Canadian accountants consider merger
May 29, 2012
Earlier in the year, the three major accounting organizations in Canada decided to propose an initiative that would unify all members under one framework. Leaders from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified Management Accountants of Canada and the Certified General Accountants of Canada created guidelines and rules that would govern all members should the movement be accepted.
However, recent opposition to the idea seems to have shelved the movement, at least temporarily. If Canadian accountants were to merge into one group, that may have made many financial processes easier on business owners.
Potential merger terms
According to Accounting Today, many leaders of the three main bodies wanted to create a new overarching job title - the Chartered Professional Accountant. To qualify as a CPA, workers would have to pass a new certification course.
Accounting Today said the three groups claimed merging into one would not only benefit the accountants themselves, but also the international and domestic business communities.
On the rocks?
The unification may not come to fruition, at least not in the near future, the Financial Post reported. A number of Ontario-based accountants decided unification with professionals in the two other groups would result in the forfeiture of some rights, which was unacceptable. The source said British Columbian accountants soon followed in their footsteps.
"Because Ontario represents 50 percent of the Canadian accounting profession and is Canada's financial center, [the group] cannot support moving forward with unification without a similar merger in Ontario," CGA's chief executive Gordon Ruth said in a statement, the Financial Journal reported.
On May 28, the CGA took itself completely out of the running for merging in all provinces, according to the Globe and Mail, after workers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia echoed the sentiments of those in British Columbia. The fact that the bodies did successfully merge in Quebec will not be affected by this move, the source confirmed.
Effects on business
Should this movement be shelved, as many experts foresee, the future unification of Canadian accountants may affect the way businesses handle their accounting software. The certification required to become a CPA would ensure that every accountant receives training in a number of software programs, which would then make hiring a professional experienced with the company system a much easier process.
Additionally, business owners could benefit from the working relationship that could be formed with one CPA that would be familiar with the company. The Globe and Mail indicated that if the bodies remain separate, firms would have to deal with a different professional in the event of an audit than they would during regular in-house operations.