Practice Inspection Planning Questionnaire

For offices selected for inspection, access to planning questionnaires and declaration for exemption forms will be available online on January 29. The practice inspection forms are web-driven and the submission process is fully electronic; our communication to each selected office includes the link to access the forms.

Note: Access to the Planning Questionnaire Site is restricted to the Practice Inspection (PI) Contact. To change the PI Contact, your office's Firm Representative must visit My Portal's Firm Dashboard and update the office's designated PI Contact in the Firm Profile. We recommend that you review your firm's PI Contact information and if necessary, update it to ensure that your office's correspondence from Practice Inspection is appropriately addressed.

General information

Practice inspection covers engagements for which professional standards are set out in the CPA Canada Handbook - Assurance, i.e. Quality assurance standards, Canadian Auditing Standards and other Canadian standards (e.g. review and compilation engagements), as well as adherence to the CPA Code of Professional Conduct and our By-law and Regulations. Offices involved in just the preparation of tax returns per se or the schedules accompanying them (e.g. government-prescribed schedules of income and expenses) would not be subject to inspection. However, if compilation engagement communications are prepared in tandem with such returns, the office would be subject to inspection. Engagements to perform bookkeeping/accounting and other management services are not inspected.

Those offices that believe they might be exempt from practice inspection (including a professional corporation whose sole purpose is to hold an interest in another public accounting practice that is otherwise subject to practice inspection) should refer to our FAQs for further information. If there is still uncertainty with respect to whether a particular office is subject to inspection after receipt of a selection communication, please submit your specific questions by email and include your inspection number and details of your situation. All questions must be submitted in writing and all responses will be provided in writing.

Completing your planning questionnaire

Offices are selected for inspection based upon a risk-adjusted cycle not to exceed three years. If you expect to be selected based on the communication received at the conclusion of your most recent inspection, we encourage you to gather the following information that you will require for completion of the planning questionnaire:

  • number of people designated as engagement partners that are responsible for audit, review, and compilation engagements (please refer to FAQs for the definition of an engagement partner)
  • number of CPA staff members, registered students and other staff members employed by your firm
  • dates not available for inspection between mid-May to the end of February of the following year, up to a maximum of eight weeks (please include any non-statutory religious holidays or peak workload periods within this eight-week exclusion period)
  • total number of audit, review and compilation engagements performed by the office and the approximate total chargeable hours for each type of engagement
  • approximate number of chargeable hours for assurance engagements other than audit or review engagements
  • approximate number of chargeable hours for Canadian taxation engagements
  • approximate number of any other chargeable hours that are not covered under audit, review, compilation, other assurance or Canadian taxation engagements
  • approximate percentage of files that are electronic (i.e. “paperless”) and the software used
  • number of engagement files/financial statements prepared in French and the industry sectors of such clients
  • number of non-public company financial statements prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the industry sector
  • whether there are any CPAs or assurance engagements in your firm that are subject to investigation by the Professional Conduct Committee
  • whether your firm has performed assurance engagements for clients with outstanding fees from the prior year, or clients obtained through a tendering process
  • whether your firm has performed any assurance engagements that were considered higher risk in accordance with the firm's quality control policies and procedures
  • information about your firm’s quality control policies and procedures:
    • when the quality assurance manual was last updated
    • when the last annual and cyclical monitoring had been completed (refer to FAQs for more guidance)
    • who performed the cyclical monitoring (internal/external to practice, name of monitor, level of experience)
  • if your firm is a registrant with the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB):
    • number of clients (and industry sector) overseen by a securities regulator
    • date of most recent CPAB review (if applicable)
    • whether your firm is currently subject to a requirement, restriction or sanction imposed by CPAB
  • whether your firm has clients subject to oversight by a regulator other than CPAB

If your firm consists of less than 20 assurance engagements or only compilation engagements, you will be asked to submit a client listing (the Planning Questionnaires for such inspections incorporate a client listing template) with the following information:

  • engagement partner for each client
  • industry/business sector and number of chargeable assurance/compilation hours for each client
  • most recently completed year-end date
  • whether the engagement files and/or financial statements are prepared in French
  • whether the financial statements have been prepared under either the IFRS or PSAS financial reporting frameworks
  • the five largest compilation engagements per partner, and the total hours for all other compilations
  • for compilation engagement only practices, the ten largest compilation engagements and the total for all others