BVA Blog

CPA Designations

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation

What is the CPA designation?
The CPA designation is a unification of three predecessor designations previously used within Canada (Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified General Accountant). The CPA designation will draw on the strengths of legacy designations and will build expertise in all areas of accounting, taxation, and assurance.

A unified designation will allow for a common certification process whereby all members will be subject to the same standards which will help to improve the mobility of designated professionals.

What is the process involved with becoming a CPA?
The CPA program is a graduate level program so candidates are required to have an undergraduate degree as well as subject area coverage in order to start the process. To become members of CPA, candidates must successfully complete six modules which culminate in a common final exam and they must also gain relevant practical experience.

First all candidates are required to take two core modules which will build competencies in: financial and management accounting, strategy and governance, finance, assurance, and taxation.

Next, candidates will choose to take two elective modules in a subject area that is of interest to them or relevant to their career development. The elective module options available are performance management, finance, taxation, and assurance.

Then, all candidates will take two common capstone modules that will help them build communication, leadership, and professional skills as well as help them prepare for the common final exam.

After successful completion of the six modules, candidates will be eligible to write the common final exam which is administered nationally across Canada and is written over a three day period. After passing the common final exam and completing the practical experience requirements, CPA candidates will be eligible to become members of the CPA profession!

*From the “CPA Canada Candidate Guide for the Professional Education Program”.

How does the CPA designation affect our clients?
CPA members will be knowledgeable in all of the areas of accounting, taxation, and assurance that affect their clients. Professionals will also be subject to the highest standards related to professionalism and ethics similar to the standards relevant to the predecessor designations. There will be no diminishment of the level of services available to meet the clients business and personal needs.

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