CPA Preparatory Courses

CPA preparatory courses offer an alternative way to start the CPA certification program

Study at CPA Atlantic School

Overview

Becoming a CPA begins with the 14 prerequisites that are required for entry to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). Depending on your university path, you may have already completed most or all of these, for example if you were an accounting graduate. Most other business majors typically have about half of these prerequisites. Graduates in other disciplines likely still need the vast majority of these courses.

As many CPA preparatory courses comprise of one or more university-level equivalent courses, this may be a more affordable path than taking the missing courses through a post-secondary institution.

Currently, CPA preparatory courses are only offered in English.

Do I need to take these courses?

To estimate the number of prerequisite courses you need, consult the CPA Atlantic School’s Transfer Credit Guide, which lists course equivalencies for a significant number of recognized Canadian universities, colleges and programs (and including Bermuda College)..

To receive an exemption for a ‘non-core’ course requires:

  • a minimum grade of 50% for each course.

To receive an exemption for a ‘core’ course requires:

  • a minimum grade of 60% for each course
  • an overall average of 65% (across these core courses)
  • that these courses were completed no more than ten years prior to your official CPA eligibility assessment.

General Eligibility for CPA Preparatory Courses

Eligibility for CPA preparatory courses is the completion of 30 credit hours (i.e. normally equivalent to one year of full-time studies) at a recognized post-secondary institution. Alternatively, you may be eligible to enroll as a Mature Student with three years of relevant work experience if you do not meet the credit hour requirement. Note that CPA preparatory courses do have internal sequencing requirements.

Courses

Non-Core Courses

This include five general business courses, specifically:

  • Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA)
  • Introductory Management Accounting (IMA)
  • Economics (ECO)
  • Statistics (STA)
  • Business Law (BUL)

The non-core preparatory courses are delivered by CPA Atlantic School in a self-study format with open enrollment. Students are able to register any day of the year as these courses do not have specific start dates.

Students have up to 12 months from their start date to complete the course-end exam. They can select any of the five examination dates following their date of enrollment to best meets their needs and schedules. Exam registration deadlines require that students enroll for an exam no later than 6 weeks prior to the exam date.

Each course design assumes a total of 200 study hours and includes:

  • Online course materials
  • Practice problems and quizzes

The course grade will be based 100% on the final exam. A passing mark is 50%.

Core Courses

This includes nine, higher-level business and accounting courses, specifically:

  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 1 (IF1)
  • Intermediate Financial Reporting 2 (IF2)
  • Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR)
  • Corporate Finance (COF)
  • Audit and Assurance (AUA)
  • Taxation (TAX)
  • Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA)
  • Performance Management (PMA)
  • Information Technology (ITE)

The core preparatory courses are delivered by CPA Atlantic School. Note that the modality and overall features of core courses is in transition during 2021 and 2022 (from “Standard Modality” to “Adaptive-Learning Modality”).

In both modality types, courses are offered five times per year, over a seven-week semester, with 6 weeks of course material, and culminate in a set-date final exam in the seventh week. The required study time per week is an estimated 15 to 20 hours.

Adaptive Learning

The redesigned CPA preparatory courses are designed to allow students to work through course concepts in an effective and efficient manner. The courses incorporate technology solutions that adapt course content to meet unique learner needs. Each redesigned course contains six units.

  • Interact with the CPA Canada Learning Library Smartbooks:
    • Adaptive reviews -20%
    • Unit assessments and course survey – 40%
    • Practice problems – 20%
    • Task-based simulations – 20%
    • Marking is based on final exam (100%) noting that students must achieve a minimum of 75 percent on coursework activities within six weeks to be eligible to write the exam
    • Students require a minimum of 60 per cent on the final exam

Course Sequence

Non-core Courses

INTRODUCTORY FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING (IFA)
INTRODUCTORY MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING (IMA)
Corequisite: IFA
STATISTICS (STA)
ECONOMICS (ECO)
BUSINESS LAW (BUL)
Elective Courses which can be taken anytime in your prerequisite education

