The CPA profession
Quebec’s 38,000 chartered professional accountants are involved in every sector of the economy. As key players in economic and social development, CPAs are recognized for their integrity, skills and leadership. They are seen as the reference when it comes to optimizing performance, profits and asset growth for individuals, businesses and organizations, as well as in matters of sound governance and accountability.
CPAs in public practice or sole practioners
Many CPAs work in public practice where they may be called upon to provide services in such areas as business and accounting consulting, for instance in assurance, taxation and indirect taxes, financial reporting, information technology, financial planning, business valuation and turnarounds, insolvency and forensic accounting.
CPAs and public accountancy
Under the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, public accountancy is the activity reserved to CPAs. This activity consists in expressing an opinion to provide a level of assurance about a financial statement or any part thereof, or about any other information related to the financial statement; this corresponds to an assurance engagement, which comprises the performance of an audit or a review engagement, as well as the issue of special reports. Public accountancy also includes compilation engagements, which are not intended exclusively for internal management purposes and which give rise to the issue of a Notice to Reader.
CPAs and management
Almost all organizations turn to CPAs for their strategic leadership. CPAs add value and credibility to an organization’s management. They manage finances and cash, develop financial and administrative policies, analyze information and manage computer systems. Because they possess a high-level view of the organization and apply advanced management practices, many CPAs hold key positions in organizations as CEOs and CFOs.
CPAs in government
The expertise of CPAs is needed at all levels of government to guide financial planning and control public finances. In addition to the provincial auditor general, who is always a chartered professional accountant, CPAs are employed in various government departments, Crown corporations and organizations as senior public servants, internal auditors or financial analysts. Some are appointed ministers or deputy ministers and become leaders who can suggest and implement innovative solutions to improve the performance of government bodies.
CPAs in education
Many CPAs make a significant contribution to society by teaching future leaders what they need to know not only about accounting and taxation, but also about finance, management, values and ethics. They are also key contributors to the advancement of accounting sciences in innovative fields.
The different CPA titles and designations
CPA, CA or CPA, CGA or CPA, CMA
In May 2012, the unification of the accounting profession in Quebec brought together, in a single order, the chartered accountants of Quebec (CAs), the certified general accountants of Quebec (CGAs) and the certified management accountants of Quebec (CMAs). All of these accountants are now referred to as chartered professional accountants of Quebec (CPAs). The designation they held before the unification is added to the CPA, thus leading to the CPA, CA, CPA, CGA and CPA, CMA designations.
FCPA, FCA or FCPA, FCGA or FCPA, FCMA
The FCPA title recognizes the achievements of chartered professional accountants who have demonstrated their professionalism or their remarkable commitment to the profession or the community.
To better meet expectations in matters of investigative and forensic accounting and information technology, the Order grants the CPA, CA•IFA designation to CPAs who have successfully completed the rigorous and objective designation process that attests to their skills and experience.
The Order grants the CPA, CA•IT designation to chartered professional accountants who satisfy a number of rigorous requirements in information technology.
Holders of the CPA, CA•IFA and CPA, CA•IT designations are recognized across Canada.