Draft Report to Government
A Message from the President
Attached, you will find our draft report to the Provincial Government, with recommendations regarding the national unification initiative. This report takes into consideration Council’s dual mandate of protecting the public (through education and regulation of CAs) and representing our members’ interests.
To that end, between May 2011 and April 2012, on Council’s behalf, the ICABC held a comprehensive consultation process regarding unification. We spoke to approximately 3,400 members through town halls and firm meetings and heard from over 3,300 BC CAs through a members’ survey. On our website, we posted an on-line presentation that laid out both the national Unification Framework and BC Merger Proposal. The ICABC also asked firms, training offices, Council’s public representatives, consumers, regulators, and academics for their views on the unification initiative.
What did we hear? Members generally support the principles contained in the Unification Framework. It isn’t perfect, but on balance, this is a fair and reasonable basis on which we could proceed—as long as it is part of a national initiative. Members also thought that stakeholder support was important, and we know that many of the firms and other key stakeholders overwhelmingly support the initiative, and feel that unification is in the public and consumer interest.
This draft report is the product of this extensive feedback, and after thoughtful deliberation by your elected representatives, Council believes that it makes sense for the ICABC to actively work towards unification, both provincially and nationally, to make sure that our members’ concerns are clearly on the table. That said, the ICABC is not in a position to unilaterally determine the outcome of unification here in BC or across Canada.
Provincially, we need to work with the other professional accounting bodies and the government, recognizing that the ultimate decision lies with the BC Legislature.
We also know that unification is dependent on national developments, where we will clearly need to see progress in key jurisdictions before providing our final report and recommendations regarding unification to government.
What we have witnessed since these discussions began is a complex, and sometimes unpredictable process involving close to 40 different bodies in multiple jurisdictions—each working within their own process and timeline. However, while there are many details still to be worked out, the leadership of Canada’s accounting designations—in each province and nationally— have repeatedly stated that they are in support of the principles of unification.
Looking out over the coming months, with Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) Legislation introduced in Quebec (which is to be enacted very shortly), the status quo in Canada is over. We are on the cusp of having four accounting designations in Canada, two of which will include the words chartered accountant. With internal trade and labour mobility legislation these designations will be portable, and the national accounting landscape will be irrevocably altered. It was in anticipation of this eventuality that the accounting bodies initiated discussions and consultations on unification in the first place.
It has been a challenging year for Council and everyone at the Institute. We believe we’ve done our utmost to reach out, inform, and listen to many divergent opinions. These efforts put us in a position to represent you better, and I respectfully ask you to endorse our recommendations.
We are now asking members to vote on the recommendations contained in this report (or copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://www.visioncriticalsurveys.com/R.aspx?a=2655). The membersí vote on this initiative is open from May 1 to 18.
Lenard F. Boggio, FCA
Draft Report to Government with Recommendations
Appendix 1: National Unification Framework
Appendix 2: BC Provincial Merger Proposal
Appendix 3: Proposed CPA Certification Program
Appendix 4: ICABC Consultation Report
Appendix 5: BC Securities Commission letter
Decision Making Process
The following outlines the decision making process regarding the unification initiative. Your Council will:
Consult with members and relevant stakeholders regarding the proposal;
Consider all the feedback received, as well as the developments regarding unification in other provinces (this process is currently underway);
Draft a report and recommendations to the provincial government regarding the initiative that objectively reflects the input received from our consultation with members and stakeholders;
Provide the draft report to members and ask them to vote on Council’s recommendations to government; and
After this vote is held, provide the provincial government with a final report and recommendations that considers the results of the member vote.
Council will consider the results of this vote, the views of other stakeholders, and what is happening across Canada when finalizing the report and recommendations to the BC Government. The final report to government will include the results of the member vote.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this important initiative. Please take the time to inform yourself and make your views known.