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Giving Credit Unions a Voice

11/10/2011


For credit unions, it’s all about community and supporting the private enterprises that allow our communities to thrive. For more than 30 years, MNP has partnered with credit unions to help them achieve these goals. That’s why the firm was instrumental in getting credit union system representation on a committee that plays a key role in shaping accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE).

The Private Enterprise Advisory Committee (PEAC) provides insight to the Accounting Standards Board of Canada (AcSB) on the relevancy of ASPE. It’s made up of volunteers from public practice, industry, academia and lenders who are primary users of private enterprise financial statements. Because of the importance the Board places on input from the lending community, currently, five of the thirteen members of the committee represent this stakeholder group.

Until now, there was no credit union representation on the committee—not in its current incarnation, established in 2010, or previously when a form of the committee helped develop ASPE.

“MNP has a close partnership with Canada’s credit union industry. We’re in the communities they’re in, actively supporting their members and their enterprises. And we know how committed they are to their members and private enterprise,” says Brian Drayton, CA, FCA, CMC, an assurance partner in MNP’s Regina office and a member of the AcSB.

Drayton’s involvement with the board stems from his position with MNP. “MNP focuses on the mid-tier market and to a large degree, on private enterprise. It’s critical to engage in the standard-setting process and lend our expertise to ensuring the relevance of private enterprise financial reporting,” he explains. Knowing that credit unions share MNP’s point of view, he thought they might like a voice on PEAC.

Drayton contacted the national leader of MNP’s Credit Union niche, Annette Kuckartz, CA, who agreed. “Input into ASPE gives credit unions the opportunity to impact the financial statements their members give them,” she says. “I thought this would benefit the credit union system, and also that it would benefit many MNP clients who are credit union members and have their own businesses.”

Kuckartz approached a number of contacts, looking for someone with the interest, experience and knowledge to sit on the committee. Rick Morin answered the call, submitted an application and has now been appointed to PEAC.

Vice president of Business Banking for Conexus, the largest credit union in Saskatchewan with $4.4 billion in assets, Morin has 29 years of experience analyzing financial statements and training others to do so. Like the credit union he works for, which contributed 33,000 hours of volunteer time to Saskatchewan communities last year alone, as well as almost $1.33 million to community activities, Morin is committed to helping communities and the businesses in them thrive. Participating in the process of ensuring that the standards that apply to private enterprises are efficient and effective is one way of helping do that.

Morin is particularly interested in contributing to the conversation as it relates to agricultural enterprises. “Many of the things I’ve discussed in initial conversations with the board about ASPE as it relates to agriculture are the same issues that we tackle here. How do we provide the best service for our farm members? How do we value their crops and their cattle? These are issues from an accounting perspective but also a banking perspective, so I’m really excited about providing my insight and knowledge into the ag sector and private enterprise generally” he says.

Morin is pleased that MNP keeps the needs of his industry top of mind and he values the partnership that led to his appointment. That partnership, says Kuckartz, is the key to the firm’s long-standing relationship with credit unions. MNP’s Credit Union team is active in the industry and focused on providing a local perspective to help the more than 100 credit unions it serves reach their full potential.

“This is a very important opportunity, and I’m glad Brian made the suggestion. Now Conexus, and other credit unions, can say to their potential members, we are right in there, influencing change,” says Kuckartz.

Ultimately, Morin’s appointment signals the interest and commitment of the entire credit union system to continued excellence in financial reporting and to private enterprise.