the symposium, Chris Burnley, FCPA, FCA, out-going chair of the CPAEF, expressed his thanks to all attendees and acknowledged the contributions of planning committee members, including David Chiang, CPA CA (staff support); Dr. Andrew Hilton, FCPA FCA; Judith Watson, FCPA, FCMA; and Scott Sinclair, FCPA, FCA.

Symposium Planning Committee

Visit the CPAEF website at: for information about the various programs for CPA students and candidates – such as scholarships and bursaries – and also programs targeted at accounting faculty in BC – such as the Speaker Series, Doctoral Support and Academic Passport programs.  Presentations from the Symposium are also available for download.



Posted in CPABC, CPAEF, members