Q. How long is each course?
Course modules in the CPA Professional Education Program are approximately two months long. The most current course schedules for CPA Professional Education Program, ACAF, and Preparatory courses can be found on the respective pages of the CPAWSB website.
Q. How much does it cost?
The cost of the CPA Professional Education Program is approximately $11,000. See the schedule of fees for the CPA Professional Education Program or the fee schedules for the CPA Preparatory Courses and the Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance.
Q. What are the entry requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program?
To be eligible for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program, all applicants must satisfy the requirements listed below:
Q. How do I apply?
To apply, applicants must create a MyCPA Profile and submit official transcript(s) for review in a sealed envelope directly from their university. CPA evaluators will not accept opened originals, unofficial, scanned PDFs or fraudulent documents. To submit your transcripts, please follow the steps below:
Q. What is the difference between the ACAF and CPA Preparatory courses?
The ACAF is an education program created for persons looking for intermediate careers in accounting and finance. It builds on the knowledge generally gained through a two-year college program by providing or enhancing the applied technical and soft skills valued in today’s marketplace. Developed in consultation with employers from all sectors of the Canadian economy, the ACAF is the only nationally-recognized intermediate accounting and finance certificate in Canada.
CPA preparatory courses are not a program and do not lead to a certificate or credential. They are a suite of courses offered by the CPA profession which you may take to meet the ACAF entry and technical course requirements or to meet the prerequisite course requirements for entry to CPA Professional Education Program. You may also take these courses from a post-secondary institution (PSI). ACAF’s applied courses are available exclusively online from CPA Canada.
Q. What is the difference between the ACAF and the CPA Professional Education Program?
The CPA Professional Education Program and the CPA Canada Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) are two separate programs with their own admission requirements, and are designed to help you achieve career success at different levels. The CPA Professional Education Program is a graduate level program for candidates pursuing the CPA designation. The CPA designation is Canada’s pre-eminent, globally recognized professional business and accounting designation, and is the meant for persons seeking a senior level business career. The ACAF is designed for people seeking careers, or who are currently working in, intermediate level positions.
Q. Do I have to do the ACAF program to get into the CPA Education Professional Education Program?
No, they are two separate programs.
Q. I haven’t decided whether I want to pursue a CPA designation or the ACAF. Can I begin the preparatory courses and decide later?
Yes, when you begin the transcript assessment process you will be granted access to enroll in preparatory courses with us. Your may switch your program path later if you wish.
Q. If I complete the ACAF program, am I allowed to use the CPA credential behind my name?
ACAF is a certificate offered by CPA Canada for intermediate level jobs and should not be confused with the provincially regulated CPA designation. The only way to become a designated CPA in British Columbia is to be admitted as a member of CPABC. This involves completing a recognized degree and the CPA Professional Education Program, which includes passing the Common Final Examination (CFE) and completing 30 months of appropriately supervised and mentored practical experience (PER).
Q. Can I enroll in the Preparatory Courses first before applying to the CPA or ACAF program?
In order to be granted access to enrol in the Preparatory Courses with us, your first step is to apply for a Transcript Assessment. The results of your transcript assessment will tell you how many of your existing education credits can be applied to the prerequisites and may guide your decision on which program to select. Once you know the results of your assessment, you will be granted access to enrol in the Preparatory Courses with us, if required.
Q. How long does the application process take?
Please note that it can take between 4 – 8 weeks for the evaluation process to be completed from the time that all of your supporting documents, including transcripts, are received. Therefore, we recommend that you begin the application process 10 – 12 weeks before your intended start date. Your assessment results are valid for a period of 12 months.
Q. When are courses offered?
To view all application deadlines and course dates, please use the links below:
Q. Do you offer full time courses?
No. All courses offered under CPA, ACAF, and Preparatory are available as part-time courses only. This means students are only granted access to enrol in a maximum of one to two courses per semester.
