Certified General Accountants (CGA)

Certified General Accountants (CGA)

   What is a Certified General Accountant?

Certified General Accountants (CGAs) are highly skilled financial management professionals who analyze and interpret financial information, think creatively and solve complex problems, and plan, forecast and carry out corporate strategies.

    Which organization gives the accreditation for Certified General Accountants in Ontario? 

Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario
Address: 240 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, ON M4P 1K8
Phone: 416-322-6520
Toll Free: 1-800-668-1454
Fax: 416-322-6481
Email: info@cga-ontario.org

         What are the steps to become a Certified General Accountant for Internationally-Trained Accountants?      

1.   Research the profession and the regulator in Ontario

The first step is to research the profession in Ontario to determine if it is right for you.  This would include looking at the other designations such as Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

2.   Determine if there is a Mutual Recognition Agreement for your foreign credentials

Under a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), there is a reciprocal granting of professional designations for qualifying members of both bodies.  The eligibility requirements are set by each body based on an extensive review of each other's accreditation policies and programs.  A Mutual Recognition Agreement usually facilitates obtaining the Canadian credential.

3.  Review the licensing/registration criteria for Internationally-Trained Accountants and make note of all documents, tests, and requirements that are necessary to obtain

The Internationally-Trained Accountant section of the Certified General Accountants of Ontario website provides a step-by-step guide through the accreditation process.
The ecareermaps.ca website has a great tool – Your Path to Becoming a Certified General Accountant (CGA) in Ontario – that guides you through the requirements for the CGA designation.

4.  Undertake an assessment

Once you decide that you are interested in getting the CGA designation, you must send documents of your qualifications and work experience to the CGA-Ontario for an assessment.  If you have a current or past accounting affiliation outside Canada, you may be exempt from some or most of the requirements to become a CGA in Ontario. 

5.  Review the assessment and create an action plan to meet your goals

After the assessment, the CGA-Ontario will advise you on what requirements you would need to meet in order to obtain the CGA designation.  Your prior education (degree from a recognized or a non-recognized university) and accounting affiliation determines your requirements for admission to membership.  Based on the assessment, you might need to enrol in certain university courses, write professional exams, and/or undertake relevant work experience to meet all the requirements. 

     Is it possible for my international work experience and credentials to help me become a Certified General Accountant in Ontario?  

Your international work experiences and credentials can enhance your competitiveness and potentially help you obtain advanced standing towards certain licensing requirements.  However, you are likely to still need some relevant Canadian work experience and credentials in Canada to be called a Certified General Accountant.

    What are soft skills and are they important for this profession? 

Soft skills refer to a set of non-technical or interpersonal skills that influence how individuals interact with each other.  They are important for all professions.  Canadian employers across all fields and industries have identified the lack of Canadian-specific soft skills and professional workplace communication as the greatest barrier to employment for internationally-trained professionals, regardless of the individual’s qualifications and education.  Understanding the local language and customs of business is the key to success in any workplace.

    What are some Professions North/Nord (PNN) services that can help? 

Portfolio Development
Sign Post
Online academic courses accredited for the CGA designations through Laurentian University or its academic partners
Intercultural Communication for the Canadian Workplace (ICCW)

         Is there financial aid available?      

Certain PNN clients can be eligible for a bursary for tuition fee for courses taken at Laurentian University under the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP).  Individuals planning to register in university courses should visit that university’s Financial Aid website for the various financial aid options available.

    What are some other useful resources/links for this profession? 

Ontario Immigration
CGA Canada
Office of the Fairness Commissioner