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Syndic’s inquiry

After determining the admissibility of a request concerning a CPA’s conduct, the syndic launches an inquiry. The purpose of the inquiry is to reach an informed decision based on concrete information about the allegations made against a CPA.

Conduct of the inquiry

Your cooperation during the inquiry is essential. The syndic may contact you and the CPA to obtain information or documents in addition to what has already been submitted. 

The duration of an inquiry varies depending on the complexity of the case, the cooperation of the parties and the number of ongoing inquiries. The syndic will inform you in writing on the progress of the inquiry, either:

  • within a few days of receipt of your request for an inquiry;
  • on the 90th day of the inquiry, if it has not been completed; or
  • every 60 days afterwards.

In these communications, you will not receive any details on the inquiry because all information gathered is confidential and none of the parties has access to it.

Results of the inquiry

The syndic will inform you in writing of the decision based on all of the information gathered and evidence available. The syndic can render three possible decisions:

1. Closing of the file

The syndic may decide to close the file if: 

  • the complaint is unfounded; or
  • the evidence is insufficient. 

2. Non-disciplinary action 

The syndic may consider non-disciplinary measures when they are the best solution for protecting the public, taking into account the seriousness of the fault and the Order’s mission to protect the public:

  • conciliation;
  • a visit from a professional inspector;
  • warnings sent to the member;
  • a prescribed refresher training period;
  • a voluntary limitation of the right to practise the profession;
  • voluntary cessation of the practice of the profession (surrendering of the public accountancy permit or CPA permit).

Find out more

The syndic will recommend conciliation if he or she deems that the circumstances are favourable for a settlement. Conciliation is undertaken with the consent of both parties, who then actively seek to resolve the matter.

3. Lodging a complaint before the Disciplinary council

In cases of a serious offence and where there is sufficient evidence, the syndic may lodge a complaint before the Disciplinary council.

A syndic inquiry cannot result in the following:

  • financial compensation or the passing of a sentence such as a CPA’s imprisonment (you must instead present your case to the civil courts or the authorities);
  • an inquiry into a non-CPA to institute legal proceedings for illegal practice of the profession.

Review committee

If the syndic decides not to lodge a complaint before the Disciplinary council and you disagree with the decision, you may request an opinion from the Review committee.

questions?

If you have any questions about an inquiry, please contact the Office of the syndic by email at syndic@cpaquebec.ca, or by phone at 514 288.3256 [5049] or toll-free at 1 800 363.4688.

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