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Practical Experience FAQs

  • Can I get a sense of how my current or upcoming role fits within the CPA technical requirements?

    Yes. You can use the Self Assessment Tool in PERT.

  • What happens if I change jobs?

    CPA students are required to report their change of employment to CPA Ontario within three (3) months of the change occurring.

    To update your employment record in PERT, please complete the following:

    1. Update a current experience report for the proficiency achieved for the technical and enabling competencies achieved during your time at your previous employer.
    2. Once updated, on the report details tab, select ‘submit’ to put the report to a ‘verified’ status.
    3. Go to the profession assessment tab and REQUEST ASSESSMENT;
    4. Select the assessment reason of Change of Employment and indicate that you are no longer employed.
    5. Select the Program Leader from the drop down list.
    6. Check off the declarations and select CREATE.

    Should you choose not to submit the duration and/or competencies gained during your time at your previous employer, then please delete your current experience report, update your PERT profile to unemployed and remove your mentor email address. 

    If you are in the Experience Verification pathway:

    1. Update a current experience report for the proficiency achieved for the technical and enabling competencies achieved during your time at your previous employer.
    2. Once updated, on the report details tab, select ‘submit’, this will go to your supervisor for verification.
    3. Once set to ‘verified’, update your PERT profile to show you are unemployed
  • Can I submit experience that I gained before starting the CPA Certification Program?

    Yes. But you must do so after registering as a student with CPA Ontario, and you must have current employment that has been recognized by CPA Ontario (i.e., you are working in a PPR or your EVR pre-assessment was approved).
  • What if I am absent from my job?

    An allowance of up to 20 weeks of time away from work for any reason, including vacations, sickness, professional development or study time is permitted within the 30 month term of experience. Time away from work in excess of 20 weeks will be added to the duration requirement.
  • How long does it take to process Experience Report submitted via PERT?

    If we have received a completed package, then it is 6 weeks processing time.

  • Is the Admission to Membership application form available online?

    No. The Admission to Membership application form is sent to you only after we have confirmed your experience and education requirements are complete and we have confirmed your experience in PERT.

  • I'm a co-op student. Should I be reporting my practical experience?

    Yes, we highly recommend it. You'll find all the necessary steps on this PDF. [Link to: http://www.cpaontario.ca/Students/ExpReq/1082page21218.pdf]
  • Does my previous experience expire?

    Yes. To make sure your experience is relevant, students can claim 12 months of prior experience for positions that ended within the last 5.5 years, except for public accounting, where the chargeable hour requirement must be met in positions that ended in the past five years.

  • Does my international experience count?

    Yes, if it meets the Practical Experience Requirements to allow you to qualify for the experience verification route.

    For CPA students/candidates whose designated area of depth is a standards based competency area (i.e. financial reporting, audit and assurance or tax), experience must include at least six months in total. in any one of the following areas:

    • Financial Accounting—Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) (or substantial equivalent)
    • Auditing & Assurance—Canadian Standards on Quality Control (CSQCs), Canadian Auditing Standards (CASs), Other Canadian Standards (OCSs), International Standards on Auditing (ISA), International Standard on Assurance
    • Engagements (ISAE), International Standards on Quality Control (ISQCs)
    • Taxation—Canadian Income Tax Act
  • What are the practical experience requirements for public accounting?

    Practical experience requirements for public accounting are, for the most part, not additional requirements, but rather specific choices that CPA public accounting students/candidates make within the general requirements for certification. Their goal is to ensure public accounting students/candidates have sufficient opportunity to develop the appropriate competencies to be able to provide public accounting services at the time of certification.

    In order to be eligible for a licence to practice public accounting, students must complete all 30 months of experience in an External Audit program. Key requirements of External Audit Programs are described below:

    Area Details
    Practical experience route Qualifying practical experience must be gained in an External Audit Pre-approved Program only. Experience gained in the Experience Verification route and is not eligible.
    Chargeable hours included within 30 month work term

    Minimum of 2,500 chargeable hours consisting of:

    • At least 1,250 chargeable hours of assurance, of which:
      • a minimum of 625 hours must be obtained in the audit of historical financial information; and
      • 100 chargeable hours in review procedures in review and other assurance engagements; and
    • 100 chargeable hours in taxation services.
    Core requirements Minimum of Level 1 proficiency in at least three financial reporting sub-areas.
    Depth requirements Depth in the audit and assurance competency area, with the development of competencies in all three audit and assurance competency sub-areas, including a minimum of two at Level 2.
    Breadth requirements The remaining two competency subareas are specified within each Pre-approved Program.
    Diversity of experience Diversity of experience Variety of audit and review clients and/or a variety of audit and review experiences.
    Mentorship Mentors must be working in public accounting within the same pre-approved program.
    Supervision All chargeable hours must be obtained under the overall supervision of a Licensed Public Accountant from Ontario.
    Secondments (s 4.3 of the CPA PER) Practical Experience will count towards the chargeable hour requirement for external audit pre-approved programs if the secondment is within a registered firm with a recognized external audit pre-approved program. Otherwise, it will not be recognized towards the chargeable hour requirements for public accounting.

    In addition, Pre-approved Program Leaders must:

    • be CPA registrants
    • sign-off on chargeable hours for future CPAs pursuing public accounting
    • certify that future CPAs were under the overall supervision of a public accountant registrant for their chargeable hours
    • have a licence to practice public accounting (at least one Program Leader in each program must meet this requirement)