Q. What is Fast Track?
CPA candidates may request the Fast Track option upon enrolment into the CPA Professional Education Program. This option allows candidates to enrol in the first two core modules simultaneously in one semester, and the two elective modules simultaneously in the next semester. This fast track option is best suited for candidates who are not working and can study full time while enrolled in the core and elective modules. Find more information on Fast Track.
Q. Are the CPA preparatory courses, ACAF, and CPA Professional Education Program eligible for student loans from the provincial and federal government?
Both the CPA and ACAF programs are registered as part-time programs and unfortunately do not qualify for government student loans. However, many students enrolled in courses under our programs receive financial assistance through other means such as:
Q. Are there time limitations or grade requirements for the prerequisite courses?
Yes. The core courses must have been completed within the last 10 years. You must achieve a grade of at least 60% and a 65% overall average of the core courses is required.
The non-core courses do not have a time limit (except Courses 12 = 15 years) and you must achieve a grade of at least 50% in each course. More information on prerequisite courses can be found here.
Q. I’m currently a student or candidate and have a specific question about the courses or exam. Who should I talk to?
The CPA Western School of Business administers the education and exam components of the CPA preparatory courses, ACAF, and the CPA Professional Education Program for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Please visit the CPAWSB website for detailed questions about assessments, enrollment, curriculum, and exams. The Practical Experience Requirement (PER) for CPA Professional Education Program candidates is administered by CPABC. Further information on PER can be found here.
Q. Do I have to work in a public practice firm to get my accounting work experience on the CPA Professional Education Program?
No, the accounting work experience requirement of the CPA Professional Education Program is flexible and allows candidates to pursue accounting and finance related employment (paid) in any sector such as industry, government, public practice, and not for profit. Find more information on CPA Professional Education Program.
Q. Do you help students find a job?
Students enrolled in the CPA Professional Education Program and ACAF will be provided with exclusive access to our CPABC and CPA Canada Career Resources, such as our Careers websites, to apply for jobs and receive invitations to attend our networking, panel, and job interviewing events. Join CPA Career Connect and never miss out on an upcoming event to network with our employers and CPA members. Students will also have access to our CPABC Career Counsellor.
Q. What if I get the CPA designation in British Columbia, but need to move to another province?
The CPA Professional Education Program is the same across all of Canada, including the Common Final Exam. Once you receive your designation, you must be a member in your province, however, if you relocate to another province in the future you can use your designation without having to retake any part of the program.
Please see below for links to the CPA provincial bodies across the country and abroad:
Q. What if I wish to move internationally with my designation?
If you move outside Canada you’ll be joining the more than 12,500 CPA’s already working in over 100 countries around the world. Please also see our section on CPA’s International partners.
Q. Is there a cap on the number of international students that can enroll each semester?
No, there is no limitation on the number of domestic or international students that can enroll each semester.
Q. Do I have to pay more if I’m an international student?
No, unlike many post-secondary institutions you will not pay more for tuition because you are an international student. Please do note that if you have received your post-secondary education internationally, you may be required to get your degree assessed by a third-party assessment service company. Fees charged by these services are not included in our fee schedule and may vary by vendor.
Q. I have international education, how do I get the Canadian Third Party Degree Assessment Report to apply to your programs?
Please view the recognized Canadian third party degree assessment companies that are accepted by CPA. We recommend World Education Services (WES) for degree assessments.
Q. Can I take either the CPA Professional Education Program or the ACAF program while I’m living abroad?
While program courses are offered in multiple formats to provide flexibility, module exams and the Common Final Exam (CFE) for the CPA designation must be attended and written in person at a CPA Testing Centre in Canada.
Q. Do you need proof of English language level, like TOEFL to apply to your programs?
No, we do not require proof of English language level for acceptance into our programs, however to be successful in the program courses we recommend students to have a (Canadian Language Benchmark of English), CLB 7 for ACAF, and CLB 8 for CPA Professional Education Program.
Q. I live abroad and would need a study permit to come to Canada and pursue the CPA Professional Education Program or the ACAF program. Is CPA a designated learning institution?
Yes. CPABC is a designated learning institution.
