The unification of the Canadian Accounting industry is discussed upon by the front-runners of the Chartered Accountants of Canada and Certified Management Accountants of Canada with the purpose of transitioning a better future for the accounting profession. It is to be noted that despite the merging or coming to common terms of the different accounting practices, the accounting profession in Canada remains to be diversified. The move towards a unified designation is a step that is contemplated in order to maintain an organized accounting structure among Canadian accounting professionals while aiming to meet the needs of the current times.
The Need to Evovle
The pace of the global economy is changing fast and there is a need to redefine the system of the accounting profession to cater not only to the needs of national businesses but to that of international industries as well. Diverse forces shaped the accounting profession in our modern world today, and it requires the accounting professionals to adapt a system that is flexible enough to serve the requirements of businesses in and out of the country. One of such force is the global economy (The Association, 2012), it is implicit that the continued globalization brings pressure for the accounting profession to strengthen its public image thus the adoption of current, standard and unified financial reporting practices. The global development among diverse industries calls for a common accounting designation that aims to have a commonality among accounting organizations.
In line with this, the Canadian accounting bodies proposed that it is more relevant and efficient to proceed with the unification of the accounting profession because such would enable the enhancement of the support provided to the members. The new designation will enable a professional at becoming a better member of the international accounting profession. The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the largest and fast growing accountancy body in the international scene offers an opportunity for students across the globe, by supporting their members wherever they work (The Association, 2012). The ACCA promotes their global standard and it is their goal to meet current and future international business needs as they enhance the talents of their people. Another accounting organization from where the accounting professionals can get help is the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), with its over 60,000 members from other countries, its aim is to support the profession through research, continued education and highest ethical business practices (The Association, 2012). The commitment for a unified designation for professional accountants is focused on nurturing a profession that will become a globally competitive frontrunner in the accounting field.
Impact on Accounting Students
For current accounting students or those who are considering to pursue career in accounting, that the unification can help enhance their path towards a better an more meaningful accounting career. There is a current indication among businesses that the need for accountants will increase in the next several years. The unified CPA designation will help graduates of accounting land better jobs and it will also help them identify with an internationally recognized professional association, thus increasing their chances to advance faster in their career. While there is a concern among students about the possibility that the unification will impede them from several opportunities offered by the profession, the unified accounting designation will actually improve their chances as the designation provides an insight on a graduate’s diverse capabilities. After earning the designation, an individual may choose careers in different fields, he may opt to start a career in the public practice, be employed in a private firm, work for other organizations or the government among others.
Impact to the Canadian and International Accounting World
The implementation of a unified designation among accounting professionals in Canada will result in less confusion, as previously, the Accounting professionals of Canada belonged to three different bodies, and it used to cause people and businesses to be mixed up, especially to those who belong from industries outside of Canada. With the promotion of the unification, there will only be one designation to address the accounting professionals, in addition to that, the operations become straightforward as it permits for the advancement of the interest of the members and concerns about the profession.
Status of Accounting Unification in Nova Scotia
On April 22, 2015, the Minister of Finance in Nova Scotia presented to the House Assembly a bill that is aimed at designating the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia as a new legal unit, as well as to arrange for the Chartered Professional Accountant a designation and usage (E-SCAN). It was the tasked of the Nova Scotia Transitional Steering Committee, that is composed of equal representatives from among the members of the Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia, the Certified General Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, to manage the merging of the legal entities into a single designation. The Steering Committee had originally presented a draft concerning the merger last year, and were counseled by the provincial government on the advancement of the bill by the Fall of 2015. In the meantime, before the legislation, the respective members of the three legal entities shall keep up with the existing policies and bylaws of their respective accounting bodies until the introduction of the bill in the fall of 2015.
E-SCAN. Nova Scotia Update-CPA NS Bill Introduced in the Nova Scotia Legislature. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. Retrieved from www. .icans.ns.ca/publications/escan/2015/item81515.pdf
The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business. 100 Drivers of Change for the Global Accountancy Profession. Retrieved from http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-technical/futures/pol-af-doc.pdf