Belonging to a Professional Association
Belonging to the CGA Association is proof that you have graduated from a comprehensive and professional education program. As a CGA, you will be committed to maintaining a high standard of competence and will adhere to a rigorous code of ethics that ensures that you place public interest ahead of your own.
Being a member of a professional association brings with it professional credibility and the opportunity to promote the development of the accounting profession.
The Certified General Accountants Association is one of three national accounting bodies in Canada. Governed by its members, it has local associations in every province and territory of Canada ;and throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. Associations are being formed in China and Hong Kong, SAR.
Where Do CGAs Work?
CGAs hold key positions in industry, commerce and government. In public practice, CGAs are financial advisors and consultants to thousands of organisations and individuals.
The largest group of CGAs works in the business sector, in commerce, industry and service. These CGAs work for major financial institutions , large and small manufacturers, and for multinationals in a variety of sectors.
The second largest group of CGAs works for government and public services, including government commissions, municipalities and schools. Examples of positions filled by CGAs are those of tax auditor, financial officer and director.
The third group of CGAs are those in publics practice. These entrepreneurs serve the public by offering their professional skills as accountants, auditors, taxation specialists, and financial advisors. Their firms can be found in almost every community, offering a range of financial management services to a variety of clients.
A Program for the Future
In a rapidly changing business world, a successful educational program meets the needs of its students as they prepare to fill the demanding roles of their profession.
To this end, CGA has made significant changes in the content and delivery of its program, To ensure that students benefit from the best possible education, we have introduced a university degree requirement and a comprehensive exam at the end of the program. In keeping with our decision to make the most of technologies, we have developed a unique methods of delivering courses using Internet CD-ROM.
Throughout these changes, CGAs is retaining those features that have made it attractive to generations of accounting students : flexibility and a realistic approach to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s marketplace.
The CGAs certification process combines regular assignments, optional lectures, national examinations, a comprehensive final examination process and mandatory practical experience. Students who do not have a university degree upon entering the program now have the opportunity to enrol in the Bachelor of Accounting Science, delivered through distance education in partnership with the University of Calgary. Through the CGA program, students development as professional accountants with a solid academic background in the theory of accounting and finance, while gaining increasingly senior on-the-job experience.
Specifically, the CGA program developments financial managers who can
High academic standards and widespread academic credibility
Course Delivery Through Internet CD-ROM
CGA-Canada is converting its distance education courses to take advantage of Internet CD technology. Traditional distance education courses include text books, lesson notes and selected readings. Students submits assignments through the local mail system and have limited access to tutorial and administrative support.
With the introduction of Internet technology at CGA, students submit their assignment through e-mail and receive their marks and comments within a week, students have access a virtual student lounge, giving those in remote areas the advantage of exposure to fellow students and a community of learning . Resources such as frequently asked questions and an on-line tutor greatly enhance the services available to otherwise isolated students.
Using CD-ROMs makes more information available to students in a compact and easily accessible format. Sample exams , model financial statements and data files are just some of the material available this way. CGA is not abandoning text books, but other reference material is readily converted to the more friendly format of CD-ROM.
Not only is the Internet CD format a powerful means for delivering distance education courses, it also ensures that students develop the skills to use the Internet, an increasingly important business tool and means of communication. CGA has always been at the forefront of information technology training , and the Internet CD courses take this commitment one step further.
As of the 1998/1999 academic year, CGA students need a university degree
prior to accreditation as a CGA. Some vital facts about the degree requirement
A university degree is an achievement of professionalism recognised and expected by both the public and the corporate world, it provides proof of a broad outlook and ability to grasp and work with complex situations. This requirement ensures that CGA continues to provide students with industry-leading accounting and financial education.
Professional Admission Comprehensive Examinations
In 1997/1998, the Association restructured its professional accreditation process to include a mew examination that assesses candidates’ abilities to integrate and apply their academic and technical knowledge to professional situations. This change ensures that CGA final examination requirements continue to exceed t accepted international standards of the profession, including the recent guidelines of the International Federation of Accountants.
The revised accreditation process is known as the Professional Admission Comprehensive Examinations ((PACE) and comprises subject examinations in Financial Accounting, Finance, Auditing, and Taxation, plus a final integrative examination called Professional applications.
The subject examinations assess candidates’ competence in academic and technical knowledge as well as ethics and information technology. That is, they assess knowledge, skills, and abilities at the advanced levels of the major subject areas in the professional accounting curriculum.
The Professional Applications examination is the final examination of the program of professional studies. It tests the integration of knowledge and its application to the professional context of accounting and financial management.
The Professional Admission Comprehensive Examinations are comprehensive, assessing the wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities required by the Certified General Accountant. They are also integrative, requiring candidates to bring together technical and professional knowledge and apply it to realistic situations in the context of accounting and financial management.
