CPA Requirements Ontario - Canada's New CPA Regulations


For individuals looking to build a career in the field of Finance and Accounting, the CPA Ontario certification offers a golden opportunity in Ontario, Canada. The CPA Ontario is the managing body responsible for accrediting the CPA professionals in the region of Ontario. Becoming a CPA in Ontario requires quite a bit of dedication and effort. If you are dedicated to becoming a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant), you need to be well aware of the CPA Requirements Ontario.
Having the CPA credentials automatically guarantees increased job prospects in the relevant fields of Taxation, Accounting, and Finance and increased job security with accelerating salary packages. If you are interested in obtaining CPA Canada credentials, get all relevant information about CPA Requirements Ontario in this blog. 
But let's first check how non-certified Accountants can benefit from obtaining a CPA certification in Ontario, Canada.

Why Obtain a CPA Certification?

With the changing landscapes in the finance and accounting industry, businesses, governments, organizations, and multinational companies are looking for exceptional certified accounting professionals owing to increasing global opportunities, ever-changing regulatory requirements of organizations and governments, and complex business acquisitions. 
The CPA credentials offer a head start to non-certified individuals, ensuring that the candidates possessing the certification have relevant knowledge and experience to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards. As an additional bonus, certified individuals earn 10-15% more than non-certified individuals. 
Now let us take a look at the CPA Requirements Ontario so that you know how to approach the CPA exam and obtain the CPA certification successfully.

CPA Requirements Ontario

If you are a good-standing member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India or ICAI that has an MOU/MRA agreement with CPA Canada, you can readily become a CPA in Ontario (Canada) by taking a condensed approach to the education process. To get the CPA credentials, you must clear the relevant CPA exam based on your professional knowledge and residential status before applying for the CPA Canada certification exam.
In the next section of CPA requirements Ontario, 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 Ontario

Getting the CPA License is not an easy task to accomplish. It can be a long and demanding process as it requires the highest standards of accounting and ethical practices to be followed. Overall, candidates need to fulfill four categories of eligibility criteria to be eligible to apply for the CPA Canada certification exam in Ontario. Let's take a look at them one by one.
  1. Educational Requirements
To fulfill the educational criterion, candidates need to acquire 150 semester hours of coursework, including 30 semester hours of accounting, out of which 24 semester hours have to be above the introductory level. The following specializations have to be studied during the relevant course hour:
  • Auditing (excluding internal auditing)
  • Financial Accounting
  • Tax
  • Management and cost accounting
Besides the topics mentioned above, candidates must also be well acquainted with the Professional Ethics of CPAs.
Alternatively, candidates who score 620 on their GMAT test and possess a graduation degree with 30 semester hours of coursework in accounting and additional work experience may not be required to fulfill the 150 credit hour criteria.
  1. Experience
Candidates must acquire at least one year of work experience in the relevant fields at a public accounting firm, a government organization, or an individual business.
  1. Exam
Candidates need to clear CPA PEP along with the CPA Common Final Exam (CFE), which can be completed within two years of registering.
  1. Extra Requirements
As the CPA, Ontario 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 PEP prerequisites of CPA Requirements Ontario are let's move on to the next important section, i.e., the CPA exam format, along with the syllabus.

CPA Canada Certification Exam Format

The CPA PEP (Professional Education Program) exam has been divided into three parts: multiple choice questions (MCQs), task-based simulations (TBS), and written communication tasks. As a whole, they are collectively called "testlets". The CPA PEP exam comprises a series of modules culminating in the three-day Common Final Examination (CFE).
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.
CPA PEP consists of four modules:
  1. Core 1 & 2
  2. Electives 1 & 2
  3. Capstone 1
  4. Capstone 2
In the CPA PEP, candidates must follow the mentioned path of exam modules:
  • Core 1
  • Core 2
  • Electives 1&2 (in either order)
  • Capstone 1
  • Capstone 2
  • Common Final Examination (CFE)
Passing Criteria:
The CPA PEP 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, overall, candidates need to secure 75% marks in the CPA certification exam.

CPA Canada Certification Exam Syllabus

Being well acquainted with the CPA syllabus will make you mentally prepared for your preparation for 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 Fee

When you decide to pursue the CPA credentials, you need to be well aware of the exam fee beforehand. You need to pay an Admission fee alongside a Registration fee with your application for the CPA exam. Let's take a look at the details of the CPA exam fee.
Candidates need to pay different exam fees based on the time of the year when they take the exam. 
If candidates are registering between January 1 and June 30, the CPA exam fee break up is as follows:
  • 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
The total Registration Fee due becomes $819.25.
If candidates are registering between July 1 and December 31, candidates need to pay the following Registration fee and additional fees:
  • Initial Administration Fee: $125
  • Annual Student Registration Fee: $300
  • Total Registration Fee before Taxes: $425
  • Taxes on Annual Student Registration Fee: $16.25
  • Taxes on Initial Administration Fee: $39
The total Registration Fee due becomes $480.25.

