CA to CPA Canada- Registration process

Updated: Apr 20

Wish to pursue CPA Canada after your Chartered Accountancy in India or Pakistan?


Congratulations.... you do not have to start from scratch for this designation!!


CPA Canada has an MOU with ICAI and ICAP. The MOU allows Chartered Accountants from these two Institutes to be able to directly appear for Common Final exams CFE without having to undergo the core and elective courses.


MOU candidate registers under the Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) that comprises of :

CORE EXAM, ELECTIVE COURSES, CAPSTONES and then finally CFE. 30 months of practical work experience is required to get the designation for which exemption can be claimed if you qualify.


CFE (Common Final Exam) is the last skill assessment exam before getting a CPA designation. Only experience evaluation is left after that. Remember, this experience assessment can be done while preparing for CFE i.e. before the final exam or after the exam by initiating with resume submission.

To register, a candidate has to submit the following documents (English):

1. Confirmation of degree through:

  • Letter of Good Standing (Most people go for this option) or

  • Certification of Membership with ICAI form or

  • Third-party assessment report (WES, IQAS, etc.) (Some provincial CPA bodies have started

2. Comprehensive resume with a detailed account (remember to look for competencies to be included) of all related work experience to be sent to the concerned registration email ID of the provincial CPA body (This can be sent anytime after registration).


For registration to begin, one can start with the submission of the document (e.g. good standing letter) to confirm the degree and the resume can be sent whenever the candidate plans to, during the Professional education Program (PEP).


Steps for registering as a student with CPA Canada and then CFE registration can be started even before coming to Canada.


Simply stating the steps towards CPA Canada are:

  • Student registration

  • Module registration

  • CFE Registration

Along with these stages, one has to complete the practical experience evaluation as well.


To start with student registration, you need to submit a letter of good standing and later when registrations open, pay fees for half or full year depending on the exam session you will be opting for. Registration for student registration open somewhere around December end for May CFE and in April for September CFE.


First and foremost, make sure that you're a member in good standing:

A member in good standing with ICAI is a member who has


1. Paid all dues for membership fees (has an active membership)

2. Completed the required CPE Hours (Refer my this article)

3. No disciplinary action/enquiry is pending

4. Not been convicted elsewhere for professional misconduct


If the first two conditions are not satisfied then please comply with them as soon as possible.

For updating your CPE hours for your ICAI membership, click on this link and upload details of structured and unstructured learning. After you log in, submit unstructured learning activities in an online form with topics and date of the seminars or webinar


Once you start with student registration, you will receive an email from CPA provincial body guiding you about the next steps and regarding the submission of a detailed resume for practice experience evaluation. There are some exemptions from doing the compulsory CPA training of 30 months and that is available to specific categories of Chartered Accountants under the MOU (read my next article)

After student registration confirmation, start with module registration by following: Registrations > Module Registration


For the next stage of Module registration, one has to pay fees for Capstones. Capstones (1&2) are not mandatory but mentors recommend giving Capstone 2 before writing CFE.


Then comes the CFE registration: Registrations > CFE registration

Pay the fees after choosing the session that applies to your CFE attempt (May or September) and you will get notified of the amount being received in one to two business days. Once you have your account registered with your provincial CPA portal, you will see a dashboard with all your progress visible.


You have to pay fees for student registration, capstone and CFE registration. As a PEP candidate, you have to choose the case for DAY 1 during the capstone registration process itself.

As mentioned above, CFE is a 3-day exam. Day 1 case has to be chosen beforehand during registration for Capstone. After paying fees, one will get access to e-learning or study material (knotia) within 3-4 weeks of student registration.



Screenshot of my CPA portal showing the stages

One very important information: If on accessing your CPA account, you realize at any stage that you have not been awarded the exemptions as per the MOU (Core exams, elective courses and the Capstones unless you decide to go for only Capstone 2), you can reach out to the provincial CPA body or the third party managing registrations like the CPA Western school of business for Western Canada, Eastern school of business for Eastern Canada, CPA Ontario for Ontario province and so on for your province.


More information about fee structure, CPA practical experience requirements to qualify for experience exemption and CFE pattern in upcoming articles. Stay tuned! Keep reading my blogs and following Notsoworkholic. I am thankful for your support.


Disclaimer: All the above information is from my personal experience during the registration process in Alberta in the year 2020 . Someone's experience might slightly differ as per the province or year they did registration.


#cfe #cpa #canada #icai#icap #charteredaccountant



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