CPA Canada Requirements - Eligibility | Fees | Job Opportunities


A career in accounting may be gratifying for individuals interested in mathematics, financial reporting, and company management. The need for credentials and expertise in accounting has grown due to the ongoing changes in business accounting standards. Most high-level positions require you to complete an internationally recognized accounting course, such as CPA Canada. 
CPA Canada is a recognized professional credential that hiring managers seek when seeking financial expertise. Completing this would open up a new world of possibilities for you, mainly in Canada. Understanding the tasks and obligations of a CPA might help you determine whether or not you want to pursue this career.
In this post, we discuss the duties of a CPA Canada, the CPA Canada Requirements, and describe the processes to become one.

CPA Canada - An Overview

The CPA Canada, or Chartered Professional Accountant Canada, is a professional education program that originated from the merger of the three organizations listed below:
  • CIGA (Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants)
  • CGA-Canada (Certified General Accountants of Canada)
  • CMA Canada (Society of Management Accountants of Canada)
It is a credential given to registered accounting experts that offers up a world of prospects in corporate or public accounting. These professionals can also advance to higher levels of management in organizations, such as CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) or Financial controllers. While CPAs are most commonly associated with income tax preparation, these professionals can also specialize in bookkeeping, auditing, information technology, management accounting, and other areas.
Next, we will discuss all the major pointers of CPA Canada Requirements.

How to Become a CPA Canada?

You must clear all the CPA Canada tests and modules in Canada. Therefore, if you intend to apply for CPA Canada as an overseas candidate, you must adhere to the most important CPA Canada Requirements, which is to have a valid visa to sit for these exams. To become a fully certified Canadian CPA, a candidate must pass three key exams:
  1. Prerequisite education CPA Prep
  2. CPA Professional Educational Program CPA PEP
  3. The Common Final Examination CFE

CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP)

CPA PEP is a two-year graduate-level curriculum designed to improve accounting professionals' knowledge and skills. It is possible to pursue it part-time while working. To participate in the CPA PEP, CPA Canada Requirements are the following:
  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree in accounting or a related discipline.
  • Linguistic mastery of the English language (at least level 8 in the Canadian Language Benchmark)

CPA PEP Structure

CPA PEP consists of six modules. You must pass each module before moving on to the next. Following are the names of the module:
  • Two core modules
  • Two elective modules
  • One common capstone integrative module
  • One capstone evaluation preparation module

Common Final Exam (CFE)

You can take the CFE once you have passed every CPA PEP module. The CFE exam is a three-day case study-based test. Visit the CPA Canada website and look through the CPA Competency Map for further information on the CPA Canada Requirements for the exams. You are qualified for Canada CPA certification after completing the CFE and accumulating the required work experience.

Eligibility Criteria - CPA Canada

  • A bachelor's degree from a recognized Canadian university in a relevant discipline.
  • Have signed up for the CPA PEP.
  • Thirty months of relevant accounting experience are complete.
  • Completed four educational modules while active in full-time employment.
  • Have completed the three-day UE (Uniform Evaluation) test.
  • You must demonstrate that you have at least eight years of relevant work experience in fields related to CPA technical proficiency if you don't have a bachelor's degree in the appropriate discipline.
After going through all the eligibility criteria for the CPA course, lets further discuss the other aspects of CPA Canada Requirements.

How to Become a CPA in Canada?

Here are the several ways one can follow to become a CPA in Canada:
For New Students (Freshers)
If they achieve the required learning benchmarks outlined in the CPA Competency Map, students with undergraduate degrees in accounting are instantly qualified to enroll in the CPA PEP (CPA Professional Education Program). The CPA PEP is a two-year, part-time accounting curriculum with six modules for working professionals. 
Assume you are an international candidate who does not have a bachelor's degree in accounting. In such a scenario, you'll need to take CPA PREP (CPA Preparatory Courses) to brush up on your financial and other skills. The CPA PREP is a 14-module course that is far more flexible than the CPA PEP. According to the CPA Canada Requirements, candidates must finish one module before proceeding to the next.
You can also have at least eight years of work experience in any of the following fields:
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Financial Reporting
  • Finance and Taxation
  • Strategy and Governance 
  • Management Accounting
Students Undergoing a Transition
When you apply for the course, you will be moved to the appropriate CPA PEP program level if you have part-completed the CA, CMA, or CGA programs before amalgamating/merging with Canada CPA.
For Accounting professionals
You can easily switch to the CPA distinction if you already have the CA, CGA, or CMA designations and have finished any of these before September 2015. To discuss the CPA Canada Requirements and the procedure for taking the CPA exam, all you need to do is get in touch with your local CPA organization. If they pass the CPA Canada final exam, these individuals can obtain the CPA designation without taking the CPA PEP.

