Mid-busy season update

I’ve been very busy the past week at a job out of town, which continues this week. Blog posts have slowed to a trickle again.

It’s the first job I’ve been on that is away from home, but it hasn’t been too bad and the hours we’ve been working aren’t excessive for busy season. There are definite perks to traveling for work, like expensing meals and lots of socializing outside of work.

As for getting my CA, I should be hearing back soon from the ICAO that I’ve met all the requirements. I think in general they meet monthly to accept new members, so it could be pretty quick.

The two weeks after this one I’m back in town working on a new client that I lobbied hard to get scheduled on. I’m looking forward to it! Making a good impression for the firm, giving great client service, and meeting new people.

There’s also the annual CA Dinner Dance (or “CA ball” as it’s known in my circles) next weekend, which will be a good chance to catch up with some co-workers I haven’t seen in a while and celebrate with the 2007 UFE passers as it’s really their evening. Their convocation ceremony is earlier in the day.

Busy season has been going well so far, very manageable. I’m really looking forward to taking a nice vacation in May though!


Experience requirement completion date nears

Earlier this month I received a letter from the governing body of my profession in this province, the ICAO. I wasn’t expecting it so naturally I was pretty curious. It turned out to be great news:

“According to our records, your estimated completion date of the 30-month practical experience requirement is 12/7/2007.”

ICAO envelopeEven before I had opened the letter I was treated to the new CA branding on the envelope. Not only that but the new CA logo is the only thing on the front of the envelope. The return address information is printed on the back flap at the opposite end of the envelope. Pretty cool twist for something as mundane as a business envelope.

I may have been done on December 7th, but I won’t know for sure until my firm submits the attached form with all my hours. 625 auditing hours, 100 review hours, 1,250 total assurance hours (including those audit and review hours plus other assurance engagements), 100 tax hours, plus elective hours making up no less than 2,500 total hours. I’m certain I’ve met all the hours.

Any leaves of absence taken in excess of those allowable (prescribed by Regulation I) will extend your completion date. The allowable leaves of absence are as follows:

  • 8 weeks vacation
  • 5 weeks staff/job training
  • 5 weeks illness/compassionate leave

I did some quick calculations and I’d be surprised if I’d taken more than those amounts off over the 2 2/3 years I’ve been working in public accounting as of the end of this year. But there’s more — any other paid/unpaid leave plus time spent at the SOA and writing the UFE is also added back. 4 weeks for the SOA and 1 week for the UFE.

My best guess is that it will be sometime in mid to late January before I’m clear to put the letters behind my name. The Waiting is the hardest part.


Immigration is key

John Ibbitson makes the argument in today’s Globe and Mail that one of the key issues the Conservatives need to address during their time running the country is immigration. No official announcement has been made yet regarding their policy on the number of immigrants per year, but unofficially it looks like the numbers will remain pretty static at about 250,000 people per year.

There isn’t another issue as important as immigration. The country is being reshaped by the hundreds of thousands of people arriving here every year. Think of it: At current levels, Canada will be absorbing a million new Canadians every four years. That’s the equivalent of a city larger than Ottawa, Calgary or Edmonton. Each decade, we will be importing the equivalent of the city of Toronto.

As an accountant I can attest to the fact that we are in high demand and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario has created an Occupational Career Path for use by immigrants who hope to become Chartered Accountants and fill the need for public accountants in Canada. Doctors are another profession in high demand and there needs to be progress towards getting foreign-trained health professionals working in Canadian hospitals.