The period of practical experience is a vital and highly rewarding part of a future CPA’s education. It is designed for you to acquire practical experience in accounting.
Plus, CPA practical experience is paid. See what candidates and young CPAs have to say about it! (in French only)
Your period of practical experience provides an opportunity to:
- work in a real-life management and decision-making context and develop the most sought-after skills in the business world;
- develop the CPA competencies based on your interests: financial reporting, management accounting, finance, assurance, taxation, strategy and governance;
- benefit from the expertise and insight of a CPA mentor;
- apply the knowledge acquired at university in a professional environment;
- experience a work setting of your choice: industry, accounting firm, public and parapublic sector, not-for-profit organization.
Whatever your aspirations, CPA practical experience lets you chart your own path and prepare your entry into the business world. The possibilities are as vast and varied as your interests! Examples of practical experience positions are available to assist you in your search.
Practical experience by the numbers
- 24 months: total period of practical experience completed on a full-time basis, 6.5 hours a day minimum.
- 3.5 hours a day: minimum number of hours per day for practical experience to qualify as a part-time position.
- 30 days: deadline for submitting your practical experience authorization request after your first day of work.
- 8 months of practical experience: maximum that can be completed and recognized before the start of the PEP and after having completed a minimum of 30 university credits.
- 2 meetings per year with your CPA mentor in order to prepare your practical experience reports.
- 7 years: deadline to complete the CPA path from the time you register at the Order.
Term of practical experience
The period of practical experience may be completed on a full- or part-time basis, but in either case, it lasts 24 months, or its part-time equivalent, and excludes time worked on weekends.
* Note: A day of less than 3.5 hours worked does not count.
The 24-month period of practical experience comprises:
- A maximum of 30 working days absent (including vacation, sick days, education leaves, etc.), excluding statutory holidays.
- A maximum of 30 days of technical training.
Any training day or additional absence will extend the term of practical experience. At the recognition stage, the Order will ensure that you have completed the required 24 months.
When does practical experience start?
You can start your period of practical experience after you have completed 30 university credits. However, a minimum of 16 months of practical experience must be completed after the start of the Professional Education Program (PEP), whether as part of a university graduate program or the national program delivered by the Order. You therefore cannot accumulate more than eight months of practical experience before starting the PEP.
Webinar on CPA practical experience requirements
To find out more about the practical experience requirements, including appropriate supervision, guidance by a CPA mentor and the development of technical and enabling competencies, watch part 1 of the webinar.