Yes, even an accountant can have money problems. If you’re currently a Chartered Professional Accountant in Ontario considering a bankruptcy or consumer proposal to deal with your debt, you can do so without necessarily losing your designation. How the Registrar will decide on your status as a CPA will depend on the reasons behind your bankruptcy filing. There are steps you will need to take to inform your provincial accounting association as soon as you file. We focus on the Province of Ontario in this post specifically.
Informing CPA Ontario of Your Bankruptcy
According to Section 8 of the CPA Ontario Regulation 4-3 Obligations and Standing, once you have filed with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, you have 15 days to notify the Registrar, in writing, of:
- Becoming a bankrupt
- Making a proposal to creditors
- Becoming the subject of a formal proceeding as an insolvent debtor; or
- Having a business of which you are an owner placed under a receiving order, as defined in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
You will have to include all and any documentation available related to the filing. You will also have to include all documents related to your financial circumstances, like income tax returns, financial statements, financial records, and a consent allowing CPA Ontario to directly access information and documents related to your filing from the licensed insolvency trustee, the superintendent in bankruptcy, or the official receiver.
How the Registrar Determines Your Standing
The Registrar will consider the reasons why you filed insolvency, your conduct as a Member, as well as, whether you are putting the interests of your client, employer or any other party affected by your bankruptcy filing at risk.
The Registrar will also look at the number and nature of your creditors, potential criminal liability, your current financial situation, the expected date of your discharge from bankruptcy, and whether you are able to perform your duties as a chartered professional accountant.
Given all the information and documentation provided, the Registrar can decide to:
- Take no further action;
- Require you to take part in one or more of the following:
- complete prescribed courses or examinations;
- work with an advisor, counsellor or tutor;
- complete a period of supervised practice or employment;
- restrict your practice or employment in a specified manner for a specified period of time;
- any other terms and conditions the Registrar deems appropriate; or
- Suspend your membership until the fulfillment of terms and conditions imposed by the Registrar.
There is a lot of information for the Registrar to consider before making their decision and each situation is unique. If your bankruptcy is not the result of criminal activity or financial fraud, it’s more likely that you won’t face a suspension, but may be required to carry out one or more of the duties listed above.
For more detailed information on how bankruptcy will impact your professional designation, you can contact CPA Ontario directly.
If you are struggling to repay your unsecured debt, contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a free consultation and review of your debt relief options.
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