Competition Bureau validates CGA position on public practice rights

    OTTAWA, Dec. 12 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants Association of
Canada (CGA-Canada) welcomes the Competition Bureau Study on the Professions.
The findings in the report recognize the importance of self regulation; a
significant privilege accorded to the professions in Canada.
    The report sends a strong signal to governments and regulatory bodies
that laws and regulations that impede access to certain professions, such as
public accounting, are unnecessary and stifle competition. This position
supports the notion that competition in the marketplace is good for the
consumer and contributes to an efficient and effective economy in Canada.
    "CGA-Canada has long advocated for full public practice rights for CGAs
in Canada and is pleased to see the recommendations supporting our position in
the report," says Anthony Ariganello, President and Chief Executive Officer of
CGA-Canada. "While the changes that are currently underway to remove barriers
to public accounting will improve competition in the marketplace, it is now
clear that the limits that have been historically placed on the practice of
public accounting in Canada have been unnecessary to protect the public. It is
important to note, however, that we are not there yet, and the report
recognizes that there is still work to be done in both Ontario and Quebec on
this matter."
    CGA-Canada encourages governments and regulatory bodies to heed the
report's finding that maintaining high accounting standards does not require
imposing one accounting body's education and examination requirements on
others. The report points out that there are many routes available to become a
professional accountant - and choice in the marketplace is a good thing for
individuals who wish to become certified as a professional accountant. This
reinforces the position long held by CGA-Canada on this matter.
    Another very important point noted in the report is that the self
regulatory bodies must be impartial and not self-serving. Professional
organizations must recognize the importance of the consumer marketplace by
including independent public members at the table. CGA-Canada agrees, and
believes that oversight bodies need to take this into account when addressing
questions of governance. CGA-Canada values the perspective of the public and
in its new governance model to be implemented in 2008 - the year of its 100th
anniversary - the public will have a place at the board table. Professional
self regulation needs to be more about safe-guarding the public interest and
less about promoting and protecting the brand.
    CGA-Canada has carefully reviewed the report and will be referring
specific recommendations to appropriate committees. We appreciate the
opportunity we had to work closely with the Bureau as it studied the
professions over the past eighteen months and we look forward to the two year
review of its recommendations.

    About CGA-Canada

    CGA is the fastest-growing accounting designation in Canada. The CGA
designation focuses on integrity, ethics and the highest education
requirements. Recognized as the country's accounting business leaders, CGAs
provide strategic counsel, financial leadership, and overall direction to all
sectors of the Canadian economy.
    The Association sets standards, develops education programs, publishes
professional materials, advocates on public policy issues, and represents CGAs
nationally and internationally. The Certified General Accountants Association
of Canada represents 68,000 CGAs and students in Canada, Bermuda, the
Caribbean, Hong Kong, and China.

For further information:

For further information: Taylore Ashlie, Director, Communications,
CGA-Canada, Telephone: (604) 605-5055, Cell: (604) 307-0212, Email:

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