What is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)?

A Canadian CPA plays key roles within diverse segments of the economy, including industry, public accounting, government, education, international business, off-shore banking and the not-for-profit sector.

The Canadian CPA Designation

The new Canadian designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), is used by Canada’s accounting profession. The profession’s national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is one of the largest accounting bodies in the world, with more than 200,000 members. Many members work internationally, with strong representation in the Caribbean. The Canadian CPA was created with the unification of three legacy accounting designations, Chartered Accountants (CA), Certified General Accountants (CGA) and Certified Management Accountants (CMA).

What does a Canadian CPA do?

A Canadian CPA plays key roles within diverse segments of the economy, including:

  • industry
  • public accounting
  • government
  • education
  • the not-for-profit sector

A Canadian CPA offers a strong set of accounting and managerial skills required for today’s complex and evolving environment. A Canadian CPA is a broad-minded, forward-thinking professional who:

  • undertakes appropriate analysis
  • exercises good judgment
  • communicates effectively
  • acts to protect the public interest

These professional accountants are highly attractive to employers and recruiters for their solid training and expertise, which contribute to improved efficiency and growth.

A Canadian CPA designation will help you stand out from the competition in the Caribbean market.

How a Canadian CPA helps various sectors


A Canadian CPA working in industry:

  • provides valuable analysis and input on key decisions
  • applies a unique blend of expertise to identify new market opportunities
  • ensures corporate accountability
  • manages risk
  • helps the organisation maintain a long-term competitive advantage

Public practice

A Canadian CPA working in public practice, under CPA Canada’s commitment to the highest audit quality and ethics, provides their clients with services such as:

  • start-up counselling
  • purchases and sales of businesses
  • business valuations
  • business planning and financial projections
  • process deployment and improvement
  • strategy development for securing financing
  • information technology needs analysis
  • assurance (audits and reviews)
  • preparing and analysing financial information
  • acting as trustee for receivership, insolvency or bankruptcy
  • developing management controls
  • management consulting
  • forensic accounting and litigation support


A Canadian CPA works at all levels of government, providing accounting expertise to guide financial planning and to maintain fiscal control. Roles include revenue and tax auditors, policy planners and financial analysts.


Many Canadian CPA professionals are educators who teach future leaders about business, values and ethics — all critical elements within the CPA certification program.


Stakeholders, including the general public, are taking a greater interest in the administration of organisations receiving donor dollars, tax benefits or government grants. A Canadian CPA helps not-for-profit bodies with effective strategy development, accounting stewardship and the delivery of high-quality transparent annual reports.