I have received several questions about the consequences for CGAs who become bankrupt, so I contacted CGA Ontario to get the following answers:
Q: What obligations do Ontario CGAs have to their Association when they become bankrupt?
A: Rule 608 of the Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct requires that a CGA or student in the CGA program of professional studies must immediately notify CGA Ontario if he or she becomes bankrupt. The CGA or student is then notified that the discipline committee will require certain information so that the bankruptcy proceedings can be monitored. The trustee-in-bankruptcy is also notified that the discipline committee requires information about the CGA or student so that it can perform its monitoring functions. Should the bankruptcy proceedings disclose information of concern to the discipline committee, an investigator may be appointed. The discipline committee’s interest lies in ensuring that the bankruptcy discloses no breaches of the Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. Usually, once the certificate of discharge has been issued, the file is closed.
Q: The Rule uses the term, “bankrupt”. Does that exclude CGAs who file a proposal?
A: Only bankrupts must notify the Association. However, the Rule is reviewed periodically, and with the September 2009 changes to insolvency legislation it’s likely there will be such a review shortly.
Q: Are there any sanctions or penalties for bankrupt CGAs?
A: Bankruptcy itself is not a violation of the Code and as such there are no penalties for filing for bankruptcy. However, “Governors or public representatives shall automatically cease to hold such office when … they become bankrupt” [Bylaw Four, Article 5, Paragraph 27].
Q: Does bankruptcy affect my public practice or my standing with the Association as a CGA or as a student in the CGA program of professional studies?
A: No. Bankruptcy itself does not affect either registration for public practice or one’s status with the Association.
Q: How confidential is the information provided to the Association by bankrupt CGAs?
A: All information is held in strictest confidence.
Q: What committee or staff at CGA Ontario are involved in this process?
A: The Discipline Committee and its supporting staff are the parties involved. The primary staff person is Lana Tom.
Q: Will the trustee in bankruptcy report you to CGA Ontario?
A: CGAs are required to report their own bankruptcies to CGA Ontario, their trustees are not.
Q: Who do I contact to report my bankruptcy or to get more information?
A: Contact Lana Tom at CGA Ontario, 416.322.6520 ext. 8262, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to thank Ms. Tom for her kind and prompt assistance; I am glad she is the main contact for Members who have found themselves in difficulty.