The eight reasons for unification were:
1. Protection of the public
Unification will result in a strengthened protection of the public through:
- a new common certification program,
- a single set of high ethical and practice standards, and
- common practice review and discipline processes.
These standards would meet or exceed the most rigorous previous standards.
2. Elimination of marketplace confusion
Unification will eliminate confusion surrounding the differences between the three designations. In the past, the distinctions between the three designations have not always been clear. During the hiring process, from posting to interviewing, employers would often have to choose between the designations. Through unification, employers only have to look for one exceptional credential that they know represents the very best of Alberta’s former designations.
3. Being part of the national progression towards unification
Momentum towards unification began building at the national level, in talks among the national bodies. Soon after, it began to build at the provincial levels. Early adopters encouraged other provinces and territories to join in the collaborative effort.
Currently, all of the CA, CMA and CGA bodies across Canada have either already achieved unification, or are moving toward unification under the CPA banner. Having Alberta’s accountants involved keeps us aligned with our colleagues from coast-to-coast, and as full partners in the national profession.
4. Creation of a single certification program for those entering the profession
The CPA Certification Program combines the very best of the programs of the three former designations, while introducing new elements that ensure candidates are trained and educated at the highest levels of rigour and technical expertise. The program includes: a module-based education program; a multi-day final examination; and a 30-month practical experience requirement.
With a single designation and certification program, Canadians considering careers as designated accountants will no longer need to choose from among three different programs. It will also be of potential value to post-secondary institutions because they will only need to prepare students for one certification program in accounting.
5. Strengthened international influence and reputation
The CPA designation is emerging as the largest accounting designation in the world. By adopting this designation, the Canadian accounting profession, with more than 200,000 members, would ensure it has a strong influence within the international accounting profession and that members will have an internationally recognized credential to support them wherever their work takes them.
6. Maintenance and expansion of international and interprovincial mobility
Mutual Recognition Agreements and other international arrangements are being maintained and expanded with the world’s most prominent accounting bodies, facilitating members’ mobility on a global scale. In addition, unification will maintain and enhance the profession’s alignment with interprovincial labour mobility agreements.
7. Enhanced member support and services
Unification allows members to have greater access to resources, supports and professional development opportunities, which is better for business and for the public.
8. Simplified operations and governance
Full national unification reduces the number of governing bodies from 40 to 14 and significantly simplifies operations and governance. The organizations can focus on building the profession as opposed to internal competition.