FAQs - Practice Review

Practice Reviews

Any member that is registered for public practice (except in the Other Regulated Services – Non-Reviewable category) is subject to a practice review.  You will be contacted in advance to schedule the review.  

Sole practitioners are practice reviewed as individuals.  However, offices with multiple partners and/or authorized staff have all practitioners reviewed together.  If the engagements of one partner are assessed as not meeting standards, the entire office would be assessed as not meeting standards and subject to reinspection in at least the type of work where standards were not met at a cost to the firm (currently $210/PRO/hour).

For firms with multiple offices that have different registered practitioner(s), the practice review is done separately for each office. A request can be made to have the inspection of these offices done together, but it will be subject to availability and resources. 

If multiple offices are inspected at the same time, the inspections would be conducted based on the earliest due date of all the offices being inspected.

For firms with multiple office locations but the same registered practitioner(s), the locations will be reviewed together as one inspection.

During a practice review, depending on the practice profile of the firm, a Practice Review Officer (“PRO”) would look at a sample of engagements including:

  • Audits
  • Reviews
  • Other assurance engagements (legal and real estate trusts, special reports)
  • Compilation files
  • Tax (T1, T2s, T5013s and optional tax filings)
  • Future-oriented financial information (FOFI) engagements
  • Business valuation (non-CBV)

This is not an exhaustive list of reviewable work. Contact Damian Hee, Director, Practice Review for more information.

A PRO will contact you to schedule your practice inspection approximately one to two months prior to your practice review deadline. 

If you plan to retire and cancel your public practice license, your practice review may be waived upon receipt of a Request for Cancellation of Public Practice License form.  

Should you not cancel your license as intended, you will still be subject to practice review.

Please review our practitioners licensing page for information on the cancellation of a public practice license.

Details regarding the practice review process and what it entails can be found at our Practice Review page of the website. 

All new firms are required to have a practice inspection within one year of registration. We recognize that some firms may not yet have reviewable work at the date that they are contacted to provide a list of assurance and compilation engagements to CPABC.

If you have not yet released any reviewable work, please respond via email to practicereview@bccpa.ca with:

  • Confirmation that you have not yet performed any reviewable work
  • The expected completion date and type of engagements for the reviewable work you plan to perform (ie. “Expect to have three compilations, three T2s completed by September 2024 and ten T1s completed by end of April 2024”)

Please consult the “What type of work is inspected in a practice review?” FAQ above on types of reviewable work.

CPABC performs the inspections of home-based offices as a desk review, where files are selected from the firm’s list of assurance and compilation engagements and then submitted to CPABC online or by courier to CPABC’s office. 

Practices considered to be home-based offices:

  • A firm located inside a practitioner’s home.
  • A firm who performs work and stores client records in their home and meets clients in a third-party location (ie. clients’ offices or a rental meeting space)
  • A firm where the work is performed in various locations, files are stored in the cloud, and there is no separate office where the practitioner meets with clients during normal business hours.

Practices not considered to be home-based offices

  • A firm who operates an office on their property, but not in their home (ie. a garage or other building), which is open to the public.
  • A firm with a separate office location where clients are met during business hours where a practitioner also occasionally works from home.

Please note that CPABC is currently performing all compilation and tax inspections as desk reviews; however, requests for an in-person inspections may be accommodated.

A PRO will provide file selection and file submission instructions prior to the commencement of your practice review. Electronic files should be submitted using our secure FileCloud.

Some items to keep in mind when using FileCloud

  • The username for FileCloud is the email address mentioned in your File Selection Email.
  • Please check your junk/trash bins if you have not received file submission instructions within the timelines outlined. 
  • Password Requirements: The file cloud password must be at least eight characters long with at least: ONE CAPITAL letterONE Lowercase letter, ONE symbol, and ONE number.
  • If you are unable to login in, please contact IT at: helpdesk@bccpa.ca

Please note that CPABC will be adopting a new system in May 2024 whereby the transmission of all information (i.e. client lists, inspection documents, PRO reports) will be through a “Firm Portal” located within the practitioner’s CPABC online services account.  Details for this will be provided when finalized.

All paper files received by the Practice Review team are stored and securely locked in a room at CPABC’s office with restricted access.  These files are inspected only on CPABC’s premises and then returned to the practitioner once the practice review is complete.  For electronic files, practitioners are provided access through a secure portal (changes to be made in May 2024).  Instructions are provided to the practitioner once it is confirmed that the files will be provided electronically.

Regardless of the method of transmission (paper or electronic), CPABC is governed by a strict confidentiality policy, as noted in Part 9.69 of the CPABC Act and further detailed here.

Special Reports are assurance or attestation reports. They can cover performing assurance procedures at the request of a third party on certain areas such as client revenues, expenses, salary/draws, & other financial statement information. They can also include advising on the results of applying specified procedures to financial information or a report on compliance with a specific agreement.

Some examples of special reports are those prepared under CAS 805, CSRS 4400, CSAE 3000, CSAE 3001, CSAE 3530 etc. This would include engagement such as Eligible Student Audits (required by the Ministry of Education), Real Estate Trust Audit (Required by BCFSA), Sales Audits (required by certain municipal governments) etc.

The list of your firm’s assurance and compilation engagements is what we use to select files for inspection.  Practitioners who perform T1, T2, T5013s and optional tax filing engagements only do not need to submit this list.

CPABC has provided a sample template which can be found here; however, you are welcome to provide the list in any other format as long as it contains for each engagement partner / authorized staff:

  • Name of the client
  • Type of engagement (audit, review, compilation, trust engagement, or special report)
  • Financial reporting framework (IFRS, ASPE, ASNPO, PSAB)
  • Whether or not the engagement is considered high risk*

This refers to the engagement partner or authorized staff (i.e. staff with signing authority) who is responsible for the sign off and release of the file. We recognize that some firms may assign a relationship partner to an engagement. While this can be helpful for a firm’s internal purposes, for the inspections, we need to identify who the engagement partner is as we select a sample of files for each engagement partner and authorized staff.

Please refer to the definitions for an engagement partner in the following sections of the CPA Canada Handbook: CSQM1.3(b), CSQM1.A1, CAS 220.C12(a), CSRE 2400.22-23, CSAE 3000.C12(e), CSAE 3001.14(f) etc.

A firm may designate a ‘practice review partner’ who will become the contact person for the practice review process. Please submit this request to practicereview@bccpa.ca.

This person must be a member partner (MP) or a member-partner equivalent (MPE) and hold a valid public practice license.