Quebec has over 35,000 active accountants, which are now all members of the Order of Chartered Professional Accountants (Quebec) following the merge of three orders in May 2012.
In fact, before this merger the accounting profession distinguished three different orders of accountants: Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Certified General Accountants (CGA) and the Chartered Accountants (CA).
What were the characteristics of the latter? And what distinguishes this title from other CPA titles?
What is a chartered accountant?
The chartered accountant order was once the most renowned order in the public eye, due to the particularities of their functions being more accurate than others.
The chartered accountant order was known for conducting accounting verifications until 2010 when they were able to expand their skills, including being able to become a key business advisor. It was this particular specificity that lead companies to turn to them, as they believed they had less chance of error compared to other orders.
Chartered accountants therefore had the mission to provide advisory services to companies by improving the quality of financial, accounting and even decision-making processes to guide them to making the right decisions.
Through their knowledge of strategic and financial management, they controlled, analyzed, checked and even signed internal corporate financial statements. In fact, they could not perform their duties in private practice.
Moreover, as a tax specialist they were recognized by official tax authorities (hence the term chartered), which offered a guarantee to their suppliers.
Aggregations: Where are we today?
Today, times have changed and, with the unification of the three orders, a new professional organization was born: the "chartered professional account" (CPA).
The three levels of the Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Certified General Accountants (CGA) and Chartered Accountants (CA) can still apply the same standards they once used to their current profession, and throughout their careers.
In doing this, they must also respect the rules of the Occupations Code (for public protection) and other regulations related to their job condition. Every accountant can now be as much an entrepreneur as an executive or take leadership positions during their career.
For new accountants, accounting courses are also now unified and they therefore can perform their internship in house rather than in cabinet, if they wish.
This development has created a unified profession in the accounting industry, which creates a more consistent market for their clients. This equality between the three branches will also promote their image internationally. Since 2012, Quebec accountants can practice as much in the public, private or business sphere by applying the same rules for everyone.
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