All students enrolling in the CGA program of professional studies from the 1997/1998 academic year are requirement to write the PACE examinations. For program requirements for Hong Kong Students who enrolled prior to 1997/1998, see appendix A.
A detail overview of the PACE exams can be find in the Student Guide.
Practical Experience and Career Planning
CGA strongly supports the view that true professionals need to integrate concepts and skills with first-hand applications.
Before qualifying for CGA certification, all students must obtain a minimum two years of accounting-related practical experience. Generally, as students advance in their CGA studies they qualify for positions of progressively higher levels of responsibility and decision making. Graduating students will be employed in positions requiring well-rounded knowledge and high degrees of responsibility in accounting, auditing or other financial areas.
The Association monitors a student’s progress towards achieving the practical experience standard. Students complete an Employment Experience Questionnaire, which is attested to by the student’s employer. The Association evaluates completed questionnaires and notifies students of their progress.
Recognizing that starting in the CGA program creates new employment possibilities for many students, the Association allows you to enrol prior to obtaining related employment. However, admission into the study program does not constitute acceptance that current employment satisfied the experience requirement.
Students may obtain experience through full-time employment in industry, commerce, government or public practice. Because individual experience varies, the Association does not establish rigid rules about the type of experience students should acquire.
The profiles below provide general outlines of experience considered compatible with the study program at three main levels. Acceptable experience must be full-time, in accounting, auditing, or financial positions.
Fourth level students should be employed at a supervisory level
or in a position of equivalent responsibility. This implies experience
at an intermediate level.
CGA is committed to open access and high standards. Applicants with the following qualifications may apply for the program of professional studies:
Mature applicants, age 21 and over, with a minimum of two years acceptable business experience. In addition, the following people should apply for advanced standing in the program (see Transfer Credits, page 27):
As part of CGA's commitment to open access, the entry criteria are designed to exclude as few applicants as possible. However,in order to successfully complete the program, students must
While computer access is not a condition of acceptance, all students enrolling in the program will be using computers extensively and must have access to and familiarity with them. Proficiency in computer applications can be developed through the Association's Computer Tutorials (see Course Descriptions, page 17).
For access to a computer, students can
How to Enroll
APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR NEW STUDENTS
There are four enrolment periods for new students during the academic year. Students should enroll for a minimum of three courses per year in order to complete their studies during the assigned time limit. Students planning to enroll for more than one session are encouraged to register for all courses during the first enrolment period. See insert for application dates.
APPLICATION DEADL1NES FOR RE-ENROLLING STUDENTS
The re-enrolment period runs from July 2 to August 13, 1999. Send your application to the CGA Asia-Pacific Office or to the nearest China Representation Office.
All new students must apply for admission by completing the application for Enrolment form. Students should first apply for advanced standing in the program (see Transfer Credits, below).
Early registration is advised to allow time for processing and delivery or pick-up of course material and instructions. Applications received after the closing day may be accepted at the discretion of the Association depending on the availability of course material.
Because the CGA program of professional studies in Hong Kong is offered in conjunction with the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE) of the University of Hong Kong, an application should also be made to enroll in the(SPACE) Professional Program in Accounting.
The Association may grant transfer credits for examinations written at recognized universities, colleges and other professional associations providing the course content and standards are considered equivalent to any course in the CGA program.
Students seeking transfer credits must complete the application form (page 43) and attach the applicable fee (payable to CGACanada), along with original transcripts. Forward the package directly to the Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Region Office. Photocopies of transcripts must be certified by the CGA-Canada Asia-Pacific Region Office, SPACE, the China Representation Office, a notary public, or any District Office of the Hong Kong SAR government.
Once the Executive Director has confirmed your academic status, complete the Application for Enrolment and attach the evaluation letter. See the fee schedule for costs.
Transfer Credits indicated for the Diploma Program in Accounting at the University of Hong Kong are provided as a guideline (see page 42). CGA-Canada retains the right to evaluate qualifications and grant the appropriate transfer
credits to individual applicants.
In some cases, a challenge examination will be permitted if there is any doubt as to whether or not a full transfer credit is justified. A challenge examination exempts students from submitting weekly assignments; however, the GGA examination in that subject must be written during the first year of enrolment during the national exam sessions.
If unsuccessful on the challenge examination, students must complete the course in its entirety, including weekly assignments. There is a fee for each challenge examination, payable upon registration. This fee includes the examination and course materials.
CONDITIONAL TRANSFER CREDITS
Students granted transfer credits with a condition will not be assigned the transfer credit until the condition is fulfilled (e.g. AU1 transfer credit granted subject to completion of Practice Set 3). Students must inform the regional office in writing upon completion of the condition and request a confirmation.