CPA Canada Syllabus

The Common Final Examination (CFE), often known as the CPA Canada exam, is an online examination administered at authorized testing facilities close to you. You must be proficient in English to take it, which consists of MCQs, writing skills, and simulation. You must receive a score on the CPA test of at least 75 to pass. The range of scores for each module is 0 to 99.  
The four modules covered are as follows:
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)
Canada CFE needs you to show the following throughout these three days:
  • Being able to articulate your talents in line with the CPA Competency Map's requirements.
  • Finish the test by applying what you learned from Capstone 1.

CPA Canada Course Fee

The CPA Canada course fees for overseas students vary based on their eligibility and the modules they must take. Depending on your registration, the overall cost of completing the entire procedure, including the PEP and preparation courses, might be as high as INR 7.5 lakh. However, if you are a CA, CMA, or CGA, or if you had finished a part of the courses before they were integrated with CPA, you will need to enroll in separate PEP modules. CFE registration alone (Days 1, 2, and 3) would set you back INR 85,000.
CPA Canada course fee full structure(in US Dollars) is given in below table:
Procedure Fees(in US $)
Initial registration fee   $430  
Annual Canada CPA dues   $1020
Prior experience recognition fee   $510 - $1020
Module fees   $1260 each
Common Final Examination fees   $650 - $1500
Module registration   $310
Transcript assessment:   $100
Following the brief overview of CPA Canada Requirements, we will move on to the work opportunities and salary structure that a CPA certified can get.

CPA Canada Job Opportunities

After passing the CPA test, a world of options becomes available to you. You may be recruited by the government, people, businesses, and non-profit organizations, or you may start your own business. A CPA expert can choose from a variety of positions in finance-related industries, including accounting, taxes, and more, based on their preferences. Depending on their preferences, they can handle the organization's financial records, carry out audits and provide financial reports for customers, or manage the assets, obligations, and taxes on behalf of their clients. Working professionals in the Canadian CPA field demand excellent pay packages as well as exceptional chances for personal development, rewards, and lifelong learning.
The following are some of CPA Canada's job roles:
  • Senior Consultant
  • Tax Consulting
  • Internal Revenue Agent
  • Research Analyst
  • Public Accountant
  • Senior Public Accountant

CPA Canada Salary

With a CPA qualification, you can start with better pay and more room for future advancement. In Canada, professional accountants receive an average salary of $141,000 across all industries, according to the CPA Profession Compensation Survey. Entry-level salaries begin at $60,250 per year, with the most experienced professionals earning up to $98,261 per year. CPA Canada professionals have the opportunity to advance to salaries in the mid-$90,000s after gaining ten years of experience. Candidates with CPA qualifications often earn between 50% and 60% more than non-CPA candidates.
One must keep in mind that there are various CPA positions that provide a high wage among the CPA job prospects. The compensation package of a CPA depends on a number of things such as Experience, Industry, Size of the company, and location. These are the characteristics that influence a CPA's salary in every location where they work.

CPA Canada vs CPA USA

Both certifications come with the advantages of higher pay, greater employment prospects, job security, and respect in their respective nations. However, the time and money needed to obtain a CPA USA license are not as high as those needed to obtain a CPA certification in Canada. There is no difference between the US CPA and Canada CPA when comparing employment duties, expertise, and career paths. Both provide beneficial financial advisory services for a variety of industries. Moreover, the CPA Canada Requirements are limited to Canada; however, the CPA USA can be obtained from any country.
The Canada CPA is the way to go if you want to enter the distinctive world of finance and business in only Canada with a license that can open the door to a magnificent future. The CPA USA certificate, on the other hand, is the best option for you if you enjoy working with numbers, want to further your accounting profession, and now reside in or intend to relocate to the US or anywhere in the world. The CPA USA has more recognition and demand worldwide compared to the CPA Canada.


