Accounting | The Profession

News in brief: CPAs represent one in five of all board seats, survey says

A new study from CPA Canada and KPMG released, member honoured with public service award and other news from the accounting world

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Three business people sit at a table in an officeA new study by CPA Canada and KPMG showed that CPAs held 22 per cent of board seats of the companies evaluated (Getty Images/Thomas Barwick)


A year after research began, CPAs on Board: A landmark study on the composition of boards and audit committees in Canada, has been released. The study looked at 751 Canadian publicly traded companies and evaluated CPA roles on the boards and audit committees. Findings determined that CPAs represent one in five (22 per cent) of all board seats and one in three (33 per cent) of all audit committee seats.

Other key highlights:

  • There’s a minimum of one CPA on 88 per cent on the boards.
  • Eighty per cent of companies have at least one CPA on their audit committee.
  • Twenty six per cent of the CPAs on boards are women, whereas 29 per cent of CPAs on audit committees are women.
  • The mining sector, which had the highest number of board positions available (1,393), also had the highest number of CPAs on boards (278).

Known for their strong set of accounting and managerial skills, CPA Canada encourages its members to get involved with corporate governance and aims to help provide the skills required to do so.

“Beyond awareness, CPA Canada also looks to empower those individuals interested in pursuing board representation. We hold an annual Conference for Audit Committees, have introduced an in-depth Audit Committee Certificate program, and produce a wide range of thought leadership and guidance materials for current and prospective board members,” said FCPA Pamela Steer, president and CEO, CPA Canada.

Read the full study for more details on the ways that CPAs are contributing to boards.


Pamela Steer, CPA Canada’s president and CEO, was among a prominent group that gathered in Montreal in late June for a series of actions to mark the inauguration of the Montreal centre of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

“It was an honour to be part of the historic activities as the Montreal centre will play a prominent role in the new standard setting process,” said Steer.

The actions announced build on the April 2022 signing of private sector Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the IFRS Foundation and CPA Canada. The MOU calls on CPA Canada to work collectively with the broad array of stakeholders that have come together to help fund and lend support to the ISSB and the Quebec-based centre. CPA Canada spearheaded efforts to unite the group known as the Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards.

The ISSB was founded last November by the IFRS Foundation, a global organization that oversees financial accounting standards in more than 140 jurisdictions. As part of the Montreal centre inauguration, the IFRS Foundation undertook several actions:

  • signed a public sector MoU facilitated by Montréal International on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec;
  • commenced operations in Montreal with the June 2022 Trustees meeting, and initiated activities to support the ISSB’s full onsite presence, which would include staff and recently announced ISSB members, Verity Chegar, Jeffrey Hales and Michael Jantzi;
  • announced the appointment of Charles-Antoine St-Jean as Regional Director—Americas, located in the Montreal office, with responsibilities that include connecting the work of the ISSB into the broader Canadian sustainability ecosystem;
  • scheduled initial ISSB meetings to be held in Montreal in October and December 2022; and
  • confirmed that the inaugural ISSB Symposium will be hosted in Montreal, with the dates to be confirmed.

“As more jurisdictions and organizations around the world make net-zero pledges and other commitments to address societal challenges, the importance of having a global baseline of sustainability disclosure standards only grows,” explained Steer.


Terry Goodtrack, president and CEO of AFOA Canada, received the award for Public Service at this year’s Indspire Awards, an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people providing financial awards, programs and resources to support Indigenous achievement.

Goodtrack, of Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation, Sask., has devoted more than 30 years of his professional life to supporting Indigenous capacity building and access to opportunity for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. He did so while playing an instrumental role in expanding AFOA’s focus by adding certification programs, professional development workshops and introducing an international executive program in conjunction with the Harvard Business School.

Said Goodtrack: “When I think of good business, I think about inclusivity. That’s what business in Canada should be, inclusive of Indigenous communities, Indigenous individuals … A vision for the community must first be created, then leadership objectives consistent with that vision need to be put in place. To execute on this vision and objectives, the community needs management and financial professionals who can execute on the plans.”

The Indspire Awards, held in June, honour Indigenous individuals across several areas including the arts, business, heritage, education, health and law.


Check out CPA Canada’s snapshot of some key recent changes and news updates. The brief overview includes an update on Bill C-208 and filing requirements, mandatory tax reporting requirements, tax software updates, the joint committee submission on the Excessive Interest and Financing Expenses Limitation (EIFEL) proposal and reporting requirements for trusts.

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