Other publications



20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask about Board Recruitment , Development and Assessment

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Board Recruitment, Development and Assessment explores the challenges faced by NPOs in recruiting the right people to serve on their boards, as well as the importance of director education and development and regular assessment of the board and its members.

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20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask about Fiduciary Duty

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask about Fiduciary Duty was written to help members of not-for-profit boards of directors understand and fulfill their fiduciary duties by summarizing the legal principles and providing leading practices in not-for-profit governance.

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20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Governance

This booklet identifies and briefly discusses the key areas of governance in a not-for-profit organization and the responsibilities of the directors. It will be useful, not only to prospective, new and experienced directors, but also to nominating committees and the organizers of director orientation and training sessions. It is the first of a series of briefings for directors on specific aspects of not-for-profit governance.

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20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask about Human Resources

This publication will assist directors of not-for-profit organizations with their key responsibilities: hiring, evaluating and planning for the succession of the executive director or chief staff person; setting the compensation of the executive director and approving the compensation philosophy of the organization; and overseeing the human resources policies and practices of the organization as a whole.

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20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Risk

20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Risk was written to help members of not-for-profit boards of directors understand their responsibility for the oversight of risk.

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20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Strategy and Planning

The sustainability of a not-for-profit organization – its ability to continue and fund its activities year after year – is a major responsibility of the board. Directors need to understand why the organization exists, the interests of its stakeholders and how it manages the risks it faces. They should also be actively involved in the development and approval of its strategy.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Building a Board

As a director, how do you build a board whose members, collectively, have the experience, knowledge and skills needed to oversee the management of the company?

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about CEO Succession

20 Questions Directors Should Ask about CEO Succession is intended as a resource to assist directors in identifying best practices in CEO succession planning, better preparing themselves to participate in CEO selection decisions, and working through sudden or unplanned CEO transitions.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Codes of Conduct, second edition

Directors’ oversight role includes assuring themselves that the organization’s culture is characterized by ethical practices and business behaviour. This briefing provides suggested questions for directors to ask the CEO, senior management, professional advisors — and themselves. Directors and CEOs will find it useful in assessing their present approach to formulating or revising Codes of Conduct and to overseeing the implementation of these Codes throughout organizations for which they are responsible.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Crisis Management

This briefing describes how directors can become more aware of the potential for crisis and how they can contribute to crisis management. There are four sections of questions and suggestions on the elements that contribute to successful crisis management: responding to sudden crises, detecting early warning signals, responding to the early warning signals of potential crises, and learning from experience.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Crown Corporation Governance

This 20 Questions document provides information and recommended governance practices for current and incoming directors of federal and provincial Crown corporations and other closely-related public sector organizations. It also will be a useful resource for Ministers, central agencies and others within Government who are responsible for the performance of Crown corporations and broader public sector organizations.

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20 Questions Directors Should ask about Director Compensation

As a board, you face an ongoing challenge in setting compensation for your members that is commensurate with their skills and time commitment, reflective of their important stewardship role, and aligned with shareholder interests. This challenge is occurring at the same time as shareholders are subjecting director compensation to greater scrutiny and becoming less tolerant of perceived excessive payments. How do you meet this challenge?

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Indemnification and Insurance
(includes Not-for-Profit Organizations supplement)

Directors face a range of legal exposures in respect of their association with and fiduciary duty to a corporation. They increasingly look to the state of their indemnities and insurance and to their professional advisors for assurances that they have an appropriate level of protection in place. Boards are well advised to take an active interest in their corporation’s provisions for indemnification and insurance for directors' and officers' liability.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Executive Compensation, 2nd Edition

This publication aims to suggest questions for directors to ask as they review executive compensation, and also give them a basis for critically assessing the information they receive from management and external advisors. The document provides an in-depth analysis of the elements and issues involved in the design and review of a compensation program, and then provides suggested questions for directors to ask.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Governance Assessments

Learn about board and individual director assessments. By being able to appreciate and overcome directors’ concerns about being assessed, learn to carry out or improve on assessments within your own board.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Governance Committees

20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Governance Committees was written to assist boards of directors in understanding the role of the governance committee and thinking broadly about a possible mandate and responsibilities for such a committee.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Information Technology Security

Directors are expected to satisfy themselves that risks potentially jeopardizing the integrity of information, the availability of information and operational systems, the confidentiality of sensitive data, and compliance with regulatory bodies, are identified and reduced or eliminated. This booklet provides questions for Boards to ask senior management as well as the context needed to ask the questions and assess responses.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Insolvency

This publication addresses the issues that directors should turn their minds to when a company may be facing insolvency. It is a practical resource that poses and comments on a set of questions that help directors understand the relevant issues and ensures that they are keeping focused on what is in the company's best interests.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Internal Audit, Second Edition

