During the ongoing legislative and regulatory review of the Ontario Travel Industry Act, ACTA has firmly and consistently stated to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services that the Financial and Regulatory Burden placed on Ontario travel businesses needs to be reduced, and one way to accomplish this is to discontinue the requirement of costly review engagements for small business and the even more costly audited financial statements for Ontario travel agencies.
In ACTA’s Phase 3 response, ACTA supported the Government’s proposed change in eliminating the requirement of filing review engagements for registrants with sales under $2M, and saw this as a good first step. ACTA also stressed to the Government that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and their airline members only requires review engagements, not audited financial statements as the highest reporting criteria for Canadian travel agencies.
In 2018, the Canadian financial reporting criteria was fully reviewed over an 12 month period by IATA and several airlines, and based on the Canadian Public Accountant Policies and Procedures, it was determined that in Canada, the review engagement would remain the highest level of reporting required by Canadian travel agencies. At the global airline meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland on October 30, 2018, all airlines unanimously approved Canada’s travel agency financial criteria.
Considering the approval of this requirement by IATA and their global airlines, who are extremely rigorous in their financial and fraud prevention protocols, ACTA strongly recommends that the Ontario government through the Ontario travel industry regulator, TICO, remove the expensive and unnessary burden of audited financial statements for Ontario travel businesses.