Best practices in tax: Quality tax engagements from start to finish

CPAs who provide tax services will receive specialized guidance regarding professional conduct in this new publication from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

For Canadian tax practitioners, personal integrity, ethical behaviour and quality control are crucial. All of our members are bound to follow CPA Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct (ROPC). In the area of tax, we think it would be helpful to provide further guidance with respect to the ROPC to help members who provide tax services better assess the quality of their tax engagements and practices.

To fill this gap, CPA Canada is working to develop Best Practices in Tax for the delivery of tax services. Adopting these practices by our members’ small and medium-sized tax practices will help the profession meet the highest standards of professional and business conduct.

The project is being guided by a steering committee and an advisory committee comprised of smaller practitioners, risk management representatives of the larger accounting firms, and Brian Wilson and Nancy Bullis, authors of CPA Canada’s Tax Practice Manual. The Tax Practice Manual will form the foundation for Best Practices in Tax. It will be supplemented with other resources, including the Tax Management Questionnaire employed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta for self-review by members’ small and medium-sized tax practices, which is being converted into an electronic document and updated and modified to meet the project’s objectives.

The centrepiece of Best Practices in Tax is planned to be an electronic dashboard that features a set of practical, easy-to-use tools to help tax practitioners deliver their work. The dashboard will be organized to follow the life cycle of a typical tax engagement — from client acceptance, to client engagement, to developing the work project, completing the assignment and billing.

Once the dashboard has been developed, tax professionals will be invited to use and test it in their practices for a trial period. The tool will then be fine-tuned in response to user feedback.

This document was originally prepared by a legacy CPA organization.