Your stewardship responsibilities as a board of directors include the identification of your organization’s principal risks and the implementation of systems to manage them, as well as the integrity of its internal control and management information systems. Since an internal audit function can play a key role in assessing and reporting on these areas, directors are expected to satisfy themselves that the internal audit function of your organization is effective.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About IT Projects

Designed as a guide for members of boards of directors, 20 Questions Directors Should Ask about IT Projects will help to identify and evaluate issues that might arise as organizations plan and implement significant IT projects.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Management’s Discussion and Analysis (2nd Ed)

This revised edition of the publication 20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Management’s Discussion and Analysis has been updated to reflect changes in the legal and regulatory disclosure environment and related changes in disclosure oversight practices that have occurred since the first publication in 2003. It also includes relevant excerpts from Management’s Discussion & Analysis: Guidance on Preparation and Disclosure, issued by the Canadian Performance Reporting Board.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Responding to Allegations of Corporate Wrongdoing

20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Responding to Allegations of Corporate Wrongdoing provides questions a director should ask about the company's response to allegations of corporate wrongdoing.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Special Committees, Second Edition

Special committees are established on an ad hoc basis and used by directors as a procedural decision making tool to deliver recommendations to the board. There is no set of rules that apply when setting up a special committee, but rather general principals that help guide directors in this task. This publication guides the board through preliminary matters to be considered, the establishment and organization of a special committee, relevant duties and liabilities, and the establishment of appropriate processes for the committee and the board.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Strategy, 3rd Edition

The business environment in which boards of directors operate has grown increasingly complex over the past 10 years. With this change has come a corresponding increase in the board’s role in the strategy of the organization. 20 Questions Directors Should Ask about Strategy is intended to help directors understand the board’s role in strategy, engage in strategic planning and oversight, review the organization’s strategy and corresponding risks, and work through unexpected changes in the strategic context.

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask About their Role in Pension Governance

While recent high-profile corporate failures have focused attention on pension governance, its importance transcends fleeting media headlines. Pension funds are of long-term significance to the organizations that sponsor them, to the capital markets in which they are a prominent element, and to the employees who are protected by them. For many current and imminent retirees, their pension entitlement could well be their largest personal asset. Without sound pension governance, this asset is at risk. As a board of directors of a sponsoring organization you bear ultimate responsibility. What can you do to protect it?

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20 Questions Directors Should Ask about the Role of Human Resources and Compensation Committees

20 Questions Directors Should Ask about the Role of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee suggests ways in which the Committee can fulfill its oversight responsibilities in a proactive way in light of the changing executive pay and HR environment.

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A Framework for Board Oversight of Enterprise Risk (Revised)

CPA Canada's A Framework for Board Oversight of Enterprise Risk is a unique publication that focuses specifically on the board’s role in risk.  It goes beyond principles to provide valuable guidance and tools to help directors discharge their responsibilities. 

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A Guide to Financial Statements of Not-for-profit Organizations: Questions for Directors to Ask

This briefing is a practical publication that can be used by directors of not-for-profit organizations as a guide to navigating financial statements and directors duties surrounding their organization’s financial affairs.

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Climate Change Briefing: Questions for Directors

Climate Change Briefing: Questions for Directors is written to increase awareness among Canadian directors about the business impacts and related governance issues resulting from climate change and provide questions that directors might ask management about climate change.

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Controlled Companies Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask

Controlled Companies Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask discusses the benefits and risks unique to controlled companies, highlights the challenges associated with being a director of a controlled company, and presents potential governance issues of which directors should be aware.

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Deciding to Go Public: What CFOs Should Know

Deciding to Go Public: What CFOs Should Know provides an overview of the CFO’s role in the decision to take a company public. It sets out the areas in which the CFO provides critical input to other members of the management team and to the board of directors, as well as the CFO’s essential role in interacting with the investment community.

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Director's Briefing: Board Oversight of Tax Risk

The Risk Oversight and Governance Board (ROGB) of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has developed this Briefing to assist boards in understanding taxation issues and the risks posed by taxation.

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Diversity Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask

Diversity Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask focuses primarily on the importance of diversity within companies, and the ways in which it comes to the attention of the board through the board’s oversight of areas such as strategy, risk and executive succession. It also addresses the importance of diversity on the board itself and offers questions that are intended to be a catalyst for useful dialogue among directors, for directors with management, or with outside advisors.

