Obtaining a PAL
CPA Ontario is authorized by the Public Accountants Council (PAC) for the province of Ontario to licence and govern our members in the practice of public accounting.
WHO CAN OBTAIN A PAL?
A member in good standing of CPA Ontario who has met the eligibility requirements and who has never held a PAL, or who
CPA Ontario students are not eligible to obtain a PAL prior to admission to membership. Learn more about the Public Accounting path and the choices you need to make in your CPA Program in order to be eligible to apply for a PAL upon admission to membership.
WHEN IS A PAL REQUIRED TO BE HELD BY A MEMBER?
A PAL is required when you are engaging in the practice of public accounting and you are the lead engagement person responsible for signing the report or statement issued related to:
- Any assurance engagement (including an audit or review engagement).
- Any compilation engagement where services may be relied upon or used by a third party and the prescribed wording for the Notice to Reader is not used.
- The report for the engagement is issued in Ontario or the work for the engagement is primarily performed in Ontario.
A PAL is not required if you:
- Are not the lead engagement person responsible for signing the report or statement. Members of the engagement team who are not the lead engagement person, including the quality control review partner, are not required to be licensed.
- Do not provide any assurance services (including audit or review engagements) but do provide other services including: compilations in which the services may be relied upon or used by a third party and the prescribed wording for the Notice to Reader is used, taxation, accounting, internal audit, controllership, insolvency services or business advisory services.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A PAL
Fulfillthe licensing requirements.
- Go to My Portal, select Obligations and Requests, and then Applications and Start New Application.
Finallyclick on PAL Application.
- Remit a PAL application fee.
Applications are reviewed by the Public Accounting Licensing Board (PALB). If you are granted a PAL, you will have public accounting practice rights in Ontario. You will receive a licence by email within four weeks of approval. Your name will be added to the Directory of Public Accounting Licensees and the Roll of Public Accountants.
Each new PAL is effective as of the date on which it is approved by the PALB and expires on October 31 each year. You must renew your PAL on an annual basis if you wish to maintain public accounting rights in Ontario.
The PAL application fee is nonrefundable in the event that your application is denied or closed for failure to submit a complete application within the time prescribed in the regulation (prior to or within 30 days of making the application or any request by the Registrar.)
For more details on the Public Accounting Licensure requirements, refer to Regulation 17-1 or the Licensing FAQs below.
HOW TO RENEW YOUR PUBLIC ACCOUNTING LICENCE
The public accounting licensing period is November 1 to October 31. Licensees are reminded that your PAL expires on October 31 and you must complete the PAL renewal process 30 days prior to expiry each year in order to maintain a licence.
To renew your PAL Go to My Portal, select Obligations and Requests, select Annual
Please see the FAQs for more information about the PAL renewal requirements.