Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) was incorporated by an Act of the Parliament of Canada in 1902,[1] which later became known as the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Act.[2]

PredecessorDominion Association of Chartered Accountants
Formation15 May 1902 (1902-05-15)
Legal statusIncorporated by Private Act (SC 1902, c. 58)
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Canada, Bermuda
Official language
English, French
Bill MacKinnon
Vice Chair
Shelley Brown
President and CEO
Kevin Dancey

The CICA developed and supported accounting, auditing and assurance standards for organizations in Canada, developed and delivered education programs, and issued the professional designation of Chartered Accountant. The CICA was a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants and the Global Accounting Alliance.

In 2014, CICA merged with Canada's two other major accounting designations to form the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.[3]


  • 1902 – The Dominion Association of Chartered Accountants (DACA) is incorporated by Private Act of the Parliament of Canada. (SC 1902, c. 58)
  • 1934 – The Canada Companies Act is amended to provide for the involvement of the DACA in setting standards for accounting policies.
  • 1938 – All provinces agree that membership should be determined by a Uniform Evaluation.[4]
  • 1951 – DACA changes its name to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. (SC 1951, c. 89)
  • 1954 – Students in all provinces in Canada are writing the same examination.
  • 1968 – The CICA releases the CICA Handbook, which codifies Canadian GAAP.
  • 1972 – The Canadian Securities Administrators rule that provincial securities commissions must consider the CICA Handbook as the basis for Canadian GAAP.[5]
  • 1975 – The CICA Handbook is incorporated by reference into the Canada Business Corporations Act for specifying the basis of Canadian GAAP.[6]
  • 1990 – Act of incorporation is updated to reflect the current mandate and powers. (SC 1990, c. 52)
  • 2008 – The CICA announces that Canadian GAAP will converge with International Financial Reporting Standards for publicly accountable enterprises, effective with reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2011.[7]
  • 2004 - The CICA begins merger talks with CMA Canada, but talks do not go beyond the exploratory stage.
  • 2011 - Merger talks are renewed, this time including CGA Canada,[8] to create a new national accounting body. Over the next three years member organizations in all provinces agree to merge, forming Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.[3]

Qualification as a member

CAs are admitted to the profession through their Provincial Institutes/Ordre. These bodies are responsible for establishing and administering the qualification process, admission criteria and performance standards within their jurisdictions.

Pre-qualification education is delivered regionally through one of four systems across Canada:

Region Education provider
Atlantic provinces Atlantic School of Chartered Accountancy
Quebec Professional Education Program of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec
Ontario CPA Ontario School of Accountancy
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the territories CA School of Business

The CICA's role – in concert with all provinces, territories – is to develop and maintain consistent, uniform standards for the profession's qualification process. These standards ensure the portability of the CA designation across Canada and internationally through various mutual recognition agreements.

Admission to the CA profession requires:

  • A university degree.
  • Specified university courses or the equivalent.
  • Completion of a professional pre-qualification program as noted above.
  • Prescribed practical experience with approved training offices, which are set in place in accredited CA firms, offices of provincial or national Auditors General, and selected corporations and government organizations.[9]
  • A passing grade in the Uniform Evaluation.

Foreign trained accountants

The CICA itself does not admit members and students; its membership is derived from membership in one of the 10 provincial and two territorial institutes of chartered accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda. The institutes are empowered by local laws to regulate and govern the chartered accountancy profession within their jurisdictions. Individuals holding foreign accountancy designations who want to become a Canadian Chartered Accountant must apply to the institute in the jurisdiction where they live or intend to live.

The CICA works in partnership with and on behalf of the institutes to:

  • Assess the qualification processes of foreign accounting bodies to determine the extent to which they are equivalent to the Canadian process
  • Negotiate Mutual Recognition Agreements with accounting bodies whose qualification processes are substantially equivalent;
  • Determine the additional education, evaluation and experience requirements for members of reviewed accounting bodies not deemed substantially equivalent.

Credentials of foreign-trained accountants are assessed according to the following categories:[10]

Category Description
Designated Accounting Bodies These designated accounting bodies are considered by the Canadian CA profession to be substantially equivalent. Members of these accounting bodies generally qualify for membership in the Canadian CA profession with minimal additional requirements.
Accounting Bodies with Reciprocal Membership Agreements
Non-Equivalent Accounting Bodies These accounting bodies have been reviewed by IQAB and their qualification processes have been determined not to be equivalent to the Canadian qualification process.
Accounting Bodies Currently Under Review
Members of Non-Assessed Accounting Bodies Individuals who are members of professional accounting bodies which have not been reviewed by IQAB, or who are not members in any professional accounting body can request individual assessment by the appropriate PICA/Ordre. This review will identify any additional education, examination and/or experience requirements the individual must complete to qualify for membership in the Canadian CA profession.

Assessments of foreign bodies, and negotiations of Mutual Recognition agreements are conducted by the profession's International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB), the current status of which is as follows:

Country Designated accounting body Accounting body with Reciprocal Membership Agreement Non-equivalent accounting body Currently under review
Australia Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia CPA Australia
Belgium Institut des Réviseurs d'Enterprises de Belgique
France Ordre des Experts Comptables
Hong Kong Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
India The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Ireland Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
Japan Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Luxembourg Institut des réviseurs d’entreprises
Mexico Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos
Netherlands Nederland Instituut van Register Accountants
New Zealand New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
Nigeria Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
Pakistan Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan currently under review
Philippines Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
South Africa South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
Sri Lanka Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka
Switzerland Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants
United Kingdom Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
United States American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe

See also

Member institutes

Province Institute/Ordre
British Columbia The Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia
Alberta The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta
Saskatchewan The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan
Manitoba Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba
Ontario Chartered Professional Accountants Ontario
Quebec Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec
New Brunswick The New Brunswick Institute of Chartered Accountants
Nova Scotia The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island Institute of Chartered Accountants of Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador
Yukon Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Yukon Territory
Northwest TerritoriesNunavut Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Bermuda Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda


  1. Stephen Bernhut (May 2002). "Setting the standard". CA Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  2. SC 1902, c. 58, as amended by SC 1951, c. 89 and SC 1990, c. 52
  3. McFarland, Janet (23 June 2014). "Canadian accountants merge under CPA designation". The Globe & Mail. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  4. "The UFE". Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  5. "National Instrument 52–107 Acceptable Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards and its Companion Policy". Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  6. "Canada Business Corporations Regulations, s. 70". Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  7. "International Financial Reporting Standards". Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  8. "Your source for CA-CMA-CGA Merger Information". Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  9. "CA Training Offices".
  10. "International Qualifications Appraisal Board". Retrieved 7 November 2011.
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