How to become a Chartered Accountant in Canada

How to become a Chartered Accountant in Canada

Are you thinking about becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Canada?  If you are an accountant who lives in Canada or you are thinking of migrating from another country to Canada in search for a job in the accounting industry, this article will help you on your journey to becoming a chartered accountant in Canada.

Getting a degree in accounting from a recognized university or college doesn't make you a chartered accountant, you have to be a professional member of the accounting body in charge of registering and giving practice license to accountants.

Becoming a chartered accountant in one country doesn't make you a chartered accountant in another country unless the accounting body you belong to is globally recognized. However, you still need a license from the indigenous accounting body to practice. For instance, an Australian chartered accountant will not be allowed to practice or own an accounting firm in Canada if he is not certified by the accounting body in charge of Canada.

Accounting professionals work in a variety of accounting and non-accounting settings, such as government organizations, private businesses, and private practice. The Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) was created when Canada merged the three prior designations of Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) into one designation. Tax planning, financial document preparation, and business valuations are just a few of the services you can provide as a CPA.

Top 3 Reasons to Become a CPA

A CPA credential indicates that you have more than one technical accounting specialization and that you can look beyond numbers to advance in company and leadership. What are the importance of CPA certification? There are numerous compelling reasons to become a CPA, including increased pay, job security, and job variety.
  1. Better salary: Better salary is one of the importance of CPA certification. Regular or unlicensed accountants are paid less than CPAs. Working as an independent CPA allows you to demand higher fees for the additional services you provide.
  2. Job security: CPAs have an advantage over non-CPA financial professionals in Canada since they are in great demand.
  3. Work variety: CPAs are able to operate in almost any business. This provides you with a great deal of career flexibility, allowing you to simply transfer from one job to another to keep your professional life interesting.

How to Become a Chartered Accountant in Canada

What are the requirements to become a chartered accountant in Canada?

I guess this is the part of the article that you have been waiting for. To get started, i will explain the requirements to become a chartered accountant in Canada.

There are several routes to qualify for the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) to become a CPA in Canada, but the most common option is:
  1. Obtaining a bachelor's degree in a relevant field from a recognized Canadian university.
  2. Enrolling the CPA Professional Education Program is a great way to advance your career as a CPA.
  3. 30 months of relevant accountancy experience is required.
  4. Completing four education courses while working full-time
  5. Passing the three-day Uniform Evaluation (UE) exam, which assesses your accounting skills

What Is CPA PEP?

The CPA PEP is a two-year, part-time accountancy program developed for full-time accounting professionals. There are six modules in this program:
  1. Two core modules with six technical competencies: financial reporting, management accounting, strategy and governance, finance and taxation, and audit and assurance
  2. Choose two electives from tax and finance, assurance, or performance management.
  3. One capstone integrative module where you build your professional and leadership skills
  4. One capstone exam prep module

Each module concludes with an examination, and if you wish to pursue a career in tax or public accounting, you'll need to take additional exams specific to those fields. You must pass each module examination before moving on to the next as a CPA candidate. To finish the process, you must pass the three-day Common Final Examination.

What If You Don’t Have an Undergraduate Degree?

Even if you don't have a bachelor's degree, you can sit for the CPA exams in Canada. You must, however, show that you have at least eight years of experience in CPA technical competency areas. In addition, you must finish the CPA PEP preparatory courses, submit three letters of recommendation, and write a personal statement.

CPA Canada must review your credentials before certifying you as a CPA if you are not a Canadian or if you received your accountancy training in another nation.


A CPA position is not obtained only by education. To obtain the official designation, you must first pass an exam. This means that before enrolling in a CPA school program, you should conduct extensive study and speak with the accounting authority in your jurisdiction. As a CPA, you have the option of working for a firm or working as an independent contractor.
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