The exclusive right to practice public accountancy granted to CPAs is directly tied to the protection of the public. Section 4 of Quebec’s Chartered Professional Accountants Act defines the practice of public accountancy as follows:
- expressing an opinion to provide a level of assurance about a financial statement or any part of a financial statement, or about any other information related to the financial statement; this corresponds to an assurance engagement, which comprises the performance of both an audit engagement and a review engagement, as well as the issue of special reports;
- issuing any form of certification, declaration or opinion in respect of information related to a financial statement or to any part of a financial statement, or in respect of the application of specified auditing procedures with respect to financial information, other than financial statements, neither being intended exclusively for internal management purposes; and
- performing a compilation engagement that is not exclusively for internal management purposes.
In order to practice public accountancy, a person must be a member of the Quebec CPA Order, hold a public accountancy permit issued by the Order and use the CPA auditor designation. However, members of the Order can issue a notice to reader (compilation engagement) without holding a public accountancy permit, on condition that they comply with the regulations of the Order.
For more details, go to the CPA retirements section.