Summary of Decision Re: Frank Belanger

Mr. Belanger was the controller at a not-for-profit organization (the Complainant), and its related entities. His duties included filing HST returns, filing charitable returns for the organization’s charitable arm, and supervising employees.

The CEO of the Complainant initiated a written complaint which alleged that Mr. Belanger failed to properly file and process HST returns. The complaint also alleged that Mr. Belanger did not file the requisite charity returns in a timely manner. The complaint also alleged that Mr. Belanger used the electronic signature of the Chair of the Board of a related entity without his knowledge or authorization.

Following an investigation, the Investigation Panel laid charges of professional misconduct and incompetence against Mr. Belanger for conduct which violated the following sections of the former CMA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct which constitute the rules of professional conduct in force and applicable to Mr. Belanger at the time the conduct took place:

1.1.1   A member shall at all times act in the best interests of the public and of the accounting profession as a whole and shall not conduct his or her affairs in a manner that is or may be detrimental to the profession or may tend to bring its standing into disrepute:

1.3.5  A member shall at all times strive to ensure the provision of quality services for and on behalf of the client and employer and, in so doing, shall make his or her best efforts to employ procedures, methods, and standards which are both current and of general acceptance in the profession;

1.3.6   A member shall not knowingly lend himself or herself, or his or her name or services, to any unlawful act of a client, employer or any other person;

1.5.1    A member has a duty to carry out and conform to the principles of conduct set out in this Code in the spirit as well as the letter. A member must strive at all times to observe a standard of conduct that reflects credit on the profession generally, and inspires the confidence, respect and trust of clients, employers, and the community at large.

 

Summary of Disposition

Mr. Belanger admits the allegations contained in the charges and acknowledges he failed to fulfill his duties as controller when he failed to use the proper forms to file and process HST returns with CRA; failed to properly monitor and supervise an employee; and used the electronic signature of the Chair of the Board without approval, which caused the company to write off a significant receivable.

Mr. Belanger and CPA Nova Scotia entered into a Settlement Agreement on March 4, 2020.

Sanctions

Mr. Belanger’s membership in CPA Nova Scotia is revoked. Accordingly, he may not use the designation “CPA, CMA” or any protected designation under the Chartered Professional Accountants Act of Nova Scotia.

The Settlement Agreement was approved by the Hearing Panel in an oral decision on March 4, 2020, and the Order reflecting the decision is dated March 16, 2020.