The word is out that the Chartered Accountant’s (CA), Certified General Accountant’s (CGA) and Certified Management Accountant’s (CMA) will now all be Chartered Professional Accountant’s (CPA). Why are they merging and what does that mean?
On May 9, 2013 three self-regulated accounting professions (CA, CGA and CMA) signed an agreement to pursue a merger to unify under the CPA designation. The CPA designation is now active in Quebec and Ontario. Regulatory bodies representing the majority of professional accountants in the remainder of Canada are working to unite under this banner.
For a number of years there have been three accounting bodies in Canada. This has made it a confusing market place as the consumer did not always know the difference between each body.
It is believed that a more unified profession will best serve the public by establishing consistent codes of professional conduct, disciplinary systems and licensing regimes. In addition, a common designation will eliminate confusion about the differences among the three accounting designations. Once merged, the CPA’s as one of the largest accounting bodies in the world would give a stronger voice when it comes to setting domestic and international accounting and assurance standards and protecting Canada’s interest on the global stage.
Until such time as legislative changes are enacted, CA, CGA and CMA members will maintain their current designation and will continue their existing mandates of self-regulation, education and advocacy. Once united together, these three bodies will work as one to protect public interest through rigorous educational and certification programs to uphold the highest professional standards and ethics.
Remember that even though we will all be under the CPA banner, the usual “buyer beware” approach still applies! Always do your homework when choosing an accountant.
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