It pays to be a CPA: CPA Canada 2015 compensation study

The second biennial CPA Profession Compensation Study surveyed 27,863 professional accountants across the country. The average annual compensation in 2014 was $151,000. The majority of members expect that figure to go up.

To find out more about the CPA Profession Compensation Study, we spoke to Paul Long, manager of marketing and market research at CPA Canada.

What’s new in this year’s results?

Generally even when we look across industries, the majority of members – 68% – indicated that they expect their compensation to increase. Less than 10% expect their compensation to decrease. That’s good news.

A cropped image of a CPA Canada's, "It pays to be a CPA", infographic.

How does this study compare to the one done two years ago?

This is actually the first time there’s been a national compensation study for all professional accountants receiving a designation in Canada. In 2013 all legacy CA and CMA bodies were included, but not all legacy CGA bodies. In 2017 we’ll be able to make more comparisons. The March 2016 issue of CPA Magazine will provide a more detailed analysis.

How does this study help CPAs with their careers?

There are a few different ways that this study is helpful.

  • Members can compare their compensation levels and their peers’ in similar positions. They can see whether they’re getting fair compensation. The study also helps members who are considering a career move.
  • Employers can see if they’re paying market value. Employers looking to hire will know the current market value for a specific role.
  • Students studying to become CPAs or considering becoming CPAs will get a sense of where compensation levels start and how they progress.

You created an interactive report this time. Why?

A report that people can click on is a lot more accessible than a long, written one. You can look at your industry and region, or zoom out to compare compensation levels across the country.

Editor’s note

Enjoy this first issue of the year! As always, please let us know what you think! Send us a letter or a note, and we may publish it in an upcoming issue.

The next issue of Member News will land in your inbox on Feb. 8, 2016.

Happy new year!

Mara Gulens


Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) annually offers its views on priorities for the federal budget. Review past submissions of pre-budget briefs and consultations, and post-budget release opinions and commentary.

Our Firm Directory allows you to search for Canadian CPA firms using our interactive map as well as other criteria.

Jointly presented by CPA Canada and CPA Ontario, The ONE is the must-attend, multi-track event of the year, designed for all CPAs who want to be at the top of their game.