Professional Liability Insurance Requirements for Firms
Any firm engaged in the practice of public accounting or providing accounting services to the public must maintain professional liability insurance. The firm representative will need to provide proof of insurance to CPA Ontario in the following circumstances:
- when registering a firm
- yearly on the anniversary date of the insurance policy
- within five business days of the expiry of its policy
- when you stop engaging in the practice of public accounting or providing accounting services to the public (you will require a discovery policy/extended reporting period)
How to report insurance
As a firm representative, you must report your insurance information to CPA Ontario by providing through My Portal:
- the insurance provider
- the source of coverage
- number of members in the firm
- limit of liability per claim
- the policy number
- expiry date
Insurance information must be provided on an annual basis to CPA Ontario and within five business days of the expiry of its policy to maintain membership in good standing as outlined in Regulation 14-1, section 11.
Members can report their insurance information by logging in to My Portal, selecting Firm Dashboard ► Select Firm ► choose the appropriate firm ► Professional Liability Insurance ► Update Insurance Information.
Review our walkthrough guide for more information on how to update your firm’s insurance.
Failure to provide proof of coverage within five business days of expiry or yearly anniversary date will result in the suspension of the firm and its firm representative. The firm has 30 days after the suspension to provide proof of insurance to reinstate the firm and Firm Representative. If the firm does not provide this, it will be deregistered and the firm representative’s membership will be revoked.Please check your firm’s insurance expiry date and mark your calendar to complete the reporting obligation by the due date.
Prescribed levels of insuranceThe minimum amounts of professional liability insurance apply to all firms engaged in the practice of public accounting or providing accounting services to the public. The required minimum limits are as follows, per claim:
- $1 million for a firm of one member
- $1.5 million for a firm of two or three members
- $2 million for a firm of four or more members
The maximum allowable deductible must be reasonable in relation to the total revenue of the firm and shall not be more than 50 per cent of the required minimum limit. Each firm must set aside assets (cash or cash equivalents) that are at least equal in value to the deductible amount specified in the professional liability insurance policy.The minimum amount of professional liability insurance required to be maintained and maximum allowable deductible are set out in Regulation 14-1.
Discovery policy requirements
Professional liability insurance in an unreduced amount must be maintained for at least six years after a member ceases to be involved in the practice of public accounting, providing accounting services to the public or the firm is dissolved.
Should a member pass away, the estate should maintain coverage for the six-year discovery period. To provide these details, contact the Firms and Licensing team.
Discovery policy can also be referred to as “an extended report period”.
More specific details on the circumstances are provided in Regulation 14-1.
Providing charitable assurance services without rewardMembers who engage in the practice of public accounting without reward, under certain conditions, do not need to be licensed. However, you must still have professional liability insurance coverage.
If you are a member providing assurance services without reward for small charitable or not-for-profit organizations, CPA Ontario has approved a policy to provide insurance coverage at no cost. You must register with CPA Ontario and meet certain terms and conditions.
One of the conditions is that each organization has annual gross revenue from all sources of $100,000 or less. Members who provide assurance services without reward for organizations that have annual gross revenue of more than $100,000, or who otherwise do not meet the prescribed terms and conditions, must obtain their own insurance coverage.See Public Accounting Licence for more information on the exemption and how to apply for the policy arranged by CPA Ontario. For any further questions, please contact the Firms and Licensing team.