Our History

The Canadian Institute of Accredited Public Accountants (CIAPA) was founded in 1938 in the province of Manitoba and was granted letters patent under the provisions of Part II of the Canada Corporation Act on May 7th, 1946. The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada (RPA Canada) was established in 1978. A Federal Charter was granted to the Society as a Corporations by letters patent under the Provision of Part II of the Canada Corporations Act. The CIAPA is the oldest accounting institution. CIAPA is the oldest accounting institution in Canada and is now under the control of RPA Canada.

RPA designation is an abbreviation for the term Registered Professional Accountant, granted by the Society to persons with approved experience and who have successfully completed the Mandatory Professional Exams and the requirements set by the Society. The Society is a professional organization established for ongoing education and setting qualifying standards to ensure the professional competence of its members in the practice of accountancy. The Society has members across Canada and Internationally with proven capability in their chosen profession. The Society proudly holds the singular distinction of being the premier professional accounting organization in Canada offering a unique perspective with a special emphasis on Small and Medium sized businesses.

The Objectives of the Society are:

  1. To promote the accounting profession through increasing the knowledge, skills, and proficiency of the Society´s members and students
  2. To protect and promote the Society´s welfare and interests
  3. To develop and implement the means of testing the qualifications of the candidates for admission to the Society
  4. To maintain and advance the continued fitness and competency of members to practice accountancy by means of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  5. To be informed of contemporary issues concerning accounting and auditing standards, taxation updates, management consulting practices, financial planning, statutory regulations, and financial data analysis
  6. To ensure that the members of the Society adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, skills judgment decision making and effectively communicating the financial information and integrity to protect and serve the interest of the public



The Society’s unique RPA educational program has been recognized for maintaining a high standard of excellence with a distinctive focus on Small and medium-sized businesses. The Society approves prerequisite courses offered by Community Colleges.

The Society is honored by the inclusion in the official compendia of Professional Associations maintained by the Community Colleges. The Society has also been recognized by all levels of government and is included in the directories of Professional Associations.

A curriculum vitae including the educational background, professional and work experience of the applicant, as well as requests for prerequisite courses exemption,  may be submitted to the Registrar of the Society.

Review sessions are held before the Mandatory Professional Exams and are conducted by seasoned educators noted for their academic accomplishments and pedagogical expertise.


Prerequisite courses of the Society’s RPA program are designed to ensure adequate knowledge and competence in the practice of professional accounting. Upon completion of the prerequisite courses, candidates must pass the following  Mandatory Professional Exams:

  1. Financial Accounting
  2. Management Accounting
  3. Taxation
  4. Data Analytics 

These exams can be taken in any order depending on the student’s preferences but must be completed within two years in order to obtain RPA designation.

The society reserves the right to change or alter MPE courses or exams.


While in a degree or certificate program at post-secondary  community college, students need to ensure that they have completed the prerequisites courses prescribed by the Society, The courses offered by a post-secondary Community Colleges, are generally  acceptable but the information of the applicant must be submitted to the Society Online  in order to determine which  courses  are exempt. The students pay the student’s membership fee to the Society. The student membership fees provide services such as registration of prerequisite course credits, career counseling, job referrals and the right to attend seminars and meetings. The Society reserves the right to prescribe additional studies in specific areas whenever it is deemed necessary. All prescribed prerequisite courses are available via traditional classroom study at many colleges and universities and most are also delivered via Online learning from Canadian College and Universities.


Membership may be available to mature adults with acceptable qualifications and experience.

Those individuals holding foreign designations such as C.A., C.G.A., C.M.A., and C.P.A. may be exempt from the Society´s competency Exam.


The RPA  (Acad.)(Registered professional Accountant Academic)designation is awarded exclusively to those distinguished applicants who have enhanced the accounting profession in their careers specializing in education and research.


This category of membership is assigned to qualified accountants who are not resident in Canada.


To become a member of  The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada a person must:

  1. Successfully complete the prerequisite program of education.
  2. Pass the Mandatory Professional Examinations.
  3. Possess acceptable accounting-related work experience.
  4. Meet any additional requirements as prescribed by the Society.



Many professional accountants currently prefer to hold two or more recognized accounting designations from highly respected accounting bodies: to facilitate this, the Society cooperates with other international professional accounting bodies.


RPA members of the Society who satisfy certain requirements are eligible for admission into the Forensic CPA Society of USA and qualify certain requirements are eligible for admission into the Forensic CPA Society USA and qualify for the FCPA designation bypassing 5 part certification examinations.



Errors and omissions insurance is available for RPA practitioners


The Society maintains an effective system of mentoring. Peer reviews of practitioners are conducted triennially to ensure that the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards are adhered to.


RPA members partake in required annual 20 credit hours on Continuing Professional Development in each and every calendar year. New Professional Development activities are announced on the website periodically. Members will be informed of any revisions or updates to professional standards and rules as they occur.


RPA members are eligible to act as guarantors on many required Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government application forms


Society of Professional Accountants advice to its members not to mix their  RPA and APA designations with unrelated designations or licenses. We expect that RPA represents himself using his designation solely for accounting related work and practice.


The society maintains an effective Governments Affairs Committee to protect and advocate for the public interest and the betterment of the accounting profession.


The society maintains an effective Taxation Steering Committee to act as liaison with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on an ongoing basis.


The implementation on January 1, 2011, of International Financial Reporting standards prescribed by the International Accountancy Standards Board IASB introduce universal Standards to Canada for interpreting financial statements. The topics covered include

International Sources of Authority

Elements of Financial statements

Presentation and additional disclosures

Preparation of External Finacial Reports for single Entities

Preparation of external Financial Reports for combined entities and Joint Ventures

Members are updated with changes through CPD




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