How to Become a CPA in Canada

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Having an accountant is a must for every business. Accountants are essential because they can effectively show you how much money is going in and out of your company and if there are things you need to do to maintain your good cash flow or fix your cash flow problems.

Chartered professional accountants or CPAs are globally respected and recognized for their outstanding skills. It is a key to a successful career if you do it well. One thing to note here is that Canadian CPAs are the best around the world. Many big companies want to have Canadian CPAs among their staff, and they are also well-paid.

On average, CPAs in Canada earn up to $35.71 an hour. It can go all the way up to $60.51, depending on your years of experience, your employer, and also your city or province. Nevertheless, CPAs in Canada are generally paid well, and they are also very much in demand around the country.

Now that we’ve got your interest piqued, let us tell you the things you must know about becoming a successful CPA in Canada.

Duties and Responsibilities

Chartered professional accountants are tasked with planning, organizing, and administering accounting systems for both individuals and establishments. They are constantly employed by both the government and private sectors for auditing and accounting duties. Some of them might be self-employed and not affiliated with any company.

Some of their tasks include examining accounting records, preparing financial statements and reports, analyzing financial statements and reports to provide financial, tax, and business advice, and developing and maintaining costs, internal control, and reporting procedures.

Accountants may also act as a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings. They may also supervise and train articling students, administrative technicians, or other accountants. However, these are not as required as the tasks mentioned above.

Education Requirements

To become a chartered professional accountant in Canada, you must have at least an undergraduate degree with a specific subject area coverage. This will allow you to be admitted to the new CPA PEP, which stands for Chartered Professional Accountants Professional Education Program. On the other hand, if your degree is not related to accounting, you can still be one by the CPA preparatory courses, formerly known as CPA PREP.

Requirements for Those Without an Undergraduate Degree

People aspiring to become CPAs but do not possess an undergraduate degree can still get accepted into CPA PEP if they fulfil specific criteria.

You must possess at least eight years of relevant experience in any of the CPA technical competency areas. It can be anything from audit and assistance, strategy and governance, financial reporting, finance and taxation, and management accounting.

You must also submit a detailed resume detailing all your work experience, current and past, and if you also have done any community service and/or volunteering activities to your provincial or regional body.

You must also submit the official transcripts for any university and college courses you have studied or taken to your provincial or regional body. You must also have to submit three letters of reference from either a current employer, a personal character reference, or a CPA colleague. It also works if it is from an international accounting body with an existing reciprocity agreement with CPA Canada.

You should submit a letter of intent saying how much you want to be a CPA. You should also successfully complete the required subject area coverage.

Licensing Requirements

You should have a professional license issued by a regulatory authority before working as a CPA. It can be voluntary or compulsory, depending on your occupation. The license is compulsory if you must be certified before even working and using the title CPA.

On the other hand, you don’t need to get certified if the license is voluntary. Provincial and territorial regulatory authorities typically require licensing for accountants and auditors in the public accounting practice.

CPAs must also have a license as a trustee in bankruptcy to act as a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings.

Skills Required

Aside from the needed education and licensing requirements, aspiring CPAs should also have to supervise management skills, planning, analyzing information, research, and above-average communication skills.

These skills are essential because accountants have to do many management tasks, and they also need to analyze the numbers in front of them to figure out what is happening in the company or with their client’s spending.

Lastly, they must communicate the observations in an easy-to-understand manner for their clients.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.