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Becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) is your ticket to a world of opportunity in accounting and finance. CPAs are in demand thanks to their financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight and leadership skills.

There are many paths to the CPA designation, whether you are a student in your final year of university, an internationally educated professional or interested in advancing your current career. If you have any general questions about becoming a CPA, you can attend one of our info sessions or watch a webinar. If you are ready to proceed, all the information you need is here to get started today.

Your Path to Becoming a Student with CPA Ontario

Step 1: Complete a Self-Assessment and Plan Your Journey
Step 2: Submit Your Completed Transcript Assessment Package
Step 3: Pay the Transcript Assessment Fee
Step 4: Receive Your Transcript Assessment Results
Step 5: Apply to Register as a Student with CPA Ontario
Step 6: Enrol in a Course, Module or Exam
Step 7: Begin Reporting Practical Experience

Step 1: Complete a Self-Assessment and Plan Your Journey

Are you eligible to register in the CPA certification program? CPA Ontario has tools to help you determine your eligibility:

If you are currently an undergraduate student or have graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution (PSI) in Ontario and intend to complete the CPA certification program through the CPA Path, CPA Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool can help you determine which, if any, prerequisites are outstanding.

If you are an internationally educated professional, please proceed to Step 2.

If you are an undergraduate student or have graduated from a Canadian PSI outside of Ontario, you can use course maps to find out which of your PSI’s courses are recognized for entry into the CPA certification program. If a prerequisite course is recognized in another province or region for entry to CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) and/or exemption from the preparatory courses, CPA Ontario may also accept that course.

Once you’ve confirmed you are eligible to begin the CPA certification program, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Submit Your Completed Transcript Assessment Package

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
The following changes are effective as of August 1, 2016:

  • Official transcripts are required to have a transcript assessment carried out. Learn more about official and unofficial transcripts.
  • The CPA Prerequisite Education Program (CPA PREP) will be renamed as “preparatory courses”. The entry requirement for preparatory courses is 30 credit hours of post-secondary study (equivalent to one year of full-time study) at a PSI or three years relevant work experience. A four-year 120 credit hour degree in still required for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP). For more information please review CPA Program Prerequisites.
  • CANADA POST STRIKE & OFFICIAL DOCUMENTATION
    Should a strike be announced at Canada Post, required official documentation may not arrive to CPA Ontario’s offices within regulatory deadlines. While postal service is interrupted, students may submit an order confirmation for each official transcript request to verify that the official transcripts have been ordered within the required timelines. This proof can be a copy of the receipt of the order, invoice or similar. Order confirmations should be included as part of the transcript assessment package; however, students who are providing official documentation after having registered should submit their order confirmation(s) to transcripts@gocpaontario.ca.

Transcript assessments are a necessary step for entry into the CPA certification program. However, in some cases, a transcript assessment is not applicable. Please review the information below carefully before proceeding:

Transcript assessment requests should be submitted if you:

If you fall into one of the categories below, do NOT submit a transcript assessment request at this time. Instead please select a category for more information:

Instructions for Submitting an Assessment Request

A:
Carefully review the Transcript Assessment Form 6-1A(P1).
B:
Complete the Transcript Assessment Form (if you are requesting course advice, be sure to complete Section D).
C:
When sending in official transcript(s), request an official transcript(s) from all PSIs you attended, and have the Registrar’s Office send it directly, in a sealed envelope, to CPA Ontario at the address below. Retain your order confirmation for each transcript request.
D:
Prepare all documentation to be included in your transcript assessment package, including:
E:
Email all required documentation in your transcript assessment package to transcripts@gocpaontario.ca or mail it to:
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
69 Bloor St. East
Toronto, ON  M4W 1B3
Attn: CPA Ontario Transcript Assessments & Registration

Important: Emailed documentation must be in PDF format. JPEG or Word files will not be accepted.


Be sure your transcript assessment package is complete before submitting it, as incomplete packages will result in processing delays and additional fees if additional documents are submitted after the transcript assessment results are provided (see reassessments). Please note that any documents submitted for a transcript assessment will not be returned.

PLEASE NOTE:
Registration as a student with CPA Ontario is a separate, subsequent step (see Step 5). When submitting your transcripts, be sure to allow for an additional 10 business days to process your complete registration application once your assessment results are provided. Applications submitted outside of these timelines cannot be guaranteed enrolment in upcoming modules or exams.

PLEASE NOTE:
CPA Ontario communicates primarily via email. Ensure that CPA Ontario is on your list of approved senders, and check your email regularly.

