Reporting illegal practice

What is the authorized use of the designation?

In Quebec, only Order members may use the chartered professional accountant designation or the “CPA” initials.

What is prohibited?

Persons who are not members of the CPA Order may not present themselves to the public:

  • as a chartered professional accountant (CPA);
  • by using any other designation, abbreviation or initial that could imply that they are:
    • a chartered accountant (CA); 
    • a certified general accountant (CGA);
    • a certified management accountant (CMA);
    • a public accountant.

Persons who are not members of the CPA Order and who do not hold a public accountancy permit may not:

  • use the CPA auditor designation;
  • perform audit engagements, review engagements or compilation engagements that are not intended exclusively for internal management purposes;
  • sign a representation related to such engagements.

Let us know if you believe you are dealing with someone who claims to be a CPA or CPA auditor but is not, or a person who performs any of the above-mentioned acts but is not an Order member.

Important! Reporting a situation to the Order does not result in:

  • financial compensation; 
  • redress for an act performed by a non-CPA.

How to report illegal practice

To report illegal practice to the Order, please fill out the form below and provide the most complete and accurate information possible.

To help us process your request, you may include the following, as the case may be: 

  • the relevant financial statements;
  • a copy of the person’s webpages or advertising;
  • a copy of email exchanges with the person in question;
  • all documents relevant to the review of your request.

The identity of a person reporting illegal practice may remain confidential. However, that person’s testimony is often essential to helping us take the necessary recourse.

How a complaint about illegal practice is processed

When the Order receives a complaint about illegal practice, it launches an inquiry and, where appropriate, initiates penal proceedings against those who violated the CPA Act and the Professional Code or takes any other action it deems appropriate. 

The decisions made by the Order are communicated to the complainants.

Finding a judgment

Decisions rendered by the courts on matters of illegal practice are public and can be viewed on the following websites:

Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ)
Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)

Questions?

For more information, please contact the Order’s Legal Affairs Vice-Presidency at exerciceillegal@cpaquebec.ca, or by phone at 514 288.3256 [3038] or toll-free at 1 800 363.4688.

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