Ethics: Living by the Code
Through committed study, years of on-the-job experience and advancement, and countless professional transactions, CGAs gain the trust of the people and organizations they serve. The Association takes its obligation to protect that trust with the utmost seriousness.
CGAs’ education and experience readies them for positions of influence and authority; the designation’s ethical standards ensure that their conduct safeguards the needs of the people they serve and the public at large.
To protect the public interest, CGAs must adhere to prescribed standards as set out in the Act, Bylaws, Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct and the Independence Standard. Those who earn the right to use the designation have a duty, at all times, to conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner in serving clients, employers and the public.
CGAs who breach these rules will face a disciplinary process and sanctions. Anyone who suspects that a CGA has breached the ethical or performance standards of the profession may file a complaint with the Association.
Protecting the Public
- Ethics instruction has been integrated into every level of the Association’s Program of Professional Studies. But ethics doesn’t end with graduation. The Association further elevates its commitment to protecting the public with the mandatory four-hour ethics requirement for all members and a one-day ethics workshop for all new members who graduate from the CGA Program of Professional Studies.
Mandatory Ethics Requirement
- New Members Who Graduate From the CGA Program of Professional Studies
For graduates this consists of mandatory attendance at a full-day ethics workshop that moves the understanding of ethics from an academic perspective to its application in the real world of business. This mandatory requirement of membership must be fulfilled within the first full year of membership. If you have any questions regarding the one-day ethics requirement contact, [itomyn#cga-bc,org]Irene Tomyn.
- Members Admitted Through Mutual Agreements
New members who earned their CGA designation through Mutual Recognition Agreements are grandfathered into the ethics requirement as members. You must take a four-hour verifiable course on ethics in each rolling three-year CPD cycle; but you are not required to take the one-day rules and standards workshop for new graduates of the CGA Program of Professional Studies.
- All Members – Including Members Who Transferred to B.C.
CGA-BC members are required to take a minimum four-hour verifiable course on applied ethics in each rolling three-year CPD cycle. If you have any questions regarding the four-hour ethics requirement contact, [jmartin#cga-bc,org]Jacqueline Martin.
Please see Discipline Guidelines for Non-Compliance.
Offering Accounting Services to the Public
The need to protect the public is paramount whenever CGAs provide services to the general public. The most common public practice services are the preparation of financial statements and corporate and personal tax returns. For a more expanded list of other services, see “What types of services may your CGA public practitioner provide?”
Become a CGA Firm Owner
Providing these services to the public requires CGAs to register in public practice, which includes fulfilling both pre-requisite and post-registration requirements. Owning your own firm can be very fulfilling and profitable for those who are true entrepreneurs at heart. Check out what it takes to be a successful CGA public practitioner.
Because of the high profile of the designation, CGAs may be asked to provide volunteer services to not-for-profit organizations. Volunteering is an excellent way for CGA members to contribute to their communities. It is important, though, to distinguish between performing public practice and treasury services when volunteering. See the Voluntary Services section of the Public Practice Policies for further details.
Please contact [bilk@cga-bc,org]Brigitte Ilk, CGA, Manager, Public Practice Research and Development, to determine if you are required to register in public practice.