Core Courses

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (ITE)*
Prerequisite: IFA & IMA
* Recommended Entry Point
INTERMEDIATE FINANCIAL REPORTING (IF1)*
Prerequisite: IFA & IMA
INTERMEDIATE FINANCIAL REPORTING 2 (IF2)
Prerequisite: IF1
ADVANCED FINANCIAL REPORTING (AFR)
Prerequisite: IF1 & IF2
CORPORATE FINANCE (COF)*
Prerequisite: IFA & IMA
* Alternate Entry Point (if you start here, take IF1 next and continue down the list)
AUDIT AND ASSURANCE (AUA)
Prerequisite: IF1 & IF2
Taxation (TAX)
Prerequisite: IF1 & IF2
INTERMEDIATE MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING (MMA)
Prerequisite: COF
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (PMA)
Prerequisite: COF & MMA

Helpful Hints

  • Work through the Non-Core Courses first and then tackle the Core Courses.
  • Don’t forget the Green Courses are Electives and you can take them anytime you are working through your prerequisite education
  • Keep in mind that you can start your Core Courses with COPORATE FINANCE (COF) as an alternate entry point
  • Still have questions about planning and preparing to join CPA as a student? Contact your student recruitment advisor directly ​​for answers to your program-path questions today.

Fees and Schedules

CPA Preparatory Courses Fees

  • Eligibility Assessment fee for transcripts from institutions inside Canada, The United States, and Bermuda: $125 (Non-refundable) +HST
  • Eligibility Assessment fee for transcripts from institutions outside Canada, The United States, and Bermuda: $365 (Non-refundable) +HST
  • CPA annual student dues (non-refundable) to be renewed on the anniversary of the initial CPA course registration: $705 (Recurring) +HST

  • Introductory Financial Accounting: $560 +HST
  • Introductory Management Accounting: $560 +HST
  • Economics: $560 +HST
  • Statistics: $560 +HST
  • Business Law: $560 +HST
  • Intermediate Financial Reporting I: $730 +HST
  • Intermediate Financial Reporting II: $730 +HST
  • Advanced Financial Reporting: $730 +HST
  • Corporate Finance: $730 +HST
  • Audit & Assurance: $730 +HST
  • Taxation: $730 +HST
  • Intermediate Management Accounting: $730 +HST
  • Performance Management: $730 +HST
  • Information Technology: $730 +HST
  • Re-write & Challenge Exams for core courses*: $260 +HST
  • Course exam appeal fee: $105 +HST

*Not all students are eligible to re-write or challenge a CPA preparatory course exam. Please visit this page and review the CPA Harmonized Education Policy (Vol.3) for the CPA Preparatory Courses for additional information on challenge and re-write exam eligibility.

  • Course withdrawal prior to course start date (payment submitted): Refund of 90% of course fee
  • Course withdrawal prior to course start date (payment not submitted): Student owes 10% of course fees
  • Course withdrawal after course start date: No refund
  • Course deferral (applicable from date registration was submitted, regardless of payment status): 25% of course fee
  • Exam withdrawal or deferral (applicable from date registration was submitted, regardless of payment status): $210 + HST

  • CPA Official Transcript Request (current and former students): $25 +HST
  • Letter confirming enrollment in the CPA preparatory courses: No charge

Please email registrations@cpaatlantic.ca to request a transcript or confirmation of enrollment letter.

CPA Preparatory Courses Schedules

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A Sept. 23 Nov. 2, TBD Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A Sept. 23 Nov. 2, TBD Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE)* Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 3,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 3,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Corporate Finance (COF) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Standard Sept. 23 Nov. 3,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Audit & Assurance (AUA) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Taxation (TAX) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 3,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Adaptive learning Sept. 23 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24
Performance Management (PMA) Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Standard Sept. 23 Nov. 3,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 21 Nov. 24

