The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) has joined CPA Canada, completing the long and sometimes fractious process of integrating the country's national accounting bodies.

More than 190,000 accountants are now represented by a single national body, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, also known as CPA Canada. CPA Canada was established last year by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada).

“With integration, we are one of the largest national accounting bodies in the world,” says CPA Canada president and CEO Kevin Dancey in a statement Wednesday. “A common vision with a strengthened voice gives Canada's accounting profession greater influence both at home and abroad.”

Proponents of the integration argued that a single professional accounting industry organization would have greater influence, and the move would bring greater clarity, making it easier for stakeholders to understand who represents the profession nationally and internationally.
“CPA Canada clearly will be viewed as a strong voice for advancing sound public policy both domestically and for our country on the global stage,” said Dancey.

Canada's accounting profession has also continued a steady transition to the new Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Timing for use of the CPA designation will vary across the country because the profession is provincially regulated, CPA Canada noted. In some provinces, legislation has passed and in others it is progressing.

"This is an exciting transition period for Canada's accounting profession," said Pat Keller, chair of CGA-Canada, in a statement. “There is still work to be completed at the provincial level and it is important that all stakeholders recognize the Canadian CPA as Canada's pre-eminent business and accounting designation.”

CPA Canada has almost 400 employees operating out of four locations: Toronto, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; and Burnaby, British Columbia.

The organization has a 20-member board of directors, reflecting a cross-section of regional representation, legacy designations and public input.

Immediately following CPA Canada's Annual General Meeting on Sept. 24, 2014, Bob Strachan was appointed chair of the board of directors and Alain Côté took the position of vice-chair. Strachan, who resides in Victoria, British Columbia, has been a member of the board since its inception in January 2013 and had been serving as vice-chair since Sept. 26, 2013. His 40-year career included senior roles in financial and risk management, treasury, asset management and taxation. He also has provided governance advisory services for the government and education sectors. Strachan co-chaired the National Steering Committee overseeing the formation of CPA Canada and chaired the Board of Directors of CMA Canada.

Côté, who is based in Montreal, Quebec, brings 35 years of experience to the role of vice-chair of CPA Canada. He has provided audit and advisory services to companies of all sizes, particularly financial institutions. Côté also was a member of the board of directors of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec, including serving as its chair from 2009-2011.

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