What Is a CPA?

by David Dierking

1 min read

CPA is the acronym for Chartered Professional Accountant, a designation that’s administered by CPA Canada. The designation comes as the result of the merger of Canada’s major accounting bodies, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, and the Certified General Accountants of Canada. Accountants who hold one of the group’s designations – the CA, CMA, or CGA – are now united under the single new CPA designation. Prior to the merger, each of the three groups specialized in a particular type of accountant. For example, CMAs often worked as corporate accountants. Over time, the membership of the groups became progressively less specialized, reducing the need for multiple organizations. The three groups merged to become CPA Canada and now cover more than 200,000 accounting professionals under one umbrella. If you’re a small business owner, the merger means that it’s become easier and more efficient to find an accountant who’s suited for the needs of your business. The number of governing bodies has been greatly reduced, making it simpler and more economical to get connected with the right professional. With accountants in one organization, there’s less competition between groups and less confusion for business owners. Within CPA Canada, accountants continue to receive professional development in the broader accounting industry, but they also have the opportunity to develop their own area of expertise. Business owners should have a more straightforward time identifying generalists for broad business needs or specialists for specific needs within one particular area, such as tax planning.

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