Public Accounting Licences 

The practice of Public Accounting in Nova Scotia is defined within the Chartered Professional Accountants Act (Nova Scotia), Section 2(zm).  The definition of public accounting includes, but is not limited to, audits of historical financial information, audits of controls, compliance with agreements, value-for-money audits in the public sector, specified audit procedures and reviews of historical financial information. 

There are two categories of licences; audit license and review licence.  The services offered under each license type is outlined in the Public Accounting Licensing Requirements.

Categories of Licences

Summary of Permitted Services


Audit Licence


(Full Licence)


  • Audit Engagements
  • Review Engagements
  • All acts and functions as set out in the CPA Canada Handbook-Assurance



Review Licence


(Limited Services Licence)




  • Review Engagements
  • Specified Procedures, such as Trust and Legal Reports



When is licensing required? 

Any member issuing or signing an audit report, a review engagement report, or performing specified auditing procedure engagements is required to carry a public accounting licence.  This does not 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.  

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.  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. 


When is the renewal due and how is it different without the PAB? 

Effective September 1, 2019, CPA Nova Scotia is responsible to issue and renew all public accounting licences. 

Annual Licence Renewal Application Due


Next Annual Renewal

October 15, 2021

December 31, 2022

October 15, 2022