Varied Registration Model

Finding Your Firm’s Fit

Attention firms!

As of October 1, 2017, CPA Alberta’s Professional Accounting Firm (PAF) registration structure has changed to the Varied Registration Model. This new model provides increased clarity for clients and prospective clients on the types of services that a PAF can perform and follows the standards set for PAF registrations/licensure across the country.

The Varied Registration Model contains four categories:

  • Audit
  • Review
  • Compilation
  • Other regulated services (including public accounting practice services)

More information regarding the education and practical experience requirements for the PAF Varied Registration categories can be found here.

Registration information can be found on the Professional Accounting Firm page on our website.

Prior to October 1, 2017, PAFs were registered based on a “restrictions” basis: what services is the firm not able to provide, based on the education and experience of those in the firm. As an example, a firm may be “restricted from providing audit services,” since the CPAs in the firm do not have recent, related experience, education, or training in this area.

With the new Varied Registration Model, PAFs are registered based on an “approvals” basis: what areas of service the firm provides. As an example, a firm may be registered as providing compilation, review, and other regulated services.

Firms will be registered in one or more of the following categories under the Varied Registration Model:
  • Audit
  • Review
  • Compilation
  • Other regulated services (including public accounting practice services)
Registration in this model is based on the training, qualifications, and experience of the members of the PAF. So, within any given PAF, different CPAs may be able to provide different services. CPA Alberta assesses any member who has the authority to issue any services defined as professional or public accounting practice on behalf of the firm to determine their eligibility to provide these services based on the requirements outlined in the Varied Registration Model. It is subsequently the firm’s responsibility to ensure appropriate individuals are providing appropriate services to clients and based on the staff member’s assessment as provided by CPA Alberta. This ensures that appropriately trained and qualified individuals are able to provide the services they are qualified and competent to deliver.
PAFs registered with CPA Alberta prior to October 1, 2017 have been automatically transitioned to the Varied Registration Model according to the firm’s previous categorization; no action was necessary by the firm to complete this change. For example, if a firm was unrestricted prior to October 1 (i.e., the firm was licensed to provide all services, including audits), then the PAF can continue to hold registration in all four of the new categories (Audit, Review, Compilation, and Other regulated services).

PAFs that had been restricted from providing some services have been categorized accordingly. For example, a firm restricted from performing assurance services prior to October 1 would be registered in the following categories: Compilation and Other regulated services.

Again, registration in this model is based on the training, qualifications, and experience of the members of the PAF. So, within any given PAF, different CPAs may be able to provide different services. CPA Alberta assesses any member who has the authority to issue any services defined as professional or public accounting practice on behalf of the firm to determine their eligibility to provide these services based on the requirements outlined in the Varied Registration Model. It is subsequently the firm’s responsibility to ensure appropriate individuals are providing appropriate services to clients and based on the staff member’s assessment as provided by CPA Alberta. This ensures that appropriately trained and qualified individuals are able to provide the services they are qualified and competent to deliver.
No. The type of services a PAF can provide is based on the same criteria as was previously the case. The move to the Varied Registration Model did not change the types of services a firm can provide.
Firms are changing to meet the unique needs of their clients; it’s important CPA Alberta change its practices, too. This new registration model more clearly demonstrates to clients and prospective clients the type of work the PAF is qualified to deliver, and acknowledges the nuances inherent in each firm. The Varied Registration Model also creates a more efficient registration process and harmonizes registration processes for all PAFs across Canada.
No action is necessary by PAFs to complete the transition to the Varied Registration Model. Each PAF has been automatically transitioned by CPA Alberta according to its previous categorization; firms can continue to offer the same services to clients. CPA Alberta have mailed individual firms regarding their registration and more information on the Varied Registration Model.

If you have any questions on this change, please contact the CPA Alberta Corporate Registrations Team at paf@cpaalberta.ca.
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