As a self-regulating body it is very important to CGA Ontario that its members and students act in a professional, ethical and competent manner at all times. If you feel that the service that you have received from a CGA Ontario member or an Ontario student in the CGA program of professional studies ("student") has been unprofessional, unethical or incompetent, following is the complaint procedure we’ve established.
The following pages provide information about how to proceed with a complaint against a CGA Ontario member or student. If you have questions a any time regarding the conduct of a CGA Ontario member or student, you are encouraged to attempt to resolve the matter initially with the individual or firm in question. Failing this, or in the alternative, we invite you to contact us at:
Certified General Accountants of Ontario
Attn. Professional Regulation Department
240 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto ON M4P 1K8
416-322-6520 or 1-800-668-1454, ext. 8262
The Certified General Accountants Act, 2010 and CGA Ontario’s Bylaws establishes how CGA Ontario is structured and operates. In Article 9 of the Association's Bylaws, it includes specific provisions that deal with discipline and competence. Article 9 establishes the discipline committee and the professional standards, competence and capacity committee; outlines their composition; and establishes their mandate, responsibilities and objectives. Article 9 references the Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct as a schedule to the Association's Bylaws. The Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct outlines the professional and ethical obligations of all CGA Ontario members and students. Any CGA Ontario member or student who fails to meet these obligations are subject to CGA Ontario’s complaint, discipline or competence procedure.
There are six broad categories that apply to the conduct of CGA Ontario members and students:
Generally speaking a “breach” of the Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct would occur where a CGA Ontario member or student acts contrary to or without regard to the aforementioned six principles. In some cases the principle is quite sweeping and in other cases it is narrower. These principles are expanded upon under the heading “Defining a Breach.” It is the function of the discipline committee at first instance to determine whether a breach has occurred.
Pursuant to the CGA Ontario disciplinary process, disciplinary matters that give rise to a Complaint may be dealt with in one of two ways:
These options are outlined in the description of the discipline process.
CGA Ontario has a professional regulation department that assists members of the public and profession in the event that they wish to make an inquiry regarding the conduct of a CGA Ontario member or student. The professional regulation department can be contacted in confidence at: Certified General Accountants of Ontario, Attention:. Professional Regulation Department; 240 Eglinton Avenue East; Toronto ON M4P 1K8. 416-322-6520 or 1-800-668-1454, ext. 8262.
The professional standards, competence and capacity committee is a committee that has responsibility for CGA Ontario's ongoing practice inspection program. It also provides and supervises remedial alternatives to discipline when considering a complaint. The competence process is designed to be inherently remedial in nature. In the simplest of terms, the objective of regulatory competence processes is to focus on the underlying reasons that a professional person has failed to meet his or her professional standards, and to engage the person in a course of action(s) that will enhance his or her professional standards. For this reason, competence processes are an effective alternative to a punitive-based discipline process.
Any complaint begins with an initial review. If it is determined that there is the basis for a complaint and that CGA Ontario has jurisdiction, then the complaint moves to the formal complaint and response stage. In the course of making a complaint you will be required to file a complaint form.
Discipline committee members are mainly responsible to provide a process of investigating and considering ethics complaints against CGA Ontario members or students; to determine if there is an apparent infraction of the CGA Ontario's Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct (as well as the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario Act, 2010 and the bylaws); to assess discipline options where appropriate; and to provide instructions to the committee’s legal counsel in relation to the conduct of discipline hearings before the professional conduct tribunal.
The discipline committee may determine that:
As noted above, the discipline committee may determine that the apparent infraction of the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct is so serious that it ought to be referred to the professional conduct tribunal for a hearing. At this point, the discipline committee becomes the prosecutor. Legal counsel will be retained to prosecute the matter on behalf of the committee.
The decision of the professional conduct tribunal may be appealed to the CGA Ontario appeal tribunal and ultimately a court of law.
CGA Ontario has a specific policy on bankruptcy. Any CGA Ontario member or student must notify CGA Ontario if he or she becomes bankrupt. Thereafter specific monitoring is required.
CGA Ontario will release to the public and to CGA Ontario members and students, its decisions and reasons; for example where a CGA or student has been ordered suspended; where restrictions have been placed on a member's practice; where a CGA has been expelled from membership; or where an Ontario student has been expelled from the CGA program of professional studies.