CPA Ontario Salary & Jobs

Being a highly in-demand professional credential, individuals possessing the CPA certification can make a career in Accounting with great career opportunities and salary. They can work for various organizations, MNCs, and businesses, as well as for government agencies and departments. 
Some of the most important job roles offered to licensed CPA professionals include the following:
  • Finance Director
  • Tax Manager
  • Accounting Manager
  • Controller
  • Business Analyst
  • Financial Analyst, and many more.
One of the perks of having a CPA job in Canada is the salary prospects of licensed professionals. Although it varies with experience and company, the average salary of a Chartered Professional Accountant in Ontario is around $65,000. It can go up to $80,000 in Ontario. While a Cost Accountant earns around $63,000 on average, a Treasurer can earn an average salary of $140,000.
Now that you know the CPA Requirements Ontario, you have to make a plan and take the right steps toward becoming a successful Chartered Professional Accountant.
CPA USA vs CPA Canada
CPA USA is another professional certification in the field of Accountancy offered by the Accounting body AICPA. CPA USA is more widely accepted than CPA Canada. Candidates with the US CPA certification can find jobs in the Accountancy domain anywhere in the world and are not just confined to Canada and its states. The US CPA certification is another alternative to CPA Canada for candidates who wish to practice Accountancy anywhere in the world. Let's take a look at the side-by-side comparison of the two certifications so that you can understand how CPA USA offers more benefits than CPA Canada.
ParticularsCPA USACPA Canada
Definition(Certified Public Accountant) USA-approved public accounting license for candidates who fulfill the state-board education and experience requirements and pass AICPAs Uniform CPA Exam(Chartered Professional Accountant) CPA Canada-approved public accounting credential for candidates who enroll in the CPA PEP, pass the CFE and fulfill the necessary education and experience requirements.
Accounting BodyAICPACPA Canada and the provincial/regional CPA bodies
Eligibility CriteriaBachelors Degree (150 credit hours) 1-3 years of Work Experience Passing the Uniform CPA Exam May vary as per the Jurisdiction.Enroll for CPA PEP Pass the CFE 30 months of relevant practical experience
Exam FormatThe Uniform CPA exam consists of 4 sections conducted over three daysCPA PEP exam questions including MCQs, TBSs, & Writing Case, Case studies
Professional education requirementNot requiredRequired to complete CPA PEP (must be a graduate for admission to CPA PEP)
Time Required to Complete18 monthsTwo years


1. How do I become a CPA in Ontario?

To become a CPA in Ontario, you have to take the CPA Ontario exam in Canada before fulfilling certain eligibility criteria to apply for the certification exam. All the relevant information has been discussed above.

2. Who is eligible for CPA Canada?

The eligibility requirements for taking the CPA certification exam have been discussed above.

3. How long does it take to become a CPA in Ontario?

Becoming a CPA in Ontario requires 6 to 7 years, including the years of graduation and additional degrees or credentials.

4. Do I need a degree to become a CPA in Ontario?

The short answer is yes. To enroll in the CPA PEP, you would require 120 credit hours or an equivalent degree. It means a graduation degree of three years probably won't be enough to get the CPA certification. You would need to possess a Master's Degree as well.


Attempting a career change or starting a new journey by opting for CPA can be quite challenging, given the specificity of the CPA practitioners based on their regions. Also, the CPA Canada certification is only recognized in Canada and specific regions of the country; however, the CPA USA certification is widely recognized and is more popular among Accountancy students and professionals worldwide. 
The CPA USA provides a professional credential in Accountancy acquiring which candidates can practice anywhere in the world. To help you in your efforts, NorthStar Academy provides much-needed guidance to prepare for the CPA USA certification exam.
NSA provides the most-preferred study material, which has been compiled after thorough research & caters to the individual needs of the students. By enrolling on NSA's CPA USA certification course, you can avail yourself of Bundle discounts on the exam fees. Moreover, access to online classes worldwide gives you the same benefits as classroom facilities.
Enroll in the CPA USA certification course at NSA, and start your journey to becoming a successful CPA professional today!
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