Professional Accounting Firm

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Professional Accounting Firm (PAF) Registrations Requirements

Professional accounting firms (PAFs) are registered in Alberta under the Varied Registration Model. This model provides clear understanding for clients and prospective clients on the types of services that a PAF can perform. The model also follows the standards set for PAF registrations (including licensure in some provinces) across the country. The Varied Registration Model contains four categories, which are designed to cover the unique types of PAFs currently operating:

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

Any Chartered Professional Accountant who is providing or offering services listed under professional accounting services or public accounting services in the Chartered Professional Accountants Act (CPA Act) must be registered as a professional accounting firm (PAF). If a member is only providing business valuation or insolvency services, they must be registered as a professional service provider (PSP).

The PAF PSP Decision Model flow chart helps CPAs identify which services require registration with CPA Alberta.

The first step in the registration process is to evaluate the CPA’s eligibility to register a PAF according to the qualifications set out in the CPA Alberta Directives.

The details on education and practical experience requirements for the PAF Varied Registration categories are available in the Professional Accounting Firm Varied Registration Category Requirements.

To assess a CPA’s eligibility to register a PAF, the CPA must complete the Professional Accounting Firm New Applicant Assessment form. In some cases, the Practical Experience Verification (PEV) form(s) may also be required to complete the assessment. A general guide to assist CPAs in completing the PEV can be found here. If you have any questions about these forms, please email

Please note: Process time for PAF assessments is typically between two (2) to four (4) weeks but can take up to eight (8) weeks, depending on the volume of assessments received by CPA Alberta.

CPA Alberta PAF Frequently Asked Questions.

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