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Top 10 Accounting Certifications in Canada | 2022

Getting an accounting certification in Canada can be a good way to create a career pathway in the accounting industry. With accounting certifications, you can get advanced professional advancement. 

In Canada in particular, there are hundreds of accounting certifications that financial professionals can use to enhance their careers, achieve promotions, and get pay raises.

Each of these accounting designations is slightly different and has a different career focus. As a result, depending on your goals for your career, some of these accounting credentials may be the perfect fit for you, while others may not. Similarly, you may discover that having more than one of these certifications behind your name is useful.

In this article, we’ve put down a comprehensive list of the Accounting Certifications in Canada that can help you build a long-lasting accounting career.

Read Through!

What are Accounting certifications in Canada?

A Canadian accounting certification is a certificate in accounting anyone preparing to start an accounting career in Canada needs. You can get certificates in managerial accounting, payroll, and control depending on the area you want to specialize in.

While undergoing the process, you will help how to assess and forecast financial data, make smart decisions and develop a strong financial strategy. Also, you will learn how to properly read financial data and apply what you’ve learned to make important business decisions.

Is Accounting certification worth it?

Yes, it is.

The accounting and financial services business is one that is continually evolving. As a result, highly knowledgeable accounting professionals are in high demand.

As an accounting professional, you are required to have advanced abilities and competence in a variety of areas, from government laws to market demands. Failure to get certified can lead to a lack of career growth, a reduction in earning potential, and, eventually, a reduction in opportunities.

Also, obtaining accounting certifications allows you to stand out from other applicants or peers, putting you on the path to long-term success. And similarly enables you to earn a better salary than your colleagues that are not certified. You can even make more money if you are an independent CPA because you can charge more.

In terms of job security, as a certified accountant in Canada, you can be sure that your job is secured. You will even have an advantage over uncertified accountants.

Another interesting thing is that you can easily switch from one job to another with your certification. Accounting certificates, in addition to standard degrees, demonstrate proficiency and skill to prospective employers. You can have your average pay increase by 22% and your total compensation increase by 29%.

How do I become a certified accountant in Canada?

To become a certified or chartered accountant in Canada, there are different pathways you must take. Although each accountant certification has its requirements and procedures, there are basic procedures that by default, you must follow. They include:

  • Get an undergraduate degree in relevant concentration from an accredited university in Canada
  • Enroll in the CPA Professional Education Program
  • Get 30 months of relevant accounting experience
  • Finishing four education modules during full-time work experience
  • Passing the 3-day Uniform Evaluation (UE) exam, which that tests your accounting knowledge and competency

What If I don’t have an undergraduate degree?

Well, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can still sit for the CPA exams in Canada. You must, however, show that you have at least eight years of experience in CPA technical competency areas.

In addition, you must finish the CPA PEP preparatory courses, submit three letters of recommendation, and write a personal statement.

Then, the CPA Canada must review your credentials before certifying you as a CPA if you are not a Canadian or if you received your accounting training in a foreign nation.

Although there is this misconception that you can get a CPA certification just by education, that’s not true.

Successfully passing the CPA exam is what qualifies you for any CPA position. This means that before enrolling in a CPA school program, you should conduct an extensive study and speak with the accounting authority in your jurisdiction.

As a CPA, you have the option of working for a firm or working as an independent contractor.

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What is the Cost of Getting a CPA in Canada?

The fees associated with the Canada CPA vary from region to region. However, the Western School of Business (WSB) has a list of standard CPA PEP administrative fees that is available online. According to WSB, some of the costs (withstanding the fees associated with CPA PREP, if you must go through that program first) include:

  • Initial registration fee: $430
  • Annual Canada CPA dues: $1,020
  • Prior experience recognition fee: $510
  • New candidates dues: $510 to $1,020 per year
  • Module fees (for each of Core 1, Core 2, Electives, and Capstone 1 and 2): $1,260 each
  • Common Final Examination fees: $650 to $1,500
  • Module registration: $310
  • Transcript assessment: $100

Top 10 Accounting Certifications in Canada in 2021

Financial professionals can use a variety of accounting certifications to advance their professions, gain promotions, and increase their salaries. Each of these accounting titles is distinct from the others and has a distinct career focus.

As a result, depending on your goals for your career, some of these accounting credentials may be the perfect fit for you, while others may not.

