Appealing option awaits students who complete CPA Canada's new accounting and finance certificate program

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - A bridging option to the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is now available for students who complete the newly launched Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (ACAF) program.

The ACAF, developed by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is an online education program for students looking for junior and intermediate careers in accounting and finance. It builds on the knowledge generally gained through a two-year college program. Thanks to a new agreement between CPA Canada and Athabasca University's Faculty of Business (AUFB), successful ACAF certificate holders can now use the ACAF as a progressive step towards earning the CPA designation. 

This online bridging option provides ACAF holders with advanced standing toward earning a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from AUFB. If successfully completed, students would have fulfilled the degree and prerequisite requirements to enter the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). 

"It's all about providing students with options for career progression," says Tashia Batstone, vice-president, education, with CPA Canada. "Our education programs are designed to be flexible so students can achieve career success at every level."

The ACAF was developed in consultation with employers from all sectors of the Canadian economy. It is the only nationally-recognized intermediate accounting and finance certificate in Canada. Students learn to apply the technical accounting and software skills valued in today's marketplace. The new bridging agreement recognizes these achievements towards the CPA designation.

Batstone says AUFB's extensive online experience and flexibility in working with Canada's accounting profession were key considerations in developing this appealing option for students. Athabasca University (AU) serves over 40,000 students in 87 countries worldwide.

"We have a long-standing practice of working collaboratively with Canadian professional associations to facilitate access to university-level study, says Dr. Deborah Hurst, dean, Faculty of Business at Athabasca University. "The bridging program is true to AU's commitment to remove barriers to access education by allowing students to study anytime and anywhere. AU's Faculty of Business is dedicated to student success and this exciting initiative ensures that windows of opportunity remain open. By providing opportunity, we help keep dreams alive."

CPA Canada's and AUFB's working relationship is a good fit since the ACAF is offered exclusively online, as are all of AUFB's educational offerings - meaning students can take it from anywhere in Canada and some international locations. "We are seeking bridging options offering the same online flexibility," adds CPA Canada's Batstone. Dr. Hurst notes, "our end goals are the same, providing relevant and flexible educational opportunities for students to take their careers to the next level."

For a detailed overview of how the bridging program works and ties in with achieving a CPA designation, visit:

About CPA Canada
The new Canadian designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), is now used by Canada's accounting profession across the country. The profession's national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is one of the largest in the world with more than 200,000 members, both at home and abroad. The Canadian CPA was created with the unification of three legacy accounting designations (CA, CGA and CMA). CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. CPA Canada also issues guidance and thought leadership on a variety of technical matters, publishes professional literature and develops education and professional certification programs.

About Athabasca University  
Athabasca University is a leader in the world of online learning and distance education, serving over 40,000 students in 87 countries worldwide. AU is a publicly funded, research intensive institution, dedicated to the removal of barriers that restrict access to and success in university-level study. The Faculty of Business offers flexible, dynamic and relevant business education, at the undergraduate and graduate level - developed and taught by leading academic faculty and business experts. AUFB pioneered the world's first fully interactive online MBA program in 1994, and our Executive MBA program is Canada's largest and ranks among the world's best. We continue to build on our tradition of excellence in graduate management education, launching Canada's first online DBA in 2009. AU's undergraduate and graduate courses and programs provide students the expertise and skills to succeed in today's fast-paced and globally connected world of business.


For further information: Diana Sorace, Manager, Media Relations, CPA Canada, T: 604-694-6700, C: 604-551-4487,,; Chris McLeod, Director, Marketing and Communications, Athabasca University, Faculty of Business, T: 750-509-7552, C: 780-965-0286,,


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