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Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF)

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Transition

Important Update

The CPA profession has expanded our partnership with post-secondary institutions (PSIs) to deliver the courses required to complete the program. Currently, a number of PSIs offer entry, technical and applied courses recognized toward the program.

In addition, CPA Canada has introduced a new ACAF National Examination. Enrollees who complete the program through a PSI will be required to complete the examination to earn their certificate. Examination dates will be communicated in the coming weeks.

If you are a current enrollee, please visit Complete Your ACAF for more information. If you are not currently enrolled but would like to learn more, visit Why ACAF or sign up to receive updates about the program.

About the ACAF Program Transition

  • I am currently enrolled in the certificate program. What does the transition mean for me?

    If you complete the program with CPA Ontario by December 2017, you will not need to transfer to a PSI and will not be required to take the ACAF National Examination.

    If you do not complete the program with CPA Ontario by December 2017, you will need to transfer to a PSI and will be required to take the ACAF National Examination. However, if you complete the Business Applications course with CPA Ontario prior to December 2017, you will be exempt from the ACAF National Examination.

  • If I finish the program before the transition, will I be held in higher standing than via the National Examination?

    Both completion methods are held in the same regard. The ACAF National Examination is designed to ensure the program maintains the standards set by the CPA profession.

  • Which schools will be offering the ACAF program/courses?

    The CPA profession is currently working with PSIs across the country to develop the necessary courses and programming to ensure their courses qualify towards the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance.

    To see which PSIs in Ontario currently offer courses toward the Certificate, visit ACAF – Post-Secondary Partners

  • I’m a legacy (CMA/CGA) student and received advance standing in the program. Will my transition rights be honoured by the PSIs?

    The CPA profession is committed to ensuring that the transition for current enrollees occurs with minimal disruption, and that these changes will not directly impact your education process or path towards the ACAF. We are currently working with post-secondary institutions across the country to ensure that they honour the transcript evaluations we have already conducted, and any exemptions you received should also be granted by the PSIs

  • How much will the tuition and student fees cost?

    In the coming months, current enrollees will receive additional information, particularly in regards to which PSIs will be offering ACAF-qualified courses. Each PSI will have the discretion of setting their own tuition fees, so the costs may not be consistent from school to school. After receiving the additional information, you can compare which program is best suited for your needs.

  • My annual enrollee fee is supposed to last until the end of 2017. What happens If I started taking the courses in September?

    Your annual enrollee fee covers the academic period between January and December. Therefore the upcoming fall semester of ACAF courses offered by CPA Ontario is covered by your annual enrollee fee. If you choose to enrol in a PSI for the fall instead, you will not be eligible for a refund.

  • Will the requirements at PSIs be the same as the current requirements, or will I have to take additional courses?

    CPA Canada is in the process of developing the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance National Examination that will be administered through CPA Ontario. Enrollees completing the program through a PSI will need to successfully pass the National Examination to earn the certificate.

  • Will credits previously granted be subject to currency at a PSI and could they expire?

    Any transfer credits that were awarded to current enrollees will be honoured by the PSIs towards prerequisites for their ACAF-equivalent courses.

  • Can I take courses at more than one PSI, and combine them together to qualify for the Final National Examination?

    Yes, program enrollees can complete courses at multiple PSIs before submitted their examination assessment request. NOTE: If multiple courses are required for one ACAF exemption, each of those courses must be taken at the same PSI.

  • The ACAF is a national program. Will I still receive credit for the courses I completed if I move to another province?

    The program is still a national certification, and upon completion you will receive a credential that is recognized nationally. The CPA profession is currently working with PSIs across the country to develop the necessary courses and programming to ensure their courses qualify towards the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance.  We are confident that one or more programs will be available online early in 2018, which should allow you to complete the program in any province you reside.

  • I received exemptions for a couple of the technical courses. Will the PSIs honour these exemptions?

    The CPA profession is committed to ensuring that the transition for students currently enrolled in ACAF courses occurs with minimal disruption to you or your path towards the ACAF. We are currently working with post-secondary institutions across the country to ensure that they honour the transcript evaluations we have already conducted, and any exemptions you received should also be granted by the PSIs towards prerequisites for their ACAF-equivalent courses.

  • Will I still have access to Brightspace (D2L) after December 2017?

