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Register in Public Practice 

 
Is Registration in Public Practice Necessary?
Full Registrations
Full Public Practice Registration - Assurance 
Full Public Practice Registration - Compilation and Tax
Limited Registrations 


Members intending to provide public practice services are required to meet the rules for entry into public practice. At the core of these services are the standards of the accounting profession.  Increased standards over the last few years have placed a demand for more intense development of the competence level of public practitioners. This has resulted in the need for registrants in public practice to have training and resources available to them early in the registration process.

 

Is Registration in Public Practice Necessary for You?

If you are providing bookkeeping or management consulting services or are self-employed, you may be required to register in public practice. To get further information:

  • Read the Association’s definition of “Practice of Public Accounting,” found in the Code of Ethics 
  • Refer to the FAQs for Limited Registration – Other
  • Contact Brigitte Ilk, CGA in the Public Practice Division at CGA-BC.

All CGAs engaged in public accounting are required to register with the Association. To begin the registration process, please read the following, then contact [sdomeikiene#cga-bc,org]Sandra Domeikiene at (604) 637-6803 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 extension 803.


Full Registrations 

Members intending to apply for a full registration in public practice will need to choose one of two categories. The category chosen will determine which type of engagements the practitioner will be permitted to provide the public.  The two types of full registrations are:
 

Full Public Practice Registration - Assurance
Members registering for a Full Public Practice Registration – Assurance may provide all types of financial statement engagements, including audits and review engagements.  In addition, both corporate and personal tax services may be provided. The following are the entry requirements for members intending to apply for an Assurance practice registration.

A) Prerequisites: 

  • Membership in CGA-BC.
  • Payment of all applicable fees in advance.
  • Completion of the Case Study within the year prior to registration.
  • Completion of the following seminars within the year prior to registration:

    • Practice Management seminar;
    • CPA Canada Handbook seminar;
    • Review and Compilation Engagements seminar (exemption may apply); and
    • Audit Engagement seminar (exemption may apply).
     
  • Completion of the following courses within five years prior to registration:

    • CGA-Canada Tax 2 or Tax 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) (exemption may apply).
    • CGA-Canada Auditing 2 or Auditing 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) (exemption may apply).
     
  • Enrolment in the following courses which will be completed within six months of registration if not completed within the year prior to registration (or have exemption granted).  These include:

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports seminar; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information seminar.
     
  • Proof of purchase of the CGA-Canada Public Practice Manual and subscription to the complementary copy of the CPA Canada Handbook (both accounting and assurance volumes) and related annual subscriptions.
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.

B) Post-registration requirements: 

  • All other courses and requirements completed within six months of registration if not completed within the year prior to registration (or have exemption granted).  These include:

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports seminar; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information seminar.
     
  • Submit firm privacy and anti-money laundering policies within six months of registration, and
  • Successfully pass a practice review.

C) Experience Requirements
Members will require a minimum three years of appropriate Canadian experience in a professional accounting firm as an employee (member or student) immediately prior to the date of application.  Members are also required to complete 1,250 assurance hours and 200 taxation hours.

Mentor Program

For those members unable to meet this experience requirement, but intending to have a proprietary interest in a public practice firm, a mentor option will be available. Under this process, the mentor would be engaged by the member to review files for the following within one month of their release:

  • all assurance engagements (audit or review engagements) until sufficient competency and 1,250 hours have been achieved within five years of registration;
  • the first five compilation engagements;
  • the first five future-oriented financial information engagements; and
  • related corporate tax work for all files.

Partners in a firm who meet the mentor criteria will be permitted to be a mentor for a member joining the firm as a partner.

The requirements of the Mentor Program must be met within five years of registration.

D)  Exemptions 

A member may be exempted from specific educational requirements listed above, except for the CPA Canada Handbook and Practice Management seminars.

E) Practice Review Program 

An initial practice review will be conducted by the Association within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted every three years thereafter.

F) Conditional Public Practice Registration 

A member who registers in the practice of public accounting will be granted “conditional” registration subject to the following conditions, as applicable:

  • Completion of required post-registration seminars within six months of registration
  • Submission of firm privacy and anti-money laundering policies within six months of registration
  • A successful practice review within 12 months of registration
  • Compliance with mentor requirements
  • Completion of mentor program within five years of registration

If the member is in default for non-completion of any of these requirements the member is, without notice, deemed to have resigned from public practice unless written notice of extenuating circumstances is received within 30 days of non-compliance. A public notice will also be published announcing that the member is no longer registered in public practice.
 
Registration Processing 

Here is the Full Public Practice Registration – Assurance [PDF - 674KB] application package for you to complete and submit.

 

Full Public Practice Registration
– Compilation and Tax
 

Members registering for a Full Practice Registration – Compilation and Tax may only provide compilation financial statement engagements. In addition, both corporate and personal tax services may be provided. The following are the entry requirements for members intending to apply for a Compilation and Tax practice registration.

A)  Prerequisites: 

  • Membership in CGA-BC.
  • Payment of all applicable fees in advance.
  • Completion of the Case Study within the year prior to registration.
  • Completion of the following seminars within the year prior to registration:

    • Practice Management seminar;
    • CPA Canada Handbook seminar;
    • Review and Compilation Engagements seminar (exemption may apply).
     
