Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Ontario

Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Ontario

September 27, 2007 07:45 ET

Election '07, Ontario CAs and The Competitiveness Agenda

Finance and accounting leaders offer three-point plan to keep our province ahead

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 27, 2007) -

Attention: Assignment editors, business and political reporters

The Ontario election comes at a time when it is crucial to focus on the future needs of Ontario's economy. Regardless of which party wins, Ontario's Chartered Accountants stand ready to advise and help the next provincial government develop strategies and legislation that will help keep Ontario's business community competitive.

"Ontario's CA profession commends the major party leaders for making our province's continued competitiveness an issue in their platforms," said Brian Hunt, FCA, President and CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. "To assist with their efforts, we have developed the CA Competitiveness Agenda, which has identified three crucial competitiveness issues that must be addressed - inter-provincial free trade, nationally consistent public accounting standards and legal liability reform."

Media opportunity: During the election, Brian Hunt is available to comment on the CA Competitiveness Agenda, inter-provincial free trade, nationally consistent public accounting standards, legal liability reform and other financial issues affecting the province's competitiveness. CAs from communities across Ontario are also available to comment on this issue from the local perspective.

The issues:

- Inter-provincial free trade: This is a hot topic among Premiers right now. They seek agreements to lower barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility by standardizing legislation and regulations across provinces. When it comes to labour mobility and professional standards, however, the risk is a "race to the bottom" where the lowest professional standards in any one province could become the minimum acceptable standards in all provinces, resulting in a hit to Ontario's competitive edge against our major trading partners. Ontario CAs say it's time to ensure our professional standards continue to meet or exceed international expectations.

- Nationally consistent public accounting standards: Right now in Canada (and unlike our major trading partners, such as the United States), the rules for public accounting qualification and conduct are a "patchwork quilt" ranging from internationally recognized high standards in some provinces to fewer or no standards in others. Ontario CAs say it's time for nationally consistent public accounting standards for this vital professional service, which assures investors and lenders that a company's financial statements are accurately presented - because investor confidence is key to our competitiveness.

- Legal liability reform: Under Ontario's current, antiquated legal liability system, a party just one per cent responsible for a financial loss can be held responsible for fully 100 per cent of a claim. This threat is increasingly shutting off access to vital financial and accounting services for businesses of every size and, with it, access to the investment capital they need to grow and create jobs. Ontario CAs say our competitiveness depends on legal liability reforms like those underway among our major trading partners.

More information on the CA Competitiveness Agenda is available upon request.

About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario:

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario's more than 32,000 CAs and 4,000 CA students. Since 1879, the Institute has protected the public interest through the CA profession's high standards of qualification and the enforcement of its rules of professional conduct. Recognized internationally, the CA designation denotes financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight and leadership. The Institute website is: www.icao.on.ca and the student website is www.ca2b.biz.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to schedule an interview with
    Brian Hunt or a CA in your community, please contact:
    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
    Perry Jensen
    (416) 969-4271 or 1-800-387-0735 ext. 271
    Email: pjensen@icao.on.ca