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The SPAC offers two accounting designations

  • Registered Professional Accountant (RPA)

The RPA designation is offered by  The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada.  For the RPA designation, RPA provides accounting knowledge through its comprehensive prerequisite courses offered by community colleges.

  • Accredited Professional Accountant (APA)

The APA designation (Accredited Professional Accountant) is an honorary fellowship designation granted to those who have been RPA for at least 10 years and with a particular distinction in accounting or public service.

     1.What is a Registered Professional Accountant (RPA)?

The Registered Professional Accountant is an accounting designation offered by The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada since 1978.

RPA’s are qualified as a professional accountant and recognized for excellence and maintaining high standards. With the RPA designation, you can prepare financial statements for the management as an employee and for your business clients as a practitioner.

The RPA study program is specifically tailored to provide the students with the expertise to analyze financial information which will give you the confidence to take on a leadership role in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME). RPA will meet the needs of employers in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

      2. How can I become an RPA?

A high school graduate can register for RPA prerequisite courses offered in-class by institutions such as Sheridan College, McMaster University, and Algoma University. After completing these prerequisite courses, the student can register for the RPA designation to take the Mandatory Professional Examination (MPE). Upon passing the MPE and gaining two years of practical accounting experience, the student will be awarded the RPA designation.

There are several pathways to becoming an RPA: Practitioner without  designation, Foreign designation Holder, Bookkeeper, Experienced accountant, and Academic each pathway has their specific  requirements to comply

     3. What will I get when I finish the RPA program?

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate by The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada, allowing you to use “RPA” after your name. The attainment of the RPA designation not only signifies your professional competence but also carries prestige within the accounting community. By becoming an RPA, you join a community focused on thriving and promoting the accounting profession. This network provides opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and continuous learning, essential elements for advancing your career. Additionally, the RPA designation elevates your professional standing globally, opening doors to new opportunities and enhancing your credibility in the field of accounting.

   4. What are the steps to becoming a Certified Accounting Practitioner after obtaining the RPA designation?

To become a Certified Accounting Practitioner, you must first obtain the RPA designation. After completing this process of becoming an RPA, you can apply to become a  Certified Accounting Practitioner. This process includes specific training focused on CSRS 4200 Compilation Engagements, as well as webinar case studies, that must be completed and passed. The Certified Accounting Practitioner license is valid for 5 years and can be verified online by the general public. Please note that without this certification, an RPA cannot perform public practice.

 5. What are the RPA fees? What benefits are covered under the RPA fees?

Students taking RPA prerequisite courses offered by the Community Colleges i.e. Sheridan College, McMaster University, and Algoma University pay course fees to the college or university.

For Fees check the  Fee Schedule

6. What is the difference between the CPA and RPA designation?

Chartered Professional Accountant designation is awarded by CPA Ontario to qualified accountants.  To obtain the CPA designation students must contact CPA Canada.

Registered Professional Accountant designation offered by The Society of Professional Accountants of Canada.  To qualify for the RPA designation, students must complete 20 prerequisite courses before they can sit for the Mandatory Professional Examination (MPE). RPA provides accounting knowledge through its comprehensive prerequisite courses offered by community colleges after completing prerequisite courses student writes a competency exam (Mandatory Professional Exam) to obtain RPA designation.

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