CPA Canada Requirements - How to pursue CPA Canada after B.Com


Deciding what to pursue in the future as a B.Com student can be a perplexing task for many. It requires quite a lot of research before you finally find the career path that fits right into your current education and professional needs. Especially B.Com students interested in building a career in the field of Accountancy may find the CPA certification a perfect choice. Many pursue CPA USA, which is recognized worldwide and others focused on shifting to or already residing in Canada opt for CPA Canada. This professional certification offers many lucrative career opportunities in Canada apart from in India.
The CPA Canada certification can be your golden ticket to a successful and satisfactory accounting and finance career in Canada. 
Let's understand various aspects of the CPA Canada Certification, the career opportunities it would provide, and the essential CPA Canada Requirements.

What is CPA Canada?

The Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada is a professional certification offered to individuals adept at accounting, taxation, and finance. It demonstrates them as a professional with experience and knowledge of the fundamentals of complex concepts and works according to the Code of Ethics under the CPA Canada. As a B.Com student, you can opt for the CPA Canada certification upon fulfilling CPA Canada Requirements.

CPA Canada Salary

A licensed CPA professional becomes eligible for job roles depending on their preference across finance and accountancy-related fields, such as accounting, taxation, and more. As the demand for licensed CPAs in Canada is high, their expected salary packages are also pretty high. As experience increases, career growth, as well as the salary and compensation curve, slopes upwards.
The average salary of a CPA in Canada is around $65,000 per annum. Here are the average annual salaries of CPAs in some states of Canada.
  • New Brunswick - $65,756
  • Ontario - $46,000
  • Nova Scotia - $64,859
  • Saskatchewan - $40,000
Now let's take a look at the CPA Canada Requirements so that you can decide how you want to approach getting the CPA Canada, but before that, you should know how to get the CPA Canada certification.

How to get CPA Canada Certification?

The CPA Canada is a professional credential in Accountancy that is offered by the Accounting body of Canada to candidates who clear the CPA exam, validating their knowledge and skill set in the field of Accountancy. This signifies that in order to acquire the CPA Canada certification, you need to take the CPA certification exam and pass it to become eligible for the CPA License for practicing as a CPA in Canada. 
Therefore, it is now imperative to know the CPA Canada Requirements so that you can prepare for the CPA exam and clear it to acquire the CPA License. Let's check the CPA requirements along with the syllabus and exam format so that you can decide how to approach the CPA certification exam.
cpa canada requirements

What are the CPA Canada Requirements?

There are two ways to approach the CPA Canada certification. One way is to get a certification from the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), whereby you can apply for the Canadian CPA designation due to the MOU agreement between these two accounting bodies. Another way is by fulfilling some CPA Canada Requirements after BCom. 
In the next section of CPA Canada Requirements, we will discuss the eligibility requirements for registering for the CPA certification exam, the exam module as well as exam pattern.

Eligibility Requirements to Become CPA in Canada

Getting the CPA License can be a long and demanding process as it demands the highest standards of accounting and ethical practices to be followed. Overall, candidates need to fulfill four categories of CPA Canada Requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the CPA certification exam. Let's take a look at them one by one.
  1. Educational Requirements
The candidate needs to have an accounting major in their undergraduate degree. They need to satisfy the required prerequisites in their coursework to get admission to CPA PEP and start their journey. 
These are the specializations that have to be studied during the relevant coursework:
  • Auditing (excluding internal auditing)
  • Financial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Management and cost accounting
Moreover, individuals can join the CPA preparatory courses to complete their educational requirements to enter the CPA PEP.
Apart from the above-mentioned topics, candidates also need to be well acquainted with the Professional Ethics of CPAs.
  1. Working Experience
When it comes to working experience under CPA Canada Requirements, candidates are required to acquire at least 30 months or 2.5 years of work experience in the relevant fields at a public accounting firm or at a government organization or individual business.
CPA Canada Exemptions: Candidates with five or more than five years of professional post-qualification work experience without having a recognized University degree are exempted from assessment of the experience.
  1. Exam
Candidates without any professional certification or work experience need to clear the CPA exam within 18 months of enrolling for the CPA certification exam. For CA, CGA, or CMA candidates, contacting the local CPA body will help them transition into the Canadian CPA designation by sitting for the final test of the CPA exam. Such candidates are exempted from the other exam modules under the CPA Canada certification exam.
  1. Extra Requirements
As the CPA Canada certification is localized within Canada, candidates may be required to fulfill additional criteria requirements as specified by the Accounting body of the state in which they would like to practice.
Now that you know what the CPA prerequisites of CPA Canada Requirements are, let's move on to the next important section, that is, the CPA exam format along with the syllabus.
CPA course in Andhra Pradesh

