Chartered Professional Accountants Canada
Member | Established: 2013 (CICA established 1908) | Member since 2013 (CICA member since 1977)
The CPA Canada represents the CPA profession nationally, with international chapters in Asia and the Caribbean. The CPA Canada contributes to national and international accounting standard setting, and serves as an advocate before legislative bodies and public interest groups. The CPA Canada sets educational standards, provides educational guidance materials to its members, develops the Common Final Examination, and promotes the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with the profession’s technical and ethical standards amongst its members.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
SMO 1: Quality Assurance
The Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) and the provincial accounting bodies of CPAs, as the entities responsible for quality assurance (QA) in the jurisdiction, have adopted and implemented QA review systems that are in line with SMO 1 requirements. Although, the CPA Canada is not directly responsible for the QA review systems, it has established a Public Trust Committee (PTC) to promote adoption of common requirements by the provincial bodies’ QA review systems. The PTC monitors and reviews developments related to best practices in QA review processes through the Practice Inspection Program Standing Committee (PIPSC).
The CPA Canada reports in its 2018 SMO Action Plan that the PIPSC has developed recommendations to achieve best practices in practice inspections that meet or exceed SMO 1 requirements. The PIPSC has also worked in collaboration with CPAB to promote ongoing and continuing enhancement to the QA review system in line with international developments.
The CPA Canada is also engaged in raising awareness of the programs, disseminating updates on new and revised standards issued by the IAASB with respect to quality control, participating in public consultations, and providing technical support to its members on an ongoing basis.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The CPA Canada states in its 2018 SMO Action Plan that the education and training requirements for professional accountants in Canada meet or exceed the IES with the most recent changes to IES 8 recommended for adoption by the provincial bodies before January 1, 2019. The CPA Canada shares responsibility for establishing initial and continuing professional education development (IPD and CPD) requirements with the provincial accounting bodies of CPAs to set requirements that are adopted in each province.
The CPA Canada has two education committees: the Professional Education Management Committee that coordinates the IPD requirements and the Professional Learning and Development Strategy Committee that coordinates the CPD requirements and CPD activities. The committees monitor the IAESB and other international education developments to incorporate any modifications into the national requirements.
The CPA Canada has an ongoing cyclical process for reviewing its educational requirements. A national standard has been established for CPD requirements aligned with the IES. In addition, once an IES has been approved (or amended) it is brought to the attention of the CPA Canada Competency Map Committee. Canadian universities generally look at the CPA Competency Map rather than to international standards when they are deciding on content of programs.
The CPA Canada has developed a Canadian CPA Certification Program delivered by the provincial bodies or through post-secondary programs accredited by the CPA Canada. The CPA Canada states that the program meets the standards established for public accounting education in the province of Ontario and the IES.
The CPA Canada disseminates updates on new and revised standards issued by the IAESB through its website. When the CPA Canada does not have a member nominated by it serving on the IAESB, it will consider whether to send an observer to IAESB meetings.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The CPA Canada has no direct responsibility for audit standard-setting in Canada, but uses its best endeavors to support the adoption of all pronouncements issued by the IAASB. The CPA Canada provides funding, staff, and other resources to support the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB), which is the entity responsible for setting auditing standards.
The CPA Canada maintains translation processes (from English to French) for ISA and has a translation agreement with IFAC. It publishes the CPA Canada Handbook–Assurance in English and French. In addition, it translates and disseminates all proposed Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) requirements for inclusion in exposure drafts, and also, where practical, application and explanatory material.
The CPA Canada develops and makes available various non-authoritative materials to assist practitioners in implementing CAS, such as the Professional Engagement Guide and the Quality Assurance Manual. The CPA Canada provides updates to these publications on a timely basis and provides guidance related to CAS for small and medium-sized practices. In addition, the CPA Canada includes ISA updates in its initial and continuing professional education programs and exams.
The CPA Canada also participates in the international standard-setting process through its representatives on the IAASB and providing the necessary support to these representatives. It also actively participates on various IAASB task forces, working groups, and committees.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The provincial accounting bodies of CPAs have the authority to set ethical requirements for their members in accordance with each provincial Chartered Professional Accountants Act. The provincial bodies collaborate through the CPA Canada to develop and recommend standards for adoption in each province.
