CPA Ontario's Conference for Controllers

MAR 26 - Mar 27, 2019

The International Centre, Mississauga


MAR 26 - MAR 27



8:00 AM - 4:00 PM




18 Hours


0 Hours


Registration closed on

Mar 25, 2019


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Join us alongside hundreds of other Financial Controllers from various industries for a two-day event designed to help you stay up to date on the latest trends, requirements, and insights impacting Controllers. An enticing selection of panel debates, keynote presentations from top industry experts, and various networking opportunities will give you the chance to discuss your burning questions with like-minded peers.

The challenges facing today’s Controller are diverse. From the impacts of tech and digitization trends, to the changing business and legislative landscape, to dealing with HR and people-related matters, we need to be equipped with both the soft skills and technical skills to succeed. For this reason, this year's conference includes new streams that focus on technology, people leadership, and compliance and legislation.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:55 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Conference Welcome Remarks

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


Economic Mega-Trends and Their Impact on Businesses and Finance Leaders

James Orlando, Senior Economist, TD Bank

Economic globalization, digital disruption, large-scale demographic shifts, and technological advances will continue to change the way businesses work and operate. In this session, a prominent Canadian economist will discuss latest macroeconomic developments, including guidance on how business and finance leaders can succeed during this crucial time of change. Walk away with:

  • An overview of global, Canadian, and regional economic trends
  • An understanding of the recent developments and innovations that are significant to Canada’s economy and finance markets
  • Overall general trends and how they impact people and companies
  • Practical strategies for managing change and adapting to the new environment

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


How Controllers Can Disrupt Before They are Disrupted

Shawn Kanungo, Innovation Strategist; General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Top 40 under 40; Inc. Magazine’s 100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers in 2018

Disruptive innovations: opportunity, threat… or a bit of both? In this session, a globally recognized strategist who has helped hundreds of organizations on their journey to digital transformation will share the inside scoop with you. You will learn:

  • Latest technology trends and their impact on businesses and companies
  • How these innovations and technological advances are impacting the world of accounting and finance?
  • How controllers can become better business partners in the world of AI, automation, and digital disruption
  • How to use technology as an opportunity to drive efficiencies and results in your organization

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Networking Refreshment Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions (Please select one)

Technology Stream

Finance Trends: Accelerating the Digital Controllership

Janine Moir, Manager, Assurance & Blockchain Co-Lead, Deloitte Canada

With demands for near real-time reporting and insights, and the ever-evolving compliance requirements, finance today is challenged with simply keeping pace - let alone moving itself ahead. For finance to truly elevate itself, it must embrace digital and capitalize on the technologies that power it.

But what impacts do these emerging technologies have on your current people and processes? Where do you begin? And what will happen if finance passes on its opportunity to embrace digital technologies?

This interactive breakout session has the answers. You will learn:

  • The latest trends that are impacting finance today, with a focus on the core impact of finance: the controllership function
  • How automation and RPA can help accelerate the key processes that reside there
  • Other emerging finance technology disruptors, and the opportunities they represent for finance
  • How to get started to ensure your finance organization is not left behind

People Leadership Stream

The ROI of a Mentally Healthy Workplace

Angela Champ, SVP, People & Culture, Prospera Credit Union

Absenteeism, low morale, high turnover, and disability claims. These issues not only affect productivity, but also negatively impact your organization’s reputation and bottom line. Creating a workplace where employees feel psychologically safe can increase discretionary effort, retention, and engagement — with a 10X return on your investment.

This session will explore no-cost, low-cost, and high-cost initiatives you can introduce to help give your organizational results a boost.

You will learn:

  • The hidden costs of psychologically unsafe work environments
  • Steps an organization can take to impact psychological well-being
  • Initiatives that will positively affect your organizational results

Compliance & Legislation Stream

Top Employment Law Developments to Know in 2019

Jordan Rodney, President, MaxPeople; Founder, Rodney Employment Law

From "Hello Bill 148" to "Goodbye Bill 148" — and everything in between — it is now more important than ever to stay abreast of legislative changes as they occur.

