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The role of public sector professionals can be challenging as financial resources are decreasing while the expectations to deliver are increasing. To be financially sustainable, you not only need the resources to sustain, but the expertise to prosper when faced with the latest external pressures and mandates. Join us on January 22 in Ottawa and learn how to overcome the top challenges facing today’s public sector professionals. This year's conference theme is Overcoming Obstacles, Developing Grit and Embracing Risk.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

*Discounted room rate is expiring on December 20th. Please make sure to reserve your room before this deadline to get the best rate.

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Conference Welcome Remarks

Warren Weeks, Media Training Coach, Conference Speaker, Podcast Host & Entrepreneur

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Opening Keynote Session

The Current State of Canadian Affairs: An Overview of Business, Political, and Economic Trends

Nik Nanos, Canada’s Leading Pollster and Research Expert; Chief Data Scientist & Founder of Nanos Research

If you had access to a massive amount of data about Canada and Canadians, what would you do with it? Nik Nanos, Head of Nanos Research, is here to distil a tidal wave of data into need-to-know information for this sector.
His insights will provide a glimpse into the current state of Canada's affairs in business, politics, and economics, and how we match up against the rest of the world. As the head of one of Canada’s most distinguished research companies, Nik will contextualize contemporary political issues and his public opinion research for CPA industry leaders like you. His analysis will directly apply to your understanding of the market, including:

  • How to build trust when belief in traditional institutions is at an historic lowt
  • Ways to avoid unforced errors at a time when communication is increasingly complex
  • How to future-proof your organization when uncertainty and unpredictability dominate

9:35 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Fireside Chat

In Conversation with Steve Paikin: Ontario’s Current Affairs, Politics, and In-depth News

Luca Bucci, VP, Public Policy & Government Relations, CPA Ontario

Steve Paikin, Canadian Journalist, Author, and Documentary Producer

Steve Paikin is a Canadian journalist, author, producer, and anchor of TVO's flagship current affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Since joining TVO in 1992, he has produced several feature documentaries, and has sat in the anchor chair for more than two decades.

As a leading media figure on the Canadian political landscape, Steve has acted as moderator for six federal and provincial election leaders’ debates. He is also the author of four books on Canadian politics.

In this session, CPA Ontario’s VP of Government Affairs, Luca Bucci, will sit down with Steve for a candid chat about the state of politics and government in Canada and Ontario, including:

  • Steve’s unique perspective on Ontario's most powerful political leaders, including John Robarts, Bill Davis, Frank Miller, David Peterson, Bob Rae, Mike Harris, Ernie Eves, Dalton McGuinty, and Kathleen Wynne

10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Networking Coffee Break & Book Signing with Steve Paikin

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Technology & Innovation Stream

Public Sector Finance Trends

Jennifer Teoh, CPA, CA, Senior Manager, Assurance Services, Deloitte Canada

Shelley Spence, CPA CA, Director, Audit & Assurance , Public Sector at Deloitte Canada

Demands for near real-time reporting and insights. Ever-evolving compliance requirements. No wonder finance today is challenged with simply keeping pace — let alone moving forward.

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 you pass up these opportunities?

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 & Future of Work Stream

Employment 2030: Changes Impacting the Future of Employment

Heather Russek, Author, Turn & Face the Strange; Director, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

Jessica Thornton, Lead Author, Turn & Face the Strange; Senior Projects Designer and Employment in 2030 Project Advisor, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

On behalf of Ryerson University’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E), Heather Russek and Jessica Thornton will join us to highlight key findings from their report, Turn and Face the Strange. They will also explore how we can leverage technology to transform the way we work.

This session will cover:

  • How policymakers, researchers, and academics can come together to address how Canada can stay ahead of the curve
  • Tips for identifying key factors affecting the future of work
  • Ways to use technology to enable knowledge transfer
  • How to use trends to our advantage

Technical & Compliance Stream

Update from CPA Ontario: Title Protection in Ontario and What It Means for CPAs

Luca Bucci, VP, Public Policy & Government Relations, CPA Ontario

In its 2019 budget, the Ontario Government announced that it would be restricting the titles of “financial advisor” and “financial planner” to individuals holding a recognized credential. This is widely considered to be a step in the right direction — consumers can have confidence that their financial planner or advisor are properly accredited individuals. However, there are many unanswered questions — most notably, how does this impact CPAs?

Our Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy will take you through the legislations and explain the impact it will have on CPAs across the province.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Networking Luncheon featuring keynote address by the Ministry of Finance

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Technology & Innovation Stream

Application of AI to Government Finance and Audit

John Craig, Director, Government & Integration Partnerships, Mindbridge Ai

Financial data is being created exponentially, and current financial management and audit processes are failing to detect errors, omissions, and fraud — together referred to as financial anomalies. Today, only specially trained analysts are able to review and detect financial anomalies, creating a resource bottleneck.

