The American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Professional Accountants of  Canada have reached an agreement to give CPAs in both the U.S. and Canada access to the same technical resources and credentials that signify advanced proficiency in the disciplines of forensic and technology advisory services to promote greater consistency across North America.

The agreement between the AICPA and CPA Canada, which builds on a history of cross-border collaboration, extends to CPAs in Canada the opportunity to tap into a broad portfolio of specialized information—including practice aids, webcasts, newsletters and online forums—through the AICPA’s Information Management and Technology Assurance Section and its Forensic and Valuation Services Section.

Under the agreement with the AICPA, CPA Canada members will be able to join those sections and, with specific qualifications and experience, obtain the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) credentials that distinguish CPAs in the practice areas.

In addition to the forensics and technology areas, CPA Canada members can take advantage of AICPA resources in business valuation and personal financial planning. CPA Canada and the AICPA also plan to evaluate the potential for the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credentials in the future.

The AICPA’s governing council set the stage last May for the expanded cross border relationship, authorizing the Institute through its board of directors to offer specialized credentials to non-U.S. accounting professionals (see AICPA Aims to Offer Credentials Overseas). The resolution required that the AICPA work only with accounting bodies with significant national or international stature and stringent eligibility requirements and codes of conduct.

“In the United States and Canada, the CPA designation is recognized as a beacon of discipline, objectivity and capability,” said AICPA vice president for member specialization and credentialing Jeannette Koger in a statement. “This agreement reinforces its strength in rapidly growing, highly specialized practice areas. It gives clients across North America a benchmark for top level quality—the CFF and CITP credentials—and creates opportunity for CPAs in both countries to collaborate in new ways to advance the public interest.”

CPA Canada was established in January 2013 to support unification of Canada’s three legacy accounting designations (Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified General Accountant) under the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. 

“Clients and employers increasingly look for specialized skillsets to tackle issues made more complicated by technology and the pace of globalization,” said CPA Canada director of continuing education Frank Colantonio. “This alliance between CPA Canada and the AICPA will help them more easily identify financial professionals across North America who have met the highest bar of competency to navigate complex issues like technology risk and fraud prevention.”