Chapter 3 (a:2): Business Services: Accounting

Section

Improvements Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Entry Requirements

Further Improvements Planned

 

Operational Requirements

 

 

 

 

There are three major professional accountancy designations which are governed by provincial/territorial legislation: Chartered Accountant (CA); Certified Management Accountant (CMA); and Certified General Accountant (CGA). Each of these groups is represented by self-regulated provincial associations that bestow the professional accounting designations on students who successfully complete their studies and examinations.

 

The only accounting services that are regulated in Canada are those associated with public accounting. Public accounting includes audits and review engagements, as well as any service which involves independent examination of records for the purpose of expressing an opinion as to whether the financial information is presented fairly.

 

In provinces where public accounting is regulated by statute, only a few require practitioners to have a license.

 

More detailed information is available from the websites of the national accounting associations (http://www.cica.ca/, http://www.cma-canada.org/ and http://www.cga-canada.org/).

 

 

 

Licensing and Qualification Requirements of Service Providers

 

 

 

Requirements to qualify for the CA designation:

- a university degree;

- specified university courses or equivalent;

- a provincial institute student professional program or equivalent;

- prescribed practical experience; and

- a passing grade on the Uniform Final Examination (UFE).

 

Requirements to qualify for the CMA designation:

- a university degree (typically a 4 year Bachelor of Commerce with an accounting major and specified courses);

- passing the Entrance Examination;

- completion of the CMA Professional Program (2 years); and

- managerial and operational work experience concurrent with completion of the Professional Program.

 

Requirements to qualify for the CGA designation:

- a university degree/college diploma;

- professional course/exams (3 years); and

- minimum 2 years acceptable practical experience.

 

 

 

Foreign Entry

 

 

Elimination of residency requirement for accreditation in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

 

Elimination of citizenship requirement for accreditation in Quebec.

 

Specific commitments in this area, including some limitations on market access and on national treatment by certain provinces, are set out in Canada's GATS Schedule. Commercial presence must take the form of a sole proprietorship or partnership. Other limitations include requirements for a commercial presence for auditing work in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Ontario. These limitations restrict cross-border trade, consumption abroad and the presence of natural persons. Also affecting these three modes of supply are residency requirements for accreditation in Alberta and Ontario.

 

In the NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) context, an agreement between representative national professional associations has been concluded to facilitate the mutual recognition of licenses and certifications.

 

 

 

 

Discriminatory Treatment/

MFN

 

 

Elimination of residency requirement for accreditation in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

 

Elimination of citizenship requirement for accreditation in Quebec.

 

Specific commitments in this area, including some limitations on market access and on national treatment by certain provinces, are set out in Canada's GATS Schedule.  National treatment is limited for auditing services in Alberta, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. In these five provinces there are residency requirements for accreditation purposes. In Alberta, permanent residency may be required by the securities commission and by all three accountancy designations (CA, CMA and CGA). For national treatment, commercial offices in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Alberta must be under the management of a resident.