The Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario (the Council) is a corporate body that was continued under the Public Accounting Act, 2004 (the Act). Its purpose is to ensure that public accounting in Ontario is practised in accordance with internationally respected public accounting standards that reflect the public interest in the delivery of superior quality public accounting services. The Council is accountable to the Attorney General, Government of Ontario.
The Council oversees the regulation of public accounting in the public interest by:
At present, the only designated body named in the Act is the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.
Public accounting is the business of expressing independent assurance and certain other services in respect of financial statements and other financial information of enterprises where it can reasonably be expected that the services will be relied upon or used by a third party.
The Standards of the Council require a designated body that seeks to be authorized to license and govern the activities of its members as public accountants to meet certain minimum standards relating to its:
The Council's initial Standards were adopted on June 20, 2006. They were amended and restated on July 11, 2012, December 24, 2012, January 8, 2014 and further amended and restated on September 12, 2017.
On May 17, 2017 the Ontario Government passed the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario Act, 2017 (the “CPA Act”). The CPA Act recognizes the unification of the three Ontario designated accounting bodies1 and establishes the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario . For a period of 10 years ending on November 1, 2022, all members of the former three bodies carry a CPA designation in addition to their legacy designation.
Concurrent with coming into force of the CPA Act, the Act was complementarily amended.
The Council engaged Promontory Financial Group Canada, ULC to conduct a review of its future mandate primarily as a result of the unification of the three designated accounting bodies in Ontario. Promontory has released its report and it was received by the Council on March 24, 2015.
1Until the introduction of the CPA Act, the three designated bodies under the Public Accounting Act, 2004, were:
In 2014, the three designated bodies were unified under the banner Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.