CA and CMA organizations confirm unification discussions continue

The leaders of both the CA and CMA professions reaffirm their commitment to unification and provide direction to the CICA and CMA Canada to continue with national unification activities.

At leadership meetings held in Toronto and Vancouver, national and provincial leaders of the CA and CMA organizations evaluated recent developments in Quebec, the status of unification discussions in other provinces (including member votes supporting unification in Manitoba and BC), and the recent withdrawal of a number of CGA organizations from the discussions. At the conclusion of these meetings, the leaders of both professions independently reaffirmed their commitment to unification and provided direction to the CICA and CMA Canada to continue with national unification activities.

Canada’s new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation became a reality earlier this month with the passage of legislation unifying the CA, CMA and CGA Quebec accounting bodies. With this milestone, all professional accountants in Quebec now hold a CPA issued by the new CPA Ordre. Beyond Quebec, unification discussions continue in all jurisdictions. Participating bodies represent the majority of the profession in Canada and include all CA bodies other than CA Alberta and all CMA bodies other than CMA Ontario. In addition, CGA Alberta remains committed to unification. In short, unification is proceeding in jurisdictions across Canada, although as expected, progress is not uniform across the country or across designations.

The position of the participating bodies has been consistent since we launched exploratory unification discussions with members one year ago. Then, as now, we believe strongly that uniting all three Canadian accounting organizations through the creation of the Canadian CPA would best protect the public by creating a common set of high ethical and practice standards and strengthen the profession’s influence and value both at home and internationally.

We are disappointed in the recent decisions by most CGA bodies, including CGA-Canada, to withdraw from our formal discussions. We remain open to pursuing unification with all CGA organizations under the eight overarching principles incorporated in the national Unification Framework issued in January.

The CA and CMA organizations, working with those CGA provincial affiliates participating in unification discussions, will continue to develop the new CPA certification program. A draft competency map for the new program has already been created and development of program modules will commence shortly.

CMA Canada and CICA are also working with the remaining CGA bodies in unification discussions to develop the plan to create CPA Canada. CPA Canada will be the new national body that will support provincial CPA bodies. Its first task will be to take over development of the new CPA certification program.

Progress is being made despite the challenges along the way. As we’ve said from the beginning, trying to bring 40 different organizations under a single designation is a complex and challenging task. We continue to be committed to unifying the accounting profession in Canada because it is the right thing for Canada and for our members.