CPAs on Board

A landmark study on the composition of boards and audit committees in Canada.

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Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) are trusted advisors who bring a host of valuable qualities to the boardroom table, including business acumen, financial expertise, integrity, and ethics.

CPAs play key roles within diverse segments of the economy, among them industry, public accounting, government, education and the not-for-profit sector.

With that in mind, CPA Canada, in collaboration with KPMG in Canada, initiated a study in 2021 to examine the involvement of CPAs on boards and audit committees at 751 Canadian publicly traded companies (from the S&P/TSX Composite Index).

Our research explores the following questions:

  • What can we learn about the composition of boards? Are enough CPAs involved?
  • By extension – since audit committees are made up of board members – what percentage of audit committee members are CPAs?
  • Finally, to narrow it down further, how many CPAs hold the audit committee chair’s position?

The findings of this study focus on three groups:

  • boards of directors
  • audit committees
  • audit committee chairs

Within those groupings, data-driven insights about CPAs are organized by gender, industry, age, and tenure.

This study provides a snapshot of the current state of CPAs in corporate governance roles. CPA Canada will continue to work to both understand and promote CPA membership on boards and audit committees, and to arm our members with the skills they will need to more fully participate in the years to come.