value of becoming a CA Training Office

Business success depends on taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible to get ahead in today’s increasingly competitive economic landscape. While it may seem that taking the time to train employees can come at a cost, by becoming a Chartered Accountant Training Office, you’re investing in the future of your leaders and your business.

By becoming a part of the CA Training Office program, you’re able to offer your business the many benefits associated with offering a tailored training program to the best and brightest university students. Some of these reasons are:


+ You’re able to attract and retain top talent

Over the years, the feedback we’ve received from CA Training Offices indicates that the quality of candidates in their training program has exceeded expectations. Part of the reason for this is the strict academic requirements imposed by the profession, but it’s also because organizations are now better able to attract students due to the new training options. By offering more opportunities for CA students to earn their CA designation and the flexibility to choose their practice area of interest, organizations are able to offer students customized career paths based on their interests and to draw upon talent that wasn’t previously available – giving organizations a competitive advantage in their recruiting efforts.

In addition to attracting the best people possible, the CA Training Office program enables employers to train existing employees within their organization. These staff members may have started their qualification in a CA firm or have a desire to start the process within the organization. Either way, the CA Training Office program gives organizations the opportunity to allow their employees to become CAs with minimal interruption to their businesses.

Similarly, foreign-designated professionals are also able to acquire work experience in a CA Training Office in order to qualify as Canadian CAs, an opportunity which can prove greatly advantageous for organizations with operations overseas.


+ Organizations can avoid the problems related to the decreasing supply of and increasing demand for CA students

In the past, CA firms have been the primary training grounds for CAs in Canada and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. However, with 20% of Canada’s workforce expected to retire within the next 10 years and the anticipation that CA firms will begin to produce fewer CAs, the supply of CAs will not keep up with the increasing demand. It’s this predicted demographic shift that places urgency on growing the profession.

John Gunn, FCA, CEO of the CA School of Business in Western Canada said “It’s a matter of supply and demand. Many of our members spend much of their careers in the corporate world or government, and CA skills are very much in demand in those sectors. We had a situation where many qualified students were seeking CA careers, and there were not enough training positions to meet that demand. The profession was losing good students who wanted to become CAs.”

The CA Training Office program is an effective way to solve this problem and meet this evolving supply-and-demand relationship. By becoming a CA Training Office, an organization can be confident that if the supply of CAs decreases, it will be in the advantageous position of offering exactly what CA students need – a place to earn the coveted designation of Chartered Accountant.


+ The perfect CA for your business is the one who knows your business

The CA Training Office program takes the top talent from the demanding formal academic education associated with the profession and places these students in your organization, with the advantages of learning the ins and outs of your operation from the ground up. This provides students with the unique opportunity to both earn their CA designation and learn how the different parts of your organization work, while ensuring your business’ culture, principles and philosophies become a natural component of the learning process.

By becoming a part of the CA Training Office program, you’re providing these bright and ambitious students with the chance to learn today, what they need to know to lead tomorrow.


+ Organizations of any size can train CAs

The model for training CA students is based primarily on providing relevant work experience and supervision, regardless of an organization’s size. This means that as long as the depth and breadth development process is approved by the profession, any organization can train CAs. What’s important is the complexity of the assigned tasks as they relate to the structure of the employer. This allows work experience to come in a variety of forms, including:

  • A choice of rotations during the student’s practical experience period offering the student the opportunity to work in the department of their choice; or
  • A pre-determined set of rotations offering experience in many departments to meet the needs of the organization; or
  • Practical experience in a single department that exposes him or her to multiple functions, projects and/or assignments; or
  • A combination of the above.

In order for a CA student to progress through the proficiency levels of his or her depth and breadth competencies, CA Training Offices need to provide a variety of opportunities at an increasingly complex level throughout the student’s term of practical experience. The CA Training Office program is rigourous, yet flexible enough to be customized to different types and sizes of organizations.


+ To help with succession planning for small CA firms

While it’s recognized that the CA Training Office program is opening up opportunities for many larger organizations, it also provides a variety of applications for the small to mid-sized CA firm.

With licensure and CA qualification no longer required to be concurrent, CA students are now able to train in a greatly expanded number of CA firms. This fact, combined with an increasing interest from students to work in smaller CA firms means that sole proprietors and small partnerships now have a unique opportunity to groom their own talent in-house.

Specifically, the following is how the CA Training Office program can be structured in small-to-medium CA firms:

  • By providing exposure to a combination of review, compilation and tax engagements.
  • If your firm is highly specialized in nature and you’re concerned you may not be able to offer the required practical experience, you can partner with a local CA firm. This is beneficial because payroll costs are shared and your student will benefit from a well-rounded training experience.
  • Succession planning means you might require a CA with a licence to practice public accounting. Since the requirements for the latter remain unchanged, the audit hours can be obtained by seconding the student to a CA firm that is already approved to train students in this traditional path. This benefits both firms because the CA firm taking on the student is gaining an extra resource during the peak audit season and the small CA firm can offer a viable path for its student to obtain their CA designation and a licence to practice public accounting.

By providing a range of opportunities for CA students to follow their desired career paths, and options to help small CA firms provide all the necessary experience, the CA Training Office Program enables these firms to train tomorrow’s leaders, today.

learn how to become a CA Training Office


view our eModule

frequently asked questions

When considering becoming a CA Training Office, you are likely to have many questions. To help you make the right decision for your business, we have put together some of our most frequently asked questions.

Q: What are the main responsibilities and commitments of a CA Training Office?


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.