Join this session to see what’s in store for your workplace from an Employment Law standpoint and make sure you don't miss out on any key updates. You’ll walk away with a clear understanding of what changes took place in 2018, resulting in a better prepared year ahead.

You will learn:

  • Key case legislative changes and decisions over the past year, including Bill 148, Doug Ford’s Bill 47, the Legalization of Cannabis, and recent court decisions
  • How these developments and cases could impact your workplace
  • Ways to prepare your organization to be fully compliant

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions (Please select One)

Technology Stream

How to Manage Technology Implementation and Ensure Its Success

Gillian Martin, CPA, CGA, Partner, BDO Canada LLP

Is your organization considering a technology implementation to support growth, reduce costs, or improve operational efficiency?

Before you start implementing any changes, why not hear what a speaker with a unique combination of financial fundamentals and technology experience has to say about it? Join Gillian Martin to learn about some pitfalls and best practices to ensure project success.

Walk away from this session with:

  • Practical advice for the technology implementation of business applications
  • A better understanding of the barriers to implementation, how to get through them, and how to get started
  • A good idea of the main areas of a technology implementation and what to watch for as your implementation progresses
  • A “To Do” list to get started with your implementation — before even selecting a solution or an implementation partner.

People Leadership Stream

Best Practices in Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing Top Talent

Derek Wood, CPA, CA, Regional Vice President, Robert Half Canada

For a company or department to be successful, it must have a highly skilled team. Yet finding and keeping top talent can be challenging, especially in today’s tight job market for finance and accounting professionals.

This presentation offers:

  • Advice on maximizing your recruitment process
  • Tips on evaluating finance and accounting applicants, and finalizing your hiring decision
  • Useful techniques for motivating and managing your employees

Compliance & Legislation Stream

Upcoming Accounting Changes that Controllers Need to Know About

Jane Bowen, FCPA, FCA, Professional Development Consultant and Senior Lecturer, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

IFRS and ASPE standards are always evolving! Join Jane Bowen, professional development consultant and university lecturer, for updates on both standards. This session will explore financial accounting changes that controllers need to know about.

This is your opportunity to gain:

  • A quick snapshot of the latest changes to standards
  • Insight into other updates to keep your eye on in 2019 and beyond

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Networking Refreshment Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Closing Keynote

Winning Body Language of Leaders

Mark Bowden, Internationally Renowned Keynote Speaker; Voted #1 in the World's Top 30 Body Language Professionals

The way an audience thinks about your ideas, plans, and organization is affected by how they react to your leadership and communication style.

In this inspirational and highly entertaining keynote presentation, Mark Bowden shows us how to put our best selves forward through superior communication skills. Learn techniques to inspire, build trust, and earn credibility — every time you present.

A go-to commentator for world media on the body language of leading politicians and public figures, Mark appears regularly on news shows for CNN, CTV, CBC, and Global TV, and is quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and GQ Magazine. He can be seen regularly on daytime TV as Body Language expert for Canadian Broadcaster CTV’s The Social. Mark continues to reach millions of people through his highly acclaimed TEDx talk and YouTube Channel.

His talk will cover topics like:

  • How to build trust and gain credibility every time you speak
  • Ways to look and feel your most confident
  • Techniques for improving your self-awareness and executive presence
  • Powerful structures that result in a leadership presence and influence your audience’s action

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Networking Cocktail Reception

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:55 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Day 2 Welcome Remarks

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


The Intelligence Revolution: Future-Proofing Canada’s Workforce

Stephen Harrington, National Leader, Talent Strategy, Deloitte Canada

The term “Industrial Revolution” conjures images of smoke-belching factories, overcrowded cities, and soulless, repetitive work. While this time in history definitely had its dark side, the Industrial Revolution also generated tremendous wealth and innovation, including the rise of the modern corporation, workplace protections for employees, and fundamental changes in international commerce. Its less obvious contribution? The creation of the very concept of a job: a combination of work tasks, regular hours and specific compensation.

