Summary of Decision re: Michael Hunter, CPA, CA

The decision at issue concerns complaints filed against Mr. Hunter by two of his former clients and by CPA Nova Scotia.

A complaint was filed by a former client alleging that Mr. Hunter:

  • Failed to respond to repeated attempts by the client to contact him;
  • Failed to complete her personal tax return in a timely manner;
  • Failed to complete and file a testamentary trust for an estate for 7 years, and
  • failed to provide any or adequate tax planning advise with respect to the trust; and
  • failed to issue T-3s to his client from the trust.

The second complaint from a different former client alleged that Mr. Hunter:

  • failed to respond to repeated inquiries from his client;
  • failed to provide corporate tax returns to a financial institution as requested by his client;
  • failed to complete and file a corporate tax return and HST returns; and
  • failed to transfer financial information to the successor firm in a timely manner.

The third complaint initiated by CPA Nova Scotia concerned allegations that Mr. Hunter violated the terms of a prior Resolution Agreement with an Investigation Panel.

Following its investigation of the three complaints, the Investigation Panel referred charges to the Discipline Committee on the basis that there was sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Hunter’s conduct was in contravention of the following sections of the CPA Nova Scotia Code of Professional Conduct:

  • 101.1 (b)(ii) Compliance with governing legislation, By-Laws, regulations and the CPA Code
  • 201 Maintenance of the Good Reputation of the Profession
  • 202.1 Integrity and Due Care
  • 203 Professional Competence
  • 303.1 Provision of Client Information

Summary of Disposition

Mr. Hunter entered into a Settlement Agreement with CPA Nova Scotia which was then recommended by the Investigation Panel to the Hearing Panel. He admits he is guilty of the charges and that the admitted conduct constitutes professional misconduct.

The Hearing Panel of CPA Nova Scotia accepted the admissions of Mr. Hunter and found him guilty of breaches of the standards of practice set out in the charges, and that the conduct set out in the charges constituted professional misconduct.

The Settlement Agreement includes the following disposition:

  1. Mr. Hunter accepts a Reprimand;
  2. Mr. Hunter’s registration is suspended for six months, which is considered to have been served during the period of interim suspension imposed by the Investigation Panel;
  3. Mr. Hunter will enroll in and successfully complete a course on professional ethics and a separate course on practice management, approved by CPA Nova Scotia;
  4. Mr. Hunter shall pay a fine of $3,000;
  5. Mr. Hunter will pay $3,150 as a contribution to the costs of the investigation;
  6. Mr. Hunter agrees that a monitor will be appointed by CPA Nova Scotia to supervise his firm on a monthly basis for 12 months. After the conclusion of the 12-month period, the monitor shall conduct two further follow up reviews, one at 18 months after the commencement of the monitoring period and one at 24 months after the commencement of the monitoring period.

The Hearing Panel issued its decision and Order approving the Settlement Agreement on August 24, 2022.