Sessions

We are proud to showcase high-caliber speakers focusing on a number of different technical and soft skill competencies.

Wednesday, June 20

Opening Keynote
Thriving in a World of Rapid Change
Speaker: Janet Bannister
Time: 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Janet Bannister founded Kijiji.ca and built it to be one of the most visited websites in Canada. She is now a Partner at Real Ventures, Canada’s most active venture capital firm, where she invests in young, industry-transforming tech companies. Janet will share her story of going from a 15-year-old girl with a keen interest in business to helping to transform eBay and then becoming one of the most influential people in Canada’s booming tech scene. She will share key principles to grow and thrive in a rapidly changing world and how you can apply these principles to succeed in this fast-paced, dynamic environment. Janet is always authentic, motivating and entertaining. Come learn and be inspired.

Technical Sessions
What Makes an Effective Not-For-Profit Board?
Speaker: Judy Murphy, FCPA, FCA, CEC, CPHR, CMC
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
In today’s environment, the public and key stakeholders are demanding greater accountability, transparency and overall effectiveness from boards of directors. A well-run and effective board is essential to attract and retain the best.

During this interactive session, we will review different types of boards, their attributes and the key pillars to board effectiveness. We will also look at real life board scenarios and their solutions. Bring your own board challenges to share and let’s tackle them together!

Making Strategy Everyone’s Everyday Job
Speaker: Brett Knowles
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Organizations like Google are showing us the benefits of cascading strategy down to the team and individual level. This idea – called Objectives and Key Results (OKR) – has increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, grown profitability and increased customer retention. In this informative session, from real client examples, you will learn:

  • How to cascade your strategy down to the team and individual level
  • How to create empowering OKR
  • How OKR engage employees and drive performance
  • How to manage with OKR

Learn about this leading-edge technique that has proven to be a powerful attractor to millennials and performance enhancer for organizations.

What’s New and Coming in Financial Reporting and Related Engagements
Speaker: Dean Austin, CPA, CA
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This session is designed to review recent revisions to the CPA Canada Handbook–Accounting and Assurance and other practice matters. The focus of the seminar is an overview of new standards issued, projects in progress and new reporting standards. Practice issues identified by practice inspection will also be reviewed.

IoT: A Manitoba Perspective
Speakers: Jay Myshkowsky & Vishwa P. Mootooveeren, CPA, CMA, P Log

Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. With cheaper processors and wireless networks, it’s possible to turn anything, from a pump to an airplane, into part of the IoT.

We think accountants have immense potential to take advantage of these trends, as real-time data can help improve budgeting accuracy and improve cost planning and forecasting. As “things” gain the ability to communicate, scheduling of service downtimes and human resources deployments become cheaper to anticipate and risk becomes easier to manage.

We will have to change our accounting and reporting systems to be able to take advantage of this new world of big data at our fingertips and help our clients do the same. In our view, the accountant of the future will need to be tech-savvy and well versed in the IoT vernacular.

Lunch Roundtables
Time: 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Network with attendees at your table while taking the time to explore and discuss industry hot topics from a variety of perspectives.

Luncheon Keynote
Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It
Speaker: Dr. Valerie Young
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Millions of people from around the world from college students (and their professors), to Academy Award winners, to successful business owners, and executives – even accountants – secretly worry they’re not as smart or talented as other people “think” they are.

It’s called the Impostor Syndrome and it hurts both individuals and the bottom line. Fortunately, there is a cure. In this informative and surprisingly upbeat talk you’ll discover:

• Why bright people feel like frauds
• How your personal Competence Type may be setting you (or your employees) up to fall short
• Unconscious coping strategies “impostors” use to avoid being found out
• The high cost of the impostor syndrome to individuals – and organizations

You’ll walk away with practical, immediately usable strategies to help yourself, your employees, even your children to end needless self-doubt.

Technical Sessions
Legalization of Marijuana & the Workplace
Speaker: Robin Kersey, LLB
Time: 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Session description to follow.

The 21st Century CFO: Thriving Under Pressure
Speaker: Dr. Vijay Jog
Time: 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
You know that you are in-demand across the organization, under the microscope from stakeholders, and are expected to provide insights on business and facing increasing pressure to stay on-top of the latest standards and trends in processes and technology. The CEO and Board want you to – “step out of the box” and be creative. Externally, the media reminds you daily that artificial intelligence and digital transformation are mandatory for the survival of the enterprise.

How you respond to these mounting pressures will influence your future and those around you and your enterprise. There is good news – it is possible for you to make it happen. This session will review:

• Top business pressures haunting 21st century CFO’s
• Seven tried and true techniques for responding to mounting business pressures
• How to change the way you manage the demand on your time
• Real-world business cases that provide methods for reinvigorating yourself as a CFO and gaining control over organizational priorities

By the end of the session, you will have a clear path towards being able to proactively anticipate and get-ahead of business pressures and demands and not be in the reactive mode.

