|The following article was originally published in the January/February 2016 issue of CPABC in Focus magazine.|
The Chartered Professional Accountants’ Education Foundation of British Columbia (CPAEF) became official on November 27, 2015. Its purpose is to advance accounting education in BC, and the CPAEF intends to fulfil this mandate by enhancing the quality and quantity of students entering the profession, sponsoring relevant and practical research, and furthering the ongoing educational experience of CPABC members, candidates, and students.
The CPAEF is comprised of the net assets of the three legacy charitable educational entities: the Chartered Accountants’ Education Foundation of British Columbia (CAEF), the Certified General Accountants of BC Educational Foundation (CGAEF), and the Certified Management Accountants Society of BC Scholarship Fund (CMABC Scholarship Fund). These three legacy charitable educational entities were formed 25-30 years ago as a way for the respective professional bodies to support students and academics with scholarships, bursaries, MBA/PhD awards, and other targeted programs.
At March 31, 2015, the combined net assets of all three legacy entities totalled almost $3.3 million, comprising $1.9 million from the CAEF, $800,000 from the CGAEF, and $600,000 from the CMABC Scholarship Fund.
Support for Students
In the tradition of the legacy entities, the CPAEF will continue to fund various scholarships and bursaries at numerous post-secondary institutions in BC. Over the coming year, the legacy award criteria will be reviewed and amended, where appropriate, to reference the chartered professional accountant designation and the CPA certification program, as well as the student’s intention to become a CPA. The CPAEF will also be reviewing all awards to ensure that scholarships and bursaries are accessible to the maximum number of accounting students across BC, in support of the CPAEF’s purpose.
In addition to supporting undergraduates, the CPAEF has both MBA and doctoral support programs for CPA members who decide to pursue graduate-level studies. Members pursuing their doctorates can apply to the Foundation for financial support, either in the form of a forgivable loan or a scholarship/fellowship award; each application will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Support for Academics
Last May, the legacy charitable educational entities co-hosted a symposium for accounting educators, which was very well attended. This symposium, which we expect to hold every two years, is open to CPABC members who are full-time accounting educators at BC post-secondary institutions, and provides an opportunity for academics to receive valuable professional development on emerging standards, best practices in teaching, and other relevant research (see page 7 of the July/August 2015 issue of CPABC in Focus for a recap of the 2015 symposium).
All CPABC members who are full-time academics are also eligible to receive the “PD Passport for Academic Members,” which entitles a member to receive two complimentary days of training for any course or seminar offered by CPABC’s PD department (note: some exclusions may apply). The price of the PD Passport is covered by the CPAEF. If you’re a CPABC member who is a full-time academic, you are eligible to receive this offer, along with an invitation to the next symposium.
Just make sure to indicate that you’re a full-time academic during the annual membership renewal process.
Support for Post-Secondary Institutions
BC’s post-secondary institutions may apply to the CPAEF for grants of up to $2,500 to cover the cost of hosting academic development sessions (up to two per year) for their accounting faculties. This program stems from a popular legacy CAEF speaker series program, which had been funded in recent years by a generous donation from an anonymous donor. The new program will be funded with the Foundation’s operating funds.
The Foundation will also continue to support the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University with donations to their respective accounting development funds. These development funds support various educational initiatives at each university, such as financial aid for doctoral students, research grants, speaker sessions, software and computers, and more.
The CPAEF is a public foundation under Canada’s Income Tax Act and, as such, is exempt from income taxes and able to issue donation receipts for income tax purposes.
Members who wish to donate to the CPAEF may do so by sending a cheque made payable to the CPA Education Foundation of BC to the attention of David Chiang, CPA, CA, CPABC’s VP of member services, or by donating any amount on the 2016-2017 member dues, which will be sent out in early spring. Amounts of $20 and over will be tax receipted. Planned giving, bequests, and matching scholarships can also be discussed with Chiang.
Committed to Advancing Accounting Education in BC
Now that the CPAEF has been constituted, the programs of the legacy charitable educational entities will be refreshed, expanded, or revised to ensure that they fully support the CPAEF’s purpose. With the guidance and oversight of its inaugural board of governors, the CPAEF is looking forward to working with post-secondary institutions, members, candidates, and students as we embark on a new phase of charitable activities.