A touching example of resilience


Interview with an inspiring future CPA!

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  • Komlan Apégnon Ahokpe
Komlan Apégnon Ahokpe is the perfect example of the kinds of challenges faced by students who are trained abroad and choose to settle in Quebec in order to further their careers.

The CPA Foundation is proud to support this student as he works his way toward the CPA designation and would like to highlight his courage and determination. Well done!


You chose to settle in Quebec. How long have you been here?

I immigrated to Canada as a permanent resident in 2016 with my spouse and daughter, who was two and a half years old at the time. We have since had a son. He is now almost 4 years old.

What drew you here?

Before immigrating to Quebec, I worked as an internal auditor for a World Bank project in Togo. However, I am originally from Benin. Although it was not easy to leave our parents and friends behind, it was important for my spouse and me to provide our small family with better living conditions and a stimulating environment, which is why we chose to settle in Quebec.

So, you had already studied accounting before you came to Quebec, right?

Yes, the study program I completed outside Canada is the equivalent of a Quebec bachelor’s degree program in business administration. So when I arrived, I already had a great deal of experience in accounting and administration as well as a solid grasp of the entire accounting cycle.

Which requirements do you have to meet to obtain the CPA designation?

In my case, even though I have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in business administration, I do not have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree recognized by the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec. Students like my spouse and I – and yes, she is also studying to become a CPA - have to take very specific steps to obtain their designation:

  1. take and pass the list of prerequisite courses to obtain the equivalent of the degree recognized by the Order;
  2. enrol in the Order’s CPA Professional Education Program and register as a candidate for the practice of the profession;
  3. take and pass the CPA Professional Education Program;
  4. complete a minimum of 24 months of practical experience to become familiar with a wide range of situations and work on mastering the most advanced theories;
  5. pass the Common Final Examination.

In my case, I am finishing step 1. In principle, I should complete my certificate of access to the accounting profession in the summer of 2022. It is also important to note that when I started on this path, I was studying full time, but for various reasons, I had to reduce my course load and add more hours to my work schedule.

As for my spouse, she began the CPA Professional Education Program in August 2021.

What convinced you to stay on the path toward the CPA designation?

As I mentioned, I held an internal auditor position in my country of origin and was already hoping to become a CPA when I immigrated to Canada. Acquiring the designation is the final step of my long journey, which has had its share of uncertainties and difficulties, but also achievements, perseverance and resilience. The day that I am finally able to put these three letters next to my name, I will feel very accomplished and proud.

During your journey, you have received support from the Foundation. What obstacles have the scholarships helped you overcome while studying for the CPA designation?

For me, the Foundation’s support is heaven sent. My family and I have been through very difficult times and the Foundation's scholarships have been a real lifesaver. These scholarships have helped lighten my financial and emotional burden, which has allowed me to focus on what is essential and concentrate better on finishing my certificate. The Foundation and its donors are giving me a lesson in generosity, and I hope one day that I will be able to help other students.