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Public Accountant Qualification Requirements of the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act 

The Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act was proclaimed in force effective October 17, 2011 and all not-for-profit corporations were required to make the transition by October 17, 2014. The requirements set out in the Act for qualification for appointment as a public accountant are of particular interest to members, firms and professional corporations who conduct, or wish to be appointed to conduct, audit or review engagements for federally incorporated not-for-profit corporations. The Act requires that in order to be a public accountant of such a corporation, a person must:

• Be a member in good standing of an institute or association of accountants incorporated by or under an Act of the legislature of a province;
• Meet the qualifications under any enactment of a province for performing an audit or review engagement; and
• Meet the independence requirements set out in the Act.

A member in good standing of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario operating as Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario ("CPA Ontario") or a professional corporation registered with CPA Ontario is required to meet the specific qualifications prescribed in Ontario’s Public Accounting Act, 2004 in order to be appointed as a public accountant to conduct an audit or review engagement for a federally incorporated not-for-profit corporation in Ontario. This means that:

• A member of CPA Ontario will be required to be licensed by CPA Ontario as a public accountant; and
• A professional corporation will be required to hold a CPA Ontario-issued certificate of authorization to practise public accounting in order to conduct such engagements.     

Corporations Canada, a branch of Industry Canada, has posted information on the transition plan for the new Act on its website.  Inquiries regarding the implementation of the new Act should be directed to Corporations Canada via the “Contact Us” link on their website.