The Beginners Guide to Becoming a CPA in Canada
If you're looking to join a popular industry in Canada, you might want to think about becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
But if you don't know much about accounting, you might have doubts about taking on such a role. You might not even know what it takes to get a job in this field. Fortunately, becoming a CPA in Canada is something that nearly everyone can do.
Keep reading and I'll provide you with a beginners guide on how to become a CPA in Canada. If you implement the knowledge provided in the guide, it won't be long before you have a job in this industry.
Spend Time Obtaining the Right Qualifications
The first thing you'll need to do is spend time getting the right qualifications. There are many paths that will allow you to do this.
One of the most common ways you can go about things is by getting a bachelor's degree that relates to accounting. You don't have to do something that relates to accounting. But if your degree includes some level of accounting, it can help make the latter stages of becoming a CPA much easier.
Once you've done this, you can then enroll in something known as the CPA professional education program. This is sometimes known as the CPEP.
It's worth mentioning that the key thing here is obtaining the CPEP certification. Once you have that, you can then truly begin the journey of becoming a CPA.
The CPEP course can be very demanding. That's because you're going to be learning stuff that you might not have any familiarity with. It's a course that is very heavily focused on accounting.
There is the option of doing the CPEP course and subsequent exam, even if you have no undergraduate degree. But to make this possible, you will need to have a long list of credentials that show your ability to work with accounts. For example, one of the potential requirements is at least 8 years of experience with financial reporting.
Build out Your Skill Set Even More
If you want to really build out your skill set, study something known as the Canada Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF).
This will provide you with extra skills that you generally don't learn otherwise. Obtaining these skills might seem like a chore.
But you will find that this course will provide you with insight that will help separate you from the crowd. This can, therefore, make it easier for you to get a job when you are applying at the end of this entire process.
Get the Right Work Experience
Once you've completed the CPEP course and you have taken the needed exams, you then need to go about getting some form of work experience. This is often the most exciting part of the process because now you're actually able to use the skills you've learned.
There will be special job openings that are designed to help people who are looking for work experience. These job openings will meet some of the criteria you need to stick to if you're going to do the right kind of work experience. After all, there are certain guidelines you need to stick to when doing work experience that is part of your training process.
The practical experience period must amount to a minimum of 30 months. It is important that this practical experience is paid work. If the work is completed under volunteer circumstances it will not count. This might change, however, so you should always keep an eye on the rules.
Taking the Next Exam
Once you have completed your minimum amount of work experience, you'll then need to complete another exam.
This is known as the Common Final Examination. It takes place over the course of three days and is designed to test your knowledge of working as an accountant. It is very thorough and covers a wide range of topics.
Once you have completed this exam, you'll then be able to work freely as a CPA.
Learning About Your Industry
If you're going to work as a CPA, it's important you learn about your industry. If you don't, you won't be able to get the best jobs or work with the 'best' kinds of clients.
One of the best ways to stay on the cutting edge is by attending conferences. You may need to travel to attend these conferences and this can sometimes be expensive.
But you'll find that the travel costs are worth the fee. That's because you'll learn things that'll help make you a better CPA.
You can then use this knowledge when working with people. For example, you might discover a way to help people who are interested in pursuing small business opportunities.
It also helps to learn about any of the new qualifications that might be on offer. You'll generally find that there are new qualifications that are released every now and then. If you can obtain these qualifications it'll help improve your 'market value.'
This'll make it so that headhunters are actively seeking you out and offering you jobs. This can make it easier for you if you're someone who likes to pursue new job opportunities. It can also make it easier for you to start an accounting firm that will be highly profitable.
Ready to Become a CPA?
Becoming a CPA can be incredibly rewarding. Yet, if you don't know much about what it takes to become a CPA, you might not know where to begin.
In this post, we've reviewed some of the key steps you need to focus on. You need to obtain the right qualifications. You also want to make sure you take on the right kind of work experience.
Once you become a CPA, you need to make sure you're constantly learning. This'll ensure you don't fall behind. If you can stay on top of everything happening in the industry, you'll be able to ensure you always have a job as a CPA.
Interested in learning how to build an accounting practice? Check out this section of our website to learn more!