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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
April 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

CPA Qualification Process

The CPA qualification process combines academic study, professional education and practical work experience. The program enables individuals from all educational backgrounds to become Chartered Professional Accountants.


The core academic requirement consists of a university degree, which either includes, or has been augmented by an Institute-accredited program/stream, or 51 credit hours of prescribed university credit courses. This is called the Institute's "51 credit-hour requirement".

51 Credit-hour Requirement

The CPA program is designed to enable potential CPA students to obtain comprehensive coverage of The CPA Candidates' Competency Map. This 51 credit-hour requirement consists of 17 three credit-hour courses approved by the Institute. The specific areas of coverage are:

Subject area / Credit-hours required

Financial accounting - 15 (introductory, intermediate and advanced)    
Cost and management accounting - 6
Advanced accounting elective - 3
Auditing - 9
Taxation - 6
Business information systems - 3
Finance/financial management - 3
Economics - 3
Law - 3
Total - 51

Click here for the full listing of courses.


The practical experience element consists of a prescribed 30-month period of training with a CPA Training Office (CATO). Click here for more information.

Computer Requirements

Click here for more information on computer requirements.

Staff Training Program

Within the first 12 months of practical experience, CPA students are required to complete a case-based staff-training program. The objective is to enhance students' professional skills and assurance competencies by familiarizing them with the performance of audit and non-audit engagements, the operation of a public accounting office, and the rules and regulations, which govern the practice of public accountancy in Ontario. Click here for more information.

ICAO Professional Program

The Institute's Professional Program is comprised of the Core-Knowledge Examination and the School of Accountancy. Successful completion of the Professional Program establishes eligibility to attempt the UFE.

The Core-Knowledge Examination

The Core-Knowledge Examination (CKE) evaluates a student's technical competencies as prescribed in The CA Candidates' Competency Map.

Institute's School of Accountancy

The focal point of the Institute's Professional Program is the School of Accountancy, a three-week, full-time study in June. It begins with several weeks of preparatory self-study readings and assignments.

Uniform Evaluation

The Uniform Evaluation (UFE) is internationally recognized as a pre-eminent professional evaluation. Passing it, together with completion of the CPA program's prescribed practical experience requirement, qualifies Chartered Professional Accountants to practice public accounting and to perform professional services in a variety of other fields.