CPA Canada offers input to better support federal government in fight against money laundering and terrorist financing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CPA Canada offers input to better support federal government in fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

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SOURCE CPA Canada

TORONTO, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) today reiterated its support to help the federal government deter money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

Matthew McGuire, chair of CPA Canada's Anti-Money Laundering Committee, was in Ottawa appearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. He addressed proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

"Canada's professional accountants are committed to working with the federal government in the fight against money laundering and organized crime," said McGuire, who also is a partner and national anti-money laundering practice leader for MNP LLP, the sixth largest public accounting firm in the country.

His presentation suggested that the regulations of the Act be broadened to cover professional accountants performing work in Canada but who are not among those provincially regulated, especially when it comes to obligations relating to money laundering risks.

He also raised the need for Canada to align its anti-money laundering legislation with recent recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force. McGuire said this should be done prior to the next mutual evaluation with the international organization.

In addition, he called for better information sharing relating to the outcomes of Suspicious Transaction Reports submitted by accountants, financial institutions and other organizations to the Financial Transaction and Reporting Analysis Centre of Canada, the country's financial intelligence unit.

McGuire also requested greater clarity around regulations that will support laws relating to ministerial countermeasures.

"We are concerned about the practical extent to which systems and processes can be designed to adhere to them, and the agility required of professional accountants," noted McGuire. "We would like sufficient lead time for compliance with the directives."

He added that the government faces a difficult balancing act.

"We understand the balance that must be struck between reporting and record-keeping and identification requirements that properly deter and detect money laundering and terrorist financing activities," explained McGuire. "However, we need to ensure that the measures being imposed address material risks and have a chance at being effective, without causing undue burden to legitimate transactions conducted in the private sector."

About CPA Canada

CPA Canada is the national organization established to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. It was created by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) to provide services to all CPA, CA, CMA and CGA accounting bodies that have unified or are committed to unification. As part of the unification effort, CPA Canada and the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) are working toward integrating their operations this year. Unification will enhance the influence, relevance and contribution of the Canadian accounting profession both at home and internationally. www.cpacanada.ca

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