Regulations governing the profession
A number of laws and regulations govern the practice of the chartered professional accountancy profession. This legislative framework is intended to prevent the risk of prejudice inherent in the professional activities of chartered professional accountants. Under these laws and regulations, professionals are subject to various obligations related to the context and content of their practice in regard to clients, the public, the profession and the other members of the Order. Professionals must keep abreast of regulations and legislation in order to comply with the rules governing the acts in which they engage or may potentially engage in practicing their profession.
Monitoring competence and integrity
Before admitting CPA candidates to the profession, the Order ensures that they have the required training, qualities and competencies. The Order subsequently ensures that members maintain their skills by requiring them to participate in compulsory continuing education activities. The Order also monitors the integrity and conduct of its members, particularly through the applicable code of ethics, which is enforced by the syndic of the Order and the Disciplinary council.
Supervising the practice of the profession
In accordance with the Professional Code and Quebec's Chartered Professional Accountants Act, the Order adopts and applies various regulations through which it supervises the practice of the chartered professional accountancy profession in order to protect the public. The Order also monitors the practice of the CPA profession through, among other things, the Professional inspection committee, which mainly reviews the quality of services provided. The committee may also recommend that the Order's Board of Directors impose a period of refresher training or a refresher course on a member, or restrict or suspend a member’s right to practice. The Order also ensures that anyone who practices public accountancy is a member of the Ordre des CPA du Québec, holds a public accountancy permit issued by the Order and uses the CPA auditor designation.
Inquiries and penalties
The syndic of the Order receives and follows up on complaints from the public against members and may refer complaints to the Disciplinary council, which sanctions violations of Order regulations or of the Professional Code. In addition, complaints regarding CPA fees are subject to a conciliation process through which the syndic attempts to bring the two parties together. If conciliation fails, the case is referred to the Council for the arbitration of accounts at the client’s request.