State Board Report

February 2012

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) and the Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA-Canada) on January 17, 2012, presented to their members a proposed framework for uniting Canada's accounting profession. The three groups have been developing a national framework for months (see sbr 6/11). It calls for the creation of a new designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), with a common certification program. Because the profession is provincially regulated, the proposed framework is being distributed among the provincial bodies, which will then consult with their members and other stakeholder to determine whether or not to approach their provincial government with a recommendation to merge.

It would then be up to the provincial governments to determine whether to proceed with legislation. Once legislation is enacted, current members of the three bodies would be granted the CPA designation to be used in conjunction with their existing designation for 10 years. After that time, the accountants could either continue to use the two designations or they may opt to use just the CPA.

CICA President and CEO Kevin Dancey, who spoke at NASBA's 2010 Annual Meeting, said of the plan: "There is strength in numbers and we firmly believe the proposed Canadian CPA designation would be a leading voice both at home and abroad – one that is independent, influential and respected." He explained, "Greater efficiencies would result, and the new qualification program would be at least as rigorous as all legacy programs and encompass financial and management accounting." Should the three bodies unite, they would represent 170,000 professionals.

How such a merger would impact the tri-party mutual recognition agreement developed by the NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB), the Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos, and the CICA is being monitored. IQAB is next scheduled to meet on April 30 – May 1, in Washington, DC, where Canadian representatives will be present to detail what is anticipated.

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