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A Dec. 16 Jan. 25
3:00 pm (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A Dec. 16 Jan. 26
3:00 pm (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A Dec. 16 Jan. 26, TBD Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A Dec. 16 Jan. 25
3:00 pm (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A Dec. 16 Jan. 25, TBD Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE)* Open Open Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 26 Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 25,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 25,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 26,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Corporate Finance (COF) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 26,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Audit & Assurance (AUA) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 25,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Taxation (TAX) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 26,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 25,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15
Performance Management (PMA) Nov. 25 Nov. 26 Adaptive learning Dec. 16 Jan. 26,
9:00 am (AT)
Feb. 13 Feb. 15

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A Feb. 24 Apr. 5
3:00 pm (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A Feb. 24 Apr. 5
3:00 pm (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A Feb. 24 Apr. 5, TBD Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A Feb. 24 Apr. 5
3:00 pm (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A Feb. 24 Apr. 5, TBD Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 6,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 5,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 5,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 6,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Corporate Finance (COF) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 6,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Audit & Assurance (AUA) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 5,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Taxation (TAX) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 6,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 5,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28
Performance Management (PMA) Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Adaptive learning Feb. 24 Apr. 6,
9:00 am (AT)
Apr. 24 Apr. 28

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A May 5 June 14
3:00 pm (AT)
July 4 July 7
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A May 5 June 15
3:00 pm (AT)
July 4 July 7
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A May 5 June 15, TBD July 4 July 7
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A May 5 June 14
3:00 pm (AT)
July 4 July 7
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A May 5 June 14, TBD July 4 July 7
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 15,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 14,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 14,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 15,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Corporate Finance (COF) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 15,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Audit & Assurance (AUA) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 14,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Taxation (TAX) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 15,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 14,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7
Performance Management (PMA) Apr. 28 Apr. 29 Adaptive learning May 5 June 14,
9:00 am (AT)
July 4 July 7

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A July 14 Aug. 23
3:00 pm (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A July 14 Aug. 24
3:00 pm (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A July 14 Aug. 24, TBD Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A July 14 Aug. 23
3:00 pm (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A July 14 Aug. 23, TBD Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 24,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 23,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 23,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 24,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Corporate Finance (COF) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 24,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Audit & Assurance (AUA) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 23,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Taxation (TAX) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 24,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 23,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13
Performance Management (PMA) July 7 July 8 Adaptive learning July 14 Aug. 24,
9:00 am (AT)
Sept. 11 Sept. 13

Non-Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Introductory Financial Accounting (IFA) Open Open N/A Sept. 22 Nov. 1
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Introductory Management Accounting (IMA) Open Open N/A Sept. 22 Nov. 2
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Economics (ECO) Open Open N/A Sept. 22 Nov. 2, TBD Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Statistics (STA) Open Open N/A Sept. 22 Nov. 1
3:00 pm (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Business Law (BUL) Open Open N/A Sept. 22 Nov. 1, TBD Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Core Courses
Course and exam Registration deadline Course start Modality Exam registration deadline Exam dates Results released* Appeals deadline*
Information Technology (ITE)* Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Intermediate Financial Reporting I (IF1) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 1,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Intermediate Financial Reporting II (IF2) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 1,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 1,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Corporate Finance (COF) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Audit & Assurance (AUA) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 1,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Taxation (TAX) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Intermediate Management Accounting (MAA) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 1,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
Performance Management (PMA) Sept. 15 Sept. 16 Adaptive learning Sept. 22 Nov. 2,
9:00 am (AT)
Nov. 20 Nov. 22
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

How can we help?

Contact an Advisor
Attend an info session

Plan your CPA Path Now!


Complete the form below to contact a Student Recruitment Advisor in your region for advice on eligibility for CPA pre-certification programs.

To contact your student recruitment advisor directly ​​for program-path planning and preparing to join CPA as a student/candidate:

NOVA SCOTIA
Britt Fernandes
e. ns-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 902.334.1174

NEW BRUNSWICK & PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
​Camille Ferland
e. nb-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
pe-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 506-800-0725

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR & BERMUDA
Lori-Lydia Loveless
e. nl-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
bm-advisor@cpaatlantic.ca
t. 709.753.3090

Register Now

Get a full overview of the benefits of becoming a CPA, the CPA pre-certification programs, and your next steps to start your CPA path.

Contact an Advisor