Historic milestone for the Quebec accounting sector

    MONTREAL, Dec. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ordre des comptables généraux
licenciés du Québec (CGA-Quebec), which is celebrating the 100th anniversary
of its founding, achieved a historic milestone today when the National
Assembly adopted Bill 46 ("An Act to amend the Professional Code and the
Chartered Accountants Act in respect of public accountancy"). The new
legislation authorizes certified general accountants (CGAs) to practice public
accountancy and extends their field of practice to include private-sector
audits. Henceforth, CGAs holding a public accountancy licence issued by
CGA-Quebec will be able to conduct assurance engagements, i.e., audit and
review engagements, and to issue special reports.
    CGA-Quebec Board Chairman Pierre Samson, FCGA, pointed out that CGAs have
waited many years for these legislative amendments. "This is a historic
occasion. An injustice that had prevailed since 1946 has now been rectified.
The former measures prohibiting CGAs from conducting private-sector audits
were wholly without merit. CGAs have all of the necessary skills to fulfill
that role," said Mr. Samson.
    Under the former legislative provisions, CGAs were authorized to conduct
audits of municipalities with multi-million-dollar budgets but were prohibited
from auditing private-sector companies, regardless of size. "That situation
was in violation of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)," noted Mr. Samson.
    In August 2005, a special AIT task force concluded that measures
prohibiting CGAs in New Brunswick from practicing public accountancy in Quebec
were inconsistent with AIT provisions. In light of that conclusion, Quebec's
Minister of Justice called on the Office des professions to hold discussions
with the three provincial accounting associations concerning the sharing of
full public accountancy practice rights.

    The public and the business community will benefit

    Bill 46 will also strengthen public protection mechanisms. "All
accountants who wish to practice public accountancy will have to obtain their
auditor designation, regardless of which accounting association they belong
to. The new legislation will benefit not only the accounting sector in Quebec,
but also the wider business community, particularly small businesses, which
make up the majority of Quebec employers. Bill 46 will pave the way for
greater competition in the area of public accountancy. Companies will have
access to a larger pool of qualified assurance service providers, which should
benefit the business community and the overall economy," added Mr. Samson.
    Mr. Samson also paid tribute to the outstanding efforts of all of those
who played a role in the adoption of Bill 46: "I would like to express my
sincere gratitude to everyone who helped make this historic occasion a
reality, beginning with the Minister of Justice and including representatives
from the Office des professions, our CA and CMA colleagues and all of my CGA

    CGA-Quebec, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008,
represents the interests of some 10,500 members, candidates and students. Its
mission is to ensure the protection of the public, to guarantee the
professionalism of CGAs and to promote their influence and visibility. CGAs
serve as strategic business partners in all sectors of the economy.

For further information:

For further information: Source/media relations: Mathieu Beaudoin,
Communications Officer, (514) 861-1823, (800) 463-0163,

Organization Profile

Ordre des comptables généraux accrédités du Québec (CGA)

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