With further ado let’s delve into the top 10 accounting in Canada certifications worth going for if you want to start an accounting career. Here they are:

  • Public Accountant Certification
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification
  • Internal Auditor Certification (CIA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst Certification
  • Enrolled Agent Certification
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) Certification
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Certification
  • Financial Planner (CFP) Certification
  • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Certification
  • Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) Certification

1. Public Accountant Certification

Offered: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Estimated cost: $2,000 to $3,000

First on our list of accounting certifications is Public Accountant Certification. These accounting certifications widen the possibilities of working with many clients, which increases exposure to diverse sorts of business operations, whether you work for a huge public corporation or a small or mid-size organization.

Above all, it is the highest certification for public accounting. That means, obtaining a CPA is essential for you if you want to build a career in accounting.

2. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification

Offered: IMA

Estimated cost: $1,000 to $2,000

Certified Management Accountant certification is among the top accounting designations in Canada. This certification focuses on the management of a company’s accounting. This is a topic that isn’t even included in the CPA test. With this accounting certification, you can fit into internal management and executive-level positions in businesses. And you can even be qualified to be an excellent COO or CFO.

However, this accreditation isn’t ideal for public accounting. It does not prepare you to conduct audits, make reports, or perform any type of tax job. It is solely concerned with management. To be frank, this is a useful qualification to earn if you wish to work for a Fortune 500 business as an executive-level officer.

3. Internal Auditor Certification (CIA)

Offered: Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)

Estimated cost: $1,500

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is the only internationally recognized designation for internal auditors, and those who have it demonstrate expertise in areas such as risk and control, information technology, and working with internal and external customers.

So, if you want to pursue a career in auditing and become a manager or chief audit executive, you need this certificate. With this accounting certification, you can comfortably complete audit procedures and assist independent auditors in larger corporations.

It is important to note that to get this certification, you must pass all three portions of the CIA exam, which take a total of 6.5 hours to complete. And you must have a bachelor’s degree and two years of internal audit experience.

4. Chartered Financial Analyst Certification

Offered: CFA Institute, a nonprofit based in the U.S.

Estimated cost: $2,500

Next on our list of top10 accounting certifications in Canada is Chartered Financial Analyst Certification.

In Canada, Chartered Financial Analyst Certifications are top accounting certifications designed for anyone who wants to work in the finance and investment industries. This certification shows a level of competence in regards to principles of portfolio management, investment analysis, economics, and professional and ethical standards.

Moreso, this accounting certification aids in the development of analytical thinking skills in the areas of finance, investment, and business operations. As a result, CFA®s make excellent controllers and CFOs.

To become a chartered financial analyst in Canada, you must pass the CFA exam which is only tested one to two times per year, depending on the level you are sitting for, the exam process takes far longer than the CPA exam. Note, you have a bachelor’s degree and four years of relevant experience.

5. Enrolled Agent Certification

This is another Canadian accounting certification anyone who wants to be an enrolled agent needs. The enrolled agent certification was created by the IRS to demonstrate one’s understanding of the Canadian tax code and ability to apply its concepts.

Basically, the EA designation does not teach you about finance, auditing, management, or other business issues because it is only focused on Canadian taxation of all entity kinds (including persons and businesses). It’s solely for tax purposes. If you have this, you are familiar with taxes.

However, it is a fantastic certificate to get if you want to work in tax preparation or internal tax work for a corporation. One thing to keep in mind is that all public accounting businesses prefer you to have a CPA over an EA, so if that’s your objective, you should go for it.

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6. Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) Certification

Chartered Financial Consultant Certifications is next on our list. The American College of Financial Services confers the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) title for financial professionals. The ChFC designation was designed as a replacement for the CFP designation. It is, however, less well-known than the CFP.

The ChFC provides an in-depth treatment of a wide range of financial planning topics, including insurance, income tax, and retirement planning. The ChFC contains exams at the end of each course, unlike the CFP, which has a final exam at the end of the program.

Basically, there are eight necessary courses and eight tests for the ChFC. The cost of obtaining your ChFC certification is $5,400 and it normally takes six to nine months.

7. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Certification

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants collaborated to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation (CIMA).

It is one of the top accounting designations a worldwide recognized accounting certification that was created by two of the oldest accounting organizations in the world.

If you are a current CIMA member, you are immediately eligible for a CGMA, and if you are a current voting AICPA member, you can take a shortcut to the designation.

Financial and managerial accounting, reporting, and strategy are among the topics covered by the CGMA. The CGMA is divided into three levels, each with three courses.

The CGMA is divided into three levels, each of which has three courses and its own test. In addition, at the end of each level, a case study test must be completed. As a result, there are a total of 12 exams in the CGMA.

The CGMA program takes three to four years to complete and costs between $3,000 and $5,000 when the necessary AICPA membership is factored in.

