Your source for CA-CMA-CGA unification information
A Framework For Uniting The Canadian Accounting Profession
Photo Accountants CA CMA CGA merger

Vision for the Profession

To be the pre-eminent, internationally recognized
Canadian accounting designation and business
credential that best protects and serves
the public interest.

Guiding Principles for Unification

The guiding principles provide the framework
to unify the profession and achieve the vision.
Photo Accountants CA CMA CGA merger

The new profession would adopt the Canadian designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).


Evolution to a single designation

The new profession would adopt the Canadian designation Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
All current members in good standing would be granted this designation from their new CPA provincial body as CPA legislation is approved.
For a period of 10 years, all members using the new CPA designation would be required to use it in conjunction with their existing designations. No current member could use the CPA without identifying his or her legacy designation as follows:
  First and Last Name, CPA, CA
  First and Last Name, CPA, CMA
  First and Last Name, CPA, CGA
After 10 years, a member could choose to use the CPA designation on its own.


Continued use of existing designations

Existing members would retain their current professional designations.
No member would be automatically granted an existing professional designation of another body.
The national and provincial CPA bodies would be promoting the new CPA designation. Use of legacy designations on their own post-unification would be subject to provincial merger agreements and legislation.


Retention but no expansion of rights

Unification would protect all existing rights of members, such as public accounting rights and rights under any existing Mutual Recognition Agreement, without granting new rights.
The new CPA organization would negotiate on behalf of all members when entering into new Mutual Recognition Agreements.
Any member not authorized to practise in a restricted area, such as audit, prior to the merger would be required to complete any necessary provincial programs to qualify post-merger.
Photo Accountants CA CMA CGA merger

The new national Chartered Professional Accountants organization would establish a certification program that draws on the strengths of the existing programs and would be at least as rigorous as existing programs.


Certification > The Canadian CPA Certification Program (pdf, 0.5 MB)

The new CPA organization would establish a certification program that draws on the strengths of the existing programs and would be recognized by members, regulators, global accounting organizations and the business community as being at least as rigorous as all existing programs. Detailed information on the developing certification program is available by clicking here.

Highlights of the Canadian CPA certification process
A CPA Competency Map would be designed to meet the needs of industry, government and public practice.
An undergraduate degree and specific prerequisite courses in business and accountancy would be required for admission to the professional education program.
A post-graduate professional education program would be developed nationally and delivered provincially/regionally. Key components would include:
Individual examinations and team-based evaluations throughout the program.
A comprehensive, multi-day final examination.
Rigorous practical experience that builds the relevant CPA competencies and is subject to quality control by the profession.
Meet or exceed all standards for education, assessment and practical experience set by the International Federation of Accountants.
Meet or exceed requirements for existing and future Mutual Recognition Agreements.
Bridging programs to meet required degree or course prerequisites for the professional education program so that entry into the program would be accessible to entrants coming from the work force and abroad and those with non-business degrees.
To meet the diverse needs of both employers and clients, a separate program would be developed for those who aspire to a career in accountancy, but not as a qualified CPA. This program would have distinct entrance, education and assessment requirements. A bridging program to the appropriate stage of the CPA certification program would be developed.
Photo Accountants CA CMA CGA merger

Post-designation specialty programs would be developed to offer CPAs the opportunity to enhance their expertise and advance their careers.


A single designation with specialties

As in other professions like medicine and law, post-designation specialty programs would be developed to offer CPAs the opportunity to enhance their expertise and advance their careers.
A number of post-designation specialties would be considered, such as tax, forensic accounting, strategic management, and public sector accounting.


Branding the CPA designation

Early in the transition process, all branding efforts would focus on the CPA designation and there would no longer be any branding of the legacy designations.


Common code of conduct, regulations, and the practice of public accountancy

A new, common regulatory framework reflecting the best practices of the existing organizations, including codes of conduct, practice inspection, disciplinary processes and an effective, nationally consistent public accounting regime would be developed.
The new national CPA organization would be responsible for supporting standard setting in the profession.

Merged operations and governance

The operations of the participating bodies would be combined at the provincial and national levels.
The new combined provincial and national bodies would be overseen by new Boards of Directors that would include representation from each of the participating bodies.
Mechanisms to protect existing members’ rights (such as those under Mutual Recognition Agreements) would be included.
The organizations in each jurisdiction would be responsible for securing any legislation required to combine the operations and move to a new CPA designation. These bodies would work collaboratively to obtain any required change.