As part of the legislative process leading to unification, a Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Regulation was developed by the Government of Alberta, in conjunction with stakeholders.
The CPA Regulation is one of the governing documents of the profession, along with the Chartered Professional Accountants Act (the Act), the Rules of Professional Conduct, Directives, and Resolutions. The Act provides the framework under which the profession operates in Alberta, and the Regulation gives more details on how the CPA Alberta organization fulfills its duties under the Act.
The Regulation needed to be approved by the Government of Alberta and in principle by members of the profession in order for the Act to be proclaimed. The Bylaws and Rules or Professional Conduct support the application of the Regulations and Act and have also be approved by the members. Members of the former accounting bodies — CAs, CGAs, and CMAs — were encouraged to participate in this important final step in the unification through two member votes. The first vote, to approve in principle the CPA Regulation, was held from March 4 - 25, 2015.
What are Regulations?
Regulations are determined by the Government of Alberta, and are details that are added to legislation to provide additional guidance to pieces of legislation and have the force of law. Regulations support the Act, have the force of law and deal with issues over which the Government of Alberta wants control. In our case, the CPA Act set out what requirements must be set by Regulation. Typically they deal with access to the profession. As such, the CPA Regulation will be an integral part of CPA Alberta’s governing documents.
Previously, each former body (ICAA, CGA Alberta and CMA Alberta) had its own Regulation. Before approving a regulation, the Government consults with stakeholders regarding the regulations. In the case of the Chartered Professional Accountants Regulation, the Government of Alberta previously undertook a consultation process with stakeholders. A final requirement for the Lieutenant Governor in Council approving the regulation is the outcome of the vote of the members approving it in principle.
What does the CPA Regulation cover?
The Chartered Professional Accountants Regulation provides more operation details on some of the elements of the CPA Act. This includes such items as:
- The requirements for individuals applying to become candidates and for continuance of registration;
- The requirements for individuals applying to become members, including those from outside the province;
- Pathways to registration;
- The education and experience requirements to register as a public accounting firm or professional service provider;
- Continuing education requirements and reporting for continuation of registration of members
- The rules regarding limited liability partnerships; The rules regarding the use of the CPA designation, the legacy designations, and the US CPA designation; and
- The requirement to review the regulation within ten years.
What are some highlights of the CPA Regulation?
The profession has worked with the Government of Alberta on the CPA Regulation. The following elements are included in the Regulation and may be of interest:
- Consideration of more details in determining if an applicant is of good character.
- A 12-month timeline for a candidate to apply for registration after meeting the requirements, in order to ensure education is current.
- Details of the various pathways to registration in the profession, such as through the Professional Education Program (PEP), registration from other provinces/countries, and competence evaluation. Labour mobility requirements are also specifically addressed.
- Requirements to report annually on continuing professional development (CPD) on a three-year rolling cycle.
- Professional liability insurance limits for LLPs set at $2 million for partnerships with four or fewer CPAs; $2.5 million for larger partnerships.
- Use of protected titles, which include all legacy titles as well as CPA and Chartered Professional Accountant (including Fellow) for restricted use by specified registrants. Legacy designations are dealt with in the Regulation as well as in transitional provisions of the Act, and subject to Bylaws and Rules.
- Rules for use of U.S. CPA (Certified Public Accountant) similar to those under RAPA.