The CPA Canada reports in its 2018 SMO Action Plan that the ethical requirements of the Canadian CPA Code of Professional Conduct (CPA Code) are essentially converged with the most recent version of the IESBA Code of Ethics noting that recent changes such as NOCLAR are being considered and states that other than recent changes, the requirements are no less stringent than those of the IESBA Code unless required in regards to Canadian laws, regulations or public interest. The CPA Canada, through its Public Trust Committee, focuses its efforts on monitoring changes to the IESBA Code of Ethics for consideration.
The CPA Canada, through its Public Trust Committee, participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating IESBA exposure drafts, gathering all comments from the provincial bodies, and then preparing and submitting a common response to the IESBA. Additionally, the CPA Canada has established an Independence Task Force to review the IESBA independence requirements in order to identify any necessary changes to the CPA Code.
The CPA Canada has demonstrated its commitment to work with the IESBA by nominating, when appropriate, potential members to serve on the IESBA. As of 2018, a current member of the IESBA was nominated by the CPA Canada. When the CPA Canada does not have a nominated member serving on the IESBA, it will consider whether to send an observer to IESBA meetings in order to stay informed of IESBA developments and provide input to the IESBA on a timely basis.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
As it has no legal responsibility for the adoption of public sector accounting standards, the CPA Canada encourages the adoption and implementation of strong public sector accounting and reporting standards for use by governments and other public sector entities in Canada. It does so by providing financial and human resources to support the work of the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) and the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC).
PSAB participates in the international standard-setting process by responding to exposure drafts and pronouncements issued by the IPSASB, and working with the IPSASB in the development of certain standards. In 2017, a PSAB staff member worked 50% of his time for six months on the IPSASB’s Financial Instruments project to assist with a resourcing shortage.
The CPA Canada provides direct financial support to the IPSASB, in the amount of $200,000 CDN per year, which matches contributions by the Government of Canada. The CPA Canada also promotes the adoption of IPSAS through the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The provincial accounting bodies of CPAs have the authority to carry out investigative and disciplinary (I&D) processes for their members in accordance with the respective provincial Chartered Professional Accountants Acts. The provincial bodies collaborate through the CPA Canada to develop and recommend I&D processes that are as harmonized as possible for adoption in each province.
The CPA Canada actively promotes the adoption of I&D processes that are aligned with SMO 6 requirements. As part of its promotion efforts, the CPA Canada collaborates with the bodies through its Public Trust Committee (PTC) to ensure I&D programs that are as harmonized as possible throughout the jurisdiction. The PTC reviews recommendations and proposed changes in order to promote adoption of common I&D requirements in line with SMO 6 requirements.
The CPA Canada has developed a comparison of the provincial bodies’ I&D systems and processes against the requirements of SMO 6. Through this assessment it has concluded that two areas of the SMO 6 requirements—independent reviews and reporting to outside entities—have not been incorporated due to legislative requirements in various jurisdictions.
The CPA Canada is encouraged to provide more information in its SMO Action Plan about the activities it is undertaking to address the SMO 6 requirements that have not been incorporated due to legislative barriers.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The CPA Canada, with no direct responsibility for the adoption of accounting standards in Canada, uses its best endeavors to support the implementation of IFRS. The CPA Canada provides funding, staff, and other resources to support the Accounting Standards Board (AsCB).
The CPA Canada has developed an ongoing program of courses and conferences to assist its members with IFRS implementation and provides non-authoritative implementation guidance and tools for its members to support them in the consistent application of accounting standards. The CPA Qualification, CPA Competency Map, and examination syllabus have all included an appropriate level of knowledge of IFRS amongst their requirements. The CPA Canada publicly publishes the authoritative IFRS guidance in English and French under a license from the IFRS Foundation in Part I of the CPA Canada Handbook.
Additionally, the AcSB has an IFRS Discussion Group (IDG) which discusses issues arising from the application of IFRS and, when appropriate, makes recommendations to the AcSB to refer particular issues to the IASB. The CPA Canada supports the independent standard-setting boards financially. Financial Reporting and Assurance Standards Canada (FRAS Canada) maintains a website distinct from CPA Canada with comprehensive information from the standard-setting bodies. CPA Canada provides a link from the CPA Canada website and encourages its members to comment on pronouncements issued by standard-setters.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.