A recent decision by the accounting bodies in Ontario and Quebec to break away from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has sparked controversy and opposition among those who believe in maintaining a unified profession nationwide. Past chairs of CPA Canada have called on the accounting bodies in Ontario and Quebec to reconsider their decision to withdraw from the national organization.
The Quebec and Ontario accounting associations announced their intentions to end their formal relationship with CPA Canada on June 20, initiating an 18-month withdrawal process. This move has raised concerns about the potential consequences it may have on the unification of the accounting profession under the CPA designation.
In a joint letter, six past CPA Canada chairs expressed their concerns about the decision, stating that it could undermine the profession’s cohesion and cause embarrassment domestically and internationally. They also highlighted the lack of clarity regarding the reasons behind the decision and the absence of alternative approaches.
The CEO of CPA Ontario, Carol Wilding, explained that the decision to withdraw was a business decision driven by a desire for more accountability and the need for structural governance changes within CPA Canada. Similarly, the CEO of Quebec CPA Order, Geneviève Mottard, emphasized the importance of direct oversight by the provinces to ensure the profession’s integrity.
Since the announcement, CPA Ontario has held information sessions with its members to provide explanations and address concerns. In these sessions, it was made clear that the designation of Canadian CPA is not at risk, as provincial bodies have an agreement to recognize each other’s members and allow them to practice anywhere in Canada.
The Board of Examiners, an independent committee responsible for the evaluation process for the common final examination for accountants, also expressed deep concern about the future of the accounting profession in Canada. They stressed the importance of maintaining unified standards across the country.
Both CPA Ontario and Quebec CPA Order have acknowledged the need for unified standards and ongoing discussions with other provincial affiliates of CPA Canada. However, they have declined to comment further on the contents of the joint letters.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why did the accounting bodies in Ontario and Quebec decide to withdraw from CPA Canada?
The accounting bodies in Ontario and Quebec cited the need for more accountability and structural governance changes within CPA Canada as the reasons behind their decision to withdraw.
What are the concerns raised by the past chairs of CPA Canada?
The past chairs of CPA Canada are concerned that the withdrawal of Ontario and Quebec could undermine the unification of the accounting profession under the CPA designation and cause embarrassment domestically and internationally.
Will the withdrawal affect the CPA designation and the ability of accountants to practice across provinces?
According to CPA Ontario, the withdrawal will not affect the CPA designation, as provincial bodies have an agreement to recognize each other’s members and allow them to practice anywhere in Canada.
What is the role of the Board of Examiners?
The Board of Examiners is an independent committee responsible for the evaluation process of the common final examination for accountants. They ensure that all CPAs in Canada meet the same high entry standards.