Requirements for a Public Accountants Licence in Nova Scotia are prescribed in the Public Accountants Act of Nova Scotia (the Act) and Standards pursuant to the Act.  See Legislation & Standards


All licencees must be members of a professional accounting body, designated, pursuant to the Act by the Public Accountants Board of Nova Scotia (PABNS). Currently only the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia (CPANS) have been designated by PABNS. Extra-Provincial applicants must also be members of CPANS.

Go to to find out how to become a member of CPANS.



Applicants must be certified annually by CPANS as having met the CPANS education and experience requirements necessary to apply for a Public Accountants Licence.

Nova Scotia has a two-tier licensing regime. Depending on the applicant’s experience CPANS may certify members as eligible to apply for a Public Accountant Auditing Licence (Audit Licence) or a Public Accountant Licence (Review Licence).

An individual issued a Public Accountant Auditing Licence may perform any of the acts and functions involved in the practice of public accounting as defined in the Act. An individual issued a Public Accountant Licence may perform any of the acts and functions involved in the practice of public accounting other than an audit engagement as set out in the applicable section of the CPA Canada Handbook-Assurance.

Go to to find out how to become certified by CPANS.


New Applications

First time certified (or recertified) members of CPANS may submit the appropriate, Audit or Review, application to PABNS. It should be noted that applicants must satisfy the PABNS licensure requirements which may differ from the certification criteria of CPANS.

PABNS considers applications on a timely basis, usually within 30 days of receipt of an application that is complete in all respects.


Applicants for annual licence renewal must also be certified by CPANS. PABNS annual licence renewals are due no later than December 15th. Late filing penalties will be charged. Licencees who have not submitted their renewal application by January 15th of the licensing period will be struck from the Roll of Licencees.

Go to FORMS to find required documents. 

Extra-Provincial applicants must also complete the Out of Province Affidavit.


The Licensing fee may be paid by cheque or through PayPal. 


Payable to the “Public Accountants Board of Nova Scotia” and sent to: PABNS, PO Box 8, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0


Fill in the form to make your payment on-line (using PayPal).