Registration FAQs

​1. Do I have to register online?

Yes. All prospective participants must register online by completing the Intent to Participate form. We do not accept hard-copy registration documents, except for the signed Participation Agreement and Confirmation of Compliance.


2.  Who is eligible to register with CPAB and participate in CPAB's oversight program?

Any audit firm that wishes to audit Canadian reporting issuers may apply to participate in our oversight program.


3. Do foreign audit firms auditing companies that are reporting issuers in Canada need to register with

CPAB if they are already subject to independent oversight in their domestic jurisdiction?

Yes. While foreign firms will be subject to CPAB oversight, we will consider entering into reciprocal arrangements with independent oversight bodies in other jurisdictions.


4. My firm uses different names in different parts of Canada. Do we register as one firm or more than one firm?

It depends on the legal structure of your firm. If your firm is a single national partnership that carries out its auditing practice using different names in different markets, you will register as a single firm. On the other hand, if your firm is a national or international association of firms with more than one partnership in Canada that audits the financial statements of reporting issuers, you should register each partnership auditing the financial statements of reporting issuers separately with CPAB. Note that firms using more than one legal name should register each name under which they can sign audit reports for reporting issuer clients.


5. My firm is not sure whether a particular audit client is a reporting issuer. How can we find out?

The term "reporting issuer" is defined in provincial securities legislation. The definitions may differ slightly from one jurisdiction to another. However, generally speaking, a reporting issuer is an entity that has raised capital from the public and that must file annual audited financial statements with a securities commission. This includes mutual funds. Several securities commissions publish a list of reporting issuers on their websites. If you are in doubt about whether a particular client is a reporting issuer, you may wish to contact the relevant securities commission.


6. My firm has no reporting issuer clients, but wishes to register anyway so that we will be in a position to audit reporting issuer clients in future. Can we register with CPAB?

Yes. You will be subject to our fees at the minimum level, as established by us from time to time, and you will be subject to quality inspections by or on behalf of CPAB.


7. My firm does not issue audit reports on the financial statements of any reporting issuer. However, we do some audit work on a subsidiary of a reporting issuer, and that work is relied upon by the firm that issues the auditor's report on the issuer's consolidated financial statements that are filed with a securities commission. Does my firm need to register with CPAB?

Only the firm that issues an auditor's report on financial statements filed with a securities commission must register.


8. How long does it take to get registered?

We will review your Intent to Participate form and Quality Control Report within 30 days of receiving the completed forms and the required fee. Within the same time period, CPAB will advise as to whether further information or explanations are required. In the meantime, you will be able to prepare your Initial Registration form, but you will not be able to submit it until CPAB has all the information it requires with respect to the Intent to Participate form and Quality Control Report.


9. How does CPAB decide whether to approve my registration?

We do not use the registration process to screen firms or prevent firms from becoming participants. We hope that every firm that applies will gain status as a participant. However, if the information submitted as part of the registration process appears to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will delay registration until the firm rectifies the deficiencies. If we propose to disallow a firm from registering, we would provide the applicant firm with written reasons for the proposed disallowance, as well as an opportunity to participate in a hearing, where the firm could present its case for being allowed to register.


10. How much will it cost to register and when are payments due?

The fee remitted with the Intent to Participate form is a fixed fee, determined by the number of reporting issuer clients the firm reports it has. The fee structure is set out in CPAB Rule 802 and in the Fee Notice posted on CPAB's website.


11. Will registration information be made public by CPAB?

We post information about Participating Audit Firms provided in the Intent to Participate form and the Initial Registration form on our website. This does not include fee information for a Participating Audit Firm, either in aggregate or for any individual reporting issuer audit client.


12. Instead of completing the Quality Control Report, can we provide CPAB with the report we have drafted to file with the US PCAOB or with another audit regulator?

No.  A quality control report prepared for other regulators does not meet our requirements. We want to understand how your firm controls quality with respect to each element of quality set out in the Canadian standards, and our Quality Control Report template reflects that structure. A quality control report drafted for other regulators would not be organized in the same way and might not cover all of the elements of quality.


13. The Intent to Participate form requires information about each of the firm's practice offices, and the Initial Registration form requires the names of individuals authorized to sign audit reports on the financial statements of reporting issuers, as well as the names of reporting issuer audit clients. How current does this information have to be?

We expect this information to be as current as possible. It should not be older than 90 days prior to the date of submission.

Foreign firms are only required to provide details about offices and partners responsible for the audits of entities that are reporting issuers in Canada.


14. What are the required procedures when two or more audit firms merge, when one or more of the firms are Participating Audit Firms?

a) Because a merger is a material change per Rule 216 (a), the Participating Audit Firms should notify us within 15 days of the merger.

b) For our registration purposes, the continuing firm is considered to be the Participating Audit Firm. The firms not continuing are considered to be predecessor firms.

c) If the firm name changes, a new Participation Agreement should be submitted. PCAOB registrants should also submit a completed Consent and Agreement – Section 7 form 

d) The continuing firm should update the firm information on the CPAB website.

e) If the continuing firm is already a Participating Audit Firm and the firm name is unchanged, the procedures outlined in points f) through h) below only apply to predecessor firms.

f) Reporting issuer clients and individuals authorized to sign audit reports that were previously associated with predecessor firms should be added to the continuing firm's information on the CPAB website.

g) Predecessor firms should complete an online Notice of Withdrawal form and submit the written notification in accordance with Rule 250.

h) Former partners/officers or designated professionals of predecessor firms who are involved in the audit of a Canadian reporting issuer should sign the Rule 213 – Consent & Agreement form  and the Rule 214 – Agreement & Release form  on behalf of the continuing firm.   

i) The continuing firm should submit a letter certifying compliance with Rules 213 & 214.


15. What are the required procedures when a Participating Audit Firm changes its legal name?

a) Update the firm's information on CPAB's website to reflect the new firm name and the former name in brackets.

b) Submit two new Participation Agreements under the new firm name.

c) Submit a new certificate of compliance with Rules 213 and 214 under new firm name.  

d) PCAOB registrants should submit a Consent and Agreement – Section 7 form. 


16. Why can't I access my account?

If your firm has recently submitted an application, the firm profile will remain locked while we review it. If you have forgotten your password or Firm ID, please visit Forgot Your Password? or Forgot Your Firm ID? For further assistance, please contact the Registration Administrator​.

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