Public Accounting Certification Process


CPA Nova Scotia is responsible for certifying members seeking to perform public accounting. There are two categories of certificates: Audit Certificate and Review Certificate.

Chartered Professional Accountants in the practice of public accounting must be certified by CPA Nova Scotia and licensed by the PABNS. You must obtain certification from CPA Nova Scotia prior to being issued a public accounting license by the PABNS.  

Note:  Members who were licensed by the PABNS prior to proclamation will be deemed certified by CPA Nova Scotia (with an Audit Certificate) until the next renewal date of October 31, 2017.  

Certification Renewal must be completed by: September 15, 2017


When is certification required? 


Any member issuing or signing an audit report, a review engagement report, or performing specified auditing procedure engagements will be required by the Public Accountants Board of Nova Scotia (PABNS) to carry a public accounting license. This doesn't apply to all members in the practice of public accounting; it applies to individual members who are responsible for the issuance of audit reports, review engagements, or other assurance reports. Typically, this would be the engagement partner. Please note that a license is not required to issue a Compilation Engagement (Notice to Reader financial statements). 

Members and firms that perform compilation engagements, accounting services, and tax advisory services for clients are deemed to be practicing CPAs under the definition of regulated services. A license from the Public Accountants Board of Nova Scotia is not necessary for these services. However, members and firms providing these services must be registered with CPA Nova Scotia and will still be subject to practice inspection, disciplinary action and professional liability insurance coverage.