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Embrace technology, high commissioner tells CPAs 

Reginald Farley, Barbados’s newly appointed high commissioner to Canada, talks bilateral relations and how accountants can prepare for the future

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Reginald FarleyReginald Farley, Barbados’s newly appointed high commissioner to Canada.

Having the Canadian CPA designation is akin to having a passport to the global business community, says Reginald Farley, Barbados’s newly appointed high commissioner to Canada. In fact, Farley says his own CPA designation paved the way to where he is today, and shaped his journey in getting there. 

“This globally recognized and trusted qualification will tell the world that you are ethical, competent and committed to the highest professional standards,” he said in an interview with CPA Canada. “Acquiring the CPA designation is not easy, but the returns on the investment of your time, effort and money are tremendous.”


Taking over the reins from Yvonne Walkes last November, Farley—who received his  designation in 2013—said these professional qualifications gave him the insight needed for his career in business and commerce, then as a government minister in Barbados and now as high commissioner.

“A lot of the tools I acquired as part of my designation, I have been able to apply in the private sector, as well as in my public service,” said Farley, who served as the first executive director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) from June 2009 to September 2018. CPA Canada is recognized by that Institute. “My role is to see what my mission and strategy would be to achieve a vision.”


When it comes to how CPAs in Canada and Barbados can thrive in disruptive times, Farley has two suggestions:   

Carve out long-term career goals that embrace technology

Integrate more diverse services that focus on expert analysis and strategic insights that ease the decision-making process.   

“Every CPA should, at an early stage, identify their long-term career goal based on which aspect of the profession gives them the greatest satisfaction,” he said. “If this is done, then work becomes more of a joy than a chore.”

While acknowledging the challenges accounting professionals face today, including the fast pace of technology and the role of automation, Farley still believes in the profession’s continued relevance. 

“CPAs are uniquely positioned to add tremendous value to organizations in the private, public and NGO sectors,” said Farley, who has also served as executive director of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and has been a senator, member of parliament and led several ministerial roles for the Barbadian government. “This means that the opportunities and options for career paths are wide and varied.”


Relations between Canada and Barbados date back more than 250 years when trade began on products such as timber and salted cod from Canada for sugar and rum from Barbados, Farley said. 

“I believe that Canada got the better of the deal, especially with the rum,” he joked.

Since then, trade has flourished and was given a boost by Canada in 1907 with the establishment of a Trade Commissioners’ Service. In 2017, bilateral merchandise trade totalled $49.7 million. Farley hopes to build further on this partnership.

“I see a bright ongoing future for business between Canada and Barbados,” he said. “We are here to facilitate the growth in businesses here [in Canada] and in Barbados by way of greater trade and investment flow.” 


Learn more about CPA Canada’s Barbados chapter or share your expertise by becoming a CPA volunteer and help assist with the chapter’s membership events. You can also become a volunteer here in Canada.