www.lexisnexis.ca Vol. 31, No. 2 February 2015
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Accountant brewing up new career in craft beer

For every payable, receivable and income statement in Mark Murphy’s life, there’s some fermenting, taste testing and brewing.

An accountant by training, he grew tired of wearing a tie every day, commuting for hours and sitting behind a desk.

"I wasn’t looking forward to that for the next 40 years," he says. "I thought ‘if I’m going to work long hours, I might as well work for myself. I like to work with my hands.’"

And so, he put his business attire in the closet, donned his work boots and Left Field Brewery was born. "I thought combining a professional accounting degree with a brewmaster degree would be a pretty good start to opening your own brewery," he said.

Revamp taxation to dual structure, urges economist

Canada’s income tax system is based on a design a half century old that is ill-suited the challenges of today’s economy, according to economist Kevin Milligan, who believes the solution is a dual tax structure that more clearly delineates between employment income and investment-related capital income sources.

Whether or not Milligan’s controversial proposal ends up being accepted, it has already begun to stir serious debate in Canada, which is exactly what the associate professor at the Vancouver School of Economics wants it to do.

"I’m trying to start a conversation on how we can design our tax system to promote both fairness and growth," Milligan said recently at a Toronto lecture sponsored by the C.D. Howe Institute and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Federal asset sale plans sparking debate

The federal government has come under intense criticism from a prominent Canadian economist for announcing projected revenue from anticipated asset sales years in advance of the expected transactions.

Don Drummond, adjunct professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies, said he has long argued that possible asset sales should not be included in budget projections.

"They do not reflect the underlying fiscal situation so add nothing to the information in a budget projection and could even be misleading," said Drummond, formerly senior vice-president and chief economist with TD Bank.

New boss Kirtley at IFAC is a woman of firsts

The incoming president of the International Federation of Accountants says she’s looking forward to making history as she takes office at a time when the IFAC is involved in new projects aimed at bringing the global accounting profession together in innovative ways.

American Olivia Kirtley, elected at the World Congress of Accountants in November, succeeds Warren Allen as the first female president in IFAC history as well as the first representative from business and industry to serve in the position.

"I bring together the perspectives of public accounting, industry and the public sector," she said. Perhaps just as important, Kirtley believes she can inspire other women to reach for leadership positions.

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