AI allows for the democratization of analytics, allowing all financial managers and auditors to leverage analytics without specialized training. Not only that, but AI is 10-30x more effective at detecting financial anomalies than current accounting methods. This session will cover:

  • How AI provides a way for finance officers to detect financial anomalies (fraud and mistakes) before the audit process
  • How auditors can more rapidly perform audits, and focus on risky transactions, with the help of AI
  • Current use cases of AI in government, and how the government finance and accounting world is embracing this change

People & Future of Work Stream

People Leadership in the Digital Age

Sherry Sharpe, President, Financial Management Institute Capital Chapter

With our next generation of employees and managers now firmly established in the workplace, we will take a look at how technology is and can be leveraged further to enhance productivity, quality of work/life balance and the careers of the future. We will discuss how to manage employees in a virtual environment; quality and productivity of work products; and how to keep employees engaged and motivated in a work environment.

Technical & Compliance Stream

Hot Topics in Public Sector Accounting

Matt Colley, CPA, CA, Partner, Audit & Assurance, Deloitte Canada

This session will focus on key accounting topics that are ‘must-knows’ for public sector finance leaders, including:

  • Practical strategies for implementation
  • PS 3280 Asset retirement obligations
  • PS 3450 Financial instruments
  • PS 3400 Revenue

2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Short Refreshment Break/Switch Rooms

2:10 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Technology & Innovation Stream

How Finance and Accounting Professionals Can Facilitate Innovation

Edward Robertson expert in Enterprise Risk Management, innovation, strategic planning and program implementation

Professionals in finance, accounting, and risk management have been exploring the deepening of their own roles to add value to the business. The key question is: How can CPAs facilitate the innovation process, either for their clients or for their own organizations? Edward Robertson takes an incremental, low-risk approach to this new role.

Participants will learn the answers to these important questions in the innovation process:

  • Self Assessment. What are my attributes as a creative person? How can I prepare to facilitate the process?
  • Organizational Assessment. What are the organization’s characteristics that signify readiness for innovation?
  • Innovation Targets. What are the most profitable innovation targets, and how can I execute on ideation and greenhousing of new artefacts? How can we better understand the most high-profile innovations; i.e., IT applications?
  • Successful Innovation Management. What is the “implementation gap” and how can I bridge it to help ensure successful innovation? What are the roles of agile, lean start-up, strategic planning and risk assessment?

People & Future of Work Stream

Making Remote Work Work for Your Organization: Achieve the Benefits and Avoid the Pitfalls

Jane Watson, Senior People Partner, Klick

Remote work offers businesses and workers many advantages, but we often fail to fully capitalize on them. Organizations often take the approach of simply 'translating' their existing way of working into a virtual context, overlooking the challenges and opportunities specific to remote work.

Taking a step back to both reconsider the problem we’re trying to solve, and view our work practices and processes through a remote lens can increase the odds of building effective remote teams.

In this session, Jane Watson will share:

  • Insights from her experience as an HR leader and consultant in both fully and partly remote organizations
  • Tips for catching and correcting red flags early on
  • The latest research on effective remote teams

Technical & Compliance Stream

PSAB Update

Michael Puskaric, MBA, CPA, CMA, Director, Public Sector Accounting Standards, Public Sector Accounting Board

The session will provide up-to-date information with the current standards coming into effect and the upcoming proposals. Topics will include PSAB’s International strategy, Government Not-for-Profit Strategy and Public Private Partnerships. In the end, participants should have the knowledge and skills they need to assess new standards and be aware of emerging issues in public sector financial reporting.

3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Short Refreshment Break/Switch Room

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote Session

Best Practices in Crisis Communications for Public Sector Leaders

Warren Weeks, Media Training Coach, Conference Speaker, Podcast Host & Entrepreneur

In business, you can’t sweep bad news under the carpet. Failing to acknowledge a crisis or claim — whether true or false — can have a devastating impact on your organization.

In this session, learn how to prepare for the worst BEFORE a crisis hits so you can communicate the issue and solution effectively — to your customers, clients, social media following, and even the press.

Warren Weeks will cover the eight steps that must be part of your organization’s crisis communications strategy, and will explore the mistakes (and successes) of other organizations that have dealt with a crisis.

You will learn:

  • What needs to be done in those first critical hours after a crisis
  • How to establish a communications plan, while handling media relations aspect, social media, and more
  • The principles of effective crisis communications, as demonstrated by some of the world’s leading brands

4:20 p.m. – 5:05 p.m.

Closing Keynote Session

The Role of Public Sector and Finance Leaders in Canada’s Economic Future

Nicole Verkindt, Tech Entrepreneur; Founder, OMX; Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner; Previously a “Dragon” on CBC’s Next Gen Den

As the newly appointed Co-Chair of the Business Council of Canada Task Force on Canada’s Economic Future, Nicole Verkindt will be discussing the key elements public sector and not-for-profit organizations require to thrive today, while considering ways to make Canada more competitive around the world. De-regulation, tax policy changes, embracing innovation, and more will all be key to Canada’s economic future, including:

  • The importance of business acumen and strategic business leadership skills in facilitating change
  • Becoming a change agent, including best practices in managing senior stakeholders and board members When to give and take control within a conversation
  • How to develop grit, overcome obstacles, and embrace risk in uncertain times
  • What you can do today to make a difference tomorrow

5:05 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

Closing Conference Remarks

5:20 p.m. – 6:20 p.m.

Networking Cocktail Reception


Novotel Ottawa
Phone: 613-230-3033
Email: groupreservations@novotelottawa.com
Booking Code: 900954
Booking Name: CPA Ontario

*Discounted room rate is expiring on December 20th. Please make sure to reserve your room before this deadline to get the best rate.