South Africa Chartered Accountants members seeking the Canadian CPA designation

If you hold a South African Chartered Accountant (CA) credential, learn how you can earn a Canadian CPA designation.

The reciprocal membership agreement (RMA) between all Canadian CPA bodies and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) came into effect on January 1, 2018.

Provincial/regional CPA bodies grant members the right to:

  • use the CPA designation
  • be registered
  • audit
  • other services or licensure

If you would like to view the RMA, please contact a provincial/regional CPA body.

Eligibility requirements for SA CAs seeking the Canadian CPA designation

If you hold a South African CA credential, you may be eligible to obtain the Canadian CPA designation via this RMA if you are a member in good standing with the SAICA, and you meet the following additional criteria:

  • you’ve completed the education and training route of the SAICA, or
  • you’ve completed a pathway under approved credit or other scheme arrangements that does not include exemption from the final qualifying exam of the certification

Exclusions:

Members who obtained their South African CA credential by qualifying under a reciprocal agreement that the SAICA may have with another professional accountancy organization are not eligible under this agreement. This includes all mutual recognition agreements, reciprocal membership agreements, and other similar agreements which the SAICA may have had at any time.

Pathway to the Canadian CPA designation for SA CAs

To obtain the Canadian CPA designation, eligible South African CAs must register with the appropriate provincial/regional CPA body by:

  1. completing the MRA/RMA International Applicant Form and sending it to the provincial/regional CPA body to which you intend to apply
  2. completing the Request for Certification of Membership with a GAA Member Body form
  3. providing confirmation that you are a CA in good standing with the SAICA; confirmation must be provided by the SAICA directly to the provincial/regional CPA body
  4. providing proof of your legal name as evidenced by acceptable government-issued documentation
  5. paying the appropriate fee as determined by the applicable provincial/regional CPA body
  6. completing any additional requirements as prescribed by the applicable provincial/regional CPA body

Maintenance of membership

In order to maintain membership with the applicable provincial/regional CPA body through this agreement, you must successfully complete the CPA Reciprocity Professional Development course (CPARPD) within two years of your official membership admission date. This course consists of approximately 20 hours of online study in Canadian tax, law and ethics in a modular form. Applicants must register for this course through their provincial/regional CPA body.

Pathway requirements for licensure

While the CPA profession strives for national consistency, provincial regulations and bylaws take precedence over national practical experience requirements. Applicants should refer to provincial regulations and bylaws for the specific requirements in each jurisdiction.

Once eligible to become a member of a provincial/regional CPA body, you may receive a license to practice public accounting in Canada if you meet the following criteria:

  • meet any additional Canadian CPA experience requirements for public accounting, which may include at least 1,250 chargeable hours in assurance, of which a minimum of 625 hours must be obtained in the audit of historical financial information

Appropriate audit experience:

  • if obtained in South Africa, may count towards meeting the more than 1,250 / 625 chargeable hours' requirement
  • must occur within five years of application to the provincial/regional CPA body

You must also:

  • meet any additional experience requirements for public accounting specific to the provincial/regional CPA body in which you seek the right to audit, and to other services requiring provincial registration or licensure
  • complete the CPA Reciprocity Education and Examination (CPARE) program
    • applicants must register in the CPARE program through their provincial/regional CPA body
    • applicants who pass the CPARE program within two years of obtaining membership with a provincial/regional CPA body will not be required to also complete the CPARPD