Accountants

Your Obligations

If you are an accountant or accounting firm, you have the following specific regulatory requirements under the PCMLTFA when you engage in any of the following activities on behalf of any individual or entity:

  • receiving or paying funds;
  • purchasing or selling securities, real property or business assets or entities; or
  • transferring funds or securities by any means.

You are not subject to these obligations for the receipt of professional fees. If you are an employee of a reporting person or entity, these requirements are the responsibility of your employer except with respect to reporting suspicious transactions and terrorist property, which is applicable to both.

Additional Information for Accountants

Reporting

  • Suspicious transactions
    You must report where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction or an attempted transaction is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence.

    See Guideline 2: Suspicious Transactions and Guideline 3: Submitting Suspicious Transaction Reports to FINTRAC

  • Terrorist property
    You must report where you know that there is property in your possession or control that is owned or controlled by or on behalf of a terrorist or a terrorist group.

    See Guideline 5: Submitting Terrorist Property Reports to FINTRAC

  • Large cash transactions
    You must report large cash transactions involving amounts of $10,000 or more received in cash.

    See Guideline 7: Submitting Large Cash Transaction Reports to FINTRAC

Record Keeping

You must keep the following records:

  • Large cash transactions records
  • Receipt of funds records
  • Copies of official corporate records (binding provisions)
  • Copies of suspicious transaction reports
  • Records of the purpose and intended nature your business relationships
  • Records on the measures you take to monitor your business relationships and the information you obtain as a result of your monitoring

See Guideline 6D: Record Keeping and Client Identification for Accountants

Ascertaining Identity

You must take specific measures to identify the following individuals or entities:

  • Any individual who conducts a large cash transaction
  • Any individual for whom you have to send a suspicious transaction report (reasonable measures and exceptions apply)
  • Any individual or entity for whom you have to keep a receipt of funds records

See Guideline 6D: Record Keeping and Client Identification for Accountants

Use of personal information

The use of personal information in Canadian commercial activities is protected by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), or by substantially similar provincial legislation. You have to inform individuals concerning the collection of personal information about them. However, you do not have to inform individuals when you include personal information about them in any of the reports that you are required to make to FINTRAC. You can get more information about your responsibilities in this area from the following:

  • Industry Canada (Privacy For Business); or
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (http://www.priv.gc.ca).
    • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has on its website information about how to comply with PIPEDA and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (http://www.priv.gc.ca/resource/io_pr_8_e.asp) that will help you in understanding your responsibilities under both federal laws.

Business Relationship

You enter into a business relationship when you conduct two or more transactions in which you have to:

  • Ascertain the identity of the individual; or
  • Confirm the existence of a corporation or other entity

See Guideline 6D: Record Keeping and Client Identification for Accountants

Third Party Determination

Where a large cash transaction record is required, you must take reasonable measures to determine whether the individual is acting on behalf of a third party.

In cases where a third party is involved, you must obtain specific information about the third party and their relationship with the individual providing the cash.

See Guideline 6D: Record Keeping and Client Identification for Accountants

Compliance Regime

The following five elements must be included in a compliance regime:

  • The appointment of a compliance officer
  • The development and application of written compliance policies and procedures
  • The assessment and documentation of risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, and measures to mitigate high risks
  • Implementation and documentation of an ongoing compliance training program
  • A documented review of the effectiveness of policies and procedures, training program and risk assessment

See Guideline 4: Implementation of a Compliance Regime

Penalties for Non-compliance

Non-compliance with Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Terrorist Financing Act may result in criminal or administrative penalties.

FINTRAC Interpretation Notices

FINTRAC issues FINTRAC interpretation notices (FINs) to provide technical interpretations and positions regarding certain provisions contained in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and associated Regulations.

For more information on your obligations and on FINTRAC, you can also consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

Compliance Assessment Report

Part of FINTRAC's mandate is to ensure compliance by financial intermediaries and other reporting entities with their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and regulations. To do this, we can inquire into your business and examine records, including those relating to your compliance regime.

The compliance assessment report is one of the ways that FINTRAC can inquire into your business. FINTRAC will advise you in writing when you are required to complete it. If you have received such a request from FINTRAC or would like more information about this report, consult the Guide for Submitting the Compliance Assessment Report. It explains how to complete the compliance assessment report and how to submit it.

If you have received a request from FINTRAC, you need the access code provided in that request to be able to log on to the secure Compliance Assessment Report System ( https://www22.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/cars-srec/).

For any questions about this, please contact us by e-mail at  CARS-SREC@fintrac-canafe.gc.ca. If you do so, be sure to indicate your company/organization name as well as your reporting entity sector.