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The Government of Ontario recently passed Bill 245, Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021, which included amendments to the Public Accounting Act, 2004. With this, CPA Ontario will assume responsibility for the creation and maintenance of the Public Accounting Standards that govern Public Accounting License (PAL) holders in the province.
The Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario (PAC) provided regulatory oversight of public accounting when there were three legacy accounting designations and bodies. However, the need for that role diminished with unification of the three legacy accounting bodies into CPA Ontario in 2014.
As result of these amendments, PAC dissolved on April 30, 2021 and CPA Ontario is assuming all regulatory oversight and responsibilities for public accounting standards in the province.
This is an important milestone and significant moment for the profession, as it completes the unification of Ontario’s public accounting profession, removes a redundant layer of regulatory burden and its associated costs, and allows a more streamlined and efficient regulatory structure.
For more information on practicing public accounting in Ontario, click here.
Act & Regulations
The responsibility for creating and maintaining Public Accounting Standards in Ontario are mandated by the following legislation:
Public Accounting Standards
The minimum standards for licensing and governing the activities of members as public accountants were initially adopted by the PAC on June 20, 2006 and were amended and restated most recently on November 26, 2019.
These standards remain in effect and are available here.
Public Accounting Standards Committee
The Public Accounting Standards Committee (PASC) will maintain the Public Accounting Standards that guide the regulation of licensed public accountants by CPA Ontario as well as other CPA Ontario Instruments relating to the Public Accounting Standards that are made by the Council of CPA Ontario pursuant to the authority set out in the Public Accounting Act, 2004 and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Act, 2017.
The PASC will review, provide advice and recommend to Council for approval the creation of any proposed amendments to the Public Accounting Standards, any other governing documents of CPA Ontario dealing with public accounting or any other instruments referred to in the proposed amendments to the Public Accounting Act, 2004. The PASC will also provide reporting to Council on matters related to the public accounting activities of CPA Ontario, as agreed to by Council.
Public Accounting Licensing Board
Applications for a Public Accounting Licence (PAL) continue to be reviewed by the Public Accounting Licensing Board (PALB). For more information on how to obtain a PAL, click here.
CPA Ontario Triennial Reports
Prior to the passing of Bill 245, PAC was required to conduct periodic reviews of the operations of an Authorized Designated Body at least once every three years. Below are the evaluation reports to PAC on CPA Ontario.