Obligations and responsibilities

As a CPA, do you administer or hold property or sums of money belonging to third parties? If so, here are your main obligations and responsibilities.

When accepting the mandate

  • Make sure you have a contract that clearly defines the transaction to be concluded.
  • Take the necessary measures to ensure that the transaction is legal.
  • Deposit all funds entrusted to you, immediately after receipt thereof, in a general or special trust account, as the case may be.
  • Submit, without delay, the general or special trust account opening form to the Order as well as the financial institution or investment dealer where the trust account was opened.

Types of trust accounts

General trust account: An account opened in the name of one or several CPAs, or of the partnership or joint-stock company within which the CPA practices the profession, to deposit funds that do not belong to the CPA and for which the CPA has waived any rights to the interest in favour of the Order.

Special trust account: An account opened on behalf of a client requiring such an account, and in which are deposited funds and interest belonging to the client.

Special consolidated account: An account having the same characteristics as a special account, but that is opened in the name of the firm specifically for trustees in bankruptcy.

Investment management

In the case of an investment within the meaning of paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 1339 of the Civil Code of Québec, the account may be opened with an unrestricted practice investment dealer duly accredited by the Autorité des marchés financiers or a similar organization and member of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

A member who does not hold a general power of attorney must also obtain written authorization from the client specifying the type of investment, its maturity and the terms and conditions.

Financial institutions that have entered into an agreement with the Order to facilitate the opening of trust accounts
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • BMO Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • National Bank of Canada (NBC)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • Fédération des Caisses Desjardins

To open an account with another institution, you must contact the Order for the conditions that apply.

During the mandate

  • Adequately control the accounts and properly document the control and administration of accounts. 
  • Keep accounting records in accordance with accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE).
  • Protect the confidentiality of information. 
  • Upon request, give the Order access to all information respecting the holding or administration of property belonging to third parties.

At the end of the mandate

  • Return all unclaimed inactive accounts to Revenu Québec.
  • Submit, without delay, a duly completed trust account closing form to the Order.

Annual accountability report to the Order

Whether the services are rendered in a professional or personal capacity, even for a member of the immediate or extended family (family mandate), you must report it in your annual declaration to the Order. You must then submit the accountability report to the Order by March 31.


Non-compliance with the Regulation

If a member or former member fails to comply with the provisions of this Regulation, the Order may:

  • Request and obtain from the financial institution or investment dealer all the information or explanations that are necessary or useful for purposes of the Regulation;
  • Block the funds deposited;
  • Take charge of the administration of funds or property;
  • Appoint a person to audit the trust accounting records of the member or former member.