Q. I am a member of an international accounting body – am I eligible for membership?
Determine if there is a Mutual Recognition Agreement in place with your accounting body. The application instructions are provided for those that are eligible.
Internationally designated accountants who are not part of a formal MRA may be eligible for advanced standing in the CPA program of studies.
Q. I graduated with my Bachelor or Master’s degree several years ago. Does my education still apply for admittance into the CPA Professional Education Program?
Yes. Your first step will be to prepare your documentation and request a Transcript Assessment. As long as you can provide proof of an undergraduate degree containing 120 course credits, this will satisfy the degree requirement of the CPA Professional Education Program. Those who hold a Master’s Degree are required to provide proof of their undergraduate degree.
Once our evaluators have received your documentation and completed your assessment, we will be able to tell you how many courses from your degree fulfill the prerequisite requirements.
Q. I’ve been in the workforce for several years, but have not completed an undergraduate degree. Are there any options for me?
Yes. The Mature Entrant Pathway is designed for individuals from the workforce who have not obtained a 120 credit university degree, but have substantial senior level accounting work experience which meets the CPA competency standards.
Q. Do you help career changers find a job?
Students enrolled in the CPA and ACAF programs will be provided with exclusive access to our CPABC and CPA Canada Career Resources, such as our Careers websites to apply for jobs and receive invitations to attend our networking, panel, and job interviewing events. Join CPA Career Connect and never miss out on an upcoming event to network with our employers and CPA members. Students will also have access to our CPABC Career Counsellor.
Q. As an employer I would like support my employee in pursuing the CPA designation. How do I go about doing that?
Employers can support their employees in many ways. Understanding the expectations and requirements of the CPA Professional Education Program is a good place to start. Your employee will be expected to meet education, examination, and practical work experience requirements in order to achieve the CPA designation.
Employers can provide support in any one or all of these areas. Some of the ways we have seen employers provide support include financial support for the CPA Professional Education Program, paid leave to prepare for or write exams, providing relevant qualifying work experience, appropriate supervision, and mentorship from a designated CPA on staff to their employee.
Q. Is the pre-approved program route for the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) only available to accounting firms?
The Pre-approved Program route is not restricted to accounting firms and is available to employers, of any size, in any industry. Pre-approved programs must be approved by CPABC in advance and are designed to provide candidates with all the required practical experience within 30 months. Learn more about the Pre-approved Program Route.
Q. I’d like to hire a CPA for a role at my organization. How do I find one?
The CPABC Careers Site, is the official job board of CPABC. Employers can post job ads to the site as well as view the profiles and resumés of CPAs and students enrolled in the CPA Professional Education Program who are looking for career opportunities.
Q. Can work experience count towards the prerequisite requirements or any of the courses?
Work experience is not generally accepted as a substitute for the prerequisite academic courses required for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program. Find more information on the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program.
Q. Can I train a CPA candidate if I don’t have a Pre-approved Program Route at my company?
Yes, absolutely. CPA candidates can gain experience in either the Pre-approved Program Route or the Experience Verification Route, or both. In the Experience Verification Route the CPA candidate must demonstrate and fulfill the relevant work experience requirements expected of a CPA. The candidate must complete detailed experience reports and have it assessed by CPABC at key milestones during their employment.
Q. How long does a CPA candidate have to complete their practical experience requirement?
The Pre-approved Program Route is designed to provide candidates with all the required practical experience within 30 months. The more flexible Experience Verification Route can vary in the length of time it takes to complete the practical experience requirements because the CPA candidate is reporting their experience as it is gained. To ensure currency, all practical experience requirements must be gained in positions that ended in the last seven years (five year for public accounting). Please see Practical Experience Requirements for more details.
Q. Can part-time work count towards the practical experience requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program?
Yes, the duration of the experience reported will be calculated on a pro-rated basis for part-time work that is less than 35 hours per week.
The CPA Professional Education Program is a two-year graduate-level program leading to the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. Download a brochure today!
The Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) qualification is recognized nationally and prepares individuals for intermediate-level accounting and finance positions. Download a brochure today!