B.C.'s Professional Accountants Sign Historic Agreement

VANCOUVER, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - B.C.'s professional accountants have signed a three-way joint venture agreement to create the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), and the province's CAs, CGAs, and CMAs have begun aligning resources and will work towards unification of the three organizations.

"What's happening in B.C. is part of a larger, national initiative. Most of Canada's accounting bodies are unifying, or have unified under the CPA banner, and with 71,000 CPA members in Ontario and Quebec, CPA is now the largest accounting designation in Canada," said Richard Rees, CPA, FCA, CEO of ICABC. "Many other provinces are looking to introduce CPA legislation in 2013 or 2014, and we are hopeful to have CPA legislation in B.C. soon."

Enacting CPA legislation in B.C. in a timely way keeps the province in line with the national landscape and the Agreement on Internal Trade. CPA legislation represents a significant achievement in streamlining the province's regulatory regime, reducing three Acts to one, with one regulatory body and one set of professional standards, enhancing protection of the public interest through consistent regulation for all of B.C.'s designated accountants.

"Canada's largest economies have moved to the CPA designation, and ensuring we remain tied to a national profession not only strengthens our capital markets, it ensures labour mobility for our members and reduces confusion in the marketplace," said Gordon Ruth, CPA, FCGA, CEO of CGA-BC. "We are proud of what has been achieved in our province, and B.C. has been seen as a leader by the rest of the country in helping move this initiative forward in a constructive way."

"Together, we are working with the Minister of Advanced Education to enact CPA legislation as soon as possible, legally merge, and establish CPABC, which will be one of the largest professional organizations in the province with 27,000 designated members," said Vinetta Peek, CPA, CMA, CMA (Hon.), President and CEO of CMABC. "In the interim, each of the three bodies have changed its bylaws to regulate how members can use the CPA designation along with their respective legacy designations. This will bring BC members in line with Ontario and Quebec regarding regulation on the use of the CPA designation."

BC's professional accounting bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC (ICABC), the Certified General Accountant Association of BC (CGA-BC), and the Certified Management Accountants Society of BC (CMABC) have signed a merger agreement and are working together to establish the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPABC). When the merger is complete, CPABC will boast 34,000 members and students. Currently, accounting bodies representing over 90% of Canada's professional accountants in every jurisdiction are committed to unification or have already merged under the CPA banner. For more information, please visit www.bccpa.ca.

ICABC, CGA-BC, and CMABC protect the public interest through rigorous educational and certification programs to uphold the highest professional standards and ethics. The ICABC represents over 11,000 members and just over 1,800 CA students; CMABC represents almost 5,000 members and 1,000 CMA students and candidates; and CGA-BC represents almost 11,000 CGAs and nearly 5,000 CGA students.

SOURCE: CPABC

For further information:

For media enquiries, contact:

Diane Chung, Vice-President, Marketing and New Business Development (CMABC)
Telephone: (604) 484-7003
E-mail: diane@cmabc.com

Edward Downing, Director of Communications (CGA-BC)
Telephone: (604) 730-6208
E-mail: edowning@cga-bc.org

Kerri Wilcox, Director of External Affairs (ICABC)
Telephone: (604) 488-2625
E-mail: brkich-wilcox@ica.bc.ca

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