If you have submitted your transcript assessment package, you are now ready to proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Pay the Transcript Assessment Fee

The transcript assessment fee is $150 (plus HST). CPA Ontario will send you an email containing a link to the payment page within five business days after receiving your package. Payment must be made online using a VISA or MasterCard. To ensure a timely result, please pay the fee promptly as your assessment will begin once payment and all required documentation has been received. If payment is not received within 30 days of this email, the assessment will be cancelled.

For a list of all fees, please see the Member’s Handbook, section 4-2.

CPA Ontario will review your transcript assessment package and, if it is complete, we will begin your transcript assessment. If we do not have a complete package we will contact you for any outstanding documentation. After you have paid your transcript assessment fee, you will receive your results as described in Step 4.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
As of August 1, 2016, incomplete packages will result in a transcript reassessment fee of $150 (plus HST).

Step 4: Receive your Transcript Assessment Results

Once your transcript assessment has been completed, you will receive your results via email.

Transcript Assessment Timelines: Currently, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to process a transcript assessment package once payment and all required documents have been received. For transcripts from outside of Canada, please allow 6 to 8 weeks.

Transcript assessment results confirming eligibility to register in the CPA certification program are valid for one calendar year from the date of the assessment letter.

Once you have received your results, please proceed to Step 5 to register as a student with CPA Ontario.

Step 5: Apply to Register as a Student with CPA Ontario

If you are eligible to enrol in the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) or preparatory course(s), your transcript assessment results will include instructions on how to register as a student with CPA Ontario. You must register as a student under Regulation 6-1 prior to enrolling in any preparatory course, CPA PEP module or challenging an exam. Processing your registration will take up to 10 business days. Incomplete registration applications may cause delays.

To register:

A:
Log in to the CPA Ontario student portal using the login information provided in your transcript assessment results. The first time you login you will be required to create a password. If you do not have your login information, please contact customerservice@cpaontario.ca.
B:
Complete the online CPA Ontario Student Registration.
C:
Pay the registration fees online. Note that payment must be made online using a VISA or MasterCard, or via company cheque from your employer by using the ‘pay by employer’ option.

For a list of all fees, please see the Member’s Handbook, Regulation 4-2.

CPA Ontario will review your registration application and contact you via email with confirmation and details on how to enrol in a preparatory course, CPA PEP module or exam – see Step 6. Please note that your completed registration must be received at least 10 business days prior to a module or exam enrolment deadline, otherwise enrolment cannot be guaranteed.

PLEASE NOTE:
There are some exceptions to the registration process outlined above. Please select a category below for more information:

For additional information about registration, please see Regulation 6-1.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
Conditional Registration – Effective August 1, 2016

  • A student who has completed at least 30 credit-hours at a PSI, but has not yet completed all of the academic requirements, may apply to register conditionally in the University Graduate category for a maximum period of 7 years. For more information please review Regulation 6-1 (s.7).
  • A student who has not completed at least one year at a PSI, but has completed at least three years of relevant accounting or business work experience, may apply to register conditionally under the Mature Student category for a maximum period of 7 years. For more information please review Regulation 6-1 (s.7).

After registering as a student with CPA Ontario, you can proceed to Step 6 to enrol in a course, module or exam, and Step 7 to begin reporting your practical experience. Steps 6 and 7 can be completed in any order or simultaneously.

Step 6: Enrol in a Course, Module or Exam

Once you have registered as a student with CPA Ontario, you may enrol in a course, module or exam provided that you meet the eligibility requirements. For information on modules, exams and enrolment deadlines, please see the CPA Ontario PEP schedule and preparatory course schedule.

PLEASE NOTE:
CPA Ontario’s preparatory courses have not been assessed by the Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario (PAC) and, therefore, any individual enrolling in in a CPA preparatory course is not eligible for a public accounting license. See Regulation 9-1: Public Accounting Licensing.

Step 7: Begin Reporting Practical Experience

Once you have registered as a student with CPA Ontario, you may begin recording your practical experience. 30 months of practical experience are required to complete the CPA Program. Students track their experience through the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT).

Within a few business days of enrolment, you will receive an email from Brightspace (formerly Desire2Learn or D2L), CPA Ontario’s online learning platform, with your login information. Log in to Brightspace and complete the mandatory Orientation Course, receiving a minimum grade of 60% in order to gain access to PERT. For more information on requirements and how to submit your practical experience report, please visit CPA Ontario Practical Experience Requirements.

For more information, please refer to the resources below: