Additional questions about eligibility to provide public accounting services or other regulated services or questions about applying? Submit an advisory services request.
Bookkeeping is not a regulated service. CPAs are permitted to perform bookkeeping services without being registered. For clarity, bookkeeping is considered data entry for record keeping purposes up to and including the trial balance. The production of financial statements and any related work thereon is not included in the category of bookkeeping. Members who are uncertain as to whether they are required to register a firm should submit an advisory services request.
There is an initial permit fee and annual permit fee required to be paid by each firm and professional corporation. Firms are also required to pay an annual practitioner fee for each partner, member, candidate and student in the firm. Access the current fee schedule.
Firms are also required to maintain minimum professional liability insurance and declare their compliance both at initial application and annually thereafter
Members who provide these services to the public are required to be registered. There is no minimum threshold (number of returns or dollars earned) in making the determination to be registered.
In many cases the person whose tax return you have prepared believes (often quite legitimately) that as a CPA you have at least some level of special expertise in tax. That leads to the (also quite legitimate) belief that you have provided “advice, counsel or interpretation” in preparing the return. In most cases, preparing a few tax returns for close family members is unlikely to require registration. However, preparing tax returns for people outside of a few family members or for extended family or friends is a risky proposition that can be very costly for both you and the taxpayer. In those cases, it is required that you register, obtain a permit and have professional liability insurance in place.
No. Registration is at the firm level; permits are issued to the firm in their approved name. However, any member providing services in which they have overall responsibility for engagements through a firm are required to meet the education and practical experience requirements for the intended stream of service. This includes any member with signing authority on engagements.
Yes, members are required to hold a permit to provide public accounting services or other regulated services regardless of monetary reward.
A firm providing public accounting services must use Chartered Professional Accountant(s) as part of their firm name or descriptive style. The acronym CPA is not permitted.
A firm providing other regulated services may use Chartered Professional Accountant(s) as part of their firm name or descriptive style, with one exception. Another regulated services firm practicing in corporate form may not use Chartered Professional Accountant(s) as part of their corporate name.
Access additional FAQs on use of the CPA designation by firms.
No. GST returns are statutory filings which are not included in the definition of other regulated services. Provided the member is not providing any other services alongside the preparation of GST/HST returns which may require registration, a permit is not required.