CPA Certification Exam Syllabus

Being well acquainted with the CPA Canada syllabus will help you make mental notes on how to prepare yourself for the CPA exam. Candidates with or without an accounting degree are required to take different exam modules under the CPA Canada exam.
Being well acquainted with the CPA syllabus will make you mentally prepared for your preparation for the exam. The CPA certification exam is basically divided into four sections:
  1. Core 1 and 2
  2. Electives 1 and 2
  3. Capstone 1
  4. Capstone 2
  5. Common Final Exam (CFE)
Let's take a deeper look at the inclusions of each part.
This part consists of six integrated core competency areas, which include the following:
1. Financial Reporting
2. Strategy and Governance
3. Management Accounting
4. Audit and Assurance
5. Finance
6. Taxation
This part of the CPA PEP exam consists of two compulsory elective subjects, which candidates need to choose from a list of given options. Candidates choose any two modules:
  • Assurance
  • Performance Management
  • Taxation
  • Finance
Candidates who have knowledge or experience in Public Accounting must choose the following topics:
  • Assurance
  • Taxation
Capstones 1 and 2 focus on developing the practical knowledge of candidates, which they have acquired throughout the CPA exam. Capstone 1 module includes testing of leadership skills and professional skills along with the integration of competencies. The capstone 2 module focuses on developing case writing skills and helping candidates prepare for the CFE.

CPA Canada Certification Exam Format

The CPA Canada certification exam has been divided into 3 sections (Core, Elective, ad Capstone) to test the candidates on their competencies and knowledge to become a CPA. The exam comprises multiple choice questions (MCQs), task-based simulations (TBS), and written communication tasks. As a whole, they are collectively called "testlets". The CFE is held for three days based on the 6 modules at designated testing centers in Canada.
Candidates need to be thoroughly prepared as they are to be tested based on their skills and analytical knowledge of the concepts included in the syllabus.
Passing Criteria:
The CPA exam is graded on a scale of 0 to 99. In order to clear the CPA certification exam and become a licensed CPA professional, candidates need to secure a score of 75 in each section of the exam; that is, candidates need to secure 75% marks overall in the CPA certification exam.

CPA Canada After CA

CPAB is the Accounting body of CPA Canada that has signed MOU/MRAs with various accounting bodies in several other countries, offering a chance to practice as a Canadian CPA in Canada. In India, CPA Canada has an agreement with the ICAI (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) which means candidates affiliated with the ICAI are eligible to apply for the Canadian CPA designation and practice in Canada.
Candidates who have an undergraduate degree in accounting are exempted from appearing in CPA PEP, Capstone 1, and Capstone 2 modules of the exam and are only required to clear the final exam of CPA Canada called CFE to acquire the CPA designation.

CPA Canada Course Fee

Candidates need to pay different exam fees based on their location in Canada. Here is the information on essential fees related to CPA Canada.
ParticularsFee (in Canadian Dollar)
Initial Administration Fee$125
Annual Student Registration Fee$600
Total Registration Fee before Taxes$725
Taxes on Annual Student Registration Fee$16.25
Taxes on Initial Administration Fee$78
If you are an Indian CA, then you are exempted to give the Capstone 1 & Capstone 2. However, you need to write the prior cases of Capstone 2 and for this, the CPA Capstone 2 material fee is $250.
There are many fees involved which change as per the state. For example, you can check all the included fees for CPA in Ontario, Canada, here.


1. Is Canadian CPA better than U.S. CPA?

If you plan on settling in any region of Canada, getting a Canadian CPA will be better than a US CPA, as CPA Canada courses are specialized based on the region of application within Canada. In Canada, the CPA Canada certification is preferred more and is more widely accepted than the US CPA certification for candidates aspiring to build a career in Accountancy.

2. Is American CPA valid in Canada?

US CPA certification holders can avail themselves of the CPA Canada certification without having to take any additional exams. However, they are required to fulfill the CPA Canada Requirements

3. Is CPA Canada recognized globally?

CPA Canada is internationally recognized and has agreements with various accounting bodies spanning several countries, allowing CPA Canada certification holders to apply for membership in the accounting bodies in other countries.

4. How much do CPAs make in Canada?

According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a CPA in Canada is $700,000.


Deciding to pursue CPA Canada after completing your BCom can take a lot of information hunting that is concise and accurate. Now that we have summarized CPA Canada Requirements in one place, you can decide on how you want to approach the exam and become a licensed CPA professional.
To help you in your efforts, you can enroll in a CPA Canada course which will help you get the right guidance to crack the CPA Canada certification exam in just one chance! Enroll in NorthStar Academy for a well-rounded CPA exam preparation. 
You can get expert guidance and thorough support to prepare for the CPA Canada certification exam at NSA. They provide a streamlined CPA course for candidates aspiring to make careers in Accountancy. You will benefit from expert guidance from mentors like Mr M. Irfat to clear the CPA certification exam and become a licensed accounting professional.
If you enroll in NSAs CPA USA course, you can avail yourself of the Bundle discounts on the US CPA Exam fee. To aid in your preparation, NSA provides thoroughly researched, well-written, detailed study material, in association with Gleim, for the CPA exam.
So don't wait anymore for the next exam season. Join NorthStar Academy today and start your preparation for making a career as a successful CPA in Canada today!
Still, have any queries? Contact us to get them resolved by discussing them with our counsellors.