Depending on how long it takes you to complete your CGMA, this fee varies. The program charges a subscription fee for all materials, with the price increasing as the duration of the membership rises. Pass rates for the CGMA can range from 50 to 88 percent for first-time test takers, depending on the tests.

8. Financial Planner (CFP) Certification

Anyone interested in a career in investing or wealth management should consider earning the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. This qualification focuses on financial planning for high-net-worth individuals and ordinary investors.

Though the CFP covers a wide range of topics in wealth management, its concentration is narrow, making it less useful to other finance occupations. This accounting certification is divided into two tiers, each with two tests.

As part of the CFP process, you must also complete an FPSC (Financial Planning Standards Council) Level 1 qualification. This certification costs around $2,000 and takes four years to get. The CFP has a pass rate of roughly 67 percent.

9. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Certification

Offered: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Estimated Cost: $3,000

The CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst) is one of the top accounting designations that focuses on alternative investing. This financial certification is for those interested in working in the asset management and hedge fund industries.

Hedge funds, private equity, real estate, asset allocation, structured products, risk management, and ethics are among the themes covered by CAIA. While not as broad as other qualifications, the CAIA is quite beneficial in certain areas of finance, particularly in the management of alternative investments such as real estate.

There are two levels and two exams in the CAIA. The CAIA costs about $3,000 and takes one to two years to complete. CAI has a high pass rate.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants collaborated to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation (CIMA).

It is a worldwide recognized accounting certification that was created by two of the oldest accounting organizations in the world. If you are a current CIMA member, you are immediately eligible for a CGMA, and if you are a current voting AICPA member, you can take a shortcut to the designation.

Financial and managerial accounting, reporting, and strategy are among the topics covered by the CGMA. The CGMA is divided into three levels, each of which has three courses and its own test. In addition, at the end of each level, a case study test must be completed.

As a result, there are a total of 12 exams in the CGMA.

The CGMA program takes three to four years to complete and costs between $3,000 and $5,000 when the necessary AICPA membership is factored in. Depending on how long it takes you to complete your CGMA, this fee varies.

The program charges a subscription fee for all materials, with the price increasing as the duration of the membership rises. Pass rates for the CGMA can range from 50 to 88 percent for first-time test takers, depending on the tests.

Students usually spend three to four months studying for each exam, and six to eight weeks for each case study exam.

10. Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) Certification

Last but not least in the top 10 accounting designations is Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) certification. This certification is a worldwide recognized accounting certification that covers financial management, reporting, taxation, auditing, leadership, and ethics, among other topics.

ACCA is more internationally recognized and applicable than CPA since it focuses on IFRS rather than US GAAP. ACCA, on the other hand, is less applicable in the United States due to GAAP. Exemptions from the CPA exam are also no longer valid.

Three levels (modules) and up to 13 tests make up the ACCA accounting designation. The certification costs around £2,000 and takes about three years to complete. Because the ACCA has so many exams, the pass rate can vary.

Which Accounting Certification is the Best?

You’ve probably worked it out by now, but there isn’t an all-encompassing top accounting certification. They are all useful for different things, and you should choose the one that best matches your job objectives.

If you’re not sure what you want to do with your career in accounting, the CPA credential is by far the most regarded and commonly utilized. So, if you only want to do one thing, I recommend getting your CPA license.

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Accounting Certificates vs. Certification: What’s the Difference?

An accounting certificate denotes the successful completion of academic coursework, which is typically used to prepare for a specific career or as a prerequisite for professional certification.

Graduates of certificate programs are not usually automatically certified; they must usually complete additional steps, such as passing an industry-recognized professional examination, before receiving certification.

Candidates for professional certification must meet certain educational and experience requirements.

CPA candidates, for example, must have 150 credit hours in accounting from accredited institutions and at least one year of relevant professional experience.

Give a step by step guide on how to get Accounting Certifications in Canada

FAQs Accounting certifications in Canada

What are the top accounting designations in Canada?

Here are the top 10 accounting designations in Canada:

  • Public Accountant Certification
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification
  • Internal Auditor Certification (CIA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst Certification
  • Enrolled Agent Certification
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) Certification
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Certification
  • Financial Planner (CFP) Certification
  • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Certification
  • Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) Certification

How much will it cost to get Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification?

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Certification cost is about $1000-$2000

What are Accounting certifications in Canada?

A Canadian accounting certification is a certificate in accounting anyone preparing to start an accounting career in Canada needs. You can get certificates in managerial accounting, payroll, and control depending on the area you want to specialize in.

Is Accounting certification worth it?

Yes, it is.

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