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What does it mean to be a professional?

What does it mean to be a professional

The CPA designation: a privilege, not a right

The primary mission of a professional order is to protect the public. The permit issued by an order is therefore a privilege granted to individuals who agree to meet the highest standards of competence and integrity.

You will be authorized to use the chartered professional accountant (CPA) designation once you complete all the steps in your path as a candidate for the practice of the profession, and your permit application has been approved.

This designation comes with ethical obligations that you must fulfill throughout your career. Otherwise, you may be subject to penalties, including the loss of your permit and, by extension, your right to practise the profession.

Practice of the profession

For CPAs, the practice of the profession covers a wide range of activities that aim to optimize the performance, profit and growth of the patrimony of a person, enterprise or organization; promote good governance and accountability; and increase information reliability.

Did you say public accountancy?

Public accountancy, as set out in the CPA Act, is the professional activity reserved to CPAs.

It encompasses the following services in connection with financial statements or information related to financial statements:

  • audit engagements;
  • review engagements;
  • compilation engagements.

For more information about these services, visit the CPAs and financial statements page.

Find out more

A reserved activity, or reserved act, is an activity that only members of a professional order may carry out.

Certain public accountancy activities, such as audit and review engagements, may only be performed by CPA auditors (designation used by holders of a public accountancy permit in accordance with the Regulation respecting the public accountancy permit of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec). See table of reserved acts [PDF] for details.

Important! Anyone who practises public accountancy without the appropriate permit can be investigated for illegal practice of the profession.