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6. Practical experience requirements for the practice of public accounting

Practical experience requirements for the practice of public accounting are set out in CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER), Section 3.7.

Purpose

The practice of public accounting is defined and controlled by statute in most jurisdictions in Canada. In all cases, the requirements for the practice of public accounting are expressed in terms of chargeable hours. The CA profession’s practical experience requirements are designed to fulfill all provincial requirements, ensure reciprocity of the CA designation and practice rights across the country, meet international requirements, and meet the requirements for reciprocity with all those international accounting bodies with which the Chartered Accountants of Canada have Mutual Recognition Agreements.

Requirements

The specific practical experience requirements of CA students seeking to practise Public Accounting with full reciprocity across Canada and in Bermuda are strictly prescribed. These students must develop their CA competencies by:

  • Choosing Assurance as their area of Depth;
  • Developing their CA Specific Competencies on specific types of assignments - i.e., Assurance Services, Audit Engagements and Taxation Services; and
  • Meeting the specific chargeable hour requirements of their Provincial Institute/Ordre, which generally include:
    • At least 2,500 chargeable hours of practical experience, of which at least 1,250 chargeable hours must be in Assurance Services assignments, of which at least 625 chargeable hours must be specifically on Audit Engagements; and
    • An additional minimum of 100 chargeable hours in Taxation Services.

Qualifying experience for the practice of public accounting can be acquired only in a CA firm (including Offices of the federal and provincial Auditors General and the Auditor General of Bermuda) specifically approved by a Provincial Institute/Ordre to train students for the practice of public accounting.

Note that these are general requirements. The specific regulations and bylaws of the Provincial Institutes/Ordre for CA Qualification and the specific licensing regime or authority within each province to control Public Accounting take precedence.

Q: What changes have been made to the requirements to practise public accounting?

The requirements to practise public accounting are largely unchanged and generally include:

  • At least 2,500 Chargeable Hours of practical experience, of which at least 1,250 Chargeable Hours must be in Assurance Services assignments, of which at least 625 Chargeable Hours must be specifically on Audit Engagements; and
  • An additional minimum of 100 Chargeable Hours in Taxation Services.

Note that these are general requirements. The specific regulations and bylaws of the Provincial Institutes/Ordre for CA Qualification and the specific licensing regime or authority within each province to control Public Accounting take precedence.


Q: What is the path for CA students seeking to meet the requirements to practise public accounting during their period of CA Qualification?

All CA students must meet the profession’s competency and proficiency requirements set out in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 of CA Practical Experience Requirements to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. CA students seeking to also meet the requirements to practise public accounting during their CA Qualification period must meet these competency requirements by:

  • Choosing Assurance as their area of depth;
  • Choosing at least two other areas as their areas of breadth;
  • Developing their CA Specific Competencies on specific types of assignments - i.e., Assurance Services, Audit Engagements and Taxation Services; and
  • Meeting the specific hour requirements noted above.

Q: Can a CA who qualified without meeting the specific practical experience requirements to practise public accounting meet those requirements post-qualification?

Yes. CAs who did not complete the specific hour requirements during their period of CA Qualification, or qualified outside of the external audit path, can gain the necessary practical experience and chargeable hours to practise public accounting after qualification by acquiring the necessary experience in a CA Training Office approved to provide such experience (See Section 7: Rules for qualifying to practise public accounting after certification as a Chartered Accountant).


Q: Are CA Training Offices required to track all hours that qualify for the right to practise public accounting for all CA students, including those not pursuing the practice of public accounting?

Yes. All CA Firm Training Offices are required to track these hours, which may count towards the right to practise public accounting should the CA Student decide to pursue public accounting experience post-certification.


Q: Must the CA Training Office provide all CA students with the mandatory tax experience within their period of qualifying practical experience?

Yes. CA Training Offices approved for public accounting (including all grandparented CA Training Offices) are approved based on their ability to offer all the mandatory chargeable hours required for the practice of public accounting, including tax hours. Positions not offering the mandatory chargeable tax hours would not be defined as public accounting positions and therefore would have to be approved separately by the Provincial Institute/Ordre as non-traditional paths.


 

 



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Chartered Professional Accountants/ Comptables professionnels agréés


Welcome to CPA Canada!

CPA Canada is the national organization established to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession under the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. CPA Canada provides services to all CPA, CA, CMA and CGA accounting bodies that have unified or are committed to unification.

Our integrated CPA Canada website is currently in development and will launch in fall 2014. Until that time, all our existing resources, services and information are available through the CICA, CMA Canada and CGA-Canada legacy websites, or through newly developed microsites designed to provide specific CPA content.

Bienvenue à CPA Canada!

CPA Canada est l’organisation nationale établie pour soutenir l'unification de la profession comptable canadienne sous la bannière du titre de comptable professionnel agréé (CPA). CPA Canada fournit des services à toutes les organisations comptables de CPA, de CA, de CMA et de CGA qui se sont déjà unifiées ou qui sont engagées dans le processus d’unification.

Le nouveau site de CPA Canada est actuellement en développement et sera mis en ligne à l’automne 2014. Entre-temps, toutes nos ressources et tous nos services sont accessibles sur les sites d’origine de l’ICCA, de CMA Canada et de CGA-Canada, ou sur des microsites nouvellement créés afin de donner accès à du contenu spécifiquement CPA.