Unlocking the Potential of Internationally Trained Accountants in Canada

An audience with name tags staring seriously towards the front.

In our recent survey, 91% of our members view the recruitment of high-calibre individuals as mission-critical for CPA Ontario to further advance the profession. Another 90% supported continuing common-entry standards and CPA mobility across Canada.

The survey also revealed that attracting and retaining future generations of talent was considered the number two challenge facing CPAs, right behind concerns about AI and other technologies’ impact on the profession.

With the disruptive potential of innovations like AI top-of-mind for many, the need for a strong CPA talent pipeline, and helping the best and the brightest from around the world bring their skills and experiences to Canada, has never been more essential.

Help wanted: CPA Ontario’s Global Talent Outreach

Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) and Internationally Trained Accountants (ITAs) bring skills and qualifications developed in leading global markets like the U.S., EU, India, and China, that are highly sought-after by Canadian employers.

Encouraging IEPs and ITAs to pursue their CPA in Canada, and the many opportunities it can unlock, is the job of CPA Ontario’s student recruitment team.

Actively reaching out to IEPs and ITAs looking to work in Canada, CPA Ontario provides them with a comprehensive suite of resources and support services—including informative webinars, one-on-one consultations, networking events, and mentoring programs—to support international professionals and students interested in earning their CPA. From 2021 to date, CPA Ontario has actively engaged with more than 13,000 prospective members and students who are either in Canada or preparing for pre-arrival.

Global Experience, Canadian Opportunities

As an ITA trained at the University of Mumbai, Shraddha Bhagwat, CPA, CMA (ICAI), and Director of Finance & Capital Inc., came to Canada with a wealth of experience in a range of markets and industries before seeking her CPA designation.

“Within the first few months of my arrival, I learned the key differences in reporting and compliance that boosted my confidence at my first job in Canada” says Bhagwat. “CPA Ontario provided me with a valuable framework that I apply in my daily work to present problems and solutions effectively, and the CPA designation has enhanced my credibility with the board and executive team at my workplace, who have a high level of trust and respect for my work.”

Dennis Dai, MACC, CPA, and Senior Manager – Enterprise Risk Services at MNP, obtained his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation in Ohio and sought to transfer his qualifications when he first came to Canada in 2009. Dai told us he felt empowered by CPA Ontario to overcome the significant professional and process hurdles experienced by many newcomers while earning his CPA designation.

“CPA Ontario not only supported my transfer, but also introduced me to many approachable Canadian CPAs and hosted me at networking and resume sessions. These people, services and resources empowered my journey so much that I was able to land a decent job in three months,” says Dai. “Since then, I’ve given back my time to CPA Ontario by providing mentorship opportunities, serving as a financial literacy instructor, and speaking at CPA-focused events.”

A career fair with people lining up in front of the booths.

Helping New Canadians Find Success

“CPA Ontario is bridging the gap between these individuals’ international and highly sought-after qualifications and experiences, and Canada’s nuanced regulatory and standards procedures,” says Carmen Jacques, CPA, CGA, and CPA Ontario’s Manager of Student Recruitment.

“We’re empowering IEPs and ITAs alike to more effectively navigate their career pathways with the right mix of information, connections and experienced guidance,” continues Jacques. “By no small extension, we’re helping to ensure international accountants and students quickly establish more clarity and security as they settle into their Canadian work.”

Students and professionals around the world have essential perspectives to contribute to Canada. CPA Ontario is equipping them for a future of working in Ontario by facilitating their professional growth and connecting them with the people and resources they need.

Working together with our partners, CPA Ontario is building a more diverse and inclusive accounting profession, helping the world’s best and brightest professional accountants achieve their personal and professional goals in the new country they call home.