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
- Financial reporting and assurance
- Tools and resources
- Order communications
- Useful links
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.
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.
- Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on financial reporting by private enterprises and on assurance [PDF]
- Challenges of physical inventory counts on March 31, 2020 [PDF]
- CPA Canada – External resources related to reporting and audit
Prioritizing safety and communications
Ensuring the financial and operational stability of the organization
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.
- Guide provided by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) intended for employers and employees (in French only)
- Guide de la gestion de la continuité des activités pour les petites et moyennes entreprises québécoises, Government of Quebec (in French only)
- Business continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs, Business Development Bank of Canada
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.
- COVID-19: Practical workforce strategies that put your people first, Deloitte
- Crisis Survival Guide: How 66 CEOs And Executives Are Leading From Home, Real Leaders
- Eight steps for designing a coronavirus crisis management plan, Compliance Week
- COVID-19 : leadership sous tension, Les Affaires (in French only)
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.
- COVID-19: Managing cash flow during a period of crisis, Deloitte
- Better cash flow management: How it benefitted this entrepreneur, Business Development Bank of Canada
- Techniques for better cash flow management, Business Development Bank of Canada
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
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.
- Working from home for the first time? Here's how to make it a success, CBC
- Télétravail 101 dans un contexte de pandémie, Yarledis Coneo (in French only)
- Télétravailleurs, voici comment bosser en dépit des enfants!, Les Affaires
Preparing for recovery
Resources will be published in this section. Come back soon!
Newsletters – Special edition
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Read the message from the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order >
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.
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:
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) – Information for the general population (Government of Quebec)
- World Health Organization
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