Why is the profession stopping its support for the ACAF program?

  • The CPA profession and Athabasca University stand behind the quality of the ACAF program. However, our research found that accounting diplomas are well regarded in the market and offer almost the same opportunities and salary lifts as ACAF.
  • This speaks to the quality of the existing accounting programs available, including the ones offered at AU.
    For this reason, the CPA profession has informed us they will begin winding down involvement with the ACAF program effective immediately, with the last two national exams taking place in February 2020 and February 2021. No further exams will be offered and there will be no extensions past the 2021 exam for unsuccessful writers.

What does this mean for me?

  • We would like to thank all the students currently enrolled for their interest in the ACAF program. The time and effort you have invested in your studies is valuable, and you have gained marketable skills through a quality program.
  • For those students nearing completion of the program: the CPA profession will ensure there are chances in the future to challenge the national ACAF exam. Those are being offered in February 2020 and February 2021. No further exams will be offered and there will be no extensions past the 2021 exam for unsuccessful writers.
  • Those who successfully complete the program will be able to note their ACAF certificate on their resume in perpetuity.
  • For those students who have either just entered the ACAF program or are part-way through: the competencies that were covered will serve you well, and you will be able to finish your studies though another of our accounting programs, which are well-recognized and respected by the market and will provide job-ready skills.

Please contact an advisor through the Student Support Centre to discuss your individual circumstances and what options you may have moving forward.

Whether you’re a new college graduate from a two-year program, working in an accounting function without a recognized credential, or an internationally trained accountant, the CPA Canada Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) provides the applied accounting and finance skills necessary to enhance career prospects in accounting and finance.

In addition, Athabasca University’s (AU) Faculty of Business will recognize the skills earned within CPA Canada’s ACAF and will provide students transfer credit and a pathway toward earning an online Bachelor of Commerce degree – a stepping stone toward entering the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

ACAF Program Structure

The ACAF program is made up of technical courses and applied courses.  Before a student can take any technical courses, they must take five entry courses.  Most of the courses for the ACAF are available through Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business.  The applied course offerings are currently being developed, with the exception of the Applied Personal and Corporate Taxation and the Applied Corporate Finance which are already available.

Note: The ACAF is a CPA program and is awarded by CPA directly.

If you already have a college diploma, you may be awarded block transfer credit; see

Diploma to Degree

CPA Courses & AU Equivalents

CPA Entry CoursesAU Equivalent Courses
Introductory Financial AccountingIntroductory Financial Accounting (ACCT 253)
Introductory Management AccountingCost Analysis (ACCT 355)
Intermediate Financial Reporting 1Intermediate Financial Accounting I (ACCT 351)
Intermediate Financial Reporting 2Intermediate Financial Accounting II (ACCT 352)
Business LawCommercial Law (LGST 369)
CPA Applied CoursesAU Equivalent Courses
Applied Personal and Corporate TaxationTaxation I (TAXX 301 v28 or higher) AND Taxation II (TAXX 401 v15 or higher)
Applied Corporate FinanceOverview of Corporate Finance (FNCE 370) AND Applications in Corporate Finance (FNCE 371 v4)
Please note that only the current versions of the TAXX courses qualify for ACAF Applied Taxation.

Additional AU equivalent courses are under development and will be added as they become available.

* Statistics for Business and Economics I (MGSC 301) and Microcomputer Applications in Business (CMIS 245) are required prerequisites to complete FNCE 370 and CMIS 351 if not previously completed.

ACAF Transfer Credit

ACAF students and holders will receive transfer credit toward the online Bachelor of Commerce Degree. This will give an ACAF holder the opportunity to complete CPA prerequisites and an undergraduate degree required for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).

  • ACAF students and holders may be eligible for up to 27 transfer credits towards AU’s online Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree. You may receive additional transfer credit for prerequisite courses taken depending on where and when the courses were taken. A transfer credit evaluation is required and an official transcript from all institutions attended to determine the final amount.
  • ACAF students and holders with an approved two-year diploma in business may be eligible to receive up to 87 credits towards AU’s online Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree. Transcripts of the college diploma will need to be submitted to AU for assessment. *
  • The online Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree consists of a total of 120 credits.
  • ACAF holders will be required to provide transcripts from CPA Canada showing successful completion of all ACAF required courses.

AU’s transfer credit service allows you to find out how your previous education could be assessed as credit toward Faculty of Business programs.

» Check if your previous credits transfer

Ontario block transfer amounts granted for diplomas will differ. This information is based on students holding ACAF courses in addition to their diploma course work. If ACAF credits are taken within the diploma then they are not eligible for additional credits beyond the diploma. Please consult with an advisor or check our diploma to degree page for more details on your specific transferability. 


Additional Information

  • Tuition fees are not required for transfer credit courses; however a one-time transfer credit fee of $110.00 will apply.
  • Transfer credit will not be accepted if course(s) were completed more than:
    • 10 years ago in the Business and Administrative Studies area of study at the senior (300/400) level;
    • 5 years ago in CMIS (all levels);
    • 10 years ago in Statistics (all levels).
  •  Transfer credit being used to satisfy options other than those in the Business and Administrative Studies area will not be restricted.
  •  If you are currently working in the field and provide evidence of work being completed, this restriction may be waived at the sole discretion of AU.