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How to Become a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Canada

Thursday | February 2, 2023 | by WES Advisor

CPA in Canada

Are you interested in becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Canada?  If you’ve recently relocated to Canada, or if you’re planning to relocate soon, you’ll likely want to start learning about the most recent guidelines and fastest pathways to achieve your goals.

Even if you’re certified in your home country, you might need to re-certify to begin working as an accountant in Canada.  This role requires specific training, testing, and certification in the province or territory where you live or plan to move.  The first thing you need is information about the certification process so you can plan your education and career path.

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Below, we’ve rounded up some useful resources so that you can get started.

Top Resources to Become a CPA in Canada

1.  Attend Free Webinars: Learn about Canada’s accounting certification process directly from professionals in the field. There are plenty of free opportunities to have your questions answered. For example, CPA Ontario regularly hosts webinars to explain how you can apply your international education toward a recognized CPA designation in Ontario, Canada. They discuss the application process, credential equivalency, and the value of getting an evaluation from WES.

2.  WES Credential Evaluations for CPAs: You might need to have your international credentials assessed before you can pursue an accounting or finance-related career in Canada. Here, you will get an overview of the process required to evaluate your past education, pursue entry to Canada, and attain certification as a CPA in Canada. You can also find a list of our academic partners with accounting education programs in Canada. Find out about credential assessments.

3.  Gain recognition as an internationally licensed CPA: If you’re a licensed accountant in a country other than Canada, you might be recognized as a CPA in Canada. Many provinces and territories have established Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), Reciprocal Membership Agreements (RMAs), or Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with certain qualifying countries or accounting certification boards (although additional exams or experience might be required). You can learn more here.

4.  Learn from other Internationally Trained Accountants: It might help to hear directly from an immigrant who successfully relocated to Canada and became licensed as a CPA. In this blog post, Ivy Anigbogu shares her story and offers words of advice for other internationally educated newcomers who might wish to become accountants in Canada. One tip is to join a Professional Immigrant Network.

5.  How to Pass the CPA Exam in the United States: If you aren’t entirely sure yet if you’d like to move to Canada or the United States to become a CPA (which, in the United States, stands for “Certified Public Accountant” rather than “Chartered Professional Accountant”). If you’d like to compare the career paths and certification processes, you should check out this blog post. It walks you through the steps involved in becoming a CPA as a newcomer to the U.S. Learn more and compare the processes here.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey!


Why You Should Join a Professional Immigrant Network

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.