CPA Canada guide helps organizations create and sustain high-performing boards

TORONTO, June 18, 2015 /CNW/ - A new publication from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) outlines how an effective board of directors is constituted and maintained.

20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Building and Sustaining an Effective Board, offers insight and guidance on the various elements involved in creating a high-performing board.

CPA Canada has revised its guidance in the area of board composition and succession because of significant changes and evolution in corporate governance over the last decade, encouraged in part by legislation, regulatory requirements and stakeholder discussions relating to best practices. 

"Two key factors of high performance are the quality of individuals serving on the board and how well they work together," explains Gigi Dawe, a principal at CPA Canada who focuses on corporate oversight and governance.

The concept of quality members and teamwork sounds simple enough but there are many considerations that require attention if an effective and efficient board is to be attained.

"Board structure, ideal director characteristics, leadership, director recruitment and the meaning of diversity are among the issues addressed in the publication," adds Dawe.

The guide directs readers through the various stages of a board's evolution under the following themes:

  • Establishing the board (structural considerations)
  • Sustaining the board (skills, leadership and culture)
  • Renewing the board (succession planning)

Elizabeth Watson is the publication's author and brings with her more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer and over 10 years of advising boards and committees from all sectors on governance and recruitment issues.

"Directors are often busy trying to fulfill the respective mandates of their board so there is little time to step back and reflect on what is working and what is not," says Watson. "Given the importance of the board's role in governance, it is imperative that adequate time and effort be spent focusing on building and sustaining a high performing board. This publication offers directors valuable practical advice."    

Each "20 Questions" publication produced by CPA Canada is intended to provide insight and stimulate discussion on issues of importance to directors.

For a copy of the guide, visit:

About CPA Canada                                                                                               

Canada's accounting profession is uniting under a new single designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). The profession's national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), represents and supports more than 190,000 members across the country. CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada has consolidated the operations of three national accounting bodies: The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It also issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature and develops certification and continuing education programs.


For further information: Tobin Lambie, Principal, Media, CPA Canada, T: 416-204-3228, C: 647-302-3761,,; Diana Sorace, Manager, Media Relations, CPA Canada, T: 604-694-6700, C: 604-551-4487,,


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