Chartered Professional Accountant

Important Notice: The CPA profession will accept all special grades awarded by a PSI and ensure full recognition of courses completed during the COVID-19 disruption...

For more information on how the CPA profession is responding to COVID-19, including a set of COVID-19: FAQs for the CPA Certification Program, please see:

CPA Ontario:
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Meeting the challenges of your future.

Athabasca University’s (AU) Faculty of Business provides specific online courses and business programs to help you meet the requirements for entering the graduate level Professional Education Program of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Becoming a CPA

Chartered Professional Accountant logoThe Athabasca University Faculty of Business is working together with the new CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) association to ensure your accounting needs are met, but be sure you understand and keep apprised of any new regulations or requirements moving forward by researching with your provincial association.

Chartered Professional Accountant Designation

Globally recognized and respected, the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is your key to a successful career. If you’re looking to enter the world of business or finance, you’ll need the professional accounting credential that will open doors and enhance your prospects.

Becoming a CPA is a wise decision. While stereotypes still exist framing accounting as dull and overly precise, the fact is that Canadian CPAs are well-paid professionals who are in demand around the world. They are CEOs, board members, management consultants and more—and are critical to the success of any business or organization. Why become a CPA?

CPA Preparatory course listing required for CPA PEP

If your degree doesn’t include all the required subject area coverage [e.g., a degree other than a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)], you can get that coverage through the course listing that follows:

Courses listed below are CPA course equivalencies and transferability should be confirmed by your provincial or regional CPA body. To determine how CPA courses may transfer directly to AU please visit our transfer credit database.

CPA PREP Module CPA Prerequisites AU Course Equivalent
1 Introductory Financial Accounting ACCT 253
2 Introductory Management Accounting ACCT 355
3 Economics (Micro & Macro) ECON 247 + ECON 248
4 Statistics (MGSC 301 or MATH 215) + MGSC 312
5.1 Intermediate Financial Reporting I ACCT 351
5.2 Intermediate Financial Reporting II ACCT 352
5.3 Advanced Financial Reporting ACCT 451
6 Corporate Finance FNCE 370 + FNCE 371
7 Audit and Assurance ACCT 460
8 Taxation TAXX 301 + TAXX 401
9 Intermediate Management Accounting ACCT 355 + ACCT 356 + ACCT 454
10 Performance Management ADMN 404 + ACCT 356 + ACCT 454
11 Business Law LGST 369
12 Information Technology CMIS 351
Effective September 1, 2016; subject to change without notice. ALWAYS check requirements with your provincial CPA association.

CPA Degree Requirement

You must have an undergraduate degree with specific subject area coverage to be admitted to the CPA PEP.

If your degree doesn’t include all the required subject area coverage [e.g., a degree other than a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)], you can get that coverage through the course listing provided in the above section for PEP Preparatory courses.

CPA Preparatory courses

If you are seeking admission to the CPA PEP but lack some or all of the necessary prerequisites for entry (based on your transcript evaluation conducted by your provincial/regional CPA body), you can take courses to gain the knowledge requirements you are missing. You only have to complete the courses you require. These can be completed directly through us accessing the listing above or can be taken through CPA directly:

Minimum Grade Requirements

Students should always aim to achieve a C+ minimum. For specific details regarding minimum grades and minimum GPA requirements, download a copy of the CPA Harmonized Education Policy. (Minimum grade and GPA requirements are found on page 4).

Full information: CPA National Recognition and Accreditation Standards »

CPA Resources

Information on this site is the most recent available at time of posting. However, designation requirements are stipulated by each provincial accounting association and may change at any time.

Contact your provincial association to have an assessment completed and your course requirements confirmed. Keep this information for your records.

Transitioning from the CGA program to the CPA program

The CGA Program of Professional Studies ended in September 2015, at which time students who had not completed the CGA program were transitioned into the CPA program. Students transitioning without having completed a university degree can do so through Athabasca University (AU).

Undergraduate Accounting Students! There is important information regarding the Legacy CGA Transfer Credit Window. To go directly to the CPA website, click here »

What you need to know

Athabasca University has created an opportunity for students to transfer credits earned in the CGA program into the Athabasca University online bachelor of commerce, accounting major program—which will fulfil the degree requirement for the CPA program. Most students who transition from the CGA program to the CPA program will have until June 1, 2020 to complete the degree requirement; Alberta students must complete their degrees by September 1, 2018.

Enrol in Athabasca University’s online Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting major program and stay focused on your goal: achieving a professional accounting designation.

Plan your transition

You will be able to transfer the credits you’ve earned directly in the CGA program into our online bachelor of commerce, accounting major program to earn your degree. Once that is complete, your AU courses, along with your transfer credits from the CGA program, will also be recognized as prerequisites for entry into the CPA program. Athabasca University will grant transfer credit for courses you completed directly through the CGA program, and review your transcripts from your previous post-secondary education for any additional transfer credit.

If you have completed the academic requirement of the CGA program but not the degree requirement …

You have until June 1, 2020 (September 1, 2018 in Alberta) to complete your undergraduate degree and can do so with Athabasca University’s fully online Bachelor of Commerce, accounting major .

You can also check AU’s online Bachelor of General studies (BGS), which may help you satisfy your degree requirements more quickly. However, the BGS is a 90 credit hour degree, so this option is only be available for students who transition from the CGA program to the CPA program prior to August 31, 2015. If you are a CGA student in good standing as of August 31, 2015, you can still complete a 90 credit hour degree (by June 1, 2020 / September 1, 2018 in Alberta) to satisfy the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP).

After these dates, all students applying to the CPA PEP will require a 120 credit hour (4 year) degree or a 90 credit hour (3 year) degree plus CPA PREP and/or acceptable university courses to make up the 120 credit hours. How you choose to complete your designation will depend on your educational background and course work already completed. Any remaining requirements (degree and courses) outstanding for admission to CPA PEP must be confirmed by your provincial CPA office. Students should confirm their eligibility to complete a 90 credit degree with their provincial CPA office.

If you have a degree and want to take CPA prerequisites through Athabasca University…

You will transition into the CPA program based on the courses you completed in the CGA program. You can take Athabasca University courses to fulfil the rest of your prerequisite requirements for the CPA program.

Accounting Programs

AU’s Faculty of Business provides specific courses and programs to help you meet the requirements for various professional designations including the new Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

PLEASE NOTE: Most post-secondary courses are intended to meet the needs of a varied student audience and thus may not fulfill the requirements of any one professional accounting organization in their entirety. As a result, you should not rely solely on the courses listed herein to provide you with the level of knowledge, comprehension, or application required by entrance or other qualifying exams. You are encouraged to study for these exams based on the specific requirements outlined in the most recent syllabus of the applicable professional accounting organization. This may mean that you need to supplement your post-secondary coursework with more syllabus-specific studies.

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