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Anti-money laundering/anti-terrorist financing (AML/ATF) developments: New “know your client” rules for CPAs

Stay informed of the new AML/ATF regulations as of June 1, 2021 which impact CPAs engaged in activities covered by the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).

To keep CPA Canada members apprised of recent legislative and regulatory changes affecting the profession, we are publishing a short series of articles identifying some of the key requirements that accountants and accounting firms should be aware of. This article provides an overview of the key changes to the AML/ATF legislation for "know your client" rules for accountants and accounting firms that came into force on June 1, 2021, including:

  • client identification
  • business relationships
  • beneficial ownership
  • determining if a third-party is giving instructions
  • politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations

While the specific changes in the AML/ATF legislation vary for each of these areas and need to be considered individually, there are overarching implications for accountants and accounting firms — the need to develop or amend your compliance program which means revising your existing policies, procedures, practices, and training programs, among other changes, to meet the new requirements.

Links to Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) guidance documents related to the topics covered in this article have been provided and accountants and accounting firms are encouraged to keep abreast of upcoming changes and additional information as announced by FINTRAC.

Reading time: Approximately 15 minutes