Description of Investigation and Discipline Process

Once a complaint has been approved for investigation, an Investigator is appointed. The Investigator will conduct interviews and gather relevant information. The Investigator may share any or all information received from all parties with the member, former member, registered firm, former registered firm or student.
After the investigation has concluded, the Investigator will submit a report to the Investigation Committee. The Investigation Committee will make a determination as follows:

  1. The case be dismissed due to a lack of evidence to support grounds for disciplinary action; or the subject of the investigation is beyond CPABC’s jurisdiction;
  2. There are sufficient grounds for disciplinary action.  Depending on the seriousness of the breach, CPABC will attempt to reach a resolution with the member, former member, registered firm, former registered firm or student.  If the Investigation Committee does not recommend public disclosure of a resolution, details of the resolution may not be shared with the complainant;
  3. If the breach warrants a suspension or cancellation of the membership of the member, the enrolment of the student, the permit of the professional accounting corporation or the registration of the registered firm; or bar from reinstatement for the former member or registered firm, the matter may proceed to the Disciplinary Committee. If your complaint is referred to the Disciplinary Committee, you may be called as a witness.

If the complaint is referred to the Disciplinary Committee, notice will be sent to the complainant; and notice of the hearing will be posted on the CPABC website.  However, details of the citation will not be disclosed in the public notice.

Hearings are heard by a panel of three or five members of the Disciplinary Committee, including a public representative.  CPABC retains a lawyer who acts as the prosecutor for the case. Hearings are open to the public.

At the conclusion of a hearing, the panel will decide to dismiss the complaint or confirm it, in whole or in part, and give reasons for its decision.

Under our Act, member/registered firm, former member, former registered firm or student, or CPABC may appeal a panel’s order by applying to the Supreme Court of BC.
The resolutions and sanctions may include fines, costs and other remedial actions. Very serious matters may result in a suspension or cancellation of membership.  Our processes do not allow for remedies available under civil court actions.