FAQs - Use of CPA Designation by Members

Members must use CPA, accompanied by their legacy designation until June 24, 2025. This means your credential must be listed as “CPA, CA”;  “CPA, CGA ”; or “CPA, CMA” 

CPA Canada published an article in the September 2013 edition of CA Magazine on “Using your Canadian CPA designation in the United States” (see: page 18 using the adobe toolbar). Ultimately, it is each member’s responsibility to ensure that he or she represents his or her credentials appropriately and in accordance with the law in the relevant jurisdiction where they work.

A member who also holds a CPA from the United States may use the US designation as long as it is accompanied by the specific name of the jurisdiction where the US CPA was granted.   For example, a member, who also holds a US CPA granted by the state of Illinois, would use the following style:

Jane Doe, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois)  
Jane Doe, CPA, CGA, CPA (Illinois)
Jane Doe, CPA, CMA, CPA (Illinois)

Yes, provided you:

  • Use it together with and following your Canadian CPA; and
  • Display the name of the jurisdiction where you are granted authority to use the non-Canadian accounting designation.

For example, a CPA, CMA member with a current CPA membership from the Philippines, may display the designations as follows:   

CPA, CMA, CPA (Philippines)

A CPA, CA member with a current ACA membership from the UK, may display the designations as follows:


A CPA, CGA member with a current ACCA membership from the UK, may display the designations as follows:


As a non-member, you must comply with the restrictions against use or display of professional accounting designations under section 45 of the CPA Act.

Among other things, this prevents you from using or displaying a foreign professional accounting designation in British Columbia that is the same as, or contains, any of the following designations or initials (or the equivalent in a language other than English):

  • “Professional Accountant” or “PA”
  • “Chartered Professional Accountant” or “CPA”
  • “Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants” or “FCPA”
  • “Associate of the Chartered Professional Accountants” or “ACPA”
  • “Associate Accounting Technologist” or “AAT”
  • “Certified Public Accountant”
  • “Certified Public Auditor”
  • “Certified Accountant”
  • “Certified General Accountant” or “CGA”
  • “Fellow of the Certified General Accountants” or “FCGA”
  • “Certified Management Accountant” or “CMA”
  • “Fellow of the Certified Management Accountants” or “FCMA”
  • “Chartered Accountant” or “CA”
  • “Fellow of the Chartered Accountants” or “FCA”
  • “Associate of the Chartered Accountants” or “ACA”
  • “Registered Industrial Accountant” or “RIA”

You are also prohibited in British Columbia from implying, suggesting or holding out, in any other manner, that you are a professional accountant.

Generally, you cannot hold yourself out as a CPA in another jurisdiction unless you are a member of the local organization. A BC member who wishes to use their designation in another province or territory, in which they are also a member, should consult with the local CPA body in the other province or territory on the rules regulating the use of the designation in that jurisdiction. Each provincial organization regulates the use of their respective accounting designations in their province.

The following formats would be appropriate:
Jane Doe, CPA, CGA, CMA or CPA, CMA, CGA
Jane Doe, CPA, CA, CGA or CPA, CGA, CA
Jane Doe, CPA, CMA, CA or CPA, CA, CMA

Congratulations! The following formats are correct:
Jane Doe, FCPA, FCA
Jane Doe, FCPA, FCMA
Jane Doe, FCPA, FCGA

Congratulations! The following format is correct:
Jane Doe, CPA (Hon.)

The following formats are no longer permitted:
Jane Doe, CPA, CA (Hon.)
Jane Doe, CPA, CMA (Hon.)
Jane Doe, CPA, CGA (Hon.)

Only members can use or display the initials CPA. You may describe yourself as a student or candidate in the CPA program on your resume, in your social media profile and in your biography; however, you may not present the information in a manner that makes it appear that you have a CPA designation or imply that there is a recognized CPA Student or Candidate designation.

For example, the following are not permitted:

Jane Doe, CPA Student
Jane Doe, CPA Candidate
You could say:

  • Jane Doe, enrolled (or a student) in the CPA Prerequisite Education Program (CPA PREP);  or enrolled (or a candidate) in the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP)