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General Questions About WebTrust

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Client FAQ and Fact Sheet

This FAQ page contains general information on WebTrust certification and related issues. As one of the first firms in Canada licensed to perform this valuable service, Bennett Gold LLP is ready to review your e-commerce web site and help you attain WebTrust compliance.

  1. What is WebTrust?
  2. Why is WebTrust needed?
  3. Why are CAs and CPAs offering WebTrust?
  4. How do I know that a web site has received the WebTrust service?
  5. Who issues the WebTrust Seal?
  6. Where can I obtain copies of the WebTrust Principles and Criteria?
  7. What does the WebTrust Seal mean?
  8. Where do I find the report of the CA or CPA that a web site complies with WebTrust?
  9. What period is covered by the WebTrust Seal?
  10. Can the WebTrust Seal be revoked?

1 - What is WebTrust?

WebTrust is a Seal of Best Practices, and a new service jointly developed by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It enables consumers and businesses to purchase goods and services over the Internet with the confidence that vendors' web sites have historically met specific high standards for privacy, security, business practices, transaction integrity and more.


2 - Why is WebTrust needed?

A major impediment to the growth of commerce over the Internet has been broad concern over the security and privacy of credit card and other confidential information transmitted when purchasing goods, services and information electronically. There is also concern over the frequent inability of consumers and businesses to confirm the legitimacy of companies offering goods and services over the web. WebTrust addresses those, and other, concerns of Internet users.


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3 - Why are CAs and CPAs offering WebTrust?

CAs and CPAs are recognized as independent assurers of the accuracy and fairness of many types of financial and non-financial information. CAs and CPAs must meet strict ethical, educational, and other requirements. CAs and CPAs are now bringing their independence, objectivity, and broad knowledge of business and technical expertise to the web under the WebTrust Principles and Criteria.


4 - How do I know that a web site has received the WebTrust service?

A web site that has met the WebTrust Principles and Criteria is eligible to display the prestigious WebTrust Seal on the site.


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5 - Who issues the WebTrust Seal?

CAs and CPAs who have been licensed by their respective national professional standards setting bodies (the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) issue the Seal. This license is not a license to practice public accounting; rather, it is a license authorizing a practitioner to issue the WebTrust Seal.


6 - Where can I obtain copies of the WebTrust Principles and Criteria?

The Principles and Criteria are available from special web pages of the CICA and the AICPA.


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7 - What does the WebTrust Seal mean?

Web sites that qualify for the Seal have been examined by a qualified CA or CPA who has issued a report providing reasonable assurance that the site complies with the WebTrust Principles and Criteria relating to one or more of the seven WebTrust Principles.


8 - Where do I find the report of the CA or CPA that a web site complies with WebTrust?

The WebTrust report can be found by clicking on the WebTrust Seal.


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9 - What period is covered by the WebTrust Seal?

A web site may generally retain the seal for as long as it remains compliant to the The WebTrust Principles and Criteria. These Principles and Criteria require that the CA or CPA confirm continued compliance at least every six months.


10 - Can the WebTrust Seal be revoked?

The Seal would be revoked if the web site no longer complies with the WebTrust Principles and Criteria.


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