9 things you must know about Client Account
All you need to know about Client Account in Canada
Is it for you?
If you are or willing to become an immigration professional in Canada, you must follow certain regulations. This blog is aimed to provide you insights on Client Account Regulation which as an immigration consultant, you must follow.
Registration with ICCRC
If you wish to become immigration professional in Canada or abroad to provide immigration services in Canada, you must be registered with Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and once you are a member, you are known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).
Client Account Regulation
Every immigration professional member of ICCRC must follow the Client Account Regulation 2015-2, consequently, you shall maintain an account designated as a “Client Account” in the name of the Member, or in the name of the Entity under which the Member conducts business, or in the name of the firm under which the Member conducts business, or in the name of the firm of which the Member is a partner, or in the name of the partners of the firm in which the Member is a partner.
Purpose of Client Account
Client Account is a pre-requisite to receive any advance from your client for services to be performed or expenses to be incurred for and on behalf of your client. You must open a Client Account before you receive from a Client Money to be held on behalf of a Client for;
- future unbilled services;
- overpayment of billed services;
- government processing fees; or
- any other type of Disbursements
Exemption from Client Account
If you agree not to hold money on behalf of your client, you must submit an annual declaration to ICCRC to claim exemption from the requirement of opening Client Account.
What is Client Account?
As defined in the Client Account Regulation, “Client Account” means a savings or chequing account opened by a Member at a Financial Institution in which account the Member holds funds received from or on behalf of one or more Clients and which is designated in the Member’s records as a Client Account.
Deposits in Client Account
Any money you receive to be held on behalf of your client for future unbilled services, for overpayment of billed services, for ALL Government processing fees, and for all other Disbursements shall be promptly deposited in your Client Account, in any case not later than 14 days from the receipt of such money. You shall not hold or deposit any other funds in your Client Account, no matter if they are related with your client unless they are immigration services related.
Models for use of Client Account
ICCRC recognizes two models to use your Client Account. You may choose any one of them that suits you; however, you must apply your choice consistently for the entire audit year. The models are;
- Model 1—All Monies received from Clients must be deposited into the Client Account.
- Model 2—Members must deposit all unearned and unbilled Monies into the Client Account.
We shall discuss more about models in the future blogs.
Withdrawal of money from Client Account
You may withdraw Money from a Client Account for the following reasons:
- Money properly required for payment of a Disbursement for which Member has received, in writing from the Client, permission regarding the payment of the Money;
- Money required to reimburse the Member for Disbursements incurred on behalf of a Client for which the Member has issued an invoice to the Client. For Model 2 this is the rule to be allowed to deposit funds directly to the Member’s business account;
- Money required for or toward payment of fees for services rendered by the Member for which the Member has issued an invoice to the Client. For Model 2 this is the rule to be allowed to deposit funds directly to the Member’s business account;
- Money that is directly transferred at the written direction of a Client into the Client Account of another Member, the trust account of a Lawyer or the trust account of a Quebec Notary;
- Money that was paid into a Client Account which, under this Regulation, the By-law, the Code of Professional Ethics or any other rule or policy of the Council in effect from time to time, should not have been paid into a Client Account; or
- Money refunded to a Client
Manner of withdrawal of money
You may withdraw Money from your Client Account only by cheque only for the permitted purposes which shall be signed by you as a member only and the cheque shall not be made payable either to cash or bearer.
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