    You will have access to materials in Brightspace (D2L) for six months from the date of course completion in the course(s) you complete with CPA Ontario, and no later than June 30, 2018.

  • Will the learning outcomes for the program still be the same?

    Yes. The overall learning objectives for the program will remain the same. The CPA profession will work with post-secondary institutions across the country to develop the necessary courses and programming to ensure their courses qualify towards the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance, and meet the program’s competency requirements.  This change will increase the variety of delivery formats available for ACAF courses, and will build on the high-quality programming available through the post-secondary institutions.

  • If the program is going to be offered by the PSIs, will the program still have any ties to the CPA profession?

    Yes. Although the PSIs will be delivering the education component of the program, the CPA profession will develop, deliver, and mark the ACAF National Examination. Upon successful completion of the education and the examination components, you will earn the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance, which is a national credential issued by CPA Canada.

  • Will the ACAF-qualified courses be shorter in length than the other college courses?

    In the coming months, you will receive additional information, particularly in regards to which post-secondary institutions will be offering ACAF-qualified courses.  Each PSI will have the discretion of setting their own course/program schedule, so the length of each course may not be consistent from school to school.

    After receiving the additional information, you can compare which program is best suited for your needs.

  • Will there be a timeline to complete the certificate? Do I need to qualify for the final examination in a certain timeframe?

    Currently there is no deadline to complete the Certificate Program; however post-secondary partners may apply their own deadlines and conditions.

  • Do I have to pay for my transcripts to be evaluated again?

    The CPA profession is committed to ensuring that the transition for students currently enrolled in ACAF courses occurs with minimal disruption. We are currently working with post-secondary institutions across the country to ensure that they honour the transcript evaluations we have already conducted, and any exemptions you received should also be granted by the PSIs towards prerequisites for their ACAF-equivalent courses.

  • If I am completing the program through a PSI, am I eligible for student benefits from CPA Canada?

    More information will be available in the coming months.

  • Once I have earned the Certificate, am I eligible for benefits from CPA Canada?

    More information will be available in the coming months.

  • I am currently a student in the CPA program. Is the ACAF right for me?

    The ACAF is designed to provide technical and soft-skills for intermediate level roles in accounting and finance.  The CPA program is designed for senior and advisory roles. Students and enrollees are encouraged to compare both programs to determine which best suits their goals.

About the ACAF National Examination

  • What is the ACAF National Examination?

    The ACAF National Examination is the new examination designed to ensure harmonized standards across the country. The ACAF National Examination is designed by CPA Canada and will be delivered nationally through the profession’s regional bodies (e.g. CPA Ontario).

    Enrollees who complete the program courses at PSIs are required to take the Examination in order to qualify for the certificate. Current enrollees who complete the Business Applications (APP) course with CPA Ontario by December 2017 are exempt from the examination.

  • Do I have to complete all of the program courses before I am eligible to write the ACAF National Examination?

    Yes. All program entry, technical, and applied courses will need to be completed before enrollees can attempt to write the ACAF National Examination. Current enrollees who complete the Business Applications course with CPA Ontario before December 2017 will be exempt from writing the ACAF National Examination.

  • If I am unsuccessful at the last offering of Business Applications, can I rewrite the examination with CPA Ontario?

    CPA Canada will not be offering a rewrite examination for enrollees who do not successfully complete the course in the Fall 2017 offering. Enrollees who do not successfully complete the course by that time will be required to complete the National Examination.

  • How often will the ACAF National Examination be offered per year?

    Additional information about the scheduling and examination policies will be available in the coming months, but it is expected that it will be offered up to three times per year.

  • How many attempts can be made to complete the Examination?

    More information about the ACAF National Examination will be available in the coming months.

  • Is there a fee associated with the ACAF National Examination?

    The CPA profession has announced that the ACAF National Examination fee is $350; and includes the examination assessment and registration fee, delivery and results. More information will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

  • What are the prerequisites for each ACAF course?

    For information on prerequisites and program structure, please visit CPA Canada.

  • How can I register for the ACAF National Examination?

    CPA Ontario will provide registration information once the first examination date is confirmed. Registrations will be processed by CPA Ontario. If you have completed the ACAF program requirements, email acaf@cpaontario.ca to find out your next steps.