Examples of non-qualifying CPA practical experience positions

Some positions do not qualify as CPA practical experience. Examples include:

Accounting technician

The main task of accounting technicians, namely bookkeeping, does not meet the practical experience eligibility criteria, since it does not allow candidates to develop a sufficient level of proficiency in the CPA competencies in a 24-month period. This task does not enable candidates to acquire a deep understanding of concepts in accounting standards, audit and management accounting. In addition, the task of analyzing financial information does not take up a sufficient amount of time. Note that the financial analyst position may sometimes include certain tasks of an accounting technician, but only for a small proportion of the time.

Tasks generally performed by an accounting technician:

  • Recording accounts receivable
  • Recording accounts payable
  • Calculating taxes and making remittances (GST, QST/HST)
  • Preparing invoices and invoice coding
  • Approving expense reports
  • Providing customer service

Similar positions: accounting clerk, administrative technician, accounts receivable or accounts payable clerk, invoice clerk.


Self-employment positions, whether they involve acting as president of one’s own company or providing accounting services from home or an office, are automatically rejected under the practical experience program without exception.

A period of practical experience must be completed under the supervision of qualified professionals in order to foster coaching, the transfer of knowledge and an effective and adequate understanding of the competencies acquired.

Professor or lecturer in accounting

Being a professor or lecturer does not allow candidates to apply the concepts learned in the Professional Education Program (PEP) in a real-life decision-making context. Although a professor is knowledgeable in the application of standards, the CPA period of practical experience enables candidates to apply accounting concepts and standards in a real work environment. Learnings remain theoretical and the position does not involve applying diverse competencies in complex situations.

Personal financial planning advisor

Generally paid on a commission basis, personal financial planning advisors develop their own network of contacts and recommend simple savings products to individuals, such as RRSPs, term deposits and mutual funds. Since these sales-related tasks do not involve accounting standards, tax laws and other management concepts related to the CPA competencies, these positions do not qualify as practical experience.

Tasks generally performed by a financial planning advisor:

  • Participating in the implementation of business development strategies and assisting in prospecting activities
  • Preparing information or client solicitation mailings
  • Preparing reports, portfolio analyses and documents required to build financial plans
  • Meeting and onboarding current and prospective clients
  • Performing business development and various sales and promotional activities
  • Performing and monitoring client transactions

Similar positions: financial planning representative, financial service representative.

Accounting or tax software advisor

Software advisors provide telephone and email support to software and software package users. They help users experiencing software issues, participate in software quality control testing, and also draft standard responses to frequently asked questions.

These positions do not allow candidates to apply a variety of competencies in complex situations. While these tasks do not enable the development of core competencies in financial reporting or management accounting, they may sometimes be authorized as practical experience for a limited time of less than 24 months.

Not sure if your job meets the eligibility criteria of the CPA practical experience? Send a summary description of the position to stages@cpaquebec.ca for evaluation.