CPA Public Practice Discussion List

The Chartered Professional Accountant Public Practice Discussion List (“CPA PPDL”) is a special email system that allows for almost immediate written interaction between individual CPAs, providing opportunities for information sharing, collaboration, and community building. Each member is able to send messages that are reviewed and approved by a moderator and then sent to all list subscribers. Subscribers benefit from the exchange of expertise, obtaining feedback, and sharing experiences. The exchanges among list subscribers serve to educate anyone with email access, at their convenience, and at their choice of time.

Sample topics include:

  • Dealing with CRA – experiences, strategies, resources.
  • Referrals to other professionals, such as lawyers.
  • Reviews of software and common bugs or fixes.
  • Specialized topics, such as GST/HST or non-residents.
  • Practice productivity, profitability, and systems.
  • News about the profession, standards, taxation, or software.
  • Announcements of local and regional professional events.


In 1997, members of CGA Ontario founded the Public Practice Discussion List to provide the Association’s widely distributed, often sole practitioners with an informal and collegial professional network. CGA Ontario supported the PPDL technically and financially with the necessary software and moderator honoraria. Over the course of years the CGA PPDL became a highly valued benefit for public practitioners in Ontario as well as for many welcomed from other provinces. At the end of 2015, with the merger of Ontario’s accounting profession, the Ontario CGA PPDL transitioned to the independent, national CPA PPDL, operated by CPA Ontario member volunteers.

Subscription requirements:

  • Valid email address and email access. (For access to the archive of past discussions, you must subscribe using a free Google/Gmail account; members may maintain subscriptions under two email addresses for this purpose, if they wish.)
  • Registration as a member or student of a Canadian CPA body or legacy designation (CA, CGA, or CMA).
  • Acceptance of the CPA PPDL Conduct Guidelines, found below.


  • Subscription to the CPA PPDL is free.

Subscriber benefits:

From time to time, subscribers may be offered benefits or discounts by unrelated parties.

How it works:

Any subscriber may initiate or reply to a discussion on any topic. A list moderator will review each message for (a) relevance to the list, (b) compliance with the Conduct Guidlines, and, to a lesser extent, (c) clarity. Upon approval, each message is immediately emailed to every subscriber except those who have chosen to receive only daily abridged or digest updates. Messages that the moderator does not approve may be deleted without notice, or the moderator may request that a revised message be submitted.

At the bottom of each received message there appears the proper email addresses for sending a new message, contacting the moderator, and other relevant information.

Important: Subscribers who click “reply” to a PPDL message will be sending their reply back to the list for moderation. If you wish to reply directly to the author of a PPDL message, you must choose “forward” and copy/paste the author’s email address into the “To:” field.

If you do not wish to receive PPDL messages immediately, you can choose to receive daily summaries of two types. Abridged updates are a single daily email summary of new messages, showing for each message only the sender, subject and a brief summary. Digest updates show the full content of up to 25 messages in a single daily email. When there are more than 25 new messages, multiple digests are sent. The abridged and digest update options are available directly to Google/Gmail account holders through “My settings for this group” and indirectly to others by making a request to the list owner or moderator.

Conduct Guidelines

As with any community, there are guidelines governing behavior on the public practice discussion list (“PPDL”, or “the list”), as follows:

  1. The PPDL is intended for the sharing of information and expertise and the creation of an informal and collegial professional network. No user may interfere with the attainment of these aims.
  2. Users who wish to join the PPDL must subscribe using two online forms, the link to which is at the bottom of this page. Both forms must be completed.
  3. Users must use the list for sharing information, and not for any personal attacks on, or criticism of, any other member or person.
  4. List messages are for the use of PPDL members only and may not be distributed to non-members without the permission of the PPDL owner. Nevertheless, postings on the list should be considered by members as neither private nor confidential.
  5. The list is not to be used as the first source of research for practitioners. It is assumed that the basic reference sources are readily available to all subscribers. Nevertheless, readers of apparently naive postings may not take the opportunity to attack the authors.
  6. Any personal criticism or criticism of an organization should be directed to the person or organization involved.
  7. You must include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, location, and e-mail address.
  8. State concisely and clearly the specific topic in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to scan or review messages by subject.
  9. Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply.
  10. Users of the discussion list may not post material that violates or infringes in any way upon the rights of others or solicits, encourages, or promotes illegal activities, is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libellous, derogatory, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, vulgar, obscene, bigoted or hateful, profane, scandalous, pornographic, indecent or otherwise objectionable, gives rise to civil or criminal liability or otherwise violates any municipal, provincial, or federal law. The owner and moderators of the PPDL are the final arbiters.
  11. Users may not engage in activities, technical or otherwise, that prevent other participants from joining or participating in the email discussion list.
  12. Refrain from using an “Out of Office Reply”. When used, they send your out-of-office message to all posting authors. If you do use one, the owner or moderator may stop sending you PPDL postings until you notify them of your return. Alternatively, users with a Google/Gmail account may change their group delivery settings to “No email”; all others may ask the owner or moderator to make this change for them.
  13. The PPDL is provided as a service of Eric Grossman, CPA, CGA and the Aquilian Group (jointly, “Aquilian”). Aquilian accepts no responsibility for the opinions and information posted on the list by others. Aquilian disclaims all warranties with regard to information posted on the list, whether posted by Aquilian or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties. In no event shall Aquilian be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on the list. If you subscribe, you have accepted this.
  14. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants Aquilian and users of the list the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information, subject to these Conduct Guidelines.
  15. Users may from time to time be offered benefits supplied by unrelated parties. Aquilian accepts no responsibility and offers no warranty for any services or goods provided by such suppliers.