Appealing option awaits students who complete CPA Canada’s new accounting and finance certificate program

A bridging option to the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is now available for students who complete the newly launched Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) program

TORONTO, October 27, 2015 – A bridging option to the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is now available for students who complete the newly launched Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) program.

The ACAF, developed by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is an online education program for students looking for junior and intermediate careers in accounting and finance. It builds on the knowledge generally gained through a two-year college program. Thanks to a new agreement between CPA Canada and Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business (AUFB), successful ACAF certificate holders can now use the ACAF as a progressive step towards earning the CPA designation.

This online bridging option provides ACAF holders with advanced standing toward earning a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from AUFB. If successfully completed, students would have fulfilled the degree and prerequisite requirements to enter the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

“It’s all about providing students with options for career progression,” says Tashia Batstone, vice-president, education, with CPA Canada. “Our education programs are designed to be flexible so students can achieve career success at every level.”

The ACAF was developed in consultation with employers from all sectors of the Canadian economy. It is the only nationally-recognized intermediate accounting and finance certificate in Canada. Students learn to apply the technical accounting and software skills valued in today’s marketplace. The new bridging agreement recognizes these achievements towards the CPA designation.

Batstone says AUFB’s extensive online experience and flexibility in working with Canada’s accounting profession were key considerations in developing this appealing option for students. Athabasca University (AU) serves over 40,000 students in 87 countries worldwide.

“We have a long-standing practice of working collaboratively with Canadian professional associations to facilitate access to university-level study, says Dr. Deborah Hurst, dean, Faculty of Business at Athabasca University. “The bridging program is true to AU's commitment to remove barriers to access education by allowing students to study anytime and anywhere. AU's Faculty of Business is dedicated to student success and this exciting initiative ensures that windows of opportunity remain open. By providing opportunity, we help keep dreams alive.”

CPA Canada’s and AUFB’s working relationship is a good fit since the ACAF is offered exclusively online, as are all of AUFB’s educational offerings - meaning students can take it from anywhere in Canada and some international locations. “We are seeking bridging options offering the same online flexibility,” adds CPA Canada’s Batstone. Dr. Hurst notes, “our end goals are the same, providing relevant and flexible educational opportunities for students to take their careers to the next level.”

For a detailed overview of how the bridging program works and ties in with achieving a CPA designation, visit: business.athabascau.ca/ACAF