At present, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is not directly recognized in Canada. There was a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between CGA Canada and ACCA which allowed members of ACCA to be automatically admitted to CPA Ontario, which has expired in April 2021.
However, very soon after the MRA between CGA Canada and ACCA expired, CPA Ontario released a critical update. According to this update, ACCA members who wish to become a part of CPA Ontario can still enter this accounting body through a pathway called "Member of an accounting body outside Canada."
Can you pursue ACCA in Canada?
When we raise the question of ACCA recognition in Canada, an important aspect to consider is whether a student can pursue ACCA qualifications while living and/or working in Canada. ACCA, on its website, states that many of its approved learning partners are preparing students for ACCA exams in Canada.
While Toronto School of Management is the only Approved learning partner in Canada offering face-to-face classes for ACCA subjects, many E-learning providers offer ACCA exam preparation to Canadian students.
Furthermore, ACCA also offers support to its members and future members by providing local CPD programming, which is of interest. There are various CPD webinars that ACCA has pre-recorded and available on-demand to ACCA members in Canada.
How to find a job in Canada as an ACCA member?
There are a plethora of job opportunities for ACCA members in Canada. ACCA Canada has an official page on LinkedIn, where they post job and networking opportunities exclusively for ACCA members.
The government of Canada offers a range of employment opportunities as well as career guides across various sectors. According to the guidelines given on their page, to get a job in Canada, ACCA members will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) as soon as they come to Canada.
Additionally, ACCA members may find the Government of Canada Job Bank a useful resource in finding suitable employment opportunities.
Which companies hire ACCA members in Canada?
ACCA careers page for Canada gives a good idea of the companies that hire ACCA members and affiliates. The following is a list of employers who directly hire ACCA members in Canada:
- MNP – A leading national accounting, tax, and business consulting firm in Canada.
- KPMG – A big four accountancy firm.
- RSM- A leading provider of tax, accounting, and consultancy services.
- BDO Canada
- EY- A big four accountancy firm.
- Bank of Montreal
What can a CPA Ontario membership mean for ACCA members?
To get CPA Canada, a student needs to have 150 education hours, including a bachelor's degree. The student must have also already passed the CPA Exam, gained 30+ months of relevant experience, and be up to date on your CPE requirements. ACCA members can gain exemptions for some requirements due to their professional qualifications and job experience.
A CPA Ontario membership can allow the ACCA members to penetrate the Canadian market with a professional qualification that is highly valued in Canada. The following are some of the perks and benefits an ACCA member, who also has a CPA Canada membership, can get:
High salary and benefits
For many people, a high salary is a significant reason for taking on a job. There will be a plethora of well-paid job opportunities available for someone who has both ACCA and CPA Canada memberships. According to CPA professional compensation survey, the average compensation of CPA Canada professionals was $141000 across all working sectors.
Apart from high salaries, there are various perks and benefits available to CPA members. As a member of CPA Canada, an ACCA member can get lucrative insurance, retirement, and pension plans. CPA Canada also offers its members discounts on various purchases.
CPA Canada is in demand across all sectors in the Canadian job market. Some of the highly coveted jobs are available to CPA members, such as:
- Chief financial officer
- Board director
- Senior manager
With a CPA under your belt, there is much room for career growth and progression. Furthermore, CPA Canada offers career support to its members by posting jobs on its job board and arranging networking events where CPA members can gain access to lucrative career growth opportunities.
As a CPA Canada member, there will be vast professional development opportunities available to an individual, including but is not limited to CPD courses (Continuing Professional Development) for CPA members.
Job satisfaction & career progression
The CPA credential is a symbol of professionalism and trust in Canada. CPA members often lead fortune 500 companies and head successful consultancies. Like ACCA, CPA comes with education and rigorous experience.
For CPA Canada members, the road to progress is always open. CPAs have a distinct advantage over other professional designations in Canada because they can choose careers, places, and sectors to apply their skillsets.
We can safely conclude that even though ACCA is not directly recognized in Canada due to public accounting laws and regulations, it is indirectly recognized there once the ACCA member has become a CPA member. Becoming a CPA member is swift as the ACCA member has both the skills and experience that they need to become a CPA. Hence, as members of a global accounting qualification that is widely respected worldwide, ACCA qualified accountants will find that they have career prospects available in every part of the world that they can utilize for career growth.