On the path to unification On April 22, 2015, the Minister of Finance introduced Bill 98, the Chartered Professional Accountants Act in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. This is a monumental step for the accounting profession in Nova Scotia as they work towards unification. The introduction of the legislation is the first of two steps that will allow the three legacy accounting bodies — the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Certified General Accountants Association of Nova Scotia — to unify their 4,400 members into a single organization, Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia (CPANS). Update: On May 11, 2015, the Chartered Professional Accountants Act received Royal Assent and officially created the new CPANS organization. The initial 10-member Board of Directors was also created with representation from across the three legacy accounting bodies. Next steps Further legislation will be introduced at a later date to formally merge the three accounting bodies into CPANS and establish its regulatory framework. Members of the three legacy accounting bodies will not be permitted to use the CPA designation until the legislation is proclaimed by the Governor in Council, which is anticipated to occur on July 1, 2015. Members will continue to follow the Acts, by-laws, codes of conduct and policies as required by their respective existing accounting body. Status of unification across Canada All 40 accounting bodies in Canada have either unified or are participating in discussions to unite under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) banner.