1. How is Canada’s Chartered Accountancy Profession organized?
Canada’s Chartered Accountancy profession is organized both nationally and provincially. Each of the 10 provincial chartered accountants' institutes/ordres has the responsibility and authority to admit members and student members, and to determine practice requirements and the discipline of members and students.
2. What is the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)?
The CICA is the national body and conducts research into current business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature, develops continuing education programs and represents the CA profession nationally and internationally. CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).
3. What does the CICA do?
- provides financial and staff resources to support Canada's independent process for setting auditing and accounting standards;
- conducts research;
- coordinates the qualifying Uniform Evaluation (UFE) administered in the provinces and territories;
- develops conferences and training for the continuing education of chartered accountants; and
- publishes material on auditing, accounting, and business matters.
The CICA does not admit members and students. You receive your membership in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) automatically from your membership in one of the provincial institutes/ordres. For more information on CICA, click here.
4. I have a CA designation from my home country – can I use that in Canada?
The laws of all provinces prohibit the use of foreign CA designations in Canada. Once you are a Canadian CA, however, your designation is fully portable across Canada by applying for membership in the provincial institute in which you wish recognition. In Quebec, members also must meet provincial government French-language proficiency requirements.
5. What is the role of the institutes/ordres?
In addition to setting admission standards, the provincial institutes/ordres are responsible for the education and examination of their candidates. The admission standards of the provincial institutes/ordres are uniform in general, but differ in detail. You must be a member of the CA institute/ordre of a Canadian province or territory in order to represent yourself as a Chartered Accountant in that Canadian province or territory.
6. How do I become a Canadian CA?
The process for becoming a Canadian CA depends on your current credentials – education, work experience and the foreign accounting body of which you are a member. Depending on these variables, there are different pathways to becoming a Canadian CA, each with its own requirements. You can start by entering your information here
7. What is the first step to becoming a Canadian CA?
First, collect your membership and experience information. Download and fill out electronically the forms available here to gather this information. Then submit signed copies via a pdf attached to an email, fax or post to the institute/ordre in the province in which you wish to practise. The provincial institute/ordre will assess your experience and review your membership information and let you know – within 12 months of receiving your completed application submission – of any additional requirements you must meet.
8. What are the language requirements for my documents?
All documents must be in French or English if you applying to Quebec or New Brunswick, and in English if you are applying in any other Canadian provinces or territories. You are responsible for having your documents officially translated if necessary.
9. What other requirements do I have to meet?
If you are a member of an accounting body, you must demonstrate that you did not become a member in that accounting body through affiliation, or some other equivalency process, but through completion of the accounting body’s qualification process. You also must supply written verification from your accounting body that indicates:
- The designation you hold
- Your current membership status
- That you are a member in good standing
- The date you were admitted to the organization
- The academic requirements you completed
- The exams you took
10. What if I cannot get official documents in my country for reasons that are out of my control?
If you are unable to obtain official documentation for political or other reasons beyond your control, the provincial institute/ordre will accept alternate documentation. You should contact the provincial institute/ordre in the province/territory in which you plan to practice for more information.
11. Why do I have to register with a provincial accounting body?
Provincial institutes/ordre are the qualifying and regulatory bodies for the Chartered Accountants and CA students in their jurisdiction. To practise as a Chartered Accountant in Canada you must first be a member of one of these provincial or territorial accounting bodies. Decide the province or territory in which you want to practise, then submit all your membership and information documentation and the completed forms to your chosen provincial institute/ordre for assessment and for details on any additional requirements you must meet.
12. What credentials are required if I am not a member of a professional accounting body?
If you are a university-educated accountant but not a member of a professional accounting body, generally you must have a four-year, 120-credit-hour baccalaureate degree equivalent to a Canadian university degree with specific credit hours. You must provide official, certified transcripts/documents of degrees and degree-credit courses from your post-secondary institution and information on your membership in an accounting body if you belong to one.
13. What is the PER – the Practical Experience Requirements?
The CA profession’s Practical Experience Requirements (PER) is competency-based. Practical experience is an integral part of qualifying as a CA in Canada. You should be aware that as an internationally trained professional you may be required to get additional Canadian experience to get your Canadian CA designation.
14. What do the Practical Experience Requirements (PER ) encompass?
Generally, you must:
- Have a minimum of at least three years of progressively responsible, appropriately supervised professional accounting experience
- Demonstrate a depth of competency development equivalent to the competency expectations of a newly qualified CA in one of:
- Performance Measurement and Reporting
- Governance Strategy and Risk Management
- Management decision making
- Demonstrate a breadth of competency development in at least two other areas. If your area of depth is NOT Assurance, or Performance Measurement and Reporting, one of your two breadth areas must include three specific competencies in Performance Measurement and Reporting. These are described on the application form. More information on experience requirements is available from the provincial institute/ordre in the province/territory in which you plan to practise.
Note: this does NOT necessarily qualify you to practice public accounting in Canada. Contact the provincial institute/ordre in the province/territory in which you plan to practise for more information.
15. What is the CA Reciprocity Exam (CARE)?
The CA Reciprocity Examination (CARE) allows Canadian provincial CA Institutes to measure the professional competence – from a Canadian perspective – of members of accounting bodies outside Canada who have been assessed by the International Qualifications Appraisal Board as having education, examination, and experience requirements substantially equivalent to the Canadian CA qualification program. CARE examines candidates on their knowledge of Canadian taxation and business law, and the Canadian CA profession’s rules of professional conduct. CARE is offered annually in late October.
16. What is the structure of the CARE?
The CARE is a four-hour, computer-scored examination consisting of 100 multiple choice questions organized by competency area. Its structure is:
|Area||Number of Questions|
|Canadian Taxation||45 - 55|
|Canadian Business Law||18 - 22|
|Rules of Professional Conduct|| 27 - 33|
You can find more information on CARE, including dates and fees, here.
17. What is the Professional Education Program (PEP)?
Once you have registered with a provincial institute/ordre – and depending on your qualifications – you may have to pass the PEP. The provincial institutes/ordres deliver CA professional education in:
18. Once I pass the PEP, what’s the next step?
Once you have successfully completed the PEP of your institute/ordre, you must pass the Uniform Evaluation (UFE) – a three-day, national examination usually held in September – to enter the profession.
19. What does the UFE assess?
In the UFE you must demonstrate competence by responding to business-case simulations representative of the kinds of challenges faced by entry-level CAs.
20. What does the UFE consist of?
Three papers written over the three days:
- Day 1: a five-hour paper consisting of a single comprehensive business simulation
- Days 2 and 3: one four-hour paper each day. Each paper consists of more than two multi-subject simulations