Get some quick answers on this page and reach out if you need to connect with an advisor

Find out all you need to know to become a CPA

No, an accounting degree is not an entrance requirement. The academic prerequisite for admission to the CPA PEP is a 120-credit hour university degree in any discipline (undergraduate or post-graduate) from a recognized post-secondary institution. For the preparatory courses the academic entry requirements are 30 credit hours from a recognized post-secondary institution.

The academic requirements for admission into CPA PEP and the preparatory courses may be waived with relevant practical experience. An eligibility assessment will determine your entry point into the program.

In fact, there is no requirement to be employed at all during the course of your studies, though the vast majority of candidates do tend to be working full time. Of those employed, roughly 50 per cent work at accounting firms and roughly 50 per cent work in industry, the public sector, and not-for-profits.

However, you will need to gain 30 months relevant practical experience with an employer (in any sector) within seven years of starting the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). The key is to gain relevant, paid employment that is progressively challenging so as to develop as a professional accountant with appropriate supervision and mentorship.

Read more about the CPA Practical Experience Requirements

The CPA certification program does not qualify for traditional student loans as provided by the provincial or federal government. However, registrants can apply for a “professional studies” loan through a commercial bank to provide financial support throughout the program. For financial support options, click here. Many candidates in the CPA program are supported by their employers, often as part of their terms of employment or as part of their continuing professional development.

Yes, the Canadian accounting designation is recognized internationally with thousands of CPA members currently working throughout the world.

The CPA certification program was developed in accordance with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) standards for professional accountants and well prepares CPAs to embark on global careers through reciprocal agreements with the world’s leading accounting organizations.

Yes, the CPA certification program is a nationally-developed program by CPA Canada that is regionally delivered by CPA schools across the country. The same program is offered all across Canada (and Bermuda), even on the same schedule.  If you are a current CPA student/candidate enrolled with CPA Atlantic School of Business and will be moving to another province outside of Atlantic Canada or Bermuda, contact us to let us know and we’ll guide you through the transfer process.

Foreign nationals living in Canada can enroll in the CPA certification program as long as they have obtained the appropriate visas to do so. Holding a study permit, as a temporary resident, is required for CPA preparatory course studies lasting longer than 6 months and entry into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).  In the event someone is not living in Canada, it should be noted that face-to-face workshops for the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) are only available in Canada and Bermuda at this time, and that attendance is obligatory.

If you do not have Canadian citizenship and are not a permanent resident, but are residing in Canada and interested in the CPA designation, contact your regional Student Recruitment Advisor to discuss your next steps.

Yes, the CPA Atlantic School of Business currently delivers the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) in both English and French. As for the prerequisite courses, CPA Atlantic School of Business delivers the CPA preparatory courses in English, but the French equivalency is delivery through a third-party, post-secondary institution. If you are interested in completing CPA preparatory courses in French, please contact your regional Student Recruitment Advisor.

No, you do not need to be employed to enroll in CPA PEP (see more detail in in FAQ #2). In order to earn the CPA designation you need to complete both the academic program and earn 30 months relevant practical experience, however you can take longer than the time enrolled in the academic modules to earn the full 30 months relevant practical experience. Once enrolled, CPA PEP candidates have a time limit of six years to complete all of the academic requirements and seven years to complete the practical experience requirement.

5 Advantages that a CPA Career will provide:

You will have many career opportunities available to you.
Work in any sector you choose
From wealth conservation to environmental conservation, gold mining to cannabis farming, trading floors to digital platforms.
Work in any role you can imagine
From VP finance of a professional sports franchise, as an international forensic auditor, to a niche entrepreneur.
Work wherever in the world you like
from your home town to Toronto’s financial district, to Fogo Island in Newfoundland, to Europe, the US, Caribbean or Asia.
Enjoy incredible job security
With a network of 220,000 CPAs, you can count on a consistent high demand from employers, and great CPA salaries.
Ability and opportunities to give back
Become a volunteer treasurer for your favourite cause or as a highly credible community leader.
The CPA designation gives you the set of skills to do anything.
Lindsay Power, CPA, CMA, MBA
Senior Business Analyst - Strategic Projects, StandardAero
You have this massive family of CPAs on which you can lean on and use as much as you can, as often as you can.
Craig Farewell, CPA
Co-owner & Director of Operations, Banished Brewing & Brewdock
The skills you acquire through the CPA program prepare you to lead in any organization and in any industry.
Courtney Burns, CPA
President and CEO, Greater Moncton International Airport Authority Inc.
It’s the differentiator when someone has a stack of resumes. People with a CPA designation will stand out.
Leah Boody, CPA, CMA
President, Pineapple Bytes
The CPA designation first ignited my entrepreneurial spirit. It certainly helped me get to where I am right now.
David Arsenault, CPA
President, Arsenault Properties
Contact an Advisor