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CPABC Nexus DaysDate: December 13, 2023
Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver


Eligible CPD Hours: 7
Course Fee: $425
PD Passport Valid: 12 credits


We are undergoing a fourth industrial revolution, and the pace of change has never been faster. In order to stay abreast of change, we must be willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Moving Forward – join us for an entertaining and insightful day of professional development that will help you navigate and exciting, unknown future with confidence.

Now is the time to connect with peers and explore new ideas with sessions on emotional literacy, ChatGPT, financing strategies, leading change and much more. 

Register Today

Nexus Day Agenda

8:30 am - 8:35 amWelcome and Introductory Remarks

8:35 am - 9:55 am

The Business of Learning: Preparing Your Mind for the Future

Terry Small, BEd, MA 

The success you achieve in life depends on the knowledge you possess. But today, with vast amounts of information pouring in every minute from hundreds of sources, acquiring the knowledge you need has become a major challenge. This session gives you clear and practical ideas to help you learn anything better, easier, faster - and to help you master the skills of absorbing, retaining and using knowledge more effectively.

In this humorous, results-oriented seminar, you will learn how to:

  • Overcome limiting beliefs that block your ability to learn and to succeed;
  • Set up a "brain friendly" environment that supports learning and work;
  • Reduce stress from information overload;
  • Read faster and remember more
  • Think more creatively
  • Take amazing notes; and
  • The #1 skill that experts agree is the most crucial to your success

9:55 am - 10:10 amBreak

10:10 am - 11:20 am

ESG Reporting Developments in 2023
Note: This breakout contains 70 minutes of ethics content

Caren Lomboard, CFA, CPA, CA, MCom

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It is a key area of focus for investors, regulators, and standard setters.This session will provide an overview of the recent developments in sustainability reporting. 

Specifically, we will look into the International Sustainability Standard Board’s (ISSB) recently released S1 and S2 standards and consider the impact on companies required to report. We will take a step back to see how existing reporting under TCFD and SASB can tie into the S1 and S2 standards and discuss the ‘Climate First’ financial materiality approach followed. A brief look at other jurisdictions such as the UK, EU and US will provide insights into the sustainability reporting landscape beyond Canada, and will uncover the double materiality approach followed in the EU. 

Key takeaways from this session:

  • An up-to-date understanding of the new standards, frameworks and regulations around sustainability 
  • A list of resources to learn more about the topic

Finding Success in Today’s Job Market

Mark Fenwick, MA, CPE

Today’s job market is challenging for employers, with low vacancy and new expectations from job seekers. This session will give you an understanding of the current hiring landscape for accounting professionals in BC, and how to attract and retain the best talent.

It will also help you make the most of your job search, whether you’re just starting out in your accounting career, or a seasoned professional exploring new opportunities. Finding success in today’s job market can be challenging without the right strategy. We’ll cover effective, relevant job search techniques and current market trends to prepare you for your next career move.

In this session, you will learn: 

  • How to access the ‘hidden’ job market
  • How to maximize LinkedIn’s potential as a candidate
  • Network building tips + how to make the most of your network
  • Best practices for navigating the current hiring landscape

Generative AI is Here: How tools like ChatGPT will transform your business

Mary Carmichael, MBA, CPA, ICD.D, CRISC, CISA

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT have the potential to transform your business. Join us to explore ChatGPT’s capabilities, risks and benefits and why businesses need to take proactive steps to stay competitive.

Gain practical guidance on achieving AI readiness and establishing responsible AI frameworks.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover diverse ChatGPT applications in areas like marketing, customer service, knowledge management, legal services, and risk management, and better understand how these applications can provide a competitive advantage 
  • Learn about strategies to address challenges in Generative AI utilization, such as the lack of skilled talent, regulatory implications, and limited understanding of the technology
  • Discuss real-world examples and success stories and gain practical insights to drive innovation, enhance decision-making, and stay ahead in an AI-driven business landscape
  • Explore the importance of responsible AI frameworks in managing risks and ensuring ethical AI practices for automated decision making and content creation.
  • Take practical steps for achieving AI readiness, including fostering a culture of AI-driven innovation and collaboration

11:20 am - 11:45 amBreak

11:45 am - 12:55 pm

Driving Innovation through Tax Policy

Joanne Hausch, CPA, CA, ICD.D

The topic of Business and Innovation is important for Canada and its position in the global economy. Investment in R&D is considered to be a driver of a healthy economy, and Canada consistently lags behind its global peers.

As we address climate change, a challenging economy, and the continuing evolution of technology, government seeks to support innovation through direct funding, tax incentives, supports for education and other means. We will discuss the current government policies related to innovation and consider how Canadian companies can use these to advance their businesses.

Fostering “Deep Work” in a Distracted World

Scott Orth, Resiliency and Mindfulness Coach

Do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you accomplished nothing of meaning? We’ve all been there, caught up in the busyness of responding to internal and external clients, managing our inbox, and meeting deadlines. Yet consistently prioritizing responsiveness over focus limits our potential. 