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

 It is preferable to acquire a US CPA certificate if you are interested in working as an accountant in the United States or anywhere in the world. You will get knowledge of U.S. GAAP and be ready for a job in the United States. Additionally, it is quicker and more economical. You should enroll in the Canadian CPA program if you want to work and stay in Canada. If you decide to pursue CPA Canada, you can refer to the above article for CPA Canada Requirements 

2. Is US CPA valid in Canada?

If you're referring to acceptability by the job market, the answer is usually no. Given that the CPA license is governed regionally, US CPA licenses are not very common in the Canadian employment market. And the accounting standards used in the US and Canada differ. However, if you currently have a Canadian CPA and your work entails certain cross-border tax or financial reporting difficulties, you could find having a US CPA license advantageous. In addition, a Canadian CPA is often favored over an American one. You can fulfill CPA Canada Requirements and opt for this course to have an excellent career. 

3. Is CPA Canada recognized globally?

Yes. A number of international accounting groups have signed membership recognition agreements with CPA Canada that enable Canadian CPAs to apply for membership in those organizations and enable their members to qualify for the Canadian CPA credential. If you have finished CPA Canada after meeting CPA Canada Requirements,  you are eligible to work anywhere. 

4. How much do CPAs make in Canada?

 The remuneration of a CPA or Accountant in Canada varies slightly from that of other states and countries. In Canada, the average income for a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) is $65,830. It varies depending on the number of years of experience and the company you are working for. Entry-level salaries begin at $60,250 per year, with the most experienced professionals earning up to $98,261 per year. In terms of hourly compensation, a CPA makes $28.

5. Is a CPA without an accounting degree possible?

No, it's not possible. Every state requires CPAs to have a Bachelor's degree, and most of them also demand an accounting degree. However, in the following five states, you can become a CPA without a degree or major in accounting:
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
It's crucial to remember that to offer services in the state where you operate, you must be satisfying all the CPA Canada Requirements. You might be able to transfer your license and work in another state under particular circumstances.

6. Is it worth doing CPA Canada after CA?

Yes, as the majority of MNCs seek CPAs, it is beneficial to pursue CPA after earning your CA degree. If you do CPA following CA, you will undoubtedly have an advantage. For applicants who desire experience in the areas of finance, accounting, taxation, business, etc. There are several job alternatives that give decent salaries and improved work chances.

7. Are there any CPA Canada exemptions for ACCA?

 If you are an ACCA UK member and have a graduate degree from a reputable university (B.S.c Hons from Oxford Brookes University is a good option), you can apply for an ACCA reciprocal membership agreement with CGA Canada to become a Member of CPA Canada. It will allow you to use the CPA or CGA designation before your name. Furthermore, being a member of CPA Canada does not influence your immigration procedure.

8. Can I take the CPA Canada exam If I don't have a Bachelors degree?

As per the CPA Canada Requirements, even if you don't have a Bachelor's degree, you can still sit for the CPA exam. However, you must demonstrate at least eight years of work experience in CPA technical skills.


Now that you've learned about the CPA Canada Requirements and CPA USA certifications, the next step is to assess your prospects of becoming one and decide where to apply. After selecting the institute, the first and foremost thing is to pass the exam. If you are someone who wants to explore and enjoy a job with more global flexibility, then you must be searching for the CPA USA certification course.
Well! It is essential to plan your preparation and learn from seasoned mentors, which is why NorthStar Academy would be the best option. NSA offers real-time coaching to assist candidates in evaluating their possibilities and picking the best options. Using the precise and well-organized study material from NSA is strongly recommended since they contain complete knowledge to support CPA-specific learning. The live sessions and recorded lessons in their CPA USA certification course from renowned mentors like Mr. M Irfat.
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