What We’ve Heard: Conversations Across Ontario

According to our survey sent out to a representative sample of 30,000 CPA Ontario members, two-thirds of members (66%) agreed that it was time to move forward and focus on the important issues facing the profession, with 59% wanting CPA Ontario to do more to engage them directly on these issues.

That’s why, through town halls, roundtables and roadshows with business leaders and CPAs, as well as our survey, we have been gathering key insights on the challenges, and opportunities facing the profession. We are engaging on how we transition to a new way of working with CPA Canada and our counterparts across the country.

In February, we not only launched a cross-Ontario series of roundtables with FCPAs but also a program of townhalls with some of Ontario’s largest employers of CPAs. Here’s what we’ve been hearing:

Understanding the path forward with CPA Canada and provincial counterparts

  • There was a strong desire for clear communication and regular engagement from CPA Ontario as we finalize our new way forward.
  • Strong reiteration of our survey finding that it’s time to move forward, building on the progress made through the new education agreement.

Embracing innovation

  • The profession must adapt to the changing economy. CPA Ontario can support members by providing professional development such as the Innovation Leadership Accelerator while advocating for the role CPAs can play driving growth in the innovation economy.
  • AI is a significant area of opportunity for CPAs. Not only as a tool to help CPAs deliver ever more meaningful work, but also as an opportunity for CPAs to bring their ethical mindset and governance / controllership expertise to the world of AI.

Strengthening recruitment and retention

  • There is a war for talent. CPA Ontario should continue to advocate for the profession in high schools and work to influence how accounting is taught to ensure it reflects the CPA as it exists today as well as the CPA that will exist in the future.
  • Embracing AI will increase attraction to the profession. CPA Ontario needs to build awareness of the critical role CPAs play within Ai and the strategic insights they can provide in the innovation economy.

Strengthening audit quality

  • Strengthening audit quality requires smart, proactive regulation, recognizing today’s complex business environment. CPA Ontario’s Audit Quality Review can help firms assess risk, monitor and adapt to evolving standards using a quality-first mindset.
  • Multiple FCPAs discussed the opportunity to leverage AI to support efficiency and effectiveness in conducting audits, which in turn may strengthen audit quality.

We value the feedback and insight we are receiving from our members and, as a next step, CPA Ontario will be holding roundtables with our Emerging Leaders to discuss their experiences as the latest generation of CPAs operating at the cutting edge of an evolving economy. We will also continue to host our regular townhalls with top employers across the province.