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Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

About the Profession


Chartered Professional Accountants are trusted by Canada's business leaders to help make the financial, strategic and leadership decisions that matter. The CPA profession’s commitment to excellence and to the public interest provides the crucial foundation for this trust. In fact, Canadian CPAs are recognized around the world for high professional standards and expertise.

Becoming a CPA requires a student to successfully complete:

  • the Academic Prerequisites [university degree + (Entry to Professional Education Program (PEP) qualifying courses or CPA Pre-Requisite Education Program (PREP) modules)];
  • the Professional Education Program (PEP);
  • the Common Final Examination (CFE); and
  • the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

Click here for more details about the CPA Certification Program.  


Throughout their professional careers, CPAs in public practice, industry, government, not-for-profits and academe are subject to ongoing regulation to safeguard the public interest. This demanding regimen includes:

  • Mandatory practice inspection and professional liability insurance programs for CPAs in public accounting
  • The enforcement of the exacting CPA Code of Professional Conduct
  • Continuing professional development requirements
  • Comprehensive public oversight and discipline mechanisms

In Ontario, the profession is governed by the Chartered Accountants Act, 2010. Public accountancy (activity that lends credibility to financial statements) is governed in Ontario by the Public Accounting Act, 2004. Standards of practice are enforced by the CPA Code of Professional Conduct and bylaws. Oversight is provided by the Public Accountants Council of Ontario.

About Public Accounting

Public accounting is the business of expressing independent assurance on financial statements and other financial information of enterprises of every size, to ensure that the information reflects, in all material respects, their financial condition. Large and small investors, financial institutions and other third parties then use that assurance to help them make informed investment and lending decisions. Many of those decisions involve investments in RSPs, mutual or pension funds – making the practice of public accounting relevant to nearly all Canadians.

Where CPAs Work

Public accounting is a core CPA activity and always will be. However, more than 80 per cent of Ontario’s more than 85,000 CPAs practise outside public accounting in positions in businesses of every size (as CEOs, CFOs, VPs Finance, etc.), in government, academe or the not-for-profit sector. A large proportion of our more than 19,000 students are also articling or working outside public accounting in a variety of roles in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

CPAs serve every corner of Ontario, are involved in a wide range of complex disciplines – from financial reporting, finance and taxation, to strategy and governance, assurance, performance management and information technology – and volunteer their time and expertise in numerous community projects and charitable organizations.



Printed on Sat, March 25, 2017 - 2:16:55 EDT

© 2017 Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
(The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario) (“CPA Ontario”)