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Financial Aspects of Governance: What Boards Should Expect from CFOs

As a board of directors, you face a number of situations requiring particularly close consideration of the financial aspects of your governance responsibilities. To carry out these responsibilities, you need to understand your organization’s strategies and the measures of business performance and key factors that can significantly influence its operating results. The Chief Financial Officer is in a unique position to help you gain that understanding.

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Guidance for Directors: Dealing with Risk in the Boardroom

This guidance document is intended to help directors do a better job. It is founded on broad concepts of control and risk that encompass most organizational performance and management effectiveness. These concepts offer valuable insights into how to improve the chances of success and manage the risk of failure.

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Guidance for Directors: Governance Processes for Control

This publication was produced with the help of directors of major organizations and draws on extensive hands-on boardroom experience.

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Guidance on Assessing Control

This guidance document describes eight principles for assessing the effectiveness of control.

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Guidance on Control

Guidance on Control adds value to your organization through effective control and governance.

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How CFO's are Adapting to Today's Realities

This booklet will help CFOs by offering suggestions on how they can adapt to meet the challenges and expectations of today’s business environment. The material is presented in four sections. The first: The Roles of CFOs describes what CFOs are expected to be. The next three explore the resources CFOs need to be able to meet expectations: Relationships, Skills and Knowledge, and The Finance Function.

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IFRS Conversions: What CFOs Need to Know and Do

This publication provides an overview of the role of the CFO in the conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and sets out the areas in which the CFO provides critical input to the other members of the management team and to the board of directors.

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Information Technology Control Guidelines, 3rd Edition

Information Technology Control Guidelines provides a practical means of identifying, understanding, assessing and implementing information technology controls in all types of enterprises.

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Integrity in the Spotlight: Audit Committees in a High Risk World, 2nd Edition

Integrity in the Spotlight focuses on the critical necessity of establishing, managing and nurturing effective relationships among the board of directors, the audit committee, management and the external auditors.

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Learning About Risk: Choices, Connections and Competencies

Risk, everyone has to face it, but how can you best manage it? This publication will help you gain a fuller understanding of the nature of risk and the process of risk identification and assessment.

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Learning About Risk: Workshop Leader's Kit

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Long-term Performance Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask

Long-Term Performance Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask is written to help Canadian directors focus on enhancing longer term corporate interests despite the immediate pressures of the economic downturn.

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Risk Oversight and Governance Collection

This is a series of concise, clear publications written for Boards on dealing with relevant governance issues.

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Shareholder Engagement: Questions for Directors to Ask

Shareholder Engagement: Questions for Directors to Ask highlights the regulatory, policy and social trends toward increased shareholder engagement and the related benefits and risks. It describes strategies and techniques to balance these benefits and risks and to enable boards to engage with their shareholders more effectively and efficiently. This Briefing also highlights how leading companies are using new mechanisms and technologies to interact with their shareholders in ways that increase shareholder confidence in the board’s oversight of the company’s affairs.

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Strategic Planning — What Boards Should Expect from CFOs

In response to stakeholders expectations, regulatory bodies are setting increasingly higher standards for board of directors’ responsibilities, including strategic planning As a member of the board, you are expected to be constructively involved in assessing and approving the strategic directions and plans of your organization. In turn, you should have an expectation as well—that you can call a member of the senior management team who is uniquely qualified to help, the Chief Financial Officer.

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Sustainability: Environmental and Social Issues Briefing: Questions for directors to ask

Sustainability: Environmental and Social Issues Briefing highlights the environmental and social issues directors need to consider, providing an understanding of the potential business implications of these issues and offers questions that directors might ask in discharging their oversight responsibilities.

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Chartered Professional Accountants/ Comptables professionnels agréés


Welcome to CPA Canada!

CPA Canada is the national organization established to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. CPA Canada provides services to all CPA, CA, CMA and CGA accounting bodies that have unified or are committed to unification.

Our integrated CPA Canada website is currently in development and will launch in September 2014. Until that time, all our existing resources, services and information are available through the CICA, CMA Canada and CGA-Canada legacy websites, or through newly developed microsites designed to provide specific CPA content.

Bienvenue à CPA Canada!

CPA Canada est l’organisation nationale établie pour soutenir l'unification de la profession comptable canadienne sous la bannière du titre de comptable professionnel agréé (CPA). CPA Canada fournit des services à toutes les organisations comptables de CPA, de CA, de CMA et de CGA qui se sont déjà unifiées ou qui sont engagées dans le processus d’unification.

Le nouveau site CPA Canada est actuellement en développement et sera mis en ligne en septembre 2014. Entre-temps, toutes nos ressources et tous nos services sont accessibles sur les sites d’origine de l’ICCA, de CMA Canada et de CGA-Canada, ou sur des microsites nouvellement créés afin de donner accès à du contenu spécifiquement CPA.