  • Completion of the CGA-Canada Tax 2 or Tax 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) within five years prior to registration (exemption may apply).
  • Enrolment in the following courses must be completed within six months of registration if not completed within the year prior to registration (or have exemption granted). These include:

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports seminar; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information seminar.
     
  • Proof of purchase of the CGA-Canada Public Practice Manual and subscription to the complementary copy of the CPA Canada Handbook (both accounting and assurance volumes) and related annual subscriptions.
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance

B)  Post-registration requirements: 

  • All other courses and requirements completed within six months of registration if not completed within the year prior to registration (or have exemption granted). These include:

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports seminar; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information seminar.
     
  • Submit firm privacy and anti-money laundering policies within six months of registration.
  • Successfully pass a practice review.

C) Experience Requirements
Members will require a minimum three years of Canadian experience in a professional accounting firm as an employee (member or student) immediately prior to the date of application.

Mentor Program

For those members unable to meet this experience requirement, but intending to have a proprietary interest in a public practice firm, a mentor option will be available. Under this process, the mentor would be engaged by the member to review files for the following within one month of their release:

  • the first five compilation engagements, and
  • related corporate tax work.

Partners in a firm who meet the mentor criteria will be permitted to be a mentor for a member joining the firm as a partner.

The requirements of the Mentor Program must be met within five years of registration.

D)  Exemptions
A member may be exempted from specific educational requirements listed above, except for the CPA Canada Handbook and Practice Management seminars.

E)  Practice Review Program
An initial practice review will be conducted by the Association within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted every three years thereafter.

F)  Conditional Public Practice Registration 

A member who registers in the practice of public accounting will be granted “conditional” registration subject to the following conditions, as applicable:

  • Completion of required post-registration seminars within six months of registration
  • Submission of firm privacy and anti-money laundering policies within six months of registration
  • A successful practice review within 12 months of registration
  • Compliance with mentor requirements
  • Completion of mentor program within five years of registration

If the member is in default for non-completion of any of these requirements the member is, without notice, deemed to have resigned from public practice unless written notice of extenuating circumstances is received within 30 days of non-compliance. A public notice will also be published announcing that the member is no longer registered in public practice.

G) Transitioning to Assurance Category
Members who perform compilation engagements only, must satisfy the following requirements should they, at a future date, undertake review, audit or future-oriented financial information engagements:

  • register for the Full Public Practice Registration – Assurance category immediately;
  • fulfill the mentor requirement for review, audit and future-oriented financial information engagements;
  • completion within six months of transitioning to Full Public Practice Registration – Assurance:

    • Review and Compilation Engagements seminar; and
    • Audit seminar; and/or
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information seminar;
     
  • completion of appropriate number of assurance engagements (audit or review engagements) until sufficient competency and 1,250 hours have been achieved within five years of registration.

Registration Processing 
Here is the Full Public Practice Registration – Compilation and Tax [PDF - 647KB]  application package for you to complete and submit. 

 

Limited Registrations 

The following are the entry requirements for members intending to apply for a limited practice registration, of which there are two types: 

 

If you intend to transition from any of the limited to full registration categories, contact [sdomeikiene#cga-bc,org]Sandra Domeikiene.    

Limited Public Practice Registration – T1 only
Members who are required to register in this category are providing T1 preparation services only.

A)  Prerequisites:
These members will be exempted from all public practice registration requirements, with the exception of the following:

  • payment of all applicable fees in advance;
  • proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.

B) Post-registration requirement:
Completion of the Tax 1 Home Study course assignments or the equivalent (exemptions may apply) within one year of registration. 

C) Practice Review Program
An initial practice review will be conducted by the Association within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted every three years thereafter.

D)  Conditional Public Practice Registration
A member who registers in the practice of public accounting will be granted “conditional” registration for 12 months. If the member is in default for non-completion of the mandatory registration requirements within 12 months of registration, the member is, without notice, deemed to have resigned from public practice unless written notice of extenuating circumstances is received within 30 days from the end of the “conditional” registration period. A public notice will also be published announcing that the member is no longer registered in public practice.
 

Registration Processing 


Limited Public Practice Registration - OtherFAQs 
Members who are required to register in this category are providing:

  • forensic accounting, financial investigation and financial litigation support services; and/or
  • an accounting service insofar as it involves summarization, analysis, advice, counsel or interpretation but excluding an accounting service which is incidental to the provider's primary occupation which is not public accounting; and/or
  • statutory filing services.

Prerequisites 

These members will be exempted from all public practice registration requirements, with the exception of the following, which must be provided at the time of registration:,

  • payment of all applicable fees; and
  • proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.

Registration Processing 

 For further registration processing information, contact [sdomeikiene#cga-bc,org]Sandra Domeikiene.

Registration Information 

To discuss Limited Registration - Other registration requirements, contact:

[kfiorini#cga-bc,org]Karen Fiorini, CGA
Manager, Quality Assurance
(604) 730-6231 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 extension 231

or

[bilk#cga-bc,org]Brigitte Ilk, CGA
Manager, Public Practice Research & Development
(604) 629-8363 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 extension 363

 

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Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia.
300 – 1867 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6J 5L4
T: 604.732.1211 TF 1 800.565.1211 F: 604.732.1252