You need to go deep to be your most productive, and to thrive and innovate in a rapidly changing world. And you need to do this in an environment that is constantly whirring with distractions and fracturing your focus.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why “Deep Work”* is so important for CPAs today
  • The neuroscience behind what limits or challenges our ability to consistently perform “Deep Work”
  • How to train the skill to focus longer and with greater concentration
  • How to do “Deep Work” (and there’s more than one way)
  • How to leverage the hybrid workplace for greater focus and “Deep Work”
  • How to give your brain what it needs so that it is better prepared to do the heavy lifting of “Deep Work”

* the term “Deep Work” was first coined by computer science professor and author Cal Newport

Keeping Up with Excel

Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA

You probably use Excel every day, but how up to date are your skills? For the past 10 years, Microsoft has been improving Excel in leaps and bounds, adding new features regularly to allow you to do more complicated analysis quicker than ever before. In this session, Ken will walk you through some of the key features that have been added, and how they can change your life!

Tools you will learn about in this session include:

  • Excel’s game-changing “Power” features
  • Multi-user collaboration
  • New formulas
  • The evolving role of AI
12:55 pm - 1:55 pmLunch Break

1:55 pm - 3:05 pm

Ethical Leadership During Transformational Change
Note: This breakout contains 70 minutes of ethics content

Donna Porter, CPA, CMA 

How can leaders support their teams during change to ensure transformation and innovation are successful? Instill trust? Mutual respect? Collaboration? Encourage diverse points of view? Join us as we first review ethical leadership and how it impacts a team environment. 

We’ll explore transformational change and the challenges and benefits of leading ethically. Through a case study, we will explore:

  • The importance of building an ethical culture
  • Why transparency and open communication are critical
  • Team empowerment
  • How to effectively lead by example
  • How to support employees through change

During the session, you will build an action plan for use in your organization. Participants will leave with a helpful checklist to guide them through a business change.

The Power of Purpose

Nicole Porter, Stress Coach, Wellness Educator, Nutritionist, Speaker

Have you ever considered that a purpose, a sense of direction, and a clearly defined vision could influence your health?

Presenting leading edge content and advice, Nicole uses The Hidden Stress Framework, client research, and scientific evidence to demonstrate that a higher sense of purpose in life is associated with less stress and anxiety, better sleep and mood, and reduced risk of chronic disease, drug use, and mortality.

By the end of the session, you’ll discover that getting and staying healthy starts by designing a life you love and living that life – on purpose.

Rethinking Imposter Syndrome: Why Capable People Feel Like Imposters and What to Do About It

Carrie Gallant, JD         

Millions of people – CEOs, managers, entry-level professionals, tech professionals and creatives – secretly worry they’re not as smart or talented as other people “think” they are. It's called the impostor syndrome and it impacts both individuals and their organization.

Left unchecked, it can lead to costly consequences not only for individuals but for their organizations as well. Fortunately, there is a solution.

In this surprisingly upbeat session, you’ll discover what impostor syndrome is and who is most susceptible. As importantly, you’ll walk away with practical, immediately usable tools to help yourself and/or the people you lead, manage, mentor, teach, or parent.  

You don’t have to identify with impostor syndrome to benefit from this session. If you lead, manage, mentor, or train others, you need to understand impostor syndrome and how it intersects with diversity and inclusion.

3:05 pm - 3:20 pmBreak

3:20 pm - 4:40 pm

Economic Update: What’s in Store for 2024

Rosanne Horner, MBA

This session will provide an overview of the economy, in BC, Canada and abroad. Learn how inflation, higher interest rates and the resulting economic slowdown have changed our business environment. Participants will also discover how businesses can forge a path forward in a context marked by labour shortages and global uncertainties.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover the key trends that will put pressure on the business costs of Canadian entrepreneurs in the coming years
  • Find out how to pivot businesses quickly to get out of low-value work and protect your profit margins
  • Discuss how to manage rising costs in the current economic situation

4:40 pm - 5:00 pm

Speakers Corner & Prize Draws

Register Today

Mary Carmichael, MBA, CPA, ICD.D, CRISC, CISA, Managing Director of Risk Advisory at Momentum Technology, specializes in converting technology disruption challenges into opportunities.

With 15 years of experience, her expertise encompasses risk assessment of emerging technologies, IT governance optimization, and managing organizational change across sectors including higher education, utilities, government, and energy. 

Mary is an active member of ISACA's International Risk Advisory Committee and the Emerging Trends Working Group, focusing on the implications of Generative AI. As a speaker and contributor to ISACA’s white paper on ChatGPT applications, she offers balanced insights into AI challenges and opportunities.

Aranka Anema, PhD - CPABC Business and Innovation Speaker

Mark Fenwick, MA, CPE, is Senior Vice President, Corporate + Professional Services at Impact Recruitment. Mark is a recruitment professional with over 15 years of industry experience, providing temporary, permanent, managed service, contingent workforce and outsource solutions in both the UK and Canada.

