Québec, Canada, the world
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) is a self-regulating professional association that represents 73,000 members and students — the CGAs of today and tomorrow. Today, CGA-Canada is the fastest growing Canadian professional accounting organization.
CGAs work all around the world, in industry, commerce and finance, the public sector, the government, public practice and other areas where accounting or financial management services are required. Their clients range from major corporations to industries to entrepreneurs.
CGA-Canada represents CGAs and students in Canada, as well as Bermuda, the nations of the Caribbean, the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. CGA-Canada sets educational standards, professional guidelines, provides services and develops the CGA Program of Professional Studies. CGA-Canada contributes to national and international accounting standard setting through co-operative professional relationships with other accounting bodies, represents the interests of the public and CGAs, and serves as an advocate for accounting professional excellence. CGA-Canada establishes professional standards for its members through the Code of Ethical Principles and Rules of Conduct, the CGA Independence Standard and mandatory continuing professional development.
History of CGA-Canada
The Certified General Accountants Association was founded in Montreal by John Leslie, Assistant Comptroller of the Canadian Pacific Railway, to help accountants enhance their professional skills. The association enjoyed considerable popularity upon its creation and on April 14, 1913 was federally incorporated.
The Program of Professional Studies
The Program of Professional Studies began in 1910 as a series of courses to sharpen members’ skills. The program evolved over the next four decades and, in 1950, a standardized, nation-wide curriculum developed with the University of British Columbia was introduced.
Today, the program boasts some 26,000 students enrolled in its program. Competency-based learning through online education allows students to earn while they learn and attracts mature students, university graduates, and those just finishing high school. Partnerships with major universities and colleges that offer students and members online university degrees are an added incentive for those looking to fast-track their career.
The association grew significantly in the first half of the twentieth century and with that growth came unique regional and national requirements. The provincial and territorial branches received their own government charters beginning in the 1950s. In 1991, an Affiliation Agreement between the national organization and the provincial and territorial affiliates further defined their respective roles and responsibilities. This agreement has strengthened the association, allowing it to better meet its mandate on all fronts. It also provided the foundation for the federation as a whole to work toward the goal of full practice rights for CGAs in every province.
Speaking Out for Members and the Public
As the national and international representative for the CGA designation, CGA-Canada contributes to accounting standards through its relationships with accounting organizations in Canada and abroad.
CGA-Canada also works on behalf of its members by making efforts to obtain full practice rights in every province, pressuring the government to extend the role of the Canadian Public Accountability Board in the wake of the various financial scandals, publishing a thorough analysis of federal budgets and promoting tax reforms for individuals and SMEs.
The Future…100 Years from Now
Today, CGA-Canada works closely with its provincial and territorial and CGA affiliates to ensure that:
- CGA is recognized as a leading national and international accounting designation;
- the principles laid out in the national association’s mission statement successfully carry it into a second century of service.