CPA 101: What’s happening to current CMA programs?

Since the beginning of September, CMA BC and ICABC have been on campuses across the province, attending career fairs and providing information to students about our move to the CPA Certification Program. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we’re hearing from students (see our previous post as well):

If I’m entering the CMA program in 2013, how will the transition to the new program affect me? Will I have to start over in the CPA program?

Students entering the January 2013 intake of the CMA Accelerated Program will be able to complete that program as well as the current CMA Strategic Leadership Program. The last Board Report for CMA students will take place in September 2015, and no national legacy exams will be held after the first CPA Common Final Examination in September 2015.

Any student needing to make the transition from legacy programs to the CPA program will be fully supported by the profession, and bridging programs will be provided. All of the education or practical experience requirements completed through legacy programs will count towards the CPA requirements.

When will the final CMA National Entrance Exam be offered? 

The final National Entrance Exam will be offered in late 2013.

I plan to write the CMA National Entrance Exam in June 2013. What happens if I fail?

You would have one more opportunity to write the entrance exam in October 2013. If you are not successful, you will bridge into the new CPA Accelerated Bridging Program at the appropriate point.

When will the last CMA Board Report be offered?

There will be no Board Reports after the launch of the CPA Common Final Examination in Fall 2015.

We will continue to provide updates and answers to your frequently asked questions. Visit or for more information on the CPA designation.

9 Responses to CPA 101: What’s happening to current CMA programs?

  1. George says:

    So, does that mean if I join cma now, complete the accelerated
    Plan this year, I would not have to retake the same topics
    Covered in that program if at that point I could merge into the CPA? With all the uncertainty, wouldn’t it be simpler to join the accounting profession through the CPA directly, without becoming a member of a legacy program?

  2. Katie Hensrud says:

    Hi George,

    If you were to complete the current CMA Accelerated Program and Strategic Leadership Program you would become a CPA, CMA. After ten years legacy designation will drop and you will just be a CPA. CMA and CA members will not have to take any additional courses when legacy tagging is implemented. However, it is too late for you to enroll in the final intake of the CMA Accelerated Program as the registration deadline was December 7, 2012 and the classes are now all full. The new CPA Accelerated Bridging Program will be offered starting July 2013 and will give you all the prerequisites required for the two year CPA professional education program.

    I hope this clarifies things. If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me at

    Best regards,

  3. Kevin says:

    I see that you advised George that the first CPA Accelerated Bridging Program will be offered starting July 2013. I’m finishing a set of tests for another designation in June 2013, and am looking at the CPA.

    Here’s the thing, though – I live in Newfoundland. Does the July 2013 intake just apply to those living in BC, or is this first CPA Accelerated Bridging Program intake nationwide? Appreciation for taking the time to answer in advance.


  4. Kevin says:

    BTW – the reason that I’m asking on the BritishColumbia Q & A, and not the Newfoundland one is that the information regarding the full launch of the CPA program seems very difficult to come by. Again, thanks for your assistance.

    • Katie Hensrud says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for your inquiry. As the merger is progressing at different rates across Canada, the CPA Prerequisite Education program (CPA PREP) will only be offered in certain regions starting Summer 2013. In order to confirm whether or not it will be launched in Newfoundland, you will be required to contact the CMA office in your region.

      Kind regards,

  5. sheilah marcelino says:

    hi there! i’m currently a CMA (newly graduate Oct. 2013) and was wondering if we call ourselves, CPA-CMA or just CMA. I’m ordering business cards for myself (as a Controller) and just wanted to make sure I’ve got the appropriate title.

    Thanks for your help.

    sheilah marcelino, cma

    • Erin says:

      Hi Sheilah,

      All CMA members in good standing should continue to use their CMA designation.

      Changes to the provincial accounting legislation will need to be approved by the Government of British Columbia before members can change their designation. This may take a year or more, so the status quo remains and CMA members should not add the CPA to their designation yet. We’ll continue to share updates as we have them via the website and E-News.



  6. John McDowell says:

    I’m told the CAs will require us to use CPA/A after the ten year period. This seems to be the case in Ontario.
    Our rights will be truly limited with a CA merger.

    I admit our program is the easiest of the three but what will the society do to ensure our rights are protected after this take over?

    • Erin says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your message. The CPA/A is specific to the Ontario situation, where neither the CMAs nor the CGAs have formally joined the merger; it was created to allow CMAs and CGAs who move into that province to be able to get their CPA.

      There are still many details being worked out, but the CMA British Columbia Board of Directors is committed to protecting the rights of members while also ensuring a smooth transition to a unified accounting profession.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to email us at

      CMA British Columbia

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