How to Set up a Public Accounting Practice
If you are providing accounting services to the public as defined by Bylaw 1.1.26 or practicing public accounting as defined by the Public Accounting Act, 2004, you must register a practice with the Institute. Providing accounting services to the public or practicing public accounting can be done on a full-time, part-time, subcontract, or consulting basis and include but are not limited to the following services:
- CSQC1 services (Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements and Other Assurance Engagements);
- Accounting insofar as it involves analysis, advice and interpretation in an expert capacity, but excluding record keeping;
- Taxation, in so far as it involves advice and counseling in an expert capacity, but excluding mechanical processing of returns;
- Compilation services if it can reasonably be expected that it will be relied upon by a third party; and;
- Assurance engagements, including an audit or a review engagement.
Providing Services requiring a Public Accounting Licence
If you are registering a firm that is performing public accounting services requiring a licence, you must obtain a public accounting licence. A public accounting licence is required when you are the lead engagement person responsible for signing the report or statement issued in respect of any:
- assurance engagement (including an audit or review engagement), or
- any compilation engagement in respect of which it can be reasonably expected that the services will be relied upon or used by a third party and the prescribed wording for the notice to reader is not used; and
- the report is issued in Ontario or the work for the engagement is primarily performed in Ontario.
For more information regarding obtaining a public accounting licence, please visit:
Public Accounting Licensing
If you intend to perform public accounting services requiring a licence through a professional corporation, the professional corporation will need to be authorized to practise as a public accountant in accordance with the Public Accounting Act, 2004 and the Bylaws and Regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Information is available at:
Registration of Professional Corporation
For further information about public accounting licensing in Ontario please click here.
Steps on how to set up a Public Accounting Practice:
Step 1 – Register a Public Accounting Practice with the Institute
Step 2 – Obtain Professional Liability Insurance
Step 3 – Note the following Helpful Resources
Step 4 – Be Familiar with Independence Rules
Firm Updates - in order to make changes to your firm information all changes must be submitted in writing. Please complete and return the firm update form within 30 days.
If you require further assistance please contact Practice Advisory at (416) 962-1841 x 456 or
1-800-387-0735 x 456 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.