Ontario Introduces Accounting Professions Act
McGuinty Government Modernizing Governance Of Main Accounting Bodies
Ontario is proposing new legislation that would, if passed, help ensure greater public transparency for the accounting profession while providing their governing bodies with new powers to better protect consumers.
The proposed legislation would clarify the authority of the three accounting bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario and the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario, to govern their members, while increasing accountability to the public for their work.
Some of the proposed measures in the Accounting Professions Act would:
- Make all three statutes public acts. At present Certified General Accountants (CGAs) and Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) have private acts
- Spell out the power of bodies to govern their members including, the power to admit members, ensure their competence through entry standards, inspect or investigate member practices, and discipline members who break the rules
- Ensure that information received by the regulatory bodies for carrying out their duties is kept confidential
- Increase the fine for improper use of the bodies' designations to a maximum of $10,000.
- The proposed Accounting Professions Act complements the Public Accounting Act, 2004, which modernized the regulation of public accounting and clarified its definition by determining what activities require a licence.
- If passed, the Accounting Professions Act would change the name of the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario to Certified Management Accountants of Ontario.
“The Accounting Professions Act, if passed, would bring the statutes governing the three main regulatory bodies for accounting in line with 21st century standards. New measures in the Act would safeguard consumer protection and strengthen the accounting industry's transparency.”