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Register in Public Practice 

 
Is Registration in Public Practice Necessary?
Types of Public Practice Registration
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, CPA, 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 Sandra Domeikiene at (604) 637-6803 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 extension 803.


Types of Public Practice Registrations 

Application for registration in Public Practice includes two types: full or limited.

Full Public Practice Registrations include two categories:

  1. Full Public Practice Registration – Assurance (either authorized to undertake audits or restricted from audit)
  2. Full Public Practice Registration – Compilation and Tax

Limited Public Practice Registrations include two categories:

  1. Limited Public Practice Registration – T1
  2. Limited Public Practice Registration – Other

  

Full Registrations 

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

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, unless there is a restriction from audit 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 (exemption may apply)
  • Completion of seminars on the following within two years prior to registration (exemptions may apply):

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

    • CGA-Canada Tax 2 or Tax 2 Home Study course (or equivalent)
    • CGA-Canada Auditing 2 or Auditing 2 Home Study course (or equivalent)
     
  • Enrolment in the following seminars, which will be completed within six months of registration if not completed within two years prior to registration (or have exemption granted):

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information.
     
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance
  • Proof of purchase of the CGA-Canada Public Practice Manual or the CPA Practice Engagement Manual 
  • Proof of access to the current CPA Canada Handbook (both accounting and assurance volumes)

B) Post-registration requirements: 

  • Completion of the following seminars within six months of registration if not completed within two years prior to registration (or have exemption granted):

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information
     
  • Submission of firm’s Privacy Code pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Compliance Regime pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) within six months of registration; and
  • A successful practice review within 12 months of registration

C) Experience Requirements
Members are required to have 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. For members intending to provide audit services, a minimum of 625 of the 1,250 hours shall be in audits of historical financial information.

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:

  • all assurance engagements (audit or review engagements) until sufficient competency and 1,250 assurance hours have been achieved within five years of registration;
  • for those members intending to provide audit services, a minimum of 625 of the 1,250 hours shall be in audits of historical financial information;
  • the first five compilation engagements; and
  • related tax work for all files.

In addition, the mentor requirement must be completed within five years of registration.

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.

D) Practice Review/Inspection Program 

An initial practice review/inspection will be conducted by CGA-BC within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted in accordance with practice review/inspection policy.

E) 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’s Privacy Code pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Compliance Regime pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) within six months of registration;
  • A successful practice review/inspection 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 TaxMembers 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 (exemption may apply)
  • Completion of seminars on the following within two years prior to registration (exemptions may apply):

    • Practice Management;
    • CPA Canada Handbook; and
    • Compilation Engagements 
     
  • 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 seminars, which will be completed within six months of registration if not completed within the year prior to registration (or have exemption granted):

     
    • Trust Examination and Special Reports; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance
  • Proof of purchase of the CGA-Canada Public Practice Manual or the CPA Practice Engagement Manual  
  • Proof of access to the current CPA Canada Handbook (both accounting and assurance volumes)

B)  Post-registration requirements: 

  • Completion of the following seminars within six months of registration if not completed within two years prior to registration (or have exemption granted):

    • Trust Examination and Special Reports; and
    • Advisory Services and Future-Oriented Financial Information
     
  • Submission of firm’s Privacy Code pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Compliance Regime pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) within six months of registration; and
  • A successful practice review/inspection within 12 months of registration

C) Experience Requirements 

Members are required to have a minimum of three years of appropriate 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:

  • a minimum of the first five compilation engagements and until sufficient competency has been achieved; and
  • related tax work for all files.

In addition, the mentor requirement must be completed within five years of registration.

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.

D)  Practice Review/Inspection Program
An initial practice review will be conducted by CGA-BC within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted in accordance with practice review/inspection policy.

E)  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’s Privacy Code pursuant to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and Compliance Regime pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) within six months of registration
  • A successful practice review/inspection 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.

F)  Transition to Assurance Category 

Members who are registered under Full – Compilation and Tax and wish to transition to Full – Assurance in order to undertake review and/or audit engagements must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of a Review seminar and/or Audit seminar as a prerequisite(exemptions may apply);
  • Completion of the CGA-Canada Auditing 2 or Auditing 2 Home Study course (or equivalent) as a prerequisite (exemption may apply);
  • Submission of an application for transition to the Full – Assurance registration category;
  • Fulfillment of the mentor requirement for Full – Assurance, which includes completing the appropriate number of assurance engagements (audit and/or review engagements) until sufficient competency and 1,250 hours have been achieved within five years of registration (exemption may apply). For members intending to provide audit services, a minimum of 625 of the 1,250 hours shall be in audits of historical financial information.

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 categories: 

 

If you intend to transition from any of the limited to full registration categories, contact Sandra Domeikiene.    

Limited Public Practice Registration – T1
Members who are registered in this category are only permitted to provide T1 preparation services and those services permitted in the Limited – Other category.

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; and
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.

B) Post-registration requirement:
Completion of the CGA-Canada Tax 1 or Tax 1 Home Study assignments or equivalent within one year of registration (exemption may apply) 

C) Practice Review/Inspection Program
An initial practice review/inspection will be conducted by CGA-BC within one year of registration, with subsequent reviews conducted in accordance with practice review/inspection policy.

D)  Conditional Public Practice Registration
A member who registers in the practice of public accounting, including limited practice registrations, 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 - Other 

Members who are registered in this category are permitted to provide only:

  • 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. (T1s and T2s are not considered statutory filings.)

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:

  • Information on intended scope of services:
  • Payment of all applicable fees; and
  • Proof of purchase of professional liability insurance.

Registration Processing 

 For further registration processing information, contact Sandra Domeikiene.

Registration Information 

To discuss Limited Registration - Other registration requirements, contact:

Brigitte Ilk, CPA, CGA
Manager, Public Practice Research & Development
(604) 629-8363 or toll free 1 (800) 663-2677

or

Karen Fiorini, CPA, CGA
Manager, Quality Assurance
(604) 730-6231 or toll free 1 (800) 565-1211 extension 231


Requirement for all Registrations (if applicable) 

Assisting Accountant Appointment



Upon registration, a member registering as a sole proprietor is required to appoint an Assisting Accountant in accordance with the Assisting Accountant Policy.

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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