The largest organizations for professional accountants in the United States and Canada, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) have reached an agreement that enhances consistency in forensic and technology advisory services in both nations. The groups say it gives CPAs on both sides of the border access to the same technical resources and credentials that signify advanced proficiency in the disciplines.
The agreement builds on a history of cross-border collaboration, and extends to CPAs in Canada the opportunity to tap into a broad portfolio of specialized information - practice aids, webcasts, newsletters and online forums - through the AICPA's Information Management and Technology Assurance Section and its Forensic and Valuation Services Section. CPA Canada members can join those sections and, with specific qualifications and experience, obtain the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF®) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP®) credentials that distinguish CPAs in the practice areas.
"Clients and employers increasingly look for specialized skillsets to tackle issues made more complicated by technology and the pace of globalization," said Frank Colantonio, CPA, CA, director of continuing education for CPA Canada. "This alliance between CPA Canada and the AICPA will help them more easily identify financial professionals across North America who have met the highest bar of competency to navigate complex issues like technology risk and fraud prevention."
The AICPA's governing council last May set the stage for the expanded cross border relationship, authorizing the Institute through its board of directors to offer specialized credentials to non-U.S. accounting professionals. It required that the AICPA work only with accounting bodies with significant national or international stature and stringent eligibility requirements and codes of conduct.
CPA Canada was established in January 2013 to support unification of Canada's three legacy accounting designations (Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified General Accountant) under the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. The new technical resources and credentials underscore the benefit of that process to the country's more than 185,000 accounting professionals who are now part of one of the largest accounting bodies in the world. In addition to the forensics and technology areas, CPA Canada members can take advantage of AICPA resources in business valuation and personal financial planning. CPA Canada and the AICPA will evaluate the potential for the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV™) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™) credentials in the future.
"In the United States and Canada, the CPA designation is recognized as a beacon of discipline, objectivity and capability," said Jeannette Koger, CPA, AICPA vice president for member specialization and credentialing. "This agreement reinforces its strength in rapidly growing, highly specialized practice areas. It gives clients across North America a benchmark for top level quality - the CFF and CITP credentials - and creates opportunity for CPAs in both countries to collaborate in new ways to advance the public interest."