The 2019 CPAEF Accounting Educators Academic Symposium was held on May 23-24, 2019 in Vancouver BC at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel.
This two day symposium was an opportunity for CPABC members who teach full time in academia to connect with other academic members from across BC. Over 100+ attendees were in attendance with representation from 18 BC post-secondary institutions.
The Symposium was officially opened by Brenda Waechter FCPA FCGA, board chair of the CPAEF. She shared some of the foundation’s recent initiatives including additional supports for high school teachers and counsellors and new student awards such as the David Sale FCPA FCGA Memorial Bursary.
CPABC’s director of new interdepartmental initiatives, Danielle Levine, delivered the indigenous acknowledgement. She also talked about her current work developing a new indigenous strategy for the accounting profession in B.C.
The first speaker was Dr. Virginia Drywater-Whitekiller, a faculty member at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Oklahoma, who is also the Fulbright Chair and Jarislowsky Foundation Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies at Vancouver Island University (VIU). She shared her experience in supporting indigenous student success at NSU.
Sheldon Bennett, COO of DMG Blockchain then presented on the work his company is doing in analyzing blockchain transactions. With the increased prevalence of supply chains using blockchain technologies, developing strong data analytics competencies in CPAs is becoming essential.
The next presentation was on the rising expectations of corporate reporting by Christie Stephenson, executive director of the Peter Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at UBC. She spoke about the increase in non-GAAP measures and the emergence of new reporting frameworks. See photo above.
She was followed by a panel discussion on how to instil entrepreneurial competencies in new CPAs. A panel of CPA business owners included Matthew Anderson CPA CA (co-founder of A+K Robotics), Richard Lancaster CPA CMA (proprietor of Black Widow Winery) and Bob Wang CPA CA (founder of Legacy Advantage which was acquired by Deloitte CTRL), shared their collective experiences and insights. The panel was moderated by Chris Burnley FCPA FCA, a professor at VIU and member of the CPABC board. A key takeaway from the panel discussion is that “entrepreneurship is a mindset more than a skill set.”
The Governor’s Reception was held the evening of the first day and was sponsored by CPABC. Remarks were made by Lori Mathison FCPA FCGA, CEO and president of CPABC. And, there was a special wine tasting table featuring several varietals from Black Widow Winery with commentary by Richard Lancaster.Day 2 of the symposium commenced with a session by Dr. Efrim Boritz FCPA FCA, CPA Ontario Chair in Accounting at Waterloo University and Head of Assurance and Director of the Centre for Information Integrity and Information Systems Assurance. Efrim was also the lead academic on the CPA Competency Map sub-group that recommended changes to increase emphasis on data analytics and information systems (DAIS).
He was followed by Dr. Kevin Milligan, professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC. Kevin spoke about taxation policy and used examples from the GST and HST referendum in B.C. to explain societal views on different forms of taxation.
The final two sessions included an update of the CPA Competency Map by Lara Greguric CPA CA, EVP with the CPA Western School of Business, and an update on financial reporting issues in the cannabis sector by Anita Cyr CPA CA, associate chief accountant at the BC Securities Commission.
New for this symposium were two short sessions on current research topics presented by Dr. Karel Hrazdil CPA CGA, professor at SFU|Beedie School of Business and Director of SFU’s executive MBA program on informational overload and Dr. Fred Pries FCPA FCA, professor emeritus at Guelph University and former vice chair of the AASB on key audit matter (KAM) reporting.
Final remarks were made by Judith Watson FCPA FCMA, vice chair of the CPAEF. She thanked attendees for their active participation, the symposium planning committee (comprised of Judith Watson, Keri Norrie FCPA FCA FCGA, Dr. Sandra Chamberlain CPA CMA, Scott Sinclair FCPA FCA and Chris Burley FCPA FCA), and the support provided by staff – David Chiang CPA CA and Shobna Nand.
Presentation PowerPoints are available on the CPAEF webpage under the tab “Helping Faculty.” And, the planning committee welcomes ideas for the 2021 CPAEF Accounting Educators Academic Symposium.