Fast forward 2.5 centuries later, and here we are experiencing yet another revolution. Over the next decade, the future of work will be shaped by a new force, and it will affect the work we do and how we do it, once again changing what a job means. Act boldly now, and you will thrive in this new world of work.

Today’s keynote speaker is Stephen Harrington, co-author of Intelligence Revolution. He has been writing and speaking on the future of work for close to a decade.

This presentation will cover:

  • What Canadians need to succeed in the Intelligence Revolution
  • A series of new work archetypes based on the future-proofed capabilities
  • Recommendations and key considerations for government leaders, businesses, and workers to help put Canada on the path to success

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Strategic Leadership: How Finance Leaders Can Drive Better Business Value


Susan Cox, CPA, Professional Development Consultant


Jeff Kwan, CPA, CA, General Manager, Finance Director (CFO), Weir Minerals Canada

Hitesh Peshavaria, Partner and Ontario Assurance Leader, Deloitte Canada

Robyn Brading, CPA, CGA, Controller, Kinaxis

Want to become a strategic business partner and drive higher business value? Whether your goal is to better understand the needs of your business, or if you aim to change the perception of accounting and finance functions at your organization, our panel of cross-industry finance leaders and CPAs has the answers. They will teach you:

  • How to go from operational leader to strategic leader
  • What CEOs, the board, and other senior management expect from finance leaders
  • Techniques for building strong alliances with other departments, and how to strengthen existing relationships
  • The role of technology in elevating finance function
  • Leaderships skills of the future, and why you need them in light of automation

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Networking Refreshment Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions (Please select one)

Technology Stream

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Making Sense of Their Role in Finance and Accounting

Kesem Frank, Founder, Mavennet; Co-Founder, AION Network

We’ve all heard the hype — the constant chatter about how “bitcoin,” “blockchain,” and “cryptocurrency” are technologies of the future.

But is it only hype? Important forces in the financial services and accounting industries are beginning to pay attention.

We cannot ignore cryptocurrencies and blockchain any longer.

Join expert speaker Kesem Frank for a no-nonsense explanation on the basics of blockchain and beyond... and what it all means for CPAs and finance leaders. You will learn:

  • What is blockchain and how it relates to accounting and finance
  • Examples of early adopters of blockchain
  • Blockchain for enhanced reporting
  • How blockchain will change the way we work and do business
  • How companies are using blockchain to drive business performance

People Leadership Stream

Is the Annual Employee Engagement Survey Dead? 2019 Trends in Hearing the Voice of Employees

Rob Catalano, Chief Engagement Officer & Co Founder, WorkTango Inc.; Named Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer in 2018

The workforce is becoming more modern in all areas, and “employee voice” is a crucial area deserving of both ingenuity and attention. In order to maintain a workforce environment where employees can be engaged and perform successfully, a new approach to hearing and acting on the voice of employees is being adopted by innovative organizations.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why focusing on a better employee voice strategy is important?
  • The evolution of employee voice, and why certain methods are outdated and no longer adequate on their own
  • Proven, effective methods and practical solutions to supporting an inspirational future for employee voice
  • Examples of companies that are doing employee voice effectively

Compliance & Legislation Stream

Corporate Tax Update 2019

Alex Garber, CPA, CA, MTax, Educator, Senior Tax Manager

Recent changes in the area of taxation could impact a corporation’s fiscal obligations.

Join tax expert and lecturer Alex Garber as he discusses must-know topics for our audience, like how to manage existing provisions with the goal of properly mitigating unnecessary tax costs.

