More About the Benevolent Fund
Introducing the CPABC Benevolent Fund
benevolent / adj. 1 wishing to do good; actively friendly and helpful. 2 charitable (benevolent fund; benevolent society).
The Chartered Professional Accountants Act permits CPABC to receive, manage, and invest donations to maintain a fund for the benefit of members who require financial assistance due to health or other issues. This fund may also provide support to the family of a deceased member.1
The ability to create and direct this kind of fund was included in two of the legacy acts— Accountants (Chartered) and Accountants (Certified General)—but the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia (ICABC) was the only entity to establish one, which it named the “Benevolent Fund.” The Benevolent Fund was created at the ICABC’s annual general meeting in 1935.
Since its inception, the Fund has consistently provided support for individuals dealing with alcoholism and addiction, debilitating health issues, and other crises resulting in financial hardship.
The amalgamation of the legacy bodies into CPABC means that all of the property, rights, and interests of the former entities are now those of CPABC.2 Consequently, the legacy Benevolent Fund is now available to all CPABC members as the CPABC Benevolent Fund. The CPABC Benevolent Fund provides confidential financial assistance to those who are experiencing hardships due to medical, family, relationship, or other issues.
Each case is dealt with in the strictest of confidence.
How the Fund is Governed
The new Fund is governed by Regulations for Administration (RFA), as approved and amended by the CPABC board. The current RFA set out the funding available and the investments permitted, as well as the financial policies and governance structure. The Fund is administered by a board of trustees who are appointed by the provincial board. The trustees disburse financial support at their absolute discretion. Over the past 10 years, annual disbursements from the Fund have ranged from as little as zero to as high as $48,000, averaging approximately $20,000 per annum.
How the Fund is Financed
The revenues of the Benevolent Fund come primarily from two sources: 1) donations and 2) income on the Fund's investment portfolio.
The legacy fund was registered as a charitable organization on January 1, 1967, and the new Fund maintains this status. As such, it is able to issue tax receipts for donations received from members and other contributors.
Donations are gratefully received and can be sent to CPABC (made payable to the CPABC Benevolent Fund). Alternatively, you can make a donation to the Fund by adding a contribution when paying your annual member dues. Tax receipts are provided for donations over $20.
Supplementing these donations, the Fund earns investment income on its portfolio. Investment income is held mostly in fixed income securities—this complies with both the Fund’s investment policy for asset preservation and the forms of investment as permitted by the Trustee Act of BC.
How the Fund Makes a Difference
While each benevolence case has unique circumstances, there is one common goal: helping others navigate through hardship. To illustrate the value of this support, here are a few testimonials from members who accessed the legacy fund (names withheld to preserve anonymity):
“Our issue was health-related, and affected our entire family. The Fund helped us deal with some of the expenses related to this crisis and relieved some of our financial stress.”
“I don’t even want to contemplate where my life would have ended up had it not been for the confidential assistance I received. Evening drinks were keeping me medicated from reality. Then I began augmenting these evening drinks with drinks during the day. With the help of the Fund, I was put into a treatment centre where I was able to dry out and address my problems. My life slowly began to return to me.”
“While I was struggling with the aftermath of a marriage breakdown, the Fund provided me with financial assistance to cover my living expenses for a few months until I secured full-time employment. This assistance did more than lift a huge burden off my shoulders—it was a lifeline that enabled me to focus on pulling myself and my family out of crisis mode and back into financial and emotional health.
Support is Just a Call or Click Away
If you think you, or another member, may benefit from the support of the CPABC Benevolent Fund, please contact David Chiang, CPA, CA, CPABC’s VP of member services and Fund secretary, to discuss the situation confidentially by phone at 604.488.2629 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Section 8(1)(a) of the CPA Act (2015)
2. Section 75(1) transition rules of the CPA Act (2015).