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CA Act and Revisions

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The current version of the Accountants (Chartered) Act is available electronically at BC Laws from the Queen’s Printer.

Accountants (Chartered) Act

CA Act Revisions

Approved by Council on March 24, 2004 and confirmed by Membership at AGM

On March 24, 2004, the provisions of Bill 78 - the Accountants (Chartered) Amendment Act, 2003 were brought into force by the government. That bill, which was passed by the Legislature last fall, makes significant changes to the Accountants (Chartered) Act that will help modernize the governance and regulation of the profession in BC. Highlights of those changes were outlined in the January 2004 issue of Beyond Numbers (GR Update: CA Act Amended in BC).

A consolidated version of the amended Act is not yet available from the Queen's Printer at this time.

To coincide with the coming into force of Bill 78, on March 24, 2004 Council also approved substantial changes to the Institute's bylaws and rules of professional conduct, and its related regulations and council interpretations, to implement the changes to the Act. In accordance with Section 8 of the amended Act, the bylaw and rule changes are effective immediately, and will be presented to the membership for confirmation at the Annual General Meeting on June 23, 2004.

Summary of Significant Changes to the bylaws and rules:

Although many changes to the bylaws and rules are necessary to implement the changes to the Act, the following changes will be among the most significant for members:

  1. The amended bylaws establish three classes of licences to be issued to firms under Section 14.1 of the amended Act:
    1. Practice licences will be issued to firms operating a practising office or offices within BC. Each practising office in BC will also need to be authorised under the licence. (Transitional regulations provide that every practising office that held a practice licence under the old bylaws as of March 23, 2004 is automatically granted authorisation, and the firm operating the practising office is automatically issued a practice licence under the amended Act.)
       
    2. Extra-provincial licences will be issued to firms that are eligible for licensing under the amended Act with practising offices located only in other provinces or territories of Canada. (Under the transitional regulations, every partnership or proprietorship that held a BC extra-provincial licence as of March 23, 2004 is automatically issued an extra-provincial licence under the amended Act.)
       
    3. Incorporation licences will be issued to corporations that are partners in a licensed firm, but which do not operate a distinct practising office requiring a practice licence. (Under the transitional regulations, every corporation that held a permit under the old Rule 410.2 as of March 23, 2004 is automatically issued an incorporation licence under the amended Act.)
       
  2. The amended bylaws will allow members to vote by electronic means at Annual and Special General Meetings on motions to confirm changes to the bylaws or rules, or other matters determined by Council. (This change will not be effective until after the June 23, 2004 Annual General Meeting.)
     
  3. The amended bylaws will clarify the right under the amended Act of a member of the Institute holding a US-granted CPA designation to use and display that designation accompanied by the name of the state where the designation was granted, together with and following the CA designation.
     
  4. The rules of professional conduct are amended to extend their application to licensed firms, and to require licensed firms to maintain certain policies and procedures, in accordance with harmonized firm rules developed by CICA's Ethics Standards Harmonization Committee for implementation across Canada.
     
  5. Changes have been made to the bylaws governing the Institute's practice review, investigation and discipline processes, as well as the regulations governing fees and professional liability insurance requirements, to add the necessary references to licensed firms.
     
  6. Changes have been made to the bylaws to reflect the new maximum fines which may be imposed by the Discipline Tribunal under the amended Act of up to $25,000 for an individual CA, and $100,000 for a licensed firm. The maximum fine for firms with fewer than four members will also be graduated under the bylaws, to ensure proportionality with the size of the firm being fined. And, the same limitations are established for fines recommended by the Professional Conduct Enquiry Committee.
     
  7. The amended bylaws include a tariff of costs for investigations and discipline proceedings, as required under the amended Act.
     
  8. Under the amended bylaws, members will be able to appeal Discipline Tribunal decisions directly to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, without first having to appeal to the Council Appeal Tribunal, which is eliminated.
     
  9. Changes have also been made to Part 4 of the bylaws to facilitate the administration by the CA School of Business of student enrolment, education, experience and evaluation. References to the old experience requirement of the School of Chartered Accountancy and other matters that are now administered by the CA School of Business have also been removed from the regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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