The Psychology of Fraud
Speaker: Jeffrey Gilbert, CPA, CA
Time: 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Session description to follow.

The State of Ransomware
Speaker: Michael Anderson

Time: 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Ransomware (malicious software than encrypts a company’s data until a ransom is paid) presents the single biggest cyber security threat to small and mid-size businesses today. With Canadian firms paying over $6 Million in ransoms in 2017, and nearly half of respondents in a recent survey indicating that they had been targeted by an attack, this is not a threat that can be ignored by business owners and decision makers.

In this session we will cover the current state of ransomware – what we are seeing, how it is growing and changing, and why it continues to be an effective means of extortion by cyber criminals. We will review ransomware infection methods and why traditional means of protection are failing. Finally, we will cover the key steps that firms must take to mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack, contain the damage if an attack does succeed, and to recover quickly.

Technical Sessions
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Speaker: Adrian Frost, LLB
Time: 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Session description to follow.

From CFO to CEO – Knowing When and How to Manage the Transition
Speaker: Dr. Vijay Jog
Time: 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
CFO’s who have been able to leverage their experience working with executives, officers, and a board of directors may be thinking of transitioning to the role of CEO. If you’re ready to take this next step in your career, this session will arm you with everything you need to be aware of.

Drawing on more than thirty-five years of experience working with CEOs and boards, Dr. Vijay Jog will cover specific aspects of the CEO role that go beyond the traditional CFO function and help you visualize how you can prepare yourself to transition into a successful CEO. This session will cover a wide range of topics and will draw from real-world case studies. We will examine:

• Questions to ask when determining if you have the ‘DNA’ to become a CEO
• Challenges and lessons that confront CEOs in their roles
• The leadership attributes and skill competencies needed for a successful CEO
• What boards will demand from CEOs – family owned, private, public
• Overview of the transition to becoming a CEO – from the interview to leadership

This session is geared towards CFOs in mid-market companies who are considering or are interested in knowing more about moving into a CEO role in the future.

A Practitioner’s Perspective on Marketing
Speaker: Jean-Guy Talbot, FCPA, FCGA
Time: 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Promotion of your professional services firm is one of the keys to its success. From an accounting firm owner’s perspective, this workshop will explain why establishing a consistent, relevant and memorable presence in the markets you serve is so important. Participants will learn:

• Answers to key questions about developing your authentic brand and why you should market your professional services firm
• The differences between marketing, communications and public relations efforts and how they overlap
• An overview of how a marketing plan is created
• How to establish a budget for your marketing initiatives
• Ways to measure results of your marketing efforts
• The role company culture plays in marketing
• Practical ways to promote your professional services firm

Cyber Security Beyond the IT Department
Speaker: Michael Anderson
Time: 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
As businesses seek to adopt new technologies and practices (cloud services, BYOD, mobile applications and others), they are being faced with an increasingly complex landscape of cyber security threats. With news headlines detailing network breaches, leaks and data losses, how can companies protect themselves from attacks?

In this session, we will discuss why security cannot be the sole responsibility of the IT department. A company-wide commitment to security best practices, championed and prioritized by leadership is essential. We will discuss the need for a multi-layered defense, including technology-based solutions and business processes, the core elements of a security framework, and some first steps that businesses can take immediately to improve their level of protection.


Thursday, June 21

Optional Early Riser
Making a Difference in Your Community as a CPA
Speaker: Li Zhang
Time: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Session description to follow.

Opening Keynote
The Future of Work is Now – Are You Ready?
Speaker: Cheryl Cran
Time: 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Things are changing rapidly – blockchain, AI, automation and the fight for talent are all challenges and opportunities for the future. There are massive disruptions in the form of financial technology and other technology startups impacting service delivery.

What can CPA’s do to be future ready? Cheryl Cran will share research and tools to help you successfully navigate the future. You will leave this session with:

• Research and statistics on the fast-paced changes affecting the current and future reality of the industry
• A change cycle model that will help you identify where you are on the change cycle as it relates to the pace of technological change
• Ideas and creative solutions on how to collaborate and partner at higher levels
• Stories of organizations leveraging multiple intelligences to create both happier employees and clients
• Strategies that you can implement to make a bigger impact with your teams and clients

Technical Sessions
Evolutionary Leadership: Upgrade Your Leadership OS
Speaker: Cheryl Cran
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
We are living in a time of transformation and you are the transformers! The key skills needed in these fast-moving times are the ability to think fast, make prudent decisions, to test innovative ideas and to collaborate. As much as leaders need to upgrade their technological skills, they also need to upgrade their ‘operating system’, the way the lead and how it impacts people.

