Resources for CPAs during the COVID-19 crisis

To help you stay current with news that has an impact on our profession and easily find resources to adjust your work methods, we developed a special, constantly updated web page available to you.

Visit the "Coronavirus (COVID-19)" page >

Also, please note that our offices are closed until further notice. We will continue to provide our services remotely and we are doing everything we can to minimize the problems caused by the overload of phone and Internet networks.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Developments relating to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have required everyone’s cooperation, including government authorities, public agencies, businesses, working people, and all citizens. 

In keeping with our commitment to protect the public and provide support to our members, the Order has embraced this collective effort by posting on our website useful information, tools and recommendations designed to help you stop the spread of the virus while keeping the economy working. This page will be updated on a regular basis, as the situation evolves.


RELIEF MEASURES AND DEADLINE EXTENSIONS

Have a look at the range of economic support measures and learn about the deadline extensions announced by the governments of Quebec and Canada and public sector bodies. 

Read our summary >


financial reporting and assurance

In this section you will find resources and articles that will ensure you are better prepared for the current and potential impact of the pandemic on financial reporting and on the audit or review of financial statements. This section will be updated as the situation evolves.


TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Prioritizing safety and communications

Obligations of employers and employees
Companies have obligations under Quebec’s Labour Code to protect their employees from health and safety risks, including in the event of a pandemic. Companies are required to take all measures commensurate with the risks they face and must be organized to anticipate and limit the spread of the virus. For more information on this matter, see the guide from the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) (in French only) intended for employers and employees. 
Protection of privacy during a pandemic
How is privacy protection affected during a pandemic? We invite you ton visit the Commission de l'accès à l'information du Québec website and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website if your are employed by a federal work, undertaking or business.

Ensuring the financial and operational stability of the organization

Implementation of a business continuity plan

Make sure to put in place the following measures:

  • Obtain the contact information of all your employees, and set up a communication chain to cascade information through people leaders.
  • List all your critical business operations, i.e. those that are essential to ensuring your organization’s survival.
  • Set up a special executive committee to provide regular updates on the situation and on the measures to be taken.
  • Identify back-up resources in the event of staff absences or a service interruption at a business partner’s.

Useful resources

Organization and employee management

Make sure to:

  • Manage expectations by specifying that teleworking is temporary and exceptional measure taken in the context of the pandemic.
  • Let your employees know that all of the organization’s internal policies continue to apply when they work from home.
  • Manage remotely by setting a list of tasks, readings or projects your employees could start or complete remotely. 
  • Provide flexibility to your employees, including those who need to care for children at home.
  • Keep in touch with your team to avoid psychological isolation.

Useful resources

Cash flow management

In a time of crisi, cash flow management plays a critical role. Here are resources that will help you better advise your business or your clients and put in place an effective cash flow management process.

How to manage an accounting practice

Firms can implement certain preventative measures to limit the impact of the health crisis, while making sure to operate as usual: 

  • Keep your clients updated
    • Take time to reassess your clients’ needs and adjust your work schedule accordingly. In the context we are in, some regulatory bodies, lenders and other users of financial statements may allow for extensions. This will allow you to adjust your priorities and communicate effectively with your clients.
    • Notify your clients if your operations are impacted or if you are operating with a reduced staff level. Consider including a special message in your voicemail greeting and activating an automatic reply in your email settings to inform clients of an unusually high workload.
    • Make sure you are able to carry out all your current engagements. If you have too much on your plate, have a designated person contact your existing clients in short order to notify them of any delays. Work with your clients to assess and mitigate the consequences of these delays on their operations and yours.

  • Designate a replacement CPA for unexpected or prolonged absences. 
    As a CPA, and particularly if you are a sole practitioner, you are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for your clients to have a contact person in the event of your unexpected and prolonged absence. The best solution is to enter into an agreement with another CPA to serve as your replacement in emergency situations. Without having to take over your client base, this person will at least be able to notify your clients so they can make informed decisions about their next steps. Your replacement will also be able to inform the Order of your situation and serve as provisional custodian of your records, as stipulated in section 27 of the Regulation respecting the cessation of practice(in French only).This can be a win-win arrangement if it is reciprocal and you agree to be the other CPA’s replacement. 

Monitoring and evaluating operations

Teleworking during the pandemic

Although teleworking is one of the preferred solutions to fight the spread of COVID-19, this measure is not without its risks and constraints.  

Make sure to: 

  • Put in place the necessary IT infrastructure to support teleworking for an indefinite period of time, and consider the possibility of authorizing your employees to use their personal computer.2
  • Provide your employees with the procedures to help them access their work tools from home.To protect your data, ask your employees to connect to secure password-protected networks and to avoid connecting to any public network.
  • Confirm with your employees who are using their personal computer that it is equipped with up-to-date anti-virus software.
  • Have policies and guidelines that are clear, communicated and accepted by your employees. 
  • Make use of the various technologies at your disposal (teleconferencing, videoconferencing, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.) to replace face-to-face meetings.

Useful resources

Payroll and COVID-19: Questions and answers from the Payroll InfoLine

Preparing for recovery

Resources will be published in this section. Come back soon!

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Order communications

Newsletters – Special edition

Other announcements

APRIL 3, 2020 – June CPA exams maintained
The upcoming CPA PEP assessments scheduled for June will be maintained. However, based on the extended timeline of the physical-distancing restrictions, the assessments will no longer take place in-person at exam writing centres. Instead, we will administer remote assessment alternatives. Closer to the June assessment dates candidates will be informed of the format that will be used for their module.
 
At this time the profession is expecting to deliver the CFE in September as planned. However, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and if a change is required, a decision will be made no later than late June. 
 
For current news about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Professional Education Program and the examinations, see CPA Canada's page and FAQ.
MARCH 24, 2020 – Prolongation of the suspension of the Order’s in-class training activities
The Order has suspended all of its in-class training activities until May 1. We are monitoring the situation closely and we will keep you informed if other changes are made to our training offer. If some suspended activities are postponed, participants will be informed of the selected dates in due time.

For cancellation information regarding in-class training offered in partnership, please consult your online file.

Unless otherwise specified, e-learning training courses continue as planned. More online courses will be added in the days ahead.
MARCH 16, 2020 – PEP and CFE: Cancellation of upcoming examinations and modules
The CPA profession has cancelled all PEP examinations and the May 2020 Common Final Examination (CFE). In addition, the Capstone 2 module scheduled to start on April 4, 2020 is cancelled. 

As well, all in-person module workshops for the Spring semester will now be delivered through a make-up activity. Affected students will be informed about the details of this activity as soon as they have been determined. If you have any questions, please contact the Examinations team at examens@cpaquebec.ca.  

For current news about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Professional Education Program and the examinations, see CPA Canada's page and FAQ.
MARCH 13, 2020 – Order office closure
Our offices are closed until further notice. However, we continue to provide our services remotely. 
Read the message from the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order >

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useful links

If you feel the need to talk to your fellow CPAs about your professional situation and everything going on right now in your region, join the Facebook group dedicated to your regional group.

Public health

While the spread of the virus (COVID-19) is concerning, it is important to use credible sources and not spread fear unnecessarily. Stay up to date by referring to these reliable sources of information: 

Bandeau programme aide CPA

Questions?

Contact us by email at covid19@cpaquebec.ca

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