RPAs are ready to serve small businesses for their post-covid economic recovery.

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RPA offers the pathway to Certification of Accounting Practitioner in Canada.

The Canadian Institute of Accredited Public Accountants (CIAPA) was established in 1938 and was granted a patent on May 7, 1946, under Part II of the Canada Corporate Act. 

The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada (SPAC) was formed in 1978. The Society was granted a Federal Charter as a Corporation under the Provisions Part II of the Canada Corporations Act. Canadian Institute of Accredited Public Accountants, the oldest accounting institution and now under the control of the Society.

The RPA designation is an abbreviation of the term Registered Professional Accountant, awarded to individuals of recognized experience who have completed the obligatory professional examinations and requirements set by the Society. The Society is an out-and-out professional organization formed for training and setting standards of qualification to ensure the professional competence of its members in the practice of accounting and the safeguarding of public interest. The Society has members in Canada and internationally with demonstrated skills in their chosen profession. The Society is proud of the unique distinction of being the premier Canadian accounting designation and is keenly focused on Canadian small and mid-sized enterprises.

To become an RPA, individuals should successfully complete prerequisite courses aligned to SPAC’s (Society of Professional Accountants Canada) 5 pillars of education with a diploma or degree from a reputable Canadian post-secondary institution.  SPAC has accredited McMaster University and Sheridan College courses with RPA prerequisite courses.  SPAC is in the process of accrediting other community colleges and universities to align their courses with RPA prerequisite courses. These courses are offered via convenient and flexible online self-study and learning formats in the virtual classroom.

Zubair Choudhry, RPA, APA, in 2019, became the CEO and President of the Society of Professional Accountants of Canada. He has rewritten the Society’s vision, values, and mission to reflect today’s standards. Under new and focussed leadership, the Society resolved to reform its educational program, build new skills, embrace new technologies, solidify its lifelong commitment to continuing professional development, and maintain the highest ethical standards inspired by the IESBA (International Ethics Standard Board for Accountants) to implement.

Why Is It Necessary for Professional Accountants to Attain the Canadian Accounting Designation and a Certificate of Accounting Practice?

Effective since December 14, 2021, the Canadian Auditing and Accounting Standard Board (AASB) has developed the new compilation engagement standards (CSRS4200) for non-licensed accounting practitioners to follow. The decades old “Notice to Reader ” report for preparation of financial statements has been discontinued now. The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada embraced these new standards for Compilation Engagement.  The Society launched its education and training program for RPA accounting practitioners to follow these standards and serve their business clients with confidence and quality management standards. 

Becoming a Registered Professional Accountant is a great career choice. RPAs are robust leaders in various industries and companies, and some have even broken into entrepreneurial avenues and started their accounting practices to serve the business clients.

After extensive research and consultation with industry leaders, head-hunters, academic community and related technology experts, Society finalized its new education curriculum that will meet the needs of today’s job market and businesses. Society’s main goal is to offer choice to young students who dream of becoming professional accountants and meeting the needs of the industry in the space of SME. With the amalgamation of 3 accounting designations in Canada there was a void that RPA is willing and ready to fill. The Society has reformed their curriculum to make it more relevant to the jobs and announced their RPA education program in 2020. The Society also resolves that the accounting profession should be inclusive and work with a cognitive approach to problem-solving and decision making. The Society has facilitated training and education with mentoring programs for the young accountants to play a major role in Canada’s socio-economic system. Young accountants need to catch up since technology is evolving faster than professional organizations and educational institutions.

The Society’s 16 prerequisite courses form the base of the accounting profession to procure the RPA accounting designation. After completing the prerequisite courses students write the Mandatory Professional Exam (MPE) where Society makes sure that students meet the competency requirement to become designated accountant as RPA. Once the students have received the RPA designation, they can pick the areas of interest for the specialization like Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Internal Auditing, Forensic Auditing, Non-Profit Accounting, Cloud Accounting, Taxation in-depth or Blockchain Accounting.

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RPA is the best choice for young accountants to secure Canadian accounting designation with relevant accounting knowledge focused in serving SME.

RPA Designation: The young graduates need it; the post-secondary institutions want it; the industry demands it, banks recognize it and the public is better served with it. RPA’a are the qualified professionals who are widely recognized for their excellence and for maintaining higher standards. With this professional designation, you can be a practitioner and support the public as well as businesses with unmatched assurance. 

Here is a simple graph to help you understand the various pathways of RPA – 

Although RPA is considered the oldest accounting designations across Canada, their training and education programs are the most updated and relevant to today’s evolving industry needs. The Society has five diverse ways to become RPA:

1.       Pathway for Foreign Accounting Designation Holders
2.       Pathway for University Graduates
3.       Pathway for College Graduates
4.       Pathway for Non-designation holder practitioners
5.       Pathway for Bookkeepers
6.       Pathway for Mature Professionals

Upon attaining the RPA designation, members may enter public practice as practitioners. A member in public practice should earn a Certificate of Accounting Practice from the Society upon completion of the required obligations. An RPA Accounting Practitioner qualities to perform the Compilation Engagement and issue the compilation report for the SME clients.

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