Categories
Accounting Standards

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?

Categories
Web

CA Magazine knows information wants to be free

I need to commend the publication of my profession here in Canada, CA Magazine, for offering the full content of each issue online as soon as the physical copy of the issue arrives on my doorstep.

There are many magazines that charge for access to their full content, but CA Magazine realizes that increased readership of its articles will only help the profession’s stature in this country and internationally. It also helps bloggers like me link to and discuss the articles.

The source of the headline was Stewart Brand who, at the first Hackers’ Conference in 1984, said:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.

Read the June issue.

(Yes I realize we’re into July now, but you’ll have to trust me that the contents have been available for over a month now!)

Categories
Profession

When will I be a CA?

I recently passed the 2-year mark working in public accounting since graduating without doing any co-op terms. I started work at the beginning of May 2005, so through the end of June I will have 26 months experience, less the approximately 2 months I took off last summer to attend the SOA and study and write the UFE.

To fully earn the CA designation in Canada, you need 30 months of practical experience, along with satisfying some more specific hours requirements in certain areas (i.e. audit, tax, review). I chose a mid-tier firm because the experience is very well-rounded, so the hours requirement is almost certainly satisfied.

(Along with the experience requirement, there is of course the education and examination requirements.)

Therefore, at the end of December this year I could be Neil McIntyre, CA.

Categories
Accounting Blogs

Blogging is the new graduate school?

That’s the title of a post written by Ryan Healy for the Brazen Careerist blog. It’s an interesting concept, on that JobsintheMoney’s CareerWire blog picked up on as well:

Blogging is a way to deal with the biggest problem at the beginning of one’s career: No expertise. If you offer intelligent opinions or advice on a credible blog, then you are an expert. This is why more young people should blog. If you have a focused blog, then you can jump from job to job and learn many skills, but the constant will be that you are an expert in whatever area you choose to research and write about.

Plus, the more people who blog about a given subject, say, accounting, the better the conversations between bloggers. More interaction between blogs on the same topic raise the topic’s profile. I actively encourage any young accountant in particular to blog about their experiences, especially going through the UFE process.