CPA and ACAF Designations
The Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation emerged from the belief that Canada needs a single, unified accounting profession. All 40 of the accounting bodies in Canada have now either unified or are participating in discussions to unite under the CPA banner. Before this unification there were separate career paths and training, including Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified General Accountant (CGA).
Becoming a designated CPA takes time, money, and further education as part of the process. Not all finance or accounting jobs require the CPA designation. Review job postings and talk with people that work in this sector to find out what the requirements would be for your goal. The CPA offers information sessions and webinars about the CPA and ACAF designations.
The Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) is a program for intermediate accounting and finance roles in business, not-for-profits, governments and accounting firms. The ACAF is an online education program that can be completed within one year and does not require a degree.
A Note about Networking & Mentorship
In the contemporary job search you can never undervalue networking. Networking is important in all sectors but it’s indispensable in Accounting, Finance and Insurance. It is essential that you work with your Employment Counsellor to work out a plan to network for success.
It’s also essential, particularly for those new to the field, to find a mentor. The mentor should be well established locally, can provide you with advice on the labour market and information about local opportunities, companies, licenses and projects. The mentor can also provide you with helpful advice about where to focus your networking efforts and how to improve your soft skills. There is much to be gained by having a professional mentor and many people who are established in their profession don’t mind giving back.