This interactive session will focus on the key leadership attributes needed in order to lead now and in the future. You will leave this session with:

• How leadership has evolved over the past few decades ‘then and now’ and why the ‘new’ way to lead is about relating
• How technology has shifted the way work gets done and the different ways that each generation leverages technology to get work done
• The four levels of leadership awareness model that provides tools to elevate your thinking as a leader and help shift from ‘me to we’
• How to leverage multiple intelligences to be a transformational leader

Building Enterprise Performance Dashboards
Speaker: Dr. Vijay Jog
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Changes in the competitive landscape have resulted in increased focus on enterprise performance by senior management and stakeholders. Empirical evidence indicates that successful enterprises are fact based and make decisions based on the right information, at the right time, by the right decision maker. While financial metrics still dominate dashboards, increasing focus has been placed on identifying metrics that go beyond the general ledger. This multi-dimensional view of the enterprise, with both leading and lagging key performance indicators (KPIs), has led many leading organizations to design actionable performance measurement and management frameworks to run their businesses.

This session will provide insights into the usefulness of well-designed dashboards and scorecards for corporations and business units. Through real examples, topics covered will include:

• Enterprise performance challenges
• Designing an enterprise dashboard
• Role of financial and non-financial metrics
• Balanced scorecard (BSC) and logic models
• Leading and lagging indicators
• Dashboards and software
• Real life examples of dashboards – what can we learn from them
• An implementation checklist and best practices

What’s New in Canadian Taxation
Speaker: Brian Anderson, CPA, CA
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This session will review recent tax changes including the new income splitting rules and the 2018 federal budget proposals regarding the “passive income” tax.

Blockchain and Future Commerce
Speaker: Regan McGrath, CPA, CA
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Blockchain is technology with a promise to change the world. In this session, you will learn about blockchain’s distributed ledger design and contemplate examples for its use. We will discuss blockchain’s effects on the financial industry with special focus on ethereum, cryptocurrency, identity and security, and supply chain management. There will also be an examination of the most disruptive examples of blockchain’s use including treasury and money and payments, markets and marketplaces. Current use cases and future commerce trends will be examined to illustrate the disruptive power of this awesome new technology.

Lunch Roundtables
Time: 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Network with attendees at your table while taking the time to explore and discuss industry hot topics from a variety of perspectives.

Luncheon Keynote
CPA Stories
Moderator: Todd Scaletta, FCPA, FCMA
Speakers: Grant Skinner, CPA, CA & Cheryl Zealand, CPA, CA
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Session description to follow.

Technical Sessions
Getting Ready for Generation Z: How Businesses Can Prepare for an Increasingly Multigenerational Workforce
Speaker: Daniel Gravel
Time: 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Experts say by 2020, more than 20 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Generation Z employees. Robert Half has produced new research about this generation, born from 1990 through 1999. This presentation addresses career aspirations, job expectations and concerns of Generation Z as they enter the workforce. The session will provide survey findings and advice to help employers attract and retain this new generation of employees, along with strategies to manage a multigenerational workforce.

In Pursuit of Value Creating Growth: The Dos and Don’ts
Speaker: Dr. Vijay Jog
Time: 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Ask any owner or shareholder what they want from their enterprise. More often than not the response is the need to grow and be even more profitable. In this session, you will discover a systematic approach to both of these demands. You will be able to clearly define and measure “value” and differentiate between levers that are necessary for organic growth and a framework that will allow for successful inorganic growth through mergers and acquisitions. The session will also explore the role of the planning and budgeting process along with the need for a new view of planning and management reporting to allow for tracking and managing successes and failures. Those who are interested in successfully growing their business and creating value should attend this session.

US Tax Reform
Speaker: James McDonald, CPA
Time: 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Session description to follow.

The Future of Accounting
Speaker: Regan McGrath, CPA, CA
Time: 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
In this session, Regan will share her perspective on future accounting trends based on her role as CEO and Founding Partner of Metrics Chartered Professional Accounting, a leading digital firm in Canada. What does the future of our industry look like as robotic process automation, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence enter our world?

Closing Keynote
A Real Cause For Worry: The Anxiety Epidemic
Speaker: Stephen Liptrap
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Morneau Shepell’s President and CEO, Stephen Liptrap, presents a portrait of the anxiety epidemic in the North American workplace. It is a fast-growing mental health crisis evident in rising rates of job dissatisfaction, disability leave and declining productivity. Stephen assesses the causes and symptoms of this anxiety epidemic in context of its human, organizational and economic costs. Looking forward, he outlines a strategy through which organizations can attack this epidemic that involves rethinking the values we hold about work, reducing stigmas associated with anxiety and depression, and improving access to mental health care for workers and their families. As a thought leader on mental health in the workplace, Morneau Shepell today provides 20,000+ organizations and 20 million people worldwide with employee and family assistance plans.