CPA makes a difference in your protection
Have you ever looked for an accounting firm and been overwhelmed by the number of businesses to choose from? Have you ever noticed some of these companies are Chartered Professional Accountants and some are not? What does Chartered Professional Accountant, or CPA, even mean?
Let us help shed some light on this.
Chartered Professional Accountants Association aka CPA
The Chartered Professional Accountants Association is a professional regulatory body that focuses on protecting the public. What does CPA stand for? When an accountant has CPA after their name that means they have completed:
- a university degree (or equivalent);
- a couple of years of practical work experience;
- and professional level exams in order to receive the CPA designation.
An ongoing 40 hours a year of professional development is required to maintain the CPA letters. The Association protects the public by ensuring its members meet their high professional and ethical standards and they continue to monitor CPA firms to ensure ongoing competency.
Who is regulating the non-CPA firm to ensure they are qualified as well?
Unfortunately, in Alberta, there is no law to prevent anyone from calling themselves an “accountant”. It is the old “buyer beware”; if there is no CPA in the firm name or behind the accountant’s name, there is no one regulating the work being performed.
If the strict monitoring of a CPA firm isn’t enough to help you make a choice, you should also consider current and future financing. Depending on the level of financing, financial institutions may require a company’s financial statements to be prepared by Chartered Professional Accountant.
Check out the CPA Alberta website for more information on protecting the public or to verify that an accountant, or a firm, is registered with the CPA Alberta Association.
Bobi-Rae Miller has been working in public practice since 2000 and received her professional accounting designation in 2005. She focuses on working with small to medium-sized businesses and feels it is important for business owners to understand the financial side of their operations, so she takes the time to ensure that this happens.