Bulletin CPA - La voix officielle de l'Ordre

Bill 141 now in force: Significant impact for CPAs


In the June 12 issue of the CPA Newsletter, the Order informed members of its failed efforts to have the government adopt its proposed amendments to Bill 141 intended to provide a framework for disclosures, despite professional secrecy, of any offences against a law the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is responsible for enforcing.

Bill 141 was passed into law on June 13, 2018. Accordingly, section 17.0.1 of the Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers, which authorizes the lifting of professional secrecy to make a disclosure to the AMF, came into effect on the same day. If you have clients that are entities overseen by the AMF or if you work for such an entity, this provision directly applies to you.

In keeping with its primary mission to protect the public, the CPA Order recognizes the need to allow the lifting of professional secrecy to disclose serious offences likely to cause substantial injury to third parties. However, the Order believes that the new provision, which permits the disclosure of any offence against a law enforceable by the AMF without severity criteria, places CPAs in situations where arbitrariness reigns.

It is important to remember that professional secrecy is a pillar of the relationship of trust between professionals and their clients. This trust relationship is essential to the quality of professional services and the protection of the public, since by having free, fully-transparent access to relevant information, CPAs enhance the reliability of financial reporting. Accordingly, disclosures made despite professional secrecy should be based on severity criteria and governed by a specific framework that favours internal disclosure mechanisms, first and foremost, so as not to compromise the relationship of trust between CPAs and their clients.

The Order is continuing to weigh its options, which include temporary safeguards to shield its members from the unintended consequences of this new provision. Among other things, the Order has initiated steps to propose amendments to the Code of ethics of CPAs to provide a framework for CPAs who are authorized to make a disclosure to an authority despite professional secrecy.

In the meantime, given the uncertainty faced by its members, the Order has prepared temporary guidelines to help CPAs in their assessment when they detect, in the practice of their profession, an offence against a law enforceable by the AMF, and are authorized to disclose the offence to the AMF.




Consultation on the 2019-2020 dues: Have your say


Provided for under a new provision of the Professional Code, this consultation, which will take place from June 26 to September 5, allows members to give their input on the dues amount proposed by the Board of directors. The Order will then compile the comments received with a view to submitting them for consideration at the Annual General Meeting of September 7.

Members in attendance at the general meeting will then have the opportunity to provide additional feedback on the board’s recommendation before it determines the final dues amount by resolution at a regular meeting.


2018 Annual General Meeting: Join us!


This year, the profession’s annual gathering will take place on September 7 in Montreal to allow for the consultation on the dues amount payable by Order members in 2019-2020. The agenda and all the meeting documents are available online.




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