frequently asked questions

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7. Rules for qualifying to practise public accounting after certification as a Chartered Accountant

Rules for becoming eligible to practise public accounting post-certification are set out in CA Practical Experience Requirements (PER), Section 3.7.

Purpose

Requirements for post-certification licensure ensure all CAs qualified to practise public accounting have the requisite experience in CA firms approved to offer such experience.

Requirements

CAs who qualified outside of the traditional public-practice path can gain the necessary experience to practice public accounting after qualification by acquiring:

  • At least two years of practical experience, including 2,500 chargeable hours, in public accounting in a CA firm, including offices of the federal and provincial Auditors General and the Auditor General of Bermuda, approved by a Provincial Institute/Ordre/for public accounting experience; and
  • The prescribed minimum chargeable hours in Assurance Services (1,250), including Audit Engagements (625 hours) and Taxation Services (100 hours).

This experience must be acquired within a rolling five-year period.

The CA will NOT be required to rewrite the UFE.

Contact the applicable Provincial Institute/Ordre for further information on these requirements.

Examples

The following chart summarizes the additional requirements needed for public accounting for CAs from different practical experience backgrounds.

ExampleRequirements Satisfied:Additional Requirements
Needed for Public Accounting:
HoursTime
CA completed all experience in industry.NoNoTwo years in public practice and the required prescribed hours within a rolling five-year period.
CA began experience in a CA firm and transferred to a CA Training Office in industry before qualification. During the time at a CA firm, all the prescribed hours were completed.YesNo

Additional requirements may be required.  Contact the applicable  Provincial Institute/Ordre for further information on these requirements.

 

CA completed all experience in a CA firm in an area other than assurance (e.g., Tax or Advisory Services). Within a five-year rolling time period, the CA has acquired all the prescribed hours.YesYesNone
CA completed all experience in a CA firm in an area other than assurance (e.g., Tax or Advisory Services). CA has not acquired the prescribed hours in the last five years.NoYesObtain the prescribed hours specified for the right to practise public accounting.  Additional requirements may be required. Contact the applicable Provincial Institute/Ordre for further information on these requirements.
CA started career in industry. After one year, the CA accepted a position at a CA firm and qualified as a CA while at the firm. At the point of qualification, the CA had satisfied the chargeable hour requirement.YesNoAdditional requirements may be required. Contact the applicable Provincial Institute/Ordre for further information on these requirements.
Q: Can CAs who qualify without meeting the requirements to practise public accounting do so after certification as a Chartered Accountant?

Yes. They can do so by meeting the mandatory experience requirements laid out above.


Q: Will they be required to rewrite the UFE?

No, the CA will not be required to rewrite the UFE.


Q: If a CA qualified with practical experience primarily in areas other than the external audit career path, such as taxation or business advisory services, in a CA Training Office approved to provide public accounting experience and gains some, but not all, of the chargeable hours required to practise public accounting, would these hours count towards qualifying public accounting experience post-certification?

Yes.  This is why it is important for CA Training Offices to track all audit, assurance and tax hours for all CA students, even those not immediately pursuing public accounting (See Section 6: Practical experience requirements for the practice of public accounting).


Q: If a CA qualified with practical experience primarily in areas other than the external audit path, such as taxation or business advisory services in a CA firm only approved to train students who are not seeking to practise public accounting, and gains some, but not all, of the chargeable hours required to practise public accounting, would these hours count towards qualifying public accounting experience post-certification?

Yes, subject to review by your PICA/Ordre.  The exception is audit hours. Audit hours within a CA firm only approved to train students outside of the external audit path must be pre-approved by your PICA/Ordre in order for those hours to count towards qualifying public accounting experience. This is why it is important for CA Training Offices to track all audit, assurance and tax hours for all CA students, even those not immediately pursuing public accounting. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your CA Training Office Liaison.


Q: Will these CAs have full reciprocity to practise public accounting across Canada and in Bermuda?

Yes.


Q: What does it mean to acquire the necessary experience “within a rolling five-year period”?

To ensure appropriate currency of competencies, the pre-certification chargeable-hour requirements for public accounting must be met within a five-year period. Experience that is more than five years old “expires” and must be re-demonstrated.


Q: Will this experience meet all international standards?

Yes. As prescribed, it meets international standards and the requirements of our Mutual Recognition Agreements with international accounting bodies.


 

 



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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.