Other topics include:

  • Updates on tax rates and credits, employee taxable benefits, and CCA measures
  • New passive investment income rules for private companies
  • SR&ED developments
  • Changes to CRA's voluntary disclosure program

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions (Please select one)

Technology Stream

Cybersecurity and Data Protection: Mitigating Potential Risks

Imran Ahmad, Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; Specializing in Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Law

Amir Eftekharpour, Privacy, Cyber Security, & Intellectual Property Lawyer, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Increasingly, organizations are concerned about cybersecurity, privacy, and digital matters. Senior leadership teams want to know how their organizations are vetting third-party service providers and implementing best practices to prevent cybersecurity incidents — especially in the finance and accounting industry.

One thing is clear: Data protection is swiftly becoming more important than protecting physical assets.

In this session, our speakers will discuss what sort of cyber threats organizations face, how they can prevent them, and what steps they need to take in the event of cybersecurity incident.

They will also address the following key issues:

  • Common cyber threats facing the financial industry
  • Canadian privacy and data protection laws
  • The pitfalls of outsourcing data processing activities outside of Canada
  • Why protecting confidential and personal information is not just an IT issue
  • Best practices to be implemented prior to a cybersecurity incident
  • How to effectively respond to a cybersecurity incident

People Leadership Stream

Best Practices in Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

Michael French, Regional Vice President, Robert Half Canada

Now more than ever, the workforce is comprised of multiple generations. Each generation has different work styles and values, but ultimately organizations benefit from tapping talent from the collective group.

This presentation explores:

  • Generational behaviours and expectations in the workplace
  • Challenges and opportunities inherent in working across generations
  • Timely advice to help you manage and retain members of all generations

Compliance & Legislation Stream

How to Score Top Controller Jobs in the GTA and What They Pay

Kevin Jeewan, CPA, CGA, Vice President, Permanent & Search Services, Lannick

Competition for Controller roles has reached an unprecedented high — what are you doing to stand out from the crowd?

In this session, a prominent recruitment expert will explain how candidates are differentiating themselves to secure Controller positions with Canada’s top employers. Also covered are compensation trends and steps you can take to maximize your base salary.

Walk away with:

  • Insight into what the GTA’s leading hiring managers are looking for in their next Controller
  • Actionable steps to raise your professional profile (and your salary)
  • An understanding of the factors impacting Controller compensation by industry and company size
  • Knowledge of in-demand candidate skill sets and hot industries

2:35 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Closing Keynote

How to Build High-Performance Teams and Drive Purpose-Driven Cultures

Stephen Shedletzky, Head of Brand Voice & Igniter at Simon Sinek

Some workplace cultures are doomed to infighting, fragmentation, and failure — no matter what incentives are offered. So what’s the best way to ensure the very opposite? How do we create united cultures of deeply loyal employees who will stop at nothing to advance your organization’s vision?

Stephen Shedletzky is here to share practical tools and effective ideas. Since 2011, Stephen has worked in partnership with Simon Sinek and his team to help leaders and organizations create more inspiring, safe, fulfilling places to work. Drawing on both his own experience and the concepts in Simon’s books, Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, and The Infinite Game, Stephen will explain how leaders can harness our natural drivers to create purpose-driven cultures that create high-performance teams.

Discuss and discover:

  • Why the purpose that drives an organization is the foundation of a strong workplace culture
  • How leaders are responsible for setting the tone that results in high-performance teams
  • How to embrace an “infinite mindset” with the goal of building stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations
  • How to ensure your organization thrives in today’s unpredictable marketplace — while keeping your people’s best interest at heart

3:50 p.m.

Conference Concludes


Alt Hotel Toronto Hotel

6080 Viscount Rd, Mississauga, ON L4V 0A1

Call – 905-362-4337 or 1-855-855-6080

Email –

Visit – and enter Group Code “1903CPAONT”

Please reserve by March 11, 2019


$920.00 Member

$840.00 Student

$980.00 Public

Status: Registration closed on Mar 25, 2019


The International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1E8