Designation Use for Firms

How can I use Chartered Professional Accountant in my firm name?

To change your firm name or descriptive style to include Chartered Professional Accountant(s), you must first contact the Corporate Registrations team at PAF@cpaalberta.ca.

Professional accounting firms (PAFs) are required to use the designation in conjunction with their firm name—what is known as the firm’s descriptive style. As part of the unification of the profession, firms are allowed to use their legacy descriptive style for five years post-unification.

Currently, legacy firm registrants (those registered prior to unification) may continue to use their legacy descriptive style or may begin to use the Chartered Professional Accountant(s) descriptive style alone or in conjunction with their legacy descriptive style. The descriptive style of the firm must be fully written out - the use of the abbreviated forms is not permitted.

For example:

  • Smith & Doe Chartered Professional Accountant(s); or
  • Smith & Doe Chartered Professional Accountant(s), Chartered Accountant(s); or
  • Smith & Doe Chartered Accountant(s)

Effective July 1, 2020, all firms will be required to solely use Chartered Professional Accountant(s). No “tagging” or sole use of legacy descriptive styles will be allowed.

If you haven’t yet changed your firm’s descriptive style, consider doing so. Note that to change your firm name or descriptive style, you must first contact CPA Alberta’s Corporate Registrations team at PAF@cpaalberta.ca. In your email, we ask that you please include the following:
  • Confirmation of the potential new name including descriptive style
  • Effective date of the change
  • A sample of the firms’ letterhead and reports (Audit, Review and/or NTR) reflecting the change. Note that the Corporate Registrations team will only review the signature block of reports. No other content is examined.

As a reminder, the rules for personal use of the designation are different than those for firm descriptive style. More details on individual use of the designation is available here.

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