In addition to the CPA Practical Experience Requirements required for certification, candidates must meet specific criteria to obtain practice rights when they become members.
This outlines how those seeking practice rights in the future, such as CPA candidates, can meet the experience requirements under the Varied Registration Model (which covers the requirements for those looking to register a Professional Accounting Firm (PAF), become a partner in a firm, or have responsibility for an entire accounting engagement in a specified area of practice).
Understanding Public Accounting Practice Services
Professional and Public Accounting Practice Varied Registration Model
As mentioned, PAFs in Alberta are registered under the Varied Registration Model.
The model provides clarity the types of services that a PAF can perform and follows the standards set for PAF registrations (including licensure in some provinces) across the country.
The Varied Registration Model has four categories, which capture the various types of PAFs that exist:
- Other regulated services (including public accounting practice services)
Under this model, PAFs are registered and approved based on the service it provides. For example, a firm may be registered as providing compilation, review, and other regulated services.
Approval is based on the training, qualifications, and experience of the members at the PAF. In any given PAF, different CPAs may provide different services.
CPA Alberta can assess any member who implements any of the services listed under the professional or public accounting practice. It is the firm’s responsibility to ensure individuals are providing appropriate services to clients, based on the staff member’s assessment by CPA Alberta. This ensures that individuals are trained appropriately and are qualified to provide services.
Each category under the Varied Registration Model has education, experience, and examination requirements that must be met for a candidate to be eligible to provide the service.
The Professional Education Program (PEP) and Common Final Exam (CFE) have electives which prepare a candidate for the varied registration categories. However, if a candidate has not completed these electives during their education program, they will have the opportunity to meet these requirements post-designation.
To understand the education and experience required, read the Professional Accounting Firm Varied Registration Category Requirements.
Pre-approved Program (PPR) Information
It is important to note, registration is not granted upon certification.
Public practice pre-approved programs are designed to help candidates meet the registration requirements at the point of certification.
If you are an employer looking to create one of these programs at your firm, please contact email@example.com.
* For more information on chargeable hours see the Chargeable Hours Fact Sheet.
Experience Verification (EVR) Information
Candidates who choose to work in public practice must work at a registered PAF. If you are unsure if your organization is a registered PAF, search for the firm here.
Candidates can work in a PAF outside of a pre-approved program. However it is important you aim to register in a PAF in the future, and are aware of the implications of gaining your experience outside of a PPR. For more information on these outcomes, can be found the Professional Accounting Firm Varied Registration Category Requirements.
If you are a candidate working in public practice outside of a PPR and have questions about your path, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.