Mark played an integral role in the initial development of Impact Recruitment’s Corporate + Professional Services teams, including our accounting and public practice groups. He continues to be a driving force behind the expansion of these areas of the business. In his current position, Mark manages and provides mentorship to a large team of recruitment specialists and business developers within our Corporate + Professional Services teams.

By prioritizing long-term relationships with clients and key industry organizations, Mark’s partnership approach to professional recruitment has enabled him to grow the team significantly, by expanding into new niche markets and servicing an increasing number of clients across Canada.

Aranka Anema, PhD - CPABC Business and Innovation Speaker

Carrie Gallant, JD, is an executive leadership coach, and co-author of “Conversation Secrets for Tomorrow’s Leaders: 21 Obvious Secrets Leaders Do Not Use Enough”. As a former lawyer and executive, she truly understands the challenges many leaders navigate.

Carrie weaves psychology, neuroscience, and improvisation with strategy as she inspires and empowers her clients to think bigger, negotiate more powerfully and step up into greater influence and impact. 

Carrie is a Licensed Associate with the Impostor Syndrome Institute™, a Positive Intelligence® Coach, and certified in Conversational Intelligence® and Authentic Leadership for Teams®. Her work has been featured in Cosmo Magazine,,,, The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, and on News1130/680News and CBC Radio.

Joanne Hausch, CPA, CA, ICD.D is a recognized expert in the field of government incentives and taxation. She is a retired tax partner and senior member of the Deloitte LLP Global Investments and Innovation Incentives team.

She continues to write and teach tax courses focused on SR&ED and other government incentives that support innovation. She also serves as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee for a BC Crown Agency and volunteers for a number of non-profit organizations including Catalyste+ (formerly Canadian Executive Services Overseas).

Rosanne Horner, MBA, is Vice President, South Fraser Region at BDC. She is passionate about the development and success of Canadian entrepreneurs. With over 17 years of experience at BDC, she has helped grow companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries.

Rosanne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from the University of Hertfordshire (UH) and a Management Certificate from BCIT in Human Resources.

Caren Lombard, CFA, CPA, CA, MCom is a lecturer at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. She is a CPA and CFA and has worked in post-secondary education since 2012. Caren started her career at Deloitte in South Africa. In 2000 she moved to Canada, where she worked in the finance industry providing entrepreneurs with mezzanine and growth capital financing.

Caren’s focus area of interest, within finance and accounting, is sustainability. She developed a new course for Sauder – Climate-focused ESG reporting and analysis. Caren is pursuing the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential and she is part of the 2023/2024 cohort of the Accounting4Sustainability Academy.

Scott Orth is a mindfulness coach and trainer, who gives CPAs the tools they need to delete the overwhelm, focus on what matters most and drive their future.

He gives them strategies to respond to the challenges in their day more mindfully, allowing them to be more focused, productive and happier with the life they are living. Scott was previously the National Leader of HR for one of Canada’s largest employee-owned engineering and science consulting organizations and thoroughly enjoys the challenge of working with analytical, critical thinkers.

Donna Porter, CPA, CMA is an associate with Gratitude Learning Associates Ltd. She brings over 32 years of experience from financial management roles, teaching, public speaking and volunteer positions.

Donna’s career spans private sector and government, with executive level positions including corporate controller in private industry, director and executive director in government, and CFO of a large provincial government ministry. Donna served on the Financial Curriculum Advisory Committee for the BC Public Service. She has taught ethics and senior level financial management courses to government employees for over 13 years, and accounting courses to college students for 9 years. Donna’s zest for life is infectious and spills over in her enthusiasm as a trainer.

Donna is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) and holds various certificates including the Toastmasters International ATM Silver, CFO’s Leadership Program Certificate, and Strategic Management Certificate.

David Williams

Nicole Porter is a Stress Coach and Wellness Educator helping busy professionals understand and overcome the Top 10 Unhealthy Habits that add Hidden Stress to the body, and prevent optimal physical and mental health.

Having overcome her own health challenges with natural therapies, Nicole combines personal experience with formal education in nutrition, exercise, habit change, and stress reduction to provide individuals and businesses with a holistic, informative and modern approach to wellness.

David Williams

Ken Puls, FCPA, FCMA, is a world respected speaker, trainer, author, blogger and community leader when it comes to self-service business intelligence using Microsoft tools.

With over 20 years of corporate accounting and IT experience behind him, Ken founded Excelguru Consulting Inc and Skillwave.Training whose goals are to help users get the most out of Microsoft Excel and Power BI. An expert in his field, Ken has received many accolades including the prestigious Microsoft MVP award, which he has been re-awarded each year since 2006.

David Williams

Terry Small, B.Ed., M.A., is a master teacher and Canada's leading learning skills specialist. He is the author of the Brain Bulletin with over 35,000 subscribers worldwide. Terry has presented on the brain for over 34 years to over 300,000 people in organizations around the world.

His knowledge, warmth, humour and dynamic presentation style have made him a much sought-after speaker at workshops and conferences. Terry often appears on TV, radio, and in the press. He recently appeared on BCTV, Global, CKNW and Student Success. His presentations are practical and based on the latest brain science.

Register Today