Public Accounting 

Public accounting is a restricted area of practice in Nova Scotia and is reserved for members who hold a Public Accounting Licence.  No individual in Nova Scotia can sign-off on a public accounting engagement unless they have a Public Accounting Licence, issued by CPA Nova Scotia.

Effective September 1, 2019, the practice of public accounting in Nova Scotia is defined within the Chartered Professional Accountants Act (Nova Scotia), Section 2(zm).  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. 

Individuals and firms are deemed to be offering public accounting services in Nova Scotia when they (including firm staff) physically enter the province to provide any support to a public accounting engagement.  This includes on-site work, inventory verification and meeting with clients. The signing of statements in the province is specifically included.  To be clear, if a firm has a delegated representative (staff) working in Nova Scotia, the engagement partner must carry a licence and the firm must be registered in Nova Scotia

Members are reminded of the requirement to use the protected designation “Chartered Professional Accountant(s)” to sign-off on any public accounting engagement.  For more information refer to CPA Nova Scotia Code of Professional Conduct, Rule 402: Use of Descriptive Style.  Members shall not use the protected designation “Licensed Public Accountant” or “LPA” on public accounting engagements signed on or after January 1, 2020.  

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