Are accounting standards public enough?

CA Magazine might be freely giving away their content for the benefit of all stakeholders in the CA profession and public accounting in general, but the goodwill doesn’t extend to the CICA when it comes to Canadian accounting and auditing standards.

The CICA, through the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB), develops public accounting standards through a remarkably public process of consultation and comment, but once the standard makes it into the Handbook, it is rarely seen in public again. The Handbook is available online, if you’re a member of the Institute. That is, only if you’re a CA do you get access to the goods.

Additionally, when one Googles “CICA Handbook”, the first result is a link to “Enhanced online access to CICA Handbook”! (This the access available only to CICA members.) A link to the protected Handbook is featured prominently on the CICA homepage. “Great,” a new visitor thinks, “the Handbook is only a mouse click away!” But that click takes you again to the paywall.

I posed the question directly to the Institute, and later in the day received my response: “The CICA Handbook is only granted to members as a part of their annual dues thru their Provincial Institute. You may be able to come across a copy in print in a local Library, assuming the Library has one for public use.” Pay the dues, get access to the public standards.

The profession exists to protect the public interest, so I have to question whether access to the fruits of the profession’s labour, the standards themselves, are holding up this ideal. What do you think?

Toronto’s building wi-fi network downtown

It was not too long ago that I was writing about Chicago’s plans to blanket the city in wireless internet and wondering when Toronto would follow suit. Well apparently, it won’t be long:

Mayor David Miller will join Toronto Hydro executives on Tuesday to officially announce the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and could undermine commercial product offerings from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.

It should be available as early as this fall in the downtown core, of which I’m sure High Park isn’t a part. I don’t really need it in this neighborhood, but having it downtown should inevitably prove convenient.

Especially if you go to Ryerson and have frequent problems connecting to their network. I know someone who does!

Wireless internet theft affects us all

A story in the New York Times about your friendly neighborhood wireless thieves. I have to admit I’m guilty of this when I’m not at home, but it pretty much does serve you right if you don’t secure your network. Maybe municipal wi-fi will cut down on this “phenomenon”…

Edit: If only Twitter were invented when I wrote this “post”.