Introducing the profession of chartered accountancy

Deciding to become a chartered accountant (CA) in Canada means you have chosen the role of a trusted professional, known for technical excellence, integrity, objectivity and a commitment to the public interest.

Here's what you need to become a CA student in Canada:

EducationYou must have completed: A university degree with specific business course credits and the professional programme in your province or territory.

This level of education will provide you with the sound base of knowledge you'll need to develop the skills and values necessary to demonstrate competence. Check with your Provincial Institute/Ordre for programme specifics.

ExperienceYou must have work experience gained in a CA training office under the supervision of experienced CAs. CA training offices include CA firms, leading corporations and government organisations that have recognised CA training programmes in place. This training is essential in helping you develop the skills, the attributes and the values of a competent CA.

Introducing the profession of chartered accountancy

“You will be assessed continually throughout your development - in your university programmes, in the professional education programmes and on the job”

Applying to become a CA student

You can apply directly to these CA training offices or meet with their representatives when they recruit on your university campus. For more details contact your Provincial Institute/Ordre.

Evaluation and assessmentThese are central to determining the competence of CA students. Consequently, you will be assessed continually throughout your development - in your university programmes, in the professional education programmes and on the job. All CA candidates must sit the Uniform Evaluation (UFE). The UFE is the most important element in the continual process of developing, assessing, and judging the level of your knowledge, skills and professional values against those required by a CA. This three-day evaluation gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your professional competency by responding to simulated business challenges of the kinds likely to be faced by newly qualified CAs.

Education, Experience, and Evaluation - these three elements ensure that, when you earn your CA designation, you will have acquired all the competencies that the marketplace demands from a chartered accountant.

What do chartered accountants do?Chartered accountants or CAs, are business professionals who generally work in four key areas. About 40% of CAs are in public practice, while the other 60% are employed in industry, government or education.

Public practiceAll CAs, at some time during their career, work as advisers in public practice, providing accounting and business advice to clients in areas such as small business tax, audit, information technology, personal financial planning, business valuation, receivership, insolvency and forensic investigation.

IndustryCAs who work in industry develop financial and administrative policies, analyse information and provide strategic leadership. CAs add value to organisations as CEO/ President, Treasurer/ VP Finance, Controller or Systems Developer.

GovernmentAll levels of government require accounting expertise to guide financial planning and to maintain fiscal control. Federal and provincial departments, Crown corporations and a variety of healthcare and welfare organistions employ CAs as tax auditors, policy planners and financial analysts.

EducationMany CAs are educators who make a valuable contribution to society by teaching future leaders about business, values and ethics. Many of Canada's top educators are CAs.

CAs provide a wide range of services including:

  • Start-up counselling
  • Purchase and sale of business
  • Business valuations
  • Business planning and financial projections
  • Developing strategies for securing financing
  • Corporate and personal income tax planning
  • Information technology need analysis
  • Assurance (audits and reviews)
  • Preparation and analysis of financial information
  • Acting as trustee for receivership, insolvency or bankruptcy
  • Developing management controls
  • Management consulting
  • Forensic accounting and litigation support

Reproduced with permission from The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
Any changes to the original material are the sole responsibility of i-studentadvisor and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the CICA.

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