New Canadian CPA organization now operational

Earlier this year, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) merged, becoming the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

The national accounting and business organization officially became operational on April 1. The organization supports provincial accounting bodies that have unified, and all those that will unify, under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) banner.

The assets and operations of the CICA and CMA Canada have now been fully transferred to the new national body. In addition, a logo was unveiled for the CPA designation. It carries with it instant recognition of the designation and features a contemporary interpretation of the iconic maple leaf.

"We are operational and helping to unite accounting professionals with shared values, diverse skills, exceptional talents, and innovative thinking - all driven by a commitment to excellence in their field," said Kevin Dancey, FCPA, FCA, president and CEO, CPA Canada.

CPA Canada will be responsible for providing services to legacy CAs and CMAs on behalf of the CICA and CMA Canada as well as CPAs and Certified General Accountants (CGAs) participating in the unification effort.

One of the first priorities is the development of a new CPA certification program to be in place for delivery in parts of the country by this fall, with the first CPA exams offered in the fall of 2015. "The Canadian CPA designation will become an internationally recognized and respected business and accounting credential," stressed Dancey.

Currently, accounting bodies representing 85 per cent of Canada's professional accountants are committed to unification or have already merged under the CPA banner. The timing for use of the CPA designation will vary among the provinces because the profession is provincially regulated and therefore mergers will occur at different times. CPA Quebec and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO) became the first organizations to join CPA Canada earlier this year.

"No matter what sector they serve, CPAs will continue to earn respect by demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the highest standards and best practices of their profession," said Joy Thomas, FCMA, executive vice-president, CPA Canada. "We firmly believe that organizations of all types, both at home and abroad, will value the Canadian CPA designation for its financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership."

CPA Canada has a 16-member Board of Directors that has been established under co-chairs Shelley Brown, CPA, FCA and Cassandra Dorrington, FCMA. Its membership reflects a cross section of perspectives based on regional representation, the participating legacy designations and public input.